Do you ever wonder what happens behind the scenes of a marketing agency?
By now you’ve gotten to know Cass and Adan, but in this week’s team takeover episode, you get to meet one more member of my team!
Adrian Russell, the Assistant Marketing Team Manager of the Lisa Larter Group is joining the conversation to shed some light on what exactly happens when you hire a marketing agency and what to look for in a marketer.
These three begin by highlighting the different avenues for marketing your business and some of the pros and cons of each of them. They walk you through what a typical onboarding process looks like and they discuss what makes LLG different.
If you’ve ever wondered exactly what goes on behind the scenes when you hire an agency or what you should be expecting from your marketer, this episode will tell you all of that and more.
What’s in This Episode
- Three avenues for marketing your business
- What it’s like to begin working with a marketing agency
- What is SEO?
- How to choose the right marketing team for your business
- Why your current marketing plan may not be working
What To Do Next
- Join The Strategy Lab, Lisa’s insider entrepreneurial community that is learning, tackling, and coming together to support and challenge each other on all things business. Click here to join!
- Join Thought Readers and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs in this popular book club for business owners.
- Subscribe to receive this podcast and regular weekly strategies to grow and shape your business. You’ll also be the first to know about upcoming courses, programs and exclusive LIVE training.
- Join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your insights from the show.
Where to Connect With the Team
- You can connect with Cass on LinkedIn here, Adan here, and Adrian here!
- To see how Insta-famous Adrian really is, click here!
CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
Lisa Larter (00:01):
Welcome to, She Talks Business. If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or aspiring mogul, chances are you want to learn more about marketing and mastering and monetizing your business. She Talks Business is where you’ll learn all of that and more. My name is Lisa Larter and I’m an entrepreneur, high school dropout, wiener dog enthusiast and your host. Let’s get started.
Cass Bald (00:24):
Hello, hello and welcome back to She Talks Business. This is your host, Lisa Larter.
Adan Kovinich (00:30):
Adrian Russell (00:31):
Cass Bald (00:32):
I’m just kidding, it’s just me. We are back for another team takeover episode today and I am not only joined by the lovely Adan, but we are also joined by Adrian.
Adrian Russell (00:45):
Hello, yes. To give the audience a little bit of information about me. I’m the Assistant Team Marketing Manager with LLG. I’ve been with the team for almost 10 months now, so still fairly new. And I have a background obviously in marketing, I’ve been working in marketing for almost five years now. And I’m glad to be on the She Talks Business Podcast for my first time.
Cass Bald (01:06):
Yeah, we’re so excited to have you, Adrian. I love that we asked you during the week, this week to join us and you were so open and willing to join us on this adventure and to have a fun chat with us.
Adrian Russell (01:22):
I’ve been on one podcast before so don’t have a ton of experience, but any opportunity to hop on this one, I’m glad to take it.
Cass Bald (01:29):
So the reason that we asked Adrian to join us this week is actually because we are going to be pulling back the curtain on what is actually happening inside our marketing agency and tell you a little bit about what it is that your marketer is actually doing.
Adan Kovinich (01:48):
So I think we should start by just talking about what’s the difference between in-house marketing agencies and freelancers? So I’m going to open it up to everyone to kind of jump in and in their own words, talk about what each of those mean.
Adrian Russell (02:03):
I would say the main difference between the three is obviously when you have an in-house marketing team, their full focus and all their knowledge is geared towards one specific brand. Whereas with an agency, obviously you have a number of different clients that your attention kind of gets pulled towards. So it’s a little bit more time spent looking into different trends at different industries, because obviously every single client is going to have different niches and things like that. Whereas with an in-house marketing team, again, all your time is spent kind of becoming experts in one field, one specific brand. So the challenges are different but the amount of time you spend kind of interacting with each definitely varies.
Cass Bald (02:43):
I think one of the benefits of having an agency doing your marketing work for you though is that, as an agency, they have more resources and a greater knowledge base in marketing trends. So you might be able to get more and have more resources available to them. And it’s like, two heads is better than one.
Adan Kovinich (03:04):
I think that the big difference between the in-house marketer and the freelancer is that the freelancer is almost like an individual agency. So what I mean by that is that the freelancer probably has four, five, six other clients so they’re not focused solely on one person. And then when you have an in-house marketer, that’s their sole job is to work specifically for your brand, like Adrian mentioned. And then when you look at an agency, I agree with you Cass, when I look at our agency, we have so many diverse people that come from so many different diverse backgrounds, even just sitting in front of me, the three of us all come from very different types of marketing. I have experience in sales, Adrian has experience in direct marketing for another brand, and then Cass, you have experience in PR, which just brings so many different perspectives to one client’s account. And then when we look at all of our clients, we all bring something different because of our backgrounds.
Adrian Russell (04:06):
Yeah, I was going to add, in my experience, I’ve worked on an in-house marketing team, I’ve obviously done a lot of work with agencies. And I have to say, personally, I’ve learned so much more while working with an agency because you just have so much more exposure to business owners and business leaders and people from tons of different walks of life. And you get to really test out a bunch of different tactics in regards to marketing strategies. Whereas with an in-house marketing brand, you’re kind of, what’s the word, you’re kind of stuck with one main strategy or one main source of generating content, and it’s a little bit more difficult to push the boundaries.
Cass Bald (04:45):
So let’s talk about what your agency is actually doing.
Adan Kovinich (04:49):
Yeah. I think that every agency is different but we can talk specifically about ours and what we do. So when we start at the very beginning, before even talking about your social media accounts or talking about posting, we actually peel back the layers of your business completely from the ground and look at the marketing and look at what we want to do. What are our goals and how are we going to implement strategy and what is the strategy, and what does that strategy look like for either you to implement or for our team to implement and how can that be accomplished, and what are the key indicators to know that this is working?
Adan Kovinich (05:33):
So we do that by using our strategic marketing roadmap. So Lisa and I work on that together and it’s a 90 page document filled so much valuable insights and how-tos and we build things like content maps and email marketing tactics and all of the parts and pieces that you wouldn’t maybe think about in your marketing, we really hone in on each different part.
Adan Kovinich (06:05):
And we even look as deep as into somebody’s LinkedIn profile, and if something isn’t optimized, we make the recommendation for that to be changed. So once the roadmap’s done and we have had a few strategic sessions with you from the roadmap and we are debriefing it, at that point, what happens is the client then will have a decision. They can either come and work with us, or like we mentioned before, the in-house marketing or freelancer option, they can work with their own in-house marketing and provide them with that road map or freelancer and they can implement it or they can come over to us.
Adan Kovinich (06:41):
So if they come over to us, then at that point, we do an onboarding month, which is working with the account manager to start creating copy, start creating your graphics and really editing everything to be what has been recommended in the roadmap and implementing some of those things by updating your bio on Instagram or updating your about section on LinkedIn and maybe updating your profile images and cover images on LinkedIn and Facebook so that your profile is ready to go.
Adan Kovinich (07:16):
And then once that core foundation has been laid and you’ve met your account manager, you’ve met the leadership team and you’ve kind of got to know us on a deeper level, then what happens is you get handed off to the account manager full time and that account manager will start to implement all of your social media, which then brings us into the next section which is implementation and the starting line-
Cass Bald (07:41):
It’s the done for you side of things of our business, yeah. And so before we go into that, I do just want to pause here because you said something that I think is really important to highlight and it is that not all agencies are like this. This sheer amount of research and strategy that Lisa and Adan put into our strategic marketing plans, or as we call them, the strategic marketing roadmaps, is not something that you will receive with every agency you work with.
Cass Bald (08:09):
But the strategy aspect is Lisa’s secret sauce, it’s what she does really well, and it’s what I think makes us stand out as an agency. But Adrian, since you’ve worked in other agencies before, I don’t know if maybe you can talk a little bit about what your experience is like. Do all agencies have this strategy heavy stage at the front end of working with a new client or what has been your experience?
Adrian Russell (08:36):
Well, in my personal experience, every agency has some sort of onboarding. However, through my work with Lisa Larter, I’ve definitely seen that the sheer depth of the work we do before a client is onboarded with the Lisa Larter group is much greater than anything that I’ve ever seen in the past. I’ve worked with email marketing agencies, social media agencies, so obviously the onboarding processes are slightly different. But again, the strategy just isn’t as fully developed, I guess I should say.
Adrian Russell (09:08):
Normally the process is, you kind of get a sense of the business, the client’s business, get a sense of their voice, and then you just begin posting and you kind of see what sticks with their audience and what is a miss. I feel like with our onboarding process at LLG, we almost are doing that even before we get started with the posting. So as soon as we’re up and running with the weekly or daily social posts, we’re already kind of geared towards the audience and specifically what they’re looking for. So I would definitely agree with Lisa’s kind of secret sauce, like you mentioned, that strategy piece is definitely the big difference.
Cass Bald (09:44):
And that’s not to say there isn’t other agencies out there that do an incredible job at creating marketing strategies, there are tons and tons of them. I think the point I’m trying to make is just that it’s important that you do your research when you are looking into hiring a marketing agency and really getting to know what their process is like and what they have to offer you. And if you care a lot about strategy, which personally I think you should because every good marketing campaign is a rooted in strategy. But if you care about that, make it clear when you’re doing your research and when you’re starting to talk to marketing agencies.
Adan Kovinich (10:22):
Yeah, I think that that’s super important is to ask the right questions, right? Because a lot of business owners would go into this not knowing what they even need from an agency. They’re, they just know, maybe they’re not strong in marketing, they don’t know what to do. Social media isn’t something they get. And the biggest thing is they don’t have the time to do any of that. So they want to hand this off to somebody, but I mean, if they don’t know what the deep marketing key points that are needed to be successful are, how can they even decide what’s important?
Adan Kovinich (10:57):
So I think this episode is actually so important for business owners because this’ll just give them a list of things that they should be looking for and they can write all of these down. And when they’re looking for their agency, be able to pick which one will work best for them.
Adan Kovinich (11:13):
One of the questions I had is, coming out of onboarding, often and what happens is onboarding finishes with me and then I hand it off to you and Cass for whatever client. Do you find it difficult because you didn’t do the roadmap portion with me or you touch into the onboarding and you meet the client, you learn through what I’m doing in onboarding, but it kind of gets moved over to you next. So what is that like for you when you just come into the new client coming in?
Adrian Russell (11:42):
Well, it’s definitely an adjustment. Like you mentioned, I do have exposure to actually review the roadmap. I’m not there during the in-depth discussions but I am aware of kind of the content pillars and the foundation that we’ve set for that specific client, which I think is really what you need when you begin posting for them on a day to day or week to week basis.
Cass Bald (12:03):
This is the point in time when we start to learn the client’s voice and really get to know the language they like to use, the tone that they like to set and start to adopt their writing style so that we can portray them online better. And that can be one of the hardest things to do, and it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a lot of time and feedback. As a business owner, you should prepare to give feedback and work with your marketer on this because you are the only one that can really give them the feedback about whether or not they are missing the mark when it comes to sounding like you and portraying you online.
Adan Kovinich (12:51):
That’s a really great point that you bring up is the time it takes to give feedback. It should be time heavy in your first 90 days because you are giving somebody your business to portray online and they are not going to hit the mark right away. It’s not going to be like walking in, even though we’ve done all of these foundational steps, there’s no way to just learn a voice. It comes through a lot of feedback and learning through, maybe there was a word that wasn’t what you would normally use, and giving that feedback slowly will create that relationship with your account manager and their team so that you’ll be able to easily let things just flow and you won’t have to give as much feedback. But I think it’s really important that the first 90 days in an agency, it’s busy for you because you have to give that feedback.
Cass Bald (13:45):
So let’s talk about a few of the other things that we do on our implementation side of the agency just so that we can continue to give the business owners that are listening an idea of what they should expect or what they might want from an agency. So how about we talk about content planning and specifically SEO because that is really scary to a lot of people and a lot of people don’t really understand what that means.
Adan Kovinich (14:20):
I’ll talk about my part in SEO and then I’d love to hear how you guys do it with blogs and getting that up for the clients on the website. But I create an SEO plan for the clients which is a 13 weeks of blog content. It gives them titles, it gives subtitles, it gives keywords that they should be trying to implement into the posts, and we plan that out for 13 weeks. And then when the client receives it, then it gives them kind of a guide on the types of blogs that they’ll need to write to obtain keywords.
Adan Kovinich (14:55):
It’s a lot of backend research. So it sounds very basic like I just filled in blanks. But actually it’s really robust and backend research. I’m constantly looking at the score of a keyword and whether or not it’s attainable by the website and looking at the health score of the website and seeing where they currently rank for keywords. And it’s a lot of really analyzing each little piece of the website and going through pages and seeing what kind of backlinks they have from other websites. And then from there, I can produce the 13 weeks of blog content.
Cass Bald (15:35):
So we do a lot of the content planning and the strategy behind it with the SEO. But as a business owner, you do actually still have to play a role in the blog writing process, and same with your newsletters. You can’t necessarily expect your marketer to write all of the content for you from scratch, you do still have to have a hand in that process, creating content and advising them on what you would like to be sending out to your audience each week or at whatever frequency your blog and newsletter goes out at. For the most part, if you create rough copy, your marketer will easily be able to fix it up, make sure it’s beautiful in terms of spelling and grammar, they will make sure it’s optimized and using keywords for SEO. And then we’ll do all of the setup process within your website. So a lot of our clients use WordPress.
Adrian Russell (16:33):
And also to add to that, actually I have, I guess, a further involvement in the actual creation of some of the blogs because there are a few clients that I work with where I’m actually writing the copy for their blog posts. And the process there is usually I’ll hop on with them once a month for about 30 minutes and have a blog content and strategy call. So what this looks like is we’ll take keywords that are used in their blog content planning document that Adan spoke about, and try to pull experiences from their work or their past and merge the two so that we can touch on, again, their personal experiences, but then use those key phrases that they will even to rank for on Google Searches or any other platform. And then just optimize the content, so it’s engaging so that it’s providing the answers to the questions users are searching for and really showcasing what the client is an expert in because that’s really the main thing we try to do with blogs is showcase a client’s expertise.
Adan Kovinich (17:37):
So with content, I know that there’s different parts, right? We have the email, we have the newsletter, but then you have your social post content that goes up. And so we have a really complicated process on how we ensure the content is engaging and exciting and it will create what we want to happen. So for example, if we want people to come to the website, then we know that we’re creating a post specifically to get people to a website.
Cass Bald (18:10):
Every single post that we create has an objective behind it, essentially.
Adan Kovinich (18:14):
Exactly. Yeah, I think all of us here all work on strategy for either one client or multiple clients. So what is your process while you are creating that strategy? What do you think about when you’re doing it?
Adrian Russell (18:29):
Well, the number one thing I look at is obviously the client’s goals, because that’s what we’re really trying to reach. I know we set annual goals and we revisit them throughout the year to make sure we’re reaching them or at least on the way to reaching them. So that’s the first thing I look at, what are we trying to do for this client? How can we do that on social media?
Adrian Russell (18:48):
Then the next step I take is revisiting some recent posts that we’ve put out for the client and really seeing and trying to identify what the audience engages with. Is it pictures of the client’s face? Is it pictures of the client’s branding? Are they videos? Most of the time they are. And so I try to merge those few things to create a weekly strategy for the client on social media that will serve those goals and eventually reach them.
Adan Kovinich (19:18):
And Cass, you do Lisa’s strategy every week, so what’s your mind’s process?
Cass Bald (19:24):
So I actually work a little bit backwards, I think, then what Adrian just described, but I still hit all of the same points because they’re all important. So I will kind of make a little list of all of the things that I need to promote that week. So it’s, okay, there’s a new podcast episode, okay, there’s going to be a new blog post, and I know the blog post comes out on this day. And I have those pillars that almost you can expect to be a part of Lisa’s content every single week. And so I map those out and perhaps there’s an extra webinar happening that week and maybe Lisa has a podcast appearance on somebody else’s podcast. So I really map out all the things that need to happen. And then when it comes to actually writing the copy, I give all of that information, along with some background in terms of what has been performing well in terms of images and visuals, I give that to the copywriter and then they go from there.
Adan Kovinich (20:29):
It’s super interesting how you both are doing very different processes yet arriving at the same goal, which is essentially getting what you want out of your strategy. So with that, is there a time where you guys feel like it’s time to move into paid ads so that we can get more engagement? Or this is a really important item on my client’s list, for example, a webinar? Is there a time where you think, “Okay, let’s move into paid ads?” And then give them an inside look into what your ad process is in your mind and kind of give away a little tip here and there.
Cass Bald (21:11):
So in talking about paid ads versus organic posts, I think it’s important to remember that paid ads are additional to your organic social content, it’s not transitioning from one to the other, but rather the ads are supplementary to your already consistent posting on social media. And then when it comes to ads, there’s a few different types of ads that you could use. The first is a boosted post and that’s a lighter investment than a whole ad campaign. A boosted post is simply paying to boost the amount of views that you are going to be getting on a post that you’ve already done on social media. It’s important that the post you choose to boost is really high quality and it has a clear call to action and there’s something that’s going to be achieved by boosting that post.
Cass Bald (22:09):
The next type of ads that I want to talk about is ad campaigns, and this can be through Facebook or LinkedIn or it can be done on Google Ads as well. The difference between this and a boosted post is that it is a larger investment in terms of time and what it actually costs to put the ad campaign live. But you also have a lot more capabilities with the ad campaign than you do with a boosted post. You can choose exactly what placements your visuals are going to be appearing, whether it’s on stories, on the feed, you can even have them appear in messenger and on the sidebars of Facebook. And you can also more easily track the results of your ad campaign and make changes in the ad campaign as time goes on.
Cass Bald (23:01):
And I could probably do a whole podcast episode on just ad campaigns, and I think maybe we will do that at another time because there’s so many more things to say about it, and it really is a very complicated and intricate process. So yes, don’t take everything that I’ve just said here as simple as it is, there is so much more that goes into it. But ads can be really valuable for a business owner for sure.
Adrian Russell (23:27):
I think the main thing with ads is they essentially speed up your growth process on social media. So the most difficult thing on social media is getting eyes on your content. So with organic posts, our agency works to do that by optimizing your content for your audience. But with ads, you almost force it onto your audience and make sure that they’re able to view it. On Facebook and LinkedIn specifically, Instagram as well in the past few years, they’ve made it much more difficult to appear organically on people’s feeds. And so ads will almost ensure that your posts are showing up and being seen by the right people because you also get to choose the audiences and specific interests that your ad is geared towards. With that being said, at the same time, ads are a great way to promote important events or significant promotions that you have in your business. Because again, it’s going to be seen by more people. So if there’s anything that really is your main goal with the content is conversions, ads are the way to go.
Adan Kovinich (24:31):
What’s really interesting about ads, as I was watching a video on, I think it might have been Facebook, but it was a paid ad by HP and they had paid an influencer to be in the ad. And so not only are they paying an influencer to be in the ad but they’re also boosting this ad to be a paid ad on top of that. So there’s two levels of that ad. And so the ad was a Canadian artist who is holding an HP Chromebook laptop. And he’s saying that, “This is the laptop I use for everything when I’m creating content and I do all of my mixing and my music on this.” And in the background, he has like $1,000 of setup behind him. So thousands and thousands probably, maybe a $5,000 setup in behind him while he is carrying onto this $300 laptop.
Adan Kovinich (25:27):
So I think it’s something important that when you’re creating an ad, that it should be factual because it’s not possible for somebody to create music on the laptop that they were advertising. The second is, if you do have an influencer in your ad, that the influencer actually believes in your product or service and actually takes part in that product or service. And then the last thing is that, be mindful of the people that will see that and comment on it because they will call out a lie. So if I looked at the comments of that ad, all of them said, “I don’t believe this, he doesn’t use this, there’s no way that that is happening.” And if they would’ve put on an average high school student saying, “I use this for my working from home school life. And I can check in with my friends and be on Zoom, things like that. “I can stay connected with my grandma,” that ad would’ve been way more genuine and honestly people probably would’ve bought the product.
Adan Kovinich (26:35):
But because they used a lie in it, now that social media ad campaign, it just looks like the influencer’s a sellout and then the company can’t be trusted because they’re lying about what their product’s capable of. So that’s something to keep in mind as well. I don’t know if either of you saw this ad that I’m talking about?
Adrian Russell (26:55):
No, I haven’t seen this specific one.
Cass Bald (26:55):
I haven’t seen it, no, I’ll have to go take a look. But you’re right, it is definitely something that you should be inspecting when it comes to what you are having your marketing agency do. Make sure that what they are doing for you is actually factual and in line with what your business message is and what you believe. To quote Lisa, because she is so quotable and she says things that I find myself saying all the time, “You need to inspect what you expect.” So it’s not a matter of just handing off your social media and your marketing and everything to your agency and wiping your hands and walking away and expecting them to take care of everything, you do still need to be present and play a role and inspect what you expect from them.
Cass Bald (27:46):
So on the topic of inspecting, let’s talk about analytics and reporting, it’s everybody’s favorite thing to do. And I say that with extreme sarcasm because I am not a numbers person. And although I do analytics and reporting because it is extremely important, it’s not my favorite thing to do at all.
Adan Kovinich (28:08):
It’s so funny because I love it.
Adrian Russell (28:10):
Yeah. I was going to say me as well.
Cass Bald (28:12):
Sorry, do you guys want to start doing my analytics and reporting for me? Feel free. You can absolutely do it like spreadsheets and numbers, no thank you.
Adan Kovinich (28:22):
Adrian, what’s your favorite part about analytics?
Adrian Russell (28:25):
Well, I think it’s the best way to identify trends. So I mean, a little bit of a personal backstory is that Instagram is definitely the social media platform that I use personally the most. And they have a pretty great analytical section on their platform and in regards to specific posts as well, but any user that owns their profile can go in and check out. And they give a really in-depth, look at how many people are viewing each post? Are they following you? Are they not following you? Things like that. So I’ve used analytics in the past to really identify what content I’m putting out that engages my audience and what I need to do differently to engage people that aren’t in my audience. Because ultimately that’s the goal, you want to grow your audience? Well also kind of enhancing the current one that you already have set up. But I think it’s definitely the best way to identify trends on social media and that’s the main purpose of the reporting that I do at least.
Adan Kovinich (29:25):
It’s also a great right way to identify trends in your own marketing in terms of when something is going wrong or when something isn’t working. Sometimes you create a strategy and you start implementing and you’re a week or two in and you’re realizing that this one ad that you created just is not converting, it’s not getting traction, it’s not getting engagement. And sometimes you don’t realize that you’ve gone wrong until you dive into those analytics, right? So that’s a really great opportunity to you do a quick pivot in your strategy, maybe adjust the copy so that it’s got a stronger hook at the beginning. Maybe there was something wrong with your link in your post. It’s a great indicator that something isn’t working and that should be a trigger for you to know that it’s time to shift. And there’s nothing wrong with that either, strategies can be fluid, they don’t have to be set in stone. They can really change and develop over time because social media changes constantly every single day.
Cass Bald (30:33):
And it has to change sometimes. Sometimes LinkedIn stops supporting a certain type of post and it dies out and there’s no more views on it and they’re not sharing that because maybe they’re getting rid of that feature in the next six to eight months. So the way to get rid of something is to stop showing it to people so that other people aren’t trying to do it because they’re getting rid of the feature. And I just want to circle back to something that Adrian said that he uses Instagram. I think Adrian should be a lot less modest. I remember finding out when Adrian is Instagram famous so he really should be dropping his link in the show notes because he is famous. So I remember finding you on Instagram one day and looking in saying, “Oh my gosh, you have a following on Instagram.” So very impressed with that, Adrian, so you can name drop here and then we’ll put it in the show notes too.
Adrian Russell (31:30):
Oh yeah, absolutely. I don’t know if I’m quite Instagram famous, but you know what, I have to give it to my analytics and my reporting for getting me that number because that’s the only way I would’ve realized that engaging on Instagram with other users is actually more important than the content that you’re putting out there. So yes, I will absolutely be tagging my account in the comments.
Cass Bald (31:51):
So when you’re working with a marketing agency, what you can expect in terms of analytics and reporting is not just that they keep their finger on the pulse throughout their management of your marketing. But also, it’s really important that you expect a monthly report from them that has all of these updates in it for you. And they should be looking at things like your community growth, your community engagement, revisiting your goals.
Adan Kovinich (32:21):
It also should be clear. So you should get these numbers and understand what each of them mean. If you’re receiving a list of numbers that mean nothing to you, then it’s almost not worth your time to look at it because it’s just a list of numbers. So working with your agency or your marketer to really hone in on what are the things that are most important to you? Is it community engagement or is it how many clicks to your website or is it how many new followers you have on Instagram or LinkedIn? And those are important aspects of understanding your analytics. You don’t need to see every number because not every number may be important to generating leads.
Adan Kovinich (33:00):
For example, you may not care how many people liked your post. I know that vanity metrics are something, Lisa definitely is one of those people that does not care, she only cares about people coming to the website and making inquiries. She could have 10,000 followers, but as long as they’re the right people, that’s all she cares about. Other people though really care about having big numbers on the community because they’re trying to grow and foster a niche place for people to come and engage with each other. So maybe growing a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group.
Adan Kovinich (33:33):
Another one might be how many newsletter subscribers do I have because their newsletter’s really impactful and they really want to have the right people subscribe to their newsletter. But identifying that and saying, “Hey, before we took on the marketing, this is how I was getting my engagement before. I’d like to still see what that looks like.” In the back end though, your marketer’s still going to be looking at every single number and analyzing all the numbers all the time.
Adan Kovinich (34:01):
But what you need to see is what’s most important to you. And if we see a problem, we’re going to say something, even if that isn’t something that you’re focused on. Let’s say you’re really focused on community engagement and you’re not focused on newsletter, if we’re seeing your newsletter number drop, we’re going to flag it and say, “Hey, there’s something wrong with the newsletter. We need to either change it, make additions to it, maybe do it every two weeks versus every week.” So even though those aren’t numbers you’re privy to because you don’t want to see them, we’re still going to be looking at it and making suggestions for change as well.
Adrian Russell (34:37):
I like that you brought that up because I think the main focus of any reporting or any analytics is obviously the goals for the specific client and then trends, because trends is what social media essentially is. So I know when I’ve done reporting for clients with the LLG team, every single time we do it, we bring up their annual goals. We talk about how far we are along that process, what we need to do to reach those goals if we’re not on track and how we can take advantage of certain strategies that have been working well so far. Like you mentioned, if there are any other significant up trends or down trends, we will still bring those up because we are still aware of those, but we don’t want to spend so much time bringing up all of these different numbers if they’re really not important to you and if they’re not affecting your main goals.
Adan Kovinich (35:28):
Yeah, and then that’s something else that you brought up, the yearly goals. You and I just worked on one recently and it’s looking at last year, for example, you wanted 20% growth in one area. But 20% wasn’t something we could reach and it’s not something that we want to reach because you already have a huge number. So trying to get 20% of 15,000 is a pretty big number. So if we can get 20% of 10,000 that would’ve been better for us. So when we looked at that, we thought, “Well, why don’t we go to 15% of that number? And then if halfway through the year, we’ve blown that number out of the water, then it’s time to re-evaluate.” But in January you don’t want to give yourself this huge goal that you want to reach to only be disappointed in December when it didn’t happen.
Adan Kovinich (36:17):
And I think it’s even great, some of our clients have stretch goals. So if we hit this goal, then we’re going to move on to this. Some want to re-evaluate completely halfway through the year if we’ve hit the goals. But I think that that’s all important and in January, or even we’re in February now, so in February still evaluating, what are your goals for this year for marketing? What kind of numbers do you want to see? What kind of newsletter subscribers do you want or followers on LinkedIn or new connections, all of those things that you think about, think about that right now. And when you go into being with an agency, have them think about that for you and really show you, “Hey, these are the numbers that are most important. This is what we’re seeing with engagement. We want to grow this, this and this for you.” And then you can input what you would like to see growth as well.
Adrian Russell (37:02):
And I think that’s also why it’s so important we do both weekly and monthly recaps of analytics. Cass had mentioned that obviously there are going to be people that don’t love doing reporting, don’t love going and diving into the numbers. And I think because of that, people tend to put it off. But if you’re not doing it on a weekly basis, if you’re waiting three, four, five months to revisit your stats, you could be missing significant red flags, you could be missing out on taking advantage of strategies that have been performing really well for you for at least a few weeks and you might not even know about them.
Cass Bald (37:38):
While we’re on the topic of achieving goals, I think it’s also important to mention that achieving them doesn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t happen in one month or two months or three months. It can take anywhere between six to 12 months to even see real results. So one of the things that I’ve noticed a lot with our clients is they almost have this anticipation that they’re going to start to see all this growth right away when they start working with marketing agency. But the truth is, it is going to take a lot of time and a lot of learning and a lot of trial and error and just time in general for things to really start to move. So that’s something to keep in mind when you do start working with a marketing agency, it’s not going to happen fast.
Adan Kovinich (38:28):
Yeah and don’t give up on them overnight if something’s not working. I can remember a time late in 2021 when we were working with a client and they had seen a two month downward trend but we looked back at what they were the year before in that same time period and it actually was still up. It was just down from a really, really big month that was not normal, it was out of the norm. And Adrian, actually, you were the one that wrote the stats on that and talked about it. So do you know which client I’m talking about?
Adrian Russell (38:59):
I believe so, yeah. And I think that’s a good point Adan because clients tend to look at… They compare the current month with the previous month, they don’t look at, a year ago where were we? Or two years ago, where were we? So month to month, there could be significant increases, there could be significant decreases. I think the main focus when you’re revisiting your stats that frequently is going over again, obviously your goals that we’ve talked about so many times already, but also revisiting exactly that. In the same time period a year ago, how successful were we? What were we doing then? What can we change now? And what’s the impact of those changes?
Adrian Russell (39:39):
Because like Cass mentioned, these improvements are not going to happen overnight, they can take a very long time. We’ve had so many discussions with our clients about these are the goals we set, but we’re not on track to reach them how come? And that’s because it is really like a snowball kind of rolling downhill, it peaks picks up steam as it goes, as your audience grows, your engagement will grow and they will then grow at a faster rate as you continue.
Adan Kovinich (40:04):
And that even leads us into our monthly meetings with clients, which I think are the most important in visiting with them and talking about what are their goals right now? What kind of programs do they have out or is there a book that’s releasing soon that we need to be discussing about the strategy around that? And I think that looking at our analytics and talking to our clients about it is something that’s super high touch and I love that we do that, that we get to connect with them once a month. Some of them we meet quarterly, but the ones that we meet once a month I think are so valuable because we get to explore all of the numbers over the last month and then comparing it to the last three, six months and then talking about, “Hey, what are you doing in your business right now? What do you want to work on? What do you want to grow right now? What is the one thing that is very important to you for us to be promoting? So I love our monthly meetings for those reasons.
Adrian Russell (41:03):
I would say the main reason I love meeting with our clients once a month is because it really is like a strategy session. I mean, I think the main focus of the monthly meetings is a checkpoint for both parties. So the client kind of knows what we’re doing, what we’re optimizing and what our goals are. And then we can also check in with them to see if their goals have changed or if there are any events coming up, kind of like what Adan mentioned. But oftentimes I find that after we visit kind of their reporting for the month and we go over kind of the regular agenda items, we dive deeper into conversations around their strategy, around their business, that normally we wouldn’t get a chance to, unless we’re hopping on those monthly calls.
Adan Kovinich (41:40):
So I think it’s important because we’ve talked so much about agency and our agency life and how we do things. But what are the top three things that you should be looking for if somebody is hiring an in-house person or a freelancer? And what should you be looking for, not only in what they’re going to do, which is what we talked about before, but now let’s talk about, a little bit deeper about what they should know? We can even talk about the soft and the hard skills that these marketers should have.
Adan Kovinich (42:11):
So I’ll jump in first. So I think one of the most important things that your in-house person has is the ability to create strategy or execute one that’s already been made for them. And I think actually there is no or there it should be and, because the important thing is that they can look at an entire company and break it down to be able to identify what is the target audience and really analyze that audience because that’s what everything comes down to is, “is what you’re going to do working for the target audience?”
Adan Kovinich (42:47):
They need to be able to understand who the customer is and then create a strategy around that customer. And then I think if you’re hiring a freelancer, this person should be really dedicated and you should see their work ethic. They should be not afraid to work and not afraid to jump in when an emergency happens or they should be a team player and want to be a part of your team while still supporting their own business at the same time. So those are, I think, are two things that you should be looking for. I know I said three, but I’ll let you guys jump in and grab a couple of things that they should be looking for.
Cass Bald (43:23):
I do hear this question from business owners quite a bit actually, they all want to know how can we find somebody who is skilled in marketing and one person that’s not a super expensive employee or freelancer to have that can really do it all? How can we make this happen and what do we look for? And on top of everything that you’ve already mentioned, Adan, I think what I would add is that it is important for that person to be extremely innovative and creative. Those are not skills that are necessarily, hard, quantifiable skills that are rooted in tactics but just in the way that they approach their work and approach marketing in general, it’s so important to be open-minded and think out of the box and look for new things and new ways to do marketing because there is such an over-saturation on social media today and it’s really important that you find a way to stand out and having your marketer be really innovative and a creative thinker is how you’re going to be able to do that.
Adrian Russell (44:39):
Yeah, I like, Cass, how you mentioned that innovative piece because I think that is definitely the main skill that someone should have, whether they do join an in-house marketing team or they are a freelancer. There are definitely challenges with both. Obviously as an in-house marketing individual, when you’re joining a team that’s already been in place for probably a lengthy period of time, they most likely already have a strategy set up in some sort of foundation or process that they follow. So it’s definitely more difficult to speak up about changes that you think they could implement.
Adrian Russell (45:12):
And then as a freelancer, kind of the same thing, especially if you’re a part-time freelancer, it may not feel like it’s your place to bring up strategy changes, but as a new member of the team, as a new member working with a specific client, your new eyes are more valuable than honestly anything. Because if someone’s been working with a client for a year or two years, they may be missing things because they think they know what works and what doesn’t work and they’re not adjusting as frequently as they should. But as a new team member or a freelancer, joining a team, you have valuable insights from your past experience that you can bring to the table.
Adan Kovinich (45:52):
Yeah, those are all really great points and I think that the person not only should have all of these great qualities in understanding social media and understanding marketing, they should also fit in your team. So their personality should really be open to breaking rules. I put with big air quotes, breaking rules and making changes and they should fit in your team, even be a part of it because your marketer is really going to be the person that drives a lot of the ideas and the shifts and in creating the leads. They are really the person that brings the business so that your sales team can execute on it.
Adan Kovinich (46:27):
And sometimes even the marketer is the salesperson executing it as well in your in-house. So those are all aspects that are really important. When you’re looking for a marketer, think about how they fit and who that type of person is going to be, and their personality. Maybe you have already a really quiet team working with you or you’re quiet yourself, so maybe you wouldn’t want to hire somebody that is super high energy and jumping jacks around the office because that’s who I would be and overwhelming the rest of your team. And especially with their ideas, if they’re very big and bold about them, then that could overwhelm a quieter team. So thinking about those things as well as is really important in your marketing.
Cass Bald (47:11):
So on that note, I want to know what your questions about marketing and social media are. You can go over to Lisa’s Instagram page, it is @lisalarter and there is a post. And if you have questions about marketing and social media and you want to hear from Adan, Adrian, Lisa, and I, we will be answering everything there. So thank you for lasting this long and sticking with us and listening to everything that we have to say. And next week will be a surprise as to who is hosting She Talks Business. You never know who you’re going to get anymore.
Lisa Larter (47:48):
Thank you for joining me for this episode of She Talks Business. If you enjoyed the show, you know the drill, leave us a review, tell someone about it and join the conversation on social media. Thanks for listening and until next time remember, done is always better than perfect.