After interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners and social media experts for his new book, Connect, Michael Kawula, known by his nickname “The Self Employed King,” was kind enough to share his tips and insights.
Michael Kawula built a highly successful $20,000 a week local cleaning business, has raised over 1 billion dollars working on Wall Street and started an online retail store that was ranked by Inc. Magazine as the 144th fastest growing company which shortly became a multi-million dollar store. Kawula works with small businesses, sharing his expert advice and vision to create more successful companies, he shares some of these valuable insights with us here.
For your book, Connect, you interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs to review which strategies work on social media and which don’t. Who was the most successful social media expert you interviewed and what did they teach you?
Michael: When putting together “Connect” we interviewed well over 100+ entrepreneurs to find unique strategies everyday business owners could use to help them in their business.
Though we interviewed many great Social Media experts like Kim Garst, Sue B. Zimmerman, Martin Shervington and others; what was most exciting was hearing from everyday small business owners who are having success locally using Social Media.
The experts really shared amazing tips, yet it’s great when you hear a local business owner implementing a strategy himself or herself and having a positive ROI on it.
Personally I have a strong passion for everyday business owners who are growing a business locally and making a difference.
As the Self-Employed King, what is the number 1 thing people come to you for advice on and can you share your advice here?
Michael: Weekly I talk with dozens of entrepreneurs about so many different topics.
The most common topic I discuss on a daily basis is how business owners can attract more clients profitably.
Though my one company provides online digital marketing support for local business owners throughout the United States, I always recommend that business owners truly get out in the community and network regularly. Jim Rohn says it best “Your Network is Your Net Worth”.
You began an online retail store which was ranked by Inc. Magazine as the 144th fastest growing company in 2012. How did you utilise social media back then to create such a success and are there any takeaways from that now or has social media changed too much?
Michael: My previous company that was ranked by Inc. Magazine as the 144th fastest growing company saw its success through Networking, Direct Mail, SEO, PPC and Social Media.
On the Social Media side we created tons of videos that demonstrated the products, answered frequently asked questions or that shared reviews from existing customers. These video’s drove us tons of traffic, reduced phone calls and increased conversions on our website.
Back in 2008 content marketing wasn’t a strategy many implemented (though it proved to be highly effective) but today it is a must strategy for any online or offline business.
Likewise, what do you believe companies can do to remain relevant with such fast-changing digital marketing strategies?
Michael: In 2008, 2015 or even in 2020 content marketing will always be a winning marketing strategy for any business owner.
When you provide great content that answers customers concerns, questions or solves a problem for them your business will prosper.
The winning digital marketing formula is Traffic (x) Conversions = Customers
As a business owner looking to capitalize on this winning formula good content can help you succeed.
Frequently I’m asked what makes a winning SEO strategy for local businesses and guess what the answer is? Content.
How can small businesses earn more money through their social media efforts and how much of their budget should they be allocating to online marketing?
Michael: The way to earn more money through Social Media efforts or any efforts for that matter is to think like an investor. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a PPC campaign, Facebook Ads campaign or paying a company to rank your business organically with SEO. It all costs money.
When you think like an investor you try something out on a small basis to see if it works. If it does you invest more and if it doesn’t you make tweaks.
Thinking like an investor you start small, analyze the data and scale up from there.
The end objective should be that for every $1 you invest you should get a minimum of $2 back.
In Connect, you cover each of the major social networks but what do you believe is the best network for marketing your own business and why?
Michael: Frequently I’m asked by coaching clients or in interviews what is the best Social Media network for small businesses?
The answer is and will always be different for every business.
You need to be on the networks that your customers are. For example if you’re a running a home based business that sells to Moms in the community, you’d get much greater value being on Facebook than LinkedIn. However if you’re a local B-2-B business the reverse is true.
You have to evaluate where your avatar is and that is the Social Media site you want to be on.
Lastly you really can’t overstretch yourself and try to be everywhere if you don’t have the time. Find 1 or 2 you can really engage on. Engagement is the secret formula for success on Social Media and if you’re only on it to push content, you’ll fail.
Get out, share good content and start engaging.
Images: Mike Kawula