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Episode #218
Darian Kovacs

Unconventional PR Strategies To Get Consulting Clients

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Summary

Many people take their marketing strategies for granted, and thus continue using old, ineffective techniques. Setting aside tactics that do not work in favor of unconventional PR strategies is always recommended. However, most businesses are afraid to get out of their comfort zones. Michael Zipursky is joined by Darian Kovacs, who shares the incredible story of starting Jelly Digital Marketing & PR Agency. He looks back on how they grew from a small venture in his basement to a successful company by embracing unique and unexpected advertising stunts. From giving away actual jelly jars to going beyond social media networks, Darian breaks down everything that made their agency a marketing success.

I’m here with Darian Kovacs. Darian, welcome.

Thank you for having me.

Darian is a founding partner of Jelly Digital Marketing and PR Agency. You have worked with some very well-known clients like Vista Print, Lego, 7-Eleven, and many others. Your work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Financial Post, and a whole collection of additional media. You started the business in 2013 and you have built it up to a pretty impressive eighteen team members.

We are going to dive into how you’ve got to where you are now. We want to explore how consultants can apply some of these best practices to become more famous, land more clients, grow their businesses, to do it in a conscious and meaningful way. Before we do that, let’s go back in time and have you share what were you doing before you started Jelly.

I feel like my life was an adventure of discovery of where I am going. We had a lunch date with our staff and someone asked me what I studied at the University of Victoria. It was Child and Youth Care. I went to school to do Art and Play Therapy or in the hospital setting, it’s called Child Life Work. I spent a year volunteering at a children’s hospital here in Vancouver on the oncology floor and a year at a children’s hospice in Vancouver called Canuck Place after our Vancouver Canucks.

I discovered youth work, so I worked for both in the City of Surrey and at church. At the time, I had been writing curriculum, which then they’ve got published. I ended up running a publishing company and then the curriculum got acquired by another organization from the US. I was asked by a couple of different US organizations to bring their brand organization to Canada. One being called Ashoka Youth Venture, which was a social venture startup firm.

We gave thousand dollars to 13- to 20-year-olds. I worked for HarperCollins. They have an imprint called Zondervan and also Youth Specialties. I ran their youth worker events across Canada. I ended up working at a law firm that did charity, nonprofit and Foundation Law. They were building a fundraising software called Pure Giving and they built one called Chimp, which is now called Charitable Impact. I worked on the marketing fundraising, working with clients, using the software side.

I realized all of these experiences, mistakes, adventures, and people I met along the way, I wanted to do marketing and only marketing. I realized even in the event world, the publishing world, software world, I only loved the marketing side, especially to do with PR, digital ads, and anything digital. I had this great opportunity to start Jelly out of my basement here in Fort Langley. That’s how the party got started.

If you look at what you studied and how you’ve got started, it had very little to do with marketing, PR, digital, and all that. If you break down your experiences at that early stage, was there something in there or something that happened that made you latch onto marketing? When I look at many people who come from let’s say a technical background or more of a non-profit background, the idea of marketing is the side that many people are not comfortable with because it’s promotion. What happened to you or what was going on in your life or your world that all of a sudden, you get excited about this idea of marketing?

When I was at high school in Tsawwassen, South Delta Secondary School. Our high school had a lot of great volunteer opportunities. I volunteered at one point for a thing called Kids Help Phone. If you ever buy Smarties in Canada, there’s a little number you can call. If you are a kid, you can get help. They wanted a youth council to help decide how to grow this organization and this brand.

If you have a good story to tell or a good thing you want to push forward, the media can be your best friend. Click To Tweet

I volunteered at the time Red Cross. I was doing a ton of work with refugee work, so refugee awareness and support. They also provided at the time blood services in Canada but most of the volunteer work I did was on the refugee work. They were doing leadership symposiums and seminars. I’ve got involved in that and was blown away by that world.

My dad also happens to be a refugee who came from Hungary, so I had some lean towards learning about that world and what was still happening with refugees around the world. ICBC, which is the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia ran an event called REAL Squared, Really Excited About Leadership and Life, and these two twins, Almira and Jobina Bardai created this youth team and I was in grade ten at the time.

Fun fact, Almira Bardai created a PR agency called Jive PR and she sold her shares and she’s an independent consultant now. She was the one where I remember being like, “You are fifteen, you are impressionable,” and watching this incredible leader. She was probably twenty at the time but putting on an event, and then the minute you could get the press to cover it or the media to show up, where I learned that superpower was watching Almera do her thing.

I volunteered for a thing called Youth Week. I tried to start things on campus at UVic. I started this underwater basket weaving club and then got an article about it. I learned that the minute you have someone else talking about you and you have press talking about you, it takes up the seriousness and it makes it real. From an early age, I was fascinated by the power of the press and media, and what it can do for a brand but more importantly, what it can do for a person and movements that are good. If you have a good story to tell, you’ve got a good thing you want to push forward, the media can be your best friend.

You certainly don’t sound like you grew up being an introvert. You were out there a lot of networking and meeting with people. Was that the case? Would you consider yourself to be an extrovert?

ENFP over here.

How do you think that’s helped your development as an entrepreneur and business owner? Is that saying that if you look back over the progression of your business, that attending networking events, meeting a lot of people, having a lot of conversations, being involved with charities, nonprofits, do you think that has helped your business and where you are now?

Two things, one is volunteering for things and going to places where I knew no one was great because I know what it’s like quite deeply emotionally to show up to the event and know no one. I have learned to feel the rooms where it’s like, “How do you find the person in the room who’s maybe alone or doesn’t know anyone?” I have been there.

Secondly, I learned that there is so much good in the world. In a world where there is so much bad, and evil and you hear about it and see it, that flip side of there are some good people who want to change the world, who want to do good and trying to find those people. Fast forward, the secret to the success of Jelly Marketing and this was the best or worst decision we ever made as a company.

In our first year, we had no money, we barely had any clients. It’s our first year doing anything. I found what are the five most expensive charity galas in Vancouver, which is our original geographic scope of the area we wanted to serve. I went to them and said, “We will volunteer. You need a video down. I’m going to do it for you.” They are like, “What’s the value?” I was like, “What do you think the value is?” “We will put in a gold sponsor or we will put you in here as a diamond sponsor.”

CSP 219 | Unconventional PR Strategies

 

I would show up to these events and it would also give us tickets at the table and sometimes this was the best part. We have jelly jars as our business card and they would let me put jelly jars at all the tables or I would do the gift bag for the event. The Jewish Community Center, the JCC Gala would walk away and would all get a jelly jar, water, and a cookie.

From there, I wouldn’t say it wasn’t misleading but people had the assumption and idea that Jelly was massive. We are up there with Dilawri Group, RBC, and Scotiabank, which we are literally a two-person shop. At this point, it was a basement, and then we were in the storage closet of a web agency called Domain7 out in Abbotsford. We are trekking out in Abbotsford to do this work but what I loved about it was it also aligned us with clients that want to do good in the world.

I remember the first meeting with a guy. It was a dinner I sponsored. It was funny. My wife was there. He’s like, “Let me meet your wife. Let me see her wedding ring.” I was like, “I’ve got it on Etsy. It’s amazing.” I was like, “We used our engagement as the wedding ring. It’s great. You can check out Etsy if you ever need a wedding ring.”

He said, “I worked for a company called Spence Diamonds,” which is Canada’s largest seller of engagement rings and whatnot. We met. He’s like, “I want to meet with you. Let’s meet up next week. We are looking at doing some marketing work.” In the first meeting, I remember him saying, “What I like about this is I like knowing that we’ve got similar values because of where we met.” He articulated it well.

That created two things. One, it gave us our biggest growth trajectory because it put me in front of the right people, place and time. It gave our brand huge recognition and way bigger than we were supposed to be. Secondly, we were able to align and work with some brands that had good values that we wanted to work with.

There is so much to unpack there. I want to take us back to that moment when you started the company in your basement. You said, we, so who was it?

Originally, there was a group of investors that were looking to invest in a bunch of companies and we were one of them. I had a side hustle app company going and they were like, “We want to invest in this and we want to get going. We are going to have all these companies that we are going to work with you.” We were one of a group of people that they were working with to help get going.

How long did that last?

About three years. We bought them out, which is great but at the time I was able to get one employee. His name was Chris Montgomery. He was amazing. He was this incredible jack of all trades. He was a videographer, designer and photographer. It was the two of us working our way to try to grow this agency.

You started not as an agency. Initially, you were running some app project business idea and then somebody said, “We want to find a bunch of different apps or businesses. You are one of them.” Where did the idea come from an app business to an agency business?

While I was working at the law firm, I was doing apps on the side. I was on the fifteenth app. I was frustrated and sad because these people would launch this app and they put their heart and soul into it, and then no one would download it. Maybe their aunt would download it, maybe they would, maybe they would even forget to.

In a world where there is so much evil, there are still good people on the flip side. Click To Tweet

I made a mandatory package. You had to buy from Jelly. At the time it was called something else. You had to buy a one-part PR, one-part social media, and one-part digital ads. You had to buy that package. It was $750. I would allocate $250 per bucket. They had to buy it for three months. $20 to $50 was added on to all of the apps we did going forward. I realized I love that part of the apps way more.

What was happening in the app world was that Apple and Android were creating all these templates. If you wanted a basic app, anyone could do it. You didn’t need a developer anymore. We realized that that’s getting commoditized. Let’s focus on these service packages that are way more fun, way more interesting, and something that I’m good at. Anyone can build an app now. Wiziwig can do it.

Three years into this business, you buy out this other company. Take us back to the beginning of these early days in the basement. You’ve got some funding, you had an investor, you brought on one employee, how did you go out and get your first clients? Were the first clients the people that were using the apps or they were coming to you for the apps so that was the initial service? Once you said, “We are formerly going to start to operate as an agency,” where do you get those first few clients from?

We have hung over two that we are still on that three-month package. Once we officially hung our hat up and said, “Here’s Jelly. This is who we are.” A lot of the folks that we had those packages with either wanted to continue the packages or they came back and said, “I love that. That’s all you are doing now. Can I do this package but do it bigger?” They told friends and family about what we were doing.

Another one that gave us a nice big push was the local Business Improvement Association. I went to the BIA and said, “I want to do fifteen videos for your members. I will charge you $200 apiece.” We sold these cheap Costco deals. It was great because it gave us an incredible portfolio base. It did bring us in revenue.

From there, while we were finding clients and lifting up every rock to discover these clients, we had work coming in. Those charity gals and events post afterward. We did a fun thing, if you’ve got one of our jelly jars, we put a website in there called PB and Bread. You could order a loaf of peanut butter and bread. That gave us accountability to see how well did people engage our jelly jars at those events.

Tell me more about that. I have a note down about this that you give people these jelly jars. Give me the connection, are you sending it to people? Was it only at the charity galas?

It was my business card. I would see them in person. I would give it to them or it would be the favor at all these charity events.

They get that and, on the label, it says, “To go and get your loaf of bread or peanut butter, go to this website.” Did people do that?

I shipped off three packages of sourdough, two whole wheats, and then one wanted crunchy, one wanted smooth, and one wanted a peanut butter alternative.

CSP 219 | Unconventional PR Strategies

 

How often are you finding that the people that are doing this turn into paying clients?

They think it’s hilarious and then they share about it online. Those that have ordered the peanut butter bread do not become paying clients but they introduce us to paying clients or they talk about us the paying clients. Same thing with the charity gala. I have met like the Spence Diamonds guy directly at these events. A lot of the time it’s even when we go to a pitch or we show up at an event and someone is like, “I have seen you guys before. I have seen Jelly before.” The other thing, emotionally, they associate Jelly with a good thing because we are out at a charity gala doing good things. Going into that pitch meeting, was a good thing and a good feeling.

When I think about what you are describing and talking about, you are making an intentional decision to invest money into these little jars, Jelly, and all this stuff that you are setting up before you know that it’s going to work. You have the goal and hope that it would work but you didn’t know that many entrepreneurs, agency owners, and consultants are very risk-averse. They are conservative. They don’t want to spend money on marketing.

They will do whatever they can to cut corners and try and grow their business without making that investment but here you are on the exact opposite side of the table saying, “No, we are going to put money into something because we believe that it will work and it does pay off.” Where does that come from for you? Where did you learn that lesson?

Three things. One, I love slow cookers. I love putting meat in a slow cooker and cooking it all day, like 8, 9 hours and it’s gorgeous. My brother smokes beef, makes these briskets. He lived in Texas for a long time and is a slow cook and the food is good. There’s this magazine called Fast Company. It’s the idea of a slow company. What does it mean to go slow in business and nurture things?

In my first year in university, I came home and my mom let me do this big garden in our backyard. I love everything about fruit and vegetable gardening because you wait most of the time. Gardening is waiting. There’s this amazing story of the olive tree. A lot of people would plant little baby olive trees knowing that their generation, that they themselves will never taste the olives themselves but they plant all the trees for that next generation.

Those three things, where does that come from? How did you get to that place? In entrepreneurship, the typical business owner is rushing. We want results quickly. We want things to happen now. When did you start to connect those dots and see, “As long as I plant the right seeds, if I’m patient and consistent, I will be able to reap the fruit of my labors.” When did that happen for you? When did you connect those dots?

Summer of 2000. I came home after my first year in university and I built this fruit and vegetable garden. Every night and on the weekends, I tend to it. That taught me, “If you want the good stuff, you have to wait.” There are all these sayings, “Good things come to those who wait,” but it’s true, though, on many levels.

Number two, there’s an old saying, “Kill two birds with one stone.” I prefer the less violent version, which is, “Feed two birds with one grain.” The idea is even if the charity gala was useless, no one picked up a jelly jar. They threw the jelly jars in the garbage. For some reason, the charity gala was a bust. I at least knew that I did something good for charity, something cool happened to help the world. I could sleep well at night knowing that we did something cool versus buying a random billboard or finding something else.

The third thing being the idea of operating in faith versus fear. In every decision we make, even coming on this show with you, showing up to a meeting early or deciding to mail a thank you card to someone at random, those are all decisions you can either send a thank you card in fear, which is fine. It still gets it done or I could show up to this show in fear like, “What if I don’t show up, Michael is going to not like me and it will go horrible.” It’s the human emotion inside of us.

Each day when I wake up, how do I operate in faith? Do I say, “I’m going to come on the show. I don’t know what’s going to come of it or what’s going to happen with Michael and me. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I write that thank you card?” It may not even go if a Canada post may lose it, which they probably won’t but they could. Operating in faith that something good will happen from this.

In every decision you are making, always prioritize faith over fear. Click To Tweet

That’s powerful because very often what I observe is that those who have a mindset of fear or scarcity tend to not even take the action. You start to think, “What if I spent all this time writing all these thank you cards, sending them out or donating and I don’t generate business, is it worth it?” You don’t take that action then you never know, whether or not it would work.

Having that abundance mindset as you call it faith mindset of being able to move forward and take that chance is such a powerful dynamic that so many people mess because they are over-analyzing, overthinking, looking at everything that could go wrong. That’s what holds them back from taking the action that could prove to them that that could work out very well for them.

I know we eat mustard on our hotdogs and there’s probably in your fridge now. The seed of the mustard tree is tiny but the tree itself is massive. That’s the philosophy of little things like saying hello to that person at the event or walking over to that person, walking over in faith at that little encouragement to them or bringing them a glass of water.

They looked sweaty and awkward as an event but what if you brought them a glass of water? Operating in that little mustard seed, that could turn into something cool but not with the intention of selfishly because I want something in return. I gave him a glass of water but operating in faith that’s probably a good thing to do because they are hot and sweaty.

You do a lot of work with all types of different companies. You are very knowledgeable about multiple industries from a marketing, PR, digital perspective. Thinking about what you have seen with your own company as a professional services firm, as well other firms, what type of marketing or approach are you seeing, and do you believe works best now to generate engagements and conversations with clients and buyers? What do you think you should be thinking about? What should they be looking into and considering?

I will add to it of what I wish I doubled down on earlier. Number one, eNewsletter. I would say eNewsletter because we had an experience where Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down for a day. I love LinkedIn and there are some incredible channels out there but you are on leased land. Growing up in Tsawwassen, there’s a big part of the land where I know some friends lived on where they are on 100-year leases with the Tsawwassen First Nations band and it’s awesome. They own the house. They just don’t own the physical land beneath their feet. That’s okay. It’s a great place to live, and those channels are awesome. If you want to own your land and your property, eNewsletter is the place to go. I wish I doubled down on that earlier.

A piece of advice that very often people are not considering, building that list as early as you can. What else?

I wish I had done more videos earlier. I have been trying. I own a YouTube channel and all that stuff. It gives you a chance to consolidate your thoughts and thinking. The second place where we’ve got more clients from than anywhere else has been education. The minute we started doing workshops and webinars for associations, night and day difference. Any time I do a workshop or a webinar for an association, I would see two qualified warm leads come in, we would get the meeting, and 9 times out of 10, they turn into a paying client.

I would find the association website, reach out to education person, pitch them and say, “I have a workshop. Here’s the description. Here are the key learning objectives of the said workshop. Here’s my fee but I can do it for free. Here are some worksheets they can get along with it. Here’s my experience in this field.” That’s what I pitched. They would either say yes or no. If they said, yes, that was great. If they would say no, I would keep trying and say, “What would it take for me to be able to do this?”

What would you say your response rate was? If somebody was to send ten emails to people, in your experience, are you getting all 10 or 5 back? How many people are responding to these requests?

CSP 219 | Unconventional PR Strategies

 

I get 5 back and 3 to 4 would say yes. I hosted an event as well. We booked speakers and one of the speaker agents was like, “I’ve got a speaker. They can’t do the job because they are not paying enough for her. Would you do it?” I was like, “Yes.” He goes, “Do you need another fee?” I was like, “No.” He gave me this job to do a workshop and I’ve got paid. I was like, “You are going to pay me to do a workshop? This is amazing.” I would have done it for free and he knows that. I go through this workshop and again, the same thing will happen. We get clients that would come from that.

What was cool is that it was awesome that we start getting paid to do biz dev. I continue to try to, “How do we continue to provide this value in this service in bite-sized versions?” Those two things, charity galas and education. Giving away as many resources as possible. What I do is I put my heart and soul into those workshops as well.

There are a ton of speakers that do like, “Here are some high-level ideas and you need me for the rest.” I would be like, “Here are ten things you can do.” Give them a roadmap and action stuff. Why I think the leads are qualified as the person was like, “I could do it all. He taught me how to do it all. I know exactly what needs to happen but I don’t want to do it. Let’s pay them to do it.”

When you are delivering that workshop or that online webinar, are you making a call to action at the end of that? Are you telling people, “If you would like, we can help you?”

You are not even allowed to. They asked me not to and say it’s against policy. Like a TEDx Talk, you can’t do that. It’s almost better that way because it’s like, “I want to be generous here.” You’ve got to operate in faith.

No sales pitch and direct call to action, you are just over-delivering, giving real specifics. That’s another thing that made people think about, “How much should I give? What if I give too much, and then they don’t need my expertise or services?” What you are saying is, the person who’s going to buy is the person that even if you gave them the blueprint, they don’t have the time, the desire or resources to implement themselves.

You think of it like you are doing a job interview on the spot. You are doing a pitch on the spot of, “Here’s what I would do if I were working for your firm. Here’s what I would do to if I was to give away my whole plan.”

You have gone from yourself and one of the other persons to now eighteen. What did that progression look like? What I’m wondering as well is, did you hire people before you needed them so that you would have the capacity and ability to take on more work? Did you wait until you had money in the bank or a proposal confirmed, and then go out and hire people? How did you think and navigate that hiring chicken and egg type of process?

Two things, on the earlier days we were making more mistakes and hiring in faith and you’ve got to in operating in faith, and maybe that’s where faith is not a great thing all the time. They are going to overhire sometimes. We would find the work to do, which was great but it was a little more intense as far as finding the work to feed the agency, which provided cases where I said yes to work. I shouldn’t have said yes to, which is again one of our lessons.

Explain a little bit more.

Marketing on social media is like living on leased land. If you want to become a landowner, publish e-newsletters. Click To Tweet

Our big thing is we get leads for clients. If a client wasn’t clear on how many leads they want, what they need to be done, timeline, and if it’s a bit more muddled, that doesn’t work for us until they have a clear strategy in place or a plan. We would still say yes and jump right in because I was like, “I’ve got a baby to feed. I’ve got an agency to feed here.” Learning from that was like, “We need to go slowly until the work is there until we have hit capacity 80% to 90% on our existing staff then we go and hire or we can bridge it with a contractor until we can hire a full-time staff.”

Our big thing too we also learned was not taking on any clients that were more than 10% of our revenue because they become a sugar mama, sugar daddy that you have to say yes to everything. They say jump and we say how high. Lessons learned along the way. The biggest hiring piece was hiring for the culture, people that were humble and had humility, and a bit of cross-training as well. We found out some of our staff could do two different roles in the company. We would cross train them for a bit until we could fill that gap.

How was your role in the business changed? You went from being a doer and implementer and doing a little bit of everything, if not a lot of everything to now as a CEO, as a leader in the company. Where do you spend your time and how does that change or evolve?

I’m still doing biz dev. I’m still the only biz dev bottleneck for that world because I’m trying to filter, “Are you a bad fit for our agency?” which is very hard to outsource. The other ones being, “Do you need training? We have a training arm for our organization. Do you need us to do the work and what is it that we can do for you?” That has been where most of my time goes. On the education side, developing that education resource that we have at Jelly, and then having an operations person has been incredible. We work in tandem, whether it’s in our contracts and hiring process but she takes lead on figuring that stuff out and deciding what’s best for the company.

I would say the biz dev hasn’t changed. Also, we have created the company to be more boring. We have created more systems and processes. There are a bunch more standard operating procedures for out-of-office messages when a client wants to change their contract. We have built these things, it’s less reactive, which has been great. I’m having to put out less fires, which is good while I’m jumping in to try to fix and adjust. I’m still involved in some of the creative direction or some of the strategy but it’s less reactive, which is very nice.

Jelly offers a lot of different types of services. You also have a new Jelly Academy, a digital course micro-credentials school, in addition to PR, digital ads, classic marketing, there are a lot of different services and products that you offer and have. How do you manage all of that? Do you find that overwhelming at times because you have many different ways to work with clients? If not, what’s the secret sauce to running all of that in a smooth and efficient way?

We have a great Excel sheet format, where we have an account manager who will manage it and what the services offerings are every month and how many hours of those service offerings, and then we have it at by department. We have an SEO, digital ads, social media, PR, and multimedia department, and then the account managers, essentially our orchestra directors, tasking out the work to each of those departments who are assigned to, said client. It works and flows well. We have these operating procedures of what it looks like to onboard a client and delegate the work to the coordinators on the team. We have web partners that are outsourced.

We have a podcast producer partner. We are managing an outside vendor but the rest, it’s all inside vendors. Our staff is hybrid now. Half in, half out at different times but Slack has been great for it. We use a tool called Basecamp 2, which has been amazing, and then we hacked Basecamp. We do everything as a task. It’s either 1 to 4. 2) It’s due that day by end of the day. 3) Is this would be good to do by this day. 4) Is think about this for this date. 1) Is which we should only have 1 to 2, 3 once a week at most, maybe once a week is drop everything. Basecamp has been amazing that way. Even our coordinators love it because it’s very clear expectations on what’s needs to be done in their week load.

That project management tool has been around for a long time. One thing I take away from that is you have a very thoughtful process and you have done a lot of thinking around how to manage your system, how to stay on top of projects, and how to deliver great work for clients. I want to talk about and make sure that people can learn more about the work that you guys do and where to go but before we do that a few questions before wrap up.

The first is, when you look at your typical day and week, what are 1 or 2 things or we will call them habits that you have that you feel give you your superpower that allows you to accomplish more, to be successful and be positive, whether it’s the morning green smoothie, exercise, reading, journaling or something along those lines? What do you do on a consistent basis that you feel plays a big role in the success that you have?

CSP 219 | Unconventional PR Strategies

 

It’s plugging in my laptop. I will take my laptop and charger home. I’ve finally got a second plug and I have stopped doing it. Maybe this isn’t fitting but the idea of being is that I had have to bring my laptop back to the office, and then I would have to bend down at my desk, get on my knees, and plug it in. That action of knowing that getting down on the knees and saying like, “I’m not God.”

What do you mean by that? Do you mean because it’s harder for you to plug in the computer, there’s a separation between doing work and not doing work or something else?

No. I have to get down on my knees and plugin things but it was a nice physical reminder or prayerful reminder or a meditative reminder that I’m not God. Throughout the day of I try to get these moments, whether it’s listening to music, there are some incredible songs out there or reading this thing called the Psalms or the Proverbs. Again, if you are in business, Proverbs are incredible wisdom in there. I try to find strength and wisdom outside of myself and getting down on the knees to plug in the thing was a good reminder each day. I’ve got to find a new one now that I finally bought a second plugin.

There are a lot of powers around you that you are focused on. Best book, fiction or nonfiction that you have read or listened to?

I’ve got into John Grisham for a while. I read so many John Grisham novels. I read Scott Galloway’s Post- Corona, which was incredibly inspiring, and then Seth Godin’s The Practice. It’s so good. It is meaty and chewy. It was neat to read them after each other after reading so much John Grisham. He is great. It’s a fun read. It’s like cotton candy, and then I went over and read some steak and potato books, which was great. I’m still processing stuff from Seth and Scott Galloway’s books as far as content and ideas. It has so much good stuff in there.

Last but not least, most important even, where can people learn more about you and the work that Jelly is doing?

I’m so stoked about our Jelly Academy now. JellyAcademy.ca is one of my favorite things. We are about to graduate a new cohort of 54 students of which over 40 of them are indigenous, which is cool. We are able to scholarship a lot of these students. We are going to see over 40 indigenous people go into the marketing sector. Thanks to the amazing people at Best Buy. Any of those students that did not have the proper hardware laptop and/or cell phone, shipped him a brand new one to break that barrier to give them opportunities and jobs.

What I love about it is a ton of people and those that have been in marketing a long time are getting their credentials now much like Michael Ross from Suits. He operated as a lawyer but without having passed the bar, in digital marketing now all these people are realizing we should go and pass the bar. We help people get their Google, Facebook, and Hootsuite certs. Otherwise, JellyMarketing.com is our agency work. I love LinkedIn, I’m there. I respond to anything and everyone, the same thing with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

It sounds like people can find you in multiple different places.

I’m on Quora. What else is there to be Michael?

That’s more than enough. I spent a lot of fun having you on. Thanks much for sharing and giving people a little peek inside of the Jelly story, great takeaways, and ideas I hope that everybody can consider, if not embrace, and apply in their business.

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