This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Roeder. Laura is a social media marketing expert who teaches small businesse how to become well-known and claim their brand online. She is the creator of Your Backstage Pass to Twitter and Creating Fame and author of Facebook Fame: The Facebook Marketing Bible For The Small Business.
Read on to get Lauras advice to small business owners as well the inside scoop on how she has created her success.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP (OR 2) REGARDING SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING THAT YOU WOULD GIVE ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
Don’t be afraid to stand out from your industry. When you talk, walk and look just like everyone else it’s impossible for your customers to make a distinction. But it can be really hard to stand out because by definition your industry isn’t going to understand it – your peers are going to tell you that they don’t get it, or that you’ve gone too far. Social media marketing is just communicating with your customers, and building that know-like-trust factor. Give them something to go by. And the easiest way to do that is to be yourself and say what you really want to say.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA ARENA THAT YOU SEE ENTREPRENEURS FACING TODAY?
It’s always been time. I don’t think social media is a good area to outsource, it really needs to be done by someone inside the company. That doesn’t mean the owner has to do it, but social media is essentially customer service. When people are asking questions on twitter or facebook, someone needs to be there with a quick answer. You can automate and scale your content, but engagement will always take time and there’s no way around that. You just have to decide to make it priority, because it does pay off when you’re doing it right.
DOES EVERY SMALL BUSINESS NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PLAN?
Every business absolutely needs an online marketing plan. Every single business, without exception, should know what is showing up on Google when their customers and prospects are searching for them. Social media is an incredibly powerful free marketing channel, and for that reason I don’t think it should be overlooked by any small business. Also, if you’re going to spend any time on social media you should have a plan so that you’re not wasting your time. So many small business owners are driving blind then wondering why it’s not working for them.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE KEY STRATEGIES AND OPERATIONAL TACTICS THAT HAVE GOTTEN YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY WITH YOUR BUSINESS?
Bootstrap your team as fast as you can. I always say you only have 24 hours in a day, and the only way to add more man hours to your business is to bring in other people so that you can use their 24 hours too. The more people in your business, the more you can get done. That’s a fact. Now I’m not suggesting you build a super bloated company, but that’s not really possible when you bootstrap anyway. I see so many people that will spend thousands on coaches and training but won’t hire an assistant, a designer, or a customer service person. The more ideas you can implement the faster your business can grow. I would say my other big tenet is do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t. That’s the simplest way to make your business suceed. When something works, put it on repeat. This can be hiring methodologies, marketing strategies, ways to deliver your service, whatever.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO IN YOUR BUSINESS ON A DAILY BASIS THAT ADDS TO YOUR SUCCESS?
Follow a plan! I see so many businesses that have big dreams but don’t connect those dreams to their daily actions. Instead they get pulled in by the undertow of all the daily minutia of running a business. When I have an idea I put it into a plan then let that plan guide my workday.
WHAT ASPECT OF YOUR BUSINESS GIVES YOU THE MOST JOY AND WHY?
I love the complete control over my schedule – I’ve been traveling a lot this year and the ability to pick up and go to a different country on a moment’s notice is just incredible. I love having that freedom in my life, and being able to provide that kind of flexibility
Thanks for reading this week, we hope you enjoyed this interview.
– Kat & Susan