Do It for Yourself: A Conversation with Jodi Daniels

‘There’s nothing like doing it for yourself. I thrive on that. However much you’re going to put in, you’re going to get it back.’

Jodi Daniels is the founder and CEO of Red Clover Advisors. She’s a certified information privacy professional who helps businesses create privacy programs and build transparency and trust.

In this episode, learn about

– her work in ad networks

– her experience in leaving the corporate world

– the importance of building relationships

– and the difference between security and privacy.

‘I am a big believer in staying in the zone that you know well and finding the right people who are experts in that area.’

Jodi shares her advice on starting a business, her motivations as a business owner, some of the methods she’s used to overcoming challenges in business, and the technologies that are useful to her in business.

Connect with Jodi online:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jodihoffmandaniels/

Red Clover Advisors: https://redcloveradvisors.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RedCloverAdvisors/

John: Thank you for listening to Local SEO Today. Please subscribe and share this episode. My guest today is founder and CEO of Red Clover Advisors, Jodi Daniels. She is a certified information privacy professional who helps businesses create privacy programs and build transparency and trust. Thanks for being on our show today, Jodi. 

Jodi: Thanks for having me. 

John: I’m excited to learn a little bit about you, your journey and how you got started so maybe just share with the audience members a little bit about yourself and what do people know you by today? 

Jodi: Sure! So, what people know me by today is a privacy consultant but that’s really not how, what I started. I went to school or to college for business and kinda by default I landed in accounting. Started at Deloitte. Fabulous firm. As a financial statement auditor so it’s kinda interesting as what I do today is pretty much around process and personal  data and I started my career helping companies understand process but for financial and accounting purposes. So, there is actually some interesting connection points not that I would have ever made a path and figure out that’s where I was gonna end up. But I started in accounting and then I did some Finance and strategy work at the Home Depot and then the next stop was Cox Enterprises which actually had been one of my clients when I was in the audit business and I did strategy work and online advertising and then I went into privacy, built a privacy program for them and the last corporate stop was at  Bank of America where I was the digital privacy expert and did a variety of really interesting things. And then I opened my own company. 

John: That’s amazing. I love hearing that because I studied Business Finance. My wife is an accountant as well and we think different than business owners because we’re very analytical, right? We look at numbers and we are looking at statements, profit and loss, general ledgers. So, how did you transition away from Finance to then doing what you do today?

Jodi: Yeah, so every…I actually have done some career panels and when I actually was answering these questions it dawned into me, “Oh, this is interesting how many hops and changes I have actually made.” Because as you went through it, it was always one to the next. It was never, “Oh, here’s my perfect path and this is how I’m going to get here.” Which is actually interesting cause I’m a really linear thinker at the same time and I like to see the connections but it was really each hop and adjustment from one to the next. So, the ability to go from Audit to Finance was really…I was looking to be out of audit and I know what I didn’t want to do and it was harder for me to find what I did wanna do. So, it took something kind of interesting, it was a brand new opportunity for anyone listening who remembers sort of the Enron Debacle. It ended in Sarbanes-Oxley and so I was responsible for the implementation of that regulation at Home Depot. And it was brand new so I was creating something new. Kinda had this entrepreneur spirit. I did that for a period of time and was ready to do something else while I did that I went back to school and got my executive MBA. So, it was a full-time MBA while full-time working that’s really the only difference of an exec. It’s the same MBA as everybody else but we just also work along the way. So, when I had that now I was able to switch into strategy because I had that and a lot of effort but now I could switch careers. I did that now for a while. Did that across two different companies and was kinda ready for the next thing and I followed one of the projects that I had worked on which was on online advertising. We were building essentially a targeted ad network. Today, you go to facebook, “Poof!” Magically what you were just searching for appears. It’s  a targeted ad. Well, I did that for cars not on facebook because that didn’t exist when I was doing this and we did it through building a network and I just followed one of the projects that I was on and then the last hop was in doing a lot of that stalking for cars, the online advertising industry banded together and realized, “You know what? We need to prevent government legislation and we really should regulate ourselves.” Because that was regulating the work that I was doing I was responsible  for that implementation. It again was time for…And I was interested in doing something else and I then took on that privacy work full-time and that is the full transition of how I got from Accounting to Privacy but if you look at each hop along the way there was a method to the madness and it was a very strategic move from one to the next.

John: That’s amazing. So, I’m gonna jump back to this ad network because I actually dabbled into affiliate online marketing, performance based before facebook and social media came out. We were really focused on ad network CPM, CPA, CPS, you know, following, retargeting ads, contextuals, behavioral journey stuff and I think you get it because you deployed it. 

Jodi: Right! 

John: The behavior, journey and I think a lot of audience members who are SEO’ers…We get it because this is all we do all day long, right? But can you explain what you had to, you know, develop on that end of the spectrum what was the learning curve like and did you have a team involved to really understand, you know, through Bank of America or any of the larger companies that you were working on to implement this?

Jodi: Yeah, it’s a foreign concept if you’re not in it and I remember when I first learned I was, “Huh? What on earth is this thing?” So, what had happened was Cox Enterprises acquired a company at that time called Addify. They were a platform that allowed a company like Cox like a publisher to then aggregate all of the different sites to form our own ad network and some people did it, Martha Stewart did it on sites that would make sense for her audience. And they might have been very similar types of sites. For us we were looking for any place that made sense for me to deliver a car at. Which can be a lot of sites and other people might have built Sports sites. There were hundreds of ad networks that then got put together and the way someone had explained it to me I think it was really helpful. “Imagine you’re watching a show on TV, right? A TV news channel. The ads that you’re seeing…Procter and Gamble didn’t go to each individual TV station in the country to place their ad. They worked with someone who aggregated all of that inventory for them and it was the same idea here where we were aggregating all that inventory. And when we would go to someone we would explain it that way. In that analogy and that really helps. That was kinda the first place was finding an analogy that made some sense but then the next was the value and it was well, for whatever product you’re using you’re on the site for a period of time then you leave and you might not have bought the item because maybe you didn’t like it, maybe you’re not sure, maybe you’re researching and there is a long list  of factors. The idea is that you are trying to follow the person not to be creepy and stalky. Some companies do that. Don’t do that if you’re listening but rather to have the conversation and to remind them, “Hey, there’s this thing over here. You still might be interested in it.” And you know, no different than when you get the Tarte, the Home Depot and the Lowe’s flyer at the same time when people used to get flyers in newspapers. It was the same thing. They are right next to each other and here it’s the same idea but I’m trying to continue that conversation and  send that messaging wherever you are. We did have a team together. I worked with the sales team and this was one more product that the sales team would sell and we were the fulfillment team but also the education team because the sales folks are, “Huh? What are we doing? And why is my customer going to understand why I should buy this?” We really had to educate on how it was and no different than any other product. What’s the value and why do they want to participate? “Well, Mr. Customer or Ms. Customer, here’s what you’re going to get and here’s why.” And we would just go through kind of the basic ABC’s of any kind of most product marketing even though it was a service and explain to the people involved, create the right collateral and deliver on what we were actually selling. 

John: I love that because it’s great for you to explain it coming from someone that has lived it, deployed it, understands strategically, put together a team that then sells it and inform people and educate your sales team, right? Because when I first started I was probably 24, 25 at that time working for a fairly large performance based ad network and I was a BizDev Manager. And I didn’t get it at that time because I was 24, 25 and no one really taught me, explained it to me the way that someone that has lived it, understands it, right? So, maybe if I did I’d probably would have lived it a little bit longer like I only stayed there for less than a year but for me I didn’t enjoy it because I was like, “Why are these big companies really, you know, weren’t using our ad network?” And yes, you know, and trying to monetize and trying to capture new audience and whatever but it’s  more about like if I was informed and educated better I probably would’ve excelled and enjoyed it but it’s great that you’re explaining to a Layman person, right? Which is important because a lot of people don’t know what we’re talking about. 

Jodi: It’s true. There you go. 

John: So, how was the transition from doing that to then what you’re doing today? In starting your own company. 

Jodi: Well, it’s very different. I’ve always worked for big companies. Four massive, huge, conglomerates and now I’m just me. And you know, a small team around me. And the idea of almost everything as a business owner, you know, you want to go and create. There’s not a marketing team to go magically do that I have to go and find them. So, it’s certainly been a process to find the right people to help me along the way and I am a big believer in staying in the zone that, you know, well and finding people who are experts in that area. Some people are, “No, I wanna learn it all myself and I wanna do it all myself.” And I like to understand, I like to know, I don’t want to know enough to actually execute it. I want the people who that’s what they do all day long to go and do it  because I think my time is better spent in what it is that I know. At the same time I love being on my own. It’s a great opportunity, I thrive, I enjoy it, I love kinda the challenge. If someone talked to me last weekend they said, “When you leave corporate to go on your own…” What they don’t tell you is that “40 hour week” that you might have done working for someone else whether that’s real or not but the idea that there’s 40 hour week and then you leave to like go work double. They don’t tell you that part and it is true. I feel like I work all the time and that is a bit on me because I don’t turn it off as well. I always see the opportunity and I want to keep pushing and I’m doing that for myself. And then I’ve worked for wonderful people and wonderful companies, there’s nothing like doing it for yourself. And the push and the energy…And I thrive on that. And I do think it takes a  certain type of person to have that have that, you know, energy to wanna just keep going and send that email at 11:30 at night because I work for hard for it and it’s all for me and it’s not…Certainly, there’s a paycheck and if you think about other people, you know, they might work hard and then they get the extra commission but that’s a very different feeling than knowing it’s literally all your work and you reap however much you put in is what you’re gonna get back. 

John: So, how did you shift that mindset from corporate to starting on your own to then…Did you have a lot of sales experience? Like going out there and pitching your product and service and getting out there to get clients  and you know, adding value for someone to then wanna use you.

Jodi: Right! So, the only true sales experience would personally would have to take me back to high school when I worked at The Gap and I actually love retail. Yes, I still fold my clothes like they do at Gap and I have no folding board. I actually loved it and people have always said I remember when I started in accounting they said, “You’re totally in the wrong career. This is not who you are.” But I wasn’t a sales role. The next closest would be sort of the ad network piece because I would go with sales team sometimes to be that subject matter expert to explain, “Here’s what it is that we’re selling.” But short of that no, I didn’t have anything now at the same time both my parents have been in sales. My dad’s the person who can sell ice to an Eskimo and you know, I’ve just been around sales kinda all my life and I’ve learned I guess vicariously through them. It’s certainly been a learning curve and I’m continuing to learn all the time when I’m talking to people who’ve been doing this for quite a long time and I hear what they do, “Oh, I didn’t do that. I really should try that.” And in a number of ways I do. And actually, you know, what it just dawned unto me, didn’t do it yesterday. Whole little trick I realized, shoot! I had a sales call yesterday and I didn’t do it. So, it’s been a huge learning curve from corporate to my own. I think the biggest piece is just that reality that if you have to get it done it’s on you or you have to find the other person to do it. There’s not just like a team magically there waiting for it. There isn’t a marketing…You have to go and create and find the marketing team. And then that’s really hard when you’re just starting. You’re also trying to figure…The hardest part is trying to deliver the work and get the work and do all of those pieces. And it just takes time to be able to grow and scale and for me I was very particular, I wanted a certain brand and so I’ve done it probably a little bit slower than I would like and maybe others have because I really wanted that personal image and that brand. It’s all reflective of me. But it’s been a great experience and I love the thrill of growing something that is shaped by what I’m doing and it’s also super terrifying because it’s all on me. There aren’t other people unless I bring them in and we do it together. 

John: It’s great showing your vulnerability too and I love how you’re expressing it because a lot of people don’t understand what it takes to start something from scratch, right? It’s like taking a big leap into a different career but no stability, no income, no revenue, no nothing and you’re jumping in blind. Unless you are kinda doing it on the side to gain experience, garnish that but if you didn’t like where now and you didn’t  even have any sales experience. How do you go out and sell it if you have no experience? Just like anything you should really practice it a little bit to get better and it’s okey, making mistakes, learning from it, evolving that’s the whole journey aspect, right? And I used to work in corporate as well and yes, I had a team. And it was great that now when I’m by myself, “Can I afford a team? Should I do it myself?” Or you know, “Can I afford at this time? And what are they gonna bring to the table that I can’t do myself, how much time is it gonna take, how effective are they versus myself.” Like you always try to doubt and weigh the pros and cons of it all. 

Jodi: Certainly and you know, couple of interesting points for me, I did do a lot myself and I’ve always presented before so the idea of having to present your story, your facts and communicating I think is so much about what sales really is. I had done that a lot and I love that part. I love talking, we’re talking so this is fun. And that to me wasn’t hard. I think if you’re someone who…You didn’t do that maybe this is all new to you. The idea of presenting or communicating that would be really hard, you know, I continue to learn. I think learning all the time is really important. The whole idea of a lifelong learner. But I also surrounded myself with other business owners so that I could learn from them and see what they’re doing. In all different types of industries. I will admit I actually thought I needed to learn more  from people who were selling what I was selling and I realized, “No, you can actually learn quite a lot from really, anyone.” You know, someone who has a brick and mortar store. I don’t have a store. I can still learn from their approach of how they’re managing customer service or how they’re approaching sales or thinking about things. The idea of surrounding yourself with like minded people can significantly help and it’s nice to know because your friends who aren’t doing this don’t understand. And they’re only able to offer what works in their world but their world is a different world so I highly recommend for anyone who is thinking about it or is already to make sure that you have a group around you that you can continue to learn from on an ongoing basis. 

John: That’s amazing. Growing up did you ever imagine yourself as a business owner like growing a company, having employees? Now that you have a brand and people, you know, you live and breathe it, right? Was that something of like when you were growing up something that you’ve always wanted?

Jodi: No, I watched the movie Working Girl and I wanted to be her with the big corner office. That’s what I wanted because I watched that movie and I love that movie. So, no but at the same time I was kinda the anomaly of going to a corporate job. You know my parents were in sales, my brother went out and did his own things so that I had this stable corporate job was a weird thing. And I say stable  and for anyone that who’s watching you can have like my air quotes because even that today is no longer stable. It was definitely not something I thought that I would do. At the same time I felt that I was never really satisfied in every role and I was always searching for something. And I think it was because I wasn’t really in the right place and I kept searching for the right thing and I never really could find the right thing so that’s probably a balance of age, skills, just impatience where I’m wanting to do more and also then realizing, “Oh, wait I can actually get so much of what I’m looking for to fulfill sort of the needs that I feel like I have and the desire to really wanna make a big impact and to provide value and stretch my mind in this capacity. 

John: And did you have people along the way that kinda…I know right now you’re surrounding yourself with more business owners to kinda coach you or mentor you or whatever you call it but along the way were there instrumental people that helped you, guided you to where you are today?

Jodi: Certainly, so a couple of people. Actually, a partner that I worked with early on I remember saying while I was trying to decide what to do I said, “This is not really what I wanted to do.” And I had always thought of myself as a COO and he had said, “No, I see you as a CEO.” And that to me, probably one of those statements that he just said and I bet you he doesn’t even realize the impact that it had but I’ve never forgotten that and then there’s several other mentors. Also one that I’ve known for probably 20 plus years and I still remain in contact with him and he’s always been an amazing cheerleader for me and not on the entrepreneurial world in the corporate world. So, he’s been really helpful and you know, huge credits to my family and my husband who has been a significant supporter of my…Embarking on this journey and it is important to have people along the way and they kinda change, I’ve had other people who filled gaps in time who were great role models or mentors to help me during whatever it was I was doing at the moment and you know, they kinda fill that time period and then there’s some that last a lifetime. And those are much far and a few between. 

John: And I love you saying that the journey…Everyone lives a different path and there’s gonna be people that are instrumental that play a part of that and there’s gonna be people that really stand out and there’s people that really help you, guide you through that challenging time and whatnot. So, I love hearing that because a lot of people are so focused on one or two or five people and that’s it. Well, it’s a lifetime, it’s a  journey, right? There’s so many other people that play a  very instrumental part from friendships to, you know, managers, colleagues, VP’s, CEO’s, business owners whatever it is. It could be anyone. Your neighbor, your church leader it doesn’t matter, right? It could be someone that really impacts you, resonates with you and really pushes you a little bit further, right? That’s all it takes so I love that. Challenges or any of the mistakes over the last couple of years I know you’ve been now a business owner. Can you share some insights on some mistakes that you’ve made or some of the challenges how you overcame them? 

Jodi: I think the biggest one is trying…Recognizing where you need help and then finding that help and not really doing the best vetting through that process and kinda saying, “Oh well, someone could do that.” And so I’ll just try them out and then that’s been a big challenge for me over time. The people piece and find…And really spending because it’s so hard you have this long list of things to do when you really want to find help, find someone to do them but then you are realizing that that is actually more work than you netted at the end. Which is interesting because I will tell companies that my regular, in all the work that I do. You really want to be thoughtful, you really want to plan, cause when you do all that upfront it’s gonna yield significant benefits so the mistake I’ve made is because you’re strap for resources and it’s a challenge to get it all done, is really making sure that you’re being thoughtful in spending the time on people and that can mean any type of person it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone doing client work. It can be a bookkeeper, it can be someone doing your finances, it can be someone helping you on the marketing side or just anything. It’s any aspect of it so anyone listening should realize, every role is critical for what you’re doing and it should have the same level of thought put into it. 

John: Yeah and I acknowledge you saying that because I even myself at the beginning I was just hiring for the task and note really putting a lot of time and effort into like getting to know them, letting them know what the process is and how to put it in my kinda tone, my voice the way I want it  so maybe I didn’t train them enough or I didn’t have SOP’s in place, right? So, they went out doing the task. But to my liking it wasn’t satisfying so it’s more yourself and holding yourself accountable. Making sure you do a little bit better job explaining it, understanding who that person is and if it’s a good fit or not and you learn, right? As a business owner I make mistakes daily and it’s okay. How do I pick myself up? 

Jodi: I think everyone makes mistakes. 

John: And it’s okay like as long as you acknowledge and try to minimize them and get better along the way that’s the only way to improve, right? You’re company, yourself, you’re always trying to do the best you can so it shows growth, right?

Jodi: Absolutely.

John: Tips, so I know you’ve had some mistakes or whfat about…How’s someone that’s starting off, what would you advise them? In terms of like how do you expedite or make less mistakes?

Jodi: Listen to these types of things. The first would be really I think  what we’ve just talked about which is as you’re about to bring someone on to do any type of tasks, I like what you have mentioned is that a task or someone who’s gonna really be hear for a longer period to fulfill a, you know, whatever role it’s going to be and how do you want to be represented and how did you communicated that to people? Because I’m like you I’ve tried to jump in to solve the task that needs to get done and I didn’t get as much time preparing that person as well as I could have so really doing that upfront I think is going to be really helpful. The same time that’s being spent on the who you are and what you want to represent will tie over to the actual work you’re going to do. What is the message that you want the client, the customers to be receiving and how are you gonna communicate that to them, and how are you gonna live through that? Because you will have some interesting situations, someone might refer a client to you and maybe they don’t match up and line up with what you’re doing and so while it might be revenue, it doesn’t really match who you are and think about kinda how you’re also gonna spend your time and you only have the same amount of time as everybody else. Another area that I think I can continue to learn on which is learning how to say yes to the right things and no to the other. The other that won’t continue to match with your vision. So, that vision is going to play into so many parts of your company and oftentimes everyone wants to jump in and get started and I’ll  kinda figure it out and I certainly think there’s a thought to being able to figure it out but I did spend time saying, “I want a brand.” Which is why it’s not my name. It’s a company and why I could have other people work with me, you know, because we’re building a company. That was important some people might not want that. They just might want to do whatever work they bring in and that’s fine. So, all those kind of conditional pieces will continue to play out. It’ll play out in your marketing how you go, how you explain who you are. Will you use I, will  you use We? Even just that makes a massive difference. So, that again, kinda that vision of who you want to be and what brand you want someone to think of you is critically important and then it translates into all the other areas about making sure you’re spending time educating new people that you’ll come on, finding the right people and the last tip is something I’ve said before but I do believe make the investment in the areas you don’t excel in cause then you can spend your time in the areas best suited for you which will actually earn you more money. 

John: And that last point…

Jodi: And time is more of the interest than just money. 

John: Delegating, understanding where you bring the most value in your business, outsourcing the rest or hiring people for certain roles and tasks and duties and you know, if you’re not strong in sales, marketing, advertising get someone to do it, right? Like it’s okay, acknowledge it. You can’t figure out and be the best you can for every single role and task as a business owner because there’s too much involved and not enough time like you mentioned and then you’re gonna get stressed, you’re gonna get really this is where fatigue happens, right? This is where people burnout because they’re trying to do too much and not knowing where to start what to do next. There’s a huge task list it’s like overwhelming especially if you’re just starting off and you come to a realization, you know, hopefully you’re still in business because you’re still enjoying what you’re doing but a lot of people forget why they’re doing it, what’s the purpose, you know, they’re taking it on because they want to serve others or bringing value to the marketplace or whatever it is. So, acknowledging all that and enjoying the journey because people kinda are always wanting a lot of money or fame or whatever it is. But they don’t really take a step back and put together a plan like you’ve mentioned. 

Jodi: Absolutely, and I would say one more which is whatever the…And it matches with what you’ve just said. Whatever your plan is your “why.” I think you really have to have your “why.” So, I have my “why.” And as a big piece of that is knowing…To think like the CEO or the business owner you aspire to be. So, if you aspire to be a 50k dollar CEO, 100k dollar, 500k dollar, million, 5 million, ten million, 20 million whatever number it is for you, think like that because then your decisions will be different. So, if you’re going to be…You aspire to be a 10 million dollar CEO, a 10 million dollar CEO is not going be doing some type of certain work they’re going to find someone to do that and right there that the way you should approach that challenge or that issue is going to be very different. So, that was a tip to me. I had gone through a program that’s called Launcpad2x here in Atlanta designed to help women entrepreneurs and it was very much focused on helping you think like a 20 million dollar CEO and I will say oftentimes it will be, “Well, how would a 20 million dollar CEO think about that?” “Oh, they will think about it like this.” Not like a…It think oftentimes people think, “Well, I’m just this little company.” Whatever number you are if you change the way you’re approaching it, all the other tasks and vision and strategy and everything else will follow suit. 

John: And I think it’s mindset, again it’s like if you think big at least you have bigger goals to aspire to but if you think small then that’s where the barrier comes up, right? “It’s like, Oh, I’ve already hit it. Okey, and then what?” Right? It’s great to hear all this. So, regarding I know you weren’t strong in sales, how did you go about getting clients at the beginning to start  your venture like did you already have contacts, did you already have a network?

Jodi: Yes, so I’ve always…Well, I’ve never had to sell directly in any of my corporate roles other than the one I’ve described where I was a partner. I’ve always been a fan of relationships and having a strong network. All my jobs were because I had a strong network. Every single last one of them and I’m a firm believer in building relationships. In fact, I actually just well, we’re having this discussion this week, released an article very focused on relationships. So, I reached out to everyone and said, “Hi, here’s what I’m doing.” And then started down on a path of content marketing and thought leadership so people could get to know who I am and present because in the field that I am in privacy there’s a lot of education. People don’t understand what it is, why I need it, when to pay attention and as a result there were a lot of opportunities that or I created opportunities really to focus on educating which helped get my name and my brand to continue to build my relationships and my network. So, I have invested significantly in relationships really over the whole course of my professional years and also as a business owner and some of the types of relationships and the who has always changed as well depending on the industry and the goal that I fit in. I can’t emphasize relationships enough. 

John: I love hearing that because that’s my foundation since I started this company and that’s why you’re on the show because I love these same relationships. I come from a family oriented kind of business, not business. My family, we immigrated from Vietnam to Canada and core foundation is family relationships, business relationships, friends relationships. It’s a part of me that really stands out and I think people will see your good side and bad. They either like you or not and if you are actually there and wanting to vibe out or help or be there for them they’re gonna want to be there for you, right? But if you’re not helping anyone or giving as much as possible they’ll see that you’re a taker, you’re really in it for your self fulfilling purpose. But if you actually don’t expect anything and just want to help others that’s where, you know, you’re gonna make huge strides in any venture, business, life, purpose, dream, you know, even if it’s corporate America you’re gonna move up the corporate ladder by actually helping others, right? You know, maybe you can speak a little bit on relationships. 

Jodi: Well, I think to have an authentic relationship it’s about getting to know the other person reaching out not only when you need something and one of the tips that I actually just shared in this article that I was talking about is I’ve always used the holidays as a time to send a holiday message. I used to do e-cards a lot. Sometimes I just do an email, sometimes I’ve done actual cards kinda just depends but, you know, “Hi…so and so. Just thought I’d wish you a happy holiday. I hope you have a great time with your family.” When Covid started I reached out with…We’ve all received the 15 thousand standard messages. I didn’t do that. I had an email to select people who I really wanted to connect with and I said,”Hi, just checking to see how you and your family are doing.”There was no sales pitch, there was nothing. There was just a genuine…And for those that I knew I might personalize it, you know, one person I knew had a family member in healthcare, someone else, you know, different story so I would say something to that effect. And it’s very…It’s all about I just want to kinda stay top of mind but be authentic. Maybe you find an article and you send the article to them. Some people are about gifts, “You know, what I see this and I think this will be very interesting for you. I’d really like to gift this to you. So, here’s…Enjoy a cup of coffee or you know, enjoy this special notebook.” Or whatever it might be as you get to know them. You’re connecting  with the human because at the end of the day there’s a human on the other end of whatever it is that we’re doing and sometimes that’s hard to remember because we’re so…Especially in the marketing space. It’s how many emails, how many people clicked, how many people liked and we’re so focused on all these metrics and analytics but at the end of the day you’re actually just trying to reach another person. You know, know they have to brush their hair everyday, brush their teeth and eat and do all those same things kinda no matter what industry, role, title or any of it and so when you actually get to be the person and you just connect at that level then they get to know who you are and you know, it is overused a little bit. But it’s true know, like, trust. I have to get to know you then I’m gonna like you, then I’m gonna trust you. And there are gonna be people who you are gonna meet who will not, it’s not just gonna click, connect. No matter how hard you try and that’s fine just go find the next person there’s plenty of people you just have to meet them and get to connect with them.

John: Yeah, I think it was two years ago, I was doing a weekly coffee with people  that I’ve actually engaged with for many years or I lost touch with because of life, right? Getting married, kids, whatever. Everyone’s busy with their own life but just that subtle, “Are you free for coffee? Let’s catch up.” Right? Cause I’m more like old school. I love meeting real people as opposed to like emails, social media posts, whatever. I’m more about like interacting with real people and having a real conversation, a deep conversation to see where they’re at. How can I help you, how can I, you know, really understand where the problems lie, right? In their family, health, whatever it is. Business, you know, if you actually want to do something and do it well and help someone don’t acknowledge it that you’re not in it to like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! What’s happening?” What’s in it for you? Like when you start seeing that then, you know, your approach is completely wrong but if you’re doing it just out of like just a big heart or someone that actually cares, they’re okay with that, right? They’ll let you in because they’ll  know that you’re actually in it for the right reasons. If that makes sense. 

Jodi: Absolutely, absolutely sometimes you can’t always meet specially in…

John: Right now. 

Jodi: Kinda…I mean I’ve always been remote. My clients are across the country so for me I need to connect with people, you know, with virtual coffee’s or just another way and I think the world is continuing to be global and remote all at the same time. I used to have oodles of coffees when back when you got to meet humans. We do tons of coffees. I will be honest at the same time I’ve been able to meet more people right now because, you know, kinda factor in the drive time and the coffee time. So, we have a virtual coffee. It’s not quite the same but what’s been interesting is now people  will turn on their video. They didn’t all turn on their video before and now magically everyone’s turning on their videos and I think that’s making it much more personalized. I mean look like we would never get to have our coffee in person because we’re really far, an airplane ride. I mean you’re very lovely but I’d probably not gonna get on the airplane just to be able to have our cup of coffee. Now, if we’re in the same city absolutely. “Hey, let’s have that.” So, the idea that we have this ability to do that but maybe in a couple of months I’ll send you a quick note just wanting to say Hi. See how you’re doing. You’re gonna think, “Wow, that was…that’s kinda cool. Look at her, she remembers me.” 

John: Yeah, I totally agree. I mean just when people are least expecting it and just be ultra grateful in acknowledging a great person behind the screen, right? So, I love that. Technology? What have you found because during this pandemic I’m sure a lot of meeting are now online but has that ever helped your business with technology?  

Jodi: Well, I was always Zooming and screen sharing and video calling so for sure and I’m a fan of technology. I’m still trying to find the right tools. I feel like I’m always trying to find the right tools. So, there’s actually a really cool tool called Bomb Bomb, BOMB BOMB. When I use it people really, really like it. So, I use it pretty sparingly. It’s a video email service so create an email, send it through their service, the other person opens it. What’s kinda cool is you get to see the metrics though about it. Which is different than when I go create a video on Loom. Which is a really cool tool too and stick in an email. You kinda don’t get the same metrics so that one’s an interesting one and people love it. I’m still trying to get better on my CRM tools. I do have an email. I don’t send oodles of email but I do have an email service provider. Trying to find the right project management system, still trying to work on that one. And dropbox especially kinda in the security field I like the dropbox and then I use a proposal software system and Slack. Those are probably the core ones. 

John: Yeah, as a business owner especially in the tech-space or security. I’m in the SEO industry so for me we have a whole stack of tools and software so if you want any suggestion or questions on that you can always send me a message because we probably tested a lot of software that you’re looking at. 

Jodi: Yeah, I’m always up for good, reasonable software that makes things better. I am using Zapier but I’m not using it enough. I know that there’s all kinds of other things that I can be doing. I’m still trying to figure it out. Oh! My favorite tool on the planet is Calendly, which is the one that you’re using. I use Calendly. It’s actually in my hometown. That is as soon as I turn that on, that was just a game changer. It is the best invention on the planet. So, if…I need to look at any other cool,awesome inventions like that one.

John: So, the whole point of software and tools is not every tool is gonna work well for your purpose, right? Some of them will probably be more productive for you. Some will actually, you know, be more of a strain because you gotta figure out how to use it, right? So, just see what works for you and your team because not everyone’s gonna integrate properly as well. So, if they don’t like it, your team members, it’s probably gonna be more of a detriment, right? So, you gotta figure out what works. And that’s why I learned like we’re very basic too like we use to do a lot of Trello, Slack. We use Asana and we have like every single tool and software out there but it’s overwhelming sometimes. When you go training, onboarding and then the learning curve of all because there’s nuances for every single tool. And then you gotta customize it. It’s, you know, the time wasted…Is it gonna be more efficient and productive for your team. So, just learning that and as a business owner it’s just another thing on your plate. 

Jodi: I’m curious, do you have…Of the Trello’s and Asana’s and all those which one do you use if any. 

John: Like we used to use Slack but in terms to my team we just communicate very straightforward. Skype, instant messaging, whatsapp just…Whatever works works and it doesn’t matter, right? We use google drive, dropbox, onedrive for storage. We have CRM’s, we have, you know, the Salesforce or we use Hubspot or we use Infusionsoft, a ton of different email providers. We use buzzstream, buzzsumo. We have tons of SEO software. We have so many different tools and software, it’s just overwhelming. So, for us it’s like keep it simple. Keep it straightforward so everyone can then use it. If that makes sense. 

Jodi: That’s good advice, good advice. Simple’s good. 

John: Yeah, cause it’s overwhelming because every month, every year there’s always new ones coming up. To be more efficient, priced less expensive but do you need it, right? Everytime you change it…

Jodi: It’s very relative, right?

John: No, but it’s changing the whole process, right? Changing the adaption then you gotta train and it depends on the size of your team, right? Like if you’re one to five people that’s not a problem but when you’re a fifty or a hundred people team that learning curve, the adaption.

Jodi: Right, no, it’s a big, big difference. Yep, absolutely. 

John: So, in terms of a…I know we’ve talked about like putting out content and positioning yourself then building a ton of relationships. Did you ever do a lot of networking or meeting people outside of your…People that you don’t know. Or is it really targeted? 

Jodi: Oh, so my whole career, again I’ve always done networking, I’ve always been involved in any different organizations that kinda made sense for whatever it was I’m doing and as a business owner I’ve been involved actually in a great organization called Provisors. It’s all about professional advisors. It’s kinda regional, it’s only in select cities and then but in Covid we’ve had the opportunity to connect on a national level. And that’s been phenomenal because it’s allowed me to get to know people across the country that I wouldn’t have known. I’m also part of Entrepreneur’s Organization and that also allows me to meet people both locally and around the world and I’ve met a number of different people through these organizations and through the privacy community so certainly meeting people that I don’t know and then through kinda that first meeting they always say, “Oh, we really should meet so and so.” And then that person says, “You should meet so and so.” And some of those meetings are great and some of those meetings are a waste. And you don’t know unless you actually go and do them. I always approach with, “Well, each person is just their own unique. You never know you can learn at least one thing and maybe even it’s  how you practice what you say that could be something useful and you know, for anyone listening kinda think about what industry you’re in and either local organizations or national organizations, trade organizations, industry organizations and then whatever it makes sense potentially some type of personal services, networking group as well. What I like about the ones I’m in is they’re very focused on relationships not networking cause the word networking feels like it’s one to one transactional and that’s A. not who I am and B. I don’t really think it works that way. So, I found things that align more with my values.

John: And I love hearing that because whatever resonates with you it’s not for everyone you gotta figure out what works, what association or industry that you’re trying to get involved in. Play an active role and that’s the other  thing like be active like if you wanna join something really join it for a purpose and do something with it, right? Don’t be just a silent, you know, member. So, last couple of questions I wanna ask you so what drives you today? Seems like you’ve had a corporate, you know, couple of years to then do your business. What really motivates you today as opposed to a couple of years ago and what do you see yourself doing for the near future? 

Jodi: I think for motivation there’s a couple of folds first it’s my big part of my “why” is freedom. I’m the mom of two girls and I really want to be able to be with them the way I want to be able to be with them so the ability for me to do that is incredibly important at the same time the industry that I’m in privacy is kinda just in it’s beginning stages. There’s privacy and security so for anyone not familiar security is very focused on the protection of data. Privacy is very focused also on that but more on the use and collection so everything that all marketers are doing is a massive privacy piece, right? Should I use the data? And I feel like the…It’s just in the beginning stage and as we’re experiencing a massive digital transformation there’s a big opportunity to help educate and to help companies through  this. And I like the ability to be able to be here and help companies sort through what it is they need to be doing at this really an interesting time. It’s a bit of a crossroads, bit of a wild west for a while. We have a new government legislation around the world and companies are trying to figure out what to do. We’re about to move into a cookieless world. What does  that look like? And how are companies gonna still be doing it? So, when you kinda smoosh all that together I find that a really fun and interesting challenge and again I like the ability to help people so that is my foreseeable future. 

John: And that’s awesome. Yeah, cause right now not only is the industry at the infancy, there’s a ton of growth and opportunity but then comes the educational piece, right? Like how do you get to the people who are actually decision makers to let them in on like the vulnerabilities, the security risks, the, you know, to educate them enough to take action or even listen, right? To open the door and it sounds like you’re having fun and you’re enjoying the process and that’s the most important thing I feel. And it seems like your head is, you know, revolved around family and you know, you’re freedom as well so it’s like that’s what the lifestyle of a business owner should truly be. You shouldn’t be running crazy, running a business, right? You need goals, you need aspirations, you need to figure out what’s important to you and mode your business to align with what you want out of it so I love hearing that from you as well, Jodi.

Jodi: Thank you. 

John: So, thanks a lot. I want to then just ask you how can some of the audience members reach you, get a hold of you, connect with you on any of the channels that you’re a part of?

Jodi: Sure, I’m easy to find on LinkedIn Jodi Daniels, Red Clover Advisors is also on LinkedIn. Our website’s just redcloveradvisors.com. We have  a lot of information and contact information that’s there so we’d love…We’re also on facebook so go follow Red Clover Advisors on facebook as well. 

John: Amazing, well thanks a lot. It’s been a pleasure to getting to know you, Jodi. And we’ll be in touch for sure. If you’re ever in Toronto let’s get together. 

Jodi: Absolutely, thanks so much for having me. 

John: Thanks a lot Jodi.