Marketing agency owner Krystal Hobbs has good, vivid memories of sawdust. It’s something she recalls in the introductory episode of her new podcast: Beyond the Tools.
Her stepfather was a carpenter and, while she was still growing up, he would come home, bringing the dust with him along with his latest construction ideas, blueprints and updates. Her family was living in government housing for a time, and her mother and stepfather talked and talked about building a new home of their own.
“It was a huge dream,” she says.
“It wasn’t until I was about 13 that we finally moved into the house that my stepdad built. And the realization of that dream is something that I think I carried with me.”
On the other side of things, her father became a real estate agent and worked his way up in the sales ranks. And as she followed his work, tagging along to check out properties and on weekends at open houses, it was never lost on Hobbs the meaning for people, as they were able to find the right fit for them to match their life changes – to downsize when needed, or up-size to serve a growing family.
Then there were the home service companies, the painters, plumbers, HVAC and more she noticed offering greater comfort and peace of mind. Hobbs took it all in.
In her own career, she started Newfoundland and Labrador-based social media marketing company Reflective Marketing in 2014. The business has grown, and she’s found – perhaps to a degree inspired by family – she’s been personally drawn to work with companies in the residential construction and home service trades.
Also serving on the board of the Canadian Home Builders Association – Newfoundland and Labrador, she developed Beyond the Tools as a way to reach further, to help more early-stage companies in construction step into the world of digital marketing, while offering established companies some tips and food for thought on what might help them gather more regular leads and generally take their company to the next level.
“I see it as a way that at the very least I can educate that audience a bit more on how they can use online marketing tools to grow,” she said.
The podcast also gives potential clients a preview of Hobbs and her company. She said she started developing the podcast on her own atop her regular marketing work, but quickly realized she would need help if she wanted the podcast to be all that she wanted it to be.
She turned to Jay Wong and Podcast Your Brand for help refining her approach.
“They handle all the technical side of things and have given me guidance on strategy,” she said. But the final content is down to her.
Rather than doing all the talking, the upbeat Hobbs brings in guests from both the construction and general business world, while offering her own thoughts as well. An early episode features Lauren Mills, who handles marketing and sales at St. John’s-based New Victorian Homes, while another features Mary Jane Copps (aka “the phone lady”), author of “The Phone Book: Essential Telephone Communication Skills.”
Several episodes were completed up front to assure a smooth rollout to the greatest degree possible. Episodes are not beginning on a hard schedule, but at least one new episode a week can be expected to start and are available on Apple podcasts and Spotify.
Hobbs said they’re being kept short so that they can be heard in short spurts, such as the drive to a job site.
But her marketing company has seen steady business even in the most recent COVID-19 related lockdown in Newfoundland and Labrador. There is a push online and, if nothing else, she plans to encourage companies as they venture out there.
“I think now more than ever (…) I think putting yourself out there and putting your company out there online is more crucial than ever. So whether that’s a podcast or a Facebook ad, or whatever that message is, now is the time to get serious about doing those things.”