Episode 37 of The Verblio Show
What do you get when you mix Argentinian rock, the Scandinavian art of hygge, vision boards, and a couple hundred typewriters?
Your standard conversation with Gabriel Marguglio.
As the mastermind behind Nextiny’s nearly two decades of success as a powerhouse web design agency, Gabriel had plenty of expertise to share in this conversation with Steve. In addition to the above, they covered the three ways you should be taking advantage of video, the secret to longevity, staying positive in 2020, and their favorite Florida Man stories.
Name: Gabriel Marguglio
What he does: Founder and CEO of Nextiny Marketing, a Platinum Hubspot Partner and the first Wistia Platinum Partner in the U.S.
Get smart: “Embracing change is the number one thing you need to do for longevity.”
Longevity requires evolution
Gabriel began Nextiny in 2002—a lifetime ago in the agency world. As he shares the story of Nextiny’s evolution, he makes it clear that it was precisely that ability to evolve that has allowed them to survive and thrive in the changing digital landscape.
“Change is part of our DNA,” he says. “Absolutely everything we do today, we weren’t doing on day one of the company. So I believe change and embracing change is the number one thing you need to do for longevity.”
How does Nextiny choose which trends to adopt and where to evolve? “It’s a combination of what we’re good at and what would challenge us to actually get better,” Gabriel explains. By balancing those two considerations, you can both build on your strengths and stay ahead of the competition.
Consider video as a tool, not just a product
Video, in addition to being a product and branding opportunity, can also be used as a tool to help run your business. When Nextiny started using the Wistia video tool Soapbox, Gabriel told his team, “Every time you’re going to send an email, if you’re going to explain anything on the email that could be shown—if you’re going to say click here or click there—don’t. Create a Soapbox video and explain it.”
Why? Because it’s easier to explain things visually and show someone what to do rather than writing it out—and because now you have a reusable asset. “So now Brian sends an email to someone that asked a question, and the email has a video in it, and that video could be reused and forwarded to the whole team and be used in training and in a knowledge base,” Gabriel explains. “That becomes way more than what that email was going to be, right?”
Want success? Visualize it
One of the secrets behind Gabriel’s relentlessly positive outlook is the practice of visualization. He uses a vision board, which he describes as “a graphic representation of what you want your life to be, but you set it up as if it already happened.” For example, “This is my house. This is my job. This is where I live. …My family is healthy, happy, prosperous, safe. You put words that have meaning to you, and then that becomes your visualization.”
By looking at the life you want as if it’s already happened, you can both avoid unhelpful negative thoughts and stay focused on the things that matter. That doesn’t mean your dreams are going to magically come true, though: you also have to do the work.
“That’s the other part of the equation that most people who visualize forget, which is that I wake up every morning and I make things happen,” Gabriel says. “It’s not just putting it on the vision board and going to sleep for six months.”
How an IT company became a web design company
“I was showing my new website that I built myself to my customers, and someone asked me, ‘So you do websites?’ And it took me two seconds, and I said, ‘Of course we do websites.’ And the rest is history.”
The art of being cozy—and the art of doing nothing
“Scandinavians have all these amazing things. Hygge is one of them, and it is the art of being cozy. I love hygge. We are super hygge in the house. It’s one of our secrets for sure. Candles, hot chocolate, fires—that’s the idea of hygge, being ‘togetherness’ and all that stuff.
And these Scandinavians came up with a new one that’s even better: it’s called niksen, and it’s the art of doing nothing. And I’m telling you, it’s even better than hygge. The idea is you light the fire and you do nothing. …You’re not actively doing anything. You’re not being productive towards a goal. The idea is that doing nothing—being with yourself and with your loved ones, with your wife and your kids—that is one of the most important things in life.”
Using video as a tool to be better
“Video is something that can be used as a tool to run your business. I think we’ve embraced that more than creating a product video or how-to video. Yes, we do that for our customers and for ourselves, but how can we use video on a day-to-day basis to be better? To be better at communicating with our customers? To be better at communicating with our leads? To be better at communicating with social media?
It’s not all about more numbers, more engagement, more, more more—it’s better. How can we be more human with those communications? If I can add video to something, most of the time that’s going to add a human aspect to it.”
The world won’t love you—but your micro-audience will
“This is a big mistake that everybody does—everybody thinks that their audience is the world. ‘I want the world to love me.’ That’s never going to happen. You need to find your micro-audience.
Who is your micro-audience that really wants to hear from you? That really cares about what you have to say or what you have to share with other people and wants to come back for more? Think about that audience and then create content for them to love.”
Why Nextiny’s video audience isn’t necessarily their customers
“Sometimes is just a branding plate, because that brings you better partnerships or better connections. If you think about it, the audience for MarTech Masters—our podcast and video series—is not my potential customers. Yes, there are marketing sales experts and marketing directors that are watching it and listening to it, but I have a lot of software companies and a lot of agencies as my audience.
Why do I want that? I want that because if I continue to share knowledge and I continue to bring awesome people to my show, they’ll want to learn more from me and do more with me and listen to more things. And then when I’m building a partnership with another new software company, they want to do things already with us because they saw how we did it with someone else. So it helps us build partnerships, which is a big play for us on the marketing and sales side of things.”
Partnerships: a different way to play the game
“We created partnerships with Verblio, with Wistia for video, with Seventh Sense for AI email marketing, and what we did is we focused on those partnerships as much as we were focusing on the HubSpot partnership, and we realized that by doing that we kind of jump started the process on becoming a better, bigger HubSpot agency—not just by selling more, but by playing the game a different way.
…It’s about getting the right people in the right seat and making things happen. And we believe that partnerships and software companies are a big piece of that puzzle. It’s not just the team. We can have a lean team because we have such amazing partnerships. We can save time and money for our customers and do more for less because of the software that we use.”
Why Gabriel loves typewriters
“That’s what’s special about a typewriter, is that you type and you make mistakes and you don’t care about the mistakes because it keeps coming.
And for someone artistic that writes music or art or books or movies, that is the way it used to be done—without the interruption of, ‘Oh, I made a mistake. Let me stop my stream of consciousness and creativity and fix my stupid mistake that I made two lines ago, and then come back. And what was I thinking? What was I saying?’ …So a lot of artists are using typewriters today just to keep that stream going.”
[2:41] “I can tell you there is a story like that every month in this beautiful State of Florida: alligators and people thinking that they’re pets.”
[9:58] “Evolution has to be part of a company.”
[19:33] “Being positive is a practice.”
[29:18] “Every video should be entertaining, not just educational.”
[31:26] “A lot of companies are combining their customer service and their sales teams together, because they’re using the same content to drive the same conversations.”
[34:50] “The biggest mistake is for agencies to think that they have to do it the same way the other people did it.”
[38:50] “The right people in the right seat, the wrong people off the bus.”
Check out Gabriel’s recommendations for Argentinian music, Brazilian authors, and his top sci-fi picks.
Charly Garcia on MTV Unplugged (Argentinian rock)
Divididos (Argentinian rock)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Travelers (TV show)
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline