Last month I was given the amazing opportunity to serve as a coach at a class on “Leveraging Web and Social Media Marketing” with our newest partner, Bad Girl Ventures. As mentioned in the intro to our blog series, BGV is an organization based out of Cincinnati that is geared towards giving female entrepreneurs the resources they need to succeed. They have partnered with SCORE and First Financial to provide a loan to the participant who has applied their business skills the best at the end of the term. They are currently hosting weekly classes in our Cincinnati office that are catered towards business savvy practices. Some of my other colleagues also served as coaches at the session on “Marketing Essentials and Branding”. The classes served as a valuable experience for both parties, and everyone involved walked away with new knowledge and insight.
After agreeing to be a social media marketing coach for the class, I wasn’t entirely sure what that entailed (yes, I agreed before asking what I signed up for). Regardless of the questions I had, I’m so glad I did it. The presentation on SEO and social media was not only beneficial to the participants but for my own personal expertise as well. LEAP always encourages their employees to gain knowledge from resources outside our company and this was a great opportunity to learn from another industry source. Following the presentation, the coaching sessions began. They were structured like mini consulting sessions. We had 10-15 minute one-on-one meetings with various participants and reviewed their strengths and weaknesses as a company and brand. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each participant I spoke with and came up with creative ways to solve their business problems. I mainly discussed social media strategy per each platform and overall brand strategy. We brainstormed about original ways to reach their target audiences and how to cross promote their company.
Being a self-proclaimed foodie, I was especially excited to talk to Emily Frank, founder of C’est Cheese food truck. After following up with her in an email she replied…
“Your advice was actually the best of the day. Sitting with you, Nathan (Dye), and Jacob (Knight) was so helpful as it was the first bit of personal advice and information that pertained to my business. I think Jacob said it best by advising me to ask myself “If I read this, would I care?” when composing tweets. Seems so simple, but it really hit the nail on the head for me!”
Her reply not only made me happy to know my colleagues and I were able to provide insight, but also helped to further prove a point. Social media is an important tool that serves as an aid in overall marketing efforts, but it is by no means the end all-be all. It needs to be a part of the over all brand strategy along with other marketing efforts that work towards the same objective and message. Even beyond that, there is no cookie cutter answer to social media. As Emily pointed out…it takes personal solutions, generic advice will only take a company so far. Being able to have a strategic partner help map out your brand strategy and execute it, brings me to my cheesy bit of advice-two heads truly are better than one.