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Digital Hospitality: A Cali BBQ Media Podcast
63 minutes | a year ago
Importing the Family Stash | CaliFino Tequila (DH 029)
Miguel Luna was known by soccer fans as a clutch scorer who brought four championships to the San Diego Sockers. Miguel was also known as the guy who brought his teammates really good tequila. “I started bringing plastic water bottles with tequila to the locker room on gameday in 2010,” reflects Miguel Luna on his championship playing days with the San Diego Sockers on the Digital Hospitality podcast. “When we were done with the games we’d celebrate with a quick shot.” That tequila in the plastic water bottles didn’t have a name in 2010. It does in 2020. The Story of CaliFino Tequila: CaliFino Tequila, a family company in the truest sense, may be to the San Diego Sockers what Gatorade is to the Florida Gators. “I introduced the team to the tequila very early on,” remembers Miguel. “Everyone wanted a bottle! I couldn’t even get a bottle myself, I had to ask my dad for some from the family stash. That’s kind of how it started.” That family stash is located in Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico where CaliFino existed amongst the Lunas before it ever existed as a business. “I come from a Mexican background, both my mom and dad were born and grew up in Mexico,” notes Miguel. “We have a close family tie with the town the where tequila is made in.” How close? Generations deep. “Back in the ‘70s, my grandfather used to hang out at these tequila distilleries on a regular basis. He became close friends with the Gonzales family who is now the tequila distillery we work with,” as Miguel tells it. Getting close to the families had to come with great perks like a special discount, right? Nope, even better. “He wasn’t getting the tequilas that were being marketed and sold, he was getting their family batch that wasn’t for sale. He’d get these special batches and that’s kind of how it got going.” As the story goes, Miguel’s grandfather – Don Jose Luna – would be privileged to all the best moonshine style tequila the family had. Over the years, Don’s taste got so good that he shared the best batches of tequila with his own family and friends. By the early 2000s, that tequila would make it to members of the Luna family in Southern California. “Everything San Diego is very close to me,” notes Miguel, foreshadowing a rich future that stems from a storied past. Growing up a huge soccer fan and pretty talented player himself, Miguel was an avid supporter of the hometown San Diego Sockers pro soccer club. By the time he was old enough to leave the house, he went on to play soccer at the University of Portland. By the time he was one semester in, he realized how much he missed home. Following his college career in the Pacific Northwest, he was back home in San Diego with soccer seemingly in the rearview. In short order, that would change. “Around 2008 is when I got to meet Phil Salvagio,” says Miguel of the local soccer star he watched as a kid. “He was tinkering with the idea of bringing the Sockers back.” Think about it: can you imagine meeting a pro athlete you looked up to as a kid and them telling you as a young adult they wanted to bring back the team? Wilder yet, what if that childhood hero said they wanted to have you on it? Like many future business propositions between Phil and Miguel, the idea would be met with laughter. How could this be true? “I grew up watching the Sockers at the Sports Arena in the ‘80s so I knew what that franchise meant,” Miguel says looking back at that fateful meeting. “It seemed a little far-fetched, but me and Phil got to know each other on a player/coach relationship first and then we became great friends.” Phil, no longer a player but now both owner and coach of the Sockers, had just secured a piece of local talent to bring the club back and eventually bring even more success to the both of them. “When Phil brought it back it was purely for the love of the game, he wanted to bring indoor soccer back to San Diego.” And bring back indoor soccer to San Diego Phil did. San Diego had a winning club to be proud of. With the help of Miguel, an incredibly clutch player on four championship Sockers teams, the comeback club was the toast of the town and the league. “I was fortunate enough to get a few lucky breaks in my career,” Miguel humbly reflects on championship winning goals. Like any championship club, the chemistry doesn’t start during play and it doesn’t end there either. At every level, this happens in the locker room or on the bus rides. For the Sockers, it happens in carpooling. “Phil and I were carpooling and one day we were driving from the Sports Arena to Carlsbad,” remembers Miguel. “We pulled over for a beer at Peabody’s and it happens to be karaoke night. We’re having a great time, talking, and it’s around the holidays. I remember telling Phil, ‘I’m gonna import some tequila. I’ve been talking to the guys and they all want five bottles, do you want it?’ He goes, ‘You’re going to import the family stash? I’m in.’” Buzzed banter can be hard to follow, and this proves true for the Socker stars throwing back beers at one fateful karaoke night. Miguel wanted to give Phil his family tequila as a Christmas gift. Phil wanted to give Miguel a tequila business. Once Phil’s second professional pitch to Miguel was comprehended it was met with the same response as his first: laughter. “I didn’t think much of it, it was a talk over a few beers and I left it at that,” says Miguel. “A week later we’re driving back from practice and he follows up on it. I thought he was drunk when we were talking about it and he was serious! He wanted to partner up with my family and at this time our families had a great relationship. It was kind of a no-brainer and I had no hesitations about sharing it with him.” The rest, as they say, is history. Or, actually, a mistake. “It was never an idea or a concept, this was here 100% as a mistake,” says Miguel on the origin of CaliFino Tequila. “From Day 1, it was my uncle getting my dad the family bottles of tequila and me sharing it with friends. I developed a bond, which I still have, with the guys on the Sockers. It all started from celebrating with tequila in the locker-room.” Coming full circle, Miguel and Phil are both major players at CaliFino Tequila and also the Sockers where Miguel currently occupies a front office role. A family man, Miguel practices the same spontaneity that sparked CaliFino when bouncing ideas off his partners at the tequila company. “We don’t have a board, we don’t have this big group, it’s literally those close with family ties and that’s how we get our ideas.” Those family ties play into the storytelling that defines CaliFino Tequila as a premium product. Just like laughs over beers sparked turning family tequila into a full-fledged company, one whiff of a small leather sample laying around the office sparked one of their biggest branding moves. “If you’ve been to a place where people are working on leather, you never forget that smell,” notes Miguel. As a young boy, that place was his grandfather’s home in Mexico. As a nod to Grandpa Don’s ability to work with leather and discovery of the tequila, each bottle features leather branding to tell the CaliFino story in unique fashion and as a premium product. So, want to start your own company like Miguel? Well, all you have to do is play professional soccer and get your teammates buzzed. Okay, maybe not quite. The spontaneity and real roots of Miguel’s brand birth are almost impossible to duplicate. However, the ethos both Miguel and his brand live by can be adopted by you and your brand just the same. 4 Ways CaliFino Tequila is Rooted in Realness: Real Stories – Stories this good can’t be made up, so why try? The real stories CaliFino derives from provides a stable foundation to grow their business and connect with customers. The humility, humor and honesty that defines the CaliFino story focuses on family tradition and shines through in their product from the leather labeling to the agave rope wrapping. Real Relationships – There’s a reason Miguel and Phil began working together: they genuinely liked and respected each other. Bringing their bond through the Sockers to Miguel’s family ties, the strength of these relationships makes for honest conversation and collaboration. Just the same, Miguel makes sure to connect with clients and customers on the same level. The bonds Miguel has built in his life continue to grow CaliFino. Real Fun – Let’s not forget, CaliFino Tequila came to life as a business over beers at a karaoke happy hour. Have fun! Laughing, loving and enjoying life creates close relationships and great stories. Also important, it sparks creativity. Fun founded CaliFino Tequila and it still makes the brand blossom from every cocktail recipe to every social share. Real Good Things Happen with Real Good People – From the inside out, CaliFino Tequila is built off real good relationships with real good people. Rather than chase funding or go after a quick come-up, Miguel makes sure to associate and work with good people. That trust and those ethics equip the business to grow without weeds and without worry. The second and fourth points on that list couldn’t register truer in the current season of sport and season of life. With a booming brand in Carlsbad and another foot still in San Diego’s soccer club, Miguel knows who he can count on when the Sockers or his kids take him out of the office. “Pops is my best friend, he’s my go-to,” Miguel says of his father and business partner. “I know the person I trust most is watching out for me. I’m still very involved with soccer during the season – I travel with the team – so Pops runs the show when I’m gone.” Giving Back During COVID-19: While the season of spring would usually see the San Diego Sockers celeb
56 minutes | a year ago
How to be a Beacon of Hope | Nicole Duncan of FSR Magazine (DH 028)
In trying times, you can become a beacon of hope for others. The current quarantine conditions the country is in has everyone reflecting and revising how they go about both life and business. For Nicole Duncan, editor at Full Service Restaurant (FSR) magazine, she’s made it her mission for the last decade to profile the food industry and become an expert on the ins and outs of the business. In this time of crisis, she’s been able to use her voice to educate owners and operators in the restaurant space who are feeling the pain of COVID-19 on their business and their staff. “We want to be not just a beacon of hope but also a resource for restaurants,” says Nicole Duncan from FSR Magazine. Based in North Carolina, Nicole Duncan serves as the Editor of Full Service Restaurant’s magazine day in and day out. With an appetite for the industry and a pedigree in journalism, Nicole is far from a food critic nor does her publication operate in that space. Rather, FSR’s recipe for great content focuses on the money, metrics, and marketplace that is the food industry. “We write about the trends and techniques that are up and coming,” says Nicole Duncan about FSR magazine. “But we’re always looking at it through the lens of restaurants being a business first and foremost.” A purveyor of print, Nicole is old school in her approach to content but savvy enough to pivot in these changing times. As an editor in a time of panic and uncertainty, Nicole is assisting her staff in making the most of this moment for her writers and readership. “We have a robust digital presence that keeps growing and has really proven itself during this experience,” says Nicole Duncan about running a publication during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The new way of operating is still changing. We’ve had to suspend any freelance work for the time being. Right now, we are pulling stuff from online for print. Just the same, all of us on print are contributing online as well. It’s all hands on deck right now.” Adjusting to the Times: Adjusting to the times means that every other day FSR has an editorial check-in meeting. The team often uses Google Meet so they can have a meeting remotely. When it comes to print, proofing has proven difficult digitally but might just make PDFs the new techniques for edits as it’s an already surfacing solution. “Print will never go away, but print will see more of its lifeblood go to digital,” according to Nicole Duncan. “If you look at our digital presence today versus five years ago it’s become this wonderful thing that’s its own entity and it couldn’t be cooler. I’m an old school print girl but I do understand that this is the way of the future.” Writing aside, voice content is also of value in these times of change as art imitates life in her conversation with Cali BBQ Media. “Podcasts are a little more personal than the written word,” says Nicole appropriately on the Digital Hospitality Podcast. Feast or Famine: Just like the restaurant industry, the world of content creation can be feast or famine in times of change. Nicole Duncan knows this firsthand as her entry into the writing world coincided with a low point for the American economy. “I graduated college having studied journalism right in 2008 when the recession hit,” reflects Nicole. Following a magazine internship, Nicole did everything from teaching English overseas to working in marketing and communications. Eventually, she’d begin freelancing at FSR to go on to take an editor role at the magazine. In doing so, she’d play a large part at a small independent competing against big publications – a parallel of which many local restaurants can relate. “A lot of our competitors are publications under bigger umbrella groups,” says Nicole. “We are a small, independently owned publishing company. We’re kind of like Mighty Mouse: we might be small, but we’re a bit more nimble and in control of what we do.” Now at Full Service Restaurant for five years, the content she’s creating is perhaps more valuable than ever. No one likes breaking bad news, but Nicole and her scrappy crew are savvy enough to deliver the tough numbers but also offer insight and advice. “The bad that we’re seeing obviously is just the massive furloughs, the massive layoffs,” says Nicole who mentions said layoffs are hitting both the big brand chains and the smaller local businesses. “Everyone is kind of hemorrhaging money right now.” When looking at weeks in March 2020, year-to-year sales numbers are reported as down 71% for full-service restaurants while only 34% for quick-service restaurants. “With quick-service, so much of its business has historically been off-premise,” notes Nicole Duncan. “It’s hitting the whole industry, but full-service is getting the brunt of it.” Full-service restaurants are obviously known for their food, but clearly their customers come for much more than that. The interaction with the staff, the showmanship of the chefs, the ambience of the space. So, how can the hospitality industry offer their bread and butter during times of social distancing? Preaching to the choir, the best and in many ways only option, is doubling down on digital. Doubling Down on Digital: While Nicole covers the industry, she’s obviously a patron, too. When choosing where to eat in these times of COVID-19, the local businesses that extend an invitation to their customers are winning. This was noted by Nicole herself when considering a recent to-go order from a North Carolina restaurant. “If they hadn’t sent that email, they might not have been the first restaurant that I thought of.” Reminding customers that to-go orders and specials are available during this moment of social distancing is important. However, following up with customers after an order is picked up in an effort to maintain a relationship and source of hospitality is also of value. While social distancing has made the minute interaction on to-go orders short and relatively impersonal, the ability to comment on social media with brand accounts to thank customers for their support is a safe and sweet way to provide hospitality with heart from a distance. “Everyone is going to have to understand that there has to be digital engagement,” says Nicole. “The businesses that aren’t on digital might be missing out on customers that want to support them but don’t know they’re there.” While the major chains have the biggest audiences and most bandwidth to blast messages out on social, perhaps the impacts of COVID-19 will influence them to adjust their voices in more localized fashion? Nicole thinks so. “I know there’s always this worry with a big brand that if you give too many people a voice that’s supposed to be a brand voice that they could say the wrong thing,” notes Nicole. “But I do think that what we’ve been seeing with consumer trends is that a lot of consumers want to support brands that they feel have values aligned to theirs. There’s certainly an appeal in local and to get that local vibe big brands will have to empower local managers and owners. I wonder if we might see more of this in a post-Coronavirus world.” Post-COVID-19 times are hopefully soon upon us, but right now adjustments in the industry are already being made. So, in these times of change and distance, who are rising to the occasion and pivoting in reaction to the Coronavirus? “I would say that the tech side is stepping up to the plate,” notes Nicole Duncan. From GrubHub, to Postmates to UberEats, tech companies are waving their fees in a way to help and win over clients and provide for potential clients in need. Third-party ordering systems are assisting restaurants of all scales and sizes to feed those at home in isolation while bringing in business for the restaurants themselves. While this is great for just about all involved, full-service restaurants of all sizes are figuring out packaging and presentation on to-go orders to refrain from having a nose-dive in the quality department. So, how can you best pivot your restaurant during COVID-19? Here is a breakdown of tips from Nicole from her Digital Hospitality Podcast. Tips for Full-Service Restaurants During COVID-19: Put in the Work on Digital – Let your customers know how, why, when and where you’re open for business. Having a banner on your website that addresses COVID-19 is polite and professional to your audience. Connecting with your customers over social media and email keeps the reminder of your presence during this time of distance while also allows connection amidst isolation. Adapt to Takeout Times – Many FSRs have become QSRs for the foreseeable future. That’s not all bad. When setting up your restaurant as a to-go business, it’s understandable there will be a learning curve but focus and intent is important just the same. Establish strong relationships with the tech services so that your menu is presented in on-brand fashion. Deliver the best quality possible in regard to product, presentation and packaging while conducing your hospitality on the digital side. Ghost Kitchens are More than a Trend – In recent years, Ghost Kitchens have emerged as a by-product of food delivery services. Essentially, ghost kitchens are virtual restaurants that do not have a physical presence but operate out of other restaurant’s kitchens as a way to share resources and create additional revenue. Consider taking on a ghost kitchen when making a relationship with a food delivery service. Take Heart That You’re Not in it Alone – For the first time perhaps in history, we are all in the same boat. Yes, some are feeling the impact of COVID-19 more than others, but the service industry is feeling it all the same. We will all get through this and you are not alone. Seek Out Resources – Get help. Publications like Full Service Restaurant Magazine
67 minutes | a year ago
Content Creation in the Age of Coronavirus | The BBQ Central Show (DH 027)
Sometimes when we’re young, we hear words of wisdom that instantly move us and inspire us for a lifetime. For Greg Rempe, host of The BBQ Central Show, it was Howard Stern who spoke to him through his father’s car radio as a child with words that would forever change his life. “He said, ‘People are turds,’” Greg Rempe recalled on this episode of Digital Hospitality. “I was way young. Fast forward all the way to ’92 when I graduated high school and I had to commute to community college, I re-found him on a local station here in Cleveland and and I have listened to him every day since.” Appealing to both Greg Rempe’s sense of hearing and sense of humor, that quote from Stern would stick with him as a child and revisit him as a young adult studying sales in school. To and from class, Greg would listen to Howard Stern actively while passively paving the way for his future in what would prove the future of radio. Following those drives to community college scored by Stern, Greg would soon enroll at Ohio University where his longtime love of laughter would be joined by his burning love of grilling. The flame lit by his pops would quickly jump from the grill to the pit as Greg would become BBQ obsessed during his days in academia. Not long after, that passion for the smoke and sauce would see him wrangling and connecting with others just like him during the advent of the internet. “I started a BBQ message board and it began to grow,” reflects Greg on his introduction to the BBQ business and digital world. “I wanted to separate my forum from other forums, and I had heard of podcasting.” In 2006, Greg’s growing forum would be boosted by podcasting and its audio storytelling seasoning to add a new layer of connectivity to his community that was biting at their chops for all things BBQ. “I would talk to my members, we would talk about how to cook stuff, I would give stats about my forum and how many members I had,” reflects Greg Rempe about his early web presence. “It all seemed like such a great idea all those years ago, but it was something that was going to be another value-add to The BBQ Central Forum. That was really the introduction, it was only to set apart my forum from everybody else.” As they say, what makes you different makes you great. By getting into the podcast space back in 2006 and adding a live show in February of 2008, Greg was creating the ESPN of BBQ where the major players in the pit and around the industry could converse, share ideas and even answer tough questions. “I bring people on to give them a voice,” says Greg Rempe of his expert guests. “Why not come on and talk to a fervent bunch of listeners that are in your demo?” And come on they have. Over his 14 years as a digital content producer, Greg has spoken to many an industry great, chopping it up with raw delivery and even catching the ear of his early influence, Howard Stern who mentioned his show on the air. While convo and attention are all nice, what’s a business if it doesn’t make any money? Like his podcast, Greg is not shy to get right to the point when it comes to speaking to sponsors. “If you can’t ask somebody for their signature or their money at the end of a presentation, who gives a fuck?” Yup, getting paid is that simple, but for some that awkward. Fortunately for Greg, he’s built for this. “At heart, I like to sell,” says Greg Rempe, the son of salesman and the Major Account Sales Manager at Ohio Peterbilt by day. “I build relationships, I do proposals, I close sales. To me a good sales guy loves to make cold calls whether you’re brand-new or 30 years in the game.” With well over a decade in sales of both big-time trucks and smaller scale ad buys, Greg has been able to finesse the social and mathematical skills of his day job to keep his passion project podcast going strong by night. “If you’re going to ask people for their money, be professional about it,” says Greg Rempe. Throughout the years, Greg’s professional nature and understanding of client needs is a big reason why early on in the dawn of podcasting he was able to undercut traditional radio ad buys in lieu of a lesser reach by offering a more targeted audience. Always on, his approach towards sales in regard to casting a big net and building quality relationships also influences his ability to book talent for the podcast. “Although I’m not as actively trying to fill the show, I’m always getting contacts. You always want to keep contacts and backfill as necessary. I’m not an expert on anything but I know all of the experts in my industry and can bring them on my show and have that dialogue.” These days, getting talent and making money is not of concern for Greg. Just the same, it’s also not at the heart of it. “If you’re podcasting and your first thought is, ‘I’m going to make money’ then you should never do a podcast and that’s the bottom line. You should never do it for any metrics, you should be doing it because it’s something you’re passionate about,” Greg Rempe said. So, does money matter for any business? Well, duh. But clearly with The BBQ Central Show, it’s about much more than that. When looking at revenue, the money that the show generates is completely secondary to that of his day job in sales, though he does well in both. Essentially, the podcast is a passion project that in turn helps feed and fund the passion projects of his next generation: a group of daughters active in travel sports and modeling. Like all of us out there, Greg Rempe and the rest of the world are responding to coronavirus. Thankfully for Greg and his podcast peers, there might actually be a silver lining during these dire times. How so? In many ways, COVID-19 is leveling the playing field for content creation for Greg and other podcasters. As major network television and radio stations figure out on the fly how to Skype and Zoom to a mass audience without big budget production, Greg already has it all down pat. Clearly, Greg is getting a kick out of this. “The biggest joy I’ve gotten out of these past few weeks, and I’ve gotten few joys, is when The Howard Stern Show came back and my show sounded way better!” laughs Greg. “To hear them fire up on Monday and nobody has earphones and microphones, I was in my glory for a solid three hours. You watch it on television, and you see who has any amount of tech savvy and who is terrible. It’s really leveled the playing field.” While Greg got one solid laugh likened to the COVID-19 crisis, he’s still out there helping others and attacking it head-on. As expected, he’s doing what he does best by reaching out to industry experts to speak on the times and how they’re feeling, responding and evolving. In recent pods, he’s given the floor to the likes of Nick Solares, Sam the Cooking Guy and our own Cali BBQ Media Digital Hospitality team to speak on their various expertise in the food and restaurant space in this time of crisis. “I wanted to add some extra content with experts in the industry,” says Greg Rempe with great humility. Lucky for his listeners, they’ve been treated to an all-star cast. Lucky for Greg, too, his podcast proves immune in these strange times. “The good news is that coronavirus is not affecting the show,” says Greg. “The show is its own beast and I decide if the show goes on or it doesn’t. Disease or not, we can continue to talk to everybody we want to talk to. The show will continue to grow and evolve by the way that’s demanded by the listenership.” As importantly noted, that very listenership is still calling the shots. Like any good conversation, it’s two-ways and while Greg is the do-it-all man behind The BBQ Central Show, it’s the same dedication to the community during his forum days that makes it all worth it 14 years later. “When I get those emails from listeners, I take them, and I love them,” Greg says in reference to feedback and gratitude from fans. “When someone just takes one minute out of their time? That’s perfect to me.” The post Content Creation in the Age of Coronavirus | The BBQ Central Show (DH 027) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
33 minutes | a year ago
The Hottest Fires Forge the Hardest Steel | Forged part 2 (DH 026)
Still catching your breath from the mountain hike with FORGED? Well, Navy SEALs and Marines don’t slow down so neither will we. On this second part of our interview with FORGED, CEO Mike Sauers and Marketing Manager Samantha Bonilla joined Digital Hospitality’s Shawn Walchef as they head to South Bay Rod and Gun Club for a shooting session preceded by a history lesson of the FORGED Brand full of business tips. The power couple behind FORGED Brand finds themselves in the front seats for the latest Cali BBQ Media Podcast as we appropriately find out that FORGED was started out of the trunk of a car. Check out the first part of our day with Mike Sauers and Samantha Bonilla. These days, FORGED Brand is making waves digitally as seen with social media campaigns starring Chris Pratt, John Krasinski, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and others. Some of these campaigns have raised more than a million dollars for veteran and first responder foundations and charities like The Murph Challenge. However, the brand was not built overnight. Sparked by a devastating moment during a firefight in Iraq in 2006, Mike and his platoon’s desire to help a wounded SEAL inspired the quick creation of a t-shirt to fundraise for their teammate and close friend’s Elliott’s medical expenses. “We wanted to help raise funds to aid with Elliott’s recovery. I had a little experience making shirts and hats for the platoon,” reflects Mike. “We made a shirt, we started selling them around the team and we ended up making a lot of money in a short period of time. We used the money to aid with his recovery and then a couple guys on the team started asking me to make more t-shirts.” Taking on the ask, Mike recruited another SEAL buddy who was good at graphic design. They started making shirts for the team and selling them out of the trunk of a car. By that holiday season, it was clear they had a hit on their hands. “I think I made more money doing [shirts] that month than I did in the NAVY!” Mike reflects on that pivotal December. Inspired by the success, the decision to move from SEAL work to a clothing company was on. “If I can’t get this thing going in two years I’ll come crying back!” Mike pledged. This upstart clothing company’s name? FORGED, of course. Well, wrong. Originally named KNOX – a play on hard knocks – business was booming for Mike and his graphic designer. That was until they were hit with a C&D four months in. As it turned out, KNOX already existed. “We were able to sell our existing inventory, recoup our money back, and then we started searching for names.” That search for a new name would not be easy. Ironically, it would be an old shirt from Mike’s SEAL days that would inspire many new shirts to come. “One day I was looking through my closet and I came across my old Hell Week t-shirt. There was a saying on the shirt that said: The hardest steel is forged in the hottest fires.” Jackpot. “I thought about that because ‘forged’ is a saying we used on the teams, like, Hey is that guy forged?” recalls Mike. “If something is forged it means that it’s formed with great concentration. If you looked up the definition of forged it says, ‘to form by heating and hammering, beat into shape.’ If that’s not the definition of someone going through SEAL training, then nothing is! I really resonated with that word. Forged is used over and over again in the SEAL Creed. Anytime when you talk about something that has been formed and developed that took a lot of blood, sweat and tears you’ll hear the word forged used again and again.” A meeting with an attorney revealed that FORGED could in fact be patented and trademarked. After a few attempts, FORGED was now Mike’s and the rest as they say is history. Still, there was plenty of work to be done. “Neither of us had a college degree, neither of us had any experience in business,” recalls Mike on the early days. So, what does 12 years of FORGED look like in eight simple steps for someone wanting to start their own business? Here’s a condensed look at how to get your business going digitally. Register Your Business – Trying to start an apparel company called KNOX? Well, that might be taken. Make sure your business is officially registered so it’s legit from the jump and you’re not forced to start over down the road. Have a Budget – The old saying is you have to spend money to make money. Well, how much money can you afford to spend? Before you put down a dollar on your business, know how much money you have and how you’ll have to allocate it build and grow your business. Let the Professional People do the Professional Stuff – Not a web developer? Not an accountant? Well, thankfully other people are. To get the job done right and efficiently it’s important to let the professional people do exactly what they’re best at both for you and for your customers. People Don’t Forget Experiences – Remember the best time you ever had at a restaurant? Well, you surely remember the worst. Shopping online can be the same way. Make sure the experience you give your customer on site and social is as enjoyable and memorable as can be. Know Your Analytics – Who is buying your product and how are they buying it? Knowing the numbers and the trends is more imperative and also easier than ever in this era of business. Track the data in every sense of your business to best know how to serve your clientele. Make it Simple – No one wants to jump through hoops, especially someone trying to buy something. Make it easy. The shopping experience should be as streamlined as possible so that the customer can be satisfied efficiently when navigating your site and checking out. Stay Posting – How quickly they forget! It’s important to stay posting on your social channels to remain in the lives of your customers and to stay engaged. Not only does this build relationships it also adds to retention. Know Your Audience – Who are your followers? How are they interacting? What are they saying? The more you intimately know your audience the better you can reach, serve and deliver to them. Now 12 years in and teaming up with his partner Samantha for strategy on social and much more, Mike remains focused and is still learning. “Everything comes back to planning,” says Mike. “If you don’t have a proper plan…it’s not gonna work! You definitely have to have a great plan, contingencies and know exactly what you’re getting into.” This might come into play more than ever with creating content for social. “We have a content calendar for the whole year,” says Sam. “It’s also very important for us to post every day. For me, more people see my stories than they do my posts. At most it’s 15 seconds and it’s engaging. They love that.” As alluded to in the 15 second IG story strategy, attention spans are short. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have your brand mission short and to the point. “You have to be able to basically explain your brand in one sentence,” says Mike. “That is the most important sentence you can have on your website for new people seeing your brand for the first time. If you can’t tell someone what your brand does in one sentence, then you really need to rethink how you’re marketing it.” If you confuse you lose. Keep your brand statement direct and concise. As you can see, there’s so much more at play in 2020 when running a brand. Thankfully with these lessons from FORGED, you can focus your attention at building your brand better than ever before. FORGED — Strength Through Adversity — https://www.forged.com Thank you for watching, listening, reading, and learning with Digital Hospitality, a Cali BBQ Media production. If you want to get in touch with us please email email@example.com or visit https://www.calibbq.media. Web Site Email The post The Hottest Fires Forge the Hardest Steel | Forged part 2 (DH 026) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
47 minutes | a year ago
Strength through Adversity | Forged part 1 (DH 25)
The Forged brand was born on the battlefield and built to give back. With military experience and tireless dedication, the team behind Forged always pushes forward, no matter the challenge. Running a business is never easy. But through adversity comes strength. For Forged CEO Michael Sauers, a former Navy SEAL, and Marketing Manager Samantha Bonilla, a former Marine, the brand means pursuing a higher purpose and giving customers that same strong feeling when they put on a Forged shirt or compete in The Murph Challenge. “Anybody can go put an American flag on a shirt,” Mike Sauers said on this episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast. “But you’ve gotta give meaning to that shirt.” “There’s dedication, sacrifice and lots of adversity that’s been overcome in this brand — and your brand!” We joined up with the amazing couple for a hike up a mountain in San Diego where we learned how Forged is growing their brand online and offline by providing value and giving back every day. Taking Mike’s SEAL background and Sam’s Marine experience to grow the Forged brand, this hike covers a lot of ground. Headed to the top of the mountain, the two discuss how they live the brand and raise funds and awareness for veterans and active duty with some of the savviest marketing campaigns Cali BBQ Media and Digital Hospitality has ever seen. Sounds busy right? It is. Still, Mike and Sam take time to be active. “We typically try to plan at least one hike a week,” says Mike. Climbing up the mountain, Mike and Sam are both on the job but also living their truth of sharing their stories of how life has shaped them and how they build their business. For Mike, becoming a SEAL was in his DNA. With a lifetime love of competitive sports and the great outdoors, Mike’s active body and courageous heart made joining the Navy SEALs the move to stay on the move. Wired the same way? He’ll tell you how to get involved. “Nowadays with all the technology it’s actually fairly easy to research the process,” says Mike. “If you go on the site there’s information and they’ll hook you up with an actual Navy SEAL recruiter. They’ll basically brief you on all the requirements.” The SEAL requirements included aptitude tests that measure physical, mental and psychological categories. Needless to say, Mike passed these tests, but as a SEAL rookie and later a SEAL leader he keeps it real on how human and humbling the process is. “Any Special Ops training isn’t easy,” says Mike. “You know it’s gonna be hard. You have to that that mindset before you even step in.” Sounds kind of like relationships, right? Stronger Together: Just like their service backgrounds, Mike and Sam have grown through the challenges of dating with the sense of appreciation and humor to smile about it. Mike has opened up Sam to conquering fears in life while Sam has helped Mike grow professionally. “Before me and Mike started dating, I never went to the ocean, lakes, nothing. Fish scared the shit out of me!” says Sam with a laugh. “Mike booked a snorkeling trip. I wouldn’t go in, I refused.” With a few curse words and the reminder that he paid for the trip, Sam took the plunge and the rest as they say is history. “I jumped in and it was the greatest thing ever. I haven’t been out of the water since.” The next hurdle? Well actually it’s a mountain: skiing. Before they hit the slopes though, the two are still on their very literal and figurative climb to build Forged. “It didn’t start when we had all these followers,” reflects Sam who now manages a Forged following of over 124k on IG alone. “It took time to build that content.” As the Marketing Manager at Forged, Sam knows this better than anyone. View this post on Instagram #StrengthThroughAdversity 🔱 A post shared by Forged® (@forgedclothing) on Feb 20, 2020 at 11:14am PST While Mike didn’t at first take to social media – kind of like Sam to the water – Sam helped Mike make that plunge that turned Forged into the powerhouse it is today. A lot of that was getting both Mike and Sam in front of their followers to build a deeper connection. “People want to associate a face with a brand and know that you’re living that message that you’re putting out there,” says Sam. “You definitely have to live your brand,” echoes Mike. “If your customer can’t relate to your company, if you don’t give your customer something to want to come back for, you’re not going to hook that customer in.” Clearly, connection and value are key when building a brand. “You have to give them something back,” says Mike. “If somebody goes to my website, they want to go through my website, and they want to feel like they bettered themselves by coming to my website.” Spreading the Word about your Brand: So, as an entrepreneur how to do your customers find out about you brand? “You’ve got to spread the word to other people, you know?” says Sam. Luckily, spreading the word to other people is easier than ever. “If I could give advice to any entrepreneur out there, it’s exactly what Shawn is saying: take advantage of all the digital marketing content out there,” states Mike. “Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all that stuff is really free to set up. Getting on Yelp and Trip Advisor, being able to promote your business is literally free to set up.” Once you get the word out, you begin to build the movement and grow/strengthen the audience. “You’ve gotta create that grassroots movement first,” says Mike. “You have to get that core audience. No business ever grows without that core audience. Getting those core customers to come into your restaurant, getting those core customers that really believe in your brand.” As you build your brand story, so you build your success story. “In any good success story out there, you’ve got to build an audience that really believes in the core of your product,” Mike tells us. “And you have to deliver a quality product. You have to give them a reason to believe in your product.” While it’s easier than ever to get your message out there, building a brand and being an entrepreneur is still a grind. Like the hike Sam, Mike and Shawn are on, it’s literally an uphill battle with work, responsibility and pressure at every corner. “If it was easy to start a business then everybody would do it, but it isn’t!” exclaims Mike. “I’ve been doing Forged now for 12 years and it’s still a learning curve. You can never stop working as an entrepreneur. If you’re not working, you’re putting everyone below you, all your employees, at risk. You do have a lot of weight on your shoulders.” Thankfully for Mike and Sam, they have a higher purpose as they’re reaching the summit both literally and figuratively. That purpose is to support active military and veterans. This is perhaps best expressed by The Murph Challenge. What is The Murph Challenge: The Murph Challenge is a workout of the day (aka WOD) that raises money and awareness for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Michael P. Murphy was an American Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor – the highest decoration given out by the military – for his work in the War in Afghanistan. Every Memorial Day, the Forged family and countless others around the world honor Murph’s memory by pledging sweat and money to do his timed workout of the day as a tribute. View this post on Instagram #TheMurphChallenge is just around the corner. Me and the gang got one done yesterday. Go to themurphchallenge.com to find out what I’m talking about, get you a shirt-post a sweaty pic with your crew for a RT! Order today for guaranteed shirt delivery on time for #memorialday amd join the millions of bad asses who’ve accepted the challenge! All proceeds go to a great cause! Special thanks to @jayglazer @xcnatch @iheartmindy @kimdejesus @tyga @shawnemerriman @nateboyer37 @brock_hekking @grahambunn @robg @reallifepimp @oliverstarkk @arnoldchon @jlweddle @adelkyokushin @forgedmike @samantha_r_bonilla #jaredshaw and everyone else who made it to @unbreakableperformance to take the challenge yesterday. We’ll be doing it again on memorial day. Join us!!! Get your shirt! Participate! Also shout out to my buddies @ericchurchmusic for the use of outsiders and @patrikgiardino for shooting the video. We’ll be dropping the full video on Memorial Day. And lastly but most importantly thank you to Lt. Michael P Murphy and the millions of soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We live this life because you laid down yours, gratitude and prayers for all of you. ♥️👍🏼🙏🇺🇸 A post shared by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on May 16, 2019 at 9:26am PDT Feeling fit? Here is The Murph Challenge workout: 1 Mile Run 100 Pullups 200 Pushups 300 Squats 1 Mile Run Not enough to kick your ass? You can do all that in a 20lb vest or body armor! By now you’re probably breathing heavy just thinking about all that. Lucky for us, Mike gave us a few tips on how to best complete and prepare for this heavy duty WOD. Tips to Prepare for the Murph Challenge: You don’t have to do everything in a row — Know someone who can do 100 straight pullups? Us neither. While it’s recommended to do the runs as a whole, you can bounce around with the workouts to best complete it and beat fatigue. Don’t get intimated by it, break it down — Again, all those pushups, pullups and squats in order are intimidating AF. Your best bet? Break down those portions. For example, refining the workout into 20 sets is how Mike gets the body weight exercises completed. And trust, he’s a pro. Bring a notepad — Brain starting to hurt? Record your sets and reps while you do it. No one can remember al
42 minutes | a year ago
It Only Takes 1 Match to Light 1,000 | Dr. Jenelle Kim of JBK Wellness Labs (DH 024)
Merging ancient traditions with forward-thinking trends, JBK Wellness Labs is ahead of the curve when it comes to self-care but in no rush just the same. Led by the tradition of the Tao, founder Dr. Jenelle Kim and her partner in business and life, Craig Nandoo, are utilizing Eastern healing powers and philosophy at their West Coast Headquarters for a self-funded self-care business that’s serving companies and individuals around the world. Digital Hospitality visited JBK’s Miramar HQ to hear how family traditions have built a family business that’s growing at a pace as sustainable and time-tested as their products. Relying on tradition, leaning into the going natural movement and always ahead of the curve, Jenelle Kim and Nandoo collaborate with clients to make herbal supplements that don’t just burn with buzzwords but actually work due to finely tuned formulas. Kim’s long family lineage in Eastern medicine comes with an understanding of how to best formulate supplements in order to best help those in need. “I come from a long lineage of doctors, herbalists and practitioners. I like to always ground myself in remembering before I do anything is that they dedicated and sacrificed their entire lives to understanding the human condition when it comes to mind, body, and that balance. And I’m talking centuries!” emphasizes Dr. Jenelle Kim. “Throughout these centuries they put their mind and heart in understanding the human condition to create certain herbal formulas of medicine to make sure that we’re able to live as human beings in the healthiest, most beautiful way possible. That’s my lineage.” The first woman to carry that lineage, Dr. Kim’s ancient family formulas – known as Bi Bong – see the key combinations of herbal ingredients found in her family for centuries now helping others worldwide as part of a multi-million-dollar business. Creating custom care products for brands carried in high-end retailers like Nordstrom, Whole Foods and Bergdorf Goodman as well as luxury hotels such as the Ritz Carlton, the Mandarin Oriental and the Four Seasons, JBK Wellness Labs serves as the contract manufacturing collaborator for the best brands in herbal self-care. This ranges from beauty to dietary supplements birthed from ancient tradition in JBK’s research and development center by a staff of 25. Well-versed in Eastern Medicine, well-educated in the West, Jenelle Kim is using her dual hemisphere knowledge to create a global brand at the most booming of times. With industry experience dating back to 2006, she has proven early on CBD products by using it for skin care since 2012 and forward-thinking in regard to men’s grooming with the launch of Tao of Man brand. “In East Asian, men’s grooming is huge!” explains Jenelle Kim. “I’m still watching as it starts to blow up here and I do see that happening.” And blow up men’s grooming will, but while JBK is early on the trend in the West they’re ahead but not rushed. Just like the name Tao of Man suggests, Jenelle and Craig are as strong, rooted and flexible as bamboo. “The Tao is the way,” says Craig Nandoo. “We talk about destiny and where the Tao has taken us in our route to where we are now. The concept of the Tao is very essential to a lot of our life. Sometimes it’s good to push, sometimes it’s good to pull and sometimes it’s just good to go for the ride.” Contrary to most peers in the Western worlds of entrepreneurship and beauty supplements, Jenelle and Craig are measured in their growth, focused on formulation over flash and always purposeful in their product. Just how do these Eastern ideals play into their business philosophy? Here’s a breakdown. Fundamentals Matter – When it comes to the wellness world there are lots of smoke and mirrors. Not at JBK. Fundamentally strong with a deep lineage, it’s all about formulas and less about buzzwords. Herbs matter but they matter most when they’re paired with scientific synergy and season. Being able to properly utilize herbal ingredients is what sets JBK apart from the pack. Self-funded – How does a company avoid burnout and unrealistic expectations? By being self-funded. Never taking a dollar from family or friends, Jenelle and Craig are doing things their way but more importantly at their own pace to make sure things are done right. This makes for better product, happier clients and more sustainability. Globally Sourced – Merging Eastern medicine with Western education means searching far and wide for the right herbs and the right people. Sourcing proper Chinese raw materials, having production in both California and Portugal, JBK combines ingredients from Asia with the best doctors on staff to make the best products possible. Empower Your Clients – JBK Wellness Labs wants to grow and retain their clients. How do they best do this? By collaborating on a product that really works. Creating unique formulas for each brand offers a product that will make both the client and end consumer feel better. This leads to retention for all. Wellness is a Lifestyle – Jenelle and Craig are grounded enough to know that their products are only one part of wellness. Feeling good is what wellness is truly about and that ranges from physical to mental to spiritual realms. JBK wants every product they formulate to have a function that aids the full scope of wellness and they’re doing just that. So, will these principles carry JBK Wellness Labs for years to come? Yes. However, will their business change and evolve from what it is now in the future? Absolutely. “Be like bamboo,” says Jenelle Kim. “That means being flexible, always being grounded but sometimes the greatest strength comes in that flexibility. There’s a time to be strong and tough and unmovable but there’s also a time to be flexible.” This applies to JBK Wellness Labs’ beginnings in skin care but openness to evolving into any supplemental shift if aligns with their ethos. The best case of being like bamboo? When Janelle Kim was approached to formulate with CBD all the way back in 2012. While she was at first resistant, the learning that the formula request was to help children with seizures allowed her to sway to a new opportunity while remaining rooted in her deep values of helping others. The result? Help others she did while giving her business a half-decade head start on what’s currently taking over the supplement space in the West. Jenelle and Craig are full of lessons in life and business. The teachings of the Tao inform the couple in personal and professional ways informed from the East that are clearly thriving in the West. Though rooted in Eastern philosophy, Jenelle Kim grew up on the West Coast with Digital Hospitality host and Cali BBQ Media owner Shawn Walchef. They share many of the same learnings in regard to life, business and self-improvement. Here are lessons from this podcast episode that you can reflect on and apply to your daily life. 1. They’re Always Going to Laugh Before They Applaud – Doing something new, true and different will always catch flack upon unveil. Trust your core. If you can stay true to yourself and the new while others first doubt you’ll eventually find the criticism will soon turn to praise. Kim experienced just this when telling others of her interest in Eastern medicine. 2. Make the Most of Mentors – When you have the opportunity to learn and grow, who are you to say no? Regardless if the opportunity aligns with what you believe your passion or interest to be, to learn from a willing teacher is always worth the time and might just lead to your big break. Shawn and Kim both experienced this in the worlds of BBQ and herbs that led them to where they are today. 3. The Power of Daily Habits is Exponential – Do it well and do it every day, just ask Kobe. The NBA superstar was well aware that if he practiced even one more hour than the competition each day then all those hours would eventually add up in a big way. Make good daily habits, stick to them and reap the long-term gains. 4. Be Curious – Seek and you shall find. The only way to learn, grow and broaden one’s horizons is to be curious. Such curiosity leads to knowledge, new friends and new opportunities. 5. Decisions are Being Made on the Internet – Do you research restaurants when you’re on the road? Look for potential employees on LinkedIn? If you’re making decisions based on the Internet, then so are your customers. Make sure your business is active on these platforms to best serve customers and own your own conversation. 6. To Plan for Others is to Plan for the Future – Businesses that win are not all about capital, they’re about a just cause. Learned from Simon Sinek, to grow a business that can truly win the long game is to focus on providing value for generations to come. If you care about the people, they will care about your business. The last point truly hits home with Jenelle Kim and Craig Nandoo. JBK Wellness Labs is rooted in the understanding that they are here because of the care and work Kim’s ancestors put into making humans happier and healthier. This gift they were provided is honored when working with their doctors and collaborators to create formulas that heal this generation and the next. Simply put? JBK Wellness Labs is here to make people better and they’re doing it the right way, for the right reasons at their own pace. Thank you for watching, listening, reading, and learning with Digital Hospitality every week. Please reach out with any questions and let us know how we can help you on your own digital journey. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.calibbq.media to get in touch. The post It Only Takes 1 Match to Light 1,000 | Dr. Jenelle Kim of JBK Wellness Labs (DH 024) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
23 minutes | a year ago
Inside the Soft Opening of Graze | Sam the Cooking Guy (DH 023)
Is staying in really the new going out? Leave it to Sam the Cooking Guy to get people out of their nooks by throwing a dinner party night in and night out at his newest restaurant Graze. Offering a laid-back living room setting that makes every guest feel like old friends, he’s taking care of his crew just the same by keeping everything efficient in the kitchen. Lucky for Cali BBQ Media, we got to go behind the scenes at Graze to see just how Sam came up with his latest concept on this episode of Digital Hospitality. Sam the Cooking Guy — the man of 1.5 Million YouTube followers and only one knife — is on his second restaurant in San Diego’s lively Little Italy Food Hall. Located directly across from his first restaurant, Not Not Tacos – yes, yes you read that right – Graze offers at home ambience with fine food that’s just as cozy and comfortable. Trying to unwind on the regular? Graze’s Wine Club offers monthly wines and member perks, complimented by cool beach breezes best enjoyed with the piazza’s outdoor drinking layout. Shawn “King of the Soft Opening” Walchef got the inside scoop on Graze from Howard Solomon – a regular on the Cali BBQ Media Podcast and Sam’s righthand man. Howard and Deborah Solomon were previous guests on Digital Hospitality, where they discussed their Solomon 2.0 hospitality leadership coaching business. Specializing on sliders, salads and flatbread, the Graze crew bring recipes to life in a kitchen no bigger than yours backed by creative cooks. The close quarters are both well-staffed and smartly equipped with Easy-Bake Oven efficiency bringing puffy Polpetto di Mano that’ll make you sink into the couch and a hand cranked cutting board stacking up thinly sliced prosciutto you could only get with an airplane and a time-machine. So, just why did Sam choose to open his newest venture with his smallest kitchen? “Because we didn’t have room for anything else!” Trying to do more with less – and succeeding at it – the food comes out faster than the drinks go down with the vibe proving chiller than the beach’s breeze. “It’s this whole idea of being inside of Sam’s living room and he’s throwing you a dinner party,” explains Howard Solomon of Solomon 2.0. “It’s very relaxed. Grab a bottle of wine, have a nice cocktail, it’s meant to be a really comfortable environment just like you’re in Sam’s living room. There’s little knick-knacks from his own house, it’s very personalized. It’s on brand and it’s all about Sam.” Ready to enter Sam’s world? Family photos and couches in the living room make guests and local regulars feel like fast friends with The Cooking Guy. Well-known and also well-traveled, Sam’s use of an indoor/outdoor layout brings a casual combo of bar/restaurant to San Diego that’s usually only seen in Europe. Essentially, modern West Coast cool meets the classic components of the Eastern Hemisphere’s rich food scene. Who’s mad at that? Not us. Ready to roam? Graze is the name of the space but it’s also the name of the game if you’re using the piazza to its full potential. Say you don’t fall asleep due to comfort food and living room seating to match, you can easily walk 10 seconds across the piazza to Sam’s first baby – Not Not Tacos – to get your Nashville Hot Chicken taco fix. So, did the perfect night in just combine with the perfect night out? We think so. To recap, just how do you have a good time at Graze? Here’s a step by step process. Start a group chat with three of your besties to plan dinner and drinks Arrive at Little Italy Food Hall with said besties on Friday night Start out at Graze with The Max charcuterie board and Tre Amici flatbread while sinking into the sofa chairs Pay homage to the owner by ordering Sam’s Favorite cocktail – or two or three of them Join the member’s only wine club on your way to the outdoor bar as you stroll around the piazza Repeat Saturday night Check out our YouTube video for a behind-the-scenes look at Sam the Cooking Guy’s Graze located in San Diego’s lively Little Italy Food Hall. From comparing himself to Billie Eilish to going to work in his own kitchen on a meatball in a puff pastry and tomato sauce – mozzarella? Fuhgeddaboudit! – enjoy this great glimpse at Sam the Cooking Guy in his element. Subscribe to Sam the Cooking Guy on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/samthecookingguy Get in touch with the Digital Hospitality podcast team by emailing email@example.com and visiting https://www.calibbq.media. Let us know how we can help you on your digital journey. Company First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post Inside the Soft Opening of Graze | Sam the Cooking Guy (DH 023) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
71 minutes | a year ago
Lions don’t lose Sleep over Fretting the Sheep | David Meltzer (DH 022)
Every day, David Meltzer wonders: How can I be of service. David Meltzer is an entrepreneur, author, coach, speaker, and humanitarian. Yet, his greatest success is watching others succeed. “More and more is coming to me, I’m just making room for it now,” David Meltzer said on the Digital Hospitality podcast. “By being of service, and asking for help.” This is an episode that we’ve been waiting to do since Digital Hospitality began. David Meltzer has not just found success in business. He’s found success in life. There’s few people more inspiring than David Meltzer. His life’s mission is to empower more than 1 billion people to be happy. He’s well on his way. Because when you have a positive impact on one person, and they in turn go on to impact another, then you’re on your way to impacting the world. We sat down in David Meltzer’s office at his Sports 1 Marketing in Irvine, California, to talk about building relationships, effective marketing strategies, finding your frequencies in life, and the importance of gratitude. It was the day after the Super Bowl LIV when we visited Sports 1 Marketing to spend time with David Meltzer and his amazing staff and interns. Not only did we record an in-depth and inspiring podcast with the mentor of many David Meltzer, but we got a tour of the Sports 1 Marketing operation, learned more about his tremendous team, and — as a BBQ Media Company does — fed them slow-smoked pulled pork, wedding beans, and some of our other specialities. Next time, we’re bringing brisket. That’s a promise. We take our Media as seriously as we take our BBQ. Learn how David Meltzer has inspired us at Cali BBQ Media and how he can inspire you toward your own greatness on this episode of Digital Hospitality. There are new episodes of Digital Hospitality to watch, listen, and read every week. Let us know how we can help you and be of service. firstname.lastname@example.org Spreading Goodness, Showing Gratitude: One of David Meltzer’s mottos lays out his mission simply: Make a Lot of Money, Help a Lot of People, Have a Lot of Fun. “There’s a lens that I look through life with, and it’s not just one lens it’s a Kaleidoscope. It has three different colors to it.” David Meltzer said about his Meltzer Kaleidoscope. The first lens is Gratitude, finding the light and love in your past, present, and future. The second lens is Productivity, figuring out how you can be of service, help, and provide value. The third lens is Accessibility, not merely being available, but striving to impact as many as possible in the flow of life. When you combine all three, you have a deeper way of experiencing existence. Finding Customer Touch-points: David Meltzer strives to connect with people as much as he can. These days, one of the most convenient ways is through your cell phone. That’s a powerful tool that you carry in your pocket. Through digital content publishing online, David Meltzer and his media team are able to spread his messages to the world in the form of video, audio, and writing. It’s done wonders for David Meltzer. But don’t underestimate the power of a voice call, especially in an age where people are usually more prone to fire off a quick email or text than actually dial someone up. In his content and in his communication, David Meltzer always wants to provide value to others. Drawing inspiration from modern marketing masterminds like Gary Vaynerchuk, David Meltzer has been able to merge the old school and the new school into his own new way of reaching audiences through publishing perpetual content online and personal interactions. “I started saying, ‘The World is My Stage.’ What if I captured what I was doing correctly. How much more value, how many more hundreds of thousands of dollars of value (could I create).” We live in a world where you have to be digital. You have to think about all the touch points that a customer takes to your business, whether you offer a product or a service. You also have to be in the hospitality business, no matter your industry. That’s not just customer service. It’s much more than that — hospitality has to be at your core. That’s the essence of Digital Hospitality and something that David Meltzer has in his DNA. “Owning one customer for life is way more than serving one customer for a day,” David Meltzer said. Along with co-founding Sports 1 Marketing with Warren Moon, the Hall of Fame Quarterback, David Meltzer has had a long career as an entrepreneur and executive. Previously, David Meltzer was CEO of Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment. Get a free signed copy of his book (with free shipping) “Connected to Goodness” by visiting https://dmeltzer.com/book/ Subscribe to The Playbook on your favorite podcast player: https://linktr.ee/davidmeltzer *** Get in touch with the Digital Hospitality podcast team by emailing email@example.com and visiting https://www.calibbq.media. Let us know how we can help you on your digital journey. Order Number First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post Lions don’t lose Sleep over Fretting the Sheep | David Meltzer (DH 022) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
67 minutes | a year ago
Marketing Insights from a Career in Sports | Luke Gilbert, San Diego Seals (DH 021)
Luke Gilbert has lived a rich life in professional sports. From building partnerships, to marketing, to sales, to tech, to media, to being a former lacrosse player himself, the San Diego Seals Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships has gained experience and expertise in all angles of the sports entertainment business. During his impressive sports journey, he’s worked with large venues, teams, and leagues including NASCAR, Major League Baseball, the NBA, NHL, and Major League Soccer. Luke Gilbert is a real Sports Renaissance Man. On this episode of Digital Hospitality, we sit down with Luke Gilbert in the San Diego Seals Team Store to talk about his career in sports, building strong partnerships, and how to deal with setbacks in business and life. The conversation is full of great ideas, and is often hilarious and revealing. Make sure you check out the entire episode so you can hear about Luke Gilbert’s sojourn in the skies during his time as a flight attendant. His personality really shines on this episode. Listen, watch, and read about Luke Gilbert’s fascinating journey and we hope you’ll be inspired on your own. Let us know how we can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org Living LAX: The sport of lacrosse has long been a part of Luke Gilbert’s life. He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and was a fan of the Baltimore Thunder, often attending their games. That’s back when the uniforms featured tight spandex shorts. How times have changed. In 2003, Luke Gilbert was even drafted to play in the National Lacrosse League’s former San Jose Stealth team. Now he gets to have a big part of making a team operation run smoothly and strategically with his work activating successful partnerships for the San Diego Seals. As you can probably tell, Luke Gilbert loves lacrosse. It’s easy to see why. With a 30-second shot clock and a tight field size to maneuver in, it’s an action-packed sport. If you’ve been to a hockey game, Seals lacrosse matches have a similar feel. Of course, lacrosse is an entirely unique experience that any fan of sports should check out. “It’s just non-stop action, up and down the field,” Luke Gilbert said about lacrosse. “It’s played in the same space as an NHL hockey rink, like the San Diego Gulls for example. Same size field, same set-up with the boards and the glass.” “You don’t have to be a lacrosse fan, you just have to be a sports fan who enjoys action.” Lacrosse has a lot of room to grow, but with people like Luke Gilbert and the Seals and NLL operations running the show, it’s sure to continue catching fire around the country. Part of a Team: It takes a lot of work to run any business. The many moving parts of a sports operation like the San Diego Seals makes it particularly challenging. That’s why it takes a talented team to pull off. The Seals, and the National Lacrosse League, are clearly up for the challenge. https://www.nll.com/ As a digitally focused sports property, the Seals has used strategy and original content to build up a passionate fan base that is growing day by day. The team’s @sealslax official Instagram account is already at about 21,000 followers thanks to an engaging presence, a steady flow of new content, and exciting giveaways and promotions. Owner Joe Tsai, who’s a very busy man with lots of important things to do minute by minute, is able to keep track of his teams and their achievements through the connecting abilities of digital media and the smart phone. “How can he stay close to the Seals, how can he stay close to his other teams, and it literally comes down to that digital component,” Luke Gilbert said on the podcast. That’s one of the many powers of incorporating digital media into your operation. Think about it: How do you stay in touch with the brands you care about? Chances are most of those touch points are digital, through your phone or computer or television or, nowadays, maybe even your refrigerator. The digital touchpoints you have with your audience are just as important as the “analog,” or real world interactions with your customers, fans, other businesses, or whoever you want to reach. The Seals have Digital Hospitality in their DNA. Luke Gilbert’s Corporate Partnerships team is one part of a puzzle that makes the engine run. To complete the picture you have the marketing department, operations, ticketing, and many others who make sure the games and related content is presented properly. The team’s Front Office consists of an assortment of skilled staff from various disciplines who band together to expertly handle the many facets of running a sports team. “A lot of people don’t know all the moving parts that go into sports,” Luke Gilbert said. “Especially something like the San Diego Seals where on paper it’s a minor sport. Not minor league, but not your Big Four, Big Five….” The team is doing so well after its first year in San Diego that they outgrew their team headquarters. “We quickly outgrew our space in one year.” Adapting and Evolving: After his many years living and breathing the business of sports, Luke Gilbert has learned to roll with the punches. In business, the punches are (usually) figurative — in lacrosse they are sometimes literal. It takes a tough soul to excel in the wide world of Sports Entertainment. Working in any industry in 2020 and beyond means having to adapt. Luke Gilbert said he was “late” to social media marketing (and smart phone technology in general) but he worked to improve his digital skills so he could continue to succeed. He didn’t get his first iPhone until he was in his 30s but is always working to get better at the many powerful things it can do for his career. Along the way on his digital journey, which never stops, Luke Gilbert hosted the Vicariously podcast, where he interviewed entrepreneurs who are pursing their passions. You’re never really late to social media and technology because they are always changing. ABC: Always Be Changing. San Diego Seals: The San Diego Seals are a new expansion team, but the National Lacrosse League has been presenting exciting indoor lacrosse action for more than three decades. The National Lacrosse League has eight teams in the United States and five in Canada. The San Diego Seals is owned by Joe Tsai, a founder of Alibaba Group and fan of lacrosse. Joe Tsai was also a college lacrosse player. Steve Govett is President of the San Diego Seals. Josh Gross is Vice President of the men’s lacrosse team. You can hear Josh Gross on a previous podcast episode, where he shares how the sport of lacrosse is taking San Diego by storm with a fan-focused approach and digital content. #039: Creating a Digital First, Fan-Focused Sports Experience in the NLL – San Diego Seals The Seals organization is always coming up with new, fun ideas to present the game to the masses. If you saw our previous behind the scenes video about the San Diego Seals, you saw Luke Gilbert and Salty the Seal Mascot ride into the Pechanga Arena on opening night in the badass Slingshot vehicle from Indian Motorcycle of San Diego. On March 7th during a night game, the Seals are having a Stars Wars Theme Night at Pechanga. It’s called Wookie of the Year. There will be prizes, and other fun stuff like the lacrosse team playing in fuzzy uniforms to look like Chewbacca. It’s not just hilarious, it’s for a good cause. The Wookie outfits will be raffled off for charity. “We want to continue to do stuff outside the box,” Luke Gilbert said in the Cali BBQ Media video. The Seals at Cali BBQ: Stay tuned to our YouTube channel and www.CaliBBQ.media for another behind-the-scenes video that brings you to our Watch Party at Cali Comfort BBQ, where the Seals Cheerleaders and the Salty Mascot hung out with tons of diehard LAX fans decked out in their team gear. We Support Local Business, and We Support Local Lacrosse. If you want to support the Seals you can pick up one of their Coronado Brewing sponsored Party Packs which gets you: Two Tickets and Four Beers. All for only $29. Go Seals! Get in touch with the Digital Hospitality podcast team by emailing email@example.com and visiting https://www.calibbq.media. Let us know how we can help you on your digital journey. Company First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? 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44 minutes | a year ago
Food Porn Secrets Revealed | Funky Fries and Burgers (DH 020)
What’s the definition of food porn? That depends on what makes you hungry. Successful modern marketing in the digital era is about getting attention. What’s more attention-grabbing than long strings of gooey cheese, towering hamburgers, huge Freak Cones, and heaping plates of Funky Fries topped with imaginative decadence (and mac and cheese). With millions of views online for their sexy food videos and images, and a legion of fans, Funky Fries and Burgers is a veritable food porn star. For example: behold the mighty Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Fries. Fries topped with mac n cheese, slow cooked pulled pork, coleslaw, BBQ sauce, house made ranch dressing, and onion rings. Are we making you hungry yet? #FunkYoDiet Doing a search on social media for Funky Fries and Burgers is enough to make most anyone hungry. You eat with your eyes, after all. As the restaurant says with a big neon sign on it’s wall: Diet Starts Tomorrow. Funky Fries and Burgers owner Sebastian Hallak is a guest on this episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast. You can tell Digital Hospitality is in Sebastian’s DNA in the uncensored and deep-diving conversation. The Cali BBQ Media crew met with Sebastian at one of his three Funky Fries and Burgers locations to learn how the restaurant started drawing major attention online while posting high-quality content for social media to build their brand. The fellow small business owners also dug into the nitty gritty of running a restaurant in 2020, digital marketing strategy, food photography tips, and building customers for life. FUNKY FRIES AND BURGERS: With inventive and award-winning menu items Funky Fries and Burgers has built a reputation as a place for fun, funky food experiences. There are three Funky Fries and Burgers locations around San Diego: two in El Cajon and one in National City at Plaza Bonita. You can order online, but you’ve also got to visit their locations for the full funky experience. Funky Fries and Burgers food is incredible and their Digital Hospitality is also incredible. Thanks to rock solid branding and training, there’s an energy inside their locations that draws you in and makes you want to keep coming back. Funky Fries and Burgers first opened in 2016 with a 400-square-foot location. Very quickly after opening the doors of their first spot, the restaurant found its digital marketing niche. The business and food porn go together like french fries and mac & cheese. “We started creating that content and before you know it, Insider Cheese and all these food sites picked us up,” Sebastian Hallak said. Then the sexy food photos and video started to go viral on different platforms. His funky creations were now in front of millions of people. “7 million views, 10 million views, big numbers,” he said. Kyle Whissel’s East County Eats video of one of his visits to Funky Fries has about 3.5 million views and was shared by 43,000 people on Facebook. Food porn has a funny name, but it’s also serious business. In fact: “It’s a way of life,” Sebastian Hallak joked. “Anything you can do to get their attention and make them hungry, that’s just the name of the game.” GROWING A BRAND WITH FOOD PORN: Everyone wants to grow their social media accounts. That takes engaging content. Lots of it. Video, audio, and writing. Though there are sometimes negative connotations for “food porn,” such as it being overly indulgent, unrealistic, and calorie-packed, it’s actually a positive thing for the many restaurants, food bloggers, and others who post food photos and video online to pique people’s appetites. You can tell by now that food porn is not just a hashtag — it’s an art form. FOOD PORN TIPS: Here are some tips on how to shoot sexier Instagram and social media photos from food porn maestro Sebastian Hallak: Use Different Angles: Mix it up by holding the camera low to the ground or step to the side and try a new angle. Take Square Shots: If posting to Instagram, which previews images in square boxes, change your phone’s camera mode so it takes square photos. “Just to keep everything in the frame. What you get is what you’re going to post.” Forgo the Filter: Use natural light and real colors instead of using camera filters to artificially enhance the scene. Capture the Action: Focus on action shots and movement, such as drizzling chocolate sauce on a dessert or flipping a juicy burger on the grill. Make Real Food: Make sure your impressive looking food is something people will actually want to eat when they decide to visit your location. Looks matter, but so does taste to keep people coming back. “A little bit of good light, a great subject, and that’s all you need,” advised Sebastian Hallak. MAKING CONTENT THAT CONVERTS: Food porn has become its own genre because it works. And that’s why you should strive to find the equivalent in your industry. What is the “food porn” in your business? Think about what is the most stimulating imagery related to your brand. What photo would grab attention with your audience if you posted it online? What action shots would get people excited about your brand in a 1-minute video? We shot lots of food porn of our own while stopping by Funky Fries and Burgers, including a Funky Fries Burger Challenge video and a behind-the-scenes tour of their amazing menu. If you’re a listener of the podcast and haven’t seen our videos yet, make sure you subscribe to Cali BBQ Media on YouTube. When you stop by Funky Fries and Burgers make sure you let them know you heard about them on Digital Hospitality. https://www.funkyfriesandburgers.com To watch the #ASKGARYVEE Gary Vaynerchuk and Jon Taffer (Bar Rescue) restaurant branding and marketing conversation discussed on this episode visit the GaryVee YouTube channel. Thanks for listening, watching, and learning with us and supporting small business. Let us know how we can help you on your Digital Hospitality journey. firstname.lastname@example.org Phone First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post Food Porn Secrets Revealed | Funky Fries and Burgers (DH 020) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
40 minutes | a year ago
Personal Branding for Strategic Entrepreneurs | Jeff Fenster (DH 019)
When Jeff Fenster does something, he goes all in. There’s no roadblock that can slow his momentum, and no wall in his way that he can’t break down. The San Diego “serial entrepreneur” behind many impressive brands (including Superfuel Coffee, WeBuild, and the ever-growing Everbowl) finds success in business by making friends and having fun. Jeff Fenster has spent years building strong businesses and fostering powerful relationships and you can learn a lot from his story on this episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast. There’s a reason that Forbes recruited him to become an Entrepreneur Professor for their Forbes School of Business & Technology. His business acumen is as strong as his desire to be healthy and enjoy life. “My superpower is I know how to start companies,” Jeff Fenster said. Digital Hospitality Journey: All episodes of Digital Hospitality are a journey of discovery — this one is a literal journey on top of that. After getting a first-hand look (and tastes) of the superfoods and fun vibes inside one of his many Everbowl locations in Southern California, Jeff Fenster hopped into Shawn’s ride and they headed to document the Farmer’s Insurance Open 2020 Influencer Day at Torrey Pines Golf Course. We’ve wanted Jeff Fenster on our show for a while now. We heard him on Scott Kaplan’s podcast and David Meltzer’s The Playbook as well so we knew he’d be good company. On the drive to the annual PGA Tour tournament, media passes and Everbowls on hand, Shawn and Jeff discussed being entrepreneurs, vertical integration, relationship capital, and lots more business advice and stories. The coastal drive was beautiful and the conversation was fascinating and informative. Jeff Fenster was a perfect fit on the Cali BBQ Media production crew for the opening day of FIO2020. You can tell Digital Hospitality is in his DNA as he jumped in to masterfully help cohost our behind the scenes video content. You can watch full video interviews, including behind the scenes footage from all our episodes, on our Cali BBQ Media YouTube channel right now. Don’t forget to subscribe because there’s always more content being published. Making Everbowl: Everbowl is organic craft superfood. You can eat foods that are good for you while still indulging in a ton of tasty toppings. The natural food and juice chain specializes in make your own acai bowls with a focus on health, wellness, and living “Unevolved.” http://www.everbowl.com/unevolve Unevolved is the tagline — ‘The Why’ — of the Everbowl company. It’s a motto that Jeff Fenster said is at the core of the business: eating healthy, moving your body, and striving to live well. The team members behind each Everbowl location are why it’s so successful, he said, because they all believe in the brand. As a serial entrepreneur his goal is to build tremendous teams and then step aside and let them succeed. “We’re on Team Unevolve,” Jeff Fenster said. “For us, it’s all about food that’s been around forever. No laboratory created foods, no man-made foods.” The four excuses that he identifies as why people don’t choose to eat healthy are — 1: It costs too much. 2: It doesn’t taste good. 3: It doesn’t leave you full. 4: It’s hard to find. “You go into shopping centers and it’s all fast food. We really wanted to build Everbowl to solve those four challenges and say, ‘OK, we’re going to make something that’s affordable, that’s filling, that’s delicious, and that’s accessible, which is why we’re opening so many stores.” Now Everbowl is moving toward franchising to make the concept even more available. Sourcing quality natural ingredients is a huge focus of Jeff Fenster and Everbowl, as well. Jeff Fenster’s brands are built around things that matter to him. “There’s companies that do it in the right way, and there’s companies that don’t,” Fenster said. “We really wanted to make sure we did it the right way. It was non-GMO, it was organic acai … and the locals were benefiting from us bringing it here and expanding that whole industry and that whole market.” Jeff Fenster is a dynamic businessman because he is always thinking of how to adapt and grow. For example, when he found out that there were tons of acai seeds going to waste, his company started to work with locals to begin crafting jewelry out of the discarded seeds. “It provides them with income, and provides for their family, and we get to sell cool jewelry called Everseeds.” And when he wanted to build a bunch of Everbowl locations he started his own construction company to make his big plans feasible. “I know how to solve my problems by starting more companies and looking within and understanding I want to build 20, 30, 40, 100 Everbowls and it was costing me too much money to it through 3rd party construction companies. So why not start my own construction company and build my own stores?” The vertical integration of the WeBuild and Everbowl brands in that way let him scale economically. Personal Branding for the Private: It’s hard being a private person who has to operate in the public spotlight. Yet, personal branding dictates just that. Jeff Fenster is private by nature, but changing times led him stepping into the global stage known as the internet. It’s important to remember that personal branding is not about your ego. It’s not about what you ate for breakfast. It’s not about self-promotion. It’s about telling your own story instead of letting someone else do it for you. It’s about doing what it takes to stay alive, and thrive, in business in 2020 and beyond. When people are searching for you online, what are they finding? It took a push from Jeff Fenster’s daughter a few years ago for him to start on social media, and then another push from investors to post more about himself. He realized he was the face of his brands and that times have changed, and will continue to change. “I didn’t really start until 2019,” he said. “What started to happen is people started to ask me more, not about Everbowl, but about my personal journey. … I started to share it because they were asking and I was uncomfortable.” Everyone’s lives are increasingly becoming more on display and it’s not slowing down. In business, you either catch up with the times, or get left behind. “People don’t get behind acai bowls. They do, but not in spades right? But when they understand the people behind the brand, and they understand what you are and what you stand for, then your community, whatever community that is you speak to, will get behind it,” Jeff Fenster said. “They feel like they are a part of it. They feel like they know you.” “Everyone has a brand whether they want to or not. For some people it’s standoffish, isolation, and ‘I don’t like people.’ And that’s OK, but that’s your personal brand. For others it’s the life of the party and they’re at every scene and they’re the mayor of their city.” So how do you begin to build your personal brand now that it’s the digital era? The first and most crucial step, as always, is to just do it. You’ve got to actually make the major step to set up social media profiles, fill them out, and begin posting regularly about yourself. Not just about your business, either. There’s Jeff Fenster, and then there’s the “Jeff Fenster Brand,” just like there’s (usually) a real person behind everyone you follow online. “Your personal brand is who you are.” he said. “And by connecting that to your business, you’re enabling people to really fall in love and get behind you, your story, your company.” To learn more about Everbowl visit: http://www.everbowl.com/ Connect with Jeff Fenster on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/fensterjeff Thank you for learning with Digital Hospitality. Let us know how we can help you on your digital journey. Email us at email@example.com and visit https://calibbq.media/podcast-episodes/ for more episodes of the Cali BBQ Media podcast. Web Site First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post Personal Branding for Strategic Entrepreneurs | Jeff Fenster (DH 019) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
67 minutes | a year ago
Marketing with Influence | Farmers Insurance Open (DH 017)
Hop into a golf cart and go behind-the-ropes of the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open with CEO Marty Gorsich to learn about modern marketing tactics and running a massive operation with tons of moving parts. On this episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast, host Shawn Walchef gets a first-hand tour of the majestic Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego as preparations were underway for the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open PGA Tour tournament. As Shawn Walchef and Marty Gorsich rode around the beautiful Torrey Pines in a golf cart, they discussed the history of the Farmers Insurance Open, the San Diego-owned golf course, the tournament’s positive impacts on the region, and what it takes to host and promote such a huge event. “While we’ve got great tournament golf here, and there’s lots to be said on that with Tiger Woods and all the other great athletes, it’s also a huge signature event for our city,” Marty Gorsich said on Digital Hospitality, his first podcast appearance. Signature San Diego Event: The Farmers Insurance Open is a major economic driver for the region, bringing in an estimated $50 million annually for San Diego. The 36-hole Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course is owned by the city of San Diego and has majestic views of coastal cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. The tournament isn’t just about golf, it’s also a showcase for all things San Diego, from food, to drink, to surf. Over the years, the Farmers Insurance Open tournament has transformed and grown to become a can’t miss event in San Diego, with lots of entertainment to offer for all, golf aficionados or not. More than 150,000 spectators come out every year. It takes a lot of work to not only maintain such a massive venue and operation, but to continually improve it as well. It’s all about long-term planning for the future. “With the city, we’ve enhanced the look and feel of this course and elevated the experience and the quality of the course and the build out,” Marty Gorsich said about investments to Torrey Pines. “This is the only event we (San Diego) have that’s on national television, international television actually, on an annual basis.” Golf Marketing Evolves: Golf is a traditional sport with lots of history. However, modern marketing requires newer, non-traditional approaches in order to get the word out online, such as using influencer marketing and creating experiential social media opportunities. “There’s a balance between falling behind and being nimble enough to jump quickly,” Marty Gorsich said about technological advances. On opening day of the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open, local celebrities, online influencers, and members of the media took part in an Influencer Scavenger Hunt as a fun way to introduce the event and its many unique facets to them and their audiences. A “Social Suite” was even set up for social media influencers to enjoy the day and share glimpses of it online. The Farmers Insurance Open event has its own official “Social Media Host” with Alissa Kacar, who creates and posts digital media of all sorts about the tournament and her “Beginner’s Journey to Master Golf.” Follow Alissa Kacar on Instagram at @newladygolfer. When others choose to share your messaging and brand, it’s quite often much more powerful than if you shared it yourself. The most important thing is audience engagement, not audience size. Superfans are very powerful to helping your story get spread online. “They’re choosing to share multiple things that they saw and did. It’s a picture of them that says, ‘look at how much fun I’m having, wish you were here,’ and creating that fear of missing out (FOMO) and that kind-of longing to see what’s going on.” Farmers Insurance Open has long history: The Farmers Insurance Open, San Diego’s PGA Tour stop, is planned and hosted by the Century Club of San Diego, a 501c3 nonprofit that has operated since 1961. The tournament’s goal is to raise money for local charities, schools and military families. 2020 is the 68th year that the PGA Tour has held an event in San Diego and the 53rd time the event was at the Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course. Marty Gorsich spent seven years with the Century Club of San Diego before being named as the Farmers Insurance Open CEO. Previously the sports industry professional worked for the San Diego Padres and also stints with the San Diego Sports Commission and the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA. As a San Diego native, Marty knows how important the Farmers Insurance Open is to his city. One thing that has been beneficial to Marty Gorsich is that he doesn’t come from a golf background. That enables him to think outside-the-box in ways that someone with a long relationship to the sport might not be able to imagine. While it’s important to plan for what’s happening “inside the ropes” of a golf tournament with the players and game, it’s just as important to think about what’s happening “outside the ropes” where the fans’ needs are taken care of, like with transportation, food and drink, restrooms, and plenty of entertainment. Marketing the event as a social happening gets more attention than promoting it purely as a golf event. Just like a NASCAR event is about more than the race for many of the attendees, so is the Farmers Insurance Open. “I’m a big sports fan, I’ve worked in sports, but if you said, “Do you want to go to this big tennis match, I don’t know if I’d be excited,” Marty explained. “But if you showed me what Indian Wells is all about and all the other exciting things going on, you’re going to have my interest.” There have been challenges to adapting their marketing techniques, but it’s something the organization is overcoming very well. The future is strong for the Farmers Insurance Open thanks to their emphasis on providing Digital Hospitality. “I grew up with a stigma here of what this event was. Ropes, quiet signs, you couldn’t even bring your phone,” Marty said about the Farmers Insurance Open past before the smart phone revolution changed how people engage with live events. Now you can absolutely bring your phone, in fact it’s encouraged. When people see an event shared by someone they admire online, that’s powerful. “We’re pushing apps and social media and there’s so much,” Marty Gorsich said. “You better bring your phone.” Learn more at https://www.farmersinsuranceopen.com. Thank you for watching and learning with Digital Hospitality, a Cali BBQ Media production. Our goal is to help business owners develop an online strategy with engaging video, audio, and written content. Visit https://www.CaliBBQ.media and email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch. Order Number First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post Marketing with Influence | Farmers Insurance Open (DH 017) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
53 minutes | a year ago
Tell Your Own Story, or Someone Else Will — Scott Yoffe Communications (DH 016)
If you don’t tell your own story, someone else will. On this episode of Digital Hospitality, learn how public relations veteran Scott Yoffe approaches the art of communications in 2020, hear interesting stories from his two decades with the San Diego Chargers, and get tips on telling your brand’s story with both new media and old media. It’s an exciting time to work in communications, Scott Yoffe said. “You never had this landscape before; you can share your own message. You always had to rely on other people.” If you have the right tools and knowledge, you can publish your own story right now for the world to see, hear, and read. That’s a lot of power to have. Scott Yoffe Communications helps their clients with public and media relations, as well as many other essential communication services like social media, design, publishing, strategy, and crisis management. Before operating his own full-service public relations and communications firm, Scott Yoffe spent 21 years with the San Diego Chargers in the National Football League. When you are proactive about communications, you have a chance to control your message which is very valuable for any business. First you have to understand what is your own story. That can be harder than it seems. If you haven’t worked to StoryBrand your company and fine-tune your messaging, how can you expect anyone else to understand where you’ve been and where you’re headed? Building Relations: Much of Public Relations is about creating and fostering opportunities to tell your brand’s story with those who can help reverberate the information. This comes down to building relationships. Relationships are constantly being formed in business and solid connections become mutually beneficial. At Cali BBQ Media we know that, “A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships.” When he ended his long run with the Chargers, Scott Yoffe had to work to re-establish relationships with the media in a new capacity. “I value every word of coverage, every line…,” Scott Yoffe said about getting media for his clients. “I understand how hard it is to get that kind of coverage. And how lucky we were because we had it built in when I was in the NFL.” For a lot of small- and medium-sized businesses, public relationships is sometimes just not Top of Mind for them. It should be, however, because maintaining a flow of communication about your company is essential to keeping it alive and thriving. Some businesses will hire a marketing manager to handle all of their content, publishing, social media, and PR work. That’s just too big a job for one person, Scott Yoffe told Shawn Walchef on Digital Hospitality. You have to get out of your own way as a business owner and realize you can’t do everything yourself. Sometimes it takes a team to tell a brand’s story. If you don’t have that on staff and can’t do it yourself, then that’s where people like Scott Yoffe can help save the day. Scott Yoffe helps his clients with sometimes-elusive earned media, the kind of press that you just can’t buy. Getting press coverage and other “earned media” is a specialized skill that takes being proactive, engaged, and vigilant. You’ve got to steer the messaging and keep in touch with those who broadcast it. Scott Yoffe advises his clients to be accessible and available to communicate at any time. “You never know when you’re going to get a story opportunity,” he said. You might see those stories as “good” or “bad,” but it doesn’t mean you should only tell the good ones. With the proper messaging, you can find a happy ending for most tales. Sometimes you might not want to comment to the media, or talk about your business, but it’s always good practice to do it anyway. “No comment” is just not good storytelling and gives too much power to others. If your story is going to be told, in whatever form, make sure you have a say. Who else knows your narrative better than you? “There’s no such thing as bad press,” Scott Yoffe said. “When you’re getting a story written about you, that means your competition is not getting written about.” You may not be able to control the questions, but you can control the answer. “They can ask the question, but you can answer however you want,” Scott Yoffe said. Balance Old and New Media: In the digital age, a lot of businesses have become too reliant on simply posting to social media as the only way they promote themselves, when instead they could do much more to grow their reach. “At some point people become tone deaf to those things,” Scott Yoffe said about social media promotion. “A lot of people have kind of gotten used to thinking that’s the new way of doing business now. But it’s not.” You’ve got to have a balance of different types of communications, which still includes “earned media” in the traditional radio, TV and print. The reason you can’t just expect to get earned media coverage is the same reason it’s called “earned” — you have to work to earn it. It’s one thing to promote yourself to the media, it’s another to build a relationship with its members. For example: When Cali BBQ hit its five year anniversary, it was hard to get media coverage for the achievement. But when we hit our 10 year anniversary in 2018, the milestone was shared by San Diego press and media members on social media thanks to the real relationships we formed with them. There’s an exponential value in establishing bonds with those who can help share your story. You can help tell theirs, too. Everyone is the media in 2020. “A lot of it come down to relationship building,” Scott Yoffe said. That means emails, phone calls, coffee meetings, whatever it takes to keep the communication flowing. “You’re relying on those relationships to get these stories done.” You can’t just sit behind a keyboard and do the job, he said. You still have to get out and shake hands every now and then. “You’ve got to have those relationships, because when you’re in a pinch and you need a favor, you got a client that you need to get a story for, it’s a lot easier to do that when you know the person on the other end of the phone,” Scott Yoffe said. Scott Yoffe Communications: Call Scott Yoffe Communications at 619-723-6850 or email email@example.com. https://twitter.com/ScottYoffeComms https://www.instagram.com/scottyoffecommunications/ www.linkedin.com/in/scott-yoffe-communications-4769b38 https://www.facebook.com/ScottYoffeCommunications/ Cali BBQ Media Digital Services: We want to help you develop and implement a mobile-first internet strategy. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch. https://calibbq.media Web Site First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post Tell Your Own Story, or Someone Else Will — Scott Yoffe Communications (DH 016) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
46 minutes | a year ago
Looking Out For One Another — Dave Palet and Jake’s Projects (DH 015)
It’s important to ask for help, even though it’s not always easy. It’s also important to lend someone else a helping hand. This episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast brings us to the garage/recording studio of Dave Palet to talk about the digital evolution of the Dave and Jeff Show, building a community of supporters, and the Jake’s Projects charity that honors the legacy of Dave’s youngest son. The interview was recorded next to a photo of his son Jake, who the world lost in 2018. Dave is president of Jake’s Projects, the nonprofit charity inspired by Jake and his love of baseball and coaching young athletes. Dave is also one half of the Dave and Jeff Show podcast with his longtime broadcasting partner Jeff Dotseth. After a successful sports radio career, the team has transitioned into the more modern form of podcasting. They have an army of superfans who’ve supported them along the way. We believe that A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships at Cali BBQ Media. When you help others in need, then others will help you when you’re in need. It’s the essence behind Digital Hospitality. The companies that are going to win, the brands that are going to win, the missions that are going to win, are the ones that understand we can’t do it by ourselves. Previously, Dave Palet was a guest on Shawn Walchef’s former podcast, Behind the Smoke: BBQ War Stories. When that show came out, Dave and Jeff were in year two of their podcast journey after transitioning away from airwaves and old media. Dave and Jeff have been favorite sports radio personalities in San Diego for a long time, but now they have a global reach thanks to the power of podcasting their show online. “If you stay in touch with what your kids are interested in, you’re always going to be ahead of it,” Dave Palet said on the Digital Hospitality podcast. “As much as a loved doing radio, and as much as I used to love getting the newspaper, you start to realize there’s nothing in today’s newspaper that happened today. Everything comes across so quickly on your phone and your computer.” Even legends can quickly become irrelevant without a digital evolution. That’s exactly why Cali BBQ Media was created, to help guide others toward a digital future. It’s not easy to adapt, but it’s necessary. At one time there was talk of cord cutters, those people who moved entirely away from older forms of broadcasting like cable TV and radio, into consuming digital content using streaming apps like Netflix or Spotify. Now people don’t cut cords, they just never plug them in. “You start to realize that less than 2 percent of the people under the age of 22 have cable or DirectTV. … I started thinking, ‘my way is the old way,’” Dave Palet said. “I can sit there and be The Last of the Mohicans, or I can sit there and adjust.” Dave and Jeff left XTRA 1360 in August 2016. When Dave first mentioned doing a podcast to his co-host, Jeff’s answer was “no way” because he looked at it as a step backward from their prior radio gig. Eventually the pair saw eye-to-eye and they made the smart choice of moving into podcasting and distributing their own content online. Now the Dave and Jeff Show isn’t even trying to get back on the radio. Why would they, when they can reach their fans on their own whenever they want? They’ve since had more than 2 million downloads of their Dave and Jeff Show podcast. “We never had that kind of response in radio,” Dave Palet said. “This is around the world, this isn’t just San Diego.” Now Dave said they’re following in the footsteps of Cali BBQ Media, by incorporating high-quality video and other content into the mix so they can broaden their ability to reach audiences in new ways. Lending a Hand Through Media: Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth have done a lot to give back using the reach of their popular show. They continue that mission however they can. For their 20th anniversary in 2018 everyone who donated $25 was invited to a special event at the Eastlake Country Club in Chula Vista, where they dined on Cali Comfort BBQ, hung out with Fantasy Football expert Lisa Ann, listened to the Disappointing Joseph band, among other entertainment. Most importantly, the fundraiser exceeded their goals and raised thousands of dollars for important causes: Stand Up to Cancer, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Charity: water, Suicide Awareness, and The Alpha Project. Dave and Jeff asked their supporters to help them help others and it worked. “That was his doing,” Dave Palet said about his radio partner Jeff Dotseth and the work he put into organizing their 20th anniversary fundraising event in San Diego. The event did a lot of good for humanity, but it came in a terrible year for Dave and Jeff. “It was January 1 where I get a phone call that said that my dad took his own life,” Dave said. “And it was also January 1, 2018, when Jeff and his wife decided they were getting a divorce. … It took me a long time to get out of that fog.” Dave and Jeff’s relationship is a true partnership because they help each other. “He carried me that year,” Dave said about working with Jeff. When you learn to ask for help, you see how many people there are who have your back. Gone Far Too Soon: It was October 2018 when Dave’s youngest son Jake passed away at 20 years old. A fentanyl-laced sleeping pill to help with rest stopped his heart while playing video games in his room. To lose a child is a tragedy. If you love someone who’s felt that pain, now is a good time to remind them that you’re here for them. “It’s as bad as you could possibly imagine,” Dave said. “It has been brutal for us, every single day. … Every night you can’t fall asleep because you think about your son. And every morning when you wake up it’s like somebody throws a bucket of ice water on your face telling you your kid is dead.” Dave will do anything he can to stop what happened to his son from happening to another person’s child. “So no other parent has to go through what we went through.” Jake was coaching for the California Bears travel baseball team before he died. He also dreamed of being a pro football player. He had a lot ahead of him. After the shock of losing their youngest, the Palet family began to ponder how to memorialize the legacy of the beloved young man who was a mentor to so many. “Jake loved those kids that he was coaching,” Dave Palet said. “You were at the funeral and saw all those kids wearing California Bears jerseys. Not only his old teammates, but also the new kids.” Jake’s Projects was born in the wake of grief and an outpouring of support. The image on the charity’s shirt is of Jake giving his father a hug after a big win. Surrounding them is the number 25 which Jake wore in honor of his brother Josh Palet who wore the same number when he played baseball. “We go through the whole process of starting Jake’s Projects with the attitude of the (California) Bears. … We give them the confidence to play up to their ability. Worse case scenario they’re going to leave the Bears or high school baseball with good childhood memories.” As a coach who works with young people, he’s learned first-hand the struggles that many have with depression, just like his son did. Parents have come to Dave asking for help keeping an eye on their children because of how prevalent depression and suicide is among youth. A community looks after one another. Helping Jake’s Projects: The Jake’s Projects nonprofit charity was established in 2019 to spread the love that Jake showed the world in his time here. Jake loved to help others find success in life through sports. He wanted everyone to be able to play. You can make a donation to Jake’s Projects online at https://jakesprojects.org. Money raised pays for uniforms, equipment, supplies, plus important education on depression and the dangers of taking unprescribed medication. The goal is to empower youth through baseball and teach life skills along the way. “The idea is to give kids a chance to play. That’s what Jake would have wanted.” Creating great childhood memories, helps create great future adults. And the cycle of positivity continues if people are willing to help each other when it’s needed. Dave and Jeff bring their listeners in on the good times, and the bad. When you form relationships with your audience, you’re building a family who are happy to lend a hand. The show’s supporters are compelled to help when they can, whether it’s through a T-shirt fundraiser, a charity event, or help with a new website. That’s what family does. One of the show’s biggest champions is Cali BBQ Media’s very own Kyle Pflueger, who through his Mithril Media company, created custom mobile-friendly websites for the Dave and Jeff Show, Jake’s Projects, Valley Farm Markets, and also our new CaliBBQ.Media online home. We asked Kyle for help combining our BBQ restaurant website and our media company website. We couldn’t have done it without his assistance. Dave Palet feels the same way about the talented web designer and all-around great person. “Kyle is family to us,” Dave Palet said. “This podcast has opened doors to so many people, and not just business relationships, but much more than that. When this is all said and done, Kyle matters to us, his wife matters to us, his kids matter to us.” It’s not merely about building business partners for the show, it’s about building an extended family, which carries a lot more power. There’s big things on the horizon for Dave and Jeff as their podcast continues to evolve into its digital future with more video and big names stopping by Dave’s garage to talk sports, life, and everything else. Dave’s courage to share his story in order to help others is beyond admirable. Let it inspire you to do what you can right now to help someone els
50 minutes | a year ago
Finding Your Center – Nick Hardwick and Jayme Hardwick (DH 014)
When you find your center in life, you’ve found your purpose. The Digital Hospitality crew traveled to Renegade Fitcamp in San Diego to record a podcast from the amazing facility with part-owners Nick Hardwick and Jayme Hardwick. https://renegadefit.com/ The Hardwicks’ ability to transform themselves over the years is inspiring. It’s not easy when you change directions, but it’s often necessary. Our Digital Hospitality thesis is: no matter what business you’re in, you need to start building a strong digital presence. https://calibbq.media/podcast-episodes When we first started Digital Hospitality in 2019, the married couple and business entrepreneurs were some of the first names we wrote down as potential dream guests. Before becoming a media personality and content publisher, Nick Hardwick played 11 seasons for the Chargers in the National Football League. He retired in 2015 after a serious neck injury in week one of the season, and overall health concerns, forced the decision. Since then the Hardwick family has had to transform themselves and their routines, just like we all have to when big life changes occur. “For me it was a big part of shedding that former identity, which is really what happens when you’re transitioning out of something so massive as that,” Nick Hardwick said about leaving the NFL. It’s like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, but you have no clue what to do with your wings. It takes serious effort to learn how to fly high. These days, the Hardwicks are soaring higher than ever. The couple are business owners, content creators, and media publishers who choose to tell their own stories online and take control of the narrative. Nick Hardwick’s weight loss journey: Nick Hardwick has always been able to transform his body. The NFL center played football at around 300 pounds, which took an insane amount of daily calories to keep on — as much as 7,000 calories a day. His mass helped him in his football career. It’s also not a sustainable lifestyle afterward as his career changed. Every night in bed, Nick Hardwick would wolf down a pint of Ben and Jerry’s which he grabbed from a freezer he kept stocked full of ice cream. “Chubby Hubby is really good, Chunky Monkey is super good, Cherry Garcia was kind of back-shelf. Karamel Sutra, there’s so many. It’s so good,” Nick Hardwick said on Digital Hospitality as he reminisced about his ice cream glory days. “He knew at that point he wanted to lose weight and regain some of his health,” Jayme Hardwick said. “He was just ready to shed some of that weight and kind-of reinvent himself.” Nick realized during that period that he had to transform his physique as he transitioned out of being a professional athlete. “He made a commitment to himself that he was going to lose as much weight as possible,” Jayme said. “When Nick commits to something he’s all-in. ”Within four months, Nick Hardwick lost 85 pounds. As he describes on Digital Hospitality, his weight loss routine wouldn’t work for everyone, but it helped him shed weight fast. He’s since found a happy medium between body size and health. Nick has also worked hard on his mental health, which is something many former pro football players struggle with . “I think he was floundering,” Jayme said. “He’d always been longing for the six-pack, so he had that, yet he had no direction.” Through self-reflection, hard work, and focusing on what really matters in life, the Hardwicks found their key pillars in life. And at the center of it all is family. As they grew together, both Nick and Jayme learned how to compliment each other in new ways. Finding Center podcast: The Finding Center podcast was created with the goal of helping others discover their foundations, just like Nick Hardwick has his “Four Pillars”: Family, Fitness, Food, Football. https://www.instagram.com/findingcenterpodcast/ The podcast grew organically from the burgeoning social media presence that Jayme Hardwick helped foster for Nick and their family. Nick had already been gaining tons of experience in the media following his NFL career so it was a natural transition to become a podcast host. Publishing online helps you connect with people in ways you have never before as your audience chooses to spend their valuable time engaging with your content and ideas regularly — at home, in the car, at the gym, everywhere. Jayme Hardwick recently appeared on the Finding Center podcast to get in-depth about their family life and backstory. It was a tremendous episode. You can tell how strong the Hardwick family is by listening to the couple share their stories of growth, transformation, and love. They couldn’t have done what they’ve done without being a team. “It’s so much fun,” Nick Hardwick said about the first time having his wife on the Finding Center podcast for episode 13 in December 2019. On that episode Jayme expertly took over hosting duties and put Nick in the interviewee hot seat. Guests of Finding Center have included: Navy SEALs physician Dr. Kirk Parsley, New York Times bestselling author David Epstein, and former NFL offensive lineman Joe Hawley. “We’re going to continue with season 2, but we’re going to amp it up a little bit more,” Nick Hardwick said. Cali BBQ Media is really excited to see what Nick Hardwick and Jayme Hardwick do in 2020 and beyond. Expect a lot more from them. Nick Hardwick said his next Super Bowl is to live to 100 years old, so they’ll be many more years of growth to come for them both. Visit https://www.CaliBBQ.media and email email@example.com to get in touch with us about starting your own digital evolution. Phone First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post Finding Your Center – Nick Hardwick and Jayme Hardwick (DH 014) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
38 minutes | a year ago
The Power of Asking for Help featuring Little Tommy Sablan (DH 013)
Early on, Tommy Sablan learned the power of asking for help. During his senior year of high school in 1982, Tommy was spotted by a counselor as he was about to skip school. The counselor asked him to stay instead and listen to a talk about the radio industry by Jonathan Lang. After jumping at a chance to answer music trivia questions during the career talk, Tommy Sablan got an invite to the KBEST 95 station the next day. It was just the help he needed to be pointed toward his destiny. The future radio producer was born and raised in Chula Vista by his mother. Going to a radio station seemed like a huge deal for him at that age. “I was just a poor kid from Chula Vista. I remember my mom drove me in a 1977 Ford Maverick and took me to the radio station. I got a tour and I’ve been there ever since,” Tommy Sablan said on the Digital Hospitality podcast about getting a boost of help at the start of his career. It was a big break that came because others were looking out for him and inspired him to be his best. “They gave a kid a break.” A Hall of Fame Producer and Person The media producer and San Diego radio legend is someone we feel like we’ve known a decade, even though it’s only been a year since we first met Tommy Sablan at KUSI. In no short time he became a part of our extended Cali BBQ Media family. The KUSI and iHeartRadio producer has a long history in media, and the accolades to show for it. “Little Tommy” was the first producer inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, for example. That’s a feat that only about 300 other industry personalities have accomplished. “First and only. And radio’s been on for a very long time, from Bob Hope to Red Buttons to Burns and Allen to Casey Kasem,” Tommy said on Digital Hospitality. “I say that with lots of pride.” Tommy Sablan was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016 for his work as an on-air producer on the Jeff and Jer Show. He first started on that program in 1988. Tommy is now in an elite class of radio legends, including Howard Stern and Rick Dees. He currently produces the Coe Lewis show, which airs from 3-7 p.m. on 101.5 KGB in San Diego. “The reason why the Jeff and Jer Show was so successful was our relationship with listeners,” Tommy Sablan told Shawn Walchef on Digital Hospitality. “Everything we are known for, everything people think of us for, it was listener related.” Tommy’s career is inspiring, not just for what he’s accomplished in the industry, but because he’s used his platforms to help others. For example: In only three hours, the Jeff and Jer morning show raised $1 million for the Red Cross to help fire victims. That’s just one of so many different ways that Tommy has tried to help others. Breaking and Entering Christmas Each year, his Breaking and Entering Christmas campaign helps a family in need during the holiday season. Cali BBQ was happy to help his efforts by providing our slow-smoked barbecue for the gathering of goodwill during Breaking and Entering Christmas 2019. It was an emotional and impactful December morning. Watching Tommy Sablan orchestrate it all was beautiful and inspiring. Tommy Sablan also gives back to others by sharing stories of his family’s past to help kids at Juvenile Hall, people in prison, and more. “Yes, my brothers were heroin addicts and they got strung out on heroin, but they were good people. And that’s the message I tell, and that’s why I’m believed when I talk to kids at juvie or families,” Tommy Sablan said. The struggles of addiction touch most everyone in some way. Tommy himself is 12 years clean, which he discusses on Digital Hospitality. “I’ve been there and I’ve seen it. … It’s not their fault that addiction from heroin, from that opiate, got to their soul.” Old Media meets New Media The Tommy Sablan Digital Hospitality episode was recorded from the iHeartRadio studios in San Diego. It was old media meets new media as we recorded our podcast and YouTube show from the iHeart media group’s studio. Tommy Sablan has seen a lot of change in the broadcasting industry during his decades working in it. Nowadays the definitions of what it means to be a journalist, broadcaster, and entertainer are blurred. That’s why Cali BBQ Media exists and why Tommy knows that broadcasting is not dead, just evolving. Cali BBQ has a long history with the iHeartRadio studios. The building is where we began our media career, so to speak. The Cali Comfort BBQ team first started visiting what was then Clear Channel’s Rock 105.3 to do radio promotions with The Mikey Show, hosted by Mikey Esparza. Being a BBQ Media company means we’ve gotten to meet, and learn from, many talented people in the media industry. We’re constantly impressed by the work that Tommy has done, and continues to do, as a radio and television producer and all-around great human being. “I’ve been in San Diego all my life. I was on a morning radio show for just about 30 years, the Jeff and Jer Show, and we made it in the Hall of Fame, yes. But it has also given me the wisdom and the relationships to be able to book guests…” Tommy Sablan said about his experience. As with many things, being a good producer often comes down to building connections with others. “It’s because of relationships. To be a successful business it is about relationships,” Tommy Sablan said. “For any business, for any company, you can be a success if you just build those relationships.” Tommy Sablan wants his legacy to be that of continued goodwill. “I want my kids to carry on Breaking and Entering Christmas. I want my kids and granddaughter to understand the things that I have been involved with and got lucky to be involved with, from Beckys House, to Breaking and Entering Christmas, to talking to kids. And I think my kids will carry on,” Tommy Sablan said. Connect with Tommy Sablan on social media: FACEBOOK — https://www.facebook.com/littletommysablan TWITTER — https://www.twitter.com/tommysablan INSTAGRAM — https://www.instagram.com/tommysablan Get in Touch with Cali BBQ Media at: FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/calibbqmedia TWITTER: https://twitter.com/calibbqmedia INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/calibbq Thank you for watching and listening to Digital Hospitality, a Cali BBQ Media production. If you would like help on your own digital evolution, please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Email First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post The Power of Asking for Help featuring Little Tommy Sablan (DH 013) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
36 minutes | a year ago
Transforming Your Online Presence featuring American Factory Wheel (DH 012)
Josh Casillas took an idea almost 20 years ago in his garage and turned it into reality. American Factory Wheel was a dream that came true because of hard work and a clear vision. That hard work never ends. In fact, with success comes even more work. It’s a long journey when you run a business. Josh Casillas approaches life and business in a way that is about making an impact. On this episode of Digital Hospitality, we go on the scene of the new American Factory Wheel location in Santee, California, to talk about making a new e-commerce website, adapting a business for the mobile phone era, sobriety and self-improvement, and providing Digital Hospitality in all ways. Josh Casillas is a friend of Cali BBQ Media and someone who we have utmost respect for, as a business owner and a human being. American Factory Wheel is the San Diego area’s premiere wheel repair specialist. Not only that but they specialize in providing Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) factory wheels to all sorts of customers, online and off. In the American Factory Wheel warehouses in San Diego there are thousands of used stock rims in amazing condition waiting to be purchased by a happy customer. They even ship anywhere in the world with UPS. You can also sell your wheels to American Factory Wheel on their website https://www.allusedrims.com/. In true Digital Hospitality fashion, you can interact with the company in many ways online. They guarantee quality work, timely responses, and a great experience, no matter where you interact with them, whether on their website, the phone, or in person. Over the years, Josh Casillas has transformed his business in many ways. One is his online presence. From Instagram, to Facebook, to Twitter, wherever customers are, so tries to be American Factory Wheel. It started with more social media posting. Now he’s A/B testing targeted advertisements online. Digital growth is always an evolution. “It just clicked in me not too long ago,” Josh Casillas said. “This is what we need to be doing right now. It’s important for us to have this presence and be consistent with this presence on social media with content.” The online efforts are working. Hundreds of people have agreed so far on Yelp that American Factory Wheel deserves a 5 star rating. That number is rising day by day. “A bad review can actually be a good review. It’s constructive criticism, right?” Josh Casillas said about online reviews of his business. “So you grab that, you fix what needs to be fixed at your business.” You can find American Factory Wheel (AFW) pushing the envelope all over the Internet, especially with their sleek new website at www.allusedrims.com. It’s still a work in progress. Anyone who has created a new website knows that it takes a lot of time investment. The small business has invested heavily in getting all their inventory up on their website so people can find it. “We need a presence obviously,” Josh Casillas said. “The website is important. Switching our business into an e-commerce business is the future.” The business owner said he’s excited to do even more to increase his online presence, including media marketing. He understands the importance of publishing content to a global audience using the power of the Internet. We couldn’t agree more. It’s the entire reason this podcast exists. If you’re not being found online, you’re not being found. A great way to be found is with dynamic content. Just take a look around you. Do you see someone on their phone? Your wife, your children, your friends, your coworkers, you, they all search for information online. Ask yourself this: When people search for your business online what are they finding? Go ahead and try it right now. That’s what we did and that’s what Josh Casillas did. No matter what business you are in, you need to be discoverable online, especially on the cell phone. “If we don’t show up where people are, it’s going to be difficult to do business in the next 5 years, in the next 10 years,” Shawn Walchef said in this Digital Hospitality podcast episode. Josh Casillas is also a member of the Pro Football Ultimate Fan Association (PFUFA) and devoted Chargers fan with endless Bolt Pride. You might know him as his alter ego, the NFL Road Warrior. The PFUFA’s ideals of fellowship, sportsmanship, and charity are traits it shares with Josh. You can apply those ideals to business as well, he said. It’s important to give back however you can. “Being around all those people and the PFUFA, has really taught me a lot of things as well,” Josh said. He learned online strategies and got ideas from the PFUFA through observation and being aware. “Through social media, seeing other fans and their teams, and what they do … you just grab that and apply it to your business.” About American Factory Wheel — American Factory Wheel is owned by Josh Casillas. They are located in Santee, California, 8745 N. Magnolia Ave., #D. AFW provides OEM factory wheels online, as well as services for dealerships, insurance companies, retail wheel and tire stores, and collision shops. Get in touch with AFW by phone at 619-795-1048. Visit AFW online at https://www.allusedrims.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/afw_oemwheels/ Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/american-factory-wheel-san-diego Twitter: https://twitter.com/afw_oemwheels Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/American-Factory-Wheel-107602409282843/ Watch more on YouTube Make sure to check out our Behind the Scenes episode on our Cali BBQ Media YouTube channel featuring American Factory Wheel, where you can learn more about their business and get a closer look at Josh Casillas’ fantastic operation. Our video team from Blue Vision Entertainment always edits behind-the-scenes footage for the Digital Hospitality podcast so you can see how this podcast is made. The episodes are a lot of fun to make and to watch. Our bonus videos are part of our mission to share knowledge about creating content online, so get in touch anytime with any questions to email@example.com. You can also sign up for our Cali BBQ Media newsletter to get updates on this podcast, Cali BBQ Media, and our Cali Comfort BBQ restaurant in Spring Valley, California. www.calibbq.media Email Email The post Transforming Your Online Presence featuring American Factory Wheel (DH 012) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
49 minutes | a year ago
Knowing When to Pivot Your Business featuring Miller & Sons BBQ Sauce Brewing Co. (DH 011)
It’s hard to know when to pivot your business. On this episode of our Cali BBQ Media podcast “Digital Hospitality”, we talk with Steve Miller, a listener of this show, about transforming his family’s successful baking operation at the Rock Creek Lakes Resort into a BBQ business. After hearing our regular call to action where we ask you to email us your stories, Steve Miller did just that. It’s one thing to be curious, it’s another to get involved. All the magic happens when you actually reach out and share information. That’s the essence of Digital Hospitality and how we built our business. We encourage all of you to get involved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and sharing your own story. Taking over a family business can be terrifying and exciting at the same time. Steve Miller and his wife Amy took over the Rock Creek Lakes Resort from her parents in 2015. Since 1979 until then, the King family had owned and operated the beautiful resort surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains and trout-filled lakes. The resort’s “butter and butter” are the cabin rentals. That’s no wonder. The property looks absolutely beautiful. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Mammoth Mountain in the majestic Eastern Sierras. When people visit Rock Creek Lakes Resort, they come for serenity. “You got the lake right across the street from us,” Steve Miller said. “World class hiking right up the road.” It’s an outdoor lovers paradise with plenty of cabins and other accommodations for visitors. One of those accommodations that kept people coming back was Sue King’s handmade pies. For almost 40 years, people visited from all around after learning about her handcrafted Pie in the Sky slices. A few features in Sunset Magazine, and then later online, led to a continued massive demand. But when Steve and his wife took it over from the Kings, they knew they couldn’t keep up the intensity of the pie operation. It wasn’t their path. When Rock Creek Lakes Resort stopped making pies, they also found a new direction. Steve had another craft in mind to serve, something he was more accustomed to creating — barbecue. Steve Miller is a proud supporter and participant in our growing #WestCoastBBQMovement. Years ago, the lodge had cooked some ribs on the restaurant grill and Steve needed a barbecue sauce that was better than the mass produced one he had on hand in their general store. So Steve got on the phone with his dad to get his longtime BBQ sauce recipe. Steve had been tasting that sauce since he was a kid and knew it well. The sauced-up ribs were a hit. Demand was there. Steve Miller thought, as a joke, he should bottle the sauce and try and sell it. Bottling and selling BBQ sauce is notoriously difficult to pull off. He did end up bottling a few sauces anyway, and feedback was positive. So the next summer he did it again with a few more. “I made it so it was always out in the store. And if people bought some, I’d make some more.” That was the start of what became Miller & Sons BBQ Brewing Co. The small-batch sauce and spice rub company now has products in more than 30 shops. That’s how a business evolves. Bit by bit. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes buy-in from the team, family, customers, and it takes drive to keep going through hard times. The Millers took over a resort known for its pies and decided, maybe that wasn’t the answer anymore. “It’d be like us taking over Julian (Pie Company) and starting a BBQ shop,” Steve Miller said. “That’s how it feels.” “We took a lot of flack for it (still do) but we have made it out the other side (I think) and our restaurant numbers are back up to what they were during the time of the pie,” Steve Miller wrote to Cali BBQ Media in his initial email to us. Learn more about Miller and Sons BBQ Sauce Brewing Company online at https://www.millsauceco.com. Rock Creek Lakes Resorts can be found at https://www.rockcreeklakesresort.com. Follow them on social media @millsauceco and @rockcreeklakesresort. Often, bold moves are what’s needed to keep a business fresh. This is the first Cali BBQ Media episode recorded from inside the four walls of our Cali Comfort BBQ restaurant in Spring Valley. When we transformed our restaurant from a breakfast place to a BBQ sports bar, there were plenty who didn’t think it would work. Yet here we are more than a decade later creating digital content as a BBQ media company. Evolution is important for any business. By turning our Cali BBQ brand into a media company, we have built a team of professionals who can help you do the same for your business. Our pros at Cali BBQ Media can help you improve your online presence with mobile-first web design, digital marketing, video, and podcasting. Email us at email@example.com if you’re interested in growing your reach on the Internet. Phone First Name Last Name Email Address Phone Business Name How did you hear about us? Description Recaptcha The post Knowing When to Pivot Your Business featuring Miller & Sons BBQ Sauce Brewing Co. (DH 011) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
48 minutes | a year ago
Building an Authentic Brand with Purpose featuring Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka (DH 010)
An authentic brand is incredibly important, especially in the digital age where we’re all trying to share our stories. In order to do that you have to be memorable and you have to stand for something. Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka was built with purpose and passion. https://uncleedsdamngood.com/ On this episode of Digital Hospitality, brothers Ed and Walt tell the story of their purpose-driven vodka company live from the Wonderfront Festival in San Diego, where they were a major sponsor. Wonderfront Festival co-founder (and previous guest of Digital Hospitality) Ernie Hahn makes a special appearance. Uncle Ed is the face of Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka. There’s a reason for that. His ideals are the brand’s ideals. He and his vodka are on the same path. He wouldn’t be involved with the company if he didn’t think he could make a difference. Ed, an environmental scientist, and his family, including their pet pig Tuk Tuk, live on an organic island farm in Hawaii where they manage a self-sustaining existence surrounded by a beautiful lush jungle landscape. They traded in city life for a simpler life off the grid. “I needed to try something different,” Ed said. Ed also knows how to make some Damn Good Vodka. For a decade, Ed and Walt have owned and operated the distillery in their home state of Idaho. They wanted to make sure the vodka company was in line with Ed’s values, including living sustainably. For example, the bottle for Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka has no plastic, uses recycled paper label, flint glass, and has zero water waste. It’s also gluten-free and made with non-GMO ingredients. They took what Ed stands for and bottled it. It’s a vodka with a purpose — to simplify, sustain, and give back. The company also aligns with charity, including Waves for Water, which provides clean water to those who need it. https://www.wavesforwater.org/ The Foundational Philosophies of Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka are: * Be real, authentic, and transparent * Remain community-driven * Be mission-based * Focus on waste minimization across the supply chain * Live by intentional production * Work on ways to create more sustainable packaging * Aid clean water missions around the world * Create ultra-smooth tasting vodka At the Wonderfront Festival, Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka did more than lend their name as a sponsor. They had an entire village area set up at the Embarcadero Park North, which reflected the sensibilities of the brand with vodka tastings, music, games, and more. https://wonderfrontfestival.com/embarcadero-north/ When Digital Hospitality host Shawn Walchef learned the story of Ed and Walt and how they teamed up to create a brand they cared about, he was touched. “For me as a small business owner, I was touched to know that two brothers who are a yin and a yang to each other somehow pulled off this brand,” Shawn Walchef said. Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka is about family, Walt said. “The most successful brands, not just in alcohol, are small, family based, true authentic stories.” “When Ed left our distillery in Boise to move to the big island to fulfill his dream, it was really kind of defining moment of ‘what do we do, where is our business going to go?’ Walt said. “I just saw Ed live his passion.” Ed said the company is still striving to make steps toward being even more environmentally responsible, reducing their carbon footprint, and making more purpose-driven business decisions. “We just got done finding a biodegradable plastic shrink-wrap that goes around the pallets when we ship them off,” Ed said. “It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s constantly moving forward. It’s a bunch of small steps.” “You don’t just flip a switch and all of a sudden, ‘OK I’ve done everything I can do. I saved the world.’ It’s a journey and it continues.” It’s about the mission of the brand, which when it’s a core fundamental of the business, will always be there. Walt said he’s incredibly proud that his brother Ed has found his purpose. “Watching my brother walk around his farm and the more he talks about what he’s doing — and the more excited, the more passion he gets — as his brother, that makes me absolutely happy.” “It warms my heart, it makes me feel amazing.” *** Thank you for watching Digital Hospitality, the podcast where we help business owners develop a mobile-first internet strategy by sharing stories of innovative brands and personalities who are outranking the competition in search results. Are you or your company looking to expand your digital footprint? Contact Cali BBQ Media to learn about what we can do to help you take the next step forward in your digital transformation. Cali BBQ Media can help you with video, audio, a mobile-friendly website, blogging, and digital strategy. Visit https://calibbq.media/ and email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch. Follow Digital Hospitality and CaliBBQ.Media at: https://www.instagram.com/calibbq https://twitter.com/calibbqmedia https://www.facebook.com/calibbqmedia/ The post Building an Authentic Brand with Purpose featuring Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka (DH 010) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
57 minutes | a year ago
Making an Unstoppable podcast featuring Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable (DH 009)
After seven years and hundreds of podcast episodes, Restaurant Unstoppable has lived up to its name. For more than 670 episodes, Restaurant Unstoppable podcast host Eric Cacciatore has interviewed many of the top names in the restaurant and hospitality industries to explore what they’ve learned in their journey. Along his own journey, Eric has amassed a wealth of knowledge about the ins and the outs of the restaurant business and building his own brand. https://restaurantunstoppable.com/ Hear his story and get tips and inspiration about how to start your own podcast on this episode of Digital Hospitality, a Cali BBQ Media podcast. https://calibbq.media/podcast-episodes/ Making the Restaurant Unstoppable podcast Eric Cacciatore visited the Cali BBQ Media studio at Cali Comfort BBQ in Spring Valley to record an episode of his Restaurant Unstoppable podcast with Shawn Walchef in November 2019. The next day Eric Cacciatore came back to Cali Comfort BBQ so Shawn could turn the mics on his fellow podcast host to go Behind the Smoke about what drives him to go all in on podcasting. Only 1 percent of podcasts make any money. Immediate ROI is not the reason you make a podcast. You can read more about that in this great article about the economics of podcasting: https://lime.link/blog/how-much-money-do-podcasters-make Eric Cacciatore has achieved something rare. He created a podcast that actually earns income. But it wasn’t easy. Success never is. “My mantra is: ‘Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.’ You just go,” Eric said. You don’t get to be one of the top restaurant podcasts without hard work, dedication, and passion. Identifying a need When Eric Cacciatore got into podcasting years ago he quickly realized there was a glaring lack of podcasts in the restaurant and hospitality space. “That was my first hint right there that the hospitality industry hadn’t quite caught up yet,” Eric Cacciatore said. “We’re late adopters in this industry, typically.” That’s one of the reasons Eric wanted to make a podcast about restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Hospitality is in people’s blood, whether you’re on the media side or the restaurant owner side. Eric Cacciatore’s parents owned a restaurant so he grew up in the industry. His dream was to always open a restaurant. Eric found a different and innovative way to make his mark on the industry. He started his own restaurant podcast. That meant leaving behind the start of his aviation career and fly into a completely new territory. “I was leaning into my strengths.” He knew his dreams would come true if he took time to try and help others. “The whole idea is how to become unstoppable. How to make your restaurant dreams unstoppable,” he said about naming his podcast Restaurant Unstoppable. Podcasting takes hard work To make it as a podcaster or as a restaurant owner you have to have stamina. Few, if any, make it overnight. It takes years of sweat. “I started this thing seven years ago and I’ve published 2 to 3 episodes a week.” There are few podcast hosts who can claim such an achievement. It takes a really strong drive to continue against all odds to make a successful podcast. You can subscribe and listen to the Restaurant Unstoppable podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Overcast. Visit https://www.restaurantunstoppable.com to learn more. Follow Eric Cacciatore on Instagram @ericcacciatore. Thank you for learning with Digital Hospitality, a Cali BBQ Media podcast. We strive to help business owners develop a mobile-first internet strategy by sharing stories of innovative brands and personalities who are outranking the competition in search results. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share the show. Visit https://www.CaliBBQ.media and email email@example.com to get in touch. Follow Digital Hospitality and CaliBBQ.Media at: https://www.instagram.com/calibbq https://twitter.com/calibbqmedia https://www.facebook.com/calibbqmedia/ Twitter Email The post Making an Unstoppable podcast featuring Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable (DH 009) appeared first on CaliBBQ.Media :: BBQ & Digital Hospitality.
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