In this video, we talk with Barbara Gobbi of Barbara Gobbi Marketing. She talks about how COVID-19 has impacted her business and how she has pivoted with her new Masterclass.
Hello everybody and welcome. We are here with another video interview series with Barbara Gobbi. Barber Gobbi of BG Marketing or Barber Gobbi Marketing. She is a social media expert she’s a friend. She’s a colleague see it does some amazing things and is frankly the strongest social media person I know, so welcome to the show Barbara. Thank you so much for having me. All right, so let’s get into what everybody’s talking about which is covid-19, Coronavirus? What are you seeing on your end? Since you have a lot of clients that are in Hospitality. What are you seeing on your end Pro marketing social media perspective? Well, I’ve seen businesses fall into one of three categories either. They’ve been completely shut down in devastated or they’ve shifted their operations home and it’s kind of business as usual just in a new environment or their busier than ever. So, I’ve been trying to help my clients navigate through one of those three scenarios and it’s been a mixed bag. Yes, my restaurant clients have been devastated. We did lose a couple clients, which is completely understandable, but we have some clients who are blowing up my phone that they need crisis communication sent to their clients or their patients some of them are doctors, or social media posts. We’ve even had calls from companies who weren’t clients of ours, you’ve never done anything before who said we need to get a message out there. And I said, well you haven’t posted on your social media and six months. You don’t have an email database, you know, and this is why I always say you need to be Marketing in the busy times so that you don’t have those slow times sure and I shared the same kind of information with my clients and we’re talking about ways on what we can do and what seeds we can plan for the future. If you haven’t been doing things already. What are you doing now to kind of get through the slower times to be even more prosperous during the busy each kind of the areas that have you kind of you talked about yet talk about the three different kind of kind of kind cups that people learn to roar. Alright, so let’s talk about the ones that have been devastated. What are you talking to them about to either help them or remember, whatever it is you do? Well, the first thing we do is we try to see if there’s something they can do to pivot their business because you know, for example if you’re a restaurant and you can’t have, you know, people come into your restaurant, can you deliver can you offer take out and pick up and while it might not be as much business as you had it might be enough to keep your employees, you know busy or if you’re another kind of business can you pivot to something similar or that can serve a purpose now. So, I was just watching on the news the man who created my pillow and you’ve seen his commercials all over he has stopped production on pillows and is making masks. So that’s something you have to look at in your business. Do I have equipment and skills that we can pivot? I have a client who prints really high-end wedding invitations and a lot of more consumer direct to Consumer printers had to shut down, but she serves brokers. She’s got equipment and she still able to run her production facilities. So other printers are now giving her work. So, you just if you’re devastated by this because no one’s ordering wedding invitations now. Can you pivot your business and use the skills and equipment in the people that you have to do something different that’s of a need now sure and I would kind of add on to that is as much as just pivoting but providing secondary services and adding dish. Value is a great way of for businesses to help others get through these tougher times. mean, for example, I think simply us having this conversation and providing some marketing ideas and what other businesses are experiencing if they happen to re-watch this video and they get one tidbit from it is a way that you and I are offering value to people in more difficult times. Obviously, you and I will never modest. Sighs this isn’t a moneymaker for either of us, but it’s really trying to say that we’re there for people and kind of offering it. So, the pivoting component. Can you give me one specific example of a pivot that one of your clients is done this started to hopefully create some Bit of an impact on their bottom line? Yeah. Well, I mean the printer was one example, they completely pivoted their production operations. I have another client who is chiropractor who was able to put together some supplement packs and is doing drop shipping of immune-boosting supplements. So that wasn’t something that he had ever had before but he was able to order these supplements put them together. We were able to get a message out so that he can drop ship those, so it’s still tied to what he does. It’s health and wellness, you know, it’s not like, you know now he’s delivering pizzas, but you know, it’s tied to what he does and he realized this is something I can do to help. That’s wonderful and I know that you’re doing something to Pivot your business will get to that in a little bit. Let’s get to the second kind of bucket that you were talking about with regard to businesses that have pivoted and are already doing additional businesses. Are you More than just what you’re advising people or that really kind of you’re taking bucket wine and putting them in the bucket to well? Yeah, I mean so my second bucket of people are once you’ve shifted their operations home or to their homes and they’re all working remotely and its business as usual. They don’t see more business or less business. So what we’ve done to help them is using things like zoom and how to send out e-mail Communications to their customers and, you know tried to help them with those types of Things because they are not used to that type of operations. So, it’s more how can they keep doing what they’re doing and continue in this new environment. So, we’ve been able to coach them through some of those processes and also help get them the message out to their clients. Yes, we’re still open. This is how you can reach us things like that. So, you’re using social for that. I assume using the website, like I know that we started filming pop-ups for a lot of our clients. As popups on websites as people are visiting their we’re like, hey, we offer video conferencing. We are still working. We are still out of mindful. What kind of Crisis Communications are you doing for? Those businesses that it would be appropriate for well. One thing I did is I wrote a crisis communication plan for my PR days. I pulled this out and I created this template that I sent to all my clients and said, let’s customize this you may not be thinking about it. But let’s customize this for your Business and send out an email to your database this is why I’ve always been a huge proponent of creating an email database because even though we’re a social media agency. You can’t rely on social media always, so your email database is the most valuable thing you own as a business owner. So those that had had an active database and had been nurturing it worked really well for them to send out this type of communication and we saw some huge response. I had one client who had a 65% and rate on an email because she had been nurturing the list. They’re used to seeing you show up in your email box. So, we had created this crisis plan for our clients to help them get that message out and that was First thing that we did was a week ago when we first were locked down. It’s wonderful. All right. Let’s talk about how you and a project that you’ve been working on for a while and how personally a pivoting is. I think it’s going to be one incredibly relevant to what is going on with covid-19 anchor own but I think it’s going to give people ideas of what you personally internally been doing just sort of to create new value and new Revenue opportunities that are still within your wheelhouse. Yeah. So, about a year ago, we made it a pivot in our business. Because we saw recession coming and there’s no doubt about its coronavirus or not. We all knew that something was going to come and disrupt our business. It was just a matter of time and I think the coronavirus was just an added bonus to that, but we also saw a need in the community that we weren’t being able to fulfill as an agency. And this was an idea of shift pivoting our business and we knew that there were a lot of people that we could help but they couldn’t afford to hire us, so we had created the digital course. Course and I really encourage a lot of businesses to do this. This is the future of learning distance learning and digital courses is something that people will be consuming more and more over traditional, you know education. So, we have been creating this course, we had a couple setbacks in it just in our operations. So, we had been pushing the date back to launch it in May and then as soon as we saw this, we said no, no we have to rush this. This out there because those businesses that felon bucket a who were shut down. They need to do something to sharpen their saw or stay active or build their business now so that when they get through this, they’re going to come out better in the end. So, we have our digital corsets launching soon, but we recommend a lot of businesses to do this. What when do you anticipate being able launch the open our cart next Monday? Wow, and of course begins on April Sixth, so April 6, so you’re open the course on Monday April 6th. No, April 6 it begins next week the cart opens. So, they can start learning these God just said that they you can start signing up for it. And then April 6th, you can actually start buying or start using and digesting the product and what we’ll do is when I post this to YouTube as own little link to that course in the description below, so whatever pointing down at the description below so we’ll so people the watch this can actually sign up for it and Get that amazing content great. Give me some of the ideas and things that you’re going be working on from a Content inside of what the course is going to look like. Right? So, I mean this is these are strategies that I’ve used. I’ve been in this industry for almost 30 years and we used to do Acquisitions and mergers. So, my job was to write a marketing plan for a hotel that was in distress and in foreclosure and how we would turn it around. So, I’ve always Worked in here’s a problem. How will we fix it good economies and bad? So, inside the course, we teach them to understand their unique value proposition and what they offer better or different than the competition. We teach them how to truly understand their Customer because I think that’s the biggest thing that people Miss is they don’t take the time to figure out the pain points of their customer and they’re too busy selling and pushing the message that doesn’t want to be heard and then we teach them the marketing Basics marketing 101. one and what they can do as a business owner and then we teach them how to write a strategy how to write a plan because I think that’s really what’s missing is people have goals and aspirations that they don’t have a plan on how to get there. them how to write that plan and create that marketing strategy and these are for businesses who can’t hire an agency like me or you they’re really small. They’re usually solopreneurs Mom Pops who just need to do marketing and we teach them everything they need to know to do it themselves. That’s great sneak peek on. One particular topic that you just to kind of kind of kind of wet people’s whistles on one specific topic that you think is just kind of neat magic sauce or do you want to hold that back? No. No, it’s actually one of my favorite things to is doing a validation with your customers and it seems to be the scariest thing in the world where you actually sit down and you talk to your ideal customer and you ask them. To pour their heart out to you. So you listen to them and figure out what keeps them up at night and then then you can connect the dots of my business has a product or service that can help fulfill that need and I did it in my business last year and it is really scary because I literally picked up the phone and called 40 people and interviewed them for about 30 minutes each. I spent a lot of time and it was the most enlightening thing I’ve ever done in my 30 years in this industry and I tell clients to do this all the time. But I never did it. So, it totally changed the trajectory of this course and things I was doing in my business because people had never asked these customers before the questions. I was asking and it was really basic but they told me what they really were thinking and feeling about their business and how to Market it so, you know doing it for any business or industry listen to your customers because they’re your marketing department you Control the message anymore. They’re the ones that control the message. This is funny. I actually have a slight I agree. They help dictate what your message should be is a better way of describing that I think because ultimately the end-user your audience your customer base your clients, whatever their perspective clients. However, you want to describe what that is. They help dictate what your nest is needs to be in order to get the proper message you need to live Listen, and you need to see what the statistics bear out. You know, I’m actually going to share a quick little story so client of ours that we had some exceptional creative on we were really happy with the work. We and everybody internally the client was incredibly happy with the work. We would everyone was thrilled. You should work and the approach that we took while everybody involved thought was great. Ultimately was not as successful as it needed to be and now it wasn’t like it didn’t fail entirely. It’s not like it would put or anything like that but it wasn’t as successful as other prepping more generic sort of approach that we had taken but the but this Statistics simply bore out that they were better that they worked better. Well the message resonated it generated more phone calls generated more business for them. And so, the math doesn’t lie your clients Don’t Lie the whether you choose to listen to your clients or not as is the question. So, I think it’s amazing advice and frankly. I’m glad to hear it’s just to hear you say that you kind of waited to do even though you are giving me advice because I totally fall into that problem myself. I would sure like the roofer whose roof leaks. Like I never did you make her she make her son has two shoes. I mean, we finally kind of amusing kind of side note. We finally realized a new design for the flying. Website like couple of months ago. I mean what bunch of designer words like 12 years ago, and then I didn’t touch it since because can’t bill me for me. So, I think I’m glad to hear that. I’m not the only one who fell under that that that problem ready listen to my own advice. We did the same thing. We’ve rebuilt our website because people would say, oh, I’m going to check out your website or your social media. I’m like, oh no don’t look at mine my clients, but don’t like it my stuff really fell into the Sam here. Yeah, I’ll send you list of the customers being the marketing department more consumers will trust a recommendation from another consumer from a peer to peer recommendation that they’ll trust an advertising message. So that’s why we try hard to build super fans and raving fans within your organization to let them spread the message for you. Well the Evangelist model the Evangelist model is credible. Incredible way of getting the message out there because no one sells you better than one of your clients when your customers and to that point. So let’s kind of pivot back to earn media and obviously earned media is a major part in Social and since you are a social agency first and foremost is kind of your bread and butter as it were until the but the e-learning happens and then that’ll be the Read about for now social agency. What are you doing to facilitate the earned media for your clients from a social perspective? What do you mean by that? So earn me to getting people to like comment share it, you know, let their clients know obviously reviews whether it’s text reviews or BirdEye reviews using Google reviews as a strategy for the purposes of brand building business, right? Well, so what thing that we’re doing is starting on my landscapers outside my window. So, you know, I’m really intentional about the content that we published and making sure that it’s relevant and it’s useful. I’ve already told my clients. I refuse to send out a message from you about what we’re washing our hands or, you know, make sure you cover your cough because if it isn’t relevant to your business, you know, don’t do it. Let’s leave that to the experts but so types of content that we’re publishing How is the coronavirus or what’s happening in the world relevant to their business so that they can be a helpful resource. I subscribe to the serve model. So, we serve our customers. We don’t ever ask for a sale. We don’t ever, you know, even our calls to action are rare because what we want to do is show our customers and build that trust that we’re just here to serve you and you have to be doing that now because they need to be served, but they need to be served information that’s relevant to your industry and applicable to their life. So you mentioned you don’t want to post any content wash your hands those sorts of things. I mean, if you’re a doctor then yes, of course, they’ve heard this before they don’t want to hear it from a restaurant, you know, do you think it has secondary value though to be mindful and simply be a part of the community. Just reminding people to be kind be courteous to one another to because if I guess in my mind, there’s so much fear uncertainty and doubt that that’s out there which is often times a really great. You know, we talked about the flood Factor it when in sales and marketing, you know, the fear uncertainty and doubt as a as a sales tool, but there really is just societal figured out that that out there and I think more than ever I think it’s important that we’re reminded that we’re all kind of This together huh? And so, I think messages of solidarity still have their place personally because I think otherwise when it’s exclusively about your business, even when it is related in some capacity to her coronavirus and covid-19. I didn’t come time sometimes come off a little tone deaf your thoughts. Yeah, you know, I had a great example of this the other day. I have a realtor I was speaking with who has a really large following and he said, you know No, I obviously I’m not showing homes. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I should put out stuff on homes, or if I should you know, ignore it talk about coronavirus or just offer a distraction of me and my kids and so I said put out an Instagram story a series of posts and ask your audience what they want from you. Do you want me to show more real estate or do you want me to not show realistic because some people might want that distraction? They might say listen, I have to buy a house. I’m relocating. My business is sending me here. I need to see real estate. I expect that from you, but some people might be like, you know what I can’t even think about it now. Just distract me with you know images of your kids. But you know, what ask your audience what they want. It’s the best way to offer engagement and show listen. I’m listening to you and I’m going to here to serve you. What do you want from me? I love that. That’s a great fantastic that’s advice. In fact, I am going to steal that from you and mention that at to my clients as far as finding out what the audience is looking for because you do need to balance what the audience wants and wanting to make good choices as it pertains because you don’t want whatever it is you’re doing to backfire on it don’t equate product, you know activity with productivity. You want to be specific in strategic in how your dear Communications really great stuff. So, Let’s pivot now and not talk about coronavirus and covid-19 for just a tiny little moment for those who have managed to get through us so far. I know you got back from social media world. two weeks ago, barely made it back before the zombie apocalypse has happened. What do you see the future of Social and what new Concepts are on the horizon? And Tommy landscapers are too much So a couple things and they’re really not new Concepts. It’s just Concepts we forgotten is number one. And this was the same thing at the show last year, too. be more human and I think that so missing when businesses are trying to Market their product or service is they’re forgetting that they’re talking to people and so that human connection is really missing and that goes back to talk to your customers and find out what they want from you so that wasn’t the number one theme and the second one is to be consistent and that speaks to my customers who called me out of the blue and said hey, can you Something on my Facebook page and I’ll say well let’s last time you did anything was October, you know, if they’re not consistent, you’re not showing up you’re not showing up for your customers. They’re not going to trust you. So, you have to be there for them in good times and in bad all the time and that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be posting on social media. Single day of the week. We don’t even do that with our clients because I know there are there’s sure it’s Overkill and oversaturation the market sure but it’s consistency. If I’m going to be there Monday Wednesday and Friday. I’m going be there Monday Wednesday and Friday not five times on Monday and then three weeks from now, you know two more times. Right. I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions whether it’s social media, whether it’s search engine optimization, whether it’s whatever platform you’re looking at whether it’s just traditional PR, which neither of us really do you do more of it? We don’t do any of it. I think consistency and non-oversaturation is really kind critical and often times. I mean, it’s fascinating how much Google really actually injures you. By not being consistent in what you’re doing. So, one of the like the SEO and search engine optimization strategies that we use is we will something about your website either on-site or off-site is going to change 15 times a month. 15 times on something is going to change at least every other day. And if we ever stop that and we talk to clients who you know wanted to maybe trim back for a short period of time and said, hey we can trim back. We don’t have to do a lot of these other things, but we have to keep consistency up. Otherwise Google’s going to lose Faith what you’re doing their algorithms are really smart and they ultimately end up hurting you same goes with AdWords. Okay, once you build up some credibility Google AdWords systems and you have the best possible price models and the best possible kind of areas that you can actually go through as soon as you start to reduce your spending their in a meaningful way. It’s really hard to come back so businesses that want to just turn off for a short period time. We’ve actually had to counsel against that just to make sure that they’re not going to lose the equity build-up social media. I would say that’s even more important and so once you begin that strategy just turning it off is just one of the worst things you could possibly do. I mean, it’s none of it as shot me are there’s almost there very Pew marketing approaches short of like You know direct response email or direct response kind commercials that are shots in the arm that immediately get the phones to ring now. That’s not what marketing is a general rule. It’s about long-term growth plenty sees for the long term and I knew how what your status is worth. I’m glad you said it aloud because my had clients about this for years and sometimes it feels like you’re kind of yelling into the vacuum. Yeah. No II tell my clients a lot. It’s like walking on treadmill when You get off the treadmill you stop moving. So, if you want to keep inching forward don’t get off the treadmill, you can slow down you can speed up don’t get off. You know, the old cliché. How do you eat an elephant one bite at a time? Yeah, a journey of a Thousand Miles begins with the first step. It’s all of those things that we stay the course, and I know that that’s Always been a frustration of mine when clients don’t necessarily say that device and they wonder why they don’t get the results when they turn things back on. Oh, I don’t understand why things fell off so quickly because that’s how it works. I told you that well, and that’s what I teach in the course to it’s not because these things don’t work is because you didn’t have a plan and the plan is something you apply every day every week every month every quarter every year. So it’s not just I’m going to throw it out there and try it and it doesn’t work you don’t try by marketing you do marketing, you know, and I’ll tell you another thing that we took away from social media marketing world if Was being human and being consistent the trends now in marketing our video because it builds connection like if you and I had written a blog post about this exact conversation. We’re having now people aren’t going to connect with it as well as they are with the video sure because and that’s why it’s you know, so important that you know, it doesn’t even have to be highly produced videos, but hop on your Instagram stories or on Facebook live, you know, or you YouTube doesn’t have be perfect but people want to see you to build that connection so that they know like and Trust You content is greater than production. It always has been it always and there’s will be easy ways to even get higher quality stuff. Like for example, I’ll share with the audience but Barbara prior or not prior to this to the interview, we’re talking about the lighting that we have in our little setup of our webcams. I mean, this is So webcam interview and the fact that I have above my screen. I’ve got a light shining. So, the lighting is decent it’s not great, but it’s better than the alternative Barbara specifically has you can even show the ring light that you even turned off. There you go. The barber has a Reload that she turned off because it was actually making things too washed out. So, there’s ways that you can improve things there’s ways. to improve the audio quality, so I love just content. I was talking to a client yesterday about What they can be doing from a Content perspective now. They don’t need us to do like this isn’t something that they need to hire flying champ or yourself to accomplish, but rather get stuff out people are afraid now. Don’t talk about what you think you want to talk about which is totally beneficial to your business because people don’t want to hear that now. Just let them know that you’re around. You know, it’s a really good tip now. If you don’t have a big audience to start doing video because you’re going to get all your mistakes out of the way with no audience. So that by the time you’ve built that up, you’re a pro. I mean and we still make mistakes we go we go live on Facebook almost every day. I didn’t entire Facebook live just last week 30 minutes. No audio and I was so mean it happens to all of us, you know, just do it because done is better than perfect. no in simple lighting tricks sit in front of a window go do Facebook lives or Instagram lives from film a little video in your backyard because nothing is better than natural light, but if you don’t do it, no one’s going to know one’s going to learn about you and ultimately video is obviously you and I chat about that is a direction that flying ship is moving towards both intro, but also, you know, we have a full-time videographer now on staff to know I’m going to be sending you some clients because I don’t do Video, how did you not know this week? All right, whatever testimonial videos it goes back to the idea of client Advocates client evangelists and having them tell their story of how you fix their pain because I always go back to whatever we are selling. It always goes back to how we are fixing pain. I mean people aren’t being in some capacity. So, you know, nobody hires a lawyer when everything’s going great. I mean, that’s just not that’s not the reality of it or you know There’s a pain. I’m hungry. I need to go to a restaurant. There’s a peanut there solving in some capacity. So. I love the idea of sharing those stories and making those a major part of the of the marketing approach, but even if it’s not done with By a professional, you know professional videographer just take up your phone, like film them and just say, you know what Barbara go be did an amazing job for us. We are so happy by everything that she’s done. She’s amazing. She’s a great person. And we just love you. Thank you so much Barbara, even that much it’s real. It’s authentic. I think the authenticity is an important part of all of this stuff and that kind of goes back to it. I like Authentic better than being human personally. mean, it’s just a word that I prefer but it’s the same word. I mean, it’s the same concept. It’s about being real so relatable. Yeah, that’s my problems including that’s into that point, you know, here’s a newsflash for all your clients people don’t want to buy your product or service. They want to buy an emotion something that you’re going to fix for them. So, if they’re like you said if you’re Feeling hungry. You don’t sell pizza. You sell something that’s going to satiate their hunger. So think about and it’s flipping the script and thinking what is my customer need from me from an emotional standpoint that I can deliver and we could talk more about start with Y because that’s totally all day long, right? like my time I’d like we had this conversation start with why is really an important part of what you do. So, there’s a sales concept called show up and throw up and that concept is you come in and you tell every single thing every service we do we do Facebook marketing. We do LinkedIn marketing. We do, you know, just going down list, right? You know, we do this this this this and this Okay. Thanks. Have a nice day versus like tell me about what your little comments about asking questions as a sales goal. And there’s ideas out there called QBs question big selling and there’s a lot of techniques out there that all sort of tie into the overall idea of being relatable like solve problems be a problem solver. Don’t be don’t show and throw up right? I would think we’ll my mom my mom never understands what I do, and I mean they even said, At one time when you don’t have a real job. Okay. Thanks Bob employees. But you know when I try to explain to people what I do, I don’t say oh I you know do social media and email marketing and digital courses. I you know, I think how my mom will understand this and I see you know what I help businesses get more customers. Yep, it’s what I do. That’s it. Yeah, this is just the vehicle that you used to do it the tech. There’s a lot of tools in the belt what tool we take out for each client is going to change based on the client. And obviously we’ve shared some clients based on needs that you know; you were stronger at than we were Vice Versa and it’s knowing that the tools are out there these Successful for each particular client so this has been great. Thank you so much for thank you joining me is like talking marketing with another marketing person. We get to you know, talk shop a little bit. We got together for breakfast and lunches and stuff like that. I mean, you’re my friend. You’re my colleague anything else. So, does it? All right, everybody. I’m going to put Barba’s information down below. So, I’m going to publish that through YouTube and put Barbara’s information down below. She’s amazing. I love her obviously you can reach out to me directly and I can put you in touch with her. I got to tell you if you reach out to me about something that I know that she does. She’s one of agencies we might be using for. Things that they specialize in and feel confident that I’m things that they don’t specialize in so realistically what you call one of us your kind of possibly get both of us in some capacity. We both have teams of people working on what it is. Our each of our agency does kind of individually exceptionally well, so Barbara is having been amazing. Thank you so much for joining us, and we’ll see you again soon. Okay. Bye.