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The senior living industry has a voice. You can hear it on Bridge the Gap podcast!

155: Kaleb Scharmahorn

Kaleb Scharmahorn, President of Solinity™ Marketing, announces the new company that will serve senior living clients in content development and online marketing. Kaleb discusses the importance of having a marketing company that is dedicated to the client, has expertise in the industry and that provides the leadership to come alongside teams to help position brands to stand out among their competitors.

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Lucas:
Welcome to Bridge The Gap podcast, the senior living podcast with Josh and Lucas. We’ve got a great friend and a special guest on the show today. Welcome, Kaleb.

Kaleb:
Hello, hello. Thank you guys for having me. Yes. This is really cool. This is the first time.

Lucas:
You know, it’s a cold day in your new hometown.

Kaleb:
Our new hometown Nashville, Tennessee. Um, yeah, we moved my gosh…. my family moved here about six weeks ago, and it’s, you know, we miss home, but this is our new home and we’re making friends and making a new life here.
Josh:
I mean, Kaleb, you’re originally from Kentucky, so this is kind of like halfway mark, right?

Kaleb:
You know, this is actually a lot more of the familiar area for me. I grew up in West Kentucky about two hours North of here and my wife’s from Indiana. So we’re back in our homeland, even though we did love the beach and the palm trees, but it’s good to be home.

Lucas:
That’s great. Well, so we’re talking specifically today about senior living and how it relates to marketing. And so you have a very unique background. What got you interested in marketing to begin with? Because I know that you went to a very specialized, specific school to go and start your training.

Kaleb:
Yeah. So, you know, I’ve always been, I would always consider myself a creative professional. I’ve always done some level of creativity. Really, as long as I can remember, it’s always been a passion of mine. But got into the kind of creative professional marketing probably 10 years ago. My undergrad is in something completely different and a season of life had changed and went back to school, got a graduate degree in internet marketing from Full Sail University in Florida. And, yeah, that, that kind of propelled me into this, this marketing thing. And even more specifically into marketing in context of senior housing, which has been, you know, my heartbeat of marketing ever since.
Josh:
And that’s actually where you and I met years ago. You were doing senior housing marketing and helped me develop a lot of brands. A lot of the things even helped me develop Solinity years ago and we developed a friendship and it’s been an awesome road since. So fast forward a little bit, tell us what the latest and greatest is.
Kaleb:
Well, you’re right Josh, we had a really awesome run there and it was so awesome that I felt like, and you felt like we should probably do it again in a different capacity. So we’re launching Solinity Marketing. Josh and I partnered up on another side and I’m super excited, man. We’re building a strong team, got some really great momentum going into 2021. And, you know, and it’s still something marketing, digital marketing, online marketing is still something that is so relevant, not just to everyone, but even more specifically to senior housing and excited to be on the team with you.
Lucas:
So you could do marketing in any other vertical, you know, you have this creative background, you’ve got all this training, all this experience. And so what is it about senior living that keeps you interested and why do you want to continue to do this?
Kaleb:
You know, senior housing is a unique industry, as you guys know. Marketing is fun. It’s creative. It’s fulfilling for people like me, but there’s something about senior housing that goes above and beyond just the selfish desire to fill that need creatively. There’s something about senior housing that, that is a give-back, that is something that is honoring the legacy of people that have lived before us. And for me, that is something, it’s something so special about that. It’s not just a job, it’s not just something you clock in and clock out on it, it’s a passion. And to when you get in a situation like myself, you get to marry one passion, which is creative, at fill in the blank and marry this other passion of really helping people and organizations care for those that have cared for us. I mean, that’s a perfect marriage in my mind. And I think that’s why senior housing and marketing goes so well together for me.
Josh:
Well, and Lucas, Kaleb, you know, we’ve talked about this so much. There’s so much opportunity there. Our industry, this vertical, as you mentioned, Lucas, it’s such a growing industry, with the aging population. And so many of these communities and these leaders need help. And that’s something that we’ve also said, you know. Our industry hasn’t really done justice to the awesome things that they do and how they share those stories, how they create the right platforms, how they market themselves. So it is an endless opportunity, you know. And so fast forward to, you know, it’s a little bit of a homecoming for us, because Kaleb, you were around and helped us form the brand, Bridge The Gap. When we were just friends and kind of working together in other capacities, and we didn’t even know at that time what Bridge The Gap would become a few years later. And so now here we are in Nashville, you’re heading Solinity Marketing, and we’re having this conversation. It’s a little bit surreal.
Kaleb:
Are you telling me that it could have been the Josh, Lucas and Kaleb show? Is that what you’re saying?
Josh:
Very well, could have been what might’ve been, what might have been, you know, you never know, but I’m so glad that we’re here in this moment. And, you know, our audience probably doesn’t even know all that goes into, not only just producing the show but to make me and Lucas sound like anything like we know what we’re doing. I can’t imagine what this team does behind the scenes. So maybe tell us a little bit, Kaleb, generally speaking, not for Bridge The Gap necessarily, but you know, marketing… internet marketing has a really big context that can mean a lot of things. So can you tell us a little bit more about what you specifically help communities with?
Kaleb:
Yeah, for sure. You know, you’re right. Marketing is a really big brushstroke when it comes to conversation and there’s a lot of definitions behind what marketing is and looks like, and there’s a lot of nuances that are not false, they’re all true. Um, but really the area that we’ve tried to carve out at Solinity Marketing, with the team that we have and whether we’re working with Bridge The Gap or we’re working with our community, our partners, or even industry partners, our goal really focuses on creating what we call an ecosystem online. Online marketing is not just a, it’s not a fad, it’s a thing. And it’s a thing that we all have to embrace specifically, even more so in a COVID world. And so where we come along, we really help our clients build that ecosystem by creating a consistent, relevant, portion of content. Content is one of those elusive targets we all know we need it.

We don’t know all how to, we don’t know how to get it sometimes. Sometimes it becomes the last thing on the list as far as priority because we do have a lot of other things that are competing for our time. So our agency comes along our partners and said, Hey, we were going to help you develop a content strategy. We’re going to help you develop a campaign strategy, if you will. And we’re going to come alongside you and assistance with your team and your internal team, we’re going to create this content and then not only can create it, but we’re going to help you share it to those prospective families, prospective residents, and help build your brand. Whether that’s through a website, whether that’s through social media, whether that’s through PR, on and on and on, videos, photos, you name it. We’re trying to create and carve out that area where we can come alongside these communities and partners and help them with that.
Josh:
Well, and it’s so important too. And it was really, we’ve talked about this and kind of laughed, it may not be the best thing for me to say, but when I started a division, you know, now, Solinity marketing, since you’ve joined, is a company and you’re running this and taking it to the next levels and helping all of us in great ways. But when we started division as Solinity Marketing, as I told you, Lucas, it was really out of frustration because there are so many marketing companies out there that are great marketing companies, great PR companies, but oftentimes they don’t really speak the senior living language. They don’t understand who the consumer is. They don’t understand the customers. And so you, as a, as an operator, as as an owner, or as an executive director, you spend a lot of your time after they built you this beautiful ecosystem or this platform, it’s void without the great content.

And so you find yourself spending all your time writing content. And so that was one of the things when I met Kaleb years ago and his team was already doing that kind of thing. And I, I learned that, wow, you know, they can come alongside of me and truly partner because they understand the industry and they have the tools to help make me better. So, you know, it’s been a great journey and it’s helped Bridge The Gap, um, as well. So, what’s next on the horizon? What’s going on with Solinity Marketing, with you?

Kaleb:
You know, so Solinity Marketing, we’re making the big announcement like you said. Solinity Marketing has been a division of Solinity proper, and for us, we’re building our team. I’m super excited to be a part of the team now and helping lead this thing. I believe in the necessity of marketing, and the necessity of content creation. Content exists out there already. It’s just you need someone, you need an organization, hopefully Solinity Marketing can come alongside all of you guys and say, Hey, how can we take the content you already have and turn it into something and make it consistent. And so that’s what I’m excited about. That’s really, what’s on the horizon and really partnering with really great, senior housing partners and helping them take their business to the next level as we take ours to the next level.

Lucas:
We talk about it all the time. We talk about the love stories of the industry and what an opportunity we have to share that. Content is a big piece of that. And the other thing we talk about is this common thread that weaves in and out of the industry and that common thread are people that are passionate about telling those love stories, passionate about getting the word out about what senior housing is, what senior living is and going into 2021, and we’re in 2021, what a great opportunity that we all have to be focused and nuance in this space. The industry needs people like Kaleb, like Josh, like all of us to continue to, you know, put out that banner and to be able to tell that story. Yeah, absolutely.
Josh:
Absolutely. And, you know, the spotlight that has been put on our industry over the last year, the last months, it’s a great opportunity for us to shine now. We’ve got the tools, out there, readily available and it’s exciting. It’s exciting Lucas to be here in Nashville with you. I mean, you’re in from Dallas. I drove a few hours over, we’re in your hometown music city. I wish right now, I can’t hardly contain myself. I’m just wanting to tell our audience, like why even more than a podcast, why we’re here. It’s like so many things going on that I can’t wait to tell our listeners about. You know, the podcast has become more than just Josh and Lucas. It was always bigger than us. And we were always quick to tell people that because we knew it was, but our listeners have so grown the platform that now so much more content coming out could not do that without Solinity Marketing, working overtime to make that content possible as we’re churning it out, but growing to be much bigger and everything surrounds our mission, which is to inform, educate, and influence senior housing professionals and help change the perception of senior living.
Lucas:
And we couldn’t continue to do it without Kaleb and your team. And we couldn’t have started it without Kaleb and your team. So this is a providential, it’s serendipitous, and it’s a great conversation. Kaleb, thank you so much for what you’re doing, excited about what’s to come. How can people connect? Like if I’m a community right now and I’m listening to this and I’m thinking, gosh, my social media is a mess. My tracking’s a mess. I don’t have a funnel. I can’t, I just, I need some help. What’s the best way for them to connect?

Kaleb:
Absolutely. Solinitymarketing.com. We’re a new company, we’re just now starting this whole deal. So we’re getting our feelers out there, putting all of our platforms out and in existence as well, but SolinityMarketing.com and find us at Solinity Marketing on social as well. And email me Kaleb@Solinity.com. I’d love to talk with everyone out there just to figure out how we can partner together in 2021 and beyond.

Lucas:
We’ll connect with you and all of that in the show notes, and remember to go to BTGvoice.com for everything, social, everything on the Bridge The Gap network for all of our contributors. All of our shows, all of our content lives there @btgvoice.com. Great conversation, Kaleb. Thank you so much for taking time with me.

Kaleb:
Thank you guys for having me.

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155: Kaleb Scharmahorn