Last month I did an interview with Chris Dyer from PeopleG2 on his Talent Talk Radio Show.
That show is now available from the Talent Talk Radio Show podcast here.
We talked about marketing strategy and finding all types of talent for small businesses.
In preparation for that interview, I wrote out answers to questions they might ask. The details below are different than what we actually talked about on the show. I’m sharing both with you.
Questions for TalentTalk – Gail Gardner – 03/21/2017
Q1) Please tell us about yourself and what you are currently doing with GrowMap.com
A: I primarily use GrowMap.com to attract small businesses and collaborators so that I can connect them with each other. More requests were coming to me than I could possibly handle, so I started sharing them with talented people who aren’t as visible. This gives them more work and makes it simpler for small businesses to find the best content writers, social media managers and media creators.
Q2) “Providing expert advice to small businesses that can least afford to hire the best.”
Q: This is how you introduce yourself on your LinkedIn profile, so you definitely have identified a very worthwhile need for some smaller startups and companies…finding ways for a company to grow even when they don’t have a large employee talent base around them. What does this look like for a business when they use your services?
A: Many agencies prefer to work with larger businesses because there is more money to be made faster that way. I prefer to help the smallest of small businesses who can’t afford a top agency. It makes more sense for really small businesses to use freelancers and consultants instead of having an in-house team.
A: I primarily provide strategic advice. Sometimes I manage projects and pull in freelancers with whatever skills are needed. Other times I simply make introductions to someone who can take on the project.
Q3) GrowMap has achieved a lot of recognition
Q: You have been listed as a Cision Top 100 Site for Marketers and has received three Small Business Influencer Awards. What do you attribute the company’s success to?
A: Most people become influencers by being highly visible on social media and by contributing content on major sites. In my case and that of the other influencers I work closely with, we use Twitter as our #1 social network. We connected there by sharing each others’ content and our relationships grew out of those interactions.
Businesses typically contact me because they’re read content I wrote for SmallBizTrends, AllBusiness, Social Media Today and other large sites. They might also see it republished on Forbes, Yahoo Small Business or Fox Business. Others find me on lists or because I have contributed advice in a roundup related to small business.
They continue to work with me because I use tools like Trello and the Wrike Enterprise project management tools to make sure their projects stay on track.
Q4) How do you encourage the small business to recognize that through your plan for finding ways to grow, they can emerge as a successful business in their market?
A: I create small business strategy boards in Trello that are pre-populated with details and make it easy to prioritize what they need to do. Most small businesses are confused at the number of different social networks and types of marketing available to them. What they need most is a roadmap – what I branded as a “grow map” – to know what to do in first.
A free account on Trello along with a strategy board is the ideal way for small businesses to be able to visually see what they have accomplished and what they need to do next. As long as they keep working towards their goals, success will eventually come. What is hard to understand is that you must plant far more seeds to reap a harvest – and that takes more time than they originally think it should.
Q5) What do you feel is the driving force behind a small company that is finding success?
A: Success requires having a clear vision of how your company benefits their customers and clients. I ask business owners and managers to tell me why someone should buy from them instead of someone else. Once they can clearly answer that question and convey that answer to their potential buyers, they can use their passion for what they do and that message to become successful.
Q6) Do you find that most people that get their careers going with a startup or small business…
Q: use it as a stepping stone to something bigger, or are there those that have stayed with smaller companies because they have found something either within what that company offers or the culture that makes them want to stay?
A: There are different kinds of people with very different goals. Some people love to start a business and get it to a certain point and sell it. Others want to run a business and take it national or even international.
I personally have no interest in forming a formal company with all the overhead and red tape that goes along with that. My preference is to only work with very small businesses whose owners have no interest in selling.
I plan to continue to provide project management processes and strategies so that exceptional independent talent can work with small businesses serious about staying small, but successful.
Q7) Is it easier or harder for a small business to make it in today’s economy
Q; And what does a company need to do to continue to make it and compete against larger competitors in their market?
A: Small businesses have several competitive advantages if they will use them. One of the best is speed of execution. Develop a strategy, make a decision, and implement it immediately. It will take corporations months of meetings and then quarterly budgeting to act. Find something that works and go all in to maximize income before they catch on and catch up.
It is always easiest to make money in the early days of a platform. Let’s use AdWords as an example. Early on, bid costs were low and it was easy to target specific phrases. Competition was light. Those who got on board and ramped up quickly saw a far greater return on their ad spend. Over time, competition increased and the platform was changed to benefit Google more and ad buyers less.
Apply that logic to any social network and other ad platforms. Get in early when the payouts are highest and the competition is lowest. Do not wait the way corporations would to see how it works for others. Act while it is making you money and get out when it isn’t.
Small businesses can also get really great people. Many brilliant people don’t care for the corporate environment and are available to put their vast experience to work to the benefit of small businesses. Corporations tend to hire people with little experience right out of college.
The economy will continue to be a challenge. What that means for small businesses it that they MUST be actively growing. Even if they have loyal customers who have spent enough in the past for them to be comfortable, those customers can get laid off. Inflation keeps eating away their buying power. You must expand your target audience to stay at the same level of income.
Q8) What are you reading right now? Tell me about that book?
I don’t read offline nearly as much as I did when I was younger. I spend so much time on the computer that my eyes need a rest when I’m not working that reading no longer provides. What I do instead is watch videos (from a distance on a 28” monitor), primarily on YouTube, to gain new skills. I am taking the Advanced Digital Marketing Specialist Masters Program offered by Simplilearn so when I read now, that is what I’m reading.
Q9) Key Points
Q: You have mentioned a lot of great things today. As kind of a summary, what are the key points you’d like our listeners to take away from what you have shared today.
To be successful, create a strategy, prioritize each task, and create a process for visually tracking what you have accomplished and what to work on next. If you do this, you will be far more focused on only what is key to your success.
Q10) How can people get a hold of you, or learn more about GrowMap.com?
The best way to reach me is on Skype, username growmap. Or they can email me through the contact tab on GrowMap.com or reach out to me on LinkedIn or through a regular tweet to @GrowMap. My username is GrowMap everywhere.
More Small Business Strategy
If you’re interested in more tips, check out my other interviews on the GrowMap Press page. I will list a few of the audio interviews on this page.
The Social Network Show
I did two audio interviews for The Social Network Show:
Legal Morning Business Blogging Tips Podcast
This may still be the most popular interview on this podcast series. Every business should have a blog, but they can’t always find the time. Tips here on how a small business can get a blog going.
Links and resources discussed in the Legal Morning podcast episode:
- Business Blogging: Benefits, Best Practices, and Blog Topics
- Twitter Best Practices
- Using Your Blog to Increase Your Business
- Social Warfare (WordPress Plugins)
- Yoast SEO (WordPress Plugins)
Darnell Jackson’s The Most Important Podcast
Darnell Jackson’s “The Most Important Podcast” tips about social media, making money online, keeping your small business thriving and more from Gail Gardner.
Here’s the link to Soundcloud. Sorry, the embed code didn’t want to work.
This interview includes:
- Tips about Twitter
- The value of Pinterest
- Who uses Google Plus
- Why I avoid some groups (because they don’t allow links to comprehensive information)
- Critical business mistakes that will cost you customers
I hope you enjoyed these audio interviews. One of the best interviews I’ve ever done may or may not have ever been published. If I find it, I’ll add it to the GrowMap Press page and here.
Latest posts by Gail Gardner (see all)
- Gardening Bloggers Helped Save Historic Landreth Heirloom Non-GMO Seed Company - April 15, 2017
- Gail Gardner @GrowMap Interview on Talent Talk Radio #Smallbiz - April 3, 2017
- How to Find and Work With Influencers - February 19, 2017