Transcript – Episode 45

Fred Dunayer:
Welcome to the SCORE Small Business Success Podcast, Been There, Done That. To get free mentoring services as well as to see the wide variety of resources available for small businesses visit our website at www.score.org or call 1-800-634-0245, and now, here’s your host, Dennis Zink.
Dennis Zink:
Episode number 45, Outside Marketing Assistance. Fred Dunayer joins me today in our studio as co-host, SCORE mentor and our audio engineer. Good morning, Fred.
Fred Dunayer:
Good morning, Dennis.
Dennis Zink:
Fred, our guests today are Jamie Schwartz with Kabbage and Jennyfer Crawford with Ask Jennyfer. Jamie and Jennyfer, welcome to Been There, Done That.
Jamie Schwartz:
Great to be here
Jennyfer C:
Thank you for having me.
Dennis Zink:
As the head of community programs at Kabbage Jamie Schwartz educates small businesses about financing options and the benefits of online lending. Before Kabbage Jamie worked for Intuit. Jamie holds an Undergrad degree in Finance from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Boston University in Marketing and International Finance. Kabbage is an online lender offering lines of credit up to one-hundred-thousand dollars for companies that have been in business for at least one year. Since its inception over one-hundred-thousand loans have been made in excess of two billion dollars to small businesses.

Jennyfer Crawford has more than ten years of project management and business planning experience. Jennyfer developed a business of consulting and event planning. A major aspect of her company is the Small Business Showcase. ‘All things Detroit’ is held three times a year and helps small businesses introduce their products and services and promote togetherness for the business community. Jennyfer was recently named Crain’s Detroit Business – Top 40 Under 40 in 2016. Jennyfer, when should a business consider outside marketing?
Jennyfer C:
A business should consider outside marketing once they have a plan together as to what their business is and what they want to do and what their target audience is.
Dennis Zink:
Would it be any difference if the business was in its planning stage versus an in-business client who’s already operating?
Jennyfer C:
Yes, it would be a little different because to have a marketing plan you must know what your actual business is and having all that together.
Dennis Zink:
When we say marketing can you give me a definition of what you’re referring to?
Jennyfer C:
As far as marketing goes you want to know what your product is and who you’re trying to reach. It could be something as far as marketing material, social media marketing, that type of thing.
Dennis Zink:
Okay, would it include things like branding?
Jennyfer C:
Branding, of course. Your logo, your website, those are all different marketing tools that you need for your brand.
Dennis Zink:
How about pricing? Do you get involved with that?
Jennyfer C:
Yes, pricing, but I feel that you must … It depends on what your product is. A lot of marketing that you can start to do yourself and self-educate yourself to do it before you get involved in hiring someone on the outside. Most of the time when you’re a small business you have a smaller budget, so doing some of the marketing and learning it yourself as far as what marketing is and your branding, then you can seek outside help, so doing some of the research yourself first.
Dennis Zink:
What’s the best way to research the market if you’re a small business and determining what your needs are?
Jennyfer C:
I read a lot of books and I feel like to self-educate yourself for marketing books is the best way. Also using any online services, ask Google, if you have a certain type of business you can research ways to market that business using the internet or reading books. I personally feel that reading books, it works a lot better.
Dennis Zink:
I have to compliment you. I saw at the beginning you were in Crain’s Detroit Business listed as the top 40 under 40, is that correct?
Jennyfer C:
Yes.
Dennis Zink:
Yeah. In the top 40, and Rance Crain is a friend of mine, just as a sidebar. They do a great job, of course they have Advertising Age, you know I thought I’d throw that in, because Advertising Age is a big part of understanding marketing, advertising, et cetera. Why is it important for a business to be involved with community events?
Jennyfer C:
Community events are a great way to get your brand out there because a lot of people are involved in a community event. You never know who you’re going to meet or bump into so it’s good. It’s a form of networking and it’s a great way to get your business out there by being involved in the community. I feel like sometimes people recognize it more like, oh, this brand was involved in this activity that was going on or this program that helps the community. Overall your business, it’s a good idea to have it involved in your community that you are in.
Dennis Zink:
Do you think it’s a specific type, maybe like chamber events, or economic development, I guess it depends on your business, but is there anything in particular that you normally would recommend?
Jennyfer C:
It depends on your business and it also depends on where you’re located. If you have a, I don’t know, if you do children’s clothing it may be to be involved when you’re giving back and you’re helping children, maybe a non-profit about children, helping them with entrepreneurship or some types of donations, those type of community activity events. The chamber events, it depends on if you’re a marketing person. You can go to the chamber events, it’s really good for networking but it also really does depend on what business you have.
Dennis Zink:
Do you recommend like getting a booth at like a chamber function where they have table top booths and that kind of thing?
Jennyfer C:
I recommend that, but like I said it also depends on what type of business that you have. Everything depends on, you have to see if you’re a great fit. If it’s not a great fit for you, sometimes a lot of people sign up for the chamber events, and if you have a clothing company, or if you sell candles it’s not the type of event that you would do that, but if you are a marketing firm or if you sell insurance that might be a great event for you to sign up for.
Fred Dunayer:
Jennyfer, this is Fred. I’d like to take a step back just for a second. I’m a new business owner, I think I know what I’m doing when it comes to marketing. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of ads over the years and I watch television commercials, how do I know that I need your help? What kind of things do I look at in terms of understanding what I don’t know?
Jennyfer C:
If you have a formula that works, that’s fine, but it’s important to always kind of reinvent yourself and try different strategies of marketing. Even if you feel this one thing works, you have to look into other forms of it because it can get old. You always want to come up with new marketing plans and new ideas or new ways to reinventing yourself. It’s always important to be fresh and new with what it is that you’re doing. That could be as an example, just say if you sell insurance and you have a marketing plan that works maybe you want to have a mobile app. There’s not a lot of insurance companies that have a mobile app. So just different things for your business that are fresh and new.
Dennis Zink:
Jennyfer, I have a saying, don’t reinvent the wheel, just change the spokes. Meaning that, you know, just the slight difference in the basic product can make all the difference in the world and what your product actually is and what it’s used for. Do you ever recommend things like that for clients, like just small changes can really change the whole paradigm of what they’re trying to accomplish.
Jennyfer C:
Yes I do. Depending on the business I do recommend, because if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, kind of the same thing. Yeah, I do recommend that you know, this is fine but maybe if you just want to change a layout, redo your website to update it, and that’s kind of what I mean when I say reinventing or changing it up just a bit. You’re still getting your message across, but that new design of that website, it’s like a relaunch and that can change, just bring even more people.
Fred Dunayer:
When you walk into a business and they do have enough sense to call an outside agency such as yourself, what’s your approach? What do you do with them?
Jennyfer C:
First I ask them how they advertise their business, like I’ll just come in, introduce myself. I won’t say what it is I do at first but I’ll say, oh, how do you market your business and are they looking to get more customers or are they looking to reach their target audience, so on and so forth. I don’t just come out and say you should do this or you should do that but I just say, oh how do you market your business, and they’ll say, oh, we have word of mouth, or, we don’t like to post pictures on social media and things like that, and I’ll say, well you know a lot of people, we’re the visuals. If you don’t like to use social media, it is a new big tool, it is something that is somewhat free that you can use as well. I don’t try to criticize them but I do try to give them key pointers and give them my card and just say, hey, you know what, if you’re interested in changing things up a bit and doing some different forms of marketing give me a call.
Dennis Zink:
Now in terms of social media, do you do that, or do you try to work with them and figure out what they want to accomplish and work with an outside, even a third party, or fourth party to do search engine optimization for example, help with their website, create some sort of traffic flow or funnel. Do you get involved with that, or is that farmed out?
Jennyfer C:
No, I actually get involved with that. All of the social media posting and everything, I actually do all of that. Of the search engine, I work with an outside sub-contractors that I sub-contract work out to, just like the graphic designers and the web designers. They would handle all of that, but the social media aspect of it is what I handle.
Dennis Zink:
You’re a point person basically, you know, certain things that you can handle and other things that you can’t and you get the right person that can help in those areas. Is that correct?
Jennyfer C:
Yes. That’s why I’m called Ask Jennyfer. If you need it you can ask me and I’ll get it taken care of.
Dennis Zink:
What kind of budget would a small business be looking at? Give me an idea just roughly, maybe even by type of business. Let’s say whether it’s an insurance company or someone with a retail establishment. Can you give me some rough idea?
Jennyfer C:
First I would ask them if they have a marketing budget. The marketing budget depends on how much marketing, how much we can do per month. I would saying having maybe a thousand dollars a month for a small business, because a lot … Like startup businesses that I work with, they really don’t have a budget. We try to work with them to see exactly, okay, maybe you can start with 500 dollars this month, and then next month, it’s a thousand, and then next month, and it can go up and up. It depends. I would say about a thousand dollars because I feel like your marketing materials, they have to be really great. I always recommend that you get a professional person to do your graphics and your website and your marketing materials. They just have to be professionally done, so about a thousand dollars.
Dennis Zink:
What are some tips that you would give somebody as it relates to developing their marketing plan and strategically getting to that next level?
Jennyfer C:
First I would analyze where I am now, the marketing tools that I use now. I would see where I want to go. I would do a six month plan or a three month plan to see, okay, I’m here, I have X amount of customers, but I want to be here and there’s things that I could not do that I would research some marketing companies and reach out to them and monitor some of their work to see exactly what it is that they specialize in that I don’t do that I need help in.
Fred Dunayer:
Jennyfer, if someone wants to hire someone like you in their local area, what should they be looking for and how would they evaluate a marketing specialist?
Jennyfer C:
Being involved in community events is a great way to meet people that are in the field as I am. I work with clients that are not only in the Detroit area, I work with some in actually Atlanta and in Texas. I just do some of their social media and a variety of different things like that, but what I would then do is get involved in community events and anything for small businesses. Any programs for small businesses and researching those online, small business networks in your community is a great way to meet people in marketing. I know here in Detroit we have different programs for small businesses that will help you do a marketing plan, a business plan, and everything you need. Researching small business programs would really really help a small business who’s trying to get started and meet someone like me that can take care of that for them.
Fred Dunayer:
How does a novice to marketing know that the person they’re speaking to has the skills necessary to help them?
Jennyfer C:
You know what, that is a very tricky question because I know a lot of people will sell you a lot of things that they do and they can’t deliver. Getting references, actually seeing the work that they’ve done and reaching out and doing research on that person. You can ask them for references directly, but sometimes those can be friends or family or whatever, but I would say making sure that you just really really do your homework, and not only having just one option, having three options of different people and making sure that the references that you get work out great.
Dennis Zink:
What should they do with social media? What would you advise a new business? How do you begin?
Jennyfer C:
With social media it’s so important that you’re posting at the right times and also that you reach your market, and knowing that the data that you’re posting about your business is important, and what you’re posting. Sometimes people think if they post a picture that’s all they need, but you have to say something with that picture and what you’re posting. It’s important with social media to be consistent. You have to be very consistent with social media and you have to know, you have to post key information about your business. I say post at peak-times, you know, at least three times a day, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening there are certain times that are really good to post.
Fred Dunayer:
Jennyfer, obviously you’ve been in this business for a while and I suspect that you’ve been following and watching the trends and the switches in the social media for example. Is there some aspect of marketing that you’re particularly passionate about that really is the thing that clients should be focusing on that you see as extremely important?
Jennyfer C:
Yes. I think that what I’m really noticing now is video. Using video in some kind of ad campaigns for marketing has really, really been working amazing in a lot of different areas and I feel that a lot of business owners don’t look at the video aspect of it because they think that it’s very expensive, but I think that that is an area that can give customers the visual of your business and I think that that’s important.
Dennis Zink:
Considering some of the different channels of social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etcetera, are there any ones that you recommend more than others for business to business clients?
Jennyfer C:
I think that Instagram, I mean honestly, I received a lot, maybe I would say 60% of business from Instagram. I think Instagram is a great platform to use, more so than Facebook because of the ability to use the hashtags and stuff like that. I really love using Instagram. I know that a lot of people are now into Snapchat and a variety of different things like that, Twitter, because like I said before I’m all about the visual aspect of it and just seeing that picture and reading that small text, I think that that just, you know, you have to post things that excite people and draw them into you.
Dennis Zink:
Now Jennyfer, is that for your business, or is that for businesses that you’re working with?
Jennyfer C:
I’m saying overall. Overall I think that Instagram is a great tool. I know people who do a lot of different types of businesses and they use Instagram and it really works well, not just for a marketing person, not just for a clothing person, a lot of people use Instagram.
Fred Dunayer:
That’s very interesting. I don’t think we’d heard that from any of our other speakers on marketing subjects. I think that’s something we need to follow up on. Do you believe in posting videos on Facebook pages, and what do you think about LinkedIn as far as marketing is concerned?
Jennyfer C:
It’s okay for me. It’s not a lot of, we don’t get a lot of interaction on LinkedIn. I think it’s kind of limited. It is very professional looking, a lot more professional looking than Facebook. I do recommend on Facebook that people use post a lot when they have a video or there’s certain type of key information they can boost a post and you can do that also on Instagram. For LinkedIn, it’s not a lot of interaction. I see that they have a lot of groups, but I do not use it as much. It’s just amazing, the reach of Instagram for me, but LinkedIn, not so much. I don’t get a lot of interaction from LinkedIn.
Fred Dunayer:
I’ve heard that Twitter can be affective, but typically people who are using Twitter have to post multiple times per day and that seems like it’s probably awfully burdensome for a small business owner.
Jennyfer C:
You can schedule posts that can post to Twitter. There’s Hootsuite that you can use that can schedule to post for all of your social media, but a lot of my clients don’t have a lot of success with Twitter. I’ve spoken to other marketing companies and in social media, it’s just kind of so-so. Sometimes people feel that it’s more so for celebrities and different things like that, than just regular business owners.
Dennis Zink:
Yeah, that’s what I was going to say, that Twitter seems to be more for personalities, famous people, that kind of thing, that really want to reach a large crowd quickly and people don’t care what I tweet. I do tweet, but they don’t really care.
Jennyfer C:
I do. I use it, but it’s just okay.
Dennis Zink:
How to you recommend tracking the success of your marketing efforts to know if you’re getting a good return on your investment?
Jennyfer C:
There’s social media monitoring, that’s important, that’s a great tool to use because you can see who’s talking about your brand, you can see who’s it reaching and what’s working. I really recommend using social media monitoring. It’s different websites that you can use for that. I would use the social media monitoring tool. You can see how many people interacted with your post, how many people it reached, and so on. There’s a variety of different ones from those.
Dennis Zink:
I just started using Google Analytics on one of my sites just to see what’s going on with it and it’s just a site that really is like a holding place, so it’s not anything that critical, but I was kind of curious more than anything else to see how many people came to the site, how much time they spent, what kind of bounce rate and that kind of thing. It was kind of interesting. Is Google Analytics best geared for a website, and what other analytics are there for other, the other social media, or is it the same thing?
Jennyfer C:
I think no, it’s not the same thing. I think Google Analytics is perfect when you’re, for your website. I thought before you were just asking me as far as social media goes, but Google Analytics is perfect for your website, but for social media is when I’m saying using the social media monitoring like Topsy and a few other ones out there. I think it’s Talkwalker and then social media Mention, but Google Analytics is like the best one you can use for your website.
Dennis Zink:
What about for Facebook? What’s used on that to figure out what’s going on?
Jennyfer C:
A lot of the times I just use my Facebook, like the ad to show exactly what my reach is and my post reach. I just use the tools on Facebook for that basically. No listening or anything for that.
Dennis Zink:
How do they compare to Google Analytics? Are they equally as good just on a different channel?
Jennyfer C:
They’re not as equally as good. Google Analytics just gives you a lot more detailed information that what would on Facebook.
Fred Dunayer:
You mentioned that you feel like you’ve had a lot of success with Instagram. Are there analytics available for that?
Jennyfer C:
You’re actually able to view the insights and everything with Instagram now because they have Instagram for business and now everything is through kind of like Facebook for Instagram and Facebook. They’re tied in together but it is, you will be able to, you are able to view it now with the insights and everything for Instagram. As far as before when you were not able to, I was just basically using the tracking, how I received my business. When you, and the clients also, as well as saying okay, how did this person hear about you, what is this, so on and so forth, using the hashtags.
Dennis Zink:
It seems like we’ve been talking a lot in the last few minutes about social media. How does that compare to traditional marketing methods? Is it half of a typical client’s budget, more than half? Is it 80%? What’s the current ratio of using social media versus other traditional marketing methods, like print and TV and that kind of thing?
Jennyfer C:
A lot of things that you get ready for, and that you can use for print you can use on your social media as graphics and so on. Now I feel like everything has changed a lot. It used to be the traditional ways of kind of door to door marketing and sending mailers and those types of things, but now everything is online. As far as a budget goes, like I said, a lot of things in social media, it can be for free and then to get even more exposure you can boost it and pay for it, but the old traditional way of marketing is good too as well, being face to face and being in person, but with social media it’s just one of those number one tools now that is a key in your marketing plan, like you must use social media.
Fred Dunayer:
Jennyfer, is there anything that we haven’t discussed or anything you want to emphasize as we start to wrap this up?
Jennyfer C:
The only thing I can say is just that with marketing you have to be very very consistent in your plan and in all marketing aspects. When you really want to take your brand to that next level it is important to try to reach out to outside marketing and hire someone.
Fred Dunayer:
That makes great sense. We’re going to let you go, I know that you’re on a time frame and we appreciate your being with us.
Jennyfer C:
Thank you guys so much, I definitely appreciate it. Thank you Jamie.
Jamie Schwartz:
Thank you Jennyfer.
Dennis Zink:
Thanks Jennyfer, appreciate your enlightening our listeners on the topic today, outside marketing assistance.
Fred Dunayer:
Jamie, is there anything you’d like to add to Jennyfer’s comments.
Jamie Schwartz:
Absolutely. Jennyfer’s actually one of our Kabbage customers and she throws these great events, and that’s something we do at Kabbage as well and I would encourage you, like she mentioned, to also participate in your community events. One reason is you get out in front of people that might not necessarily walk into your store and through word of mouth they could potentially refer you. There’s also a good way to test your product and service in your market outside of your traditional storefront or office.
Dennis Zink:
How long have you been working with Jennyfer?
Jamie Schwartz:
Jennyfer’s been a customer for a while now actually. I don’t know exactly how long but at least over a year now, and she’s used it to really grow her business and she’s been a consistent really present person in our company.
Fred Dunayer:
Jamie, is there anything you would like our listeners to come away with, either about the subject of getting outside marketing assistance or regarding Kabbage?
Jamie Schwartz:
Yeah, absolutely. We as well encourage our customers to try marketing for themselves first. We encourage them to definitely have a Facebook page. It gets you higher searched on Google, and in case you can’t update your website, if it’s too expensive or you don’t have the resources, Facebook’s a really easy way to have basically a website without having an actual website and people can find you a lot better. We also encourage you to use Facebook advertising, it’s really easy to find your target audience so you’re not communicating to the world, but you’re really finding people where your business is. We also encourage everyone like Jennyfer mentioned to use Instagram. It’s actually been something we’ve used a lot and we actually put our customer’s services and products on our Instagram page.

That’s a way to kind of give back to our community of both Kabbage and non-Kabbage customers, the small business community in general. We do find that there’s a lot of interaction with photos. You’re actually able to shop products, so if you have a service or product that you can buy online then it links directly from your Instagram page to your shopping cart on your website or Facebook page. We think it’s a really great tool and we encourage using it, but it’s for small businesses and we’re big fans at Kabbage as well.
Dennis Zink:
Well thank you again for being our guests today on Been There, Done That. We found it very informative, especially the Instagram information. I didn’t know a lot of that, apparently Fred didn’t either.
Fred Dunayer:
The list of things I don’t know goes on for miles. Thank you again Jamie, we appreciate it.
Jamie Schwartz:
Thank you guys.
Fred Dunayer:
You’ve been listening to the SCORE small business success podcast, Been There, Done That. The opinions of the hosts and guests are theirs and do not necessarily reflect those of SCORE. If you would like to hear more podcasts, get a free mentor, view a transcript of this podcast, or would like more information about the services we provide you can call SCORE at 800-634-0245 or visit our website at www.score.org, again that’s 800-634-0245 or visit the website at www.score.org.