How To Make Money On Social Media

Speaker 1:

… And it’s a little bit of a tricky one, but what is your biggest tip for making money online?

Speaker 2:

All right. Biggest tip that’s going to apply to everyone in this room. I would say, learn to be an editor and not a perfectionist, because the way you’re going to make money, the way you’re going to… I think just approaching business, and this tends to be my philosophy, and it’s funny, because I think I’ll also say this, there’s so many philosophies that you’re going to hear today. Take the ones that ring true to you. It’s going to be different. Different things, make sense to different people. I know, the thing I heard earlier, the panel, which I thought was great and it ties into your question I promise, was this idea of writing out where you want to be a year from now.

Speaker 2:

I think that’s awesome, but you know, for me, people ask me like, “Oh, what’s your exit plan for the company?”. And I say, “I don’t know.”, and I’m fine with that, because I’m in an industry in a world where I just want to be open to opportunities. We’ve grown so organically that I don’t want to have a five year plan or one year plan that’s like, “This is exactly what I’m going to do”, because I feel like I don’t even know what’s next. My world changes too quickly. How many of you guys knew that Snapchat was going to be where it is? Nobody. Things change really fast in social media. Think, just 10 years ago, there was no Instagram. Facebook had 5 million users. It’s totally different. So many of the things that we see today didn’t exist, so for me I think making money online or otherwise, it’s about being an editor, being open to what the market wants, which is going to be constantly changing and be willing to evolve.

Speaker 2:

I see people who sit on their websites for a year, because they want to get just the right sheet of magenta for their logo, like; “Ugh, a tad too bright, tad just.”, and I’m like, “In a year everything changed, but you were so stuck on magenta. Your website should have gone through four iterations by now.”. I think you have to start thinking about business, branding, all of this as a living breathing thing.

Speaker 2:

Alicia, you’ve been talking about your clients, you help them create these amazing campaigns and be authors. But you’ve seen how much the world has changed and what that looks like. What it meant to be a bestseller five years ago and what it looks like now. I think that’s just really important is, that’s my best advice, is learn to be an editor. Take from this, put something into action, I don’t care what it is when you go home that makes sense to you, but know that you’re always going to be changing things. If you reach for progress and not perfection, I think you’ll do much better in the online world, but you’ll also be a saner human being and I think that counts for something.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think the world we live in, perfection is overrated. I’ve never been a perfectionist. I’ve always been grateful for that. I think progress is a much better metric. They often say perfection is the enemy of good, and I think that’s true, especially in the marketing field where it’s very much this idea of you have to constantly evolve, put things out there, edit, evolve. I consider myself an editor and I think that’s a much better suited role or job title or even lens for the world that we live in right now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. No, absolutely. Do you think that’s been one of your keys to success, when it comes to helping your clients and being able to grow a Marketing Zen to where it is today and everything that you’ve accomplished? Do you believe that’s one of your factors to getting there?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I think hands down being an editor and not feeling like something has to be a hundred percent great to put it out there. To know that as long as you’re providing value and you’re getting better and you’re keeping up, I think that’s the best that one can expect from themselves. I think as long… To me, it’s always about providing value, and if it’s helping people, it’s getting things to the next level, then that’s the direction to go in.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Now in the beginning, I know you said you wanted to be in journalism. Now you’re digital marketing, helping companies grow. How did you come up with the idea to start a digital marketing company? Did you build a business plan and just hit the phone, hit the pavement? What did you do, in those very beginning stages, to get your company off the ground and build it to what it is today?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think it’s interesting that I didn’t start out to say I wanted to build this digital marketing firm that we have today. It very much started out with meeting demand, and I think that’s where some of the best businesses come from, is you notice demand and then you find that sweet spot in the marketplace. I think demand also to see, how is that being fulfilled today? If I was starting today, it might look very different. I might have a different perspective than when I did, how many, like 10 years ago. I think it’s about studying the market, what does it look like, and then finding that intersection between your passion and what you love and what the market wants. Arguably, Mmarketing Zen was one of the first social media marketing firms in the world.

Speaker 2:

This is a time where social was really new. My book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, which is now in its fourth edition and is used in many colleges as a textbook. Just before Momentum, my second book came out even. It’s just funny, it was one of the first books on social media, so we think when you’re that early into any industry and field, you don’t quite know what you’re building towards. You’re more looking again to meet the demand of the marketplace or the audience. At that given time, people really were hungry to know, “How do I use Facebook? How do I understand Twitter? Or how do we blog?”. Of course, over time, that’s evolved to being much more sophisticated.

Speaker 2:

Today, we’re a global marketing firm. We work with brands across the world, different countries. We work with everyone from the Navy to Chase business, so our clientele is extremely diverse and a big part of that has been continuing to grow and develop. I think it’s not being able to stay in that box, because eventually people figured out, “Okay. How do we use Facebook, Twitter.”, and then, it’s now more to me about the connected consumer. How do you really understand and engage how people think and work? I think in part of it, it’s like being… I feel like my job has two parts; being an anthropologist and looking at almost the history and where we’ve come from and how people respond and react, maybe a little sociology mixed in and then a futurist. Thinking about knowing this, where are we headed now?

Speaker 4:

How is your approach to marketing and social media unique? How does it give an edge over other people? Because what we’re seeing now is, it isn’t just about selling clothes. It isn’t just about selling soda. It’s about selling people and part of that, it gets branded politics, so how is your approach unique than what we see everywhere?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think what’s really important is understanding that it’s not about what your brand says about you. The longest times, companies did this madmen era as the perfect example. What does our brand say about us? And this is really much more of the focus on what does doing business with us at any level, communicating with us, interacting with us, allow our customers to see about their brand. It’s a very different perspective.

Speaker 5:

Interesting.

Speaker 2:

It’s even the people watching the show right now. It’s “Yes, this show might be about XYZ, but what does it say about them watching the show?”. They like to stay in touch with current affairs. They like the perspective. They’re avant-garde in some way.

Speaker 5:

That’s interesting. That’s very interesting.

Speaker 4:

Dig that. When you look at the businesses of the United States or of the world, how would you say they’re using social media correctly or incorrectly?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think so much of this is a process, is that… This is true for everyone of us. At my office, the jokes always like, “What changed while we were sleeping”, because that’s the only guarantee is something changed. We just need to figure out by noon what it is, so we can make sure that our clients are in the loop. I think part of this is an evolution. It’s not so cut and dry. It’s not like you get up and you realize, “Okay, well, this is how it’s going to be.”. It’s more learning to realize that this is an ecosystem. It’s not about the tools we use. People get so caught up in that. Like, “Is it Snapchat? Is it Instagram?”, and really, it’s this broader idea of it’s this ecosystem and so how do you really thrive in it?