Welcome to CultivatED Marketer …

In this 16th episode of CultivatED Marketer, hosts Brent Bowen and Matt Tidwell, PhD, chat with Eric Hughey. Eric is the founder of the GenWhy Leaders Podcast, which he started to inspire fellow millennials to become the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Eric is also the owner of Vessel Media, which guides publishers and media brands to new revenue streams through the monetization of new digital products, as well as Leverage Lab, a first-party data consultancy that specializes in creative data and technology solutions. With Eric, we discuss millennial leadership and networking. 

CultivatED Marketer Ep. 16 — Eric Hughey Show Notes

Brent and Matt talk with Eric Hughey, founder of the GenWhy Leaders Podcast.

  • Brent and Matt spend some time discussing the important of mentorship and networking. They reflect on the recent passing of local Kansas City marketing giant, Howie Boasberg, who had been a teacher and role model to Matt. Matt mentions how Howie worked to help young people in marketing see that they didn’t need to go out to the coast — you could find great opportunities right here in Kansas City.
  • In fact, two of Cultivated Marketer’s previous guests — Mike Swenson (Ep. 6 and Ep. 7) as well as Kristen Majdanics (Ep. 11 and Ep. 12) had worked for Howie at points during their careers.
  • Brent and Matt introduce Eric Hughey as the guest for Episode 16. They’re excited to learn from Eric about millennial leaders, what keeps them motivated, and how they can succeed in a competitive marketplace.
  • Matt asks Eric to share more about his podcast, GenWhy Leaders — why did he start it and what is its mission? Eric says he’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and he decided to start with what he knew: interviewing people about leadership, which he is passionate about.
  • Eric mentions the stereotype of millennials — his generation — being looked upon negatively. But as 10,000 baby boomers retire per day through 2030, there are going to be many opportunities for millennials to step into bigger leadership roles. He wanted to interview some of those who had “made it” and had advice for others.

  • The group discusses the “Great Resignation” or the “Great Retirement” which has come as a result of the pandemic, but Eric started his show before the pandemic and has been consistent over the past few years. Matt asks Eric about any of the most memorable moments from his podcast over the years and how many episodes he’s done. Eric says that he’s done about 90 episodes, and he can think of five main tips he’s learned about starting a podcast as well as five general tips to share.
  • When it comes to podcasting, Eric says it’s important to stay within the realm of why you started the podcast and use it as a marketing tool. Next, you need to pick a niche … and once you’ve done that, pick a niche in that niche. Recording in advance is also important, and that can also help with the next tip, which is to make sure you have a buffer that can help you keep your cadence of how often you want to put episodes out. And finally, batch recording is always a good idea.
  • Eric discusses the double entendre of “Gen Y” (millennials) and “Gen Why,” as this is a very purpose-driven generation. He shares a pearl of wisdom from one of his previous podcast guests. When trying to find your “why,” think about what you didn’t have as a kid and try to fulfill that for others. Another guest of his shared “the riches are in the niches,” which can help you dominate in a small sector. And remember that it’s okay to get out there and make mistakes because that’s how you learn.
  • Eric talks about Gartner research that many millennials prefer not to engage with sales reps, which means that anyone who is trying to sell something to millennials needs to come across as more of a brand ambassador. Relationships and trust are much more important than the transactional nature of sales. 

  • Brent asks: How important have you found the concept of personal branding to be? Eric says it’s of top-tier importance. In a competitive marketplace, you need to find a way to distinguish yourself and continue working on your personal brand assets. Beyond his podcast, Eric mentions professional organizations such as KC IABC as a way he continues to develop his personal brand.
  • Matt notes Eric’s use of the term “personal brand assets” and says he thinks it’s a great term — while you may hear about corporate brand assets, you don’t necessarily hear it as much from an individual perspective.
  • As Eric mentioned his involvement in professional organizations, Matt asks what he would say to his generational colleagues who may not feel as compelled to join. Matt says that you can’t afford not to be part of these groups — regardless of time or money. With all the competition out there, making those connections and gaining the knowledge in these organizations can help you get ahead. 
  • On the topic of making connections and personal relationships, Brent shares how an important topic for CultivatED Marketer is mentorship. He asks Eric how he has gone about identifying mentors and cultivating that relationship. Eric says thinking about the people you’ve talked to that have mutual interests or you gravitated toward could be helpful in identifying your potential mentors. And when making the initial contact with someone, think about what value you can provide them instead of just what you can get out of it,
  • The group talks about how it’s important not to assume that the younger person in the mentorship relationship doesn’t have anything to offer — as the world changes and technology changes, everyone has something they can bring to the table.
  • Eric wraps up by sharing some news about his company, Vessel Media, which has recently transitioned into a business called Leverage Lab, which helps media organizations, brand advertisers, and member associations get the most value out of their first-party data. It was recently named one of the Fastest Growing Area Businesses by the Kansas City Business Journal.

Upcoming CultivatED Marketer Guests

  • Up next, we continue our series on mentorship.

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