We are here today with Journalist, Small Business Advocate and Authority Marketing Consultant Tavis Bucklin. His forward thinking strategies may have you re-thinking your own marketing plan. Thank you for talking with me today Tavis.
T: It’s my pleasure… Ya know, I think you may have forgotten a title or two. I’m also an amateur wood worker, head skeptic at the United States branch of the Illuminati, and a certified 60’s surf guitar nut… If you’re into guitars, follow me on Pinterest.
1. Surf guitars and the Illuminati?
T: I made that part up about the Illuminati, but the rest is true!
2. Tavis, on your site, you mention a phrase called “Authority Marketing.” What exactly is this?
T: When we think of traditional marketing we may think of an ad. Most ads give you reasons why you should do business with that company. we see these all the time. This type of ad is created and published by the company it’s self. This is what I call “look what I can do” marketing. For those of you who remember Stewart on Mad TV.
Authority marketing is different. It’s more like the friend that recommends you do business with the company. We are more likely to do business with those we know, like, or trust. This can be a person, group, or even a brand. When a brand with authority is talking about a company some of that brands authority rubs off on the company. When we see someone on the cover of INC., Entrepreneur, or any other magazine it sets that individual at a certain status level. This happens naturally, in fact, it cannot be prevented.
3. For small businesses, gaining attention from media sources can seem like an uphill battle. How can your company help entrepreneurs attract attention?
T: Journalists need expert opinions. We see experts quoted in magazines and news articles every day. If you wait for one of these journalists to call you up out of the blue, you have a long wait. By getting your first few interviews and being referenced in media outlets like Fox news or NBC puts you out there to be found. This is where I come in.
4. In your opinion, what are some common missteps companies make when attempting to create a media strategy?
T: The problem is, most business owners don’t have a media strategy at all. I think this is true mostly because they do not understand the real value that media authority brings to their business.
I know when I am about to make buying decision I do a quick Google search. I look for reviews or anything I can find about the company in question. I think this is natural, people don’t want to get burned. A couple bad Yelp reviews can lose you the sale. Most company’s understand they have to keep these reviews cleaned up. But imagine your prospect is searching for a bad review, but instead finds you and your company in major media. An interview in a magazine, quoted in NBC, or quoted in major industry publications. This is a complete game changer. Unlike an ad, this media promotion doesn’t go away or require a monthly payment. Once you have this positioning it works for you month after month, year after year.
5.What are some marketing trends that you anticipate for 2016?
T: The internet and the way we search online is becoming more organic every day. The way we market has no choice but to follow that trend. Instead of thinking of your website as your platform, you must think of the entire internet as your platform. People are doing their due diligence on professionals and their businesses. Credibility is everything. The good news is that you no longer have to be on Oprah to be recognized as an expert in your field. Professionals are publishing articles online for the world to see. In fact, some are publishing their own books. You don’t need a spot on a talk show to be a best-selling author these days. I have personally done this for many of my clients so I can tell you first hand you can make it happen yourself.
6. You have a new book coming out soon, correct?
T: Yes I do!
It’s called The Next Practical Step -online marketing for your offline business.
7. Offline business… so the book is for brick and mortar businesses with a physical location?
T: Yeah, It’s about getting local customers in your door. I wrote the book specifically for small local businesses. Years ago, I had an interior design business. We had a website, but I didn’t know how to market myself online.
I ended up closing the doors when the economy crashed. I felt if I had known more about marketing online the business could have survived. That is when I decided to dedicate myself to learning all I could about marketing online. Losing a business is hard to go through. I guess that’s why I wrote this book, to help guide other small business through the madness of online marketing. As a marketing consultant, I saw the need for a simple process for local businesses.
8. If you could give our readers, one marketing tip what would that be?
T: That’s tough, but something all types of businesses should remember is it only takes a small change to make a big difference. I like to think of the small rudder on a large ship. The rudder only has to make a small shift to turn the ship.
This year it will be wise to focus on closing more of the leads you already have. It’s easy to get caught up in generating leads to meet sales goals. It takes less time and resources to convince your leads to choose you over your competition. You rarely think about all the leads that got away because they never came through your door in the first place. It’s like running your air conditioner with the windows open. Time to close the windows and make some money.