14 Jun June 17, 2019 – SEO & Sponsored Content Kenny Kline and Marketing Plans Trish Saemann
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Kenny Kline Co-founder of BarBend, managing partner at JAKK Media
We weren’t that big when that deal initially got struck and I think
what they really liked about us was our professionalism.
Kenny Kline is a serial entrepreneur in digital technology. He is the co-founder of several online brands including BarBend and managing partner at JAKK Media. Kenny has helped grow BarBend from a small content site to one that is now the official media partner of USA Weightlifting, and has raised $825,000 in seed funding. Kenny’s articles on SEO have assisted countless start-up entrepreneurs and can be found on Lifehack, HuffPost, Inc.com, and Tech.co.
It is critical to define your market, because when you market
to everybody, you are marketing to no-one.
Trish Saemann is a Fractional CMO, Marketing Strategist and owner of GoBeyond SEO. She works with small business owners to help them find the clarity they need to develop an effective marketing strategy using Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, PPC, and SEO. Trish knows when businesses are in service to their customers, they also serve themselves. She believes in taking a customer-centric approach when looking to share your company’s message and improve business in general. She also completed the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program that is known to link learning to action through Babson College. Trish has been quoted in Inc. and Bizjournals.com.
Highlights from Trish’s Interview
I love putting things in a mnemonic device situation, because marketing, as you know, can be kind of a beast, and there’s so many different things that you can do. Most of the time, most business owners are very good at what they do, but they’re not necessarily marketing professionals. So putting something in a succinct fashion can help the kind of point and click their direction as far as marketing is concerned. So yeah, so I love putting things in a place where people can break them down and implement rather quickly.
If marketing isn’t cross-pollinating with your finances, then why are you doing it in the first place?
The very first thing that you should be thinking about is the mindset, you have to be in the absolute right mindset. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Why are you in business? And I don’t mean just to make money. I mean, what product or service are you trying to bring to your customer base? What problem do you solve? Having the right mindset is the very first place that you should start, it’s truly foundational, because if you don’t have the right mindset, the rest of what I’m about to say is not really going to help you much.
Are you in service to your customers? Are you coming to the table with, “I’m going to solve their problem, and then the money will come?” The money is actually a secondary, sometimes even a tertiary response to solving a problem. When you actually have the right mindset, you’re in service to your customers, you have defined measurable goals. And then you can also think about, what kind of experience are people going to have when they interact with my brand? So again, it’s not just about making money, it’s about how am I servicing my customers in a meaningful way? Am I truly solving a problem? Am I solving a problem in a unique and interesting way that’s different from my competitors? You have to come to the table with, Why am I doing this? And what am I truly offering? Is there a way I can measure true goals around this? If you haven’t thought about those things, then like I said, not only will the money not come, it won’t come consistently, and neither will your customer base, for that matter.
Critical here is to define your market. Because when you market to everybody, you are marketing to no one. And one of the biggest pushbacks that I get on this, is they say, “Well, I’ve got multiple people that I want to market to, lots of different people want to engage with my product.” And I get that. And I truly understand, you’d probably be in a bad business if you didn’t have multiple markets. But if you can narrow down, boil it down to your number one, and I imagine any business owners who are listening to this right now probably have that one ideal client, either somebody they’re already pursuing, or somebody that’s already an existing client of theirs. If they have that one perfect client, you should craft all of your marketing around that person. What does that look like? Sure, we could look at some demographic information, what gender are they? What socioeconomic status do they have? What kind of activities do they engage in? Are they a parent? Are they motorcycle enthusiasts? All of those different things. But in addition to that, you have to consider what’s motivating them. What problem are you solving for that specific market? And when you can solve a problem for that specific market, all of your marketing should be crafted around that one person.
Even if somebody outside of the session scope engages with your marketing, and they’re not a perfect fit, what you’ve essentially done is established an expectation for them. For example, let’s say you are going into a place that’s like a Mommy and Me little Gymboree place where Mommy’s going there, they’ve got little Johnny with them, and they’re going to play. If you are a single man with no children, and you walk in there, are you expecting to get a beer? Of course you’re not expecting to get a beer, because it’s not a place that serves beer. So you’re not disappointed per se when you go in there, because the marketing is very clear. So when you’re targeting your marketing, even if somebody outside the scope engages with your space, or with your business, they’re not necessarily disappointed, because they already have a clear expectation as to what you do. So defining your market is absolutely critical.
What’s funny is what you hit there is what they call in the industry, a psychographic. She’s a mother, we know that’s not necessarily defined by age. So there’s a window, not necessarily defined by socioeconomic status. But again, there’s a window, not necessarily defined by race or religion. What you have is a true mother’s instinct, trying to have something that connects, so that her kid can have a positive experience. You narrowed that focus, so much so that now they have an expectation, and they can have this positive experience. And I gotta tell you, especially with things available on the internet, if you are the type of business that is interested in underwater fire prevention, basket weaving, you’re going to find that audience. And that’s why, especially with the digital age that we live in, defining that market right down to that one emotional need, that one thing inside their business, it’s absolutely critical. Just like you defined it with the summer camp, it’s not just that they were female, or they had children, but they had children with a very specific need. So for what it’s worth, I kind of want to go to your camp.
I think that you’re onto something with regards to podcasters really enjoying their activity. I also think that it’s not just the market, but the message, because I think that even if they are narcissistic, not all podcasters will identify as narcissistic, they’ll be like, “No, I’m serving a real purpose.” And we would never call them that to their face.
That’s an anti-psychographic that you don’t want. I would say it’s a combination of targeting the people who want to make a gazillion dollars with their podcast–as well, they should, and it’s available to them–but also how you speak to them, what the message is. I would not only narrow down who it is, because not all podcasters look alike. I would tweak your message a little bit to focus on what the goal of the podcaster is. As far as the psychographics are concerned, clearly they’re going to be on the internet, because most podcasts can get downloaded from some kind of internet device, whether it’s from their phone or something like that. So tech savvy, people who are entrepreneurs, and people who are looking to not work for the man, but are looking to forge their own path. So you’re talking about pioneers, you’re talking about individualists, you’re talking about people who read a lot of the books that focus on things like your Tim Ferriss love.
You’re familiar with who he is. You don’t have to love the guy. There’s lots of people who are obsessed. I’m a female entrepreneur. So you find a lot of women who love Renee Brown, love, love, love Renee Brown. But I’ve got a female colleague, and she’s like, “I mean, she’s cool. I don’t know why everybody’s losing their minds.” There are some nuances there. But they will have heard of Tim Ferriss, they will have heard of Renee Brown. Does that make sense? Whereas, if you were to ask my mom who Tim Ferriss was, I don’t think like she would know. It’s not in her wheelhouse. She’s not your psychographic target.
She’s trying a YouTube channel, but not podcasting yet. Mom’s doing her thing. She’s in her late 60s. She’s retired. She’s doing a thing. I love her. She’s great. She’s like, “I’m gonna try to be a YouTuber.” I’m like, “Okay, mom, let me know if you need anyrhing.” She’s awesome.
Number three, the message. I kind of touched on it a moment ago. I was previewing a little bit, but not to be cute, because it actually is the next thing you have to think about, which is your message. You have to figure out what’s critical for them to make a decision, not give them all the details. This is the single biggest mistake that I see, is people will come to me like, “Well, I’ve been in business. And I’m family owned and operated. We’ve been in business for 40 years.” And I’m falling asleep. And I’m like, you’re telling your story. How does that help me as your listener or your reader or the person who’s interacting with your marketing in any way? Can you solve my problem? Because when you’re writing your message, you have to remember that your market, who you have now clearly defined, it is all about them. Let’s use your camp example.
We’ve got mom, right? What problem are you trying to solve for mom? Mom’s heart is breaking, because little Johnny struggles with making friends. She don’t want to admit that to her mommy friends. No, of course. No, no, because little Johnny’s perfect, because she worked so hard for nine months, and had this child. Little Johnny is brilliant. You know what it is? He’s just a little misunderstood. If you went to her like, “Your kid’s a loser,” or, “Your kid needs a friend,” the messaging is way off on that. Or if you’re like, “Hey, does your kid struggle?” Well, yeah, but do you want to put it that way? You don’t want to say it that way. You want to say, “We’re going to support the next phase of his life, which is to build his network,” or “We’re gonna support him, he’s gonna have a ball, he’s gonna leave with 42 friends–not implied that he doesn’t have any–he’s going to leave with a brand new best friend.”
What you’ve done is you’re talking about the benefit of engaging with your camp, not like, “Hey, what we’re going to do is, we’re going to put the kids together. So this happens. So we get this outcome.” You don’t want to talk about that. You have to talk about the benefit of working with your company, your camp, your restaurant, the benefit is we’ve got the best ice cream, you’re gonna have the best time, it’s going to be awesome. You have to lead with that.
When you’re crafting your message, literally think about that mother, the one that you were just talking about. The one that you just said, like you knew you had her. I’m sure you could picture her. I’m sure you could picture the emotion she had. I’m sure you could picture her version of her little Johnny.
So for all of you business owners out there, think about your perfect customer. Whenever I use my ideal customer, the avatar is a live person, his name is Dave. I love Dave, I wish Dave on every other vendor in the world, because Dave is awesome. And whenever I’m thinking about it, I’m like, “Would Dave respond to this?” Is this message impactful for the Dave’s that I’m trying to attract? Is he actually going to benefit from hearing this? Because make no mistake, when you have a customer base out there, and you’ve loaded them in with the bait on the hook, they’re going to ask you how you did it, they’re going to ask more details about your business. They’re just not going to care.
Until you can solve their problem, you’ll get the chance to talk about the fact that you’re family owned and operated. And you graduated from Babson or you graduated from Harvard, he graduated from the moon, or you are an astronaut. You get a chance to say all that stuff. But what you have to first do is in your messaging; they’re very, very clear that you can solve their problem. You can solve their problem in this way. And we’re cool, you’re going to want to come to us. If you don’t tell them what to do, and if you don’t tell them why you’re a benefit to them, you’ve lost.
There’s so many messages up, think about how many times you interact with marketing, whether you want to or not, on a daily basis. Whether it’s on social media, on your laptop, on your gas cap when you’re gassing up your car. There’s always a spot that’s like, “Buy from me, buy for me, 10% discount, blah, blah, blah.” You haven’t solved my problem. I’m not interested in hearing anything about you yet. You have to solve a problem first.
Number four is medium. Where are you going to put your message? I’ll tell you right now, if your medium is targeting millennials, and your product targets the 55 and over crowd, then I’m telling you right now, it’s not going to work. Please do not advertise your 55 and over communities on Instagram. It’s not going to get it done. It’s not where they are. It’s not where they’re hanging out. Now, you advertise that on Fox News. Fox is where it’s at. That’s their jam. They love it over there. They love themselves some Tucker Carlson. If he’s still on that show. I have no idea.
Number five is money. I told you we’ve got to get to money, or the promise doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Every successful business owner has to be money conscious. But you gotta ask yourself, if you’re a startup or if you’re a small business, and you don’t have a lot of cash, you’re going to market in one of two currencies. One is money. The other one is time. If you have the time, then go out and market for yourself. Get yourself some flyers, go out in front of the right kind of people, find that market, make sure you’ve got the right message, and you’ve saved yourself some money right there.
But if that’s not going to get it done, if you’re at a point in your business where you’re very willing to trade your time for money, and you will spend money, then either hire a professional, make sure that you’re realistic about your budget, and make sure that you’re finding the right mediums for spending money. Please do not market in every medium. It’s not necessary. It’s costly, and it’s not going to work for you. Everyone asked me how much should I be spending on my marketing? And that’s the $64,000 question. But most of the time, if you’re a startup, I would say that you need to look into about 15% of your gross annual revenue. If you are not a startup, if you’re an established business, look into 5-8% of your gross annual revenue on marketing. If you can come in lower than that, more power to you.
Number six, manage is the next one. Here’s the thing, if you could automate your marketing, this is more of the digital space. But if you can automate your marketing, and make it more effective, do so. If you have to make sure that you’re paying attention to all of those different mediums, please do not start a Facebook page, if you cannot keep up with it. Please do not put one ad in one newspaper, and not pay attention to how well that did. You need to make sure that you’re managing. Is it making money, is it keeping your customers happy, and keeping them informed? Those are the two things that you need to look for. If it’s not making you money, cut it quick.
The only other thing that I would say about that is give it some time, give it three to six months, depending on the medium. But if you realize that after that time, it’s not working for you… Look, make sure you’re targeting the right market, you’re on the right medium, your message is correct. If those things are working, then you have to ask yourself if this is the right medium for you, and cut it loose.
Number seven is measure, and this ties very closely to manage. Make sure that you’re paying attention to how many leads you’re getting. So maybe it’s working. It’s not working phenomenally well, if you have three different mediums running. And I know for example, podcasts typically work very well for lots of different kinds of businesses. One of the most effective ways that you can market out there is straight up inside of a podcast. With that said though, you can very easily track how many hits that you get once the podcast was downloaded. Make sure you’re measuring how many things are happening with each medium that you’ve got. Make sure you’re measuring each one. Because if you’re not measuring, then you’re just losing money. So those are the seven right there.
You can download this actual little PDF that we’re talking about at TrishSaemann.com/seven. Or you can follow me on DishwiTrish on Instagram. Or you follow me on LinkedIn which is you know, of course Trish Saemann, that’s where I am. That’s where I live on the inter webs.