Heidi Cohen Interviews Andrea Vahl
If your business is online, focus most of your online activities on growing your e-mail list. I think a lot of marketers think of growing their social media presence and that’s a good way to connect with new people but then you have to deepen your connection with them via your e-mail list.
Also really study copywriting. Being able to express yourself well and understand what will move potential buyers into action will help you in every aspect of your business.
What was the inspiration for your book?
I was brought into the project to co-author a Dummies book because I had been blogging about it and growing my following online. If you are thinking of writing a book yourself, grow your community before you write it and you’ll have a big head start.
I started blogging about Facebook because I saw a need providing clear instructions for non-tech savvy marketers to help them understand how to use Facebook to grow their business.
What is the key concept behind your book?
The key concept is really to do Facebook Marketing well. We talk about the power of visuals, how to connect with your Fans, using some of the Facebook tools such as Ads, Groups, and Events to promote your business, and a lot more. The book is 700 pages long so it covers a lot.
Video and visuals are becoming much more important across all social media and they also stand out on Facebook. It also doesn’t hurt to use a little humor because people are on Facebook to be social.
Even just a casual video showing some behind the scenes images can help connect you with your audience.
At Social Media Examiner we provide a free weekly video tip that shows our audience how to do something. These videos are widely shared and get a lot more reach in the News Feed than some of our other posts.
What do you want readers to take away from your book or be different as a result of reading it?
Facebook is a great source of targeted leads. Anything you are doing online should help build your brand and drive more leads or sales. On Facebook, it’s best to focus on the leads because people may not be ready to buy your product right at that moment. So think of offering a valuable resource that can help you build your e-mail list.
How do you describe yourself professionally? What is your elevator pitch?
I am a social media consultant and speaker who is passionate about helping businesses grow with online marketing. I make learning social media easy and fun with Grandma Mary whose motto is “If Grandma Mary can do it, then you can do it too.”
What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career?
I love Seth Godin’s The Dip because it was the first book that I read about the entrepreneurial roller coaster and it got me through a tough dip in my own business.
I also love The War of Art by Steve Pressfield that help you break through blocks in creativity and motivation.
Then another favorite is Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion to help understand why people make the decisions they do.
What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your life or career?
I would say truly it’s a continual battle with mindset and remaining focused. I tend to say yes to doing too much and then I become overwhelmed. So I have to always make sure I’m doing things that make sense for my business. I finally realized that if I say yes to the wrong things, then I’m actually saying no to the things I really want to do.
I also can get sucked into comparing myself to other people too often. I have tried to be better about relaxing into my own journey and knowing that I’m ok right where I’m at.
What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?
While I’ve been open about my Improv Comedy background, just last year I started doing Stand Up Comedy so that’s been a little scary. But fun. It’s definitely a little more “out there” since you are the only one up there trying to make people laugh. And I have dug into some personal stuff which is what I think makes for funnier material.
Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?
I have definitely had some great successes with clients where my Facebook ad campaigns helped them have a great product launch or helped grow their business fast. That’s been a lot of fun to work on.
But what I think I’m most proud of is the success we’ve had with Social Media Manager School. We’ve had over 1000 students go through the course and so many of our students say that our course has changed their business and their lives, allowing them the freedom of staying home with their family or give them a new career after being laid off. It’s a great group of students and I’m blessed to have co-founded the school along with Phyllis Khare.
Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you’d like to share?
Take time to take care of yourself. So many of us work weekends and nights and we don’t give ourselves permission to take a true break away from social media and away from your business. When you do, you come back refreshed and inspired.
- Name: Andrea Vahl
- Company: Andrea Vahl, Inc.
- Blog: www.andreavahl.com/blog
- Book(s): Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies (Ed 1, 2, 3) several e-books available on my site
- Facebook: facebook.com/andreavahlinc and www.facebook.com/GrandmaMaryShow
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/andreavahl
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/andreavahl
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+AndreaVahl
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