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Smart Brand Marketing with Tom Libelt

Smart Brand Marketing is Tom Libelt’s company. His sub-head for his podcast of the same name, is “what we do, we do for ourselves”. What is refreshing about Tom, is he does not dress up his own drive to make money with altruism.

Smart Brand Marketing, The Next 100 Days Podcast

Tom relies on the Internet

It was interesting to discuss what would happen if the internet just stopped working. Graham takes an irreverent view as per…

Parent company

This is the parent company. Any products or services that Tom builds, he puts underneath that brand. So that makes it easy to shut down or sell off a sub-business without touching the parent company.

Acolytes of Dan Kennedy and David Ogilvy, less so Zig Ziglar!

Both Graham and Tom Libelt are acolytes of Dan Kennedy. In addition to Dan Kennedy, Tom cites David Ogilvy as a big inspiration too. Ogilvy’s book is a must read for any aspiring marketer. You might find this article a good read, but go buy his book, settle down and read it.

Tom’s reputation for being strongly opinionated, came out when he spoke about Zig Zigler!

Tom’s Social Mission – Put Money in His Pocket

Zig Ziglar was right about one thing, according to Tom. Help others first and they’ll help you. He focuses on getting results for his clients, but with a view to enriching Smart Brand Marketing.

Half a Crown a Week!

Kevin Appleby admitted to receiving half a crown weekly from his Grandfather as a nipper. So, The Next 100 Days, is a story of the haves and have nots.

Half a Crown, The Next 100 Days PodcastInstinct for Business – What a tale this is!

Imagine being 6 year old and being part of an international smuggling operation. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to scream loudly on the back seat to distract the Polish border security checks!

International smuggling was really a political choice, Tom explained. His Dad was never going to join the Communists (good thing too) and so the alternative was to hustle to survive. His parents wanted a legal, normal way of making money, which is why they chose to move to America.

When Tom arrived in the States, he saw a lot of people hustling, but for others, and really getting nowhere. He worked a number of jobs. In sales. Once he was confident, he realised it was time to run his own business.

The Logic For Going Online Rather Than Bricks n Mortar

Tom invested in a couple of Bricks n Mortar businesses. The second, a coffee shop. Which meant he was serving food. And that meant, licenses and inspections and staff wages. The metrics were 75% outgoings and 25% margin for him. Not good maths from Tom’s perspective.

By getting rid of the overhead, Tom thought it would be 75% for him. And that’s what happened. Once he moved to the internet his profit margin has always been between 60-80%.

Initially, Tom offered SEO services. SEO back then was low barrier of entry, so he used his sales skills. Everyone he spoke to locally wrote him a cheque to get their businesses ranked.

He was successful at helping niche businesses get ranked, but he learned a new lesson. If you rely on platforms, it’s not much better than a brick n mortar setting.

Do You Have Platform Risk?

That’s where you build up a business on a particular platform THAT YOU DO NOT CONTROL and that platform delists you, or something similar. Tom recommended Convertkit for email marketing. Kevin uses the same email marketing platform.


Why Does Tom Podcast?

The short answer is that it makes introductions for him that he’d otherwise not get.

He always looks for different angles in his business. He would get hold of people who would never normally get on a call with him. But they do with a podcast. After an hour chatting, if Tom asks to be on a panel, it’s hard for the guest to say no.

Kevin says 240 episodes gives us the opportunity to speak to anyone. We learn from every single guest.


Ellie Nevin did some research for Graham in July 2020.

83% of episodes were found on the 1st page of Google using the guest’s Name as search. 54 (20F, 24M) were UK guests and 29 (16M, 13F) international.
12% were on page 2.

In other words, podcasting has significant benefits when it comes to SEO.


Work for the Audience or the Guests

When Tom grew up, he had 2 goals. He studied to be an audio engineer. He persistently badgered a tutor to get a gig at a studio in Manhattan.

But the industry was declining. He decided to dominant a small pond. Where he lived was a Polish are. He dominated that area. His neighbourhood had around 1m Polish.

He got offers from a Polish label to do it properly in Poland. He declined. By then, Tom had moved on. He’d accomplished everything he wanted, by 26, and he moved on.

The opportunity was to make $40k per year as an artist. He could make that as a crappy salesperson.

Tom didn’t hold onto stuff beyond the sell by. Never would he be the guy always talking about a great game when he was young. It does nothing for him.

3 Tips from Smart Brand Marketing

  1. Set up a lot of constraints around your business or marketing. Or you’ll create something you might not like later on. Don’t hate your job. i.e. No calls before 8 or after 8. No more than 20 employees.
  2. The third door. Queue to get into a club. Then there is a VIP line. Around the back. There is a little window, you get in, get in your own way. Don’t copy other people’s way.
  3. Every new business. It’s a bus. Most people move from a shabby bus to another bus. But they are starting again. Not a great idea. Don’t be the guy with 10 years of single year experiences.

How do they get in touch?

He focuses on Online Courses.

Go to:

There is an application. Then a phone call. Tom wants clarity on how to fix your problem. After 30 minutes he decides whether he wants to work with you.



Kevin Appleby is the Business Accountants Mentor, and is COO at GrowCFO. He also hosts the GrowCFO Show, a podcast dedicated to finance leaders. You can get in touch with Kevin directly here.


Graham Arrowsmith hosts on the next 100 days podcast

Graham Arrowsmith runs Finely Fettled a marketing consultancy that helps businesses market to the affluent. Additionally, he is about to launch a new business called Meet Professionals, which introduces people looking for financial advice to Financial Advisers.

Contact Graham Arrowsmith or Tori-Jade Rhodes at: