Find Your Audience: How to Grow Sales with Digital Media

This Old New Business Podcast with Jeff KorhanThis is Episode 05 of This Old New Business weekly business podcast with Jeff Korhan.

Do you often wish that media experts would just share a few of their better practices so you could adapt them to your business?

Then join me and Ryan Hanley as we discuss some of the techniques he successfully used as Director of Marketing for a local insurance agency, many of which I also used when operating my landscaping business.

This is one reason why Ryan made the comment that we get along so well because “we came out of the same soup of doing this in the real world.”

It’s true. We will indeed prove that what’s old is new again, while also discussing how any business can make that transition to this digital, social, and global environment.

You will learn how content marketing, social media, and email marketing really work – and why so many companies fail to get the ROI they expect from them. Hint: You need to find the right mix of all three.

Our Featured Guest: Ryan Hanley

Ryan Hanley is a consultant, speaker, the host of the Content Warfare Podcast, and soon to be published author of Content Warfare. He helps brands and businesses find their audience, tell their story, and win the battle for attention online.

SEO is Answering Questions

Find Your Audience: How to Use Digital Marketing to Grow SalesOne of Ryan’s biggest successes within the insurance industry was using digital media to answer the questions that customers shared with him.

He accurately points out that contrary to popular belief, Google doesn’t have any of the answers. You do! That’s why Google wants you to be using your digital media to publish answers to relevant questions so that it can attached them to the right questions, which are the search queries of your prospective buyers.

Read more about how Ryan implemented his plan here, and learn why this is so relevant to optimizing for Google search.

Digital Media is the Missing Piece

Companies that for whatever reason feel social media is not for them are missing out on conversations that their competitors are having with buyer, influencers, and others in the community. Ryan points out the day will come when they will be left behind.

He says that the conversations are already happening on and offline, and digital media is the missing piece that transcends both. As I consider the first 5 guests of this podcast, I first met 4 of them online before eventually meeting them all offline too.

Jill Konrath is the only one I first met in person. But guess what? I knew of her reputation first from digital media. One of the big frustrations with social media is that it does not lead to sales. Ryan emphatically concurs, as have earlier guests of This Old New Business. He suggests going to media with a purpose.

First Find Your Audience

Content WarfareThe true value of the respective social media channels is finding and building your audience.

The conversion of that attention and trust into profitable outcomes is more likely to happen with email marketing.

The misconception is that social media leads to sales.

Ryan says, “Email marketing is what leads to sales. You can target with valuable messages that improve lives and build brand loyalty. That’s what leads to sales.”

Lighting Round Tips and Advice

Ryan’s Top Sales or Marketing Advice – Build the relationship first –  before you ask for the sale. It’s not rocket surgery but it works.

His Favorite Productivity Tip – Turn off distractions (email, social media, mobile phone, etc) when you sit down to write. An hour writing undistracted is worth four with distractions.

A Quote that has Inspired Ryan’s Success – “Screw it, let’s do it.” Richard Branson

Key Take-Aways

  • The true value of social media is finding your audience.
  • Answering questions is the best use of digital media.
  • Digital media is the communication vessel that transcends the conversations that are happening on and offline, with each making the other stronger.
  • Here’s the Exact Target Audience Growth Survey Ryan mentioned
  • Learn more about Ryan at
  •  Download a sample of Ryan’s new book Content Warfare

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How is your business adapting its selling practices to an environment where buyers have new expectations?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

Elevate Your Business Growth Practices to The Web

Web Quality

Business consultants, coaches, and authors are fond of admonishing that what got you here won’t get you there.

Their reasons often stem from their desire to teach you their methods, thereby helping you to break free from your past.

The flaw in this reasoning is your past is precisely what got you here. Why would you want to abandon that?

It should be obvious that digital technologies, the Internet, and especially the social web, are responsible for much of the upheaval in our current business environment. Therefore, the true challenge is simply adapting to all of it.

What got you here will indeed get you there, provided you learn how to move your proven business growth practices to the social web. 

Learning  to translate your business growth to the web is vital, for the simple reason  that the web is now central to ever business – and its customers.

Therefore, start with understanding the core components of your current business model. That good old foundation is still solid. Now let’s find out how to make it more relevant.

The Marketing Driven Business

If you were a successful marketer before the Internet, you can be successful today, regardless of your affinity for technology. The distinction is recognizing that the marketing that works these days is much more than pure advertising or promotion.

The one thing every marketing driven business needs to learn is that today they are teachers first.

Your marketing must have a content marketing component that educates your communities, thereby teaching them how to be better buyers. That is what you promote – the value that precedes or is associated with your products and services.

If smart marketing brought you business to its current level, that should be your focus for moving it to the next one.

Nearly every person and business is using social media in some way. The trick is understanding that it is essential to bring great content to if. Without solid educational content marketing to back up your social media, your business is pretty much dead in the water.

The Sales Driven Business

Are you someone that passionately cares about helping people? If so, then this business environment is perfect for you.

Legendary sales trainer Zig Ziglar was known to say there are no “born salespeople.” What he meant was selling is a skill, and that means it can be learned by anyone that cares enough to help their customers.

One thing sales professionals need to learn today is that social marketing is a new way of selling.

The process of freely giving of your time to help your customers by answering their questions can now be accomplished with online media. Your sales team has been doing this for years; they only need to bring those skills and experience to this digital platform.

Selling ultimately comes down to one-on-one conversations, and bringing those stories online serves to give them greater reach for connecting the dots to new buyers.

The Production Driven Business

For some mainstream businesses their work is their marketing. It speaks for itself. This describes the company that I sold my landscape business to, and is one of the reasons I sold to them. Their production efficiencies married nicely with our sales and marketing strengths.

Can you amplify the quality of your work online? Absolutely. Using Pinterest and Facebook to not only capture the beauty of the finished product, but also the methods and practices for creating it is powerful.

One thing every business should be doing is creating shareable, visual, digital objects that instantly capture the nature of their work. Those visual media objects speak for themselves, just as your work does.

There are more social media channels, tools, and methods than any business (large or small) could possibly use, so don’t even attempt to keep up. Instead, seriously consider the strengths that you already know are responsible for bringing your business this far.

Now consider how to best adapt them to how the trending, social web. For example, Twitter moves fast and is probably not the best channel for buyers to soak up all of the finer details of photos that profile your best projects.

Match the digital medium with the message and the messenger – your business.

How about leaving a comment about how this transition is working for you?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, helps mainstream small businesses create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth. Get more from Jeff on LinkedInTwitter and Google+.

Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)

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