Archives for August 2012

30Aug

Ep#6: Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth Marketing interview with Martin incl. what are people already saying about you, negative word of mouth, how to get started and more.

This week we have an exciting interview with Martin about word of mouth marketing. Martin is a marketer, consultant and co-author of the ebook; ‘Word of Mouth Magic.’

Included in this episode;

  • What is word of mouth marketing
  • Every business is getting some kind of word of mouth (WOM)
  • WOM in the wider marketing strategy
  • Who should do it?
  • Is WOM marketing suited to B2B or B2C or both?
  • Negative WOM
  • Turning negative WOM into a positive
  • How to get started using word of mouth marketing

 

The Wanding Videographer

This week’s featured photo is another great snap from The Wandering Videographer.

Download Episode #6

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick Morris:

Welcome back to Web Marketing Adelaide.

This week, we have a really exciting guest. We have Martin, a consultant, marketer and co-author of the book Word of Mouth Magic.

Martin, welcome to the show!

Martin:

Thank you very much, Nick.

Nick Morris:

How are you today?

Martin:

Good. It’s one of those times where there’s a lot of stuff going on in small business. Small business is having, I think, a tough time, almost no matter where in the world, they are. And it’s good to be able to offer them something solid for their marketing.

Nick Morris:

Great! Well, let’s just get started by you telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Martin:

Well, my background is, as you mentioned, as a small business owner, so it didn’t come to me naturally to have marketing as part of it. I worked out, I was missing a big chunk of information about how to market myself.

Obviously, in the medical arena, the first thing you do is look at referrals, so I naturally developed an interest in it and started looking into all the information out there about referrals, word of mouth — all that sort of “getting known” – because that was the thing I had access to.

Then, I met up with a colleague who was also doing marketing. In fact, he did marketing for a number of things but one of the things he did was he bought a hair salon. And for the 24 weeks that he owned it, he built it up and sold it.

When he looked back on everything he’d done in his marketing, he worked out that word of mouth and referral marketing had created 253% of growth in his customer base and it’d done that in that short space of time – above and beyond what all his other marketing had done!

So, he decided to put down the information about how he got that word of mouth going, and when I came across it, I went, “Wow! That information is fantastic! You’ve gelled into one place all sorts of things I wish I had known from the get-go when I was starting and working this.”

And so, we collaborated together and that led to Word of Mouth Magic!

Nick Morris:

Great! When was that published?

Martin:

That was back n 2003 so I’ve been online ever since then, and, as most people would know, that have looked in the Internet for marketing, it has changed a heck of a lot in that time. The good thing about word of mouth, as a mechanism, as a way of marketing – is that the techniques and the methods have changed, but the underlying fundamentals remains the same.

Nick Morris:

Great! Well, let’s launch into the topic where you tell us a little bit about what word of mouth marketing is, and why is it something that small business owners should be interested in?

Martin:

Well, I think… I duck every time someone asks me for a definition of ‘Word of Mouth’ because people can make up their own definition.

I think the things people think about in terms of friends telling their friends, in terms of referrals, in terms of bad word of mouth (laughs)—bad reputation and things like that… they’re the sort of things small businesses know.

Every small business is getting some sort of word of mouth. The question really is – Is it damaging to them? Is it effective for their marketing? Or is it just, well, basically untapped in their particular business?

So, my goal is to make sure that people can actually do this as a deliberate process rather than, as often happens, something accidental — When they get a referral, they go,”Oh, that was great! Wish I could make that happen more often.”

Nick Morris:

Great! And how does Word of Mouth Marketing fit into a wider marketing strategy?

Martin:

Well, I think what you’ve got to do is look at what your business is doing anyway.

I mean, there are the rare businesses that don’t use the word of mouth, aren’t gonna get referrals. But by and large, if people drilled out into their own business — and if someone is listening to this now, I’d like them to just think about their own business and their own customers, because as they do, they’ll probably notice that their referred customers or the ones that came because of someone else telling them, are a different type of customer.

On average, referred customers will tend to have a higher level of respect, trust in the business, which means very practically, they’ll often spend more money.

They’ll often spend more money the first time. They negotiate on price less. They’ll often buy more often. And they will often be more loyal to the business if there are hard times.

These are exactly the sort of customers you want to keep particularly because also when they come by referrals themselves, they’re often more keen or aware of how to refer others to a business. So, one referral can get many more, when done appropriately.

Nick Morris:

Right, something you said there made me think. It’s so much more a warm lead versus a cold lead for instance.

Martin:

Absolutely! In some cases, it’s more like just taking the sale and taking the order rather than making a sale. It’s the sort of business we’d all love to be in. People walk in expecting to spend money; they’re really just working out exactly how to do it.

Often a referral is more like that than someone else you have to convince from cold market or whatever or from an ad or from the newspaper. So, in terms of where it fits in their marketing mix, I think most businesses starting up will do it anyway. They’ll tell their friends about their business at the start, but I think more businesses should focus on it because of the return on an investment.

I mean, if I ask a business straight out, “Okay, your marketing mix – you’re spending this much on this, this much on this… How much are you spending getting referrals from your current customers? What’s your dollar value and your budget on that? How many resources of your staff or yourself are you putting into that particular task?”

Now, you know, they’re getting referrals often. They’re doing quality work. People are talking about them. But, very few are actually concentrating on that as a strategic part of their plan that they would commit resources, time, and money towards. And yet, if they look at their business, it’s often a huge chunk.

Nick Morris:

Wow, ‘cause yeah, I can certainly see how it’s an area where people like to get referrals, but they may not think there’s actually something they can do to encourage it.

Martin:

Exactly. And I think the two things that I notice in my work with small businesses is that they either don’t believe it can be done deliberately – that’s one big problem – or if they believe it can be done deliberately, they think it requires begging.

“Do you have to beg? / Do I have to go and beg my customers for referrals?”

What? No! (Laughs) That’s not comfortable for your customer. It’s not comfortable for you. And it’s actually not a successful strategy.

Nick Morris:

Great! And so, by the sense, what you’re talking about… It sounds like something that you do perhaps across the business rather than like a specific sort of task that an employee would do. Is that accurate?

Martin:

Exactly! And I think this is one of the reasons why people have a difficult time setting a plan or budgeting for it because they can’t say “Oh, I will put this ad in this paper and spend this much” or “I’ll go to the website and get my rankings on this or pay this on pay-per-click.”

It’s very much harder to do word of mouth marketing in that type of strategic sense and yes, it covers all your marketing.

If you can get your ads to produce not just a customer but a referral from that… If you can get someone to have a story in part of your marketing pamphlet that also includes the fact that they came from referral – “Oh, when my friend referred me to this business, wow, did they do a good job!” – That’s a little piece of word of mouth marketing. It’s teaching people, “Hey! We get business from others. You can refer to us others you know, too!” And fit it in to the rest of the marketing message. But, that has to be done as a deliberate part of your strategy.

Nick Morris:

Right, and is it better or is it necessarily a need to be done by the business itself? Or could this be something an external marketing person, if the business has one, can do?

Martin:

Well, certainly there are different pieces of the strategy. In terms of web marketing, I would certainly suggest that businesses outsource a lot of that. Most times it’s not the expertise of a business to know how to run these specific things…

But if it’s something like content of it or about how it beds in to the rest of the process, because you want your website to match with your other messages in your marketing and often support it… For example, if your testimonials on your website talk about referrals and word of mouth messages – If your website or your tweets or your LinkedIn profile give people a story to tell, then those are powerful things in word or mouth and they are powerful things of connecting all of what you do together.

So, you can outsource the techniques but you really have to keep the spirit of the business and the core of what the word of mouth message is connected very strongly to the actual people in it – And often, that’s the owner.

What is the owner standing for in their business? Why did they get into the business? What is the value they are offering? And, you know, those messages have to come through all the way through the business, not just in pieces.

Nick Morris:

Great! It seems like if it’s something you can do well or get right, it could be quite a competitive advantage. Would it be right?

Martin:

Well, I mean, if you think about it, referrals are in fact one of the few ways the people can have an entire marketing strategy done in one format. There are businesses that can run only by referrals.

Now, it’s not most businesses but certainly it’s a way you can have a solid strategy and I know that one of the gurus that I looked at when I was first studying this said he wouldn’t have a business running unless he had a solid referral strategy in it.

I mean, it is just so much a part of every single business structure that I think if someone neglects to put it in, they’re leaving dollars on the table – The easiest dollars they’ll often (ever) find.

Nick Morris:

And do you find it’s more suited to say Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing? Or is it for everyone?

Martin:

Well, it’s for anyone whose customers will talk to other customers.

So, you know, I sometimes say anyone from drug dealers to the president. It’s sort of like networking done on a business scale. You might network one to one with some individual people and that would be your word of mouth if you’re B2B and you just need to network with 3 or 4 other people and you’ve covered your entire field you want to link up with.

But if you want to go more broader than that, then it’s called word of mouth rather than one on one networking, and you need a strategy that will allow you to get networking effect and out to a broader audience.

So if someone is listening to this with their business, they can ask themselves—“Could more people refer themselves to the services I offer? Would the customers I currently have or the vendors or the people who already know about my business refer someone else to me?”

Almost inevitably, they’ll say, “Yes, I wish they would!”

Then the question is — “Okay, so what’s your strategy to make that an easy and comfortable process for all involved so it happens more regularly?”

Nick Morris:

Great! So another question I have was what about negative word of mouth?

Is there something or some things people can do to reduce the effect of that or to stop them from leaving a negative word of mouth?

Martin:

Well, that’s a whole topic in itself, so let me not go too broad. The obvious answer is yes, there’s a lot of things that can be done but the key ingredients, I think, are to make sure that you actually get to know that it’s happening.

So, for example, one of the biggest issues with people in terms of their word of mouth is once they’ve dealt with a customer, they never follow up.

They don’t know what that customer has been saying to others or that client is saying to others down the track. So, if they don’t keep in touch, they don’t know what the messages are going on from there and they don’t have the chance to catch things they don’t want and do anything about it.

In terms of online, that’s another thing. If you get bad messages online, sometimes in forums or something gets put up there, are you even monitoring to know it’s there? Do you know how to monitor it?

I mean, I’m sure you, Nick, have taught businesses how to find out such things but it’s a simple business. If they’re wondering now, go to Google, type in to Google your business name, and maybe some variations on it — if you’ve got a lot of results come up. Type in to Google your “BUSINESS NAME review”, “BUSINESS NAME complaint”, “BUSINESS NAME scam”, whatever.

Then, type in the names of your key personnel. See what comes up under those.

What is your current online reputation?

You can get sophisticated and set up ways of monitoring Google or monitoring twitter and those sort of things, if you want. But, at least keeping in touch with what’s there. And then, yes, if something pops up, then I have things I do to help people remove and repair their online reputation. Not necessarily remove, but make it so that when people search, they find the information you want and can look after.

But, obviously, the best form of this is prevention. Particularly with the internet, it’s such a free world you can’t prevent everything.

I think people would need to understand this: A complaint is not so much the issue. What you do with that can often be the solution. And with the right response, you can often turn a problem into exactly the thing people say, “Oh, wow!” And then they talk about not just the problem, but they talk about the fact that you solved it. So, if handled right, there are ways to turn these back into big advantages.

Nick Morris:

Great! That’s some really great information there. Now, you’ve given a few little tips and steps in a bit about word of mouth.

Are there any other things or tips you can give for how small businesses can start to get into the word of mouth marketing game?

Martin:

Well, once they’ve realized they’re already in it, the first thing to do is just to monitor what’s going on.

Have you ever asked your customers, “What do you tell others about me?”

That’s just a simple question to ask but since we’re talking about online and web marketing, let me be a little bit more precise. I think in exploring how people use the web, often small businesses feel like they don’t have enough expertise or they don’t want to do that and may outsource it.

But, one way to think about this is you have to respond to what your customer wants. So these days, you can just ask your customers. Like perhaps previously, if you were trying to run an ad, you’d ask, “Which magazines do you read so I know which place to put the ads?” for your best customers.

So, for your best customers, what are they already linked up with? If a business wants to build a word of mouth strategy around Twitter but none of their customers bothered to read any of the tweets, then there’s no point.

The biggest thing I’d say with word of mouth is, this is one of those marketing strategies where the communication back and forth that you have with the people you want to be your referrers – and by the way, not all your customers are one you would want to build word of mouth with. That’s a totally different strategy but it’s something where you do need to be a little bit selective — but in doing that, they will tell you, “Yes, we’re on Facebook all the time.” or “We look at email but really don’t get involved with the rest of the web.” or “We don’t have computers at all. Don’t bother with it.”

These days I would still recommend businesses have some sort of website or some sort of blog, or something to catch their attention when their customer’s daughter or whomever goes on and checks it out for them, but still.

So, responding to what your customers are telling you is the true power to word of mouth, and the back and forth in the real communication is at the heart of every business that uses it well.

Nick Morris:

Great, really great tips in there.

And when people are trying to find out about their customers, should they be just asking them directly when they come in to the store, or bringing them up, or a combination of things?

Martin:

Oh, I wouldn’t stop anyone from doing any of those things. The main thing about it is not when you do it. It’s more like whether you do it!

And also about the attitude you take with you. I think if you understand that this is something to help the customer to help someone they know, that you have the understanding that this is a benefit to the customer… that the money or the time you spend on advertising could be saved and passed on to the customers as either better products because you got more time to concentrate on them or less charges because you don’t have to have the fees of advertising if you can get referrals in.

Referrals are actually a win-win, and the reason that I really have my focus on this compared to a lot of other forms of marketing is, it truly is the best win-win for all concerned.

You’re not paying an outsider like Yellow Pages or advertising companies. You’re not behooven to Google’s vagaries as to how they change things.

You’re relying on the people who rely on you. And that network is a strong one that can withstand, when you’ve got a worthwhile business that is valuable to others as well.

Nick Morris:

Well, great! That’s a really great bunch of tips there. There’s some stuff in there that I’m just thinking in my head that we’re going to apply to my business when we get off this call. Thanks very much for coming on the show.

Martin:

My pleasure! It’s one of those things where the more I can get this information out there, the more I think it’s valuable for all businesses because the only businesses that don’t want word of mouth are the ones you don’t want to have out there (laughs).

I like supporting businesses that come to me saying, “Hey, how can I do my word of mouth better?”, because that means they’re happy to be judged by their customers on the value they provide in the marketplace. It’s a pleasure to work with those sort of businesses.

So yes, if people are wanting to learn more about this, or take some of these into specific strategies beyond what we’ve talked about today, they can find me at the WordofMouthMagic.com website.

When you put in your details there, don’t just leave it there – get in touch! Make this personal.

Give me a phone call. Link up by email or online. Whatever works best for you… And we’ll see how we can build this together because I look forward to meeting those businesses that are happy to be judged by their reputation, and helping them get the referrals, raving fans, and repeat business the deserve!

Nick Morris:

Great! Hopefully we might be able to talk to you again in the future and get some more tips from great sort of knowledgebase you’ve got there. Have a great day!

[/spoiler]
23Aug

Ep#5: Adelaide Networking

This week’s episode is about networking tips. The contents of the episode are based on a blog post I wrote recently called 6 Adelaide Business Networking Tips so see the post for more information on everything mentioned in the episode.

I’m going to include a photograph from a local photographer in each week’s show notes. This week’s photo is from The Wandering Videographer. See you next week!

The Wanding Videographer

16Aug

Ep#4: Adelaide Search Engine Optimisation

How search engines work, the two main SEO strategies, 8 Adelaide SEO tips

Episode 4 is a little different from the previous shows as its just me sharing some tips in my area of expertise which is search engine optimisation or SEO for short. In the first part of the episode I briefly explain how search engines work then tell you about the two ways to approach SEO, then finish with the audio from a video I made recently about 8 Adelaide SEO tips. You can find the video below in its entirety.

Included in this episode;

  • How search engines work (brief, simplified version)
  • The two main SEO strategies or approaches you can use
  • 8 Adelaide specific SEO tips

If you have any feedback on past shows or ideas for future shows, please head to our feedback form.

Links;

09Aug

Ep#3: Staying Productive on Social Media

Staying productive on social media, how many platforms should you be on, managing expectations and more in the second half of my interview with Rubina Carlson about Social Media Marketing.

Episode 3 features the second half of my interview with Rubina Carlson on Social Media Marketing. If you haven’t heard it yet, I suggest you check out the first half of the interview in episode 1.

Discussed in this episode;

  • How to be productive on social media
  • You commitment level to social media
  • How many platforms should you be on
  • Investment, commitment and expectations
  • Engagement levels
  • Facebook page stats and insights
  • Using social media for market research
  • Social media at events
  • Which platforms should you be on
  • Facebook pages
  • Integration with other web marketing channels
  • Setting goals and objectives
  • Options for managing your social media marketing

Links;

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick: Welcome to Episode 3 of the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. Today , we’ve got the 2nd half of my interview with Rubina Carlson on Social Media Marketing. For the first half, if you haven’t heard it, check out Episode 1. There’s a link in the show notes. Our website by the way is www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au and you can find links to the various things we talk about in the shows and notes about what’s included in each episode by going there. Also there’s a new form put up for feedback. So, if you have any feedback on the show, what you liked, what you didn’t like, a list of topics you want to hear about, then head over there and put some feedback into that form for me.

Just before we get into that interview, I just wanted to talk about something I did this morning, which was a Flying Solo business meet-up. Flying Solo is a forum for small business owners. It’s Australian based, it’s all people from all over Australia. You can go on there and talk about all the different topics, about lots of different threads on Unit Marketing or starting a business or you know specifically say, search engine optimization or various different topics. These people are asking questions about tax this time of year and whatnot.

So, it’s a really great place to get tips and stuff and ask questions and also lend your expertise, sort of build your reputation and usually in a form you can include a little signature at the bottom, and that sort of appears after each post you make. So, you make a really sort of informative post and someone finds that useful, then they can click through the signature to your website and they might become a customer. Anyway, the Adelaide has a fairly active community on Flying Solo.

Now for, going on 6 months or more, we’ve been having monthly meet-ups, usually probably in the first week or 2 of the month and you can find out about them by going to the Flying Solo forms at flyingsolo.com.au. Again, I’ll have links in the show notes and finding the South Australia sub-form. You can find that there in the forms and you can actually subscribe to that form to get new threads, notifications of new threads and you can see when the new event is organized. And I’ll probably put a note in the podcast as well in case you missed out on that. So, that’s a really good thing.

We usually get sort of 10 or so people coming along. Today, it was a bit less, only 4 people, but still it was a great conversation and it’s good to catch up with people, especially if you’re a solo business owner and you perhaps don’t get to socialize as much with people like you would if you were working in a bigger business, so it’s good for that as well. I just thought I’d mention that. I’m also going to another networking top event next week, I believe it’s next Thursday. Thursday the 17th I think it is or 16th. I’ll have a link in the show notes. It’s the Silicon Beach Drinks. So it’s more of a techie kind of meet-up with people who are also working or interested in the Tech Space but yeah, if that’s something that you’re interested in then, come along. I think it’s in the city about 5:30, so it should be a good event.

Now we’re just going to rejoin the interview with Rubina. We’re talking about how to stay productive when using social media for your business.

Can you give us some tips for how to sort of remain efficient when they use social media marketing, that they don’t sort of get sucked into it.

Rubina: Sucked into the, yeah. It can be very subdued. I think you’ve got to, if you’ve set some times, you know, 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there, 15 minutes kind of throughout your day is probably a better way of – it depends. If we’re looking at small business which, I think is kind of the bend we’re looking at, at the moment. For small business, you’re pretty time poor as it is. So, you’re probably most likely to be checking any social media sites when you’re in between meetings or you’re on the way somewhere.

So, that’s where your smartphones are really, really helpful, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, it doesn’t matter, it really, that’s where you can really sort of make the most of it in that timeframe when you’re waiting for someone or something like that. That’s kind of when you can check things, see if anyone’s mentioned you, and again, it also depends on your level of commitment to social media platforms. Have you decided to invest in video for example and join the whole hub and being very creative, taking a creative approach? Or have you decided just to kind of be there, kind of share when you get mentioned by somebody but that’s about it you know.

You’re interacting so interactive, or you’ve decided to be informative and you probably wouldn’t need to check it very often at all. So, I think it really depends on what your commitment levels is to the platforms, but an easy way to kind of – so, you are taking an interactive approach for example and you’re sharing other people’s, and so you’re just doing Twitter, because that’s what you have time for and I think you’re better off doing one platform and committing to it and then eventually adding on each one as you go ahead, rather than doing lots not very well.

I think you’re better off trying to master, instead of being the Jack of all Trades. I think you’re probably better off just having those pages like, so you can refer to it, that kind of thing. You finally got say, half an hour a day or an hour a day, then invest it just in one platform and to split that time up during the day. Take 10 minutes to say post something in the morning, then you maybe check it again at lunch time, then maybe check it again after work and sometimes in the evening when things are …

Nick: Just on the point about claiming on all the different pages but then only seeing the full effects on one or is it an issue that your customers see it on your Facebook [Inaudible 00:06:36] Would that look bad in their eyes?

Rubina: I think it depends on the client because some of them do. They tend to take those fans or number of likes very seriously. I think that there’s, and the thing is there’s a couple of things that need to be addressed. Expectations need to be addressed first off. If you can only invest say, half an hour a week, then you’re not going to grow very quickly and you’re probably going to be sitting a 0, at 10, at 20 because your friends of course, your nearest and dearest will support you, no matter what. But you probably will be sitting there for quite a while if you don’t invest the time into the page, say just upload a couple of photo albums, at least make it look like the beginning of something and with timeline, there’s a great opportunity there to map the history of organizations.

I think it’s just about expectation management, that’s what the key thing is here. If the client is investing not much, and we’re talking about you know, they basically just want you to set up the page, well then they can’t expect it to grow from 0 to 1,000 in week if they haven’t provided anyone any incentives for anyone to connect with them and that’s providing valuable or unique or interesting content but whereas, say for example, you have a client who is investing in social media and investing in their Facebook page and they invest in all these videos and they still have zero likes, which I’d be very surprised at, then obviously they have a right to be kind of you know annoyed, disappointed, angry, bitter.

It’s the case of where you thought, it depends on the investment level. I think as a consultant, you need to manage the client’s expectations accordingly. So if their budget is low, then you know the expectations can’t be very high. You’ve got to say then, look, you’ve got to invest the time in and if you guys haven’t got the resources in-house to do it, then you know you need someone, someone to mentor somebody or that kind of thing. You don’t need to, but it needs to be addressed. Like it can’t be a case of, “I want the world and I don’t want to pay anything for it.” It doesn’t happen like that, so, it takes investment, whether it’s investing in someone to do it, run it for them within the organization or externally or whatever it might be, they still need to make that investment and that commitment to the platform that they have so chosen or rather the consultant has advised would be best for their brand or business.

Nick: Right. And is it also worth learning perhaps that it’s not so much the number of fans you have a …

Rub: No. I’ve seen sites where you’ve got you know, hundreds thousands of fans and it’s usually the celebrities and things like that but the engagement levels vary. Some of them are people from perhaps the Cast. I don’t know if there are any Sci Fi fans listening today, but I’m a sci-fi tragic but that Facebook page has hundreds of thousands of people who love it but the engagement I would imagine, is quite low, because the series has been cancelled for years. It’s been 10 years or something. It’s something crazy since this series was on TV and it got cancelled half way through it’s first season. So, you know, there are questions about why it’s called a classic. Point remains, is that even though there are so many fans, they simply love it. They’re not engaged with the page specifically, because there isn’t much new content coming from the page itself but you just kind of stumble across it and occasionally write, I wish this was still on tv. I love it, whereas you know, so you can have pages that have really high number of fans, but very low engagement. Ideally, what you’re looking for is a high proportion of engagement. So, you’re probably better off with say 50 out of 75 people who are engaged with your brand rather than having 10 people out of 750 people who like your brand, engage in your brand. What you’re aiming for is a high percentage of people with interaction with your brand.

The other thing too though to look at, if you’re looking at Facebook specifically, because now, the site’s been revamped and you actually, you know, to me, to interact with the page, you actually have to like the page to do it. You used to, you know, have first they used to have it so that you I have to like the page and then I can comment on the page. Now, I can just comment nearly however I like on brand pages. I don’t have to like the brand to make a comment, unless of course, they’ve set their, they’ve locked up their settings so no one can post on the wall.

So, that’s really interesting but looking at some of the stats, I’m finding more and more is that people who have seen this or the potential rate, which is something that we also talk about it that people who actually have engaged with it, don’t necessarily like the page. So we’re seeing, like you know, interactions from beyond the community of people and that basically comes from when you are in current, or rather you are, specifically on Facebook, people who like this, your community as it were, start commenting on your page, then networks and then seeing 2, then their networks comments and so on and so on and so on.

So, what you’re actually seeing is that even though say, you’ve reached, say you’ve got 600 fans but you reached a thousand and then you’ve got say 30 people or something, who interact on that specific post, you might find of those 30 people, only 10 of them actually like your page and that’s the great thing about social is that you can measure it, and drill down to say where all your traffic is coming from and what kind of people like us in there. The demographic, basically gender or age and country and language, where these people are coming from across your page and also you know, which post for more I guess , more liked or more engaging, because it gives you all of the stats behind that as well.

So, it’s a great way for people to try and get feedback from what might work and you know, as far as marketing campaigns go, if you are a small business. If you have some ideas on how you might want to run an ad for example, but you’re not sure on wording and things like that. Test it out on your Facebook page I should say or send it out on Twitter and see what kind of responses you get, you know. Do people think that it’s a …

Nick: Do you mean ask for their…

Rubina: No, no, just kind of putting it out there. You can either you know, you can do it as both. I think it depends on how you feel but you can ask the questions like, Look we’re thinking about changing, what do you guys think about these following logos or something like that, and you might put 1, 2 or 3 up and see what the response is or maybe have a new slogan that you want to try or you know, you might have a question, something like what inspires you? If you’re a fitness center or something like that, you might have a question of something along lines of, what inspires you to get to the gym? That might in turn, then spark up some more marketing campaign ideas and that sort of thing.

So the other thing to social media, because it is the sort of two-way conversation of nature and it doesn’t matter what platform you’re looking at, it’s all conversation and people discussing, you know, you could be discussing a video on YouTube in the comment section or it might be just chatting amongst a community of wine lovers or something on Twitter or something like that. LinkedIn, there’s plenty of discussions and groups and that sort of thing. There’s plenty of opportunity for engagement on these levels of conversation and so the idea for businesses and particularly small businesses, is trying to get into that conversation and making themselves relevant to those consumers, potential consumers.

Nick: Just on the point you mentioned before about people who don’t like your page is actually engaging with you. Is that still good for you?

Rubina: Oh, I would say so, absolutely. Because…

Nick: So, you ultimately want to get in there as well or I it good just to have…

Rubina: Well I think ultimately, yes it would be nice if they did like your page but if you think of it in terms of like [Inaudible 00:15:57] that I know. She has this thing where she talks about what’s called the ripple effect and basically that’s what we’re talking about here where I say, you put a post up, I then engage with it. My friends then see that happening on Facebook, they then might become engaged with it. So on and so on and so on. So, it’s good if you have people who are interacting with your page, I think it’s a good thing. If they like your page, I think that’s a bonus, but if you’re getting touch with people who don’t like your page, then that can only be good for your business. It means that it’s extending out beyond your existing community and you’re kind of the brand is moving out…

Nick: Right, so there’s a bit of branding and some of those people might come through and end up liking you.

Rubina: Well that too, exactly and from there maybe it’s enough. Maybe that engagement with that particular post or having a look at how you say, handled a customer service complaint or something like that is enough for them to say, you know what I am going to just go and I want one of these things. It might be a product or it might something they’ll file for later and someone says, does anyone know what you can do and provide this concept, whether its accounting, or might be hospitality, or even though with restaurants or something like that, you know.

Your experiences online are part of your, I don’t know how you say it, but that kind of inter-weave with your real life experiences and all that sort of thing. And so you know, if you’re having a real life conversation with somebody about you know, your social media stuff and your online media activity don’t exist in a bubble you know. I turn off the computer, I turn off my phone and then you come out and then you don’t get influenced by it. You are sometimes influenced by all that stuff like why you’ve engaged with and who you’ve engaged with and that sort of thing.

So, when it comes to having conversation across the coffee table or something like that, then someone might ask you, do you know where I can get a tattoo done? Yeah I saw this tattoo artist on, say for example it might be tattoos. That might be something. Does anyone know where I can get a good tattoo? My tattoo, I was just [Inaudible 00:18:10] I don’t know where to go now. Well, actually I saw someone on Twitter who was doing some amazing work in there. Keep on tweeting photos of their art, of people obviously, permanent art obviously, but you know all of a sudden, you’re like, you should get in touch with this person. So, it’s part of that fluid conversation that kind of happens online and off.

Nick: Right. And this is kind of what we were saying before. It’s one of the aspects that’s difficult to measure, I suppose there’s been some studies or it’s been enough increase in business that you can sort of say with some certainty, it works.

Rubina: Well, I think it does work because, especially if you’re say an entrepreneur or if you’ve got something you just opened, something new or if you’re launching a new product, new menu, new something. I think that there is opportunity to create a lot of buzz on Twitter and on Facebook and any of these other social media sites and there are specific sites out there for specific industries and things like that as well.

So you know, you do have plenty of opportunities there to make the most of it. Mainstream media is still an option, your traditional PR like press releases and things like that and traditional marketing, traditional advertising, billboards, all that sort of stuff. That’s all still an option to you but you may find the cost of doing something like that may be prohibitive to your budget and so that’s where social can kind of try, you can try and bridge the gap if it was social. And if you can come up with a catchy tag line or if you have a product or something of interest to people, or if you’re running a, you might have a launch party or something like that. There’s plenty of opportunities in there to share photos, share what happened and people’s experiences and all that sort of thing. Increasingly, we’re seeing a lot of Twitter buzz about, around conferences and things like that. It might be something as simple as Tedex Adelaide or it might be something like Mocking Ideas Conference, which is coming up the end of August here in Adelaide and we are looking at all these types of conferences and events, hash tags, during the Adelaide fringe, that hash tag was almost dead last year as an active participant.

There was pretty much myself and a few others and that was pretty much it. This year the artists were all tweeting but heaps of people were just saying, I watch the show a lot. I didn’t like it or please help my friend out, he’s doing a show, go down to the Lunger or whatever it may be. So there were all sorts of people, it’s a really vibrant hash tag and a really great way of actually seeing the festival of what people were doing and where they were going and all that sort of thing.

Same with the Adelaide festival, I’m seeing it more and more now with all the different festivals that were run in Adelaide throughout the year and the [Inaudible 00:21:07] Festival, [Inaudible 00:21:08] Fringe Festival and so on.

Nick: Is this sort of a testament or a reason because Twitter is getting more and more popular?

Rubina: I’d say that, I don’t know, I don’t think popularity is it. I think it’s more just sort of letting people know. I think it’s an education process here. I think that last year was the first year that there was like an official hash tag for the Adelaide Fringe Festival as far as I know and so I started kind of contributing to it and there were few others there as well, there weren’t that many. Not as vibrant, I would say but I think that they had – I was looking at, during the Fringe, during my march, the page kept refreshing at a very quick rate. You go away for 5 minutes, come back 20 new tweets you know, which is pretty, it’s not nothing.

That’s a fairly rapid thing, especially when it’s during the day and that’s when everyone’s out the garden or when everyone’s out, so whatever partying the night away. So, I think that having the buy-in from the artist and having it in from Fringe management and also from the media outlets and also from them pushing it as part of their marketing collaterals for Adelaide Fringe, it really does kind of lend a credibility to that web communicating with the Fringe and all that sort of things. So, then you get a lot of encouragement given to everybody else to kind of don’t stop.

Everything else is really important when it comes to any of these kinds of conferences or events or festivals or anything where you are encouraging people to share their experiences, whether it’s through using a hash tag or posting images to your Facebook wall, or whatever it might be. They key thing is to communicate that it’s okay for them to do that. I think for so many years, please turn your phone off and all that kind of thing, whereas now you’re hearing people say, well please turn your phone to silent and feel free to tweet as things are happening here. So that’s kind of powerful. I think it’s best. Well that’s it, I think it’s more the education process as opposed to the popularity and blasts to Twitter and things like that. I think it’s more of the people are becoming, it’s part of the social, culture, you know, that it is acceptable for me to look at my phone while someone is talking and tweeting what they’re saying because I thought it was, that particular quote was worth sharing. It was that pointed, insightful, and you know the savvy kind, I guess, presenters when it comes to conferences and that sort of thing. I think they put the handle up there because that way you know for sure what the handle is.

Sometimes you’re not 100% sure, it might be this, it might be that. So, whether they have their own handle up or not it sometimes difficult to figure out and but if they’ve made it obvious out there as well that they’re going to engage and I’ve a lot of them engage afterwards, this is after Marketing Week last year. And it was, you could tell who was really engaged in the space and that sort of thing. We’re hoping to keep that going during the next inception of Marketing Week, which is the Marketing Ideas Conference, so, that would be good.

Nick: Yep. Perhaps we could just touch on some of the different tools and how to use them. Just to get started on that, how should people choose which tool, whether it is Facebook or Twitter or YouTube instead of going to…

Rubina: I think that there are a few things that they need to keep in mind. It’s they need to keep in mind how much time they’ve got to allocate to the platform, first and foremost and as a result, look at how many they can engage on. Have a look at where they’re [Inaudible 00:25:01]. If you’re finding that a lot of your target demographics are on Facebook, Facebook and Twitter always posts, release their every year stats about their respective demographics, overall users, so we have 100% men or whatever it might be or that kind of thing.

So, you now have a look at their stats and see what’s not working and what you can do and also have a look at the kind of things that you want to share. If you are going to be doing a majority of text, kind of base stuff, then maybe Twitter would be just fine. Like, it’s only 140 characters but 140 characters still count but if you’re doing just text based stuff or it will be just updates, okay, we’re open now and maybe an occasional [Inaudible 00:25:58] then Twitter is really a more appropriate platform for you. It also depends on what kind of collateral like, as in [Inaudible 00:26:05] nearby and will you be using a smart phone most of the time or are you going to be scheduling updates using something like [Inaudible 00:26:16] or posting in your Facebook page scheduler.

Will you be using those particular products or tools to get your message out and if so, then you probably need to be in front of desktop or a laptop to actually do it. Will you be using an iPad or a Motorola zoom or any of these? I think those are considerations you’ve got to, and then also how it might work in this. Most of the time, it is someone’s existing job that they get social media just kind of falls on top of, it’s just kind of like that kind of thing. So, I think it also depends on your industries. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to looking at which one to take…

Nick: When they’re sort of first getting into it people should look at …

Rubina: The other thing too is that, look at your competitor first, see what they’re doing and can you do it better? Or do you think you can do it differently? I think it’s another way of having a look at where you might be able to score some points.

Nick: Score some points, yeah, just looking more closely now at Facebook, just to go through perhaps some of the basic aspects of the Facebook page. I’m just thinking that people have a Facebook page or should I have a profile put in and then …

Rubina: Absolutely. Well Facebook Terms and Conditions say that you cannot have a profile page for a business, so I can’t be a person. Luckily a business can’t be a person, because they’re not, so you absolutely must open a Facebook page. There are plenty of categories that come all the way from Community through to Industry to Consulting to whatever, projects not for profits so on and so on.

There are plenty of categories there, so choose the category that’s right for you, that’s a good way of going about it, with that sort of thing. So, once you’ve started your page, these days, if you are starting a new page, there would be a timeline for the management, which means that you need a nice graphic to go to the top, a good profile picture that represents your business or your brand or perhaps it might even be the face of your business or your brand and putting that as your profile picture. And then of course you then have all the different areas, well, essentially it’s still the Facebook wall.

It’s just laid out in more of the newspaper dual type thing and so, you then can scroll through and add links. It’s really important to fill out your About Section. Put in your current address, put in what you’re about, put in your contact phone number, opening hours, who can apply, payment methods and so on and so on. So, that’s quite important too. So you’ve got that section there. You also have a set of buttons that appear at the top. I guess you could call them, they’re kind of like they’re windows more so than buttons but it tells you that you can change what goes there but you can put in there number of, it’ll come up with number of likes for your page.

You could have upcoming events, you could have photos, you could have edgy videos about YouTube channels, things like that. You can also run competitions, of course, running in with Promotion Guidelines set by Facebook, so you need the Party app to go in to do that. You can also upload videos straight to Facebook as well, you don’t have to put it on a YouTube channel or anything like that, you can go straight to Facebook and also you’ve got other apps that you can add on.

Nick: What are some of the functionality you can get from these other apps?

Rubina: Like for example you can embed your Twitter feed if you have one. You can embed your YouTube channel of you have one and with your YouTube channel you can choose to either embed your own videos or your favorite videos. So, you don’t have your own content yet, but maybe your radio station and maybe really like, or a program or maybe just a program on a radio station, our favorites are the top 10 for this week, so it might be. I don’t know who’s even in the Top Ten, so I’m just going to say people like Missy Higgins and Alexie [Inaudible 00:30:51] and I don’t even know anybody actually in the Top Ten, Beyonce or something like that. I don’t know.

You might pick or might say 10 or whatever it might be. So, you can use, you can do both there. You also can, there are tons and tons of Facebook apps to go. You can even put shops into Facebook, you can put like sign up forms, if you’re looking to increase your e-newsletter and subscriber, which is something we haven’t touched on this time around but e-newsletters is another opportunity for integration for social media or blogs and all that something happening there as well. So, I think that the social media is one aspect of your web marketing or digital marketing strategy and so, you can’t ignore like your e-newsletters, you know, blogs, your actual website, is it functional? Is it easy to use? Is it – going back to basics here. Is it readable by everybody you know? Does it matter if you’re using Safari or Internet Explorer or whatever you know.

So, there are other aspects and of course, you’ve got the search engine optimization, search engine marketing, all that as well and then copy and all that sort of stuff. There are a lot of different graphic design of course, there are a lot of different aspects that come in together to give you a successful digital marketing or web marketing strategy and social media is just one component of that. If it’s the component that you choose to focus on, that’s great, but just bear in mind that you do have other areas there. It’s all, again, it’s very, very dependent on the industry and also the client and …

Nick: Yeah. For me, just tell us something. So there’s lots of different ways that social media can integrate with other marketing channels.

Rubina: Yes, absolutely.

Nick: Sort of a very integrated approach to marketing.

Rubina: Yeah, well that’s it, absolutely. I mean, I take that approach to my clients and I ask them about what other activities that they’re doing. Have they considered using any other sort of activities? Why they want to get into social? If the answer is, because everybody else is, well, that’s not good enough. You need a, there needs to be a real objective in mind and we want to increase the number of hits to our website or we want to see an increase in sales using this particular thing. Or we want to see a higher recognition, like a higher level of recognition of our brand. Or, we want more visitors in our shop or we want more people coming to eat at out restaurant or whatever it might be. There needs to be some real tangible objectives there. We want to increase our membership if it’s a membership program or something like that.

Nick: And should people have an idea of the stuff that they want to do before they start a social media or is it okay to just get in there and try it out and work at it as you go along?

Rubina: I think it’s, I think it depends on your particular brand. If you’re for example, Coca-Cola and you kind of came in without a plan, I don’t think that’s a good idea at all because it is, Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands on the planet. It’s massive. If, on the other hand, you are kind of more of a sole-trader or a partnership or you’ve got a small team of around 5 or 6, you can kind of fuss about and you know take it easy. Figure it out as you go but you do need to have some goals set in mind. You do need to have objectives that might be business objectives or marketing objectives or sales objectives that you ultimately want to achieve as a result, otherwise, you’re kind of just in the space without any real …

Nick: Right. Most probably you’re less efficient than …

Rubina: Yeah, because you’re not really, you’re not sure how to target or you’re not sure who to target or if you’re say you’re a hip new bar or something like that, that’s just opened up and you want to have a queue outside, around the corner sort of thing, how do you do that? Well you need to I guess look at, that’s what you want, so then we look at, okay, which platforms are going to give you that, which kind of areas are going to work best for you? Is it best off, just kind of doing a social media blitz or are you better off doing a bit of PR or trying to get a [Inaudible 00:35:37] around you know, what’s the kind of things that’s going to make it happen for you. It’s something that you’ve got to just kind of work through.

Without these goals, without objectives, then you’re kind of just in the space, and you’re in the space and then you kind of [Inaudible 00:35:52]. So, the bottom type thing, because you’re not sure why you’re there or what you’re doing. There are plenty of resources out there. There are plenty of consultants in Adelaide as well particularly but there’s also plenty of – so, you know, there’s also lots of blogs out there and advice for newbies and that sort of things. So, things that you should do before you go, to think about…

Nick: Yep. There’s lot that we could probably talk about in the social media marketing space but I think we’ll finish off that section with just, you can give us some ideas of what the different options would be for your business. For instance like, running campaigns themselves or outsourcing.

Rubina: So yeah, you do have a few options. You can of course run it all in-house, which, I think and I do well that’s best. I’ve gone through a number of clients where I’ve was routed to some of it, and other times I have mentored and trained their staff to do it. The instances where I’ve mentored and trained their staff, their staff had been able to come back with the right answer. Right is not really the way of saying it, but the better answer, the real answer, the answer that I, you can ask me anything about social media and I’d be able to give you the answer.

In the case of say bartending or something like that, if someone asks me, I really like Manhattans, what’s a great twist on, the modern twist on this classic drink, I’ve got no idea. I don’t know which bourbon I should recommend. I don’t know which bourbon that’s particularly good. I don’t know any of these, so, the little details that comes from the staff without hesitation because that’s what they do behind the bar all day in a bar situation. Someone comes in and says, I like this but I want something new, what can you do? They will just make it and they know what the answer is and the answer is more authentic than the answer I would have given if I went on Google for something different.

It’s much better, you know, and I think that in time, since we are all going to be savvy enough to know the difference between someone who knows about the brand, who knows a lot about the product, knows what’s happening with the product and that sort of thing, as opposed to, outsourcing can be, it’s good, I think, for some businesses because of the time and the resources it has but they still want to commit then they can absolutely outsource it. I think the important thing though, is that when you do outsource it, is that the person who it’s being outsourced to or the friends it’s being outsourced to has access to relevant and updated product information and all that sort of stuff, so that they can do it convincingly.

I think that’s really important. If you haven’t, if there isn’t a contact or a go to person in the actual organization who they can just bring out and talk to you and say, look we have this dream come true, what should the response be because we haven’t covered it already in previous guidelines or policy or anything like that. Which you know, occasionally it does happen you get one side but having that contact within the organization helps you actually, kind of push things through, or something, it makes things a lot easier.

So, I think outsourcing is a good idea if you haven’t got the resources else and it also depends on what industry you are in as well, especially if you need someone to do some technical writing and things like, then your outsourcing is not a bad idea at all, for blogging that sort of this. But when it comes to that immediate responses, that’s something that’s perhaps more personal, so might be hospitality of tourisms, something like that. If you’re not familiar with the product, then the answer you give might be less that authentic, you know. I’m not sure you know. Some people might know, some people might not but ideally what you want to be authentic when you’re on social media. You want to be real and that’s something that’s really, really important I think, to be transparent, to be who you are.

Nick: Thanks for joining me for another episode of Web Marketing Adelaide. If you want to find out any more about Rubina or anything else we’ve discussed in this episode, head to our website www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au. See you next week!

[/spoiler]

 

02Aug

Ep#2: Getting a Website Developed

Website development, mobile websites, online marketing tips in an interview with Urszula Richards from onlineiq.

In this episode I chat with Urszula Richards about getting a website developed and then some tips on how to promote that website once you have it.

We discuss;

  • Website development
  • E-commerce stores
  • Mobile websites
  • Social media marketing
  • Blogging
  • Email marketing

Mentioned;

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick: Welcome back to the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. This is Episode 2 and this is Nick Morris. Today, we have an interview with Urszula Richards about website development.

Before we get into that, you may have heard that the intro for this show is a little bit different to the last one and if you stick around to the end of the show, I’ll tell you how you can get intros like that for only $5.00. So, that’s the voice over for $5.00 and the music for $5.00 and you can also get lots of other technical things or various bits and pieces for only $5.00. So that’s the end of the show. Let’s go to the interview now.

Today, we’re talking with Urszula from Online IQ. So, let’s just get started with the interview. What does Online IQ do?

Urszula: Online IQ, thank you Nick. Online IQ basically works directly with businesses to help get their online presence working for them. So, it’s anything that’s required to do with building your first website, if that’s where you’re at, to updating your website, putting it into a content management system through to marketing, training, consulting, anything.

Nick: And what are some things that people should consider about having their website designed?

Urszula: I guess the primary thing is understanding what your customer needs are so that whatever you are creating meets their needs because if it’s not going to attract them then it’s not going to serve your business. So, understanding your customer’s needs, what they’re looking for and then having a really clear idea of what your business goals are. That would be the 2 primary things. Other things that I’ve found, that will help along the way, have a clear idea what your budget is, because you can achieve a lot on a small budget but you have to be a bit upfront about what the budget is so that you don’t run out of budget halfway through what you’re doing or what you’re trying to achieve.

Nick: How much should people usually budget or what’s the range?

Urszula: I mean, some people just put up a one pager just to have something, which, that would be $500 or something. If you’re looking at an e-commerce store, I know you can get them built relatively cheaply, $2000 or whatever but there’s lots of other costs associated with e-Commerce, such as the photography. That’s huge and people often don’t think about that at all. So, photography is what’s going to sell your products that what people are looking for. Also, set up of things like payment gateways, and shipping providers. A lot of people just want a store without thinking all of that through or how it’s going to be bought, the fulfillment side of it, who’s actually going to be managing things?

So, I’ve actually talked a few people out of having a store, because they’ve got, once you’ve asked them the questions, they’ve got no idea who’s actually going to be packaging the products. They don’t actually have the staff to do that. So, I think, thinking it through fully and I guess the only other thing I’d say is, be aware that you actually need to build a long term relationship with your website person because a site does need maintenance like a car. You get delivered a car, but you need to put fuel in it, which is the marketing, you need grease and oil changes, you need other things to make it work. It’s not just going to run forever without you doing anything.

Nick: Yep, good analogy. We’re hearing a lot about mobile websites these days, with people with their iPhones and their iPads and stuff. How important is it to have a mobile optimized website or one that will work on the mobile phone?

Urszula: That’s a very good question because mobile’s a big, big topic, there’s a whole lot of options. The minimum option you should always have is that your site can be viewed on a mobile device. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s a mobile site, it just means that it doesn’t have flash or things that prevent people viewing it correctly, so that’s the minimum. It doesn’t really mean that your website can’t have flash, but flash or in my opinion, is kind of phasing out.

I do have some websites that I’ve moved to a CMS where there was existing Flash on the site, so what I’ve done is a redirection for mobile devices to see the same page that has a non-flash component, so whatever device you’re viewing it on, it’s optimized with that device. So, that’s the secondary option.

The other thing with mobile sites is that you can actually create, almost like a completely separate site that’s specifically for the mobile experience. So, and you’ll see these for restaurants or whatever. When you actually view it in your iPhone, it will look completely different to what the desktop version looks like and I guess, you’ve got to decide whether your business is one that needs that kind of version as well, and some do because it’s the kind of thing that people look up as they’re driving somewhere and going, where do I find this restaurant and you want the contact and the menus and all of that for example, to be really prominent, not to have the whole website as it would appear on a desktop.

Nick: Okay, cool. What are five different ways that business owners can market their website once they have one?

Urszula: I guess just to think, I would just take it more broadly in terms of marketing. I think marketing online and offline is about building solid long term, mutually beneficial relationships. So, with that in mind, I think it’s to do with gathering and storing a customer base that you actually understand your clients, understand their interests, understand where you found them and how to engage with them.

Email marketing is fantastic, particularly if you’ve got a certain kind of system that can segment your customer base, so that you know where you’ve met someone, what your interests are, so that when you’re communicating with them, it’s actually relevant to them, not blasting.

Nick: How should they do email marketing? Should it be a monthly sort of newsletter type of approach or …?

Urszula: Again, similar to when you have a website, you need to have fairly clear goals about it and what I’m finding is the best thing is to keep something regular, that’s of interest in general and that just creates an awareness or a reminder that you exist but it has to be kind of relevant, and then you may have promotional emails once, when you’ve got something decent to promote. But don’t just have one type of email, don’t just promote, promote, promote without building a relationship. So, that’s the email side of things.

The other thing I think pretty much every business should be doing is blogging and creating content and I know that a lot of people still don’t quite understand how blogging is relevant but basically, if you look at your website, that’s your business search of the business. A blog is more the conversation that you have with people that really gets them to understand who you are and it also allows them to interact because you can comment on the blogs and it really shows how engaged you are with your customer and with your area of expertise. And apart from that, it’s really good for search engines, so it’s got multi-facets to why that’s a really good thing to do.

Nick: How often should people blog if they have a blog? Is there a sort of expectation as to how often you should do it?

Urszula: There’s the “What you should do and what actually happens.” Any blogging is better than no blogging, and quality blogging, less frequent quality blogging is better that frequent rubbish blogging, in my opinion but in the ideal world, I would say every week or every fortnight would be good, but I don’t do that. Something regular, because it develops a real body of proving your involvement and your interest in what you’re actually doing and I mean how you get to do that is another conversation, because it is actually quite hard to get down to how to doing it. You may want to employ a content helper to help you do that. It’s probably one of the most powerful things you can do for your business, I think.

Then that kind of leads into social media, which is the next thing, because once you’ve got some content, the social media helps distribute that so it has to come kind of that way around, don’t just do social media when you’ve got nothing to say. Your social media is a distribution channel for things that you’ve got value to say. So, if you’ve got some blog posts, then you can distribute that through Twitter or through Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever the most appropriate is for your market and it can be more than one, but start engaging with social media and the first thing is to start listening to the conversation before you start contributing to it so you get a sense of your market, what people are talking about, what they want to know, and then that should actually lend feedback to what you’re talk about in your blog and then feedback into the system.

Nick: Okay. Should people, is there, how much time should people be spending on social media because I know that sometimes, when I get on social media, I can get sort of sucked in and spend hours on there. So, is there a good way of integrating into a business where it doesn’t suck away your time?

Urszula: That’s just a matter of discipline, I guess. Just to be, because that’s very easy to do and it’s easy to say, I’m just working when you’re not. I think have a marketing plan and work out how often you’re going to do it. Obviously, if you’re on social media, that is one way of listening, but only you know whether you’re wasting time or not, when you shouldn’t be, if that’s all that you’re doing for your business, you’re not really going to be getting too far with it.

The other thing that I thought for marketing is not separating online and offline marketing. Understand offline, understand relationship building in real life, understand all the other print media. Put your website, wherever you can, put the link to your website wherever you can. So, even if you’re signing off a name, make sure your website link is there, because that’s just a free distribution channel and I’ve seen people that have got email signatures that are in an image, which is useless because people can’t click on it and go to your website.

You’ll notice when you get an email from someone you don’t know, the first thing I do is to click on the link to check out what they’re doing and what their website is, little things like that. Get involved in real, genuine networking and treat it like relationship building. Don’t just go there to get something, go there first to contribute and I think the rest of it kind of follows. I think that would be it. Was that 5 ways? I’m not sure.

Nick: 4 or 5, those were great tips there. Thanks for sharing. How can people find you online?

Urszula: Online? Go to my website, onlineiq.biz, b i z for business.

Nick: And you’ve got a blog up there?

Urszula: I do have a blog out there, more information up there, and by all means, get in touch if you’re interested.

Nick: Well great. Thanks very much for talking to us today, Urszula.

Urszula: Pleasure, thanks Nick.

Nick: Thanks very much to Urszula Richards for that great interview. Speaking of websites, you can find ours at webmarketingadelaide.com.au. That’s had a new design just put on it recently, so it’s kind of looking a little bit better than it was before. So, head over there and get the links from the episode and leave some comments or leave some feedback or any sort of ideas for future topics, future shows you would like us to cover.

Now, I said I’d talk about how I got the intro done for only $5.00, so, it was $10.00 overall, $5.00 for the voice over and $5.00 for the music and that’s at a website called fiverr.com. That’s f i v er r.com. That’s sort of a marketplace where the idea is people offer to do all sorts of different things for only $5:00. Often I think its people who do things as a hobby or it’s people in perhaps developing countries where $5.00 means a lot more to them than it does to us, and you can get them to do all sorts of different things, from SEO stuff, which I wouldn’t really trust the internet marketing stuff, certainly things like little cheap bits of design or the audio stuff like the intro, little musical things, and all sorts of other crazy stuff.

You can actually spend sort of hours on there, looking through the various things that people are offering, so don’t get too carried away with buying things or looking for things you don’t need, even though it’s only $5.00 but come on there if you have any sort of quick projects that you want to do, which kind of leads me to a point I wanted to make. It’s kind of a strategy or a concept within business called the Minimum Viable Product concept and the whole idea of that is to, rather than sort of waiting until you have something absolutely perfect before you launch it, which could take weeks or months or whatever within a business, that might be like a website or a blog or a particular piece of content or maybe a new product or something along those lines.

I suffer from this particularly badly, is I always want to try and make it perfect before I launch it, whereas the idea of this minimum viable product is where you get the very basic, simplest idea, so rather than make it perfect, just get the simplest bit of the idea that you can get, and get it out there in the market straight away, so you can start testing it and see if it’s actually going to make you money in the long run. You’ll see if it works so that you can get a sort of feel for things. So, that’s kind of what I wanted to do with this podcast.

You may or may not noticed that I’m not an expert at this yet so, I just wanted to get myself in there, not to worry too much about trying to learn all the bits and pieces before I go into the marketplace. So, I will just sort of get in there, learn as I go, and it’s right, it’s right, it’s right, until it gets better. That’s why a service like fiverr’s really good because I can get in there really cheaply and in the future, if I want to improve the concept and it’s all working, then I can spend a bit more money on getting perhaps a more professional intro or a professional design for a logo or something like that.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, see you next week.

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