Social Media as Connection, Not Consumption | Katie Brinkley
David McBee: Hello, and welcome to Simpli.fi TV. I'm David McBee. Our guest today is Katie Brinkley, an expert in leveraging social media for growth. With 19 years of experience, she's helped businesses of all sizes, from AT&T and DirecTV to solopreneurs and local businesses, build a strategy to attract the right followers and generate consistent leads. Her platform agnostic approach ensures bottom line results at every stage of the sales process. Katie's background in radio journalism and her social savvy allow her to bring unique insights, and effectively share her client's stories through their social media strategy. Katie, welcome to Simpli.fi TV. Katie Brinkley: Thank you so much for having me. David McBee: Well, before I jump right into the questions, I just want to tell all the viewers what I told you before we started recording. This woman is so easy to find on the internet. I was doing some guest research and she was everywhere. So if you enjoy this interview, just go to YouTube, look for by name. There's tons of amazing content. Kudos to you for that. That's amazing work. Katie Brinkley: Well, thanks. David McBee: All right. So your expertise, of course, is social media. So I'm going to ask you the question that I hear the most, which is, organic social, paid social or both? Katie Brinkley: Oh, man. I have to keep this right to the point. I am a huge fan of organic social media. As you said, with researching me, I was Googleable. I have not done any paid ads for my business. I take that back. I've done one set of paid ads. It was $150 for a summit that I had. But I am a strong believer in organic social media, and pushing out your content the right way so that you get in front of the right people to build that awareness. So when people are searching for you online, it's going to be easy for you them to find you. David McBee: So what do you say to the businesses or the agencies who push a lot of paid social, especially for those clients who aren't maybe as engaged as they would like their clients to be? Katie Brinkley: Totally, not every client wants to be on camera or wants to be on video. In this world of social media, people want to do business with people. So having somebody that can be the face of the business is essential for organic social media. If you are saying, "Hey, none of my clients want to do that," paid social is a great way to go. I think that one of the best ways to have a paid strategy is building that awareness, same as you would with our organic social. So, do the awareness posts. Let people into your world before you start saying, "Hey, come buy from me. Show them what you're about. Show them what makes you different, and lead them through the customer journey that way, instead of just starting from square one with a website click campaign, or a conversion campaign. Start them at square one of, "Hey, this is who we are and this is what makes us different." That way, when you have those people who are just dying to buy from you, you have your biggest fans ready to go. David McBee: Are you suggesting that people be social on social media? Katie Brinkley: I know. Crazy, right? This is the thing, with social media, it's no different for us than turning on the television. We're opening up these apps, and we're consuming. That's not how they were designed. They were designed so that we would open up these apps and we'd connect. If you think about it, before there was the feed, there was the wall on Facebook. We were typing in someone's name, going over to their page and writing on their wall to have that connection with them. That's what we have to get back to. When you start connecting with people, whether it's just leaving comments, writing them messages off of their stories, connecting with them in the DMs, that's where the magic can happen, and that's how businesses can really utilize social media as an extremely affordable marketing tool. David McBee: Awesome. Yeah. All right. A lot of our viewers are your peers, other agencies, media companies. What's your best advice to them? Katie Brinkley: Well, it depends on where they're at. This is one of the things with agencies. At least for me, when I started my agency, I had no idea how early on I should have hired. One of the best things I did was, I hired an amazing writer. I'm a pretty good writer. I'm a journalism major. But the writer that I hired to help write captions and do a lot of the social media for our clients, she's former advertising and she is just incredible, and that's all she does, and she loves it. She gets to write all day every day. Find those people that to bring onto your team that have superpowers, and just let them embrace their superpower. I know what she's writing now is amazing. Can I still write? Yes. But she's so much better at it, and I'm not asking her to do any sales calls, or to try and make Canva graphics, or anything else. I'm letting her do what she's most passionate about, and really be the lead on her superpower. So find those people who can do certain aspects of your job better than you can, and just let them love what they do. David McBee: That is really, really good advice. Okay. Here's one out of left field. You're an agency, and you're talking with the business owner and they say, "We already do social media. Why should I bother talking to you?" Everyone's already doing it with somebody else, how do you get your foot in the door to get them to look at you? Katie Brinkley: You have to figure out what it is that makes you different. I work with a lot of businesses in the home industry. Can I help another type of business? Now I can't even think of anything else. But could I help a design firm, or could I help an e-commerce store? Sure. But, by focusing in on one specific industry, it's helped me be the go-to for people in this industry. When I have new calls, it's like, "Oh yeah, we've had this marketing people do it before. We've had a social media agency do it before." I'm like, "Okay, yeah. Well what you're talking about, your business, this is all that we do. So we know how to create content that works. We know how to do the things specifically for your type of business, and nothing that we do is copy and paste. I have a copywriter. That's all she does is write for specific brands. Nothing that we do is just off of ChatGPT, or copy and paste like, 'Okay, well now we're just going to grab this and grab this.' Everything is tailored to you, in your voice." So find what it is that makes you different. Like I said, for me, it's my niche and it's my writer. It's the fact that we have somebody in house that's an incredible writer, and can really get the voice of the business narrowed down. Once you know who you enjoy working with, what type of content you create best, it's going to make it a lot easier for you to continue working with that specific type of client. David McBee: So, it's really no different from anybody who's trying to sell something to someone else that's already buying something. It's really flexing your unique selling proposition. For you, it's your writer and your specialty in the home service. Katie Brinkley: Exactly. David McBee: Perfect. Great answer. All right. Good stuff. Final question before we go, do you have a mentor or a favorite podcast? You can shout out your own. Or, a book that you feel has helped you be successful? Katie Brinkley: Okay. I'm going to do all three super fast. My favorite podcast is Rocky Mountain Marketing, which is my podcast. My favorite book is Atomic Habits by James Clear. It was a game changer for me. I listened to the book, I read the book, great book. Then mentor, I've had a number of mentors over my career, and each one of them was right for that time of my life. Back when I worked in radio, I had a mentor, Susie Wargin. She'd been there. She guided me as another woman in the sports radio industry. I had another great mentor when I worked in marketing for the TV station, really allowed me to embrace what I was most passionate about, which was social media. Then I had my very first business coach, Sue B Zimmerman. She's well known in the Instagram world. Now I have Molly Mahoney. All of these different coaches and mentors have been there at different seasons of my life. I look back on the time that I've had them, and that was perfect for where I was, and then I've moved on and found new mentors. I think that having coaching and mentors is essential for anyone that's in a leadership role. Whether you're in corporate, or whether you're a freelancer, or whether you're an agency owner starting your own business, having those people that are 1, 2, 10 steps ahead of you, helping guide you, is an absolute game changer if you want to have success. David McBee: Great answers. Just a great interview. Thank you so much for being my guest today. Katie Brinkley: Thank you so much for having me. This was so much fun. David McBee: Thank you guys for watching Simpli.fi TV. Simpli.fi TV is sponsored by Simpli.fi, of course, helping you to maximize relevance and multiply results with our industry leading, media buying, and workflow solutions. For more information, visit Simpli.fi. Thanks for joining us today. I'm David McBee. Be awesome, and we'll see you next time.
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