Did you know digital business cards could be a game-changer for your networking game? In our latest chat, we were thrilled to have Gabe O'Neill, the 'Godfather of Digital Business Cards,' shed light on this innovative tool. From his unique approach to branding to his journey of pioneering digital business cards, Gabe shares his inspiring transformation story, overcoming self-limiting beliefs to reinvent his business during the pandemic.
Imagine conquering those crippling doubts and turning them into success? Gabe did just that. During the episode, he offers invaluable insights and advice to entrepreneurs on combating the fear of making necessary shifts for their businesses. We explore not just the power of resilience but also the importance of maintaining humility and the continuous pursuit of learning and growth through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
But that's not all. Gabe delves into the transformative power of digital business cards - a tool that brings businesses closer to clients and amplifies personal and business brand. He outlines the features of his unique digital card, sharing anecdotes about clients and personal experiences. Listen in as we discuss how to transition to digital business cards, leverage them for effective networking, and strengthen your brand in the process. If you've ever wondered about the future of networking, this is an episode you won't want to miss.
This episode is NOT sponsored. Some product links are affiliate links, meaning we'll receive a small commission if you buy something.
⚡️PODCAST: Subscribe to our podcast here ➡ https://elevatemedia.buzzsprout.com/
⚡️LAUNCH YOUR SHOW: Let's get your show off the ground and into the top 5% globally listened to shows ➡ https://www.elevatemediastudios.com/launch
⚡️Need post-recording video production help? Let's chat ➡ https://calendly.com/elevate-media-group/application
⚡️For Support inquires or Business inquiries, please email us at ➡︎ email@example.com
Our mission here at Elevate Media is to help purpose-driven entrepreneurs elevate their brands and make an impact through the power of video podcasting.
Disclaimer: Please see the link for our disclaimer policy for all our episodes or videos on the Elevate Media and Elevate Media Podcast YouTube channels. https://elevatemediastudios.com/disclaimer
Welcome to the Elevate Media Podcast with your host, Chris Anderson. In this show, Chris and his guests will share their knowledge and experience on how to go from zero to successful entrepreneur. They have built their businesses from scratch and are now ready to give back to those who are just starting. Let's get ready to learn, grow and elevate our businesses. And now your host, Chris Anderson.Speaker 2:
Welcome back to another recording of the Elevate Media Podcast. I'm your, chris. Let me do that again. Welcome back to another recording of the Elevate Media Podcast. I'm your host, chris Anderson, and excited to have Gabe O'Neill on the show today. We're going to dive into something you might have not heard of completely business cards, but digitally, and so it's a cool new, upcoming thing in the world of business cards and networking that Gabe is the forefront of. They do call him the Godfather for a reason, so I'm excited just to talk about his journey, things he's overcome in his journey to build this business with his digital business cards, and how we can utilize these in our everyday entrepreneurship journey as well. So, gabe, welcome to the Elevate Media Podcast.Speaker 3:
Hey, chris, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. I'm excited to be here.Speaker 2:
Absolutely so I got to ask how did you get the nickname the Godfather?Speaker 3:
It's funny where and it happened as a result of the digital card for some, somehow. But when we started this journey, it was never that I decided that I wanted to go in business selling digital cards. It was more like I was a software developer and needed more work, so networking was the way that I would get it. Since we moved from one place to another here in the Atlanta area, I lost all my networking buddies, so I had to start all over again. It takes forever to get to build a base of people that you can, that know and trust you, so I wanted to expedite that process. So I figured how do I, how do I? I like that process, how do I make that go faster and smoother? So I figured well, what if I built them something? I'm a software developer, I built things on my whole career. So what if I spent a few hours, built them something and then just give it to them without asking anything in return? That way they get to see my creativity, my work ethic, that way they get to see that I follow through on what I say I'm going to do, which is a very important thing for me. And so we started doing that when people, so I stood up and said hey, anybody want a free card? See me at the end of the meeting and sort of that awkward silence. When everybody's talking to everybody else, because they know each other, they'll lined up to get one. So that kind of started in. Somewhere in that group Somebody started calling me the Godfather of the digital card and at first I said I don't want to be associated with horses head and all this other stuff. But they kept pushing it. They kept pushing it and it was funny. And then I would say I think they can only take the digital business card, leave the gun. I would just make up stuff like that and it just kept going further. People really liked it. So now it's just really funny where people say be my friend Godfather. I'm always getting movie quotes and it's just branding right. It's just another way of getting your name out there. And people say, when people are in a conversation and they talk about digital business cards, they say you got to meet the Godfather, because whatever you're doing is no good. So it worked actually.Speaker 2:
That's awesome and it's an important thing is that personal brand or branding, and how you've been able to run with that as the Godfather now of digital business cards and really play into that. I think that's a hard thing, and something we're still looking at with LV is our brand image and my personal as the head of it is getting that kind of rhythm and getting that where people just think of us and think of me in certain ways. And so why do you think if you wanted to got that nickname, do you think your growth possibly could have been slower? Did that really help you get solidified in the industry?Speaker 3:
It's hard to say that. Yeah Well, I guess it just did, because the product itself is. Once you see it, people have a visceral reaction to it. But at the same time I think it just made me more comfortable in my seat as I speak about it, because I'll lead with that and I think it's fun with it and I'll say canolis are on me. We even have a package where a package called the Godfather, where if you get that, you get a 12-pack of canolis from Carlos Bakery, the guy who's the cake boss guy, and it's my one client, that one recent client that bought that package. I said I know you're like health and her whole thing is health and wellness. And I said I know you're really into health. I don't know if you want me to send you those things, the canolis. And she said we're in the middle of a cleanse right now, so we're not allowed to eat anything between now and two months from now. And I said, all right, I'll save it or send it to a friend if you like. Then she told her husband and her husband said who's also doing the cleanse? He said no, tell him to send the canolis, I want them.Speaker 2:
Oh, absolutely, that's cool and that's the again just playing off of that brand you've built through it. And how can people also like transition into the digital business cards? How can these play a crucial piece with someone's personal brand or even their businesses brand, to solidify that and grow that?Speaker 3:
It's interesting because, again, when we started it, we just started it as a vehicle to get to know people, but I gave those things away for a year and I had that whole list of people that were giving me feedback and wanting this feature and that feature. And then we added the texting and we had videos and we had all this stuff. So it really became a powerful thing on its own. And this is well before the pandemic, right. So the pandemic triggered a lot of other digital cards that are out there and basically I can lump them into two categories One you can one is it kind of a tap card, where you can tap the card on somebody's phone and, if you're lucky, it will send your information to their phone, but you don't get any information back. And then there's the other one that you could give out an obscure URL to that and they're all basically cookie cut and they're all. They're trying to fit your brand into theirs right as opposed to ours. We create ours custom from scratch, which means that we're totally showcasing your brand. Knowing how important branding is to me, I know how important it is to my customers. They don't want to see my branding on their card, and so they. They want to see their branding, their colors, their style, their images, their everything. So that's the one thing where we differentiate it ourselves, where we're creating something unique to them, and when they share that, they're going to share that more because they're more proud of it, and when they share that more, they're going to get more business from it, because the other thing that's different from ours is the delivery method. As you can see above me, you can either you can text the word Gabe to that number, to the three, two, one number. Basically, you just create a new text where you normally put the number of the person you're texting. You put the three, two, one, four, two, one, five, two, one, three, and then and you just hit, the message is simply the word Gabe, my keyword, and when you do that, you get. When you hit send, you get my card and returned to your text to your in the text, a link to it, and if you do the QR code it'll actually generate the text necessary. So it basically does the text for you. And the interesting thing about that is Once people text us, we capture that cell phone number. So we have a whole nother area of our software, the back end, where we can communicate with folks and just because they initiated the contact through the texting and the other cards just don't have that ability to do that so we are core focus is figuring out a way that our digital cards can bring you business, and we have several different ways. we even get the community together, the community of card owners. We have events for them and they're very eager to work with each other, because they all have that in common that they all have taken that step of buying a card is very unique to people, so it's really cool yeah so how long have you been building this business with your digital business cards? the whole thing where we moved, it was in two teen I think, Towards the end of the year in 2018, so that's when I started giving them away around about a year from there towards. It was interesting is a good lesson in entrepreneurship, because that whole time I was thinking oh yeah people, people saying, oh, they love your card, yeah, they love it, but nobody really buy one, nobody really pay for one. And then one of my buddies is a mortgage guy. One of his guys in the office wanted one. He said that's really cool, I want to, and so he doesn't come to this networking group and I don't even know him, so I guess I gotta charge him something. So I don't know I'll charge him Whatever was a hundred bucks or something, okay. So maybe people are buying them, but it'll never, never be enough that I'll be able to make a business out of it. And what are those? Those are called self limiting beliefs, yeah, and something that that one day I just realized wait, who's stopping this from being a business? It's me. Could I have told somebody? He said what are you doing? I saw doing these Digital cards and I actually bad mouth my own business to this guy because I said nobody's gonna buy him, not enough money and all this stuff. He said that doesn't sound like a very good business, really funny. Very shortly after that I'm saying wait a minute, who's limiting this thing? Is it? Other people are that mean it's me? Totally so. The second that I pulled off those that pulled away that glass ceiling, things started happening for me. So I realized it's a wait a minute. We sell these two teams. You know that you can be. If I get into a company, I sell twenty, thirty, fifty hundred cards. That can be a really significant thing. And imagine that because it's not just window dressing, these things really boost the bottom line of people have them. I've got incredible r? Y from my clients two x five x twenty five return on the investment because of all the things that does Get the business. So that was two thousand nineteen. I said let me go ahead and do this. So I got. So that's what I did. I converted over and went fully into just building the best digital car that's out there. I can do all the digital marketing of a software guy. I've been technical for many years and I decided I'm not gonna do that. All I can do your website. I can do your s e I can do all the stuff. No, I'm gonna build the best digital car that's out there. So I was in the fall of two thousand nineteen and it was started going pretty well. And then christmas time is always a lull right. January, february, great march, twenty twenty. Good for the first two weeks. I remember we all know what date it was the pandemic hit the especially those of us are entrepreneurs in business, and so I thought, oh man, I'm dead because we have these, these lanyards that Take these out in networking, in person networking, and people see it all. What's? That's my digital card, I can get them to scan the qr code and all that. So that was my day. I would be taking what me and my lanyard out to in person events Three, four, five, six times a week, and, and so I guess what that's all stopped indefinitely, permanently. Who knows not that. Well, now, what am I gonna do? That's the second lesson I learned, which really showcased it's not, instead of saying, oh, why me, this thing was doing so good, why am I what? I was? Bad luck. These are things that happened to entrepreneurs. They happen to a lot of people, and the people said I'm in, I guess I'm dead, or people gave up, or the people that went out of business, yeah, but there's no real reason to do that if you can figure out a way to pivot and do something different. And what I did was I found these online, these online meeting, networking groups, and I just took it from there, and so now, instead of selling just locally, I'm selling them all over the country. So it's been, and I just been strictly going to virtual meetings almost six, seven times a week, just getting them out there.Speaker 2:
And that's a huge part of it and thank you for sharing the story and your journey and the kind of synapses of it. And first thing that I want people here is successful entrepreneurs. They are some magical, crazy, superhuman individuals like Gabe. They struggle with self-limiting beliefs. They struggle with things coming up that they have to pivot in. We've all been there on our journeys. We're all at different levels, but we've all been through this. So if you're in your journey right now and you're like, yeah, gabe, that's great, you're doing this fantastic thing I don't believe in myself or I had this happen. But look, gabe has two, so you can take that with, hopefully, some courage and confidence, saying, well, if Gabe did it, okay, maybe there is hope for me.Speaker 3:
Yeah, yeah, you got to really turn it around. You got to turn around in your own head. Obviously, the mindset has a lot, and that's where I was going to ask was how did you?Speaker 2:
you realized you were to limit the glass ceiling on the endeavor. So how did you go about flipping that script in your own mind to get over those limiting beliefs?Speaker 3:
Again, it's just by sheer determination. The one thing that I've always had in me is that I've never give up. I have a daughter that I am I am we in in 2014, 15,. I was doing great in my career all the way up until then, and then we had a hit happen where we got downsized and with no parachute at all, so basically thrown out of the plane without a parachute. And so we had some rough times there, but I really wanted to show my daughter that, no matter what, I was not going to give up, I was not going to, I was going to just keep. No matter how many times you get knocked down, you just keep doing it. So that was in me. And just having that in me and then realizing sometimes all you need to do is realize something and then all of a sudden you've got the energy to push forward again and again. And so that was one. And another thing actually a gentleman who actually does this kind of coaching for a living. We had a conversation and one of the things that he helped me to realize was I was wearing this coat. You can think of it that way Wearing a coat, whether it be a depression or anxiety or frustration, if you're wearing that all the time, people can see that yeah, and there's no real reason to have that on you can take that coat off. And I literally took that coat off and I just discarded it, and even though that my situation hadn't changed right at that time, my mindset did, and then that really helped boost things. So there's just so many things, and the third thing I'll mention is that I've met this gentleman who is a sales. He's a sales director of a company with like a hundred salespeople and he really likes the card. He said I'm going to sell it to my guys. I'm going to get guys from within my company to help sell it, and that's really what I've been looking for, connections like that and I thought, why did I get that guy? And I think sometimes you just have to be still standing, and that's the other thing is, if you're still there, if I had quit, like wherever, I had all kinds of opportunities to quit, but again, knowing me, I'm just not going to do it. But if you're still standing, you just know when that opportunity is going to come by. So I just found that kind of stuff pretty fascinating actually.Speaker 2:
Yeah, and it's funny you say that because you hear all the time successful entrepreneurs like people who I look up to. It's a little bit of luck, it's hard work, it's consistency, but it's also a little bit of luck. And I think right there you encapsulated that of putting in the work, not giving up, just sticking with it, getting out there and putting in the reps. But then you met a guy who really opened things up and then you could say it has a little bit of luck or right place, right time kind of thing. But, like you said, if you would have given up, that wouldn't happen. And so that's why I think so many people they give up too soon. They're one step away from meeting that salesperson with that team that can really take their business to the next level. But you've got to go through that pain and you got to go through those rough moments to be able to get to those quote unquote lucky, lucky breaks.Speaker 3:
Right, and you hear so many stories like that, like the Harry Potter author.Speaker 2:
Yeah, they're rolling yeah.Speaker 3:
Yeah, it's. How many times was she turned down? Like 200 times or something like that Something crazy yeah. Something, something really nutty thing. So you just never know. And it's sometimes it's hard, because maybe, like you watch Shark Tank and they say that's a dog to take out in the back and shoot it. So they're encouraging you, encouraging some people to give up, and it's so, it's sometimes. Maybe they're right, but again, I just think that if it's not working, then maybe try and pivot some way. If it's definitely not working, then maybe not shoot it, but just change it a little bit and keep working on that way.Speaker 2:
So and I think that's a great point too, because sometimes we can have really great ideas in our own minds and from our perspective, it's yes, this is going to be the next big thing. This is going to work. What you mentioned is you had coaches, but, like Shark Tank, those are mentors. If you can't get in front of somebody and get honest feedback, or at least be humble enough to get honest feedback or ask for it, you could be barking up the wrong tree. You could have the right mindset and the right determination, but if it truly is a terrible idea or not a good business structure, whatever it is, but you can't get that valuable feedback or you're not willing to, then, yeah, you could just be spinning your wheels for a long time. Right, absolutely. So how important is that to you right now? Do you still have mentors and coaches that you go to?Speaker 3:
It's not. I network a lot and so I have people that even my clients, that's. The other thing is we will get together twice a month anybody that not only my clients, but anybody the public's invited, where it's basically half networking and half discussing of trends, of things that are working for people, basically just helping each other. And so I'm always you always have to be willing to learn. That's another thing that, no matter how for me, obviously, I always have to keep up with stuff and try and come up with new things, but always willing to learn. And just again, there's a lot of other people that have had different ways to get to where they're going, and there's no way you can know everything, especially today. It's just so crazy, and so I'm always trying to, not only trying to learn from others, but a venue where other people can contribute and also learn from people to make themselves better. So, yeah, it's always good to have people that you can count on.Speaker 2:
Yeah, and so with these digital business cards, people are now going to events again. They're getting back out there. This is, I think now we're in like the mix of where we were before the pandemic and then what caused this to adapt and shift from the pandemic. So I think that they're meshing together now, and so these digital business cards, they're still an asset to have for sure, versus just that old paper business card. Do you see a place for the old business card, the paper printed one?Speaker 3:
No, I don't. I used to have fun designing them and I would be real proud of them, but basically my card would be in this. I used to have a pile of cards on my desk. That was just that. Eventually, when it got big enough, I'd just throw them away, and that's what people do. I even have a meme that I came up with where a lady's handing another lady a card and asking her excuse me, will you throw this away for me? So that's basically what you're asking them to do. But with the digital cards, I'm glad you mentioned that the hybrid of virtual versus in-person and trade shows and all this other stuff. I even bought cards in years. I only use my digital card because the other thing that can be saved right on their phone. If they're not going to text it, they're not going to scan the QR code, unless they're somewhat interested in what I'm doing. So that's the other thing. You're also qualifying them.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I was just going to say oh yeah, give me your card, right, exactly?Speaker 3:
Exactly so. You're qualifying them, plus, you have their information that you can text them back and you can get back to them. Again, with the hybrid of virtual versus in-person, where our card shines is that it's easy to share it online by doing any one of those things up here In-person. I've got my lanyard, I can, and I've got my QR code right on my phone. I just bring it right up. Where is it here? So all I have to do is have it with me at all times so I can do this in-person, and so they just scan it that way, and you can't do that with other cards and no matter how, any way that I share it, I'm going to get their information too. Those top cards they don't work on all phones. I believe they don't even work on androids. In any of those you can't get their information Plus. The other thing that's neat about ours is if I get people to remember my keyword and my number, and the number is 3214215213 for all my clients, so that's again 3214215213. It's got a really cool cadence to it. If I get people to remember that and a lot of my clients know it that's how they give out my card, so I don't even have to be the one to distribute it. I can arm people with as many digital cards as they need. And that's the other thing that's very powerful, because that's how our clients get a lot of business through just referrals. That way, it just makes it really simple because they get the card. My schedule is right on my card. It's really easy to get on your schedule. Once you're making it so easy for people to contact you, you're going to get more people to contact you. That's how it works.Speaker 2:
Yeah, 100%. I think that's one piece right there that you mentioned. Within that is one. It gets those people that aren't truly interested out of the way and those who are actually wanting to connect because they're actually going to get the information, but that you collect their information as well so you can reach back out to them. You can connect with them right from your phone, right, because those numbers go like oh yeah, so we can text them out.Speaker 3:
That's a perfect example. You can be in a meeting and have a great conversation with everybody's. Done this at a networking meeting and have a great conversation with somebody oh, this could really turn into business. And then, with the old paper card method, you're calling them and you don't know what they're. If the email's getting there, you don't know what's happening with their phone. And they had every intention of calling you back. They had every intention of working with you, but they got home and their kid had to go to the hospital for this, and then their other kid got in trouble in school and all of these squirrels that are affecting their lives has just dragged that out. Now a week and two has passed and now you're not so much in their memory. But if you could have texted them back During that week and said hey, remember that conversation, would you like to get? Oh, yeah, let's, there's a button. All I have to do is push that button on your calendar and so it just it works. It just simply works.Speaker 2:
Yeah, so with that and this is just my curiosity, when they sign up or they go to your business card page, does their information goes into your phone or into a CRM externally?Speaker 3:
It doesn't. When they text me back, it comes to our CRM. That's an interesting thought. If I could, I could probably create a VCF file pretty fairly easily and just have it brought into my phone.Speaker 2:
I didn't even thought of that one, that'd be interesting if they sign up with their contact information, if it creates that contact card in your phone. So I want to call Joe, I want to call Jan, whatever it was. I just connected with their sender like a personal text instead of doing it through the CRM text thing. I didn't know that was possible.Speaker 3:
It's interesting. I think the actual CRM is really simple to use and I find it. I would rather actually use a CRM because it's got everybody listed there and I can segregate them. I can put them in folders Okay, this is where I met them at this conference, or I met them at this networking group or whatever and I can. I can mass text them all, which I only do, which I do very sparingly because this isn't about spamming people, it's about just doing it very carefully and I can. And when they get my card, they read they can text me back right there and that comes into it as well, so you can have conversations and anytime that happens, I get flagged to my phone saying oh, you've got a message to look at. It's really simple to bring it up. Yeah, I really do using the CRM. It's really simple to use, but it's interesting thought to try and see if I can convert them to go back into my phone. I'm not. I have to think about that one to see.Speaker 2:
Yeah, it was just. Yeah, just a thought I had for sure. So, if so, around out the episode, gabe, I'm interested. If people are going out, they're networking in person. They've got a old school business card or they've got your digital business card. What would three things you would recommend them to improve their networking, improve their actual connection with people, regardless of the means of Trading information at the end would be three things that you recommend people to do to improve their networking.Speaker 3:
Obviously be out there. You can't get any results. Sometimes you like, I mean I want to do that. I've been to this group before. I really don't think for me, but there's always that one time when that one person is going to be there something. I've had clients that attended one meeting and did not join the group and they bought my card because I was there. So that's one for two. It's not about just selling you got. You can really turn people off if that's not one. That's not something I try and do. I don't really push the product on anybody because I want the clients that see it and say, oh yeah, this is cool, I want it because they're going to be the best people to refer me anyway. But it's about building relationships. It's really about just building relationships and be consistent, get it out there. You just keep doing it, keep doing it again. It's about you standing there when that opportunity comes around. So, yeah, I would say that those would be the three things that I would.Speaker 2:
Yeah, those are great things and you listen to this that you got to take those in consideration, start implementing all those and then really consider looking at this digital business card something that gave me I have talked in the past obviously About, and then I wanted to bring on the show that we're considering just that. We're now getting into more events and some excited to Route with Gabe as well, but whatever it looks like, make sure you're getting out there, make sure you're at least connecting and connecting somehow with information, because your network is your net worth and you got to continue to grow that, to scale what you're doing and, like you said, you never know when you might meet that one person that can really just blow up your business in a good way. Gave. I really appreciate your time today. Thanks so much again for being on the elevate media podcast as we round things out. Where can people go? I know it's gonna say, which is great, but where can you go or get connected with you to learn more there?Speaker 3:
scan the QR code text. The word gave the three, two, one, four, two, one, five, three. That's the best way you get to experience it, and the other thing is that this is how I become memorable to people. When they get my card, they see it's very different. I haven't had a situation where A guy I met this was before the pandemic but guys, we're in a networking group and guys as I gave, and I said, hello person, I'm sorry, I apologize, but I don't know. Your name Is germane. And I said, oh, germane, I remember that name from a while ago is because it's very unusual. I said when did we meet? And he said, oh, it's in February. That was six months ago. I said germane, how, and God's name, could you remember me? I know we all network a lot. How could you remember me from that long? You said you have that digital card on you and so it's again. It's about being memorable. So, yeah, if you get that the card, go ahead and get it, and it's really easy. My, my calendar is right on there, so be happy to share anything that I like obviously can tell I like talking about it yeah, it's awesome.Speaker 2:
Make sure everybody check that out text, that number, to get connected and look at it. Really it's, it's a really cool. Once when I first did it, like it got my attention and it just how it looks and present presentation and what's able to be done there. So is a really cool thing. Of course, I'm not sponsored games are sponsored. This absolutely thing. I just it's truly it need to experience when you open up that digital business card. Yeah, absolutely so make sure you guys get connected with Gabe and someone out there is trying network or someone trying to build their business and need some help networking. Share this episode with him. We love to help more people together, but until next time, go out there, continue to elevate your life of your brand and we'll talk to you next time, see you. Thanks so much, appreciate it.Speaker 1:
Thank you for listening to the elevate media podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and review. See you in the next episode.