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Teresa Heath-Wareing is the founder of THW Marketing, an online social media & marketing agency based in the UK. She is also the host of the very popular marketing podcast, Marketing That Converts.

On this episode, we talk about running a social media & marketing agency online, her social media strategies, and the lessons she has learned from running her online business.

"The platforms are amazing, but we are bombarded on literally what feels like an hourly basis. The algorithms change. Facebook has just done a new update. Instagram no longer does this. LinkedIn has introduced this. It proves more and more that these platforms don't belong to us. So as amazing as they are, we need to start thinking, "How are we getting them off?""

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Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • The journey behind starting THW Marketing and running an online marketing agency
  • What Teresa is doing to gain an edge against other social media & marketing agencies
  • How speaking helped Teresa grew her marketing agency
  • Teresa's current social media marketing strategy for her personal brand and the agency's
  • Her social media marketing tips

Full Transcript

Chrys: Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of hack your online business. Now today's guest has a very similar online business to mine. She runs a social media marketing agency and I run a messenger marketing agency online.

So we're going to talk about running a social media and marketing agency online, her social media strategies and the lessons that she has learned from running her online business. So here's my guest, Teresa Heath-Wareing. Teresa, thank you so much for jumping on this episode with me today.

Teresa: Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here.

Chrys:So you run a social media and marketing agency called THW marketing. When did you start your agency?

Teresa: So my agency is about five years old and I call myself an accidental entrepreneur because I never ever intended on having my own agency. I never intended on having my own business ever. It never even crossed my mind. And then I joke that I went through like an early midlife crisis and although I enjoyed my job, a few things happened at work.

I had just [inaudible] with my husband. I was on my own with my daughter and I decided that I just wanted to be really happy and things weren't necessarily as happy as I wanted them to be.

So anyway, I decided to put my notice in at my current job and I thought very arrogantly, Oh well, I've been head of marketing at this agency for ages. I've got loads of marketing experience, a degree in marketing. I'll get a job like that. It will be so easy. And forgetting that people have to pay my salary, which is quite good at the time.

So anyway, I was about three weeks into my notice and suddenly nothing was forthcoming and I thought, Oh dear, this isn't great. I've got to find something here. I've got no savings. I've got no rich parents, no rich husband, literally like the worst possible situation to start a business. And I decided that, you know what? I'm going to give it a go. And within, well, what was really funny is I've got a few more weeks left of my notice. So I thought, great, I've got a few weeks to sort all these out. No. My boss understandably caught wind of I was doing and decided to basically tell me to leave and I had a week in which to set everything out up and I had to just start.

So I kind of joke as well that I don't quite know how I managed to get here, five years in having grown a team and grow my business and doubled my income every year. But somehow from that crazy start I've managed to do it.

Chrys: So were you doing social media marketing in your agency?

Teresa: So yes. So five years ago, I guess, it's hard to imagine that I guess social media was still fairly new from a business point of view. Like I remember, and I'm showing my age a little bit here, but I remember having discussions with people when they said to me, do we really need a website? Like, imagine saying that now. Because it's like the web, this isn't going to catch on. I'm sure. It was alike, that was social media about five, six years ago. So I was definitely doing some social media stuff for people.

But I think when I started my business, I started to see that there was a real gap. Because the other interesting thing, and I don't know about you and what you find, but often the people locally where I was and where my agency was, they didn't have experience. They didn't have any form of qualification because there wasn't one, because social media, we couldn't even do one cause it moves so fast, but they didn't have any real credible background to them. So it was just a case of they were quite good on Twitter. So therefore they started to tell businesses how to do it.

And there's a big difference. Like it's all well and good being quite good at your own thing. But actually there's a big difference to then having to try and do Twitter for something that is a completely different industry and maybe something that's a bit dry or a bit boring.

So yeah, for me it was kind of one of those areas that I thought I want to go down. And actually as a marketer, I love numbers and I love seeing return and I love seeing that the stuff we are doing is getting results. So for me this is just like when I started to see what this technology could do and what you could track and the funnels you could push people down, and when you could see people [inaudible], it was just like, Oh my God, that's it. I find my home. It was amazing. I loved it.

Chrys: It's such an interesting story because I too came from an advertising agency background. Yeah. And look at us. We're both running a marketing agency.

But I never did think that I was going to run an agency cause I hated my agency life. I hated it. I hated working with clients who were assholes. I shouldn't be cursing. And I was like, I'm never going back into the agency life again. I'm going to do something totally different. So it's just funny how we both had kind of similar... no I wasn't, I was never the head of them off marketing. I wish. I never was.

Teresa: It's funny because I think as well, when I first started, I think I started thinking I was going to be a marketing manager for businesses that couldn't afford a marketing manager.

And then as I started to grow and I started to think, well actually that's my time and how am I going to grow this and make more money without trying to find more hours, which obviously is impossible. So for me going down the agency route, and I realized a loads of people didn't know what to do and loads of people didn't want to do it. Even when it's so funny. To this day, I try and sell myself out of business.

So when someone comes to us and says, will you do our social media? My immediate response is you can do it better inhouse so as long as you get training. Because I do believe that businesses are much better place to do it inhouse as long as they know what they're doing. But of course some businesses just don't wanna do it. They want someone else to. And then that's where we step in and then we get into the cool stuff like the funnels and the advertising and all that stuff.

Chrys: That's so crazy. You're actually turning away businesses. You're like, I don't want to do [inaudible] business. I don't want to manage your Twitter for you.

Teresa: I just think like, honestly if you, depending on the business, because obviously some big businesses or faceless businesses, but if you're a smaller business and you're honestly thinking, spending hundreds a month to manage a platform and then you could spend that money somewhere else.

In all honesty, I'd be doing you an injustice if I took your money to manage Facebook for you when actually I will say to you, give me that money and we'll advertise on Facebook is much better well spent. So for me it's about kind of trying to find that balance of I obviously need to run an agency and my team need work, but I also want to just genuinely make people and businesses better at this.

Chrys: So let's talk about how you got your first few clients. So you were given one week to clear everything up and then you were like, I'm going to start an agency. So did you poach your existing clients? What did you do to get those first few clients?

Teresa: Do you know what, I was really lucky that I had got one client pretty much as I was leaving, and they were the people who gave me the initial idea that I could do this in the first place. So I was working my notes and someone approached me who was a friend, but they owned a restaurant. And they were like, do you know what? I don't want to do this social media thing. Could you just do it for us? Cause I know you're alright at that and you can do that and you know us and you knew what we do.

And I was like, yeah, absolutely I could do it. And I gave them a price, which at the time now is laughable if I'm honest. It was like, I dunno, a couple of hundred pounds and they were like, yeah, yeah, fine. Like for each platform. And I did like two or three platforms and I was like, Oh my word. Like that's one business, a couple of hundred pounds per platform. Like what if I could get three or four. So that's what obviously put the idea in my head. When I left the agency I was such a scaredy-cat because I was like, I didn't want to approach any existing client.

What was interesting is my entire career had not been where I lived. Every job I'd ever done was either based out of London or I was based in Belfast rages and I used to do a lot of commuting. So it wasn't until the job that I then left that actually I started to build a name for myself locally. But what was great is I had built this name through networking and through speaking and that sort of thing. And I had only done a tiny bit of speaking at that point.

So the minute I started say, I'm doing this on my own. I was really lucky. So I didn't have to poach any existing clients because I was very nervous about that. There was one client that came over with me and he actually hunted me down. So he literally, he was an estate agent client and he had sold my ex-mother in law's house. So he called my ex-mother-in-law and said, I've just spoken to the agency. They told me Teresa doesn't work there anymore. So awkward, isn't it? Right. Can you give her my number? Or can you get her to call me? And then my ex-mother-in-law calling me going Teresa, Dave just phoned. Can you call them? And I'm like, okay.

And anyway, they were so like, you know what, we're going to tell the agency we want to work with you. We don't want to stay with them. So I had kind of two clients straight off. And then, Oh my saving grace. I got another client who was so lovely and I managed to get them to pay me six months in advance.

Chrys: How did you convince them to pay you six months in advance?

Teresa: Oh man. You know what? It was just really interesting. So I went in and I was really honest and I've always been very honest about who I am and what I do and, and I was really honest, I was like just starting, this is brand new and obviously through discussions and because she knew me through my sister actually.

My sister has explained a little bit about the fact that I was on my own and I've got my daughter and I've got to pay mortgage and I have to earn a fairly decent wage, pretty much straight off. And I just sat down and spoke to her is that I really wanna do this. I can do some great stuff and if I know I've got this contract long term, then I think I can do some brilliant stuff for you.

And also I think they know in the early days when you don't have many clients, and I have that one I'm talking about, I still have her today. And what I do today looks very different because obviously I'm really busy and therefore it's little bit of a different thing and she's moved and changed with me, which is lovely.

But I basically just said, I think I can offer you a much better commitment if I can have you for a certain length of time. But they're the only people I've ever done that with, which is really interesting. I don't tie people in even to this day.

Chrys: I think it's so difficult to tie your first few clients in as well. Like if they're new to you and you're like, Hey, here's the cost of it and here's the retainer and you're like, wait a minute. Right? I feel like jumping in with the retainer is, I don't know, it kills a deal. It kills a deal, at least in my opinion.

Teresa: Okay. So yeah pretty much every client was a retained client when I first started. We do project clients now, which is fine and great, but we still do have retained. So the way I kind of say it is that we're born in social media, you can't achieve nothing in a short space of time.

So I tell them, I'm really honest with them and say, listen, if you come back to me in three weeks and go, it's not working, I'm going to literally laugh you out the room. Like if you come back to me in six months, I might listen to you. Cause it takes time. And I say to them, almost a little bit of what can you afford to lose? I know that sounds really odd from a marketing person, but it is kind of saying to them, do you know what? You need to be able to sustain this for at least three months.

And I've said to them, listen, I don't tie you in so I'm not gonna hold you to three months. If you come back to me and say, Teresa, I just don't like working with you. I don't mind working with your team. I don't like what you do. And then absolute fine, you can stop immediately. But if you're expecting results or something amazing within the first three months that I'm afraid you're going to be really disappointed cause it's going to take us some time to build up to that. So even though I don't tie them and I do say to them, you've gotta be realistic about how long this is going to take and therefore obviously it's on a retained thing.

So for us that kind of, it fitted fine. But if I'm doing things like, so I do a lot of consultancy for funnels and sales processes and do webinars and email list building and all that sort of stuff and that's much harder. So I tend to do that either on like an hour by hour basis so they can have one to one time with me or I tend to do it on a project basis now.

Chrys: Got it. Teresa, what was the turning point in your business that made you realize that your agency was actually going to succeed and not fail?

Teresa: Oh my goodness, what a basic question. I don't even know if I could answer that today. Like I could fail tomorrow for all? I don't know. I think like today, well, I think what was the turning point? I think the biggest turning point in that business was when I brought on my first team member.

Now I brought on my team of virtual, which I thought it was weird. When I first started an agency, I felt like if I was going to be an agency that's title, I had to have an office, I had to have a big team and it scared the living life out of me. So when I first brought on my first team member, she was a VA. She was obviously a number of hours a week. It wasn't like she was full-timer and she was a VA, so she didn't have any skills in my industry that I needed someone to take some slack off what I was doing because my time was getting more and more and more precious.

And I also knew there was this weird thing that I couldn't really afford her, but yet I couldn't afford not to have her because I knew I'd never move or change if I sat doing what I was doing. So for me, when I brought her on, it's suddenly then gave me the confidence to one [inaudible].

One really interesting thing is it made us look bigger. It made me look a bit more exclusive because suddenly it wasn't my name and number on everything. Suddenly it wasn't like, yeah, pick up the phone and chat to Teresa. It was like fill in a contact form and we'll get back to you. And Katie would get back to them and Katie who is still with me to this day, she would get back to them and go, yeah, great, we can book in a call or we can book in. And suddenly it's that weird kind of exclusivity thing that is like, Oh, okay. So this person isn't like a one man band desperate for business. So I can like nail it down on price. So that for me was a really big step.

And then the minute I took her on, I then started looking at actually, well, what if I don't have to physically do those things? What if I can train someone else? This is part of what I do. I train lots of businesses I can train someone else to do the standard of thing that I want to do and I could get them to do it. And then what could that free me up to do?

So suddenly then that grew from Katie and Katie now is not a VA. Katie virtually is like my number two, I could not run my business without Katie. But that opened me up to then bring on Steve who did Facebook ads and bring on Kirsty and Ann who do content and management. And suddenly I was able to start kind of expanding through that.

So I think taking first step of bringing that first person probably then made me feel like, okay, I can do this. But they're all virtual so I can stop at any point.

Chrys: And are they all British as well?

Teresa: Nope. So I've got Katie who is literally probably 40 minutes from me, which is kind of funny. I've got Ann who's in Ohio. I've got Steve who used to be in Florida. He's just moved up to Maine. I've got Sophia who's in the Philippines, I've got Kirsty who lives literally again, probably 20, not even, I say five minutes from me, but Kirsty and I rarely physically meet, everything's done online. And then I've got Matt, he's my designer and he's the only guy that of the whole team that physically comes to work with me.

When I book Matt in for certain days and he will come to my house. This is so funny cause I used to have an office cause I felt like I had to have one and then I realized it was pointless. I was paying money for nothing and it actually didn't change at all what I could offer clients and my level of service. So I work from home. I have a lovely home office.

And Matt, our designer who luckily I know very well. He comes to my house, he sits in my dining room and I have to make him lunch. He chats with my husband. Honestly, it's like having a friend over, but he's the only one. Everyone else is all virtual.

Chrys: How long into your business before you hired Katie?

Teresa: It must been I think about nine months to 12 months. So I'd been doing it for a little while on my own and I just, I didn't even know. The funny thing was, and I took her on on, I was taking on a VA. I had no idea what a VA was. I had no idea what they did and I didn't even know why I wanted to have to do for me. So I met her and I was like, so what do you do? What could you do for me?

And, and you know what else is really funny was she was local, but she was like, right. So we're going to have a weekly Skype calls. And I was thinking, why are we doing Skype? Like, I could just meet you for coffee and then suddenly, and I was a bit awkward about it and then suddenly we start doing these calls and it's like, Oh my word, this is like a revelation. I love it.

So now so much of my stuff is done online and someone has just messaged me so oddly. And all the client and said, Teresa, can you meet us for coffee? And I immediately thought, no, are you crazy? I'm not coming out of the house. Like I'll do a Skype or Zoom, but I'm not meeting you.

It's funny, I do meet people, but yes, she was a revelation suddenly changed so much in how I did. And also, sorry I'm wittering on. But another thing that was great about it is she brought a whole different level of experience and processes and knowledge and because the thing that happens with the likes of us is we know what we do. I know my thing - marketing, social media, I am all over that. I didn't know how to run a business. 

So she was great and instrumental and, right maybe you should bring in an online to do program. Maybe you need to look at how you process this. Maybe we need a list of what you do when you do this thing. So she was awesome. So, so worth bringing her on.

Chrys: That is so amazing. And what type of clients do you mainly work with right now?

Teresa: So right now we have such a mix. It's really funny. So depending on what we do, cause there's various services we offer right now. So we offer full management and we have clients like a national gym client. We have some really big national companies and international companies. And then we have some teeny tiny ones that like we just create content for or we just do Facebook ads for that sort of thing. It's not in any particular niche.

I think one thing that I love about marketing is that doing something with one client over here means that I can take some of that and go, actually this might work over here, so I don't need to niche down on a particular sector. I'm fairly happy and I've worked across so many different types of businesses I can't tell you.

So I used to head up corporate marketing for Land Rover UK and so I was in the car industry. And then I went off and did some beauty stuff and some giftware stuff. And so I've worked in so many industries and the marketing that I've learned in all of them has helped me. So we don't have a niche particularly.

But then I have I do tend to get a lot of personal brands who come on for consultancy. So I have some really nice names in the UK who are fairly big in the social media space, who I consult for. So we'll get on a zoom call every single week. They have an hour of my time. They tell me what they're doing with a funnel or strategy for social media and I will go, that's cool. Why not try this? I would do this, change that, change this. So yeah, that's nice. I love that stuff.

Chrys: Do you find it not having a niche, especially in the beginning, I guess, was it more difficult to get clients because everyone's talking about niche niching down, right? You want to niche down to get your clients, you want to be more specific on the focus. Was it more, is it more difficult for you? Because you don't have a niche per se?

Teresa: You know what, I think this might be a UK thing because we're small country with not many people of us who do what we do and not at our level. You know, when I think of the UK social media people, there's not many of us, not at that level.

There's obviously lots of social media people, so for me, and this is something that I get picked up on quite a lot when I speak, so I've applied for social media marketing world before now and when I applied they said it's too broad. Like you can literally speak on Instagram or Facebook ads or, and it's like, yeah, but I can. And they're like, no, but what do you, what do you deep dive on? I went, all of it. Because I have to. And we have international clients now, which obviously is different.

But in the UK. I can't really niche down to such a point because I wouldn't have the audience to go out. So for me actually wasn't too bad. It was fine. Yeah, I think you do end up them picking up certain people. So I've done quite a lot in the estate agent sets and not that it's a sector I go after or particularly, you know love for that reason. It's just a case of, I seem to pick up quite a bit. But like I said, I quite like the variety and it keeps me on my toes.

So one of our clients, they make really high-end bespoke fire doors. Like what the actual... Like seriously, how do you market that?

Chrys: Like I was just about to ask you, how do you market doors?

Teresa: Well that is the thing. It's interesting. So you know, we manage their social media for them and it's hard. So it makes us think, like, honestly there are some clients like the gin client, I'd have 10 of them tomorrow because Hey, it's so easy to market gin on social media. Like you put a post up, everyone jumps on it, everyone wants to share it. We're very funny and quirky and so it's a really easy account to manage. A lot of management because there's a lot of activity, but it's not difficult to come up with content. We don't have to do loads of proactive stuff. They have really, really good clients.

But like I said, doors, it's like another end of the spectrum. So literally it helps my mind work. Whereas I think I would get too lazy if it was all really easy stuff.

Chrys: That it is so interesting. How are you finding clients right now? Is it purely for word of mouth or are you using paid ads as well?

Teresa: So I've got a really interesting thing on this. So my clients always came from word of mouth. I was very lucky. I was very lucky that I did a lot of speaking locally when I first started. And I would get a lot of clients contact me or I'd get recommendations.

I did do a bit of networking when I first started locally and it is a bit of a nightmare if I'm honest, but it did help. So definitely speaking really helped. And I mean like I spoke at the smallest teeniest tiniest groups ever. So if it was a network breakfast meeting and there was 10 people I'd speak there. If it was like there's a couple of all female networking things, I would speak there. Literally anybody that said, would you speak? I said yes, because I wanted to build myself as this expert.

But what's happened is as time's gone on and my podcast has grown big and my speaking has grown big and I've been very lucky to be sort of accelerated to a new level, the client requests getting less and less.

It's just really interesting because I think that they to a point, say for instance, right James Wedmore, I love James Wedmore. Huge fan. I'm in his next level coaching group. So his next level coaching group is 15 grand to be in that group. Now I'm paying that to be in an a next level coaching group. I couldn't even imagine what that guy might charge if I said, can I have one to one or can you help me or can you coach me? It would obscene.

So I think in my head what's happening is the more and more and more I get higher and I do these cool, amazing things and I speak. So I'm literally speaking at every big UK social media marketing event this year. I think what happens is in people's heads they go, we can't afford them. Yeah, no, we can't afford Teresa.

The funny thing is my agency still exists. We still have clients we still working through and yes, I have my online presence, which I'm building and building and building, but of course we still have the agency and it's not crazy money unless you want me to come and physically do stuff for you, then it's not crazy money and I'm don't even think I'm crazy money. But you know what I mean? It's a bit different.

Chrys: Do you have like a minimum price that you charge your clients?

Teresa: Yes. So I tend to work off a few things. So I have a base rate for per platform per month. And I say it's a base rate because some accounts compared to others are a completely different ball game. So it's all well and good saying for me, I can't just say, you know, it's 400 pound for Twitter and then 400 pound for Instagram because what if I'm having to do five tweets a day? What if we're having to put Insta stories together, what if we're having to like do loads of engagement on them or whatever.

So there's a minimum I'd go from in terms of each platform and we have kind of a minimum management cost of Facebook ads as well. And then I have hourly rates, which roughly are always around the same amount.

Sometimes if it's a small business then I want to help and I am. So I will come down a bit and then stay firm on other ones as well. So, but we always have like a rough idea of yeah, this is what our costs are.

Chrys: You know, I feel like running a marketing agency in my opinion is like one of the toughest business you can possibly start online because everything that you know about marketing and marketing your service, your competitors also know those strategies as well. They know the same fricking strategies. So what are you currently doing right now to gain that edge against the other social media and marketing agencies?

Teresa: So that's the speaking, that's the pushing me above everybody else. So I want to be seen and I'm working very hard to be seen as the expert, the social media people go to. I spent hours training and I mean hours, and I just didn't Google stuff. I went and find the experts.

So I went and did training with Mari Smith. I'm in James Wedmore's group, I've done loads of Amy Porterfield's courses. I've done Kim Garst stuff, Sue B Zimmerman. And Jasmine Star, you name it. I have paid and I've done the courses and I've gone through it and I keep up to date and I move with the speeds of it cause you have to.

And don't get me wrong, it's exhausting, but for me to say I am the front of my game and this is why you want to come with us because also as well we used to have, not so much now, but when I was maybe 12 months, two years ago people would go, you're really expensive. And it's like, do you know what? We are maybe a bit more than average where we are locally but we're worth, and this is why. So again, I had a client contact me the other day. And they were really struggling with something and they were getting a bit frustrated.

And I get to feel their frustration. They're trying to build Instagram, they want to get a lot of followers, they have a lot of followers, but they want to get a lot more really quick. And I literally had to email them and say, I'm speaking at an event where Facebook and Instagram and Twitter are speaking. Last week was in social media marketing world in San Diego. I listen and speak to, I'm in the room with the people who are right at the top of this tree. And I promise you if there was something genius, amazing that we're missing that could suddenly double your followers tomorrow, I would be doing it already. But what I'm telling you is bang up to date information. We are honestly doing everything we can do.

So for me it was about upping my game in terms of proving to the rest of the world I knew I was talking about. The other thing that was really interesting was when I started saying I did social media, I suddenly then decided that I needed to be part of.. So we have a body in the UK called the Chartered Institute of marketers and basically it's an official body that to be part of it, you have to prove that you have a degree in the subject area. You have to have X amount of years. And I literally had to get my accountant to sign off my CV. So I had to write a CV and go, this is my experience before they'll allow me to become a member. And there's different levels. So there's an associate or something and then there's a member and then there's a fellow and I was member status and I decided when I did social media that that's when I was going to pay to be part of this.

And it was ridiculous. That had no bearing on what I knew about social media. But I felt like I needed that credibility because there was so many people out there saying, Oh yeah, I can do this with nothing behind them. So for me it was just like, how can I prove I'm awesome at this thing. That sounds really arrogant, I'm promise you I'm not that arrogant.

Chrys: Guys, go check out thwmarketing.co.uk after today's show. Now before we go on with the show, so let me do this very quick read. So today's show is sponsored by my messenger marketing agency, Chrys Media. We work mainly with coaches and online course creators to help them fill up their diaries and your webinars and your online courses with Facebook messenger marketing.

So if you are a coach or an online course creator and you want to sell out your coaching packages or your online courses, you want to fill up your webinars in your diaries, then go check out my free online training on how you can use Facebook messenger marketing at hackyouronlinebusiness.com/messenger after today's show.

Teresa, are you currently offering Facebook messenger marketing to your clients as well?

Teresa: So no, again, we were just talking about before we came on about where the countries are in terms of their level of knowledge. And very, very few of the people that I would speak to that we would help would be doing messenger marketing. And it's still, I feel like I've been saying for about two years. It's coming, people get ready and it still hasn't really hit us. We definitely have some people in the UK who are doing it, but we're not doing it currently.

And you know what, it's something that I'm not doing myself. We got to partner up, we got to partner up. We totally have to because it's not something I've got to because I don't know about you, but sometimes it feels like there's so many things out there isn't it. And as a social media person, as digital marketing person, it's like I've got to do it all and I really should do it all because I have to talk about a lot of it. But yeah, it's on my list.

Chrys: I use it for lead gen, I use it to qualify my leads right now for my agency. Basically instead of typing, you know, going through a type form or whatever those stuff, I basically make them go through a few questions before they get to book a call with me. So I disqualify those people who are not right for my agency.

Let's jump into social media marketing. So since you run a social media and marketing agency, what are you currently doing on social media for your company and also for your personal brand?

Teresa: Okay, so we're going through a bit of a shift at the moment, which I think is really important because social media is amazing. I love it. It's obviously awesome. The platforms are amazing, but we are bombarded on literally what feels like an hourly basis of the algorithms changed. Facebook have just done a new update. Instagram no longer does this. Linkedin has introduced this and it proves more and more and more that these platforms don't belong to us.

So as amazing as they are, as fantastic as they are, and as much as I encourage anybody listening to maximize those platforms and use them for business, cause they are brilliant, we need to stop thinking, how are we getting them off?

So I did a talk literally last week at Social Day in the UK where I gave two examples of two companies that I've worked with. And one was a friend actually, and she ended up having an amazing Instagram account, had 200 something thousand followers, had an online membership for arts creation. Instagram was absolutely rocking for her. She was killing it.

Someone hacked her account, wiped hurricane. Like it disappeared overnight. No getting it back, like it was mad, and she contacted me going, what do I do? And I'm like, contact Instagram. She contacted Instagram and they were less than helpful to say the least because they've got billions of users. So 200 and something, I mean, I don't know, one of the Kardashians went down I'm sure they'd find that account, wouldn't they? But they literally didn't do anything and she literally lost all of her followers and the entire account overnight. She had to start again. 

And I had exactly the same thing with an estate agent company that were running competitions on their Facebook page. They were doing great guns for local business. They were getting loads of engagement, loads of people sort of connecting on their page. It was really growing and they didn't realize that they'd broke one of their terms and conditions. And during one of the competitions they blocked their accounts.

So suddenly all these people who had entered the competition start trying to contact them, going, well where's the competition? Who won? What's going on? And they lost that trust overnight and they lost the engagement. It didn't do well for that brand. And so for me, as much as the platforms are amazing and if we're talking platform specific, Instagram's rocking it.

Insta stories are like where it's at. I love Instagram story, totally moving and working hard on that. I still love stuff like Twitter. I know that people say it's is dead by promise you as an engagement tool, it's great. Pinterest is something that's on the rise more, again, great for traffic. So, you know, there's some amazing platforms out there.

Facebook's advertising tool is one of the best I've ever seen in 15 years of marketing. The stuff they know about you is scary as a person, but amazing as a marketer. So there are amazing tools, but I really want people to start thinking, how am I using these tools to get people into my email list, onto my funnel? Because there's no algorithm in your email list, like there's none.

So I'm really focusing a lot of my attention and a lot of my effort now on: do your social media inhouse, learn how to do it, make sure you're being strategic, make sure you create an amazing content, more about quality than quantity, which it has been for a while, but even more so now. 

So you don't necessarily have to be killing it every single day. Sending out 20 Facebook posts. I'd rather you send three a week but make them really good and make people engage with you. But then find a way to get them off social media and into your funnel.

Chrys: So what are you doing right now to get them off your social media accounts onto your email list?

Teresa: So right now we are doing a lot of lead magnets with people. Because we work with lots of personal brands, it's really helpful because this is particularly good if you're a service. So if you're basically selling your mind or your knowledge, then lead magnets are the easiest thing you can do in the world. I just had a lead magnet which I ran and I run every so often, which is helping social media managers.

It's a checklist that we use in the business. And it was one of those things that was really proactive that lots of agencies didn't do. And basically it's about all the proactive activity we do. So the engagement stuff, because most agencies or most social media people, when they say they do social media, what they're really saying is I post and I react. So we have this checklist of all this proactive stuff that we were doing. And I decided to give it away. Yhat was my gold dust.

As an agency, I was basically throwing us under the bus because I was giving all our competitors, Hey, this is why we charge more. It's brilliant. But I did and it went an amazing lead magnet. I put it on social media, I put it on Facebook ads and I got a conversion cost of 39 P. A conversion cost, not click. In the past, a good click rate for me and my business was like 70 P. So to have a conversion cost at 39, it was like the best I've ever seen. And then basically they go through a funnel. So they go from an ad to a landing page.

I love talking about landing pages and how they should look and where you should put stuff. The psychology behind it is amazing. And then they literally put in their details and they'd go into my email list and then obviously we start some automated stuff from there. And only literally about six weeks ago did I start regularly emailing my list.

What's an idea. Like I built this amazing email list. I was like throwing 800 emails at a time. It was like, yeah, this is awesome. And I'd do the funnel and the kind of followup emails and then they'd like fall into the abyss and they'd never hear from me again. And I thought, what am I doing? So I emailed my entire list saying I've been an idiot and I should have taken my own advice. Cause if someone came to me and said this is what I'd done, I'd hit them right in the head quite frankly.

So my email list, I started emailing them and I got such great response. So I'm now in this whole process of keeping them warm and warming the back up again and seeing what I'm doing with them. But interesting enough, cause you mentioned it, I've just done a survey with my audience, which I'd never thought about surveying them through messenger. So that's really interesting. I'll take that one.

Chrys: Well you're welcome. I mean that's a free tip for you over there. So can you give us some practical tips for social media marketing, especially for online businesses?

Teresa: Yeah, absolutely. So all about the stories, all about making that personal connection. So, especially if you're an online business and especially if you're a brand, your face has to be out there and as uncomfortable and as hard as some people think it is, it's got to be.

Now it can be in different ways. You know, you don't have to go and do an hour live on Facebook. You literally can just put yourself on Instagram stories and I can just about manage that. It takes time. I have to say. I had to build up to it. And I'm someone who stands on stage and talks in front of thousands. But putting myself on social media on video and feeling like, Oh God, I look stupid was a really difficult thing to get over cause I'm so vain.

So basically my Insta stories, that's where I do the real stuff. That's where I get all my engagements. So people like to see the behind the scenes things. They like to see the, facts and it sounds ridiculous, but the fact that I've just bought a new standup desks, and what that's like. Or what I'm doing or where I might have been or all the cool stuff that happened at social day last week or whatever is. So they love kind of quick, instant, doesn't take too much effort on their part. The stories are great.

And also my feed and the Instagram feed is actually losing more and more interaction. But my story feed is getting more interaction. And if you look at where they're plowing all that time, Facebook have just had a new conference and I think it's annually or maybe every other like twice a year maybe.

Chrys: F8 conference Yeah.

Teresa: Yeah. So they have that big conference and they talk about what's coming and when you look at what's coming, the focus is on, they've changed the way the platforms look for Facebook. And suddenly the stories are really prominent. So that is saying to me, do more Facebook stories.

They are changing the camera on Instagram to make it more easier to use, but also more creative. So again, they're saying to you, do the stories, they want you to use the stories. And obviously the reach on organic kind of posts is going down. So you kind of have to do as they ask because if you try and fight against it, then you'll struggle a bit.

But for me, if you want to kind of really step out than something like stories is great. Also, LinkedIn have just introduced reactions. Have you seen this?

Chrys: I have.

Teresa: I wanted to do an Instagram story about if my mum was to like create reactions. That's what she would do. Like they look so old and [inaudible] LinkedIn aren't cool, but they could've done a better job. But anyway, they're moving on and LinkedIn's a great platform. 

So for me it's about showing up, being consistent and being yourself. So there's nothing more being yourself than getting on camera and talking and having a conversation and things. So it's all about that sort of stuff. And what's really interesting is I can post about work stuff all day long. That's fine.

But the minute I post something like, Oh look, I've just got a new stand up desk, the amount of people who have responded to my story like "Oh no way. That's so cool. Where'd you get it from?" Like literally. And then I mentioned this anti fatigue mat stand up suddenly flooded messages. "Oh what's that?"

So then I do a story about that and it's like they like the personal stuff. We remember the personal stuff cause we're humans. And I think as time goes on more about building that community and also actually if you are a personal brand, sometimes we get really hung up with the numbers, and I know we do. And I do. I look at my download figures on my podcast literally every single day. I like, I love it. It's one of my favorite things to do.

Chrys: I never look at my downloads at all.

Teresa: Oh my word. Yeah, I'm terrible. So in the morning, it's like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, downloads. Like literally, those are my five things I need to do before I even get out of bed, terrible. But yeah, so like people do get kind of really bothered with the numbers. For me and for social media, it's almost like, forget about the numbers, but love the people that are there.

Honestly, if anybody comments on anything on any platform and as we have discussed, I'm on everything and it's hard work keeping up with it all. But I love them and I thank them and I engage with them and I try and add value every single opportunity because we're all chasing these massive numbers and we're missing the people who are there already. And the more we love them, the more they share us and the more they, they want to be part of our community.

So for me, the focus really is on stories, on being authentic, on showing your face, building that community, loving the people in your community. And then also groups is another really big thing that's coming up at the moment. Facebook, a lot of their changes that they've got coming up are all around groups. But again, it's all around that community thing.

Chrys: And of course messenger, right? It was a huge announcement at F8. I'm like, wait, is she ever gonna mention Messenger?

Teresa: Messenger is dead and dying. I'm joking. Joking. Yeah, messenger. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Chrys: Before we end off this episode, I'd like you to give my listeners two final tips, you know, one on how to become a better entrepreneur like yourself. And a second tip on social media marketing that you have not mentioned in today's episode.

Teresa: Okay. So first tip about being an entrepreneur, when I started my business, I thought that it was going to be easy. God, what did I know? Because I thought, I know what I'm talking about. I didn't take into consideration the mindset thing.

And I think my business has shifted and moved immensely in the last 18 months because I started to work on me and my mindset and I started to really focus on goals. I have a vision board, sat to the right of me with everything I want. I journal every day. I meditate every day and I promise you, I came from corporate world. I am like the furthest from this sort of thing ever. But I can't tell you the difference it's made in my business, so much different.

So definitely, definitely focus on those. And learning. So again, I inhaled books from audible, like they're going out of fashion. I listened to loads of podcasts. So those two things are like, I think what's helped me on my entrepreneurial journey. 

And then a social media tip, really simple but loads of people get it wrong. So you know, using hashtags on Instagram and Twitter and now LinkedIn is a thing obviously. And what people tend to do is they tend to use the hashtags that describe them, which is a big, big mistake because the only people using those hashtags of the likes of you.

So let's go back to my door manufacturer. So let's say that my door manufacturer were using social media and they were hashtagging fire door, fire door manufacturer, door manufacturer. The only people looking at those hashtags are those people. So what you really need to do is you need to understand who your customers are. Go and see what hashtags they're using and use those hashtags.

Say for instance, a phrase that I am not very keen on is mompreneur. I don't like using it. I would not describe myself as that, I have a daughter and stepchildren, but I don't describe myself as that. However, I know there's lots of people in my audience that will look at that hashtag or use that hashtag. It's just not how I would describe myself. So I use it.

So make sure you're using the hashtags that the people that you're trying to talk to, not what you physically do. And also Instagram want you to use all 30 hashtags. They want you to hashtag 30 things. So in the days where it used to look spammy and horrible, doesn't matter anymore. Use all these hashtags.

Chrys: Now, this is a perfect way to close out this episode. Guys. Go check out thwmarketing.co.uk. You can also find Teresa on Instagram and Twitter by searching for her name, Teresa Heath-Wareing.

So thanks guys for spending time with me and Teresa. Head on over to hackyouronlinebusiness.com. You can find the show notes, the links and everything that we just talked about.

And don't forget to subscribe to the show. Leave us a comment as well. Let us know what you thought about today's episode. So I want to thank you so much, Teresa, for taking time to come on the show today.

Teresa: Thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure.

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