I have to preface this post by giving you a short history of my writing about Marketing and PR as it relates to this site. Don’t worry, that preface is a couple of links that you have to read before I begin this post. The first link is to my first reentry into the world of writing. It was 2012 and I was riding high on the fact that I’d resigned from teaching to pursue my small business and the results were great. I was pulling down about 30,000/month so I felt that I could create residual income by hiring a PR guy to work on my books. Now, I understood PR was expensive, but I’d met so many people trying to break into the business that I gave a local guy an opportunity to get me a bit more coverage on my writing (which had absolutely nothing to do with my sneaker biz). Here is that article. Now that you’ve looked at that article, I can explain that I really never gave any real effort into promoting this site (CBP), but I kept writing about places I’d visited and small businesses I’d supported. I blogged more about film and books. All the while I hadn’t really promoted the site, but I enjoyed creating the content you find on these pages, so I kept writing. I kept working on my small business and in 2014 an e-mail I sent almost two years before was answered on Facebook. That e-mail was from Paul C. Brunson. I had written Paul in 2012 to try and send him my two novels that dealt with relationships. He was working on his book: It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love and told me to get back to him in another month.
First, he didn’t have to do this. At the time he was working with Oprah, Essence Magazine, I could go on and on… but the point is he told me to get back to him. I didn’t.
Now, this is an important point about being a small business person who has multiple options. Your job is to take care of the small biz that pays the bills. You should stay in your lane because distractions can lead to missed opportunities and failures. Here I was creating blog posts to give information on this exact thing, and I was committing a major faux pas by reaching out to a very busy person with a half assed plan.
That was in 2012. By 2014 I had launched two new running shoes through my company ARCH and with my online store I had generated over 1 million dollars (but I was still broke… that’s another blog post and it has everything to do with the above ‘staying in your lane’ post). Before this gets too long and you forget why you came here to read about retweets, I’ll try to speed up, just roll with me. Since I was launching the new shoe and I had successfully run a Kickstarter campaign after losing a lot of money running ARCH, I thought the success of the Kickstarter was a cool story and I wanted people to know. I wrote Paul again (primarily because he looks like a guy who is in good shape and hell, he’s famous) about my new shoe. I wanted to get an endorsement from someone who 1. I respected 2. Someone I had seen go from dating advice guy on Essence to a small biz owner to an employer. So I wrote Paul and he responded and apologized about the book thing, which was all on me and my half assed plan.
Okay cut to the chase, Paul accepted the shoes and then offered to have me on Mentor Monday. This was on August 13th, 2014. He thought having a guy in the footwear industry who developed a brand and actually brought it to market would be a great story for his small business themed web show. I accepted the challenge to be on the show. Ella Rucker, the Mentor Monday producer, coached me up and I realized that I was going in half cocked with some heavy hitters discussing entrepreneurship. (Here is the Spreecast channel for Mentor Monday, you should go and watch every episode). There was a short back and forth and before I knew it I was a part of the PCB family and while I hadn’t asked I basically began to consider Paul and Ella my virtual mentors. I’d never had a mentor before. For five years I’d been launching a shoe company and made a ton of money, that I lost, and it was all due to the fact that I didn’t have someone to model my business after. With Paul I finally had someone who was handling multiple business ventures in a straightforward way and sharing everything that helped him organize that. Alright I realize that this is beginning to sound like a Kanye song:
I knew to actually fit in on the Spreecast of Mentor Monday I needed to get my stuff together. I had to impress Big Brother. I not only organized my sneaker biz, but I decided it was time to put in action what I’d written in my book One Hour To Wealth. I started working on CBP and I wrote this article: Don’t Worry About Your Likes http://www.cbpublish.com/business-why-you-shouldnt-worry-about-your-likes/ to show the rebuilding process. I know you’re saying, “dang we’re finally getting to the meat,” yep we are. Yesterday, my numbers were pretty consistent and improving due to my support of Mentor Monday and my own reorganization efforts. I was also spending a lot of time on www.aalbc.com message boards because I was realizing the importance of community and I’d always followed that site. Paul posted this yesterday, 10 Reasons To Blog even if no one reads it. I clicked and read it and realized that I’d written something very similar, but it had more research. That’s the above article, Don’t Worry About Your Likes. Which brings me to this post about the Power of a Tweet. I’m once again working on my writing career and this rebranding process is 6 months in for CBP. I’ve seen several spikes in traffic. One after writing a Memphis Hi-Lite, another after Mentor Monday Episode 21 and another on a guest article.
Yesterday however was hands down the biggest day on CBP as far as visitors to the site. I had 136 Page Views – 96 Unique Visits – 9 Returning Visits.
All of this occurred because of a simple tweet that looks like it had zero interaction on Twitter. Much like my post about Facebook Likes, it looks like with only 2 retweets and 5 favorites on Paul’s post nothing happened. Keep reading…
I often look at Social Media as very hard to navigate. So much so that I deleted my sneaker fan page ARCH and my author’s page on Facebook to leave just my personal Facebook page up. I explain this here. It was a rash decision to pull it, but that’s what I do. I experiment and then I write about it; hoping it will help someone else better navigate the small biz waters. My Social Media engagement has always hovered between 6-14%. Yesterday it surged to 65%, with 26% Direct Traffic, and 9% Referring Sites. What does all of this mean?
While Facebook is changing it’s rules to staunch sharing biz information, and Twitter is figuring out ways to monetize its site by getting people to pay for sponsored tweets, ORGANIC growth is a much more solid route.
If Paul wanted to create another option to help businesses he believes in, he could simply offer a retweet package through his Mentor Monday website. A simple look at his Klout score and numbers on his various social media accounts will show you that his reach is incredible. Would I pay for this reach? You’re damn right. What I’ve noticed is that I’ve grown my Twitter followers since becoming a part of Mentor Monday. Has it produced book sales? No (well I don’t know for sure, but keep reading). Why? Because my Mentor Monday session with Paul was about sneakers and ARCH. Up until last month my Twitter only showed sneaker stuff primarily. I realized that my sneaker business is sustaining without a lot of effort. I thought about my rebranding of CBP and I created a couple of memes for headers and started placing an emphasis on CBP. I make sure I stop what I’m doing for every Mentor Monday, and then yesterday with one small tweet (and all of my ducks in a row which is very important) Paul actually did this (Along with providing the biggest day of visits to CBP):
This is a screenshot of my Kindle library report. You see that small spike on Jan.28? That’s a book sale! Now granted there are a few book sales on this sheet, but this is one of the few instances where I know for a fact a tweet had a direct effect on the purchase of a book. I know this was a long post, and it seemed like an extension of “Big Brother”, but what I’m stressing here is the Power of a Tweet only works when you’ve truly invested yourself into a community. All small biz people who are new to a particular business are looking for an edge. We are looking for a quick fix to get ourselves out there. We are willing to pay PR people money to boost our profiles. We are willing to sink money into Facebook ads to get likes, but what we fail to realize is that it takes time.
6 months in and I’m barely scratching the surface of this rebrand of CBP. What we all fail to realize is that growth takes time and that we have to be a real part of “family” communities. You can’t simply drop in and leave a post somewhere and think that it will have an effect on your business and improve your shit. That’s not how it works. You have to support by sharing other people’s work. You have to create links to other websites and retweet their events and share their posts on Facebook. You have to visit their sites and recommend the things you discover out there about other people. Simply put the Power of a Tweet is completely useless if you haven’t created a connection with the person retweeting your information. Yeah, your stuff may go viral for a day but I don’t think that sustains. You may get a one day spike in traffic, but that spike goes away. I’m going to share more pics with you below. Notice on Monday I had a spike in traffic… I wasn’t even featured on Paul’s Mentor Monday this week. I simply joined in the discussion on the chat and then two days later, Boom. I hope all of you reading this will realize that the most important aspect of small business is building networks and supporting others, oh and of course retweeting… but only if the content is actually worthwhile. I know this was long, but I hope it helped.