If you look to the right of this post, you will see a brand new certification which states that I am now a certified social media campaign specialist. I am quite satisfied to display that certification, and I am quite excited to begin planning your campaign with you.
But really, what does it mean that I am certified? It means that I have attended the Social Marketing Guild trainings and completed the necessary social media homework requirements. It also means that I am part of a guild which continues to support its members with a forum and continued trainings from Maria Gudelis and Tina Williams who are the marketing mavens behind the training and the Guild.
You can find Tina and Maria at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, the Warrior Forum, on Amazon, eBay, and thousands of other platforms. Maria and Tina have recently completed successful campaigns for the author of Skinny Thinking and a Miami fashion show, among many others.
So what can a social media marketing campaign do for your small business or your small town business? You may not have time enough to do what you already have scheduled to do. I run into that situation frequently in my business, Logan Counseling, which is my wife Julie and I in next door offices, answering our own phones, seeing our own clients, and talking about the broken water heater, the boy’s football transportation, and next weeks bus schedules as we pass in the hallway, and yes, by e-mail and phone call, because I am home with the kids more in the summer, who are bored, so bored, with Dad.
However, referrals, which are the life blood of any counseling business, are becoming more scarce through the traditional channels, like EAP administrators at Chrysler, for example, because businesses are laying off employees and insurance is not paying. And no one has called me as a result of a Yellow Pages Ad for 10 years.
So I started looking for some ways to build an online stream of income, including squidoo lenses and hub pages and blogs and three Site Build It Websites. You can all me a slow learner, but this keyword and site concept stuff that helps surfers find good information took awhile for me anyway, to catch on to, and then they go and change the internet, right? (More on SBI in a minute. Tortoising actually works)!
I have signed up for a few too many get rich quick internet programs promising fame and fortune through publishing your own e-book, which I have done, holding webinars, and selling the transcripts, adsense templates, article marketing, and every affiliate program known to mankind. I have done all of them. What works is building content that provides information of value to the searcher. That is the business that Google and Yahoo and Bing are in. I help them, they help me. All the get rich quick stuff is just an attempt to cut corners, and didn’t work for me.
So this journey has been a slow stripping away of the get rich quick mentality that I brought to my online expectations. Part of those expectations were fueled by the excellent sales letters that are found in internet search usually at the number one spot in Google or Yahoo (because they are keyword optimized) which to the uninitiated eye indicate that a quick purchase will cause a money tree to grow in your front lawn.
The folks who write good sales copy can name their own price by the way, so if you are persuasive, that could be a way for you to go.
So I experienced a number of very disappointing online experiences and almost quit many times, actually did quit for about 8 months after pouring my heart into my first SBI site, painstakingly creating 80 pages of content that attracted almost no traffic.
And I blamed SBI, or course. Because I have a Masters degree which makes me smart at everything, right?
Wrong. But the stripping away experience has left me a lot of very good experience, and it has left me on e-mail terms, even personally acquainted, with some of the titans of internet marketing, like Ken Evoy who created SBI for us, the non-techies who wanted to develop an online business and run it from our living room, and Bob Jenkins, aka Bob The Teacher, who at 30 retired from his job as a teacher to run his five figure a month online business. Bob the Teacher is just that, and a teacher with integrity by the way.
By my third SBI site, Askmikethecounselor2.com, I had a working knowledge of what keyword searches meant, and how to write a page that would rank highly in Google and Yahoo and Bing, and I have written about 800 of those pages at Askmikethecounselor2, and watched my traffic move from 0 visitors to over 800 unique visitors per day, and I am not going to quit until I have 1000 unique visitors per day.
And then one of my mentors, Bob the Teacher, pointed his students to this new thing called Twitter, and another called Facebook, and Linkedin for your professionals, and Myspace for I am not sure who anymore. I did not have any concept of how Twitter could help me build traffic, but I went and did it anyway, and it was fun, and I began to waste more and more time on Twitter until I had to stop, and get back to my SBI site, and while I built profiles at Myspace and Facebook, I had no idea what it meant to spend time their interacting with folks and building relationships, which simply means when folks see my mugshot of Facebook, there is a flicker or recognition, and when they need information about counseling, Julie and I are who they think of. Now I work on Facebook and Twitter every day. (You knew that Facebook and Twitter were free)?
And then I began to notice something interesting in my daily perusal of my SBI statisics and also in my look at Google Analytics for my blogs. I began to see traffic coming to my website from Youtube, where my Counseling Channel has over 26,000 views, and from Twitter, from all seven of my accounts, and from Ezinearticles, and my Logan Counseling and Startupsocialmedia blogs have significant traffic from Facebook. The latter two blogs, one after four months of publishing, and the second, after one month of publishing (using the Socrates theme) have Alexa rank almost as good as Ask Mike, which is almost three years old.
And then at Logan Counseling, we began to get calls from people all over the country who wanted to do telephone counseling or e-mail counseling or coaching, and those calls came as a result of social media, and it was then that I went after more specialized training.
Because some calls for counseling are good, more are better, and soon I will be selling my e-book too, on Twitter of course.
So you are reading this and still wondering what social media can do for you? Well, it will help you accomplish your business plan?
Don’t have a business plan, other than more new customers? You are in the right place.
A disciplined social media campaign will do that and you can get the ho-hum part of it done as you have your morning coffee.
Call me to save yourself my mistakes.