Learn To Conquer Social Media at the Facebook Mastery Summit
It is no surprise that Facebook is becoming the go-to resource for Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Consultants looking to promote their business, generate leads and sell products. However, with all of the free and paid Facebook training out there…….how many people are actually seeing results from their efforts?
In this interview, Nick talks about his success in using Facebook for lead generation, building relationships and converting “fans” into paying clients. Nick also discusses his upcoming “Facebook Mastery Summit” that will be launching in March 2011
Meet Nick Unsworth
Nick Unsworth is a Social Media Pro who teaches entrepreneurs, small business owners, and service professionals how to build a tribe of raving fans, followers, and customers that will grow their brand and bottom line. A little known fact about Nick is that he has a big ol’ tattoo on his chest that reads “Believe 2012″. You have to see it to believe it……Nick has an amazing personal story that includes many successes and failures. Read more about Nicks story and to check out that sweet tattoo! It has been a pleasure getting to know Nick over the past year and I’m am sure that everyone that watches this interview and checks out his website will find a tremendous amount of value in what he has to offer!
1. Can you tell us about yourself and how you got into this world of social media?
Definitely, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. My evolution into internet marketing was a very eventful, wild and painful at times ride as I’m sure alot of entrepreneurs and people that are interested in this space have gone through.
When I was in college, I was into Network Marketing, and somehow did very well in it. But, I learned that that wasn’t the business model for me. I moved into Real Estate which I always hated. From there, I started a business. It was my first online business and it was in 2008. I built out this business, it was kind of like a not-for-profit and way to build out my branding in the real estate market here in town.
Long story short, built it out, learned alot, got the company to the first page of Google completely by accident. And the reason was because I hired a traditional advertising company. I hired 4 guys that each had 25 years of experience and they said if you want traffic to this website, we need to run TV commercials. And, I looked at that and thought, really?? TV commercials?? How about this 15 page grass-roots marketing plan that I put together that had internet marketing and was just local grass-roots stuff that I had put together. They literally looked at it, they didn’t even read through it and said absolutely not, you have to do TV commercials and that’s how you’re going to build this business.
At one point, we were really butting heads on it and at the time I was 26, I said, I am going to get out of my own way and let these professionals do what they do best and market this business. Sure enough, I get into it and I not only lost everything I had, but I then racked up $50,000 in credit card debt because the whole thing just turned sideways because the TV commercials were insanely expensive. It drove alot of traffic, but it wasn’t targeted. Long story short, it got it ranked on Google, which is good in most cases, but it was local business. And, without getting too much into detail, I ended up getting into a trademark situation because this big company out of Chicago had a similar name. It was a disaster.
But, the takeaway, the reason I shared that story is because what ended up happening, and what is happening to alot of business right now, is that they are still doing the same things that they did 10 years ago. They are still doing radio and billboards and TV and all kinds of direct mail. And, from all of those advertising mediums, they are not getting the ROI.
So, once that happened to me, I basically went out and I literally set out on an absolute warpath to figure out internet marketing. I knew there had to be a better way. So, from there, the reason I got to $50,000 in credit card debt is that I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars flying all over the country learning from every guru and speaker I could get my hands on learning. I spent a good year of just learning.
It was a great experience, but the main thing is taking action. I didn’t realize that taking action was the key part, so I didn’t start taking action until about 2 years ago. I started building out my online properties, the blog, Facebook and all that good stuff. As soon as I got everything up and running, it was absolutely amazing how fast things happened.
Trevor: I was just about to ask you too. What was the “WOW” moment for you?
The WOW moment was when I finally got the blog up. Even when I was taking action, I had a gig with a company where I was their social media guy and was developing a community. But, when I launched my own personal brand, that’s when everything completely changed.
You have to make a big decision whether you are going to go with a personal brand or whether you are going to build a saleable asset. There are two different directions, but the advantage of the personal brand is that, I spent at the time $700. I built a blog that also included my branded Twitter account and Facebook. As soon as that went live, all I did was go back to the contacts I already had and told them I am starting an online business helping small business owners use the internet to get customers.
I mean, we are talking literally within 30 days, I had enough clients to pay my bills. When I made that jump, I was in real estate before, and I literally had a $3500 expense to pay my bills. I didn’t have any houses in the pipeline to sell, the real estate market in Connecticut sucked. I was spending all my time in internet marketing, so I was honestly financially, completely screwed. And, I made the decision to come out with the blog, to go that direction, to change my branding and to just commit and make the leap of faith in saying I’m going to do this. I’m going to create literally $3500 or more so I can pay my bills that month. And, once I made that decision in my head, went out there and did it, that was the most life changing 30 days of my life. So, once that happened, I realized everything was real and things just compounded and snowballed and it’s been a real blessing since.
Trevor: And, one of the things that really stood out for me from what you just said is that you’ve been through the school of hard knocks as they say. You’ve learned the hard lessons, no different that I have too, I have a very similar background in that you try everything and you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. So, it’s nice when you can start realizing what those things are that you can turn that around and turn it into a profitable business and really learn to love and enjoy what you do every day and it’s clear that you do that.
2. You actually led into the next question I had for you which is the idea of branding online. From a small business perspective, when we are talking about online marketing there is definitely alot of credibility that comes with speaking from your own voice. When it comes to small local businesses, what’s your thoughts on how to approach branding? Whether it’s branding your business with your voice talking behind it or actually putting your face out there and using your own name on different platforms.
I am a huge advocate for speakers, coaches, entrepreneurs, even network marketers to use their personal brand with their face on it. In my opinion, based on the results I got, there is nothing that can compare to it.
It’s like, if you were to write a book on any topic, as soon as you write that book, you automatically have this unbelievable credibility. And, as soon as you put yourself out there on a personal blog and it’s branded nicely, you have this instant credibility where people believe you know what you are talking about. So, starting any business, that helps.
For businesses, it’s a little different for a business. For larger businesses, it’s hard to put a face out there sometimes. But, for smaller businesses….even a restaurant….take the GM of a restaurant or the owner of a small restaurant. Whatever the local business is, tying a face to the business is huge. I mean, you think about on Facebook, interacting with people and they are on the Fan Page, and you have a logo. And, the thumbnail is this tiny little logo and you have no idea who you are talking to. How do you have a conversation with someone when you can’t see the person on the other side?
I’ve had some companies where they didn’t want to have one person be the face, so they’d have two people managing company accounts. But, having the face is critical. In social media marketing it is absolutely critical. It can be one person, I’ve seen companies use 3 people. And, then, if you can take it a step further and actually get in front of a camera, there is nothing better than that. Alot of businesses, that’s just about the last thing they want to do is get in front of a camera, so if that’s the case, a simple picture will do.
Trevor: No, I agree with you 100% too. In my own personal experience I’ve seen big brands that put that personal voice behind it. Maybe they are not putting the social media guys face on their Twitter icon, but they are speaking from an authentic voice so that people know that they are actually talking to a person. There is something to that. People like to know they are talking to people not a logo.
3. The biggest thing I wanted to talk to you about Nick, because you have established yourself in this area and things are just taking off for you on one particular platform and that is Facebook. Give us a bit of understanding of how you are using Facebook creatively and what it’s done for your own business. And what are your overall philosophies on this topic?
To put some context behind why I am putting so much focus on Facebook. I have worked with quite a few small business owners with my own business and I’ve tested out every strategy I could ever get my hands on from a guru or program. At the end of the day, the ROI that I always see is always coming from Facebook.
So, now when you look at it, you only have so much time in the day, you can only do so many things, you can only wear so many hats. So, for business owners, alot of times when I make a social media plan, I love Twitter and I love Linkedin and I love the whole incompasing strategy with a blog. But, at the end of the day, that’s not realistic. You have to have focus. So, we’ll take all those other parts and we’ll put them aside. You can accomplish everything you need within a Facebook Fan Page.
So, alot of the strategies I create, the highest maximum return on investment is on Facebook. For businesses, essentially, we are drilling down into Facebook and the big critical piece is the Fan Page.
The custom branded Fan Page, you have to have the profile image. The profile image is arguably the most important piece of real estate because once someone gets to that Fan Page, they may see that landing page but after they are “cookied” and they already see it. Moving forward, they are only going to see the profile image on the side. So, the profile image has to have a call to action. You have to share what your unique selling proposition is. You have to, at the end of the day, answer one very important question. And, this is the marketing million dollar question that took me a while to learn and that is “What’s in it for me?“. No one cares about anyone else, but what’s in it for themselves. When they land on your Fan Page, your blog, anywhere, you have to let them know what’s in it for them. So, the profile image, having that set up so that when they land there, they know what the value is for them, why they want to be there, why they want to hang out with you. Are you giving away free information. So, you want to build up that tribe of people on your page.
Just some of the cool things we are doing to actually engage and get fans, one thing I’m really fired up about is how to launch your own page. And, alot of people will put up a page and try to drive fans to it, add content and what have you. If you make an experience out of launching your page, you can create incredible buzz. So, when you go to launch your page, or you currently have a page and you want to get alot more fans, you want to relaunch your page. Custom brand it, do the profile picture, do the landing tab, do a contest if you can. It’s just critical that you tap into your network. They used to say the most successful people have the biggest networks and the same thing is true before we have the internet and with the internet.
So, the first step, once you have your Fan Page setup, is to email out to your contacts or use direct mail. Create a fully encompassing approach to launching your page. And, I did say direct mail, and it’s only if you don’t have email. Otherwise it’s not cost effective.
You want to launch that page and give them a reason. In your niche, is there something you can give away? If you are a consultant, can you give them coaching? If you are a restaurant, can you give away two for one margaritas? Or, buy an entree get an entree free? Once you get people to the page, you want to give them a compelling reason to talk about it.
When they click on the “LIKE” button, how are you going to get them to share it with their friends? Can you get them to upload photos? When I launch a page, if it’s possible and a client will let me, we do an actual physical Facebook launch event.
Trevor: So, really tying in the online and offline activation
Exactly. Alot of people are launching an online web property so they forget about some of their traditional marketing. And, if it’s a business, you have to embrace your current assets, your customers, your network, your friends. It’s critical to invite those people to a live event via email. If you have to, use direct mail. You want to get people talking and get people to invite for you.
4. You mentioned contests too Nick. Your Facebook Fan Page has over 6000+ “LIKES” now. This contest that you ran recently was brilliant. Can you share a bit about how you did that and what the results were.
This was one of my better contests. Basically, what I did was use a Facebook App called North Social. It’s a company that has a number of cutting edge applications. It’s a pretty good deal for $20-$30 per month you get the ability to use any of their applications. What it does for you is it creates a unique experience for the users that land on your page.
So, If I would have ran a contest where I gave away an iPad and it had a custom landing page that was nicely designed, that would have gotten me some good results. But, tying in this sweepstakes application, I was able to tie in a unique experience where they land on the page, it’s designed very nicely and they have to click the “LIKE” button for the opportunity to enter the contest. Then they enter their information for the contest, then they land on the thank you page where I gave them a free Facebook Advertising blueprint. So, really trying to maximize the value for them. So, the process was good and that’s half the battle.
The next thing is, how do you draw traffic to your own contest? So, the big thing on that again was tapping into my own network, suggesting my page to friends. But, one of the best strategies I’ve used to get fans and to drive traffic to my page is. You want to partner with people that are in your industry. They may look like competitiors on the surface or they may also be in complimentary industries. For example, I call them centers of influence. If you were a mortgage broker, you are looking to write loans. You can go out and find people that need loans….very challenging. The smartest thing to do is go out and find real estate agents. Real estate agents sell a house a month. You can then partner with 10 of them and they can send you business every month.
Same concept, when I rolled out this contest on my Facebook Fan Page, I reached out so some of my social media consultant friends and said I am rolling out this really cool contest, would you mind shooting out an update for me? On this one, they are helping me, so I am asking them for their help. So, getting them to put the word out, me putting the word out, also using some Facebook advertising created a tremendous amount of traffic. And, once you get that amount of traffic and you have a really good offer, then I had really good engagement where the people were actually sharing the page to their friends.
It’s word of mouth, imaging your customers telling other people about your business. We want that to happen virally on Facebook. If you give them a compelling reason to share your page, and the reason I drove so much traffic to my page is that people were actually excited to share the contest with their friends. There were married couples where one of them enters the contest to win an iPad, and they want their husband to enter, they want their kids to enter because they want to win. So, in a 7 day period, I gained a little over 2000 fans.
Trevor: And, targeted fans at that. They are people that are genuinely interested in the topic that you talk about every single day. Nothing better than that! And, you mentioned Facebook advertising in there and I don’t want you to tell this secret right now because I want lead well into my next question.
You have an event coming up right away, and there is a whole launch that is going to be a part of this process. And, I don’t want to give away too many secrets, but Nick told me about this tactic that he used involving Facebook advertising that drove tremendous amounts of traffic to his Facebook Fan Page. So, keep that secret to you Nick and we’ll reveal that during your launch!
5. Can you tell us a little bit about the Facebook Mastery Summit event you have coming up?
Over the past 18 months in running my business, I’ve been fortunate to work with tons of entrepreneurs, small business owners and my business evolved quickly where larger and larger brands sought out consulting. I’ve been fortunate to have some larger clients test some strategies.
Fast forward to now, I’ve been able to learn alot of the different strategies and the way I look at it is, I want to take the people that I learned from and the people that I respect in the industry and take what I’ve currently learned and package all that information to give to people that are interested in building their business with social media marketing.
The key thing is, this isn’t a big marketing ploy to jam a $1000 product down people’s throats. This is more about giving back, creating a situation where we have an affordable event, it’s all going to be virtual online. It’s going to be 10-12 sessions of some of the best experts that I’ve been able to find and corral on Facebook Marketing.
We’ve got Mike Koenigs, the owner of Traffic Geyser, which is a great tool to get videos ranked on Google. Some of the experts are not the “Guru’s” out in the marketplace, but they are the people that are doing it for the large Fortune 100 brands. One of those guys is Peter Heffring who owns a company called Expion. We have people that are going to be talking about how to manage social media, how to outsource, how to hire, how to do it yourself. So, we are literally going to cover Facebook end to end and the entire point is we want to help people get the best strategies available so we can help you create a success story.
It’s over a 90 day period, there will be group coaching where we will be keeping in touch every month. But the process is, we want you to come on the event with us, then we want to see you go from 0 Fans to 1000+ Fans in 90 days. Or, if you currently have Fans, how to add an additional 1000 Fans.
It’s going to be cool where we’ll have guys like Trevor working with us and we are going to come together to build a tribe of people that are sharing ideas about how to be successful in social media.
Trevor: It sounds exciting and I know I’m looking forward to seeing all of the great stuff you have to come out with. I know you’ve had lots of experience in this area and the results speak for themselves. Maybe tell people how they can find out more about the Facebook Mastery Summit.
Absolutely, my Fan Page is http://facebook.com/NicksFanPage You can also just type in Nicks Fan Page and it will show up. We are going to be sharing some great strategies and videos for free and it’s going to be rolling out in March. Keep up with Trevor as he’s going to be sharing some details about it leading up to the event.