This is my last post for a while on the subject of media. Having covered video, podcasting, newsletters and blogging up to this point. The cool thing is that I have covered a lot of different media outlets to produce your content but there are still so many media tools that you can use to build your business platform. Today I want to talk about social media (briefly as this one has been hit a ton already), teleseminars and the use of recorded messages.
Social media is getting so much love in the media right now that it makes me wonder if the next thing in communication isn't coming soon. News outlets like CNN and ESPN are using Twitter frequently in their news stories to ask what their viewers think. There are numerous social media outlets to choose from; Twitter, Facebook, Friend Feed, MySpace just to name a few.
If you have a specific strategy behind how and why you will use social media, then I say by all means start using it. If you don't have a strategy, social media will be a huge waste of time for you. Retention for Twitter is very low because people sign up and have no idea what to do next. I am not big on telling someone how they can or can't use social media but there are some things that you should do in your set up to make sure that you are appealing to the community. About a year ago Chris Brogan wrote a post on etiquette for social media among other things. It's the best post I have seen on the subject and I highly recommend that you give it a look.
Social media can be a great way to build relationships that you wouldn't normally have built, promote your content (and others people's content), and build a following.
About 2 months ago, I finally did my first teleseminar. Alex Mandossian had introduced me to the medium when I was working for someone else a couple of years ago. Despite going through his teleseminar secrets course, it took me a while to finally get started doing these events. As Alex likes to say, teleseminars are great because you can do them anywhere and they are a more intimate medium of communicating with your client base.
There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you get the most out of your teleseminar. Make sure that you have a detailed outline for your call. Be careful what service you use for your call line. A free service may fit your needs in the beginning but you may quickly outgrow that. Always transcribe your teleseminars and look for ways that your call events can be repurposed for other types of products in the future.
Alex Mandossian says your first teleseminar will always be the worst. In my first teleseminar, I accidentally dropped off the call in the middle of it. Luckily I was doing it with a business partner and it was while he was talking but that was definitely a disaster.
Free Recorded Lines
Free recorded messages are a great non intrusive way to deliver information about your business and why someone would want to do business with you. I learned about this from listening to Joe Polish and Tim Paulson's program Piranha Marketing.
A free recorded line is typically a toll free number that people can call where they can listen to a message about the business that they are interested in. If the person likes what they hear, they can leave a message to have someone call them back. This is also a tool that you can use for new clients to introduce them to a new product or service that they just bought from you.
Joe Polish even gives a list of the vendors that he uses to set this up. I personally use the first option that Joe lists and have been using it for over a year and have been very happy with it. The best part about it is it's only about $30/month and is really easy to use.
All of these media vehicles are easy to set up and don't cost very much money at all. In fact, most of this stuff you can do for free. This is what bootstrapping is all about. If you are not using these services in your business, take a look at how they might fit within your business and start putting them into practice. The more media tools you are using the faster you will build a solid platform for your business.