Eating The Elephant - Social Media Marketing for Professionals


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A practical guide to social media marketing for professional service firms

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Eating The Elephant - Social Media Marketing for Professionals

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  2. 2. My name is Bill Brelsford and I own a company called Rebar Business Builders where I work as a marketing coachconsultant – helping small business owners install marketing systems. I’m located just outside of Kansas City. I started my career as a CPA, but I no longer practice accounting. I’ve spent most of my career helping small businesses create and automate business systems. A couple of years ago I noticed that most of the businesses that I worked with didn’t have a systematic way of getting new business. So that’s when I decided to start my own company and become an Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach.
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  4. 4. So let’s talk about what this social media marketing stuff is all about. I know it’s popular these days to disdain theory… But as Dr. Deming, father of the quality evolution, once said “No theory, no learning” So let’s take a minute and explore why we may (or may not) want to explore social media marketing. 4
  5. 5. The basic theory we are operating on is that interruption based marketing is ineffective. People are either becoming immune or using technology to block out the interruptions. In order to be effective, we must move from interruption based marketing, to a world of permission based marketing and marketing that helps us “get found” by the people who need us when they need us. 5
  6. 6. Sometimes “old” marketing is referred to as outbound marketing. Inbound marketing uses many the tools we think of when we think of social media marketing 6
  7. 7. Maybe you haven’t heard this, but I’m surprised how often I hear that social media marketing doesn’t work for professional service providers. That’s a myth. It does work for professional service providers when done correctly and we’ll talk more about what that means. It may take more work to use correctly, but it is effective. 7
  8. 8. “Traditional” advertising and marketing has never worked extremely well for services. Sometimes that was because the tactic was ineffective. Sometimes, it was because we just don’t like marketing. We’ve traditionally relied on networking, building relationships, giving and receiving introductions, establishing ourselves as subject matter experts 8
  9. 9. Social media marketing is about having conversations and building relationships. Sound familiar? How have professionals marketed their services in the past? • Networking • Referrals • Writing articles • Speaking engagements 9
  10. 10. Luckily for us, those very same things that proved effective for us marketing professional services the “old” way are the very things that make for successful social media marketing 10
  11. 11. Social media gives us a new set of tools to begin and participate in these conversations. With people we may not otherwise meet It also allows us to participate in conversations without having to physically be there It also gives us new tools to form and nurture relationships 11
  12. 12. One of the problems we face is that we have so many new tools and ways of working, that we can feel overwhelmed. If we are not careful, social media marketing can become a huge time suck for us. So the question becomes, how do we get involved in social media and effectively use it to grow our business without having it take up all of our time? 12
  13. 13. Social media must be part of our overall marketing strategy rather than a stand alone activity. We need a marketing system. 13
  14. 14. Since we are going to be talking about marketing today, let’s start with a common definition. Here is the definition of marketing that we will be using today. It’s really that simple. If you want a slightly more complex definition, we can say that marketing is getting someone with a specific need to know, like, trust, do business with, and refer you. The bottom line is people want to do business with people they like. In order to like you they have to know you and trust you. This definition to drive everything we do in our marketing. If you have a million dollar marketing budget, you can buy some Know, Like, and Trust. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that most of the people on this call don’t have that kind of marketing budget, so in order to be effective we must be more systematic in how we approach marketing. So lets talk about a few fundamentals that go into creating a marketing system.
  15. 15. The first step in creating a successful marketing system is to create your marketing strategy. Most small business owners don’t think about marketing in terms of strategy. They tend to think of tactics. When you try to move straight to tactics without first developing a strategy you fall victim of the marketing idea of the week. Your strategy is comprised of two parts; your ideal customer description and your core difference. The more narrowly you can define who you help and how you help them, the easier all of your marketing, social or otherwise, will be.
  16. 16. One more thing before we move on. Sometimes you wouldn’t know it by talking to us marketing types, but, social media isn’t just about marketing But using it for marketing is what we will be talking about today. 16
  17. 17. Your marketing system (existing or planned) should be evaluated in terms of the marketing hourglass There is an opportunity to use social media at every stage of the marketing hourglass 17
  18. 18. From a strategic point of view, what we are doing with social media in creating conversations that open up new access points. Another way to think about this is many streams feeding a river But new access points to what? Once you “get found” you need to have a clear picture of what you want to happen next. For many of you, you want the next step to be for that person to visit your blog andor web site to continue to learn more and perhaps to sign up for your “keep in touch” system. Or get them into the “Try” stage of our marketing hour glass. 18
  19. 19. I find that one of the things that holds folks back from engaging in social media is the question “where do I start?” There are a lot of social sites available and we will talk a little bit about how to choose the right one(s) for you. 19
  20. 20. When most of us talk about social media, we are probably talking about what I call the “big four” I’m including blogging because of the crucial role it plays, particularly for professional service firms 20
  21. 21. Although we will be talking mostly about the “Big Four”, remember that the social media universe is huge. So if your ideal customers don’t hang out on one of the big four, they probably have some other place where you can meet them. This intimidating chart is already out of date. 21
  22. 22. So where to start? Going back to our idea about Strategy before Tactics, we should begin our social media activities by listening. I think one of the most important, and often overlooked, things to remember about social media is that it gives us a great ability to listen to what is going on in the market place. 22
  23. 23. Use these listening tools to hear what people are saying about: • You, your company, your brand • Your competition • Products you sell • Organizations you belong to • People expressing frustrations or problems (I’ve had my house on the market for 8 months and …) • Local events 23
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  25. 25. Twitter lets you listen based on keyword, dates, and even in your local area 25
  26. 26. There are two broad steps in “getting found” 1. Claiming your digital real estate 2. Creating and sharing content that is valuable to your ideal customers 26
  27. 27. Creating accounts profiles on different social sites Profile should link to your blog andor website Profiles should help people contact you Let’s take a quick look at some of the places you can claim your digital real estate 27
  28. 28. A great place to centralize all of your links Will typically show up on the bottom of the first page of google for your name Have links from a high authority site back to your sites 28
  29. 29. Local search profiles are returned when someone searches for your services locally “Kansas city marketing coach” “Denver computer expert” “Dallas divorce attorney” Free to set up Your clients can leave reviews 29
  30. 30. The “yellow books” of the internet Social because people can leave reviews. Customers searching get “instant referrals”, so you want to encourage your raving fan customers to leave reviews for you. 30
  31. 31. A blog is a great way to get found Search engines love blogs – when they routinely provide relevant (key word rich) content. You don’t have to be a prolific writer, but you do want to post consistently, even if only once or twice a week. Even if people don’t read your blog everyday, chance are they will find it when they search If you don’t have a blog, check out Wordpress allows you to set up a blog on their site Most web hosting services (GoDaddy, Blue Host) have “one-click” installation of Wordpress or you can download from 31
  32. 32. Use a reader to keep track of the blogs you follow and Google Reader are two popular readers. 32
  33. 33. Most professionals will start with LinkedIn If you have a LinkedIn profile, when someone Googles your name, one of the top results will be your LinkedIn profile. 33
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  36. 36. Who to follow is always a big question when starting to use twitter. In addition to interesting people you found via the twitter searches you set up as part of your listening station, here are some popular resources for finding people to follow 36
  37. 37. Unless you like drinking from a fire hose, you will want some tools to help filter and organize your twitter conversations. Here are three popular tools to help you group, filter, search, and manage your twitter account. 37
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  39. 39. A fan or business page is a profile for your business Don’t use a personal profile for your business. Find it by looking for “Ads and Pages” 39
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  41. 41. How do we manage all of this and still do our other job(s)? 41
  42. 42. Perhaps you check FB & Twitter once or twice a day Post to your blog weekly Write a newsletter andor find new people to follow monthly 42
  43. 43. There is an ever-growing list of tools designed to make managing social media easy. The problem is, there are so many. If you try to select tools first, you will spend a ton of time So determine your plan first, which will tell you your needs, and then select your tools Some broad categories of tools include 43
  44. 44. Free Solutions • Netvibes • iGoogle • Yahoo Pipes • FriendFeed Paid solutions - Filtrbox 44
  45. 45. Most CRM systems are building social media integration into their offerings. If you currently use a CRM system, check with your vendor to see what social media features they have and plan to offer 45
  46. 46. LinkedIn connects to Twitter Facebook app to connect with Twitter Tools like allow you to update several accounts at once or individually but from the same interface Wordpress has a plugin to update twitter when you create a new post 46
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  49. 49. For a detailed description of the Social Media Pro program, please visit 49
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