aSK ME Episode 1: How Do I Market My Small Business Or Auto Dealership With No Money?

I get asked this question ALL the time! It is a great question, small businesses are to small to be big and to big to be small which puts you in that small tiny lonely place! The good news is that there are so many FREE ways to get the word out online about your product or service. Many business owners number one struggle is time management. The number one question is “Ryan where do I find time to manage all my social media and online assets and still keep my customers happy?!” My answer is:

This comes with the territory of owning any kind of business in 2015 with the internet and social media revolution. Even auto dealerships which are million dollar entities struggle with finding skilled staff to be responsible for social media, video marketing and website management that includes search engine marketing and search engine optimization.

Here are a few tips:

1. Start small, open up a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account.
2. Get familiar with each social platform prior to creating or calling me to activate a kick ass online marketing strategy!
3. If you have any staff, try to decipher if any of them have the skills to help you with your online reputation management
4. Seek training and education, you can contact me HERE to see when my next online social media marketing workshop is. Additionally I can provide your team with hands on training mixed with corporate and a ton of fun team building!
5. Start posting some content such as local weather, jokes, questions, educational articles to get your customers attention

I am going to cut the post here and hedge my bet to have you watch the above video.

What is YOUR question? Ask me and I would love to answer!

Internet Marketing And Cooking Make The Perfect Couple!

Photo 2015-04-18, 2 57 23 PM
With cooking, we all have taste buds that chefs capitalize on by using ingredients that will ignite emotion, reaction and taste! When you sit down to have a nice meal, you are anxious for that plate to come. The first subconscious emotion that is ignited is what you see. Presentation such as the food layout on the plate allows your senses to organize and give focus to each one. The second emotion that ignites is smell, sometimes this may come before the vision, but you get my drift.

As humans we do judge a book by it’s cover and perception is reality in some cases. Even though that food may have an incredible taste, if it looks like garbage and laid out all over the place, we will often dismiss it and be totally turned off.

Marketing is no different in that whatever we are trying to “market” not only should be clear, beautifully laid out, but also be of substance and a clear message. It is simple, we are trying to get the attention of a person and therefore need to first understand what that person wants and sometimes try and figure their wants before they do. This is a science of psychology and should be thought about before we get into the kitchen whether it be to create a palette dripping worthy plate or an amazing remarkable specific marketing campaign.

What wets your palette? Would love to know!

Interview: Car Sales People and Individual Branding with Laura Madison of Bozeman Toyota

Laura Toyota from Bozeman Toyota on "Individual Branding"

Laura Toyota from Bozeman Toyota on “Individual Branding”

Personal Branding in a dealership is a much debated subject. Should a sales consultant brand themselves separate from the dealership? What if the sales consultant becomes bigger than the dealership? There is a multitude of questions that rise from the topic of personal branding.

From a marketing standpoint, personal branding is super important as it is the identity or fabric in which your customers will relate to you, in other words, humanize. In a world that is quite noisy it is almost a MUST to ensure that you stay relevant, significant and ultimately valuable. Personal brand equity. Has someone ever asked you if you knew someone for a particular service or product that they needed? Have you responded with “I have a guy or gal for that”? Well, if the answer is yes, then you my friend have witnessed how powerful “personal branding” can be!

Meet Laura Madison, a saleswoman from from a Toyota dealership in Bozeman, Montana. It has always been my dream to walk into a dealership and see a stiletto sitting on the front counter, well, Laura just may be that stiletto! I read about her in this Automotive News article but have been following her on Twitter for some time. Immediately after reading the article it brought me back to my days when I got my first shot in the automotive industry at Zender Ford. Like Laura, I had no auto background and quite frankly was happy about that as it allowed me to bring in fresh ideas with fresh perspective.

I chatted on the phone with Laura and asked her some questions and found out that she has worked retail previously and had applied to work at the dealership several times but was not hired. She applied again and got the job, rest is history! I am going to stop talking now so you can read the below Questions and Answers from our conversation.

Before I go, I have one question: What do you think about Individual Branding?


What made you hop on social media in the first place?

Laura: My dealership is in the middle of nowhere so I was not going to wait around for a “UP”. I wanted to create my own business so getting online is second nature, if I wanted to attract potential car buyers.

How did your individual branding start?

Laura: I wanted people to come to me, therefore I knew I needed to brand myself in a way that was memorable and authentic. In fact, my customers came up with my nick name “Laura Toyota” as they just started referring to me as the girl that works at Toyota. I just started going with that name and the rest is history.

How long have you been in the automotive industry and what made you decide to go online to start branding yourself?

Laura: I have been in the auto industry for 3 and a half years. I am 25 years old and social media and online is what I know so it only made sense for me to increase my personal brand through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What is one thing that makes you different from other car salespeople?

Laura: When I started I immediately started incorporating social media into my daily activities. I also made sure that I worked at a dealer that sold a brand I believe and am passionate about.

Lastly, what advice would you give to salespeople or professional in the auto industry?

Laura: I would tell them to keep educating themselves and understand where the customer is. Customers are online and using the internet in masses. If I want to have a chance at their business, I must try and meet them where they are.

Hope you enjoyed the post and feel free to drop some feedback!

What is The Difference Between a Facebook Fan Page and A Normal Friend Page?

Note: To the far right you will see the arrow point to "Personal" items such as birthdays etc.

Note: To the far right you will see the arrow point to “Personal” items such as birthdays etc.

So, in my recent workshop that I did for The Edmonton Realtors Association I kept getting this questions asked repeatedly: “What is The Different Between a Facebook Fan Page and Friend Page?” Now I know to most, this would seem like such a basic question but in all honesty it is not. A lot of people get confused as to which page is which. In Facebook you need to have a “personal” account in order to then create a Business “Fan” Page. This is the part that seems to throw most down the bender.

Above you will see a screenshot of my a personal Facebook page, but if you look closely, you will see to the far right where the arrow is pointing to personal attributes of a personal page. Notice things like friend requests and birthdays. These types of categories immediately tell you that you are using Facebook as a “personal” user.

Note: Once you have logged into your personal page, look left and down just under "Favorites".

Note: Once you have logged into your personal page, look left and down just under “Favorites”.

If you look at this picture, you will see a arrow pointing to your Facebook “fan” page. Once you have logged into Facebook, immediately look left and all the way down and you will notice under “favorites” that you see another page. This would be your Business Facebook Fan Page.

Note: This is an example of what a Business Facebook Fan Page would look like.

Note: This is an example of what a Business Facebook Fan Page would look like.

Above you will see a screenshot of a business facebook fan page. In fact, it is mine (Yes I know, I need to get more fans lol). All jokes aside, if you utilize Facebook and the many options that come with a business page, you will notice your business get some great digital traction.

I hope this helps you to be able to understand the difference between a Fan page and a personal page. As for the difference in functions and why Facebook has fan pages and personal pages, I would need another thousand posts to explain, but at least for now, you get the basic difference.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.