Podcasting – Another Effective Way to Get to Contractors

April 15, 2015

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman at Sonnhalter

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Podcasts are a very popular medium today and rightfully so. Podcasts can add another dimension to your audience as they can hear the voice behind the words.

Alisa Meredith recently wrote a piece on HubSpot on why marketers should be using Podcasting and shows you that getting started is relatively painless.

Jay Baer, in a recent episode on Social Media Examiner, said,“There’s something about bringing somebody inside your head through your ear holes that ties you to that person in a way that reading a blog post or reading a book or anything else just doesn’t.”

Using podcasts is a way of building brand awareness as well as loyalty. Podcasting gives busy contractors another way to get information (let’s face it, we all only have so much time to read), and the auto industry with smart dashboards are making it easier to listen to.

You can also put them on iTunes which can give you access to more potential customers who are searching for info on key subjects by key words or phrases. Don’t be obsessed with the number of people who listen to your podcast, but more on the quality of them.

There are several ways that you can use podcasts to get to the professional tradesmen. Here are a few to consider:

  • You initiate them. You can talk about issues affecting the tradesmen and possible solutions they could consider.
  • You can interview industry experts or association leaders that can talk about everything from legislative issues that might relate to your business in the future, or talk about things you can do now to improve your business.
  • Be a guest on someone else’s podcast. There are bloggers out there that target the same types of audiences you do. Follow them for a while, and if you determine it would be a good fit, contact the blogger and ask if they would consider doing a podcast with you. You’ll need to lay out the reasons why you think you can contribute to their audience and propose several topics for discussions. Don’t know any bloggers? Go to iTunes and type in under podcasts some of the key words that you are associated with. You’d be surprised at the number of podcasts that already exist. Listen to a few and contact the originator.

Podcasts help set you apart and allow you to be known as not only an industry leader, but if you do your own podcasts and get guests to interview, it will also show that you are wired to the right people who can give a different view or experience that will help your listener. It’s a win-win for everyone.


What’s stopping you from developing a content marketing strategy?

November 4, 2014

If you’re going to create good content, shouldn’t you have some basic parameters in place before doing it? If not, you’ll be writing about everything to no specific audience and the results will be less than desirable.

So what’s holding you back from writing down your content strategy? My guess is you’re not sure where to start. You know that the document doesn’t have to be complicated. It needs to cover some basic points for you and your team to focus on when creating content. It’s also good to share with the rest of the team so everyone is on the same page.

create-a-content-marketing-strategy-your-customers-will-love-in-7-steps-18-638

Slide Credit: Convince and Convert

A recent post by Jay Baer outlines very simply what you need to do to create a strategy in 7 steps. Here are some highlights:

  • Objective – What are you trying to accomplish? Deliver leads, create awareness?
  • What makes you different – You need something that’s going to set you apart. What is it?
  • Metrics – How are you going to determine the success or failure of your efforts if you don’t define a way to measure it?
  • Define your audience – Who do you want to talk to and why?
  • Audience needs – Do some research to find out what their needs are.
  • Content execution – What are you going to write about and when? Where do they get their info as you want to deliver it there instead of them having to go look for it.
  • Content promotion – Once it’s written, use social media to create a bigger buzz.

Do You Say “Thank You” For A Retweet?

March 25, 2014

twitter (2)If you’re active on Twitter, you probably have received a “thanks for the RT.” Saying “thank you” helps build brand loyalty and brings a conversational aspect to your tweets. We all struggle on what’s the correct etiquette for thanking someone on Twitter. Do you always have to say thanks? Are there other ways to show your gratitude?

Angie Schottmuller from Interactive Artisan recently did a guest post on Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert that was right on target with helpful do’s and don’ts regarding etiquette. Here are some highlights:

DO’s

  • Follow the user – Review their profile and if they are a good fit, follow them.
  • Reciprocate – Scan their tweets and see if one is applicable for you to RT.
  • Retweet a Retweet – This is a good way to recognize the user and put quality content back into the stream.
  • Conversational Mention – Reply with a conversational response about the post to get a discussion going.

DON’Ts

  • Don’t put numerous RT’s back-to-back.
  • Avoid peak content hours.
  • Don’t put out a generic thanks. Always include a hashtag.

If you like this post, you might like:

7 Tips to Use Twitter to Generate Traffic and Leads.


Are You Listening?

February 1, 2012

One of the first rules of social media is to listen. Most of us get that when it comes to our outward activities and from groups that you belong to. But when it comes to listening to what people are saying about us, are we doing a good job? Jay Baer thinks we all could do better.

In a recent post, he points out that no matter what tools you’re using to monitor your activity, you may be missing the boat when it comes to key words that you are using to track activity. Jay points out that in social conversations, very rarely does your company name or trade names come up in conversation.

Rather, it’s more likely that people will be talking about a plumbing problem of their toilet leaking and are looking at ways to fix it. So if the key words that you are tracking are your company name and the trade name of the product that fixes the internal working of a toilet, you’d be out of luck.

Maybe you should be taking the list of key words you use in your SEO and incorporate them into your listening program. You should also include your competitors, suppliers, distribution outlets. Anything that revolves around your category.

Let me know how you make out.


The NOW Revolution: Helps Make Your Business Smarter

April 6, 2011

Business has changed. Are you keeping up with the best practices to keep you ahead of the curve? A study by IBM stressed that we will see more changes that will impact our businesses in the next 5 years than in the last 50!

These changes aren’t about technology of social media, but about how businesses adapt to their audiences. The new era is one of open communications and real-time online participation.

Jay Baer and Amber Nashlund co-authors of The NOW Revolution do a great job in simplifying the steps a company needs to change its culture to deal with the current business climate.

The book introduces 7 key shifts that business leaders need to address along with laying out a plan for each.

  1. Strip away silos and overgrown business processes
  2. Hire and empower a new type of employee
  3. Organize internal teams for maximum external impact
  4. Listen at the point of need
  5. Travel the Humanization Highway and respond effectively to customer inquiries
  6. Plan for, find, and manage real-time crisis
  7. Redesign success metrics in a business world that’s increasingly instantaneous

If you’re serious about social media and how it’s impacting your business now and in the future, you need to read this book.


How Do You Thank Someone For A Retweet?

March 23, 2011

If you’re active on Twitter, you probably have gotten a “thanks for the RT.” Saying “thank you” helps build brand loyalty and brings a conversational aspect to your tweets. We all struggle on what’s the correct etiquette for thanking someone on Twitter. Do you always have to say thanks? Are there other ways to show your gratitude?

Angie Schottmuller from Interactive Artisan recently did a guest post on Jay Baer’s Convince and Covert that was right on target with helpful do’s and don’ts  regarding etiquette. Here are some highlights:

DO’s

  • Follow the user – Review their profile and if they are a good fit, follow them.
  • Reciprocate – Scan their tweets and see if one is applicable for you to RT.
  • Retweet a Retweet – This is a good way to recognize the user and put quality content back  into the stream.
  • Conversational Mention – Reply with a conversational response about the post to get a discussion going.

DON’Ts

  • Don’t put numerous RT’s back-to-back.
  • Avoid peak content hours.
  • Don’t put out a generic thanks. Always include a hashtag.

If you like this post, you might like:

7 Ways to Use Twitter to Generate Traffic and Leads.


Who at Your Company Should be Listening to Social Media Conversations?

February 22, 2011

With the advent of social media, the way customers contact us and us them has changed dramatically. Gone are the days that our only options to talk to companies were either by snail mail, e-mail or a customer service hot line.

Social media opens up numerous ways that people not only can talk to you, but about you, to others. This is the game changer and if you do nothing else on social, please at least listen to what people are saying about your company and your brands. One comment on Twitter can start an avalanche of other comments (good or bad). Wouldn’t you like to know what’s being said about you? I sure would!

I recently read a post by Jay Baer, 6 Parts of your Company That Should be Listening to Social Conversations that I found extremely interesting and wanted to share some highlights. Some are obvious; others we all should put on our list.

  1. Sales – Listening programs give you the opportunity to find prospects when the timing is perfect and when they’re actually asking for answers you have.
  2. Marketing and PR – Listening helps make sure that the language you’re using as a company is the same language being used by the people you’re hoping to hook.
  3. Customer Service – Customers are airing their concerns, questions, and grievances over social media channels, especially if traditional channels prove less than helpful.
  4. R&D – You can fuel your idea engine by harnessing the input, thoughts and creativity of the online audience.
  5. HR – The obvious potential here is talent recruiting, in both finding potential employees and examining their online social graphs.
  6. Executives and Management – They can understand market trends through the unfettered viewpoint of the online masses and determine whether they’re behind, ahead of, or riding the curve.

Are you missing an opportunity here? How many listeners do you have at your company?

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