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Marketing for your small business in 2020 with Social Media Expert Sam Flynn

I get into talking about marketing for your small business in 2020 with recent Turbo client Sam Flynn. She shares some of her value bombs around psychology in social media.

Watch the marketing for your small business in 2020 episode

In follow up to my shoot results episode with beautiful client Sam Flynn, I’m showing you how Sam’s gonna be using these images in the context of her new business adventure. This gives you all of the pieces of the puzzle, from ideation to creation to implementation. This is something that we’ve not really looked at before, here on Mwah TV. But it is something that is so valuable and really important to understand. When you’re considering any kind of professional photography in your business.

Is this you right now?

I also think that this is gonna help you out if you’ve got a really big idea right now that you’re trying to develop in ideation phase, or maybe it’s just become so big that you’re struggling to get your arms around it, for want of a better metaphor, and you’re not really sure about where you need to start with actually implementing it and turning the idea into reality.

There’s An Interview!

Oh, and I have a whole chat with Sam on this episode, as well. I pick her really clever brains about psychology and social media, and why that’s so important for us as entrepreneurs who want to stand out in a very noisy media environment. I personally learned loads from this conversation about marketing for your small business in 2020, so I think that it’s gonna be helpful for you as well.

Our Conversation

L: Okay, so Sam, welcome to the show.

S: Thank you for having me.

L: Oh, you’re very welcome. I thought it would be fun if we just talked through the aesthetic that we’ve gone with for these photos. I’m really excited about it. And I feel like this fits in nicely with that trend I was telling you about before when we’re shooting. So talk us through your concept for this and then we can get into photography/creativity side.

S: Yes, so I’m launching a new business next year which I’ve never even said the name of the business yet, so I might not give it away yet.

L: Ooh!

S: Yeah. Otherwise, it’d be a proper exclusive.

S: But, the idea behind the name and the logo and everything is essentially to do with space.

L: Cool.

S: So I wanted to do a bit of a spacey background. It makes sense really to go with the green screen so we can insert the spacey feel.

L: Sure.

S: Have things like this kind of an outfit

L: Cosmic vibes, yes.

S: That’s what I wanted and then just happy, cheerful.

L: And why space, then? Why did you go with space? Obviously, we won’t put the announcement out we might go back retrospectively

S: Yeah, we’ll have to.

L: If you’re watching this at the end of quarter two of 2020 we might have put it out there, but why, why space?

S: First of all, for the business itself, I think space works in terms of using language like skyrocket your success, so the business is a social media training business. So I think that the terminology I could use around that was quite good.

L: Yes.

S: You know, go to another planet, skyrocket, become an astronaut of your success, so the language helps a lot. But that in terms of the imagery, I just thought it’s something a bit different for me. I’ve always gone quite monochrome with my branding, I don’t really know why. I think that’s just happened naturally. Maybe I wear too much black, probably why I went monochrome. I think this time I thought let’s play a little bit with a different type of branding, and open it up in terms of new colours and yeah.

L: I love that. It fits so well as well, with 2020. I remember when we were speaking about this a few weeks ago, and we’ll get into that in a second, actually yeah, that’s a perfect time, because I think it’s like even when we were kids, and you think like, 2020, wow! That’s like a whole space-age! So you’re kinda jumping on that, I think.

S: Yeah, definitely. And it’s future thinking.

Marty McFly helped us imagine The Future

The Psychology behind the Creative

S: It’s that idea that you become part of this membership and you will skyrocket your success to the future, kind of thing, so I think it does. it fits well with the branding and everything.

A Pivot in who Sam is Serving

L: Cool. So without trying to give anything away then, you want to get into who you’re serving with your new business compared to who you serve now? Because I feel like it’s quite a pivot.

S: It was a shift, yeah. My current business very much deals with corporates, doing in-house training with large organisations. I’ve mainly done it that way because the corporates have the money.

L: Yes.

S: It’s no lie, you know? It’s kind of like, you can go with the small businesses but they just do not have the same funds there, typically same for training.

L: Or you can run into that issue where you have cash flow problems, so when you invoice you don’t have to become this…

S: Exactly, waiting, waiting. although, corporates do that, too. Actually, they can be a pain for that. After I had my first daughter, I thought I’m gonna work less time, but I’m gonna earn more money, and it made sense to let’s really focus it on large businesses who don’t really go “how much?” they have a training budget and they’re willing to pay it. But I slowly realised that was not where my passion laid at all. And actually I delivered some training sessions come away feeling almost deflated, because the thing with corporates is they send people in who aren’t really bothered about being in that training session often. There’s just no passion in the room. I’m a much more passion person. I like people to be passionate about it. I like people to buzz and go “I’m gonna do this!” and I’ve realised that tends to happen when I train small businesses. I do small business training at the moment, but most of it’s online.

L: Sure.

S: And you get so much more passion from them, so I’m shifting more towards everything being online, and it being a membership platform. There’s loads of training courses on there. Plus, there’ll be the live element, live training, community, where people can ask questions, actions for them to take every week, so it’s taking them steps forward, rather than just training. It’s actually saying “Do this,” and this will happen.

Did you Miss this?

How this pivot supports Sam’s Lifestyle

L: And for you though, from a lifestyle point of view, surely this is gonna create a lot more freedom, right? Not having to get on the road to go to an office to deliver training?

S: Absolutely. That’s another thing that always, you know, having three small kids…

L: I don’t know how you do it.

S: Yeah. It’s too much, it’s too much. And to be honest, I travel a lot anyway for speaking gigs, but that’s fine because you can kind of almost, often you can go there and back in a day. You can say we’re gonna have a 1 o’clock slot so that I could travel down in the morning, travel back in the afternoon, or you’re only involved for maybe an hour and a half, max. Or you get to be part of the whole event and you get to learn, yourself, whereas, when you’re delivering all day, it’s like spending the day before travelling, delivering all day, and then travelling through the evening. Yeah, it doesn’t fit in great with the family, to be honest, so yeah. Taking it online means I can do it all from home or on holiday or wherever I end up in the world. I think it would fit a lot better.

L: Yeah, I feel like that’s definitely where it’s gonna go for you. It’s really exciting, I can’t wait to see where we’re at this time next year.

S: I know, we’ll have to do another Mwah TV.

L: We’ll have to do one follow up, yes, for sure.

More on Psychology in Social Media

L: I wanna go to the psychology side. If you don’t know Sam, what you need to know about her that I think is really unique, is that you have this in-depth psychology training and background. When you bring that into the world of social media, it gets really interesting. Can you give us certain examples of how you’ve managed to use your in-depth psychology training in the world of social media?

S: Yep, absolutely. So, my background’s in business psychology. Bringing that into a social media world means I’m just much more laser focused on things like who’s your audience and how to speak to them as people, because at the end of the day that’s what social media is about. It’s people to people, it’s not business to people. I look at things like a companies’ personality or I call it a brand-onality. It’s what’s the personality of your brand, that personifies your brand, that makes it a person that people can build a relationship with, as opposed to just spouting out sales message after sales message, after sales message, that people switch off from straightaway. They’re not bothered about sales.

L: Or like a random vision statement, you can’t relate to that.

S: You can’t, exactly. That’s what I focus on a lot with my clients is, how can you get your audience to care about you, how can you get them to build a relationship with you, how can you give them something through your social media that draws them to you, so when you have got an offer, that they go, “I 100 percent have to buy that from you, “because I believe in your business so much.” As opposed to if you’re just putting sales, after sales, after sales post, you’re actually switching them off, you’re not engaging them. So I focus a lot on how do we engage them with your post. And also make approximately at least 80 percent of your social media posts have zero sales involved.

L: So it’s just about teaching with the personality instead? This is who we are, this is what we stand for, in the language that you want to be the personality. That’s cool!


Have you found this Interview helpful so far?

Now, I would love it if you could give me some feedback on this episode. Be honest, did you find this conversation as helpful as what I did?


Brand-onality Meets Artificial Intelligence

L: How do you feel about the A.I. stuff? If people implemented a bot, for instance, to help them reduce the amount of inbox messages on Facebook. How do you get around that?

S: I think it’s okay because when you use a bot, you still input the language that you use for that bot, so even though it’s a bot, it’s not robotic because you use your language. You say, okay I want the bot to say this, so you type out in your own language or say it in your own language. Or you can incorporate video into that, so you can have the bot send them a video of you, or a picture. You can still involve elements of people into it.

L: Sure, that makes sense.

S: Which is better than just having “Hi, thanks for connecting,” that is robotic.

L: And it turns you off.

S: Exactly. I think you can do it. I think the more that you get involved in social media, the better. If it’s you and your DMs, chatting to people, asking them questions. I think that’s a lot better than using a bot to ask a question that if they give X reply, then this answer comes back to them. I think eventually they go, am I speaking to a real person, and it becomes obvious.

L: Doesn’t feel organic. That’s interesting.

S: They’re all right. You can use them.

L: I suppose that even underlines what you’re doing even more. If you’re thinking about going in that area, people will see it as a time-saving device. But if you don’t have your personality figured out, it’s gonna make it even harder to put that in place and implement it.

S: It’s pointless to use anything if it’s not going to lead to customers down the line. It’s gonna be switching people off, there’s no point. It might be saving you time, if it’s saving you time but losing your customer, what’s the point?

I ask Sam for her Predictions…

L: Quickly then, I’m putting you on the spot here. Let me know if you want me to cut it. What do you think is gonna be a big shift or big change in trend with social media in 2020?

S: I think the biggest thing we’ve seen, probably in 2019, is a shift more towards quick and dissolving content. Obviously like Instagram stories, it’s there, then it’s gone.

L: Yes.

S: I think that’s gonna grow and grow even more. I think the stories side is gonna grow. I think the feeling of it doesn’t have to be perfect is gonna become more of a trend. I think the realness, essentially. To be honest, it’s not a new trend. People love reality TV, they have done for years and years. People like real life. I think probably that will continue and grow even more in 2020, would be the Instagram stories element. Instagram, I think, is gonna be the one that pretty much every single business will start to go oh I need to be on that.

L: Get on it, yeah.

S: Two years ago, I barely used Instagram, because I was business to business. It was like, you know what, my people aren’t on there so I’m not really going near it now. Actually, it’s probably where I spend most of my time. Now, also where I’m advising even if you’re business to business, that’s where you need to be seen.

S: The thing I love about Instagram is the visual element of it. You have to create a visual, even if that visual is text, you have to go to the effort of having a visual side, rather than just a piece of copy. I think that really resonates more with people than just here’s a bit of text that we want you to read.

Sam hosted an Insta Live Reveal too…

Brainstorming Ideas for Instagram for BIG Corporate Brands

L: I can’t wait to see where you get even more CEOs of really big companies, and they do an Instagram takeover for the stories, and you just get to see what it is they do. I know a lot of PR people might be watching this and going “No, no, no we couldn’t have our CEO on!” It’s about that vulnerability factor. He doesn’t quite know how to use it or something, you’d just fall in love with that.

S: I think every CEO should just have their own profile on there, you know, someone in the business. in fact, I’d much prefer seeing businesses use people than when they just have a business account, having lots of people within the business using it and showing their job or them dealing with customers or what they get up to, rather than it all being one corporate account…

L: That’s stuck in the marketing department.

S: As soon as you create a corporate account, it’s like a switch goes to let’s turn off any personality, let’s use boring language or jargon, let’s use static, boring imagery, and it just takes away personality.

Why you should always avoid Faceless Corporate Branding (in your Small Business Marketing)

L: So how from a psychology point of view, how’d you do it? If somebody is watching this and they have got, maybe they’ve got a small business but they really want to be seen as this corporate, slick personality, how do you make it real? Do you have to still get flaws in there, from a psychology point?

S: You don’t have to push them in. If they insist, make them be part of it. I think it’s just being about real, to be honest. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, so don’t try to be a big business if you’re a small business, because actually a lot of people want to deal with small businesses. They don’t want to deal with… I personally think small businesses have a much bigger advantage on social media, because most of the time, it’s you. For example, for me and you, it’s us in the business that we can show us.

L: Just document the day-to-day.

S: You don’t have to think oh, what’s the personality of our business? It’s just our personality. It’s just us doing what we’re doing day-to-day. Big businesses struggle with that, because it’s like, how can we showcase what we’re doing because we’ve got hundreds of people doing it.

L: Or how do we make a process out of being real?

S: How do we get people to build a relationship with people in the business when there’s so many of them? Whereas it’s actually really easy for us to build relationships because it’s us speaking to our customers. So I think actually small businesses have a huge advantage of that. If they’re thinking, how do I make it more corporate? How do I make it slicker? I think actually…. just don’t.

L: Just be yourself.

Back to our Shoot

L: Moving on then, to talking about the photography plan. We’ve shot on the green screen, as you know, and we’ll be putting up the final results and how the pictures have evolved as well in between this conversation.

A Space Mock-Up of Sam’s final results

L: And let’s talk about where they’re gonna be used because you came to me with a very specific brief, which I absolutely love when people do that. But you had a very clear visual idea. So let’s just go through that and how you’re planning on implementing these pictures into the new business.

S: They’re gonna be on the website, without a doubt. There are elements of pointing and go and look at this, click here, using me as the pointer, if that makes sense? Again, I’m a big believer in, especially in small businesses, you should be on your website

L: 100 percent!

Early Preview of Sam’s new website under construction

S: You need to be there. You need people to know what you look like. It’s nothing to do with what you look like, it’s building that relationship because to me, it’s like turning up to a networking event with a paper bag on your head. People need to learn who you are and get to know you, and that’s all done through seeing faces

L: They want to look you in the eyes before they hit the Buy button.

S: I’ll be on the website doing lots of pointing and smiling, very, very cheery and smiling. That was really important to me, to have a really cheery feel. I’ll be using it on my social media, obviously. Profile pictures for social media, were due a huge update. When I look at what I’ve been using for the last few years, I just feel that’s not me anymore. And that’s natural, we all evolve and change in our businesses.

The pointing in action

L: I think that’s very true of small business. I think where I was just in my business, let alone where I was personally, but where I was in my business two years ago, is significantly different. This is why we have the two-year rule here, and we say every two years you should be updating things.

S: Everything changes, doesn’t it? At the end of the day, your branding doesn’t have to be static. Social media profile pictures, social media posts, and the great thing about the green screen approach is I can change the background. Actually, the same pictures can be used to create completely different pictures.

I would probably be using them within the content actually of my membership as well. When you’re logged in as a member, again, I’ll sort of be popping up on there as well.

Photography for Speakers Value Bomb!

S: Speaking bios, that’s another really important one for me, as well. Again, my speaking bio pictures have just… Again, they don’t really represent actually how I come across on stage. It’s like all the energy’s been sucked out, so I need the speaking picture to show actually when I’m on the stage, this energy.

L: You’re ahead of the curve there because I feel like a lot of the speakers I work with, and it could be big speakers who command quite large fees, I often have to do a little bit of an education piece, where I say to them you need:

  • Your headshot,
  • You need a speaker headshot that gives you that flavour of what you get when you buy into you as a speaker.
  • Then you need the documentation from events of you actually on the stage.

So it’s like a three-pronged approach. But you already knew this. Perfect client, man.

Pick Sam’s Brains!

Have you now got a load of questions for Sam, that we need to get her to answer? If yes, pop them below in the comments and I’ll see if I can get her to chime in or get in touch with her on Instagram.

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