said 7 months ago:
Denise, I think the most important words you wrote out of all of them were these:
“…outside sales in the technology hardware and software industry”
It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that 98% of the so-called “local marketing experts” are NOT successful because they don’t know what the heckle-doodles they’re doing when it comes to sales and measuring ROI for clients.
They may be experts in web design or video production or graphics or SEO, but the only skill you NEED to be successful in internet marketing, social media, social media marketing or whatever anyone wants to call it on any given day is… drumroll, please… SALES!!!!!!!!
Small business has always been risky, with far more failing within a year than succeeding, because they don’t understand that if you don’t have sales, you don’t have a business.
No one you sell to cares whether YOU are in expert in video or graphics or computer programming. They want to know YOU are a crack business professional and an expert in project management, direct response marketing, and what an acceptable ROI is — both what it means and how to ensure a good one occurs… for every dollar invested on each and every campaign. That really is everything you need to know.
Once you have the money in your hand, go hire your talent team. Don’t get hired by a talent team that’s going to pay you a commission or worse yet, that’s going to pay you a minimal salary. Eeeeck! You’re skills are too valuable. You KNOW how to sell!
Talent — whether in the graphic arts, computer arts, written arts, musical arts or video arts — are all just machine parts… just as they always have been. (Hey, I’ve done all these things, but only sales pay everyone’s bills. Nothing else does).Historically speaking, ad agencies and pr agencies who still have a grip on their businesses in this social media hyper-frenzied transitional paradigm shift… still know this to be true. And if they’re good business owners and managers, they’re taking the new spread between the devalued cost of providing “talent” for their clients’ promotional campaigns, making out like bandits, and taking it to the bank.
So if you’re having an internal debate over whether YOU need to specialize in one of the zillion micro-niches available today across the gamut of social media “tasks” that now need to be performed to carry out a “client” promotional campaign… STOP!!!!! LOL!!!! Seriously, stop! YOU have the most important skills a company or your company can have. Period!
You apparently have the HIGHEST skills needed to be successful in “social media.” My dear… you know how to get, please, and keep a client. And that is ALL YOU need to know. LOL!!!!
Hire your talent later. First, get the client and the money. Worry about the details later, lol. All a client wants is customers. Nope, that’s not even right. They want sales. That’s what you deliver to them. Not talent. If you could give them sales without customers directly, they would not give two cents for all the talent or talented social media experts in the world.
SEO may be your best trick, a sharp-shootin’ targeted direct mail piece shooting out the end of a big old loud tank of a bulk mail processing machine may be your best ammunition to capture and nab clients for them or a nice quiet automated auto-responder series of simple type-written emails sent to their own existing client list may get them sales without ever having to see or talk with a customer. The means and methods to getting those sales are in your big old magic ReSource bag of tricks, not in a promise of the latest thing “social media experts” have to offer. That really is the major disconnect between the reality of what local business clients really need and what “internet marketing” opportunists are trying to feed them.
The point here is… your client needs what they need to get a specific targeted ROI — hopefully more, but nothing less. You can wow them with all the social bells and whistles in the world… and I, for one, love bells and whistles and shiny objects galore… but your CLIENT? They want what they want… a healthy ROI… and they want to measure it… in dollars.
As a sales professional, you already KNOW this. Find out what THEY want, give it to them, measure what they gave you and divide it by what you give them… their ROI. It really is that simple, if you can forget about the bells and whistles… until they’re needed… and only IF they’re needed.
Simply put… you’re the kind of SALES expert they need, without any more specialization required. And you’re already in the top 2% of all social media / pr / advertising agencies out there because you are acutely aware that nothing happens until YOU sell it. So forget specialization, be the project manager and ReSource expert you already are, and job out the tasks to talent when and if they’re needed — if ever.
Waaaay too many words… but, just my thoughts… and years of experience speaking… Meaning… wish I had just stuck more with the sales and kept my artist endeavors to myself as a private hobby, lol!!!! I would have been more richly rewarded, for sure.