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E76 | Owning The Ink in Your Industry with Andy Buyting

What do you do when the banks foreclose on your $6.5m loans, just as you’re trying to scale your business? And then you endure a very public bankruptcy as the bank wants to show that no one is untouchable? For some people that might be the end of them, for Andy Buyting it was the beginning. 

“It feels like I died. And the whole town is showing up for the reading of the will to see what they can get out of it.”

Andy is founder and CEO of Tulip Media, a very successful business combining digital and print media. This idea sprang from the ashes of his former business, Green Village Home and Garden – a home and garden shop in Canada. 

Like many people and businesses, Andy was hit hard by the global financial crisis of 2007, but he didn’t let it drag him down. Today, alongside running Tulip Media, Andy is also a certified Scale Up coach, sharing over 20 years of sales, marketing, operations, business development and entrepreneurship experience with his clients as he travels across the US and Canada, talking to entrepreneurs about how they can own the ink in their industry. 

“My track record speaks for itself. Over 57% of the “for-profit” organisations that I have coached over the past 10 years have gone on to sell for 2x+ industry multiple and often 5-10x founders expectations.”

This is a hugely insightful and honest conversation; we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  

On today’s podcast:

  • The rise and fall of Green Village Home and Garden
  • Dealing with a very public bankruptcy
  • Why he became a Scaling Up coach
  • How he got into the publishing business
  • How Tulip Media can help your business
  • Why you need to create content for both digital and print platforms 
  • The importance of performance reviews for employees
  • Why your business needs a core purpose

Why Print Media Isn’t Dead with Andy Buyting

Andy Buyting is founder and CEO of Tulip Media, a very successful business combining digital and print media. The idea for this business sprang from the ashes of his former business, Green Village Home and Garden – a home and garden shop in Canada. 

He can’t credit his former business solely with the inspiration for his current business, he did take Verne Harnish’s Birthing of Giants programme at MIT after all. It was during a conversation with Verne, about how entrepreneurs in their industry need to own their ink, that sparked the idea.  

“You need to own the Ink in your industry, whatever your customers are reading, it should come from you, you should be the one putting out content.”

So, Andy set up a magazine for his then business, Green Village Home and Garden:  

“Our debut issue of our home and garden magazine programme had a distribution four times larger than Canadian Gardening magazine, which is the largest gardening magazine in the country – it has been in business for 125 years.”

Tulip Media

But just how did Andy go from making a magazine for his home and garden business, to founding Tulip Media? And what is the value of Tulip Media for customers? 

Tulip Media enables businesses to compete in the marketplace, to cut through the often times confusing ambiguity of how to market properly, including how to get your brand and your company in a position to be viewed as a market leader in your industry.

They do this by helping businesses with custom publishing and creating competitive content through keyword analysis. They create a keyword optimization strategy and content that  businesses can publish across their website and through email campaigns to increase their SEO rankings.

But the piece de resistance, their secret sauce, is that they take this content and not just publish it digitally, but they integrate it across multiple platforms both digitally and in print. This way, not only is the great content available via your website, aiding your SEO efforts, but it works doubly hard for you because it is also included in printed newsletters and magazines.

You don’t just get an online digital marketing strategy with Tulip Media; you get the longevity and credibility that comes with an offline printed marketing strategy too.

Why print media still works

“Do you know your most uncluttered inbox is your mailbox? At the front door, you know? So, if you want to stand out, that should be part of your mix. It really needs to be part of the mix.”

According to Andy, anything in print is instantly more credible than anything found online. 

“I read a stat the other day that talked about how email marketing effectiveness has gone down by 47% over the last 10 years. However, print marketing effectiveness has gone up by 15%. So, it’s not that print has changed a whole lot, it’s just digital has changed so much to make it less valuable.”

The content for print media

If you’re going to put together a magazine for your audience, what do you need it to contain? Well, what you don’t want to do is fill it with articles solely about your product or industry.  

“If you put out a magazine all about insurance, people might pick up the first issue, but it’ll be the first and last one that they pick up.”

Andy recommends that you create the majority of the content to be general business content – have an article about sales, marketing, HR, strategy. Do a feature story about a local business. And then with the customised content, decide on what products and services you want to push and create a few articles around them.  

“The magazine in general needs to have an element of entertainment as much as it needs an element of value.”

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