Kara Brown is the Founder and CEO of LeadCoverage, a B2B marketing firm specializing in lead generation in the supply chain space. She has an impressive marketing background and was one of the early employees at Echo Global Logistics. Under her contribution, Echo exhibited rapid growth, leading to its successful public listing in 2009.
Beyond her work at LeadCoverage, Kara continues to make career strides, demonstrating her communications prowess while managing a significant crisis at a Nashville-based supply chain management company. In her move to Atlanta in 2016, she fostered business growth and played an instrumental role in cultivating the city’s female entrepreneurs. She also co-founded CloseHer, an initiative aimed at establishing a supportive community for women in sales.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [02:54] Kara Brown talks about LeadCoverage and how it helps clients
- [03:41] Why Kara chose to focus on the supply chain niche only
- [06:22] What made Kara start her own company?
- [11:09] The evolution of Kara’s service offerings
- [19:57] How Kara attracts and hires great talent
- [26:17] Kara discusses LeadCoverage’s core values
- [29:44] The three main things you should measure in your marketing and sales funnel
- [32:36] What are some mistakes people make with cold outreach?
- [35:07] The importance of being proactive and following-up
In this episode…
Navigating the world of B2B marketing and lead generation in the supply chain market requires a deep understanding of client needs, innovative strategies, and effective follow-up techniques. Kara Brown, a seasoned marketing professional and the Founder and CEO of LeadCoverage, has demonstrated unrivaled expertise in these areas as she helps clients boost their marketing ROI, secure valuable leads, and drive business growth.
So what does it take to thrive in the challenging and competitive landscape of B2B marketing in the supply chain sector? According to Kara, the key lies in crafting targeted public relations, developing a data-driven demand generation strategy, and ensuring timely follow-ups with leads. This approach not only helps businesses improve lead conversion rates but also enables them to maintain a strong and consistent brand presence in the market.
Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz, featuring Kara Brown, Founder and CEO of LeadCoverage, a B2B public relations and demand generation agency specializing in the logistics and supply chain space. Kara shares her insights on the importance of effective cold outreach, maximizing trade show and webinar success, and leveraging account-based marketing to improve lead generation and conversions in the supply chain industry.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Echo Global Logistics
- Amanda Bohl on LinkedIn
- Will Haraway on LinkedIn
- Jeremy Gave on LinkedIn
- Matt Needleman on LinkedIn
- Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark Winters
- Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
- “EO Atlanta | You Can Have It All With Ethan King, Co-Founder of Zeus’ Closet” on Inspired Insider
- “How to Sell More And Save Time with Robert Hartline of Absolute Wireless” on Inspired Insider
- “[Top Chicago Business Series] The ROI of Core Values With Zach Wilcox, CEO of Fide Freight” on Inspired Insider
- “Leading with Passion with Gino Wickman Founder of EOS Worldwide” on Inspired Insider
- “The Two Leadership Traits To Explode Your Business With Mark C. Winters Author and Founder of RocketFuelNow.com” on Inspired Insider
Sponsor for this episode
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Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.
Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host Dr Jeremy Weisz?
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of inspiredinsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have Kara Brown LeadCoverage and Kara before I formally introduce you I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out of the podcast since Kara is also an E Oh, um, I always like to mention my friends in EO Ethan of Zeus. You know, Ethan,
Kara Brown 0:46
I do, he’s awesome. Yes.
Jeremy Weisz 3:33
He’s great. We have an interview with him. Robert Hartline also EO Nashville was on the podcast and there’s been several awesome, actually, Zach Wilcox. Chicago is in the logistics industry. And that’s what Kara and her company specializes in. So Zach, you have to check this one out. Because always lead generation demand gen tips for logistics homes or anyone is going to be helpful. So check those out, and many more on inspiredinsider.com. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. How do we do that we actually run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast. We do the strategy, the accountability and the full execution. In production behind the podcast we call ourselves the magic elves that are behind the scenes making everything happen. For me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships and I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions, go to rise25.com to learn more. And today I have Kara Brown she’s CEO of LeadCoverage which executes lead generation specifically for the supply chain space and Kara has a long storied career in marketing, including being one of the first employees at Echo Global Logistics actually, which is here in Chicago. So I heard about them early on, Kara, and they grew really quickly. I mean, you know, because you were one of the first employees that go global, and they went public. And actually, your name is on the company’s 2009 IPO press release. So, Kara, thanks for joining me.
Kara Brown 2:42
Yeah, it’s my pleasure. Thanks so much trip down memory lane for my friends. It’s extended with.
Jeremy Weisz 2:47
Yeah, I want to talk about what you learned at Echo global at some point, but talk about LeadCoverage and what you do.
Kara Brown 2:54
Yeah, so LeadCoverage, we do demand gen analyst relations and public relations, really only for the supply chain market. But what we do and what we’ve learned, and the execution that we do for our supply chain, clients can be used in any b2b space.
Jeremy Weisz 3:11
So, I can see why because, you were at a global you went to another one, I think, early on, was in Atlanta. And, I mean, you’ve worked at a number of them. And I’m curious, did it take some discipline to stick in that niche? I’m wondering if you had other inquiries, you know, like, oh, you’re doing this for them? Can you help me, but it seemed like you’ve stayed pretty disciplined in that?
Kara Brown 3:41
Yeah, I’m not sure in my corporate career, if it was intentional, actually, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t intentional in my 20s. I wasn’t like, oh, I can’t wait to be a supply chain demand gen marketer, when I grow up. It was definitely not a strategic plan. I think post Echo IPO, I got picked up by an air freight forwarder. And then from an air freight forwarder, to a contract logistics company. And then from contract logistics to garbage brokerage, which was different, but kind of similar. And I think the value of the niche, I understood very early on, that the marketing skills or the finance skills, or the strategy skills that one acquires as a corporate employee are transferable. But the niche knowledge, and the ability to create relationships in a very specific niche is something that I tell a lot of people as they’re starting out, like, hey, it’s just worked for me, right? Also super helpful, that the niche that I’m in is a $2 trillion market. So we didn’t pick a small one, which was fantastic for me, personally, and for the business, but I actually just got back from a phenomenal trade show last week in Orlando. And what I think is really valuable about being in a niche is I’m having a conversation with someone I’ve never met before, a huge space and a client walks by, and I was like, oh, actually, like, this person right here could give you a recommendation right here. And the guy’s like, oh, she’s amazing. And you should work with her. And we’ve been working together for five years. So the ability to sort of be in one place in one space, and do what we do really well perfect it and then share it with a $2 trillion space. It’s been awesome.
Jeremy Weisz 5:31
What are your favorite trade shows in the industry? What was the one in Orlando?
Kara Brown 5:34
Oh, the one in Orlando was the transportation intermediary association barnburner of a show. It’s great, actually, it’s actually a really good show. It’s, it’s all of the brokers and mostly SMB to mid-cap brokers, which was great. I’m actually favorite show in the space. It’s new. It’s called manifest. And they do a really good job of finding the right tech players, the correct sort of service providers, and then also, they’ve got a ton of shippers that go to that show. So my clients are looking for the shippers at these trade shows. We’re not because we don’t actually work for shippers themselves, but a really good mix. And then the show was just done really well. It’s a really well-done show.
Jeremy Weisz 6:14
You could have kept on the career. I mean, obviously you have an amazing track record. What made you start your own company?
Kara Brown 6:22
It’s a really good question. When I moved to Atlanta, I had actually started it once before. So in Chicago, I was one of those women that popped out kids got an MBA and started a company all at the same time. I don’t do anything easy. Just why make it easy, right? Yeah, why have you stayed home mom and like, just be a stay-at-home mom, you should definitely go back to grad school and start a company all at the same time. It was really because someone asked me they said, hey, are you not working right now? Could you just like send some emails for us and help us out. And Amanda Bol, who’s now the CEO of Ship Primers was our first customer at the time and she paid me $1,400 a month to write emails and manage her HubSpot early on and I just really enjoyed it. And it wasn’t actually about being my own boss because frankly, I worked a lot more when I was a consultant. I worked corporate, but it was great. And I was really happy. And so when I exited my last role, my husband said to me, you know, you were happiest when you worked for yourself. This is after I had a couple job offers. And then I learned this statistic that less than 2% of female founders will ever break $1 million in revenue. But American Express number, it’s actually 1.7% of women that start companies will ever break a million dollars, top-line revenue. And I thought, okay, hold my beer. Let’s do this next. Right. I did an IPO I work for private equity. I’ve done the venture capital raise, let’s do it for ourselves. And so it’s just been amazing. I think moving to Atlanta was a really good opportunity for us to sort of start over in a new place. Chicago is lovely. It’s a wonderful place to be an entrepreneur. But as a woman, it was really hard to get in the door. And so in Atlanta, it’s just such a welcoming community for minorities of all kinds, putting myself into that sort of box in terms of business. And just there’s so many resources down here. The other question that you don’t get living in Atlanta is what business school that you go to, because there’s no Kellogg and booth down here. So moving to Atlanta, learning the stat, I just decided, let’s do this. Let’s try this. And I did it. So I joined EOA, which is the club for folks 250,000 up to a million, the EO accelerator program. And they told me your goal is a million bucks. And I was like, Yeah, that sounds about right. So we did that in eight months, we were in and out. And then I learned the stat but let there are so few women who break 10 million in revenue bootstrapped, it is statistically irrelevant. They literally don’t track it, because it’s so small. So you can guess what the next goal is for us. Right? Yeah, do it yourself. Why not? We’re having a blast.
Jeremy Weisz 9:07
I know several people actually from Chicago, besides it being cold moved to Atlanta, just for that reason for the diversity and opportunity, etc. So, you mentioned women leaders? And can you talk about Chief for a second in the involvement Chief?
Kara Brown 9:23
Yeah, Chief was a really fun experiment. For me. In the thick of the pandemic, I joined Chief, it is a really solid group of executive-level women that learned from each other. Unfortunately, being an entrepreneur, we just have different challenges than folks that are in corporate America. I don’t have a boss, I don’t get a paycheck when I pay myself. But no one decides how much I make besides me, right? There’s just there’s a lack of politics, I’m sure that my organization has politics, I’m not naive, but I don’t participate because I’m at the top right. And so while I loved my time at Chief, I think what really brought home for me from my experience achieve was that I belong in EO, I belong with other entrepreneurs that are, you know, sometimes putting payroll on an AmEx and not taking a paycheck and don’t have security and are making decisions that affect the lives of the people who work for them. I think, as an entrepreneur, I take the responsibility of paychecks that pay car notes and mortgages and health care and daycare very seriously. And it’s just a different level of stresses and responsibility when you’re an owner that has started a company than when you’re a corporate employee who’s running something or someone else.