Pagezii – Erin, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Erin – I launched my business in August of 2004 supporting entrepreneurs around the world. I primarily focus on online and digital marketing but I also work with my clients to run online businesses in an efficient and cost-effective way.
Pagezii – You’ve been involved in +400 market launches, briefly map out your product launch checklist.
Erin – Since many of the launches I’ve been involved with typically focus on something intangible – for example, selling an online program, my job is to educate the intended audience, tell the story that is going to elicit an emotional response and get them to take action. Due to the arc that exists in these three things, we need to begin taking action really early on in the launch cycle.
For example, we’ll start seeding solid content, with lead generation opportunities built-in, weeks before we make an “ask” of our audience. Then, we’ll funnel those same people into something they need to sign up for but still at no-cost or low-cost. From there, we then begin the nurturing process – we have a conversation with the interested group of people to educate them about what we’re selling, why they need it and why they should care.
If someone is looking for the must-haves in a checklist, it would be this: a good story, a way to capture interested people onto an e-mail marketing list and a really, really good conversion funnel on the other end.
Pagezii – You also work as a Virtual COO, how is this different than a traditional COO?
Erin – Most of the clients I work with are running smaller operations without an office. They need high-level support but are often not in a position – either financially or lack of desire, to create a brick and mortar location nor is it often necessary. Since a lot of traditional COOs work within an office and with a team, my role as a virtual COO is different – I do all of the work from afar. Sometimes, for people I’ve never met face-to-face.
We use virtual tools to make communication easy
To achieve the same level of cohesion that would exist in an office, we use a lot of virtual, web-based tools to make communication easy and seamless. Slack (messenger) and Skype make staying in touch easy, Basecamp allows us to manage projects with deadlines and to-dos and Freshbooks allows me to track my time in a transparent way that is accessible by the client.
The benefit to my client is that they don’t have the costs associated with setting me up with space, purchasing extra equipment or managing the day-to-day tools. I do all of that for them as part of my services.
Pagezii – You have an impressive PR background. In your experience, what must a PR manager do to get coverage in leading publications?
Erin – A lot of people ask me about this and they often wonder, “How did you get so much exposure?” The easy answer is that I decided to leverage a simple, daily practice in my business that created so much opportunity for me. That practice? I would wake up every day with the sole purpose of getting one new person to know who I was. If I could meet someone new and create a connection, it would mean being top of mind for people.
Since I did this practice every day for years, it naturally led me to opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I would say it’s been the biggest reason why I was able to grow my company to over a quarter million dollars in sales while spending zero dollars on marketing.
Another thing that helped a lot was subscribing to Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and responding to the inquiries that came through there. That landed me gigs in Chatelaine and Forbes, which I was able to leverage to get my on-going gig at Huffington Post.
Pagezii – And lastly, how has the use of social media changed in the B2B world? What SMM trends do you expect in 2017?
People are scrollers, so you need to match their behavior
Erin – Social media is an ever-changing landscape. The thing I’ve seen change the most is the shift in content length and type. It seems that as the landscape gets noisier and noisier, the imperative to capture someone’s attention FAST and keep it is extremely high right now. That is why 30-second videos and quick anecdotes do well. People are scrollers and consumers, so you need to match their behavior.
In 2017, I see us moving toward even more quick content as well as a lot more video content and creating online experiences through 360-degree cameras, AR and VR. These will definitely have an impact next year and in the years to come.
Pagezii – Thank you, Erin. Our readers are sure to appreciate your comprehensive and candid views.