Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

I am Not a Social Media Expert July 14, 2009

Filed under: Tip of the Day,Unemployed — jenharris @ 10:10 am
Tags:

Actually, I really dislike the word “expert” when people describe me.  I love doing the behind the scenes work & making “stuff” happen.  A pat on the back (or a surprise cup of hot Chai Tea) usually is satisfaction enough for me.  (my husband would argue that being paid would be nice-that whole “time to pay the mortgage” thing pops up every month!)

Since I am (take your pick) 1.  trying to attract new clients for my life as Caffeinated Marketing or 2.  score a sweet gig inside a company where I can help be a change for better, I thought I would put my .02 in on the following article by Sara Evans & Peter Shankman: Is yous social media expert really an expert?  The top 25 ways to find out.
My answers are in orange.

Ways to tell your Social Media “Expert” Might Not Be An “Expert” After All

  1. They call themselves an evangelist, guru or expert, and no one else does.  I do not call myself any of these & I correct those that do.  I know stuff.  Stuff that comes along with doing this “stuff” for almost 4 years now.
  2. They use “expert” or “evangelist” or “guru” or our personal favorite, “influencer” as any of their user names. Nope. You snooze for 10 minutes, you loose.
  3. They “discovered” social media in the last six to 16 months, and there’s nothing online from them in the social media space prior to that. (Remember – Google is your friend.) Start date of discovery: November, 2005 – but always knew there was a better way of marketing: my professors always told me I was way off base for thinking “that way”.
  4. All of a firm or agency’s “social media strategists” come from traditional PR or Marketing agencies. Would love to work for an agency that sells it, yet doesn’t do it them self. hmmm
  5. Everything they learned about social media they learned by reading blog posts (i.e. no application). You can learn a ton about sex from reading Kinsey’s manuals, but I’d still rather be with someone who has some practical experience. I blog, have set up others blogs. Managed & tracked blogs for ROI.
  6. They haven’t done anything of significance using social media (i.e. demonstrating they know how to apply the tools). Again, see point on Kinsey. I am a do-er
  7. They keep shouting about “widgets.” (Or worse, they’re still talking about push marketing.) WHAT?
  8. Their resume doesn’t include anything that has to do with social media (i.e. no results using social media). And no, having a Twitter account doesn’t cut it. Set up Mike Boss’ rogue blog at MPC which had audio pumped into in for impromptu pod-casts via his Blackberry. Gained traction with industry publications that got us off the “black list”.
  9. Their sound bites eerily resemble what you just heard from Chris Brogan andBrian Solis. And quite frankly, following them and a few others (including Sarah) can usually answer 95% of your social media questions to begin with. Four years of voices mushed in my head-and some original thoughts of how to implement.
  10. Their firm has added social media as an additional service (as opposed to integrating it into a comprehensive PR approach). If they say “And we’ll do Facebook and Twitter!” beware. Argh, welcome to Boise.
  11. Any use of the term “MySpace” unless you’re only targeting 14-year-old males, or independent bands. If you are under 17 & an Indi band, you’re allowed to be on MySpace.
  12. Their networks don’t reflect that they are connected. (You should probably research them before hiring them. If their blog hasn’t been updated since 2004 yet they tweet every time they take a slurp of Yogurt, something’s up.) I love yogurt.
  13. When you Google them, it’s difficult to find them. If they don’t show up on the first page of Google, how are they going to get you up there? Yea, my name is kind of common – but “JenHarris09” rocks the Google.  But I am there & present in all forms.
  14. They never talk to you about free ways to monitor your online presence (likeGoogle alerts and Twitter search). Perhaps they’re afraid you can do it yourself?  Buy me a cup of coffee & I will spill my beans guts.  I think this is why the agencies don’t like me, I teach their clients how to be sustainaible!
  15. They don’t maintain an active blog (at least two posts every month). http://CaffeinatedMarketing.com
  16. Any case studies they present only involve very big companies with very big budgets At the 6 week mark at TSheets, we saw the same number of hits to the site (this was our objective-increase site hits), but our conversion rate went up.  60% of the clients were tech, so I focused on Twitter – and saw results.
  17. Their lead social media strategist is “this kid we picked up after his internship ended.” jeepers, people – come on!
  18. When they talk strategy, there is no approach that encompasses a discussion about: communications, marketing, advertising, business development, internal communications and/or customer service. I also think it should flow over to HR as well.
  19. They see “Social Media” as a replacement for customer service, when in fact, only good customer service propels positive social media.  Enhance & work together & we will achieve SM Nirvana….ahhhhh
  20. They want to charge you to get you signed up on social media sites (yuck).  I work with them to get up and running (and then they get to pay me).
  21. There’s a pay structure that includes a pay-per-post model. Run very far away, very fast.  ARGH!!!
  22. The strategy they provide you primarily includes a Twitter profile and a Facebook fan page.  Ummm, goals? Objectives? Measurement?
  23. Measurement to them means building up lots of followers and fans. Quality over quantity.
  24. After you work with them you’re just as confused as when you started.  And that is when I start waiting tables…teaching to someone is different than teaching AT someone.
  25. They’ve never used Help a Reporter Out (added by Sarah, not Peter). To Sarah’s point, they’ve also not suggested any of the wonderful free services out there before they recommend paying.  I love HARO!  Use it every day!
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My Move From Consilio June 29, 2009

Filed under: Unemployed — jenharris @ 11:02 am
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Off We Go!

Off We Go!

The time has come for the birdie to leave the nest.  Rochelle DeLong took me under her wing and brought me into Consilio in March to not only help her company learn, promote and market with social media but to have a place for small businesses to turn to for help getting into social media that wouldn’t cost them an arm and leg.

She helped me release the fear that I have had about opening up my own company and start helping the people step into the pool with all this social computing “stuff”!  🙂

Ideally, I would love to be inside a company and really get my teeth into their soul and bring it to the masses…but those positions are only just now starting to emerge and corporations and still skeptical of adding a full time social media gal to their payroll.  Which we all know is completely foolish…better to be on the 8 ball than behind it at this point.  IMHO.  🙂  But, let me say, there are smart companies out there that are hiring – good job!

Tuesday is my last day.  Rochelle and I are working out who goes “with me” etc.  There are things that she can do, things that I can do & we will be working that out.  I will still be working for her as their internal social media gal doing strategy, management & rallying for them.  I will also be part of her network of contractors that makes her & her company just absolutely amazing.

Her business model is to help small businesses with the thinking that outsourcing is the best model.  Do what you are good at…and don’t worry about the things you are not.  But at the same time she teaches you to be aware, be a smart business owner & learn how to grow yourself & your business to reach your goals.  She is not a coach for your business, she is a paramedic & a neurologist.

Thank you Rochelle, I couldn’t ask for a better 4 months of work to learn more about myself as a human being, a parent, a wife and a friend.  You make people be good at being human.

xoxo
-jen

 

My New Working Venture March 10, 2009

I have landed!

With out breaking into song & dance, I now have The Best of Both Worlds.

Being a rock star mom and wife is number one in my life while work allows me to express myself with the a path that I have found a pretty good niche in. I have found a job (or did they find me?) where I am able to be a mom and help a company communicate & market themselves to the right client.

I am now with Consilio and it’s sister company Perfect Order as their Communication Manager. I will be communicating about classes, services as well as assisting in internal marketing efforts.

This “Best of Both Worlds” opportunity is part of the revolution with the way working moms decide whether or not they should stay at home with their kids or fulfill their need to work and contribute to something that they are great at. All the while, being a rock star mom & wife.

I will also be out and about picking up new clients to give them my nurturing, hands on approach to social media all the while doing other “things” with my new working family.

 

Principles Over Income? February 23, 2009

Filed under: Unemployed — jenharris @ 10:55 am

The following message is in response to someone wanting me to do some social media work for their clients:

 I think there is a way for me to refer you clients that want there status updated and blogs taken care of.

Here is my response that I will hit send as soon as I hit “publish” here:

I would love to help you and your customers out…but I don’t believe in ghost status updating or ghost blog writing.

I believe in teaching people how to do social marketing, not do it for them. It would be like me going to a face:face networking event & pretending to be them – not truthful nor believable…and to be honest, those people will be exposed. The truth comes out with social media. Those that choose to fake it will not succeed.

Sorry for the bluntness, I just have principles when it comes to this. If you want me to teach, monitor & help them succeed, then sign me up! But I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I am basically lying to people about who I am. There is a difference between representation & doing someones work for them. Again, let me know what days/times you can get together this week & we can discuss further…just in case I read it wrong. thanks -jen

Am I wrong?  Am I writing my own ticket to waiting tables at IHOP?

How would you feel if you found out that Tac Anderson or Jeremiah Owyang doesn’t actually Tweet or blog their own stuff?   There is a difference between doing PR/marketing for someone & doing their work for them…right?  I don’t believe I am wrong here, insight from the older crowd is much appreciated.  🙂  Hello IHOP?

 

Unemployed? Sorta. February 12, 2009

Filed under: Cool News (to me),Unemployed — jenharris @ 11:38 am
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On Tuesday the 10th, I was laid off at TSheets as Head of Social Media Sales and Marketing.

No worries.

I was at NAWBO that night & met the most amazing women. We talked about social media and how it can help increase conversations and of course relationships in business. Women get it. But that is a whole other blog…stay tuned.

With the encouragement of these wonderful women, I believe I am going to do the consulting “thing”.
I had my first meeting yesterday with Karen Meyer of Handyman Connection and she is just an amazing woman. Another possibility is brewing today and another one tomorrow.

Deep breath people….here we go!

 

Top 10 Reasons Why Unemployment Doesn’t Suck December 8, 2008

Filed under: Tip of the Day,Unemployed — jenharris @ 9:46 am
Tags: , , , ,

lovin-chocolateYea, that’s right, I said it, unemployment doesn’t suck.  
And here is why.

1.  I had time to get my teeth cleaned
2.  I had time to talk to my dentist about his marketing practices
3.  He had time to tell me that what he was doing, and what he was spending was a big waste
4.  We had time to chat about what they had done in the past (when they didn’t have any money) and who those customers are and why they have stuck around from the beginning
5.  I had time to think…wow, I should start my own gig!
6.  I had time to think of the possibilities of what I could offer to companies
7.  I had my ego lifted by those wanting advice (in exchange for lunch!)
8.  I had options
9.  I had the confidence to know that I could succeed on my own
10.  I had the ability to say no to job offers because I had figured out and knew to my core what I was good at & that I could make it.

What did I do?  
I decided not to go on my own.  
I decided to make a difference to clients wanting to build their business in a tough economic time AND make a difference with a product I believed in could be part of that equasion.

But…I do know that if unemployment strikes again, I will be just fine.

Tip of the Day
If you believe in a skill that you have & know that you can change one persons life, you can change many.  
Jump & ye shall succeed.

 

The JenHarris09 Update November 19, 2008

So, I went dormant there for a while.  Honestly, as soon as Matt Rissell said he wanted to hire me as the head of Social Media Sales and Marketing at TSheets…I took a big sigh of releif & watched a mini-marathon of Paris Hilton trying to find a new BFF on MTV.  Don’t remember a thing about it…just noise.

Here is one thing that I needed to get out there – I used SureveyMonkey to ask my friends & collegues some questions about how they would pay an independent social media consultant.  Here is some of the Q&A. 

SHOULD I CONSULT?

1. Have you considered integrating a Social Media/New Media/2.0 marketing plan into your existing marketing plan?
Yes:  73.9%
No:   26.1%

2. Would you rather hire someone…
Internally – full or part time: 30.4%
On a Consultative basis:  69.6%

3. Would you rather pay a consultant based on…
An hourly rate?: 57.1%
A paid up front block of time?: 42.9%

I also asked an open ended question of how much it was worth per hour & that was just all over the board from “show me the ROI first” (really? Let’s blog about that later) to $300 an hour (thanks mom). 🙂

My goal starting December 1, 2008 is to blog here three times a week and for TSheets twice a week…along with my other communications out there, I really think that we can show a consistant ROI for Social Media.