Kevin Hein started Konectd back in 2013 helping business owners transition to mobile websites. Today, he has focused on helping business owners of all verticals and sizes maximize opportunities for them.
Working with companies from start-ups to established ones, he has a solution for you.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- Changing marketplace for small business owners
- Understanding the needs of business owners and not just chasing a sale
- How business owners are keeping employees today
- How to work with local in mind
- Tools that you are using today
- Tips and tricks for business owners
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: Welcome to the High Velocity Radio show, where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you this afternoon. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast with Konectd, Mr. Kevin Hein. Good afternoon, sir.
Kevin Hein: How are we doing today, Stone?
Stone Payton: I am doing well and I have been so looking forward to having this conversation. I got a ton of questions. I know we’re not going to get to them all, but I think. I think a great place to start would be if you could articulate for me and our listeners mission purpose. What are you and your team really out there trying to do for folks, man?
Kevin Hein: Amazing. Well, first off, I want to thank you for bringing me on and looking forward to sharing a little bit with your listeners about what we do today. You know, our focus, our premise is really focusing around the customer needs. We’re not going in and working with these large, large companies on a day to day basis without considering those small local businesses to they have their needs. They’re looking for just help. They have questions. They don’t know who to go to. They’re looking at their day to day marketing or lack thereof. Don’t know where to start and are overwhelmed. Right. Is something as simple as building a Facebook page, a business page, and starting a website, right? So our focus in our team is really coming around as a support staff to their business. And that’s really where our focus and energy has been from the get go.
Stone Payton: Well, and I suspect it’s a moving target or a moving set of targets. Are you finding that there are changes in the marketplace for particularly for those small business owners that you have to help them adapt to and live into?
Kevin Hein: Absolutely. So when I started this business back in 2013, there was a huge shift from going to desk, from desktop to mobile. So that was our primary focus when we started out is getting people to the mobile websites. We’ve since obviously seen that shift go well into the mobile world and we’ve expanded since on what we’re offering from social media SEO websites. But what I’m finding now, just beyond the digital side of things is business owners are starting to age, right? And there are new entrepreneurs coming into the market. And I think that’s amazing. And there’s a lot of tools that they can use out there today. But these aging entrepreneurs are really looking for just a little bit of help to get them to the end of the stretch where they can retire and step back. Right. So understanding what digital presents actually means and where to put their energy and focus, right. We can compare against whether it’s competitors locally or competitors across the nation where they should spend their energy in going forward, whether it be social media or a website, or it might be something as simple as just a one pager explaining what they do and they offer. They don’t need a huge portfolio of pages within a website, but really just a simple explanation of, Hey, we’re here, this is what we offer, here’s how we can help. And that’s really been eye opening, putting that customer view first versus just trying to sell, sell, sell. And that’s not how we bend. That’s not how we’ve started is we’re not out knocking down doors and trying to sell everybody everything that we offer. It’s really focusing and tailoring into what they want and what they’re looking for.
Stone Payton: Well, it strikes me, as you’re speaking, that it’s really important that you genuinely listen to what the customer has to say, what the prospective client has to say, what may be some assumptions, some of which might be a little bit flawed maybe, And you may have to kind of log that and know that you’re going to need to educate and inform, but to in your pursuit to genuinely serve. It sounds like genuinely listening is is a gosh, not just a working discipline. I mean, it sounds like it’s a core value for you guys.
Kevin Hein: Absolutely it is. And the better piece of it, too, And what I’ve really instilled with my employees and my team is first, we’re a family, We work together, we take care of each other. We understand each other’s needs. I have kids. I have a few employees that have kids, you know, and really families first. And I want to instill that into our customer base as well to understand that it’s not straight business all the time. Tell me what’s going on. What are your other struggles? And I’m not necessarily saying personal, but are you having issues? Are you looking for funding? Are you having trouble finding employees or outside of just the digital world, what what can we help with? Because it may not be something that we offer, but we have a huge connection across multiple platforms, whether it be social media or personal throwback, an old phrase Rolodex. Right? And we can we can find those and connect those people to help them out, whether it’s local or regional or national. We can we can get down that path where we’re really just trying to be a resource to help them get down the path that they’re trying to get to. Right. So again, it may not be something we offer, but we listen and try and help where we can. Right. And we may not be the experts, but I know certainly that we can we can connect them with some experts that would get on the path. And in the long term, it just helps our case on what we’re offering as well. Right?
Stone Payton: Yeah. So so what’s the back story, man? How didn’t how in the world did you find yourself in in this line of work?
Kevin Hein: You know, I hopped out of college marketing degree, young and spry and excited, got into the marketing world, work for a very, very large corporation, realized it wasn’t for me. I got sucked into the sales side, did very well, ran a sale work for another organization, actually ran their sales team as a director and enjoyed it. But again, it was the big corporation. It wasn’t a fit for me. So I’ve been able to really marry this sales and marketing viewpoint, which brings again, a lot of value to my customers, I believe as well, because you can write a good marketing strategy, but having any sales perspective behind it is important too. On how the customer thinks, how they’re going to react to certain things. Being able to write copy, that’s correct as well is very important. But again, realizing back a few years I started this in 2013, it’s the the age old started in the garage and now I’m doing this full time type deal. Right. And it’s been fun. It’s been a fun ride. And we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, but really being able to get down to the nitty gritty with the customers and focus on what their needs are is really the fun part because at the end of the day, I get to go to the customers, whether it’s again via Zoom or I get to go on site, I get to see what they’re doing, I get to learn new things. I get to touch, feel right. I understand manufacturing operations. I understand, you know, the building operations or again, the digital operations that people are running to. And that is really what excites me is I get to interact and create a relationship and help grow with them and watch them grow. That’s really what’s important to us.
Stone Payton: So you spoke earlier in the conversation. You touched on sort of your ethos, your mindset, your value system around selling someone, serving someone versus just trying to to chase a sale. And at the same time, you’ve got to get into that conversation first, right? You have to have that conversation. So have you sort of landed on some sort of discipline process? Have you cracked the code on on getting a chance to have the conversation in the first place? I don’t know. Maybe we put that in the marketing bucket. Do you have a process for for meeting your market? I guess.
Kevin Hein: Yeah. You know, it’s I can’t say that I’ve cracked the code. I don’t know that there is a real code out there because every person is unique, everyone’s different. Although we see with a lot of business owners, they have similarities in problems that they’re running into. Sure, we can create a workflow or something like that that would that would drive some success. But really it’s focusing down and just being a people person again, understanding it as you iterated before, listening intently, providing value to them, whether it’s at a cost or not. At the end of the day, again, if I can help you find a better spark plug for your vehicle or a spark plug for your vehicle, I would be happy to do it again. I think provides no value for me, but it helps them. And at the end of the day, that’s what’s important. But as far as again, that marketing first or sales first, I think it’s so intertwined in my brain, I don’t know which ones coming out at which time. But again, going back to the cracking the code, I think it’s just being genuine, being authentic, being who you are. Right? This isn’t this is who I am.
Kevin Hein: I have three little beautiful babies. I got a gorgeous wife and we make it work. We’re we’re we’re a busy family. And there’s a lot of people, a lot of owners out there that are in the same situation. And you make it work and you understand that not everyone’s out to get you. And that’s where sometimes we run into the roadblock of saying, Oh, you’re just another marketing agency. And I was like, Well, no, actually we do a lot more. And sometimes I feel like we adopt our our clients and I get a text on Wednesday night before before Thanksgiving, and they’re going to they’re going to need something. Something’s going to come up and it’s okay. That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help out. And and that’s where really focusing on your culture internally will exponentially show the value that you bring and the support and the familiarity that you bring to these owners, too, because they’ll they’ll understand and they’ll feel the culture that’s coming within. And they can really, over time, will be able to detect if there’s a negative or a bad feel about it. And that’s definitely what we don’t want to instill, right?
Stone Payton: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about culture a little bit, because it’s one thing for you, Kevin Hine, to have this mindset. This ethos, this approach to genuinely serving and helping the client get what they need and want, whether it’s you who provides it or not, it’s clearly yet another to build a team of people who will help you achieve those ends and live into that that value system. Talk a little bit about your own recruiting, developing, retaining and I don’t know, maybe you’re even helping some of your clients on this very issue.
Kevin Hein: Yeah. You know, and I appreciate you pointing that out. It’s something that we sit down through the interview process, you know, like a lot of other people will put an application out there or an opening out there and we’ll get applicants. But what I really focus on is sitting down and speaking with them. I’m not here to ask you, what are your three strengths and three weaknesses? Right? I can look at your resume. I can understand what your what your capabilities are. I may ask a few questions about you. Tell me about working with a client that comes at you negatively or whatnot. And and that’s fine. But really, again, understanding you get that feel with speaking with them and understand what their core values are, too. And look, at the end of the day, I don’t expect my client or my employees to work around the clock. I don’t have that expectation. They shouldn’t have that expectation of me, even though sometimes I feel like I’m doing that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have that expectation for them. So really what I’ve instilled with them are a few different values. But the biggest piece being that you listen and you help them out on whatever need that they may have or again point them in the right direction. I’m not saying you have to know how to change a spark plug in a car, but hey, hey, here’s your local whatever auto body shop. Here’s who can help you out or have a connection with. And so but the other piece, too, is I’m not here to keep you forever. I understand that you need to move up in your career, and maybe that’s internally, maybe it’s not right. And that’s an okay thing. I want to provide you with all the tools, all the knowledge, all the capabilities that I have, the ability to share with you or our team has to share with you.
Kevin Hein: And if you go and better yourself in a different organization or create your own organization, I fully support it. I want you to understand that. I understand that. I’m asking a lot of what you’re doing on your day to day. It’s time is money, right? I’m asking you as an as an employer to take time away from your family. I’m asking you to maybe work some extra hours because we’re buried in a project. I’m asking you to possibly travel depending on the type of client where we’re going. Right. And I take that all into consideration, and as I said in the beginning, is I consider my employees family. Right. I will do anything for them and I don’t expect anything in return. And that’s the biggest key is I’m not out to. You know, accept anything back to me. Right. And that’s really what I focus on with my employees, is how can I help you? Because if you have the right mindset, the right, whatever it might be, that may be a struggle at home or with family or whatever it might be, if there’s anything I can do to help you out or if you need some extra time off or something happened, I’m here to support you. I’m your cheerleader, and I will back you up all the way. And I think that having that feel versus again, I’ve worked in a few large organizations that you really are a number. My employees are not a number. We have daily communications. We work on a lot of projects together. We have a lot of fun together too. So that’s really my focus around all of that.
Stone Payton: When you stepped out on your own a decade ago, was it at least a little bit scary for you, man? What was that like?
Kevin Hein: Yeah, so I ended up not stepping out right in 2013. I did it a bit on the side just for clarity, but I’ve been out on my own now for I’ve got to be over six years now, which is still a fair amount of time. And I was scared out of my mind. If I’m not, you know, if I’m being honest, it’s and I am not I am being honest. But it was it was terrifying. Right. And my wife looked at me and said, Are you sure this is the route we need to go? And I said, You know what? I have to do it. I can’t be one foot in and one foot out. Right? It’s not going to do anything if I don’t if I don’t take that leap. And I wouldn’t change. Change it for the world, right? Yeah, I work all hours. But you know what? Kids have a Christmas party at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday. Guess what? I’m going to go disappear at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday for an hour, and then I’ll be back at work. Right.
Stone Payton: So when the when the batteries do run a little bit low and and you need to recharge, where do you go? And I don’t necessarily mean like a physical place, but but how do you sort of get re-inspired get get, get built back up to go back out and try to serve and live into this purpose of yours.
Kevin Hein: Yeah. So my, my quiet place or my place to go to is actually running. As weird as that sounds. I go out and I go for a run and I’ll turn on some music on in the background. But I’ll went on my runs, I turn my music pretty low, just it’s just sent back round noises. I’m huffing and puffing down this down the street or down the sidewalk, but it really clears my mind and gives me a few moments to really soak in everything that maybe I’m a bit overwhelmed on a few projects that are going on. We’re taking on new clients. We have some clients that may be off boarding, which is it happens with everybody and really kind of decompress and then build a plan moving forward. That’s kind of my I’ll call it sacred space, right? And when I go out for a run and I don’t usually go running with anybody, it’s usually just by myself. And that’s my time away to really just process everything. And I come back and I’ll be maybe a bit tired from the run. Physically, mentally, I feel so much clearer and ready to hit the ground running, like you mentioned before, is is that that’s where I really start feeling a lot better and hitting that groove again.
Stone Payton: Well, and it really is so important to make that space for ourselves and for those of us leading organizations to to make that space or the room for it for the people who who we’re trying to generate results with. And and through I mean, it’s it’s critical, man. If you neglect that, you are really putting some things in jeopardy, don’t you think?
Kevin Hein: Yeah, yeah, absolutely agree with that.
Stone Payton: So before we went on air, you were sharing with me what I can only describe as as a fervent commitment to a genuine affinity for serving local. Can you speak more to that?
Kevin Hein: Yeah, certainly. So when focusing on yourself, right in talking with the running that I do, and that’s kind of my time away to decompress and breathe and think, you also need to, in lieu of serving yourself, you need to serve your community, really focusing on the growth and value that you bring to your community, whether it be local or regional, because that will in turn better where you live. It’ll better your community, it’ll better your neighbors, it’ll better your schools, it’ll better. Pretty much everything that’s out there, right? So if you focus on local and provide that value again, at times it’s that no cost, right? I’m helping out with the, let’s say the local chamber. Right. Or helping out with even I live in a really small town. Right. So everybody knows everybody and going down to city Hall and helping them because they got a broken page on their website. I’m not charging for that. It’s we’re so small, there’s really only one board. There’s no money there. Right. And they’re doing all the volunteering for sitting on boards and whatnot, part of the park board or part of the Economic Board or anything like that. So it’s going down and doing that. Really focusing on growing and intertwining that community piece is only going to help you in your business in the long run. Again, it just is another layer of. Really taking care of yourself and your community. That’s really a focus of ours because a few of our employees are not local to us. To. To connected. Right. So I instill in them to make sure that they’re getting out and helping their community to as a part of what they’re doing on their day to day as well.
Stone Payton: Before we wrap, let’s leave our listeners with a couple of pro tips, some tangible, actionable things they can be thinking about, reading, doing, not doing around some of these topics. I don’t know, maybe share with them some of the some of the tools that you yourself are using or helping your clients with just something to help them begin to. To move in this direction on some of these key topics.
Kevin Hein: Yeah, absolutely. I’d say first and foremost, working within and going to your chamber meetings, your community meetings, supporting those groups doesn’t necessarily have to be networking and you can sit in a corner. It doesn’t mean you necessarily need to speak, don’t feel like you’re totally obligated to present what you do or who you are or even. But just being a part and understanding what’s going on, I think is the biggest tool that you have out there. Something that I’ve focused on early on in my business kind of got away from because we got really busy but is a focus for me, 2023 is it’s not necessarily a tool as much as I’ve focused on getting out and traveling more and meeting new clients face to face, getting out and shaking hands again. Right? We were shut down here for a bit, but coming back and and again physically seeing people going out on site, seeing clients shaking hands, don’t be afraid that people are going to welcome you in. As far as digital tools. There’s a million out there, right? We offer a business app that people can log in to monitor their digital presence and so on and so forth. So that’s a tool of ours through connected. And you can reach out to me any time if anybody like a demo on that. Other tools we use for social media, we’re big partners with cloud campaign, simple tool for posting, scheduling, anything like that.
Kevin Hein: We’re big WordPress website people. We like to use those tools that are out there to very simple builders, so on and so forth. So those are a few of the tools. But the biggest piece I would say out of all the tools or all the needs that you have out there is just go do something. That’s what I ask people. People get overwhelmed with, Well, I can go to this or I can do that, or I need to learn how to do Photoshop, or I need to learn how to just go do it. Just go create a website. Go go post something out on social media. You know what? When I post it on social media, I got zero likes, did it for a long time, got zero likes. Then I got one follower, then I got two followers. You know, at the end of the day, I don’t think I have that many followers on our on our business page right now as it is, But we’re focused on just doing it, put in, put in the post, put in the time, because it will long term it’s a it’s a time game. You keep doing it, you keep pushing forward, don’t quit. You’re going to be success in your own eyes. And success is measure based on what you feel. It’s not monetary, it’s not a certain threshold that you have to hit. It’s whatever you feel is successful is successful to you.
Stone Payton: A man. All right. What is the best way for our listeners to get connected with you and tap into your work? Man? Whatever you feel like is appropriate? Email, LinkedIn, key URLs. I want to make sure that they can. I want to make it easy for them to connect with you.
Kevin Hein: Yeah, absolutely you can. And I may regret this, but I’ll just put my email out there. You can reach out to me. Kevin at Connected dot com it’s Kevin. Kevin at Connected K on E, C TED.com. They can reach out to me via LinkedIn. I believe it’s LinkedIn backslash k r hine Accion so they can reach out to me. There are probably the two spots that I’m most active that they can reach out to me directly. And again, any questions people have, we’re always happy to help out. And I know there’s always a lot of questions about marketing where they should spend money, where they should spend their energy. Is this working? Is that working? And some of it is testing, right? It doesn’t necessarily mean we have the right answer, but we can walk through their process and see what that looks like.
Stone Payton: Kevin, it has been an absolute delight having you on the show this afternoon. Thank you for investing the time and energy to share your insight and your perspective. This is been a marvelous conversation and you’re doing really important work, man. Keep up the good work and and know that we sincerely appreciate you, man.
Kevin Hein: Thank you, Stone. I appreciate your time and I appreciate everyone listening today.
Stone Payton: My pleasure. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Kevin Hein with Connected and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.