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Dive into the world of digital marketing with Jason Barnard, entrepreneur, writer, and CEO of Kalicube, on this episode of “United States of Small Business.” Known as “The Brand SERP Guy,” Jason shares his insights on why Google is crucial for small business owners, what a Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is, and how businesses can leverage this knowledge for success.

Learn from Jason’s rich history of digital innovation, from founding multiple companies to developing groundbreaking software that automates digital marketing strategies. He’ll also offer practical SEO tips for small businesses and discuss key takeaways from his book, “The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business.”

Whether you’re a startup or a seasoned enterprise, Jason’s expertise will help you harness the power of Google to enhance your online presence and drive business growth.

Check Jason out here: https://kalicube.com/

Buy his book here: https://amzn.to/4dhNXbb

Narrator [00:00:00]: Welcome to the United States of Small Business, a podcast where the essence of american entrepreneurship is celebrated in every episode, with host, John Quick at the helm. Join us as we embark on a journey through the heart of the nation, uncovering the inspiring stories of small business owners from coast to coast. Experience the vibrant energy of bustling cities and the serene beauty of small towns. Haul while discovering how individuals are turning their entrepreneurial dreams into reality, even against the greatest odds. Each episode brings you face to face with the dreamers, creators, and doers who form the economic backbone of our country, all sharing their spirit of innovation and resilience. Whether you are in the early stages of sowing the seeds for your own business, scaling new heights in your current venture, or simply captivated by tales of grit and triumph, you are in the right place. Tune in on platforms like Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Pandora and beyond. For deeper insights and to connect with the heart and soul of America’s main streets, visit unitedstatesofsmallbusiness.com. Subscribe to United States of Small Business with host, John Quick now, and be inspired by the powerful stories of entrepreneurship, community, and the unwavering pursuit of the American dream. Begin your journey of inspiration with us today.

John Quick [00:01:25]: Welcome to the United States Small Business podcast, where we uncover the secrets to success from the nation’s top entrepreneurs. I’m your host, John Quick. Today we’re thrilled to have Jason Barnard, also known as the Brand SERP Guy, with us. Jason is the CEO of Kalicube, a pioneer in the Digital Marketing and Brand SERP space. In this episode, Jason will explain why understanding Google is essential for small business owners, share invaluable SEO tips and discuss how his innovative software can transform your Digital Marketing efforts. We’ll also dive into the insights from his book, The Fundamentals of Brand SERP for Businesses. Get ready to boost your online visibility and master the Google game with expert advice from one of the industry’s best.

John Quick [00:02:06]: So without further ado, Jason, welcome to the United States of Small business podcast.

Jason Barnard [00:02:11]: Thank you, John. I’m delighted to be here.

John Quick [00:02:14]: Well, this should be fun. It’ll be cool hearing your story and really some of your expertise on how folks can utilize something like Google to benefit maybe their business or something they’re aspiring to. But first, I’d love to hear the story of how you started this company, Kalicube, and what it is. Tell folks that story.

Jason Barnard [00:02:34]: Right, well, stick around because the story gets quite interesting. I started Kalicube in 2015 because when I searched my name on Google, Google said Jason Barnard is a cartoon blue dog because my previous career was a voiceover artist for cartoon blue dog. And I realized it was ruining my business that people didn’t want to sign a contract for a Digital Marketing strategy with somebody who was declared by Google to be a cartoon blue dog. And that’s when I realized that Google is my business card and that my personal brand drives my business. People sign with me as a human being, people do business with people. So I needed to look and sound and appear credible and reasonable as a digital marketer when people Googled my name. So I set about changing Google’s opinion of me from cartoon blue dog to super duper top digital marketer.

John Quick [00:03:38]: That’s awesome.

Jason Barnard [00:03:40]: It’s cool, isn’t it? And I realized that everybody needs to do this. Google is everybody’s business card. If Google is representing you inaccurately or badly or even just not as well as it could, you’re wasting a huge opportunity as an individual, but then also as a brand. So if somebody searches my company, Kalicube, they see a great result. If they search my name, Jason Barnard, they see a great result. They want to do business with me.

John Quick [00:04:09]: That’s great. I think most people assume that it just kind of, it’s out of their control and it all happens organically. My guess is, as you know, you’re alluding to, is that you can kind of be in the driver’s seat of that. Would that be a true statement?

Jason Barnard [00:04:24]: Yeah, I mean, I like to say you can design your Google business card. So you can go in and intentionally encourage Google to show particular aspects of your business, your great reviews, your wonderful videos, your own website, your login page on your website, the about us page on your website, the products pages on your website. And then on the right-hand side, if you’re really smart, you get what we call a Knowledge Panel, which is Google’s information box about your company or you as a person. And that information box, the Knowledge Panel, is Google’s stamp of approval that you are credible, authoritative solution for its users.

John Quick [00:05:05]: That’s great. So I think a lot of folks, a good chunk of our listeners are maybe just starting out, opening a business and maybe this is one of the things they think about last. So why is Google so important for somebody that owns a couple of coffee shops in Iowa? And why is that important to them?

Jason Barnard [00:05:26]: Well, I think we look at Google and we think it’s this huge, huge machine. And probably as a small company or somebody who isn’t famous, we’re going to struggle to impose ourselves to get ourselves some visibility on Google. And it is difficult and it takes time. But at the end of the day, getting on Google and getting visibility on Google today is no longer the technical trickery that it used to be a few years ago. It’s all about having a solid, meaningful, relevant and efficient Digital Marketing strategy and brand presence. Because Google is simply reflecting the world. It’s looking at what everybody’s doing online and then trying to replicate the best solutions provided to the people who need them. So if you look at your shop in Iowa or your small company in San Francisco, Google has 90% of the people in those particular locations using it on Google Maps, on the Google search engine, on YouTube, all of these platforms that belong to Google.

Jason Barnard [00:06:34]: So the probability is that 90% of your audience will be on Google and you can reach out to them and get those touch points through Google. And of the people within that region, some of them already know who you are and they’re going to be googling your name. And those people are bottom of funnel, super prospects, already your clients, potential partners, potential hires. You need to look your best with that Google business card. And I’ll just finish this off with a nice little rounder is by designing a Google business card. Sorry. In order to design your Google business card, you need to have a rounded, efficient and effective, profitable Digital Marketing strategy.

Jason Barnard [00:07:20]: And that means that Google is simply an extension of your Digital Marketing strategy. So a smart Digital Marketing strategy will attract Google to you as a great solution to its users and that will be represented in the result that Google gives for your name when somebody searches it.

John Quick [00:07:36]: That’s awesome. So there’s going to be folks listening, thinking, man, that sounds amazing, but I don’t know how to do any of that. So is this something that you help other businesses do? Tell me about some of those things that your company can help folks as they’re listening to some of the things that you’re talking about that are very important in the Digital Marketing world.

Jason Barnard [00:07:56]: Well, we have a solution called the Kalicube Process. And the Kalicube Process is branding and marketing packaged for SEO. So we tell you, get your brand right, communicate your brand, build your credibility for the brand, create the marketing materials for your audience that makes sense to them and you will be reaching out to them where they are hanging out online. You’ll be standing where they’re looking, on YouTube, on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on Google Maps, on Google, indeed. If you can do that and present them with the right solution, you simply got a great Digital Marketing strategy. And the Kalicube Process is timeless. It worked yesterday, it works today, and it will work tomorrow. Even with things like ChatGPT coming along, the Kalicube Process still works.

Jason Barnard [00:08:47]: And it’s universal. It works for everybody. And that’s the kicker here, is that it’s universal so everybody can use it. So we’ve decided to give it all away for free on our website. You go to kalicube.com K-A-L-I-C-U-B-E.com and go to the downloads section and you will find eight or nine free PDF downloads that explain everything we do. And the reason we give it away for free is because we know that this solution will work for everybody. You don’t need to be a geek, you just need to be a smart marketer.

Jason Barnard [00:09:21]: And some of the stuff we teach helps you to be a smarter marketer and just learn to package for Google and the other assistive engines and search engines. And if you can do that, you’re going to drive great business and get Google as a, let’s call it a bonus. That is, people will come through Google, because Google will start to recommend you as the best solution to its users. Because at the end of the day, Google is simply a recommendation engine. It recommends the best solution to the subset of its users who are your audience. And you want it to recommend you. And it will recommend you if it sees you serving your audience across your entire digital ecosystem. If it understands that you are the best credible solution for a problem, it will recommend you. So all you need to do is package your great branding and your marketing for Google and that becomes your bonus.

Jason Barnard [00:10:11]: It becomes a natural extension of a great branded marketing strategy.

John Quick [00:10:16]: Nice. So let’s go like one step further, like deeper. And one of the things that you talk about on your website and in your book is Brand SERP. Tell me there’s going to be folks listening to this that don’t even know what that means. So talk to me about what that is and why it’s important.

Jason Barnard [00:10:35]: Right. Which is lovely, because I often just start off by saying Brand SERP. But this is one podcast episode where I started off by talking about it and describing it without using the term Brand SERP, which people often don’t understand because a Brand SERP is a search engine results page for a brand name or a person’s name. So when somebody Googles your name or your company name, what they see is the Brand SERP. And we’ve already talked about it earlier on, that’s your Google business card and it’s also Google’s opinion of the world’s opinion of you. So you can look at what appears when you search your own name or your company name and Google will simply tell you, this is what the world thinks of you. And if it isn’t what you think of yourself, you have to set about fixing it because the world in general hasn’t got the right view of you. And your Digital Marketing strategy in general is not as good as it could be. It’s not clear.

Jason Barnard [00:11:31]: And that’s for your audience as well as for Google.

John Quick [00:11:36]: That’s awesome. You recently also wrote a book called The Fundamentals of Brand SERP for Businesses. Tell me what led you to write that and how people can find it if they’re interested in getting a copy.

Jason Barnard [00:11:48]: Yeah, you can get a copy on Amazon. I decided to write it because I realized that you can build a Digital Marketing strategy just by looking at your Brand SERP, the search engine results page for your brand name or your personal name. On Google, you can immediately see what needs to be done and you can just go through it step by step and build a brilliant, solid, efficient and effective and profitable Digital Marketing strategy from that. And I’ll give you a really quick example of how simple this is. If your website doesn’t rank number one, if it isn’t at the top of the list, then you have a problem. You need to get your website to number one, which is going to be having a very clear homepage. Clearly describe who you are, what you do, which audience you serve and why they should buy from you. Use your brand name extensively.

Jason Barnard [00:12:37]: That will push you up to the top. So that’s step number one. If then you don’t see what we call rich sitelinks, multiple links underneath with about us, login, contact us, maybe your products page. You need to think about how your website is organized. If Google can’t find those pages to show them to your users when they search your name on Google, it means it hasn’t understood your website. Your website must be badly organized, so reconsider the organization and the labeling of your website. Next, you should see on that left-hand side a couple of social media profiles. If you’re working a lot on Facebook, but it doesn’t appear when somebody searches your name, you’re wasting your time either because your strategy on Facebook is rubbish or because Facebook isn’t the right place for you to be communicating with your audience.

Jason Barnard [00:13:24]: So if you’re not working on LinkedIn but LinkedIn ranks, then you can imagine that Google thinks that LinkedIn is more important than Facebook and you should switch your focus to Facebook, to LinkedIn. Sorry. There should be two, maybe three social media profiles, depending on how much you work on them. If you’re investing in video but videos don’t appear when somebody Googles your name, you’re wasting your money. You’re either investing in a channel that doesn’t work for you or you’re investing badly and people aren’t engaging with your videos. So either way, you need to reconsider your strategy, then review sites. You would expect to see a review site.

Jason Barnard [00:14:01]: If you’ve got great reviews but they’re not ranking, then Google hasn’t understood that those reviews are about you. You need to clarify that. Your users are probably struggling to find those reviews that put you in a great light, so you need to clarify that for them as well. And so there you can see I’ve immediately been able to identify the first steps in my Digital Marketing strategy. And all of a sudden, the whole strategy seems very simple, step by step, instead of being this incredibly huge task that I can’t even start to think how I might approach it.

John Quick [00:14:33]: That’s great. You know, you’ve done a number of other things in your career I’d love to hear about. You alluded to the fact that you were on a hit kids TV show. I’d love to hear the behind the scenes peak on what was that experience like? And do you think that helped you become who you are today?

Jason Barnard [00:14:55]: Yeah, that was the blue dog. I was Boowa, the Blue dog and my ex-wife was Kwala, the yellow koala. And I did the voices for the cartoon dog for ITV International. It showed in the US, on Radio Canada. It showed in France on TG. It was an international TV sensation in 2007, 2008. But we also had a website, and the website got 1 billion page views in 2007. It was huge.

Jason Barnard [00:15:26]: We were competing with Disney, the BBC, PBS. We were on the same level as them, and we were a tiny company and we were based in Mauritius, just off Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. And what was lovely there is that’s where I learned about Digital Marketing. I thought, I need this website to be a success. We need the TV series to be a success. How do I promote the website to promote the characters and get these characters in front of as many children as possible? And as you can see, with a billion page views, we got in front of a lot of children. And that was all down to standing where the audience is looking, demonstrating that you can bring them value and showing them what you want to do next.

Jason Barnard [00:16:10]: And that is simply good marketing and good business. So I actually learned, whilst being a cartoon blue dog how to do marketing, how to do branding and how to do business.

John Quick [00:16:23]: That’s great. Well, since 20 minutes has gone by in a flash here, do you have any last minute thoughts here before we head off?

Jason Barnard [00:16:30]: Yeah, I absolutely love this little world that I’m in and it’s a huge world. It’s the delightful irony of having a niche in my industry, which is Digital Marketing, which is the Brand SERP, the search engine results page for a brand name. It’s a niche in that. It’s a very small part, but it’s a niche that everybody needs. So we could say that Brand SERPs are a universal niche. They’re a universal truth. They’re timeless and they’re incredibly powerful and very, very simple to deal with. And I love it.

John Quick [00:17:04]: That’s awesome. Well, folks, I want to encourage you to go back. If you only cut the tail in here to listen to the whole thing, you hear some really awesome tidbits and nuggets on why it’s very important for you to be engaged with Google with your business, whether it’s a brick and mortar business or an online business. Also, put all the links for Kalicube in the podcast description so you can go on there and check it out and your link to your book on Amazon. Jason, we want to thank you so much for joining us here on the podcast. We wish you nothing but success. We hope everybody has a phenomenal rest of the week. And until next time, I’m John Quick from the United States of Small Business Podcast.

John Quick [00:17:40]: Thanks, Jason, for joining us.

Jason Barnard [00:17:42]: Thank you, John. That was delightful.

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