May 2, 2024

Building a B2B Content Machine and Personal Branding with Pierre Herubel

In this Sales Therapy episode, Pierre Herubel and Alper Yurder discuss the importance of understanding target audiences, creating valuable content, and aligning sales and marketing teams in driving business growth.

Meet our guest:

Pierre Herubel, Startup Advisor & Fractional CMO, Test, Iterate, Scale

Pierre Herubel is a seasoned marketer who co-founded a 7-figure business, leading it from $0 to $1.5M in just eighteen months. With over 300 projects under his belt, he now assists startups and corporate ventures in crafting and executing growth strategies, having helped 75 clients in the past two years.

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the target audience is essential for crafting an effective content strategy.
  • Content marketing fosters trust and expedites sales cycles.
  • Successful outbound outreach hinges on a strong offer and impeccable timing.
  • Aligning marketing and sales teams and incentivizing collaboration enhances effectiveness.
  • Prioritize mental and physical health to maintain discipline and motivation for sustained success.

Prefer audio format? Listen on Spotify!

Introduction

In this podcast episode, Alper Yurder interviews Pierre Herubel, a marketing expert with a diverse career background. Pierre shares insights from his journey, highlighting his childhood in the south of France, his educational experiences in the UK and Paris, and his professional trajectory from working with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to founding and selling his own marketing agency.

Pierre discusses the advantages and challenges of living in Thailand, where he currently resides, and reflects on his past experiences working with traditional institutions like embassies and the UN, noting the differences in communication strategies and metrics for success compared to the business world.

Transitioning from his diplomatic aspirations, Pierre delves into his entrepreneurial journey, detailing his role in scaling a marketing agency and eventually becoming a solo practitioner. Despite appearing as a larger operation externally, Pierre explains how he efficiently manages his workload through disciplined routines and strategic organization.

Content strategy and sales alignment

Pierre Herubel outlines his approach to assisting businesses with their content marketing strategies, emphasizing a three-step framework. 

“​​I have a framework to accelerate your learnings. So, first, I give an overview of your challenge and you try to pinpoint one specific challenge. Then I ask questions because most of the time only you have the answers in yourself. You just need to hear the right questions. And then I give recommendations. So it's a three-step framework.”

He explains that clients typically come to him with various challenges, ranging from startups to large companies needing content strategy. Regardless of the organization's size, he focuses on foundational elements such as messaging, positioning, and content planning. 

“So from a content strategy perspective, it always starts from the target audience. So you have the target audience. You need to know this target audience. You need to research. Then you need to pull insights from this audience, like problems, keywords, pain points, answer to questions, so on. Then you pull those insights to your business.

Additionally, he discusses the importance of aligning sales and marketing efforts and how content can accelerate the sales cycle by building trust and addressing customer needs. Pierre stresses the significance of collaboration, feedback loops, and experimentation in optimizing content strategies for sales effectiveness.

Navigating LinkedIn and personal branding

Pierre Herubel shares invaluable insights on LinkedIn strategy and personal branding, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and strategic content creation. He advises against copying others and instead encourages finding unique angles that resonate with the target audience. 

“At the strategy and at the post level don't try to share too many things, don't try to have too many topics. Because this will dilute your positioning. If you have three key topics, it's good and imagine you add a fourth one that is completely different. Within like three weeks, this will dilute your positioning totally.”

Pierre highlights the significance of defining clear content pillars based on brand identity and audience preferences. He introduces the "Authority First Framework," advocating for a balanced mix of industry expertise, personal narrative, and conversion-focused content. 

“You should start with authority-first content. So it's like 70% of content about your industry expertise, how-tos, things like that. Then you need 15% of content about who you are. If it's a personal brand, backstories, behind-the-scenes about you and what brought you here with a professional angle. And then the last type of content is conversion content. 10 to 15% is to either push a newsletter or demo sales calls or something like that. And you need to have the right balance between…”

Despite his humility, Pierre acknowledges the positive impact his advice has had on numerous professionals seeking guidance in navigating the digital landscape.

Full episode transcript

Alper Yurder: So today, the third chair we have Pierre Herubel, Pierre is a marketing powerhouse, he's shaping strategies for over 50,000 people every day through his content and advisory work. From working with the UN to bootstrapping a seven-figure business, we'll talk about his success, the joy, the pain, and the journey as usual. Welcome to CS Therapy, Pierre, how are you feeling today?

Pierre Herubel: Hey, I'm feeling good. Thanks for the invitation and for the intro.

Alper Yurder: Love it. Where are you connecting with us from today? I know the answer, but for our audience.

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, Thailand, Bangkok. So it's, right now it's five, I'm six hours in advance compared to Europe right now. And I've been here for eight years actually in Thailand.

Alper Yurder: Mmm. Yeah. How does it feel to live your life before a lot of your loved ones are starting their life?

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, it may be it sounds cliche, but you kind of feel in advance, especially on the for your job, like for emails, for Slack, for things like that. So when I'm in a deep, deep work, I can actually like go through my emails and so on. And I am so quiet because I don't receive new emails or things like that. So you I can focus on the deep work and for the family and personal life, honestly doesn't change anything…

Alper Yurder: Hmm.

Pierre Herubel: …you know, with Messenger and with Zoom, so easy to connect. So it doesn't change that much.

Alper Yurder: Hmm. Yeah, that one holds true. We live in a lucky age for that. At the same time, it comes with its disadvantages. So any good therapy, as you know, starts with childhood and growing up years. I know that you are where you are today, but I want to learn a little bit about the younger Pierre. Where did you grow up? How was your childhood and your younger years, your growing up years until, let's say, maybe university or starting your first job experience? Can you tell me that period a little?

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, very lucky. Very lucky. Yeah, so I come from the south of France. It's a small city where no one, not so many people during winter and spring, and then during summer, everyone from all around France come to enjoy the weather, the sea, and so on. So this is where I grew up with my friends who are actually living in Thailand right now. So it's a funny story, but...

Alper Yurder: All good.

Pierre Herubel: ...my friends from my hometown, we are in the same city right now. So I studied in a university just next to my hometown for two years. Then I did a bachelor degree in the UK, in Glasgow. I wanted to go to London, but I checked the price and it was too expensive.

And I also got like a grant to study in Scotland because they were trying to get more students. And after that, I went to Paris for three years where I did a master degree in marketing. And I've been a marketer since that period, since this master. This was more like my teenagers. What, sorry?

Alper Yurder: Yeah. Hmm. Which city was this in France? Yeah, you already people tend to accelerate to come to the more recent history, but I try to keep them in the younger years like a psychologist tries to do, you know, what was the city you grew up in again?

Pierre Herubel: Okay. All right. It's called La Seine sur Mer, it's not really famous, but it's not far from Marseille. It's a Bollnir station where you can enjoy the sea.

Alper Yurder: Ah, wow. Oh wow, okay. Are you ever planning to go back at some point?

Pierre Herubel: I'm going back in 15 days, no in 3 weeks to visit my family.

Alper Yurder: But for good I mean, to go back to your roots.

Pierre Herubel: No, honestly, it's not the plan right now, but I go there every year. Mainly for family.

Alper Yurder: Hmm. Love it. Love it. And what do you love about living in Thailand? My co-founder recently went there for a month ago and we were just talking about the endless massages and how cheap the food is. Like, can you tell us a bit about the good life in Thailand?

Pierre Herubel: So I've been here since 2016. I arrived here to work for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French embassy. So this gave me a good understanding of the country very fast, because when you arrive as embassy staff, you get brief about what is happening. So I really had a direct access to the culture. I met a lot of people through the embassy.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: I was able to visit the galleries, like art in Thailand, but also like the travel industry to visit the right places. I got some access to the universities and I really liked it. It was so different compared to Paris, obviously, because it's a different culture. And then what made me stay, it's a set of different factors. So I got a lot of friends here.

Family as well and also what happens is you know when you compare the purchasing power between Europe and here it's like you can do so much more here with the same amount so basically the purchasing power it makes your life easier and also it's a vibrant city in the middle of South East Asia and Asia.

I don't know if you know, but if you take the world, you have a circle that is India, China, and Southeast Asia, and you have like 4 billion people in this circle. And it's basically, how can I say, what is happening right now. Even you know, like the Europe and US, we are looking at this region because it's getting more and more important. So I think it's a good place to be.

But I also like other places in the world. So maybe I will I will move one day

Alper Yurder: Oh wow, okay that's interesting. Okay well I've been in London for 10 years and just as I was contemplating should I go somewhere else I just bought my very first home last week so I think we're here for a bit stuck in the London weather but I would love to come visit you in Thailand.

Pierre Herubel: Okay. Yeah, you're welcome. I can show you around. And London is quite expensive, right?

Alper Yurder: I hope that… Hmm. It is not expensive. It is ridiculous. Now it's a different level of expensive. I had a friend from Paris visiting two weeks ago. We used to work together in sales and she is making really good commissions and good money. And she was like, dude, I couldn't even with the money I'm making right now. And yes, she was actually complaining about how expensive Paris is. And now that the Olympics are coming there, it's going to be even worse and etc. And then she saw London and she's like,

Pierre Herubel: Yes.

Alper Yurder: I'm getting the hell out of this place, but I love it for other reasons, I guess. I mean, it's, it's home now. It is a place where, especially since becoming a founder, I have a very different life. I've met so many people, so many networking events, you know, like it's a different life. If you start enjoying the stuff that London gives you, it's great. But if you're not going to do those things, it's ridiculous. Like go and live somewhere in Italy, Spain, Greece, Thailand, wherever, you know.

Pierre Herubel: Yes, definitely. I think it's a good city for a startup.

Alper Yurder: All right, so let's talk about. Yeah, it's a good city for a certain type of people for a certain type of time. Um, let's talk about the, the career experience a little. You mentioned you worked at an embassy. Is that how your career started?

Pierre Herubel: When I was doing my master degree, I was also part-time working for a company in marketing and partnerships. But my real first job started with the embassy. I was a communication officer. So my goal was to promote the events and the programs from the embassy and also to… to make the collaboration between Thailand and France stronger on the cultural events, scientific events, things like that. It was a very interesting job and actually it's like political communication, like yeah just communication and it's quite similar, it's similar with like marketing because it's the same principles.

You have to know your audience and then you have to market the right way, communicate the right way. So really, it gave me a lot of insights for my marketing career.

Alper Yurder: Okay. Can you maybe, let's start talking about that. That's quite interesting. And then you worked for UN as far as I know as well, like, or with the UN in my, in my right or wrong?

Pierre Herubel: So I worked with different political institutions and associations, mainly for the European Union, but I also worked with the UN for one mission, but also with Goethe Institut, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spanish embassy as well, cultural institutions.

Alper Yurder: Mm. Mm-hmm. Mm, okay.

Pierre Herubel: So yeah, a lot of different actors like this.

Alper Yurder: Okay. When somebody looks at your platform, your profile now, and tries to understand what you're about, I think what we really enjoy as a lot of, you know, B2B founders or people in the B2B SaaS space, especially, is how you nail a few things, which is around your audience, building a content machine that works, but doing it from a very genuine and, um, from a very engaging place, you know, your content is always very like spot on, it resonates a lot with a lot of people. So I'm going to come to that but I'm wondering like, were there major differences between what you're doing today and how you are working with those more old school traditional established institutions or were you trying to bring a bit of innovation to them as well?

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, so aside from the processes which are indeed slower for institutions, but it's normal because you have more people and it's for, it's like the objectives are wider. It's like regional objectives. So it takes longer to make decisions. This is normal. Aside, apart from that, it's the same principles, but you...

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Pierre Herubel: …kind of have a different version of return on investment. It's not really about return on investment. It's about you need to spend wisely when you are working with this kind of institution, but you're not getting money in exchange, but you have to find metrics that will help you to know if what you're doing is good. I give you an example. Imagine you organize a cultural event.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: Let's say you bring a French dance, let's say hip hop band that comes to Southeast Asia. You promote this event, you don't want to get money back, but what you want is to make sure that people start to know what is the hip hop culture that we have in France, what is the, you know, like...

What can they do if they want to visit France and visit museums as well? Did they enjoy the event? Did it help them to know more about France? You know, this kind of metrics. So it's more like qualitative. You cannot say, OK, we did this event. We got a lot of money back. So it's more like awareness, awareness side.

Alper Yurder: Yeah, yeah, the awareness. The reason I ask is obviously now probably the people you interact with, like, for example, I'm an early stage founder for me, everything is impact, you know? So sometimes people are maybe like, oh, yeah, let's do something. And in two seconds, give me the impact and give me, show me the money versus coming from that kind of like that, that transition might be interesting. So walk me through that and then coming to today. What are the things you've done in between?

Pierre Herubel: Yes. So after that, I almost continued a diplomatic career. I wanted to be a diplomat, but instead I did 180 degree change. So I become associate partner of a marketing agency. And this is where I worked with the EU and other institutions.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: And I was, so I was about to create a business unit as part of this agency. So I worked there for like two years, something like that. But then we decided to not launch the business unit at the end. And I became a freelancer instead. So as a freelancer, I was in Thailand visiting, like traveling the islands and working from my laptop.

I started to do marketing consultancy and then I met my co-founder from my past company and we started a company called Red Dot. It was in 2021. We went from zero to one million dollars of revenue in around one year and a half. We got like over 70 clients mainly from Europe but also US and a bit of Asia.

And there I managed the team a bit like COO but also marketing. And it was GoToMarketAgency and then we sold it. We sold this company in September 2023, so last year. And since then, so around like six or seven months, I've been a solo product. So I have a one-person business, which is me, with freelancers that help me a lot. And yeah, that's where we are now.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. You certainly don't feel like a one-person business when you look from outside. So we're going to talk about how you make that happen. By the way, this is for Hazard, the editor. One second. There's a bit of background thing. I'm going to fix that. Give me one second.

As I was saying, it definitely doesn't sound like a one-person show when you look from outside. And that's sort of what people tell me about Flowla. Oh, I didn't know you're only 10 people. I thought you were more like 50. I guess we do the work in a way that it seems like it's a big… machine or engine working? How does it feel the day to day? Does it feel like, wow, I'm doing so much? It's a lot or are you managing it fine?

Pierre Herubel: So I think the perception of your clients that there are only 10 people in Flowla, they get surprised. It's because if you want to scale an investment, now in 2024 you have two choices. You have the media and you have the tech. So the tech is like code. You need engineer to code and you can spread it everywhere. And media is like videos, LinkedIn posts, whatever.

So you are in the situation about code because you have a product, so you can deploy it everywhere. You can do stuff like different activities around it. I'm on the media side because I create one piece of content. It's distributed like sometimes even millions of time on millions of devices. You have this feeling that it's scaling, but at the beginning, it's just me that write on this share.

Just quickly, like one hour. And to answer your question, I think it's OK because I'm organized. So I have my deep work. In the morning, I have four hours where I can accomplish a lot of tasks, mainly content creation, answer to emails, do a bit of editing feedback for my editor, things like that. And in the afternoon.

I work with my clients in calls. I do not more than two or three calls per day. And also I do a strategy work in the afternoon. So no, it doesn't feel like, it doesn't feel like horrible things to do. It feels good actually.

Alper Yurder: I love that. Sometimes I write myself, okay, this is how my day is going to be, and then I think I am really good at breaking good habits. So I went back to journaling about a month ago, and I was doing it fine, but this week I realized for three days in a row I skipped it. Even this morning I was going to do it and I didn't. So it's good to establish good habits and stick to them. I'm glad you're able to do that.

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, you should get back to journaling. I've never done it, but I always thought like, this is a cool thing. And I heard that it's good for your brain as well. That you will feel like you have a longer life because you have a lot of memories that you can reuse. I've heard this.

Alper Yurder: Yeah, I'm… But I think definitely, I mean, you know, this, this cliche like, Oh, you're a founder. You should be journaling. Like that's not where it's coming from for me. It's it's sales therapy, awareness, psychology. All of these things are very dear to my heart. And I think it's a bit of a conversation with yourself and really like making sure that you understand why you are doing the things that you are doing or why you are feeling the way you are. I like doing that. 

Um, definitely. I'm trying to stick to a routine. All right, let's talk a little bit about the meaty stuff, how you're helping others with your public service, which is how we see you on LinkedIn, but also your private service, how you're advising other businesses. I'm curious, what do most people come to you with? When you are in the therapist's chair, what do your patients come to you with? What kind of problems?

Pierre Herubel: Yeah. So what happens in terms of process and buying journey? I publish content on LinkedIn and most of the time, people follow me for like three to six months before they actually contact me. This is an average. And then the entry point to work with me is a power hour call.

So you pay per hour and you come with a set of questions. I have a framework to like accelerate your learnings so first I start with you give an Overview of your challenge and you try to pinpoint one specific challenge Then I ask questions because most of the time only with asking questions you have the answers in yourself. You just need to hear the right questions and then I give recommendations. So it's a three-step framework.

Alper Yurder: Yeah. That is literally therapy, the first step of therapy, which is awareness. Asking the right questions so you actually start becoming aware of the answers. Great, so you do therapy first. Great.

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, exactly. Actually, it's a technique that is called myotic. I don't know if it's the same in English. I think so. It's from Socrates. So myotic, it's like you need to ask the right questions, and the person in front of you will find the answer by themselves. But then at the end, I give recommendations, because obviously they need my expertise as well. So it's like 10 minutes of overview, 20 minutes of questions, and then 30 minutes.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. Love it.

Pierre Herubel: I give recommendation. After that, so to answer your question, why VECOM? What is funny is I have people who just started. And some companies that raise like 15 million and that need a content strategy. You see, so it's different type of people. But content marketing is kind of new.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: It's in B2B, somehow, I don't really know why, because content has been here for a long time. But most of the time, I do the same exercises with the different type of companies, because it's always get back to the basic, like messaging, positioning, content PRs, content manifesto, content plan, having a big point of view, a brand narrative, things like that.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: And then it's just about making the right decision and creating a plan in order to implement. So I help them for those strategic foundations during the PowerHour call. And then I also do advisory, like a one-shot advisory on the content strategy, for example, and I do like special projects for 14, 500 companies as well.

Alper Yurder: Okay. So the challenges they come with, I mean, it might vary based on, you know, the stage of the organization, et cetera. But for example, with us, like I've been in sales for a decade. I was never the marketer. Um, I had a blog on Instagram and my co-founder said, great, just do that on LinkedIn, whatever that means, which is really difficult, like I build my audience there to 15,000 people and now I need to build my audience on LinkedIn. So, you know, it's a bit of a awareness channel and then hopefully turns into an acquisition channel, but none of that is really very easy and I Think the most difficult thing is it's not intuitive to a lot of people, you know What might be intuitive to you after years and content and B2B? like nobody is On their day today or at least 99% of the population isn't going on LinkedIn and sharing all day every day So how do people start in a meaningful way to make?

That content game work for them and maybe we can dive into the LinkedIn channel a little bit because it's our main channel as well at the moment.

Pierre Herubel: So from a content strategy perspective, it always starts from the target audience. So you have the target audience. You need to know this target audience. You need to research. Then you need to pull insights from this audience, like problems, keywords, pain points, answer to questions, so on. Then you pull those insights to your business. And this is your company.

Alper Yurder: Hmm.

Pierre Herubel: You need to create, let's say, a content machine to produce this content. And then you distribute back the content to the target audience. And this is an infinite loop, okay? That you can call a feedback loop. So this concept is very simple. It's like a conversation, an ongoing conversation. You have someone in front of you, you ask a question, they will give you an answer.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: You go to your desk, you write and draw a picture, and you get back to him and show him. So this is the content strategy, really the core principle. So once you understand this, and that you actually apply it with the right tools, everything gets easier, because you have your source of insights, which is the target audience, and then you have the content factory.

While the content factory needs some award because you need a content plan, you need designers, you need copywriter. It's more about skills, but the main strategy is what I explained. So yeah.

Alper Yurder: So if you're able to put this strategy into work, what are you expected to see as a return? What is success? Let's say you've done these things well, what should you observe as results and success? What should start coming?

Pierre Herubel: So from my research and experimentation, the content has 13 benefits, one, three. So the benefits are all along the buying journey. The buying journey, so basically it's first touch point, someone hears about your brand, last touch point, they buy from you. And then there is the expansion stage. So what happened in between is that content helps you…

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: …push the buyer through the bank journey at every step. The first one, obviously, is awareness about your, the problem that we have about your solution, how you fix the problem, what is your point of view on the market. So content allows you to do that. Okay. Then the second step is like the, I don't have all the various, I will not like say all the specific steps, but one important step is the trust.

Content helps you to generate trust at scale because you publish the content once, but you get a symmetric value from it because you create it only one time, but you can get trust factors like hundreds, thousands of times. Let's say I know companies that made millions thanks to one blog, one article, because it was the right copywriting, ranked the right way…

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm, of course.

Pierre Herubel: …with the right trust factors and so on. Then you also with content from a sales perspective, you can accelerate the sales cycle. Because let's say you have a prospect that wants to buy from you, but he's not sure. What he will do is he will say, I will come back to you later and we'll think about it. And imagine the very next day, he logged in on LinkedIn and there is a case study that you published that explained exactly the return of investment on your product. He will see that and this way he will, you don't have to do anything, you just have to publish the content and by himself he will get back to you because yeah he saw that you can really help. So those are some examples.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

I love what you're touching on now. And actually this is a very popular topic like the interrelation or the virtual cycle between inbound and outbound and how you actually create inbound, sorry, inbound for outbound or sales and marketing alignment. A lot of people... A lot of people right now are struggling with outbound, for example, outreach. So I receive all of a sudden from somebody with a name I don't recognize about a product, you know, we helped 500 clients, can we can help you to et cetera. And I'm like, I have 50 of you in my inbox and I have no idea about you. There's no awareness, no trust. Why am I gonna respond to you? And why are you still doing it? So how do you… turn that around and I can share my own experience of discovering this, but what would you tell somebody who is trying to go with outreach, outbound, and it's not showing any results and how does it relate to what you just explained? Building the trust with, with kind of content.

Pierre Herubel: So the entry barriers for Outbound has never been so low. Basically, it's easy to write because of Gen.ai. Just say write an email. It doesn't mean it will be good, but it's easy to produce. First thing. Second aspect, you have a lot of tools that will help you to find email, like database tools. Third, you have a lot of tools to send emails. So basically it's...

Pierre Herubel: Anyone can wake up and in one day do an email campaign. Okay, so that's why we are receiving more and more emails like that. But by definition, that make this system a commodity. And especially if what you are selling is a commodity as well. A commodity is something that you can buy anywhere, anytime. So a lot of people in the e-commerce have understood that is that you need to have a very specific offer, a product with an angle, with a hook in order to sell. Because let's say you sell food or you sell cosmetics, it's a commodity everyone can buy cosmetics in their supermarket, you see. So you have to find an angle for your offer, a strong offer, a strong hook, a point of view. So some people find results in outbound.

But it's when they have a very strong offer like this. Now, if you want to get results in Outbound, Outbound is not my specialty, but I know that what you need is a strong offer and a strong timing. And if you have signals or intent, it's even better. It's simply like, if let's say someone is walking in the desert, they are really thirsty.

Alper Yurder: Yeah.

Pierre Herubel: If you come at the right time to propose water, they will buy your water. So this is a simple metaphor to explain how you could actually, um, sell with outbound. So if they are trying to, let's say grow their YouTube channel and you get to them and you have a very strong offer that will help them to create the right video or the right podcast, I don't know. Maybe that makes sense. Um, but, uh, for the basic outbound, I think…

Alper Yurder: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: …right now it's limited. I would rather go to abm and content to abm, I can talk about that as well after.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. Absolutely, and that's exactly the strategy we're going for. So just to give a bit of example from our own experience, like maybe about a year ago when we started, we raised the money and now we're going to market. I hired two SGRs, junior SGRs, and I've been in outreach game forever. I know it works, how to make it work, how to write the copy, blah, blah. And we start writing and quickly I realize at our stage, you are a product that nobody knows.

It's in a category that is just in the making. Like you're sending something and people don't have either a concept of what you're trying to explain to them or, you know, so you have to educate them first. You have to create awareness and educating them through an outbound, a cold email, even if you're warming them up through, you know, following them, notifying them or commenting under their things is very difficult.

So I think that's where you need to build that initial trust that you mentioned through putting something out into the world that makes sense. And I love how you explained that by your journey, when you are trying to push a case study down somebody's throat with an outbound motion versus you just put it out into the world enough times in the right way, and at some point it catches the attention of the person because you're trying to be in their universe, you're staying under their radar.

Are those kind of things that you're trying to advise people on or do you think what I explained is accurate or what would you add to those?

Pierre Herubel: Yes.

Yeah, I think there is a strong psychology bias is that people don't really like when you push something and when you try to make them do something, right? So it's the same principle. If you send an email and say, read this case study and then contact me, I think you decrease the chance and you can kind of also burn your brand.

Because maybe when they are looking for a provider in six months, they will not contact you because they think you are too needy. Like you are looking for clients, it looks weird. So I think what you said is correct. You need to actually publish content to first map the buying journey, to know what they need to see. And based on that, create the content that will match what they need to see.

Alper Yurder: Yeah. Love that Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: This is an exercise that I do a lot as well with my clients.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

I know that. Pierre, with you, there's so much to talk. We have some questions from our users and things that we want to discuss that we discussed before the show. So if you don't mind, I'm going to do a bit of a rapid fire question round and try to go through a list of questions with you. Maybe let's keep them between 40 seconds to a minute. I know it's demanding, but let's try it that way because there's a lot to cover. So when I say...

Pierre Herubel: Okay.

Alper Yurder: …for example, we started talking about already this sales and marketing alignment. Like how do you align those two things to get results? So if I would, I will give you a few keywords or like starters, and maybe you can tell me the do's and don'ts or your top two tips or something like that. Is that okay?

Pierre Herubel: Okay.

Alper Yurder: All right, let's go. So for example, when I say sales and marketing alignment, what are your top tips? What are the do's and don'ts? Let's have those.

Pierre Herubel: So first point, you need to align the marketing and sales team on the same objective. Let's say, revenue pipeline, qualified revenue pipeline. Second, you need to have an incentive program that put them in the same boat. That if they reach the objective together, they can actually, we can actually, you know, have a bonus. That's a good one.

Then you need to install processes. Processes is like a weekly catch up, a common Slack channel with automated notification, things like that. And then the last one is discipline. The sales team need to do a proper job with the CRM and put the right data at every sales call. And then the marketing team need to collaborate on the CRM as well. But start from the first one, which is about alignment.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. Okay.

Pierre Herubel: People are not aligned if they hate each other for example they will not have the discipline

Alper Yurder: Oh, that meant of course, yeah. Okay. Excellent. Next one is, is one that you actually excel at. How in your opinion can content help sales? How can content help accelerate the sales cycle, which we just, you know, started talking about, but maybe specifically like what is one to do to make sure that content is feeding that sales cycle and accelerating deals.

Pierre Herubel: So first point, you need to have this alignment between content and sales. They collaborate on a weekly basis, they install a feedback loop. The second point is that the sales team need to tell to the content team what content they need to produce based on the feedback of the or if everyone is asking for like a GDPR document that is missing or for like, you know something specific to your industry, tell it to the content team. This is very important feedback loop. And then the last one is last point, so point three, we need to collaborate on experiments. Let's say you create a case study, you need to analyze the impact on the sales process.

Alper Yurder: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: Does it accelerate the cell cycle length? Does it increase the closing rate? You know, this kind of answer you need to find. So that's three points about this topic.

Alper Yurder: Absolutely. I think the experiment point is so important actually from our previous conversation about a month ago, I took that away and I went to my sales and marketing team and said, guys, we need to experiment better. In theory, I think you know those things, you experiment, you learn, you iterate, et cetera, but then in the day to day, things get a bit lost. So making sure people stick to the process is also equally important. Like you're aware, okay, this is what we said two weeks ago. We said, we're going to do tests. Are we really doing tests?

Pierre Herubel: Yes.

Alper Yurder: Or are we just going with the flow? You know, what are we doing? Love that. Okay. Let's talk about a few dozen. Sorry. Go ahead.

Pierre Herubel: I said if you want to organize tests, you need first a backlog to prioritize and list your ideas. And second you need discipline. So this the second one is not my specialty. I mean I'm disciplined but I don't know how to teach discipline to people. This is like company culture.

Alper Yurder: Hahaha. Discipline people. Yeah, yeah. I had a chat with Jamal Rayner the other day and he was talking about what does it make to do the right things that we know that they will be good for us, but we avoid doing that. You know the good things, you know the right change, but why are we struggling so much to do the right things sometimes? He talks about that a lot and it was fun.

Like what motivates people to do the right things? I think there is a bit of that in the discipline.

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, I'm supposed to answer to about this or no? Because I really don't know how to help people, how to motivate people. I really don't know. Honestly, this is something I struggle with.

Alper Yurder: Let's talk about a few… Hahaha!

Okay, well, I mean, this is your therapy session. So if you want to talk about your struggles, I'm very happy to do that. But I want people to learn from you what you can preach them, actually. So I'm going to go ahead with my questions. Let's talk about a few do's and don'ts. Can you tell me the do's and don'ts of LinkedIn?

Pierre Herubel: So if I start with don't, don't try to copy other creators or other companies because it makes you late by definition. When you see something on the market, on LinkedIn or another platform, that means if you want to copy, that means you are late because they've prepared it for like a few weeks, at least, or months, or even like six months.

Okay, plus if you want to have a unique positioning, if you copy someone, you can have a unique positioning because you just a copycat, a commodity. So that's the first don't. I'm not saying that you should not analyze the trends, the formats that are winning, things like this. This is different. I mean like copycat. The second one that you should not do when you are posting at the strategy and at the post level don't try to share too many things, don't try to have too many topics. Because this will dilute your positioning. If you have three key topics, it's good and imagine you add a fourth one that is completely different Imagine you always talk about sales and then one day you start talking about finance

Within like three weeks, this will dilute your positioning totally. Um, so you should not talk about too many topics in my opinion. Uh, and the, at the post level, it's really simple is one post is one idea. One post is one topic. Don't try to talk about too many things in one post because people will get lost. Uh, I know you might feel frustrated. Like I want to say more.

But actually don't because it's one single post, you can do another one tomorrow if you want. So that's the don'ts. I think that's interesting. And the dos, there are so many things. Do you have a more precise question on what should they do?

Alper Yurder: Hehehe Mm.

Pierre Herubel: Yes.

Alper Yurder: The opposite of what you just said. I mean, all of that resonates a lot with me. When you when you look at like founders like me who are trying to build their personal brand and you know, I'm sure you're seeing like, okay, God, this guy is making so many mistakes. It can even be me. I don't mind being judged on this on this.

Pierre Herubel: Yes.

Alper Yurder: …therapy session, what do you observe and you're like, okay, this is really a sin, you shouldn't be doing this, you shouldn't be doing that instead. Do you have those moments?

Pierre Herubel: Um… I don't really analyze and judge people every day, but from what I've seen, the most common mistake is trying to repeat what others are doing. Like trying to fit in and to like try to replicate and do a patchwork of what is already existing. The way I see it is as I explained earlier, go talk to your audience, go talk to your customers and prospects.

Alper Yurder: Hehehehehehe. Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: …and so you will be able to get fresh insights. Yesterday I was talking with a friend and he told me, oh, I did this post that came from a customer. I published about it and I got better impressions, better reach, better likes and so on. It's not because of the formatting, it was using a similar formatting, but the insights was interesting, unique, fresh, specific. So yeah, you should go back to the basic,

Alper Yurder: Yeah.

Pierre Herubel: What are you talking about? Like a journalist, you know? A journalist, he's not trying to copy other journals. He's trying to find an angle, find an insight, and then write about it.

Alper Yurder: Yeah. Absolutely. When you say, I hear this a lot and a lot of content people told me these, like, find your content pillars, the three, four topics you should talk about. But for example, in my case, you know, I'm building a sales tool, I've been in sales forever, this, that. But then when you say sales, there can be so many topics under sales, right? So what is the right level of topics for people? Like you could be talking about outreach, you can be talking about...

B2B content, you could be talking about closing a deal, client success, this, that. What do you, what do you mean when you say three, four topics? What, what level should people try to choose?

Pierre Herubel: Yeah. I advise three topics, by the way. So first, what you need to do is write your, let's call it a narrative, your brand manifesto, something like that. So you will write who is your ideal customer. What is their problem and what is your solution, how you help them. And you talk about the transformation…

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. Okay.

Pierre Herubel: …A to B. Based on that, you write like an A4, and based on that, you will write your content pillars. Otherwise, it will be too broad. Because if you say my content pillar is sales, maybe it's not linked to your product or even to your audience. So you need to have something more granular. It needs to be more specific. It needs to be...

People need to feel the connection with your brand and when they are reading 10 posts, they feel the connection between the topics. So it needs to be more specific than, let's say, sales.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

But what about something that actually like every last Thursday of the month, we do this thing called founder therapy drinks. And it's a lot of early stage founders or series, they whatever they're all trying to figure out LinkedIn, all trying to figure out their personal brands. They always come to me because I'm on LinkedIn all day, every day writing in this step. And I'm trying to give advice on something that I'm trying to learn. Right. So they come to me and they say, well, okay, I'm trying this.

When I write about something very specific, like I'm selling a fintech tool or insure tech, something very specific, if I start writing about it, it's good. It's very bottom of the funnel content or very specific for my audience. But then I get, you know, present into a very small circle because of how the LinkedIn algorithm works or whatever they say, you know, about impressions that you need also top of the funnel content.

What would you say to that? Do you agree with it? Like, do you need to balance that? Or is that a myth?

Pierre Herubel: Um… I created the framework that is called Authority First Framework. I released a video on YouTube yesterday. So in my opinion, you...

You should start with, in my opinion, the way I do it, authority first content. So it's like 70% of content about your industry expertise, how-tos, things like that. Then you need 15% of content about who you are. If it's a personal brand, backstories, behind the scenes about you and what brought you here with a professional angle. If you are a company, also a brand, you need to have a company vision, the team, your narrative, and so on. And then the last type of content is conversion content. 10 to 15% is to either push a newsletter or demo sales calls or something like that. And you need to have the right balance between…

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm.

Pierre Herubel: So it's 70%, 15%, 15%.

Alper Yurder: With that kind of framework, I'm sure like anybody listening and we're gonna create a blog out of this obviously, I actually wanna, you know, co-write some blogs with you on this because my audience is all day, every day asking me these things and when you're sharing this gold, it's good. So my, I'm very curious, like how many founders or how many, not just founders, how many leaders do you feel like you helped in your lifetime through sharing these experiences, advisors, tips? Is it in tens, hundreds or a thousand have you reached? Where are you?

Pierre Herubel: It's really hard to answer this question. Honestly, from...

Alper Yurder: Ha ha.

Pierre Herubel: Starting from October 2023, I got a lot of traction, even since June. And I realized in like November or December, I was getting everyday, like direct messages from like 10 people or something like that, that come to me and say, Oh, thank you, you helped so much.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Pierre Herubel: Um, and I realized, oh, this is really helping people because for me, I'm, I'm like a content nerd sometimes. I just really like to do my infographic, put the expertise and push it. Uh, I love to see that it helps people, but I also love doing it for myself, honestly, like, uh, it's like drawing honestly, sometimes. Um, and I realized like, oh, it really helps people. I think it's more than 100. I think it's more than 1000.

Alper Yurder: Yeah. It does. Hehehehe

Pierre Herubel: I think it's maybe more than 10,000 even. I have around 10,000, something like that.

Alper Yurder: I love that. Okay, that's really cool. I mean, it's not the number. The number was just a vanity joke thing, but I think you do that. Yeah, definitely. And I'm glad you realize it. Probably as we're coming to the end of the show, one or two things. Any questions that I should have asked you that I didn't? That I forgot?

Pierre Herubel: Wow, so many potential questions. What is your favorite color?

Alper Yurder: Hahaha.

Alper Yurder: You're okay. What is your favorite color Pierre? As if you didn't insert that question into the pod now.

Pierre Herubel: I don't. I don't know.

Alper Yurder: Well, you can tell mine.

Pierre Herubel: I would say green. I think green. Yeah, but that's a weird question to ask in a sales podcast.

Alper Yurder: Green? Okay, so in psychology… Green is peace and serenity and things that, you know, fulfill you. And so that's good that you say green. I think my go-to color is red, like a bull. I see red results. Exactly.

Pierre Herubel: Okay. The opposite. Yes. Quite the opposite. I use those two colors a lot in my infographics. Because when you put green and red, people associate red with the bad one and green with the good one all the time, obviously. So this is the kind of I have, let's say, more than 50 little tricks like this that help me to push the content.

Alper Yurder: Thank you.

Pierre Herubel: So color is really useful in infographics.

Alper Yurder: Okay, our content specialist Hazar is, he loves designing. He's an arty type as well. He's very good with arts and cinematography and all that. I'm sure he will enjoy this part of the conversation. And before we go, what do you think about our space? Like I always end on this one, like digital sales rooms, buyer enablement, are you familiar with our space at all? I sent you a flow for the podcast. What did you think about that?

What are your thoughts on this area?

Pierre Herubel: Right now, there is a trend that is called a self-serve buying trend. What happened is people love to buy by themselves. First, they like to do their own research online. Second, they love to actually ask their friends or in communities, things like that. And third, they like to ask for help…

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. Hehehe

Pierre Herubel: …only when they want it, you know? So I think right now a lot of companies are a bit disturbed by this trend. And it's good that some new tools like yours helped companies to actually implement new ways to manage this trend, to make sure that they are aligned with this trend. So I think this is a good tool. And yeah, it's good to implement at least in an experiment, just like take the tool, experiment one time, or maybe two times or three times, and then see if you have an uplift in one of the conversion rates, and then install it as a full tool if you think it's good and you get results.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. It's working for you. Yeah. I think right now people are very careful about how they spend their money. So therefore definitely like, you know, freemium tools, um, in that sense, I'm working well and you can try and see for yourself, but the trend you explain and you explain it, I will say very non-marketing, very naive and very natural in a human way, like people want to buy and they want the information but they don't want to interact with you. Actually, we've done some research about this and I call it the three A's, like what do buyers want? They want the three A's, autonomy, authority, and availability. And all of that they want to be in charge of all of that. Like, I don't have time for you, salesperson. Oh, but by the way, when I need to ask you a question, you need to be available for me right now. So the buyer has so much power.

Pierre Herubel: Thank you. Okay. Yep. Thank you.

Alper Yurder: So much availability of information, so much. Therefore, you need to start figuring out your sales journey. First of all, turn it into buyer journey, as you have been so aptly explaining. And tools like ours can really help throughout that cycle. All right, that was a great chat. Thank you so much, Pierre. Let's finish on a good note. You got some positive message to share with our audience as a closing remark.

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, take care of your mental health, take care of your physical health, go to the gym, meditate, eat healthy. This will help you for your discipline that we were talking about. Really positive, right?

Alper Yurder: Yeah, no, I mean, the thing is, as we age, I'm 38 now, and those things finally start making sense, and they're no longer fluff, but real, real things. And yesterday, I was doing a seminar for like, like 100 university students or something like the audio webinar. And I, and I ended like, guys, you know, enjoy life, take care of yourself. And I felt like, okay, I'm turning into my aunt or my grandfather or something.

Pierre Herubel: Yes. You're getting old. Intrinsic maturation is called.

Alper Yurder: I am getting old. What is it?

Pierre Herubel: Intrinsic maturation sorry for my accent but so when you get older you get more like introverts interested by this kind of topic you like yeah reading books about how to be more healthy it's not..

Alper Yurder: Congratulations. No.

Ah, yeah, yeah. By the way, my favorite, yeah, I started reading more and listening to more podcasts and all that. I completely agree. Do you have a favorite, like a writer or something that you're tuning into lately or a podcast or anything like that?

Pierre Herubel: So writer, I like to write Sheldini. About it, he talks about psychology, influence, things like that. And I also have a top, I like to read about topics. So Wikipedia is actually very useful. I read a lot about psychology bias, like some cost fallacy, for example.

Alper Yurder: Mm-hmm. Ah yes. Hmm.

Pierre Herubel: So I like to read the whole Wikipedia file and just like access directly to the insight. This is so basic, but it's really useful.

Alper Yurder: Yeah. No, I love, I mean, rabbit holes. So we are now building our media hub and there's a whole conversation about rabbit holes and I actually want to have a specific, you know, section with your wisdom you shared here today, and I'm going to do it with some creators. The rabbit hole thing is fascinating. I think Wikipedia is like that. Well, like for those of you who don't know about the rabbit hole, you go to YouTube, you watch a video and then you're stuck. You start watching another hundred videos and Wikipedia for me, it's always been a guilty pleasure in that sense. I love that rabbit hole.

Pierre Herubel: Yes. Yes.

Alper Yurder: I want to build the Flowla Media Hub, which is going to be called In The Current in that way. Like I want to have, I want it to be a place where it's a bit of a rabbit hole. You come, you enjoy, you listen to Pierre's podcast and then you read about, you know, just whatever. So I want to create that for sales. Hopefully we can do something on that.

Pierre Herubel: Okay. Yeah, it's a very nice idea. I like it. I will get lost inside your rabbit hole tool.

Alper Yurder: In the current, you'll be in the current. Just don't drown in the current. I mean, with this water theme with flow, let the flow in the flow in the current. We're going with the water theme. Let's see where it goes. Anyway, this has been an amazing conversation. Thank you, Pierre, and thank you for being you and sharing your wisdom with everybody.

Pierre Herubel: Okay. Yeah.

Alper Yurder: Oops, as I was saying my closing remarks, it got stuck. I said, I'll take it from the beginning. Thank you for being with us today. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with the public all day, every day. And I hope you enjoy the show and looking forward to having you again.

Pierre Herubel: Yeah, thanks so much and see you soon.

Alper Yurder: Love it. Bye bye guys. Have a nice have a nice time. And until we see you in the next time, make sure to subscribe to all the things. Listen, subscribe. I'm going to stop saying these cliche, you know, social things, which my content specialists are pushing me to say. But if you enjoy the show, leave a review, leave a mark. And and we'd like to see you again in the next episode. Bye bye.

Pierre Herubel: Bye.

Don't miss a single episode.
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest on Sales Therapy.
Subscribe to Sales Therapy on:
Spotify logo.
Spotify
Apple Podcasts logo.
Apple Podcasts
YouTube logo.
YouTube