Can you believe it’s been 100 episodes already? For the past 2 years Rich Brooks has brought you experts covering all aspects of search, social and mobile marketing and asked them the tough questions you need the answers to, so that small businesses can get a leg up on their future success.
Rich reflects back on some particular topics and guests that he found insightful and helpful, and shares some of the tips that he personally has implemented in his own business practices. And as a special “twist”, the tables get turned on our fearless leader when he becomes the interviewee and one of his podcast listeners gets to grill him and put him in the hot seat for a change.
Debbie Rosemont is a professional organizer and the owner of Simply Placed. She has heard Rich speak at her organization’s annual conferences and is a regular listener to The Marketing Agents Podcast.
Debbie: Hello everyone out there. It is my pleasure to introduce to you – with a little turn of the tables – the Rich Brooks. Rich Brooks is founder and President of flyte new media, a web design and marketing firm in Portland, Maine. He’s a nationally recognized speaker and entrepreneur in digital marketing and social media.
He’s the founder of The Agents Of Change Digital Marketing Conference, an annual conference on search, social and mobile marketing. He runs The Marketing Agents Podcast , where he interviews marketing experts from around the world on search, social and mobile for marketing.
He is also a regular contributor at Social Media Examiner.com, the world’s most popular media marketing blog. He’s the tech guru at WCSH Channel 6 evening news show, 207, and teaches web marketing and social media courses for entrepreneurs at the University of Southern Maine’s Center For Continuing Education.
More importantly to me though, Rich is a friend who I met through the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) where he has presented numerous times, teaching small business people on how to be more effective with their search and mobile marketing efforts.
So as the 100th podcast, it’s my pleasure to introduce the Rich Brooks.
Rich: Thanks Debbie, I appreciate that. Looking forward to this.
Debbie: Well, as am I. I’ve got some questions for you, shall we dive right in?
Rich: Let’s go for it.
Debbie: Ok. So, this is a podcast and I know you’ve been podcasting for quite some time. And being the 100th episode, tell me, why did you start podcasting? What were you hoping to get out of it?
Rich: That’s a good question. So, whenever I look at social media, there’s always a couple of different platforms that you can choose. There’s platforms and then there’s networks. So for me, platforms are places where you can literally stand on a soapbox. And those include blogging and podcasting and online video. Probably the big 3. You can also throw in Slideshare, you can argue that you can also throw in webinars. But basically these are places where you can get your message across and then people can give you feedback, either in the comments or wherever else it may be.
I’ve been blogging for quite some time. To be honest, I love writing. I tried a podcast once before, but I just spent too much time on it and didn’t enjoy it that much. So all of a sudden there seemed to be this podcast renaissance and a lot more people were getting into podcasting. And I saw friends of mine like John Lee Dumas get into it and really be able to connect with an audience.
I’m an auditory listener…I guess that’s the only kind of listener you could be. I’m an auditory learner and I love listening to audio books. I got into podcasts a while back, got out of them and then got back into them again. So for me this was a real opportunity to interview experts, bring their information to my audience to educate them and give them an opportunity to meet new people or presenting in front of new people through the podcast, and learning along the way.
And I know from my own experience that when you start listening to a podcast or – to a lesser degree – an audiobook, you really start to get to know the person who is doing the interviewing, who is on the podcast. As the podcaster, you’re literally inside somebody’s brain. I just thought this would be an interesting way to connect with a new audience in kind of a deeper way than I’ve been able to do just through my blog.
Debbie: How have you been able to encourage that inner activity with your audience? I know podcasts are recorded and people listen to them as they have time. You mentioned comments, that sort of thing. In what ways have you been able to interact with your audience?
Rich: That’s something I still struggle with, quite honestly, and I want to get better at it. But some of the things I’ve seen – depending on the interviewee – will often get comments on the website, I often recommend that people go and check out some of the links and full transcripts that we do for the podcast. And then sometimes we’ll do something like – I’m pretty sure it was another NAPO member – who took a picture of her iPad listening to The Marketing Agents Podcast while she made dinner. And that was pretty awesome.
So basically I remembered the next few weeks to ask people wherever they were in the world to take a picture and let me know. And people from all over – people from Germany, Singapore, right here in the US – were taking photos of where they were listening to the show. So that gave me a lot more idea of who was out there.
But it’s interesting, I forget what it was but a few months ago I asked for some feedback. Oh, it was on whether I should do a 1 episode longer format or break it into 2 pieces. And I mentioned this in a couple podcasts and I didn’t get much of a response, only a handful of people who weighed in. And so the following week, because I really wanted to get to the bottom of this, I sent out an email asking people which they preferred, and I got over 50 responses within 15 minutes. So unfortunately people say email is boring, but it is an amazing way of really engaging the audience. I would recommend for anybody who’s thinking of doing a podcast, just make sure that you’re also building your email list at the same time.
Debbie: That’s great. And I love the picture of anywhere you are listening to the podcast idea. That’s fantastic. Do you think podcasts are the right tool for all small businesses?
Rich: No. I mean, no tool is right for all small businesses. I think that there are probably easier tools. For me, when I saw everybody jumping into podcasting I was well aware that it was everybody in my industry, people who are doing similar things to me. So that was why it seemed more natural.
But when I look at a lot of small businesses, unless you have a passion for radio and a passion for doing this kind of style show and the investment and time and energy it takes, I’m not sure this is the best investment of anybody’s time. Although we try and take advantage of some of the search benefits of podcasts by having Jennifer Scholz transcribe all of our podcasts for us. It’s still not the same as you get a benefit maybe from having a straight blog.
So I think that there are some pluses and minuses. I think if you’ve got a business model that allows you to do business with people from all over the world, I think a podcast can help for sure, especially any sort of consultant where you interview or you talk by yourself about some of the skills. I can see somebody who’s doing some sort of business coaching, that would be a perfect fit for a podcast. I know that – for example you’re a professional organizer – and you’re at the top of your game, you’re in the A+ of professional organizers who I’ve met, but you’ve got a different kind of business.
If you’re just a professional organizer and you’re working with 20 or 30 people at any given month and they’re all local, I don’t know that the podcast is going to give you the same bang for your buck as something like Facebook advertising to your local geographically targeted area. Now if you also are teaching people how to organize their lives and you’re selling books and webinars or a piece of software that anybody in the world can use to become more organized, then I think the podcast becomes a much more effective marketing tool for your business.
Debbie: Ok, so it sounds like for people that have businesses that want to reach people beyond their local market and can work virtually or have products to sell and can be used anywhere, it’s a good tool.
Rich: Yeah. And again, it’s one of these things where if you love doing the podcast then I think that’s going to weigh more for you yeah, you should definitely do it. But if this isn’t your first choice for how you want to market your business or put yourself out there, then I think you should take a look at is this really going to offer some sort of return on investment.
Debbie: Great. So, 100th episode. You’ve spoken to a lot of marketing experts. What are some of your big takeaways of the 99 prior to this one?
Rich: That’s really interesting, because of course the idea was to teach people how to use search, social and mobile to reach more of their ideal customers when I first started. I wanted to balance it between search, social and mobile, I definitely went more on the social side just because that’s where a lot of my connections originally came from.
It’s funny that all of these social media experts – the Facebook experts, the Twitter experts, the Pinterest experts – they all talk about building your list. Everybody outside of the industry thinks email is so boring and is it even going to be a thing anymore. But when you get these social media experts together, their entire focus is how big is your list.
In fact, I just saw one of my first interviewees and he talks about the one thing he wishes he had done earlier in his business – and he’s got a very big following – was build the email list. And that is something you’ll hear over and over again with so many of the people I interviewed.
If there’s one takeaway that I have in doing this interview, is just kind of reinforcing what I already believed, is you should be using social media and search to drive traffic to your website and get those people to opt in to an email newsletter. Once they’re on that list, then you can start selling to them, marketing to them, the bottom line is you do not want to rely on social media platforms that you don’t own as the only way of you reaching your audience.
Just a few years ago, if I posted something to Facebook as flyte or as Rich, it was going to get seen by a majority of the people who had ‘liked’ me. But now, especially for brands that we’re talking about 1%-5% reach. That’s crazy. We can’t rely on that as a business model, so we have to throw money at Facebook. But the bottom line is Facebook could change its policies again or increase its rates. Already Facebook ads have become much more expensive than they were just a year ago.
Email marketing still tends to be a pretty cost effective way. That’s not the only tool I would use, because it also has become more and more difficult to get your emails through to somebody. But the bottom line is, I think that the biggest lesson I took away is that you need to build your own list.
Debbie: That’s great. I remember hearing you say that either in person when we were together at a conference at some point, or possibly on your podcast. You don’t really own your followers on the social media sites, but you do own your list.
Who is your favorite interview?
Rich: That’s like asking which is my favorite child or which is my favorite Disney Princess. I can’t choose just one. There are a few episodes where I end up sharing more with clients and prospects because I think it would be important for them to listen to it. And some of the shows have a shorter shelf life than others. LIke, especially some of the earlier Facebook stuff I did.
One episode that I keep on coming back to when I’m talking to clients or prospects with flyte new media, is the 2nd interview I did with John Lee Dumas, and that was about unleashing your business avatar. And it was just about getting really, really specific on how to figure out who your ideal customer was. And John had some really specific examples that he gave of how he came up with this character named Jimmy who was his perfect customer.
That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get people that are not Jimmy, or women or older or younger or in a different stage of their life. But by focusing on that one person, it really narrowed it down and that became an easy way for him to make business decisions. And whenever I talk to somebody and they tell me, “Well, who are you going after?” “Well, people who work for small to medium sized businesses or people in nonprofits.” So, basically anybody who’s not unemployed. That’s just crazy. So I point them to that podcast interview, that was definitely one of my favorites.
The one I actually published just a few hours ago with Brennan Dunn is one of my favorites just in terms of the amount of value I got out of it. It was kind of off topic, it was how to double your freelancing rate. And of course I tried to draw it out that it’s not just about freelancers, it’s also about anybody running an agency.
But those were two of the ones that stuck out in my mind. I’ve had some great interviews and just fantastic people with a lot of energy and a lot of know how. But those are definitely a couple of my favorites.
Debbie: Is there anybody you wanted to interview but you couldn’t get that’s still on your wish list?
Rich: Yes. Still on my wish list I would say Sally Hogshead, who wrote the book, Fascinate. I love her stuff and I would love to have her on the show. I doubt she’s listening but Sally, if you are, please come on my show. And Norm Brodsky, who actually I have a connection to, I just haven’t gotten the nerve up to ask him because actually one of your fellow NAPO members is his daughter. So that would be kind of cool to make a connection and have him come on the show. Again, he’s not necessarily all that much about marketing, but he is an amazing entrepreneur and he would be a great interview as well on this show.
Debbie: Great. So again, if anyone is listening and you know Norm and you want to make Rich’s day, make that connection happen. Now tell me a little more about why you’re shutting down The Marketing Agents Podcast.
Rich: Because it turns out there’s only 24 hours in a day. Not to be overly glib about that, but that is really what it came down to. I started this brand after I already had flyte and after I already had The Agents Of Change, because I was working with Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner – a mentor and a friend of mine – and who continues to this day to give me the best advice possible. And together we kind of came up with this brand called The Marketing Agents that was originally going to be a blog and a podcast and YouTube channel, really this brand new platform for me. And what I found is that it just took too much out of my day.
If I could go back in time – and this is one of those stories when things go wrong and trust me, there are a lot of things that have gone wrong that I’ve learned from – I found that first it was a lot of stress on my business, flyte. I’m basically the one who brings in the business, and so as I was focusing on The Marketing Agents, the pipeline started to dry up at flyte and I had hoped that somebody else would take over but I never really put anybody in that position.
So then I started working on flyte from 9-5, so to speak, and then I would go home in the evenings and work on The Marketing Agents Podcast. At that point is was also a blog, so I was writing 1-2 blog posts a week plus doing the interviews. And then as you can imagine, my homelife started to suffer and it was a stressful situation at home. Ultimately I carved it down just to the podcast and since then I’ve really been delegating out as much of the podcast work as I possibly could.
So even what I realized is I’ve still basically got this podcast called The Marketing Agents, where we’re talking about search, social and mobile marketing to reach your ideal customers. And I’ve got this conference called, The Agents Of Change Digital Marketing Conference, which is all about how to use search, social and mobile to reach your ideal customer. And they’ve got very similar branding because they both have the word ‘agents” in it, and the artwork was done by my friend Joshua Fisher, and there was a lot of confusion.
So I had to have twice as many Facebook pages and twice as many Twitter accounts and all this other stuff. So I ultimately – after sitting through my first Mastermind ever, out in California as part of Fire Nation Elite – realized that there was no reason I had these multiple brands. So I basically just decided that I would fold The Marketing Agents into The Agents Of Change, which also gave me the opportunity of talking about Agents Of Change and branding it every, single week.
So now there’s just one thing I can focus on – well, 2, because I still have flyte new media which is my day job and pays most of the bills around here – but I have one brand, Agents Of Change, that I can really focus on, really grow, and I think it has a little bit more of a wider reach than just The Marketing Agents. So as much as I love the branding on The Marketing Agents, I’m really looking forward to relaunching this show next episode as The Agents Of Change Podcast. And all the opportunities that having just one brand and the focused energy around that brand is hopefully going to deliver.
Debbie: So I’m sure everyone listening will be relieved that just because The Marketing Agents is folding, your podcasting is not going away. Will The Agents Of Change Podcast be different in any way from The Marketing Agents Podcast?
Rich: It’s going to be a similar footprint. In fact to be honest, after talking to Mike (Stelzner), there’s not even anything people have to do if they’re already subscribed. After episode 100, we’re just going to go right to episode 101 and it’s just going to be The Agents Of Change. I’ll probably have a little introductory message so people don’t get confused. But besides that it is going to be a similar feel. I’ll be trying a couple new things, but for me personally, interviewing experts has just been brilliant.
First of all. I just get to talk and make a connection with people that I really respect. But also there have been times when a client is calling me up and asked a question and I have zero idea, so I find an expert and I interview them on the show and then I can point them to the show and say, “Here, here is all the information you need on this.” Or I can just do it for them at that point.
I’m going to continue doing interviews. I probably think I’ll do more shows where it’s a non interview style show, so maybe once every few months I’ll just have myself talking about something that I feel is important that we haven’t gotten around to.
Getting back to your question of how do you engage a podcast audience, it’s maybe doing more of these kind of shows, except talking specifically about somebody’s business. So somebody could come on the show – one of our listeners – who is struggling with a specific problem on search, social or mobile marketing, and we could kind of work through that as an episode on the podcast. So that’s something I want to try as well, so we’ll start reaching out to people who are interesting in kind of baring their souls in front of an audience.
Debbie: That’s a great idea, fantastic. So you know I’m a productivity consultant and I work with people on time management, and I’m curious as to your opinion from a time management perspective, it seems like there’s so much businesses could – even should – be doing around search, social and mobile marketing. So is a small business is going to be limiting their time spent on some of these efforts – 30 minutes a day, tops – what would you say are the must do’s on a daily basis? What do we need to be paying attention to?
Rich: That’s a great question and I wish I could say it’s one size fits all, but unfortunately there’s not. It really does depend on your business and whether or not you’re the kind of company that needs to sell a lot of inexpensive products or that you just need to get a few clients a year. I would start by taking care of the basics.
So this isn’t necessarily the answer to your question, but this is some way to fill those 30 minutes for at least a month or so. I would make sure that my site was easy to use, fast loading, mobile friendly – that is essential today, you have to have a mobile friendly site – I recommend using responsive web design, but to be honest it’s just important that people have mobile friendly experience when they go to your website. Google is penalizing sites that aren’t mobile friendly these days.
The next thing after you have this is you want to make sure that your site is search engine optimized. So what are the keywords that your customers are using when they go to Google – or the few that go to Bing – what kind of keywords are they using, make sure that you answer all the questions on your website. It goes a little deeper than that, but bottom line is just having a blog. And whatever questions you may get you can write blog posts about them.
So creating that kind of content that makes you more visible at the search engines and then promoting it. Using things like Twitter and Facebook to promote that. That only takes a few minutes.
I’ve become a much bigger fan of doing less but doing it better. So if you can only do one blog post a month that’s totally fine. Just make sure you’re spending extra time doing the research and polishing that until it shines. And then spending some time and energy promoting that blog post as well.
That’s probably how I would spend my time. It’s not necessarily 30 minutes every day, but it is the kind of thing you want to focus on, and then just building your list. So when people get to your website and aren’t ready to buy right then, you want to get them on your list and give them some sort of lead generation magnet.
Why would they give you their email? It could be something like a “cheat sheet” or a Top 10 list that’s only available to email subscribers or a free ebook You could get them to sign up for a free webinar you’re giving. But all those things are an exchange where people can then get on your mailing list so then you can start sending them different types of marketing and communication and messages.
Debbie: This is an ever changing world especially in social, although search, too. Things that pop up for business people like myself, how do we know if it’s just a flavor of the day or you really should invest some time and research in getting engaged in a new Google+?
Rich: I can answer what my personal feeling is for Google+ specifically, which is “set it and forget it.” In other words, it’s important because it’s Google. So if getting found at the search engines is important, then you absolutely want to make sure that you have a Google profile for yourself and for your business. That being said at this point is not a big, social channel. So I don’t think you need to invest a lot of time in building an audience there – that may change – but for right now I would say spend a couple hours up front, optimize the heck out of that Google+ account for yourself and for your business and that just means filling out all the possible forms and making it look as customized as possible.
If you feel like taking it up a notch you could then maybe occasionally share something like when I do the podcast. I always share the podcast on Google+ along with some other platforms as well, so at least once a week there is something I’m putting out there.
There’s always new channels. Periscope and Meerkat are two new channels that are basically live streaming video. It’s hard to know if these are really going to take off or not. If not these two, then some sort of live streaming video is going to take off, it’s been around for years.
But unless you’re a cutting edge company, I don’t know that that’s where I’d invest my time. I know there’s a benefit to being an early adopter for these technologies and you start to learn the language and the lingo and feel more comfortable there, but I think that unless you’re business is really focused on marketing, I don’t know that’s where I’d be spending my time. I’d still be sticking with email and then maybe one social media platform like a blog or a podcast and maybe focus on one channel where my audience is.
I’m a terrible example because for my business I need to be aware and comfortable with all these different channels. But if I was in a different type of business, I’d focus on an email, a blog and maybe one social channel that’s right for my audience.
Debbie: For my audience it’s a small company who wants to be working with bigger businesses and corporations. I know that LinkedIn is probably a channel that that audience hangs out. What’s your level of familiarity with the best things somebody can be doing on LinkedIn? I know people talk a lot about Facebook and Twitter, not as much about LinkedIn. I know you’ve had a LinkedIn expert as a guest on the podcast before, what did you learn there?
Rich: I agree with you that if I think that I’m a small business and I’m targeting large businesses, that I’m going to spend most of my business social networking time – not my personal time – on LinkedIn. And what that probably means is I’m going to make sure that I have a robust profile, that I’m going to be found for the search words that I want. So if I want to be found for “productivity” or “productivity hacks”, I may even include that in my title underneath my name. So, I won’t be “President”, I’ll be “Productivity Hacker”, or something like that so that I might come up in some sort of searches that people are doing.
I’ll probably want to write or share a lot of content on LinkedIn around productivity, and that might mean sharing a lot of other people’s content – usually the 80/20 principle comes into effect here – where 80% of the stuff I’m going to share is going to be other people’s content, 20% will be my own or self promotional.
There are also – which I have not really used much – but there also are blogs right within LinkedIn that you can use, and I actually have an interview scheduled that I’m going to do with somebody who’s been leveraging those blogs. Because in my mind I always wanted to do it on my own blog, but she claims that there’s a real benefit to blogging on the LinkedIn platform and you get a lot more visibility.
So those are some things that I would definitely take into consideration. And the other thing that I’d probably do if I was going after bigger fish is I would be doing advanced searches on LinkedIn, finding the kind of people who match up – either because they work at a specific company that I’m targeting or they’ve got a specific job title or the geography. I would just be reaching out to them and making those connections. And if I got the connection, I’d probably follow up with a personalized note. If you’re really busy and that doesn’t scale very well, well that’s what interns are for.
I’ve done this in the past when we’re trying to ramp up for Agents Of Change and we want every marketer in New England to know that we’ve got this amazing digital marketing conference just for them. I’ll have somebody go in under my account – an employee – and basically do the search and find all the people who are doing marketing in New England. And after we connect with them we send out a note that comes from me that I wrote but that’s sent from one of my coworkers or an intern that says, “Hey Debbie, I see we’re both doing marketing in Maine and I just want to let you know that I actually have this Agents Of Change conference and early bird specials are going on now through June 30th. I didn’t want you to miss out so here you go.”, and there’s a link. We’ve sold a number of tickets, and even when we don’t, at least we’re making that connection with somebody so that it’s on their radar that there is this conference called Agents Of Change and maybe I should pay attention.
Debbie: Nice. Now also for a small business like mine and like many of your listeners, the rules of SEO – and you talk about having a great, easy to use website, making it mobile friendly and making sure it’s optimized – it feels like the SEO rules are changing all the time. I don’t necessarily want to know what those rules are but I’m happy to hire somebody to help me with search engine optimization. What are the things I should know about the company I hire or listen for that they do or they’ll tell me to know that I’ll be successful, or the work they’re doing is a good investment of time and resources?
Rich: So, how can you tell if it’s a good investment?
Debbie: Here’s my analogy: I have something that I think might be wrong with my car, I take it to a mechanic, if the mechanic tells me that I need a new engine I’m not going to know any different because I don’t know anything about cars. Now I could take it for a 2nd opinion, but I need to be able to trust my mechanic.
So what are ways that small business people can feel good about a company that does search engine optimization to know that they’re trustworthy and that they know what the rules are and how they change?
Rich: Sure. I guess a couple things, as always, check references. I think any service industry is going to be based on personal relationships anyway, so I would ask for the names of a few people they worked with and try and get some results so that I can try and talk to somebody. And what were those kind of results, as well. They should also be very transparent with what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. So if they say, “No, I can’t explain the details and tricks that i’m using”, that’s probably not the right type of company for you. There are some changes happening all the time in the search engines, but there’s a lot of evergreen tactics, and these people are talking about doing keyword research and creating valuable content both on your website and also at other websites that point back to your website. That’s pretty kosher stuff, that’s pretty much what’s expected. They also may have some other techniques as well, new ways of reaching that audience. But again, look for a track record and ask to speak to people they’ve worked with in the past.
Debbie: That’s great. I know that people can measure their return on investment by paying attention to Google Analytics. What are some of the top reports or statistics that every business should be paying attention to on their analytics?
Rich: I usually like to take a look at the last 30 days of traffic and compare it to a year ago at the same time. A lot of businesses are seasonal, and even if they’re not, there’s a little bit of seasonality anyway. So, is my traffic trending up or down. They’ve gotten rid of a lot of the keywords that they’re tracking in Google analytics, they’ve basically gotten rid of that entire report. So you have to do a little bit deeper digging.
You’ll need to connect your Google webmaster tools to your Google Analytics report so that you can unlock a few of the reports that are now essential. One of which is in acquisitions – which is how people come to your site the first time – under search engine optimization there is a report called “queries”, and queries tell you what kind of searches people are doing where your site comes up as a result. And what the average ranking for your site is.
So that will give you some sense of how people are finding you and then that may tell you that you need to focus on creating some more content around that sort of topic. But those are some of the reports that I would take a look at for sure.
Also I think another important thing is setting up Google Analytic goals. So for example, I’m looking for people to fill out my contact form. That’s something that most small businesses can get behind, it’s usually how you generate leads. So once somebody fills out the contact form on my website, they are taken to what’s called a “thank you page”. We measure how many people get to the “thank you page”, and then using Google Analytic Goals, we can see where that high converting traffic is coming from. Google may send us a lot of traffic, but does that traffic actually convert, so then we start to look at where are we getting the most bang for our buck. Is it from our email newsletter, is it from Facebook or Facebook advertising, is it from Google, and then we know where we should be putting more of our energy.
So those are a few of the ones that I think are pretty essential for any small business to be paying attention to. You can do a deep dive on Google Analytics, but really you could also just pay attention to a few key indicators and measure those and you’ll be at least ahead of 99% of the other businesses out there.
Debbie: Awesome. So what about any of your favorite time saving tools. You mentioned it’s great to have content, but then how do you promote it and share it? Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, I know there’s a number out there, do you have any favorites?
Rich: Personally I use Tweetdeck a lot. But I have moved away from a lot of the time saving automation devices, mainly because there’s a lot of penalties that come along with them and I just think that there’s so much. Looking at just Twitter and Facebook as a user over the past few years, it just feels like – and maybe these are the people I’m following – everybody seems to be marketing or promoting or linking to something, and it just becomes overwhelming. On one hand, you have to stay up on that and promote your stuff, but I just got a little tired of it at the same time.
So we use Hootsuite for ourselves and our clients here at flyte in terms of scheduling different tweets throughout the day. We don’t use it for Facebook because Facebook penalizes you when you use a third party tool like Hootsuite on Facebook. So those are a couple of the tools that we use. To be honest, these days I’m more about delegation than automation, so I’m looking for members of my team to step up and help me on certain things. And if I didn’t have a team I would definitely have a couple VA’s who were in charge of promoting things under my name or under my company’s name.
Debbie: That’s awesome. Last question, is there anything else as you think back to the 100 episodes that you have now done that really stands out or you? I know we talked about “takeaways” before, is there anything that you have personally implemented or anything that you changed in your life and business as a result of all the people that you’ve talked to, and just the experience that you’ve had doing these podcasts?
Rich: That’s a great question. Brennan Dunn is fresh in my mind, and the minute I finished interviewing him I ended up buying his online course about how to double your freelancing rate. I thought it was incredibly valuable, I out that to use right away. And I know I mentioned this one too, John Lee Dumas’s avatar one. I sat down with my entire team and I required them to listen to that episode and then we sat around and did a brainstorming session on it as well.
A lot of the stuff that I’ve heard from interviews are stuff that I’m already doing on some level, sometimes I try and take it to the next level after I’ve interviewed them. I know that when I interviewed pat Flynn he wanted to talk about public speaking and I loved what he had to say and I implemented some of the things that he was talking about into my own presentations going forward.
As far as it goes, I think that just connecting with people. I’ve often used the Marketing Agents Podcast as a way of getting to know people, and then making a connection and asking them to speak at Agents Of Change. There are very few people who have not been on The Marketing Agents who end up speaking at Agents Of Change.
So those are a few of the things that I’ve definitely taken away from all my time, basically 2 years of doing these podcast interviews.
Debbie: That’s great. Is there anything that I can answer for you, just as a possible representation of your audience – small business owner that’s listened to many of the podcasts myself and I’m a fan – anything that I can answer for you?
Rich: Well we kind of talked about this earlier. I’ll go to conferences and people come up to me and say, “Oh my god, you’re the guy from The Marketing Agents, I love your podcast, I was just binge listening to it on a trip to Buffalo.” That happens to me a lot, and it’s awesome. But there’s definitely this feeling that after I put the podcast out, that it just disappears into the ether.
Outside of some of the ideas we talked about already which include things like asking people to take a photo of where they are right now and share it with me using @therichbrooks on Twitter. What can I do to make sure I’m delivering content, how can I get more feedback on a specific show when people are maybe listening on their phones and then all of a sudden it’s over and they’re like, “Well, that was good, but…” How do I get more engagement, I guess is the question at the end of that rambling?
Debbie: And that’s a great questions. Obviously I’m not an expert on that but I can give you my opinion which is, if you make it easy for people to – for example – if I’m out on a walk and I have my phone with me and I’m listening, it might not be easy or me to get into iTunes to comment that way. But it would be easy for me to go to a Facebook page or to give a comment in some other sort of social media. So asking people to tweet their favorite tip or go to the Agents Of Change Facebook page and and share their favorite tip. And possibly even incenting people to do that, because some people will share because they want to, others will do it because there’s something in it for them.
So every so often, so do some sort of incentive like, “Hey, when you share your favorite tip, we’ll do a drawing for xyz, or have your latest interviewee have something that they’re giving away, to encourage that participation. So those are a couple ideas, don’t know if you’ve tried them already.
Rich: I am definitely going to implement a few of them that I haven’t tried yet.
Rich: So Debbie, this is usually the part of the interview where I say to my interviewee, “Where can we learn more about you online.” But I’m guessing that after 100 episodes people know how to hunt me down online. So let’s just turn the tables once more. Debbie, if people want to learn more about productivity or more about what you’re doing, where can we send them online?
Debbie: I appreciate that. So our website itssimplyplaced.com is one of the places they can start and then we can also be found on various social media channels, Facebook and Twitter. They are both with the backslash /simplyplaced, those are 2 great places. We do blog a couple times a week and that’s directly on our website, too. So if people are looking for some tips on productivity and workplace organization they can check that out. And they can obviously subscribe to our newsletter as well, as you mentioned, is a way to get that information right into your inbox. We send out a monthly email newsletter with some great tips and strategies on being more organized and more organized systems and implementing more productive habits in your life that just make things easier.
Rich: Awesome. Well listen, I want to thank you for interviewing me today, Debbie.
Debbie: It was a pleasure and I was honored to have been chosen for your 100th episode. I think that’s monumental and as an active listener of the podcast, it was very fun to do this.
Check out his business website to see where Rich spends his days pondering world domination, zombie apocalypse survival strategies and listening to Phish. Oh, he also occasionally helps businesses and organizations succeed through social, search and mobile marketing.
You may have heard Rich mention this little conference he puts on every year. It’s not too late to get your Agents Of Change Digital Marketing Conference tix and see for yourself what all the fuss is about!
With 100 episodes now behind us, The Marketing Agents podcast is a wealth of information on a variety of subjects related to small business marketing and success. Go back and check out any episodes you may have missed or want a refresher on!
Follow Rich on Twitter, check him out on Facebook or connect with him on LinkedIn.
To learn more about Debbie and her business as a professional organizer, go to her website.
Debbie would love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook, too!
Transcription services provided by Jennifer Scholz.
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