Vermont Small Business Social Media Services Made Simple
Just Say No To Mediocrity.
When a potential Vermont small business client approaches me with ample buzzwords, excitement and expectations for taking over the internet in his or her industry or location thanks to social media my first task is to get a read on whether their goals are in line with the amount of time, effort or money they plan to allocate to reaching those goals.
Often times since many social media tools are free, there is a sense that it’s cake. Magic will happen automatically with little effort, time or skills. All they’ll need to do is show up at the party and promote their business. If only it were that simple. Many are initially staring at a recipe for mediocrity and little results for their efforts. Or worse, potentially wasted efforts that get abandoned down the road. I start to fix this right away.
Some questions I ask:
- Are you looking to improve what you have or start from scratch?
This tends to depend on if we’re talking about a new business or not. It also impacts advertising requirements, time frame to reach viability and/or drive business results. It also starts the “you don’t need to be everywhere” discussion, which is always relevant. Be where your customers/stakeholders/media are.
- Do you want someone to build (setup) and fly (feed/manage/grow), just build, or just fly?
Online success always requires both. So if it’s not both, then who will be flying and do they have the time, desire, and skills to meet expectations? You’ll always do better with tasks you enjoy, than those that are a chore.
- Do you understand that feed/manage/grow is a time/skill intensive effort to do well?
If not, then we may not be suited for each other. Or maybe I can educate. In general the world does not offer fast/cheap/good at the same time. “You get out what you put in” is a very true statement regarding social media for business. There are plenty of businesses delivering the lowest common denominator online. You don’t need me for that.
What it all means:
After a few months of client discussions and delivery here in Vermont, I have two types of social media services on the menu. They are very different from one another. There is nothing in between.
- Help you out in person for half a day(s).
- Kick ass all the way for weeks or months.
The first is a custom half day boot camp that is low commitment and will get you off the ground, train a few staff with best practices, launch an ad campaign, etc. It’s an online kickstart/training tailored to your needs. Low cost. Goal is to teach you/your staff to manage as best they can.
If you’re thinking setup and management for weeks or months, then I require being allowed to invest the proper amount of time/effort to knock it out of the park. The internet is one never ending opportunity. It does not check out at 5 p.m. I will not take on a client that wants me to “not invest much time” into their efforts in order to hope for good/fast/cheap. Halving it might get them to sign up due to lower cost, but it results in unmet expectations and a quality of work that serves no one.
Not ready to go pro? No problem. Go for the half day boot camp kickstarter and be better off right away. Want to go from zero to hero for your business in an ongoing fashion? I do that too.
What I don’t offer is a zero to mediocre package.
A recent recommendation from a local business that did a few kickstart boot camps. Also boosted their relevant Facebook fans from 300 to 1200 on a $100 ad spend.
“Alex knows social marketing. And he knows how small business should focus its energy so as to make the most of it. Alex trained three people in our office to integrate social media into our regular customer service, marketing and merchandising efforts. He made it accessible and we got quick results.He has a way of communicating that is fun but also candid and efficient. He steered us away from common pitfalls and toward the lowest hanging fruit first.
We will be bringing Alex back in from time to time to continue to refine our strategy and work habits. I highly recommend Alex and am happy to discuss our experience in more detail with anyone who may be looking to hire him.” December 6, 2011
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert-Steve Hingtgen, Owner Vintage Trailer Supply, Montpelier, VT