Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing Podcast

Dr. James Barnes

Welcome to the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing® Podcast where we share practical marketing tools, tips, and frameworks to help you attract more customers to grow your business. If marketing your business has felt overwhelming, this podcast is just for you. The Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing Program® is a Mississippi State University Extension Program directed by Dr. James Barnes, an Associate Professor and Storybrand Certified Guide in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University. read less
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Episodes

Do This One Thing to Grow Your Business, Nonprofit, or Personal Brand with Social Media
May 12 2022
Do This One Thing to Grow Your Business, Nonprofit, or Personal Brand with Social Media
In this final episode of Season 1, Dr. Barnes shares one thing that every business, nonprofit, or a personal brand must do to grow with social media. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid." Season 2 of the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing Podcast will explore the 7 Things Your Social Media Plan Should Include and will be available in July 2022.  Transcription: James Barnes: (00:07) Welcome to the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle with marketing your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host, James Barnes, and thank you for listening today. Let's get started. James Barnes: (00:22) Today, I want to share a story with you, a true story that happened to me when I was doing a workshop, a social media marketing workshop. And this last episode, I wanted to really be a word of encouragement to you about giving your social media a makeover to really grow your business. It's possible. Tons and tons of companies do it each and every day, and they grow their businesses with social media. But you got to do this one thing, and I'm going to tell you what that one thing is in just a few minutes, but I want you to know a story, something that happened to me that really gave me the reason to write the book and put together the content around five social media mistakes your business should avoid. James Barnes: (01:04) So I was giving this workshop, and the workshop started in the evening time, like five o'clock. So there was a meal that was provided and it was a group of business owners in a community. The next day, we were going to spend a couple more hours working on things in the morning for the social media marketing workshop, and much of what we've covered in season one, we went through during the workshop. James Barnes: (01:25) But at the very beginning of the workshop, we were going around the room and I was asking participants, business owners, "What are you expecting to get from this workshop?" They were there to give their social media a makeover. And I'll never forget this one guy, and I'm just going to call him Jim. When it got to him and it was his turn to speak about it. He said, "I don't have time to do social media. I'm too busy." Now, everybody prior to Jim had said, "Well, I'm looking to learn how to give my social media makeover. I want to get more engagement. I want to get more sales, more leads, build relationships." Lots of things, all positive outcomes, things of that nature you want to do. James Barnes: (02:03) But when it got to the Jim, it got really personal. And he just said, "I don't have time to do this. I don't have time to do this. I'm too busy." And it really changed the tone of the entire meeting that evening. You have to imagine, everyone's sitting around this U-shape table, beginning to eat. There are some still in the line getting food. I'm in the middle, talking with them. And he says this, and there's a couple of ways you could handle that. So I just asked Jim, I said, "Why don't you have time? Tell me more about it." And then I said, "Before you answer that," I said, "does anybody else feel like this?" James Barnes: (02:42) Every business owner in the room raised their hand. They said, "Yes, I struggle with this. I don't have time to do this." And for me, it was a moment of, okay, this is an opportunity I can help. This is a moment when they need the help of some kind. And so I was hoping that in the time we had left that day, and then the next morning, we could start to give them some help in the workshop. But Jim said that he didn't have time to resonate with everybody. And so we started talking about the reasons. Why don't we have time? And oftentimes, it's just we're so busy, we've connected with so much with our mobile devices to social networks, to so much that we're just really, really busy and running a business is a lot of work. James Barnes: (03:33) So, as we talked about those reasons and we started talking about, okay, which ones can we control? There's some of the stuff that we can control. There's some of it we can't control. But we can control a lot of our time and how we use it each and every day. So you've got one of two options. This is what we talked about there in the workshop that day. You can outsource someone to handle your social media management to get you started. If it's overwhelming, don't let it be. You can outsource to someone to start creating content, to get you up on the platform where your target market audience is at, where they're engaging that group of people. And just remember, this is not about just posting something. This is about how do you build community? How do you build a tribe engagement? How do you do that? James Barnes: (04:16) Think first about that. And one of the things that helped Jim that day, and I think all those business owners is that Jim hadn't yet identified the real problem that his business was solving for customers. Jim owned a small engine repair shop, a common small business in America. He worked on lawn equipment, all kinds of stuff people would bring him in. He was just a wizard. He could make anything run. He could make anything work. I don't know if he could work on the stuff that I tear up, but he might be able to. He was really good. So we used Jim's frustration and his business as kind of a case study for the workshop really. And I asked if we could do that and he was elated that we would do that and work through all the questions to give his social media a makeover. James Barnes: (05:08) At the end of the day, we had to come up with a strategy for content. I tell business owners all the time, "You have to come up with one thing that you're going to do frequently to help your customers somehow get to know you." One of the things you can do is give away a free piece of content that's going to help them solve a problem they have. You're not giving away the farm, so to speak. You're not just giving away what your services are, but you can do something. And so Jim really started to see that his purpose was to help his customers. And there's something that comes with clarity when you understand your purpose. And so that for Jim that day, that's what happened. So that evening, he just started to discover his purpose. That helped him clarify what he should be doing on his social media. And then he could choose whether or not he really had time to do it or not. James Barnes: (05:59) Because really the statement he made, "I don't have time to do social media," was just complete frustration. He does have time. He did have time. But he didn't know what to post. He didn't know why he should post. He didn't know when he should post it. He didn't know that like, "What's the core reason am I on this platform? Why am I here as a business?" James Barnes: (06:18) So for Jim, it was all about discovering his purpose. His purpose is to help his customers. And it's the same thing for any business. You want to be positioning yourself to help your customers solve some part of their problem, educate them, help them, and give them tips, practices, and things they could do. So we came up with a strategy for Jim. He's been following it ever since the workshop, where he would go live on Facebook and he would take a common piece of lawn equipment when it came in and he would show how it should be taken care of. He would show what happens when you don't take care of it really well. And he would have something that was broken or something that needed to be repaired and he would get tips. So he was giving away advice on how you can make your lawn equipment last longer. James Barnes: (07:03) Now all of a sudden, he is giving away some advice and people start to connect with him. They go, "Okay. Jim really knows about lawn equipment. He does this thing on Facebook every Wednesday, Thursday," whatever. Going into the weekend. He tries to do it Wednesday through Friday. Here's what you should be doing. And he started positioning his business as one that's helpful to those people in his community. Word traveled quickly. He came up with a new service that he ended up selling, which was based on like, you could drop off your equipment for 20 bucks, they would clean it, inspect it, get it back to you the same day, pick it up in the evening. It was super or fast service. And so he started doing all kinds of things because he discovered his purpose and that was to help his customers solve some part of their problems. James Barnes: (07:47) At the end of the day, that helped Jim quite a bit. But there was this one thing at the very end of the workshop, I challenged him. I said, "Listen, we've done this with Jim's business in mind today. We've taken, last night we had a couple of hours, this morning, we had a couple of hours and we've done the work to try to reposition and give his social media makeover. And I think we've done that." And Jim and the others agreed that we had accomplished that. He now understood what he can do and how he can help people. And so off he was going and so forth. James Barnes: (08:17) But this one thing is that you've got to carve out some time. Everybody has the same amount of time every day. You're going to have to carve out some time to figure these things out. That's the hardest part. Getting started is always the hardest part of doing anything. So this one thing that you got to do is you got to set aside some time. Jim attended the workshop. He had some time and he gave to get that done. And if you do that, you're going to have an opportunity to really specialize in understanding how you can help people with your social media and position your business as being helpful. James Barnes: (08:53) So when my time was wrapping up with Jim and the others in the workshop that day, I asked him a series of questions. I'll just throw these out as we wrap up season one here. What if you were to take just a weekend and you go somewhere, fill in your ideal location, could be a cabin in the woods, maybe you want to go on the beach. I don't know, anywhere you want to go, just get away from the demands of life, including running your business. Just take a few hours to yourself. Maybe just take the day off. Close early one day, something. Set aside some time. What if you were to do that? And what if, when you get to this place, you have all the things in the cabin to help you brainstorm through the process, outline in the book, things that we've talked about in this podcast, and you discover your purpose for posting content on social media. James Barnes: (09:38) What if you did that? And what if you returned and you had all these questions answered and you had a game plan, you knew why you should be on social media. You had an idea. You put several ideas down on how you can create content and what that would look like and how you would start doing that. And then think about this, how would you feel if you implemented your new social media content and your business actually started to grow because you gained more social media engagement and attention, and then leads, emails, email contacts, and sales took off, they grew. What would it look like for your business if all of this comes true? Well, there's only one way to find out. You have to set aside some time. I know it's difficult. I know you're busy as a small business owner, you're doing tons of things. It's incredibly difficult to own and operate a business. It is. James Barnes: (10:35) And I get it. But what if you were to take the time to really go through and give your social media a makeover. It will make a difference. It will help you grow your business. You'll find a purpose in helping people with your business by going through these questions, and the way we've done them throughout season one and the episodes. It's going to help you grow your business. I hope you'll take advantage of it. I appreciate you being with me for season one, listening to these things about the podcast, and the different ways you can make your social media grow and reach more people, and grow your business. That's the whole purpose of it. So I hope it's been useful to you. I hope you share it with people, subscribe to the podcast. James Barnes: (11:11) You can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes of the podcast, just by going to our Facebook page and searching for Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing. I appreciate you being with me for season one. We got lots of good stuff coming up for you in season two. Still going to be about social media management. I hope you'll tune in and check out season two when that comes out. Thank you for listening. And I wish you the very best.
The Social Media Blueprint for Success
May 5 2022
The Social Media Blueprint for Success
Dr. Barnes explains a series of questions you can use to create a social media blueprint for success. If you're stuck and not sure how to give your social media a makeover, these questions will help. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid." In the book, Dr. Barnes documents the growth of a technology company as it implemented a social media blueprint for success. Although the company has a social media following of fewer than 50,000 on Facebook and Instagram, it routinely reaches between 10 and 20 million people each month by following the social media blueprint for success. Transcription: James Barnes: (00:07) Welcome to the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing Podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle with marketing your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host James Barnes and thank you for listening today. Let's get started. James Barnes: (00:22) Well in this season, we've been talking about the five social media mistakes your business should avoid. And we've been talking about how you turn those mistakes into principles you can use, to start giving your social media a makeover. That's really going to get your brand noticed and start to grow you online. And today what I want to talk about, it's called the social media makeover blueprint. In the book, I go through quite a bit of detail and show you the exact social media posts that you can create using the blueprint and all kinds of details and I show you the case study example for [inaudible 00:00:55], the company we documented in the book. But today I want to take a step toward that by just talking about the right questions. You should be asking to give your social media a makeover. James Barnes: (01:07) Okay? So we're just going to cover the questions in this episode and then wrap up season one. In the next episode, we're going to be talking about the one thing that you've got to do to give your social media a makeover. I'm going to give you the questions today, but there is one thing that you've got to do, and I'm going to tell you what that is in the final episode coming up to wrap up season one. But today let's talk about the questions. So the first question or set of questions really talks about problems and loss. We've talked about this at length. So I'm going to go through these questions piece by piece. Okay. Problem and loss. What is the customer problem you can solve with your products and services? What is the customer problem that you solve? Can you name at least two values your products and services deliver to your customers? James Barnes: (01:51) And these are values that if they don't purchase them, they're going to lose out on, maybe your product or service saves time and saves money, fewer headaches, something. So you want to think about that, what are those and what can you write answers to that question? And then finally, can you use videos or images to show customers experiencing their problems and losses? In other words, can you document the problem? At the end of the day, that's what it is for hog out of the company, in the book that we talk about and show. If you look at their social media, they're going to show you the damage to property and land and crops, and lots of types of damage that are caused on property and land that [inaudible 00:02:34] hogs caused, that's the villain for them if you will. James Barnes: (02:38) And so they documented this on social media extremely well, they show it and then they show the solution and they get into what that looks like for their technology there, their camera business. But again back to, can you use videos or images to show customers experiencing their problems and losses, whatever they may be, think about how you can do that and capture that. Next here are some questions about empathy. Can you explain or show empathy toward your customers? Can you use language that explains here's, how you can connect with them? I understand, we understand the problem you have, how frustrating it is, whatever it may be, you need to use empathy. So how can you do that? How can you show that you understand the problem and the losses your customers have experienced? James Barnes: (03:23) Maybe you have a personal story. Maybe you can share that with someone, your customers so that someone out there will connect with you and they'll go, you know what, they really do understand the problem I have. I want to do business with them. And a lot of times we buy stuff that really does connect with us that way. Another thing you can just ask yourself about this is, can you write empathetic statements to use on your social media and your other marketing. Once you really get good at writing words of empathy, not only will it be on your social media, it'll probably end up in your one-liner, maybe even your part of your value proposition, it could end up on your website, any of your marketing collateral can be a piece of that. So about empathy, those are the questions you want to be asking about. James Barnes: (04:06) And the next is you want to think about your product as a solution. Okay. So which products and services do you offer customers to solve their problems? Depends on what the problem is. Right? You know what that is, but then what do you offer to solve that problem and how do your products and services make your customers feel better after solving the problem? If they have frustration before your product as a solution gives them peace of mind, no stress, no hassle, something like that when they buy it from you. So that's another question you want to think through, as you think about your product or service as a solution, and then finally, how do your products or services save time, money, or headaches for your customers? What is that? Brainstorm, how are we positioning our products and services? And then the next question you want to ask is really what is the customer problem you have, right? James Barnes: (04:58) What is the customer's villain? Can you use images or video to give life to the villain in the story you're telling that's all about your customer? Can you do that? Can you show how the losses happen because of the villain? Can you bring the villain to life with images or video? And this can be done in lots of different ways, but just think about that. How can you bring the villain to life to start building this tension, this drama about how you can help the customer have a better life if they avoid and defeat the villain? That's the kind of stuff you want to be thinking about. So that wraps it up for this episode. I want to talk with you about the social media makeover blueprint, instead of questions that you can use to start answering these things and really help your social media be given a makeover. James Barnes: (05:47) These are the questions that we use over and over and over again, to help companies start rethinking what it is they do on social media and how they can position themselves. So if you want to check out the free PDF I put together for this episode, you can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes for the podcast, just by going to our Facebook page, just search for Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing. James Barnes: (06:07) Thank you for being with me for this episode. We're going to wrap up the season in the episode that's next, where we're going to talk about the one thing that you really have to do to get give your social media a makeover that works. And if you don't do this one thing you're never going to be able to give your social media a makeover. I can tell you all the questions. We can lead you through the mistakes, avoiding them, using principles on content, creation, and everything else. But if you don't do this one thing, none of it's going to matter. I'm going to tell you what that is in the next episode here on the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing Podcast. Thank you for being with me today and good luck to you.
Five Principles You Can Follow to Build a Thriving Community on Social Media
Apr 28 2022
Five Principles You Can Follow to Build a Thriving Community on Social Media
Dr. Barnes explains how to use five social media marketing principles to create a social media plan that attracts customer attention to get your personal brand, business, or nonprofit noticed. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid." In the book, Dr. Barnes walks you through the steps you can take to give your social media a makeover that works. A free video course Social Media Makeover Made Simple can be found on the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing Facebook page. View the pinned post for details.   Transcription: James Barnes: (00:07) Welcome to the Bricks-to-Clicks Marketing Podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle with marketing your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host James Barnes and thank you for listening today. Let's get started. James Barnes: (00:22) So in season one, we've been talking about five social media mistakes your business should avoid. And we've covered all five of the mistakes. In the last episode, we talked about mistake number five, not using social media. Today I want to talk about how you take all these five mistakes and you turn them around. Let's make avoiding mistakes into principles to follow. There are five principles to give your social media a makeover. James Barnes: (00:50) If you start doing this, if you start writing words, using imagery video to show these things, you're going to start to get more attention online for your brand and your business and that's going to be a good thing for you. So today I want to go through all five of these principles. These are the things that you can do now to really start to give your social media a makeover. James Barnes: (01:08) Now, remember, this is about the words that you write, the imagery that you use. These are the ideas that you want to implement. Okay? So principle number one, you want to explain your customer's problem and how it costs them time, money, frustration, or other losses. I don't know what it is that your customer has as a problem, but whatever it is, it's costing your customer also something. They're giving up something. You can even go so far as to tell them if they do nothing, it's going to continue to be a problem. Some problems are even worse if you don't address them as soon as you have them. James Barnes: (01:42) And you can use images or video to add to any or all of these points, but that's really principle number one. When we talked about this early on you had to connect problem and loss. That's what you want to do is you start to write and create content to go up on your social media. It's one of the ways you can get attention. James Barnes: (02:00) So let's shift forward now to principle number two. We want to explain that we understand our customer's problem, whatever it is, and the losses they experience. And that may be painful for some people, the advertisement example I gave you throughout those five episodes was all about a billboard that I had seen where if you had a gambling problem, this rehab facility offered a solution for that. And so what did they do? In big, bold letters in the middle of the billboard, they said, "We can help," in bold letters. James Barnes: (02:32) So empathy is an important part of that. Your customer needs to understand that you get it, you have been there, maybe you even have the proverbial t-shirt to prove it, right? So you've been down that path. You understand it. So you want to use empathetic language and then call them to do something about it. If you remember in the advertisement, the billboard, that rehab facility provided a phone number. That was the action step they wanted their customer to take. Once they understood the problem and loss and then empathy, boom, then they jumped and said, "Here's our name the rehab place. Here's the phone number, call." That's the kind of stuff you want to do. Principle number two, use empathy, start using empathy. James Barnes: (03:15) Principle number three, really talked about the mistake in number three, not using your secret weapon. Whatever you're selling your product or service should not be a secret weapon. I mean, people should know what it is. And if you use problem, loss, and empathy first in the content you create, then you can pivot to using content to show here's what we sell, here's how it's going to help you have a better life. And you can use images or videos either one or both to show that your product or service really does solve your customer's problem and ends their frustration, pain, and losses. It really is effective at doing that. James Barnes: (03:51) So if you say the problem is something is difficult or complicated, you want to make sure when you use words to describe your product or service, that it becomes easy and simple and effective. You want to relieve that tension or that drama that you created with the problem statement. So you want to use that. So that's principle number three, start using video and images to talk about your product or service as it solves the problem your customers have and the pain points they have, whether it may be in the losses, economic, whatever it may be. James Barnes: (04:25) Principle number four, you want to identify your customer's villain. We talked a lot about that. And you want to do this so you can show how it causes their problem and losses. We talked about mayhem and how Allstate uses that particular villain and they do that. And you want to call them to action to defeat the villain by buying your stuff, whatever it is, the product or service that you sell. It could be a book that you write, could be lots of things, but the idea is that there's a villain causing problems out there. You need to identify what that is for your customers and then give them what you sell as the solution they can use to beat that villain. James Barnes: (05:01) And for the example in the book that we talk about, is the company that sells the camera hog guy. And for them, it's landowners who face a villain called feral hogs, wild hogs that run on their property, damage their habitat, the crops, the pasture, just all kinds of damages that they create. And then that has an economic consequence. Damages that are going to cost you money. So they may tear up your property, but that has economic damage or damages that go with it too. James Barnes: (05:31) So you want to identify your villain, don't leave that out. It's going to give you a lot of ways to build your brand and get noticed. So you got to fight against the villain. We talked about T-Mobile and how they named AT&T as being their villain. So sometimes it can be your competitor even, but when you do that, you're going to attract attention. So you got to be ready for their fight so to speak when you start doing that kind of content, but there are lots of brands that do it. So that's principle number four, really identify your villain, use it in your content. James Barnes: (05:58) Principle number five, we talked about it in the last episode about mistake number five. Really it was, you're not using social media ads because it's overwhelming. It's just really overwhelming to use and to do and to get started. Talked about ads you could use to get started and get out of that. And that's really what you want to start doing. Once you've got the content going in the right direction with these principles, you want to use ads to start amplifying what it is that you're doing. And you're going to be doing ads to build awareness and get page likes. You're going to be using ads to get engagement and giving away free content, getting people to give you an email address. You can build an email list with that. James Barnes: (06:35) And then ad number three was a testimonial where you're starting to build trust. Now it's a relationship process building that you're going through, but now you're building trust. And you're serving the first ad to just your target audience and then ads two and three you're really serving to just your fans. You're trying to build that engagement with them. And so that's what you want to do. And that's principle number five. You want to be using social media ads to boost and build your brand. And we gave Facebook as an example last time in that episode. James Barnes: (07:05) So that's it, those are the five principles that you want to use to implement successful social media. Principle number one, you want to talk about the problem and loss. Principle number two, you want to use empathy and empathetic language when you're talking to your customers about the problem and loss that they have, and principle number three, position yourself as what you sell to be the solution to the problem your customer has. James Barnes: (07:28) Principle number four, don't forget the villain. Don't forget the villain. The villain's important. You want to be identifying who or what the villain is for your customer. And then finally you want to be using principle number five, and that is to use social media ads to amplify, build up, and get awareness for your brand. You get more engagement and start building trust with the fans that are on your page. James Barnes: (07:51) Remember you can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes of the podcast just by going to our Facebook page. Just search for Bricks-to-Clicks Marketing. Well, that's it for this episode. Each and every time we get on here I try to keep it really short and to the point. Those are the five principles you really need to be using to build content on your social media to avoid the mistakes that we've talked about this season and season one. James Barnes: (08:14) And if you do that, you're going to grow your business using social media. And in the next episode, we're going to start talking about the social media makeover blueprint. And I've got a set of questions that you can ask and go through and start to implement these principles. That's what we're going to do in the next episode. So check out the next episode.   Thank you for joining me in the Bricks-to-Clicks Marketing Podcast. Wish you all the best in marketing your business and I hope it grows each and every day.
Social Media Mistake #5
Apr 21 2022
Social Media Mistake #5
Dr. Barnes shares the fifth social media mistake that many business leaders often make: They don't use social media ads because doing so can be overwhelming. Dr. Barnes explains how to create social media ads to grow your business, personal brand, or nonprofit without feeling overwhelmed. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid."  Transcription: James Barnes (00:07): Welcome to the Bricks to Clicks Marketing podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle with marketing your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host, James Barnes. Thank you for listening today. Let's get started. James Barnes (00:22): Thanks for joining me again, back on the podcast. We've been talking about in season one, the five social media mistakes your business should avoid. Today we're going to talk about mistake number five, and this is it. Most businesses don't use social media ads because it's absolutely overwhelming to use them. I get it. I work with businesses all the time, and one of the things that they struggle with is using ads. Where do I start? How much money do I spend each month? What kind of returns should I be getting for the ads that I'm putting out? Should I use search ads or just should I focus on social media? There are so many questions surrounding this topic that you literally, there are just podcasts out there completely about social media ads and advertising and the whole idea and what you do to be persuasive and lots of other things. James Barnes (01:13): But I wanted to boil this down into not just here's the mistake because that's one step to helping you, but the rest of it is I want to layout three ads today that you can implement that's going to help grow your brand, that's going to give you more engagement, going to get you out in front of more people and get noticed. They're really simple ads to run. I'm going to tell you how to run them and things that we've seen be successful for companies we work with here at Mississippi State University in the Bricks to Clicks Marketing program for the past nine years. So we're going to share some research about all that today with you to help. The mistake is that you're just not using them. And it's completely understandable because it can be overwhelming to get started. So, that's really the hardest part is getting started into which type of ad should I use. James Barnes (02:00): So I'm going to talk about using Facebook Ads, but you can generalize this to Instagram as well and/or some other platforms because a lot of it's the same thing. The ad copy itself is going to be a little different depending on the platform, the words you use, and the imagery or video, but at the end of the day, how you execute and who you serve these two are going to be very similar. So with that in mind, let's talk about three ads you can implement today to break the overwhelm, get you unstuck, to start using social media ads. James Barnes (02:34): The first thing is I start with a small budget. Most of the companies that come into our program are small businesses. They have literally, it's probably 500 to $1000 or less oftentimes to start experimenting. How do I experiment with using social media ads? The first thing that you have to get comfortable with is you're going to need to continue to learn. You're not going to run a set of ads this month and that be what you do the rest of the 12 months or the rest of the 11 months. You're going to learn. You're going to be implementing ads. You're going to see how you do. You're going to make adjustments. You're going to run them again. James Barnes (03:05): So, the mindset here needs to be, that this is the beginning, not the end, and you're going to have to make changes to it. That's completely acceptable and that's completely normal. That's the way everybody does it. You put something out there, you see how it does. You make edits to the ad copy, to the image or video, or even to the target market who you're serving it, and then you go again and you try it and you see how you do. It's always about constant improvement as to what you're doing in ad space. So that's pretty much the mindset that you need to have. James Barnes (03:36): All right. Ad number one that you want to be running is to first start to build awareness about maybe your Facebook page. You want to talk about Facebook. So in this ad space, what that's going to look like is a page-like campaign. There are several objectives you can choose when you're in the Ads Manager on Facebook, and this one is going to be focused on getting awareness for the brand or your company. You're going to be running ads to create and get page likes. That's what you want. You want more followers to be aware of what you do and who you serve and how you can help them have a better life. That's the kind of thing you want to focus on. James Barnes (04:13): When you're running the page likes ads, one of the things I would recommend to you as you implement it is that we normally run these experiments almost like a pretest. Whatever the ads and the images and the words, whatever we have in our hands that we're going to execute, we will run that for about seven days and see which ads tend to outperform one another. Then for the rest of the month, we'll put the rest of the money on those ads that are performing best. You may start were three to five ads, and you may be narrowed down just to three. That's typically a good step to not only figure out what works early on in the Facebook algorithm but also just so you can minimize the cost to your business of actually doing this because if you just run them the whole month and then you see which one is best, you've missed out on a window where you could have got probably more page likes per dollar spent than if you don't do the pretest stage of the experiment, is what we call it. James Barnes (05:09): So we do that a lot. They do that with brands all the time and try to help them save money while they're learning which ad's going to actually work best for them. So, that's what you want to do on ad number one, page likes. You want to build awareness. You want to target the audience that you really want to have on your page. These are people who they're your ideal customers. It could be men and women, ages whatever to whatever. They live in a specific area, a state, a region, or a set of cities. They have certain activities and buying behavior. There are all sorts of ways you can target your ads with the Ads Manager. Don't go crazy about picking a dozen or more characteristics of your target market. Try to pick three to five that really get into, close as you can to your ideal customer. That's really what you want to do with your ad, this first ad, is what you're going to serve to your target audience. James Barnes (06:04): The whole idea is that you want to attract people to your brand and you want to attract people to come to your page, like the page, so they'll start getting other ads that you're going to run or content that they're going to see organically when you post. That's the whole idea. You want to get more people to your page. That is ad number one. James Barnes (06:23): Now, ads two and three are a little different. In the first ad, you're trying to build awareness. That's the goal. That's the mission. That's the objective of it. In ads two and three, you're starting to build something different. So in ad number two, you're trying to build engagement. You're moving past, now they're a fan of your page, they're a follower of your page, they're seeing some of your content. They're not going to see every post you made because you know how Facebook works probably. You don't see everything everybody posts on a Facebook page because it depends on how engaged they've been with your page. James Barnes (06:57): So to really help that along and to build that engagement with your fans, you give them something that they can download that's a free piece of content. Maybe it's a free PDF, it's a free video series, or it's a free webinar. Maybe you're doing something live and you're asking them to register or something, just some registration or there's some way. But at the end of the day, you're trying to build engagement. You want to target just the fans of your page and really try to figure out how many people are really going to download the PDF and get into that series of content, whatever you have planned. And you want to do that. You want to build a relationship with them, and giving them a free piece of content is a great way you do it. James Barnes (07:39): This is called a lead ad inside of Facebook. Typically we serve these just to the fans of the page, just those who are following, both followers and fans who have liked the page. So, that's what you want to do with ad number two. So you're building engagement, you're serving it to the fans. You're giving them a free piece of content. At the end of the day, that's going to help you build an email list. Ad number one is helping you build awareness and you're getting page likes. Ad number two is helping you build engagement and building that with your fans. James Barnes (08:11): So now you're getting their emails. So make sure when you do this, you have a set of automated emails ready to go, five to seven, that once they download this free piece of content, you have them in some kind of a marketing series, a marketing email series, where you're starting to build more of a relationship with them. We talked about some things that give you some ideas on what to put in those emails, but in the next couple of episodes coming up, I'm going to tell you detail by detail, here's how you do it. This is what should be in those emails. So we're going to cover that later. But that's ad number two. James Barnes (08:45): Now ad number three, we start to shift from awareness for ad one to engagement for ad two, but now we're starting to build trust with ad number three. So this goes back to just being a testimonial that you can share and promote with ad dollars to your fans. Typically we will have either a video testimonial where a customer explains the problem they were having and then how using the product or service, whatever it is that the business is selling, helped them have a better life, helped them save money, time, effort, anxiety, stress, whatever. And then life today is great because I've been using this, and here's what it is. It's saving me all this time. I have more time to spend with my family, whatever it is. The whole idea is that you want at least a quote from a customer, something that tells other customers when they see the ad, yeah, you know what? This company really is helping people with the product or service they're selling on their website and giving exposure to it on social media. James Barnes (09:46): So you're really trying to build trust in this third ad. You're going to serve it just to the fans of the page. At the end of the day, when you put these three ads together, they're very simple. This is not a complicated ad system. But remember, this is to get you unstuck from the mistake of not using ads to promote your business and build your business with social media ads. In this case, we're just talking about Facebook. So you want to avoid that mistake. To do it, you're going to implement these three ads. This will work. James Barnes (10:17): Most companies will start off spending $500 a month just to learn how to use three ads. And until they really master how to use them and execute them and read and understand the analytics that comes with it, there's no reason to go to spend a whole bunch of money and put maybe 10 more ads out there. You don't know yet. You need to gauge how people are responding to the content you put out. So again, ad number one is building awareness. Ad number two is building engagement. Ad number three is building trust. So you go from getting page likes, giving them free content to sharing a testimonial. That's the backbone of a minimum type of ad campaign that we see companies running typically when we work with them here in the Bricks to Clicks Marketing program. That's the minimum that they do. There are some other things they do too, but that's after they start learning the process. James Barnes (11:11): So if you want to get unstuck, all you've got to do is implement those three ads to get you started. Put three to $500 down. You're going to spend it this month on ads and you're learning. You're going to learn a tremendous amount about how people are downloading your content, responding to your Facebook page, like ads, and so forth. You're going to start to see, maybe I should do something a little bit different next month when I run my ads. You'll see what's worth working best and you can make those adjustments. That's going to help you save money in the future and get more engagement for your page or your business today, and also in the future. James Barnes (11:48): Well, that's it for the podcast this time. I wanted to share with you that mistake number five and how you can avoid it. Use those three ads to really start growing your business with social media ads. We gave Facebook as an example, and how you do that. In the next podcast, we're going to talk about five principles to give your social media a makeover. We've talked about the mistakes, but now we need to shift gears to saying, okay, we can avoid those mistakes by using five basic principles that we can start to give our social media a makeover, and it's going to help our business grow because we're going to get attention online. We're going to start to grow relationships and start to really have an opportunity to sell whatever it is that we're selling, our product or service, whatever it may be. James Barnes (12:29): So, that's what we're going to cover next time on the podcast. Thank you for being with me. Remember, you can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes of the podcast just by going to our Facebook page. Just search for Bricks to Clicks Marketing. See you again next week.
Social Media Mistake #4
Apr 14 2022
Social Media Mistake #4
Dr. Barnes shares the fourth social media mistake that many business leaders often make. This one mistake can leave people confused about your mission as a business, personal brand, or nonprofit. And if that happens, you won't get the number one thing you need online to get engagement: attention. In this episode, Dr. Barnes explains how avoiding this mistake can help any organization get attention and engagement. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid."  Transcription: James Barnes (00:07): Welcome to the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle with marketing your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host, James Barnes. And thank you for listening today. James Barnes (00:22): In season one, we've been talking about five social media mistakes your business should avoid. And today, I want to talk about mistake number four, and it's really this: You don't identify the villain in your customers' stories. Villains play a very important role in the story that you're telling on social media and brands use villains all the time. And there are all sorts of villains that you can identify in your marketing and especially to tell the story on social media. And I want to give you a few examples and then lead you through a process that you can use to discover what's the villain really on for your customer because remember the villain causes this customer, your customer to have a problem and ask the question, why are your customers not solving their problem? This leads us directly to know who the villain is or what the villain is. James Barnes (01:12): So if you look at this, sometimes a villain can be the competition. It can be your competition. Brands do this all the time. T-Mobile does this and did this many, many years ago. In 2012, when the new CEO took over, they identified their villain early on. This is written up in a Harvard Business Review article. You can check out. At the time, they had 33 million subscribers and by 2016, based on using the villain that they identified in their story, in their marketing, they jump to 69 million. So the villain was a competitor, AT&T and actually Verizon a little bit too. And so they really chose AT&T but of course, Verizon was lumped in there as well as they began to argue why their service is so much better. James Barnes (01:57): And so this happened in the mobile industry, and it also it's happened over the years in real software and hardware programs for computers. Years ago, there was a series of YouTube ads that were on Get a Mac and it pitted the cool guy in the ad who was the Mac person or Apple person against the nerdy looking guy in the image, [inaudible 00:02:24] glasses and all how they characterized him. And so they had this conversation back and forth as to who was better at what, and Apple always came out on top, of course, on different things that they're really better at. That's their whole idea. James Barnes (02:35): And so one villain that you can use is a competitor. And now just know when you did it just like it did with T-Mobile, they're going to engage in the fight. I mean, if you come out and say something, they're going to come out and say something. And so if you're wanting to pick a fight and really choose a villain like that, a competitor, it will do it. It will work. This happens in lots of other industries and lots of different examples, but that's one example of how people choose a villain and then use that in their marketing and they tell this story of how they're fighting against the villain. And everybody listens to those stories because it introduces something that holds our attention. It's called drama, and the villain's causing the drama, causing the problem for our customers. James Barnes (03:18): So problem and loss, we've talked about early on in the episodes for this season, how we need to characterize what that is. Well, the villain really causes the problem and the losses to happen. And if we can name it, if we can describe it, if we can show it, then we're going to amp up the drama that people are going to be listening to. Then soon after that, it's all about how you solve that drama and get rid of it. Well, you get rid of it by selling the service or product, whatever you have, that's going to defeat the villain. It gives the customer a tool, gives the customer a product or service that they can use to defeat the villain. James Barnes (03:52): Another example, a lot of times, small business owners won't have time to do their marketing is just there are so many different things they're doing. And so years ago, a marketing company created a time thief as a villain. And so this time thief would, or a thief would go around and steal your time as you were operating your small business. And so you didn't have time to do your marketing and something else would happen in the business throughout the day. And you wouldn't have time to do your marketing. You should have posted something on social media, but you didn't because you didn't have time because the time thief was stealing your time somehow during the business day. And it's those sorts of things they use to characterize the time thief as a villain. And it was effective because it helps the customer see themselves in the story, especially if you're a small business owner, I'm sure you can relate. If you're pressed for two times, this time thief thing is really serious and it can happen for lots of reasons, but it's a serious villain to take into account. James Barnes (04:48): And there are lots of other examples of how brands use villains. Mucinex created a memorable villain. If you just go on YouTube and look for some Mucinex ads, you'll see Mucinex or mucus out, that's kind of what to look for. You'll see the little germ and mucus, they villainize as a cartoon and so forth, but it is true that people can relate to it. And so you want to make sure whatever the villain is that people can understand and identify the kind of problems that the villain is causing you, the customer, or your customers. And so Mucinex is one example of that. James Barnes (05:24): Allstate created mayhem and uses it all the time. All you have to do is go to YouTube and look at some mayhem commercials and you'll figure out really quickly, that mayhem is causing customers to pay out of pocket for things that mayhem is causing to happen. So those are two really good examples of brands using villains to really amplify the story about success and how they help their customers overcome villains. So in the book, I talk a lot about villains and the role they play. It's one of the things that it can be a mistake in your social media marketing, that you don't have a villain. There's nothing there that you're fighting against. There's nothing for people to join in and join the fight. And so you want to have named a villain. James Barnes (06:10): In the book, I give you an example of a villain and the case study that's in the book, it's about HogEye cameras and a company in Mississippi that produces technology, a camera that helps landowners. And so just three questions we use to walk them through creating their villain and really using it on their social media, which now they reach millions of people every month, between 10 and 20 million in this past year. Per month, they reach... And they have about 95,000 people on their Facebook and Instagram combined. So they're using the whole idea of villain quite, quite well. James Barnes (06:42): And here are the three questions that we use to guide them through what's their villain. And so the first question, I worked with them and I said, it was like, okay, so your customers are fighting against a villain called what, like what's causing the real problems for your customers? And you have to remember their customers or landowners. And so that was the first question. The second one was we set it from their position. My customers' villain causes this problem for my customers. And for them, landowners were losing thousands of dollars in damages. Like they had damaged property and equipment and habitat, that kind of thing. And so that was pretty straightforward. The third one was, what are your customers losing because of the villain? And for landowners, it was money and these other things, but so to answer that, what's the name of the villain? Well, for them, it's feral hogs, wild hogs tearing up property on landowners, all around the US global, even. James Barnes (07:41): Number two was, what is the problem they cause? Well, they're causing damage to land or property. And then the third one is what's the loss? Well, it's money. They're losing money, crops, pasture, and other resources that are being destroyed by feral hogs. So that's their villain. And if you look at their social media, one of the things that they show is the climactic scene that you would think of at the end of a movie, they show their video from thousands of customers all across the globe, Australia, Europe, you name it where they show the video of the hogs actually being caught. So they introduced the drama with the whole idea of the villain and the feral hog, but they also show the villain is defeated. And the defeat comes by way of a landowner using their camera and trap technology. And so what have they done? They've used a villain to show that the damage and the cost of it can be avoided if a landowner will take action by the service or product they have, which in this case is a camera to use, to trap feral hogs on their properties. James Barnes (08:52): That's how they end the drama. They close the loop when they show a feral hog or multiple hogs being caught on a piece of property. Now not everybody's got a feral hog to point at, but my point of this is you do have a villain you can identify so you can help tell that part of the story to connect with your customers. Your customers have a problem. You have a solution to that problem, whatever the product or services that you sell. So whatever the villain is, that's continuing to cause the problem, think about it like this, why are you not solving the problem? If you're a customer and you've got a problem, why are you not solving it? What could that be? So why the problem isn't being resolved or your customer isn't resolving it is leading you toward what's the villain. James Barnes (09:38): So think about that. Think about the way that you can identify villains in your marketing. So you can start telling that story on social media, because so many times you're going to amp up the drama, amp up... Giving people a reason to really join the fight, really, and in this doesn't matter if you have a for-profit or non-profit or anything else. The last story I'll use and kind of close and wrap this up is several years ago, REI, it's an outdoor gear company. They turned shopping at holiday sales, this holiday consumerism literally into a villain. And so on that particular like Black Friday, they closed their stores and just encouraged people to go outside and not be a part of the shopping hassle and the stress and everything else. James Barnes (10:24): And so people started doing, they took on that villain and they actually started doing that. And so they didn't shop. They did other things and they started posting on Twitter, in different places, on social media. There's a big article in Adweek all about it. But this is just a place where REI figured out that if they had something like a villain, like a holiday consumerism, they could fight against it by taking action on Black Friday and people join them and doing it. So what is your customer's villain? You need to think about this. It can add a whole lot of interest to the story you're telling on social media. It's going to draw attention. It's going to help you clarify what the problem and loss are. It's going to also then give you a chance to pivot and sell whatever you are selling, your product or service so that your customer can defeat the villain. That's what it is at the end of the day. James Barnes (11:11): So without a villain, we don't have a lot of drama. We need drama. That's what we want. I mean, what would we have if we had Batman and no joker, Superman, no Lex Luthor, et cetera, et cetera, right? So you got to have it. So get that. That's what you need. Those are the questions we went through with HogEye. Hopefully, they'll help you identify your villain. And I want to thank you for joining me for this part of the podcast, this episode. You can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes for the podcast, just by going to our Facebook page, just searching for Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing. James Barnes (11:40): I give you a step-by-step process in this one. If you look under this episode to figure out what is the villain that your customers really up against? And this is a big deal. So don't miss it. I hope you'll follow up. Follow the questions, and identify the villain that your customer's facing. That way you can bring people into a story they can relate to and be a part of, and they want to buy your stuff to defeat the villain, to be a part of that story. And that's the whole idea to continue to help people see ways of making their life better and defeating a villain is the path. Hope it's been helpful. Thank you for joining me. I hope you'll check out the next episode where we wrap up the final mistake, the final social media marketing mistake that you need to avoid that could be costing you thousands of dollars in leads. That's in the next episode coming up.
Social Media Mistake #3
Feb 7 2022
Social Media Mistake #3
Dr. Barnes shares the third social media mistake that many business leaders often make. This one mistake positions a company’s products or services incorrectly in the mind of customers. Making this mistake can drastically reduce engagement, leads, and sales. Dr. Barnes explains how avoiding this mistake can keep a brand or company’s product and service top-of-mind with its social media followers. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid."  Transcription: Welcome to the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle with marketing your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host James Barnes and thank you for listening today. Welcome back to the podcast, everyone. In season one, we've been talking about the five social media mistakes your business should avoid based on a book I wrote that just came out on Amazon and Audible not long ago. And I just want to carve out a little piece again from the book. And today we're going to talk about really mistake number three, and the mistake is you don't use your secret weapon. What do I mean by that? In previous episodes, we've talked about explaining to your customer that you understand the problem they have and the losses they experience, and that sort of goes together, problem and loss. And then next we wanted to add empathy, you want to express genuine empathy so your customer understands you get it, you know what problem they have, you know how to solve it. You get it, you have empathy. And then today, really the reason I call it "you're not using your secret weapon" is that a lot of times those pieces do not go into the marketing collateral when people just say, "Here's my service and you should buy it." They don't know why to buy it. They don't know if they buy it, how their life is going to be made better. Sometimes they may be even unclear as to how they even buy the service or engage with the company or brand online. So what you have to do is you have to position yourself so that your products and services can be the solution to the problem and loss that your customers are having. You explain the problem and loss that they have, you understand it with empathy, and then you can immediately position what you sell as the solution to it. Think about it like this, if you sell something that helps customers reduce anxiety, then what does life look like when someone has less anxiety? Well, your solution, whatever it is that you're selling that does that, needs to express those points, it needs to say, "If you buy this service, you're going to reduce your stress, you're going to be able to get back to life and live it to the fullest," that kind of stuff. So your secret weapon is really what you sell, but you don't want it to be a secret weapon. But when it's not positioned as the solution to the problem your customers have, it does has become a secret weapon because people don't know about it, they don't know why they should actually buy it and you don't want that. So what you want to do is express that you understand the problem they have, problem, loss, and empathy go first, and then you can pivot to offer what it is you sell, could be an ebook that helps them do something, could be any kind of service or product, it just doesn't matter. You want to position yourself as the solution to the problem. And if you want to think about like, your customer's problem, there's some pain point they have about it, and your solution provides the medicine. So pain and medicine go together. All of a sudden you relieve the tension they have, the stress they have, the problem they have, and you have a chance to sell what it is that you sell in your business, product service, whatever it may be. That's sort of the idea, and that's the kind of content that you would write in any social media post, problem, loss, empathy, and then you can offer your service, whatever it may be. It doesn't have to be for sale either, it could be a free e-book or free something else. I'll go back to the example I've been using in the podcast for the season, and that is the billboard example. I was driving down the road in Louisiana years ago and saw this billboard and the top it said, "Gambling problem?" And then it said, "You could lose this," and there was a silhouette of the family and you could see that was the loss. And so underneath, they expressed empathy by simply saying, "We can help," in really bold letters, you could see it very easily. Well, the next component to that is the secret weapon. What's the service? What is it I can now use that you have to actually solve these problems that I have about gambling? And so what this company did is they had the name of the rehab facility and it said, "Call us at..." and then it gave the phone number. So they were calling their customer to action once they said, "Here's our secret weapon, here's our service, here's who we are." But they did it after they explained the problem, loss, and empathy. So it followed that problem, loss, empathy came first, and then they offered their solution to it, which is what they sell, which is a rehab facility services. That's the way that you're going to get attention when you post things on social media. People are looking to have a better life. If you can show that you understand the problem they have and that you have empathy about it and then you have something that helps them solve that problem, it may be a free ebook, could be a free service, or it could be something for a fee, it could be either one, you have a great opportunity to position your business as being helpful and helping your customers solve a problem they have. That's going to take you miles down the road in terms of connecting with people in general. And that's the kind of stuff you want to be posting on social media, it's one of the mistakes that companies make over and over again. They don't do this together, they don't put problem, loss, empathy ahead of their secret weapon, whatever it is they sell, they just say, "Hey, here's our secret weapon, here's what we sell, this is what you need. You should get this." And you really don't know why you need it. And so problem, loss, empathy come first, then you understand why you need the service and people will too. That's going to help you go a lot faster into developing relationships online for your business through social media. So again, use problem, loss, empathy, and then you want to pivot to what it is that you're selling, whatever it may be or whatever free ebook, whatever you have. That's the way you're going to start writing content on your social media to get people to pay attention more and more. So avoid the mistake. You want to position your product after you do problem, loss, and empathy, and write it out. And that's the kind of stuff you want to do. So use images, use video to show your product and service solves your customer's problem, you understand it, and then show what life has made better after they use the service, that's the way you want to do your content. So that's it for this episode. I [inaudible 00:06:09] want to come back and talk about... You can show, "Here's what I sell," or "Here's the free ebook," or whatever, but make sure it's preceded by content about problem, loss, and empathy. At a minimum show something like that ahead of time before you say, "Here's what I'm selling," or "Here's what I'm giving away," it gives a reason for why you're giving away or why you're selling your services and what you have, going to make you a lot stronger in the minds of your customers about what you do, and that's going to help you sell more. I hope you've enjoyed the episode. We're going to come back to the next episode and we're going to talk about mistake number four and we're going to talk about what that mistake is. I'll tell you what that is in the next episode. Well, listen, that's all for this episode. Thanks always for listening to the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing podcast, where we help you market your business without feeling overwhelmed. You can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes for the podcast just by going to our Facebook page. Just search for Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing. See you again next week.
Social Media Mistake #2
Feb 7 2022
Social Media Mistake #2
Dr. Barnes shares the second social media mistake that many business leaders often make. When business leaders make this mistake, trust cannot be built between a brand or business and its social media followers. Dr. Barnes explains how business leaders can avoid this mistake and instead build trust so social media followers engage with a brand or business. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid."  Transcription: Welcome to the Bricks 2 Clicks Marketing podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle to market your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host, James Barnes. And thank you for listening today. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. In season one, we're talking about five social media mistakes your business should avoid. It's based on a book I wrote, it's on Amazon and Kindle, and I just want to carve out a little bit more content about this second mistake, mistake number two, that so many companies make in their social media marketing. And here it is: they don't use enough empathy. Empathy tells your customer that you understand the problem that they have and expressed in a way that's genuine. And remember, we were talking about it in the last episode, we talked about problem and loss and how we need to be talking to our customers about the problem they have and the losses they'll continue to experience if they don't solve the problem. And that helps us also then pivot to saying, "We understand it; we get it." And that is empathy. That's the basic foundation for starting to connect with your customer. You understand the problem and loss. Now you're in a position where you can express empathy, and this is not a place where you fake it. You really do need to have genuine empathy. You really understand that the problem that your customers have, you've experienced their problem. You've made a business out of helping people get out of that problem and find solutions, which is what you sell. And so you want to be genuine, but you want to be using empathy. And I want to go back to my example from the last episode about the billboard. As I was driving down the road many years ago in Louisiana, I saw a billboard, one of the best ads I've ever seen to date. And at the top of it just said, "Gambling problem?" And then it said, "You could lose this." And then next to that statement, it had a silhouette of a family. So it captured the whole idea of problem-loss very, very quickly. And remember, the problem is the hook and the loss makes us feel, look, I'm going to have to do something about this. I don't want to experience loss. There's a great deal of behavioral economics that support that whole idea of how we act to avoid losses. And I'm not going to go into all the stuff here about that, but problem and loss are there in that billboard. And the next statement is one of the most powerful things they said, and it was really simple. And it simply said underneath, "We can help." That may sound really overly simplistic. "All right, that's it, James? That's all they said?" Yeah. That's enough. When you tell your customers you understand the problem they have, you understand the losses they're going to experience or have been experiencing, and that you understand it and we can help, it's just therapy. I mean, it really is. I mean, think back in your life, when you had someone to listen to you, and maybe it wasn't a therapist, just a good friend who was a good listener. And he said, "Look, I'm struggling with this." And your friend said, "Okay, tell me about it." And you just unloaded and you got all that out. They listened and they said, "Man, that's a really tough thing you're going through. I get it. I can see why you'd be struggling." That's the kind of stuff that you want to be doing with your customers. You want to be empathizing with the problem they have. And it doesn't matter what kind of business. If you have a plumbing business, a cleaning business, an automotive repair shop, if you have a coffee business, it does not matter. If you're a consultant, a life coach, it doesn't matter. You being empathetic to the problem your customers have is going to help you get attention because they really will trust and believe that you understand their problem and can help them solve it. And at the end of the day, that's what you want to be positioning your business. Whether personal brand or business, you want to be positioned as a helpful business; a helpful brand. And the way you do that is you understand the problem and loss your customers are going through. And you start empathizing with that problem, those pains, whatever it may be, of the feelings they have. Last time, I gave you an exercise to go through and identify the problem that you solve for your customers. And remember, it was like, you could do it in Excel or you do it on a piece of paper. In one column, you had "Problem." And I said, just simply fill out, "We help people," what? Fill in the blank. And then the next column was "Loss." Maybe people are losing time, money, health, whatever. And then the next one was "Feelings." What are the feelings they're having when they lose money? Well, they may feel overwhelmed, not knowing how to stop that. If they're losing time, they might be frustrated, maybe even depressed. I mean, it could be really bad. So the next piece of this exercise is to start thinking about statements of empathy you can use to get connected to your customers so they understand that you get it. You understand the problem they have. And empathy is the fastest credible way to get connected with people, where you're really genuine. Don't do it to manipulate. Don't fake it till you make it. You got to be genuine about it. People can smell whether or not you're being sincere. So that billboard example, "Gambling problem? You could lose this," silhouette of the family. And then underneath it said, "We can help," in really bold letters; big, bold letters. And then think about statements like... If you were at... This was actually a rehab facility that had this billboard that I'm talking about. Think about the statements of empathy they could use on their social media or a website or on their email marketing. It could be a lot of places. It could be their one-liner. It could be a lot of things. But just think about statements of empathy from that perspective, just for their company for just a minute. And here are a few I came up with that... Some of this is in the book. And then I dig into a case study and show how this company uses empathy to connect with their customers and how well they've done. But I mean, here's just a few. If you were writing for this rehab facility, you could say statements like this for like an email or social media: "It must be difficult to stop the gambling problem you have on your own." And then you could say something like, "But you're not alone. We can help." Just opening up that statement for someone to see and feel and hear probably is helpful. The other one you could do is you could say, and it's a little heavier, "We understand how devastating your gambling problem can be. We're here to help you and your family recover." So now it's broader than that. Now you're empathizing with the fact that it's not just you who has the problem, but it's also affecting your family. So that could be good too. "Trying to recover from a gambling problem can be overwhelming if you do it alone. Now you don't have to. We can help." That's another one. That's another one they could use. Maybe here's one of the last ones I'll give you: "We understand how you feel and many of our patients feel exactly like you do right now. We're here to help." They could be feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, a lot of things if they're in that position. Here's the last one. I'll give you the last one: "You've taken a huge step today to get help and you should feel very good about that. Let's get started." You can start to even call them to have this sort of aspirational identity of not having the problem anymore. Look, you're going to take the first step today and you're going to get better and here's how you're going to do it, and let's get started. So it's really a positive, encouraging way to give some sort of empathy to your customer who has a problem. In this case, someone has a gambling problem. Now, there's just tons of research on this in marketing research about the usefulness and the way that empathy helps you position your business as being helpful to people. At the end of the day, I mean, you have a product, you have a service, that helps some type of customer solve a problem they have. You help them save time, money, whatever it may be. So what a great way to position your business to be helpful; and that is to use empathy. And so oftentimes companies don't. They jump in there, maybe they get the problem right. Maybe they talk about that a little bit. They throw quickly out what their solution is, but there's no empathy. And so customers don't really know if you get it. They don't really know if you fully understand the problem that they have. And when they don't know that, they're not sure how you can help them with it. They don't even trust you, maybe. So empathy is a big part of starting to build trust with your customers, or at least followers on social media. At this point, maybe they're not customers, but they're just following you on social media. Starting to connect with them like that in a genuine, authentic way is a great first step. So, we first talked about problem-loss. Now we're talking about empathy, how to use that in your collateral, giving you a few examples of that, how you can start to use it in your marketing. It can help you in your social media, your email, your website, even... Use empathy. It's one of the best things that you can do, and to sincerely understand the problem your customers have. And make sure you really do understand the problem. Now, make sure you've gone through it. You've helped other people through it. Something. That you do have genuine empathy because people are going to find out if you don't. You're not going to be able to fake it and make it. So don't try that. But that's it. That's it for this episode. I wanted to talk about empathy. You need to be using it in your marketing and collateral. It's a big part of building trust. That's it for this episode. In the next episode, we're going to talk about mistake number three, and it's one called, not using your secret weapon. Next episode, I'm going to tell you all about that mistake and how you can avoid it, and how you can connect with people better on social media to market and grow your business. That's what we're going to cover in the next episode. I hope you'll be with me. Thanks always for listening to the Bricks to Clicks Marketing podcast, where we help you market your business without feeling overwhelmed. You can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes for the podcast just by going to our Facebook page. Just search for Bricks to Clicks Marketing. See you again next week.
Social Media Mistake #1
Feb 7 2022
Social Media Mistake #1
Dr. Barnes shares the first social media mistake that so many business leaders make. This one mistake can limit engagement and cause people to unfollow a brand or business on social media. This episode is based on Dr. Barnes' book "5 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid."  Transcription:  Welcome to the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing Podcast. If you're a small business owner and you struggle to market your business, this podcast is just for you. I'm your host James Barnes. And thank you for listening today. Welcome to the podcast, everyone. I'm glad you joined me here today. As you know, in season one, we're talking about the five social media mistakes your business should avoid. And today I want to dedicate this little short episode to mistake number one. And I think it's one of the things that I've seen over the last many years that the companies struggle with really at the very beginning of even creating a marketing message in general, but also just putting content out on social media. And it's this. This is the mistake. Most of the time businesses don't talk about the problem they help their customers solve. And that's part of it. There's a problem piece that's missing. They're about how they solve the problem for their customer, how this problem needs to be overcome. And they don't talk about it as a problem first content and people need to, because the problem is the hook. If you've ever watched any good series on Netflix or any movie or anything that you've enjoyed watching, most of the time at the beginning of the show, something blows up. There's always a problem. Someone is abducted. Gosh, maybe it's a supervillain that appears and they're going to destroy the earth. It could be lots of things, but there's always a problem at the beginning and that creates the drama. And then that drama has to be relieved or solved throughout the movie. This is the same hook that works in your marketing. You have to start with the problem. What is it that you solve for your customer that's a problem they have? And so that's where you really have to start. Now, the second piece to that is it's not just about talking about the problem. It's also identifying that if your customer has a problem, they are losing out on something. If they have a problem, they're experiencing some kind of loss. The loss may be loss of time, loss of money, loss of a lot of things. It could be a lot of things, but time and money would capture a whole bunch of it. Okay. The problem is people don't talk about problems and losses together. And let me give you an example. I was driving down the road many years ago in Louisiana, and I saw a billboard. And to this day, it's one of the best advertisements I've ever seen that captures this whole idea of problem loss and putting it together. At the top of the billboard, it simply said, "Gambling problem?" There's a question mark. That's it. And then next to it said, "You could lose this." And the image that they had drawn next to it was just a silhouette of a family. Now, if you had that particular problem if you struggled with gambling, and you saw that, how fast would that identify you as, yeah, that's me? At the end of the day, that's what we want our customers to say when they read our marketing content about what we do to help them. We want them to self-identify and say, oh yeah, that's me. That's the problem I have. And that's what I need help with. This billboard was amazing. It was so short and sweet, to the point gambling problem. And then it said you could lose this and it had a silhouette of the family. And it was so clear that if you continue to have the problem today and in the future, you risk losing your family in lots of different ways, relationships, could be a divorce, could be lots of things, could be lots of losses, but it's just a powerful example of how, if we can start talking to our customers about the problem that they really have, it positions us so well to actually do business with them eventually, because we really do want to help them. At the end of the day, most companies solve problems for customers because they want to help people. And there are just tons and tons of examples of it. But if you don't put together problems and losses and you just talk about the problem, sometimes our customers don't feel the loss if they don't do business with us. And there has to be some kind of loss. They're going to lose time. They're going to lose money. Something is going to happen that's not a good thing for them. And it's our job to talk about that a little bit. We don't want to be too negative about it. One of the things that you can do to lighten this just a little bit is you can ask a question like that. Gambling problem? Pretty straightforward. It's not too negative. You could lose this silhouette of the family. That's heavy, but it does make the connection. And an addiction problem like that, they're making the point. This is a big deal. You've got to get on top of this problem. And so it was really powerful. I'll tell you more about that billboard as the episodes in this season unfold. I'm going to use it throughout every episode to tell you the rest of the ad, but that was a really powerful statement at the top. And so I want to give you an exercise you can do. I want to keep these podcasts really short. There's an exercise you can do. Just a piece of paper and pen, or you can do it in an Excel spreadsheet if you like to do Excel stuff. I love Excel. It's going to be three columns. Okay. In column one, you're just going to have a problem. That's the subheading. And then underneath it, what is the problem that you solve for your customers? And I'll give you a way to get to this. For your company, think about your company, just simply fill in the blanks here. We help people blank. What do you help people do? Do you help people get jobs? Do you help people market their business online? Do you help people overcome depression? Do you help people? What is it? Just try to put it into really simple terms that way. Okay. In the next column, and you're going to have several things down this list. The other one just has one thing or two that you're going to have as a problem. I want you to title this problem and then loss. Okay. Think about the problem you just said, you just filled in for your company. What are the losses your customers are experiencing right now because they have this problem? Are they losing time? Are they losing money? Are they losing health? Could be mental, physical, could be lots of things. Are they having to endure some kind of hardship that there's a loss? What is that? Think of about that. Make a list of those things. Okay. Now in the third column, I want you to make the subtitle at the top feelings. All right. You've got problems, losses, and feelings. And then go down the list here. If you said the loss was the loss of time. Okay. Then what are they feeling? What are your customers actually feeling if they're indeed losing time? It could be a lot of things. I think of frustration. Nothing frustrates me more than to waste time. I don't want to do that. What are your customers feeling? Depends on what the loss is. Write that down. Make a list. And there could be lots of feelings in this space. If you put money as a loss, maybe you have that one, then maybe this person's feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you're a financial consultant and you help families do financial planning and maybe debt is a problem. And so they're losing lots of money in interest and there are lots of other issues related to that, but maybe they just feel overwhelmed. They don't know where to start. Maybe that's how they feel. They're just overwhelmed. They're tired. What is it? Make a list of those things. And I think what you're going to start to see is this is who your ideal customer really is and how they feel about the problem that you're going to be solving for them. And the more you can use language, like what we're talking about, problem loss and the feelings that people have about it, the more you can help people see that you have a solution to it, but you first have to spend your time really working on what is the problem you solve? And then what are the losses that you're helping your customers avoid? Because all of this can go into your marketing. Mistake number one is most companies struggle to really identify the problem they solve for their customers and the losses that they could avoid, but they're not. They're not avoiding them. They're experiencing them because of the problem they have. Really work on that. Do the exercise, go through it, make a list of problems, losses, and feelings that go along with it. That's going to start to give you an idea of the kind of language you can use on social media, your email campaigns, your website. I worked with a business owner today, in fact, and she's a counselor and a lot of people go to her for mental health. And we just worked up some different marketing messages for her website. And one of them was, are you tired of struggling with depression? She gets a lot of clients that come to her for that. And that's why she does a lot of work to help people overcome. And it's just a simple question, almost like what we just said a minute ago, the gambling problem example. It's just really short and sweet. And so if you're someone and you come to her website and you see this, and this is you. Then it's just automatically telling you you're in the right place. And then she goes on to add some other things in there that are really powerful. And we're going to talk about more of these mistakes that people make on social media in the next episodes. But the first one is this problem loss, not using it in your collateral, in your marketing. You got to do it. The problem is the hook. It introduces the drama that they're already familiar with their own life. And that's how they're going to be connected to you. They're going to start to see you as someone who really understands the problem. And that is a really important thing for you and your marketing and your business. Do the exercise, problem, loss, feelings. See if that'll help you get started writing down some of this stuff that you're going to be using in your marketing. If you get stuck at any point, you can always email me. I'll be glad to go back and forth with you. James.Barnes@MSState.edu. Again, it's James.Barnes@MSState.edu. Send it to me. I'll be glad to brainstorm with you, go back and forth, and really get the problem identified in your marketing. Don't make this mistake. You want to get people's attention and you start talking about the problem that they have and how you understand it, you're going to be doing that. You're going to be getting the attention. Hope this episode's been helpful. And if you want to get more of an idea of this kind of stuff, it's all in the book that I just published, "Five Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid." It's on Amazon and Kindle. I'm going to be sharing a few things in the next episode about the second mistake. We'll get to that in the next episode. Well, listen, that's all for this episode. Thanks always for listening to the Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing Podcast, where we help you market your business without feeling overwhelmed. You can get the downloads and show notes and much, much more for all the episodes for the podcast, just by going to our Facebook page. Just search for Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing. If this has been helpful, I hope you can start identifying the problem that you solve for your customers and the losses they're experiencing and start talking about that at it and how you can help them avoid that. You're going to find people are going to connect with you a lot faster. I hope you avoid that mistake in your social media marketing. Thanks for being with me. And I hope you'll join me in the next episode where we start talking about mistake number two. And I'll tell you more about that in the next episode. Thanks again.