In today’s Digital Marketing Update, we discuss marketing your company with 4 ways to make your firm a rock star!
Throughout my former radio career (34 years) many professional firms and small businesses viewed advertising as a necessary evil–rather than embracing it with gusto.
While understandably wanting to save money–they’d invest in storefront, product, print advertising, Yellow Pages, or even TV–before trying radio.
Particularly ad agencies seemed to be notorious for NOT advertising their services. Same with doctors, lawyers, etc.
It seemed that unless they could get referrals, they were nothing more than ambulance chasers if they advertised.
I remember well, countless law firms I suggested sponsoring classical music symphonies (when I was at a classical station) who responded, “we can’t advertise”, we’re not allowed to advertise”, etc.
Whether true or not, times have changed!
My college years were spent some summers selling t-shirts, etc for the classic rock band, Shooting Star.
My brother, Ron Verlin, myself, lead guitarist/songwriter Van McClain and his brother Craig and I grew up together.
Our basement was the rehearsal pad for a number of years in the beginning.
So coming from a rock ‘n roll background–I learned a thing or two about promotion, brand image, etc first-hand.
Podcast #23 discusses how the same elements used in promoting a rock band can be used in promoting a small business.
Learn how to build a “fan” base for your small business and create a “rock star” image.
We discuss this as part of our three-part strategy for small business growth.
You can learn more about our strategy and request a free consultation!
You can listen to all of our strictly audio podcasts here.
Now, enjoy the video podcast!
Marketing Your Company; 4 Ways To Make Your Firm A Rock Star.
Host: John D. Verlin
Good afternoon, John Verlin with On Demand Advertising Solutions, another Digital Marketing Update.
Last week I talked about how to make your business or firm a rock star.
Now, my background actually…I grew up with the band, Shooting Star. It was a classic rock band in 1980.
They signed to Virgin Records, they were the first American band to sign to Virgin.
My brother was the bass player. I grew up with the lead guitar player, Van and his brother. We all grew up together as kids. They used to rehearse in our basement for several years.
I used to work with them in summers selling merchandise. So I’ve seen a little of the promotional side of what it takes to be a rock star.
I want to apply that analogy to your firm or business. Beause you can do the same thing today.
Everything you do as you probably know in business, you build. It takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. The same thing is true with those who become famous.
You look at the Beatles, it took them ten years of playing clubs in Hamburg and Liverpool to get honed in their craft. They got lucky. They actually had a producer who produced classical records. Not pop. He had a sound he created for them.
And Paul McCartney said several times there were songs that were terrible. Matter of fact, they had actually released several songs off of their first or second album on a different label, that bombed in the US.
And that’s why they didn’t want to come to America until they had a number one hit, because they ahd already experienced that failure. And then they cam out with I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
But as a rock star, you typically start out when you record a content piece—or a song. You get airplay, it’s promoted. Hopefully people will call in and request it. Other radio stations will pick it up. This is the process, tied into growing your business.
Airplay is shared, as other radio stations want to build listeners—they pick it up and play that music. People go into the stores and buy it. Word of that gets back to the radio stations and record label.
The demand picks up, the group then goes on tour. They start selling merchandise whthey’re on tour.
They even possibly win awards, going to number one, and now they’re becoming famous.
And then you repeat all of that. That’s kind of the process in a nutshell. Think about people in the past. They got famous. Elvis Presley comes to mind. He goes into the army. Gets out of the army two or three years later.
He’s worried and afraid that the fans have forgotten him. Because the Beatles had come on to the scene. He doesn’t know what to do. So the Colonel (Tom Parker), puts together the ’68 comeback special.
That could have bombed—and that would have been the last of Elvis. So you think about these people like Madonna, who have re-invented themselves. And they have to keep doing it. And one who I think is great is Paul McCartney.
Several months ago their was a Tweet, Paul McCartney seen in an airport in Orlando. Is he possibly going to be doing another world tour starting there? There’s a picture of Paul waving, a little video clip.
He’s constantly in the media. Just like the Kardashians. Somebody constantly creating content and promoting it. To keep their name front and center, otherwise they’ll end up like Bobby Vinton or whoever. You forget about them.
And this is the same thing in your business to make you a rock star. Jonathan Long had a piece in Entrepreneur last April that I’m going to some of his thoughts with you because it goes hand in hand with this, of what it takes to get promoted and get known on social media. And this is how to build your business.
He talks about becoming an industry thought leader. And this is where your blog is so important. The blog is your radio station. Businesses overlook this. They think it’s more of a diary. But the blog allows you to post podcasts, video, or written content so you become known for what you’re known for.
Now ideally, and this is ideally, you want another blogger or another online magazine to pick up that post and print it or run with it. Suddenly you now reaching a bigger audience and you’re becoming known as a thought leader in that industry.
Suddenly you start getting other publications picking it up and retweeting it or whatever. And it could possibly go viral because you’re getting a bigger audience.
People start coming in now and now you’ve got some numbers to talk about for the next thing you do. That’s the idea. But it’s hard. And you might even have a partnership where you pay them to feature you.
Years ago and they still call it product placement, you see a Coke bottle in a movie, well Coke paid a big price for that exposure.
So that’s the idea of being known for what you’re known for. And if you’re a rock band, what kind of band are you? Funk? Are you rhythm and blues? You’ve got to be known for what you’re known for. Shooting Star was classic rock. Midwestern classic rock to be precise. So you’ve got to have a genre.
You’ve got to fit into whatever that is. And your blog is your radio station. It allows you to put your content on there to be accessible. To your listeners or your prospects.
Another thing you can do is publish case studies and results. Case studies can be anything you’ve done with your business, successes you’ve had. This could be tied in to your customers, patients or clients.
Talking about how they’ve benefited from what you’ve done. It’s going to go hand in hand with a testimonial that we’ll get to in a minute.
It’s putting that information out and the results it yielded on your blog. Whether it’s in this type of format, a podcast or written. A chart, an infographic. A video testimonial. However you want to do it.
Prospects can go online with your blog and see what you’ve done. And those people that you’ve had in that case study are going to tell other people about the fact that they’re on your blog. Or your podcast or video.
And they’re going to refer that to other people they know. So now you’re getting second or third layers of people coming to your blog to learn about that because they know that person. And that’s a huge asset in terms of future referrals.
So you definitely want to do that. Feature a case study and have the results of that from working with a customer, a client, whomever.
Now, Mr. Long brings up a point—the third one and that is making your client list public.
I have mixed feelings about that because I know a lot of businesses have non-disclosure agreements. A lot of businesses that I know when I was in radio did not want people know what they were doing because they spend a lot of money.
But if you can get people, your customers or clients to be listed on your blog or your website. That helps people who are prospecting to decide if they should do business with you.
If nothing else, have business people who know you, commenting about your character, your professionalism, whatever that is.
Some people don’t want to give testimonials because they don’t want competitors to find out what they’re doing.
Ok, and then focus on your specialty. I know that lawyers have a certain area of practice, doctors may have a certain specialty. Focus on what you do best. Don’t get too broad.
You either make the best cheeseburgers in town. Three quarter pound. With sauerkraut, pickle, onion rings and it’s loaded. Or you just make a hamburger like everybody else.
You have to differentiate by having a specialty.
And then feature your clients or customers in your marketing. Again, this is about the best thing you can do is getting testimonials and then putting that on your blog, promoting those things.
Now that you’ve got your blog with content, and you’re becoming known for what you’re known for, you then promote it through social media or advertising or however you want to.
This is why all of this is so important to work together with hopefully a website you have. Because you’ve got to have the radio station to play the hit, or the music, to get the people to want it. To go in the store to buy it. To allow you to go on the road to become even bigger. Get written up and win awards.
And then you start it all over again. So that’s the analogy to the rock star thing. But it’s the same kind of process.
Content tied in to who you are, what you are. Getting known for that. Getting people referring it.
And this all ties in to future referrals.
This is how you can generate it and turbocharge it. By putting these things on your blog. And then promoting it.
Because of the platforms we have today as I mentioned earlier—you have the radio station, TV station, newspaper, everything to put content on and you can also promote it. Or have somebody do that.
It takes a lot of work. But this is all part of building referrals for the future and getting known. And become a rock star with your audience.
Now they see you and are wowed. You know, this business is really hot! And word will spread, not just the internet but word of mouth too. It all ties in.
And that’s how you can get your small business or firm to be known as a rock star. With the same types of promotion. Same types of elements that are involved. It’s a daily thing. You don’t just tweet out a little bit. You do it all the time.
You’re doing this on-going. That’s why they hire a publicist and promotion people when phones come out or new albums come out. It takes a lot of money and time to be consistent.
In this case today, because of these platforms, it’s much easier for a small business to do these things. But you have to commit to it.
These are the four things you can do to make your small business a rock star. I encourage you to start doing it and experimenting.
Check out my website literally you’ll see what I’m talking about. You’ll see the blog. You’ll see the podcasts you can listen to. And with podcasts, you can place them on other sites as well to get downloads from iTunes and Google Play.
You’ll get further exposure plus you can get video exposure on other sites like Youtube, and get that type of online exposure.
All podcasts are recorded by Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas
Copyright, John D. Verlin 2017