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26 Ruby Hearts

Things Riley Hates

This episode, we'll be exploring some of the things our digital specialist Riley dislikes in the industry. You can expect some great insights into SEO tactics and various other things that really bother him. 

Ruby Hearts

This week’s drink is a Ruby Hearts. This is the original recipe from bartender Melissa Ramos of The Publican. Riley dislikes bitter things, and this drink has bitter elements. “The Ruby Hearts is a most unexpected cocktail. In addition to Campari, it features mezcal, cinnamon-demerara syrup, lime juice and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, an American-style IPA from Michigan.”


  • 1.5 oz. Union mezcal
  • .5 oz. Campari
  • .75 oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • .75 oz. cinnamon-demerara syrup
  • 4 oz. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
  • Garnish: cinnamon stick



  1. Add the mezcal, Campari, cinnamon-demerara syrup and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.
  3. Top with the beer and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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Episode Transcript

Catelin:     Hey. We're here.

Rich:          Hey, you. We are here and we're back.

Catelin:     Another episode.

Rich:          Oh my goodness. I know.

Catelin:     It's been a hard couple of days, huh?

Rich:          Yeah, it's been a week and it's Wednesday.

Catelin:     It is Wednesday. Not even one trip Wednesday.

Rich:          There's that, what's it called? Uncensored Pooh? The comics where Pooh and Piglet, but they swear.

Catelin:     I don't know this.

Rich:          Yeah, I'll send one to you, but if I quote it we'll get that explicit rating on it. Which I don't know if that helps us or not. Do people want to listen to it because it's explicit? I don't know. It's generally just one of us drops an F-bomb at some point and that gets slapped on there.

Catelin:     Are you Pooh or Piglet in this instance?

Rich:          I think it's Pooh, because Pooh says, "This has been a really tough week." and Piglet says, "It's only Wednesday." And Pooh says "F". But the whole word.

                  They're some of the best that I've ever seen, and there's a name for them I don't remember what it is. But it's kind of like Swear Trek on Twitter where it's gifs of Star Trek, but they throw swear words into it, which is one of my favorites and I wish it would migrate to Mastodon or somewhere else. But so far not yet. I need to start kind of harassing those fun accounts and be like, "You need to move. Get over here."

                  All right. So today we have Mr. Riley, our utility player, but we're not talking utility, or account service, or even digital. We're talking about things he hates.

Catelin:     Yeah. But they're all kind of in the digital bucket for the most part.

Rich:          They are. They are. We didn't get to a couple of things that I believe producer Zac prepped for us in the episode, but we can cover them here. Apparently he has some issue with vertical record players.

Catelin:     I need more information. Like a jukebox? I don't know what a vertical record player is.

Rich:          I think the record goes in vertically.

Zac:           So, I will quickly jump in just to explain it a little bit.

Rich:          Okay, good. Thank you, Zac. Cause this is your note.

Zac:           Basically, he really cares about listening to music and sound quality and keeping records intact, and apparently vertical record players are the worst thing you can do to your records because [inaudible 00:02:48]

Rich:          Oh, they damage the record.

Zac:           Yeah. And so, one time somebody told him that they were going to get one and he freaked out. He was like, "No, you can't do that."

Rich:          Wow.

Zac:           It's a funny little thing.

Catelin:     He's passionate about the things that he really cares about. Committed to quality.

Rich:          I have been debating getting some vinyl for the office, getting a retro record player and speakers. I guess we could run it through our speakers cause our Bluetooth adapters that would just go to those speakers, but actually getting some cool classic vinyl and running it. I mean, vinyl has outsold CDs for the first time since CDs really became popular, but also it is in part because CDs are declining because we all get our music digitally now.

Catelin:     From the internet.

Rich:          Yes, from the interwebs.

Catelin:     The Cloud.

Rich:          And I knew this one, Riley hates hot drinks. So no hot coffee, no hot tea for him. He'll do iced, but those are like blah.

Catelin:     Yeah.

Rich:          So yeah. So we didn't ask him though, sorry. In the episode, you don't get his hot take on those.

Catelin:     His hot take, or his cold take.

Rich:          His cold take. His cold, horizontal take. That's sort of a weird visual. But we do talk about things, and some of them are digital related and some of them aren't. Some of them are just general really good rules of thumb for life.

Catelin:     Yeah, just being a good human. We joke that Riley is our best adult.

Rich:          He kind of is.

Catelin:     Yeah.

Rich:          Though, apparently he does bottle up some of his feelings. So that we need to work on, but I'll let you work on that with him.

Catelin:     Yeah.

Rich:          Tell me how you feel about that.

Catelin:     Great.

Rich:          All right.

Catelin:     Here's the number for my therapist.

Rich:          He also did not give us a drink for this one, so producer Zac dug up one that's really great. I thought it was going to be a Cabernet, we talk a little bit about that. Because Riley does... He discovered he likes red wine.

Catelin:     This is why he's the best adult.

Rich:          Yes, absolutely. And so I have of course been like, "You need to try all of these and see what you like."

Catelin:     You did kind of give him a Tour de France? Tour de Italy?

Rich:          Tour de vin.

Catelin:     There you go. Thank you.

Rich:          Yeah. At our holiday party we brought up several wines and had him drink them, and then I think I finished all of the bottles.

Catelin:     That sounds right.

Rich:          But I just had to lumber upstairs at your house, because we were your guest that night, which was great. Very comfortable guest room. I liked it.

Catelin:     Thank you so much.

Rich:          All right. So Ruby Hearts, I've never heard of this drink.

Catelin:     I haven't either.

Rich:          He does think that he would like this, but it has bitter things in it and he doesn't like bitter things. So TBD. And we did not make him drink it, we did not make this one for it.

                  So it comes from the Publican Bar, and specifically bartender, Melissa Ramos, who's probably not listening to this, she's not one of our tens of listeners, but hey, if she is, shout out. That bar's in Chicago, so I had to look it up in Chicago.

Catelin:     It looks delicious.

Rich:          It does. So you want to want to walk us through it, Catelin?

Catelin:     I would love to. So this is one and a half ounces of union mescal, a half ounce of campari, which I agree is terrible.

Rich:          Oh, I love it.

Catelin:     Three quarters ounce lime juice. Freshly squeezed, as always. Three quarters ounce cinnamon demerara syrup, and I've got a little asterisk behind that. More on that in a moment. Four ounces of Bell's Two Hearted ale. For the demerara cinnamon syrup, you're going to do equal parts sugar, which is demerara sugar I guess, if you want to be specific.

Rich:          It's the brown crystally stuff. Sugar in the raw kind of thing works.

Catelin:     Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Equal parts demerara syrup and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Add six cinnamon sticks and steep for an hour, or until desired flavor is achieved. This sounds delicious.

Rich:          I think this syrup is something, and stored in the refrigerator you can keep it for up to a month. I feel like that in coffee would be good.

Catelin:     I have started doing honey and cinnamon in my coffee with a little bit of cream, and I got to tell ya. So I'm like, I could do this with honey. I could do a honey syrup with some cinnamon sticks an then just skip to that.

Rich:          We should keep a tally on the website of how many times we've given out a simple syrup recipe in detail on the podcast. Cause I feel like every time it comes up we're like, "Do not buy simple syrup. You can make it so easy. It takes 15 minutes."

Catelin:     No, it's stupid. For so cheap. Yeah. Yes.

Rich:          So, so cheap. And adding cinnamon to it. And I'm now starting to think about what else you could do. You could do a jalapeno simple syrup if you wanted to. That'd be good in cocktails. And you also have me thinking about could I do my hot honey in coffee? Would that work? A little spice in the coffee?

Catelin:     It might be interesting.

Rich:          Maybe.

Catelin:     Yeah. Yeah.

Rich:          All right. So when you get all this stuff together, the ale kind of threw me for a loop here. So it's another beer-y drink. I mean, four ounces. It's about half ale I guess. So everything goes into a shaker except the beer, right?

Catelin:     Don't flatten your beer.

Rich:          Yeah, you just don't want to shake carbonated things. It gets really messy. And you shake that with ice until it's well chilled, and you'll know that if you have a metal or glass shaker because your hands will be freezing and that's when it's pretty good. It'll also maybe start to frost over. You put it in a Collins glass over fresh ice. I'm trying to remember, is a Collins glass the tall one?

Catelin:     The tall.

Rich:          Tall, thin. Yeah.

Catelin:     Much like our Collins.

Rich:          Much like our Riley Collins, who's our tallest employee, and thin. Then you top it with the beer, garnish with the cinnamon stick, and you are good to go.

                  But I think the takeaway from this is make a batch of the cinnamon demerara syrup and keep it on hand for all of your beverages, anything that you could put cinnamon in. Then also make batches of other flavored demerara syrups, because why not? I mean, I'm thinking basil, thyme, you could do herby ones. I'm thinking about that in a gin drink, because I know you love your gin. This is good.

Catelin:     I'm trying to think. We had an infused syrup, I think it was basil. I think it was basil simple in a cucumber gin tonic situation. That was really pretty solid.

Rich:          I had a cucumber gin fizz once, which was interesting. It was good. It was good. Obviously, you've broken me and made me into a gin drinker, so congratulations, Catelin.

Catelin:     We can all go home now.

Rich:          All right. Things I don't hate anymore would be gin. And that's a good jump to get into a dance break and things Riley hates.

Catelin:     Let's do it.

                  Welcome back, we're here.

Rich:          We're here. I know. And I think I have notifications turned on my computer, so I'll turn those off. But that happens and it's just real world.

Catelin:     Do not disturb.

Rich:          I know.

Catelin:     Important business.

Rich:          Focus until end of this event. There we go. All good.

Catelin:     Cool. [inaudible 00:10:39] smart.

Rich:          Yeah, it's pretty handy. It connects with your calendar, so it's very nice.

Catelin:     Everybody knows where we are all the time.

Rich:          That is true of life. And we know where Riley is today. Hi Riley.

Riley:         Hello.

Rich:          Okay. For a minute there I thought you weren't going to respond, and I was like, "Okay. I guess we don't know where Riley is."

Riley:         I'm hiding.

Rich:          But yeah. So Riley, we're excited to talk to you about all the things you hate, which I know is such a strong word. We did Zac's dislikes because we just couldn't get all the way to hate. But first I think we should talk about this cocktail. So we went over it in the intro. I understand Zac chose this, you didn't choose it.

Riley:         No, I did not. I looked it over and thought it would be okay.

Rich:          Okay, but you've never actually tasted this cocktail?

Riley:         I've never had it, so I can't say if I like it or hate it.

Rich:          We will correct that. I personally was thinking about this yesterday, knowing we were recording today, and was just thinking it's going to be a glass of Cabernet. We did a rose not too long ago, it's going to be a glass of Cabernet. But it's not.

Riley:         It might have been.

Catelin:     Well, I thought after our holiday party it should have been a spaghett.

Rich:          Oh, that would've been good.

Catelin:     Riley asked my husband, "What is a spaghett? What is this?" And Tyrell got so excited. He was like, "Do you want one?" And then we ran out of Miller High Life.

Riley:         I physically watched his eyes light up as soon as I asked.

Catelin:     He was so happy.

Riley:         And I was like, "He's on it."

Rich:          Oh, yeah. So for those of us who don't know, what's a spaghett, Catelin?

Catelin:     It is a Miller High life and a shot of aperol, and you take a swig out of the High Life and then pop in your shot. It's a parking lot cocktail. Yeah, it's a parking lot cocktail. Miller High Life, for those of you that don't know, is the champagne of beers. It is the only beer that I will drink, and only because it's the champagne of beers.

Rich:          I worked on that in the early 2000s as they were trying to make a comeback. I didn't work deeply on it, I was an account person so we just were brought in for things, but yeah. As they were trying to make a comeback. And there was this whole debate like, "We should dump the champagne of beers." And everybody's like, "No, you can't dump that. That's the only thing you've got." It's that, and you're "the closest beer to water" I guess.

Catelin:     No.

Rich:          No. Not for you? Okay.

Catelin:     No. I appreciate that it's classically good-looking. The bottle shape is interesting.

Rich:          Yeah, true. It's a little different. Did you like the spaghett, Riley?

Riley:         I did. I mean, it wasn't like anything too crazy because it really is just a parking lot cocktail. I mean, I would call it a special cocktail. Lighten it up a little bit.

Rich:          Yeah. I would tell you, you can't really get it in Italy because they don't really do Miller High Life over there. Although it is exported, it's just not going to be as common. I'm sure you could find something else to do with it, but just do that in the States. That's an Americanized use of aperol for sure.

                  All right. Well, enough about drinks.

Catelin:     Cheers.

Rich:          Cheers, cheers. Should we get into what you hate Riley? Because I looked through your list. You have a list, and I cheated and looked at it on accident. I was looking for the show notes, and I got your show notes instead of the show notes. I've closed it. I don't have it open. So, not open right now. But let's get rolling. So, what do you hate?

Riley:         I mean, the list is very long, but I have to condense it just for this.

Rich:          Okay, four or five things. I think we've got a half hour max here.

Riley:         I mean, the list is very long for just things in life and not in marketing, but it is what it is. So we'll jump into the first one.

Catelin:     It's so funny, because you are by and large the most tolerant

Rich:          You are. I think there's only one thing. Of course, people can do the throwback to your Utility Player podcast where you just really want to help, but we did find a point where you actually did say no to something that we asked if you would do. And you had the option to say no, it wasn't required, but I was kind of shocked. I'm like, "Wow. We actually found the first thing that that Riley's like, "I really don't want to do."" And it was really a teaching and instructing kind of thing for potential clients, and you were just like, "Yeah, not my jam." And we were like, "Oh. Okay."

Catelin:     I maintain that you would be great at it.

Rich:          I do too. But again, not going to force you into it.

Riley:         Yeah. I beg to differ, but tit is what it is.

                  That's also how I tolerate a lot of stuff. I just say "it is what it is" to a lot of stuff, and then just internalize the hate.

Rich:          Oh, wow.

Catelin:     I'm over here seething.

Rich:          That sounds kind of awful. You should just brush the hate off, just be like, "It is what it is. Not my problem." And away it goes.

Catelin:     Yeah.

Riley:         Sometimes

Catelin:     That's a skill when you get older. It comes when you get older.

Rich:          Yeah, it does. I mean, I've seen you do that. I've also seen you get very mad at a couple of points, but it was generally not something work related.

                  So yeah. I had something. I was going to say something and now I forgot it. I had a good tangent. It was great. We're just going to have to roll on with Riley's first thing that he hates. So let's dive into it.

Riley:         Oh well.

                  Anyway, the first thing that I hate is probably one of the biggest things. It was the first thing that came to mind for me. Just the general overpromise with, doesn't really matter, usually like it's SEO or digital marketing. Over promising as a whole is kind of just a yuck. You should know where your boundaries lie and how much you can help, you shouldn't completely overpromise on stuff. Willingly, I should say.

Rich:          So those emails I get that are like, "We can make you number one on Google." Are those just not true?

Riley:         No.

Catelin:     I was just going to pull up, like, 12 of those that I've gotten in the last three days. From people just scouring LinkedIn. Leave me alone.

Rich:          I mean, and a good mantra in marketing has always been "under promise and over deliver", which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Catelin:     It's just in life, right?

Rich:          Yeah, it is. It's setting expectations, but not setting them so high that you can't achieve them, but also not sandbagging completely. But if you think something's going to take two days, saying it might take three days is generally safer. And then if you deliver in two, everybody's happy. But if you say, "Oh, I can get this done in 24 hours." and you deliver it in three days, now everybody's pissed. It just doesn't work.

                  I think tangentially to this is the irrelevant promise. So I get a ton of emails that are like, "How would you like 600 new prospects this month?" And it's like, "Well, since we probably need four or five new clients this year, I feel like 600 prospects this month is an overkill."

Catelin:     I don't want that.

Rich:          You don't know my business, you don't understand. Maybe this is a totally different one and you're just not doing your research, but you don't understand who we are, so go away and stop emailing me. But I think that's a good one. Do you find yourself under promising and over delivering? Or do you you ever get caught in this one, Riley? Where you over promise and then, "Oops, shit. Can't deliver."

Riley:         No. I try not to put myself in this place because I know what can come of it and how just hard it is to dig yourself out of it if you over promise. I mean, a lot of smaller agencies will do this where they're a two to three man team and they'll just say, "Hey, do you want to be number one on Google? We'll Do it for you." And they're like, "Oh, that sounds good." Just be realistic in what you can do, your word will sell.

Rich:          So I'm curious, loaded question, super loaded question, what do you do when someone like, I don't know, hypothetically your CEO, jumps in on an email to a client and over promises on your behalf? How do you deal with that? Not that that's happened recently or you've had to deal with that. I'm just going to sip my coffee while you answer.

Catelin:     My skin is crawling. I'm so upset.

Riley:         Honestly, thinking back to that moment, not naming any names or anything,

Catelin:     So diplomatic.

Riley:         Thinking back to the moment, I just had to refocus everything and just kind of be like, "Hey, this is actually what's going to happen. Sorry to have this whole situation spill out on the floor for you, but let me clean it up. We'll get it taken care of. Don't worry about it."

Rich:          Yeah. You did mention to me, "Hey, that's not actually what happened and what we had said we would do." And I was like, "Oh, crap. I stepped in it." And then you did a really good job with the client of resetting the expectation, and it worked out okay.

Riley:         Thank you.

Rich:          I need to just keep my mouth shut more often. I also love that when I bring that up, you know the exact moment and the exact situation I'm referring to, even though everybody else is like, "You're vague talking."

Riley:         Yeah. It's only happened once, so I know exactly.

Rich:          That's a positive. That's a good thing.

Riley:         It's a positive.

Catelin:     We're all learning. We're all learning where our edges are.

Riley:         It happened once and we fixed it.

Rich:          Yeah. Riley doesn't hate when people screw up just once. That's okay. Twice, he's starting to get irritated. Three, you're dead to him.

Catelin:     Out of here.

Riley:         Strike. You're gone.

Rich:          All right. That's a good one. I mean, the overpromise, I've been caught in it. I've been really trying to work on that. I, more often than not, will say, "Let me check with my development team. Let me check with my creative team." And then hope that they don't overpromise, cause if they do it's going to be like, "Come on, let's go."

Catelin:     Well, I think other half of that is just because you could, doesn't mean that you should. So yeah, we might be able to actually do that, but if we're going to overpromise on a timeline do you want to do that to your team for this client that might go away tomorrow? Do you want to bust your butt for them when the demand is unreasonable? Why are we putting ourselves in that position when we have to come back and work with these people, like our coworkers every day. Right?

Rich:          We protect our nights and weekends pretty heavily and I know we've had some evening emergencies lately, and they annoy me as much as you, but part of it comes down to, "Okay, is the client paying for this? How much are they paying?" If you need a rush, yeah, there's a rush fee. And we've instituted rush fees because we needed to. In part that helps our profitability, which means that we can pay better, we can kick out bonuses. If you get called into a part-time job and you have to work an extra shift, you get more money. If you have to work a holiday, you get time and a half or double pay, that type of thing, because they're rewarding you for that extra work.

                  And I think I've just gone off on a tangent that's completely off of over promising, but part of what I was thinking about in that is you can always ask a client in particular, or anybody, "Do you have a deadline in mind? Is there a date you have to hit for your board, for a launch, for whatever?" And then if it's far enough out and you're like, "Oh, yeah. That's far enough out." You can say, "I think that's probably safe, but let me check with my team." And then if they're like, "Oh, we need this in two weeks." And the team's like, "We can do it in three days." It's like, "Okay. Well over the next two weeks let's deliver early, but not tomorrow. Let's deliver three days early, four days early." And it allows us to balance workload, right? I feel like that's beaten to death now.

                  Don't overpromise, people. It's not good.

Riley:         Don't do it. All right.

Rich:          What's next?

Riley:         Moving on to the second one, we have black hat SEO tactics. It's the practice of going against search engine guidelines to basically get an advantage over ranking and all that kind of stuff. But in the end, if you do get caught doing these tactics, you can actually be penalized harder than where you were starting at.

Rich:          Yeah. You lose, You lose. So, two things. One, Zac, I'd like some old West whistle-y. Yeah, that thing. When he says "black hat", because it comes from the black hat on bad cowboys, white hat on good cowboys Lone Ranger thing, which we covered in an episode at some point. I'm sure that's aired. It has to have, we recorded that a long time ago.

                  But I think what you hate even more than people doing it is it ends up coming to somebody to clean up, and it is hard. It's way harder to start at -100 than at zero. It goes back to that kind of over-promising, you can't dig them out of that hole that fast. There are things we can do to try to mitigate it but, especially Google, when they penalize you...

Catelin:     You're in Google jail.

Rich:          Yeah. They put the smack down. I mean, Facebook will put you in jail for 24 hours and that's fine. I don't even know how Twitter's doing it anymore, it's completely random who gets banned and who doesn't.

Catelin:     There's no rhyme or reason to that.

Rich:          Yeah. And I think it ladders up to things that create unnecessary extra work for a lot of other people, and also waste your budget. We would rather not spend money digging you out of a hole, we'd much rather spend money building you up. I mean, we'll take the money either way.

Catelin:     Yeah. We run into the same thing when we're talking about website rebuilds or fixing past mistakes. It's way easier for us to start from scratch and do it right than it is to try and untangle somebody else's mess, or a mess period. Yeah.

Rich:          Server website migrations are super easy if it's just a clone one to one, but if we're migrating from one platform to another, we've started to catalog a big list of caveats that have to go with that. That there is certain functionality that you can and can't do, and I know you're dealing with some. I have one that I'm working on right now that's a build in HubSpot, but the other sites are in WordPress. They'll move to HubSpot eventually, but through this build, we've actually agreed that when they move to WordPress it's a redesign and build from the ground up. It's not just a migrate over. Or when they move from WordPress to HubSpot. And that's good. And they also have a really broad timeline, which is great. I love that.

Catelin:     I love that too. For me and for Jessie.

Rich:          Yeah. Okay. So no black hat, no wasting Riley's time, no making him spend his hours on things you shouldn't have done in the first place. So, hand slaps for that.

Riley:         I mean, you can take all of these points that I have and really peel them back layer by layer to just reveal that it's just a base "don't start off on the wrong foot." If you don't know how to do something, go to somebody that does. These are just specific examples of that.

Rich:          Yeah. I mean, I would say that probably my best guess would be 10 to 15% of our income comes from fixing other people's mistakes. Some years more, some years less, but that's kind of a good average. And I mean, it's a fairly substantial number. And again, we'll do it, and we'll help, and we're grateful to be helpful, but we'd rather actually be spending that money to build you up than to fix something that was broken. Those are good. These are good conversation starters, too.

Riley:         Thank you.

Catelin:     What's next? Number three.

Riley:         Moving on, this is another one that really applies to a lot of different things, but it's basically just cheaping out originally on something and having somebody internally do it for you.

Catelin:     Don't be a cheap bastard.

Riley:         So this could apply to doing websites, or your own SEO, or your own digital. If you have some internally that doesn't necessarily know how to do something, maybe you should look externally for some help.

Catelin:     How hard could it be?

Riley:         Exactly.

Rich:          Right. Oh, I hate that phrase. "I'm sure this is really simple." Are you? Because you don't know. I mean, it's much like doing your own plumbing if you have no idea what you're doing. You call an expert for that.

Catelin:     You call JJ, and he comes and he tells you that you're not crazy, and here's how to fix your problem. That's what happened at my house this morning. And you say, "Thank you so much, please send me an invoice. I look forward to compensating you for your time and your expertise."

Rich:          So did JJ fix your problem or just tell you how to fix it?

Catelin:     Well. Yes.

Rich:          Okay.

Catelin:     I think he fixed it. We'll see at nine o'clock tonight, when the sound has been happening historically.

Rich:          Oh.

Catelin:     It's wild. Living in an old house, I tell you what.

Rich:          Are you sure it's not a ghost? Okay.

Catelin:     We have video evidence that it's not a ghost.

Riley:         The ghost of the washing machine.

Rich:          Okay. Have you talked to the other ghosts in the house to make sure that they're...

Catelin:     Well, we can pinpoint when it started based on when we had the water softener installed.

Rich:          Oh. Okay.

Catelin:     Yeah. I mean, unless the ghosts were really attached to the hard water, in which case we probably have to have a different conversation.

Rich:          Yeah, I don't think ghosts shower.

Riley:         It's a spiritual connection.

Catelin:     I don't know, maybe the mineral content?

Rich:          Oh, it could be. I mean, that's an interesting one. That's definitely a conversation for a completely different podcast on a completely different network. All right.

Catelin:     Don't cheap out.

Rich:          Yeah. There's something to be said for sometimes fumbling through something, but going back to the previous one, it just makes work harder in the long run. It makes it more expensive.

Catelin:     So I think what I'm gleaning from this in my personal expertise and experience is if you can fumble through one time and you have to repeat where you can use what you learned the first time a second time, then it makes sense to fumble through. But if you're just going to figure it out and not understand A to B, it's not helpful.

Rich:          Okay. So we're differentiating?

Catelin:     If it's replicable. Yeah.

Rich:          I get it. So there's this self-teaching and learning as you go that is completely different from, "Oh. You're $4,000 for that. I don't want to pay that. I'm going to have my admin do it instead, who knows nothing about it, doesn't want to do it, doesn't want to be a marketer, but pulls in."

Catelin:     Well, I think it's a shift that happened when social media was newer, probably five, 10 years ago when it was like, "Marketing is so easy with social media." And now it's like Facebook management gets lumped into the poor receptionist's job title where it's like, "You can put a picture on Facebook. You know how that works." And there is zero strategy behind it because Phyllis is sitting behind the desk, bless her heart, posting pictures of her grandkids, or whatever it is. It became very reductive, I think, to the actual profession and strategy.

Rich:          Yeah. It goes back to the, "Oh, I'll just have the intern do social media." It's like, "Okay. Well, they don't know your brand, they don't know your voice, they don't know your company." You can teach those things, but they're also probably there for eight weeks, 10 weeks, maybe 13 weeks if you're lucky.

Catelin:     And then you've got to start over.

Rich:          Yeah, and that's one of my biggest frustrations owning a business is continuity of employees and having to reteach that all the time. So when you put it on somebody who's by definition, a temporary employee, and also by definition, cheap. Some people don't pay interns. I think in some states you have to pay interns now, we pay interns of course. It's just a big thing for me, cause I think, "You're doing work, you need to be compensated for it."

Catelin:     Right.

Riley:         Of course.

Rich:          But I mean, they're affordable. More affordable than somebody with 10 years experience, that makes sense. Yeah, cheaping out is just blah. I think people also do with web hosting and other stuff. Go ahead.

Riley:         I would go back to the whole fumbling topic there. You can fumble through smaller tasks, but when it's a big recurring task, building a website, or doing your SEO, or social media management, you should probably go externally for that because it can snowball into something that's way bigger that, of course, somebody else is going to have to bail you out of eventually.

Rich:          And the other thing I use as a selling point, and we use this with HubSpot, we use this with SEO, with Google With HubSpot, we work with I think it's 30 some clients right now, and we're in hubs constantly of varying starter, professional, enterprise. We're doing questions. A question just came up in our slack about like, "Hey, can you do this?" So we'll see something from one of us who's working on something that's applicable to another client. You've got one person internally doing something, they're siloed in your situation. It helps to have that resource that's like, "Oh. Well, these other two clients did it this way." Or "We handled this way a year ago." So having that expertise of either multiple people or people who work in multiple iterations of what you're doing, more bang for your buck. You get so much more bang for your buck for that.

Riley:         Exactly.

Rich:          And on the web hosting, the one that kills me with that kind of thing is people have said, "Oh. Well, GoDaddy has a special, it's only $6 a month for hosting." And it's like, "Okay. So that's $72 a year. Yes, we charge 250, but we're also in a secure, dedicated hosting environment. It's locked down. We've never had anybody get hacked." All of these things that our environment handles. Invariably we'll get people from GoDaddy in particular where their site got hacked, because they're just big. They're a big target for hacking. It's not necessarily that they're unsafe, it's just if I hit your window with a baseball bat so many times, at some point it's going to break. And if you've got a whole lot of windows, I've got a whole lot of opportunities to break something.

                  Part of me is also like, "Okay, so you're going to do this for $180 a year? That's where you're going to save your money?" I get saving where you can, and saving pennies, and not spending money you don't need to. But like you said, Catelin, you get what you pay for. Don't cheap out. It's so sad.

                  I think alcohol is another place where you really shouldn't cheap out. You can only go so far. There's a lot of bars here in Omaha where Titos is kind of their well vodka, because it's a really affordable vodka but it's also really good. But when I was in Puerto Vallarta, Titos was like...

Catelin:     Is it?

Rich:          It's pretty good. It's not bad.

Catelin:     But it's vodka.

Rich:          No, I know you hate all vodka. For vodka, it's pretty good. But when I was in Puerto Vallarta, a lot of places Titos was top shelf. And I was like, "What?" But it's an import. From what I understand, it's made here in the US.

Catelin:     Texas.

Rich:          So for gin, you don't want to go with the Gordon's in the plastic jug. To put it in Catelin's terms.

Catelin:     We're a Hendricks family.

Rich:          Yes. And you don't have to go all the way to a Hendricks or a Tanqueray, but there's some acceptable stuff in there that you can do. So don't cheap out on your marketing. Don't cheap out on your cocktails.

Riley:         I feel like wine is an exception sometimes. You can find a really good cheap wine sometimes. It's rare.

Rich:          Yeah, wine pricing... Oh, I could find you so many seven or eight dollar bottles.

Catelin:     We don't have time for that today.

Rich:          That's a whole nother episode, probably without Catelin.

Catelin:     I mean, it's the same thing as a scotch or whiskey. If you're in a blend, it's going to be more affordable because it's replicable, it's consistent. So find a decent red blend at eight or nine dollars a bottle and, yeah, have yourself a night.

Rich:          And it's also a volume play with wine as well. So Costco, part of why they can sell, and even Trader Joe's, why they can sell stuff for seven, eight, nine dollars a bottle is because they buy so much of it. And there's some places where they'll contract with the entire winery and they'll buy it all out. So they're basically almost a wholly owned subsidiary, they're not.

                  But I mean, they also just do volume. But the blend is a really good one because, in Italy especially, just the house chianti, whatever they're putting in a bottle, whatever grandma has been serving for years, it's generally super cheap and really, really good. Traveling abroad you've got some different things that you can look at. Fun times.

                  You can also not cheap out on price, because you can find a really great gin that's on sale at the right place, or a whiskey that's on sale, but it's about cheaping out on the quality. It's just not something to do.

Riley:         Definitely.

Rich:          Was that number three?

Catelin:     Was that our last one?

Rich:          Is this our last one? Do you have four?

Riley:         Yes. Yes. I have a fourth [inaudible 00:37:07] niche.

Catelin:     We're doing okay.

Rich:          We're good.

Riley:         Yeah.

Catelin:     It's a niche?

Rich:          Oh, we're going niche.

Riley:         It's probably one of the most niche ones, and it was a little bit harder to explain, but it's really just the misunderstanding of marketing knowledge as a whole that a client may have. If you don't lean into teaching them how some of this stuff works, it could kind of lead to an overpromise in their own mind. So SEO as an example, if you just kind of bring up like, "Oh yeah. You kind of fight for the top spot." Then they start thinking, "Oh. So we can get to the top spot, right?" And it's like, "Well, it'll take time, but we're hoping we can get you there." It's a really complex answer, but they don't have the time to hear it most of the time. So really just trying to give them a short explanation of what you're doing and why it's helping helps most of the time.

Catelin:     Yeah. Yeah. It's also like an expectation setting too, where our job as experts is to set the stage a little bit and say, "Here's possible. Here's how we think we can get there. Do you trust us to take you there, and will you let us push you a little bit and encourage you, but also kind of stretch your comfort zone to see what's possible?"

Rich:          Yeah. It does come down a lot to trust, because I can't explain my 25 years of experience doing this. That's impossible. But I can give you some rationale and justification and explain why I want to do this, or why we should go forward, or why I think this is the right idea. But there has to be that sort of understanding that we're trained for this, this is what we do. Yeah, marketing gets a bad rap because a lot of people are like, "Oh, that's so easy. Anybody could do it." And it's like, "Well, sometimes. But there's a lot of it that is not super easy. It's hard."

Catelin:     Well, I also feel like we get a bad rap because people think we're sleazy, where it's like we're trying to pull one over.

Rich:          Really? Well, yeah.

Catelin:     Like, marketing and advertising. "The", like "them", the collective "them" where it's like, "What are they trying to..."

Rich:          I think that was in one of my... Was it things I hate? Did I record a things I love? I can't remember. I don't know what's aired, what hasn't aired, Zac will have to tell us. But I think that was one of those where they think that you're just going to spend the whole budget if I tell you what the budget is, so they won't tell you the budget. And it's like, "Well, no." I mean, yes, some agencies will do that a hundred percent. Some marketing people will do that. I mean, Facebook's really great at that. You give them a dollar, they're going to spend a dollar, you give them a hundred, they're going to spend a hundred no matter what. But for us, it's really about getting the most bang for your buck, so if there's a scope that we can do that achieves your goal for less than that, we're going to present that to you. But we're also going to present the added value and what more you would get for the extra part of your budget.

                  So basically, can we use your whole budget to exceed your goals, and is that important? And if it's not important and you just need to meet your goals, this is what meets your goals. And it's all math. I mean, it's all equations these days with how that works, and we can adjust on the fly and move forward.

                  But yeah, that's a rough one.

Riley:         It is a rough one. I don't have any experience with it really firsthand, thank God. Because really it will just lead into the over-promising point that we had the first time. Now you have to back off the over-promise that you never really made to begin with. Just educate your clients.

Rich:          Yeah, not hearing expectations is a problem too, which is why we try to document those things. And that goes right to it. Like, "Oh, I thought this would take five minutes." And it's like, "No, it's up to us to set the expectation that doesn't take five minutes. And also, like all service industry people, we bill in 15 minute increments. So if it takes five minutes, you're going to get billed 15 minutes. But also, if it takes 17 minutes, we'll roll that back to 15. We're kind on it, on the rounding, and it all comes out.

                  All right. So recap the four for us. I don't have them in front of me, but just the four things Riley hates. Mr. Riley, what are they?

Riley:         Over promising on rankings and results, black hat SEO tactics, cheaping out on your marketing and doing it internally, and misunderstandings that would lead to false over promising.

Rich:          Wow. That last one was more loaded than I thought. That's really loaded.

Riley:         Would you like a secret fifth that doesn't have anything to do with marketing?

Rich:          Absolutely.

Catelin:     Yes.

Riley:         Cilantro. Period.

Catelin:     Yes, correct. Cilantro is garbage.

Rich:          Oh, cilantro.

                  I like cilantro. I don't have the soap taste, though. I don't have that gene.

Catelin:     Don't either. It tastes like grass.

Rich:          Oh, but I like that.

Catelin:     Ugh. No.

Rich:          I think I like the soap taste.

                  I like a good leafy, grassy.

Catelin:     No.

Rich:          Oh, so you've got soap, you've got grass.

Catelin:     Arugula all day every day.

Rich:          Oh, arugula is like 10 types better than any leafy green whatsoever.

Catelin:     Give me arugula and a green onion, and I'll be set.

Rich:          Now I kind of want to put arugula on a fish taco. I feel like that would go well. The peppery.

Catelin:     Oh yeah.

Riley:         Yeah.

Rich:          But then I have to make fish tacos, or go buy fish tacos and buy arugula. Yeah, this is too much now. It's too much effort.

                  So what about trashy TV shows? How do you feel about Love is Blind, Riley?

Catelin:     God, please.

Riley:         I don't really get into Love is Blind as much, that's not one that I really follow all that much. I let my girlfriend do all the watching and then she can fill me in if I need to. But some of the other ones that Netflix has isn't too bad [inaudible 00:43:08]

Rich:          Yeah, Catelin thinks they're all a waste of space.

Riley:         Yeah.

Catelin:     It's too much anxiety. I live up there anyway, I don't need help getting hyped up. Drama makes me want to vomit.

Rich:          Oh, I don't internalize any of their drama. I just observe, laugh, enjoy my wine, and, lately, my Girl Scout cookies.

Catelin:     Those were Brian's Girl Scout cookies.

Rich:          No. Oh, I was going to call them the samoas, but that's not what they are.

Catelin:     Caramel delights.

Rich:          Caramel delights in the Midwest, and the peanut butter patties are mine. Brian doesn't like either of those really. He'll eat to peanut butter patties, but those are mine generally. But that was two boxes that were in there, the rest of them are most definitely his.

Catelin:     What did Brian get? Thin mints?

Rich:          We still have thin mins in the freezer from either last year or two years ago. I don't know when.

Catelin:     They're still good.

Rich:          And I told him, I'm like, "Just make a crust out of them. Make some sort of a pie. Use those for a crust because we've got so many and they're frozen. They'll break really easy." So we'll see. If we make a pie, we'll talk about it in a future episode.

Catelin:     With a little grasshopper cocktail.

Rich:          All right. Well, I can see Zac giving us the, "Hey, let's wrap this up. We've gone over a half hour." So Riley, thank you. It was good to see some of these things you hate. They're not too severe, I think they're all legit. You're justified in your hatred.

Riley:         Yeah.

Catelin:     Yeah.

Rich:          And we'll look forward to seeing you on a Things Riley Loves sometime in the future. I know we're recording those episodes at some point>

Catelin:     It's going to be just us.

Rich:          Yep. Oh, that's great. Riley loves his job.

Catelin:     His coworkers, and his kitties, and his Beth.

Riley:         Yes.

Rich:          That's going to be a short episode. That'll be like four minutes [inaudible 00:44:57].

Catelin:     We just did it.

Rich:          Bye.

Riley:         Done.

Rich:          We already did it. Yep. At the end of this one. All right. Well, thank you, Riley.

Riley:         Thanks for having me.

Rich:          We'll talk to you soon. All right.

Catelin:     You're the best. Bye.

Rich:          Bye.

                  That's it for another episode of Cocktails, Tangents, and Answers.

Catelin:     We hope it was as much fun to listen to as it was to make.

Rich:          You can find me on Twitter or Instagram @richmackey. I try not to make it too difficult. It's just my name. And you can find our agency at antidote_71. That's A N T I D O T E, underscore 7 1 on Twitter and Instagram as well.

Catelin:     And you can find me at home sipping a craft cocktail prepared by my in-home bartender. It's my husband.

Rich:          We'll be back with another episode every other week and a whole new cocktail recipe, plenty more tangents, and of course answers to those pressing marketing questions.

Catelin:     And if you'd like to send us a question, you can go to to send us an email.

Rich:          Or you can call our hotline at (402) 718-9971 and leave us a voicemail. Your questions might be used for future episodes of the podcast.

Catelin:     For now, like and subscribe and tune in next time.