If you’re here, that probably means you’ve listened to Part 1 of this episode. In the previous episode, Erika and I talked about a bunch of different things when it comes to relationship building for your business. In this episode, we talk a bit more about social media. We also cover:

  • Experimentation of marketing strategy on social media
  • Influencers vs. experts
  • Reciprocity on social media…
  • and more!

Erika Tebbens focuses on growth strategy for established entrepreneurs who are looking to figure out what’s next for them and their journey. To learn more about Erika and her business, click the links below.

Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send a cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started. Hello, again, friends, we are back with part two of my conversation with Erika Tebbens. Erika is an incredible marketing and business coach who is one of the best people I know in terms of using relationships and collaborations and tapping into your own network in order to grow your business. She is incredibly active on social media, but doesn’t make it feel weird or pushy. So we do talk about a lot of that in this episode. But also, like, we talked about how when you understand the fundamentals of marketing, and you have a strategy that works, the platform that you’re using, whether that’s social media, or email marketing, or webinars, or you know, SEO, or whatever it is that you’re using, that part doesn’t really matter. The important thing when you’re talking about marketing your business is knowing how to talk to people knowing what they need from you, figuring out what the messaging is about how you can support your audience and how you can meet them where they are. And the actual, you know how and the the tactics is not nearly as important as the strategy. So in this episode, we’re going to talk about a couple different strategies and how some of them work for different business models. And Eric and I both work with people who are experts who are running businesses, not necessarily influencing, or doing kind of influencer marketing. And there’s a lot of influencer marketing that trickles down into business owners, and makes us feel like we’re not doing enough. And so we’ll talk about that. And then if you stick around to the very end, you can hear an incredible prank of God, Charlie. That’s my dog. If you stick around to the very end of the conversation, you can hear this incredible prank that I pulled on Erica and some excellent advice she gives about why you should always buy the domain before someone else can do it for you. So here we go. Here’s part two of our conversation with Erica Timmons, I hope you enjoy. And I think you make a really good point about, you know, people who are like, I need to build the funnel so that way it can be self liquidating. And that way I’ll like my ads will be free, but the amount of time and bandwidth and energy and you know, your money that you’re spending not just on the ads, but on the contractors like that is eating not only into your time and your mental spoons, really but like your profits. Yeah. And that’s something that often is not discussed as like, yes, you’re making a million dollars, billion dollars. I don’t know what that word was, I’m sorry. I love it. But you’re spending 90% of it. And when you’re doing relationship marketing, where you have a level of reciprocity, you’re able to get clients, you know, you’ve sent me clients, I’ve sent you clients, I don’t think we’ve ever actually exchanged income, like money. But that’s just how things are. And it’s and the other thing is, it’s a long game relationship. Marketing is a long game. And there may be people in your life who send you clients but never work with you. Or they take five, six years to be ready to work with you. Because you’re more you they’re just not ready when they first work, you know, when they first encounter what you do, but they’re waiting to work with you. And they can be in that invisible audience of people who are following you who are maybe even commenting or writing back to your emails, they can be your fans, or they can be invisible and they just come out of the woodwork when they are ready and you can’t predict when they will be ready to work with you. But you just have to keep putting out value in good faith and tapping into your relationships. And, you know, that’s that’s how organic marketing works. It’s not fast, but it’s steady.

Erika Tebbens 4:43
Yes, yes. I love that. It’s not fast, but it’s steady. Yeah. And that’s why I feel like it’s that kind of thing where the online space has glorified. The big and the fast and then you know, almost is like this is the right way. The quote unquote right way to have an online business? Where it’s like, yeah, but you like, that requires a lot of infrastructure, like the people teaching that have a lot of infrastructure that most people do not have? Or like, or need. Yeah, or wide. Yeah. And if you are, if you have like, if your offers, and your sales and your marketing and everything are like, better aligned with your real life, like your lived reality, and like your strengths, and your capacity and all of those things in this moment, then it becomes so much easier and better. Because then you know, like, yeah, no, you might not know, oh, this week, I’m going to have a sales call, but like, will you this month? And how much will that person convert into? Right? And it’s like, that is the kind of thing that like, oh, yeah, then you’re, you’re kind of always steadily growing, rather than, Oh, I’m only marketing when all of my clients have finished. And now I’m panicked. And I have nothing. And I’m hustling, and like, that doesn’t feel good, that’s not sustainable. So it has to be sustainable enough that you can do it in little bits and pieces during your weeks. Without it being this like massive undertaking. Like

Meg Casebolt 6:32
thinking of it, I think of it as compound interest compound. Marfan is, like, every everything that you’re creating is a brick that builds a wall. And that doesn’t mean you have to build the entire wall in a week, you need to make a brick that stacks on top of another brick and stacks on top of another brick, it doesn’t all have to happen at once.

Erika Tebbens 6:48
Yeah, because I think now like in all of the spaces, where I am with other entrepreneurs online, like, I know, if somebody asked for an SEO expert, there’s a really good chance that multiple people will tag you. Right. And like, I have a new client from a paid community that I’m not a part of anymore. But she asked, she posted something about like, I don’t even know, I don’t even know what she asked like, but basically somebody who does what I do, and then people mentioned me, and then then she used the search function. And she found old posts of mine in there. And she was like, I really resonated with you, right? Like, we never had a conversation before she booked into my, to my calendar. And yeah, and I feel like it’s that thing of like, now, because you have collaborated and guested and like done all of those things, you have a reputation for being able to help with SEO, like you can do SEO, right. And like, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who’s tagging you knows what your current offers are the ways to work with you or how your business has grown. But they associate you with SEO. And like, that is just something that takes time and it takes like intentionality. And you generally, unless you have some content that is like fire and like goes viral, or people are like really vibing with it, and they’re spreading it all over the place. Like it generally will not come from just like creating social media content, and then like sitting back and just waiting for people to find it and like to raise their hand and hire you like, you have to wait. You don’t have to you don’t have to do anything. But like, if you want to get known for the thing that you do faster, it’s so much better to just figure out like, Okay, who serves the people I serve? How can I be in community with them? And how can we create like, benefit for like for each other’s audience like mutually beneficial relationships, where we can each teacher audiences something and then have more awareness, and then repeat that process again and again. And again. And eventually people will be like, Oh, you need to hire somebody go to someone. So they’re great with hiring or you need, you know, high converting emails go to so and so they’re really great with that. But it takes time and it takes being kind of like really proactive, I would say.

Meg Casebolt 9:22
Yeah, and I think they say that, like Yeah, the stat used to be like someone has to see something seven times before they’re gonna buy. And I think that’s even gone up as our attention spans and our dopamine hits have plummeted. But I’m at the point now where people will say I saw you in this community heard you on this podcast, got on your email list and then joined this free thing you were doing. And then I was ready to buy, you know, like we have Yeah, we in multiple places. And then once people recognize us, they might need to follow for a little bit of time and get multiple referral sources. And that’s what it does serve A consumer should be able to do not like to join now because this is when it’s closing. We won’t open for a year. Okay, like the FOMO is real, but also like, why are

Erika Tebbens 10:11
you rushing me, man? Yeah. Right. Because if we take it back to brunch, like, do you want to have brunch with like, do you want to be awkwardly thrown into brunch with like a perfect stranger who? Like maybe doesn’t want to have brunch with you right now? No, like you want it to feel good? Like you? Yeah, like you want the brunch to be at the right time. And I think I think that what has happened

Meg Casebolt 10:37
really quickly, I thought you were gonna say, Do you want a waiter? Who is going to kick you out before? It’s noon on Sunday? And the Mimosa bar has opened? No, you absolutely do not want that waiter that is not the customer service that we’re looking for. But I also like, I like your brunch date, analogy, also anything having to do with brunch? I’m here for?

Erika Tebbens 10:57
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. But yeah, I think I think it’s like, I work with people. And I talk to people week in and week out who are so exhausted from creating content primarily for social media. And then when I say like, when they’re like, I’m, you know, I’m posting like multiple times a week and like, nothing is happening. And then I go to their account, and I look and I’m like, yeah, there’s not enough eyeballs there are like, Are you engaged? Are the people who are engaging? Are you engaging back with them? Like, are you taking it to the DMS? Are you learning about them? Are you watching their stories? Like, are you paying any interest in them to get to know them? Because like, this is all it’s all like reciprocal, right? And then it’s like, oh, no, I didn’t know I needed to or like, or I’m like, Are you going to hashtags where your people are and engaging with those people so that they know you exist? Oh, no, I didn’t know I needed to write because I feel like, um, I feel like it’s so much easier for people to just be like, let me teach you how to do reels, so that like, your reel can get a lot of views. But like, it doesn’t fucking matter. It doesn’t matter. If you are a content creator. If you are part of the Creator economy, then yes, it matters greatly. If you are part of the small business like solo entrepreneur, economy, it does not matter. relationships matter more than virality, or views or followers, or any of those things like period, point blank.

Meg Casebolt 12:43
The way that I like to create that dichotomy is like, are you an influencer? Or are you an expert, because if you’re an influencer, you have to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible, because you’re like, you just need to be known, you are trying to be a household name and sell a lot of low cost books, or you want to have a sponsored product or something like that. Whereas if you are an expert, and especially if you’re providing some sort of service, but even some products, like you don’t need millions and millions of followers, you need the right 100 People, they say that it’s like 100, some people will say 1000, but like, the new research is coming about, but you really just need 100 really great people in your businesses somehow, whether those are ambassadors or referral partnerships or clients or whatever. Like, you don’t need millions, you need hundreds. We don’t need seven figures. We need three figures.

Erika Tebbens 13:37
Five fight. Right. Exactly. Exactly. And I feel like I’m so glad you mentioned like the influencer thing, right? Because if you think about it, the people who if we go back to the like huge names right in the industry, they have gone beyond service provider coach, like whatever they are now an influencer essentially in the industry like they are again, they’re working on volume they need like, I could be wrong. I’m pretty sure that like Jasmine star is not privately coaching anyone right on their Instagram growth? And I would bet she does not do even in like an agency capacity have any sort of done for you. Right? Like I think it’s only teaching products right? And she’s awesome. And she makes great reels, and I have no beef with Jasmine star whatsoever. But like her business model is entirely different than somebody who’s like, I’m a social media strategist and I do strategy consulting, and I do management for like a handful of clients. Right?

Meg Casebolt 14:47
I think that’s true. What are the different a lot of those big names who I who I respect some, some more than others. You know, like I think Pat Flynn is incredible but Pat Flynn’s money is not coming from services or even really from his info products anymore, it’s coming from being an adviser to software companies and being an affiliate for other software companies. Yeah, he’s in the software business, not in the entrepreneur business anymore. And that’s okay, he started somewhere. And he’s had opportunities that have taken him somewhere else. Amy Porterfield is making some of her money from digital course Academy. She’s also making a lot of money by telling people when digital course Academy to use Kajabi. And so she’s also getting a lot of money from being a software consultant and having an influence over the people who respect her. Like, there’s nothing wrong with that as a business model. But it might not work for you, you’re not going to make millions of dollars in affiliate sales from suggesting a specific product. And unless you want to do that, then don’t you may not necessarily, like follow the same tactics that they are doing. That’s it’s okay to it’s okay to admire someone without wanting to replicate what they’re doing.

Erika Tebbens 16:03
Exactly, exactly. Because I mean, I even have clients who are very successful and like, their business model works wonders for them. It’s not a business model that I want or have any interest in ever, even though I know how I could make money, because I advise them on what to do. And I still am like, I don’t want to it’s not my business.

Meg Casebolt 16:27
You don’t know what’s so funny is there have been times where I’m like, obviously, I know how to do SEO, I could give up my services, and I could build out niche sites. And I would know how to optimize those niche sites. And I would know exactly what to do. And I could get them monetized. And I could do all those things. And I would fucking hate it. Yes. Because I wouldn’t be engaging with people. I wouldn’t be having conversations, I’d be really good at it. But I’d be bored out of my mind. Right. And that is a really valid business model. And I’ve helped other people follow that business model, but I’m having a conversation with them. And then they’re doing the moment.

Erika Tebbens 17:05
Totally, yes, exactly. Exactly. That’s like people ask me, they’re like, Oh, do you do done for you marketing? And I’m like, No, I know, I can make a fortune doing people’s marketing assets for them. Because I am constantly talking to people who don’t want to do their own marketing. And I’m like, Yeah, you don’t know. i It’s that is not can I do it? Yes. What I absolutely hate it and burn down my business by the end of the day. So yes. It is not my it’s not what I want to do. I have super duper respect for people who are like implementers and executors. I am not one of those people. Yeah.

Meg Casebolt 17:47
And that’s why partnerships are so important for people like us where it’s like, I will absolutely tell you exactly what to create. So that way you get more search traffic, you want somebody to write it for you, here are the four content production teams that I work with, who know how to take my work, and turn it into reality. Because I don’t want to hire writers, I don’t want to manage writers, I don’t want to make sure that everything gets done. That is not what I want to do. That is not our expertise. That’s not the zone of genius of the people that I’ve hired. Okay, maybe Shannon. Like, that’s okay. We don’t have to follow every monetary stream just because it could be profitable, if we’re gonna hate it.

Erika Tebbens 18:30
Yeah, exactly. And I think the same goes for social media, right? Like, I know that I’ve talked like, know a lot of people who are like, I hate Instagram. And like, I would rather be on LinkedIn. And then And meanwhile, it’s totally the opposite. For me. I’m like, I don’t know what it is about LinkedIn. But every time I log in over there, it’s like, I just want to run screaming from the platform. And but yet Instagram works perfectly for my brain, right? So it’s like the path of least resistance for me to be on Instagram. Do I know how to monetize LinkedIn? Of course, like, if something happened tomorrow, and I got locked out of my Instagram, like, I could just default to Facebook or LinkedIn or Tiktok or clubhouse or wherever it doesn’t matter because

Meg Casebolt 19:19
of the clubhouse. Oh, my God. Because I think what you’re saying too, is like when you have marketing strategy, the platform doesn’t matter. When you know how to talk to people. The tactics don’t matter. It’s not your you got really good at reels and that’s why your business is successful. It’s because you know what people want to hear from you. You understand the messaging, you know, how to communicate, like the communication, and the messaging is the strategy. And like, it comes back to like jobs to be done theory. If you’re familiar with that, where it’s like your marketing job is to get new clients. It’s not to grow a following on Instagram. That is the tool that you are you losing the job is developing relationships.

Erika Tebbens 20:05
Yes, exactly, exactly. And because if I went over to LinkedIn, I would literally do the same thing. I would prioritize relationships. And that’s what I would do,

Meg Casebolt 20:20
right? In the same way. When you are following up with people in your Instagram DMS, you can follow up with people in the LinkedIn DM Z cache. Yeah. Real life, girls, I know. Sir Charles and his trouble.

Erika Tebbens 20:34
Peanuts circling? It’s fine.

Meg Casebolt 20:36
I’m shocked. He’s not on your lap. Yeah, so I think it’s like, once you know, the strategies, the tactics don’t matter anymore. You can choose your tactics. But this no matter how good you get at a tactic, it will not get you the results if you don’t also know what to do with it.

Erika Tebbens 20:55
Right, because the tactic will change, right? Like even reels haven’t even been super popular for that long now. And they are already changing, like, the format of what is working, you know, quote, unquote, working again, when you’re not trying to be an influencer. And stuff is different than what people were doing when they were first on the scene, like it was a lot of like, dancing and pointing, when it first became a thing. And now, reels are just like, I mean, you could still do that. And you could still like, follow the trendy ones, like do whatever you want. But like a lot of people are just using it as like, oh, I can do like a short one minute tip or mindset shift or whatever, and just talk straight at the camera, add some captions, and upload it like it’s

Meg Casebolt 21:59
boring. Even sometimes I just see people like rolling their eyes over text. And that’s all they need to do. Right? Like ya have to be as produced as it once did. But if you go take a course that somebody created three months ago about how to make your reels go viral and they haven’t updated it, then you’re going to be doing things that are already off trend, as opposed to go experiment. Look at the numbers, see what’s resonating with your audience instead of following someone else who maybe they had really great success in a totally different industry or that you know, you’re an E commerce business and their service business and what they do won’t apply to you. I have a team member who’s an E commerce business who just went to Ireland tick tock because she was making little mushroom crochet hooks and pointing out how you could put lip gloss in them. And she made a ton of sales off of it. You know, like, if she was like, I was shocked at how many sales I made, because that was just something that felt fun to do. Right. Right. It’s not always going to be formulaic. And it’s not always going to be laid out for you. Sometimes it just happens. And then you can figure out what your audience likes, that isn’t going to be in a course.

Erika Tebbens 23:07
Exactly, exactly. Because I know even for mine, like Mike, the people who follow me on Instagram, like I when I do a solo live, I don’t I do not get much like interaction. Like I just know, like, that’s something you know, and I’m sure there’s somebody out there who might be like, Well, do you advertise

Meg Casebolt 23:27
it in advance? Or do you make sure that you do let people know when you’re going to be going live? So that way there’s a countdown, I don’t know, it’ll like, and by the time they post that that like video on Instagram about how to do that in subscript.

Erika Tebbens 23:41
Right, right. It’s like it’s like, yeah, I know, I know that there are ways I could like, boost those views. But I’m also like, I don’t care. You know, like, it doesn’t matter. That’s too much extra work when I could just do different kinds of posts that get better that get me better results. And like,

Meg Casebolt 24:01
basically just take the time that you would take to figure out how to do that and go make a new friend. Go read. Yep,

Erika Tebbens 24:08
just do just do that. Please, for the love of all things. New friends make new friends. Like really? And truly, it’s Yeah, because you know, whenever you like, whenever there are people that are like, I sold out my thing from like a Google Doc or like whatever like, like, I have a podcast episode about this like and I also like I just talked to somebody earlier today I was like helping her brainstorm like a group program. And I was telling her about the first group program I ever had, it didn’t even have a sales page like all this stuff. The way that typically again, unless you have some massive following that’s like dying to work with you. And then suddenly you open up this thing and it’s like, it’s like if Denise Duffield Thomas opened up group coaching. I would be like, Simon I couldn’t pull my credit card out fast enough to read Just start for that thing, right? Like, because she never does it and like probably never will. So like,

Meg Casebolt 25:04
but she’s also spent a day building out her private Facebook totally, you know, and engaging with people in there so that when they, when you just like if you just said, Denise, I would really go Yeah, Denise, right. Like you would know who to tell. Yeah, totally first name basis, because what other Denise’s are there? Right? Like, it’s she’s become top of mind for a lot of things that she does, because she’s shown up consistently. Yes, yeah, but exactly. We don’t all have that Facebook group of 1000s of, you know, women entrepreneurs who are sold into the process that we teach.

Erika Tebbens 25:38
Exactly. And, and so like, if you don’t have that, like, the way that people are selling those out, is because they are directly reaching out to people and saying, Hey, I have this thing that I’m doing. Here’s the info. Are you interested? Do you want to have a conversation? Are you ready to enroll like, whatever, they are actually talking to people who are the perfect fit for the program, and telling them about it, right like that. That is typically how that happens. I’ve had clients where we strategize a new offer, and their launch plan. And then I follow up with them. And they’re like, Yeah, you know what I didn’t even like, I’ll probably use a launch plan in the future. But for this first round, I just reached out to people I already knew. And like they were Yes. And I sold it out, like I didn’t even have to launch. And it’s like, yeah, you you can do that all the time, like,

Meg Casebolt 26:37
especially the first, first and second launches, where you have people who are warm and haven’t bought from you yet. And then by the third or fourth launch, you may need to use more, I would say sophisticated strategies. But since this doesn’t have to be complex, it doesn’t have to be as time consuming. It can just be intentional, thoughtful, strategic.

Erika Tebbens 26:58
Yes, yes. But yeah, but you if you just reach out, like you can, you can get like people will buy. Because if you know that the offer is great for a person and you can convey that really well. And like what they’re gonna get out of it. Like, chances are they’ll say yes, like, even when you when you’ve had like beta things. And you’re like, Yeah, I just like my team. And I want to work out like the back end systems. And it’s like, the people who know you and trust, we’re like falling all over ourselves for those beta spots, and like they’re not free beta spots.

Meg Casebolt 27:37
Well, that’s what you have given me money before.

Erika Tebbens 27:42
You know why? Because then I sat with that list. And I was like, No, I have to write these blog posts. And then my Yeah, and I wrote some of them and then later outsource the rest. And then I

Meg Casebolt 27:50
was like, How about how about a podcast episode instead of a blog post, because I know. But I’m actually thinking of baiting a new offer that I won’t even offer to the public, I will just go to my existing clients. And I will go to my network of peers that I know have the right people in their audience. And that’s it for the beta round. I’m not talking about it until it’s ready to go. Right. So once you have those systems and relationships in place, it doesn’t always have to be hard. And now, we’ve been talking for Oh, hello, I’m Erica. I didn’t realize how much time had FAS didn’t see you there. How can people find you?

Erika Tebbens 28:25
The best way is Eric metabones.com. Sarah with a K.

Meg Casebolt 28:31
And does not anymore redirect to the dole Camp 96.

Erika Tebbens 28:37
Litter literally just renewed the other day. I have told that story multiple times to multiple people. And I’m like, it’s literally the best prank. It’s like the prank to end all pranks. Like,

Meg Casebolt 28:48
maybe like the entrepreneur. It’s like the nerdiest entrepreneurial prank. So y’all I call with Erica and her website was Eric and Kevin’s consulting.com. And she was like, I just, I’ve been thinking for so long. I just need to buy Erica Tobin’s, I just need to like, I just need to buy it because like, then I’ll have it. And so I bought it. There was a weird thing on the internet that I can just redirect to the dole camp 96 website, the campaign website.

Erika Tebbens 29:21
It was so great. And it was like so old school, that website like if you can imagine a mid 90s like

Meg Casebolt 29:29
1995 It was built and had not been updated. And you know, what I think the funniest part was, is I didn’t want to just come out and tell you. So I told my husband to tell your husband that something weird was happening.

Erika Tebbens 29:46
But you know what, it was a great lesson because you were like, you were like, I wanted you to learn that like when you want a domain like when you think of a domain that you want, like get it right away because like you will be so Add if you lose, like if you don’t have that domain, and that has served me really well, but it’s freaking hilarious and I love it. I love it so much.

Meg Casebolt 30:08
So when your domains and put them in your domain seller to age because someone else could squat on it, there’s our true. There’s our true entire thing, relationships or whatever, but like just buy the domain, it’s gonna be 12 bucks. It’s worth it.

Erika Tebbens 30:24
It’s so it’s so worth it. And yes, and so Eric Metabones. And then also Eric Evans consulting is my Instagram because some there is a legitimate there is somebody with Eric Metabones on Instagram, it’s private account, I don’t know. But I am Eric Evans consulting. And then my podcast is called sell it sister. So those are the three best places that you can find me and learn from me and legitimately slide into my DMs because I actually want to get to know you really. And truly,

Meg Casebolt 30:55
she means it. I don’t mean it when I say it.

Erika Tebbens 30:59
I literally mean it. Because yeah, and I’m not going to try to sell I will try to pitch you something where I’m not going to be that weird person. I actually want to get to know you. Unless you hate waffles and then I don’t know. And then

Meg Casebolt 31:12
you’re done to me. That’s just if you don’t like breakfast foods or brunettes, then you’re done. Dark hair and dark haired women and breakfast foods. Is that the quote?

Erika Tebbens 31:22
Yeah, if you are anti breakfast foods, forget it. We will die. Thank you, Erica.

Meg Casebolt 31:29
I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list. You never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown.com/review Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media Talk to you then

Please forgive any typos as this transcript was automatically generated by otter.ai.

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