I worked on Wall Street
Came back to SA and started working for Woolworths as a fashion buyer.
Started a Brandy Company – Went nationwide, won the Loerie award for design
Started a property development company – Imported my finishes from China.
Panel Shop Franchise – THAT REALLY SUCKED – (hauled out of bed at midnights by drunk tow truck drivers) I was like – “this is for the birds” – I sold that business and headed for the beach…ie a sabbatical Then bought an airline ticket and I went to Puerto Rico with my kite surfer and sat on the beach to think – Read a book, the 4 hour workweek, about setting up remote income streams
So I thought: What pisses me off about what I do?
Pitching to the office every day
Race around the country side… begging for business.
I was into bricks and mortar, which cost money and was often stolen
I Came to SA and did what I often do… – I hit the wine route with a pretty lady…
She happened to be very pretty, which made me very happy and I remembered that the book told me to do what made me happy. So the first thing that was on my mind, was out of the question, so I built a wine website instead….
I spent the next few months talking to wine estates until I had the largest selection of South African wines in the world on my site…
I set it up, set it up and then waited… and nothing happened. Accidental Sales happened, 2 cases sold to someone in Germany were reason to celebrate…
Then I got into the trenches
I joined forums,
I collected e-mail addresses and started to send out newsletters.
I started filming myself drinking wine and talking about the wines. I would post this to You Tube…
I did this every single day for 12 month….
2 peeps watched. Grandma watched, Aunty Jill watched, but she drank way too much anyway…
– but slowly, first a trickle and then a stream…
The first time I knew I had something was Christmas Sale…
I had done the ground work and clocked the sale to start at midnight. By the morning I had R500,000 in sales and got a call from my service provider, saying that the server was taking strain.
By the evening I had passed the R1million mark
I had created a little river!
Let’s back up a bit and talk about the world we live in…
I’m talking about is the demise of the gatekeepers.
Up to a while ago, there were a couple of peeps at the SABC and Mnet, who decided what you were going to see.
If I had gone to them and said that I wanted to sit in front of a camera for 20 minutes and drink wine, totally unscripted and that it was going to be great, they would have laughed me out of the door…
But because it was 2010, I had the ability to pump out content around a passion of mine and I, way more importantly, you, the world, decided if it was good enough… You see, I don’t get very excited about isidingo. They had to beat three shows…
Now, if you want to build brand equity, you have to beat everybody….
Do you want a business strategy ? – Connect with people and work the room and show that you care!
When my dad wanted to get the word out, in the old days he would talk to guys. It’s called working the room.
It’s the person who tells all the parents to come to their flower shop at the kids school function, that will get noticed…
With the tools that re in place today , you can hustle too – people ask me all the time… Oh Thorsten which platform should I use?
Answer: All of them!
It’s like 10 mixers going on and wanting to only use one…
It’s like 10 events going on and you can be at all of them. Wouldn’t t you want to. You can do that now…
When you’re living in a tumbler or WordPress or a Twitter world, you are expanding your reach.
When you’re building your brand, you re living in a world of mouth world.
And the Internet is word of mouth on steroids.
Word of mouth is hanging out with the incredible Hulk!
I had so much fun hanging out with the Hulk, that I realised that doing the wine business made me only partially happy. I mean how much wine can you really drink at 11am on a monday morning…
I started working the room for other companies…
Let’s talk about passion…
Talking about your passion is easy, cos you know the subject matter…
5 years ago, I did not see a way for people to make a living, talking about the Smurfs, season 2
But now it is possible…
Is it going to be a million Rand business? – probably not
Is it going to be a hundred thousand Rand business? – Probably
Pump out content around a subject that interests you.
But too many people care about the camera… I pumped out content for the week with my iPhone or a little video camera.
When you know your subject matter, you don’t have to do homework. You just talk. Then you get into the trenches. You connect… you become part of the conversation.
You have to do more of it and things begin to happen.
You can’t read about pushups, and expect something to happen… you’ve got do them!
…its the same with business.
You see, content is King, but Marketing is the queen, and she runs the household.
The queen deals with the eyeballs when they are on you. That’s the marketing function. Converting the attention people give you through content, into active bottomline purchases…. through sales…
It’s the same with Business to Business…
Give the end consumer information that they want and your wholesaler will want more of your product, because his customers are asking them for it.
The more I think about what is going on and the more I consult with companies, it becomes very obvious to me that some companies are in deep shit.
They want to hold on to old ways.
Oh, WE don’t really care about the Facebook and the twitter, – I promise you, you are going to care really fast when those buggers put you out of business.
People hold onto the old ways… TV supplanted Radio. emails supplanted letters and faxes… There are cultural shifts and you need to keep pace with these.
Look at what a 16 year old person is doing… Why are TV’s numbers down? Because people are making connections on their media channels.
Individuals can now become competitors to the biggest corporate giants.
Let’s talk about the 400lbs Gorilla of Social Media for a bit…
What do you pay for a print ad?
Whom does it go out to?
Where does it end up. (In the trash?!)
I am going to tell you that you can get far better ROI numbers off a targeted FB ads campaign
What if I told you that I can use FB like a pair of scissors.
Give me half of your budget and I will get you 200 000 impressions, and at least 1000 followers off a single well worded ad.
Now what you do with that is up to you. It’s like being at a cocktail party. You have to work the room. You have to engage, but those people are at your cocktail party because they are pre qualified. They want to be there.
Facebook has a system called EdgeRank
Facebook changed their algorithms about a year ago,
You only see about 5% of what your connections post….
an engagement sends the person higher up the list
every engagement is called an Edge…
Every engagement filters a news stream accordingly
– it strengthens the stream and will push the content up the newsstream
That’s why engaging content is so important
Facebook does not care about conversions, it cares about engagement – you can’t have them only read your stuff, they have to want to engage with it…and share it.
If your content elicits shares, you are golden!
The FB hoops and algorithms are constantly changing, – your only answer is to keep engaging. You have to reinvent yourself every day and remain vigilant – Know your community like your family
The trick is to get to know your audience.
If you know their age, gender, that is fine, but you have to know what they have for breakfast, the clothes they wear, what they do when nobody is watching…
How you should post?
Likes and cats ? not right, but not wrong either…
Imagine you are in someone’s lounge and you are joining a conversation.
Are you going to be the dude on the couch flashing a “buy me now” sticker in peoples faces? It’s like having a flasher in your room – just not cool!
The next time you post something about Bhotale’s Madiba Speech, and your boss tells you that it is not appropriate content,
You will calmly point out that this post is getting a higher than average engagement over your more traditional posts.
You have already seen that your community watches SA’s got talent, and by posting this, you are showing them that you care, and that you understand them…
Suddenly you are talking to them like a person and not a corporation …and the over indexing reveals this,.
This is good, because it tells FB that this brand matters to people. –
So the next time you put a little infographic into your FB feed about how to “take care of future generations” , Facebook makes sure that your customers see it in their newsfeed.
Your next post after the infographic may be some content that you share about the Youth of South Africa and their challenges.
Again, the piece is not selling anything,
Third Jab – a video about kids in a skatepark…
Fourth Jab – Poll, would you rather stay in SA or emigrate….
Then you land a knockout punch… Insure your families future… – click this link… and you get to a squeeze page..
Voila! you are monetising your eyeballs…
I can send you a list of how to post effectively if you like. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR AD AND YOUR CONTENT SHOULD BE… NOTHING!
You have to forgive this style of writing, but I am sitting here and really felt the need to get this out… – and quickly.
Here’s the bottomline.. – If you care about your brand, then you absolutely have to make use of the unbelievable, lights-out opportunities that the internet offers you! It’s that simple. If you are standing like an ox in front of a hill