Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

Julia: Guys, thanks for joining us today! I am excited to introduce you to my friend, Tami. She and I met through StoryBrand. I’ll leave it at that and let her introduce herself. Tami, tell us a little bit about you, where you are, your business.

Tami: Thanks for having me, Julia!

Julia: I’m excited to have you.

Tami: I’m excited too! Hi, My name is Tami Enfield. I own a social media marketing agency out of Northfield, Minnesota called Brand Yourself Consulting. I have been doing this specific work since 2011. That’s when I opened Brand Yourself. I have been in marketing for well over two decades, which makes me feel really old. 

Julia: You’re good! The other day, somebody was telling me that their kid was like, “You were born in the 1900s.” I was like, “Oh my gosh! That wasn’t that long ago.”

Tami: My daughter likes to tell me, “Mom, that is so 2000!” 

Julia: Oh my gosh! That’s crazy! How did you get into marketing?

Tami: It’s kind of by default. I went to school for graphic design, and that was back in 2001. And in order to get a decent design job behind the computer, you had to have a portfolio from about eight years of professional experience, which I had zero. So I ended up working for the local newspaper and found myself not loving sitting behind the computer. So I quickly went into sales there and started to develop ad campaigns, which just led me down a fun, windy path. I always wanted to open my own studio when I was in school. I thought I was gonna be an art director for the Target Corporation, because they’re based out of Minneapolis.

Julia: Yeah, Minnesota! They’re right there. So then, how did you get into social media?

Tami: Well, I was at a tiny bit of a crossroads in terms of what I wanted to do when I grew up. I was working as a marketing director for a disaster restoration franchise here in town, and started their social media campaign in 2008 or 2009, right when Facebook for Business came out. I was well connected and thought, well, here’s my chance. Ironically, they’re still a client of mine. I left on good terms, and she and I have stayed in contact, and we’re still running their social.

Julia: Talk about longevity and great retention. That’s awesome! And then you ended up in this alcoholic beverage industry?

Tami: I did! I love branding and graphic design was my background. I had the opportunity to brand a brewery in Rochester, Minnesota near the Mayo Clinic, and that brewery has done very, very well. I found some luck there, I guess. It was a good brand. I love the brand, it’s still my favorite. But I spoke at the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia back in 2016, and that kind of shot me into how to brand craft beer. People kept telling me to niche down, and I kept resisting, because I get bored easily. Looking back, it’s really good I didn’t just niche down to Craft Brewery because I would’ve probably not survived COVID.

Julia: You and I are in the same boat when it comes to nicheing. There’s just too much to do in the world that you can’t just pick one thing. I just can’t pick one thing.

Tami: I like the idea of nicheing to a category.

Julia; Oh, I like that!

Tami: So it’s like finding the category of selling on social media for small businesses. That’s the category that I’m going towards.

Julia: I like it! One of the reasons I wanted Tami to come on is because she and I are both running social media agencies. We have some similar things going on, which is really fun. Everybody and their mother is basically a social media person now, but there is something about people who have done this for a lot of different brands. And so, Tami and I talk frequently, and it’s been just really fun to have somebody to collaborate with and share information with rather than hide behind the secrets. So in that, you shared with me recently about an informal survey that you did, and it was particularly about the biggest social roadblocks. Why did you decide you were gonna survey your community about it?

Tami: That’s a good question! To check my assumptions, I guess. I’ve been doing this work for a long time and hitting pain points in marketing is what we do for our clients. I wanted to make sure that I was still speaking to the pain points that my customers were struggling with. And like you said, everybody and their brother is a social media manager now, and there is a very distinct difference between a strategist and a content creator. It’s the same thing that happened in the photography industry; everybody got a digital camera and considered themselves a photographer, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to use light in photography, composition, and all sorts of stuff. So just checking in with people I follow to make sure that my assumptions were right or wrong.

Julia: What were your assumptions?

Tami: My assumptions were that people, specifically small businesses, struggle with what to post on social.

Julia: That’s what I would’ve assumed too! I was really surprised because what did you learn?

Tami: I learned that that is not at all what people struggle with. The deeper I dug, it was more about how to manage the large amounts of content or ideas they had in their head. It was never like sitting down, what should I say? It was more about how to say it in a way that drove the best results, what type of posts you should be publishing, what time, more of the strategy.

Julia: That’s even strategy.

Tami: Yeah! And I find that that was it! Like what’s a good strategy where I’m not wasting time? People are afraid of wasting time, they’re afraid of looking down, they’re afraid that they don’t know enough.

Julia: It is interesting. I feel like when I interview our done-for-you-work, those people are like, “We don’t wanna think about the content.” Those people are like, “Hey, I just want somebody else to think about it.” But I could see a lot of small businesses who are like, “Well I’ve got a ton of ideas, I just don’t know what to do with it.”

Tami: I just don’t know what to do with it, yeah! Maybe that was the mindset shift I needed because I recently transitioned from heavier done-for-you-retainers to more done-with-you, and that was where I was trying to get my messaging right. So that makes sense.

Julia: Well, my assumption is not right, because I also have the same assumption, but then I’m like, “Well, why do I have that assumption?” I think it’s because when I talk to the done-for-you people, they don’t have ideas or they don’t wanna think about it. They’re like, “Let me do my job and somebody else do the marketing or the social media.” You pointed out one thing, people don’t wanna look dumb by not knowing. What are some other reasons that you have thought of that are roadblocks, like the strategy pieces?

Tami: I always think of mindset as being baby entrepreneur-ish. I don’t know if this resonates with you, but mindset work. Mindset work for me is like, “No, I’ve done that.” I’ve owned my business for almost 12 years. My mindset’s obviously got to ‘new level, new devil’ or whatever it is. But I think people struggle with the mindset around social, and that what they post has to be driving sales every time. I think one of the roadblocks is that just having proof of life is okay. But there’s many different ways to use social. And brand awareness and proof of life is totally fine. So that was one of the roadblocks that came up again. When asking people why they wanted to use social, it was, “Well, I have to.” It’s as relevant as a website; if I’m not posting on social, I’m not here.

Julia: I think there is something to that because for me, as a millennial, if you’re not on social media, I start getting curious about why you’re not. 

Tami: That’s for sure! 100%.

Julia: If I’m in a gracious mindset, it might be like, “Oh, they’re probably too busy”, or something like that. But even if you had a post four years ago and haven’t posted since, then I’m gonna start wondering like, is this place even open, what’s going on? Even proof of concept, like being able to show a portfolio is legitimate.

Tami: Yeah. You don’t always have to be creating leads.

Julia: I would say that even my own business, that’s why we do social, which is silly, because we’re a social media agency, but we have to show people that we know what we’re doing if we’re gonna sell it.

Tami: For sure!

Julia: What are some other things that you think are shifts that people need to make when it comes to thinking about social?

Tami: I think the word ‘authenticity’ gets thrown around so much right now. I think one of the misconceptions about authenticity is that you have to air all of your dirty laundry, and that you have to share all of the behind the scenes and all the things, and that’s just not true. Being authentic on social doesn’t mean that you have to show everything.

Julia: How do you advise your clients when they are worried about that?

Tami: I ask them to take a look at who they follow and resonate with online, and when they think of that, it’s usually like, oh, they’re just sharing some things that relate to business. Like they’re sharing their take on a keynote that they gave. Not always kids.

Julia: I had a friend who is this micro-influencer. There was somebody who followed her in person, and she was like it was fascinating, because she’s like, “That person feels like they know me, but they don’t.” Because she’s very private about some things and they’re very open about other things. And so, it was just really fascinating being able to hear her because she was like, “They feel like they know me. My followers, we are connected, but that’s not because I share everything.”

Tami: Yeah. That’s interesting. The other thing I think is that a lot of people that I interviewed hate social media, but they know they have to be on it. That’s a common thing; we know you hate social, so do we, sometimes. Most people hate social because they feel like it’s fake. So getting out of that mindset in that you’re not adding to the noise of fakeness, means you have to be more authentic, which means that you do have to share a little bit more or not be as polished.

Julia: I also think that that’s even where social media is moving towards. For a long time, it was very trendy to have a perfect grid. There are some brands that that’s important. Like you go onto Pantone’s social grid, and it is perfect.

Tami: Well that, and designers, and photographers.

Julia: But the average business doesn’t have to have a perfect grid. The content that resonates with people is the part that’s gonna be most human or most authentic.

Tami: Yeah. A little bit more imperfect.

Julia: Yeah, for sure! Any other things that you have found as roadblocks that people struggle with?

Tami: When I was talking to a few of the people that I decided to interview one-on-one, people were afraid of the hard sell. They don’t feel salesy. Another big reason about social was that they hadn’t had to use it yet to grow their network because most of the small businesses start with the network that they have direct influence with. So word of mouth happens, but when word of mouth starts to die down, then people start to panic and jump to social. A lot of people think with a really robust social campaign, you’ll save your business.

Julia: I always like to say, in general, marketing shouldn’t be a band-aid. Like if you’ve got bigger problems, marketing is not a good band-aid. But I think especially social media, I’m sure you’ve had this just as many times as I do, where people come wanting a quick fix, and I’m like, there’s no legit formula to going viral.

Tami: I wish we could figure it out, Julia. You and I could figure it out.

Julia: Well, we should put our brains on that. We would be very rich then.

Tami: I know! I know!

Julia: But there are no formulas to that, and in my mind, it’s more about consistency, and I think balancing the sales and the not salesy stuff.

Tami: Most people wanna learn something or be entertained by something. That’s another mindset shift. Social is more about building relationships, so it’s important to actually be social.

Julia: Yeah, for sure! One thing that I’ve been talking a lot about lately is how are we actually engaging with the other people? One of my pet peeves when it comes to social is when people don’t respond to comments on their posts. I’m like, if somebody went out of their way to comment on your post, they didn’t have to, but it’s because they like you, they like your content, whatever it might be. Give them the two seconds of your day to answer back. 

Tami: And people read those! People read the comments more than anything else before they’ll click to a website, I think. That’s another piece that I found was really interesting that most people wanted just to post and ghost. And that’s proof of life, that’s fine, but you’re not gonna sell anything with that one.

Julia: Right. And if that’s your intention, I feel like that would be a great theme takeaway for this podcast, is figure out your intention. If it is proof of life, you are totally allowed to post and ghost. Not a big deal. But if you actually wanna sell, you gotta figure out a different strategy.

Tami: Build a community. You have to engage and you have to have authentic, real-life content.

Julia: So if you were to sum up, based on your survey, based on some of the things in your experience, what would be some of your top tips to people who are working on their own social?

Tami: Great question! I have encouraged people that I’ve been talking to, to find a playground. Find a Facebook group or get in contact with a few other business owners, and just start to practice and post and play around. You can put posts in a Facebook group, practice reels, just get on. The more you do it, the easier it’s gonna be. So find a playground that you feel comfortable with to try it on your own, and then really set that intention. Like what is the intention? Do you just need people to come and see that you’re there and relevant, or do you want to actually use social media as a lead generator?

Julia: That’s a great point! Because even to that, there has been so much pressure on reels. But if you are also a proof of life kind of social poster, you don’t actually have to do reels. And so I think that that’s the beautiful thing about figuring out what your intention is, and then where you’re gonna play, because maybe if you are a proof of life person, you’re just gonna play with carousels and figure out those.

Tami: And keywords. Keywords are getting more and more important, so understanding what those are.

Julia: For sure!

Tami: Which is a whole nother podcast, Julia. So I won’t go down that.

Julia: There could be so many. Any other tips that you are generally giving people right now?

Tami: Make sure you take a look at your analytics. I was on a call with a potential client, and I was like, “So what are you posting right now that works?” And they’re like, “I don’t know.” “Okay. Well, let’s take a look at your analytics and see.” Know what they are and do that; redo the good posts.

Julia: And you’re allowed to do that, by the way!

Tami: You are. You’re absolutely allowed to repurpose good posts.

Julia: And also, even know what made the post good. For example, somebody on our team just posted one with my daughter in it, and it was still a business post, but clearly, everybody commented because there was a cute baby in this picture. And while I am not a proponent of turning our social media feed into a gallery of my kid, I do know if I want a bump of likes, then you post it. That’s how you know what’s working and what’s not.

Tami: You also have cute, furry friends!

Julia: Yeah, we do have a lot of them.

Tami: Which boosts it more? The cute babe or the cute furry friends?

Julia: Ooh, good question! I have to look. I do not know that analytic. One of the posts that we posted recently was about how people manage their to-do lists. It has nothing to do with actual marketing.

Tami: Yeah, but it’s relevant. People will engage with those posts.

Julia: But it’s relevant to a business, and it got a ton of comments. And so knowing, okay, this is like a side pillar of content.

Tami: Yeah! Adjacent.

Julia: Yeah. That’s something that can produce engagement.

Tami: I was talking to one of my clients the other day, and she is really practicing reels. She is a farmer in northern Minnesota, and they are starting a regenerative farm. It’s a very specific type of farming. So she’s educating people on that, and then she goes, “Then all of a sudden, I post something about lefse. 

Julia: Tell everybody really quick what lefse is.

Tami: Traditional lefse is made of potato, but it’s very thin and you put butter and sugar on it, and eat it as dessert. Crepe is similar to it, but that’s flour. She posted something about lefse, and she said, “That was my top performing post in the month, and it has nothing to do with my farm or anything else, but people were so passionate about lefse.” I was like, “Well, ride the wave. Ask them some more questions. It helps the algorithm.”

Julia: Right! Which is interesting, because circling back to what we were talking about, that is part of being authentic, showing real human pieces of your life, got people to connect with her. Some of those people might be interested in what she’s doing, and some of them might not, but still, it’s a way to connect with people.

Tami: And it helps the algorithm either way, right?

Julia: Oh yeah! Because then all those people are gonna see her other things too, so that’s awesome. I love it! That is great. I have some other questions, but they’re more like hot take questions. Everybody, Tami was not prepped for this. So recently, I saw somebody online who coaches creatives, and he said to post every day. What do you think of that?

Tami: I think it depends on your goals, right? That’s the safe answer. I don’t think it’s necessary to run a strong social campaign to post every day.

Julia: There you go! I would agree. We’ve actually had a lot of conversations inside of our team about it because this particular person is coaching creatives, and his point was post every day, but it was more of the playground aspect, like practice, figuring out what works, figuring out what doesn’t. And I was like, I see a lot of value in that. But I was like, the average business owner does not actually need the pressure to post every day in my opinion.

Tami: I think for a really great TikTok campaign, you have to post more than once a day, for TikTok specifically. 

Julia: Speaking of TikTok, yay or nay?

Tami: I don’t have a brand necessary for it right now. We don’t do it as Brand Yourself, so nay.

Julia: We don’t either, primarily because for one, we figured out Instagram and we’re good at it, let’s just stay in our lane.

Tami: I’d say Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube are what I’m focusing on for 2023.

Julia: I like it. We’re Instagram and LinkedIn primarily. Tiktok is great for some people. I know it is. 

Tami: Absolutely! 

Julia: But even there’s security issues that feel a little weird to me, and so we’re just like, “We’re not gonna be a TikTok shop. At least not now.”

Tami: Nope! Not yet! There’ll be time.

Julia: Let’s wrap this up. If you were to give one piece of advice to people on social media, what would be your top piece of advice? You’ve given us some tips, you’ve given us some insights, if somebody were like, “Where do I start?”

Tami: I think with social, people can see when you’re trying too hard or when you’re being fake. So start with a platform that you like, and post there. I also think, if my assumption was right and people were wondering what to post, start with misconceptions about your brand. It makes it really easy for your brand or service, makes it really easy for engaging content. 

Julia: I like it! I do think that’s interesting, and you mentioned it before, so many of us, myself included, are like, I actually hate social, but I have to do it for my business. And I do think that there’s something about making it fun again, and so I’ve even allowed myself, personally, to be like, what did I love about Instagram when it first came about? Because I was a big Instagram fan when it first came out. What did I love about it? And how could I get back to some of that?

Tami: I loved the pretty pictures, and now I don’t ever see any. It’s all video.

Julia: Thank you! I agree! I’ll let myself scroll through stupid dog videos, not a problem! That’s what I love, so why not do more of it? Anyway, I like that! Have some fun figuring out what you like and then start there. So Tami, before we leave, how can people connect with you if they wanna get to know more about Brand Yourself?

tAMI: I am on Insta. You can follow me if you want musings around entrepreneurship or mental health related fun stuff at @TamiEnfield https://instagram.com/tamienfield?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=, brand_yourself https://instagram.com/brand_yourself?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=, on Insta. And then LinkedIn, Tami Enfield https://www.linkedin.com/in/tamienfield, Brand Yourself https://www.linkedin.com/company/brandyourself

Julia: Sweet! I love it! Tami’s musings on entrepreneurship, life, and mental health are always excellent. We talk about authenticity, that is where you will find it. I always appreciate it. Anyway, Tami, thanks for joining us. I really appreciate everything that you have had to say, and I really appreciate your friendship around social media. It’s fun to have colleagues who don’t feel like competition necessarily, because we all have our favorite things to do.

Tami: Yeah! And there are plenty of businesses that need help, Julia!

Julia: Yes. And social media is not going anywhere for a while.

Tami: Exactly. Exactly.

Julia: Except if TikTok went away, I wouldn’t mind that. 

Tami: Same!

Julia: Anyway, thanks Tami!

Tami: Thank you!

Julia: Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have, if you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.

Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.