First Who…Then What

Recently, several people recommended that I read James Collins’s book “Good to Great.” I’m currently on the third chapter: First Who… Then What. If you want to grow your business, Collins advises, you need to get the right people in the right seats. Of course, this is always easier said than done.

This made me think about why I started REBL Marketing: so that the small businesses we serve could have access to the marketing knowledge and experience my team and I generate through our outsourced model. I’ve worked in small companies, where I was expected to do all marketing-related tasks, but the reality is that one person can’t be exceptional at everything.

Look, I get it. When you are just starting out, you have to do as much as you can within your budget. A lot of the time, that means being reactive instead of proactive with your marketing efforts. But when you hit that phase of your business when you are able to invest in marketing and grow your business, working with a team like REBL can help you develop a strategy and implement a strong marketing plan at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time marketing person.

If you are looking to get the right person (or persons!) in the right marketing seats, give REBL a call at (858) 848-7325. We can help REBLutionize your marketing program.

Why Email Marketing Still Matters

Though there are many avenues of reaching clients and potential clients, email marketing still remains one of the best ways to nurture prospects and keep your brand at the top of your clients’ minds.

After all, everyone has email, and despite the pervasiveness of new forms of media, everyone is constantly on email. While you should not bombard your clients with useless communications, developing a strategic email strategy is a great way to keep your brand relevant, recognizable, and engaging to your audience. 

Emails are crucial to building brand recognition, so even if recipients do not click or read all of the content inside, your brand is still being reinforced. And if you are providing content that is valuable to your clients or prospective clients, they will read the content, appreciate it, and think positively of your brand! Either way is a win-win, so consistent branding through email can be critical to developing your holistic integrated marketing program.

What are some best practices for email marketing?

  1. Content first! 

Keep things short, on topic, and relevant to what your brand does! That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your emails, or have social blasts that reflect holidays or team culture. But the first step should be curating and developing content that is simultaneously relevant to your business and valuable to your audience. This content might include tips, education, updates, or even statistics that can help a potential client with their own business. 

  1. Use a catchy subject line.

Your subject line needs to be interesting and attractive, since it is the first thing that will draw your reader in by grabbing their attention! Head REBL at REBL Marketing Reb Risty advises the “magazine cover methodology.” When perusing magazine titles, what sort of headlines stand out? Succinct, punchy lists, catchy headers, and interesting bits of information can all make a reader stop and open your email. The key is keeping it simple and to the point. 

  1. Include a call to action.

If your audience likes what they read, how will they get in touch? What is your “ask”? Make sure that your email includes ample (but not overbearing) opportunities for your client or potential client to connect with you.

In all, valuable content, great subject lines, and calls to action can help your emails stand out and get the attention of potential clients. 

Is email marketing better for some types of businesses than others?

Retail businesses will likely need to email more: if you are having a sale or have a special product release, for instance, you might send more emails and be more promotional, since that is imperative for your marketing tactic. However, if you’re a business-to-business company or more service-based, emailing once a week to once a month might be a better approach. Email frequency should be tailored to your integrated marketing program, which must consider your business’s goals and objectives. If email is an important part of your sales funnel, frequency is important, whereas for service-oriented businesses, emails serve the role of emphasizing education, branding, and staying at the top of your (potential) clients’ minds.

What are the best ways to gather contacts for email lists for email marketing?

Be sure to invite people to your list, not just add them! When you invite a contact to an email list, offer a welcome message that explains what they will get by joining your newsletter, along with an opportunity to unsubscribe if they choose. In the service industries, it’s important to be conscious about your lists. You do not need thousands of contacts: you need the right contacts. 

All in all, emails remain a very important part of your integrated marketing program, though they shouldn’t be the only part. If you leave emails out, you are losing valuable opportunities to build brand recognition and potential client relationships. If you need help developing an email marketing strategy, give REBL a call today at (858) 848-7325! We would love to help you REBLutionize your brand.

Processes & Procedures for Your Agency with Reb Risty

Reb Risty, Head REBL at REBL Marketing, was recently a guest on Julia McLaughlin’s ‘Her Agency Toolkit’ podcast, a podcast designed to encourage and inspire women entrepreneurs working in digital marketing.

Reb discussed the importance of building processes and procedures for your agency, since as an agency owner herself, she is intimately familiar with the challenges inherent to the process.

You can listen to the whole podcast here:

How Do Businesses Achieve Growth?

Recently, Reb Risty, head of REBL Marketing, sat down with Dale Robinette, a business growth strategist and a specialist in scaling up businesses. Risty and Robinette have worked together for several months, and their conversation focused on the topic of helping businesses scale. Here, Robinette offers his insights into what business growth looks like and how it can be achieved.


Dale Robinette, a veteran of corporate America, has worked with big companies for most of his career. Throughout his career, he has focused on the idea of growth, particularly exponential growth, and he spent many months researching its attainability. Out of tens of millions of companies, Robinette says that just 0.4% ever make it beyond $10 million. What are companies struggling with as it relates to growth? Why can’t they get bigger?

While everyone is looking for one answer, the magic key to achieving growth, in reality, it’s not that easy, Robinette cautions. But there are a handful of areas that can really change a business and improve growth potential as outlined below

Setting Your Business up for Success

  1. People first: Companies are ultimately made up of people, and getting the right people is always the first place to look. Do you have the right people in the right roles?
  2. The right offering in the right markets: Too many times, Robinette says, he runs into companies that want to achieve exponential growth, but with what they’re offering or where they’re offering it, there’s no room for growth. Even if that room exists, however, you need cash in order to fuel growth. 
  3. Having the right tools to support a healthy company. It’s one thing to have all of these components going for you, but ultimately, you really need to have the right tools to achieve exponential growth.
  4. Strong desire to actually achieve that growth: a strong why for both the CEO and for the executive team. If that strong desire doesn’t exist, exponential growth likely won’t be pursued.


In terms of helping the team build that desire, Robinette finds it helpful to get the CEO and executive team on the same page. A team might be executing an old strategy with the best of intentions, trying to keep the lights on by completing day-to-day operations the way they’ve always done them. However, if the CEO has a vision of growth, that might not be in alignment with the team’s commitment to routine.

The first step then is to ensure the CEO and the executive team are on the same page with where they want to take the company. That way, it’s not just about growth. It’s about creating a healthy environment where the CEO and the executive team are not overly stressed out, and the employees are part of an environment in which they are set up for success. Finally, these components help create a culture that celebrates small winsit can’t always be stressful and painful. The process of growing together needs to be something that’s also fun to do.

Engaging Employees for Success

If a company has a strong executive team, and understands their why, interrogating the next phase for growth and scaling can still present challenges. 

Often, it depends on what is happening in the company, in terms of how varying areas of strengths and weaknesses impact a company’s ability to expand. But as a whole, it is crucial to get employees engaged in the business, Robinette advises. According to Forbes, approximately 61% of employees are burned out on their job. One potential area of improvement requires getting all employees engaged in the business. Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies $550 billion a year, and highly engaged teams actually have a 21% greater profitability. “If there’s a place to start,” says Robinette, “you start with people…everybody likes to win, and it’s nice when you’re in a good culture and a happy, healthy environment. So that’s the first thing.”

Employees may quit for a variety of socially-related reasons: they may not like their boss, or another person inside their organization. However, the company’s culture also impacts employees’ retention. Working for a company where it’s difficult to get anything done inside the company can create a painful atmosphere devoid of fun. In order to create healthy environments where people are actually engaged and enjoying it, leaders have to be trained, and processes implemented for workers to really be happy on the job.

Robinette’s Strategy

Since every company has its own culture, the way to impact change from one company to another inevitably varies. “The one thing I’ll say is that with all the tools that I have at my disposal, I let the company actually pick and choose what they actually want to apply inside of their company,” Robinette shares. “For instance, I have one company that I’m working with right now, that I think meeting cadence is something that you just have to master. If you don’t have that down, it’s painful. Everybody hates going to the meetings. And yet, this company actually had a very efficient meeting cadence. We taught them the processes around what the best practices look like, but then we let them adapt which best practices they liked the most, which they applied.. We didn’t just say, “Just do it like this.” Getting the people to buy into the process without losing your culture, if it’s a good, positive culture, is actually really important.”

The RevX formula is Robinette’s combination of several tools to help companies grow exponentially and r create healthy organizations. The formula consists of tools that are tactical in nature, strategic tools implemented alongside the development of a strategic plan, and cash tools, which are associated with making sure a company is achieving the right profitability.

We work with companies in order to help them grow exponentially and actually see a vision for how to achieve that growth with people that are highly engaged, and a strategy that is fun and fulfilling, and then executed into a larger vision with a purpose. It’s one thing to have the vision, says Robinette. But if the people don’t buy into it, or are not that excited about it, it’s really challenging.

Generating enough cash in order to fuel the company is crucial, alongside all the tools necessary to help create a healthy company that runs in a more efficient way. But the last piece is really working with a team to not only buy in to the plan, but to believe and create that strong desire around why they’re actually pursuing what they’re pursuing. What is that big goal?t It can’t just be the CEO saying, ‘I want to achieve exponential growth,’ but the team saying, ‘I’m behind this for this reason’? The RevX formula engages these various tools in order to both achieve sustainable growth as well as create healthy companies with fun environments and purpose-driven success. 

If you are interested in learning more about Robinette’s work and how he might help your company, visit

Foundational Love For What You Do

Hi, I’m Reb Risty, Head REBL at REBL Marketing, and I’m here today with Mike Mance, founder and owner of Mance Creative. And we’re going to talk a little bit about marketing and branding and creative. Mike, for my audience, tell them a little bit about who you are and what you do.

MIKE: Sure thing. My name is Michael Mance. I own Mance Creative. We’re a visual branding and graphic design agency located in San Diego. We do everything from logo design, brand management, website design. You name it, we probably do it.

REB: We met through an accelerator program, a bootcamp, and one of my favorite things on your final presentation was that you’re a big theater buff.

MIKE: Yes, I do not hide that. I find that I just love the magic that theater has, and so that was part of my presentation. And to be honest, it’s quite the same thing we do when we’re doing websites and branding. It is magic. We have to create something from nothing and make it appear out of nowhere. And so that takes a certain talent, and so having a love for theater is also the same thing with graphic design too, as well.

REB: I love that. I guess your clients are a little bit of the characters and there’s a storyline, and you’re trying to tell that story. It’s the same with REBL. We’re always trying to do that too.

MIKE: Oh, absolutely.


REB: How do we tell that story in a creative way. And you and I have been able to partner on some projects, which has been really fun. Take us a little bit through your process. You’ve made it so easy for us and our clients, and I don’t think a lot of people understand the whole branding process and it doesn’t have to be complicated, right?

MIKE: No, it doesn’t. And I love that fact that you love what we do, because I love what we do too as well. So I think you have to start from there, a foundational love for what you do. I think that’s really where the magic comes from, honestly. Really, our process is similar to yours. There’s a discovery period where a client comes in, they have a dream. We want to understand what that dream is, whether it’s a logo or a website or something even grander than that. We want to know. We want to know what their needs are, what their objectives are, and why we’re even doing this. So that’s the first step. And the second step is to just really research and see what’s out there, what we’re doing, and then really present something that’s unique to a client, whatever it is, a logo or a website.

I tend to like to push them a little bit beyond what they’re thinking, because there’s something that’s pretty normal with a logo or a website, but I really want to push them a little bit further along. And it’s fun to see the wheels turning with the client like, “Oh, I didn’t realize we could do that,” or, “That doesn’t look like me, but that could look like me in five years.” And so we do a bunch of that, rounds of revisions, and we plan for a launch or a dispersal of whatever it is. And we see how the process ends is just really a nice launch of whatever it is that we’re doing.


REB: I love it. And I think one of the fun things that you’ve taught me and our clients is the whole science behind color. Can you tell us a little bit about that. How do you explain the colors?

MIKE: Right. I have to explain these green walls in our office. They’re like, “Wow, this is really green.” So the psychology of color is pretty fascinating, and you probably know that blue is something that’s very safe and calm. That’s why IBM is blue, and that’s probably why FedEx has a blue color. But they also couple it with orange, which is very urgent. And so it fits well with their logo brand, is having a blue and orange combination of their logos. The green is actually pretty interesting. I chose it for a psychological reason. It’s because it’s the one color that both men and women really agree on.

REB: Really?

MIKE: Men favor blue and steely grays, and all that, and women tend to want more hotter colors, orange, fuchsias. But the color that they tend to agree on the most is green. That’s why I chose that.

REB: I love green. Green is a great color. And what I’ve also appreciated working with you is not just the primary color for the logo or the palette, but those secondary colors, and how you can take maybe a blue and then fire it up with an orange or a green.

MIKE: A lot of times people want to play it safe and say, “Oh, I want blue, and I want blue.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s great.” But for a modern spin, we usually want to introduce some sort of hotter color, like an orange, like yellow, whatnot, just so people can go, “Oh, what’s that over there.” So it really works well when you’re designing a website or a brochure to have a little, if your color scheme is entirely blue or cooler, to put some sort of hot color in there just to draw attention. So it’s a little bit of a psychological thing. If you want attention, give it a little bit of heat.


REB: I love it. Give it heat. Well, Mike, I always love working with you. It’s 2021. What is your advice for company professionals who are going out and thinking about redoing their brand or just updating their brand? What’s something that they should be looking at for 2021.

MIKE: Whoa, that is a big question. Really, since we’re in such a digital space right now, making sure your website is really up to date, it reflects who you are, has the technology to really carry you forward, not only this year, but in years to come. It’s really smart to invest in your website. So if it doesn’t really show who you are or attract the right kind of customer, you probably should really look at that. So digital space is probably where I would recommend you focus your efforts.

REB: All right, everyone, you heard that. Your digital space, work on your website. No, it’s hard because, like I just say, we went from the digital world to the virtual universe overnight, and if you aren’t paying attention to your digital space, you are going to get left behind.

MIKE: You just want to make sure that it looks good, presents well, and people are more interested in you. The power of branding is really something that you should look at it. It’s an asset, really. So if you’re ever going to sell your company or you want to partner with someone, they’re going to want to look at how you built your company, and the visual parts are very important too, as well. So websites are definitely important, but other things that you know are more touch points in your business, you should also look at those things too.

Give Mike a call at, (619) 269-8001 or visit

Want to REBLutinize your brand, give REBL Marketing a call at (858) 848-7325 or message a REBL. You can work with both me and Mike, and we do everything and make your brand look amazing.

Check out our video on YouTube!

EPN: What every small business should include in the 2021 Marketing Plan

Listen to host Eric Dye of Enterprise Radio and guest REBL, Reb Risty, discuss the following:

  1. What should every business include in their 2021 marketing plan?
  2. Why is video so important?
  3. How do you get started with video?
  4. How can video help strengthen business development/sales efforts?
  5. What if you are already creating videos?


Meet Our Dynamic Duo

Meet our dynamic duo, Reb Risty, CEO and Owner of REBL Marketing, and Michele Killman Senior Marketing Director. Take a look at a quick interview with the two minds that came together to achieve excellence by REBLutionizing YOUR marketing.

Reb Risty:
Hi, I’m Reb Risty, Head REBL at REBL Marketing, and I’m here today with our Senior Marketing Director, Michele Killman, and we met through a client who thought we’d be a great fit, and she was right.

Michele Killman:
Yeah. I think we are a good fit, Reb. I think you and I both have different backgrounds and we complement each other, and when our clients hire us, they get that wonderful mix, I think we really do make a dynamic duo.

Reb Risty:
We do and like you mentioned, the benefit for our clients is they’re really getting the power of both our brains and our experience and our knowledge, and we bring all of that to the table for them. So we can help them build integrated marketing programs that are really going to get the results and are practical for them.

Michele Killman:
Well, and I also think that we’re delightful to work with. So if you want to work with a marketing team that can help you take your marketing to the next level, and at the same time, you have a lot of fun with them, give us a call at (858) 848-7325 or message a REBL. We’d love to REBLutionize your market.

Meet our Dynamic Duo on YouTube!

It All Starts with a Marketing Strategy

We want to talk to you today about having a strategic marketing plan and why that’s important. It’s really important that companies have a strategy behind any marketing programs they implement. For example, they need to understand who their customers are. Say you’re a small company that has professional services and your target customer is Sally the CEO. It’s key that you understand:

  • Who Sally is
  • What it is she’s trying to accomplish with her company?
  • What her pain points are?
  • How you solve those problems?
  • And what are the triggers that it takes for her to take action and engage you and consume your services?

Have you looked at your current customers?

Starting with Sally the CEO is always great, but then, have you looked at your current customers? Have you surveyed them? Are you talking to them on a regular basis? We find a lot of small businesses don’t reach out to their customers because they’re afraid of what they’re going to hear. But the reality is if you’re doing a good job and they are happy with your product or service, you’re going to get really good feedback, and there’ll be nuggets in there that are going to help you sell to new customers and continue to improve on your current services or products.

Leverage the data you have at hand

Another thing that a lot of small businesses fail to do is they fail to look at the current information they have about their existing clients and mine that data and leverage it for either selling additional services or even a referral program. We had a customer who was spending a lot of money on lead generation services to get new leads, new clients, but they had this huge database of over 10,000 contacts, and they really weren’t mining it, so we were able to go in and identify 1,600 of those contacts that were really engaged with their current content. Those clients were converting and doing different things, so we built a campaign around those contacts that they already had that didn’t cost them hundreds of dollars, and they’re seeing really good results.

Having a senior marketing person come in and help you build out your strategy is important for your success. If you need help, call us at (858) 848-7325 or message a REBL. We’ll REBLutionize your marketing for you.

Check out our video on YouTube!

REBL Helps B2B Companies Build and Manage Integrated Marketing Programs

We’re going to talk about the type of clients that we serve. At REBL, we’re a full-service agency. For some of our clients, they outsource their full marketing department to us.

Then we have other clients that engage us to help them with their branding, their messaging, their websites, their social media, and even their video content.

And on top of that, we have clients that also hire us as fractional CMOs. They have a junior internal marketing team, and they really need someone at a senior experience level, and the fun part about that is we can come in and train their internal team, and share a lot of our knowledge with them.

So if you’re looking for a marketing company that can come in and help you take your marketing to the next level, call us at (858) 848-7325 or message a REBL. We’d love to REBLutionize your marketing today.

Check out our video on YouTube!

Upgrade Your Website with a Team Photoshoot

If you really want to make your website instantly better, here’s a tip, do a photoshoot. And what do I mean by that? Do a photoshoot that highlights you and your team.

Team Photos vs. Stock Photos

Stock photos are great to get started, but let’s face it, how many times have you seen the same picture on someone else’s website, or in an ad, or brochure? So stop using stock photos. 

Professional Photos are Worth the Investment

Spend the investment. It’s a few hundred dollars to get a professional photographer come out, take some photos of your team. Enjoy it and have fun. Your website will  look so much better, it will come to life and people will get to really see the personality and the culture that you have within your company. Instant upgrade to your website. You don’t have to do anything else. Have a photoshoot.

What tips do you have to share?
What other tips do you have? What have you done lately to make your website better? And if you want to talk about how to improve your website or how to put together a photoshoot that’s going to really be fun, inexpensive and help your business grow, then contact a REBL or give me a call at (858) 848-7325 and REBLutionize your business marketing today.