Imagine going from a band singer to a blue cartoon dog to finally becoming a successful digital marketer. You’d think it’s a movie plot, but it’s actually the life of our guest, Jason Barnard, the CEO of Kalicube. Jason’s diverse background and his engrossing journey to the top of the digital marketing world are truly something to marvel at. In our discussion, he takes us along his unique journey, sharing his experiences from starting a record label in Paris to his current role as a leading expert in digital marketing. His candid storytelling will have you hooked from the get-go.
What does Google think about you or your brand? Jason believes that understanding this concept is vital to effective digital marketing. He introduces us to the concept of Brand SERP and how it impacts your digital marketing strategy. Jason provides insights from his own company, Kalicube, and how they leverage Brand SERP to create effective marketing and branding strategies. His experience and mastery of this concept are evident, as he also introduces us to his Kalicube Pro SaaS platform, a tool that can help businesses analyze their data from Google to better prioritize their digital marketing efforts.
In our final segment, we open up the floor to discuss the importance of continuous learning, the role of generative AI in the digital marketing landscape, and the significance of team building and delegation. Jason stresses the importance of being on top of your game and continually honing your skills to stay relevant. We also delve into his philosophy on “educating Google” and how it can be used to bolster your SEO strategy effectively. We wrap up the episode with Jason sharing his thoughts on building a successful team, the importance of delegation, and how it was instrumental to the success of Kalicube. This episode is a rich tapestry of insights, practical advice, and inspiring stories that have the potential to transform your digital marketing strategies.
Here’s the link to the white paper Jason mentions on the episode: https://solutions.kalicube.com/easy-t…
William Attaway: Jason.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I was muted. Sorry.
William Attaway: Hey, no worries. How are you?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m all right. How are you?
William Attaway: I’m fantastic. It’s a great, great day. Brand new day.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It is. This is video and audio.
William Attaway: It is. If that’s okay with you?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, it’s fine. Do I need to remove the Fathom note taker?
William Attaway: Oh. Let me see if I can hide it because it will show up on the video.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, okay. Oh dear. Alright. I can remove it if you want.
William Attaway: No worries.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Or else if you could just send me the recording when we’re finished because what I want to do is give this to Marianne, who’s doing a team thing where she explains how we run the team and she’s going to use this with the two interviews I do with Matt Singers to basically say “This is where we’re at.”
William Attaway: I love that. I’m more than happy to share. Absolutely. I’ll send you a link. I’ll put it in Google Drive.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s not for us to publish. It’s for us to use internally as internal training.
William Attaway: Yeah, absolutely. No, that’s fantastic.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, I think it’s going to be valuable for the team.
William Attaway: Absolutely. No doubt about it.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. So it seems like we talked on yesterday.
William Attaway: It does, doesn’t it?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was almost only yesterday.
William Attaway: Just a small weekend in between.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Absolutely.
William Attaway: Are you ready?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. Are we, are we going straight off with recording? Oh, right. Okay. Got me water.
Whenever you’re ready. No worries.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I’m ready. We’re ready to rock. Off we go.
The Brand SERP Guy: Jason Barnard’s Journey from Musician to Leading Digital Marketing Expert and Author
William Attaway: All right. I’m thrilled today to have Jason Barnard on the podcast. Jason is the CEO of Kalicube, a software company that helps business leaders take control of their brand narrative online and dominate the competition. Jason has over two decades of experience in digital marketing starting in 1998, the year Google was incorporated with a website for kids based on the characters Boowa and Kwala that he built up to become one of the 10, 000 most visited sites in the world.
William Attaway: In the 1990s, he was a professional musician with the punk folk group, The Barking Dogs. He currently plays double bass with Barcoustic. He’s a conference speaker at major marketing conferences worldwide. He’s a podcast host with his show, Branded Search and Beyond with Jason Barnard being a weekly staple in the digital marketing community. And he’s an author with his first book, The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business, published in January of 2022. Jason, I’m so glad you’re here. Thanks for being on the show.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s an absolute pleasure, William and that was a delightful introduction. My life sounds really exciting and fun, doesn’t it?
A Musical Journey: From the Countryside to the Cavern Club and Founding a Record Label in Paris
William Attaway: It does. Can’t wait to hear more about it. Let’s start there. I’d love for you to share some of your story with our listeners, particularly around your journey and your development as a leader. How did you get started?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. That’s a lovely question. In fact, I grew up in the countryside in the north of Yorkshire and surrounded by pigs and sheep and goats and cows and very lonely. And then I went to Liverpool joined a band, played the Cavern Club, where The Beatles played, delightfully. And I was a singer in the band, and I met a friend of mine 30 years later. He was the guitar player in the band and I said to him “Thank you, thank you for being in the band with me and giving me the opportunity and organizing everything”. And he said “No, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong”. He was about to give up playing the guitar when he met me. And he said, you were so naive, so enthusiastic and so good at organizing and getting people to do what they needed to do when they needed to do it to actually get the band going. It reignited my delight and my passion for music. And it turns out I organized everything and I just didn’t remember.
William Attaway: Wow. That’s so fantastic.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was really, really an interesting time. And then I moved to Paris and joined another band and organized all of that as well and we couldn’t get a deal with a record company. So in 1991, I set up my own record label and we recorded our first album in three nights, sub renting a music studio, a recording studio from another local band in the middle of Paris. And so I was working all day as a teacher and then I finished the work as a teacher and for three nights I did no sleep, three days working, three nights playing the music. And it’s actually quite a good album, I think.
From Music to the Digital World: Jason Barnard’s Venture into Web Development and Online Success
William Attaway: Wow. So how did you get from that to marketing, to digital marketing?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, the whole thing about that was I was determined that our group would be successful. So I organized gigs. We produced four music albums, we played 660 concerts, I organized them all. I set up a touring company, I set up a record company, and all of that simply because I wanted to be in a band, and I wanted to make my living playing in a band, and I made it happen and then that stopped. I decided after that that I wanted to be a blue dog in a cartoon.
William Attaway: Very non traditional career path.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yup and so I set up a company to do that as well. So I set up a company that did web development of games for children, and music albums for children that I recorded. I was the blue dog, Boowa, who has a very deep voice and sings a lot and enjoyed it greatly. And built as very successful business. As you said, it was one of the 10, 000 biggest sites in the world. We were competing with Disney and PBS and that was huge and we were making very good money, but a lot of the traffic, a lot of the kids found us through Google. We were ranking number one for all the key terms like kids games, coloring pages, kids songs, all of these terms and attracted a million kids a month through Google alone and five million visits a month and that’s a hundred million page views a month which is over a billion pages seen by children on this website in the year 2007. Think about that. 2007.
William Attaway: Wow.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A billion pages for a small website for kids. Brilliant.
Rebranding for Success: Jason Barnard’s(The Brand SERP Guy) Journey to Transform Google’s Perception of Him as a Digital Marketer
William Attaway: Astounding. And then you took that and what was next?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I was very good businessman in the sense that we were making a lot of money. I was a very bad businessman in the sense that I took the wrong business partner who proceeded to steal the company in legal ways. Because I was naive once again another person who saw that I was naive, but took advantage this time. And so I had to set up a new career. And when I started to pitch for work as a digital marketer, I realized that when people search my name, Jason Barnard, it said, Jason Barnard is a cartoon blue dog. And that the clients I was trying to sign were saying, well, that’s not serious. I’m not going to give my digital marketing strategy of millions of dollars to a cartoon blue dog.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I then had to figure out how to change Google’s perception of me. So it presented me as a digital marketer. And if you search my name today, Jason Barnard, J A S O N B A R N A R D, you will see that I look like a digital marketing superstar. Not necessarily because I am, but because that’s Google’s perception of me, and that’s the key here. What is Google’s perception of you, as a person, and your company, and your products, and offers, and services?
William Attaway: That’s brilliant. You talk about educating Google, Jason.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes.
William Attaway: That is a fascinating concept and I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anybody talk about that before. What do you mean by that?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I actually realized the other day that I’ve just reproduced Boowa, the blue dog in Kalicube, because educating Google is all about educating a child, and that’s what Boowa and Kwala were all about. They were educational games. We did a TV series with ITV International. It was educational content for children to show them the world that surrounds them that they don’t necessarily understand and that they are often fearful of. And Kwala was the small child that Boowa was helping understand the world. And the lovely thing about Boowa and Kwala that we didn’t take everything down to a really low level, it was discovery. It was curiosity. It was kindness and helpfulness within any given circumstance.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I realized a couple of weeks ago, that’s what we’re doing at Kalicube. What we’ve done is we said, well, we can educate Google so come with us, clients, agencies, and we can help you to educate Google. And that makes your world much less scary. Google isn’t scary. Google’s a child thirsty for knowledge. All we need to do is transfer our knowledge about ourselves into Google’s mind. And I might even say soul, but that might be pushing it too far.
William Attaway: That’s fascinating to me. I wonder, I mean, is this something anybody can do? Can anybody teach Google?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, it’s a really, really lovely situation. Google is a massive machine. It’s hugely complex and that makes people think that it’s difficult to interact with it. But in fact, everything you post online is interacting with Google directly or indirectly. So it’s simply a question of interacting with Google in a consistent manner and giving it clear signals and clear messages about who you are, what you’re doing, which audience you serve. And if you can do that. You can educate Google because Google is sucking in all of this information and like a child, if it gets consistent information about specific topics that makes sense and it all fits together, it will understand and when it understands, then it can start recommending you to the subset of its users who are truly your audience.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because Google, at the end of the day, is a recommendation engine. We go to Google for a recommendation for the solution to our problem, or the answer to our question. Google will recommend the source, my company I would hope, or myself, that it finds to be the most trustworthy, authoritative, credible, expert, experienced. Google calls that E E A T, experience, expertise, authority, trustworthiness.
Consistent Messaging: The Challenge of Micromanaging Your Brand’s Online Presence
William Attaway: And you can adjust where you fit into that particular equation, about what you put out there.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes and it’s micromanaging which some people find very difficult especially companies. And so that’s the huge challenge is to say, well, if I want to have a consistent message, that’s actually the hardest thing for a human being to do and even more so a collection of human beings within a company.
Creating a Unified Brand Voice: How Kalicube’s Consistent Communication Style Enhances Google’s Understanding
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So one of the keys at Kalicube is weekly meetings with the team. Everybody discusses what they’re doing. Everybody understands what everybody else’s job is and everybody’s working together with the same ideas, the same approach, the same communication style, the Kalicube voice. And that really helps us to educate Google because whether it’s Joanne in social media or Katrina on the service pages or Jean Marie, or Bernadette, or Leanne writing the articles on the website, or indeed the design, which we often overlook with Veronique and Jean Marie and Mary Ann. Everybody is expressing themselves in a very similar manner, using the same language, the same ideas, the same style.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So Kalicube has a voice and I have a voice. Google is now able to recognize that voice and it’s able to extract. And that’s a really important point. It’s able to extract information from what we write and what we produce reliably. And with confidence that it is fully understood what we’re talking about, because we communicate consistently and in a way that we know Google can easily understand.
Building Trust with Google: The Impact of Kalicube’s Unified Brand Voice on Search Rankings and Reputation
William Attaway: You know, a lot of the people who are listening to this, Jason, are business owners, small business owners, subject matter experts, and this to them feels like something that they should do, but they’re not techie. They wouldn’t describe themselves as a tech geek. Like this feels like it may be beyond them. Is that true?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): No, I’ve got great news for them. It’s not. It’s absolutely within everybody’s reach. And I think that’s one of the terrible things about SEO search engine optimization is that the community has made it seem much more technical than it truly is. It used to be very technical. It has got progressively less and less technical.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So let’s say in 1998 when I started, it was 20% the content you produced, 80% the technical way you put it in your web page. Now, it’s the other way around. It’s 80% the quality of the content you produce for your audience, and remember that you’re producing the content for your audience, and 20% the technical implementation. And from that perspective, it means that the value that you need to push within your team is the quality of the content you produce for your audience and actually answering their questions, solving their problems because that’s what Google is looking for. That’s good. And actually, once the content is on the page, Google’s getting smarter and smarter and smarter and smarter. And even if you don’t do such a great technical job, and that 20% is only half done, you’re fine, if you’ve done the 80% content.
Brand SERPs: The Key to Understanding Google’s Perception of Your Brand and Unleashing Effective Marketing Strategies
William Attaway: Wow. Your book that you published last year, The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business. Some people listening would probably want to ask you, what exactly is a brand SERP? And should we care about that for us, for our business?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. I can’t remember what all the questions were. Yes, you should read the book. Yes, you should focus on brand SERPs. And yes, a brand SERP, I will explain what it is.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): A SERP, S E R P, is a search engine results page. So every time you search on Google, it produces that page. It gives you the recommendations we mentioned earlier on. Now, a brand SERP is the search engine results page for a brand, a company or a person. That page represents Google’s understanding of that company or that person and which content around that company or person their audience is going to be most interested in, what content is going to be most valuable helpful and relevant to the audience and that’s the huge insight. This is where we move away from SEO, the geeky Google thing and towards marketing and branding because what you have there when you search your own company name is Google’s understanding of your company or your brand and Google’s understanding of your marketing. And if it’s not what you want, then you’ve got a problem in one or both.
The Kalicube Process: Leveraging Brand SERPs to Optimize Marketing and SEO Strategies for Better Audience Engagement
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And what I like to say to people is search your name, your brand name, company name, personal name, even your product name, but before you hit return, think. What do I expect to see? Make a little mental note. When the page appears, what do you see? How similar are they? Number three, what do you want to see? How far away is that from what you expected to see and what you do see? And what you’ll find is by correcting that from what you do see to what you want to see, you will naturally build a much better marketing strategy and a much better branding strategy. And that the SEO is actually at the end of this. Little triplet, branding, marketing, SEO. If you don’t have a brand, you’ve got nothing to market. If you don’t have anything to market, you’ve got nothing to SEO. So you need to do it in that order.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the Kalicube Process in my book talks about that idea saying well, SEO, search engine optimization, is actually just packaging for Google. So it’s packaging something you should be creating anyway for your audience, for Google. So if I now look at my brand SERP and look at it and think, well, I’ve put a lot of resources into Facebook, but Facebook isn’t on my brand SERP. Google doesn’t think it’s important. There are two possibilities. Number one is Facebook simply isn’t important within your industry and you’re wasting your money. Or number two, you’re not doing a very good job and you’re wasting your money. So either way, you can immediately see from Google’s representation of your brand, is it’s perception of how your audience engages with you and that’s both to do with the work that you’re doing i. e. my Facebook work was terrible, therefore it’s not ranking, therefore I’m doing a bad job, therefore I need to think about what I’m doing, but also your competitors. Within your market, what works? For a real estate developer, it’s going to be more something along the lines of images than it is, Twitter, so it’d be more likely to be Instagram.
The Kalicube Pro Advantage: Using Google Data to Develop and Implement Ideal Marketing Strategies
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): But we have the data in Kalicube Pro. We’ve got a platform. What we do is when a client comes to see us to work with us, first of all, we say, do you have a marketing department? If they don’t have a marketing department, we can’t help because what we do is we click a button in Kalicube Pro which is a SaaS platform I built, and it will pull up the full digital marketing strategy based on your current strategies, their success and failure, your cohort, i.e your competitors. And then we can talk to you and say, well, this is your ideal strategy based on those two things that Google has told us. So it’s Google telling us what you should be doing. Then we talk to you. What are resources? What are your priorities? What are your business goals? And we can then adapt that ideal strategy to what you’re actually trying to do. And we call that the Kalicube process.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then we implement it with our clients by coaching their team to brand better, to market better and to ensure that the packaging for Google is wrapped up in their natural standard operating procedures for every aspect of their marketing.
Intuitively Intentional: Leveraging Kalicube Pro’s Data-Driven Approach to Optimize Marketing Strategies Based on Google’s Insights
William Attaway: It is so intentional and purposeful in how you’ve built that and how you serve your clients that way.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I mean I’ve been doing it for 12 years now and you really realize quite how intentional it was recently. So it’s unintentionally intentional, if that’s a thing.
William Attaway: Intuitively intentional.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s much better. Thank you very much. You’ve just saved the day.
Kalicube Pro: A Data-Driven SaaS Platform for Optimizing Marketing Strategies and Brand SERPs
William Attaway: Oh, that’s great. So the SaaS platform that you created, it sounds fascinating. I mean this sounds like a tool that the companies can use to really manage what you’re talking about and really make some ground as they’re trying to move the ball up the field.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Well, in fact, I created Kalicube Pro, which is the SaaS platform in 2015. So it’s actually eight years old. And I created it to solve a problem that I had which was analyzing this stuff manually is very slow, very painful, very boring and you get it wrong.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Whereas what we’ve done at Kalicube, I’ve built the algorithms, I’ve built them myself, is to analyze the data that we get back from Google about a brand and its competitive market and prioritize everything, based on the data. Which means that when I say focus on Facebook, I’m not saying I think you should focus on Facebook, I’m saying Google’s analysis of you and your market tell us that Facebook is the most important. So we need to start there. And when you create that content for Facebook, make sure that you’re using it as well on your website. If you’re creating a post, think about how you might integrate that into your website, or vice versa, it doesn’t matter. But think about why am I, and once again, the idea of being intentional is saying I shouldn’t just be creating a piece of content for Facebook. Even if I then say, well, I’m also doing for Twitter and for LinkedIn, there are three different platforms with three different approaches. It may well not be worth your time, even posting on Twitter. If it’s simply not important in your industry, it will be more worth your time taking that content and creating a page on your website that actually helps your users solves the problem. Or, explains to Google a tiny bit more about who you are, what you do and which audience you serve.
The Key to Effectively Communicating with Google and Building a Strong Brand SERP
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Because Google cannot read everything on Facebook. Somebody once told me, and it’s probably untrue, but 30%, let’s say Google can only get 30% of Facebook, it’s just too huge. But it can get 100% of your website. And it also, when it sees it on your website, it knows it’s you, it knows it’s you saying it so if you’ve got somebody on Facebook asking a question, let’s say somebody pings you in a post and says, I’m not sure how to download the software for Mac and you reply on Facebook, job done. Why don’t you take that question, put it on your website as an FAQ? And say, where do you download the Kalicube software for Mac? Here is the link, this is where you might want it, and this is why it’s a credible solution. Boom. So repurpose it where it’s actually going to be useful. And that thing of saying, your website is your home. It’s something you control. It’s something that Google connects directly to you.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So it’s your best conduit for communicating with Google. When we come back to educating the child, you need to educate this child so it understands who you are, what you do, which audience you serve, because only then can it recommend you to the subset of its users who are your audience.
The Vital Role of Structured Content on Your Website for SEO and Brand SERP Enhancement
William Attaway: So what you’re describing as far as Google’s limitations with Facebook, do those apply to LinkedIn as well?
William Attaway: A lot of people I know are creating content on LinkedIn now. Do the same limitations apply?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah, we don’t know quite how much it’s able to crawl. We even don’t know if it can crawl in certain circumstances because of the fact that LinkedIn often, depending on circumstances, will force you to log in. So you don’t know how much information it’s getting out of LinkedIn. We don’t know how much information it’s getting on our Facebook or Instagram or in Twitter it’s got a firehose so it gets it all. But what does it do with it? And there’s so much junk in there. Is it important?
The Power of Structured Content: Educating Google and Enhancing SEO Through Precise Information Delivery
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s the world stream of consciousness. How useful is that in terms of understanding the facts? It’s good. Great for sentiment because Google can bring it all together and say, well, all of this talks about Kalicube. The sentiment of that is highly positive. Therefore, we can assume that Kalicube is a good company that serves its clients. Well, that’s great, but it doesn’t get the details. But if I post that same content on my website in a more structured manner and structured just in terms of human beings saying, here’s the question, here’s the answer to that question, as concerns my company, I’m educating Google.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And educating Google is the single most important thing to do in SEO today, by far and away. And educating it is just answering the right questions and solving the right problems for the right audience and putting it on your webpage in a manner that they can understand it and they can use it. And I’m talking about people here.
William Attaway: Yeah, that’s so good. Jason, I’m curious. You have really elevated your game over time. I mean, there’s no such thing as a wasted experience. I tell clients this all the time. There’s no such thing as a wasted experience. You’re going to carry what you learn forward and it is going to benefit either you or people around you later in your life. You have continually upped your game. How do you do that? How do you stay on top of your game and level up with the new skills you need to lead your company well ?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s a lovely question because as a kid, I was criticized by my father because I played one sport, got good at it, stopped, went and played another sport, got good at that, stopped and went and played another sport. And he couldn’t understand that what was happening was that I was getting good enough to realize that I would never be great, so there’s no point.
William Attaway: Wow.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the only sports I played consistently were field hockey, chess and football. And I played field hockey for the French champions. I played football in the French Parisian Third Division. I played chess for the northern half of the UK as a 18 year old punk. But then I stopped chess because I realized I was never going to be a grandmaster. So then I did economics at university and I realized I was never going to be the greatest economist with the greatest ideas and I wasn’t going to change the world. Played music. I think I was a very good musician. Then that fell apart and I started doing the cartoons and so on and so forth.
A Lifelong Pursuit of Learning: Jason Barnard’s Passion for Music, Cartoons, and Educating Google
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s always this thing of always wanting to improve, always wanting to learn, always wanting to get better. And in fact, the only three things that I’ve never stopped, and you mentioned it earlier on, music, you have never mastered music, making cartoons, you have never mastered videography, making cartoons, making fun stuff, educational stuff.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I made a video this weekend for Kalicube and I enjoyed it so much. It spent eight hours doing it. I did the whole production process, recording slides, things coming in and out. I really enjoy it because every time I learn something new. And the third one is figuring out how to educate Google, because educating Google is like educating a child but it’s the smartest child you have ever met. And it’s the child that has perfect recall memory. And it’s the child with the biggest capacity to remember everything you tell it, if you tell it in a clear, concise, consistent manner. And it’s so much fun. There are always different angles.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one of the best things about my job is when Google gets confused. And people say, it’s got my age wrong or I’ve got three different representations of me in the knowledge graph. Or it’s ranking my competitor and not me. It’s misunderstood my brand name. I’ve got a small letter at the beginning of my brand name and it’s putting a capital letter. All these things, they’re mysteries to be solved. I’m Sherlock Holmes, I get my magnifying glass out, my pipe and I go around the internet.
The Art of Problem-Solving: Unraveling Google’s Misunderstandings and Enhancing Brand SERPs with Kalicube Pro
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Allyssa and Nell in the Kalicube Pro team do this as well, it’s figuring out what it is that’s made that child misunderstand, and then fixing the points that are making that conflict in the child’s brain and it’s magical to watch. You fix that, you wait a few weeks, Google understands what you’ve done. Everything comes back exactly as you wanted it and it’s all a question of figuring out why it’s misunderstood and fixing that.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And one of the great things about Kalicube Pro is that it shows you big on the screen. This is the confusion. You obviously have to look a little bit because there’s a lot of human intuition. And that’s the other thing is there’s so much human intuition in this. It’s data. I can show you a big list of data but I can’t program in every single exception, every single issue. What I can do is present it to you as a smart human being, and you can look down the list and say, there it is. And that’s so much fun.
Lessons from Boowa and Kwala: Building a Robust and Reliable Agency Platform for Brand SERP Management
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we’re opening the platform now up to agencies, so it’s an agency platform. One of the people using the agency, Gert Mellak, said what he loves about it is it’s so robust. And what I love about the word robust is it’s solid. It doesn’t break. It doesn’t fail to load. It doesn’t give you the wrong data and guess where that comes from. It comes from Boowa and Kwala because when I was building the games, I was programming the games. If there were any bugs in any of the games, the child would always find it and the child would get frustrated because they didn’t finish the game. They’d got a score of 100 or whatever and they were about to get 120 and it was going to be their high score. So it breaks. The bug hits in, and they go absolutely they’re so frustrated. And when they get frustrated, the parents get frustrated, the parents get angry, and they write very rude emails. So I used to bug, test, and stress test our platform all the time to the point at which the games that I built in 1998, 25 years later, still work.
William Attaway: Wow.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yup and and one thing is we had the server and I used to stress test it and just send lots and lots and lots of queries to the server to see at what point it would break. And every now and then it would break. Obviously, these things are never perfect. Every time it broke, we would get literally 200 emails in the space of a day from very, very frustrated, angry parents.
William Attaway: Yikes.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): So for me I needed it not to break in order for me not to have to employ people to reply to 200 emails from angry parents. And it was a great lesson in life. And I built that into Kalicube Pro and I’m hugely proud of it.
Scaling Your Agency with Profitable Brand SERP Services: A Time-Efficient White Paper and Video Guide
William Attaway: That’s fantastic. I know there’s a lot of agency owners that that are listening and I know this is a tool they’re going to be very interested in learning more about.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And we’ve just finished the white paper 6 Services You Can Offer To Your Clients As An Agency With Lucrative Profit Margins that allow you to add services and scale your agency without headaches and without needing to employ vast numbers of new staff and that was the video I was recording this weekend. Because the white paper is 5, 600 words and it explains in detail six service offerings with pricings and how to implement them. But we realized that agency owners don’t have that time. So I made a 7-minute video that explains it all. So you can immediately see Is this going to be interesting for my agency or not?
William Attaway: I love that. I would love to share that when that’s ready with our listeners.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Absolutely. I’ll be ready in two days time.
William Attaway: That’s fantastic. We’ll send the link over and I’ll put that in the show notes for this episode.
Embracing AI and Leveraging Kalicube Pro: A Winning Formula for Agencies to Thrive in the Digital Marketing Space
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Brilliant! Thank you very much. And I’m really, really pleased because I built the platform eight years ago to solve one problem for myself and it’s ended up solving six different problems which we sell to our clients as an agency using our own platform. But it also allows us to then. Help other agencies, especially today, what’s happening with Generative AI in the digital marketing space is that all of a sudden you can create lots of great content really quickly, AI will write your code for you, AI will appear in the search results and it would appear that it’s taking over the search results and a lot of agencies are frightened and worried. Do I provide the same number of services but reduce my prices? Do I keep my price, add more services, and if so, how do I do it? And what we’re now doing is saying, well, why don’t you just offer more services and you can maintain your price, sometimes even increase them. If you can say to a client, I can extract from Google the exact perfect digital marketing strategy for your company in your situation in your market. And then I will coach you through that digital marketing strategy and in the first year you will get an increase in visibility brand awareness across the entire web. We will clarify your message in Google’s brain. Google will then rank you higher. And in the second year, you will get an increase in SEO traffic. That is beautiful.
William Attaway: Yeah.
From Revenue Growth to SEO Success: Kalicube’s Two-Year Journey of Spectacular Business Expansion
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the point there is for Kalicube, we’ve implemented that ourselves. The first year we got 25% revenue growth, and that’s just from the digital marketing without any SEO at all, from hitting the right spots, standing where your audience are looking, offering them the solution to the problem they have front of mind and showing them what the next step is and they walk straight down your funnel. It’s beautiful.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And then the second year, of course, Google understands that we’re doing this, and it can see that this is what’s happening. We’ve been standing where the audience is looking. We’ve been showing them that we have the solution to their problem and we’ve showed them the next step. And they walked straight in. 300% growth in search traffic the second year, because we had created the content that demonstrated that that’s what we were doing. And in two years, we’ve doubled income. And this year, I’ve already, Kalicube’s already done as much income in the first six months as the entire year, last year. It’s a veritable hockey stick. I think it sounds like I’m showing off, but I’m British and it’s really difficult. I suddenly feel really guilty.
Empowering Agencies with Proven Strategies: Kalicube’s Streamlined Process and Skillset Development
William Attaway: I think you just caught the attention of every business owner and leader and agency owner who’s listening.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right, brilliant. That’s great. I would like to thank Leanne, Jean Marie, Mary Ann, Katrina, who have helped me to really get that nailed. We managed to create these, this white paper and this explanation. It’s become incredibly clear. I couldn’t have been that clear three weeks ago. As well, I’m here, I’ll also thank Allyssa for the Kalicube Pro team, who is the best in the world and she’s the person who serves the agencies.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the other great thing is as we’re building our own Kalicube Process, I we’re implementing our own digital marketing strategy, we’re developing the skillsets in house. And we’re now working on SOPs that we can then sell on and provide to agencies and our clients based on our own experience. What went right? What went wrong? Where did we get it wrong? And one of the vastly underrated aspects is getting that process, getting the right software tools, not wasting time, not having many backwards and forwards, and making sure you’re really hitting the spot with as much efficiency and efficacity as possible.
“It’s not just Jason”: Kalicube’s Collective Efforts Driving Success
William Attaway: Jason, one of the things that has stood out to me in this interview is you illustrate a principle that I teach a lot and you’re living it out and you’re not even aware of it, I don’t think.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Probably not.
William Attaway: And the principle is that nobody ascends to greatness alone. No company ascends to greatness because of one person. What you have done is you have said, Hey, and I want to talk and so and so and every one of your team members that you’ve named, you’ve called out by name because you realize that every one of them makes a difference. They make an impact and Kalicube could not be what it is without every one of them. It’s not just about you. It’s about the team that is accomplishing what you’re doing.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Not a 100% and two and a half years ago, I was completely on my own.
William Attaway: Wow.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It was just Jason. And now we have a catch phrase in Kalicube. If you go and see our team page search for Kalicube team, it’s great page that I didn’t build, of course. But at the top, it says Kalicube, It’s not just Jason.
William Attaway: Ha ha ha I love that!
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that’s one of the things we’ve really had to communicate.
William Attaway: Yeah.
Kalicube Babies: Empowering Team Members to Take Ownership and Excel
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s Maria organizing our podcast. We’ve invited you on the podcast but I’ve said to her, but she has to say yes, it’s not my choice.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And that’s the another point is we have what we call Kalicube Babies which is a project that is 100% in the hands of one person and that one person is there to nurture the baby and help it to grow. And Maria’s Kalicube baby is the podcast.
William Attaway: Wow.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And the podcast is absolutely rocking it. Because I don’t get involved. I just turn up and interview people which is lovely. But up until the point I’m actually interviewing them, I’ve got no idea who they are or what we’re talking about because Maria literally does everything.
Empowering Team Members Through Delegation and Specialization
William Attaway: Wow. That is phenomenal. What a team.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It is. And I think it’s Mad Singers who taught me this. I mean, I’d love to say it was all my invention but it isn’t. And he said first thing after six months, my team was falling apart and I had him on my podcast and he explained to me, he said, you’re giving them tasks that’s never going to work. You’re looking for people to do what you were doing and just repeat your process. That’s not going to work. You need to give them roles, responsibilities, which is where Kalicube Babies came from, and you need to delegate to them. And you need to understand that they will find a better process than you because they’re going to do more of it. It’s going to be their specialization and you have to trust them to do that. And if you can’t trust them to do that, don’t work with them. And he’s right.
Fostering a Positive and Supportive Team Culture: Embracing Happiness and Collaboration
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And another interesting aspect that we’re really starting to get right in the team is an atmosphere of friendliness and happiness and mutual support and I’m hugely happy with that and who joined the team a month ago, we have weekly team meetings. Everyone explains what they’ve been doing in the week so that everybody knows what everybody else is doing which really helps the Kalicube Pro team help our clients because they understand the problems of the different members of the marketing team.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And during the meetings after a month, I say to the person who’s been there a month, I would like you to stay. You’ve done a great job. This has been a really good month. It’s been a great kickoff. Do you want to stay? And they can say no or they can say yes. And she actually said “Yes, I would love to stay. I haven’t had meetings where I’ve laughed so much ever. There is usually a lot of pressure and no laughter.” And for me, meetings are about sharing success, sharing how we’re all working together, what each of us is doing. It’s not about proving how valuable you are. If you have to prove how valuable you are and you’ve got five minutes to do it in front of a boss in a public meeting, that’s a terrible, terrible situation to be in. I agree with that.
Leading with Transparency and Humility: Embracing Mistakes and Learning Opportunities
William Attaway: So good. So good. I love that. I hope every leader who’s listening, who leads a meeting, listens to what you just said, backs it up, listens to it again, backs it up, listens to it again, and then writes it down and puts it on their wall.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Another thing is also it sounds very trite, but leading by example.
William Attaway: Yes.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): I make mistakes. I moved all our WordPress sites to a new server and then the whole thing just collapsed.
William Attaway: Oh no.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And so I had to come back and then move it to Kinsta, who are a great host who I’ve got no deal with, so you know, I’m not getting anything from them for saying it, but, and I moved it there. So at the team meeting, I had to say well, I moved to the new server. It all collapsed in a heap because I got it all wrong and we’ve now moved to Kinsta, [Taida] helped me with that. It’s been absolutely wonderful. And I’m really happy because now I can hand off the whole thing to [Taida] and it’s now her Kalicube baby. But I think it’s important that I said, I actually messed up the first time and I got it wrong, it was a misjudgment on my part.
William Attaway: Yes, absolutely. Because when you go first in that, Jason, when you go first and say “Hey, I messed up” you give other people in the room permission to also mess up to know that it’s okay. Not just to mess up, but to admit it publicly and say “Hey, I own this. I did it. I screwed it up. This is how I’m fixing it”. When you give that kind of permission to your team, that creates a dynamic of health that is really astoundingly effective in creating momentum.
Fostering a Culture of Learning and Vulnerability: Embracing Mistakes and Enthusiastically Embracing New Knowledge
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I’ve always been quite honest. I’ve got nothing to hide. I don’t mind being wrong. I don’t mind showing that I’ve been wrong. And I do love people teaching me things and I think you’ll agree with a podcast. One of the best things about having a podcast is people coming on and teaching you things and explaining things. You just go, wow.
William Attaway: Yes.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And I’ve got a tick that I was I often go “ooh!” When somebody says something that I found really, really interesting and surprising. It’s really just the enthusiasm of saying “Oh, I didn’t know that.”
William Attaway: Yes. Yes.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): It’s so, so loving that’s I think we call it wearing your heart on your sleeve.
William Attaway: Yeah, absolutely. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think that’s a wonderful trait, man.
Unlocking Potential Through Teamwork: From Solopreneur to Collaborative Success
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And if we come back to the growth of Kalicube and the team, I’ve had this platform since 2015. For six years, I was just running it on my own. And it was basically just my platform for working on my five or six clients as an independent contractor. But I built an entire platform, cloud based SaaS platform, and I just didn’t let anyone else use it. And then started building a team. Katrina was the person who got on board first and who’s still here. She started the team. She managed to keep it together. She managed to motivate everybody to keep moving forwards. And now all of a sudden I can feel that flywheel going.
William Attaway: Exactly.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): And all I have to do is what I always, always, always wanted to do is build my Math machine look into the data, Sherlock Holmes on Google to figure out the why it hasn’t understood why it’s misrepresenting what information it can provide me that allows me to help our clients and the agencies so that they can serve their clients. That’s all I wanna do in life because it’s the most interesting job of all.
William Attaway: Yes. Well, it’s the best use of your time because of your gifts, your passions, your abilities, the things you’ve learned and you’re able to leverage that for the benefit of so many more people when you can focus on that.
The Power of Delegating Authority: Building Trust and Empowering Your Team
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yeah. I’m gonna name check a few more people as well. We’ve got Christina and Leanne who have been pushing and pushing and pushing along with Katrina, in fact, now I think about it, pushing me to stop doing the things that aren’t a good use of my time and focus on the things that are a good use of my time. And I find that difficult. I think a lot of people do. I want to look and check and make sure it’s all going well. And a great lesson I’ve learned from Allyssa, who runs the Kalicube Pro team, is every now and then a client will tag me into an email. And then I think “Oh, something’s gone wrong” and of course it never has. Allyssa is completely on top of it. And it’s difficult for me not say “Well, Allyssa what about this?” and I’ve resisted it. I’ve managed to resist it for three days,once. And then we were having a conversation. I could not ask her. And then as soon as I’ve ask her, I thought no, I shouldn’t have done that because of course, she’s sorted this out and that’s it. I have to believe and I have to delegate it. I have to give authority and I have to let go.
Building a Winning Team: Cultivating Trust, Delegation, and Supportive Atmosphere
William Attaway: Well and I think what you just keyed in on is spot on. I mean that’s the challenge for leaders to delegate, not just responsibility but to also delegate authority.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Yes.
William Attaway: And when we do that, then we are demonstrating trust. We’re demonstrating value and people who feel trusted and valued lean in to your company. They lean into your organization. So often what I see is leaders only delegate responsibility because there is a lack of full trust. And that communicates a lack of value over time.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right, well, you’ve put your finger on something I’ve only just started being able to do because delegating responsibilities and roles, relatively simple, I can now see delegating authority is a huge step. So thank you because that now means I know what I’m trying to do. And I think that’s key is once I know what I need to do it becomes much, much, much easier because I know I’m going that way. And until that moment, you’re kind of striking around in the dark and never really very sure.
Optimizing Your Brand SERP: Leveraging Google Business Card and Curiosity for Success
William Attaway: Absolutely. Jason, I could continue this conversation for another hour. This has been so fascinating and so incredibly insightful. Thank you for sharing so generously. I know a lot of people are going to want to stay connected with you, continue learning from you, and find out more about what you’re doing. How was the best way for them to do that?
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Right. Well, the first thing everyone should do is Google my name, Jason Barnard, J A S O N B A R N A R D, and that is my Google business card. And that gives you a choice of how you want to interact with me on the left hand side and on the right hand side, it shows all the facts about me. That’s what a great Google business card, your brand SERP, looks like from a personal perspective. From a business perspective, you can Google Kalicube, K A L I C U B E, and it will show you the facts on the right hand side once again, which is Google’s understanding of what we have taught it about ourselves as a company and then on the left hand side, all our sites, our social media profiles, our offers. How do you want to engage? Do you just want to watch the podcast? Or do you want to jump in and buy a service? Do you want to learn more about me as the founder? Or do you want to join our Facebook support group which is free? Or do you want to download the white paper for 6 Ways To Make Lucrative Margin Money As An Agency.
Embracing Curiosity and Continuous Improvement: How a Teachable Spirit Drives Success
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): That’s the beauty is our brand SERP is perfect because it represents to you, our audience, now, if you search our name, exactly who we are, what we can offer you, why we’re credible, and offers you the opportunity to choose how you interact with us. And if somebody wants to be super smart and clever, come in and tell us what we’re doing wrong with our digital marketing strategy by reading our brand SERP. I’m happy to hear if we’re getting it wrong.
William Attaway: And that teachable spirit, that insatiable curiosity, that’s why you have found the success that you have and why you continue to go up and to the right. May it be a model for us all, Jason. Thank you.
The Brand SERP Guy (Jason Barnard): Thank you so much, William. That was brilliant.