How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
I started my career selling long distance services. It was an amazing way to learn powerful selling skills. It was also the first time I experienced the power of segmenting your customers based on psychographics rather than demographics. I was hooked. The next stage of my career was working my way up the marketing ranks with manufacturing companies. I started by building a marketing services department, then move to another.
What sub-topics are you most passionate about?
I’m most passionate about finding low-cost ways for solopreneurs and Main Street businesses to simplify and automate their marketing. Companies who sell to small businesses tend to assume that these businesses are way larger than they are. We typically classify small business as those businesses with fewer than 500 employees. This might be a way to classify them, but it’s not a true representation of the small business market. Out of the 30 million small businesses in the US, 24 million of them don’t have any employees and generate less than $250,000 per year! This group is woefully mis-sold to. For example, software companies won’t list prices and want you to request a demo — no small business has the time to do that — they are WORKING and not sitting at a computer. I’m committed to helping these solopreneurs create automated ways to get customers, keep customers and make more money. All they want to do is fulfil on their commitments to customers and not mess around with a thousand points of marketing. I’m here to help them do exactly that.
Who influences you within these topics?
What challenges are brands facing in this space?
The biggest challenge brands face in this space is finding authentic ways to connect with these under-represented small businesses. They run surveys, but the audience I’m talking about isn’t responding — because they don’t have time, they are working. So, I think their data can be skewed. I think that language is also a problem. Brands struggle in communicating to these under-represented businesses because they tend to use “enterprise” language — like “Digital Stack” — no small business knows what that is! So, the biggest challenge brands have is translating the power of their products and services in ways that their potential audience can grasp, choose and grow into.
What do you think the future holds in this space?
The future of this space started about 10 years ago as more brands recognised the power of small business influencers. To be clear, in the small business space, an influencer is NOT a celebrity. Typically, these are folks who are experts in a conversation. They run their own companies, they are journalists, publishers and analytics. They are exactly the same type of business owner as the brand’s audience and they have the same challenges.
The brands who have recognised that and committed to long-term relationships with small business influencers have seen a happier, more loyal and enthusiastic customer base. One challenge with this, however, is that really solid influencer campaigns in the small business space take time — it’s like planting a garden. So, those brands that want fast conversions aren’t going to see that kind of behaviour in the small business space. Small business influencer campaigns take time, solid content, engagement and commitment.
What brands are leading the way in this space?
Brands like AT&T, Verizon, Zoho, Enterprise, Canon, GetApp, Dell, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, MailChimp and even smaller brands like Beautiful.ai, TailorBrands, 99Designs, Brand 24. They’ve recognised the power of investing in content developed by small business experts who know and understand the products and services they provide and who can speak authoritatively on the real-life application of their products and services.
If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
What are your passions outside of work?
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Head of Influencer Marketing Joe's central role is to build relationships with influencers and connect them to brands. Joe is also tasked with promoting the influencer marketplace and delivering value to the influencer community.