Yet another marketing expert met by coincidence

An interview with Jordan Pijnenburg. I find it so interesting that when you dive in a subject that you tend to find the people that are connected to that subject. Some people say it is the universe answering your desires, others say faith and there is a group that calls it the Law of Attraction.

jordanpijnenburg
Jordan Pijnenburg – Sales/Digital Marketing Expert

The mechanisms of these thought experiments tend to work for me, but I have to say the theoretical framework of most of these metaphysical concepts I find not very meaningful. For me they don’t give a satisfying answer to these questions. But I get distracted.

I met Jordan on the street when I was working at a sales job that I’ve been doing the last couple of months. Jordan works in sales as well, but after a couple of minutes it became very clear to me that he had a lot more experience in the field of digital marketing as I had. Not long after this I asked him if he was open for a chat on this, where I would show him how we worked at Delitelabs and if he had any tips that he could share with me. He was more than happy to go over a couple of things and so it happened that we planned an interview. Yet another expert I could learn from!

The interview

Before the interview started I wrote down on one page on what I wanted to go over with him. I wanted to show him our Social Media output, our blog, I wanted to know about frequency of Social Media output, SEO and some tips on efficiency and effectiveness of digital marketing in general.

The blog & SEO

We started out with the blog. I showed him our blog and what we did already did to improve the awareness and engagement of our business. We showed him a couple of things that we did to improve our blog and make it more noticeable for our readers.

One of the first tips I got from him was to have contact with other blogs. Try to write about what you read about other blogs and point out what you like about those blog posts. If you connect in this way you are more likely to create awareness for yourself BY providing traction towards the other blogs. In other words “be nice to others”. Also the other way around. When you would write an article about a subject like entrepreneurship or a personal story about one of our participants that is good enough, ask the blog you’re connected with to post this on their posts. Ramit Sethi also talks about this and he calls it “guest posts“. This is how he creates lots of new likes, clicks and therefor impact.

There are a couple of plugins you can use to check and measure how well your SEO of your blog is. Luckily we already have two of these tools built into the blog of Delitelabs.

SEO Delitelabs Blog

Facebook, Engagement and Awareness

There is also a lot to say about Facebook. Facebook has a lot of features you can use to improve your company page. We could see that our page was the last two weeks degrading in worth. Worth as in the amount of people that have been reached and engagement in our page. From around 4000 that we reached in a week to 1750 people right now. He advised me two very general but important things to take into account.

Target audience

First, we have to look at who is our main user or target user. Male, female, old, young, newcomer, etc.. We can check this in the analytics of Facebook. This can be very interesting to see. Below is an overview of these statistics and I’ve also done a couple of other posts on this, but here it is again as an overview of our target audience.

Delitelabs Facebook Target audience

Here you can see that our target audience is almost a fifty/fifty rate between male and female. That most of our target audience is between the age of 25 and 34 and that most of the people that come to our pages are located in the Netherlands. Interestingly, but also very logical is that the second group is from Spain, because we had also a settlement in Valencia.

Another great feature of Facebook Insights (analytics) is that you can view at what time and day your audience is most active. Below two examples of our Facebook page. This is very important because this effects your engagement and reach/brand awareness. The first example is a graph that shows the general times of the week that people are active and the second is an example of a specific day compared to ‘the normal day’.

The normal Day

Delitelabs facebook page days of the week and views

Tuesday

Delitelabs Facebook page views at time of the day

Engagement and Awareness

We talked also a great deal on engagement and awareness. He said that it was clear, and I could concur this from other well known entrepreneurs that I follow, that awareness doesn’t necessarily means improving engagement. But Engagement definitely improves awareness. We talked about ways I could increase the engagement of our Facebook page for example. One of the ways is to create discussions on our page. We can do this by asking questions to our audience. Another thing is that you can have small questionnaires that people can fill in on how they feel about a certain subject.

Actuality and inspiring communication

Two other points of of communicating with our Facebook page is look at actuality and react to it. As in, if there is something very interesting in the news that a lot of people follow or watch, try to combine this with your brand. Another thing is when we continue on this s when there is something that is happening in our niche (refugees & entrepreneurship) than you can also immediately share this content and you’ll be thanked for the spreading of interesting content for your followers.

This also goes for inspiring messages that you put out yourself, e.g. the story of our refugee students. That’s another tip I got. Emotions work and sell. Try to get under peoples skin. Try to be inspiringly persuasive with your messaging. This works.

Conclusion of this interview

Blog

I had a couple of things that I want to go and implement more in our own way of spreading good messages and improving our following. I want to link more with other blogs about entrepreneurship. I already have a couple of blogs in mind that I find interesting and have a lot of content to share about starting your own business (Ramit Sethi, Tim Ferriss, Tai Lopez, Simon Sinek and Emily Wapnick)

Follow ups / New Research

As a few tips Jordan gave me also a couple of new follow ups to consider. Moz.com is a website that has many articles on how to be more visible on the web. Especially their youtube channel I should be looking at in his opinion. In the episodes that are called: “Whiteboard Friday” they go over a large range of subjects that all have to do with online visibility. From SEO, to link building, from content creation to Google Analytics. So I’m going to go over a couple of these videos and see if I can get a better grasp on what we can do in terms of spreading and SEO.

A Hashtag Trick

One last tip that I got from him in regards of Twitter and Instagram which I really liked he called “cheating hashtags”. When you put something out on twitter, you should load it with relevant hashtags. But what you also could do as in cheating, and you should be careful with this, to put hashtags that are really the trend right now in the comments of your Twitter/Instagram post. Bots will give likes to it, because they only react to posts that use hashtags that are really popular at the moment. At the time you have a lot of likes you delete the comment and you have a lot more awareness without your brand image getting degraded. And this is the tricky part. If people find out, this could also cause damage to your brand. But this is definitely something to think about of doing.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more interesting information regarding crowdfunding and digital marketing tips!

Meeting with the new Communications team

Since a few weeks we have a new team at DELITELABS. We have a couple of new members that can help us with setting up the course and everything else to help the organisation. Therefor there have been some interesting changes in the way we work.

The biggest influence on the team is now a woman from Valencia, Violeta Garin. She has done a many projects involving social entrepreneurship and is an expert in communication. We are very lucky to have her. Since she has so much experience in the area of communication we have set up a couple of new systems to work way more efficient.

Trello and Hootsuite

hootsuite

We have talked about things like Trello a activity managing tool, using Hootsuite only for Twitter, setting up a blog on our website and explaining how we can use the other social media (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn). Because she does set up systems to work from everything works so much smoother and more efficient since she’s in our team. We even made a Communication plan to see what we want to convey, how we are going to do that, which media we should use and who our target audiences are.

My Role

We had two meetings about this, yesterday and today. We divided roles and responsibilities within our three-man-strong communications team. I’ll be responsible for the output in Twitter. This doesn’t mean I have to do the 200 posts all by myself or that I don’t have to take any other activities for my part. It means that it is my responsibility that it has to be done before the deadline. So if I need help or are having trouble with it I can rely also on the others.

Twitter

We set a goal for ourselves for the different social media. For Twitter it is to post 200 posts in the coming 5 weeks. This means about 4 Twitter posts a day. 80% of the posts will be with one of the hastags that are created: #adayatdelitelabs, #delitelabsisforyou and #refugeestakeaction. The last one will only been used if it is a post about the collaboration between Delitelabs and the organisations that teamed up with us, like Refugee Startforce, Hack Your Future and Refugee Company for example.

Facebook & Blog

Facebook will be linked to the blog and will mostly contain the links to blogposts. We will do three Facebook posts per week that will be mostly out of our blog. The blogposts will contain success stories of our former students, posts on why we should be more entrepreneurial, a review like a diary every day, interviews with acquaintances of Delitelabs and the speakers of the week. The blog was an idea that Violeta came up with. She used it already in one of the projects that she did in Valencia and that was pretty successful. Especially the interviews that she did for the blog where by far the most effective in terms of reach and involvement. Here is her blog.

Instagram

On Instagram we are going to do two things. Post beautiful pictures that we made in, around or with the people of Delitelabs and we want to do a quote with that. At least one post per day. The advice Violeta gave us was that Instagram was about making the most beautiful pictures possible. This means we have to be very selective of the pictures we will post on this medium.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is probably the most serious of the Social Networks that we will use. The output on this medium is at its minimum. We will only post something here if we really have a great article on our blog or found one on the web that is really helpful or interesting to the crowd that we have on LinkedIn. At the most we shall post 2 articles a week.

Conclusion

There is a new wind in the company. An actual communications team is put together. Jana, me and Violeta are part of it. We all have our own roles within this team. I’ll be responsible for the output provided on Twitter. Second, we are going to use Trello. This is a management tool that will help us with internal communications. In the following post, this one, I’ll show you how a communications plan looks like.

An interview with the German entrepreneur I met on a ferry

The day was a couple of months back. I had a long day of work behind me and I just got back from a course on storytelling. The course indeed was pretty interesting, given by a man called Eldridge. Me and Michaela Krömer, one of my supervisors, went there to learn more on how to present and tell a good story. I think we both walked away a bit wiser on this topic.

Two flies in one hit

Excuse me for my bad Dutch translation there. But to begin… It was already 10AM when Eldridge finished and luckily I had arranged that I could stay at a friends’ house in Amsterdam. Me and Michaela walked together towards central station where it went wrong, but I’m glad it did. I had taken the wrong fairy, which took me like an hour more to reach my friend. But in that time I’d met a very interesting person. Chris Mueller, an German entrepreneur and the owner of Creatando.com, was working with software that creates apps. One of the most interesting people I’ve met in person. A very creative person with an even more pragmatic mindset. Thinking in effective and efficient solutions that could be provided through the internet. I was flabbergasted and exchanged numbers, in the first place so he could give a lecture at Delitelabs. Later I heard that we were already completely booked till the beginning of September. I found this a pity, to wait for so long for a person who clearly had an interesting perspective on doing business. So not long after this I contacted him and requested if I could have an interview with him. He accepted and so started a very fruitful and intriguing dialogue.

What questions to ask an expert?

I had made a whole list of questions I wanted to ask him. Part on crowdfunding, but for the larger part questions about internet marketing, in the broadest sense possible. I wanted to accumulate as much as I could from the man. Therefor it could be that I could have been a bit more effective the next time if I demarcate better when I look back at the way I’ve done the interview. Nevertheless, it was a very interesting talk where I learn very much from. We started talking about his business, what he does, how he came about it and why he found the internet business so interesting in the first place, which was money. Later on it became abundantly clear that this was not the case, at least if you don’t have the right strategy.

He devised a piece of software together with a few other software engineers that can actually create an app in a few minutes or less. Really extraordinary software and I immediately saw the immense benefits of the the type of working. Software as it supposed to be. Quick, easy to use and for everybody beneficial. The creator of software, the user of the app and the buyer of the app. During this conversation he also handed me a couple of websites he uses himself to optimize and automate certain necessities as in content, posting, doing research and finding customers.

Useful Websites for internet marketing

archive.org is a website that is being used to look for the layout and content of a website a year or more ago, even before it existed. With this tool you can easily see when the owners have made changes and hereby you can estimate how the business is doing and if it is for example a potential client.

Another is buzzsumo.com. An awesome site, if you have the money for it, that can provide you with content that is about to go viral. You can search for the content by category, theme or keyword. You can imagine the interesting things you can do with services like this when you have an internet marketing company.

buffer.com is another awesome website, which is a bit similar to Hootsuite, which I describe in another post right here. Buffer.com provides you with a social media control panel. You can load your social media in here and can create, design and schedule your posts to be send to a broad audience. Hootsuite has the same functionalities only is a bit limited on the designing of your content, which is as basic as the social media you are already using.

A couple of questions on entrepreneurship

Do you see a difference between the entrepreneurs a couple of years back and now?

“Well the new entrepreneurs are working less for money. Most of the entrepreneurs that I encounter only are involved in projects that they actually like. I have the idea that ten years and more back there were actually more entrepreneurs who were doing it mostly for the money they thought they could earn when making it big. Many entrepreneurs nowadays have more heart for the projects and outcomes that they can achieve by setting up these projects. Also there is way more sharing in ideas then there was in the past. In the past people were way more secretive about there ideas. Now they really want to share and with a good reason. Most of them see the benefit of constantly grinding and remoulding their ideas, so they can evolve into better ones. “

What would your advise be to new entrepreneurs who are now starting to search of create new businesses?

The most valuable or important things to keep in mind are I think two. First of all you have to do the opposite of what everybody else is doing. That’s is how you divide yourself from the saturated crowd. Secondly, you have to have a very specific skillset and match the very specific topic or theme your are very interested in. When you mix this skill with a very specific topic or theme you’ll be able to provide very unique product and therefor you’ve created a very specific niche market for yourself. This way you have more enjoyment in the work you do and you will have way less competition. 

A couple of things on crowdfunding

We also talked on the subject of crowdfunding. A few things I already had read or heard myself, but Chris was able to provide me with a nice overview on a couple of ‘rules’ or guidelines on what to do with a crowdfunding campaign.

  • Have a website with a landing page and a video
  • Contact bloggers to write about your crowdfunding campaign and your product or service
  • collect as many email addresses as you possibly can so you can use these when you start a crowdfunding campaign.
  • the first three days a successful crowdfunding campaign will accumulate 20% of its goal amount
  • Use as many contacts as needed, in as many media needed to achieve your goal, which is most of the time a financial goal

As a conclusion

To revise myself already a bit, the interview I did was exhilerating, fun, very interesting and I have learned so much of it. To take in account for the next interview is to demarcate as a said the topics that I want to talk about and the topics I don’t want to talk about. When I do that I can have a better outcome of the interview probably. This interview was a great interview as I look at it through the perspective of personal growth and the understanding of marketing, but was pretty poor on the specific subject, crowdfunding. Next time I’ll try to prepare myself more in the spirit of crowdfunding.

The things I want to implement that I have learned from this interview are for example:

  1. If we have the CFvideo, post it on our landing page to attract attention.
  2. Contact more bloggers and other journalistical professions to write about us.
  3. Collect as many mail addresses as you can to spread the word of our campaign.

Thanks for reading!

– Bas