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About Bob Gentle

I work with businesses of all sizes on digital marketing, host the Amplify digital marketing entrepreneur podcast and work with entrepreneurs to help them amplify their business online.

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Who are you? Your ability to answer that question with impact and integrity can do more for your personal brand and your businesses than any technology or tactic. 

In this week’s episode we meet with Lucy Eckley from Build Your Brand Story.. Lucy’s business is entirely focused around one question. Who are you? 

About Lucy : Lucy helps independent consultants to devise their unique brand story so they can stand out from the crowd and attract their ideal clients - simply by being themselves. Her approach is based on more than 20 years' marketing and communications experience, including eight years as a successful independent consultant.

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It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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I first wrote this post four years ago and shared it on Linkedin.  I remember it clearly because when I posted the article on my Linekdin timeline the reaction was staggering.  It’s what triggered the journey which brought me to launching this site and resetting my business to serve you – the solo or emerging digital agency owner.    

My competitors are all assholes.

For years this was my truth.  As business owners we fight hard to establish market share.  Our competitors are a barrier, the enemy, our opposition.  They take food from our tables and steal our clients. For most of my career so far I would have considered anything – short of taking out a hit ( including taking out a hit ) on them in order seal an advantage over them.

We live in a capitalist economy and one of the most effective features of this system is competition.  In some industries competition is ferocious and dirty and in others it maintains a veneer of respectability but in either case there are winners and losers.  I don’t want to be a loser.

This article outlines some of the attitudes I’ve taken to competitors.  I’m regularly on the receiving end too.

In retrospect my attitude to competitors was valid.  I was fighting from the back against much bigger, stronger and better resourced opposition.  At the same time I competed then; and still regularly do, with freelancers and the lone wolves who can cut and run once they get paid without any overhead. Years of this fight have left me battle hardened.    

I’ve started attending events which bring me into regular contact with competitors.  I discovered something which blind-sided me.  They are not all assholes! They are in fact people I have a lot in common with.  If they are technical then I have my passion for the web and digital in common.  If they’re a business owner then I have the journey, struggle, ambition and the process in common.  If they are creative then we have a love of design in common.  There is a lot of common ground.

I think business owners and founders in particular suffer from the “competitor as asshole” psychosis more than most. Business owners and founders also tend to be self reliant, independent and network very strategically. They’re also not, and likely never will be, in the job market and don’t have to suck up. Without thinking about it we avoid direct contact with our competitors.

My “moment” at an event recently hit me hard.  Skaters seek out skaters, surfers hang out with surfers, golfers spend time with golfers.  Compatibility and common interests can lead to friendship.  I’ve spent a lot of my adult life fantasising about their car crashes but it seems that the people I’ve started meeting are likely to become my good friends very quickly.

All of the commercial reasons for getting to know your competitors are perfectly valid but a much more exciting prospect has become – all these people – I have a lot in common with and I can get to know them.  The digital sector attracts a particular kind of person and it’s the kind of person I’m most comfortable with. Fundamentally I will be happier the better I know my competitor and I’m looking forward to reaching out without the agenda you’d expect.

How does this work in your sector or area?  It’s a new idea for me and I’m keen to hear stories.  If I’m your asshole then invite me for coffee.

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This week I'm speaking to Pete Everitt, co-owner of So.. The Agency. In this episode we cover topics as broad as personal branding, cash flow and how important it is to not just respond to what clients ask for, but also to ask questions clients don't even consider. 

About So.. The Agency... Pete helps businesses (their owners, and their marketers) achieve their potential online through streamlining their marketing. With more than ten years of operational online business experience, he works with a portfolio of clients experiencing growth from 5 to 6 to 7 figures.

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Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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I this episode I'm speaking with Louise Brogan from Social Bee. Louise runs Social Bee, an agency focusing on teaching and education around all aspects of social media and content marketing. Louise put in the work early to really understand her audience and provide them value. Through this she's built a thriving business which skips the 'done for you' agency model altogether.

About Louise : Louise is the founder of Social Bee NI, podcaster and online marketing coach. I have been working with entrepreneurs and business owners since 2013, focusing on helping with understanding online marketing in a no-nonsense way. in 2018, I became an accredited Facebook and Instagram trainer as part of Facebook and Enterprise Nation's SheMeansBusiness programme.

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Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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In this week’s episode I’m speaking with Lee Jackson from Angled Crown. Lee’s agency focuses on the build element of WordPress websites for agencies. Lee’s is a fascinating story of specialisation and in promoting your business in some innovative ways.

Lee Jackson helps design agencies around the world fall in live with their agencies again and get back their work life balance. This is achieved through education, consultancy and development. The host of the Agency Trailblazer podcast and youtube channel he provides a large amount of free information to add value to the growing community.

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Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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In this weeks episode I meet Janine Capaldi, Co Founder of digital marketing agency Capaldi Marketing. Janine started as a coach and then began consulting; specialising in getting coaches & businesses high value leads and sales on LinkedIn.

Janine has one philosophy & one common goal that all her work revolves around - relationships. Relationship marketing is the key to high value long term business relationships. If you focus on relationship first, before everything else you will be successful.

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Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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I this episode I talk to Alex Curtis. Alex is the owner/founder of The Lead Engine a digital lead generation agency that operates in the financial services industry. His team creates lead generation campaigns mainly using pay per click advertising in Google, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. Their sole aim is to reduce the cost his clients pay to acquire new customers.

Having worked in a few agencies since 2002 he jumped into freelancing and consulting in 2014 and started hiring his first-team members in 2017 and they now have a team of 6 full-time in-house employees.

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Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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Katrina Douglas is a Chartered Marketer, author, consultant & trainer who helps purpose driven business leaders gain momentum. She creates marketing strategies for businesses that provide a clear roadmap to their goals, and ensure that every marketing activity they engage in has a purpose and is part of a well-oiled and effective marketing machine.

Her business emerged from a passion to see more people not just start businesses, but succeed with them and build organisations with purpose and longevity. Everything she does is born out of her core belief that business owners need two things to thrive: an ability to market their business successfully and stay motivated so they can consistently drive it forward.

Links and mentions

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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