January 25, 2024

Episode #118: Jennifer Denney – Elevated Marketing Solutions

I help business owners and marketers alike understand the funnel of building a business online. I am the Founder of Elevated Marketing Solutions and a Digital Marketing Strategist. I have been in digital marketing for 18 years. I founded Elevated 7 years ago. I have had 28 employees and 10.5 million in marketing dollars underneath me and prefer running a smaller agency. To learn more visit https://elevatedmarketing.solutions

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you’re listening to the self-made is a myth make a difference together show with your host coach Tim campsa where we talk with successful business owners to hear the stories of their Journeys in building their successful businesses and more importantly we recognize the folks who help them Excel because we know that achieving business success is not something we can do on our [Music] own hello everyone this is coach Tim campel and I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us today my guest has wow this is pretty cool has done brain surgery on rats have her we’re gonna have her tell us a little bit about that we can’t let that just slip by in her downtime she likes to do Ceramics and she is most proud of her kids and husband who are all very unique uh in their own ways but also very hard worker so we’ll have her tell us about our family here here shortly it’s my pleasure to welcome Jennifer to the show today hello Jennifer hello Tim thank you for having me I I always enjoyed having conversations fantastic well let’s start by having you introduce yourself tell us a little bit of your personal story like where you were born and live about your family and hobbies yeah so I’m born in Indiana have always been in Indiana from a small town so although I I like to say that I can you know play with the the big cities as well as the small cities as well um uh I’ve been in marketing for almost 18 years uh so pretty much you know different forms of it I I’ve been around marketing for a a very long time um it’s something I’m really passionate about and something I love a lot and I’m glad that I you know finally have entered this space in the last seven years where I get to do it my way and own my own business that is fantastic so what about um what about personally what family Hobbies what do you enjoy doing yeah yeah so personally um I’ve got two children they are older and out of the house now on their own taking care of themselves so super happy about that um it’s just me and my husband at home so it’s a unique part of life where it’s just him and I and that’s kind of fun because we get to do whatever we want to do um Hobbies uh I love arts and crafts um on my own I love Ceramics and anything that has to do with that uh fun fact I was actually gonna be a Ceramics teacher at one point oh wow yeah I kind of saw how it was like there were cutting jobs everywhere at the time and art wasn’t really you know kind of appreciated I was like oh maybe I should go a different direction and somehow I ended up in Psychology so tell us about um rat brain surgery yeah so that’s that’s the psychology aspect is I ended up um going to school for psychology left art school and along the way figured out I I was pretty good at understanding the neural networks of the brain and how all that works and I was a lab assistant and I had to do neuros surgery on rats to like practice and so I I’ve actually done that you know it I it’s it sounds quite unique that you went from art to science that’s not normally how people’s brains are hardwired I know I’m so I’m a little bit of a chameleon where I do have both the left brain and the right brain and I can fluidly go between the two so it makes me a little bit unique in that aspect yeah that must uh come in very helpful in your business yes jump back and forth yes yes I I can handle the toughest problems because I can go between really forward straightforward to you know a little bit more artsy that’s awesome Jennifer is there a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us you know it’s a funny story to them but I’m not sure it’s a funny story to me that is perfect that’s exactly what we want to hear they always like to tell the story how I would always get out of doing dishes at the end of a family dinner and I just like to look at it like I was very strategic in that I wasn’t going to do that and so I would find ways to get out of it but they always tease me about that so what what’s an example how’ you how’d you sneak out of doing dishes oh you know maybe I didn’t feel good or I be off in another room maybe talking to my parents or something you just some way to kind of avoid it but I I was good at it I love it that’s awesome so tell us how’ the business come about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business um so the business actually came about uh you know I had a long-standing career uh where I was three steps below the CEO and a company of 5,000 and you know I was very used to to doing that high pressure situation and I thought maybe I wanted to go into uh where I didn’t have to be in charge um turns out it was the worst eight months of My Life um turns out I need to be in charge and so I was kind of thinking at that point like oh do I do I need to go back into corporate or maybe I should try my own thing uh and so I started like kind of working on my own thing and I kept turning down all these CMO jobs and all these high ranking jobs and I had a friend that really convin me that I could do it and lo and behold at one point the place I was working at were like oh well we want you to do the same thing like parttime and I was like okay yeah you can hire elevated Marketing Solutions and they’re like who’s that and I’m like that’s my company and that’s how it started I love it so tell us more about the company what the you just mentioned the name but say that again what do you do how do you help people yeah elevated marketing Solutions um you know we like to say that you know digital marketing is complicated but your marketing agency doesn’t have to be uh we’re very data driven there is a story to tell with each different data point of your marketing and it’s our job to know that and to know that it’s wrong what do we need to do about it what are we working on what have we tried it’s just our job to kind of tell the story to you of what what’s working and not working and allow someone to do it for you that’s fantastic so for everyone listening U make sure to check out the company in the link in the description and go visit Jennifer on LinkedIn and tell her that you watched her interview yes I am on all the socials you can find me in almost every place so Jennifer share a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think you could and that the impact that person had on you yeah yeah I always talk about my friend Cody sharp um he well Lorraine ball too they they really kind of allow me to look at things outside of the box sometimes so I I really love being around other people and hearing their perspective because I I think we all come from different perspective a lot of times I think you get inside your own head and you’re like well this this is this is how it’s supposed to be until you kind of open yourself up and listen to other people so it’s either either we listen to other people or something that we thought was the right thing goes wrong and then we’re like oh yeah I should have listened to that other person right sometimes I’m listening for what not to do yeah sure sometimes I’m listening for like what maybe I would want to do out of that uh I’ll take bits and pieces from what other people uh I just don’t want to you know as I age I’m only 45 but as I I don’t want to be this person that’s like oh well that’s just how it is like I can’t be that person not in my indust no right yes things are changing so fast that what was is no longer again yeah yeah so good segue into what’s your been your biggest learning as a business owner um I would say probably that uh I can do anything but I shouldn’t do everything tell us more about that I love it I love learning and so I I have this aspect of myself where I just like to learn and I I think that’s okay and I need to stay in that space But I gota you know let go and let somebody else kind of Take the Wheel and not be in all of the the nitty-gritty try to stay more higher level so that’s currently the bigger transition that I’m kind of in right now is well there’s other people that can do that and and I think that is a it’s probably the hardest thing that business owners go through because yeah when we start typically we’re all solopreneurs and so we have to learn everything and do everything and then yeah evolve and have employees and then right it’s just hard to let go because we’re so good at it or we’re just so accustomed to doing it but to your point it’s not things we should be doing if you know W if our value to the company is you know a couple hundred dollars an hour or more and and we’re doing a $25 an hour Tas yeah then that’s not good I mean My True Value really is in the strategy part which is the part A lot of people have a hard time with and understanding a lot of people understand the what they don’t understand the why and that’s where I need to stay and so there’s just been this transition of well I I used to do that um now I need somebody else to do that um and perfectionism I think also stops people I like things perfect and I have to you know let that go and they’re going to do it their own way and yes um you know as long as it’s I guess 80% as good as I would do it then I I need to be okay with that but that’s hard it’s very hard and and really it comes back to that opportunity cost right so even if it takes a team member twice as long it’s still less expensive than us doing it ourselves and folks always ask me well Tim how do I know what my value is so the the simple equation is you take your company Revenue your annual revenue and divide by 2,000 hours so if you’re a million dooll company and you divide by 2,000 it means your Worth to the organization is $500 an hour and so it’s an easy way to determine is this task I’m working on worth $500 and and right and it’s like oh oh so when you do it that way it’s like oh my goodness there’s a lot of things I need to let go of yeah I think people start to struggle then well then what am I supposed to do like what am I supposed to work on um yeah a lot of it’s tough right yeah and right we all know what that answer is but it’s easy to tell someone else versus tell ourselves right what am I supposed to be working on I’m supposed to be working on the business right and driving the strategy and the direction and care of the team right yeah yep yep absolutely all those things that are actually much much harder to do I I think that’s where my psychology degree comes in um understanding motives of people and and all of that like that that really helps definitely in marketing but in general I can use that anywhere so Jennifer we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about one of your biggest challenges during the years and and maybe a fellow business owner or a colleague that came alongside you and helped you through that um you know it I think the biggest challenge for me is not going to go away and that is a challenge in itself um our industry is constantly changing um and so you know it’s hard to do long-term plans or anything because it could change very quickly the good news is I actually like that um I don’t do well in calm environments when things are already put together I need chaos to put back together and so although it’s a challenge some might perceive that I I do really well in that environment um stick to the basics of marketing but it’s gonna constantly be changing fantastic um I’m gonna put you on the spot here so uh who are three people in your business owner Journey who you’re most grateful for them being part of your your journey and helping with your businesses grow so who are those three people and how they help you yeah so of them I’ve already mentioned Cody sharp uh you know he kind of convinced me to start the business and at the same time um he we talk daily and we’re always talking business talk so love that line ball you guys might be familiar with her I’m live with her like every week and you know prior to the show and after the show we’re always talking about business and I always say I want to be here when I grow up um so I I love talking with her and then my third source is more of a group so I’m part of digital masterminds um and it is a group of agency owners so it is business owners and they own agencies so I feel like they really get me um I’ve been part of that group for years and you know there’s no walls and we all just be who we are and listen to each other and I think just having that group of people that can tell you what you need to hear and sometimes what you don’t want to hear that’s fantastic I love that I’ve heard folks um be hesitant to do something like that because they’re worried well they’re my C competitors I can’t be open and honest with potential competitors so just give some insight into that my competitor is me who I was yesterday um how can I make myself better uh there is plenty of business to go around um I I don’t feel like other people that do the same thing as I do uh is a competitor it’s just a perspective um I’ve learned that there’s 50 million ways to kind of run a business and you know I’ve seen some pretty poorly run still goinging businesses that could use a lot of help and then I see ones that I’m like okay I want to be that when I grow up yeah so again it’s about perspective and being in front of as many people as I can yeah I love your perspective so how I internalize what you said is you know scarcity mentality versus abundance mentality right so yeah oh my glass is always 100% full it’s half air half water there’s there’s plenty to go around yeah I love it and when you H when folks for everybody listening when you have that perspective that there’s more than enough to go around then you you tend to be more open to right talking to other people and sharing ideas with others because it doesn’t matter right they’re not going to steal your business you have confidence too in yourself you’re like it doesn’t matter whatever it is I’m going to figure it out um you know I’ll figure it out so if you have that confidence then you you’re not trying to guard everything um now I I will tell you you know these these three groups I’ve been part of for so long and people kind of come in and out that like they do know me pretty well I think at first um it’s really kind of hard to break down the barrier with me at first that’s funny I you know I’ve interacted with you a few times and I would not have thought that you seem very you know and bubbly so that’s an that’s an interesting insight to share there you go like you know there’s two sides to me so Jennifer I told you I was a chameleon that’s true that’s right you did as you think about the next three to five years what’s the biggest challenge that you see that you’re going to face in hitting your goals and who are the types of people that you’re going to need to address that um I’m G to need people who think more strategy um you know in my industry there’s a lot of things that are moving you know with AI and and um the what is going to be taken care of by AI but the strategy aspect if you can think in that aspect is is who I really need on the team um I think we’re going to see smaller agencies because a lot of that what that was kind of maybe done by a human is going to be done by AI but the strategy level will never be done by an AI and so I think that’s kind of the challenges that I’ll I’ll face um it was already moving fast and then it just exponentially went insane in the last year so it that is the challenge that just that things are changing so fast that you need strategic people to help navigate through those changes am I hearing that yeah like what what do we listen to what do we not listen to you know there’s with with any new trend um you know there is hype and so some areas there’s hype and some areas there’s not so you got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and um and in our industry that’s where you have to be if you if you know the basics of marketing it’s it’s my job to sell people products and services if I understand that it doesn’t matter where the trends go just you know stay there know when to go hard in one area and when to pull back yeah I like that because um if we just chase after the trend it’s not necessarily going to work for or you know our particular business or our industry or no no you’re putting somebody else in charge um you’re letting them have control and you feel like you just need to follow those Trends and Trends will come and go and if anything in Tech they they can come and go in a snap so if you’ve got everything dependent on Trends it it’s not a good idea it’s a roller coaster I like what you said in the beginning about being very data Focus so one of the principles we teach uh our clients is we call it a marketing 10 by1 so the but the idea is you know you have to have more than one strategy right we recommend 10 and yeah and that you have to test and measure every strategy to understand what’s the return on investment right you can’t just hope and pray that something’s going to work or follow a yeah the trend you’ve got to understand the data and and determine if it’s working so talk to us a little bit more about your data Focus yeah so I can talk about the the the marketing aspect but I can also talk about business wise um you know I didn’t know a lot of the metrics that you needed to know specifically for running an agency or even running a business what I knew is I needed to make more money than I spent that’s simple but once I started to understand and listen in conversations with other people like oh well there’s this and there’s that and I’ve really been able to kind of fine-tune the business and figure out you know where are the places where I have problems and here’s the possible solutions we take the same aspect in marketing um we there’s a funnel to someone purchasing some something and people are getting stuck in different aspects is it statistically sound okay then I what are my action steps there and rinse and repeat over and over and it’s the same thing in business yeah it’s um I I I appreciate you sharing that because it’s marketing is not black and white always right it’s no you can have a strategy but then how do you implement that strategy to get it to work takes a lot of tweaking and adapting and testing and measuring right to figure out what what works and what doesn’t because something that might work for client a you know in the same industry won’t work for client B and it’s like why is that yeah yeah yeah that’s a common fallacy is people are looking for these like either instant results or instant Solutions and that’s why we don’t sell packages I don’t believe in packages I believe everybody has a unique business they have unique problems that they need to solve and so when we come to the table we’re providing a unique plan that’s going to work for that person it’s also why we don’t believe in scaling really large as an agency what’s yeah tell us more about that what’s the what’s the concern there um so I’ve had 28 employees underneath me and 10.5 million and I’ve kind of had this large and I don’t think that um you know there is uh any differences between running a small agency and a large agency you know that it’s same problems I think where you get in the mix here is with our particular industry it’s moving so fast you have that ele other element that is moving quickly so I believe in staying small and making sure that we’re constantly growing on what you know else is out there is better than having a lot of this hand is not talking to this hand and they don’t know what’s going on yeah I love it it’s back kind of back to the the whole strategy Focus right of making sure that you’re you’re doing the right thing for your clients by yeah staying close to to what the objectives are and and making sure you’re hitting the deliverables yeah yeah that’s why I also don’t believe in niching down so I know for a lot of people they’re like oh you should focus on just this in this specific industry within markting I’m like number one that sounds super boring number two where’s your creativity like you have no creativity if you’re having to do the same thing across the same industry number three like you’re not learning from other Industries like how to take that across the board so I just I’m not a big Niche I’m not trying to scale this huge large agency I do want to be very profitable that get back to our employees and has great lives but I don’t want to focus on this big machine you you just raised another good point of niching or targeting is it can be Mis that premise can be misinterpreted of oh I have to only focus on one industry like you just shared right but there’s there’s other ways to to Target our Niche right it could be yeah right we’re only focused on small business owners or right we’re focused we do a lot of ads um that’s that’s what we’re kind of known for so if if we’re niched in any way we can do ads for several different Industries yeah I love it hey last question here Jennifer Jim ran awesome business Guru uh he said we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with so as you think about that um what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it all on their own and and not you know getting input from others you can have your core and that’s okay you can have a couple core but you’ve got to save that space for being out in front of other people so you can hear new ideas you don’t want to be in an echo chamber I feel like the same thing can kind of happen with social media that if you’re constantly in the same core of people then you start to believe that that’s what’s true um we put limits on ourselves of what’s possible and so do the people that hang around you so you try to find those crazy people that are like yeah let’s try that like those are the people you want to hang around with you want to know what your limits are yes exactly you mentioned social media it’s um the the thing that I think most people get sucked into is believing everything they read right of wow look at all these successful business owners and then folks can start to feel you know down on themselves oh yeah right all those people got it all get they don’t right all struggling with things about juggling and time ma management oh yeah I love the the the graphic of like the day in the life of an entrepreneur it really is like that we like yeah I got this I can do this and then like an hour later like I suck I don’t know how to do this I don’t know what I’m doing like it really does happen that way yes so back to the the group you’re part of like having having a community that you can talk those things out loud with right and be and transparent is incredibly helpful because let’s face it it’s pretty lonely at the top right oh yeah very lonely um and we meet like every two weeks so it’s like consistent you know somebody that you can kind of go to I’m sure everybody listening you’ve had an a time where right you you weren’t sure if you were going to be able to make payroll that week and and right the the Lonely at the Top is you definitely can’t share that with your employees but no you shouldn’t carry that burden on your own either right you need no yeah yeah share that and they’re gonna understand and be like I know that sucks like you can do it Jennifer sounds like you’ve um had some pretty incredible people in throughout your journey that have helped you with your business’s growth if they were all here on the show today what would you want to say to them thank you real simple you know thank you for believing in me there’ll be plenty people that don’t believe in you find those people that’ll believe in you I love it awesome Jennifer it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show all right take care thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim campaw please help spread this Movement by liking and subscribing to our show and following us on Facebook and Linkedin or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast to join our movement go to be mad together .c okay folks that’s a wrap please pay it forward and be sure to tune in next time to the self-made is a myth podcast