Brett Trainor (00:02.062)
Ethan, welcome back to the podcast. How you been?
Ethan Beute (00:05.383)
I'm awesome. Thank you so much, Brad. Always love conversations with you. And if we can record it and it's helpful to someone, all the better.
Brett Trainor (00:12.166)
I know we've talked in the past, we probably should record every conversation we have, but we're, uh, we're getting better about getting you back on the podcast and talking about it. So. Yeah. So, I mean, the last time I think we talked customer experience, you had a new book that was coming out, which was, was awesome. Um, and I highly encourage folks to go back and I'll put in the show notes, what episode that was to listen. So that was a great episode, but, but now chief evangelist, you started a new podcast.
Ethan Beute (00:19.31)
Cool, appreciate the opportunity.
Brett Trainor (00:38.93)
I mean, I just love this concept and I love the idea of business owners taking on that role of their company. And I think you and I have talked in the past about, I mean, I don't care how big the company is, it's still, the more you can humanize it, which I know is also big to you, the better. So I thought, man, what a perfect time to have you on the podcast and talk about it. But before with that, wow, that long winded buildup.
You know, why don't you share a little bit, because you have now changed companies, you got a new title, why don't you talk a little bit about what you're doing right now, and then we'll talk about everything Chief Evangelist.
Ethan Beute (01:14.062)
Cool. I recently joined a longtime friend and team member, my co-author on both books. He had joined a company called Follow-Up Boss. The oversimplified way to describe it, it's a real estate CRM. It's much more open and flexible than a lot of other platforms in that space. You can literally plug anything into it and it's designed to scale in a way that a lot of other ones aren't. They're really more for individual users or they're better for individual users, unlike Follow-Up Boss.
Steve had joined Follow-Up Boss as a chief marketing officer. We continued talking because we'd worked side by side pretty much every day for eight years and again, wrote two books together. So we would keep talking and he started to, uh, to craft this vision where there's an opportunity for me to join the team as chief evangelist and, um, and really open up a kind of a new line of curriculum for them, uh, by spending a lot more time talking with customers and sharing what I learned and sharing what they share. So.
I recently joined them about a month, month and a half in as we record this right now. I have a new show coming out in about a week and a half, a week and a half, a month and a half, week and a half. Like, wow, I just, I'm not ready for that. So, so I got a new show coming out and it's, it'll really be exploring the team model in the real estate business, which is a nuance all to itself that I don't think we're going to do on this show, but I really do think for a number of reasons. And I, and I felt this way for a while that it is critical if not.
Brett Trainor (02:19.146)
You're pretty good.
Ethan Beute (02:37.698)
um, required for success going forward in the future of real estate.
Brett Trainor (02:43.462)
Yeah, that's awesome. And the fact that you get to be a Chief Evangelist in a new space is great. And I do, actually, that's probably the one we start there. So, you know, for the audience, what's your definition of a Chief Evangelist? Because to my knowledge, you're one of the OGs of this role and it's a relatively new role, but I think it's really important. But maybe if we set a baseline for folks and, you know, get your definition of it, we can use that as a jumping off point.
Ethan Beute (03:11.074)
Sure, I have a couple of different ways I can approach this and I should probably be a lot better at it, but I'll start this time with it's the human embodiment, the human expression of the mission, the purpose, the values, the point of view of the organization and the voice of the customer as well. And so it's this role that it's sales, but it's not sales. It's marketing, but it's not marketing. It's customer success, but it's not customer success.
joined at the hip with product, but it's not a product owner or product manager. Very often, a founder, just very specific to the folks that you're engaging with all the time, Brett, a founder is very often doing evangelism by default. And we can talk about what that exactly means. It's not just thought leadership. I think that gets tied to it. And there are generally a lot of thought leadership components to it. But...
It's this idea of sharing a point of view about the world that drives the company. Why does the company exist? It exists because there's a problem or opportunity in the world that either isn't being solved properly today, or it was, you know, the solutions that exist today were great for yesterday, but they're not great for tomorrow. And let's talk about that. Or we're solving a problem that we don't even know exists. And therefore we need to talk about that too. And so, um,
The founder is very often doing this by default is they're doing their initial customer research. Like I have this idea, it's pretty well developed, but I needed to talk with a lot more people in and around the spaces. I needed to kind of dial in my niche, at least out of the gate to get some traction and all of these other things that we need to do. So at some level you're vetting your point of view and your solution relative to the problem, the way that you're framing it and seeing it.
as you're trying to figure out the best way to go to market. You're also doing it in terms of recruiting people into the organization. It really is that point of view about what's not right about the world today and why you need to join me on this mission as fill in the blank name of the role. You're also typically doing it, depending on how you're funded, you're often doing it with investors. They need to be compelled. And so very often a founder can relate to this concept of evangelism, but we don't really have this language for this.
Brett Trainor (05:21.962)
Ethan Beute (05:30.27)
role and function. Very often, and I'll stop in just a minute and give it back to you to kind of dive in wherever you want into anything I shared here, but very often a founder as well, we talk about the founder in terms of liberating them from the sales role and allowing them to be the leader they need to be across more than just, you know, getting deals across the line type function. I think we need to start having a conversation about that with evangelism as well. When can the founder
I either fully lean into it. I know a couple of founders that are like, I don't really want to be a CEO. I'm founder and CEO, but as soon as I could afford to, I'm going to hire someone to properly run the company as the lead executive. And I'm going to stay in this kind of evangelist role, even if I don't call it that. Some people might think it has like some hype person elements to it. It's got some voice, again, voice of customer elements going out into the market, going to the conferences, going to the events, being on the panels, being on the stages, being in conversations that are
Not recorded, but bringing that information back into the organization. That's another dynamic as well as taking the concept and the message of the organization out to the market to validate it, vet it, tweak it, improve it, et cetera, and to hopefully get it to spread and create a movement around it. But then also taking what you're seeing out in the market and bringing it back into the organization. So, um,
The founder is probably doing some of this work now, and at a certain point when he or she can, they should either double down into it and liberate themselves of other challenges and opportunities of their role, or they need to find an evangelist, and we can get into that as well. They can find an evangelist to turn that over to so they can be their best selves, if that is in fact being a lead executive.
Brett Trainor (07:09.705)
Brett Trainor (07:15.854)
Yeah, so much value there. And I think too part of it, founders are, you know, I just think about my four year journey to where I'm at, I've unintentionally evangelized a number of different points of view, right? But it's as I've gotten tighter about the market that I want and I'm more passionate about serving and where the opportunities are, then I get the message much tighter. But I also know there's a lot of founders that.
don't want to do that, right? They wholeheartedly believe it, they know it, but they're like, eh, I don't like to do social media. And they look at it more of a tactical, where when I, and again, maybe it's the romanticized version of this role, but to me, it's kind of the essence of your company, of your brand, of what you're doing. And like you said, it touches all the areas of the customer touch points and internal customers, right? Your employees, if you start bringing employees on,
And if you don't have that, it just seems like it's a much more difficult road. You can still build a company if you're not passionate about it and you know, there's a need, but to me and the deeper and the more folks I talk to, again, completely unintentional until, you know, you came, we started talking about these evangelist role again, I'm like, man, it's so core to what we're doing. And I think we over, you can tell me if we over complicated initially, but
just kind of harnessing that passion that you have for it. Am I off base with this or am I, you know what I'm saying, usually I'm more of.
Ethan Beute (08:43.346)
No, you're right on. I mean, you picked up right where I started at the beginning of that kind of ranging response, which was human embodiment, human expression. So there is some degree of expertise and curiosity. Passion is a word you literally just used. That is absolutely critical as well. And the reason we do this in a human to human capacity, either one to one or one to many, and they're either in person or mediated through social media or some other means, video recorded, recorded video messages or.
video presentations, there are lots of different ways to communicate this stuff, but this kind of human embodiment piece of it is so critical because of the transfer of emotion, the relatability, the trustworthiness, the...
It's this idea that I'm going to go to someone I feel like I know even if I've never met them because I've consumed a lot of their content or I've seen them present or whatever the case may be. And if I'm just thinking about like one of the ideas that you have been very effective in evangelizing, Brett, in my experience, is this idea of corporate escapee, right? So you could say, okay, there's a problem. People are in these roles and it's not really fulfilling to them. And so one of the solutions that's been advanced
in a separate type of movement, rather than, hey, you should go do your own thing. And let's talk about when, how, why, and all the considerations. And let's figure out how to make sure that it's successful for you, et cetera, et cetera. And all these ideas that you've been exploring and expressing, you know, a lot of the solution prior to that was, you know, find your passion, find a better organization with a better culture. Maybe you're just, you know, you're a great person, but you're just maybe in the wrong seat on the bus. You belong on the bus.
But you're maybe in the wrong seat, you know, as language that we've all heard before. And so you're saying maybe you should just get off the bus. Right. And so, and so, and so, and so what I would say is if you were doing all of this under the brand of corporate escapee, like, oh yeah, that corporate escapee. Yeah. That really resonates with me, but I wouldn't know who to reach out to. Instead it's Brett trainer, human being who I can connect with on LinkedIn or follow on social or jump on a zoom call with, or meet at a conference or whatever the case may be.
Brett Trainor (10:36.914)
You're on the wrong bus, right?
Ethan Beute (10:59.01)
That's a whole different dynamic. And so you're opening yourself up when you have a human being liberated from a lot of the guts of an operation to be free inside the organization, but also to be free out in the market to connect, communicate, learn, share, sometimes organize things into, you know, consumable content for an internal audience or an external audience, there's something really unique about a human doing that allows someone who has something to say, something to share.
something to ask for, they know they could always, when I was at BombBomb, for example, they knew they could reach out to me. Now, it might be a support question, I might actually put it into the support team. But if it's easy and I don't have to do a ton of work, it's gonna take me like one minute to validate the answer I think is right, I'll just do that, right? And so instead of like blindly going toward a corporate brand or a company brand, they know who to go to because you have someone there. It could also be though,
I read your book and it was fantastic and it provoked me in these number of ways. And I ended up publishing some new research and I cited some of the ideas in your book and I want to talk about that. Great. I would love to be on your podcast, right? These kinds of things. And so there, there is something about a human being doing this work that is beyond, you know, the content marketers and your content marketing team beyond your SDRs doing cold outbound into your ICP, having an evangelist living out in market.
Brett Trainor (12:09.567)
Ethan Beute (12:27.23)
and building real relationships and being available for inbound inquiries instead of, because if it's, you know, if it's HubSpot, I don't even really know where to go with this idea, but I know Dan Tyre because he's been with them for I think 14 years now and he's constantly out publishing, teaching, sharing, going to events, doing courses, doing small groups. Like he's a human being that embodies the spirit of that brand and that company that people can attach to in a way that...
Brett Trainor (12:44.382)
Ethan Beute (12:58.067)
And I intentionally went to a brand that is beloved. They're a great brand, they're a great company, but there's something different about having a human that I can also attach to as well.
Brett Trainor (13:09.474)
Yeah, no, I think that's so true. And to your point, when I, so I've kind of the arc or the evolution of the corporate escapee, tied back in with Gen X, that there's a natural synergy, it just, one, I happen to be one, right? So I can relate to it. But the amount of kind of feedback I've gotten from folks that I didn't even know followed me on LinkedIn or any of the content, and they've just reached out and said, hey, thanks for the inspiration or.
Ethan Beute (13:25.995)
Brett Trainor (13:38.766)
inspiration. I'm just sharing what's worked. There is hope on the other side. If you want to leave this corporate bus, there's opportunity. So to your point, if it was just a message coming from a company that I had started to do this versus somebody that's out there sharing experiences, I think would be seen very differently. They may look at the service, but I think you're right. It's the human element of this that can be such a differentiator, especially as you're going up
I mean, all these bigger companies barely manage employees, let alone the human side of a business into those corporations. So I think part of what I'm curious about is, obviously you're the evangelist within a company as a role. How do you describe the job description? Because the reason I ask, because a lot of the folks like me that have gone through this have done fractional work as well.
And I get super passionate about some of the brands and companies that I work with and man, I could be a chief evangelist for these even on a fractional basis. So I want to ask you kind of what the role is internally in part two of that is, do you see that as a fractional opportunity for folks to help some small and mid-sized to your earlier point of some of these founders and owners that just don't want to do it? You know, is, is that an opportunity? I know it's kind of a loaded question, but I'll let you piece it.
Ethan Beute (15:04.394)
No, and I'll start with the back half of it, because you seem most curious about that piece. Then I'll kind of move into kind of like some of the ways that these roles have been expressed formally full time inside an organization. A friend of mine is actually a fractional chief evangelist. She's focused on the wealth tech space. She came out of a firm in the wealth tech industry. She one of her first clients was the company she used to work with, but she was in a different role.
And she realized that the aspects of the role that she liked the best kind of match up with, with a very broad definition of evangelism. And so she and I talked a bit about that and, um, she developed a really nice framework, because now I'll kind of bridge the divide a little bit answer is yes. This can be done fractionally. I think you need to be very sensitive to category exclusivity. So she broke down kind of the core, you know, uh, zones of a tech stack.
in financial advisory, wealth management, et cetera. You know, like, you know, there are, you know, five competitors kind of in this space. There are four competitors in this space. There are like 10 competitors in this space. Like whatever they call that little slice or category, she, you know, certainly designed category exclusivity. She broke down all the main, you know, she's primarily serving software companies in this space and broke down all the different
Brett Trainor (15:59.811)
Ethan Beute (16:26.494)
main functions of the organization, marketing, sales, CS, product, engineering, but to a lesser degree. I mean, generally product is the front end access to development and engineering teams. And broke down all the different ways she could be of service and value in making those teams work better together or to learn and share from those to support the efforts of those teams, et cetera. And then just does this map. Her name is Diana Kabrises, by the way.
Brett Trainor (16:53.754)
That's right. I heard that episode. I don't mean to interrupt you, but I heard that episode. You interviewed her on the podcast. That was really, yeah, that was good. Highly, I'll put in the show notes. You guys, if you're curious about this as a fractional, that was a really good conversation. So sorry.
Ethan Beute (16:58.442)
Ethan Beute (17:06.014)
Yeah. So she's, she's the first person I know who went fractional with it. And it was because she was so passionate about it and the organization she was in didn't want to commit to a full-time role. Um, and we can get into some of those reasons too, but now transitioning to the other side. So on the show, uh, I think I've recorded 37 or 38 episodes. I've released 35 as we record this conversation right now. Um, and there are people in organizations, large and small. Um, I did get the real OG guy Kawasaki.
who was, he was at Apple. He left in kind of like a little argument, some kind of a misunderstanding or disagreement about some direction of something in particular. Left, started his own thing and then got recruited back by Steve Jobs as Apple's first and turns out only ever Chief Evangelist. Today he's also Chief Evangelist at Canva. But, you know, so I've had people, and interesting thing about Guy,
Brett Trainor (17:59.393)
Ethan Beute (18:04.35)
He wrote a book years and years, over 30 years ago now. It's actually in the public domain. And there's an entire chapter, chapter eight, I think it was, on evangelism specifically. And so he's been, he's had this mindset in this language and to take it back all the way, I mean, like the essence of this, a lot of people will hear the term evangelism. We talk about this sometimes on the show too, like the title.
You love the work, you hate the title, why is that? And certainly it has connotations that some people aren't comfortable with. And it's not necessarily because they're uncomfortable with the idea of religious evangelism, but instead the idea of being misunderstood as just being a preachy type of, in general, no one likes to be preached at, regardless of whether or not you practice a religion, and if so, which one. And so he uses the language of spreading the good news.
Brett Trainor (18:49.671)
Ethan Beute (19:01.086)
And so that's essentially what this is. And so the good news is, you know, this is the way the world is. This is how a lot of people have seen it before. I, we, the people in this movement see it differently. Come join us and talk about it, you know? And come join us might mean a variety of different things. It might come to our event, join us in conversation, join the community, tell your own story, whatever the case may be.
Brett Trainor (19:01.385)
Ethan Beute (19:28.59)
So anyway, Guy Kawasaki, very large organizations, folks from competitors at Lucid, like Lucid Chart, Lucid Spark, Lucid Software, Miro, which is a competitor of theirs, and Mural, which is a competitor of theirs. Each of them have Chief Evangelist, and I've interviewed the Chief Evangelist from all three of those companies. And so when we get into an organization, there are a couple key kind of decisions to make about how to shape the role.
Brett Trainor (19:47.146)
Ethan Beute (19:58.81)
Um, and one of them is, am I more externally oriented is about carrying our message out into the world more so, or is it about communicating internally more so, or is it a wonderful balance of both? And I've seen expressions kind of toward both poles and more in the middle. Um, so that's one thing to think about. Do I want to orient this person as a, you know,
carry this message out into the market and sometimes bring back what you hear or is it take a lot of what's going on inside the organization and make it more digestible and useful and get everyone onto the same page in some aspect of what we're doing. Another kind of dimension to think about in shaping the role, different ways that the role has been expressed is I should also add by the way, in addition to these 30 some interviews that I've done.
I probably did 50 hours of free consulting before I even started the podcast talking with people that were either thinking about creating the role who are being recruited or reassigned into the role or were thinking about developing and pitching the role themselves. So another one then is, am I more focused pre-sale or am I more focused post-sale? Post-sale is really obviously more of a customer success, not so much customer service, but customer success type thing. Am I...
Brett Trainor (20:52.46)
Brett Trainor (21:16.458)
Ethan Beute (21:18.062)
So, coming alongside account managers or customer success managers and redoing a hype show or even like a direct training or a new use case dynamic for accounts that maybe are ripe for growth or are underusing their accounts or their seats or whatever the case may be. Or am I much more focused on, again, kind of supporting sales and marketing and I'm doing legitimate demand gen.
I think that's really, really key here. I think a lot of people talk about a demand gen, but what they're really talking about is running ads, which I think is a lot more demand capture in general. And so where does real demand generation happen? How is demand generated? Especially if you're solving a problem people don't know that they have. It's by talking about the problem and creating problem awareness and interest around it, having people self-qualify in.
Brett Trainor (21:53.396)
Ethan Beute (22:15.222)
I can't tell you how many times when I was at BombBomb, I did meetings with people who were trying to imagine is video messaging right for me and my team? And I'd just get on a 25 minute call and talk with them. I'd ask them questions, I'd give them some ideas, I'd talk through some use cases, I'd ask them a few more ideas. And if they decided they wanted to talk to sales, I would just do a warm handoff. I would take notes on all these calls myself and I would say, you know, if it seemed like it was reasonable to say,
You know, I'm not the guy to talk about the difference between signing up 32 people and 58 people, you know, I'm not really sure about the Salesforce integration and all the ins and outs of that. That's not my thing. I'm not a sales engineer or a, you know, a technical person involved in the sales process. Let me give you, let me give you someone else to have a conversation with. They can answer all this kind of like next layer of questioning. And we'll see if we can't be a good fit for you, but I would do this in a product agnostic way.
Brett Trainor (22:59.036)
Ethan Beute (23:13.394)
on behalf of the brand, but I'm talking about the problem and the opportunity. I'm not saying you should buy this product, you should buy this product, you should buy this product. It's what you're doing isn't the best thing that you could be doing. Don't you agree? And if not, why not? Let me see if I can't like probe and see if I can't turn out, create a light bulb moment for you. So demand gen, presale versus post sales, is the poll that I was at there. And so there are a lot of different ways
Think about the role. Typically it's housed in marketing. That's the most common place inside an organization. Very often though, especially if it's an early stage person. I just interviewed a gentleman at a software company for in-house lawyers. And he's been with the firm from the earliest days. That was actually a really important trend in an original podcast series I did four and a half, five years ago that resulted in my getting the title and role.
And brought all these people to me over the years as they found this blog post because there's not very much published on this. And in that series I had interviewed Sangram Vajray at Terminus, Dan Steinman at Gainsight, Davis Bitsky from Amazon and Guy Kawasaki at Apple and Canva. And so in any case, marketing is the most common place this is housed, but for like, for those early stage people, like this gentleman at a software company called Law View, a guy named Sean Plant.
Um, he was early enough stage that he was already an executive leader in the organization and as the organization grew and things could go away to more specialized people, then I'm going back to where we were off the top and I'll stop, um, this, the founders, they start peeling off the 18 hats and now I only need to wear six and now I've grown the team and the company, then I've hired enough people.
that I only have to wear three, which three of those hats am I going to wear on a consistent basis? And so Sean was in that situation in a couple of phases of growth in the software company that he's been at for nine years. And, um, and so he's a true executive in the organization. He doesn't report into a VP marketing or a head of marketing or CMO or whatever. Um, he's actually a legit member or strategic member of the leadership team. And that was kind of my role at BombBomb as well, because I was there.
Ethan Beute (25:30.322)
I joined them when they basically had no customers and no revenue and was there on a bootstrapped ride to 25 million. And so, um, in annual recurring revenue. And so, um, there are a lot of different expressions. Those are a couple of key ideas to hopefully give people a sense of how they might shape this themselves. And then in terms of what you're tasked with, that has a lot of different things too. Is it content? I'm publishing content and distributing content. Is it, um,
Brett Trainor (25:32.746)
Ethan Beute (25:54.486)
guesting and hosting on podcasts, is it stages and webinars? Is it a lot of direct prospect engagement on behalf of an AE? Or is it a lot of customer engagement and account engagement on behalf of a customer success manager or an account manager? There are all these different levers and different people weigh differently into these buckets.
Brett Trainor (26:14.138)
Yeah, no, I think it's interesting. You were talking about marketing in which I get, right? It seems to make sense. It's the default, but you know, the deeper I get, I think customer success to me would be the logical point because, and the one thing I think we share this view, that demand gender business development starts with customer success, right? Your best channels are your current customers telling other people, so why not get them even more excited about the product and then jumpstart that whole solution.
as part of it and you're right, the more you're talking, the more I, I mean, I saw the value, I see the value, but sometimes people are like, well, how do you measure success? I'm like, the fact is, we talked about passion early, but I think it's just, do you have excitement to solve this problem? And I think people, right, there's two sides of it. One, you gotta get somebody that if you're excited about it, maybe I need to spend a little bit more time thinking or digging into it.
And then you can always to your point specialize, right? You've got a sales engineer or somebody that can even specifically to solve your problem, but there's so many now with AI coming out even more, everything's gonna become more and more generic and well written, everything's gonna look like boxes and squares and give me the people, right? I mean, that's one thing every time I got a message from you and you practice what you preach because I get those video messages, it's just a different level of.
not just of engagement, but your enthusiasm for it. And is that I think about this role and as if I would advise folks, and I'll go back to the new business owner that might not have employees or the solopreneur, and I just don't think there's, you're gonna make your world much more difficult unless you kind of embrace at least the high level of the enthusiasm, the excitement for this when you're having the conversations. I don't know, I kind of rambled there, but yeah.
Ethan Beute (28:04.466)
Yeah. Well, two things I'll react to. One of them, I'll kind of double back to a point that I already made, but make it much more specifically because you just made it as well. And I think it's fundamental to this whole concept. But to the idea of measuring success, it comes up on a lot of our recorded conversations on Chief Evangelist. And the thing I'll say is that you're going to be able to produce evidence, but you're not going to be able to produce proof. And those two things are different.
And where an evangelist thrives is in an environment of trust and in an environment where people intuitively understand the value of this human to human moment creation, one-on-one and at scale. If someone understands how important human to human communication and connection is for advancing a movement, advancing an idea, creating emotional connection, motivating people and getting people to act, whether that's
swiping a credit card or a seven figure docusign, or whether it's telling a friend to your point earlier about your customers or your best channel. Those are the environments where it's gonna work best because you're just not going to get proof. And I could tell you stories on that, but for the sake of time, I won't. There are a couple, the Dan Steinman episode is a great one for this, and so is the one with Kevin Hartman, the chief analytics evangelist at Google, former chief analytics evangelist at Google. And part of the former story involves this case.
Brett Trainor (29:06.366)
Ethan Beute (29:31.362)
So I won't retell it here. That'll just be a content tease to it. But the thing I want to double back into is, you know, if you don't care, no one else is going to care. If you can't articulate it, no one else is going to be able to understand it, much less articulated on your behalf. And so if you are actually innovating, then you must be evangelizing. And this is the part I'm going to double back on and just say more simply than I said it before and kind of restate a little bit of the spirit that you just offered there, which is
Innovation comes in two main forms, solving a known problem in a truly unique and different way. That is essentially the true innovative version of a better mousetrap. It's not like we change these one or two things. It's like the world knows it has a problem. And these are some of the ways the problem has been solved in the past. These are some of the evolutions and iterations of the solutions over the past decade or century.
We see the world a little bit differently. We recognize this as a problem, but there are also problems with these solutions. We wanna talk about that. So we're talking about the problem with the solutions that exist today. The other bucket is the one that I've also mentioned too, which is solving a problem people don't know that they have. And that's what I was doing at BombBomb, which is no one's thinking about the problem of entrusting their most important and valuable messages to faceless typed out text. And I could...
Brett Trainor (30:48.391)
Ethan Beute (30:57.71)
lecture and I could create a, for two hours right now, off the top of my head, because I've been doing it for years. Or I could create pretty easily in the next hour, I could create a half day workshop that would be super engaging for people about the when, how and why video messaging. Like when do we do it? What channels? How do we do it? Et cetera. But no one's talking about that problem. So you need to create that conversation, right? And so for any founder who's listening, if you are truly innovating,
Brett Trainor (31:24.645)
Ethan Beute (31:26.658)
then you must be evangelizing at some level. And to be clear on what type of evangelism, sorry, what type of innovation it is, which category of these fits better, solving a known problem in a truly unique way or solving a problem people don't know that they have, that creates a little bit of nuance about how you evangelize. But I think the key takeaway here is that in both cases, you're evangelizing the problem, not the product. The product conversation.
It comes a little bit later. It comes after you've built trust. It comes after people have self-qualified into a deeper conversation. If people don't understand their problem and they don't understand how it relates, and that's why I love that you added this layer of Gen X. It's a further layer of identification like, oh, I want to take the next step. Like I feel like I belong in this conversation somewhere. Let's keep talking about this, right? Like you're not leading with, hey, for, you know.
X amount of dollars, you can get this, that, and the other thing. I mean, that comes at a certain point, but you're, you're evangelizing this higher level problem of you're in a place that isn't right for you. You're set. You should, or you already have set out on this different mission. Here are a couple of your qualifying factors. And if these things are true, I've got some ideas and information in a conversation that you might want to be a part of, I'm building a community of other like-minded people and we're creating this movement of people who are.
Brett Trainor (32:50.116)
Ethan Beute (32:54.438)
starting and running their own successful businesses for motivations that are similar. You know, lots of people start businesses for lots of different reasons. You've rounded up a few characteristics that are quite specific. Um, yeah.
Brett Trainor (33:09.001)
Yeah, it's just never heard anybody articulate it that way. But it's such a good point, right? When you talk about problem they don't know that they have, right? That's a universal because I said, if you're marketing to somebody, they don't know they have a problem. They don't know you, you're no chance you're ever going to do business with them.
Ethan Beute (33:24.482)
They'd tell me about all these features. And I'm like, I have no, I have no coat rack. You're trying to hand me a coat or sell it to me, but I don't have any coat rack to hang it on, like I have no context, you know, I might not even be consciously aware that I have arms. Like, what is this thing you're trying to sell me? You know.
Brett Trainor (33:36.338)
or you live on the equator, you don't need the...
Brett Trainor (33:41.242)
But I've never heard anybody talk about it. It makes such a good point or the uniqueness I've seen right? What's your differentiator and which is powerful, but I love the idea and the concept of this evangelists getting and educating people Hey, this is a problem. You may not know it but here's the impact of you not knowing it and too often I think that just gets dusted away by marketing because they realize something out and it's That's gonna be a 12 month window based on just messaging. But when it's human
You can, again, speak with the enthusiasm, the excitement. That just changes it all of a sudden. And the beauty of the world and the people I work with, we don't need many customers to hit the revenue targets we're looking for. We don't need thousands, right? Maybe tens, 20s, if you can do that. And maybe if you start to get one to many in some cases. Let's call it a maximum of 100. You absolutely should be going through customer success if you are customer success. And
Maybe I want to be respectful of your time and I do want to get, let's close out with, hey, all right, I'm a business owner, right? I've come from corporate. I had this conversation four years ago, you could have helped me. But now that I'm here, what should I be thinking about as evangelist? I know I've got skills, right? I've honed them over 40 years. I've seen people with no skills, making a lot of money building businesses, helping other people.
You know, thinking it from the evangelist framework or mindset, what are the maybe three, four things that we should start thinking about now as we're building out our businesses or if we have a business to kind of reframe that? Does that make sense? Okay.
Ethan Beute (35:22.57)
Yep. I would think anyone who has found some amount of traction is getting some success has probably done some of these things well, but I think it is an exercise that is worth doing again. And the language I'll use very specifically is point of view. I use, and there are a lot of different ways people express this. I'll just stay with this language and it'll resonate with somebody who maybe is using different language. And it's this idea of like, again, where are, why do we exist?
Right? And it's not this kind of tack on thing, like a tire manufacturer saying, like, we exist to keep families safe on the road because we need to come up with some kind of a motivating purpose for these people making tires in a factory, you know, in a, in a half human, a half automated robot kind of way. Like, I just mean like legit, why do we exist in the world? Why is there an opportunity for us to be successful? Um, and, and create a little story arc around that again, like from this perspective of innovation.
Hey, for the past 50 years, people like this, and this have known that this thing's a problem. It's a problem because of this, and this. And here are a few ways different people have tried to solve it and some examples of that. But here are the shortcomings of that approach in light of what we're seeing today and the trends that we're looking forward to tomorrow. Like, what are those? Like, why are you doing... And here's the other thing I'll say. If you're just doing what a b****
bunch of other people are doing, but there's just a, like the pie is big enough that you can get a piece of it too. Maybe that, like, maybe you don't need to evangelize is another thing. Right. And so, like, so if you don't, if you look at that and you say like, well, I just as, or, or again, solving a problem that people don't really have for years, you know, this has been happening, this has been happening, this has been happening and, and meanwhile, people have been suffering, you know? So, so for video messaging, it's, you know, um, you've been misread.
Brett Trainor (36:59.067)
Ethan Beute (37:18.09)
You've been misunderstood. You've gone back and forth in these email exchanges or text exchanges. Perhaps it's been angry or contentious. Sometimes it's just silly, like, oh my gosh, or like an autocorrect or a typo. Like, and that's a kind of a silly little one, but when you start thinking about that in a business context or an email, um, you're not getting the attention you want, people don't feel like they know you like in this, we don't even know. That's how we arrived on the language of digital pollution. We're opening up your message wherever we're, or we're encountering your message.
assuming the worst because there's so much, you know, pollution out there. And some of the pollution is innocent, but some of it is very, very dangerous. Right. The link isn't safe to click. Uh, that attachment actually has malware that domain is masked and it's not actually an email from PayPal or Amazon, but it looks super convincing. So we're arriving amid all this. And so, um, in that scenario, identify the, you know, the
Brett Trainor (37:49.802)
Ethan Beute (38:15.562)
the problem people don't know that they have, and that's where you kind of start building the story arc. And so this point of view about the world, how the world should be, you're essentially at some level building a moral case for a better future, and you're part of it, and you want to bring people along with it. And I think if you can get clear on that vision, and it doesn't need to be this like manifesto, I kind of outlined like the creation of a manifesto about the world and how it's going to be better. Like it doesn't have to go that far.
Brett Trainor (38:39.97)
Ethan Beute (38:43.602)
Although I did speak on, I think it's episode 31, Jared Fuller did start his company. He's a founder evangelist is what I call him. And he legit started his company with a manifesto, right? Articulating this. And it was, you know, trust is the new data built off the idea that data is the new oil. And so you don't have to go that far necessarily, but I think the clearer you are,
Brett Trainor (38:57.306)
Ethan Beute (39:12.85)
about where you fit into the world in this better tomorrow that you're trying to create and who you're trying to create it with and for in some version of this kind of story arc, point of view scenario with those two aspects of innovation in mind and which one fits better for you. The better off you're going to be at closing down great people you're trying to recruit into your organization. They're either happy where they are or they've got two offers. Like it has to be this compelling thing that I want to join.
I want to sign up for this. I want to sign up for it as a customer. I want to sign up for it as an investor. I want to sign up for it as an advocate, generally speaking, a supporter of you and the movement in general, even if I'm not a direct customer of yours, like I'm aligned with a number of people who are all about video messaging, even though some of them work at competitive companies, or even though they might be using a competitor's product. I've done workshops for people using a competitor's product. Cause it's about the problem and it's a brow.
Brett Trainor (40:08.746)
Ethan Beute (40:08.802)
the movement, it's about the trust, it's about the relationship, it's about the expertise, it's about the passion, it's about bringing that to the world in a way that people can connect to and relate to. And so, um, I know I really only gave one tip there, which is figure out your point of view and be clear in how and where you articulate it in conversations, in presentations, in your customer communication, on your homepage, anywhere that you see a place for it.
And the more consistent you can be, the better. Even when you get kind of tired of telling the story, that's when other people are gonna start to notice and care a little bit.
Brett Trainor (40:43.258)
Right. So true. Yeah, you think everybody's reading everything you write, but they don't. So it's
Ethan Beute (40:47.218)
Right, I wrote that a year and a half ago.
Brett Trainor (40:50.974)
Exactly. And maybe we'll close with an example of this that I need to, based on this conversation, I need to go back and revisit a little bit. You know, part of that, that why for me was coming out of corporate, you know, I was in management consulting. I liked it. It was probably a year, maybe a year and a half after I had left, started my own thing. Finally got some good traction going with it. And my wife had asked me, she's like, what the hell is the matter with you? Referring back to when I was in consulting. And at the time I wouldn't have...
noticed anything, right? It was a good job. It paid well. You know, all my daughters were doing just fine. Family, everything on the surface would have seemed really good. But now that I'm out of it and I can look back, now I know not everything is missing. I'm still finding it. But it's that passion that it, man, if your wife's asking you what the hell is the matter or your husband or your spouse, or you're asking yourself what's the matter.
Now is a good time to have a conversation with me because I can help you, but I don't tell that story very often and maybe I should because it is one of the things that motivates me that says, man, we still, statistics says we got 25, 30 years left. What are we gonna do to maximize these 30 years? And so anyway, I think that was, you're spot on and I need to even do a better job. So I'm gonna go back and revisit some of my.
Ethan Beute (42:05.262)
I just want to tie two things up there. So earlier you mentioned, you know, a lot of the folks you're engaging with really only need 20, 30, maybe 70 customers to be very successful and to satisfy their goals. Also, you mentioned that people were reaching out to you saying, you know, this connected with me, this landed with me, this was helpful to me, this may have inspired me, right? And then where you just were, which is I experienced this thing, no one.
Brett Trainor (42:07.912)
Ethan Beute (42:34.606)
is experiencing something that no one else can, has ever experienced for starters. I mean, yeah, maybe, I mean, yeah, ish. Yeah, I mean, we are all truly one of a kind and we all do have truly unique experiences, but we can relate to other people's situations and their feelings. And I think the clearer we are and we layer into our point of view, not just the pain, I think that's a little bit trite from a sales perspective, identify the pain and irritate the pain and make them want to make the pain go away and...
Brett Trainor (43:02.298)
Right. I'm with you 100%.
Ethan Beute (43:04.29)
quantify the pain and do an ROI calculator. Like fine. But really people are like in this cliche as hell. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. And a lot of that know and like, and trust is built when you can be honest with people and not like this kind of, I call it vulnerability porn where people share things that are like, well, really that's probably best held for, you know, your closest friends or your therapist. I don't think that belongs out on social media. It's a little over the top, but like.
Brett Trainor (43:29.6)
Right, right, right.
Ethan Beute (43:33.794)
being open and honest with some of the stories that led to where you are today, that colored or flavored or characterized your point of view, why you see the world the way that you do, and some of the feelings along that motivated you to take a leap to do things some people close to you told you not to do. These moments, like when your wife, like light bulb moment for you, perhaps. Like I was totally blind to this until
my best friend who's known me forever, blah, right? These kinds of stories, and it's not for the sake of storytelling, it's for the sake of allowing people to see themselves in the situation and know that you understand the situation you are in, and therefore maybe we should be in conversation and relationship. Maybe I should be part of this movement that you're creating and defining in some way, whether or not it's as a paid customer, as a separate conversation, because there are lots of ways to support.
Brett Trainor (44:09.918)
Ethan Beute (44:29.97)
you and your ideas and your point of view in the world because I share those. I think they're important. No one is articulated quite the way you have. No one I know is committed so much of their time and energy to doing it as you have. And therefore I wanna be supportive of it. Like that's where it's at. And it starts with telling stories, again, not for the sake of storytelling, but for the sake of people being able to identify with it and recognize some of the feelings associated with it. And see, that's something I can get behind.
Brett Trainor (44:46.215)
Brett Trainor (44:56.618)
to the authentic, passionate, enthusiastic, right? It's back to the fundamentals of, we get so far away with some stuff. So Ethan, it's always fantastic. It's been too long. We'll have to have you back on much sooner as a reoccurring because I think the work you're doing is so important to the work, the folks that I work with. And if we can just get a little bit better at this, it's gonna make our jobs, our lives, that much easier. So.
For, there's one, highly encourage folks to check out your podcasts, multiple podcasts, but you get some really good content. You had a post that helped, even though I haven't published the book yet about how to write a book. So, highly encourage folks to connect with you. What's the best way for them to do that, and where should we?
Ethan Beute (45:40.494)
Cool. I'll share two things very simply. If this evangelist thing is interesting to you, chiefevangelist.com, it's just chiefevangelist.com. I also made a LinkedIn page for it. You can find it in Apple podcasts and Spotify. There's a really nice YouTube channel that has tons of highlights as well as the full episode. But if you go to chiefevangelist.com, you can leap off into whatever channel you prefer to connect with it in. And just reach out to me on LinkedIn.
Reach Out, it's just Ethan Butte, last name is spelled B-E-U-T-E. There is one other Ethan Butte there, but you won't confuse us just based on the stuff that I'm publishing there. And so, yeah, yeah. And so I'd be happy to connect with anyone. And if any of this stuff resonates, as I mentioned, maybe before we started recording, no, I think it was during the conversation. I've talked with all kinds of people over the past five years about these themes and topics. It's, I obviously care a lot about it and I'd be happy to talk with anyone.
Brett Trainor (46:16.378)
No. Especially you put a few of these keywords in there.
Ethan Beute (46:37.41)
who reached this point in this conversation about it as well.
Brett Trainor (46:41.35)
Exactly. That's awesome and appreciated. Yeah, it just had one closing thought for you and I lost it. It wasn't earth shattering though. I hate when that happens at the tail end, but you flip the closing around, which was good. If it comes back, I'll add it as post-edited to the podcast, but I definitely appreciate the time. Like I said, I hope folks definitely will get value out of this. And as you think about it again, even if you haven't started the company yet.
Ethan Beute (47:01.006)
Brett Trainor (47:11.61)
Definitely go check out the podcast if you think fractional in this type of role makes sense for you. It was Diana Calbresi. Did I say her name right? Yeah, Calbresis. Good, great episode. So Ethan, as always, I appreciate it. Keep up the great work and we'll chat with you soon.
Ethan Beute (47:19.126)
Ethan Beute (47:30.318)
Awesome, thank you so much.
Brett Trainor (47:32.074)
All right, take care.