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HPR 50 | B2b Interactive Marketing

Heartrepreneur® Radio | Episode 50 | Brian Basilico On B2b Interactive Marketing

HPR 50 | B2b Interactive Marketing

 

Ever wish marketing authors and speakers would bother to translate “geek speak” into English? Well, Brian Basilico, founder and president of B2b Interactive Marketing, Inc., award-winning consultant, musician, technician, programmer, and producer, has built a reputation for doing just that. By combining years of marketing experience with technical expertise, Brian now shows you how to build online campaigns that continue to produce measurable results.

Brian Basilico is an award-winning, internationally recognized author and speaker (and a self-professed geek). He’s the founder and president of B2b Interactive Marketing Inc., an award-winning marketing consulting and production company in Aurora, Illinois. B2b was founded in 2001 and helps companies and non-profits market their products and services through the effective use of online tools including websites, blogs, email, social networking, Google, S.E.O., YouTube, and more.

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Brian Basilico On B2b Interactive Marketing

We’re going to be talking about bacon. Brian Basilico is my guest. He is an internationally recognized author of the award winning and bestselling book, It’s Not about You, It’s about Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World, and that’s so perfect for our discussion. He’s a speaker, a trainer, an adjunct professor, and he brings over 35 years of marketing experience to his award-winning internet marketing company B2B Interactive Marketing Inc.

Brian is a syndicated blogger, a podcaster, a sought after guest expert featured in Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazines, articles, radio shows and podcasts. If you haven’t heard his name, I’m glad you’re going to hear it. By the way, one of the ways that I found him a while back was he’s the author of The Bacon System: Sizzlin’ Hot Recipes that Grow Your Business. Welcome to the show, Brian.

I’m glad I could give you a little bacon love now. Thank you so much for having me.

We got to talk about this, It’s Not about You, It’s about Bacon. How did you come up with that? Where did that come from?

It started when I was giving a speech in LA with a couple of long time clients. This dates back to when I had my recording studio in the ’90s and they’re retail experts. They invited me out to speak at a conference and one of the two speakers goes on Twitter and she says, “I’m giving a speech in LA CHA 2012, #bacon and I’m going to have ten new followers.” I said, “Huh?” When she was done, she had twenty new followers in an hour. After I did a little research, I found out that the two most shared things on the internet in order, number one is kittens, number two, is bacon.

I started taking pictures of bacon at networking meetings because I would network a lot and usually it was breakfast meetings. I’d take a shot of it and put it up there. All of a sudden my friends started going, “Dude, do you have a prepaid plan with your cardiologist because you’re going to die?” I’m like, “No. You don’t get it. This is OPB. It’s other people’s bacon. I eat oatmeal.” Then it just started to explode on Facebook and it all of a sudden dawned on me. It’s like, “It’s Not About You, It’s About Bacon,” just made a whole bunch of sense for a title of a book because it is about bacon and it is an acronym. It stands for Building Authentic Connections Online Networking.

I’ve always wondered. I’m like, “Where did this bacon come from. It’s just funny because not only do I love bacon, but I do pay attention to posts with bacon and kittens. I’m like, “That’s true.” I will label you as a Heartrepreneur because we’re all about being transparent and all about being authentic. A lot of people are having trouble in my experience with understanding how to be authentic on social media. Talk to us a little about how do you do authentic marketing on social media?

That’s one of the basic things about the book. The subtitle is Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World. The bottom line is social media is number one a relationship building tool, number two, a content delivery platform, and then number three, a sales tool. A lot of people flip that around. They think that I’m going to go in there and start selling, which isn’t what it’s about. It’s about building authentic relationships. When somebody has a birthday, wish him a happy birthday. When somebody’s pet passes away or something happens in their life, be real. Be a human being like you would normally be if you’d met him face-to-face. That’s how you do it.

This is the way I look at it. I believe that real networking begins with a handshake and a smile, and then from there, social media lets you continue the conversation. It’s not there to start the conversation, it’s there to continue. You’re not going to meet everybody face-to-face. It took us two, three years before we finally met face-to-face. It was one of those things where I got to know you, you got to know me a little bit and when we met face-to-face, we felt that we knew each other in a lot of ways. That’s exactly what it’s about. It’s being yourself, be honest, be a human being, and care about other people. It’s not about just selling all the time. It’s about creating value for people and being a part of their lives. That’s how you do it. I think it’s the best way to do it.

It’s so interesting to me because I look at social media all the time, obviously I use it. It’s the number one tool in my business. I get turned off by the people who are promoting, promoting, promoting and I get so turned on by the people who are putting up interesting content or the people who are real and authentic. I’m digging what you’re saying. I’m totally appreciating it completely. What would you suggest to the folks listening if they want to build their business? What are some of the tools that you’d suggest or the strategies that you find most effective?

Let’s say you’re a dentist or you’re a heating and air conditioning person, if you’re a small business or something like that, you have to figure out where your people are hanging out and what messages they like. First, you got to figure out where they’re hanging out and then secondly, you’ve got to interact with them. It boils down to connecting with them on a one-to-one level. A lot of people go into social media like Facebook and say, “I’m going to post my business page.” You and I know that business pages don’t show up in newsfeeds anymore. You’ve got to be a human being. Meaning you’re going to have to spend that time being yourself and figuring out where those people are at.

Maybe your audience is coaches and they’re all on LinkedIn or maybe your business is a bunch of people who like to tweet. If they’re Millennials, they’re much more likely to be on Twitter than they are on Facebook or LinkedIn because their moms are on Facebook and their dads are on LinkedIn. You got to figure out where your audience is and then provide them something of value. One of the coaches that I’ve worked with told me, “Give away your best stuff 100% of the time.” You’re almost hesitant to do that because it’s like, “I don’t want to give away all my secrets for free.”

He said, “No. The whole point is most people cannot execute without you being the person helping them. Don’t be afraid to give out your best stuff. Provide great content that is useful to people that’s them-focused and they’ll start to pay attention. They’ll start to keep you top of mind and eventually they’ll either come to you and work with you or maybe refer you to somebody. In using social media in business, that’s one of the best ways to do it.

It was years ago or so that I started giving away my best content in all different formats. At first I was like, “Why would anybody hire me?” I have seen people that love the stuff and then they say, “I need your help implementing it.” I believe that works. I had gotten this guy online workout program. It was inexpensive. It was tough, and I loved it.

Then, I thought, “I want more.” I went to access him and he’s like, “I have a program where I actually help you exercise and implement all of the exercise.” I’m like, “I’ll buy that.” I don’t even need to know how much it was. I knew I needed his help. It’s perfectly true. What do you think are some of the mistakes that people are making now that’s hurting them in looking and being authentic to their perspective target market?

Some of the biggest problems is you have to be careful with your views. If you talk about three things, politics, religion or sex, if you started putting stuff out there that’s controversial, you’re going to start to create a little discourse and a little distance with some people. Usually, I say you’re going to piss off 50% of your audience. You can have fun with it, but don’t be that angry “get off my lawn” person. You want to be somebody that is out there, being authentic, but you’ve got to be careful. There is a certain line that you can cross. It’s okay to teeter on it and I do teeter on it.

I do a quote of the day, I do a caption contest. Those caption contests are there for fun, but sometimes they’re on the edge a little bit and occasionally somebody will give me some pushback on it, but you can’t please everybody. The thing is that if majority of your audience is paying attention and enjoying what you’re doing, then you’re doing okay. The other mistake that a lot of people make is they say, “I do not want to be myself online. I want to be my brand.” That’s great if you have Coca-Cola, but we’re not Coca-Cola. They’re going to hire Terri.

They want Terri because you’re bubbly, your personality, the things that you do, the success that you brought to other people, that’s what they’re hiring. Be Terri, be Brian, be yourself and that’s where the real relationship happens. A lot of people go out there and post their ad of the day, this coupon or what have you. The other thing that is uber important is generate original content. That’s one of the core things that I teach people is in this business and I’ve seen it and I’m sure you’ve seen it, there’s tons of people that are turning into social media experts. There’s one local guy who was in the army. Then, he became a financial planner and decided to become a social media expert.

I’ve been in business marketing for over 30 years and there’s some core principles in marketing that you’ve got to understand that makes social media work. You don’t all of a sudden say, “I’m a social media expert.” You can get certified and go to college. You may get a master’s degree in it, but the bottom line is what they’re doing is they’re out there posting other people’s content. When you’re posting something from Inc. Magazine, Success Magazine, from whatever, when people click on the information, they go down a completely different rabbit hole and they’re not paying attention to you. Generate great personal content and share that with the world. I think that’s uber important.

HPR 50 | B2b Interactive Marketing
B2b Interactive Marketing: The other mistake that a lot of people make is when they say, “I do not want to be myself online. I want to be my brand.” Well, that’s great if you are Coca-Cola… but we’re not Coca-Cola!

The better content, the best content you can give, whether it’s a post, a Facebook live, a giveaway on your website, whatever it is, the free webinar or a free event is where it’s at. Whether it’s online or offline, you think it’s the same thing. Create value. That’s how natural relationships come. I really do. Brian, what are you up to? How can people connect with you? How can people find out more and get more bacon?

I’ve got the Bacon Podcast, Bacon Coach, my newsletters, the Bacon System classes. There are tons of ways to get a hold of me, but the simplest thing to do is go to Google type in Brian Basilico. There are only two of us in the world that I know of and one’s a college hockey player, so it’s easy to find. From there, you’ll find everything including my Bacon Podcast which I do some great stuff including interviewing Ms. Terri Levine. I have some great guests on there and I learned so much from some of the brightest people in marketing and all kinds of different facets of business. That’s one of the best ways. You’ll get a lot of bacon that way.

Brian, thank you so much for being my guest here. Thank you so much for being here. For the audience, thank you so much. Don’t forget that the best way to never miss an episode is to subscribe to the podcast. Make sure that you do that. I’ve got some amazing people coming up over the next few podcasts. It’s going to be super valuable just like Brian has been here and please don’t forget we love your comments over on the podcast. We love when you share us. Come back soon to Heartrepreneur Radio. Until next time. 

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About Brian Basilico

HPR 50 | B2b Interactive MarketingBrian Basilico is an award-winning, internationally recognized author and speaker (and a self-professed geek). He’s the founder and president of B2b Interactive Marketing Inc., an award-winning marketing consulting and production company in Aurora, Illinois. B2b was founded in 2001 and helps companies and non-profits market their products and services through the effective use of online tools including websites, blogs, email, social networking, Google, S.E.O., YouTube, and more.

Brian’s career spans almost 40 years. Since his first production company in 1979, he’s produced thousands of projects for hundreds of companies, ranging from solopreneur to Fortune 100. Brian combines years of marketing experience with technical expertise, to build online campaigns that continue to produce measurable results. As a musician, technician, programmer, producer, and consultant, he has built a reputation for creativity, innovation, and translating “geek speak” into English. Brian is also an adjunct professor, trainer, speaker, and author of many marketing and social networking blogs and articles.

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