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About Bob Gentle

I work with businesses of all sizes on digital marketing, host the Amplify digital marketing entrepreneur podcast and work with entrepreneurs to help them amplify their business online.

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Overview

If you're like me then you'll have been on the receiving end of a bad sales approach on Linkedin - probably more than one. Linekdin is a fantastic tool for business networking and a great place to build your brand. It's a powerful platform allowing your connect with and reach out to just about anyone. But a powerful tool in the wrong hands quickly becomes a weapon which all to often backfires on the one trying to wield it. Social selling on Linkedin can be a bit like that.

This week My guest is Dana Lindahl who runs an agency focusing on Linkedin Lead generation and in this week's episode he's going to walk us through his business story and exactly how to make Linkedin a lead generation gift which keeps on giving.

Dana's website : https://www.legendaryleadgen.com/

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Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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Automatic Show Transcript

If you’re a bit like me then you probably have a lot of imposter syndrome, comparison issues, and low self esteem. No – just me? I doubt it. When it comes to content marketing, especially where you run a small business where you could say the personal brand is more important than the company brand, people second guess themselves a lot. This second guessing often leads to content marketing being completely abandoned.

Skip reading and watch this? ☝️

For a long time, I’d react jealously to what, from my perspective, was mediocre content being put out by others. I think this is a common experience. What was interesting was that what I viewed as mediocre content was clearly working for the people putting it out.

Not everybody is like this but a lot of people are. It’s funny, almost a paradox, that we see poor content going out and working, but when we create potentially better content suddenly it’s not good enough. It makes no sense – but it’s a real experience.

  • Does any of this sound familiar?
  • “Everything I have to say has been said before.”
  • “My life, work, experience, environment, personality isn’t as interesting as other peoples”
  • “Who would be interested in what I know”

This is all compounded when we look at platforms like video or podcasting where we’re actually at risk of being judged on our appearance or how we sound. It can all be pretty overwhelming.

I had a client a while ago in the IT space. In our first meeting, he told me about a competitor and showed me his Linkedin video’s, podcast and effectively gave me a tour of a pretty well put together content driven personal brand. “I want you to help me do that” he told me.

The competitor wasn’t really talking about anything amazing and a lot of the time it wasn’t even business related. He just expressed himself online. He made videos frequently and was more focused on showing up than showing off. His business was booming.

My client point blank refused to produce any content. He hyper-focused on the detail of everything and put out absolutely nothing. He had more experience, a bigger team, better resources but would second guessed everything.

Now – this isn’t just about my clients. It’s also been a big point of resistance for me over the years. I think this is probably one of the single biggest things which has held me and my business back. It might be doing the same for you.

I recently interviewed Jeff Goins on my podcast. Jeff is awesome and inspires me in so many ways but he dropped a David Sivers quote which I’ve reflected on a lot over the last couple of weeks.

“What’s obvious to you is amazing to others”. 👈Let that sink in.

When I started working with groups of small businesses, more as a coach than as a consultant I started to realise that this was true – in more ways than you would expect.

It’s almost a cliche to say that we often worry too much about what other people think of us. But in marketing, a lot of business owners worry about the wrong things. They worry about what people, who are not even the target audience will think. Competitors and peers for example.

Who is your content marketing actually for. It’s for the people who need YOU. So why are YOU holding back?

You are amazing for the person who needs the value you offer. Not for the person on the left or the right of that person. Stop second guessing everything.

I’ve been observing this a lot since I first became aware of it. There is so much that in others we find amazing but we fail to apply the same measures to ourselves. We see as amazing things like knowledge, experience, location, curiosity expressed and humor when others express it. We need to have a little confidence that when we express ourselves those same rules will apply to us.

If you don’t show up online then one thing is for certain. You will not win online. If you do show up online and give yourself permission to be amazing for someone – then you will start the journey which can quickly lead to the kind of wins which can transform your business like my IT clients competitor, and for that matter – my own.

Overview

I've seen a lot of advertising disasters over the years but I've also seen some spectacular wins. This week my guest is one of the smartest advertisers I know and this show is a treat for anyone who's looking to level up Facebook ads or start dipping your toe in Facebook messenger marketing. I made a lot of notes in this interview so I suggest you sharpen a pencil, grab a coffee and get ready to look at Facebook ads in a whole new light.

This week my guest is Carrie Gottschalk, on of the worlds leading Facebook ads consultants and she's going to open the curtain on her business, services and some really cool strategies you can start implementing right away.

About Carrie

Carrie is a highly recognized influencer within the social media industry and has been at the forefront of the social media revolution for 12 years, paid social media for 5 years, and has managed over 13 million dollars in ad-spend -- working with large clients Shari's Berries, Wyndham Hotels, and TEDxMileHigh. With her extensive experience in domestic and international markets she's known as a skilled social media strategist, advertiser and has also gained a strong understanding of digital performance metrics with a good portion of her experience in eCommerce, Direct Response, and Performance Marketing.

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Take Carrie's chatbot for a spin : https://m.me/carriegottschalkllc

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Quick subscribe

Automatic Show Transcript

Overview

Positioning yourself as a market leading expert might sound ambitious or self aggrandising but if you're in business and this isn't your goal then you might want to think about why not. Understanding your value and know who needs that value the most is the foundation of business. When you are your business trying to understanding your value can throw up all kinds of issues.

This week my guest is Jen Hall and Jen's business is centred around helping business owners position themselves as market leading experts.

Links and mentions

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Quick subscribe

When I look at the websites of a lot of businesses the blog is normally a source of unspoken shame and embarrassment. Everyone was so excited when the site was being built and there was no shortage of people in the business putting their hand up to contribute content. Then the site went live and all those volunteers somehow found more important things to do now.

This is so normal. And it doesn’t get fixed when marketing agencies come on board either. Marketing agencies know that writing blog posts is hard work and in order for them to be effective, they have to come from a place where both passion and knowledge have a home. Agencies will also avoid your blog for the simple reason that they’re normally playing a short / medium term game.

There are three main strands to digital marketing strategy and one of the problems with the industry is that people, agencies possibly more than anyone, try to pretend this isn’t the case. Activities can be split into things that have short term impact, medium-term impact, and long term impact. The things which have the biggest long term impact are the things which most agencies just are not equipped to deliver for you. Certainly not on a small or medium sized businesses budget.

So the three strands of digital strategy start with :

Short term – Online Advertising.

This isn’t a post about advertising but in simple terms, if you start running ads today they will start working for you today. And they’ll continue working ( with some adjustments ) until you turn them off.

Medium term Social Media, Social Networking, Active SEO

For a lot of people this is where digital marketing begins and ends. These activities tend to lead to results in around six months.

Long term – Blog, Podcast, Youtube

These three content types are doing something special. Think of the three strategy strands ( short, medium & long term ) as investment categories. The longer the term of the investment the higher the interest. These three formats ( Blog Podcast and Youtube ), in the order presented pay the highest interest. Blogging is an entry level, high interest content type with podcasting and Youtube paying much higher interest and greater dividends over time.

This long term component of a digital marketing strategy is one which a lot of agencies try to brush under the carpet and a big reason for this is that it’s nearly impossible to sub contract or delegate. When Gary Vaynerchuck speaks about the need for every business to be 80% whatever they do for money and 20% media company – this is what he meant. Like any long term investment they take discipline and the rewards for this discipline, over time, can be spectacular.

Three bad reasons to blog

So today I want to look at why you should blog. But before I get into the detail of the good reasons, let’s explore some really bad reasons to start blogging.

Bad reason number one : I’m going to blog to get famous.

The internet is saturated by blogs and unless your taking a much more intelligent approach to your total digital strategy and also have something to say which is amazing, this isn’t going to happen.

Bad reason number two : I’m going to blog and get rich.

A blog on its own isn’t going to be the thing which changes your world, but it can be an important component. Unless your topic is very popular and people are willing to spend a lot to reach your audience the blog on its own isn’t going to earn money.

Bad reason number three : I’m going to blog because someone said I should.

If you’re going to maintain the discipline to regularly contribute to a blog then unless you’re an idiot, you’ll need to know why. You need to understand how your efforts, sustained for months or years, contribute to the bigger picture.

So those are the bad reasons to blog. Now let’s look at the good reasons.

Good reason number one : It helps you kick start the creator habit.

Podcasting and Youtube do pay higher returns but they ask us for a very big commitment. This commitment isn’t just of time but of creative energy and often a level of personal exposure we’re just not prepared for. Starting with a blog allows us to start the creator habit or the habit of making something which we then put out into the world. With a blog, for most people, there is the least resistance.

Good reason number two : It elevates your social media content.

Social media without regular, good quality content is just noise. F – and businesses – noise is the standard approach to social media. If you want to stand out a blog gives you the opportunity to do just that. Blog content gives you the opportunity to let people go deeper with you on social media. It allows a conversation to start and for you to invite people into your content and really meet you.

Good reason number three : It invests in your search engine profile.

Good SEO consultants will tell you that the single biggest contributor to your search profile is good quality content being regularly added to your website. That sounds a lot like a blog to me. This is one of the less often talked about benefits of blogging. My company hosts hundreds of websites for all kinds of business and we track the traffic on all of them. My own data matches industry data and clearly shows that websites with blogs where content has been added consistently over time (a) rank better for chosen search terms and (b) see most inbound traffic generated by blog posts rather than the standard website pages.

Good reason number four : It builds your authority.

Regularly creating and sharing content on your topic of choice will, over time, position you as an authority in your field. This authority becomes a competitive advantage, again, over time. If becoming the expert who’s invited to speak at conferences or contribute in the press is something that would help your business then, in time, a blog can position you so this can happen.

A blog is what you might call the first step in the authority ladder, podcast, youtube channels, and even books are all on this ladder but the higher you climb, the more commitment you’ll need. However, the higher you climb, the less people are around you, the more impact you can have and the more visible you become.

Your business might do something you feel is boring or mundane. You might feel it’s nothing new or it’s so obscure nobody would be interested in. Some of that might be true. Have a look through the good reasons I’ve given you and if you can honestly say that none of them could apply to you then don’t bother with blogging. If you do manage to reach the conclusion that none of the benefits could apply to you then I also think – you’re probably wrong.

Writing a blog can have a big impact but it should always be seen as a long term investment. Like any long term investment, it’s power is in the compounding effect of interest over time. It won’t change your business in days or weeks. In a year or two, if you commit to regular content, you might look back and say it was the best thing you ever did for your business.

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Overview

For most people work is just that - it's work. For a few lucky people it's much more than that. They've found a calling or a vocation. People are motivated by very different things but for me the idea of calling or vocation has always been very strongly present. I want what I do with my time and labours to have meaning in the world.

This calling isn't something you just find one day and simply snap into. It takes time and effort to reveal. This week my guest is Jeff Goins. Jeff is an author and entrepreneur and his books 'The Art of Work' and 'Real Artists Don't Starve' have both had a big impact on my personal philosophy.

Not only does Jeff write great books about things which really matter to me, he's also a great digital entrepreneur and he's going to share exactly how his business works on the back end - it's a real treat.

About Jeff

Jeff Goins is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the best-selling author of five books, including The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve. His award-winning blog Goinswriter.com is visited by millions of people every year, and his work has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Psychology Today, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Time, and hundreds of other publications. Through his online courses, events, and coaching programs, he helps thousands of creatives succeed every year. Jeff lives just outside of Nashville, where he makes the world’s best guacamole.

Links and mentions

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Quick subscribe

Automatic Show Transcript

Overview

A good blog is the foundation of good content marketing. But for some reason everyone seems to make the so difficult. Investing time in your blog can often seem like a waste of time. But those who know, know.

A blog isn't a vanity project. It serves a valuable purpose in your marketing. It's the centre of your content world and provides fuel for social media, email marketing and good search engine performance. Show your business blog a little love and it will, in time love you back a lot more.

This week my guest is Rachel Extance and she's an award winning blogger who's going to share her tips and strategies for making your blog a little easier and hopefully motivate you to rekindle some love for your blog.

About Rachel

Rachel Extance helps business owners to spot their stories and use them to build their brand. A former journalist, she is an award-winning blogger who provides consultancy on how to get your message across, plan out content marketing, and write material for use online and offline. To find out more about her and get tips on how to use stories in your business, go to extance.co.uk

I'm @RachelExtance on all the socials. Most active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

To find out more about her and get tips on how to use stories in your business, go to extance.co.uk

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Quick subscribe

Automatic Show Transcript

Let me read you this post 👇

Or you can watch this short video 👇

A lot of businesses are in a bit of a spin right now. The ways they’ve always done things just don’t work right now. If you’re a business owner you don’t need me to tell you. You’ll know all about our new reality.

What we have in simple terms, is an obstacle. There is an obstacle between us and our customers. These obstacles aren’t absolute. All they’ve done is block the path of least resistance between us and our traditional customers.

Now I know there’s less money in the economy. But what I’d like you to remember is that the current situation affects every business equally. Yours hasn’t been singled out. What this means is that if you can find a way around the obstacle and reconnect with customers – you have a business again.

We see this with restaurants starting to sell takeaway foods, but what if your business doesn’t have an obvious route to market. That’s what I want to explore here.

Something I’m hearing in the online space at the moment is that business owners should pivot to an online business model. Some businesses are well suited to this and the route to selling online is pretty obvious. But what if this isn’t the case for you?

Online business models are not all about selling things in online shops. If you have a shop then, by all means, open up online. But if you don’t sell physical products what are your options?

The first thing to remember with an online business model is that while you don’t have the easy access to your local customers like you used to, you do have access to the whole world. Don’t think with the same limitations – if you’re going to reimagine your business do it from the ground up.

There are a lot of frameworks people use when trying to understand how to optimise a business. There’s the business model canvas and the value proposition canvas and countless other lenses you can use to explore potential ways to tune your business model. For the purposes of this exercise I want to keep it simple and fall back to the classic 7 P’s of marketing.

The Seven P’s

Disclaimer. If you’re a marketing academic or an argumentative competitor – just go now. This is an interpretation of the 7P’s for the current situation. I’m trying to be helpful here.

Product

Your product is value. When you sell it’s a value exchange. What your customers’ value might have changed. How you package your product might need to change in order to stay aligned with new needs. A big issue for some businesses is that their product doesn’t work at all in the current climate. That doesn’t mean they don’t have value to exchange. It means they’ll need to innovate.

Price

You might need to look at pricing. I don’t necessarily mean cutting prices. What I mean is that you might need to look at leading with different products. Another perspective is that when you start reaching out to people online your net is much wider. It’s possible that by selling more of a lower priced item your revenues might stabilise or grow. Remember, online you don’t have the same geography and you can reach many more people.

Physical evidence

When people come into your store or office they take an impression of who we are, how serious or competent we are. Our environment is part of our brand and affects trust. Online – you can’t take this advantage with you to the same extent. You’re going to need to tell your story online, share pictures of your people, products, place. You’re going to need to compensate.

Place

You might have traded locally before but now we can’t. That gives you permission to reimagine the constraint of place. If you’re going to be trading online why limit yourself this way. Additionally – Because you can’t work with people directly a lot of people will have to completely rethink the value exchange which is their product.

Promotion

To a large extent promotion is the easy part. Once you innovate your product and overcome the physical constraints of social distancing, you just need to connect to your audience. This is, for most people, marketing. Marketing is much more but here we’re talking social media, search marketing, online advertising, joint ventures and getting your brand and product in front of the most people you can.

Processes

A lot of businesses are defined by their processes and every business is unique. But one process has been interrupted more than any other. Delivery. So as we explore ways to innovate our value exchange we’re going to have to take this constraint into account and find ways to work around it.

People

This is all about community. Our staff, partners, customer and audience. Those business who’ve taken their people for granted are going to need to rethink things. Online is often thought to be about big numbers, ads and spreadsheet, but really it’s about people. Your ability to connect with people online and galvanise them as activists for your business can be a huge advantage. But you also need to make sure you’re properly leveraging your resources. Think incentives, recognition, shout outs, generosity, CRM systems and communicating more, not less. Think person to person. Not B2B.

The seven P’s are really just a few perspectives which allow us to steer a review of what we’re doing. It takes some imagination to understand how they might be applied in more traditional businesses so I’ll give you a few examples.

Example 1 – A Garden Centre

The best garden center in town never had to sell online. Those who knew, knew and they were always busy. Well that’s not how it ‘s working now. The garden center has to turn to it’s most loyal customers, who still have gardens and a lot of free time, with a rapidly produced PDF price list.

They’ve also reviewed products and put together some easy to buy kits for home veg growing. Everything you need from containers, netting, compost, seeds, and a watering can. They’re selling a lot of these around the country. They’ve promoted these in local buy and sell groups on Facebook where they found a ready army of activists with time on their hands and because their new product is meeting a need, business is better than ever.

Example 2 – A massage therapist

This therapist was faced with ruin. It’s ok for Joe Wicks to jump around on TV but that’s not going to work for a therapist that can’t touch you through the screen and doesn’t have enough money to buy an island already.

The therapist created a Facebook group for people thinking about job changing and put together s simple online course about how to sell massage therapy. He spent time in the Facebook group being as helpful as possible and very quickly had around 150 people around the world paying him £35 per month for support to plan the relaunch of their career. He’s working less hours and making more money than before. He also has the potential to scale five times more than any other therapist.

Example 3 – Telecom sales

While most telecoms companies are making people redundant one is retraining sales staff to operate online. People still need telecoms, now more than ever. But the ways this has always been done are not going to work now. This particular telecom has invested in virtual training in social selling .

Helping staff find new ways to prospect and connect in the new environment. Some simple changes have led to increased sales and new customers as competitors have gone into stasis and not risen to the challenge. The B2B telecom space isn’t bound by geography so sales teams are finding unexpected success with niche products around the world.

Each of these businesses had the same constraints and had to find new ways to connect value to the people who need it. First you need to reassess and audit your value and then the ways you bring that value to market.

The more imagination you bring to this process the more successful you can be. When you go online you don’t need to be mainstream. You can go as niche as you like because your market is comprised of seven billion people.

The pivot to an online business model is something that normally might be done over years. Right now you might need to address it very quickly. An online business model isn’t a license to print money or a ticket to a private island.

It’s just as much work. You’ll need to network like crazy, live on social media, create content all the time, be very high profile and get used to being visible in ways which might make you very uncomfortable. This is what it takes.

Remember that business is simple. It’s about value exchanges. If you can find ways to create value and connect that with people who want it – you’ll have a business.

If you have a business and it’s struggling right now then look to the seven P’s as one tool which might help you get that process started. If you want more inspiration then listen to my podcast where I’ve interviewed dozens of online business owners of every kind.

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