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Jeff Layton: Do you have any examples of success stories with small businesses, maybe helping them take that next step to get to the next level in marketing themselves? Lorrie Thomas Ross: Absolutely! One of my favorite stories is I got a call years ago, and someone found me, probably I think from like Google, you know searching for a marketing consultant, and she said, "I'm interested in having you help me." We got on the phone. We looked at our website. The website was very antiquated. It was very kind of low-budget, which not to say that, some low-budget websites can be fantastic, in this case, this looked low-budget.
And it just didn't position her properly and she had incredible credentials, you know great success story, and the design, the interface just didn't illustrate that. I mean the content on the site was wonderful, brilliantly written, but kind of lost in the amateurism of the site. And I suggested that she redo her website and she very quickly said, "No, I just redid my website, I don't want to do that, and I don't spend the money. What else can I do?" And I said, "Well, based on your expertise, you could blog." She said, "What's that?" And I said, "Well, it's a way for you to share your expertise." She says, "I don't want to give away my expertise. That's what I charge for." I said, "Look, nothing is going to take the place of you, but you can write about current events, things that your potential customers might be searching the web for and give them bits of advice.
There's always something out there on the web that's for free in a certain industry. And so she shared enough to be helpful on and did it in a way that was noncommercial, truly educational. That became her number one business tool. She spent nothing. She went to Google and said, "How do I setup a blog?" and I think got set up with you know a pretty easy, do-it-yourself tool, shared her thought leadership, got out there, built a lot of connections. She would say that she liked other resources, and she might recommend other resources for her customers, and these other websites were like, "Oh, thank you" and they would write about her, and it was true social media in action.
Yeah, she's incredibly, incredibly successful and now has a team and has built her business, and eventually redid her website in time and probably it's redone now several times. But it was just a really great example of someone that rolled up her sleeves and got out there and used the power of the social web to build your business. Jeff Layton: And it taps in to something you said earlier: she was authentic to who she was. Jeff Layton: I guess it was just getting over that trepidation of giving away her expertise. Lorrie Thomas Ross: True, and it's a really natural concern to have, because you don't want to --I mean, you can have a bunch of people that love you. But if you're not paying your bills that's a challenge.
In her case being strategic about her blog, finding that fine line between what was thought leadership authority type content, that was helpful, that would bring people in and help people connect with her in seeing, get to know her before they did go ahead and buy. They call it know, like, and trust online, and you need people to know you, to like you, and trust you, and just getting them into the blog was a way for them to know her. Through subscribing to the blog they began to like her, to trust her, and then the ideal clients, the ones that had the budget to hire her for her services, eventually were the ones that kind emerged on their own.
Jeff Layton: Wow. Lorrie Thomas Ross: Yeah.
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