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29 min read

Edgy Authenticity in Cybersecurity

Two cybersecurity experts having an authentic conversation leads to business growth and chart-topping podcast listenership.



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When you fire up a Zoom call for a conversation with NuHarbor CEO Justin Fimlaid and VP of Product and Engineering Jack Danahay, you soon discover that these two have distinct chemistry and philosophical alignment on most things in the cybersecurity world. Given this, it was not very surprising to me to learn that their podcast, PWNED (that's pronounced "poh-nd" to us non-cybersecurity people) has a massive following, breaking the top 100 in both the U.S. and UK. 

During the episode, Justin and Jack share their story, from how they met and discovered their aligned views, NuHarbor's "respectfully edgy" brand personality, and how at the heart of it all is walking the walk with their audience. They fully understand the needs and frustrations of their buyers, including piecemeal solutions and oversimplified value propositions that overpromise. 

Through NuHarbor's content marketing, with PWNED playing a key role, they've discovered that adopting an authentic voice and helpful, specific advice has attracted the professionals they most want to work with, those that look at the cybersecurity world through a similar lens and are aligned with NuHarbor's approach.






On today's episode, you'll hear how authentic conversations between two cybersecurity experts. And when I say authentic, I mean a little bit of edgy. Maybe there's some whiskey involved. These conversations have not only led to the company growing and gaining awareness and achieving all those important business goals, but also the podcast itself has top charts in the US. And the UK for listenership. Guys, I think they're onto something. Let's do this.

Welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered, your source for building trust and generating demand with technical content. Here is your host, Wendy Covey.

Hi, and welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered. On each episode, I'll break down an industry trend, challenge or best practice in reaching technical audiences. You'll meet colleagues, friends, and clients of mine who will stop by to share their stories, and I hope that you leave each episode feeling inspired and ready to take action. Before we jump in, I'd like to give a brief shout out to my agency, TREW Marketing. TREW is a full service agency located in beautiful Austin, Texas, serving highly technical company. For more information, visit And now on with our podcast.

Hi, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Content Marketing Engineered. I'm joined today by Justin Femlaid and Jack Danahay, and they're both from New Harbor. Justin is the CEO of the company. And Jack is the vice president of product and engineering. Welcome to the show, you two.

Glad to be here, Wendy, thanks for having us.

Good. I already feel a little bit intimidated. You guys sound like you have this wonderful podcast voice and very smooth. You must be a little bit experienced in this thing. What do you think?

Speak for chak.

No, I think it's just sort of the way that it comes out. A lot of what we do in security is about helping people understand why it's important. And so while a lot of people recognize that cybersecurity is a super technical space, a lot of what folks like Justin and I have to do on a day to day basis is help people understand why it's important, why they should prioritize it. And so I think maybe what you're hearing is just the fact that we just talk too much.

It might be. I don't know. We'll find out.

No, it's definitely TREW. I concur with the talking too much piece.

Well, cybersecurity, I need to hear more about that. So why don't we start with the basics here? Tell me a little bit about your company, New Harbor.

Yes, new Harbor Security is a cybersecurity firm. We are an end to end provider of cybersecurity solutions. And really, we exist today to provide a portfolio of solutions to enterprise. It leaders would be CIO or CSOs chief Information Officers or Chief Information Security Officers to help them deliver a comprehensive cybercurity program. And as an organization, we do a lot we cover a lot of ground as it relates to cybersecurity. But I think really what we do is we help make Cybersecurity easier and more consumable for our clients. Right. And when you think about Cybersecurity, the question comes up is saying, people kind of get lost and over really quick because they don't really understand the term and everything that comes with it. And it seems super hard and super complex. What we try to do is make that easier for our clients. And in the course of educating them and making them aware of the options that are in front of them and helping to educate them as to what a good path might look like for that individual organization, we make it more consumable for them. And because we're making it more consumable for them, we're able to create outcomes, successful outcomes, that, in my opinion, haven't really existed in the market, and it's what the market needs today.

So at the end of the day, all those things we are very good at helping our clients win at Cybersecurity.

If I could, I think this part of this is the Genesis story, and I think it's one of the reasons why the podcast that we do resonates, but it's also why the company has a very different message. Justin was enormously successful as a CSO in his own right, and he started the company because he recognized that the way in which cybersecurity companies typically delivered the technologies and the service on top of them was super Byzantine, really hard to understand. And the reason I came on about a year ago was because I saw somebody who's trying to bring these things together, because nobody really cares about cyber security. Nobody wakes up in the morning unless your Cyber security person says, hey, I think I'll do some cyber security today. Look at you. You're over there. I'm going to go help people get their message across. Right. I'm going to help them as you've helped us. We're going to go do great things to get the market to understand what we do. Or maybe you're selling something in retail, or you're building cars, whatever the hell it is. You're not caring about Cybersecurity. And what Justin recognized was they just wanted the outcome.

They wanted to be secure. Right. And so when Justin started the company, the premise was it's possible to provide this comprehensive set of things together because he felt the pain. Right. And so I think he's too self efficacy to say it. Right. But there's part of this. The reason why the company is successful in the message works is because he felt the pain and he was determined to try to help other people feel less pain. So I think that's a big part of the Genesis story of the company.


The message really resonates with people right. Is saying, like, I've literally sat on their side of the table. They say, like, you haven't walked around my shoes. Like, yeah, in fact, we've walked a few miles.


So I think with it the message and the articulation of the pain point really resonates with people and how to come to a conclusion and solve the challenge. Resonates. So it works.

Yeah, I know on your website you tell a little bit about that backstory and describe all these different siloed functions that help a security officer, but none of them integrate together, none of them talk to each other. And so you laid out that problem statement in a way that really shows you've been in their shoes, you know how challenging this is and you just want it to work right?

Yeah, it's like trying to bake cookies, really. If I draw an analogy, it's like someone shows up with all the ingredients, but you don't have a recipe and you've never cooked before and you don't know how to put them together. And if you have a pile of ingredients but no recipe, you're left to your own vices to come up with whatever you come up with and you may get it right. It may look like a batch of cookies, but there's also a chance it's probably not going to look like that and they may not taste very good.

Well, hopefully what you're serving up tastes good, it goes out well. What type of company do you generally work with? Is it more in the public sector, private sector? Any certain vertical?

Yeah, it's both. So we are an equal opportunity cybersecurity firm, but we have over the years really developed an expertise for Sled, which is state, local, in higher education today. That represents about 60% of our business today as far as revenue and count of clients. From a market segmentation standpoint, we play really well in the mid cap space and larger size enterprise. And for us, what mid cap means, it's organizations above 50 million in revenue, up to 2 billion in revenue, and then large enterprise being above $2 billion in revenue. The reason for that being for our services and our solutions. One company needs to have enough revenue, enough market presence to have all the cybersecurity demands and needs that we offer and provide. And also when you get into make app space, they have all the needs of a large enterprise but don't necessarily have all the staff that's required in order to operationalize cyber security. So our company plays really well in that space. We start to get into the large enterprise space. We're one of the best in the business at what we do and we have a deep bench of expertise and we're able to kind of scale with our clients and the relationship obviously morphs and evolves as you go from a mid cap into an enterprise space.

As you would expect within any business, there's a different demand for scale that exists for larger clients. And so over the years we've been able to build that out. So we've been able to accommodate both very well.

I so appreciate, as a marketer business executive, that knows exactly who they should be working with and what that offering is and who they shouldn't be, because then it helps with your messaging and your marketing strategy. Just be spot on with who you're targeting. So good articulation of that for sure, before we get on, because I really want to talk about your brand and tone and get into some of the really unique things you guys are doing. But before I do, I have to know, how do the two of you meet?

You want to see that? Sure. So Justin and I have a common friend. Her name is Amy Hermes. And number one, she's phenomenally smart, but she's also just a wonderful networker, right? And so we were both engaged with her in an effort she had put forth to put technology strategy kinds of people like us in front of investors, private equity investors, institutional investors, to help them understand what's happening in cybersecurity. So at the time we met, the first time we met, I had just done a piece in Forbes on the fact that cybersecurity has to be more like health care. And we'll do that in some other shows some of the time. But the idea is basically, cybersecurity is not very much about technology, no more than healthcare is about an x ray machine, right? Cybersecurity is about health care. Like, you want to stay healthy, right? And so I'm off running my mouth about that. And then this guy is on one of these panels with me, and he's talking about how he built his company, and he believes this comprehensive offer will allow the outcome production that will actually solve the problem that these companies had around cybersecurity.

I'm like, wow, that sounds really familiar. And so we just started talking, right? And at one point in time, some of the investors like, wow, this would be great, but this whole thing together to roll up. And Justin said, how the hell with that? Let's just go to work, right? He said, you want to come play? And I said, hell yeah, let's come play. And I never expected it to be the way that this is. There's a very authentic feel about New Harbor. There's a real commitment to trying to solve this sort of critical problem. It's almost like strap the cape on in the morning kind of solve the problem for people. And to me, that felt really good. Right? And there's also, as you can tell by the fact that we're sort of sitting here doing our thing, it is a very real place. And so we met in that way, came aboard in this way, and I'm a very different business exec than I was when I was running the companies or working with IBM. It's just a very different approach up.

Until the point where we were first kind of meeting each other and started to share ideas and kind of talk about our views of the world. There seemingly was a point where we've been talking about doing this thing and we were kind of at that fork in the road where it was seeming like our paths were going to start to diverge a little bit. And I remember talking with Jack one day, hang up. I was like, damn, I'm actually going to really miss working with this guy. And then I was like, Listen, what the hell am I doing back? I was like, Jack, should we do this? And we had some ideas. We talked about indirectly, things that we wanted to do and let's keep it going. So that was a year ago and it feels like we've gotten a lot done. On one hand, I look back and it's like, I feel like Jack's been here forever. Just the volume of stuff that we've done. But we've also had so much fun.

Well, I guess your alignment and your philosophy and approach to this market is very clear. From there, it sounds like you have a lot of complimentary skill sets and ideas and it all just works. So how wonderful. So tell me a little bit about your brand. And specifically what I like to talk about is I feel like your brand tone and voice is not quite your typical B to B brand. So how would you describe your brand's personality?

Our brand is one that's tastefully edgy, which to me is like, that's a hard balance to strike.

It really is.

And it's something that we've worked with over the years and I philosophically believe when it comes to branding and marketing is you build it for yourself. Right? We build our brands for myself and for Jack and for Holly, and that feels good to us. And actually, I don't really care about anybody else. I honestly don't. It's a symbol of art and marketing and people are going to get behind it or they aren't. And if they don't, like, I'm not sure I really care that much because it's not made for them. Right? And when I look at our audience and who our audience is and who we represent, we represent a very specific type of person who's been in the cybersecurity industry and who's felt the pain and the challenges, and they're dealing with all the same things that we dealt with. And so we talk about our brand and what it represents, is like, we are one of those people. And if they want to get behind our brand and who we are, that's awesome because you're part of our group and who we're trying to market and who we're trying to be part of, and we want to be united and unified with them.

I fully recognize there's a population of people who don't conform to that. And I would say to those individuals and anybody who's marketing is like, it wasn't made for them, which is totally fine. Like, you have a message that is for a specific person and that's great, but you also have to be fine with there's the people who aren't going to subscribe to that, and that's okay. It's not made for them. Just let it go. And I also believe that you never try to convert your haters. Never try to convert your haters. It's a complete waste of time. And there's people that will dig in their heels just to dig in their heels. Rather, let your fans convert your haters, like create your rolodex of fans and let them convert the next people. And as long as you do that, you kind of do you do what's comfortable to you. View the world through your lens. Art is up to you. Your brand is up to you. And it's not the tools that you have at your disposal. It's the way that you see the world. That's kind of how we've constructed stuff, right? It's something that's edgy, but we also want to be respectful and tasteful.

I feel like we've been able to pull that off.

Wait, if I could jump in for a second, because I arrived at this when this culture was fully in flight, right? And this brand was fully in flight, and I came from a much more traditional background. The second company bought by IBM, it's all these big companies doing their thing. And one of the first things I said to Captain Authentic over here was like, are we sure we want to have this kind of imagery? Because typically, cybersecurity buyers, that's not their thing. They tend to be more conservative. And look at all the success we've had in public sector. And there are statewide CIOs who love this place, and they talk to each other. Are you sure you want to be branding this way? He's like, yeah. And it was really interesting to me because I'm like, all right, great. Let's go. And I find that the more we hew to that authentic belief in who we are as security is a little bit edgy, you'd be dumbfounded by these brilliant state officers, these public servants who you tend to think about as being relatively buttoned down, relatively conservative. They're like, hey, can I have another shirt?

Right? Because they see themselves in the way that the company represents itself. Their inner self is very edgy. Their inner self knows they're fighting the battle every day. They're fighting the bad guys and bad guys every single day. And they feel like that person that Justin describes. And so it is made for them. Right. In a lot of ways, this brand is made for them, but I never would have seen it because security people don't market themselves this way.

No, they don't. I think it makes you unique and memorable. And for them, I'm sure, hey, cyber security can be cool. It could be something fun and approachable and yes, Mr. Authenticity there, frankly, it.

Could be positive, too. Right. Because if you look at the way a lot of people talk about cyber securitye, it's always a danger, danger hackers money when we went, and it's all like, super horrible intractable problems. So you need us. It's not like that here. Right here, it's like, we're going to help you be better. We're going to make it easier for you to know that you're getting better. We're not going to create an image of security. We're not going to pretend that this is horrible so you can get more budget. We're going to tell the truth. We're going to find simple ways to tell the truth and be authentic in what we teach you about your security. And I think it really resonates and it is really based on that authentic belief that we can make things better and we're going to do it our way.

I believe there's a real power in the authenticity of all of this. You'll get to know me over time, Windy, but I am a huge Rick Rubin fan. Someone said to you, Justin, who's the one person in this world that you want to meet and you would love to have dinner with? It's Rick Rubin just like, going on record that hopefully if Rick Ruben ever.

Listens to this, if he's a Windy.

Follower, if you're listening, Rick.

If people don't know him, he's a famous, famous music producer. And if you look at his discography from over the years, he's produced any major album that's come up over the last 20 years, just big bands. He's the guy that does all the artistry and kind of has the vision behind the music. But he had a saying, which I really like, and I'm kind of paraphrasing it a little bit, but he said, in the world of everything being perfect and everybody trying to have the perfect message and find the perfect words and the perfect tone, there's something really honest about being less perfect and being more human. And when you can be more human and you create that authenticity, that's the audience that you want to capture, because ultimately, deep down, it pulls at the heartstring of who they are. And it's something that people can relate to a little bit more with that, to me, when I think about marketing and keeping that in mind, it's a lot about the unity principle of how we live and operate. We talked about this before. I've walked a mile in our clients shoes. A lot of miles, actually worn out.

The tread, a couple of pairs of shoes.


But with it, there's this idea of the unity principle, which is because we are the same and because we are human and because we have this commonality, there's a credibility that kind of comes with it, right? And people can get behind that. And you create those fans like I talked about earlier. But I almost feel like in trying to be too perfect, you alienate a population of buyers in a way that I don't think people actually really mean to.


Like, you try to come across as a brand, as something being excellent and perfect, but in actuality, buyers can see through that. Consumers are pretty smart these days, and there becomes a point where the world is trying to be perfect. Consumers are looking at and be like, it's kind of BS. That's not the way the world is. That's not exactly my problem. Or I know the problem well enough to know that's not perfectly how you would solve it, and it's not solved by everything that you said. And you do that enough, like, you completely lose credibility, and you actually have the opposite effect of what you're intending to do. So I believe it's really rooted in that authenticity, really being humans, showing your imperfections and being comfortable with it. Who freaking cares? I certainly don't.

It reminds me a lot of the old days, let's say in the early 90s, where you'd have these very polished corporate overview videos, and otherwise you wouldn't see video at all. Right. It has to be, like, perfect and the lighting just right and the professional studio coming in to produce this or nothing. And now you see people look, we're on Zoom, right? I have my webcam up and maybe there's a ring light in the background, but still pretty authentically us where you stand.

Wendy, this isn't a perfect shoot setting, is that what you're saying?

Perhaps not on my end, at least. You guys look amazing. I know you have your makeup artist in the background and everything.

Absolutely. Yeah, the makeup artist is holly's going to make up for the mistakes we make? Yeah.

Right? So it's that balance between having something that's quality but also credible, and I'm sure it applies to cybersecurity kind of content marketing. We have, like, some messiness in these services. Right. It's not the formulaic thing. Follow this and life will be great. There's a lot of nuance to what we do, and I think being honest about the struggles and the warts and the new things that happen and it's all help we're on this journey together. Right.

It's interesting when you mentioned, like, your business and our business, I think in your business and your team is super effective. I've had the pleasure of dealing with them. Right. We're going to do a great job of getting the message up, but you're not going to say, and by the way, Jack, you and Justin are going to touch every single potential buyer of the thing that you care about. It's not the way you do your business. To Justin's point in cybersecurity, because people's ultimate goal is, I want to be perfectly safe, as irrational as that may be, that's what they want. And the creation of that perfect messaging that Justin talks about is that some security companies or security firms or services firms will say, now you're secure. No one will ever get a record and say, you're perfectly secure. But that's sort of the image that they give, right?


They try to craft their stories so that this widget solves all of those problems for you.


We've talked about this in the podcast many times, right? The fact that people overstate what they do and if instead you say, by the way, here's all the stuff we do, and by the way, there's all the things you've done lately, and by the way, here's why you made a great decision to go with New Harbor as an example or whatever, right? Here's how you demonstrate you've gotten better. Because getting better is really what they need. Even if perfect is somewhere in the distance. No runner ever thinks they're done training, no lift. Everything's done training, no golf ever. Things are done swinging. You're always trying to get better. And that's cybersecurity. But in our market, because people's ultimate goal is to be secure, right? A lot of firms marketing portrays themselves in that light. And to Justin's point, it's entirely ineffectual because ultimately something bad happens and they intentionally or unintentionally have been lying and.

People see right through it, it sounds like too, I mean yeah. Well, you mentioned the podcast, so why don't we talk about that for a little bit? What is the name?

Sure, the name is poned Pwned. It's an industry term that just refers to you're pwned when somebody's taking over your systems and gotten your stuff. And Justin and the team had a very successful podcast for a number of years prior to my arrival here, right. It tended to be more technically focused. There's a lot of brilliant people here, my colleague here on the left included, and a lot of review of relatively technical stuff about how did a breach happen, what's an exploit, what's the way to recommend better best practices, all those kinds of things. And then for about a year, because things were crazy during the pinball, what have you, they hadn't really done very much. And when I joined, Justin was like, hey, what do you think? Let's spin this up again. And in season three took on a very different tone, right? Mainly because I'm like an idiot, right? So we have these different kinds of conversations and it's focused in different areas, right. On the podcast, with those limited number of people who aren't already subscribed, there are different types of topics we talk about. We talk about M and A in the cybersecurity industry in a set of episodes that we call Right Swipes, which is basically based on the idea that did you make the right choice of the bad choice 02:00 in the bar, right?

And this is about cyber security acquisition because a lot of it happens m and A in cybersecurity. There's breach of the week where we talk about the impacts of what happened and more importantly, we do a deep review of how it happened and the lessons that can be learned from it. We do a lot of current event stuff. We talk about it, and we have other episodes where things fall into what we call the pit of despair. Security is a terrible place for marketing, where the words that are used have been either beaten, hollow or so overused. They're worthless. And we cast term into the pit of despair. And if either one of us makes the mistake of using those terms in the course of any episode thereafter, we have to partake of the glorious old Forester 1920 Prohibition era addition, and it just makes it more interesting. So it's a very broad ranging set of topics. It's no longer simply really great technical content. We touch a lot of the bases that I think a lot of our listeners are interested in, because you don't get that taste anywhere else.

We've kind of taken that position of trying to educate our users first. There's a variety of topics, like Jack just mentioned, but in all cases, there's a message that I think we just want to make people aware of, write a different perspective, a different way to look at it, and whether it's super technical in nature. It's like a breach of the week type of scenarios, and we try to get into the details of how the exploit actually occurred. Or like Jack said, it's a swipes episode and there's kind of some business lessons that might have to be had or some considerations. Right. Some things to think about. And my goal straighter myself, isn't really just trying to get people to think about the problem space a little bit differently and consider perhaps different angles with the hopes if they're faced with something similar in the future, it allows them to see around corners in a way that they might not have been able to without hearing us.

And I think what you find is one of the reasons I think we've been fortunate enough to be in the top hundred a number of times in the US and the UK. But the stories that we're given is because we're telling those stories in a way that is it's kind of funny because it's the way we think about it. And just like I say this all the time, I think one of the reasons why we do the episodes and we do as many as we do, is because it's remarkably therapeutic for us. Justin and I were having conversations six months ago about the hypervaluation of the cybersecurity market. That why are these valuations so high? His favorite phrase, which I love, which is the ponies and party hats, right? The unicorn crowd. All these cyber security companies becoming unicorns with no real reason behind it. You look at the financials, you do the analysis and you dig in. There's not much there. And we're like, something bad is going to happen in the future that this overspending, this hyper valuation, this volatility in the market is going to have a negative. Impact and boom, you look two months ago, right?

And now we get to do the podcast that says we're really sad. This isn't Schadenfreude, we're really sad it happened, but you had to see it coming, right? And so it's very therapeutic for us. And I think that that therapeutic angle provides some of that real or sort of organic. It's our honest voice coming through to the listeners and I think that's why they listen.


Okay. So I have a burning question. Did you choose to do this in a podcast format because you thought it was the best way to reach your target audience or because you really like to talk to each other and mull over these subjects and it just seemed like an easy way to do it? Or is there a door number three to this?

I think it's a little bit of a hybrid, honestly. I feel like it's evolved a little bit over the years. Initially, when we started, it was in my garden shed at one or two in the morning, hoping that loud trucks didn't drive by unexpectedly. And we did a way to kind of market and get her name out. And I don't really feel like it was really the most effective way because I feel like we're making it for someone else. From marketing standpoint, that's evolved over the years. We're now approaching 200 episodes, and I think what it's evolved into is a little bit of what Jack said. He's like, kind of do it for ourselves. It's really therapeutic. And there's a lot of times where we'll make something, we'll have a conversation, we'll create a piece of content, or like, do you think anybody is going to care about it? And then I look at Jack, I was like, well, you're going to listen to it.

Then why the hell do we care? And we're good.

We made it for us. As long as we have two listings, we're good. But again, coming back to the unity principle is like, people resonate with that. There's other people that would be interested in the conversations. I guess if I had to sum it up, Wendy, I would characterize it as we've evolved from the point where we made content for the podcast. Like, the podcast exists for the content now. We generate the content and we just happen to record it for the podcast. And we've kind of flipped that around. It's like, these are conversations Jack and I have. Anyway, we talk about this stuff all day long. And honestly, that there's a lot of times Jack and I are talking, we're like, hey, should we just hit record on this?

Hurry, get in the studio, or put a pin in that?

Philosophically, the approach to content has changed and it's a lot more organic and I feel like it's a lot more honest now than what it has been in the past.

Fair. Well, tell me about so we have this podcast and then I think we talked a little bit about how it speaks to your audience, but I'm wondering how it aligns with your business goals and how it fits into the rest of your marketing efforts. Because obviously, as much as you want to record these conversations for posterity between the two of you, you also want to have a growing business that's flourishing. And so you kind of want people to listen and it to work with a broader strategy. So maybe speak to that.

Well, I mean, part of what you can think about the podcast as it's the initial point for a lot of good content that arises. Right. I think we're really fortunate. The conversations that we have are meaty. We're not talking about lightweight topics. We're talking about really relatively high value content that people care about. And so what you find is we get through an episode, and if it's an episode on something meaningful, like how do I hire a CISO? Right? On the back end of that, we'll actually take a transcript. We'll pick up all the smart things that are said during the course of it, and we'll create from that a document that turns into, I believe we've got a checklist out there that you can go through. We've got a sample job description you can use if you're a client. You go to our podcast, you go to the Show Notes page, click on the site, it takes you to our website. It helps you understand how to pick up a CISO. We could blog post of how to hire a super CISO that goes up on LinkedIn. Right? And so from that one thing, which is the two of us, John, about how hard it is for folks to find a talented CISO, particularly when they don't know how to hire security people in the first place.

All these other artifacts are derived from it. And I think there's also a piece of this that our core customers, the people we're looking to close, are closing on trust, right? They're closing on trust to you. If you don't trust them and you don't trust them with your security, it is one of the most intimate relationships an outsourced provider can have with a company. And I think these conversations to a point Justin made earlier, like us or hate us, right? You're going to know us. And I think that part of what this does in driving our core business value is it helps them understand who New Harbor is in a way that is very difficult to do through our marketing slick two page glossy or something that happens. And so the combination of those two things and I'm sure Justin's got more, but for me, at least, those two things, the capacity to multipurpose the content into a variety of forms that gets people interested, and secondly, the ability to allow them to truly see who we are so that they can trust us and get them over that hurdle in the buying cycle. I think it's really both are really important to our core business.

Yeah, I see it as an awareness engine to a lot of initiatives that we're working on and the way I see our content and what we do. When I look about all of the listeners that download and subscribe and share, I like to think for as many as those people are, and having all the success that we've had, if we help just one person, was it worth it? Was it like it? Was it worth all this time and opportunity costs and everything that comes with it? You know, you did all that, but you really helped one person. Was it worth it? I think the answer is absolutely yes. Hell yeah. That's really it for me, driving awareness, just trying to find that one person. And honestly, I'm fully aware I may never know who that person is that we've materially helped out a lot. And if there's someone out there who we've helped a lot, I would love to know that we did do it. But based on people that reach out to us from all over the globe, it's like countries that we never thought we'd be able to reach and to have them write us note that our message resonates and thanks for helping them through stuff.

I'd like to think like, we're making an impact. So to that extent, there's almost this Mother Teresa approach to this where it feels good to help people out.

And maybe importantly, Wendy, we never sell on the podcast. Never. We're never talking about New Harvard being great, although it is. We're never talking about the services we offer or everything we do is in the context of what Justin describes, which is educating the listeners and giving them the information they're looking for and having a blast. It's not sales oriented, it's just not what it is. Right.

So if there's a marketer or business owner listening and they're thinking, oh, we thought about starting a podcast, but I don't know, what advice do you have for them?

Well, I'll let Justin finish because he's going to have to close the closing. This particular one, I would have been thinking it three times through, right? I'm like, Nah, who's ever going to listen? I would have been saying, I don't have that many interesting things to say. I would have said it's a crowded marketplace. I would have said I'll be drowned in the noise of it. And sort of I have these internal dialogue going on and it turns into, so Justin, are we sure we want to do this? And he's like, yeah, hell with it, just do it. And so you jump in and you do it. And you talk about things you think are interesting. You talk about things that you think are important. You talk about things that you think you can add some value to the conversation and not just beyow meow meowing all the time, right?

Big one.

And it works for me. I would tell that person, ignore your inner voice, ignore your sense of self doubt, and just go talk about stuff, you know, and believe me, you know more than some people who are going to come and want to listen to you.

Yeah, I would echo all of what Jack said. I think to me when I asked that question, the most important thing I would say is just start. You just have just start. And you know what? It's not going to be perfect to start, but you're going to learn a lot. You're going to learn a ton. You're going to learn about the tones and inflections and syntaxes you use on how you describe things. But over time, you're going to get better, right? And that's all you can ask for. If you just commit to improving a small amount every single episode, you would be floored how much better your fifth episode is from your first. Your 10th is from your fifth. Your 20th is from your first. And what will happen is you look back over time and you realize, like, how far you've actually come, and what you'll be left with is gratitude. That will be like, I'm so thankful that I started. And what I told Jack and Holly pretty early on is like, we should absolutely be embarrassed of the first episode of the season. And if we're not like, we're doing something wrong because we're going in the same direction or we're going in the opposite direction, the direction we don't want to go.

And by the time you get to the 15th episode, we should look back on the first episode and just be horrified like that. And if you can do that and just kind of start building that muscle, it's a really good thing. But I would also add for anybody else who might be thinking about getting started is in the course of just getting started, you're also practicing communicating your craft, which people don't really practice, and you don't really have an avenue or venue to practice. But in the course of having these conversations, the way I see it is if someone off the street and came and asked me about this topic is like, because I talked about on the podcast and this person has now subsequently asked me about it, am I going to be better or worse or more conversant or less conversant about talking with them about this topic? And the answer is, I'm being moreverse I'm going to be more conversant because I've already talked about it a couple of times. So now I'm a little bit more of an influencer. I'm a little bit more familiar with the market, and I'm able to help that individual perhaps in ways that I couldn't have otherwise.

So it's almost like you're practicing from when the game shows up is the way I see it.

You mentioned that before and we're almost at the side, but I have to ask this real fast. You mentioned if you had helped even this one person and you may not ever know who they are, then you've done your job and that sounds great, but lots of people listening are saying, I'm going to need some metrics and ways to measure whether or not this pretty big time investment is worth it. So are there other metrics that you point to to know that you're headed in the right direction besides looking back at that cringe worthy episode? One of each season?


We track it. Right. And one of the reasons we've been so pleased with some of the performance is because we do pay attention to it. Right. Showing up in charge of the top 100 in the US and UK frequently, it's a big deal for us because it means the message is getting out and typically it's getting out to a lot of people who haven't heard from us before. Holly does a great job in helping us to track what's happening in terms of our statistics. The one thing we can do, though, honestly. Wendy, I'm going to ask you a serious question. Right. How much time really is this? Right? Jess and I sit down for an hour with Holly, we sing and we dance and we leave. We're smarter for our own business. To Justin's point, we're better at talking about what we do and what people care about. So is it really such a big investment to have the same conversation you'd have in your office, at the bar, in front of a microphone so you can help other people learn the same lessons you're talking about? It's not so I'd call into quest the premise if somebody says, oh, it's so much work.

Yes, right. It's not that much work. This is a conversation you probably should be having anyway. Just turn the microphones on and see what happens.

Yeah, I like that, actually. I like that.

Thanks. My work here is done. Got to go. Yeah.

I'm not sure I can really say it better, but if there's any metric to track, to me it's an engagement metric. How many people have you touched or impacted? But I think Jack is exactly right. If you're doing this, you're doing everything that you should be doing. The benefit of that stands alone. Right. And marketing aside for a second, just the practice of building this muscle is going to serve you dividends later. And if the side benefit is marketing and maybe you get a lead maybe you don't like, I don't know. To me, the primary benefit of building that muscle is still incredibly awesome. And if you happen to get a business out of it, that's awesome, too.


Oh, I think you're being modest. I have a feeling you get quite a few business leads out of this show. Good. Well, before we close out here, how can our listeners learn more about New Harbor and connect with you guys?

Our website is a pretty good brochure for our company. As we mentioned, poned, the Information Security podcast, you can find it on Apple or any other podcast syndication engine. I think we're on all of them today, so you can find us there if you want us to reach out. is a good way to reach out if you want to reach out to me personally, my email is, and I think we got

One important thing to listeners if they have questions about this, how we did all this mess, if they have questions about cybersecurity, if they've got questions about the podcast, they can also send the information to the question to, because we get a lot of questions from our listeners there as well, right? And we do a whole set of issues, whole set of episodes on mailback. So we've had questions from how do I get into security to how do I solve this problem? So, sure, I buy this product, all that nonsense. So there's a bunch of different ways to touch us, we're happy to hear.

And that's new harbor. NU harbor. And poned is Pwned. So for those of you listening, I'll put links in the show notes and thank you to you both. This was really interesting and enlightening and the philosophical alignment between the two of you. Stellar, stellar.

Love it, Wendy. Thanks a million.

All right, cheers.

Thanks for joining me today on Content Marketing Engineers. For Show Notes, including links to resources, visit podcasts. While there, you can subscribe to our blog and our newsletter and order a copy of my book, Content Marketing Engineers. Also, I would love your reviews on this podcast, so please, when you get a chance, subscribe and leave me a review on your favorite podcast subscription platform. Thanks and have a great day.

Wendy Covey

Wendy Covey is a CEO, a technical marketing leader, author of Content Marketing, Engineered, one of The Wall Street Journal’s 10 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs in America, and she holds a Texas fishing record. She resides in a small Hill Country town southwest of Austin, Texas, where she enjoys outdoor adventures with her family.

About TREW Marketing

TREW Marketing is a strategy-first content marketing agency serving B2B companies that target highly technical buyers. With deep experience in the design, embedded, measurement and automation, and software industries, TREW Marketing provides branding, marketing strategy, content development, and digital marketing services to help customers efficiently and effectively achieve business goals.