<img alt="" src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/146009.png" style="display:none;">

[Feature Friday] Cody Musick on the Importance of a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy Over the Status Quo - The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 14

Find me on:

On this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with Cody Musick—formerly of Open Range Field Services, LLC—about the importance of a comprehensive marketing strategy. 

Watch This Episode ⬇️



Running a business that competes against others for contracts is difficult work. It’s even harder when you’re rivaling companies who are out-marketing you. Even if they don’t do better work, they’re still attracting the jobs that should be yours because they “look the part.”

Cody Musick always knew he wanted to be a surveyor. Being perpetually curious meant that even after entering the field, he also found himself taking on the marketing for his firm in addition to his regular duties. Though everyone at the company he worked for understood their philosophy and where they were going, and though they all had talent, they communicated the message in such different ways that it was difficult to sell themselves consistently. 

Listen To This Episode ⬇️

 

Their company had grown quickly and were told that their old ways—of being the rebel misfits who did great work but didn’t come across as well-branded—wasn’t going to cut it against the national-level firms with which they were competing. That, and transitioning to the changing demographics of their own employees as the new generation stepped into leadership positions, meant a change had to be made. 

Cody got his company to hire ROI Online knowing it would benefit them and take their business to a whole new level. He was willing to stake his end of the year profit-sharing on his confidence the process would work for them and it did. Doing this helped Cody and his company hire a new employee and successfully onboard them using the language and tools ROI Online taught them. Even during a pandemic, they were able to pivot their messaging and create new marketing materials that helped them attract more clients rather than lose out on business.

Listen on your favorite podcast network:

Also available wherever else you get your podcasts.

 

Connect with Cody on LinkedIn.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/codymusick

Learn about Open Range Field Services.
https://www.openrangefieldservices.com/

Learn about Civil Search Consultants.
https://civilsearch.com/

 

Read Don Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand.
https://amzn.to/32Mc3oU



And to get your own copy of The Golden Toilet, click the link below:

https://amzn.to/2X3NKlB


Available for FREE when you sign up for a 30-Day Trial Membership with Audible - https://bit.ly/GoldenToilet-Audible

Topics: Marketing, Sales, Business GrowthStack, Small Business, Business Tips, growth, strategy, Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

Cody Musick : 

But we didn't look the part, right. And so when those energy companies and I'm looking at their projects and they say, "Well, we've got Company A, B, and C: national level firms, well branded, well marketed, they all had business development guys that they ran their face constantly." We just could not compete from an imaging perspective. We were just outclassed, honestly, in that area. Now, nevermind the fact that we actually did better work than they did. And we actually gave our customers a better customer experience because, you know, personal, nimble, agile for all intents purposes, but we didn't look the part and we were missing out on opportunities because of that.

Steve Brown : 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI online podcast where we believe you, the courageous entrepreneurs of our day, are the invisible heros of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown and this is the place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Welcome back, everybody to the ROI online podcast and today I'm excited to introduce you to Cody Musick. This is someone you need to know. Cody, welcome to the ROI online podcast.

Cody Musick : 

Hi, Steve. Thanks for having me this morning, and you know, we have been talking about this for a while, so I'm excited to finally get this conversation going.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, so in this conversation, the folks that listen to it, we have StoryBrand guides, we have entrepreneurs, we have business leaders, marketing directors, the conversations here are to help our winners, our leaders to not feel crazy because sometimes we do we feel alone, we wrestle withstuff. So, it's nice to know that other people go through those things. So—

Cody Musick : 

Yeah, 100% 100%

Steve Brown : 

So Cody, tell us a little bit about your backstory. Where did you grow up? How did you get to where you are right now?

Cody Musick : 

So I grew up in a little community in Central Texas called Blanket. It's, I mean, it's tiny 600—600 people and it spelled just like it sounds like you know, a warm "blanket," right? So, that's the community grew up in really small like in most of Texas, a little football town, right? So, six-man football, if you've never heard of that, look it up. That's a whole different strand of football. My dad was a dirt work he did dozers, we did a lot of farm and ranch work. You know, a lot of stock tanks and ranch roads. That's the kind of work I grew up doing was operating machinery. So right out of high school, I got an Associates, Brown Wood, local town. And then a year and a half later, I moved to the big city. I moved to Fort Worth, Texas and started, started my career there and got to work with some really great engineers there. A little engineering company was a tribute. You know, where I'm at now to some mentoring I got at Frank W and L and Associates little engineering company in Fort Worth. They inspired me to—actually what they did was they gave me a wake up call. They took the blinders off to the fact that I wanted to pursue engineering and surveying and that was something that had kind of been stirred up in me while I was there. And just had the hard truth conversation with me. They were all licensed engineers, they had their masters, they were licensed, and they just said, "Look, you're young, you're bright, you're talented, but you said you're going to hit the glass ceiling in this industry if you don't go back to school." So off I went, I was a late bloomer. I went to school, part time at night and worked full time, got all my calculus and physics and all that out of the way while I was working full time. And then in 2008, I moved to Corpus Christi, finished my bachelor's in science at A&M Corpus Christi. I focused in geomatics and GIS. So for geomatics is just the mathematical term for spatial science or land in the state of Texas land surveying.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah?

Cody Musick : 

So, you know, I treated my bachelor's degree like a job for two years, really hit it hard. I was really fortunate to land a job in 2010. You know, of course, you know, '08/2010 we all know what happened then in the housing market, but just economic busts in general. But I found a great job out of college and in the oil and gas surveying field, but topographic and they took me in and trained me. And I had some great leadership there, and four or five years later, I had an opportunity to move to San Antonio area to the Hill Country, Burnie where I live now, and eventually started working as a partner at open range Field Services, which is surveying and mapping in the oil and gas industry.

Steve Brown : 

That's the beautiful part in Texas. Why did you have this interest in surveying? What's going on? Is that background by the way, because this is a second cameo I've had with a cat. No, I you hear you hear a little sound? Uh huh. I think that's our chickens bawking.

Cody Musick : 

We we've got 14 chickens. So that's that's been the that's been the positive outcome of the COVID is we decided we wanted chickens for a long time. And we've got a house and five acres here where we're at. We're like, okay, this is the time. We're getting some chickens. So that's probably what you hear is some chickens bawking in the background.

Steve Brown : 

No, it's funny. I've had cameo appearances by cats, dogs, kids. And this is the first time that we've had chickens on the ROI online podcast, you can get chickens.

Cody Musick : 

I'm in the office. I guess one of those hens must be really upset about something.

Steve Brown : 

That's funny. So what what got you fired up about engineering?

Cody Musick : 

Well, I remember very specifically the moment I made this shift from engineering to surveying. I was working at an engineering firm in Fort Worth, and I was working with the engineer, the Vice President of that little company, and he did all their bridge design and all civil structures, we'll call it. And I remember working on a project, and I found myself completely intrigued and almost distracted with working with the survey data and the map and the aerial imagery and just working with all these survey tools and information associated to the engineering of this bridge. And I realized I was like I care a lot more, I find a lot more interest in the surveying and the the mapping side of this than I do the engineering side. So I realized, I'm going down the wrong road, I need to switch gears. I was focused on civil engineering and I realized, like, I want to be a surveyor. I want to be in the mapping side of the world. So I made that switch like that semester. I started doing a lot of research and turns out that, at the time, Texas A&M Corpus Christi was one of the only accredited four year bachelor's science surveying degree that you could get in the nation. And it was only one in Texas at the time that was accredited, that was recognized by the engineering boards and, and everything else. So off I went, and it put me on a fast track to get my license. You know, I remember I got my license in 2013. And I was a fairly good student and studied hard and and I got my license, and I got it probably faster than I should have. And I remember getting my license that's going, oh, man, I'm dangerous. So I still had a lot to learn. I had some good mentors, but so that's how I ended up in surveying.

Steve Brown : 

So what's different about surveying now compared to when you started? Obviously, I wouldn't—I mean, it's not just the guy standing there on the, I always see them when they got the little tripod and looking through the thing and I'm wondering, where's the other guy or what's going?

Cody Musick : 

Yeah, well, the general public thinks it's a big camera. They'll be like, "Are you the gas taking pictures over there?" And it's like, well, we're not not taking pictures. We're taking extremely precise measurements. But I think access to public data is one of the things that has probably changed our industry the most. You know, you've got Google Earth and Bing, and all these data sets that essentially the tax base is creates. You know, within with the NCR and with USGS, US Geological Survey, NOAA. So there's all these just data sets that surveyors have access to that we really didn't have even 20 years ago. So that's one of the things that's really changed is the access to all these different data sets to solve, that just give you clues in the solving some surveying and mapping specific problems. So I think access to data. You know, the GPS has been, was was pretty pivotal in development of the survey industry. You know, we went from all stationary measurement machines, optical laser-type measurement devices. And then when GPS really got going and got refined, it totally changed the surveying industry. And so I think the third generation of that big shift from physical measurement to GPS measurement. And then, access to all these big public data sets that the government helps produce, it's one of the benefits of our tax dollars is, is that data. So

Steve Brown : 

What kind of problems are you solving?

Cody Musick : 

Well, you know, we've focused a lot, I've been focused the last 10 years in, specifically oil and gas surveying has been where I spent most of my time. And a lot of that in a very controversial area, which is pipeline construction. You know, so, depending on where you're at, you may be the beneficiary or you may not be benefitting by the construction of a pipeline. So I've spent a lot of time and ride away development. So, where's the pipeline gonna go? You know, learning how they build pipelines. To be a good surveyor in the in the oil and gas field, especially in pipeline, you really have to understand how they build it, or else you can't, you can't really support your customers. If you don't understand the problems they face and building a pipeline, well, then you can't effectively route the pipeline for them. So I think that's one of the biggest problems we solve is, we take all these different data sets, some that we collect, and some that are available through other resources, and then we start really refining where's a constructible route that is amenable to the landowners that that want to work with these energy companies? And that's what we do is we, you know, we take, you know, Texas especially is from a land right perspective, it's a jigsaw puzzle, and most of the puzzle pieces don't fit. So there's the element of trying to get these property boundaries and title to be in agreement. Then you try to route a pipeline through it. So there's this multi-layered challenge when you start talking about developing ride away.

Steve Brown : 

It's crazy. You know, when I'm in a plane flying over parts of Texas, and you look down and you see, you see the water wells, right? Then you see the oil wells, you see the turbines, the wind turbines, and you think of all those lines and pipes and things running all over the place, in different layers and I'm going, "How do they keep track of all that? And, there must be all this mess that people have to clean up not and not necessarily a spill mess, but and then tangling mess of pipes and wires and stuff." How does that happen?

Cody Musick : 

Well, I mean, part of it is they, that's part of our job as surveyors. When we work for these, whatever the company is, whether it's the wind turbine folks, or if it's the in the energy sector for you know, maybe it's an exploration company, that's that's drilling a well, maybe it's a pipeline company, maybe it's the utility company that's putting in the infrastructure to support it from electric power. And you've got saltwater disposal lines. You got freshwater you know, so there's, yeah, there's a there's a spaghetti bowl of, of infrastructure under the dirt, you see. And over time, it gets harder to find those clues, right? Because mother nature does what she does she, you know, she repairs herself, the dirt grass grows back all the times. The maps become even more valuable over time. As the physical evidence kind of gets harder to find, those maps become super critical. So, that's where the role of the surveyor and the mapping professionals come in, in all those industries. As we collect the data, and then hopefully, it's steward well over time so that people have access to it. And that's kind of how you start putting those puzzle pieces together: is you start literally stacking data and then you get this this mosaic of information. You know, you've got, with the wind turbines, for example. Tou know, there's high voltage underground electric transmission lines running through there. And they're an electric pipeline for all intents purposes.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah.

Cody Musick : 

And so, you know, if you're going to build a pipeline in an area where they've developed wind turbines, you better know where that stuff's at. Because that's going to be a real problem if you, you know, if someone strikes that electric line, right? So, it's an interesting problem. And I think that's one of the reasons why I was kind of drawn to that is, it's kind of a high pressure. And I tend to, when I get in the project, I like to move with it, right? So, and then you get this stacking of data. So, it's really a puzzle to be put together. And I think that's what always intrigued me.

Steve Brown : 

So here you are, you mature in this expertise. And you're working for the company that you were working for when I met you, and you get handed an assignment, also to work on the marketing. Why in the world does that get delegated to you when there's like, nothing that you trained for, right? And you talk about another mystery mosaic. Why did you end up with this responsibility?

Cody Musick : 

Well, I think it's because I had an interest in it. I am perpetually curious. I think that's a blessing and a curse, right? I'm always wanting, always learn something new. I've always got a podcast on, you know, in the background. If I get in the truck and drive four hours, I don't listen to the radio anymore. I listen to an audiobook or a podcast. You know, I'm constantly feeding myself, but, golly. About 12 years ago, I think I started ten, really, I really started tuning in to what other leaders were doing and just I really started developing this professional curiosity. It's like okay, like, I know I'm gonna be a surveyor all my life. I'll always be a licensed surveyor. Now like that's, that's in galvanized into my identity a little bit, specifically in my career. But, I didn't want to be a one man show and I didn't want to be a one trick pony. Right? I wanted to be a professional. And so I started learning listening to other leaders and learning other elements of business. And then somewhere along the way, I stumbled across Donald Miller, then StoryBrand. And I took a marketing class in college about 2008/2009. And honestly, I don't know that I learned anything from it. Seemed like it was a little stagnant at that time, and that was 11 years ago. So a few years back, I stumbled across StoryBrand and, and this idea of taking your marketing and really connecting it to a story. And then not only that, but becoming the guide and not the hero because so many brands and so many things that you're sold, you know, I can't tell you how many junk emails I get with the whole pitch is let me be the hero and solve all your problems. I didn't really know I had a problem. I don't need a hero if I don't have a problem. So, I think that approach really intrigued me and it got my attention. And I really started getting curious and just dug into it. And the more I did, the more interest I got. And the more I realized, our company, we were just grassroots startup, bare bones, no frills, but we had talent. Like we had some really good people that were good at their jobs. And that's really that was that was it that was our marketing was just word of mouth, we're going to do what we say we're going to do, and we're going to produce good work, and we're going to show up on time. But somewhere along the way, we grew and we grew quickly. And I realized, I don't know about two years ago, we have to grow up in our image and branding and marketing and content as well. We could go to a meeting. We all have the same philosophy about our company, but how we spoke, how we how we communicated that was—we were four different companies when it comes to how we sell our company or how we brand or market our company. So I realized we needed some help, and I didn't have the expertise to do it myself. So that's how I, essentially, I went to the other partners and said, "Look, I'll take this on, because it needs done and I'm curious and I'm willing to suffer the learning curve to get it done." And so off we went.

Steve Brown : 

Let's think about that conversation that you had with the partners. Now. Here's—make fun of Texas a little bit. Here's a little company in rural Texas, right? That's been successful. That's got a bunch of Texas boys that have been running this business. They're good business people, they know their stuff. And they've been successful without a necessary nod to marketing or an expectation of marketing, or any of that. Why in the world, and then on top of engineering and surveying, why do you even need to consider marketing at that time? That's really fascinating to me, because most most people go, "Well, you don't need to have marketing for surveying company?" Right? What is wrong with you, Cody that you would walk in and risk the stock value you have as a valued team member, and bring up a crazy topic of marketing? And when, in their heads, they're thinking, "Oh, you want to hire someone to do our social media? I'm not even on Facebook." Right?

Cody Musick : 

So, one of the things that happened that kind of solidified our need to grow up, for lack of better words, to mature as a company in our marketing and branding, was we were competing at that, about 2017/2018, I mean, we were competing with some national firms for projects. I mean, we were we were going after some big projects. And you know, we were the David in a Goliath industry at that point. You know, the, there are some really big firms that we were competing against, and we were competing quite well. But one of our customers kind of friend, a friend on the side, told one of our partners, he said, "Look, here's the deal. You're going after this project and you want to get in and you want to run with the big boys. But the problem is, when we sit around our board of directors and, you know, we sit down as an energy company, and we're talking about these big strategic projects and the contractors and vendors that might be good to partner with." Because at that point, you become a stakeholder in their project. So when they look at stakeholders in their projects, we were competing with people that have done their homework, and they had done the legwork for branding and imaging and content and speak. And when they show up on the job site, they had a nice, well-branded truck and their shirts all look the same. And so the perception was exactly what we had become. We were like, I don't know the rebels really, you know, like we were the misfits a little bit. But we were good and we were effective and disruptive. But we didn't look the part right. And so when those energy companies and I'm looking at their projects, and they say well, we've got Company A, B and C: national-level firms, well branded, well marketed, they all had business development guys that, you know, they're all they ran their face constantly. We just could not compete from an image and perspective. We were just outclassed honestly, in that area. Now, nevermind the fact that we actually did better work than they did. And we actually gave our customers a better customer experience. Because, you know, we were personal, nimble, agile for all intents purposes, but we didn't look the part and we were missing out on opportunities because of that.

Steve Brown : 

You went and did a little study. And you found us and you probably talked to some other folks. Your expectation at that point was probably x. But now on this side of that decision, talk to us about how your, what you perceived needed before, but the real problem you needed to know about was different.

Cody Musick : 

Well, fortunately for me, personally speaking, I think I had some realistic, a little bit of an awakening and a realistic expectation going into my engagement with with ROI Online. Because I had read the book, you know, Donald Miller's StoryBrand book, I realized, okay, I'm in way over my head. Like understand the 'why' behind everything in that framework. And in story-based marketing. I understood the 'why,' but the 'how,' it was impossible. And I was, you know, working 50/60 hours a week at that time. I was like, I don't have time to do this organically myself. There's no way, and so, when I looked at that, I was like, "Okay, I need a guide. Like, it's obvious. This is outside of my area of expertise. You know, I've got a Bachelor's in science and GIS and surveying and this is marketing, totally different animals." So, I just knew that I was going to need help. And you guys, fortunately for you, you're a Texas-based company. That voted well with some of the people in influence in our company that we needed to get buy-in to get funding for this project. And you know, our corporate offices and Pampa, which is a little little community. I don't know. 20,000 people 45 minutes east of Amarillo. You guys are Amarillo base, that's where your address is at anyways. So geographically, culturally, you guys became a good option for us. And then I had a conversation with you and that kind of sealed the deal. I feel like you understood exactly where we were at and where we needed to go. So.

Steve Brown : 

There's a little bit of risk associated with this decision because this was your initiative that you brought to your team.

Cody Musick : 

Mm hmm.

Steve Brown : 

So in the risk of picking an agency or designer or whatever that might become a dud would have hurt your stock value. So

Cody Musick : 

Yeah, for sure, for sure.

Steve Brown : 

Talk about that.

Cody Musick : 

Well, you know, I think that's pretty much where it was kind of the line in the sand was I just had to take ownership of it and just told them, "Look at this thing flops then you know, it's on me take it out on my profit sharing at the end of the year if it doesn't work." I felt that confident that it was the right move. And that's just part of being an entrepreneur too, right? Like you have to take risk in a calculated risk, right? You don't want to be reckless. This wasn't a reckless engagement or investment in the company. I had done several years worth the homework. I'd done as much homework as I could and at some point, you have to be inclined to action, right? You can study, study, study, study, but you're not going to learn until you engage it. Right? So, so yeah, it was a risk to some extent, but it was a risk worth taking. And if it just was awful, then you know, we would have at least ended up with a pretty picture on the internet for our our website, right? So, but there was so much more to this than just a crisp looking website. Right? So that was that's just a derivative of good marketing. And that's what I've learned is, you know, if you go through good marketing process, a website just is just an output of that work.

Steve Brown : 

Most every day for the last 10 years. I've worked with business leaders such as you. And there's this common conversation that I've had over and over. And it goes a little like this, "Steve. I see other brands excelling online and I feel we need to do the same because my customers are expecting it of us. I'm not sure where to start. But I think we need to redo our website. What's the best way to approach this?" And this is why I wrote my book, The Golden Toilet, stop flushing your marketing budget into your website and build a system that grows your business. It's a book designed to empower my business leaders so that they have the words and the proper expectations to communicate what it is they really need, and get what they really need instead of something that's sold to them, it puts them in a position of confidence and clarity. And so to get this book, it's a great read. You can go to Amazon, and get it there. Or, you can go to thegoldentoilet.com. And click on "Get Your Copy." Now, back to our conversation. So, you know, if we apply them the StoryBrand framework to the conversation or the situation that you were in, one thing that's very important during this engagement is that you have the data, so to speak, the collateral, the things that you can communicate accountability to your team, as you go through the project with us, right? And so that's built into the process. Where did that empower you? And how did I would love, and I still don't know, and that may not be an answer that you have, but I'd love to know how your team warmed up over time to what you were implementing.

Cody Musick : 

So it was a slow process for sure, because it was, it's a bit foreign to this team. So, it's taken some time. And it kind of depends on how much you keep up with with industry or with trends. And I tend to try to stay kind of plugged in to that. I'm a weird kind of guy. Like, I'm a country guy in the heart, but also keep up with a lot of things that are just culturally trending and look at, try to keep up with how that impacts the business we're in and especially the industry that we work in because you got to stay relevant and I think that's the whole point of why my curiosity served well in that area was, you know, just trying to stay relevant to the market. And one of the things that that ROI, and I'm kind of make go a little off script here but I want to chase this rabbit a little bit of if you'll entertain me. Is, one of the things that we realized in our industry, and especially in the oil and gas industry, was that the project managers inside of those, the influencers, the decision-makers inside of those energy companies, when I started in the oil and gas business 10 years ago, most of them were very experienced 20/30/40 years of experience in the industry. Baby Boomers for all intents purposes. And that's the guys that were making the decisions. And so, there was a lot of things that they didn't care about. They wanted you to show up, get your work done, no frills. But as the demographics have changed in the interview side, where younger project managers are stepping up and taking over those responsibilities, as those guys kind of exit the industry, you have to speak a different language to keep confidence and to stay relevant and to be able to communicate with them in a way that they're receptive to. And I am in that that age group, you know, I'm in that demographic with those, those leaders that were stepping up and I was kind of trending with them. So trying to get you know, some of the business partners in our company who who are in that that later generation to understand, okay, we got to, we have to learn how to communicate with the project managers differently. How do we get them a solution that works for them? Sending them a bunch of paper copies of stuff, you know, when you finish a project Fedexing them a bunch of plots and blueprints and delivering something on a hard drive, you know, that that doesn't, they want a download link in their inbox for the project. They want you to go right into their problem solving with them. So, just learning how, how do we pivot our company and our marketing our content language and how we how we interact with customers? And how do we take ingredients from that and sprinkle it into our conversations with our customers so that we create consistency in who we are and how we talk to engage our customers? And that is a slow, bit of a slow process, because you're rooted in this one way of doing business. And most of the people in the company have been trained to do business that way. So you're turning a battleship, you know, and that takes time.

Steve Brown : 

That's such an excellent point. And I hear it, it's a theme in the type of business that you're in. Not necessarily in the, the oil and gas, but in a business that hasn't relied on marketing, has relied on the grandfather, the father, to have those long-term relationships with the folks that were there peers back in the day, and they, they developed this great business and got a great reputation. But, there's turnover happening, those folks are exiting, they're retiring, and you have a new generation of young folks. And what you did so well was talk about how this is not a "marketing challenge." This is actually a "business communication challenge," because you illustrated really well, how we're impacting the way they conduct business and, and interacting with your company. The expectation is not just to have your messaging clear, but to deliver the documents in a form that complements the way that they want to do business with less friction less hurdles. There's a lot, it's a lot deeper application. Good job. That was. That was excellent. You got me jacked up there.

Cody Musick : 

Well, it's true, right? You gotta, I heard it said so well on a podcast interview the other day, is talking about—

Steve Brown : 

Better than my podcast?

Cody Musick : 

Well, different, not better, different, different. Where, you have to pick your customer up. Or, in that relationship, you know, your customer is going somewhere and you want to benefit of being a stakeholder with them to that destination, right? And somewhere along the way you get paid. But if you're going to get there with them, is it better to get in the car and drive from two different places and show up and then have to figure everything out? And it's like you said there's friction, there's no efficiency. Or, as a vendor as a contractor or service provider, isn't it better to swing by and pick them up? And then you have this conversation along the way to the destination. And then, by the time the by the time it's time to actually get the work done, a lot of the hard parts done. You just, now then, you've just got to exercise your competency, because you've already built trust and you've communicated with them along the way, in a way they understand. And now then trust is two part, right? Like, competency, and character, right? So you can develop character with them along the way if you try to communicate with them in a way that they're receptive to. And then you just got to exercise that competency to deliver your project. And so trying to help coach the team through thinking through engaging the customer differently. That's an endeavor, right? Yeah. So that's kind of where we're at.

Steve Brown : 

You're illustrating a challenge and I think many of your peers when I say peers, progressive thinkers in organizations who didn't start the organization but have come along and and they see where we need to mature to or pivot to or embrace, and so you have to lead the leaders from behind. And that's not a derogatory comment. It is it's an actual business strength that leaders in your position need to develop. Is how to lead an organization from behind and impact the vision. And that is super difficult.

Cody Musick : 

Yeah, it can be, but you have to resort to the fact that you're going to have to lead through influence, not authority in those. That's your method. That's the highway, right? You can pick the smooth, nice smooth surface, which is to learn how to lead through influence, because you don't have the authority to do it at that point.

Steve Brown : 

Totally right. So what did ROI do to support you with the influence part of your, your leadership in that organization?

Cody Musick : 

Well, I think that it put language around who we already were, we just didn't know how to verbalize it. We didn't know how to get on on paper. We didn't know how to process our thoughts. We didn't know how to process or our identity and so the process we went through with ROI Online, the questions you asked the conversations that we have with your team along the way, extracts that information. And then, sometimes it just takes someone that with the gift of writing or content development, or just the gift of asking the right question at the right time. You know, I mean that and that's a skill too, right? Like that's, but to be guided through that, and to see that information extracted, and then see it develop, that helps really create some outputs that are tangible, that other people can hold on to. So they may not be interested in engaging that process. But there are some things that come out of that, that are tangible. They're like, "Oh, okay. Yeah. So that's what you've been working on. That's good." So you took the complex and you made it simple, which we know is the hardest thing to do well, is to take all this information, and all these things about a company and then get it distilled down to things that are essentially consumable from the outside. And like, who is that company and how we're going to figure that out. So.

Steve Brown : 

How'd that make you feel when your team members finally the light started to go on about what you were leading? They trusted you for a bit. Right?

Cody Musick : 

So I think I think the big win was, we'd worked through that process over over several months, ROI Online has, specifically you have a 16-week roadmap to kind of that initial effort. Kickstart I think you call it Marketing Kickstart. Yeah. Yeah. QuickStart. So after 16 weeks of work and week in, week out, you know, this rhythm of thinking about, and that's the other thing that the system does. Is it, that process puts you in a rhythm of thinking about the things you do and how you say them and how you think about them and how, you know, all those things. And over time, you're in this rhythm of thinking about how, "Okay, how do I extract that information?" So the end of 16 weeks, we had our one page content our, trying to remember the language you use for that. But since, we had a free content. Yeah, lead-generating offer. That's right. So we had our one-pager. And that was such a great and powerful tool. And it was a tangible piece out of that work that the whole team could look at and understand. Because it spoke to, you know, one of the problems we saw, which is, how do you reduce the cost of re-working a route a pipe, let's say ride away, or pipeline, you know, the one pager really addressed: how do you reduce the likelihood of having to do rework? How do we get it right the first time? And that one-pager really spoke to the whole team. They're like, "Hey, this is good. Like, this is right. This is exactly what we want to tell customers when we sit down with them." This is one of the edges we have on the competition is, hey, we're going to we're going to be transparent and we're going to get this to the customer and say, "Look, take this and think about it on your next project. You know, apply it and let's see how much it reduces your cost when you work with us the next time."

Steve Brown : 

That's crazy. So you think about that conversation, that person pulled you aside and told you, "look, you guys are, we like you, but you're struggling in this area." Right? And then, having that piece that you just discussed, your team felt way more confident to be able to communicate the actual value that you did offer these folks. That's a big transformation from insecure, trying to wing it. I hope Fred can go in and say the right words to, as a team, you have a congruent message that the team knows and conveys in the sales support tools, the online professional look and feel. All of a sudden, your team has a different confidence in a more succinct empowerment.

Cody Musick : 

Well and one of the things that did too was, we couldn't have seen this really coming into, you know, the process of engaging ROI Online and trying to get our marketing up to speed. But, one of the great things of going through that process was less than a year later. From the time we started that, to little less than a year later, we had an opportunity to hire a really great business development sales guy. And had we not have done the hard work the homework of trying to distill that information out of our company, then, you know, I was able to, when we hired AJ, our business development guy, you know, first thing we did was we studied the website, and I took our BrandScript that we had worked through with you guys and I printed it and kind of in its rawest form and said, "Okay, here are all the things we worked on through our marketing effort. So this is who we are, and these are the things that we're good at. And this is what we want to leverage with our, you know, with the customers with the market." And so it really fast-tracked him understanding how we do business and who we want to be and how, when he goes and sits down and talks to a customer, he calls him to get an appointment, like, he had a lot of tools that he wouldn't have had a year before that. And much less consistency in that information, right? And that language. So that was one of the great outcomes that from the so this is kind of that that scalable, like, one-to-many. You put this energy into it, and then you get this, you get to leverage something that you didn't even know is going to be an ROI a return on that investment that we didn't really anticipate.

Steve Brown : 

Totally, totally, you know, you think 16 weeks, why can't you get a BrandScript done in a few days? What's, what's the problem there?

Cody Musick : 

Yeah, if you're if you're working with a leader or manager in the company that doesn't have anything else to do. It's not overwhelming, but it is a commitment to get through that. You know, it takes mental calories to sit down and carve out time and to meet each week. It's an investment, but it. Yeah, you probably could work through it faster. But, you guys, I feel like that's one of the things ROI did is, you did it at a pace, kind of at a burden, a weekly burden that a leader can digest that he, that is manageable, right? If you make it a priority. Where, if you sit down and try to do it in a week, I don't know that you can consume enough calories to keep your brain throttled that long.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, we did a lot of other deliverables besides just the BrandScript, but

Cody Musick : 

Sure.

Steve Brown : 

It's more than just a little BrandScript that's. It applies to so many other areas. And you just illustrated with the, this is an organization that really hadn't conceived that it needed to have a dedicated salesforce, until at this point, so you guys are teeing up to scale. So you're doing it right, you got clarity on your messaging. You got clarity on your value. You flipped your platform to where you had a professional, national look and feel just like the folks that you compete against, and then you're able to start recruiting and building a team to go out and have the language to be up to speed and be way more impactful. A lot sooner.

Cody Musick : 

Yeah. So can I give you an example of of that, which is that they're about scale?

Steve Brown : 

Yeah.

Cody Musick : 

So recently, to timestamp this podcast a little bit, we're kind of coming out of the thralls of COVID-19. Right? So going into that, the first week that we realized: okay, we're going to we're going to be working from home, the office team is all going remote. At the same time that happened, interest rates, especially in the real estate market, we're up and down. One of the things that we saw was: okay, there's going to be a rise in demand for real estate surveys, especially commercial surveys that are going to be maybe refinance opportunities, and that a lot of times requires an updated title survey in order to get that refinancing. Right? So we thought, okay, there's going to be a rise in demand for surveying for refinancing commercial properties. We don't have anything right now that speaks to that to the customer base, right? So the reason we knew that was we had some customers in the land-development civil side that were already coming to us saying, "Hey, we need to get estimate, can you give us an estimate for this?" And in this like over two week period, we saw this influx of requests for, for proposals on all these commercial properties. And we realized, we need a landing page for this. Like, we need a link that we can send to everybody and say, "Hey, we're in this market. We're doing this." And to go to scale on that, since we already had our website built. We already had our BrandScript, we already had content developed. So we had a roadmap, right? And now that we need to build a service road, right? So that's not so hard once you already have everything kind of built. So we come to you guys and we say, "Okay, this is kind of what we want to do." We went through an abbreviated brand script for that landing page. And within a week and a half or two, we were 85% on this landing page that was marketing to a whole different sector. There's no way we could have done that in that timeframe and had it ready to send links out to customers had we not have already done the legwork. And not just in building a website, but we have the BrandScript, like we had the playbook written. And then we just added some place. Right? So there's no way we could have done that in that timeframe had would not have have done that, that other process. So that's kind of one of those scalable, like, you put energy in and then, okay, oh, hey, there's another return on that. And it's sitting there. It's really just an untapped source. And then you see a need and you bolt it on, and that's, for lack of better terms, we bolted on a landing page to market specifically to that.

Steve Brown : 

Exactly.

Cody Musick : 

Yes.

Steve Brown : 

That's Awesome. So you have an appointment coming up, and I want to be respectful of that. It's been a great conversation. Cody, people'll listen to this, you're going to get folks that want to hire you. They're going to go, "This guy knows his stuff." And they're going to be reaching out to recruit you. I don't know how many offers you want to get from this podcast, Cody, but how can they get ahold of you?

Cody Musick : 

Well, I'm on LinkedIn. That's a good place to look. Look for Cody Musick c-o-d-y m-u-s-i-c-k on LinkedIn. You can hit me up my personal email. It's Cody at CodyMusick.com.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah.

Cody Musick : 

So I'm kind of pivoting right now. It's funny you talk about recruiting or opportunities out there. So, I'm in the, actually in the process of exiting the organization. It's just time for season of change. Open Range is the company I've been working for and have been partnered with. And I'm exiting that partnership. It's a great company, great people. They do great work. It was just time for a change for me personally for some lifestyle reasons and just I'm kinda ready for a new challenge.

Steve Brown : 

Chickens.

Cody Musick : 

Yeah, right. Yeah, exactly. Had some chickens to grow but right now, I'm going to be, looks like I'm going to be pursuing opportunity and some professional recruiting opportunities. So, going out and looking at, helping other civil engineers, geotechnical engineers, surveyors, mappers. People in that realm. Just trying to help them find the right opportunity that fits their life right now. So, that's my new challenge. That's the that's where I might be focused for a little while.

Steve Brown : 

Wow, so there may be some folks reaching out to you to help them find a new place to land

Cody Musick : 

That's that's one of the one of the things I enjoyed the most about being a leader, was helping people see an opportunity and then helping them figure out how do you get there. So what's the roadmap where you're at? Break those chains. Okay, let's have some courage and and move into something new and fun.

Steve Brown : 

So what's the, can you reveal the name of this company in case someone wants—?

Cody Musick : 

Yeah, so the name of the company is Civil Search Consultants. Houston based recruiting company. So Blake Pelegrin and Jeff Thigpen are the two guys there that started Civil Search and, actually, I was a customer before, you know, I partner with them. So I'd used them to help bring some professionals into the company. And as I worked with them, I really enjoyed it and had some conversations with them along the way as I began that, to contemplate exiting Open Range. It just worked out. So I'll be teaming up with them.

Steve Brown : 

Cody you're a class act. Really enjoyed working with you, my team, my team loves you. You're one of the favorites there and you're going to do good where you go. I want to stay in touch and I value and appreciate you and thanks for being on the ROI online podcast.

Cody Musick : 

You bet. Thanks for having me, Steve. It's been a pleasure.

Steve Brown : 

Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI Online Podcast. For more, be sure to check out the show notes of this episode and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better, be sure to pick up your copy of my book, The Golden Toilet at, surprise, thegoldentoilet.com. I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI Online Podcast.