Episode #01 | Phillip Crum
Phillip Crum-The Content Marketing Coach
Phillip Crum: Hello again Beth.
Beth Kahlich: Hello, Phillip. How are you?
PC: I’m pretty good. I’m still working on that last name.
BK: You’ll get it.
PC: It’s not like I don’t know you, but we’re there.
BK: No, that’s okay, just crying baby. That’s all you need to think.
PC: Yes, ma’am. So, how have you been?
BK: I’ve been good. How have you been?
PC: Excellent. The weather is good. I can go outside and do a little work here and there at home and be 18, got to get away from the computer once in a while.
BK: Yes, do you, absolutely. Try and get away from the computer and just even walk around the block but when you do that, make sure that your dog is on the leash properly or you will be chasing them for two hours.
PC: No, I got this 35-pound overweight dachshund. He doesn’t run too fast.
BK: Oh, okay.
PC: He can’t get way – he gives up after about ten feet.
BK: You’re lucky.
PC: He’s got that look on his face, “Ah, what am I running for.”
BK: My 60-pound Great Pyrenees mix different story.
PC: Well, again, I appreciate you agreeing to be the host of this year.
BK: Absolutely, I’m looking forward to it.
PC: Actually, the show is going to be called ‘Tell Something I Don’t Know’.
PC: Tell me something I don’t know about content marketing. But I thought I’d tell the audience a little bit about me and who is this Phillip Crum guy and we go from there.
BK: So, I’m going to interview is what you’re saying.
PC: Good idea.
BK: Would that be alright with you, Mr. Crum?
BK: Okay. So, let’s just get started a little bit with your family. Of course that’s the most important thing. Family is important.
PC: Yup, absolutely. Well, I actually born in Ohio, got to California pretty quick and got to Texas as fast as possible, and move around few places, ended up in Lewisville, Texas in December of ‘71.
BK: It’s a little different back then, wasn’t it?
PC: Yup. I actually watched then put in most of the main roads.
PC: It was a long time ago.
BK: Yes, of course.
PC: So, I’ve been there quite a while and, in fact, I live in a house that’s about one mile from the house that I grew up in. So, I just haven’t been able to get very far away.
BK: That’s alright.
PC: My parents had a restaurant, so I grew up in a restaurant business which trained me and qualified me for pretty much everything. If you can do that, oh my gosh, you can put up with just about anything.
BK: What type of restaurant?
PC: It was a family style place at Lewisville called OK Corral and just a buffet and –
BK: Love it.
PC: It was a very good learning experience. I’d say that tongue in cheek but not really. it was very good experience. You’d learn a lot about people.
PC: Watching them eat and yell at each other and whatever they’re going to do, you get to deal with a lot of stuff. I did every job in the restaurant that you can do, every job except cocktail waitress because the skirt didn’t fit, otherwise, I have been carrying a tray. But I met my wife there and been married to her for 34 years coming July.
BK: Oh, congratulations, that’s fantastic.
PC: Thank you. We got married the same month Charles and Di got married.
BK: Well, you think you do a little better than them.
PC: I think we did. We have two grown sons, Tyler and Preston. They both live in The Colony area and Tyler has three kiddos ranging from three to seven years old.
BK: Bless his heart.
PC: And Preston has two kids, almost four and almost one and he has another one in the oven, in production.
BK: And bless his heart, been there, done that.
PC: Yes, and my wife keeps those kids during the day, not all of them but the young ones so that their parents don’t have to spend small ransom on –
BK: Isn’t that great. She’s a saint. That’s wonderful.
PC: She is actually.
BK: But how much fun too.
PC: It is. It’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of stress, a lot of work, kids are kids and they are good ones. But number six would be here in sometime early September. I call him the dirty birds, so that will make me grandpa to six dirty birds and then of course the dachshund I mentioned, the worthless dachshund named Chopper.
BK: Chopper the dachshund.
PC: Yeah, he’s about 10 years old and that’s a –
BK: Oh, that’s wonderful
BK: And so, where did you go to school, obviously, Lewisville?
PC: Yessum, I went to Lewisville High School and graduate from there in ‘77.
PC: And then went to North Texas for a couple years and accumulated a couple of years, and got inpatient, left.
BK: It happens.
PC: I got all the un-fun classes out of the way and quit when the good stuff is about to start, but what a dino.
BK: Well –
PC: But I just couldn’t stand it anymore.
BK: Well, it’s not – first of all, it’s not for everyone and even when it is for you, sometimes, you’re just like ready to get it over it and then get your life started, so that’s what you did.
PC: Exactly, right. So, I was going to – at one point, my major to begin with was psychology because I just like how what makes people tick.
PC: And then the first class that I was in, there was the guy over there, God bless him, but popped belly at age 24 and hairy fuzzy beard, that’s what these psychology guys look like and, “No, I’m not going that route,” but that’s just what my mind was thinking at the time and so I left the psychology and went to radio-TV film.
BK: Well, that totally makes sense now.
PC: Well, it does actually. It’s the creative what makes people tick whole thing. I didn’t know it at the time but looking back, it’s all part of the same all the wax that is me.
BK: Yes, 100%. When you go to school and you graduate and then, you figure out what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.
BK: That certainly has been the case with me and it sounds like with you too.
PC: Oh, definitely.
BK: So then, you were talking about your family restaurant, but what else did you do after you left college?
PC: Well, I started working in the restaurant when I was eight years old if somebody wouldn’t show up on the weekend, a dishwasher, and I get called in and that was another life, another time, when things like that were fine.
BK: Oh, yeah. No, I completely understand.
PC: You throw glass rack on the floor, plastic glass racks stand on it, but dishes sit day all the day long.
BK: That’s exactly right.
PC: And get paid nice little sum of money for being there all day, free food, it’s a good thing.
BK: It taught you a lot.
PC: Oh, it did and I worked there until I was 28 years old, then restaurant closed and I went to look for something else. It’s been a couple of years testing some things. I go with Prudential for a while doing the life insurance, financial, got a Series 7 Security license that I never used and –
BK: But getting out in front of people like that –
PC: Oh, yeah.
BK: That will teach a lot.
PC: It did. I did a self-study thing for the Series 7 and then I took the test, passed it the first time which rarely happens.
PC: Yeah, I was part of that. And then, let’s see, had insurance licenses, real estate license, just test and trying some things and whatnot. I was good at them but not passionate about it.
BK: Right, and that’s the big part of it is being passionate about it.
PC: It is. And then one day, I saw an ad in the paper, that’s how we did back then.
PC: And I made a phone call to this guy and he said he wasn’t interviewing people anymore. He had 10 or 11 that he was considering and he needs to stop there and apparently I told him, “Well, you might be missing the best one if you don’t talk to me.” I don’t remember saying that but my boss of 21 years does.
BK: Oh, wow!
PC: And he likes to remind me. So anyway, I got the job and it was 21 years ago and –
BK: Isn’t that something?
PC: I did extremely well with sales which includes all of that stuff I learned earlier.
BK: that’s right.
PC: I’ve always marveled at how something I did a year ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, is a tool from what I’m doing now.
PC: Yeah, and I guess I’m not alone in that thinking.
BK: No, but that’s a very, very good point. You’re in the business world and you have these experiences as you grow up and they build on each other.
PC: Yes, they do. So, my sales took off pretty good, pretty well at the time and this was at the – I have to consult my charts – but in 93 and 94, the recession that had passed was – things were improving and my sales went through the roof, not everybody’s did, so I was doing something right just to make sure. I took my own horn there. I was doing something right and the sales went to and through the roof and stayed there as long as I wanted them to.
BK: How fantastic.
PC: And I won lots of things. I did very well with any award department and –
BK: Yeah, what kind of awards did you win? Now, I know you don’t want to –
PC: Lots and lots of stuff, national sales of the man year a couple of times, regional sales person of the year about a dozen time, sales achievement award which is sales over half a million a dozen times, the million dollar sales award, five times.
BK: My goodness.
PC: I missed it once by 150 bucks because I just didn’t care.
BK: You were like, “I’m done.”
PC: Yeah. So, anyway, we did okay in the awards department. They mean something, they’re milestones for accomplishments, but at the end of the day, they’re just nice plastic.
BK: Nice little award you got sitting there. That’s very cool.
PC: Yeah. So, I did very well there. And then I got a phone call, I don’t know, five or six years ago, and a local pawnshop owner was wanting to sell, so I ended up buying it for a number of reasons. So, I like to say it took many relatives with not enough money and two-and-a-half years went by and we closed up and I got back here quickly as I could.
BK: Well, running your own business is extremely challenging especially with no money.
BK: And it probably has given you a great perspective when you’re working with other business centers because you know exactly what is going on.
PC: Been there, felt that.
PC: No feel, no feel. So, when I came back to Sir Speedy of Addison/Carrollton, there’s about 100 yards difference between the two, I had already determined in my mind that I wanted to take the online side of the coin because the printing world has always been all about offline, obviously. And so, I take the online world and take the pieces. I’d like to say it’s like opening a pantry, “Oh, there’s a little SEO up there. There’s a blog post over there. There’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that.” and nobody knows what to do with the individual piece.
BK: So true.
PC: So, if you package it together, if you mix it up and make it, you got a chocolate cake. So, it’s easier to sell a chocolate cake than it is two tablespoons of baking powder.
BK: Are the chef of content marketing?
PC: No, I just like – oh, there we go.
BK: I got a new one.
PC: You got a new one there. Yeah, there we go. and so, that’s what I’ve been doing, is working on putting that program together and aiming it specifically at small business owners, not the government’s definition of small business but mine, that’s 1 to 50 employees, doing somewhere between a million, 2 million and 15 million because they’re big enough they need but they’re not big enough that they’ve hired someone to fill the need.
BK: To exclusively do that, exactly.
BK: Maybe a person that’s kind of over it but, really, they’ve wear a lot of hats.
PC: Or over their heads in it and need some help. And so, that’s my niche. If you want to drill down a little further, I have client accounts that are 50s and 60s and I’ve got some that are in their 30s, probably younger if I think about it, but they’re all over the map but my sweet spot, I really have a heart for dealing with the younger folks. I’m old enough to be their daddy.
BK: Taking on a fatherly role.
PC: Yeah. And I look at them or I see them as they’re the same age as my kids are, even a couple of years. How can I not want to help them?
BK: Exactly. So, tell me a little bit more – it sounds like just from your background, you do have a lot of different skills that we can cover as we’re talking here but tell me what kind of talents – as we talked about earlier, you’re born with talents and you learn skills, so I want to know a little bit about your talents. What is it you feel like is your God-given talents?
PC: I like to create ideas. They just happen. I mean it’s not like I got to try and do it. There are a lot of things I’m not good at but generating ideas is not one of those. It just happens.
BK: I’ve noticed.
PC: Apparently, I walked around and it’s like, “Hey, I got an idea. I got an idea.” that’s not a big deal but when you say two or three or four times a day – and my son one time, we went to see a Zig Ziglar presentation kind of thing and we were walking back to the car and I said, “I got an idea.” and he started good-naturedly poke and fun at me about that and the other two or three people with us, they jump on the bandwagon. It’s jump on field day and so from that – and I play with it. I play it up and I can take it, I can dish it out, I can take it, but I made up a title ‘Chief Idea Office’. And so that’s what is in my email signature. It’s not on my card because I run out of room.
BK: I think that makes a lot of sense.
PC: Yeah. So, generating ideas, writing comes easy, and I like to do it, planning organization.
BK: All of those things fit in well together because you got the ideas but then the execution of the ideas is really important too. That sounds like you have a good talent for that as well.
PC: Yes. Well, when I was in the fifth grade, we had a creative writing assignment one day. I wrote it. It’s one-page long. It’s no big deal. It’s one-page long. Turned them in and the next day, Mrs. Bowers, she’s one of only two or three teachers my entire school career. In fact, I remember her name. Mrs. Bowers picked two or three of them and stood in front of the class and said, “These are the best and I want to read them to you,” and mine was one of them.
BK: Oh, that’s fantastic.
PC: And she got done with that and she announced to the class that I was going to be a writer when I grow up. I’m just glad she didn’t say garbage collector or bus boy full time. All legitimate, honorable but I don’t want to do that. But the writing thing –
PC: The story was about a water monster shape like a haste stack that went around to houses and was stealing jewelry and nobody could stop the water monster. You shoot him and the bullet goes right through him. So, one day, somebody had an idea, lead the water monster out over the desert where he sank into the sand because he’s water and there was nothing left but a big pile of jewelry and that was the best. So, there must have been real hum there.
BK: But that’s a lot of creativity. And so, basically, one of the things I’m finding just as I talked to you Phil that I think is so interesting is that you do have so many different skills and as I just look through in my mind some of the things that we’ve talked about, I’m thinking you know about not only how to write but how to turn it into a website. You know how to come up with ideas but you know how to execute them. You know how to measure effectiveness of things. So, you have a really broad –
BK: Yeah, exactly.
PC: I’m big on the process.
BK: Yeah. I mean we’ve talked about that a little bit too outside of this venue. And so, tell me – I can see that you have skills all the way from creating WordPress sites to – I mean tell me a little bit about how you learn how to do that? Did you have a client that had a WordPress site and you figure out how to do it? That’s usually how it turns out.
PC: Sometime, it’s self-defense.
PC: The ecommerce site for example, that’s a whole another world. You either know something about that, the building and the marketing thereof, or you don’t. It’s its own little niche. Well, nothing little about it and that one was a self-defense. When somebody wanted it and so I learned a considerable amount about it. Another example is the meeting from the other night, Dallas Search Engine marketing meeting, there was a speaker there that I wanted to see, I wanted to hear him. I skipped the meeting but I bought his –
BK: But you bought his book.
PC: I bought book before the meeting and it showed up this morning.
BK: Oh, that’s terrific. You’re sharing it with me, aren’t you?
PC: Yes, I will as soon as I get that. But I do that a lot, buy a lot of books and I read a lot of stuff and spend a lot of time – it’s more about what I don’t do. I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV, I don’t read newspapers and – it’s all online.
BK: It’s depressing.
PC: Well, sure.
BK: When I read the news, I’m always like, “Oh.” I keep up with it a little but I mainly ask my husband.
PC: I don’t watch the weather. When I open the door, it’s either raining, it’s cold or it’s warm.
PC: If it’s anything else, I’m not going out.
PC: So, I focused – it’s a tunnel vision kind of a thing and I’ve always been that way and sometimes, it can be socially embarrassing. I don’t know the name of some movie that’s out or whatever but what it is done, the good and the bad. The bad is that it can be socially embarrassing. I’ve never heard someone that everybody knows of. Well, I don’t care anyways. It’s not putting any money in my pocket.
BK: That’s right.
PC: And the good part is that whatever it is I’m focused, I’m drilled down so deep, I know more about it than anybody ten-mile radius.
BK: That’s the reason you did so well when you first started with Sir Speedy and sales.
PC: Thank you very much. Here’s a story, one time, they use to call me the doughnut man because I used the doughnut in my sales process and I started using doughnuts one time and it didn’t work. so fast forward, there used to be a guy come in and bring doughnuts to our shop and one day he came in with box of doughnuts and I walked up to the front counter, I didn’t know he was there, I was walking up the front of the shop and everybody in the shop was at the front counter. The machines in the back running, there’s no soul back there. and it just hit me, distract me, I said, “What is going here?” and he got down with his whatever he was doing and I said, “Come here,” and we went back at my office and spent two hours. I was listening to him for two hours tell me story after story but I gleaned from him what he was doing with his process and I figured out what I was doing wrong the first time from what he was telling me. And so I started using that, and then it started working and so many people at the Sir Speedy functions were asking me, “What are you doing?” and I got tired of repeating it, to tell you the truth.
BK: Write it down.
PC: I did. I made a little one-page fold-over brochure out of it with the scripts, the process, everything. I still have it. But I did it half of the reason was because I was tired of explaining it in details.
BK: Right, but you have a process around it and that’s really, really cool. And what I think is also very interesting, we’ve seen it happened, you and I have seen it happened in our lives, I mean you just said it when you looked for a job in a paper. I mean that’s how I found my first job too, is from the newspaper which now is like, “What do you use a newspaper for?” almost.
BK: So, we’ve seen all these changes and there’s been changes in the printing industry and so, what I think is really cool about what you’re doing is you are taking what’s been happening, all this life experience and what’s been happening in the industry of marketing in general and you are turning that into new opportunities not for the business that you work for but more importantly for the customers that you take care of.
PC: You’re right and it’s both, it is. I purposely decided when I came back here that I was going to develop the online stuff because that’s where my passion. I just love the technology and the creativity, the whole bit of it.
BK: I’m with you.
PC: Alright, I know you are. And so, selling chocolate cake is easier, as I mentioned earlier, it’s easier than trying to sell the ingredients. Now, you can buy whatever you want to from me.
PC: If you don’t need and you just don’t get it, I will try and talk you out of it because you don’t need it. I don’t take your money just because you’re ignorant, lacking information. I rather you buy something that’s going to give me some benefit because I’m the one that’s going to lose after you figure out that it’s not working. So, anyway, I’ve packaged all this stuff together, the SEO, the Web Disk, the email marketing, the content development and that’s the big focus for me.
BK: And a lot of people don’t understand how important content is.
PC: Right. What is content? The answer is it’s the answers to the questions that people are looking for in their purchase process.
PC: Do you know what those questions are? Do you even know what the stages of a purchase process are and what are the questions at each stage? What are the deal breakers at each stage, huh? What’s the deal breaker? Well, it something I made up – it’s a term I made up, because I didn’t have a name for it. for example, I go online to look for some service that I need, then I’m going to subscribe to pay a monthly fee or whatever, then one of the things that I insist they have, or I’m going to go use somebody else, is a telephone where a human on the other end of it for support somebody I can call. That still exists.
BK: You just have to look for it.
PC: And people that get it, have it, alright. And that’s a deal breaker for me.
BK: If you call and you get the phone tree –
PC: Or they don’t have a phone at all. I was looking at one last night. There’s no phone number on their website at all. It’s more common now than it should be. It’s crazy. It’s a communication method. It’s like credit card, which one do you take? Do you know a business owner that says, “Well, we only take Visa,” why don’t you take American Express? “Because it costs me more.” You know what, that’s how I want to pay for your stuff. You won’t let me pay for it the way I want to pay for it.
BK: That’s right.
PC: It’s not about what you want. It’s about what the customer wants.
PC: I mean you’re making some really, really good points and the big thing is, is there is this funnel, there is this multi-step process that people go through and sometimes, depending on the business, it maybe super quick because water squirting out of our sink and say you need a plumber right then versus a larger item that has a longer sales cycle. You don’t make me dig and hunt for something as simple as a phone number. It’s like calling 911 and getting a recording. It’s not going to work, “Well, we’re a little overwhelmed but we’re going to call you back.” No, you’re not.
PC: Yes. So, you think one of the things, too Phil, is that you’ve come up with the concept of being a content marketing coach, and so can you to me a little bit what that means?
BK: Very good. Yes, I can. it is a term meant to convey, two things, one that we do content marketing programs and number two, I am really interested, like you, I like to teach people stuff, and we can give away – I’m sorry I embarrass you but if it does, I apologize, it’s called the ‘Bikini Principle’.
PC: No, that’s fine.
BK: You can give away 95% of it and people will pay dearly for that last five. Sorry, I said that.
PC: No, that’s okay. I’m not a PC gal, so you’re fine.
BK: Alright, good. And so, if you give away information, that doesn’t mean I could spend my time doing it for you but I can tell you how to do it and I will. I’ve got videos on my website to tell you how to do a lot of things but you can pay me to do, but hey, if you want a Truck-Lite, I’ll teach you how to do it through these videos and then if you figure out this looks a lot like work or I can do this but it’s not my highest and best use of my time as they say in the real estate business, then you can pay somebody to do that, fine. At some point, it’s like doing your own brain surgery. I could teach how you do that. The doctors could teach you how to do that but do you really want to. It’s probably not the best use of your time. I know that’s silly but I like silly analogies. They make the point.
BK: There are a lot of things you can do yourself. You could do your own plumbing, your own electricity, you could do your own floors, your own walls, your own – I know how to do all of that. I don’t want to do all that.
PC: That’s right. Well, that’s one thing that you’re talking to businesses like that and you explain, “Hey, you need to show on your site how to do this.” and that’s like a totally blow-your-mind concept for business owners, they’re like, “Really? You mean I’d tell people what I do and how to do it?” Well, first of all, they’re like they don’t care, and then second of all, they might be not want to give it away. Either way, those are fallacies because the end-user wants to know that you know what you’re talking about.
PC: It’s almost becoming fought leader and that has a lot of different definitions but if you want something to drink, Beth, what do you think of first? Maybe it’s water but what brand?
BK: Dr. Pepper?
PC: Yes, okay. What brands do you think of first? Dr. Pepper has category of its own. If you say, “I got to find a Coke,” or, “Do you have a Kleenex?” I don’t care what brand it is, give me something to blow my nose.
PC: So, you need to be there – when people need you, you want to be the one they think about top of mind, right? Alright, basic stuff.
BK: Well to us, it’s basic, you know what I mean?
BK: I mean the business owners sometimes –
PC: Well, how to do it.
PC: The fact that it needs to be done, they wall want to be top of mind.
PC: How do it is where they bock. So, if – I lost it.
BK: That’s fine.
PC: I lost it.
BK: That’s alright. So, basically, what we were just going about was that you – so business owners, they understand that they want to be top of mind but they don’t know how to get there?
PC: Right or they kick back when you tell them what to do. But here’s the thing, how are you going to get to be top of mind in the first place, is by being helpful.
BK: Yes, they’re going to remember that person that helped them more than they’re going to remember that sales person that came to the door.
PC: The guy that wouldn’t them at all. There was no information on their website, there was nothing, I need to haunt for the phone number. You know where I’m going next? I’m going to YouTube and see if I can find a video that tells me how to do it. I’ve fixed my wife’s sewing machine once with a YouTube video.
BK: Would you do it again?
PC: Well, you know what, I was successful in that. the video showed me how and so forth but there was a part in there, this makes a point, there was a part in there that was needing to be replaced, and of course, I don’t carry sewing machines parts at my house, so I had to go find this part. Now, if the video I watched had been from the local Singer sewing machine shop –
BK: You would’ve gone there to get the part.
PC: I would’ve gone there to get the part.
PC: Because, obviously, these guys know what they’re doing, I just don’t have the part. So, I had to go there and pay them whatever it was, $75 to install a two-dollar plastic part wheel thingy, but anyway, the point is made.
BK: Yeah, with the resource.
PC: Are you the first one they think of? And what are doing to promote that? I’m not just going there because your mother loves you. I mean she might not like you anyway, who knows. So, anyway, that’s how that works.
BK: Very cool.
PC: We are indeed out of time, Ms. Beth.
BK: Oh, my gosh.
PC: Yes, wasn’t that fun?
BK: It just goes by so fast.
PC: I appreciate you being here very much. Thanks for listening everybody and we’ll see you next week in another version of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”
BK: Take care.
PC: See you later.