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LeadCoverage with Kara Smith Brown feature #39 of Together Talks

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

"Together Talks" feature #39: LeadCoverage presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on LeadCoverage

For today's edition of the "Together Talks" campaign, KLS is proud to introduce Co-Founder, Kara Smith Brown of LeadCoverage. LeadCoverage is a premier B2B marketing and PR firm that helps companies develop, or boost, lead generation through targeted marketing strategies and media coverage that drives inbound conversions and measurable marketing ROI. The supply chain and heavy industrial focused business was started by two industry expertises, Kara Brown and Will Haraway. More specifically, LeadCoverage provides lead gen services including marketing and sales alignment, perfecting tech stacks, social and email conversion, SEO and PPC, and sales accountability.

1st Development

Kara began her career with Echo Global Logistics. She was one of the first employees with the new start-up that grew at exponential levels within three years. Kara helped guide the company through their IPO and is listed on the press release from 2009.


Fast forward to 2019 she merged her company with Will as the two now partner LeadCoverage. Present day the company has a team of 30 in their Georgia location. The company operations in the logistics and supply chain industries only, or as Kara explained "Anything that touches a truck, train, or boat." Simple enough! Kara also shared there are 3 pieces to their business.

Matrix

  1. Physical component: Assets

  2. Technology that moves those assets

  3. Money that moves those goods

LeadCoverage, while serving massive industries, is still specialized in the sense that it doesn't expand outside of the two industries. As Kara told us, they have found their niche. She explained to us how LeadCoverage is unique because of their dual capabilities. "Some companies will do PR side only, but can't turn it into leads or some will do content only for supply chain, but don't have a system for leads." LeadCoverage bridges the gap and offers both services. This is why the merge between Kara and Will made so much sense. As Kara told us, "We are the only shop that does true revenue and lead gen in supply chain. We are tracking ROI back to content." It created a game changer within the industry. As evidence by the success the company reached.


Conquering a Statistic

Less than 2% of female founders will break $1M in revenue.

Kara broke that in 8 months. In our talk it is evident that Kara's success is not attributed by luck, she is incredibly ambitious. She shared with us that the amount of women who bootstrap to $10M is so statistically small it isn't fathomable. When we asked Kara her goal for the company, this was at the top of the list, revenue. Kara is driven to grow and in 2023 she expects to "survive and thrive" as she told us. Despite the market being tough, he wants to continue to grow their company, to make that mark...to reach that ceiling and shatter it.


To obtain these lofty goals of course the company must grow. Kara is attempting to change the framework of how to get the company there. She told us one of the challenges the company faces is people, finding the right people, hiring the right people, and keeping the right people. While she loves the culture and is proud of what has been curated, they still need to keep adding to the team to support the growing business. But she also has another interesting take in terms of increasing incoming clients. Her view is instead of hiring sales positions, to create the sales "tool". She plans to create the infrastructure that will ultimately provide the process to create as much inbound volume as possible, a Legacy if you will.


Exposure

What is even more remarkable is LeadCoverage has not spent a single dollar on any marketing. Everything has been organic and word of mouth. Kara is active on LinkedIn, has participated on podcasts, and they try to always be visible at trade shows. She gave us an example of their impact and presence they possess, "At TIA in April, we met a final mile provider. We have a client who does small trucking company insurance. We immediately connected the two. It is that sort of magic that makes us so unique. We can do that across the system across logistics and are constantly creating partnerships on top of our core processes."


Kara proclaimed she is a marketer by nature and even joked she has the nickname "idea monkey". But she was able to simplify the success philosophy below.

  • Share Good News

  • Track Interest

  • Follow Up

She told us all 3 are intertwined and build on each other, "think of it like an engine". And with this she has the framework to rinse and repeat to create the success again and again. Process first. This creates fresh prospects and then spits out the interested prospects after the cycle. They don't close for clients, but they are serving up warm leads.


She posed the question, "How do I take this process that is working and put it into a deliverable, put it into a medium that someone can ingest and utilize?"


Next Goal

We asked Kara what is next for her, and what is her next goal after she conquers the $10M plateau. "Write a book", without hesitation. Which answers the question she posed just before this. She told us, "Replicating yourself is hard, so I need to find another way to share my knowledge and experience." Create the process for others by writing essentially a 'how to guide'. She broke it down to serving two audiences (25 year old Kara & 25 year old boss at the time). Being able to see the perspective of both to better lead, perform, and ultimately grow together. The plan is to go through the matrix and 3 funnels as she laid out for us already. She hopes to start this year on the book which will be roughly a 15 year gap from 25 year old Kara to current day CEO Kara.


Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!

Transition

The growth did not come without adversity. Kara was kind enough and vulnerable enough to share with us the story of the hardest point of time for her company. In May 2022, two women who helped build the company left. At the same time. Both were instrumental in getting the company from $0M to $3M. Kara credited both of them and said without their contributions, never would the company have made it to where they are today.


Kara told us she thought the company would fold. Both were so pivotal in creating the current landscape. But quickly she learned that what got them to $3M, wouldn't get them to $10M. She remembered her goal of pushing that basically non-existent statistic a little further along, so she worked. They made changes to the leadership team, forced the company to adapt and bring in different ways of doing business. Different experiences created the opportunity for the company to change for the better and that is what they did. Kara informed us, "We became more professional, more transparent, more buttoned-up, we hired better. We thought we were doing things well prior, but we realized there was another level we could get to. We used this fork in the road to realign our processes to reach our next goal." What could have broke them and folded as Kara feared, ultimately fixed them. They came out stronger and more resilient. The situation forced them to adapt or die, a pressure situation that could've burst pipes or make diamonds. LeadCoverage cumulatively built a strong culture and a stronger ecosystem.


She shared how grateful she was for their work, their sweat equity, and their contributions. Kara advised there is no way the company could've done it without him. Part of her wishes she could celebrate the big wins now that they have, but all parties realized they had reached as far as they could go at that time. Amicably, they had squeezed as much from the sponge as they could. Kara told us she recently thinks back on this period she classifies as "trauma".


Perspective

Kara told us she worries as an Owner, she calls it "CEO or Entrepreneur Trauma". But she is able to flip her mindset which is so crucial and told us that coming out of the transition she felt almost invincible. To lose two key foundational pieces and not only survive but improve was such a challenge. It proved that they have the foundation in place and now she realizes that together they can continue to pivot to reach new levels they didn't previously think were obtainable.


She credited the culture for not just being great but accepting the changes they ushered in during 2023. She said they made a concerted effort to become "better people focused". One thing they implemented is what is known as "Brightspots". Every Friday at 4, the entire team does a Zoom call and anyone can share whatever they want for the week. She also said there is a running joke in the office called "0 minutes since I was uncomfortable" (which she clearly pointed out not in a bad way!), but that is just the environment they have cultivated over the last year.


We asked Kara her favorite part and quickly she said, "being the boss" with a huge smile! But she elaborated stating how she enjoys the company's ability to make connections that will be helpful in terms of the clients. Finding and then providing the right resources for clients. Having a huge win for a client. Ultimately knowing what they are doing is putting new leads into clients' inboxes. Kara joked that her Children will say, "Mommy just laughs all day."


Sounds like the dream...


Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!

In Closing

KLS is thankful for the opportunity to promote LeadCoverage and Co-Founder, Kara Smith Brown, for today's "Together Talks" feature. We are grateful for her time, consideration, and participation. Check out this company via their Website, LinkedIn, and Kara' LinkedIn.

best+customer+service+3pl+ltl+ftl+reefer+drayage+ Klimson+logistics+solutions+KLS+TogetherTalks+feature39

Klimson Logistics Solutions - LeadCoverage with Kara Smith Brown feature #39 of Together Talks

*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST Customer Service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign "Together Talks" if you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!


Why KLS?

Our precise and reliable effort.

We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.


Our Process?

Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.

Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.

The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.

Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.

Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.

You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.

For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.

This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.


Services offered?

Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.


Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth

LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).

Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.

FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.

Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution

What makes KLS different?

There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.

Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.

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