[0:55] Alan’s Background
[07:15] Interest In history and genealogy
[09:05] Alan as a teacher
[14:25] How Alan grew his audience on social media
[20:05] Idea for CMO consultation
[23:51] Who is a digital rainmaker?
[28:50] How social media and content marketing overlap
[33:16] How to connect with your social media followers
[37:50] Misconceptions about social media marketing
[38:17] Automation and Marketing
[43:25] Life as a Consultant
How to Align Social Media and Content Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business
No single marketing channel can survive in a vacuum. All channels are linked to each other in some way. After all, the main goal for all marketing strategies is the same — to promote a product or service and generate leads.
Social media serves as a great medium to distribute content. On the other hand, content marketing is an excellent way to educate and engage your target audience about your product.
On the surface, social media marketing and content marketing are two different strategies. Many companies even have different teams handling these initiatives.
But if you look closely, social media and content marketing always work in tandem. That’s because they complement each other well. To make the most out of your marketing strategy, you need to align your social media and content marketing efforts.
Ways to Integrate Social Media and Content Marketing
Before we get started, let me say that it’s not difficult at all to align your social media and content marketing strategies. But it does require some advance planning.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind to align your social media and content marketing plans:
1. Define Your Brand Voice
The words and the tone that you use to communicate with consumers shapes your brand personality. Your brand voice is a big factor in determining your public perception.
In a nutshell, your brand voice is how you manifest your core brand values into public communication. Because it represents your brand’s digital identity, it’s important to maintain a consistent brand voice across all communication channels.
To find your unique brand voice, you need to look at your target audience and how they communicate.
For instance, if you audience base is mostly corporate professionals, it’s advisable to use a professional tone. Or if it’s millennials, you need to be able to use millennial lingo. Basically, it’s about increasing relatability with your audience.
If you have different teams handle your website content and social media channels, you need to keep them on the same page. Create a style guide that outlines the dos and don’ts.
DiGiornio believes in keeping their brand tone casual and loves to add some humor in their content. As you can see in the screenshot below, their style stays consistent across their website and Twitter handle.
Image via Digiorno
2. Use Retargeting
Producing content for your website takes a lot of time and effort. You need to understand that not all of your website visitors will read your content. Only a fraction of your visitors will engage with your content. And even a smaller percentage will actually convert.
There is a good chance you may not get to see them again. That’s where retargeting comes in. Through retargeting, you can reach out to consumers who have previously visited your website.
They’re already familiar with your products and brand. So, you can tailor your messages in such a way that your content drives them to the next stage of the sales funnel.
But how can you target tailored content to a specific audience?
Using Facebook, you can find out which users have read a particular blog post. Based on those insights, you can micro-target those users for specific campaigns.
In the screenshot below, Expedia is clearly targeting users who have previously looked for last minute flight deals. Or they are possibly targeting users who have clicked on an article that is related to last-minute travel plans.
Image via SingleGrain
3. Repurpose Your Content
Social media is a very visual medium. That means you can get creative with the kind of content you publish. Videos, memes, GIFs, infographics, and podcasts are some examples of the types of content you can experiment with.
Creating fresh, high-quality content takes a lot of time and effort. But there’s a smart shortcut you can use to produce more content. You can repurpose your content.
Simply put, this means taking your existing content and changing the format in which you present it. For instance, you can design an infographic with the statistics from your blog post. Or you could take the gist of the topic and spin into a meme.
For inspiration, take a look at Moz’s YouTube channel. Every Friday, they publish informational videos for their “Whiteboard Friday” video series. In all of their recent posts, they have given a link to a related blog post.
Image via YouTube
Similarly, in their blog posts, you can read a detailed transcription of the video. They’re presenting the same information in both text and video formats. By doing this, they provide give their audience the option to pick between two different ways of consuming content.
4. Link Your Website and Social Media Channels
To redirect your website traffic to social media or vice-versa, you need to link your site and social media handles. On your website, add social media buttons in a location where users can spot them easily. It is recommended to place them on the top right-hand section of your site.
Image via AZ Social Media Wiz
In addition to this, you should add a link to your website on all of your social media handles. Linking your site and social media handles can increase your brand awareness and visibility. It also makes it easier for potential customers to find more information related to your brand.
Similarly, add social sharing buttons to your emails. This can help you build your social media presence and get more leads. And, best of all, it’s a simple tactic that doesn’t require much effort.
Your social media strategy and content marketing plan aren’t mutually exclusive. Both are content-centric and are aimed at spreading the word about your brand. So, it’s obvious that they will overlap.
If you want to amplify your marketing efforts, you need to make sure your social media and content marketing plans work in-sync. I hope the strategies mentioned above help you align your social media and content marketing plans.
In what other ways do you integrate social media into your content marketing efforts? Please share your insights in the comments section.
Shane: Welcome to the podcast. I am Shane Barker, your host of Shane Barker's Marketing Madness Podcast.
Today's episode is about Social Media and Content Marketing. Today, we'll discover how to leverage Social Media and Content Marketing to grow your brand. And I have with me Alan See; an expert in both Content and Social Media Marketing.
And he's the principal CMO of CMO Temps, LLC. He's also been recognized as one of the 50 most influential CMOs in Social Media by Forbes.
Listen as he reveals his secret sauce behind his massive social media following and how he gained authoritativeness. You'll definitely find Alan's journey becoming influential, very interesting.
Alan so gives us a little background about yourself. Like where did you grow up? How big is your family? Like, kind of give us a little like how did Alan's life start off here like give us a little background?
Alan: All right. So I'm actually really proud of the little town that I grew up in. I grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, which is located right between Des Moines and Iowa City. And if you're familiar with American history, Horace Greeley, the great publisher in the 1850s said "go west, young man, go west. And it's supposed that was JB Grinnell that he said that too.
And so go west Grinnell did to Iowa, where he founded the town of Grinnell and Grinnell College.
So Grinnell College is there in Iowa and some little known facts about Grinnell College is that actually the first Bachelor of Arts degrees were granted from Grinnell College. And the first intercollegiate football game was Grinnell College who played what was then the University of Iowa and Grinnell College won.
Now, Grinnell College today is a division three non-scholarship school, but it is a well-known school.
In fact, Robert Noyce, the founder of Intel is a graduate of Cornell College. It's a very prestigious school, probably the most expensive school in Iowa, and you wouldn't think of that type of stuff being in a small town of 8000 out in the cornfields.
Shane: That's awesome, well you're coming with some facts. I like that. So you that's and you have every right in the world to be proud of that. That's kind of awesome. I never knew that. You know, you never know the background of colleges and how things start off and you know, who've graduated from there, but it's always kind of fun to hear because you never know, you know.
Alan: As I said, you would just not expect to hear those types of alumni from Grinnell. Gary Cooper, like the actor who was a graduate of Grinnell College. So how a little town like that attracts what becomes that kind of talent, it's really a story in itself.
Shane: Yes it absolutely is. And so tell us a little bit about your family. So how many brothers and sisters, mom and dad all the fun stuff?
Alan: Yes, so I'm from a small family. In fact, I only have one younger sister but my parents were from large families. In fact, my mom had nine brothers and sisters. So my extended family; aunts, uncles, cousins, is quite large. And so, you know, family gatherings during Christmas was a packed house.
So I guess I had the advantages of both. I mean a small family as far as the direct family but an extended family that was very large.
Shane: That's awesome. And you have, is it, brother or sister?
Alan: One younger sister.
Shane: One younger sister, gotcha. And what does she do, out of curiosity?
Alan: Yes, so believe it or not, she actually drives. So when you see these oversized loads like they're hauling a --
Shane: Yes, like a mobile home or something --
Alan: Yes, something. Well, actually even extra-large, like the big propellers that you see on wind turbines and things like that.
Alan: She is the before or the after driver for those large trucks and in fact, had been a truck driver herself. So she loves to be on the road. And she's really good at doing that type of work.
Alan: And she is doing what she loves.
Shane: She's getting paid the tour of the country, didn't sound like too bad of a deal to me.
Shane: I try to do that with my speaking stuff like I always try to get international speaking gigs and people go, isn't it harder? And I go, yes, but then I got to travel. I got to go there, you know, the culture and stuff and I were just, I talked about this in one of my last podcasts. I was just in Singapore about a few weeks ago. I mean, it was a 17 and a half hour flight.
So it's not close by any means. But man, the food and everything else was just amazing. So anyway, I love that kind of stuff. Anytime I get to travel and I'll lie to people and I tell them, it's just to speak. It's actually there are other secret motives behind that to be able to travel a country.
Shane: So not at all. So give us an interesting fact about when we talk about like, you know, growing up and like, what would be something that nobody would know about? I mean, obviously, give us some interesting facts about the college there locally. Like what would be something that people might not know about you?
Like, obviously, you've been in marketing for 30 years, it's something we'll touch on the podcast but give us like another random fact that maybe nobody would know about you from your background. Like, one of my guys, Aaron that was on and he used to be a fireman. And we hadn't, he just randomly brought, yes, I used to be a fireman.
For 24,000 people apply for this job and only 24 people got it. I became a fireman. So is there any cool, fun, interesting facts that you've got?
Alan: Well, I don't know how cool or interesting it is. You know, growing up, I did not ever think that I was going to be in sales or marketing. In fact, growing up, I thought I was going to be an astronaut. I mean, I was nine, ten years old in 1969 when the first man on the moon landed and I thought, oh, that has to be so cool.
And so going through high school, I actually started off college at the Naval Academy. You know I thought I would go into Naval Air and then become an astronaut.
And also along the way I had pretty good luck in sports. It is a small Iowa high school and I thought and yes, while I'm doing it, I'm just going to play division one football.
Well, you can't really see on the podcast here, but I'm not exactly division one size and those boys from Navy, you know, that might not be a USC or an Alabama or whatever. But they're big and they're fast. And I just got crushed there.
Shane: Yes. Yes, you got to be careful. Football, I mean, whether it doesn't have to be a division one college to know that it can be painful out there.
Shane: That's cool. So you're looking at the astronaut. That's kind of awesome. I think when I was younger, I wanted to be, I think a fireman came across. I don't know why that was, I'm trying to think why that would have been, but a fireman I guess I always liked fire trucks and thought that was kind of awesome. And it just, I don't know.
My issue with that is the only thing with fireman is I'm not a huge fan of blood. So last time I checked, that's probably not the best. They're usually the first responders on stuff. So that kind of fell off the list.
Alan: My brother in law is actually a captain of fire department there in Cincinnati. And I mean, they have a great job up until that bell rings.
Shane: Yes, exactly.
Alan: Then it's really serious. I mean --
Alan: I mean, everyone is running out, they're running into.
Shane: Yes, well there, it's definitely a different breed. I mean, you know, they obviously keep people protected and it's an awesome profession. Everybody looks up to fireman for sure.
Shane: And then so where do you currently live? Are you still in Ohio?
Alan: No so I actually ended up finishing college down in Texas, Abilene, Texas; Abilene Christian University. I did my BBA and MBA there and started work with NCR Corporation and was transferred by NCR from Texas, the world headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. And Dayton, Ohio, is where I am right now, the birthplace of aviation with the Wright brothers.
Shane: Yes, yes, that's awesome. So you seem like you're kind of big into history too, you a little bit of a history buff or you just --?
Alan: You know what, most definitely. And in fact, that's probably one of the things I'm most proud of, is in the last couple of years, I became a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. As it turns out, my seventh great grandfather Johnson, he was at Valley Forge, with General Washington.
Alan: Got a long history of my family being here before the United States was even the United States and then being part of that westward migration. In fact, my grandfather was born in a sod cabin on the eastern plains of Colorado. My great grandfather was homesteading. So just, you know, some deep roots, and I'm just really proud of that.
Shane: Yes, it's funny. So, my father, my biological father is really big into history and stuff. So like, understanding like your family and the heritage and all that stuff is really interesting to me. We have a little Facebook group that everybody posts everything about that.
So it's always kind of nice to see old pictures and kind of not forget that because I think it's, you know, especially in I would say in the US, I mean, I know a lot of my friends, I have friends that are Hispanic.
They have these long things of like, huge families and they're always talking about this and that. And my family didn't necessarily do that as much. And so I'm glad to see that we're kind of bringing that out. I'm learning more about, I guess, the history.
I think it's the kind of thing that we kind of miss, you know, when it comes to, you know, the years go on, and then you forget about the past, it's important to kind of think about that.
Alan: I was just lucky. Actually, my grandfather, when he retired, he and my grandmother, he was a real genealogy buff and he just drove all over the country to libraries and cemeteries tracking all this information down.
And then my dad carried it on. And I really wasn't interested in it until the last couple of years. And now I'm finding that wow, this is some really cool stuff.
Alan: It would be a shame to lose that history.
Shane: Yes. So tell me about like, I mean, obviously, yourself have history, right and when it comes to Social Media when it comes to Marketing and being a CMO. So you're also an instructor over at the University of Phoenix. So how do you like that?
Alan: So as I've said before, you know, I love to teach, but I hate to grade papers. And I've been lucky to have been able to teach at the University of Phoenix where they're going to attract students that, well the average age is like 34, 35 years old. And so more of people who didn't finish college earlier in their life or have decided that at this point in their life, they want to go ahead and get the degree.
So the courses are more at night, and you're dealing with an older audience. And I've taught, you know, undergrads that are in that 18 to 22 year group, as well. And the teaching experience is really different. I mean, 34, 35 years old, who's been out in the real world, you know, so to speak, they're going to listen to the theory that comes from the textbook, but at the end of the night, they really want you to tell them something that they can go used tomorrow.
And the questioning and the pushback is, just the discussion is much different than what you would find a regular University, which I feel it's a shame. I mean, I have an MBA, but because I don't have the PhD, you know, my chances of becoming a tenured professor at you know, State University is really practically zero because that's just the way the non for profit type of universities is structured.
That the tenured professors are going to have PhDs and more theory based and research and things like that, which is all good and fine.
But in setting through some of the classes, I know that students are missing a lot by not having professors who have actually been out in the real world to bring that perspective because here just recently, I've been actually auditing a class. And as a person auditing the class, I'm supposed to just sit there and observe, I'm not supposed to add to the discussion or anything.
But the questions that they’re not asking are just killing me. I just want you to jump in and say, oh, my gosh, why aren't you asking him this and that?
Shane: Yes. It's funny. So I teach at UCLA right now. And it's funny when you talk about being an instructor, because this is within the last two years of this has started for me when I found that out about Jen that I would probably have a lot to talk about there just because of, I guess, like what it takes to be a teacher.
I never realized that right. I never realized what it takes because you think I mean, you know this when I was a student, I was like, oh they're teachers, they go and they know what they're talking about, whatever.
You get some curriculum together, its fine. But it like, to get that curriculum together and my classes at UCLA were on Tuesday nights, Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:30. It's a Personal Branding and how to be an Influencer course. And it's kind of crazy the amount of prep that goes into --
Shane: Absolutely crazy. And then obviously the students as well, you know, you're trying to, you want to educate the youth, as you touched on the University of Phoenix, a little bit of an older demographic but definitely probably more real-world experience, right of like, they're not just going to take what you're given them, they're going to say, okay.
I get you're saying that, but this, this and this, right, not quite just, I'm just ready to soak everything in. It's like, I might pull your card and ask you some questions about that because of this, this as they should, right?
Alan: Oh, absolutely because everybody's experience is different and just because your experience was different than mine, doesn't mean that you're wrong. I am perfectly comfortable with the theory that it's okay for us to agree to disagree.
Alan: And I'm okay for them to say that to me and I'm okay to say that to somebody else. And I can walk away happy and be okay, knowing that, from my perspective, based on my experiences, that's just not the call that I would make. I don't know if this is true or not, maybe again, this is just from my experience. I will say I feel like many tenured professors that have only have the academic experience, aren't use, and would not be comfortable if somebody said, I'm going to agree to disagree with you.
Shane: Well, I think because what happens is and not to put all professors in one category, but there becomes a situation I think when they know that if they don't have the real world experience when people start to question that by asking questions, and sometimes that can be uncomfortable for them.
Right so it's like when you're asking something, you're like I don't know the answer to this and I'm supposed to be the all-knowing instructor. I'm like you, for me, it's like if I don't have an answer, I'm going to tell you what my experience is.
And I'll tell you what I think but I'm not the end all be all right. I mean, just because I'm here in front of you. I mean, I do have the experience for, they brought me in. So UCLA brought me in because of my experience in Personal Branding and Influencer Marketing. So I was very fortunate in that sense.
But I'm not to say that I'm, you know, I'm not the pinnacle. Like I have more knowledge than most but I'm, you know, if you have something that you're going to bring to the table, I have no problem saying, hey, I agree with that or I don't agree with that or whatever.
So for me, I'm very more open to constructive criticism if it's there and once again, I'm okay with that. I don't want people to think that I think I know everything because I don't, right. We're all students of the game and every day we're learning.
Alan: Absolutely and in fact, that's the one thing that I consider myself or and hope that I never lose is I want to be a lifelong learner. But as soon as you turn off the learning, that's the day you start dying, for sure.
Alan: And I love to read, to explore new ideas and I hope to always be a lifelong learner.
Shane: Yes, well, you seem like that type of a person. That's, you know, I can't imagine you, you shutting down and not going to learn anything else. That's what I like about our professions, what I like about Social Media and Content Marketing and SEO, all that fun stuff. There's always new levels and always new things to learn. So it's kind of, I enjoy that kind of the hustle of that, that there's always you know, with clients and stuff like that.
Alan: It is fun.
Shane: You know, I have a great social media following, right. So I think you got what, almost 80,000 or 90,000, on Twitter. And then on Instagram, you've got, I don't know, 5000 followers, which is obviously phenomenal numbers, like when did you start on Twitter and LinkedIn? And like, what are your strategies for growing that? Because obviously, you have a great following. Are there any, like some fun stuff that you can give the audience about how you did that?
Alan: Well, really, the first thing I tell them is sometimes it's better to be lucky than it is to be good. And I was an early adopter to both of the platforms. So I was the 74,134 person to join LinkedIn, which sounds like a big number. But being one of the first hundred thousand people I was basically part of the beta group. And --
Shane: Yes, absolutely.
Alan: I get an email from their CEO every couple of years or whatever, thanking me for being one of the first hundred thousand people. So I was into LinkedIn in like 2002 and I'll tell you from the get-go, well, you know, first of all, I haven't always been a marketer. I was in sales first. I was in sales for 20 years before I made the transition over into marketing. And I was still in sales at the time, I joined LinkedIn.
And I really viewed LinkedIn as this isn't a resume tool, in B2B sales, you're always searching for, you know, who are the decision makers? Who are the contacts? And what can I learn about them, so I don't go in totally cold, I thought this tool is the best pre-sales type tool you could have. And so I just really, really grabbed ahold of it early and thought, you know, people can change jobs, but I'll always know where they are.
And typically, they kind of stay within the same industry. So perhaps I will have to start sales motions totally from scratch, you know, if I keep track of people, so early adopter of LinkedIn. I joined Twitter shortly after, you know, it first came out, and when it came out at South by Southwest and was an early adopter to that and then you mentioned SEO and such, I started seeing this power triangle in my head.
And I noticed how LinkedIn, Twitter and a blog; a blog, typically connected to a website. But between those three things as you were building an audience, I could actually see where it was driving, I could drive traffic to a website, I could drive traffic to my website through those. I could drive traffic to my profile on LinkedIn through Twitter, and you could start seeing those connections.
And once I started seeing those connections, I really started focusing on my target markets for those platforms and strategies for those platforms, you know, to grow that, to grow those followings.
Shane: So this is, you're talking around 2002, 2003 but you've been doing this for 30 years, right. So I know you started when you were four years old, right? Four or five, right? Give or take a few years. I know you were a very early adopter, even in diapers, I think at that point you were doing some marketing stuff. But like what made you jump into it? Obviously, you said you started off in sales, which I always think is a good thing to understand because you know, sales and marketing are always the two different departments that are trying to figure each other out, right.
Like, Sale's is like we're not going to, not getting enough leads and Marketing's like, oh, they're just not closing them right. Not always but you know, there's always that friendly little thing that goes on. And so I think having a background in sales is definitely beneficial. But how did you and so 30 years ago when you started was that when you started doing sales or you don't have to fully disclose it was later than that and if you were two years older than everyone you started?
Alan: Well, hell, I don't mind saying I mean, I just in January, I turned 60. So --
Alan: And I'll tell you this, you look at people born, the last five years of the baby boomers 1959 through 1964. We are dangerous and the right-on-group and from this perspective, think about this. In 1977, we're 18 graduating from high school. In 1981 is when we're graduating from college, we're graduating at the exact same time Microsoft's coming out, IBM Personal. I grew up, my dad had a radio shack franchise, I grew up with a TRS-80 computer.
So we sometimes talk about today's kids growing up with, you know, Social Media, we grew up with the computer and the internet, really. I mean, we were of an old enough age to understand that technology and to adapt it as went. And so you know, that made me early on to computers, early on to the internet, when Social Media came, you know, it was just a natural extension of what I was already learning on the go because at that point in my life.
I'm in my 30s, I'm in the prime of what I'm doing with NCR and everything and I wasn't about to get left behind. So be watchful of those people born between 59 and 64 because we literally are the ones who grew up with this stuff.
Shane: Well, that's especially if your dad had a radio shack franchise, that's like for most kids, my dad was a counsellor but he was a teacher too. And so I remember we were one of the first to have one of a Mac computer. And this was when they were the big old Macs. And I remember, like, I was a Pioneer Trail, there was some other stuff I remember playing. And so I kind of felt like I was, not an early adapter, but it was nice to have access to a computer because they were expensive. And obviously, with your dad having a franchise or you know, having some radio shacks, you were one of the first people to be able to try out a computer and you kind of once again, early adapter for sure.
Alan: You know what the other lesson I learned and this is where for those my 30 years, I've always been in the B2B space versus the consumer products goods space. And that is, in working at that Radio Shack I figured and learned that you could spend, it could be just as hard and spend just as much time selling a 49 cent diode to somebody as it was selling the $49 CB radio. And so I want to know what bigger deals and it's the same energy, the same time and so I don't want to sell potato chips and soda pop and shampoo. That's just not me.
Shane: Yes, yes. Well, usually that takes, usually comes with wisdom later on down the road that you realize, wow, if it's the same amount of energy but it seemed like you got an early dose of that early on and said, hey, let me think here; the same amount of energy or commission or whatever that is, it's like it's a no brainer.
Alan: Well and like I said, sometimes it's just better to be lucky than it is to be good.
Shane: Yes. Well, it sounds like you're a nice combination of both. So that's good. So tell me about CMO Temps like so we've got obviously, it's your company, you've had it. How long have you been the owner?
Alan: I started it in 2006, 2007 timeframe.
Alan: A while now.
Alan: And again, this is an extension of just I'll call it the lifelong learning. And that's and for your younger listeners, they'll learn that in today's world, there's not going to be anybody who's going to give you a guaranteed lifetime employment contract.
Shane: Not anymore.
Alan: You're not going to get a gold watch at the end of the 30 or 40 years. And in fact, what you need to get used to in your mind is that at the end of the day, we're all freelancers. You might get a W-2 instead of a W-9. But you know, we're all freelancers and so knowing that this loyalty is not the way it was for our fathers or grandfathers, I decided, well, I'm just going to make this easy. I mean, if somebody wants to hire me full time in a W-2, that's great, but I'm okay if you just want to call it temporary interim or fractional.
So the way CMO Temps works is the temps, the S is a little deceptive because actually, I am the product and the service. I mean, I don't try and compete with marketing agencies. I try and use their staff or other freelancers. And I don't try and compete with placement firms, I'm not trying to place other executives, I'm the product, I'm the service. And my focus is on the B2B world. And typically, it's B2B companies looking for lead generation and I'm going to generate that lead through this intersection of content marketing through engaging social media channels.
Shane: Awesome. So that's cool. So I mean the company is you. So it's like, that's what they're going to be getting, which I think is, you know, I've obviously seen your website and stuff. And I like that because it's funny. So we kind of look at ourselves, not necessarily exactly like what you do but I mean there are definitely similarities. We kind of look at ourselves like, hey, if you don't have a marketing department, we can come in. We have two different options like we can either work with you to help train your marketing department or we can come in as your marketing department and tell you to get that department.
So you kind of doing the same thing of like, hey, you don't have a CMO right now or you know that you need one, you have the budget for it, you're just not sure how to get things going. So why don't I come in? If it's a long term project, that's great. If it's short term, that's fine. Let me get this thing, keeps everything moving, right because the idea is you don't want to stop for 2, 3, 5, 6 months when marketing needs to keep going. And so you come in and you're in that position. I think that's an interesting play, especially, you thought about that 2007, 2008, that was, I don't know if there was that many CMOs.
But I don't know if that was kind of an interesting time to come up with that idea and especially be able to play that out here 12 years later, which I think happens a lot. There are a lot of companies that lose that, have that position and it's nice to be able to have somebody saying, hey, listen, he has the experience, which obviously you do, I've seen your resume for, I don't know how many fortune 500 companies, AT&T and some other ones.
And so I just think that's interesting that you can come in and kind of be that position and really it's kind of an, not an overnight thing but it's something where they can come in and say, hey, we need you right away, and you come in, and there we go, and you figure out what you got going and then you're then interim play until they find somebody or maybe it becomes a full-time position. So that's cool. I like that.
Alan: Yes, you're kind of spot as far as you know, in the small-medium business, it could be that they know they need a CMO but they're not ready to make a commitment to someone with my experience. So somebody that's fractional or helps them ramp up whereas if I'm doing it with a larger company, a fortune 100 company or whatever, it's more typically as kind of a coach or just an extra helping thoughts to the current CMO. And maybe it is just to have some type of a project basis.
Something specific to a lead generation program. In my career space anyway, you know, 1986 was a Black Friday. Well, 2007, 2008 timeframe was the other downturn in the market. And so oftentimes when there's that kind of economic upheaval, that's when new business models and ways of thinking seem to surface.
Shane: That's awesome. That's great. And so you call yourself a Digital Rainmaker. And it's so funny, I actually heard the term Rainmaker, but I don't know how many times and I've never looked it up. I literally looked it up because I was like I have to know what a Rainmaker is. I had an idea of what it was in my mind, but give us a little definition for you what that is?
Alan: Well, actually, the definition if you look it up, as far as in the US, the slang definition would be a person who generates income for businesses by brokering deals or attracting clients.
Shane: There we go.
Alan: And that really is exactly what I'm doing except I will not accept is that I do it through the Digital Media, Social Media combined with the content.
Shane: That's interesting. Yes, and your description is exactly what I looked up. I thought I have to look this up because I said, I've seen it and I've never, I was like, I just have to know that the true definition of it. So interesting, that's kind of cool. When a CMO for companies and obviously, some of it is fractional, and some of it is, you know, just depends on what they need. Obviously, you've probably worked for multiple companies at you know, two different times.
And it looks like you don't have a huge staff. So that's not one thing, you don't have to manage tons of people. It's all you as an individual. So that's, there are some efficiencies there for sure. But how do you manage that if you have two or three gigs? And you know, obviously, you're only one person, how does that work for you when it comes to managing those types of projects?
Alan: Yes. So this is the point where I get to tell you about how I've discovered through quantum physics, how to be in two places at once.
Shane: Nice, this is what and cloning people. And this is the reason why I wanted an interview, I knew that you're going to come with something that was just going to blow people away.
Alan: Newly announced on Shane Barker's Podcast.
Shane: This is it, you heard it first here.
Alan: The quantum physics discovery, how CMOs can be in two places at once.
Shane: And can make double the income with one person. That's, why not, right?
Alan: It really is, I wish I could take credit for that. But you know, it's not rocket science. I mean, having a consulting background, especially from major consulting, I mean, anyone who's been up a partner or at you know, at that senior executive level within a consulting firm knows, you work on billable hours. And so sometimes put myself out there for more hours than there actually are in a day, well, sometimes, because literally, from my home office, and from wherever, like I am right now, I'm the green screen behind me, I can look like I'm working from anywhere.
And you know, the internet never shuts down, it's 24/7. So really, it's I'm blessed from the perspective that I just take on the projects that I feel passionate about, really want to work on. And the ones that I think, oh, no, their expectations are not even close and I'm not even going to try and convince them to do it a different way. Yes, I pass on those. So I'm taking the projects that I'm really passionate about and like and then I will figure out how to bend the hours and put in what I need in order to deliver what I said, I would help them get.
Shane: So this was interesting. I think that I've been doing in the digital space for 20 years. And I think now I've seen that transition for my company of exactly what you touched on is where when I first started, I would take on any client, like if you had $1 and you had an idea, then I'm like, hey, let's take it on, you've got $1 and I need $1. So like I have some expertise. And now we're obviously, we were very choosy with who we picked to work with because of you know, we have qualifying stuff that we send people through. And if it looks like once again, the expectation is crazy, hey, we want to give you $10,000 but we want to make 5 million. Well, of course, who wouldn't want to make that right?
Shane: So we look at these types of things, qualifying questions for us is: to see if it's a good fit on their side, but also for our side. And that's, I don't think a lot of people realize that because we're used to, hey, if I have a budget then everybody's going to take that on. And for us we look at it like we have to be a good fit, have to be realistic, it's important to make sure it's good for both sides. And I think that's some people kind of forget that when you first start off once again, you're taking on anything you can take on the world. I think as you get older, I'll like to think that I'm a little wiser in what I look at in a project and kind of see through certain things and go, okay, this is a good fit or no this isn't a good fit.
And I'll explain to the client why and I've had plenty of clients that I've said, hey, you're not a good fit and they've almost got offended, like what you mean, I'm not good, why am I not a good fit? I'm like, well, nothing to take personally, it's just not a good fit for me which you should appreciate because if you're not a good fit, and I take you on, that's not going to be good for either one of us, right?
Alan: It's really, you're spot on. And, you know, for me, again, like you said that you know, the client will come and say, well, you know, you've got 90,000 Twitter followers, we're a new startup, and we need to have 90,000 Twitter followers, you know, in the next couple of weeks? Well, it's not going to work that way. You know, once again, I've been on Twitter since 2006. And this is a process and it's a process I work seven days a week, I mean, it doesn't stop and trying to come up with the content that, to keep it fresh, and so setting their expectations so that their expectation of what the ROI is going to be is really, really important to me. I hate to disappoint people.
Alan: I just, I'd rather you know, shoot myself than disappoint someone. But I also know the way these platforms work today and everything, what's really possible and what's not. So setting the right expectations is really important.
Shane: You touched on it a little bit about you know, but you talked about Twitter and LinkedIn and a blog. Like when it comes to companies, what does your, like, I wouldn't say secret recipes because it's probably going to be nothing too secret. But like, talk about Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing and how you make that work smoothly? Right because you did touch on, hey, here's a blog.
And then we put it on LinkedIn and put it on Twitter, like how is that process? Like how do you: producing content, either for yourself or for your clients, and then through the distribution of it through the social media channels, like kind of go into that a little bit on what your, don't have to be the secret sauce, unless you really want to just totally disclose everything that you do. But you know, give us, kind of an idea of like how you put that together?
Alan: Right. So I mean, it would be great just too when Ted Turner was asked what the secret of his success was, he said: "early to bed, early to raise work like hell and advertise."
Shane: Yes, there you go. I like that.
Alan: I wish I could just, you know, roll something like that off my tongue. But it doesn't really work like that, although I will say, you know, having worked for SAS and you know, some of the business intelligence companies and stuff like that, I have kind of broke it down into a mathematical formula. And again, for me, remember that I'm in the B2B space. And in the B2B space, you're working on solution selling, typically fairly high dollar type of solutions and in that world, I mean, you do business with people you; know, like and trust. So trust is incredibly important.
And so to ensure that Social Media and Content Marketing are really working together if those two things are working together, that means your trust is going up, you're building trust. And I see trust this way, think of a mathematical formula, rapport times credibility, and then divide that by risk. If my content in the way I'm using social media is building rapport, it's increasing credibility, it feels like I'm reducing the risk of doing business with me and that's going to give me a big trust number.
Alan: And so I focus on that formula and think through the sales funnel, increase interest, develop that first initial rapport, you know, finally getting in front of them, trying to find out what their needs, desires and interests are, to the close at the bottom. And then thinking through the content and the right social channels into the right persona, in order to move a sale down that perspective to closing it.
Shane: Love it, I love that equation. For me, I'm a very visual person, obviously, they are not going to see it on the podcast, but you put that together with the risk underneath it like that makes total sense. Right because the idea is you want to be out there in the space, you want to educate people, you want to give them a good value. And then you want to, they're obviously going to be, you're pushing down some of those barriers of working with you because you're educating them. And they said this must be the right person because they're putting out a valuable piece of content. And then obviously, this is somebody that I would want to work with. So I love that.
Alan: Yes. And you know, the other thing to think about that too and why it is so long term is when you think about structuring some of those deals, I mean, if the capital investment is on, at the end of the day on a depreciation of 3, 4, 5, 7 years, I mean, you're talking about a sales process that doesn't come up every day.
And so, you know, what do you do during the seven years that they're not even in the market, because they still depreciate out of the system that they just purchased is. But you still are keeping that content out there thinking through the funnel, because you still want to be top of mind in case that person changes jobs and goes to a different company, or whatever the case might be.
Shane: Well, that's what I think was valuable is that if you put out great content, a lot of the time it can be evergreen. So you always have I always tell people, more content you put out, it's another piece of real estate on Google. And that's important, right? I mean, the way that I'm a huge content fan because I did start my blog, I think probably seven years ago now.
And that's all my stuff's inbound. Right so that's, I know the value of it. And I also understand the commitment level that it takes and understand that the financial, you know, what would you have to put into it?
I remember when I was first doing my blogs, and I started paying some writers to help me with some stuff. My wife's like, so you're paying people to write for your blog, like, how many leads is that bringing you? I'm like, none right now. But I'm looking at the long term planning, right.
Shane: Like, you spend a lot of money on writers. And I'm like, yes it's because I don't have the time. She goes, yes, but is that equal money? And I go, not yet but it will. So now that I have all the inbound leads.
Shane: I'm like, so I got 10 leads today. And she's like, oh and I'm like I just wanted to bring that up with you real quick.
Alan: Good for you. Yes.
Shane: So it's, it is nice to see, I mean, that obviously, when you actually get that machine going, and pulling people into a funnel is obviously it's kind of fun when that happens once you get it that way. So.
Shane: What are some companies in your opinion that are doing like Social Media Content Marketing Campaigns that are crushing it, that you look at and go, wow, they do a phenomenal job? And obviously, you know, they can either be the bigger companies that obviously have big budgets, or it can be a local company or somebody that you said.
And maybe you've worked with them and help them put their campaign together. But what's somebody that you would say, hey, listen, they're doing a great job and explain why you think that is?
Alan: Yeah, so this is where typically, somebody would say, one of the big brands like an Apple or something like that, but I'm going to take a risk and say, I don't think there's anybody knocking it out of the park, particularly the big brands. And I'll tell you why. And that is, well, I'll give an example. Let's take the National Football League. I mean, what great brands each of those teams have. Yet, let's just take Twitter, if you look at their Twitter profiles, you'll find out that they follow back maybe 0.00001.
Alan: Did you know that social rejection activates the same part of the brain is physical pain? So when you're socially rejected and if you're an avid fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and your profile picture has the Bengal's background colors and stuff like that, well, I mean, obviously, you're a fan, you're not, you know, a kook, it takes less than a second to follow that profile back. And how good would that fan feel to be followed back by their favorite team? It cost that major brand, absolutely nothing and yet, I know they're thinking, well, we don't have the time.
Well, they have, they seem to be able to have time to do what they say is one to one marketing. You got time to do one to one marketing. You don't have time to do that. And it's literally causing pain to every fan or every customer of the brand when the brand doesn't return that favor. And so there's just a lot of little things like that where feel like brands are really, really missing the opportunity of what Social Media and Content Marketing are really possible with it.
Shane: Well, I think you touched on it, the thing is, I think there's one thing may be them, the negative side is they don't follow you right and you're like, wow, there's rejection there. But the upside is that if they do follow as you said, I mean, you could lose your mind. I'm a 49ers' fan if the 49ers followed me, I mean, I would probably talk about it for two weeks, three weeks and it would solidify my, I guess my, dedication to that brand, to that company. Right, so I think do you see there's huge value in that.
I do think, Social Media has always been a learning curve for a lot of brands. And I think we, as marketers, you know, learn how to leverage it correctly and understand the value in that conversation and engagement, which is very, it's not even engagement, it's literally just following somebody back or somebody can. I mean, I don't, I've done that when I was starting my career off like if a celebrity or something follow me, I would literally screenshot that, I'd put it on Facebook, oh my god, you know, X, Y person.
Now, I look back and it's like, wow, it's kind of like, I don't know, I was like, I don't know, it's kind of a fan boy I guess of some of these brands. But it was exciting when they would do that, you know. I remember people put on Twitter, hey, followed by, they would put on there, followed by Nike, followed by and we were like, oh my God, that's awesome.
And so I do think there's, there's, there can be some huge value in that. And that doesn't take tons of work, right? I mean, especially if you find the super fan, you want to find that evangelist that already loves your product, you go and follow him like they're gonna go get the tattoo, like, you know, now they're now it's really going to be solidified.
Alan: Absolutely. It's so funny that you said that because Ellen DeGeneres followed me. I've never even watched her show. But when that happened, I'm like maybe I should start watching the show. I have no idea why whoever manages her account decided to, you know, to do that. But I mean, to your point is that if the major brands would just think about that, for one second, I think they'd really see an uptick in the engagement that they really got, and how their ROI would really start improving on social media.
Shane: Yeah, I like that. And it's not that big of an effort, right? The idea is to follow back. Yes, it doesn't need to be anything too crazy. So what do you think are like one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to like Social Content Marketing? Like what would you say when you, like where someone, you're reading a blog, and you're like, oh my God, if somebody brings this up one more time or talks about this one more time, these misconceptions, because obviously, everybody has the right to write about anything they want, right?
Shane: And not to say that people's opinions aren't true. But the thing is, what is something that you know, firsthand and you read it, you go; oh, if I see that one more time, I'm gonna lose my mind or something?
Alan: Yes, so for me and we've mentioned this. The first thing has to do with the time that it can be done fast. The second thing that I'll say is that, and I just read the other day, I want to say Gartner reported that something the order of you know, a little over a third of marketing budgets now is dedicated to technology. And so the second thing, I would say, besides the fact that it's not going to be as fast as you thought it was going to begin.
The second thing would be is that you can automate your way into a success with some social media application out there, and I know, I just probably put me on the blacklist of every. Out there, they're going, oh, Alan See CMO Temps, that guys, you know, we're not hiring him, he's an asshole. But really, it is not about the technology, the technology is not going to save you. The technology is not going to all of a sudden spit out this great content and put it in the right place at the right time in front of the right audience with you know, with the right message and the right, right, right.
No, the applications aren't going to save you. So I mean that my perception is that, in fact, you know, people often ask me, okay, so what is your favorite tool out there? To which I go my favorite tool are people. And it sounds bad if I say out, you're a real tool, but that's not how I mean it, I think that people are the biggest investment or best investment you could put into this Social Media because if you've got great people who and train them, make sure that they have empathy, that they can really look into the eyes and through the eyes of the customer.
They're empathetic, they can see how the customers feeling. And then next of all, empower them, give them the power to fix that right now because a lot of people look at Social Media is better than the call center, you know, if I can get ahold of somebody here, quickly, and they can help me figure, you know, this out, that's what I want to do. So it's, this is more about an investment in people, helping them to become more human to view the world with empathy, to empower them. And that's what's really going to help a company more than it is, you know, buying more seats with some application because you want to automate some more.
Shane: Yes and I look at it the kind of the same way. I mean, I think software helps with some efficiencies, right on some things, but it's not going to replace the individual. Like I get this when people go, what do you think about artificial intelligence and they're going to be writing soon, they're gonna be doing this. I'm not too worried about it yet. I'm just not, it's not going to, it can write it. I mean, we have, there was a long time ago, they had things where you could flip scripts and you could put in some stuff, they would write an article for you real quick. It never really took off unless you're doing like, kind of spammy stuff.
But I think the same thing with AI. And once again, there's always that human touch that, it's going to be, we won't see it, but it's not going to replace us. Right? I don't think there is, it can maybe help something, and they can make things efficiencies a little better. But it's not going to, we're not in a situation where people like oh, my God, my job is gonna be replaced. You're not there, not in what we do I would say. Maybe in other industries, it's where there are efficiencies, but they'll always need to be... I think for now, of course, when they listen to this podcast in 30 years, they’re going to be like --
Alan: Yes, right.
Shane: That guy was clueless.
Alan: Yes. Right.
Shane: But I think today, I think we're still in the clear in regards to anything like that. But I do think I think, you touched on this time is, it's not a fast process, right? This is and then anything we do because when we do SEO or content or even social media, it's not just because you start sending out tweets yesterday, you write some content yesterday that it's going to happen overnight.
If you're looking for something fast, that's a PPC play and even then it's going to take some time to find a working funnel and the right audience and all that kind of stuff. So, you know, everything takes time.
And I think that's one of the things, that's where my qualifying questions, and I'm sure you do the same for potential brands of like, we talked about what would be a home run and how quickly you're looking to get this done? And what would you think the expected results would be from that? Where we're kind of, you know, once again, making sure it's a good fit because if you're out there in the moon, and you know, you want the 80,000 followers on Twitter.
In the next, you know, month and a half, you're like, well, you'd have to start at probably about 13 years ago, which you're a little late on that, not say it's impossible, but it's like you'd have to put that investment in and let's set some realistic goals or KPIs internally, to where we think that we can achieve those realistic results and not go off into the moon and offer you know, and think that something crazy is going to happen when it's not.
Alan: That's it's really true. I mean, I can look at my 80,000, 90,000 followers, I have never ever in my career paid for a Twitter follower. I don't, I don't do the paid advertising, it's all organic. And so that, that type of growth, it's just you know, it took --
Shane: A time investment.
Alan: It is.
Shane: There's no other way to do it. There isn't.
Alan: Really, and that's kind of it. When I say I'm the product and the service, you're paying for the hard roads, I've already gone down.
Shane: Yes which is of value, that's the point of being a CMO or a consultant, right. And the idea is you don't, I don't want to make the same mistakes that you made, you already paid for them. So now, the idea is, I'm paying for your time, so you teach me so I don't make those same mistakes. And that's what I think the value of either a mentor or you know, something like that, I think people under like they don't understand the value of that because it's like, consultant-like, yes, but they're so expensive.
But I'm like, you have to realize what it costs me to learn this, these can be $100,000 mistakes that we've made along the road, that we've learned, that I'm literally telling you for my measly hourly rate and if you look at that, I'm never going to break even on the mistakes I made. But the idea is that I'm going to educate you so you don't go and make those same mistakes. So there's huge value in that. I think sometimes people don't understand that. But I think the people that do I, like, I'll have certain people reach out and it's like, I'll tell them, my hourly is and they don't even flinch, like, yes I get it like that's not a problem because, I mean, it would take me six months, a year, 10 years, 20 years to learn what you understand.
If not, I could just tap into your brain, get all the good stuff for you know, get that 2% of what I really need. And then I can be out the door. And I've learned that you know, and then go on to the next person. So I don't know, I think there are the people that understand and the people that don't, they just don't understand, why are you charging so much and there's a reason for that? Because I'm giving you the goods.
Alan: Yes or they're like, why are you charging it? I mean, I'm sure you'd run into this on LinkedIn, somebody will fire a question at you and you kind of looking at and kind of you want to say, well, actually, I can answer that question. But where would I send the bill? And they're like, well, this is supposed to be about free collaboration and everything. I'm like, oh, that's my business model.
Shane: Yeah, well, it's, you know, it's funny, the way that I dealt with those over the years is that depending if it's a really easy question, what I will do is I'll go to my website, and I'll say, hey, this is where I wrote about that. So I have a nice little repository of content. If it's a big one, like, hey, I want to learn how to do social media marketing for this client then I'm like what I'll do is I'll send them something, say, well, so obviously, are you looking for consulting hours or how did you want to structure this?
Shane: And you know, it's not that I'm not here to help people but when you ask me these crazy questions, like, literally, how do I put a strategy together for this? Like, that's not a two minute, three minute answer of, hey, let me help you out. You're literally trying to, the way I look at is you're trying to grab all my knowledge and you're really not offering me anything for that, right?
Alan: Well, that is true. It's not that I feel like there has to be a dollar exchange every time. It's kind of like, okay, I can see what's going to be in that for you, now, what would there be in it for me to you know, to do that, I'll bite go ahead and tell me.
Shane: Yes, yes, it's funny. So I just had a company reach out to me. And the thing is if I had $1 for every company that reached out to me to be included on my blog or you know, it happens every single day, and we have different ways that we're working with, we're dealing with that now. And it's, you know, now they can do sponsored posts and some stuff, and then we'll see who's really serious about, you know, being included.
But I had a gentleman from a company that I talked with this week, and he came in and what I loved about it is that he was very much like, hey, how can I help you? This is what we do for you, you can write for our blog, this is what we do. This is how many people and what we were looking at for on our side was we were wondering, maybe if you could do this.
And for me, there we go like you're offering value, you're making it a win-win, you come with a plan that makes sense to me. And it's not very easy to say, hey, will you help me out? The problem is, in the beginning, I didn't have a problem with that, and the problem is when I get to a point where I've had 1000 people a year that has asked for help.
It becomes a situation where it just needs to be a win-win in any situation, like you need to explain the value of how both people can win from the situation. And I think when that happens; you better understand, you value people's time. I mean, I know Dennis, a buddy of mine, and for him if you go and ask questions, and he'll say, hey, go here, and go ahead and give me, you know, one hour two hour consulting, just tell me how long you think it's going to take, we can go ahead and set that up.
And he's getting rid of the tire kickers, the people that are just going to continue to ask questions because, once again, not a problem to answer that. But you know, we get 10, 15, 20, 30 questions a day, it really, really starts to take up your bandwidth.
Alan: Well, and this is where I mean, you also need that quantum physics machine. Now to be in, for people who, you know, might work for a big company and they have a big staff and so they don't realize that I mean, you're it, you're the show and every minute you take answering they think it's just a sidebar, quick question, that's the minute I'm not doing the paid engagement work or for a client that's expecting the delivery. So I have to really be, as you do be guarded of your time in that way.
Shane: Absolutely. Absolutely. So we're about the end of this thing, but I tell you we knocked through this thing today. It was awesome interviewing you.
Alan: Yes, this was fun.
Shane: If anybody needs, yes, absolutely. If anybody needs to get in contact with you, where can they, give us some information.
Alan: So that you know, my website is cmotemps.biz. I'm lucky that my name isn't that common. There is an Alan See who's a clothier are in Hong Kong I believe, that I compete with for page one organic Google results. But you can Google my name and you'll get one of my websites or social profiles. But really the cmotemps.biz would be a great way to reach out to me.
Shane: Awesome. And I got one more question for you. So if money wasn't a concern, what would you do every day if you didn't have to work? Like, I can't imagine you not working, just judging from this last hour, I think you would, you know, you probably drive you crazy because it drives me nuts. Let's say money wasn't an issue, what would you do if it wasn't working?
Alan: So this is going to sound like a total cop-out. But I mean, you mentioned your wife and working with her on how you're going to spend and everything. I sleep with and live with my board of directors and by total support from my wife. And so I mean, I am already doing exactly what I want to do. And as long as I stay in good health, I don't see why I should even stop.
So as long as I have her as my you know, support network. Again, I'm a lifelong learner, I don't see any reason to do, to turn off the learning that I'm doing in that regard.
And, you know, whether it's Twitter or some other new social platform or some other way of marketing, as long as I'm able, I'm going to stick with it. And, you know, I may get to the point where I'm spending more time with the history and the events with the Sons of the American Revolution. I believe it or not.
I've got the whole costume so I take part in the parades and all that kind of stuff. Their motto is about education, history and patriotism. And so I'm really into that, but other than pursuing the history aspect of it, I like what I'm doing.
Shane: There we go, well, shout out to Alan's wife.
Alan: Alice, yay.
Shane: That's awesome. Well, good deal, Alan. Hey, thank you so much for taking the time today. Have an awesome Friday and we'll let you guys know when the podcast goes live.
Alan: I will definitely be tweeting about it.
Shane: That sounds like a plan. Thank you, sir. Have an awesome day.
Alan: All right. Thanks.