Holding the Guinness record for the most interviews given in 24 hours, Jess Todtfeld is indeed one of the leading communication and media training authorities in the US. As a media ambassador, Jess has morethan fifteen years as a media trainer and consultant and helps CEOs, business executives, spokespersons, public relations representatives, experts and authors to become more confident, more in control, and to create more results from their speaking engagements and media appearances. Stephanie Joanne is an online business mentor who works with the world’s most passionate entrepreneurs to build the business of their dreams, even when they’re not 100% sure what the dream is or how to get there. She focuses on helping businesses make money consistently and constantly by leveraging online marketing.
We have Jess Todtfeld and Stephanie Joanne here. Jess, you’ve probably seen them everywhere because he’s produced a lot of cool shows in the past. He’s the creator of MediaAmbassador.com. He’s a media trainer and a speaker. Stephanie Joanne is a lot of fun too. She’s a personal branding and business coach. She’s a business consultant and a speaker. They’re both going to talk about how to get known.
Listen to the podcast here
The Life Of A Media Ambassador with Jess Todtfeld
I am here with Jess Todtfeld who is one of the leading communication and media training authorities in the US. With more than fifteen years as a media trainer and consultant, he helps CEOs, business executives, spokespersons, public relations representatives, experts, and authors to become more confident, more in control, and to create more results from their speaking engagements and media appearances. He has been everywhere. You still hold the Guinness record for the most interviews given in 24 hours. Is that right Jess?
I just might, yes.
I’ve got to give you credit for that. That had to be brutal.
It was fun. It was a lot in 24 hours, so it’s just a lot of coffee and staying up.
I was hoping to see you at the Harrison’s Publicity Summit in New York, but I didn’t get a chance because you were there working with them that day before I got in. There are so many people that could use your advice for how to either get TV appearances, how to become authentic in their interview or how to have control of the media interviews. Those were the things I wanted to talk to you about, but I wanted to get a background on you. Who are you? Can you give us some background?
I’m a former TV producer. I was a producer for thirteen years at the national level. I worked with ABC, NBC, and Fox and I did do some on-air stuff along the way and then transitioned into running my own company, which is technically a communication training firm. Essentially, it falls into two categories, which is media and speaking. Whether it’s presentations or business pitches on the speaking side or any type of media speaking, my special angle on it is to show people how to profit. That’s basically the business and I get to be out all around speaking and training and helping folks wherever they need help. It’s great, it’s fun, I get to meet people from all different walks of life and learn about their businesses. I’m lucky and blessed to be able to do what I do.
You’ve done a lot of amazing things and since you brought up the TV producer thing, what is the difference between producing and being executive producer?
It’s all basically key grip. All these titles, which the key grip field is an electrician. I tell some friends and family all the time and they say, “We see supervising producer and line producer.” They throw that producer phrase around a lot. It could be somebody as a segment producer, maybe they produce pieces of the show. The executive producer usually is the top person. It’s like how in a company, everybody’s VP of something. There are lot of titles. A line producer is usually in the control room. It’s all these titles and I’ve been out of it for more than a decade. Nowadays everybody has ten jobs, they’re pulling on them anyway. Their content writers are now content producers and they’re like, “No, I’m a writer. No, you’re producing content. You record your phone call and we’ll turn it into a podcast and we’ll turn it into this.” The other thing, which ultimately is good news for the rest of us because they need our help, they need to hear from us. They need to have this insatiable need for content. The cool thing is all that helps the rest of us with businesses and something to say.
It’s the same thing, the C-Suite, where you get all these titles. We get all these things and it gets confusing. You worked within so many aspects of the production and as far as all these networks, and I was looking at some of the companies where you’ve trained, IBM, JP Morgan, AARP, USA Today, LinkedIn, looking at this list, it goes on and on and on. You’ve got this great experience and I know you were helping people at the New York summit to learn how to get in front of these big, NBC, ABC, different shows. I know there were some great shows there as far as the Today Show and different entities were all there, and you were helping people to do what exactly, to learn how to put their pitch together.
At top of that, I was helping people be able to connect with the media and at least get what we’re doing today. Getting an interview, here we are. The other piece that they didn’t realize I was giving them was I was giving them a strategy for turning it into more business. I’m going to reveal to everybody my secret strategy. It’s help the audience, Help as much as you can. Then the people who are the right people who say, “I’d like to work with this person,” will now say, “If that’s how much I got while listening or tuning in or whatever it is, then I’ll go seek them out.” That’s the secret crazy strategy, give and give and be super helpful and support and then they’ll say, “What’s the next step?” I was showing that to those folks as well as how to breakthrough and write their pitches and based off of my whole program of what I did to set the Guinness record for publicity. For that one was 112 different radio stations in 24 hours. I’ve done pretty much every major US TV network and somewhere between 50 and 100 newspapers. I keep busy.
I’ve got four hours of this. I can’t imagine 100 whatever. That’s a lot.
It is and you’ve got other stuff that you do.
I do. I still teach for 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in universities. I’m writing a book, doing a lot of other things right now in addition to speaking and everything else I do. I feel your pain with that, what that day would have been like.
I’m actually looking at doing a television show. I’m doing a lot of different things. A lot of what you do fascinates me. I was looking at the one page that they were having everybody create for that event and different shows are interested in when you get on their show. A lot of people here have written books, they’re trying to get on ABC, NBC, Fox, different networks, CNN, whatever, the different networks to see. The one page that I was looking at was good for certain things, but maybe not for like for my show, if anyone’s listening.
What I like to know is what you’ve done as far as your public appearances. He was a producer for NBC, ABC, Fox. If I’m looking at an author, are they a New York Times bestseller or are they Wall Street Journal bestseller or the public household name? Those are the people who have great stories. I get a lot of people who contact me that they don’t even have the subject matter that what my show is about. They might be a health person or this is a business success story. What advice do you give people who say they want to get on The Today Show or The View or some of the big names that were at that event where you and I went. Is the one sheet enough? Is it more what you say when you talk to them and when you’re in front of them, what’s the biggest factor?
To everybody, Diane was giving some clues because she was talking about being on the receiving end of pitches for her show. Step one is it’s got to have a good hook. For most people, they’re one sheet and I’m doing air quotes. One sheet is I have to tell everybody, the air quotes is basically a press email that would be sent out for most people. I would put it in the body of the email. For the event, it was face-to-face, so people needed to hand something off and put the main information. Step one, there has to be a story headline or hook, something that grabs them so that they say, “I like that story.” That has to be first.
It can’t be just hard shelled, “Has done this. He’s done that, he’s done the other day.” Nobody cares until we know what the story is. Once we’re in love with the story, “I liked that story. Who is this person? Do they have some credentials or credibility?” I had a book that was a Wall Street Journal bestseller. That one was called Secret to Foolproof Presentations. The newest one is the Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course. That one was number one on 25 different Amazon lists in four different countries and people also say, “It’s so good to be an Amazon bestseller.” It’s about getting it in front of as many people as possible ultimately, however you do that with speaking on interviews, sharing it with your right fit clients, with doing bundle deals. They’ll always be somebody who snickers about something of this and that. The original question is how do we get the interviews and what gives us that credibility too?
Even if people are ready and they don’t have that yet, they can say, “I’m a college professor for twenty years on this topic.” That’s some level of credibility. Or, “I went to the school of hard knocks and I learned this the hard way, and this is what I achieved,” or “I turned this into a six-figure business.” It doesn’t have to be a seven-figure, it depends what your picture, but there has to be at least a few lines for the media person to say, “You have some level of credibility” and it doesn’t have to necessarily be a book every time or a best-selling book or whatever it is because look, we’re going to create our own limiting steps and then we’re not going to pitch it. We’re going to say, “I wrote the book finally, but the book wasn’t a New York Times best seller, so I’m just going to hide in the corner.” No, picture it. Somebody’s going to say yes. It may not be The Today Show or may be The Today Show.
I have a guy who came to me. He said he got a six-week thing on The Today Show. They were going to interview him about exercise over six weeks. He got in touch with me and he said, “I’m freaking out because I’ve got no business off of this.” I watched the other interviews and there was no call to action, nobody knew what to do next. That’s the secret I’m sharing with you right now. It’s not just, “Buy my stuff, go get my stuff.” That’s not a good call to action. You need to share stuff with people so as they say like, “I’ve got to remember which stuff I should share today, and I’ll share something, I’ll think of it.” You’ve got to share things with people ideally even for free, so they go to your website, they opt in. That is a big secret on how to do this right.
It was challenging to come up. I was talking to some of the people with that group about some of the story ideas. I remember one of the pitch ideas that I was playing around with was the good news about fake news. It was how curiosity helps build critical thinking or something that’s tied into my curiosity. It was fun and you come up with that, but if somebody sent that to me for my show, I’m not looking for the hook as much for my show as much as the story, I want to know more about them. I think radio interviews are a little bit different, but television, it depends on the show. This is a business show, so do we have to get super creative or can you just be an expert? How do you get to be that expert? Let’s say I want to be the go to for NBC, a business show or CBS or CNN or some business show in general, how do I get their attention? Do you have to give them the cute hook ideas like that? Can you just say, “I’ve taught more than a thousand business courses? You need me to be your business expert.”
As far as the hook and how it relates to all this and even for radio, for me that’s the type of thing that grabbed somebody in the headlines. There’s still going to have the following. You’re saying, “If I’m going to talk to somebody for more than three minutes, your show’s much longer. Can it sustain the conversation?” You want to know the rest of the story, which is okay, it should be there and same with the CNBC to get in as the recurring contributor, you have to get into the rotation. So first they have to start relying on you and leading on you. We’ve got to break through the first time and each time you have to say, “How would I make this a killer interview? How can I make it so that they say, “This was so good? You gave so much value to our audience. We’ve got to bring you back and you’ve got to be easy to work with and you’ve got to make their life easy.” You’re talking about the one sheet or the press email, they say, “We’re thinking about you for this topic.” You write back and say, “Here are ten bullet points of what I’d say in the role, really exciting things that people hadn’t seen.” They say, “She’s so easy to work with. Get down here.”
Then you’ve got to do that for some period of time before they have the conversation of, “How can I be an ongoing contributor,” or even planting the seed somewhere along the way of, “I want to do a really good job. I would love to be an ongoing contributor” and then they’ll let you know. Is that something that they are going to pay people to do? I used to level with people and say, listen, you’re a nutritionist where we have money for contributors for military experts because we want to lock down some general. I will tell you they’re not going to do it for nutritionist on the news channel. They’re not going to do that but they’ll lockdown some political strategist who has something really exciting and interesting to say, which is not to say that some magazine won’t do that. That might be really exciting for them to lock you down. It’s an ongoing process. Give value.
I used to be a contributor for Investopedia and they paid me to do that. Not all these are paid type of events and a lot of them people don’t expect to get paid but they want to just have the exposure. That’s the big issue for some of them, but they don’t know who to contact and how to go about it. There’s so many names, if you go to the website, there’s this editor, there’s that person, there’s this producer. How do you know who to contact? Let’s say I want to get on the local television stations in my area, who do I contact?
It’s like the question you had for me before, which is, there’s always weird producer titles. Ultimately. if somebody has called booker or segment producer, that’s a good chance that that’s the person who’s going to be booking you. When you brought up the executive producer, one of the ways that I set the Guinness record for publicity was I sent an email to the top person who normally is not the person who is the one who’s booking. This is what I learned from being on the inside. Sometimes people would send a story pitch to the president of the news channel I was working at. The president’s busy with running the business of keeping shareholders happy and all the rest of it. Would see this and the email would be printed out because they’re a little bit older and they have to have that regular email printed out. I would kill so many trees every day if I did that. They would look at it and say, “Maybe this is something that the morning show wants to do.” They take a post-it and write on it, “Maybe this is something you want to book.”
By the time it got forwarded over to us, we would read it this way, “Maybe this is something you want to book.” We were staring at it and say it came from the president’s office. I tested this theory out by taking whatever the worst pitch I could find. There was something goofy about, it was hard news day and it was something about face creams, which I’m sure will be right for the right type of thing. I put a post it on it saying, “Maybe this is something you want to book.” I put it on our executive producer’s desk and I wanted to see what he would say, and he looked at it and I could see his body language. He slumped down like, “We’ve got to do that.” He looked around and made eye contact with me to go, “Jess, can you call on this?” Then I started laughing saying, “I want to see if you would just play and do it,” and he’s like, “I would, that’s my boss.” That’s a little secret for breaking through. Reach out to people with each of those titles because it’s more chances of making something happen.
I just assume if it went to the president, I think that it’s next.
I don’t do it every time and I’m sure they must say next. In radio, I’ve had a lot of success by going to people’s bosses and I think smaller teams in radio stations versus, when you work to the news channel, there were 800 people there at that time.
Our audience, they have books, they have their speaker reels, their brag reels, everybody calls it different things. What do you suggest people put in their reels? When you’re looking at these potential ideas as a producer of a show or who you want to have on as a guest or whatever, are you looking at their reel?
Back when I was a producer, we had no online video yet. YouTube came out in 2005. Officially, I left in 2007. I started my business in late 2003, I was straddling both. People would send this either DVDs and VHS tapes and all of that and we would look, but we were looking for the reason of can they put a sentence together? Is there anything that’s too weird about the way they look. It wasn’t a beauty contest, although eventually it did become a beauty contest and it was part of the thing, I’ve had enough of this. I don’t want that to discourage people because every one of us is like, “I don’t look like Brad Pitt or Angie, Ariana Grande, whoever the latest person is.” The good news is there’s room for everybody, but what should we put in there especially some folks in the audience are people who want to get booked for this. This is a piece of my business too helping speakers to grow their business.
For the videos, the one you’re referencing is an intro video that plays before I get onstage, which is slash bio video about my biography, who I am. It shows stuff that I did on camera. There was a thing that I did once where I was outside and interviewing all these wacky people and I was called across the street corresponded for show I worked on and this guy had this weird toupee and he was giving me permission that it was on there as a goof and he’s showed up at our show and stuff that we’re doing outside. It was something where we were outside because they said it was the hottest day of the year and they sent me outside. This guy was one of the people on the street and he was saying something about lifting up his hair and then I said, “Can I blow it off?” I said before it, “Can I blow it off with this hose?” He’s like, “Yeah.” I did that and it was very funny and I could hear my earpiece, everybody in the studio laughing and going crazy and all this stuff. It was a great moment.
As far as video, there are a few different videos that help us. We need to have video of us in action, whatever walk of life, what we’re doing. As speakers, we need to have us onstage and ideally at the type of venue where we want to get booked for. If it’s a big venue, I have a different video of me at the big venues and doing different types of speaking. I have one that’s a little bit more motivational and that’s a bigger one that helps get me bigger keynotes or closing keynotes. I have a different one that focuses more on the skills pieces, that one focuses on the media stuff that we’ve been talking about. I have another one that focuses on the program I do called Speak to Close, which is basically how salespeople can use speaking techniques to close more business. They see some of the real details of what it is that they’re going to be getting. Before people start saying, “I need nineteen videos,” essentially you need the one video showing you in action. You don’t have to go crazy with all the editing.
The one thing that meeting planners and speaker bureaus tell us over and over, at least I’ve interviewed them. They say it over and over, is they are tired of the first two-minute lead up of the flashy music. Mine still has music by the way. It’s music and graphics and all these people saying, you’re so great. They’re just like I said earlier with the emails that come in, they don’t care about that until they’ve seen you do your thing. They need to see you in action saying something that maybe they haven’t heard yet that makes you unique. Then they care about the other stuff and the media interviews and the testimonials that you have on there.
That’s all great and second, but that’s the cardinal sin. People don’t lead with that. Once you’ve had that, now you can start thinking about, “Should I have a shorter video that maybe I can use as an introduction video when I’m up on stage?” That’s a great way to get paid more money because they say, “Most people don’t have that.” When they see you’ll come onstage and there’ll be this video, I will say in the process of closing business, “Here’s the video that I use as part of the introduction before I come on stage,” and then they say, “It’s impressive in some way, but it tells the story.” Most of the time, people come up, your intro is going to say they read a boarding intro.
Your intro was perfect because it was short and sweet and here are a couple of relevant details of why you should care about Jess and then, “Let’s start talking.” Fantastic, as opposed to, “I’m going to read a four-minute long bio, and everybody will glaze over.” That’s the usual. There’s a third video, just a throw in for people just to add extra value here, which is your full program somewhere on YouTube or wherever you put it. You should have your full program and there’s always a debate from people and speakers. They may not want to book me, they’ll see my whole thing. No, they’ll see a snippet, but then they may say, “I want to watch more,” and chances are, they’re going to watch maybe a few minutes.
Wayne Dyer, who passed away, was an amazing bestselling author and spiritual guide. He used to say to his publishers, “Give as much away as we can.” They say you can’t record his event. He used to put it as contract. No, you must record it, share it with your people. He said, “What’s going to happen? Only good stuff will happen.” They’re going to say, “I love this. Get them back.” What else can we do? The same for the rest of us. That’s what you’re doing with your show. You’re letting people, in my opinion, fall in love with what you do and what you share. They can say, “Does she have books? She has books. Can she be speaker of event? Bring more of that.”
It is fun to look at everybody’s videos to see what they come up within years. I love the humor in yours and that that can add a lot. I’ve done so many different ones. You have some that are more serious. You have some that are more motivating. It depends on who you’re giving it to and what they’re looking for. I thought that yours was very funny and I love that. Barbara Eden must have been fun and some of the other people you were interviewing,
Barbara Eden, I Dream of Jeannie. Back in the day, I sit back in the day because I look young, so those clips, I think I was 22, my kids look at videos I did six years ago and they’re like, “Better re-record that one.” I was re-recording stuff. We’re still alive anyway. It was nice to back then I got to do a lot of celebrity interviews and be out there and that was one of the fun ones where I said we’re going to do it where we make it look like we both disappear. She did the whole I Dream of Jeannie moves and then we walked out and as long as the camera’s locked down you can cut to then us out of the shot. It really looked like she disappeared at every. Both of us did. I said something like, “Do you still have it? Can you still do it? Is the magic in you?” She got a kick out of that.
This has been so much fun. So many people could learn so much from you and I wish you would share all your sites and information for people so that if they want to know more, they can contact you.
My main site is SuccessInMedia.com. I should give away some free thing. Here it is with or without a call to action. Without a call to action is media training toolkit. That’s how you can get a bunch of cool things. You don’t even have to opt in but with the call to action, some modeling, something people can do in interviews or in general, which is go through media training toolkit so you can get top ten lists on all different types of interviews, radio, TV, blogger, internet interviews.
They’re all there and something even cooler is you don’t even have to opt in. I’m going to buck the system and not forced you to give me your email address unless you want even more stuff. Then there’s a way to sign up for that. Go over, that’s a call to action. Go over there, check that thing out and I’ll plug another one on the speaker training side, MagneticSpeaker.com. I’ll say it as a call to action. Go over there and check it out. You can see stuff that we’re doing. It’s helped people. We’ve all heard, “Give and you shall receive,” which is great. It’s from some book, I think it was the Bible. It was an Amazon bestseller too. What I like to say is, give to give. You might receive stuff, but if you go out there and you just give to give for the sake of giving, you’re not going to have that feeling like when we hold the door open for someone and they don’t say thank you. Give to give. You’re just happy I did that, put good stuff out in the world.
Thank you Jess, it has been so much fun. I enjoyed it.
It was great. You have a wonderful show. I’m glad I got to be on it.
It was fun.
Building The Business Of Your Dreams with Stephanie Joanne
I am here with Stephanie Joanne or SJ as she’s called. She’s an online business mentor. She works with the world’s most passionate entrepreneurs to build the business of their dreams, even when they’re not 100% sure what the dream is or how to get there. She’s been worthy. They are now obsessed with an idea of feeling lost and financially freaking out, trying to get the thing off the ground and she leaves the fluff to the other guys and instead of doing 8 million things at once, she focuses on helping businesses consistently make money. It’s so nice to have you here. Do you like to be called SJ?
I respond to all of the above: SJ, Stephanie, Steph.
I was very fascinated by your website, it’s very fun. You have an interesting layout. It’s very appealing. I could see it would appeal to a lot of younger people, but do you work with all generations? Who’s your typical customer?
The branding stuff in the website. That’s feedback that I get a lot. It’s going through a whole rebrand because this was something that evolved with me as I grow. I always say as an entrepreneur, it’s like I’m Miley Cyrus. I’m allowed to grow up, I’m allowed to evolve, and my audience will just roll with me and people, they get that, and they appreciate that. My audience, I attract people who get me. I have clients that are probably in their late teens all the way up to 60, but it’s people that liked my style. One thing I do is there are a lot of people that I’m sure that don’t vibe with my style because they’re just more casual. It’s more need showing up as I am. A lot of people don’t like spelling errors or think it’s a little bit too raw or don’t think it’s a corporate or professional enough. I really pride myself and getting that feedback because what that does then is really attract to hold other people that are like, I like how you’re just doing your thing.
It’s a real eye catcher. I really like it. Your half Dutch, half Chinese. I’m looking all around badass. It’s an interesting setup and it does show that you’ve got a lot of fun too. You have some great testimonials and I usually don’t bring up people’s websites because they don’t attract me like this one does. What I’m looking at is StephanieJoanne.com. You said you can help you launch your online business. What do you mean by online business? Are you just dealing with the online version? Are you helping them with the business? What are you doing exactly?
In today’s marketing landscape, whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, we have to leverage online marketing. This is wherever you want, that’s where the eyeballs are. There are a lot of traditional offline businesses that’ll come to me. Even if you’re a service base on your offline, we have to leverage online marketing. We can’t rely on word of mouth referrals or the typical offline stuff. It so painful when I see people, they come into school and then let’s say it’s offline service provider, they get the business cards, they print the flyers and they go to the conferences and they find the booth at the trade show and they’re putting their money into those kinds of things. It’s like, when you have online marketing, it’s a whole other world. It’s where you spend your marketing dollars, it’s so much more targeted. We can build our own audiences without having to invest media buys or all these other things that maybe we have to focus on 10 years ago. It really is anyone who is looking to make money in today’s marketing landscape. For me, that has to include online regeneration and online sales process.
You bring up a lot of interesting points. I’ve taught so many classes, I’ve taught more than a thousand business courses and a lot of them had been in marketing and I wrote a brand publishing course when I was at Forbes school of business. I’ve worked with Forbes with their brand publishing and all of the things that is very challenging to people to know what the next thing is, how to reach customers and the way they want to be reached in a specific way. You mentioned some of the old ways of doing things with the booths and the cards and all that. Do you think we need to do some of these old things still or do you think we should just focus primarily online and where do we spend the money and how do you know?
My opinion is going to be my opinion based on my success in my experience, but it depends on what kind of business you’re running and of course your budget. Do you have a team? Are you a solopreneur? Are you a personal brand? When I started, I didn’t have that; a couple of thousand dollars to invest. I was a personal trainer and then I would take the personal training dollars and I would invest that into Facebook ads then slowly, you have something going on to make some money to grow the online business. The cool thing is the part that you can really quantify your audience. If you’re getting a lead, now you have your own audience of people that you can tap into all the time.
It’s where I would spend the marketing dollars is generating your own leads and getting their brand out there to the right people. Let’s say you’re printing flyers, you’re getting a booth at a trade show or you’re buying a piece, a piece in a magazine or something like that. You’re putting yourself like you’re putting your brand out there for all of these different people to see and the chances that you have a high percentage of your ideal target, like the ideal person that can actually want to buy your stuff. It’s so much smaller when you can go on social media advertising and you can target people specifically that you’re spending your dollars to acquire the right lead. It’s so much more effective.
Really nice, the way they’ve made it. You can be very specific. I love that because we never had that. I’ve been doing this for many, many years. I’ve seen every single way that we’ve had to reach people and I think that a lot of people don’t feel comfortable with all the social media aspect and the smaller entrepreneurs and I know you’ve probably deal with a lot of people because I saw you, you said you helped people graduate from hobbyist to real deal business owner. You probably deal with people often who are just starting out. You’ve probably dealt with all levels. Are you dealing with people who have been in business for a long time as well?
The people that have been in business for a long time that come to me, they are feeling the pressure to get online. They’re feeling that their stuff isn’t working anymore. Traditional ways of marketing are not working. Everyone’s going online and then usually the online space is some big black box for everybody. It’s overwhelming when you don’t know what to do, when you don’t know where to start. The key thing is really keeping it simple. A lot of people want to jump out of the gates and they’re looking at all these stuffs and you can add all the bells and whistles. You can go down a deep rabbit hole and completely nerd out for a day on all the things that you have to do and feel less like completely overwhelmed and nothing gets done. To simplify, one thing at a time is really the way to go.
It really is incredible. Many people come to me and they’re like, “I’m not techie, I don’t know this online stuff. You kids.” I like it when people say that and they’re like, “It’s not something I can do, and I don’t like. I don’t even know what you’re talking about.” It’s one of these things that when you dive in and when you slowly start one thing at a time, I always tell them like, “You’re officially a nerd now. You’re talking my language and you’re not even recognizing it.” It’s one of these things, it sounds intimidating, but once you dive in, it’s a lot of fun.
It can be. I love it. I sold computers, I have a techie background and some people they do, they get completely intimidated by this and I think a lot of people made some mistakes and I’m curious what the biggest mistakes you see people make in social media? What would be the biggest mistakes you’re seeing?
For me, when we say online marketing, in my world it doesn’t necessarily mean social media as a priority. Instagram and Facebook posts, all of that stuff is important, but I look at that stuff like it’s my brand. It’s important what people think of me and that’s the graphics and the images and all that stuff that I put out there. It’s so important for people to realize nowadays, like I have the same access to that real estate on social media that everybody else does. It’s a level playing field now, which is cool. The social media, the posting, Instagram filters and I’m trying to use hashtags and grow my following but all that stuff bogs people down and it’s so overwhelming because you feel like you’re a digital nobody.
All these brands are so far ahead and what is everybody doing. That stuff is cool, but it’s not necessarily going to make you money. I don’t look at social media necessarily as online marketing. When I look at online marketing, it is complex, has nothing to do with social media other than the fact that I’m using the social media platforms to advertise. I’m showing my ads on Instagram, on Facebook. I’m not really, if I’m just starting out, I’m not focusing on building my Instagram following. Right. There is a time for that and having that fluffy brand and all that stuff, that will help people converse that already know you. If you don’t have an audience and you don’t try to find the right filter and have the have the best lead, it’s not going to build you that audience. Where to start I think is really focusing on the back end, which is setting up a lead generation system and leveraging these social media platforms to build the audience.
People want to give away free things, smaller businesses. A lot of authors and speakers and consultants who are listening to this show. They’re all thinking, “If I give away this free content, people come to my site, I’ll get the money wherever, we’ll get them set up.” That’s how they think they’re going to get leads. What do you say to that?
If you’re giving something away for free, you have that figured out. That something you’re giving away for free, it has to be awesome. I see so many people creating these lead magnets or creating these things just for the sake of having a freebie. The internet is a little bit different these days than it was five years ago, in that giving away your email address is a big deal. Like nobody wants to just enter in their email address. You have to make sure that whatever you’re giving away is incredible. It is something that they should be paying for and it’s also going to be everyone’s first impression of your brand. If I’m giving my name and my email address for something, whether it is an e-book, a webinar, whether it’s a coupon or an enter to win or whatever it is that I’m giving my name and email address for and we’ve all done that to get something for free.
Whatever I’m getting on the other side has to impress me. It has to be memorable. It has to be something that is like, “Holy cow.” This was working my name and email address for because a lot of people get this wrong and then they, they give away something that I could easily download on Pinterest or find on YouTube. We don’t need more information. We need something that’s actually going to be valuable so that they’re going to continue opening up your emails and engaging with your brand. Having it done and making it really good is one thing. Really focusing on giving away something that’s going to put your brand and your business on the mark where if somebody get this, whether they consume it, whether they watch it, whatever they do with it, if they get this and they click that link in the email where you’re giving it to them, it separates you from the rest. It creates this experience of, wow, this person can help me, or the business can help me, or I like this vibe. Whatever it is, it has to create some feeling to put you on the map.
To answer your question there in terms of getting that freebie, putting it on your website or promoting it on social media, that’s great, that’s the passive stuff. A lot of people get this done and they’re like, I’ve got this freebie and it’s on my website. I’m done but It’s like where is the money? Ready to go, refresh pay pal account. If there’s no traffic to your website, then that’s not going to work. Even spending energy on blogging and all this stuff, it’s so painful. This is where social media advertising comes in because you can target your specific people. It is like you can get so specific with who you want to target, and you offer them that freebie. Essentially, my entire business skips my website. My website is one big business card for me. It’s not a lead generator. It’s not a money maker. It’s a business card.
That’s interesting because a lot of people don’t put as much thought into their website as they should. You were talking about a lot of things. I’m thinking of the lead generation thing and the freebies still because I have so many people, I’m in on other people’s shows like people are on my show. I noticed whenever I’m on somebody else’s show, they add me to their AWeber or whatever they’re using. Even though I’m not really opted in, just because I’m a lead to them I guess. I get on all these lists in every day, they get something from somebody that just this long bit of content. It’s supposedly stuff that you would find useful but a lot of it is just, to me, spammy. How do you contact your database of people in a meaningful way without doing that? Because everybody seems to do this. Every week you get something from somebody that just is a bunch of stuff. I just hit delete. I never look. Do you know what I’m saying?
It is hard to get the consumer’s attention these days. Another big mistake is that people think that we have to have millions of followers and thousands and thousands of email subscribers to make a lot of money. We just need to figure out what our style is and who our audience is and how we should communicate to them because when we cast a wide net and we try to do what everyone else is doing and we try to do the long emails, do the live, do the YouTube channel and get the podcast going, it’s too much. Better to really, really figure out who are your people? How do they like to consume information? This is where it’s nice to brainstorm and do what, “Who’s my avatar?” and all that stuff. When it comes down to it, I look at the numbers, I let the numbers do the talking.
If I’m doing something and if people are opening it and they’re engaging with it and they’re clicking it, that is where this type of content is working. I don’t look at it, I could put out something and think it’s the best thing ever because I stayed up all night and just completely keep it out and then did the videos and like ready to go thinking everyone’s going to love it and then it just bombed. The number’s telling me it didn’t resonate. It wasn’t as good as I thought it was. It’s just like, okay, that’s not what they want and then I try something different. It’s not always about what you’re saying. A lot of people go into this information overload. A lot of it is how you’re saying it.
I didn’t invent online marketing. I didn’t invent this stuff I’m teaching, I deliver it my way. It’s my style. People follow people they like and when they like you and when you know that you have common interest or if they like your style, you make them feel something. Even as a corporate identity, you don’t have to be a personal brand. Some people like those long emails. This is where as a marketer, if you’re finding success with these long weekly emails to your audience then keep them going. If the numbers are telling you that they’re working, keep them going. You can’t keep going unless they’re looking at the data and tweaking when it’s not working. If you’re on someone’s list and they’re sending you these long emails and I’m like, I don’t like this, this is a waste of my time, it’s spammy, we want people that don’t want our stuff off of our list. I just kicked me out. I keep it clean. I let the data tell me and I don’t take it personally when I’ve got an idea and I think it’s going to take off and the data tells me it’s not working. It’s like, okay, let’s try something else.
You brought up an interesting point because a lot of people don’t contact you to tell you they don’t like it. They just delete it and go on. How do you know?
I’m a bit of a nurse, so once you get going, it’s all numbers. We spend money in terms of advertising on these social media platforms to give people these freebies. We have to track the numbers every step of the way. My favorite thing about online marketing is that it’s never me. It’s like where is it broken? So maybe they didn’t want the freebie and I can tell based on if they’re not opting in. If people are landing on one page and they’re not opting in, then I can take a look and say okay, if they’re opting in at a rate that works for me, meaning the freebie is something they want. Then I can take a look and see, well are they opening up my email and if they’re not opening up my emails, then either I didn’t deliver what they thought I was going to deliver or my email stuck.
I need to work on notes. Then I need to take a look at are they engaging with my emails, are they clicking the link? I know this might sound a little bit fancy for anyone who’s like what is going on right now, but this is the stuff that your email software will tell you. These are reports that every single email provider will give you. You don’t have to calculate or go and count things, it’s all there for you. Any email software, if you’re using your AWeber, you can Google AWeber plus email reports and you’ll get the data of your open rates of your click rates of what’s happening. I can see what’s going on with certain emails and make a call based on, you find a trend pretty quickly. Then I run a report every single month with people that have not been engaged. If you haven’t engaged with my list in the last three months, if you haven’t opened an email or clicked anything, I’ll remove you from the list.
A lot of people need to do that and a lot of people just want to list no matter what and they’ll keep them on forever.
That’s to add a little bit of an ego boost because you have a huge list. It just decreases your open rate, it doesn’t give you the clean data that you need because you always want to be seeing what’s going on at any time in your business. These small percentage increases and decreases can really change the numbers when you’re talking thousands and thousands of people.
I get a lot of audience who’ve written books and they’re trying to build their following. A lot of them are trying to do all these kinds of stuff but they’re also trying to get Twitter followers. They’re trying to just get their platform bigger. For publishers to even look at you, you have to say, “I’ve emailed this many people on this list.” That’s why there are numbers that they require just to even look at your books and things like that. A lot of people keep people on the list for reasons like that. For Twitter for example, I think a lot of people got into Twitter early and they were able to build really fast early and then exponentially now they’re way up there. If you’re starting now and you wanted to build a Twitter following, let’s say you’re writing a book and you’re trying to get your name out there, what advice would you give someone?
Just to be completely transparent, Twitter has never been my focus. I just cross promoted a lot. If you have an audience in one place, we want to move them over to another. I’m constantly moving my audience. They’ll see me on Facebook, which is usually where it starts because that’s where I advertise. You can advertise on Twitter, on Google. I happen to advertise on Facebook. Once it starts on Facebook, the goal is to get them from Facebook as a platform because I don’t own those followers or that content. That is Mr. Mark Zuckerberg’s. All I can do is pay him to show something of mine to this audience that I have identified as my ideal audience. That’s all I can do on Facebook. The goal from there is to pull them off of Facebook into my own email list, so that I am able to send them an email. From these emails I will cross promote to Twitter, to Instagram, to my blog, to YouTube. This is where I then cross promote different platforms and then my content is repurposed from the not so automated stuff because that’s not something that I want to do forever. Over and over again, it really is consistency. I don’t hang out on social media all day. I don’t love it to be honest with you. I batch create. I sit there, and I locked myself in on a weekend and I just come up with content and I come up with a couple of months’ worth of content in a few days and I automate the whole thing.
What are you doing now? Like with Twitter, you repeat content, if you usually meet Edgar and you had everything set up to do it all the time, once it’s posted you can’t do it again.
There are definitely challenges. We just schedule. We have so much content. I have a team here, if I go live, they will repurpose the live into an email and then take some snippets from that email and then schedule it for all these different platforms. It’s a lot when you’re doing it one at a time. If you bang it all out in a day and just schedule, “Here are the different topics that I’m going to talk about. Let me shoot a video, from this video I’m going to pull things that I want to post to Instagram and Twitter.” It’s overwhelming at first but when you get into a system, you can really crank out a lot of content in a short amount of time.
I do a lot at once like what you were saying. A lot of us focus, you say to be where your customer is and a lot of us have our customers on LinkedIn. If our customers are on LinkedIn, but it’s not really a place where you feel like you can post a lot of Facebook more typical things. Would you suggest trying to get people from LinkedIn to switch over to Facebook for a different kind of experience or do you just stay with LinkedIn?
If your audience is on LinkedIn, what type of content works for LinkedIn? If you can take a look at what types of posts have performed well, then change your content to make sense for the platform. Then you can post on LinkedIn. I wouldn’t move them to Facebook because they’re happy hanging out and networking on LinkedIn. I would get them off of LinkedIn onto the email list. The email list is home based, when I’m on LinkedIn, I want them on my email list. From Twitter eventually on my email list, from Instagram on my email list, from Facebook to my email list, because when they’re on my email list, they’re now in my house.
I bring up the question because you can download everybody’s email who’s connected to on LinkedIn. Some people just started emailing people. What advise can you give those people?
They cannot do that. I’ll be honest, when I started this whole thing, I was like, “I’m going to get all my friends and everybody I know, and every personal training client and let me just have my email list because everyone’s talking about the number, about the size of the list.” I was obsessed with the email list. Then what you’re going to find is you’re going to be sending out your stuff to people that have not approved. It doesn’t feel good first of all. They’re not your people. It’s really hard to keep going at the level that you need to keep going at and keeping consistent, when you’re sending this stuff to people that they don’t care, and they’re not engaged. I don’t want to email someone who hasn’t asked for and doesn’t want to be receiving my emails. I tell them if this is not your thing and there is an unsubscribe below, I’ve highlighted it, hit it and I will not email you ever again.
You’ve given some great content information in how to reach your customers. A lot of people can learn a lot from what you said and thank you so much for doing that. I would like to have you share your links and everything because I think everybody, we mentioned your site, but please mention it again and how they can reach you.
Thank you so much for being on the show, Stephanie. It really was a lot of fun and I hope everybody takes time to look at your information.
Thanks for having me.
You’re welcome. Thank you to Jess and to Stephanie, what a great show. Please join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
About Jess Todtfeld
Jess Todtfeld, CSP, is one of the leading communication and media training authorities in the U.S. With more than 15 years as a media trainer and consultant, Todtfeld helps CEOs, business executives, spokespersons, public relations representatives, experts, and authors to become more confident, more in control, and to create more results from their speaking engagements and media appearances. He brings with him 13 years’ experience as a TV producer for NBC, ABC, and FOX, having booked and produced over 5,000 segments. Jess’ time in front of the camera includes features reporting, guest spots on national / international news programs, and hosting of “America’s Premiere Experts” and “Times Square Today” which has been broadcast on ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS affiliates in the U.S.
About Stephanie Joanne
Stephanie Joanne, SJ is an online business mentor, who works with the world’s most passionate entrepreneurs to build the business of their dreams — even when they’re not 100% sure WHAT the dream is or how to get there. She has been where they are: obsessed with an idea, feeling lost, and financially freaking as you try to get this thing off the ground. She also knows how amazing it feels to overcome the doubters and the naysayers and see your passion become a functioning empire.
- Jess Todtfeld
- Secret to Foolproof Presentations
- Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course
- Stephanie Joanne
- @StefJoanne – Twitter