Season 2 Episode 9
[00:00:00] James Gill: Hi there. Welcome to another episode of the EcoSend podcast. I'm James, your host, and we are now towards the end of series two of the EcoSend Podcast and what a series it's been. I am thrilled to have this week joining me, Kate Clark to be talking all about her journey into the world of sustainability.
[00:01:13] And I'm sure many of you listening will have been on or be going on your own journeys yourselves. So hopefully going to have a ton of great stuff to talk about today with Kate. Kate Clark is an independent, ethical marketing and content strategist that works with purpose-driven coaching businesses to get crystal clear on who their audience is and how to reach them in the most natural and simple way.
[00:01:37] So, Kate, I am thrilled to have you here today. How are you doing? And welcome to the show.
[00:01:43] Kate Clarke: Hello, and thank you for having me. Thank you very much.
[00:01:47] James Gill: Great, great to have you. So I'm keen to, to dig in and just hear more about what you are up to. I know there's a brief intro there, but you're working with, with coaches, working with purpose driven coaches. Tell me more about your business and, and as it stands today, what are you up to?
[00:02:04] Kate Clarke: Yeah. So yeah, like you say, I work with coaches and consultants to really help them on their marketing journey. So the thing that I absolutely love to do is to help people with understanding where their blockers are with their marketing and to help them get past that. So I do a lot of training and mentoring, but also just working on people's strategy and helping them put that into a logical plan.
[00:02:31] I work with a lot of people that have all the ideas and they just don't know how to put that into a plan or what that looks like from, you know, With, in line with their sales or their other objectives and just plotting it all out. And where that sits with different platforms and how to repurpose and what to say on different platforms and how to repurpose it for different platforms and, and how that all works. And how it all works together. Like it's in my problem solving logical structured brain. So, It just works really well in terms of how I help people plant that out. I think some of the blockers that I come across a lot are sometimes they just, they just have all these ideas and they write stuff, but they don't always know or they're completely blocked when it comes to putting the post out there or creating the podcast
[00:03:28] Whatever you know, the next stage; there's a big blocker then, and it comes down to that whole vulnerability and confidence and feeling like a fraud and the imposter syndrome.
[00:03:38] And, you know, there's lots of mindset stuff going on there, which, you know, I don't propose to be any kind of expert. Or coach myself, like I can't psychologically help people and be a therapist, but it's important that to understand where these blockers are so that you can also that I can help them on that journey a bit more.
[00:04:00] So yeah, there's lots of different, different kind of facets to that. I think. I work on. Doing the strategy on getting deeper with the audience, helping people get started with email marketing, putting social media plans together you know, some of the real practical stuff then that comes out of it as well.
[00:04:21] James Gill: Amazing. Amazing. I can totally see how those skills are incredibly valuable to many people because yeah, without, a Kate in the equation, most of the things probably stay in people's heads or I just said out loud, but they rarely become the real thing or at least.
[00:04:37] Kate Clarke: Lots of notebooks, full of notes and ideas, lots of Trello boards that get created, that get done maybe depending on who is how well first people are with spreadsheets. But yeah, it lends well a lot of entrepreneur types like yourself are in the same. Way they have the ideas and they're enthusiastic and excited to get them done. And then stuff doesn't get done. You know, next idea comes...
[00:05:05] James Gill: Yeah! You;ve already had the third idea in a row of something else and, oh, that's boring now. Okay. That's amazing. So I'm, I'm keen to hear more... i, I guess the whole theme of today's show is really your journey to doing this, Kate. So and, and you are working with many of these, these individuals and businesses who are proclaiming to be purpose driven and, and caring about not just the profits, but more than that I take it, you didn't just wake up one day and decide that's what you want to do.
[00:05:34] So, very keen to hear about your, your journey to this point and where, where did, where did it all begin?
[00:05:40] Kate Clarke: This is a very long story. So how far back do you want to...
[00:05:43] James Gill: We got, we got that podcast to talk about it, Sarah. It's fine!
[00:05:48] Kate Clarke: Going back to, let's go back to my corporate kind of world life. There was there was, a corporate life. There's always a corporate life, right? That's where most people kinda start out. And I was in the corporate life for like 15, 16 years. Happily working my way up the ladder and doing all the things that I was supposed to do and then had kids and like everything changed from that point. I think my, I whole kind of outlook on, on life and my perspectives and my priorities all changed within an instant. And I went back to work in the same company part-time when my kids were like nearly a year old. And just knowing that at this point that this was not gonna be my forever journey.
[00:06:36] I needed to know what the next step was. And I think from working in, and I didn't work in, it wasn't like a bad toxic company, but it was just, it was just corporate and it was just, that's just the way it is. You know, like there is, it's, there's just a certain way of doing business 15 years ago that's very different to what it is now.
[00:06:58] And that they weren't massively into the whole fear, uncertainty, and doubt thing when it came to Marketing. But there was a lot of that around. And I think I just thought that the fear, uncertainty, and doubt way of Marketing things was the only way until, you know, you start to open your eyes and it always did. Like it didn't sit well with me. This idea that we were, you know, using manipulation tactics to get people to buy things that, did they really need them? I don't know. But they're paying thousands and thousands and thousands. But the company I worked for wasn't like that. Like they were very much against the fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but, there was a lot of that around in the industry.
[00:07:35] Because I worked in the cybersecurity industry and there was a lot of that around in the industry. There was a lot of manipulation and, and cyber companies telling small businesses that, you know, if they, if they didn't spend thousands and thousands on all these different things, then you know, the hackers were going to get you and...
[00:07:51] James Gill: right. Right. So you had a bit of a crisis of conscious of like, this is not what we should be doing as as individuals.
[00:07:59] Kate Clarke: And you know, when you have, when you have kids, things do, like change in your brain because you start to think more about the future and less selfish as well. It's less about you and more about, you know, these other little people in your life that you think about and it's, yeah, it changes you.
[00:08:15] So then at that point I was thinking about, well, where does my career journey go from here? And I knew, I, I knew that. To work around family. I mean, you know, going back, my kids are seven now, so going back to the way business was eight years ago, like flexible working was around, but it wasn't the default and it certainly wasn't something within the company I was working for that I could have that flexibility around family.
[00:08:43] And I remember broaching the subject with my manager at the time and he was just like, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Well, it's not actually that far away though, so we need to kinda broach that subject now. So yeah, I was kind of disillusioned in that way, so I started thinking about how to plot the journey into working for myself.
[00:09:01] And when I got there, I just knew at that point from the past experience, and I'd been through a whole journey with infertility as well, and that changed me in terms of like on the spiritual journey and wanting to work with people that were making the world a healthier and happier place and so there was, there was that element to it. And then I, in 2021, I partnered up with Hannah Cox and we launched the Better Business Network together. And this was kind of the next fork in the road for me as I got in touch with Hannah and I said, you know, I'm at this place in my business and I want to do better.
[00:09:39] And she was doing stuff with sustainability and I knew I kind of wanted to dip my toe in that area, but didn't really know what that like. Because I didn't really know a huge amount about sustainability at this point in time. And she said, well, I'm launching this network and I need somebody to come help me.
[00:09:54] And, and that just opened up my eyes to so much!
[00:09:56] I've met so many businesses on this. And it's been, it's been inspirational and eye-opening to, you know, all these people making huge changes in the world and unapologetically and courageously, and it is inspiring. It's massively inspiring.
[00:10:17] James Gill: I mean, that's already just incredibly, incredibly exciting because. I mean, we can maybe dig into the Better Business Network a little bit more, because I'm sure many people listening may have come across it themselves. But I guess from something we've felt for a long time is like, I don't know if you found this too, but there's often this assumption that if you are running a business, you care about profit. And if you run in a charitable sector, you care about doing good and never the two should cross paths. And in reality, like actually once you start stepping into this world, as I'm sure in a Better Business Network, it's all about this. There's a lot of businesses that are doing a lot more than just making profit and helping in incredible ways, often in ways that can have an even bigger impact than some charities I guess.
[00:11:04] Kate Clarke: Absolutely. And there's, there's no one size fits all kind of way of doing this either; is what I've discovered. Because I think I always had this thing of, well, I'm not a big massive entrepreneur. I'm not a social enterprise. I'm not changing the world. I haven't got a product that's out there, but it doesn't matter. Like that's not the point. The point is, That you want to change the way things are done now, and no matter what it is that your profession is, whether it be Marketing or Finance or Legal or whatever it is; if you have that core want and need. At the heart of what you do, then you're going to have a ripple effect out to every other business and people out there that, that hopefully then has turns the tides. Which I think it already is, and that's the amazing thing about the Better Business Network is that it's such a different mix of people who do different jobs and some of them are social enterprise, some of them have products and services that really are changing the world and, you know, being regenerative and that circular economy and all of that kinda stuff. Some of them are people like me in Marketing, and Legal, and Finance who, who just have this need to work with people on the same level. And it's not about, it's not about profit, it's about putting people first.
[00:12:25] James Gill: Absolutely. So is the Better Business Network, is that primarily a UK based thing, or is it around the world? If there's anyone listening, could they sign up?
[00:12:34] Kate Clarke: Yeah. I mean, it's global, when you think about it, because we've got, well, not we because I don't work for the Better Business Network.
[00:12:41] James Gill: Don't worry. We're not, we're not trying to...
[00:12:43] Kate Clarke: ... I still say 'we' like my thing, it's not my thing. But there are members from Canada and there was. Somebody somewhere else as well. So yeah, it's, it's absolutely a global thing and I think it will become over time, more.
[00:13:02] James Gill: Yeah, absolutely. So, so that was a big turning point for you. And so talk me through, so how long ago that was? 2021 you were saying.
[00:13:12] Kate Clarke: Yeah. So from that point; meeting all of the members through there and I did my carbon literacy training. So if you're a a member, you get to do the carbon literary training for free. I think, I'm pretty sure it's still on there for for members to do for free. So Hannah runs those, those carbon literary trainings, which again, another massive eye opener in terms of, you know, the effect of climate change, the climate migration and I mean, I was blown away, I think the biggest stat that stood out for me was how much ice is actually melting from the polar ice caps. And it was like tons and tons and tons of ice. I can't even remember how to put it into context now cause I'd probably get it wrong but yeah it's like tons of ice melting, like every day.
[00:14:04] But it helped me understand how, you know, I'm just a small business. I work from home and I don't travel anywhere. I don't really go on airplanes very often. You know, once a year on a holiday. I didn't even do that for a few years. But it's still understanding how you can reduce your carbon footprint, even when you are a small business in that sense. And the effect of digital, you know, the effect on the climate from technology and digital is more bigger than what I originally thought. And you will obviously know this because you've probably, you've probably dug into a lot of this stuff.
[00:14:40] One of the people who r eally brought this home was a guy called Gerry McGovern and I saw him speak in Manchester and oh my God, what an engaging person. I've
[00:14:50] never anybody that can drive a message home as much as he really like punched me in the chest with it. But he has this 'Worldwide Waste'... I think it's actually just a webinar at the minute. I'm not sure if he's wrote a book on it, but he really goes into all the detail on how much materials are used in making a phone or making a laptop and how that is exponentially growing to a point where it's going to be unmanageable in a few years and that is quite scary.
[00:15:21] James Gill: Absolutely. I think that the digital side, I mean ourselves, like I, we were talking just before the episode, on the subject of ice melting. It's incredibly easy to believe that today when we're in the UK and there is hotter than I can remember it. But I think everyone who works at their laptop, you know, maybe they work out of a, their own house or out of a Starbucks or whatever.
[00:15:46] You sort of. It's a very clean, seemingly way to work. Like you're not shoveling coal and you're not sitting next to an exhaust fme, but, but actually like the supply chain of essentially everything getting to you in a web browser and you even the computer you're using is phenomenal.
[00:16:05] And, and when you think about just how the internet works and computers sitting in very large data centers needing huge amounts of power and huge amounts of water as well for cooling.
[00:16:18] Kate Clarke: To be cool, don't they?
[00:16:20] James Gill: Yeah! And so it's, it's all of these things.
[00:16:23] Kate Clarke: You've got on a website, the amount of pictures and the amount of images you send in through email, like all of this mounts, mounts up to the massive amounts of data that is then stored...
[00:16:33] James Gill: Exactly!. And, and I guess to your point earlier, as an individual it sometimes feels like there's not much you can do, but individually, even if you have just a small website, it can still be optimized and then also just the number of people that access that website.
[00:16:48] A small website may be accessed by thousands and thousands of people. So there's these small changes, and especially in the Marketing profession, like the amount of impact you can have as well from the message you send out there as well about the kind of business you want to be running and, and the kind of message you want to be putting out there into the world.
[00:17:06] I think in the digital sector it is a big problem today, but I think there's also so much opportunity to, for it to have a, a more positive impact.
[00:17:16] Kate Clarke: Yeah and you know, Marketing is often blamed for the problems that we're in, which is understandable. But Marketing in, in its truest form, like when it, you know, the, the real beginnings of Marketing was about getting the right product or service to the person who's looking for that product or service.
[00:17:40] That is the true essence of what it is, not the manipulation and the creating the scarcity. So people think that they need to buy loads and then feel guilty because they've consumed an a massive amount of stuff; food and clothing and products and all the rest of it. And you know, that's still, we've still got an economy that relies on that.
[00:18:05] You know, so what you going to do? But there's still a huge amount of, like you say, positivity and Marketing has the ability to, to have these ripple effects.
[00:18:20] James Gill: Yeah, absolutely. And I think there is this big conflict in, in Marketing. I know we've had this conversation on the podcast before a few times of like, you know, being a marketer and part of your job is getting people to buy a thing and like how you square that away with trying to be more climate conscious.
[00:18:41] And I think, yeah, often it's about trying to do things as ethically as possible. Hopefully marketing the products that are better than the alternatives. And I think also, I guess in digital as well, there's sort of this maybe a push back against this sort of 'growth at all costs' mentality that's being quite pervasive for a while where all the matters is that numbers go up until the right, it doesn't really matter how.
[00:19:08] And I think there's a lot more nuance to what it means to be a successful business in 2023 than there ever was before.
[00:19:18] Kate Clarke: Yes. Yeah, it's an interesting area. I think it's just interesting as the tides are turning and how, what direction that is gonna go in. That's why I think I love working with coaches and people in this kind of health and wellbeing space. And you know, for me it's about, it's about humans and people and that's what's more important to me.
[00:19:44] Not about how much stuff that they need or I do think it's really important when it comes to product marketing that we are selling the stuff that's. Well, I would love just to see everything go into that circular economy model at some point when it comes to products, but obviously that's a huge, huge job that point.
[00:20:10] Huge. But it's going in the right direction. But for me it's all about people.
[00:20:16] James Gill: Yeah, absolutely. So maybe that takes us onto one of your points around the future of business and Marketing and what that looks like. I guess there's a lot of people talking about all sorts of, well, there's always people talking about buzzwords, but like, I feel like now more than ever, there's sort of this sense that.
[00:20:35] 'Are we now living in the future? And are any of us gonna ha are the robots gonna take over?' But, well, how do you see like the next, I don't know. I don't know if I should even say a few years, like few months,
[00:20:47] Kate Clarke: I know, I know how things are, how things are developing at the minute in the in the technology sector or... It blows my mind, I think. I think it's hard. It's hard to say how quickly this is going to happen, and we are in such a time of revolution, really, like it's going to be seen as a big era of revolution like AI.
[00:21:11] As much as I love AI, because it makes my job so much easier in so many ways,
[00:21:16] I think there's going to be a big divide. You know, like humans are, are, I read a book. The guy that wrote, 'Sapiens' wrote a, wrote a follow up called 'Homo Deus', and that was like his prediction on basically where humanity and AI is going and how humans are basically going to be become the cattle.
[00:21:39] And we are just going to be used to mine the data that's needed for the AI, which is not the nicest of outlooks, I've got to say.
[00:21:46] James Gill: Yeah!
[00:21:46] Kate Clarke: I think there's gonna be a huge divide ... not in a, in a Luddite and... you know, this is technology and these are the Luddites that are trying to stop from progressing. But in a way that we are going to have to grasp hold of what it means to be a really human, right?
[00:22:04] And the connection with the community; we have lost so much of that over the past 50 years even. But I can see people looking more towards that now and wanting more of it.
[00:22:20] And you know, even when it comes to having babies and moving away, we would all move away from home and, and have babies and be isolated.
[00:22:26] Whereas I think even now people are thinking differently about that and wanting to be closer to family. And, you know, that whole thing about, you know, you need a village to bring up a child. And it's so true and I do see a change in people's mentality in that way. So I can see that people are waking up to this thing that, you know, to be human is to be in community and, and be connected to each other and be sociable.
[00:22:54] Because we're sociable animals.
[00:22:56] I think using technology to enhance; that has been incredible over the past however many years. You know, you just look at Covid and how we were able to connect with each other through technology, and that would never have happened when we were in this huge lockdown. But the way it's going now, I think there's going to be, yeah, there's going to be two camps.
[00:23:19] For business, obviously that means something completely different. As the tides turn for the circular economy and the regenerative business stuff hopefully will, you know, will make a bit big difference in the next few years.
[00:23:33] James Gill: Yeah, that's actually really fascinating hearing you share some thoughts on that, Kate. Yeah, it's very hard. And I don't know if anyone can quite predict the future, but it's, it's a very difficult thing to do. And and I guess Al also, what's difficult is predicting the first order consequences and the second order consequences, third order, there's like lots of knock on effect and I think I share some, some belief there with you. While there are some things that will become incredibly technically advanced and maybe a lot of things automated away, there's also the, almost at the same time, and driven by that is this drive for more human connection and more authentic, true actually being with those that you're closest to and, and, and not having technology be anywhere near anything because it's Craving that truly human and natural kind of experience.
[00:24:28] And that's just such a fascinating thing for business, for Marketing as well of like, you know, that not everything will be digital in the future. And if anything, the growth of things that are adamantly not digital, I think could be bigger than than ever in the, in the future as we're just craving.
[00:24:46] Being out of the I don't wanna say metaverse. Oh, I said it, I said metaverse, that's a swear word I think on here...! have to put 'explicit content'. No, it's fascinating. I, I, I feel like out this episode is flown by Kate, because we're basically almost the time. So before, before we wrap up, like I want to make sure you have some time just to share.
[00:25:10] I know, I know there's a load of stuff you've been learning on your journey. Many things we've heard so far. Any specific things you wanna give a shout out to? Any, any people, any movements, any networks, any of your own content? Now is your moment to, to surface any of that, Kate.
[00:25:31] Kate Clarke: So much. There's so much stuff. I've already mentioned obviously the Better Business Network and the Carbon Industry Training, which have been huge in my journey. I think there's the guys over at Avery and Brown, which are a marking consultancy, they have something called the regenerative business map or something. And that's a, a free download, which is a huge, like, just pulling in all of the different elements that businesses need to think about and how to be, you know, how to have an impact and not have an impact, and not have a, a footprint or...
[00:26:05] But also Good Business Club, which again, is full of like-minded people who are looking to make big changes in the world and do business in a good way. The ethical move is one for Marketing which has a list of pledges there on how to do Marketing in a non-manipulative way.
[00:26:28] James Gill: Wow!
[00:26:29] Kate Clarke: Who else was there?
[00:26:30] I'm trying to think. There was definitely someone, oh if you are a coach or consultant, check out 'Better, Bolder, Braver', because they, again, through ethical Marketing, but they have a coach's Marketing journey, which is all about creating a really simple... and it goes through everything from like mindset to your story to, to product and pricing.
[00:26:47] But it's all about doing that in an ethical way so that you are building that authentic trust because it's all about, conversations over conversions. I'm all about the, the metrics and the data, but to actually create relationships with your customers so that they become long term customers and not manipulating people into believing that there's something that they need through fear . And then in the long term, that's not really a good, a good customer, is it? So so yeah, they're kind of my main ones. I think obviously myself
[00:27:24] James Gill: Yes. Don't forget yourself, Kate!
[00:27:27] Kate Clarke: The stuff that I'm doing. I have a, a fortnightly newsletter, so I share loads of stuff on, on Marketing and content Marketing and all of this stuff about, you know, authentic connections and all of that lovely stuff on mindset as well. I have an email Marketing course actually, which is helping people get started with email Marketing and that goes strategy.
[00:27:46] James Gill: Handy for some of our listeners!
[00:27:48] Kate Clarke: Definitely. How to set that up and how to promote it.
[00:27:53] James Gill: That's, that is definitely the sweet spot for our listeners, I'm sure. And people can find you on LinkedIn as well. We'll put all of those names and hopefully all of those links into the show notes so that people can find any number of those amazing people and resources and, and networks there's so much practical stuff from this episode, Kate. It's amazing. I want to go and join all of those things and learn all of those things right now. So,
[00:28:18] Kate Clarke: Good. I hope it helps somebody on their journey Somewhere along the line.
[00:28:22] James Gill: It almost comes back full circle to you at the start, wanting to do it all and I need someone to help plan out what charter we should do it all in. Amazing. Kate, thank you so much for being with us on the show today. It's been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you and thank you to our listeners as well for, for listening in. Really, really appreciate every single person listening to the show. If that's you listening right now, thank you and we will be back with many more episodes soon.
[00:28:50] If you've enjoyed this show as as much as I have recording it please do let us know by whatever podcast player you're using. Just give it a thumbs up, give it a five stars, give it a comment. It helps more and more people find the show and hear from our amazing, amazing guests. So thank you very much and see you next time.