Tyler Burch: The Role of a Digital Storyteller, Ep #53
Tyler Burch: The Role of a Digital Storyteller, Ep #53
Tyler Burch was hired as the ”Digital Storyteller” for an app called Samaritan. Samaritan is a mobile app that makes it easier for community members to support people experiencing homelessness in their area. What does his role as a digital storyteller look like? How does he leverage personal branding to benefit his company—and his career trajectory? Listen to this episode of Content Callout to learn more!
Amanda: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Content Callout. Today's guest is Tyler Burch. Tyler is a digital storyteller for the company Samaritan. He worked for a campus ministry and a great B2B company called BoardActive, where he developed his pension from writing, and then now he's joined Samaritan, which is a mobile app that makes it easier for community members to support people experiencing homelessness in their area. We had a great discussion with Tyler. Hope you enjoy it. Tyler, thank you so much for joining us on the Content Callout today.
Tyler Burch: It's a pleasure to be here, and thanks for having me on the show.
Amanda: Awesome. I want to dive right in. How and why did we get this title of digital storyteller? I think that's such an amazing title.
Tyler Burch: That's a great question. When my founder reached out to me seeing if I was interested in applying, I was like, " What is this? What is inaudible?" After taking a look at the role and also now being in the role, my job as a digital storyteller is really to use our digital mediums via social, the mobile app, which is how Samaritan does what we do, to essentially create a place where people can see the stories of the people that we're supporting. We support people experiencing homelessness through the Samaritan app, and we basically have created a way for the community at large to support them in a way that's more sustainable. It's meeting the needs of how people want to support people experiencing homelessness. Yeah. A huge part of it is just telling these stories and really educating people to understand that there's a lot of stereotypes out there about homelessness that while they can be true and we are supporting people that have had that inaudible where it's like, " Hey, I made a regrettable decision," there's also a lot of nuances to homelessness and getting out of it, and also how you get into it. A lot of people suffer from medical debt or we had one particular member whose house was burned down and they didn't have insurance on it. We've had members that are 50 years old and have never been homeless, had been a law abiding hard working citizen, and then something happens in there and they end up being put on the street. My job is to tell those stories and to help educate people and see that these people have dignity and deserve support.
Amanda: Let's talk about the app for a quick second. If I'm a user, how do I use it?
Tyler Burch: Yeah. Once you download the Samaritan app, there's a few different things that you can do. This app is definitely best for people that are compassionate and wants to hear the stories of these homeless people, these people experiencing homelessness. Essentially, you'll be able to do a few different things. You'll be able to log into your city. Let's say I am in Oklahoma City, I would be able to create an account which is basically just email and password, and then from there, I can begin surfing around the different profiles of Samaritan members that are unhoused. I can read their stories, I can see their needs, I'm also able to look at their goals for how they plan to continue to progress so that they can exit homelessness. All of those components are done with a case manager that we partner with from one of our nonprofits. In Oklahoma City, we're partnered with a group called City Care. They're awesome, we love them, and they have a case manager named Tom for a Samaritan member that I support. Their name Paul. Tom sits down with Paul and says, " Hey, are you interested in being on the Samaritan platform for people to see you, support you?" Paul says yes, and then proceeds to tell his story. They work together to determine his needs, to determine his goals, and then from there, they put it on to the app and you're able to surf around. Once you find somebody whose story just really resonates with you and where you can see their needs and say, " This is a need that I really would like to support, you want to get clothes for your job or work equipment or job training, or you need food to support your family and your children, this is something that I'm passionate about. Let me go ahead and help." You can give financially. We to talk about support, meaning there's obviously financial support, but there's also a level of social support that largely is missing from somebody experiencing homelessness once they get to that position because people walk by and see them and just say, " What did you do to get here? What bad decisions did you make? How have you been irresponsible?" That's just really not always the case for people. Being able to have a level of social support where if I'm supporting Paul, I can go message Paul, " Hey, I hope you're doing well," through the app, and, " I just sent you some money to go buy interview clothes. I hope that the interviews go well. We're pulling for you." Experiencing that level of encouragement and just relationship is really pivotal for a group of people that struggle with mental illness at a proportionately different rate because of the circumstances that they're in. Yeah, that's one of the many ways that you can use the app to support these people and to crosstalk
Speaker 3: I think I'm hearing an interesting challenge here, which for you, it's maybe not so much the storytelling that is a challenge because the stories... I don't want to say they tell themselves. It's just when you have a lot of different human elements to focus on, the stories obviously will encapture you. I think the challenge I'm hearing about your app is how do you make people care enough to even sign on to the app?
Tyler Burch: It's one thing to try and push somebody to download an app where it's like, " Hey, download our app where you can shop for clothes or you can play this game." But really, the value of what we bring is the ability for people that are passionate about helping people experiencing homelessness do that in a better way. One, we definitely... One of our challenges is always how do we find the people that have these values that care about these things? Then additionally, there's plenty of well- meaning users and Samaritans that want to support, and then life comes up, you get busy, you forget. It's happened to me before and I work here. Finding ways to not only acquire the kinds of people that are passionate about this, but also to continue to engage them and to bring them into the community of support for these people.
Amanda: Well, I think that's a really big challenge, because like you just mentioned is you have really two audiences that you're trying to get, right? Or not trying to get, but trying to engage with, right? You have the audiences of people that you want to be the Samaritans to, get in there and help those who have been dealing with homelessness. Then you also though have organizations that you need to work with and sell the app to so that you can make these pairings, right? Really, you're trying to stand out in two very distinct markets, and that can be really hard as a marketer. I think all of us know in B2B like the SaaS market, it's saturated, right? Apart from Samaritan, you've also worked at BoardActive. But what would you recommend to people who are trying to stand out in the SaaS market? How can people really reach, and not just do some of the same old tactics that we've heard of, " Oh, yeah, I do direct messaging," or, " I have this great automated chatbot?" What would you do?
Tyler Burch: Yeah. I think that you nailed it on the head, the SaaS market is super saturated. The best way to stand out in a saturated market, that is really to become a resource. You wants to become a pillar of knowledge and a place where people can go and get value outside of your product. So many B2B marketers think that when people talk about give your target market value, they're like, " Oh, great, they have a need and I have the product, this is perfect," and that's not what I'm talking about. What I'm trying to talk about is the fact that people have needs outside of your products that if you supported them that way and then they chose not to buy your product, you get zero benefit from them. But I have found, especially in BoardActive where I was B2B SaaS, and now it's Samaritan, I'm a little bit more on the consumer side of things with my role. But that kind of mentality of just being a place of value is really helpful, and when the time comes where somebody is able to make the purchase or wants to make the purchase, you stand out because they know that you're in the industry and you didn't try and immediately sell them. You didn't throw the immediate outreach 101 email, DM, whatever that looks like. If you can become a place of value, people come back again and again and again. A lot of blogs, company blogs, are structured that way, and there's so many other tools that you can use to do that as well.
Speaker 3: I think an interesting point Amanda just brought up is that you have two distinct target personas. We talk about target personas a lot on the pod, and I don't think that we've ever actually given our listeners any insights on how to drill down on those and create them. Maybe you can walk us through your steps of identifying your personas.
Tyler Burch: Yeah, I think with anybody that's first stepping into, I guess, a company that hasn't defined them well, defined those personas, and they're still trying to search for those, I have two principles that I try and work from, and that's work fast and get user feedback as much as possible. When you're doing outreach, don't make the only intent of your outreach to get a sale, though that is important. You want to make sure that you're positioning yourself in a way that makes them feel comfortable with providing honest feedback, especially those that don't decide to move forward or go down the funnel so to speak, because you'll begin to understand, okay, here's the different needs that people know they have that they haven't seen value from our product in. When you work at speed and you work to continue drawing feedback, it's going to help nail things down a lot faster. Of course, you can always try to more or less just work from the base of what you believe the competitor's persona to be and then be like, " Okay, here's how we differentiate ourselves. From that base of who they are, here's who we should actually be going after." Those are some of the initial things that I do to try and figure out what kind of personas are working for us.
Amanda: For our listeners, you didn't see this, but Tyler rolled his eyes for the second point. I'm going to go with use the feedback point, because I think that's the better one. Because the rolling of the eyes tells me you don't actually think the competitive thing is the best thing. But you're right, a lot of people use that. I think the other thing too, in speaking of that, is we also talked about metrics, right? Because a lot of time metrics are great, and I think metrics really do help you find your target persona. But I think the problem with metrics is that people get lost in them. Because the amount of data that we can have nowadays is you can drill down and look at data from pretty much anything that you're doing. But the problem is with that amount of data, you may get fooled. You know what I mean? I think there are metrics that, in your terms, that there are metrics to be blurred out. Can we explore that a little bit more? What do you mean by that?
Tyler Burch: Yeah. I think that as metrics have advanced like we're talking about and you can find a metric for just about anything, we've taken it to mean that the metrics are not wrong and can never be wrong, and that's just not true. We were having a discussion at Samaritan a week ago for me, or maybe a few weeks ago, where we were talking about one of our big goals for the quarter. We were like, " Okay, is this actually what we should be looking at for this metric," because the percentage can look great, but there needs to be a threshold of volume for it to matter. People can get caught up on the wrong metrics all the time, especially in the B2B SaaS market that I just think are a golden standard are your basic ones that hopefully everybody is familiar with, like lifetime value of a customer, payback period, customer acquisition cost. Rory Sutherland is a marketer. He has an amazing TED Talk, where he talks about so often it's easy to be like, " Hey, we should plug X amount of dollars into ads and we'll see this return," and that can be a worthwhile channel and I'm not discouraging people from paid acquisition, but the point that he makes that I think is really powerful is once you know things like lifetime value and customer acquisition cost and payback period, you can start to get a lot more creative with how to use that budget to create business. There's some companies that are larger than do it really well because they're fortunate enough to have a budget where they can make some mistakes. What I see a lot, especially in the startup side of things, is people get nervous about making mistakes with that budget because it's like we only have so much, we really can't afford to miss this. You've got to have the mindset of spend money to make money. Once you have those metrics down, it just becomes that much easier to figure out more options and find what works for you.
Speaker 3: I know that, and you have to try. I like that.
Amanda: But if they don't try, you don't get any metrics, right? It's like we say about vanity metrics, though, right? If your first campaign is super successful, yay, super fucking good. I'm so glad for you. But you actually learn more from the first campaign that doesn't go as well because if you don't do any experimentation, you don't do any AB testing, and you just hit it out of the park, you're going to try and recreate what did really well, but that might not do as well the second time and then you'll be like, " Oh, what did we do wrong based on the first time," as opposed to being like, " How can we experiment? How can we move forward?" Right?
Tyler Burch: Yeah, definitely.
Speaker 3: Yes, definitely. I like that you brought up vanity metrics, Amanda, because that's exactly where I was going, which is, depending on the space that you're in as well, I think it's important to know the metrics that you can expect to see. I think, like Samaritan, we're talking a nonprofit, human interest sort of thing. You're not going to get the same sort of metrics that you're going to see on a Facebook or something like that, right? How do we define what types of metrics and what numbers on metrics, I guess, that we can expect to see in our spaces?
Tyler Burch: I think a big part of it that I found really helpful is just calling upon people that have more knowledge than me. For example, I love Chris Walker, he's a B2B marketer who's super popular on LinkedIn, and he makes a great point about metrics as a little aside, where he basically talks about the fact that, okay, you're seeing this campaign and it has a report that shows X amount of engagement or X amount of people opting in or clicking through, and those are helpful metrics. But they also don't tell the story because it would be easy to attribute those to, oh, this campaign is what caused it. But realistically, anybody that's running a successful multi- channel strategy is going to see a lot of different reasons why somebody actually ended up clicking on that click- through. It might not have been because the ad copy or the fact that the ad was really even influencing them, it could have been the fact that they know Chris has an awesome podcast, and they've listened to four episodes of it and learned a ton and they're like, " Wow, I want to take the next step now."
Speaker 3: Yeah. The thing I love about marketing is that we do have so many thought leaders in the space that are willing to share information like this. I feel like some other industries, it's a little more Cloak and Dagger about the things that work, and we have huge big thought leaders we can look up to, the Gary Vee's of the world, et cetera, et cetera, which is really nice because it gives us a starting place. I also think, though, back to our noise conversation, how do we focus on points that actually make sense for what we're doing from those people?
Tyler Burch: Yeah. For me, it looks like just being willing to be wrong. I have no problem voicing my opinions and putting it out there. As somebody that's relatively young in the industry and in my career, there's plenty of times where I'm just absolutely wrong about something like that. inaudible It's super helpful for me to just go ahead and just own that and accept it and be willing to change my opinion as I learn more information. I think a lot of times people will find a source that they really respect, like a Gary Vee, and they'll just take anything they say is gold, and realistically, we know that's not true. Everything needs to be taken in the context. Different industries work different ways. Whereas it's like I could be like, " Oh, just ask some counterpart and they'd love to help you," and it's like that works for me and marketing, like he just said. But it probably doesn't work in some other really competitive industries and at larger stage companies where people feel like they're fighting for the next promotion. Context is huge, and you just got to be willing to be wrong, which is part of my philosophy of move with speed. If you make 10 mistakes, you want to make them fast so that you're moving on to good ground.
Amanda: I want to go back to something you just said, though. You said that you're quite opinionated, and how we actually connected was via LinkedIn because I started reading your insights, and I think something that people make the mistake of doing on LinkedIn and the mistake of doing in their personal branding is they want to be nice, which is great. Don't get me wrong, being nice is awesome. But when it comes to your personal branding, it doesn't leave you a lot of room, right? Your posts, your thought leadership that you're putting out there, it becomes very vanilla, right? We talk about this a lot because we spend a lot of time with our clients being like... Sometimes we'll have clients that are like, " Well, we don't want to offend anybody," or, " We don't want to brag," and it's like, " No, you did something awesome. Brag about it." Or also, it's okay to have an opinion that other people don't think of. Obviously, there are things like don't be offensive about, but if you think one... For example, if you think that Gary Vee is wrong about this marketing tactic, you can say that and then let people say why either they think he's right or they also agree with you, right? I think that's something that you do really well on LinkedIn, is that you will put up a piece and say, " Here's what I think," and then the reason why people want to interact with you is because then a debate forms, but there's actually something there to have. Right? Let's talk about personal branding and why it's important, not just as a singular person, but how it benefits a company.
Tyler Burch: Yeah. I really got involved in LinkedIn and started trying to build more of a personal brand for my career about last March when the Coronavirus really starting to hit in full force. What I found was that the amount of traction that you can get as a face versus as a brand is just so much different because people recognize that the brand is never going to leave. The brand of BoardActive is the brand of BoardActive, is the brand of BoardActive. It's unchanging, it's solely allegiant to itself. Whereas Tyler is now gone from BoardActive, and so there's a level of, well, let's see how Tyler's opinion changes. Let's see how he looks at this industry compared to another one. There's just a level of dynamic behavior in a personal brand that you just cannot get from even a strong and a great corporate brand. Additionally, you have one corporate brand to speak from, but you have as many team members as want to build their personal brand. That works to funnel in results into your company. We started trying to roll it out towards the end of my time there at BoardActive and we're starting to see some really strong results from our team members getting traction and building qualified leads that were able to help us get some of the marketing objectives that we were looking for. Again, it's going to depend on your industry, it's going to depend on your role. Marketer and the salesperson and a founder and people in products have a much stronger reason to use personal branding and putting their thoughts out there as a thought leader or somebody with an opinion than say an engineer who's probably not super active on LinkedIn or the platforms where people try and share those things.
Speaker 3: I'm really glad you guys brought this up because two things, first of all, I shared a meme today that I just thought was hilarious. It was a guy's going to interview, and this is a post from a LinkedIn influencer, okay? This is the common LinkedIn influencer posts. I was on my way to an interview and I found a dog hurt in the street, and I had to stop and help the dog because that's what we have to do to be right, and I called the interview and I was able to reschedule, and when I got there for the interview, it was the dog inaudible interview. inaudible Every LinkedIn influencer seems to follow this inspirational thing. It's like something inspirational, emoji, and what you're talking about is not doing that and actually having an opinion about something and driving engagement. Actually, I'm laughing so hard about the meme in my head right now. I forgot inaudible
Amanda: You got lost in the meme.
Speaker 3: I totally did. I'm sitting here chuckling about it.
Amanda: But you know what? It is an important point, though, about personal branding, especially how you were talking about founders and CEOs, Tyler. Because there's a statistic that came out that said 62% of consumers say having the CEO involved in these social media conversations is super important to them because they want to know about the humans behind the brand, right? I think that's the other factor for companies that really does help them when their employees develop personal brands, is, like you said, it gives these human faces. But you may no longer be at BoardActive, but you might have brought people into BoardActive based on your face, your messaging, just like you will bring people into Samaritan, right? On a personal note, you said that your founder reached out to you and asked you to apply for the job. There's a good chance that he did look at your LinkedIn, that he did see who you were as a person. For our listeners, you can't see this, but Tyler mentioned it, he's quite young. He's early on in his career. That development of that personal brand, those connections, it's huge, because I think the mistake that people also make is that they think networking has to be in person. Networking has to be the person you know, the person you know, and you're missing out because LinkedIn creates... Especially after we've gone through this pandemic and in- person networking hasn't been the thing, these virtual contexts matter, these virtual connections. Because, for example, I can say, " Yeah, I had Tyler on the podcast, he was a great interview. Have you checked out this app, Samaritan?" Right? There's that one- to- one contact now, and all done virtually.
Tyler Burch: Exactly. Even bigger outside of helping your company immediately. There's a guy, Casey Graham. He's a big guy on LinkedIn. Really respect him and his team and what they're doing over Gravy. He has a saying that I've adopted myself of one day everybody is going to leave Gravy, or one day everybody is going to leave Samaritan, even the founder, so to speak, and the COO, and whoever you think is just a staple of that company. One day they're likely leaving that company. The question then becomes, how am I networking with that in mind? My final destination is probably not Samaritan. Just like at BoardActive, I knew my final destination was probably not BoardActive. Though, I enjoyed my time at Samaritan and I enjoy my time at BoardActive. Your career doesn't follow that path anymore. How can you be networking the way that brings value to people outside of your company? Because now when I joined Samaritan, I had a level of connection and relationship and trust that when I said, " Hey, guys. I'm at Samaritan, here's what we do and what we're about," people took a lot greater interest in what I was talking about simply because they knew that I wasn't just gunning for my next marketing KPI and trying to sucker them into it. We've developed a relationship. I've helped them before without the expectation of return, and that kind of stuff is really powerful.
Speaker 3: Yeah. I remembered what my second point was, and it really ties in with what you just said, and this is crazy. I had a client, okay? He was not allowed from his organization to have a personal brand. Essentially, there would be three pre- approved pieces of content per week, and you could choose one or three of them and that is what your personal brand is. It's a resharing of an article that's approved by the organization. I thought to myself, " This is crazy. Why wouldn't you allow your employees to develop this for all the benefits that we just named?" It draws people in. I can't even tell you how many people have hit me up on LinkedIn since we started the pod just saying, " Hey, great podcast. I have a suggestion for a guest." That sort of thing, it helps the organization. I think it's interesting, though, what we're talking about now, the idea that not everyone is going to stay at the organization. Do you think it is fair for companies to push back on employees' personal brands with that in mind?
Tyler Burch: Pretty much 0% fair, inaudible with that early on in my career where I was getting put in the check on some stuff that I was posting. I think a lot of the reason that that happens is that most brands take a perspective of let's not step on the toes of people that could buy from us, instead of taking the approach of let's go out and reach people that really buy into what we're doing. They buy our values, they buy our attitude, our personality, and what we're trying to get done, and make that happen. Yeah, I've talked to people before that are like, " Yeah, my company doesn't let me post anything that's not pre- approved and a lot of things don't get approved, especially if you're not talking directly about the company," and it's just one is the company's lost, and two, you have to examine for yourself what you want at the end of your career. What is your career serving? Your career is a means to an end, it's not the end itself. For your life goals and things like that, if you have a desire to get to this point in your career, is a personal brand an important part of getting there? If that is, you really need to weigh do I believe that I could find a different company right now with a similar role, work that I enjoy, that will allow me to develop and build a personal brand so that I can reach that end goal?
Speaker 3: Yeah, the analogy I like to use is if you have a flavor, it's not going to be for everybody. Not just that, and it really ties back into what we were saying about the vanilla- ass boring content. You can blend in if you want to, but I think everyone on the call here prefers to have a little bit of a flavor.
Tyler Burch: Exactly.
Amanda: Well, and I think it's important too, something you said Tyler is to give content or to give value without expecting something in return, right? A lot of times... One, I pity the marketer who has to go through and do approvals on everyone's social posts.
Speaker 3: Oh my God.
Amanda: I pity those people at those companies because, my God, that job would be terrible. Two, I think people are missing the point where not every post, like you said, has to be of a different KPI or has to have a big return on investment. Sometimes it's just about here's what I saw value, hope it can help you out too, or here's something I think. For example, I just had a call with a colleague yesterday who was asking for a couple tips on LinkedIn based on what she'd seen through some of the clients we've worked with and stuff like that, and she was like, " I'll pay you for your time," and I'm like, " It's fine. It's 10 minutes. I'm happy to talk to you," because you never know, right? I'm happy to talk to you, one, and two, all of us know anybody who's in the digital space of marketing knows that things change, day by day, week by week. We are all at the mercy of these channels. If they change permissions or change their platforms, we're all at the mercy of it. Why not share what we know, right? Again, this is our industry, this is marketing. But some people would even say, by doing this podcast and talking about like you talked about your two pillars of marketing, we're talking about other things, we think it's great. Other people might be like, " Those are trading secrets. Don't talk about it." It's like, " No, they're not. Let's just help."
Tyler Burch: Yeah. Really the biggest beauty of that, and Gary Vee actually says this a fair amount I think, where he talks about I can share everything that I know and for free knowing that 1% of people are going to act on it, and then from that percentage, even less people are actually going to do it well, and then even just do it as well as he does it. Yeah, there's a lot of people that get really stiff and nervous about sharing expertise. I love that you're like, yeah, people have talked to me and about things in your field, you're like, " I've got 10 minutes, I'll totally help you out." Because realistically, if that advice does prove valuable, they got that advice for free, 10 minutes of your time for free, but on the back end, when they actually find that it's like, " Wow, yeah, based on what you said, this is something that I'd rather outsource or that I can't really take on and off the bandwidth for. Who should I hire? Maybe the person that gave me the good advice in the first place that probably has a reasonable belief of executing on that."
Speaker 3: I think that's an awesome piece of advice as well. To build on that even more, if you're so scared of being replaced that you can't give a little bit of your time... We don't want to be giving away all of our time, but if you can't give a little bit of your time and your knowledge away for free, then maybe you should be working on what the next thing is because if you are so protective over that, you probably don't have that much of a very good place at the top then. That being said, as marketers, Amanda talked about how quickly everything changes. Guys, if we didn't share at least a bit of information, we'd all be screwed.
Tyler Burch: Exactly.
Speaker 3: I feel like I have learned even just three new things this week that I wouldn't have even known about if it wasn't for the podcast and LinkedIn posts and that sort of thing at all. Let's talk about that for a minute. What's the thing that you learned this week that you didn't know about from your network?
Tyler Burch: Whoa! I actually just took a tip this morning from a good friend of mine, the founder of Swpely, Jay Desai. Awesome guy. He was at Trends. io, which has to do with finding influencers to do some paid campaigns. I basically was like, " Well, I'm thinking about doing a paid campaign with TikTok. I don't know as much as I want to about it. Let me ask somebody who does who I can trust and who will give me some good advice." I hit Jay up and just said, " Hey, I need the Trend. io version of you, Jay. Help me out here. Here's my question," and he was able to give me advice. Basically the piece of advice that he gave me specifically for this one, which isn't going to be applicable to everybody, but it's just this is the kind of value that we're talking about, is Jay basically said, " Make sure that you find somebody whose social media audience fits your target audience." Because even though... You'll find plenty of influencers who it's like, oh, they're doing something that I'm doing, but it's like realistically that's not always reflected in their audience. Then the second piece of advice that he gave me and I was like, " This is genius." He basically said, " Work with an influencer who will allow you to repurpose the content." Once they build a TikTok, I have the right to repost and distribute it on your own. I was like, " Dude, talking about bang for your buck." One campaign versus now we can run it through multiple things and use it as an ongoing resource. That's one example of how I've used my LinkedIn community to level up.
Speaker 3: I just want to be clear that that's a huge tip for anyone, anywhere. If you can own the content, you can use it on anything. The next time you're speaking on a conference, make sure you ask that, and I think that's a super awesome piece of advice. Amanda, I know you were going to say something and I bought it, right?
Amanda: No, that's okay. I was gonna say from when a Tyler's tips to us was to set aside an hour a week for the whole team to work on something that they think will help the organization. I think that is actually huge, because I think we do this in our organization. Our founder, our boss, Mark, is constantly having us do collaborations. He gives us time off to do creative work. I think that's actually missing in most companies, where I think the problem is in a lot... Especially when you get into larger companies, you get a lot of silos, right? You are a digital storyteller here, and sometimes there's also a part where the marketing people don't talk to the salespeople. Sometimes you don't get that feedback, so then the marketing pieces you put out don't reflect that feedback, or the marketing people don't talk to the tech people. There's all these silos, and I think that's a big thing that people are missing out on making sure that their teams, especially remotely, still work together on projects.
Tyler Burch: Yeah. The part that really frustrates me is that there's a reason a CMO got to be a CMO. They were really good at multiple roles that they had and they got to the top. But what happens when you're a CMO, you don't now do those roles. We've talked about the shifting landscape of marketing, and so things change. Somebody that even though they might be really early into their career, they might recognize something that it's like, " Hey, we have potential to really expand here or really use this to our advantage that that CMO might not recognize." More importantly, then hitting necessarily on some amazing ideas. I just think there's a level of culture and buy in that changes when you start to empower the people to do what they're passionate about doing. Having that free hour to play and to really be like, " Hey, I know that you brought this idea forward, and I just wasn't really feeling comfortable with committing on it. But this is the perfect thing for you to work on with that hour of time that we just free blog, I want you to continue to flesh this out. If it's something that you can bring and continue to tweak and edit, or maybe just to make more apparent for me why it's a good idea, that's something that I want to pursue." Now instead of just getting a no, you get, " Hey, not right now. Let's workshop it. I'm giving you time to continue to see your thoughts and ideas through to make your impact on the company."
Amanda: Yeah, I think that's huge, right? It's a culture, right? There's always the idea, there's that saying that consensus kills creativity, right? I think you do find that a lot, especially once you get to different positions, especially when it's like, oh, this person has 20 years and this person has 15 years. It's like, well, you know what didn't exist 20 years ago? Facebook.
Speaker 3: FOMO. Yes.
Amanda: Look at how the world has changed. You know what didn't exist five years ago? TikTok. There are just things that change and the world is rapid. I think we have to make sure that we don't just focus on, oh, this person has this many years of experience. Don't get me wrong, they will have learned a time in their years of experience. But don't discount the people who are coming in.
Speaker 3: No.
Amanda: For example, at Duolingo, they do something, they do hackathons where they don't work on any of their products. Straight up, they're just doing hacks and doing other things. I was listening to another podcast, Fast Frontiers, and their CFO said that one of their main products now, which is actually Duolingo for kids, was not something that they were going to create, but it came from a hackathon and then now it's one of their main products, right? Good ideas are there. It's just, but you're right, sometimes they need to be workshopped, sometimes they need to be mulled over, and sometimes you need the collaboration of the team to be like, " Oh, here's what you're missing."
Tyler Burch: Yeah. Peter Thiel, part of the PayPal mafia, along with Elon Musk and some others, he has a book called Zero to One that I love. In it, one of the big points that I took from it was he talks about the idea that you want to be in an industry with zero competition, and that's not the case for most of us. But the reason being and the concept that you really want to strive for is that once you start to focus in on what your competitors are doing or really focused in on what you're doing and it's like, " How can we beat that," what you find is that there's a lot of incremental improvements that it's like, " Oh, we got this much better or that much more efficient." But really where you take your biggest leaps and bounds like Duolingo for kids is by innovating and just coming up with something that's like this has no business being something that we're talking about right now because we can't show direct, immediate actionable progress. But some of those ideas are what actually build brands and build really successful streams of revenue.
Speaker 3: I always say kill me know if I end up being one of those people that doesn't want to listen to ideas of younger people, or doesn't want to evolve just because I don't understand something or because I don't want to learn. We all know the value of mentorship. I'm sure we were all mentored in some capacity. I think now what we're seeing is that there's a value in reverse mentorship. Actually, learning from those that are under us. Why do we need to gatekeep against people that are younger than us? We should be learning from them. I didn't grow up with a computer in my hand. You did. I'm just wondering, do you ever feel pushback from your older leaders listening to your ideas?
Tyler Burch: Yeah, and that's something that's healthy. I don't completely dislike that, because it forces me to continue to really think it through as somebody that's being mentor, be like, " Well, does that work?" It happens to me with my dad all the time when we're just talking about life decisions even where I'm like, " Here's how I think that I should go about this," and he's like, " Well, I don't know about that." It's actually just a really healthy way to dialogue through what's the best way to approach this? You don't want to get in the echo chamber, you don't want to get siloed. Having somebody, even if they disagree often, is not the worst thing. It's a lot better than the other way around, where you just get yes, man, all the way through to some miserable failure, and then you're like, " Well, everybody else thought it was a good idea to." You have to welcome opposition and you have to welcome disagreement because it just makes you sharper and it allows you to get that much closer to the 360 degree perspective of the issue that you're tackling.
Speaker 3: Yeah, I think there's a difference too, though, between healthy disagreement or trying to poke holes in an idea to make sure the idea actually has legs versus gatekeeping and I'm going to just be dissident against this idea because I'm older and wiser. There, guys.
Amanda: Well, I think a key point too is there's a very big difference between having a dialogue, like you said, and having that debate and having just a flat no. Flat nos to me, which does happen I think a lot, is not useful. Because at the end of the day, you don't know why they said no, and there could be very good reasons but you don't know why, so then the person who got the no ends up walking away being like, "Oh, I feel like shit now. Thanks for that."
Tyler Burch: inaudible When you get the hard nos, there's not an opportunity for the one that is less experienced to be like, " Well, here's where I'm coming from." Then I've had conversations before with people where I had an idea turned down, but from some productive dialogue, they're like, " Well, in this context, actually, yeah, I see where you're coming from and this may be something that can work." Yeah, there definitely is, and that's a great nuance to the point where we definitely need to be aware of what is helpful versus what is like this is actually destructive to creativity and innovation and trying to bring progress.
Amanda: 100%. Well, Tyler, this has been a great conversation. We went all over the place, and I love that we went all over the place because that's how I love when our podcast flow. But before we sign off, tell everybody where they can find you, where they can find information on Samaritan, and where, I guess, Samaritan is available. You tell us all the things.
Tyler Burch: Yeah. One, you can find me by going on to LinkedIn, Tyler Burch, B- U- R- C- H. I try to stay active. I've been a little bit less active lately because I've been a little bit more on the consumer side of things at Samaritan, but I'm working on maintaining networks and friends and things like that and just sharpening my skill set. But the other big thing would be if you are passionate about learning more about Samaritan and hearing the stories of people experiencing homelessness that are trying to be productive citizens, that are trying to make an impact in their community, you should definitely download Samaritan. You can go to Samaritan. city/ equip if you're on your phone on mobile, and that'll take you to your respective app store where you can download. It's been a pleasure. Thank you all for having me, and it was a lot of fun.
Amanda: Awesome. Thank you so much, Tyler. Have a good day.
Tyler Burch: Y'all, too. See you.
Speaker 3: Bye, guys.
Speaker 3: Hey, everyone. Thanks so much for listening to the Content Callout today. Amanda and I just had an awesome conversation with Tyler Burch from Samaritan, and it was actually so refreshing to talk to someone who is nice and young in the marketing game. He had a lot of great insights and our conversation went to so many different topics and it was a lot of fun. I really liked the points that he made about mentorship, reverse mentorship, and also that it's still important to be challenged when we're looking at marketing and putting new products out there. Also, his work is really interesting that he does at Samaritan, and I love the title of digital storyteller. Amanda, what did you think of that chat?
Amanda: I think it was fantastic. There's so many great things to talk to Tyler about. I loved what he said about it being 0% fair that companies were telling their employees not to have personal branding. I love what he said there.
Speaker 3: Oh, yes. That was juicy.
Amanda: Right? I think he's so right. Like I said in the podcast, I pity the person who has to go through and trying to prove every employee social media messages. Anyways, I hope you guys really enjoyed the podcast. If you could give us a rating, a review, share it with your friends, we would really appreciate it.
Speaker 3: We'll see you guys next time. Have a great day.