Two fun things have happened recently (apart from me going somewhat offline for a much needed break for a few weeks) – I got to play with my new iPad2 and also to use it to read some downloaded books. One of those books I had long been anticipating: LAUNCH by Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner. Got a business, product, or service? Then you need to read this book!
So why has Launch been a subject of anticipation for me? Social Media Examiner (SME) was one of my first “Aha” moments about the power of social media. 12 months ago, I had been managing the social media pages for a not-for-profit organisation (You Sexy Mother in the Community) as well as the business page for my other offline business. I had developed an interest in social media and how it was a natural progression to the relationship marketing I had focused on previously with both online and offline businesses. It was my discovery of the SME website and their ever-useful blog posts that helped me to understand the potential of social media and the necessity for businesses to get on board with it. I was also amazed that this likeable fellow, Michael, had managed to run online “Summits” with huge numbers of attendees (click here to find out more about the 2011 Facebook Summit!)…all about social media! He had also managed to grow his Facebook page to 20,000 likers and his blog to to 450,000 monthly page views with 40,000 email subscribers in just 12 months. Interest peaked!
“Launch” provides some great tips for establishing your business as a trusted authority in your industry, as follows:
1 Apply the ELEVATION PRINCIPLE: ie You need to combine GREAT CONTENT with a focus on OTHERS while removing obvious MARKETING MESSAGES. Michael likens content as the fuel for your Rocket, people as what ignites the fuel and directs the Rocket, and marketing as friction that shows your Rocket’s progress. In other words, if you want to gain the trust and attention of people, you need to provide them with desirable content that lacks any obvious marketing message or motive. Lighten up on the marketing messages and sales pitches people!
2 When combining GREAT CONTENT with GREAT PEOPLE, you should include peers that are successful in your industry outside of your company, products or services. The book gives some great examples of how to do this – everything from author interviews to guest posting/blogging….and how to find experts in your field that will provide great leverage to your company, products or services.
3 Know when and where to introduce traditional marketing messages – Michael doesn’t suggest to forgo it forever, just to tame it down and to pick your timing. By the time SME turned on the marketing engines, they had a massive response. Why? Because they had spent so much time providing great content with great people and minimal marketing messages…so they had built up a huge following of subscribers, likers and followers by the time they did start marketing. The sales came easy. He discusses ways to use marketing in a way that is not so obvious. He calls this “under-the-radar” forms of marketing. I like.
4 Apply SMART goals to track your progress with launching a business, product or service. This too, I like, because we also use the SMART acronym in our Social Media Consortium – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound Goals….a framework first presented by George T Doran in 1981. ”Launch” includes some fantastic tips for getting started, establishing your vision, setting your goals and keeping inspired.
5 How to source outside experts and content, create social proof and provide great content (the book includes some great, real life examples). It also provides a lot of great info about how to plan and map your editorial content and use effective “under-the-radar” marketing messages that work in this era of social media.
Michael states in his book “Launch” that their goal for SME was to identify areas where their readers needed the most help and, quite simply, they then helped them! Social Media Examiner helped me, and that is why I regularly participate in their online Success Summits – find out more about registering for their next summit in October here.
“This isn’t a book about marketing; it’s about human nature. Understand that and you’ve unlocked the key to your success.”
Scott Monty, Head of social media at Ford Motor Company
All in all, Launch is a great read, PACKED full of useful, practical CONTENT……. Funny That.
What about you? Have you been inspired by Social Media Examiner? Are you participating in their upcoming Facebook Success Summit? I’ll see you there (virtually)!
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