How do you make the "ask"? Maybe it's simpler than it seems. On this episode of the Grounded Content podcast I talk to my friend Matt B. Davis. He's not an expert in marketing, or personal branding, or networking. He's the podcast host who created Obstacle Racing Media, a podcast & media business that has grown from a hobby to a full time job. One that supports his family. He and I talk about this stuff a lot - about what we do to be successful in the independent media world, to market our shows (and for me my client's shows,) to market ourselves, and our products. What works, what's sketchy? What's the latest BS being peddled out there?
The reason I really invited him on is because he calls me out on my BS. This episode is really a "spirited" conversation between friends. It may be more conversational than some of the others, but there are some solid tactics and take aways in there too.
Steve D. Sims is my guest on theGrounded Content podcast. He's called "Real life Wizard of Oz," that's because he gets things done. I recommend his book "Bluefishing" if you haven't read it. But like most successful and interesting people, he's checked the box withBluefishing, and he's moved on to new things.
Steve was known as the guy that could get anything done creating incredible experiences for people. But as you know, to get anything good done, you need other people, and you need to convince them to do those things. That's what Steve talks about. Essentially, it's branding, it's marketing, and its relationships.
We cover a lot of things in this conversation including the true importance (from a practical and a moral standpoint) of just being yourself, some great networking tips, and some practical personal branding and sales tactics. Steve says, "anyone that did anything fantastical, didn't do it by copying everyone else."
Michael Roderick joined me on the Groundeded Content podcast this week. How do you create content that others will share? What if they would share the content without even being asked? Michael Roderick has discovered a framework that you can use - whether you want to be talked about (in a good way) when you leave the room, get people to share your podcast, or need to accelerate the spread of your message. Of course, as always, it's within the context of grounded, genuine conversations and we touch on the big picture philosophy and ethics behind the tactics.
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Amy Swift Crosby and Hilary Laffer host the Brandsmiths podcast, join me on Grounded Content and we talk about EVERYTHING.
“Think about how many chocolate brands there were 10 years ago? Now think about how many there are today. Think about how many beers there were, water. Think about all the popcorn brands. How about self-help brands, and nutrition supplements. We're living in a world where not only is there more of everything, but the channels are endless”
The interview starts with some basic background about brand, what it is, and especially what it isn’t. But then we start digging deeper. Their show, the Brandsmiths podcast, is different from other branding podcasts. It’s a working session where they, on air give, advice to businesses. About halfway through our podcast interview they turned things around on me and started to give me advice on Grounded Content.
We really dig into why, especially now, we should be thinking about this. And ... they have some great suggestions for making a Grounded Content better.
Later in the episode, I tell kind of an origin story about one of the client experiences that started me thinking about where these lines are, and what Amy and Hillary call the ultimate and inevitable paradox of selling. The lines between manipulation and persuasion.
Guests Hilary Laffer and Amy Swift Crosby "The Brandsmiths Podcast"
Editor: Kris Zarnoch
Show Host: Marion Abrams
Kate Paine shares advice for Linkedin, but also for understanding how to present yourself online in a broader sense. She shares Linkedin tactics and strategies, but her advice will help you grow your brand on every platform.
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Find Kate atStanding Out Online
Jeffrey Madoff has pivoted from one creative career to the next. After success in the fashion business, he moved to film and commercials, and today is a teacher, playwright and author. Today on Grounded Content dig into brand. What is it, what are the best and worst examples, and as always - where do ethics fit in. With examples from Nike, Uber, Patagonia, Ralph Lauren, Coke and others Madoff explains the elements of a brand and their importance not only in selling products but in guiding a company's growth strategy.
Find out more about his book "Creative Careers" featuring creatives like Ralph Lauren, Damond John, Joy-Ann Reid, Kathy Ireland and Tim Ferriss
Jessica Kupferman , the co-founder of the largest online and in-person community for women podcasters, and an expert in community building and podcast marketing, joined me on the Grounded Content podcast. I asked her how important diversity is in marketing? What is the most effective way to grow your podcast? Where is the line between selling and sleaze? And we talk about selling itchy overstock T-shirts and metaphorical underwear sizes. Hear more Grounded Content here.
I'm honored to have Joe Polish as the the second guest on Grounded Content Podcast. He learned marketing to survive. Forged in fire his techniques are tested and proven. Joe co-hosts the "I Love Marketing Podcast," and says "I never thought I would consider [marketing] one of the most important ingredients to not only business success, but life success." Joe also founded the Genius Network and now operates Genius Recovery. We talk tactics, ethics, addiction, and recovery.
Find out more about the show and give feedback HERE.
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Grounded Content - Advertising, Marketing & Content Gets Real
With the launch of the "Grounded Content" podcast, I finally get to ask the best minds in marketing, messaging, advertising & content creation all the questions I want! In this clip from episode one my guest Chris Brogan, author of the classic book "Trust Agents," founder of StoryLeader and host of the "Backpack Show" tells me why he doesn't like the term "authenticity." The episode title is a nod to fear driven sales tactics and listicles as well as Chris' quirky sense of humor.
Chris: I don't like the word authenticity, because I think that the most people trying to use it, utterly lack it and they are trying to emulate authenticity, which kind of goes against the word, right? So let's pretend I'm using it for now just because you like it.
Marion : No, no, no, pick a better word. I pick a better word
Chris: Just be helpful. You know, the advice I started giving in 2006. Anytime someone says whatever advice if you ask me this question, 20 minutes or now I'm gonna say be helpful.
Listen to the podcast at HERE or subscribe on your favorite podcast app:
Over a 10 month period this year, I consulted for a gubernatorial campaign on their digital goals, social media training, social media tactics, and managing their paid social media. Here are some of the lessons I took away.
Sometimes You Don't Have the Data You Want
Data is important, but it's not everything. If you're selling a product it's pretty straightforward, you can measure the success of every move you make against the sales of that product. In the online universe, success can be a matter of testing and interpreting the data to hone in on the audience and message that will generate the most sales at the lowest cost. In an election ultimately there's only one measurement that matters … votes. As we've seen in national elections, polling data is not reliable, the only solid data is election results - that information comes too late.
You Still Need Goals
Even though you have uncertainty you still you need to set goals and measure progress to be effective. We learned to set multiple goals and change them throughout the campaign.
Numbers Can Be Deceiving - Look Beyond the Numbers
If your goal is engagement and you see a spike, before you celebrate take a closer look to see if it's generated by positive or negative comments. A high relevance score and a low cost per engagement from Facebook might be misleading. Be sure you understand what's behind the numbers. If you set a Facebook campaign optimized for an action, take a closer look at how often that ad is being delivered to voters. How many voters are you turning off on the way to generating that click? This is why a hands on human approach is so important to paid social.
The Only Constant is Change
Be ready to make changes at any time. Humans just aren't as predictable as we like to tell ourselves. Take your research and make your best guess at what will work, test it and adjust. Then do it again... and again. Once you have it all figured out, expect everything to change as news events develop. Even if you've got the perfect system, if it runs more than a few months there's a good chance your social media platforms will change (for example Facebook added new audience targeting options and lead ads during our run.)
People Love to See themselves
Some of our must popular shares were photos from events our candidate attended. They say all politics is local, that means lots of visiting. The best way to win votes – meet voters. On social media, you can amplify the power of these visits by sharing photos of the candidate visiting neighborhood landmarks and leaders.
We had a fantastic team, and we needed it. Keep a cache of engaging posts at the ready for slow days, there won't be many of them. The rest of the time be ready to react quickly. Responding to voter comments not only allowed us to set the record straight, it gave a good sense of what was important to our audience and made them feel heard.
Sometimes the Audience is Too Small
Common advice about paid advertising on Facebook pretty much boils down to finding the audience that allows for the lowest cost of customer acquisition. Our case was different. There's a finite set of people that are likely to vote. That's the target audience, like it or not. Even a statewide election, in Vermont anything we did to segment that audience by issue, demographics or location usually created an audience so small it became ineffective for Facebook campaigns. If you do define micro audience segments be sure to keep advertising budgets small, it's very easy to over saturate.
So how does all this apply to your next client? Every client is like a puzzle. You start with your gut instinct (informed by the client's research and experience) and then you start testing. It's the process we went through to understand how to effectively manage social media for this political campaign that is the takeaway.
On March 27th I was envious of the "pause" to reassess and learn I kept hearing about. I was fortunate enough to still be working, so I committed to a more active blog. This is my chance to think out loud about podcasting, messaging, story, nature, family and life.
~ Marion Abrams