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Episode 56 | February 20, 2024

Jay Schwedelson, marketing expert, talks about ethical marketing practices, business ownership, and how not to take anything too seriously.

Listen in as Jay shares his thoughts about the most important aspects of work/life balance, setting boundaries as marketers and entrepreneurs, and living with some levity.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No”the podcast about learning to say no and set boundaries to live our best lives. 

Follow along with me as we learn from fellow strugglers and experts, so that you too can start saying no without feeling fear, guilt, or FOMO. 


Jay Schwedelson is the founder of, the CEO of Outcome Media, and one of the top marketing thought leaders in the industry today.  In this conversation we cover a lot of ground, including boundary setting as both humans and marketers, business ownership, marketing pet peeves, and oh yeah, we laugh a lot, too.

Key Takeaways
[00:01:31] Marketing and ethical boundaries

  • Prioritizing our clients and ourselves
  • There are different kinds of marketing
    • When someone signs up for marketing with brands – living up to your bargain
    • Inundating people in every aspect of their lives – this has less authenticity and doesn’t help build trust
  • Losing the signal when there is too much noise – frequencies should be measured and understood
  • Cookie tracking via Google is going to be eliminated – marketers will have a lack of targeting abilities and it may get more constant

 “Is that too far?”

[00:08:17] Boundaries in Email Marketing

  • When is the best time to send an email? Remember these are human beings – try to know your readers/viewers
  • The importance of putting yourself in other peoples shoes
  • We get caught up in the language depending on the demographic, they want to be spoken to as people first
    • When your emails look like they came from a person rather than a robot
    • Understanding “an actual human wrote this”

 “I’ve tried this thing. I really like it, you should try it too.”

[00:11:30] Influencer marketing insights

  • Micro influencers are driving marketing because they are showing the human ability to utilize this product
    • Human versions or “Reviews” and “yelp”
  • Humanity resonates – people like you are going these places or using these items
    • Drawing lots of engagement when you are relatable
    • Sharing your real self and things that may have helped you
  • Day in the life content – makes us feel connected

[00:15:27] Social Media Isn’t Going Anywhere

  • Recognizing that it is part of most of, if not all, of our lives
  • Knowing that it can be toxic
  • Trying to tune out people who are “haters” – letting them navigate their feelings alone
  • Posting can create lots of response
  • Let the positive stick with you – do not let the negative comment change your course
  • Understand why you are doing it

“First of all, failure is the most relatable topic because we all have failed.”

  • Blocking is a way to set a boundary
  • LinkedIn is a safer space than some of the other platforms

[00:22:08] Marketing Pet Peeves

  • Marketers rely on “best practices,” they look it up on Google and give that information out
    • It’s better to actually test and find out for yourself
  • Assuming everybody has heard half the conversation, not introducing yourself or what you do
  • Lack of proofreading (aka sloppiness)
  • Forgetting to follow-up

[00:24:26] The importance of following-up

  • Checking in with those who have asked to put things on pause
  • Pushing marketing/prospecting rather than following up – you would be surprised how much work you could get
  • Just touch base, don’t be afraid to reach out

“being real, being out there, being yourself, not doing things with an agenda that everything needs to have a call to action.”

[00:28:48] Relationship building in marketing

  • Remembering those you have already connected with
  • Be real, be out there – not everything needs to have a call to action
  • The path for success in marketing is often to just turn back
  • The best results are from relationships and follow through

[00:29:40] Making space for life

  • Remember everyone is busy
  • Shut down work to keep promises with yourself
  • Blocking out time and not deviating
    • This can even be as small as not responding to emails immediately
  • You deserve to be happy and have a balance
  • Don’t waste time, organize your day and maximize your time

“If you don’t have a life outside of your work life, then you’re just not going to be a happy person.”

[00:31:48] Setting expectations for communication

  • Training the recipients on response time – it’s setting yourself up for failure if you always respond right away
  • Book out time without an agenda, meet with people, go on a podcast – make time for  relationship building
  • Create strict availability for your clients/team members
    • Terms and conditions, management of expectations
[00:38:18] Dealing with overwhelm as business owners

  • We all want an urgent response – but it’s not usually needed
  • You will have imposter syndrome for sure
    • Feeling inadequate
    • “Stupider people than you have been able to do this”
  • Not always going to be easy – the truth is that this (business ownership) is hard
  • No matter how hard we work, how kind we are, or how many hours we put in – there will always be more work to do and someone will always be unhappy about something
  • “I don’t know, but ask me in a week and I’ll be an expert.” ( – Jenn Prochaska, 2018)  Be an expert in learning and apply the things you learn towards helping your clients.

[00:41:26] Free marketing resources

Where to Find Jay

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Read Full Transcript Here
Credits and Thanks
  • Many thanks to our friends and families (our “villagers”) for listening, and for your continued support.
  • That’s a Hard No is a production of Clever Girl Marketing
  • Marketing and Production Coordinator, Maura Del Rosario
  • Production Support, Evergreen Podcasts, Noah Foutz, Producer
  • New Rock Anthem Music: Written by Noah, and performed by his band, The Big Leagues
  • Videographer, Kae Holmberg