I made these notes during last night’s HYPE event: Entrepreneur Roundtable – Marketing & Promotion. The speakers were Caitlin Thayer of Barefoot Media
and Andrew Wood of Mintz & Hoke Communications Group. Caitlin and Andrew discussed brand, marketing, social media and small business success. These notes aren’t their words verbatim so if anything sounds wrong, the blame is mine.
Caitlin on Facebook Business Pages and Twitter
- Facebook is good for connecting with people you already know.
- Twitter is great for getting to new people.
- Post on both personal and business topics.
- Personal posts help build trust.
- Engage. Don’t just promote.
- Ask questions, start conversations.
- Use Twitter lists to help identify people you want to connect with.
- Follow others that do the same thing that you do. Retweet them. Don’t be afraid to share.
Caitlin on Blogs
- A blog is good because it’s interactive.
- Think about blogs and social media in terms of sharing.
- Even if you give people information, don’t think that means they won’t still need you to help them out. Don’t be afraid to share.
- Don’t take easy things for granted. Share them. What may seem simple of obvious to you may be something that somebody else needs help with.
Caitlin on LinkedIn
- Fill out your profile to 100% completion.
- Link to Twitter, your blog and Facebook.
- LinkedIn is great for getting introduced to 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Connect with everybody you know. This will build your 2nd and 3rd degree connections.
- Don’t send the default generic invite to people. Personalize it. Let the person know where you met them or how you know them.
- Never SPAM people.
- Ask for recommendations from the people you’ve done business with.
- Use groups and discussion pages to connect with people.
Andrew on Brand and Clarity
- When businesses stray from their core business values, they tend to falter or outright fail.
- Brand Position = Expectation
- Strategic Positioning = Sustainable Competitive Advantage (advantages to clients, advantages to self).
- A sustainable competitive advantage is: doing different activities than competitors OR doing similar activities in a way that is different than competitors.
- Have a clear position (what you say you stand for) and communicate it clearly.
- Distinct or Extinct. It’s better to be rejected than ignored.
Andrew on Relationships and Social Media
- Basic human relationship principles apply to business relationships.
- As a business, ask yourself if you are right for the customer. Ask if they are right for you. Learn to say no when the fit is not there.
- Customers are more active now in how they engage you.
- Even if you don’t engage in social media you must at least listen and address social media feedback. What is the sentiment? How do people feel about you?
- When clients ask for something, find out why they want it or think they need it. Just because they want it doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for their strategy. Some tactics can do more harm than good. It’s your job to help guide the client.
- You can use social media to listen in on a conversation to understand how you may want to position a brand.
- A business owner must answer the question: “What does a real lead look like to me?” Know what you want. Use BANT to qualify a lead. Budget, Authority, Need, Timetable. Does the client have a budget? Does the person you are working with have the authority to make a decision? Is there a clear and legitimate need [My notes missed Need so I'm guessing a little on this one. - Rob]? Does the client have a deadline?
- It’s ok to say no and refer a lead to somebody that is a better fit.
Andrew on Websites
- A website must deliver an experience that is consistent with the rest of your interactions.
- A website doesn’t have to be amazing [thank you for saying this - Rob]. It merely has to be adequate. BUT! It must address and answer prospects questions.
- Websites must support mobile even if it supports it in a very simple manner.
Andrew on Other Things
- (A speaker gets points if they talk to audience members before the event then weave details of those conversations into the thread of their talk.)
- Before you invest in something always consider: “What do I want to get out of this?”
Andrew also talked about Some Keys to a Business that Will Survive
1. Establish your brand:
- You need a Sustainable Competitive Advantage.
- Be clear on who you are and who you are not.
- Be clear on who you serve and who you do not serve.
- Be clear on what you do and what you don’t do.
- Pick your market and pick your battles.
- Clarity is incredibly important in this.
2. Have an adequate website.
3. Talk to customers using their language (not your jargon).
4. Be authentic. This is a clear massive advantage small businesses have over bigger competitors. It is hard for big businesses / corporations to be authentic.
It was a great event. Caitlin and Andrew shared a lot of solid information. Also, City Steam‘s ravioli was excellent.