012 – How to Make Money Online, Engage with Your Audience and Build Your List, with Andrew McCauley
Andrew McCauley is ranked #17 ‘Most Influential Social Media Marketer“ by BuzzSumo in Nov, 2016; he is one of the top 100 Most Influential Twitter Users by Forbes, He is an Amazon best Selling Author and consults all types of Businesses on their Social Media and Online Strategy. His customized strategies have continually seen between 300-500% growth in traffic to business websites. He is also the Co trainer and founder of the Digital Traffic Institute and AutoPilot Your Business, helping businesses make money from their websites.
What is your hidden talent?
I used to be able to put a bunch of coins on my elbow and flip them off and catch them. In fact, I think I have the Australian record for it at one stage (unofficially).
How do we make money online?
There are a lot of ways to do that. The first thing you want to have something that is valuable that people want. The next part is getting people to know that you’ve got a product to sell. It seems easy but it is a lot more complex than that.
Would you say it is more challenging to operate a business online rather than from a physical space?
I would agree. If you’ve got a shop, you put it front of a certain foot traffic. You know that there is a certain traffic that goes up and down on a regular basis. Whereas online you could be in the middle of nowhere or you could be in the middle of busy main stream. It all depends on how you get your message out and how people find you.
Product versus service, which is easier to build online?
It depends on the service. As long as the service is one that people need all the time. There are a lot of products that people want all the time. A product can be a little more challenging because you’ve got to build the product in the first place whereas a service is what you know, the knowledge is in your head. If you’re a great dancer you can teach people to dance; if you’re a great plumber you can teach people to do that sort of work because it’s the knowledge in your head. Whereas in creating a product you need to get that knowledge out of your head ad create it into a tangible thing that people can touch whether it’s a video or downloadable PDF sheet, something that people can touch. You either got the knowledge in your head or out of your head.
How do you build awareness by building your list?
Make sure you’ve got somewhere to collect that list from. It should be on every page on your website to collect that email address for people that are visiting your website. Once they visit your website, they could disappear and you never see them again, you’ll never know who they are. Always be collecting an email address from somewhere. You’ve got to make sure that you are getting out to as many people as targeted as possible. You could be out there and getting on Facebook and saying there’s 1.7 billion people on Facebook and I’m out posting every day but nobody is coming or I’m going to the local Chamber and I’m speaking. But maybe you’re not speaking to the right people, maybe the people at the Chamber are not the right people; maybe the people on Facebook are not the right people.
It is very important to know exactly who your target market is and where they hang out. If they don’t hang out on Facebook don’t waste your time on Facebook. Maybe they’re on Snap Chat, maybe they’re on Instagram; maybe they’re not on any of those platforms. Maybe there on specific niche platforms that only that industry hang out on. You really got to do your homework and know everything about your own Avatar of your favourite customer.
How do we begin to narrow down our Avatar, and get detailed?
Your service is not for everybody. You’ve got to really niche down and ask specific questions about the group that you’re trying to help. Then you start to know what they like and who they are, by doing polls and questionnaire and looking at Facebook groups. When you do that go to their profile and see what they like. Once you start to understand the mindset of that customer you can start to build an avatar around that person. Something like a case study as if you were speaking to them face to face. Every time you do your marketing, you want to have an imagination of that person in front of you and you are talking to them every single time.
Some inexpensive ways to gather data?
Join groups and see who’s hanging out there. If you have a page, Facebook gives you a lot of insight into the people that are coming along. The analytics gives you demographics and other pages that people that like you, also like. Twitter is the same thing that can give you an indication of people who are coming to visit your profile and people who are following you. There are lots of free tools to use and you don’t have to spend any money to find out who is your perfect avatar.
Do we just post and leave?
There’s no free lunch any more. You can’t just post on your Facebook page and expect people to see it. It’s been a couple of years now where Facebook changed the rules. You’re likely to get about 3 or 4 people out of every 100 people that like your page to actually see your post organically. You have to boost that post or pay Facebook to put that post in front of people. It can be a little bit expensive but if you target it right it won’t be that expensive, as you would turn those people into customers.
How do you keep your audience engaged once you’ve connected with them?
Give them stuff that they are looking for. Make sure you’re giving valuable information. It doesn’t have to be all your information. In fact, it’s probably better if it’s not your information. If they’ve joined you on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, they are following you for a reason. They want to see what you’ve been learning. You can share other people’s post that are relevant to them. Make sure you’re sharing valuable information because if you’ve got a following that is all into marketing and suddenly start talking about politics or irrelevant stuff, they’re going to say I think I was following you for a reason but now you’re off on a tangent on some other topic. Make sure you stay on topic and on point, that you’re giving them what they want.
How do we manage our time on social media?
This is like a big black hole that sucks people in and next thing you know is that it is 3:00 in the afternoon and what have I done with the day? I like to make a specific time on my calendar every day to jump in a do bits and pieces of work. I usually do it twice a day. I go to Facebook in the mornings to make sure that I’ve got to answer any questions from my Facebook page, I go through Twitter and Instagram spending 5 or 10 minutes on each, connecting with followers, answering some questions, making some points, putting comments on other people’s posts so they get to know who I am. I usually target influential people on my Twitter account. Twitter has a lot of influential people. I find the ones that are influential that I want to connect with and make sure I’m adding bits and pieces to their feed on a regular basis.
I come back late in the afternoon to wrapping it up. I’ll go through and find other questions that would come in throughout the day that I can answer. I don’t spend much more than 30 minutes per day on all the platforms combined. Once you get that narrowed down it’s not that hard to continue doing it like that. It’s when you get stuck into all those videos that someone sent you something about a cat and it’s funny and you end up in a black hole. Keep away from that and do it during watching TV or something like that.
How about social media scheduling platforms?
There are plenty of those. I use Hootsuite, Buffer. I use Buffer to share other people’s content to send out at the next appropriate time. In Hootsuite, I make sure that I’ve got some posted tweets everyday going back to my content. Once per week I’ll write 10 or 15 tweets for the week and direct people back to a post that I’ve written, a podcast that I’ve done or some other post that I want to promote. I’ll schedule them into my Hootsuite account to make sure they go out every day for the next 10 days. That way I know that there is something going out about me. Most of my work during the week is just interacting with people so I’m not trying to build a case or get people to go to my site during those times, I’m just trying to interact and engage people.
Is there ever a time when we need to outsource our social media activities?
I’ve never seen a lot of successful people outsource their social because people aren’t living and breathing that brand. I’m a big believer in doing your social yourself. It’s hard to outsource your passion and that’s what social media is about. In instances where this happens, it is usually dry and boring without engagement.
What’s the future of email marketing?
The one thing they asked for across all platforms is your email address because they know it is the most important thing. People, in general, are getting a better result from their email marketing than they do from their social media still. It’s vital that you have some sort of connection with people and email is the best thing. We get several emails every day. We are getting better systems to control the emails we get. If you can deliver something that’s valuable and people want to read it then you can continue to do really well if you get a list of email addresses. Email isn’t going anywhere. There is nothing that is even close to replacing email and the service that are offered as far as these other websites go.
What were some of the hiccups you had along the way before you became successful?
Lots. We didn’t concentrate at looking at our financials. We had a lot of money coming into our business, we thought we were doing really well. We had an outsourcing company with about 40 staff. We had lots of work going on. We were busy being busy; the money came in and went straight back out to pay all these people and this busyness. We looked and said what happened here? As soon as we started looking at what was working, what was costing us money, all of a sudden, our business changed. We were lucky that we saw it in time or else we would have been in a lot of trouble.
Final piece of advice for online marketers?
This whole jungle can be overwhelming but there is a lot of place to go and get help. Remember that you’re dealing with people on the other side of that tweet or post. Don’t get overwhelmed. Just make sure that you go and do something. Now is the right time even if you think you’re so late to the game. Just jump in and don’t be afraid of it.
- It is very important to know exactly who your target market is and where they hang out.
- Find influencers on social media to connect with and adding bits and pieces to their feed on a regular basis.
- If you can deliver something that’s valuable to people, you can do well if you get a list of email addresses.