IAM1612 – Branding Expert Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed with Strong Brand Strategy

Podcast Interview with Molly Bossardt

Why it was selected: Molly has a great pulse on understanding how branding goes hand in hand with alignment, authenticity and also your “why.” It was also great to hear about her journey (and her father's business) and how she has built the business during the pandemic–her “pandemic baby” and continues to think of new ways she can help support her ideal clients.

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Previous Episode:



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Molly Bossardt Teaser 0:00

Business owner gets really hard right like there are challenging periods. If you can't come back to yourself and remind yourself of the why, you get lost and you start to ponder, you start to lose sight of your goal what you bring and you start to become inauthentic. You have to continually remind yourself to be authentic as a business and as a business owner and play to your strengths.

Intro 0:27

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs startups and CEOs without listening to a long long long interview if so you've come to the right place Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of this is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:54

Hello hello hello this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, I have a very special guest on my show today. I have Molly Bossardt of bread and butter digital marketing. Molly, super excited to have you on the show.

Molly Bossardt  1:04

Hi, I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 1:06

Yes, excited to talk about all the awesome things that you're doing and of course, before we jump into that I want to read a little bit more about Molly so you can hear about some of those awesome things. Molly is the founder and CEO of bread and butter digital marketing, a branding and marketing agency based in Charlottesville Virginia. She has over nine years of experience in education in New York City and London working in sales marketing and customer success. She combines her background in the Arts including a master's in arts from Sotheby's Institute of Art with her startup marketing skills to help Brands succeed by creating on-brand content and effective marketing strategies. She's passionate about creating authentic high-quality visual content that turns onlookers into brand Advocates. Molly has a passion for wine, travel and photography and that she leverages in both her personal and professional lives. Molly, super excited to have you on the show again. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Molly Bossardt  1:59

Yeah definitely

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Gresham Harkless 2:00

Awesome, well let's get it started then. To kind of kick everything off I wanted to rewind the clock, hear a little bit more on how you got started what I call your CEO story.

Molly Bossardt  2:09

Yeah so I'm kind of new to the CEO role. I started this two years ago so this was my pandemic baby, so yeah it was kind of born out of this. I had moved, I was living in New York and I moved back to Virginia to my hometown of Charlottesville and I noticed that a lot of small even some of the medium-sized businesses really needed support around marketing and having good creative high-quality photos and those things. So noticing that need along with my own internal need for some freedom, flexibility and autonomy, I dipped my toe into what it would be like to be an entrepreneur and I started really slow. I had one client one project and that just began to Cascade and now I  juggle anywhere from I'd say like 8 to 12 clients. I have a small team of people that are working for me and working with me. I provide a lot of different variety of services, they're pretty tailored to clients needs but we can talk about that a little bit more.

Gresham Harkless 3:30

Yeah absolutely, no I definitely want to dive down deep into that but I love hearing about your pandemic baby. I think that when we were going through, I'm going to call it hustle and bustle but there's a lot of other words that people might use, the craziness of what was going to happen and what came about, I think one of the things I remember is that I heard or read that a lot of the most successful Ventures and opportunities were started during a crazy time just like we experienced during the pandemic. And a lot of times these were things that were going to be birthed during that time that we would think about years and years in the future.

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Molly Bossardt  4:04

Yeah absolutely I mean I'd always played around with the idea of being an entrepreneur. To rewind or give a little bit more background on that, my father had a catering company when I was growing up so I got to see him experience what it was like to be an entrepreneur and it's funny the marketing came in even back then when I was like 14, 15,16. My dad's business didn't have a website and I just kept hounding him about creating a website because I was like Dad you're gonna need a website. This was obviously a while ago if I'm dating myself but you know early 2000s maybe, and so yeah that's what I think is a big part of the journey or part of my story too that I wanted to mention having seen my father in that experience, I think was really like the foundational to who I am.

Gresham Harkless 5:03

Yeah, absolutely and I love that you use that word Journey because I think so many times when you see people, you know you have your team, you have the clients and all of those things ,you don't see that first client that you talked about and getting that first client working on that but even going farther back have those seeds were kind of planted or maybe I should say seeds were baked and put into the oven since your dad was a caterer and see them blossom up into something really phenomenal that you've been able to work on.

Molly Bossardt  5:29

Yeah exactly, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 5:31

So I wanted to now drill down a little bit more could you tell us exactly how you're working with your clients and how you're serving them.

Molly Bossardt 5:37

Right yeah. It's funny that this summer has been quite an evolution on how I am working with my clients. So that's another thing I think that's an important nugget to being a CEO is like be prepared to evolve and change especially at the beginning. When I initially started, I was helping a lot of clients with branding and website design and it evolved into my business mostly providing support around marketing. So, social media organic, social media marketing, paid social media marketing, and occasionally email marketing. Basically being the outsourced marketing person for these businesses that's the role that I was fulfilling. As my business has grown and evolved, I've also scaled and I'm working with larger businesses now so the services I'm offering are different. Now I'm stepping into more of a like consulting kind of role. That's where I am now. I also still provide monthly marketing services for clients, so there's many ways to work with me. Another thing that I just rolled out and I'm really really excited about and can't wait to hear your feedback on this because you are in this role as well is I'm launching a marketing Mastermind. One thing I noticed was that a lot of small businesses need to be marketing, they want to be marketing but it's really hard for them to set aside the money to hire an agency, to hire someone who can do this for them. Another thing I noticed was there tends to be someone in-house who is already doing marketing, so whether that be a manager or even a marketing manager like someone who has a little bit of experience in marketing but they're a little shaky on their foundations, they're a little shaky on strategy, they aren't quite sure how to do advertising on Facebook or Google. This program essentially is gonna be the first time ever doing it so there's going to be a lot of ebbs and flows but more or less, I'm envisioning people can come in and join and be in a group work alongside peers and me lead them and teach them this proven like framework for marketing that I've done for my clients and that's working for them.

Gresham Harkless 8:18

I absolutely love that concept and the idea and I definitely think it's going to be for lack of a better term a grand slam or home run for you to be able to do that. What would you consider to be what I like to call your secret sauce and this could be for yourself, the business, or a combination of both, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

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Molly Bossardt  8:38

Yeah I think for probably me personally and by an extension of that my business bread and butter, what makes us different is we are able to straddle branding and high quality asset creation with strategy and implementation. I find in the world of marketing agencies or marketers you have one or you have the other and it's very rare that you can have a person who can really have both of those qualities and trades. It's interesting, it goes back to my degree, I have an undergrad from JMU in art history but my grad degree is from Sotheby's. I studied art business so a lot of that you know, I have that analytical background that analytical brain and those capabilities but I also have this creative side to me. So I think that's what makes me unique as a marketer but also by extension bread and butter unique as well because we can we prioritize both things.

Gresham Harkless 9:40

Awesome. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack so this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Molly Bossardt  9:51

Not all days do I get to this but most days I start my morning by journaling. Journaling any fears, anxieties, things on my mind and it just like helps. It's my form of meditation. I'm not great at just sitting there and letting thoughts evaporate because they never do, I'm constantly running thoughts through my brain so getting them out on a journal first thing in the morning really helps me. I've also been walking more that's been like very meditative for me when I started the journey too. I think I'm not sure exactly where people listening to this might be in their CEO Journey but when you're starting, one thing that really helped me I actually have a book, it's called The 100 dollar startup I have it right here. I pulled it for you guys, it's an excellent book it helps me to get beyond fears or this need for Perfection and just do it. I think oftentimes we stop ourselves from taking that first step and those first steps are some of the hardest steps right? You just have to do it you just have to take that first step, that scary first step.

Gresham Harkless 11:06

Yeah I love that, I love each of those hacks.

Molly Bossardt  11:10

As you know being a business owner gets really hard right like there are challenging periods and if you can't come back to yourself and remind yourself of the why, you get lost and you start to ponder, you start to lose sight of your goal, what you bring and you start to become inauthentic. You have to continually remind yourself to be authentic as a business and as a business owner and play to your strengths.

Gresham Harkless 11:41

Awesome, I love that. I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. This could be a little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice, I like to say it might be something you would tell your younger business self if you hopped into a time machine or potentially, something you might tell somebody that's a client potentially in that Mastermind or something really good that we will want to know from a marketing perspective.

Molly Bossardt  12:04

There's a lot of things I would tell my younger self so it'll be hard for me to condense that to one thing. So in terms of marketing nugget this is not new, this is not Innovative but I think every business needs to be aware of video and that video is not going away. They need to invest in that, they need to figure out a way to incorporate video into their current marketing mix. I would say pretty much Instagram and TikTok  are the biggest social media platforms that people are using and actively engaging in. Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app, it is a video sharing app so I would say you need to think about how you can incorporate that into your marketing plan and you know whether that be hiring marketers to help you with that or hiring someone in-house you need to prioritize video.

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Gresham Harkless 13:00

Yeah, I absolutely love that. I love that we talked about it when we first connected, we talked a little bit about that offline about the power of video. I absolutely appreciate that Molly. I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, I'm hoping to have different quote and quote  CEOs on the show, so Molly what does being a CEO mean to you?

Molly Bossardt  13:20

Being able to take risks. Within that realm, you must be someone who's willing to take risks or not afraid of taking risks and making changes and then when something fails being able to look at that and see what you did wrong and what you could do better. I think that's vital to being an entrepreneur. Again just this theme of evolution and this theme of introspection, I think you need to have both of those things and you need to have a thick skin. That's something we have not talked about, when I started I got rejected so many times and those first rejections kind of stung but what I realized is it usually has nothing to do with you, rejections sometimes can have something to do with you, but it's typically your price point isn't correct they don't actually need what you're selling or you know a combination of the two, the timing isn't right. I've talked to people a year ago that are now ready to work with me, timing wasn't right. I think if you can withstand some of those initial rejections and be resilient to all of it you really need to be resilient in order to be a business owner, that's key to it.

Gresham Harkless 14:42

Awesome, well Molly truly appreciate that definition and of course I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do now was pass you the mic so to speak just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best people can get a hold of you, find out about your team Mastermind, and all the awesome things that you're working on.

Molly Bossardt  15:00

So you can connect with me or follow me on Instagram that's kind of where I live. My personal Instagram is Molly Bossardt so it's pretty easy to find. I share a lot of behind the scenes stuff some of my personal life so you can kind of understand a little bit about me outside of the business. Then bread and butter, obviously we have our own Instagram as well which you can find on our website which is breadandbutterdigitalmarketing.com I'm sure you're gonna link it and that's going to have all of our offerings all the ways to work with us. Again you can work with us on a high level in terms of working with us for marketing monthly marketing services, you can work with me on a high level if you would like to bring me in as a consultant. So if you have any questions also you can email me my email is molly@breadandbutterdigitalmarketing.com.

Gresham Harkless 16:01

Awesome, thank you so much Molly and just as you mentioned we're going to have the links and information in the show notes so that you can get a hold of Molly, connect with her, find out about all your awesome things that you're working on and look forward to the next time that we get to connect more.

Molly Bossardt 16:13

Yes absolutely. This is awesome, this is so fun. Thank you.

Outro 16:17

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB nation and blue 16 media tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I am CEO it's not just a phrase It's a community get your driven CEO gear at ceogear.co don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at blue16media.com This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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