This interview is the first episode of the Stellar Platforms Show! During this hour-long interview, I spoke with Sean Ogle of Location Rebel about the main tools he uses to run his membership website, the project management software he loves the most, and how he advises his members to identify their best target market.
We Talk About Location Rebel
Sean goes over the progression he’s gone through since launching Location Rebel in 2011, when it grew into a Frankenstein-like collection of tools. In 2016 he moved to an all-in-one system, the Rainmaker platform by Copyblogger – and in 2018 he moved back into WordPress, splitting off his tools into ‘best in class’ components.
We Talk About Running A Membership Website
When building a membership website, is it best to cobble all the pieces together, or do an all-in-one platform? Sean has some interesting perspectives on this idea. “It’s best to go with something that is best in class at what they do,” he reasons, because any all-in-one platform that’s trying to do 10 different things is going to do each of them 10% as well as it possibly could, and all these components could be 90% better.
Sean also advises against trying to sell too much right away in the early stages, and instead, focus on building a real connection with your audience. “If you can build up that core audience early on, and they trust you, they will buy your stuff early on when you’ve got it,” he says.
“Another benefit you get from waiting,” he continues, “is you get to know your audience better.” This can be very helpful for publish-happy content producers, the types of people who often want to start a membership site.
“Figure out the problem you’re solving, and do the bare minimum to solve that problem.” – Sean Ogle
I asked Sean about the people who join Location Rebel, if they are looking to find a way to generate income, or trying to find a way that enables them to travel more. His answer was really surprising.
We Talk About His Newest Project
Sean not only helps people improve their business, he also helps them to enjoy their hobby more. Our interview took place just as Hobby Hacking launched, a new component of the Location Rebel community.
Listen in on the biggest lessons learned from an experienced membership site owner. There were lots of questions answered in the whole 55 minute interview – watch it below.
Social media marketing can be done well, or done badly. No matter how good you’re doing, it could be really easy for you, or really hard. The easiest way to make sure your social media marketing is both easy and good is to follow the advice of people who have mastered the mediums.
6 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips
#1 – Say something valuable.
Seth Godin talks about ‘the trap of social media noise.’ Just because we can say things in so many places, to so many people, it doesn’t mean we should.
“Prune your message and your list and build a reputation that’s worth owning and an audience that cares.”
– Seth Godin
#2 – Don’t spread too thin.
Every account you set up will cost you, in time, energy, and mental overhead. Ask yourself which accounts are really necessary, and if you should skip one, then do it.
Ashley Kemper wrote a comprehensive overview at Marketing Land comparing each social media platform, with specific guidelines on when these different platforms make sense. Her recommendations are very detailed, so read her article if you have any questions about a specific platform. Her guidelines were:
Use Facebook if you want to reach a massive audience with a diverse array of content types.
Use Twitter if you have frequent updates or content with a “timeliness” factor.
Use YouTube if your business could benefit from product demos, testimonials, or putting a human face to your brand.
Use Google+ if you have a physical location and want to appear in local search results.
Use LinkedIn if you are in a B2B space, or you want to speak to a more professionally-oriented audience.
Use Pinterest if you want to target a female audience and have great visual content.
Use Instagram if you can create interesting visual content on a regular basis.
Use Foursquare if you have a brick-and-mortar location.
Read her article for more depth on each platform, if you’re not sure whether or not one of them is a good match for you.
#3 – Variety is the spice of social media.
Posting the same thing, all the time, isn’t giong to keep your audience engaged or interested. On the 8Days blog, Jimdo recommends a 70-20-10 formula.
“Don’t be overly promotional: Nobody likes someone who just talks about themselves all the time. 70% of your content should add value for your followers (such as sharing blog posts, coupons, etc.), 20% should be sharing other people’s content (posts from other businesses or highlighting customers), and only 10% should be directly promoting your business (such as “come by our store we have a new shipment of handbags!”).”
Social Media Marketing Formula:
70% adding value
20% sharing other people’s content
10% direct promotion
For every promotional tweet you write, prepare to publish 10x that much content that is for connection and relationship-building.
#4 – Show Them The Wizard Behind the Curtain
Social media marketing is your opportunity to be seen by your audience, really seen. They don’t want to see your products; they want to see you, working at your craft. Share the stories of what it’s like to do what you do.
“Social media is a fantastic way to break down the barriers of facelessness. By showing your potential customers the people behind the business you are giving yourself a chance to be different from all the other competition. They will become loyal to you.”
#5 – Get Popular To Get Seen
Popularity snowballs. The more that people like you, the more they like you, and it’s not just momentum; it’s math.
On the Buffer blog, Alfred Lua gives 10 social media tips, and describes the importance of popularity:
“Social media platform algorithms, such as those on Facebook and Instagram, are prioritizing posts with higher engagement on their feeds due to the belief that users will be more interested in seeing highly engaging content.”
– Alfred Lua
Collect likes, retweets, and shares, and you will rank higher ion the algorithm of social media platforms, and get seen more often.
#6 – Stay Authentic
Most people can sniff a sell-out, and it stinks. A genuine, long-term relationship can be completely derailed by staying in sales mode all the time.
Everybody needs to sell. It is, most often, why we get on a soapbox in the first place. But the only way to keep authenticity is by staying authentic, regularly.
“You need to find that balance between popularity and business. You need to have a little bit of both and mix the more fun side that wants popularity with the serious and informative side that boosts the reputation of your business.”
– Timothy Sykes
Social Media Setup – Done For You, or DIY
If you need to get your new brand up and running on social media, you can hire Stellar Platforms to do it for you, or you can buy our DIY kit for a tenth of the price, and do it yourself.
There are so many social media platforms out there, it can be a challenge to launch your brand-new-brand everywhere across the internet at once. Social Media Setup can be difficult without an easy map. What’s the difference between all these social media platforms? Mark Chandler was good enough to describe the difference – using donuts.
Getting a donut onto all of these platforms can seem like a real chore. But don’t worry – you can set up social media accounts for your business in an afternoon, if you have a good social media checklist, your logo files, a pre-written bio, and a good tutorial.
How To Set Up Social Media Accounts for a Business
Social Media Setup Tip 1:
Use the same login credentials for all of your social media accounts.
Using the same email address and password for all of your new accounts will make it easy to set up (and manage) your social media accounts.
If you create a new email address just for this purpose, like firstname.lastname@example.org, then you can even hand off logins for these accounts to someone else securely in the future.
Social Media Setup Tip 2:
Set up all social media accounts in one sitting.
Set aside an hour or two with this tutorial, and give yourself the time and space to do it right, and do it once.
Having multiple browser tabs will make this easy. To use multiple tabs, Ctrl + Click on a link and it will open in a new tab. If you press Cmd + T on a Mac, or Ctrl + T on a PC, you will open a new tab where you can manually type your URL.
Social Media Setup Tip 3:
Use an Incognito browser for setting up your business social media accounts.
If you already have other social media accounts, or a gmail address, then do yourself a favor and use an incognito browser to start fresh. This way, you won’t accidentally login to the wrong account, and connect them in a confusing way.
Using an incognito browser doesn’t make your activity invisible, however. As Heather Parry writes, “Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ might stop Chrome itself from logging your browsing data, but it doesn’t stop your operating system, your router, or the websites themselves from logging that you’re there. When streaming content, whether you’re in ‘Incognito’ mode or not, you open yourself up to data storing, and this mode does not hide your IP address, meaning that information such as your location, your browser, your operating system and even your physical address might still be seen.”
This means that going Incognito does not completely shield your activity, but it does give you the same browsing experience as if you were signed out of all your accounts.
How To Go Into Incognito Mode In Your Browser:
Press Cmd + Shift + N on a Mac, or Ctrl + Shift + N on a PC.
Use our Social Media Checklist to set up your new social media accounts
If you’d like Stellar Platforms to set up your social media accounts for you, we can do that. If you want to do it yourself, we can give you a video tutorial and a step-by-step guide to handle it yourself in an afternoon.
You’ve got a whole new year to plan. Setting a plan for 2018 is more than writing New Year’s Resolutions – a solid 2018 strategy combines your habits and your goals. Spending the time to figure out what your 2018 goals are, and deciding how you are going to achieve them, will give you a roadmap to follow to your own predefined vision for success.
Over the past seven years, I’ve worked with lots of entrepreneurs. Many of them have successful, thriving businesses, but some of them just limp along, from year to year, never getting that far ahead.
The biggest difference I have seen is -> successful entrepreneurs make a plan.
Having a new plan for the New Yearallows you to do 2 things:
Decide where you want to go
Figure out the best way to get there
Without a plan, you might continue fumbling in the same direction, and it may improve your situation – or it may not. Like the Cheshire Cat says in Lews Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass,
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
The entrepreneurs that are going to succeed in 2018 will have a plan, and that plan will help them achieve their goals. Are you one of them?
Questions to ask yourself about 2018:
What old projects do you want to complete in 2018?
What new projects do you want to get started?
What accomplishment would give you the most dramatic results?
What can you stop doing?
What regular tasks do you do, that can be done by somebody else?
What parts of your business have you been neglecting?
Planning for a new year is an exciting time. With the right focus and direction, you can amplify your effectiveness and results.
Some of the best tools I have found to use around New Year’s for planning the new year include:
Scheduling a Strategy Call with someone who can see my business from the outside
Since I love brainstorming with people about their businesses, I am offering a dicsounted rate on a few 90-minute strategy sessions. Normally my time for client work is billed at $150 an hour, but for these New Year Strategy Sessions you can reserve 90 minutes with me for 90 dollars.
“Marketing my personal business has a new direction and focus thanks to Caelan. His talent for listening and understanding combined with his skills for painting the big picture really helps me to spend my advertising budget most effectively for getting the best results. Not only does he see the big picture from a unique perspective, he is able to map the steps to take my business in the direction that will be most beneficial for me and my clients.”
In 90 minutes, I commit to helping you identify your strongest outcomes for 2018, and make a plan for achieving them.
During our call, you may also have specific questions about your website, content marketing, multimedia assets, or a recent product launch. I’m happy to discuss anything you’re working on, but especially in the context of what you’re planning for 2018.
Are you ready to plan an exceptional year?
For $90, I’ll spend 90 minutes with you to help you do it.
Caelan Huntress is the father of 3 kids, and in his spare time serves as creative director of Stellar Platforms. He is also a writer, digital marketer, multimedia producer, and a retired superhero. He blogs about his adventures on https://caelanhuntress.com.