Five Minutes With: Kirby Hasseman


Kirby Hasseman talks with PPB about Delivering Marketing Joy, his podcast where he interviews industry members; his Start & Stop videos (an online video series discussing different topics in relation to getting started, following through and finishing); and the importance of being digitally connected.

PPB What inspired you to create your Start & Stop videos? (In his first few episodes, he discusses topics including sleep, multitasking and exercise, intention and comparison, how to start a morning routine and how to stop complaining.)

Hasseman In giving talks around the country about providing more value, creating content and “giving first,” I received one pushback: “This sounds great, but that is going to take a lot of time.” The thing is, there is no easy button to success. It takes hard work, but there are ways we can maximize our own productivity. I created the Start & Stop series to help people understand, based on science, how to get more accomplished each day.

PPB Tell us about your podcast, Delivering Marketing Joy. What are some of the interviews that stood out to you, and why?

Hasseman I am really proud of Delivering Marketing Joy. It’s one of my first pieces of content that caught on, both on video and podcast. After nearly 250 episodes, asking me to pick a favorite is like picking a favorite child. But here are a few that grabbed me.

Episode 1 with Mark Graham, president of commonsku: I am just blown away that Mark agreed to it. He was very kind to take a shot on something that was not really being done in the industry. Not only was he willing, but he was such a pro. In any journey like this, there has to be a first step. I appreciate Mark being willing to take that step with me.

Episode 8 with Bill Petrie, president of PromoCorner: What I love about this one is that Bill and I had not had a great relationship for several years. He was starting a new venture and I was taking a new leap. This is a great example of how social and content not only promotes your business, but can connect and reconnect relationships.

Episode 100 with Seth Godin, marketing expert and best-selling author: Seth is a hero of mine, and I had been asking him to be on the show for a long time. He had always (very politely) declined. When I reached out about the milestone of Episode 100, he graciously accepted and was amazing. It was a great lesson to me about persistence and the power of just continuing. So many times you feel like no one is watching and no one cares. Then one day, people say you are an “overnight success.”

PPB What do you love most about being on camera and behind the microphone, and how do you think this benefits your company?

Hasseman I really do enjoy it. It’s a rush for me. And since I am constantly creating content, it pushes me to constantly look at things differently. It challenges me. As for the benefits to the company, it has changed our perception. We have gone from a company that sells promo to a marketing company. We have gone from the back of the conversation—“Oh no, the event is in a week and we need pens”—to the front of the conversation—“We have an event coming up in six months, what should we do?” People are always asking for an ROI on content and social. I think it has to do with completely changing your brand. That takes long-term thinking.

PPB What social media or web presence do you believe is crucial for companies today? Do you have advice for companies that are just starting out, in terms of absolute do's  and absolute don’ts?

Hasseman I believe every company in today’s world is a media company. If that’s the case, social and web presence is vital. You need to create content and create value for the customer or prospect. My advice would be to start where you are most comfortable—like to be on camera, start with video. Are you strong with the written word? Write a blog. Pick one and do that really well, then you can go on to the next platform if you want.

As for do's and don’ts, do provide value. The best content thinks of the customer’s perspective. Don’t just sell. So many clients only put out ads and they think that’s content. It’s not. It’s an ad. If you don’t know where to start, think back to the most-asked questions you get. Take one of those questions and spend some time really answering it. Poof, there is a piece of content.

PPB In many of your blog posts, you cover topics centered on positivity, or finding clarity in your day to day. What inspired you to write about this topic? What feedback have you received, both from members and nonmembers of the industry?

Hasseman I have worked hard to be a positive person, and it can be really hard. Studies tell you that nearly 90 percent of what we see every day is negative. If that’s the case, we need to be intentional about putting positivity in our brains. When you do that, you’ll start to see it. There really are lots of good things going on in the world. I have just decided to be someone who points that out. From a business perspective, it makes sense to me, too. If 90 percent of what your customers see is negative, being positive will make you stand out. In the mind of your customer, better isn’t always better: different is better.

As for feedback, it’s been, well, positive! What is interesting to me is you don’t really know who is reading or consuming your content. I will go a stretch and feel like no one is watching or reading or listening. Then at some social event, a person will come up to me and thank me for lifting them up, and I had no idea they knew who I was. That is incredibly rewarding.

PPB In your book, Fan of Happy: Life Lessons For My Daughters, you mention 110 life lessons. Would you mind sharing a few with us?

Hasseman Absolutely! I wrote the book Fan of Happy because I had some “lessons” I wanted my daughters to hear. Unfortunately, when they became teenagers, they did not always want to hear my “wisdom,” so I started writing it down to give to them later in life. Then I realized there might be something in here for others, too, so I turned it into a book. Here are a few from the book that stood out to me.

Be More Grateful: We have the formula all wrong. We think it’s hard work + success = happy. That’s not the case. It’s more like happy + hard work = success. Happiness actually helps you succeed. If you want to be happier, start to intentionally be more grateful. You can’t be grateful and negative at the same time.

Give Others A Chance To Grow: When I look back at myself at 16, 18 and 21, I often cringe, but I give myself a break because I have learned and grown up. But we often look at others as if they are the same as they were 20 years ago. Give them a chance. They might surprise you.

Give Out Good, It Comes Back: It’s an old lesson, but we often need to be reminded. Being a good person and doing the right thing pays off. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but if you give out good, it comes back.


Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

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