Denise Wakeman is a social media and internet marketing strategist, whose website
and Facebook page
assist clients in growing their business, gaining visibility and building credibility. Denise also helps clients manage their online reputation by using social media and other online platforms, especially blogs. In addition, Denise tweets
her latest tips and tricks to potential clients and business owners who are interested in online marketing and branding.
You post an amazing amount of expert information on your blog. Where do you draw the line at giving your expertise away versus providing helpful content to attract clients?
The information I post is related to marketing on the web and usually on the pragmatic side — why, what and how. This demonstrates to prospective clients that I know what I’m talking about and have expertise. The sad fact is that most people will not implement what they read on a blog. I’m not worried about giving away too much. Most people hire consultants because they want one-on-one attention with advice and suggestions customized to their specific business, goals and challenges. It’s not possible to do that on a blog, yet they can see from my content that I’m capable of providing that; so if my style resonates, they’re inclined to work with me. I do not give away personal consulting time or customized solutions.
What percentage of your client base are die-hard DIY types who only want you to consult, versus those who want you to take a more active role in their business?
I do not provide “do it for you” services. I’ve tried that in the past but I was not able to create a system that did not end up eating more of my time and energy than I was compensated for. In my VIP mentoring program, I am active in my clients’ businesses to the degree that I know the ins and outs and I offer guidance, a sounding board, resources, encouragement and frank feedback specific to their business. DIY types will invest in home study programs and webinars and make up about 80% of my customer base. The remaining 20% invest in one-on-one consulting so they can tap into my expertise and get super targeted, personalized support.
What recent technological innovations have affected your business the most? What is the next big innovation to watch?
While no longer new, I have to say that blogging platforms have changed my business the most. Before I created my first blog in 2004, I had a simple, boring webpage that gave information about my business. But the ease of use of most blogging platforms (Wordpress, TypePad, Blogger) have leveled the playing field for anyone with a business idea. Anyone with a limited budget can set up a blog and start publishing content on the web within minutes. That creates opportunities to be found by people searching for the solution you offer for their problems. Next, I would say is the evolution of online video. Never has it been so easy to shoot, produce and distribute video. The combination of blogging and video has extended the reach of my business to a level I could never have imagined just six years ago.
In the next year, I believe the integration of mobile applications that help businesses connect with and engage their customers will become easier to create and implement. Currently, it’s expensive to create a custom application, but I’m sure that will change soon enough.
Which blogs do you read?
What types of problems do your clients struggle with the most?
Common problems include how to create a workable social marketing strategy and then implement and work the plan; creating a platform and content strategy across the web that helps attract the ideal client; clarifying a marketing message; creating a consistent, compelling message across the web and building a database.