There’s no crying in baseball and there are NO guarantees in marketing. Marketing involves a series of strategies, tactics and content to promote your brand, service or product to your audience. That audience has to convert — or BUY — what you’re selling in order for all of the other elements to be successful.
Everyone loves a guarantee.
Unfortunately, in most businesses, you can’t give a guarantee. A lawyer can’t guarantee that you’ll win your case, a doctor can’t guarantee that you’ll survive surgery. A Rodan and Fields consultant can’t guarantee that their skin regime will save your face.
The only thing that is guaranteed in life? That there are absolutely no guarantees.
I deal with brands, entrepreneurs and influencers who always ask about guarantees for social media marketing efforts and that’s something I actually LOVE to do.
Most social media experts will see “success” as delivering clicks to your site from one or more social media platforms.
To me, that’s not enough.
And, luckily for my clients, I can guarantee that I will find all of the “workarounds” (or Vixes!) they need to not only deliver clicks but actually convert those clicks to clients to build their business and their bank account.
That’s why, these days, I’m choosing my words carefully and declaring myself a Chief Marketing Strategist for Entrepreneurs.
I’ve built dozens of brands from scratch, created businesses (profitable businesses) from nothing and teach my clients on a daily basis how to look at things from a different angle to increase their sales and, ultimately, help their businesses flourish.
My services are expensive, I get it. But the best part about working with me, or someone with my unique skill set (there aren’t really that many of us and none with MY specific background) is that you not only get someone who can create the right strategy for building your brand, business and bank account, you get someone who can execute on those strategies for you AND find the right people to supplement the execution (ex: the actual DOING of the strategy) as needed.
For example, a client of mine, a high-profile influencer, wanted to create a challenge to promote their new course.
They had an idea for the challenge but that was it — no content for the challenge, no images to promote the challenge, no emails for the challenge, no landing page copy.
In 45 minutes, we had a FULL promotion outline AND a rough draft of the images (also known as “creative”) needed to promote the challenge.
Forty. Five. Minutes.
In an hour and a half, we had the full landing page copy and basic themes for each email.
That level of speed only comes with years of experience and the guarantee there? The guarantee is that the content will be produced the right way, using the tactics YOU need to succeed.
The other guarantee? It will cost you half as much and deliver at least 2x as much in terms of success because if something isn’t working, there are many, many more tactics to deploy in real-time — giving you the best possible chance at success.
The moral of the story here is if someone in marketing offers you a guarantee, be skeptical. They are offering a guarantee that they can’t actually deliver on and that can be a costly mistake for your business and bank account.
The challenge is to understand what success truly is in this space and I’m offering you three key performance indicators for determining if your social media marketing and overall marketing efforts are truly moving your business forward.
More Followers, Influence and Audience
This is an easy way to measure if your Facebook Ads (and Twitter, Pinterest, etc) are working — if you’re getting more followers and a larger audience for your newsletter and group, your efforts are working.
Sales and leads for your business are a great way to tell if your marketing efforts are working. If you’re doing a print ad, you want to make sure you’re getting the impressions you were promised and this also rings true for social media ads. It is MUCH easier to track these on the digital side of things and important to remember that when deciding where to invest.
Every single time I tag a brand — from SoulCycle to the Backstreet Boys — I get a RT, favorite, like or mention.
Every. Single. Time. That’s because I’ve worked hard to not only create a brand that looks legit but also one that holds weight. It is important to measure your success in marketing efforts by how many people are reaching out to you for podcast features, Instagram highlights and more.
How do YOU measure key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business? What do you consider before you invest in marketing efforts?
I’d love for you to continue the conversation in my FREE Facebook Group — DIY Your Digital Empire.
No matter what type of business you have, there are clients for that business. It may seem hard to reach them but once you’ve got a clear plan and understanding of what YOU bring to the market? Getting leads is the easy part. Finding clients who mesh with your values? That’s where things get a little sticky.
As someone who can bring in 61% more leads in a month from Facebook Ads alone and increase engagement across the board over 100% individually on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I have a responsibility.
A friend of mine is referring me to one of his clients. We talked about it and he said that they’re laying the foundations to be able to handle the volume I would bring in.
While that felt a little uncomfortable to own, the Warrior inside of me was jumping for joy.
I have spent a decade watching, learning and growing. I’ve focused on getting a true understanding of what makes people click (both digitally and in real life) and how to grow a brand from the ground up.
All Wonder Women metaphors aside, using the tactics, strategies and skills I have can create massive results and this is something I really am passionate about. To me, having this type of “power” comes with responsibility.
I don’t have to like you to work with you… but it does help
I believe anyone with a platform has a responsibility to use that platform to share good content — vetted content, accurate content, TRUE content. Retweeting or resharing bad content or unverified content can have serious consequences — there’s an entire website devoted to debunking the Web (Snopes.com) and I definitely aim to be part of the solution, both as an individual content creator and as someone who creates content for others.
Do I have to like you as a human being to take you on as a client? Hell, no.
Do I have to agree with your politics, your life philosophy, and brand identity to take you on as a client? Hell, no.
But do I want to make sure that your brand is spreading positivity instead of negativity? Hell, yes.
I don’t take this lightly and YOU shouldn’t either.
Affiliate Marketing and Influencer Marketing is where this really comes into play because if you’re putting your name behind something and sharing it with your carefully curated audience, you want to make sure it supports them, right?
That’s where my favorite NYC saying “everybody’s money is green” comes into play.
You can work with anyone, but do they deserve your unique skill set?
I’m not talking about “deserve” in a sense of passing judgment on how “worthy” a project or budget is. I’m talking about connecting to who you are as a person, what YOUR goals are and deciding if connecting your brand, business and name to this project is going to be worth the long term results that will have for your business and theirs.
Your name is all you have, guard it with your life
As a journalist, I learned that my name was to be protected because that’s ALL people would know me as. As a journalist “bred” in the age of digital media, I learned to protect my handles too.
As a businesswoman, my word is platinum and I will never, ever, ever forget that. And I don’t want YOU to forget that either.
No matter what you’re selling, your name, brand and business will forever be tied to it, especially if you use the internet as a vehicle to gain exposure for the venture (and if you’re not doing that in even a small way, you won’t succeed).
Moral of the story: Everybody’s money is green but only some people will be the right fit for YOU as clients. Respect that, honor that and tell the Universe you’re ready for more of that alignment.
Magic WILL happen and you’ve earned it.
Content should not be free. Unfortunately, the rise of digital properties led to the cannibalization of content. While this buzzwordy phrase is currently making the rounds on social, we’re losing valuable opportunities to create content that truly matters and that is why, if you’re using content, you have to find a way to pay the writer in one way or another.
I am a Huff Post contributor but don’t agree with their model. Why? Because not everyone knows how to maximize the exposure they get from contributing this content. Not everyone knows to syndicate their blog posts to Huff Post for traffic, social brand awareness and more. (Well, if you’re reading this, now YOU do).
And that, my dear readers, is BS.
Content makes brands, entrepreneurs and influencers MILLIONS, if not Billions, of dollars every year. Many creators — that is people who write, post and MAKE images, videos, photos and more — never see a dime of that OR even see any social currency and follower growth.
There is a better way
I understand the business logistics of paying every single creator for every piece of content. I understand that it is not a model for every business, HOWEVER, there are ways to pay your writers without actually exchanging any cash.
Social Media Currency is real and very few are taking advantage of it.
If YOU want to use free content, here are a few things you can do to contribute to the solution rather than continue the plague.
Giving link love back on social media is a tag or mention, on a website, it’s about linking to their website and articles. It’s about using SOME of your digital klout to mention others and help them increase THEIR influence. An easy way for all brands to do this is to give every contributor at least 1 tag per platform per mention. It could be over the span of 12 months, hell, it could be over the span of 5 years. As long as credit is given, it helps decrease the use of free content
Linking back and link love is great but you can also simple RESHARE a post, giving the author/creator proper attribution from the start. This is very important for videos on social. As videos and vemes become more popular, it is important to share a mention of where you found it and to actually site the creator, not just the source.
If you’re including my contributor article in a newsletter that will net you a profit, some of that profit should be distributed to the writers. This is something that many brands have not started to get into but do need to consider as influencer marketing and content marketing continues to grow.
If you’re ready to use your audience and influence to build your business and your bank account without taking advantage of the creators, let’s talk and figure out ways to syndicate the best creators for YOUR brand objectives.
Money, money, monayyyyy. Money is, in my not-so-humble opinion, freedom and security. Money allows you to make the choices you want to build your business in a way that is aligned with your goals, beliefs and philosophies. Money allows you to help the causes you are passionate about.
Money can change your life.
We spend our lives in the pursuit of dollars and cents through one job (or jobs) or another (or many others) and sometimes, it can seem like a dead end or a round-robin of opportunities that leave us wanting.
So how do you change that?
By claiming and owning your worth — and then, asking for it.
For cubicle warriors venturing out into side hustle land for the first time or for entrepreneurs creating their first rate sheets after their leap, this can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. This simple formula will help you determine what you should charge for the work you’re doing, what feels good to you AND how to grow your rates over time.
Step 1: What is Your Hourly Rate
If you’re working a salaried job, add up all of your benefits and salary (plus any 401K-matches, etc) and then divide the hours you work each week (all of them). That’s your current hourly rate. When you’re working as a contractor or consultant, your hourly rate should be higher based on the level of service you provide.
Step 2: What’s the Going Rate
This is where my Find Your Five formula comes in handy. Find five people who are doing what you do and see how they list their prices, what they share about their process… get intimately familiar with what the going rate is for the services you profile.
Step 3: What Would YOU Pay
If you needed someone with your skill level, background and knowledge, what would you pay them? Think about all different levels of investments and be truly honest with yourself about your experience and background. This one might take you some time but it is an important step.
Step 4: Ask Your Audience
Your audience will tell you what they’re willing to pay for the services you’re providing — they may not tell you directly, but they will tell you. A big indicator is if no one purchases your packages or services. It could be that your audience is a bit too small for the return you’re looking for, but, more likely and more often than not, it is that the price point is not in line with your location or service area.
Sept 5: Test… and Ask Again
Try out the prices and packages you’ve created… and then try again. Run a beta, ask people to test the project or program out. Don’t do work for free — that’s never a smart strategy — but find ways to get a test group together to help you move forward.
This is a process that should be repeated time and time again as you move forward in building your business, side hustle, and any entrepreneurial endeavor.
An expert is someone who lives, breathes, eats and sleeps the work they do. That’s not to say that they don’t have many interests or areas of expertise, but to identify someone as a true expert — especially in the social media marketing space — can be a challenge. This guide is meant to help you get a sense of whether or not this “expert” really knows their stuff so you can get back to the work of building your brand, business and bank account.
Why Should You Care What I Have to Say?
Well, quite frankly because I AM an expert. A quick scan of my bio and LinkedIn profile will show you that I’ve worked at some pretty impressive places and done some pretty incredible things.
But does that really mean I’m an expert?
In my opinion, it does not. Just because you worked somewhere doesn’t mean that you actually did the work and just because you can write a great post or two doesn’t mean you actually did the writing.
Sooooo… What the Hell?
I know it seems more complicated but it’s actually better to assume everyone you encounter is NOT the expert they say they are.
Confusing, perhaps, but if you are skeptical upon your first interaction with someone and their brand/content, you won’t become a disciple of theirs.
How Can I Get the Information I Need?
You do, it is true, need experts to help you flourish in the zones of genius that you do not excel. This is a valid and true statement. But finding those people can be difficult… if you assume everyone knows what they’re talking about.
The first thing to remember is that social media marketing is in its infancy. Facebook hasn’t even had business pages FOR A FULL DECADE!!! Let that sink it for a moment. The method of doing business for so many of you reading this, wasn’t even something to USE a few short years ago.
That means that every, single expert in social still has tons to learn (myself included).
Identifying an expert is easy if you know what to look for and these three steps can help you find an expert in any zone of genius, not just someone who excels at social media marketing.
Consistency in Results
When someone says they’re an expert, ask them for examples of their work and their successes to date. These case studies should be varied and show success based on the resources available for the project. And, the expert should be willing to explain how each success was achieved. That is consistency in results.
When you ask someone for their advice on Facebook ads, they should not give you a generic statistic. They should be able to tell you what they have been able to achieve for other clients and how those results varied from client to client as well as share insights on the “average” across all types of Facebook posts.
Basically, if they’re offering a one-size-fits-all model, run the other way.
When you see a Facebook post or Instagram Story from an expert, ask them questions that go beyond the topics covered. Someone who really knows their stuff will be able to offer clear answers AND ask clear questions to get to the heart of what you’re really looking for and give you some solid advice. Even if they won’t give you strategic advice (because no one should give that away for free), they should be able to tell you some stats from past clients and give you some food for thought when it comes to what YOUR next move should be.
All in all, a true expert is someone who not only knows the right answer but knows HOW to get you from the question you’re asking to the answers you need to have. A true expert is a guide, someone who helps you navigate their zone of genius with ease and strategy; someone who helps YOU build your business without draining your bank account.