If you want to build your business online, to build your reach, impact or authority then at some point you need to graduate from posting on social media and become a creator of content. When it comes to content there are two formats which stand out.
Video and Audio
Why? Because they open the door to building relationships at scale. You can create marketing content, products, podcasts youtube channels and all of this ultimately leads to generating revenue.
A lot of people try to do this with a blog. And some succeed but the written word just doen’t connect or transport us in the same way as the moving picture or the spoken word. Blogging is great for lots of things but if we’re honest we’re lazy and prefer to consume TV and Radio.
So why is it that we all know the impact audio and video can have but so few make that step to take action?
Well a lot of people are uncomfortable with video. But if we dig into that a little it’s not the video side of things at all. Most people just can’t bear the sound of their voice when they hear it back. This is the very first barrier.
It’s very common for someone to film them selves and be fine with the process but the moment they hear themselves back – delete. Time for a coffee and some real work.
When I started my podcast this was a huge challenge. I understood because I’d done some research but even then it was a big issue. Editing myself was like hearing fingers on a blackboard. When I was a guest on other people’s podcasts I couldn’t listen. Over time this faded. I’m fine with hearing my voice now but it wasn’t easy.
So what’s happening here? First of all what you hear as your voice when you speak is not your voice. It”s only the version you hear. When other people hear your voice it’s transmitted through the air and the frequency range is wide. When you hear your voice it’s transmitted through bone with a low frequency range. It’s a totally different sound.
A second factor ( and there are a lot more ) is that there’s a part of our brain which reads emotional queues in voices. When we speak ourselves we don’t activate this part of the brain. But when we hear ourselves played back it activates and this causes a very strange emotional feedback loop which causes us to react so strongly.
Interestingly studies have shown that when your voice is played back and you don’t realise it’s your own you are likely to rate it higher than normal for attractiveness.
If you want to build your brand online then the voice barrier is one your going to need to push through. Once your get through it you’ll find all the reactions vanish and you can start enjoying things but you’ll only get through it with consistent action.
Try this 👉Record yourself daily saying something short and listen back. This simple daily practise will desensitize you. What you say doesn’t matter. Just that you hear your voice back once per day.
Every body has this. Some stay trapped by it and never break through – other push through and those are the people you know through video and audio.
I’d love to know if you have any ‘hating your voice’ stories or your tips for getting over it. Let me know.
If setting up a podcast is on your list of marketing goals then you’ll quickly find there are a lot of moving parts. It can take weeks of trial and error to work out the right tools, tech and quirks. Never mind the requirements of Apple podcasts and Spotify.
So – sit back and chill as I walk you through it all.
Digital marketing skills are in demand for a good reason. Money flows where attention goes and most of the time your attention is online. Because of this business small and large are willing to pay for the support they need to compete.
Specialist digital marketing businesses are thriving all over the world. But often there’s a problem. A lot of socialists work in silos and it can be hard for the client to discriminate or prioritise. Software vendors offering marketing automation platforms compete for attention. There are more methodologies, frameworks and hacks than you can shake a stick at. It’s a confusing and noisy landscape with no apparent clear path for the business owner.
I often describe the problem a business owner has when approaching digital marketing as being like walking into the control room of a power station. It’s just a wall of dials, buttons and controls. If I wanted to take control I would have no idea where to start. But what the control room operator knows is that there are only a handful of buttons which really matter. The rest are for special circumstances.
The demand for digital marketing know how in businesses leads to people looking for training. When they do they find the same problem. Every provider want’s to stand out and they promise the world. The promise to train you on the whole ‘control room’ in a vast sprawling course which you never complete or can’t possibly retain.
Digital marketing courses are inherently obsolete. Things just move so fast that the moment a course is designed – everything has changed. An in depth course just can’t keep up with the pace of change.
Digital marketing needs to be done differently. Not as a training event but as a learning lifestyle. You need training on some foundations and support of the specifics. Knowledge is built and deepened over time and this happens best in a community of learning. We also learn best from experts who are working – right now – in the field. Ask anyone who’s good an they’ll tell you the same thing. The learned by looking over the shoulder of someone great.
This has been something which has bothered me for a long time. Watching small business owners being treated as prey in a churn and burn approach to providing a service is painful. I spent a long time thinking about how I could approach filling the knowledge gap and finally completed the Amplify Digital Marketing Accelerator.
The Accelerator is designed to address the challenges and opportunities of small business owners directly in a way that provides long term value and will deliver results. Business owners are natural problem solvers and action takers. I argue that controlling the flow of inbound opportunity for your business is the single most important activity in your business – so why would you.
A – leave that to chance
B – Delegate it to some hipster teenager
The digital marketing accelerator contains the training, support, community and leadership you need to not just get a quick hit of knowledge, but to gradually layer your knowledge and experience over time. All the while observing and discussing what’s working for your peers and learning from the rest of the members.
Running one of the worlds top digital marketing podcasts also has its perks. I’ve made some very smart friends and they all want to help out too. Every fortnight we have masterclasses with some of the biggest names in digital marketing. Members can ask their questions and get direct answers. Many of these guests charge thousands for workshops.
One question which has come up occasionally is if creative or digital marketing agencies can join the accelerator. The answer is a whole hearted yes. I love working with creative agencies and even digital marketing agencies or contractors will admit that often they’re not soo good at practising what they preach and tend operate in a very narrow silo.
I really had intended this to simply be a warning that digital marketing training is often inherently obsolete. Ask anyone who’s making waves online and they’ll tell you that it’s not about knowledge. It’s about consistent action and a digital marketing ‘lifestyle’ which demands a very different perspective. The Amplify Digital Marketing Accelerator will open the door to that lifestyle and I will see you inside.
One of my roles is as a digital marketing advisor or coach and when I work with new clients I’m asked one question more than any other and it’s :
“How often should I post on social media.”
They understand that posting on social media is one of the keys to building your visibility, discoverability, likeability, credibility and your authority.
It’s important to post on social media because if you don’t then unless you’re just there to be nosey ( which is fine but don’t expect to grow your business ) then you may as well not be there. Just log out and do something productive instead.
There’s no simple answer to how often you should post. It really depends on what you have to work with but I hope that these suggestions might help you.
There are two types of post I see on social media and they fall into two simple categories.
1 – This that are just noise. These are posted for the sake of posting and the authors didn’t really plan they’re post ahead of time. This is what you see most of, particularly on Linkedin.
2 – Those that add value. These are planned out ahead of time and should inspire, educate or entertain. You want to add value so you’re going to need to plan these out ahead of time.
Plan your topics
In order to add value you’re going to need to plan your topics. Know what you have to work with. Make a list of the topics you can regularly turn to for social content. You can download my social media topics prompt list for some help if you like.
What are you for and against
Posts which have a little emotional energy in them often do well so take sheet of paper, lay in on it’s side and draw a line down the middle. Put a title on the left and right saying FOR and AGAINST. Now make a list of things you love and a list of things your against. This should help you get fired up a little – but don’t go nuts.
Know who you’re for
You’re posts are on social media for all to see but they’re not really for everyone. They’re for that one person who matters to you. Do you have a customer avatar – watch mu customer avatar video
Schedule ahead of time
Don’t sit there in front of social media all day like a zombie consumer. Use software to schedule your posts ahead of time and get on with something productive instead.
Consistency then frequency
Consistency on social media is more important than frequency. Do what you can consistently sustain without burning out. If you get some systems in place this can be a lot more than you’re doing right now.
But Bob I just want and answer – how often should I post on social media.
I post once per day on most platforms. It’s that simple. You can do more or our can do less. I often recommend aiming for three posts per week as a good frequency for the average business owner – but make sure you plan ahead of time and avoid sucky posts.
If that sounds like you then maybe showing up as a guest on some of your favourite podcasts would be a better route to building your profile online. If this sounds like you then stick around and I’ll tell you how to get on podcasts and how to be a great guest.
Podcasts are everywhere. If you don’t listen to podcasts then think of them as very niche radio shows. You’ll find them in specific podcast player apps for mobile, in Spotify or in the Apple podcasts app on your phone, tablet or mobile.
They’re listened to by people who really love the topics they listen to. I listen to lots of podcasts on all kinds of I love them because they go deep into the topics which I want to know more about.
The vast majority of podcasts are conversation based. Normally with a host and a range of guest experts. Hosts are always looking for new guests and for some you might be just the expert they’re looking for.
Being a podcast guest is a great way to build your personal brand online. Each episode you appear on will be around for a very long time with new listeners downloading and listening every single day. They are evergreen and often the number of listeners will climb over time.
The podcast host will have a lot of credibility with thier audience so by showing up as a guest you get to borrow some of that credibility. This is a real help if you’re feeling insecure.
Another really powerful benefit of being a podcast gusts is the long term SEO benefit. Each time you appear as a guest, the host will create a web page for your episode which will normally link back to your website. Ask anyone how to improve your SEO and they’ll tell you high quality back links are golden.
Lastly, the hosts do the work. You don’t have to write, film, edit or even get dressed if you don’t want to. It’s normally audio only which takes a lot of pressure off for most people.
So – Now you want to be a podcast guest – what’s it going to take to make it happen?
There are a lot of agencies out there who will set you up with podcasters but if you want my opinion – you should avoid them. I get approached by these companies every single day and in the last year have only accepted two guests from them. You might wonder why. It’s because if you can’t be bothered contacting me yourself then you’re not into my show.
I’m going to focus on two key areas next. Firstly how to become a podcast guest and secondly what to do when the hosts says yes. If you pick the right shows this will happen sooner than you think.
Securing a spot.
1 – Create a media CV or ‘One Sheet’.
This is a simple one page document outlining who you are, what you do, where your expertise are, the topics you like to speak about and some key areas which make you stand out. It can also include links to previous interviews or other media. I’ve included my own and bunch that I’ve been sent over the last year which you can download as an example.
The one sheet or media cv makes it very easy for the guest to see where you migt fit in and how they might shape an interview. Think of it as a really simple map to who you are and what you’re about.
2 – Make a list. Like any sales job you need a big list of prospects and a plan for you you’re going to approach them. But before all this – pick a few and listen to a few episodes of each. You’ll need at least a fleeting familiarity with the show before you try and connect.
3 – The approach. Most of my guests are drawn from my own network. Other hosts are just the same. If that sounds intimidating then it shouldn’t be. Becoming part of my network is easy. Connect with me on social media, hang out and chat a bit. Now you’re part of my network. Other hosts are no different.
If you want to be on someones show then first off, look on the hosts website and see if they have a preferred way of being approached. They might have a form or survey to complete. If they don’t then send them a short message asking if they think you might be a good fit.
Remember what I said about getting emails every day from agencies. You need to cut through this which is why it’s important you listen to a little of their shows. If your message looks to me like you cut and paste it then I’ll delete it without even thinking about it. Guard against this with some detail – but not too much. Keep it short and don’t be pushy. If you don’t hear back then feel free to drop a couple of reminders. If nothing happens then move on.
So you got your first yes. For many this is some scary stuff. I’m a confident host but even I get nervous before interviews. Here are my tips for making sure things go as well as possible.
1 – Remember it’s the hosts job to be in the driving seat. You take your lead from them. They’ll take care of you, that’s why they’re called the host.
2 – Make sure you have headphones. Some hosts are particular about this. Podcasts are recorded on multiple tracks, one for each person. If you don’t use headphones your audio can bleed over onto another track. Better safe than sorry, so make sure you have some. Even ear buds are fine.
3 – Have a decent microphone. If being podcast guest is something you’ve decided matters for you then spending a small amount of money on a micorphone is a good idea. The mic I use for my podcast only cost £50. ( Marantz Pro MPM1000U ).
Different mics work in different ways to read the manual and get used to getting the best sound from it.
4 – Prepare your environment. Turn off mobile notifications and your ring tone and put your phone somewhere you can’t see it. Switching to vibrate is not enough. Turn that off too. If you’re new at podcasts then a client call flashing up when you’re talking could really throw you off your stride.
Let anyone else in your environment know that your being interviewed and to keep the noise down where possible. Work with your host to find a time when you know you’re unlikely to be disturbed.
Don’t go nuts about soundproofing, trying things like climbiing into cupboards. Just avoid loud fans, traffic noise, rattling cables, construction noise and so on.
5 – Take some time to plan out talking points. Don’t come with a script or an agenda but do have a list of places you could go with a conversation. Over time you might have a list of stories or anecdotes which you can turn to but start simple. Once you’ve got it you can relax and let the host sit in the driving seat, knowing that if they ask you to take the wheel you have a couple of destinations you can turn to.
6 – Don’t try and pitch or worry that you need listeners to understand ‘everything’. Just let them meet you and focus on a couple of key points. Have one clear focus or goal for the interview.
7 – Don’t try to be bulletproof. Yes – being interviewed as an ‘expert’ but nobody expects you to know ‘everything’. A little vulnerability will go a long way towards building rapport with your audience.
8 – Have one clear goal and call to action for the interview. Most hosts will ask you something like ‘what are you promoting right now’ or ‘what action would you like this listnener to take next’. Be ready for this witha single call to action. Send them to one lead magent and one social media account. That’s it. The more you ask the less people will do.
9 – After the interview ask for feedback and for bonus points, ask for a referral. Most podcast hosts are connected to lots of other podcast hosts and we share great guests a lot.
Being a great podcast guest is easy. The tech boils down to a decent mic and some headphones. The rest is this simple. Make sure that you focus on the value for the audience – not on the value for you.
Everything we do online generates data and as a marketer, this data is key to understanding where our efforts are working and where they’re not. Most people when they think of Analytics, assume that it’s all about visitor numbers today I want to show how we can take things a little further.
For a lot of people digital marketing is simply about showing up online. Thats fine but smart marketers want to see results. Results in digital marketing come back to what I previously called the ‘stupid, simple rules of digital marketing’.
They can be summed up as : Traffic + Conversion = Money ( + Retention = Growth )
If we’re going to take that seriously then we need to measure and assess our efforts at every stage. Where we see success we need to replicate it and scale up. Where we see failure we need to learn from it and avoid the same mistakes.
There are a lot of things we can measure and depending on your budget, there are some incredible tools. For the purposes of this post I’m going to stick to the five free tools every business owner should be using.
Google analtics is the standard website performance tracking tool which should be installed onevery website. It provides all the information you could want about how your website is being used. In basic terms it provides information about visits, their volume, where people come from, what they look at, where they enter and leave your site. You can also set up conversion goal reports and track them as well.
Facebook analytics and google analytics track and display much the same data. Google analytics can go much deeper but arguably Facebook’s version is a bit easier to digest. Both Facebook and Google analytics work by setting up a tracking code. In Facebook’s case it’s called the tracking pixel. You may wonder if you could just use one or the other. My advice is to use both because by setting up the tracking codes you’re collecting the data you’ll need later if you want to run retargeting ads.
Both Facebook and Google analytics have great companion mobile apps which make drilling into the data much easier and I highly recommend them.
Hotjar is a different breed of tool entirely. Hotjar has several functions, but two stand out features. Firstly it will record every single visit as a video. You can watch website visitors scroll, click, linger and complete actions of all kinds on your site. Think of it literally as having the opportunity to watch over the shoulder of every website visitor. You’ll very quickly start seeing areas of your site where people aren’t doing as you expect them. By then making some small changes you can change how they use your site.
Hotjar will allso aggregate click, scroll and mouse movement data and provide you with heat maps which help you understand even more about how your website is being used. When I show hotjar to clients, they get excited. I think you will too.
Leadfeeder is, again, doing something different. Without going too deep into how it’s doing it, Leadfeeder provides reports on the actual businesses who visit our website. Every day you can log in and see a report of the businesses who visited your site, which pages they visited, if they’re a repeat visitor.
Leadfeeder is intended to allow those who sell into larger businesses be more effective in their sales prospecting. This can work really well when combined with a social media outreach program coupled with some social selling strategies.
Bitly is traditionally used as a link shortening tool and it’s realy handy for that. It became popular through twitter due to the restrictions on the number of characters you could use in a post. If a blog article you wanted toshare had a long title then it might not leave you space to say anything about it.
Bitly solved this problem by converting long titles into short ones. But it has a trick up it’s sleeve for people who regularly share content on social media. Lets say you share one of your blog posts on several social media platforms. You’re going to want to know which social media platform achieved the most click throughs to your content. Bitly provides reports on this for every single link you create.
These five tools form the foundation of a solid performance benchmarking suite which can, and probably should be used i every business. They’re all very easy to set up and in every case available, albeit in cases, with some limitations, for free.