Episode 33:

Rohit Bhargava is a non-obvious trend curator and an expert in helping brands and leaders be more influential. He is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of five books on topics as wide ranging as the future of business, building a brand with personality, and why leaders never eat cauliflower. Rohit has advised hundreds of global brands as the Senior Vice President of Global Strategy & Planning at Ogilvy and with his own firm, Influential Marketing Group. He also teaches marketing at Georgetown University. A two-time TEDx speaker, Rohit has keynoted events in 31 countries and is regularly featured as a marketing expert by media such as The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and NPR.

 

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Working as a solopreneur vs. working in an agency
  • Rohit’s trend report that started as a blog post
  • Habits for being a trend spotter
  • Big trends for 2016
  • VR: How Virtual Reality can become important to agencies
  • Data overload: what will happen when all the data available to different parties eventually gets pooled together?
  • Understand your clients’ true needs and becoming their true partner
  • Architecting an Innovation Day to open up your clients’ wallets
  • How to teach trend-creating thinking to employees coming out of college

 

The Golden Nugget:

“Get your employees to understand a client’s true needs, no matter what.” – @rohitbhargava Click To Tweet

 

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Speaker 1:

If you’re going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn’t you get the benefits to? Welcome to Build A Better Agency, where we show you how to build an agency that can scale and grow with better clients, invested employees and best of all more money to the bottom line. Bringing his 25 plus years of expertise as both an agency owner and agency consultant to you, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan.

Drew McLellan:

Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here with another episode of Build A Better Agency. One of the things that agency owners and employees hear all the time is the important of being an influencer and tracking trends and being innovative. That’s why today’s guest is going to knock it out of the park for you. Rohit Bhargava is a non-obvious trend curator. He is the founder of influential marketing group and an expert in helping brands and leaders be more influential. He’s also a Wall Street Journal best sell author of five books on topics that range from the future of business, building a brand with personality and even why leaders never eat cauliflower. He has advised hundreds of global brands and also teaches marketing at Georgetown University. A two time TEDx speaker, he has keynoted events in 31 countries and is regularly featured as a marketing expert by media such as the New York Times, Harvard Business Review and NPR. Rohit thank you so much for being with us today welcome to the podcast.

Rohit Bhargava:

Thank you, and thanks for having me and thanks for that amazing introduction, now I almost want to talk to myself.

Drew McLellan:

See, well when you do amazing things it’s easy to do. I have no doubt that there’s even more interesting things that I did not include but well, we’ll let the listeners ferret those out for themselves while we talk.

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.

Drew McLellan:

You come from a big agency background, give everybody just a very quick picture of your career landscape.

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah, definitely. I started in the agency world now when I was living in Australia and I was in Sydney. I ended a job with Leo Burnett in Australia, and it was really running a new group for them at the time, which was back in 1998 it was called iLeo. It was basically the first digital team as part of the traditional ad agency. My first role in an agency was in the innovation side of the agency, and building up a new division. That was where I started my career. I stayed there for a couple of years, and then I ended up moving back to the US which is where I’d grown up, and I got a job with Ogilvy. A couple of months after I started, the team that was there ended up starting the first social media group at Ogilvy in 2004, which was at that time social media basically meant blogs.

Drew McLellan:

The dark ages of social media.

Rohit Bhargava:

That’s right. I stayed in that team for about four or five years, and then I shifted into a global role at Ogilvy, where I was doing more kind of broader strategy and planning type of stuff, a lot of pitching for new business. I was on the road all the time. Then eventually in 2013 I left and I decided to do my own thing and so now I am independent and glad to be independent at this time. As opposed to, I’m not one of those guys who’s like man I wish I did that earlier no. I’m glad I did what I did when I did it, and I’m glad I left when I left.

Drew McLellan:

I think we probably first started bumping into each other around 06/07 with age of conversation and some of those things. It’s interesting how both of our worlds keep circling around each other.

Rohit Bhargava:

It’s interesting. I remember the early things like that where it was really great not to be an old fart, talking nostalgic about the old days, but there’s something nice about being a blogger in 2005 when people are coming up with lists of the 25 marketing bloggers to read, and there really are only 25. You’re kind of-

Drew McLellan:

It made us look very smart didn’t it?

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

As you know, the listeners of this podcast are small to mid-sized agency owners and employees, so maybe up to three, 400 employees. Now you are in essence a small agency, so what are some of the lessons you brought from the big shops into your own work?

Rohit Bhargava:

Well, the first one is that I realized I couldn’t be an agency, so actually I think of myself more like a solo guy. I’m really not an agency, I don’t really compete with any of the agencies, I can’t do a lot of the stuff that agencies do really well. That’s actually been a nice sweet spot for me. On my path, I carved it out so I would focus a little bit more on speaking, I teach at Georgetown. What I’m really good at is the facilitation types of things. I teach pitching, I facilitate, things like that. What I took away from that and what I learned from that was that there’s different business models that will be helpful for making you successful.

For me I spent a lot of time building up the research that I do, so you mentioned that I do this trend report every year. That’s been a pretty central thing for me now, and I’ve done it for the last six years. Really building around that. I find that for me being able to move from one thing to another, and not having the responsibility I once had of leading a team, has really freed me to focus on creating that content and then going out and speaking about it. That’s how I structured my business for myself.

Drew McLellan:

I heard you speak at [BOLO 00:05:49] 2015 and you were talking about how to be a trend spotter. I thought the topic was fascinating because as you know, agency owners are, and agency leaders are constantly looking for new, innovative ideas to take to clients, and they’re trying to stay on the cutting bleeding edge of the industries where they have expertise. Talk a little bit about how agencies can be trend spotters, but before you do that, tell them a little bit about your report and how they would go to find it. Because it’s a great resource, and I know you do a ton of research and you were researching every day as you build up the data for that annual report. Tell everybody how to find it, and then talk to us about how agencies can get better at spotting trends in industries where they have expertise?

Rohit Bhargava:

That’s a great way of describing it, I do spend really every day collecting information. I think the theory and premise behind the report is that it’s based on curating ideas. Rather than just saying oh, there’s a trend, oh there’s another one. The principle behind it is if we’re always open to collecting these ideas, then really the art of turning them into trends is taking time to go back into the past and ideas that you’ve collected, and start to see the patterns between those and see the intersections between them.

That’s the process behind how I do it. What started back in 2011 as a PowerPoint presentation that I was trying to turn into a nice blog post, which was the motivation behind the first trend report, really turned into something that a lot of people started paying attention to. That first year I posted a presentation on SlideShare, I think I had over 100,000 people view it and I’m like oh wow, this is more than I thought would take a look at something like this. But then the next year, 2012 I said well, why don’t I just try it again? So I tried it again and that year I think over 300,000 people viewed it. So all of a sudden it was starting to take off.

Drew McLellan:

It was a thing.

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah it became of thing, and it became my signature thing that people would start to, not that many people, but at that time I had a pretty popular blog built up. I’d already written by that time two books, on not trend related topics. I was building my following and this became the annual thing for me.

Drew McLellan:

Which led to a book right?

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah, actually. 2013 and 14 what I did was I did the presentation and then I did a companion e-book and I just self-published it and launched it onto Kindle. That was more like a how to. It was like here are the trends and the presentation which was free, and then here’s the how to stuff, how to use the trends which you pay 99 cents or 2.99 for or something like that. Then in 2015, I decided well okay, now it’s the fifth year of the report, and there’s a lot of people asking me well, how do you do this? What’s the process behind it? I decided in 2015 to launch a book, a full length book around it, and I called the book Non-Obvious, because the trend report had been called the non-obvious trend report. You can really go back and look at the trajectory of all of those by visiting the website for that book, which is nonobviousbook.com, just all one word.

In 2015 when I launched that book that became really successful. It hit the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, a lot of people started reading and sharing it. At that point I realized okay, this should be a full length book. Then this year, 2016 in January I launched an update to the 2015 book, which included 15 brand new trends as well as a 2016 perspective on all of last year’s trends. Now it’s really an annual series for me. So every January it’ll be a brand new edition with 15 brand new trends and really it’s updated continually.

Drew McLellan:

First of all, listeners need to go and check out that website and the book because the book is fantastic. I know the book goes into great to detail in terms of how you can do this and obviously we don’t have that much time on the podcast. But give us a couple I don’t want to call them skills because I think it’s really more about habits maybe. Give us a couple of your habits that allow you to be a trend spotter?

Rohit Bhargava:

One of the habits that I talk about a lot is based around being curious, which I think we hear a lot as advice, be curious, ask questions. But we don’t really have a framework for how to do that. One of the tips that I give to people is, I travel all the time, and when I travel I go into an airport book store and I buy a magazine that’s not targeted towards me. By doing that, what I’m doing is putting myself into someone else’s world, and so now all of a sudden I see what skateboard enthusiasts are reading, and what celebrities they’re responding to and what the language is that entices them, and what the visuals look like.

By doing that continually, whether it’s for a skateboarding magazine or a magazine about hunting and knives or a modern farming magazine, or a teen girl magazine, I’m continually challenging my own assumptions and my own point of view. I think that in the world where it’s very easy to just read media that we all agree with, and not force ourselves to get outside of that world, as an agency person sometimes you’ll do that because you have a client in a certain industry, and so of course you’re are going to get up to date on that industry. But without that motivation a lot of times we just don’t take that time, and when we don’t then we’re basically putting our blinders on to ideas. We’ve got to train ourselves not to do that.

Drew McLellan:

So if people see a guy on a plane reading Teen Beat it probably is you is what you’re saying?

Rohit Bhargava:

And ripping pages out of it and saving them yes, that would be me.

Drew McLellan:

You make a great point because I think agency leaders understand that they have to continue to learn in their core disciplines and in the industries in which they serve clients. But a lot of times I found in my career that sometimes I’ll see something being done, and something that has no relation to the work I’m doing, but it sparks an idea of oh, I could twist it this way or that way to bring value to this client. You’re right, we do have to read outside our own comfort zone.

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah, and I think what it does is it gives us something that is a little bit outside of our normal routine. Because we’ve all been in those situations where we’re struggling to finish a client project, where we’ve got the brief and now we’re trying to come up with the right idea to present. Sometimes we just need to break ourselves out of that race.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah I think so too. Give us another tip or habit to become better trend curators and spotters?

Rohit Bhargava:

The other one that I often talk about which is surprisingly tough is being thoughtful. That’s one of the habits that I talk about. By being thoughtful what I mean is taking time to actually think. That is the ultimate luxury if you think about it, because we’ve all got stuff to do. We’ve got our families, we’re trying to struggle to finish all of the things that we’re trying to finish. For me, the way I force myself to do that is every year on January 15th, which is my birthday, I start collecting ideas for the next year’s trend report. On January 15th of this year, I started collecting ideas for my 2017 report. What I’ll do is throughout the year I’ll continually collect ideas, and finally around about September or October, I’ll then go into my folder which at that point you can imagine with notes and people that I’ve spoken to and articles ripped out of magazines and printouts of, it’s a very physical process. I’m a digital guy, but I tend to see these things physically as artifacts.

Drew McLellan:

Sure, right.

Rohit Bhargava:

Round about September, October that folder’s huge. Now I have a moment in time where I go back and I start aggregating things together and start seeing the patterns between ideas. So I can be thoughtful because I’m able to put all those pieces together and really think about the intersections between them. That’s the way that I force myself to be thoughtful, but the tip there is take time to be thoughtful.

Drew McLellan:

I’m curious when you’re ready to… I can picture you laying all these things out and then moving them around into different piles. Do you go away to do that? Do you sequester yourself for a couple days? How do you build in the thoughtfulness time?

Rohit Bhargava:

What helps me is I do so much speaking like keynote speaking at workshops and things, but that tends to as you know be very seasonal. Roundabout the end of October that really tapers down. November and December’s usually been the time when I get the chance to focus on this report. In terms of sequestering myself, being a solo guy I have a home office. For the trend report what I tend to do is I take over the room in our house that my kids call the Thanksgiving room, because we only use it once a year. Take it over for this, because then I can spread out everything and that’s the way that I do it.

Drew McLellan:

What’s one of the trends that you curated or spotted for 2016 that you think is particularly relevant to agency owners and agency folks?

Rohit Bhargava:

Well, I think one of them is everybody’s talking about, this is probably a good example because everybody’s talking about virtual reality, and the impact of virtual reality and immersive experiences and how do we create those? Virtual reality would never be a trend in my report because A, it’s not non-obvious and B it’s just a statement of some technology that exists, it’s not really directional. Instead of that, the trend that I have related to that for the 2016 report is something I called virtual empathy. The idea behind virtual empathy is that what virtual reality is allowing us to do is imagine ourselves in other situations through the eyes of someone else. By doing that, we actually have more empathy as a result. There’s some fascinating stuff like for example out of the Stanford Human Interaction Lab, where they have a virtual reality experiment where you can picture yourself as a cow being led to the slaughter.

It’s the emotions of that, and then what they ask people afterwards is are you going to become a vegetarian now basically? Not everybody becomes a vegetarian, but almost everybody goes through that and says yeah, I have more empathy now for the way animals are treated. It’s because of how they were able to experience that as a virtual reality immersive experience. There’s another one called Clouds Over Sidra which is a documentary film where you can experience what it’s like to be in a Syrian refugee camp through the eyes of a 15-year-old Syrian refugee. You imagine the impact of these types of experiences to really take people out of themselves and put them into another world and another situation, and the implications of that when it comes to marketing, communications and behavior change, it’s huge.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah fascinating. So in other words if you like steak do not go to find that first study. Well, and you think about the experiences that agencies are trying to create, whether it’s at a trade show or online or whatever, and you can see how that trend could really play into the ideas that they’re bringing clients.

Rohit Bhargava:

The idea that somebody has to create these worlds, right? This is a creative exercise. It’s fascinating how many different spaces it’s being used in. There’s a VR game called SnowWorld for burn victims, to allow them to picture themselves in a nice, cool place so that they can reduce their pain. There’s virtual reality experiences for PTSD treatment for military. There’s so many examples of these. This highlights one of the things that I do with these trends, which is I have a lot of different stories and examples to bring these trends to life. Those stories tend to spark a lot of ideas.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah fascinating. Well, and the book is packed with them right? That’s one of the things I loved about it was that there’s a lot of tales spun and examples. I believe that we learn best through stories, and I think that’s one of the reasons why you’re a great, I’m sure you’re a great teacher. I’ve not seen you teach, but I have certainly seen you speak. I think it’s one of the reasons why you’re such a compelling speaker is because you have so many great stories to tell.

Rohit Bhargava:

Well, and I think the agent… First of all I appreciate that. But I also think that, that is a message that agency people in general know very well. Anybody who’s had to deliver a pitch or come up with a tagline or any of the sorts of functions that a lot of times we’re doing as agency people, even the owners. At one point in your career, maybe you’re not actively doing that now, but at one point you were actively involved in that. I think that this is not a foreign concept for a lot of agency folks. The question is what does that mean for the future of our business? Everybody’s focusing on the same buzz words, whether it’s social media or content marketing or…

Drew McLellan:

Big data.

Rohit Bhargava:

Digital transformation or big data yeah. The question is like how do we figure the nuance of that? One of the other trends that I had in the 2016 report was something I called data overload, which is probably something we can all relate to, but the message behind that was that there’s actually three categories of data. A lot of times when we talk about data, we talk about big data, but that’s only one of the three categories. Big data is the data that corporations are collecting and organizations are collecting. The other two are open data, which is government and publicly available data, which we often forget about. The third is me data, its personal data.

It’s the stuff that we’re generating about ourselves through our activity trackers and through our connected tea kettles and all that sort of stuff. The overload comes from who’s going to figure out how to put those three things together? The me data for me is the most interesting one, because now the idea is if I as a consumer have access to my own data, and right now on Facebook there’s a button where I can export my data. It’s not very easy to use, but there is a button and more and more services have that. Imagine if I could take all the data I have on Facebook, press the button, walk into a retail store and choose who to share it with, and say to a retailer hey, I’ll share my Facebook stuff with you if you give me some sort of benefit in return for it.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, fascinating. I know you work with a lot of agencies and I know you talk to a lot of agency folks, where are agencies starting to fall behind in your opinion or perspective? Or what do agencies need to do to… I’m reading a lot of articles about how agencies are behind the eight ball and they are not as advanced in digital or other places. But to me it’s more about the thinking than the execution. If you were running an agency today, where would you employ your resources in terms of educating your people and sharpening certain skills?

Rohit Bhargava:

That’s a great question. One of the things that I would focus on is how do I get my people to understand a customer’s true business need rather than the stated need for what they’re asking us for? I think that if you consider how most agencies work, the wrong way of working is ingrained into us through our deliverables. What’s the first thing that a client gives us? A creative brief. A brief is forcing them to figure out exactly what their problem is, which is actually the toughest thing to do. If you’re going to be a true partner, then you should be the one helping them figure that out, and helping them write that brief.

But what do we do as agencies? We say hey we need a great brief, and when we don’t deliver great stuff why was it? We didn’t get a good brief. Of course we didn’t, because we didn’t help them come up with it in the first place. I think the biggest missed opportunity is rethinking our role when it comes to what we’re supposed to be doing for our customers. We’re supposed to be helping them figure out what their biggest problems are, and figure out creative solutions to those problems and being partners and making that happen. I think that when we force ourselves to start further down the line, it’s like hopping on a train that has already been going for, hopping [inaudible 00:22:25] from DC to Boston. If you hop on at one of those small stations every seat’s already filled.

Drew McLellan:

Right. Well, and I think for many agencies they struggle because clients are so budget conscious. They’re in such a hurry that a lot of times the clients are the one that dismiss the idea of sorting all of that out. The clients want to get right to I need a fill in the blank, whatever that is. I think a lot of agencies struggle with how to convince clients to let them sit at that table and sort that out. Any thoughts about that?

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah. What you’re describing is probably the challenge that I’ve seen 100% of agencies, including a couple that I work with have, which is how do we elevate our relationship with the client? How do we not get them to come to us so late? How do we become, I mean this is the aspiration especially for big agencies, bigger. I know you have small to mid-sized agencies, I mean like the bigger ones of those. Definitely it was an aspiration at Ogilvy, which was struggling with the same thing, which is the PWCs and the strategic consultants are the ones who are mapping the direction and we’re just getting the crumbs left over. Now maybe Ogilvy is getting bigger crumbs than your average small or medium-sized agency, but the situation is the same.

The real question there, and one of the things that I often work with the agency owners on is, well if you’re going to elevate your role, then you have to give them bigger strategic thinking. One of the things that I’ve worked with several on them to do is create a theatrical moment in time, a specific event to say hey, we’re going to bring all of this innovation to you. We’re going to talk about what’s coming around the corner, we’re going to give you a first look at that, and therefore we’re going to be the preferred agency among many of these clients that are working with five, six agencies. We’re going to be the preferred agency among those to be thinking innovatively about your business. That’s a great place to be for any agency.

Drew McLellan:

Can you describe what that would look like, that theatrical moment in time? That’s a fascinating concept.

Rohit Bhargava:

For me it’s… I go to so many events that I think that a lot of that comes from architecting and experience and a day long event. For me what I mean by that is one thing I’ve done for example is an innovation day, where literally people come into a location sometimes it’s an add-on to an annual retreat, so I’ve done them in nice places like Hawaii. Sometimes I get that-

Drew McLellan:

Yeah life sucks, boy it’s tough.

Rohit Bhargava:

Sometimes it’s like a bottom conference room in the Sheraton in New York, you get what you get. But the idea is you bring everybody together, you talk about the future, you talk about trends, you lead them through an interactive exercise, much like workshops that we’ve all been through. But then the theater of it comes from saying okay, what are your biggest challenges? Now let’s bring in some targeted startup owners and have a brainstorming session with those startup founders. So you’re injecting that entrepreneurial blood into the process, and you’re saying to these clients usually, as the agency we’re going to bring all of these things in and we’re going to team up with you and we’re going to talk about these open-ended things. So that now all of a sudden what happens afterwards is the clients leave inspired. Their wallet’s magically open up because all of a sudden they see that oh, we could spend money on this and we could spend money on that. Oh, you guys are the ones who can bring that together for us.

That’s what that mental flip turns into. So now you’re not just one of the five agencies that they’re struggling to figure out like okay, these guys are good at SEO, these guys are good at above the line, these guys are good at experiential, which is typically how we think about it. Instead, they’re saying well these guys are the most innovative out of all of them. As soon as my boss says hey, what are we doing that’s different? Or how are we going to innovate next year? Well, I could sit down and try and go to a conference and figure that out myself as the client, or I can figure out which of my agencies am I going to call. You want to be that agency.

Drew McLellan:

I think for a lot of the small to mid-sized agencies, the advantage they have is their clients probably aren’t going to a consultant or somebody else for the strategy, because they don’t have the budget. I think they’re just skipping the big strategy discussion altogether. That’s an opportunity for agencies to create this theatrical moment and time, and win that business back. I also think as you’re describing it, what I’m picturing in my head is clients see us how they see us. A lot of times we get a label slapped on us as an agency, as you said we’re the SEO agency, we’re the PR shop, whatever. But it very seldom is the label that’s slapped on us innovative or strategic, even though that’s what agencies hunger for. But an event like this would allow a client to see you in a whole new light.

Rohit Bhargava:

That’s really the point. We want to try and break them out and deliver that type of perception. If you think about it the only chance that we usually get to do that is during the pitch. If it’s a client that you’ve already had, then you don’t get that chance again.

Drew McLellan:

Well, and clients typically don’t want to pay for some of that stuff once they’re in the trenches with you too, so it’s also opportunity to get them to step back and think bigger picture than they typically do on a day to day basis.

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah, exactly right.

Drew McLellan:

How would you suggest, if you were running an agency today with 10, 20, 30, 50, 200 employees whatever it may be, if you were running an agency today, how would you infuse some of the ways that you think? How would you teach that to the 25-year-old who this is their first job, and they’re trying to figure out how to be an agency employee? How do you encourage and infuse this trend curating thinking into an organization?

Rohit Bhargava:

There’s a couple of ways. One is that you create a incentive structure for sharing and capturing the best ideas that are unrelated to client work. If you think about it, we don’t usually do that. We reward great ideas and brainstorms, but ideas unrelated to a pitch that we’re working on or to a client that we have, we never talk about those. The first thing is create an incentive structure for people to actively share those. I think a lot of times the solution I’ve seen over and over again in agency land is well, let’s just find a new system to do that, let’s use Slack. Let’s use something and that way people will share these ideas, and it never works for predictable reasons. The system doesn’t really matter. It’s not the tool that’s going to get people to do it, it’s the incentive. Whether it’s a financial incentive or a reputational incentive or a recognition incentive, whatever it is, you have to be able to incentivize people to grab and share those ideas. That’s the first thing.

The second thing is that I think the bigger your agency gets the more likely it is that you are taking the 25-year-old and giving them a job title and saying this is what you’re supposed to be thinking about. Millennials today don’t want a job like that. What they want is something that is more open-ended that feels like they’re able to use the skills that they think they have or the ones that they want to build for themselves. The second piece of it is encourage people to think outside of their job title. To me what that means is, just because somebody is executing on a project doesn’t mean they can’t be a “creative.” That was one of the most frustrating things I remember about the agency world, that there were certain people who had that tag or title of creative, and so they felt like they could be creative. Then there was people who had idiotic titles like junior strategists. Who the hell would ever want a junior strategist or something?

Drew McLellan:

I only need small and immature ideas, so I’d like the junior strategist please.

Rohit Bhargava:

One strategy that’s not going to work, so can you give me a junior strategist who is unproven? That’d be great thanks.

Drew McLellan:

I’m happy to pay $125 for that.

Rohit Bhargava:

Yeah, exactly.

Drew McLellan:

As you know this is a topic that fascinates me, so I could chat with you about this forever, but I need to be mindful of both your time and our listeners’ time. If people have been listening to the podcast and they are interested in this idea of becoming more of a trend curator, beyond reading your book, which I highly recommend that folks do, because I think that’s a blueprint of how to weave that curiosity and insightfulness into who you are as a person. The book is an awesome… But for folks who want to do something right now, what’s one very tangible thing they could go do right now that would make them a little more likely to spot and be able to curate trends for themselves and for clients?

Rohit Bhargava:

I would say two things. One is maybe a little more self-serving for me, but I think still useful for your listeners. Which is I do a weekly email called curated insights, and basically what I’m doing is spotting the most underappreciated marketing stories of the week. It comes out every Thursday.

Drew McLellan:

That’s great.

Rohit Bhargava:

That’s one kind of switch up. Anybody who is listening to this, if the rest of your team don’t [inaudible 00:32:03] the email, then you’ll have some insights from me every week on some marketing stories [inaudible 00:32:10]. Those will be new ideas and I publish those and there’s no cost to that obviously. That’s one. The second one is the tip I shared earlier, go out and buy a magazine that’s not targeted towards you. Super easy to do, cost less than 10 bucks, will take less than 15 minutes to flip through it probably, but highly valuable so do that.

Drew McLellan:

Awesome. If folks want to go sign up for that blog post or the e-newsletter, or find out more about you and your work, and you mentioned that you do workshops, where is the best place for them to go and learn all about your world and what you can bring to their world?

Rohit Bhargava:

My website is just my name, which is rohitbhargava.com. In case you have trouble spelling it, you can always Google Influential Marketing Blog, and you’ll also find a link to it just straight through Google as well.

Drew McLellan:

Awesome. If people want to reach you, I’m assuming that they should be following you on social media as you and I have been connected for a long time. Do you just use your name for all of your Twitter and all of those things, or do you use Influential Marketer or how can they find you?

Rohit Bhargava:

Twitter’s great, LinkedIn’s great, or my email’s pretty easy to find on my website as well. I think I’m pretty reachable.

Drew McLellan:

We’ll include some of those links in the show notes as well listeners. Rohit thank you so much for your time. Thank you for all of the work you do. I think one of the things I love about the work you do is that it is, well I’m sure it is self-serving and takes care of you and your family. It is so generously shared and it’s really helps all of us be better at our job. Thanks for spending the time with us today and thank you for the work you do around trends, because it certainly has been helpful to me many times and I’m sure lots of other people feel the same way so thank you.

Rohit Bhargava:

Well, I appreciate you saying that, and I appreciate all that you do as well, and this was a absolute pleasure. I enjoyed chatting with you.

Drew McLellan:

Thanks. Hey everybody, this wraps up another episode of Build a Better Agency. Hopefully this was helpful for you. Please go check out all of the work that we talked about today. We will have links to the books, to the website, for all of Rohit’s social media channels and addresses so you’ll be able to follow him all over the web. I assure you, you will be better because of it. If you are enjoying the podcast, please make sure you subscribe so that you don’t miss an episode. I will be back next week with another great guest to help you build a better agency. I’ll talk to you soon.

Speaker 1:

That’s all for this episode of Build a Better Agency. Be sure to visit agencymanagementinstitute.com to learn more about our workshops and other ways we serve small to mid-sized agencies. While you’re there, sign up for our e-newsletter, grab our free e-book and check out the blog. Growing a bigger, better agency that makes more money, attracts bigger clients, and doesn’t consume your life is possible here on Build a Better Agency.