How can small businesses work together with big clients and form powerful partnerships that make good things happen?
For our third season of Break Free B2B Marketing video interviews, we’re featuring conversations with leading B2B influencers, and examining the issues that each subject matter expert is influential about in their specialized industry.
2020 was a difficult year for business owners, and 2021 hasn’t quite been the return to normal many had envisioned. In 2020 profits were down, stress was up, and everyone was questioning how they were going to not only survive, but thrive, in the coming year.
These worries were more real for small business owners than anyone else. After all, when you own a small business, you’re not afforded the same protections or options that larger companies might have. You have to be smart, adaptable, and relentless in your pursuit of your goals.
Nobody understands this struggle better than Ramon Ray, founder of Smart Hustle Media. In fact, he’s built his personal success around his expert ability to predict and promote the needs of small businesses and help them elevate their brand to the next level.
He’s a keynote speaker, entrepreneur, best selling author, and the next guest on our Break Free B2B Marketing video interview series.
In the energetic and entertaining twelfth and final episode of our third season, Ramon sat down with our content marketing manager Nick Nelson to explore a fascinating array of topics surrounding how small and large businesses can think big together.
Ramon also shared how B2B influencers are bringing a face, a voice, credibility, and warmth to large brands, and why it’s key to be nimble, svelte, and creatively agile.
Check out the video below or listen to the podcast, to hear Ramon’s unique insight on thinking big, building trust, and small business achievement in 2021 and beyond.
Break Free B2B Interview with Ramon Ray
If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of our discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.
- :40 – Introduction to Ramon Ray
- 2:08 – Where do things currently stand for small businesses after the challenges of 2020?
- 4:16 – Interesting ways small businesses are adapting
- 5:17 – “Threading a careful needle”
- 9:10 – What can larger businesses learn from the success of small ones?
- 10:47 – Running and attending virtual events
- 11:55 – Can large businesses reclaim the “scrappy start-up” energy SMBs possess?
- 13:50 – Small businesses shouldn’t pigeonhole themselves with small clients
- 16:51 – New technology innovations for small businesses?
- 18:08 – Ramon’s book, Celebrity CEO
- 20:30 – How to carve out your niche as an influencer
- 24:28 – How to get in touch with Ramon
Ramon: Where I see things are the future, I hope it’s bright, but it’s kind of like a storm on a ship. Some have lost their lives. 10, 20, 30, or 100 people. Now the 70 of us that are here, we’ve got to move on and build new lives. That’s kind of how I see it: not forgetting the others, but you build on and move on. I hope that all those listening, the biggest takeaway I found is just that. We keep saying the new normal. But that’s what I hope everybody realizes: this is a brand new game. It’s brand new, and we’re never going back. Marketing is different. Advertising is different, and I think we learned that we’ll be okay.
Nick: Yeah, that’s great perspective. You know — stay true to yourself, and be bold on that front — but don’t don’t get gimmicky. You know that it’s not the time for that. When you talk about some of the successes and the way these challenges in the small business sector are being overcome, what do you see as key developments and things that even larger businesses might be able to learn from?
Ramon: I think speed is the biggest thing. I had my Survive and Thrive Summit — and I talked to the CEO of School of Rock, and many others, but it’s just one that comes to mind telling me how they were able to pivot on a dime. People were used to coming into a retail store. Oh, we still have teachers. We still have students. They still want training to be rock stars, as it were. Let’s set up iPads and make it virtual. It sounds “duh,” but for a bigger company that takes time and thought. My point is that I think that’s the biggest lesson learned I can give to these larger brands, is that we small businesses, on a dime, this thing falls behind me. Me and Nick will laugh about it and say see falling stock prices as an example. And we’ll keep moving. You can’t let that hold you hostage is what I’m trying to say. I think the biggest thing small businesses can do is be nimble.
Keep your eye on the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more interviews, including those in our new Inside B2B Influencer series. Also check out episodes from season 1 and season 2.
Take your B2B marketing to new heights by checking out out all of our previous season 3 episodes of Break Free B2B Marketing:
- Episode 1: Kevin L. Jackson, GC GlobalNet — The Future of Cloud Computing
- Episode 2: Tim Crawford, AVOA — The New Normal
- Episode 3: Oliver Christie, PertexaHealthTech — The Future of Artificial Intelligence
- Episode 4: Liam McIvor Martin, Time Doctor — Trends in Remote Work
- Episode 5: Sarah Barnes-Humphrey, SHIPZ — The Future of Supply Chain
- Episode 6: Eric Vanberburg, TCDI — The Changing Cybersecurity Landscape
- Episode 7: Nicole Brady, SAHM Reviews — The Importance of Empathy
- Episode 8: Tamara McCleary, Thulium — Visions of the Future
- Episode 9: Dez Blanchfield, Sociaall Inc. — Joining the Conversation
- Episode 10: Keith Townsend, The CTO Advisor — Bringing Value Through Friction
- Episode 11: Minda Harts, The Memo — Having Courageous Conversations