Ruth: It’s great to have Michelle Arbore of Savvy Social Media 4U here today. Michelle, what do you do at Savvy Social Media 4U?
Michelle: So many business owners I talk to are confused, overwhelmed, and even AFRAID, of social media. I help my clients determine how to choose the right social media platforms that best suit their business, get them started and either manage their on-going social media campaigns or teach them how to do it. Savvy Social Media 4U offers 3 different packages to match the level of support needed whether someone is starting out or moving forward.
Ruth: How did you get your start?
Michelle: Because I suffer from health issues, I was always let go from jobs and had that extra stress of wondering when it was going to happen. When I was let go from my last job in late 2009, I took a long hard look at my life and what I wanted out of it. I did some research on work-at-home jobs and kept coming across virtual assistants. It interested me because my background was an administrative assistant for over 10 years. I did some more research into being a VA and how to become a VA and talked it over with my husband. We knew it would be better for me because of my health issues and, at the time, we were thinking of starting a family. I ran the idea by some other people and they loved it.
So in 2010, I registered my business and networked like crazy to start my business. As time went on, I had learned so much about social media and was thinking about switching my focus to just social media. As I was trying to make up my mind, more and more people were coming to me for social media. I met with a marketing person, who I owe a lot to, who showed me the way to rebranding my business. In February, 2013, I launched my new business and have not looked back.
I am so happy that I made this move and things have been going great.
Ruth: Seems like your niche found you. That’s awesome! Along the way have you had a mentor or sponsor to support, guide, encourage and open doors for you?
Michelle: I have had a wonderful support system. If it wasn’t for my husband and his support, I don’t know if I would have started my virtual assistant business in 2010. He has been one of the best cheerleaders, along with family, and friends.
Another person who has taken me under her wing is my marketing person, Ginny Brandreth. She came up with a marketing plan for me to follow, showed me what I needed to do to rebrand my business and was there for me every step of the way. Because of that, I had the courage to take that next step in my business. I was very nervous about switching gears and making changes to my business. Ginny made me realize it was the best step for me and my business. We are still working together with my business and in her social media as well as doing a presentation together.
Ruth: If you could share a nugget of advice for someone considering a virtual career such as yours what would that be?
Michelle: My first piece of advice is having a great support system. As I stated above, I wouldn’t be where I was without my husband’s support as well as my family and friends.
My second piece of advice is to always believe in yourself. Trust me, I have bad days where I can get down on myself but you have to have a great support system to get you back on your feet. Everything comes back to that support system.
My third piece of advice is educating yourself. It can be from something in your field or something totally off the wall. I love learning new things, so I am always reading blog posts, newsletters, posts on social media and magazines.
Ruth: What words would you share with someone searching high and low for a virtual professional to guide them and support them with their social media?
Michelle: If you’re afraid to get on any social media platforms, confused and overwhelmed, getting help to figure out how to use all these social media tools is your next step!
I always tell a potential client to think about what your goals are going to be for social media. If you don’t know that, then you are going to have a hard time figuring out what to do with your social media platforms.
Then you need to think about what you want done with your social media – do you want to be coached so you can learn what you have to do or do you want to provide the content to your social media manager and have them do everything for you. I have clients who want to learn everything there is to know about social media and then I have clients who want nothing to do with it.
Once you figure those two things out, then you need to do your research to see what type of person you want to hire. Ask around to see who other people are using. Look on Facebook and LinkedIn for qualified candidates. Post something on your social media that you are looking for someone and see what kind of response you get. Once you get a couple of candidates, either meet with them in person (if they are local) or speak with them over the phone. You can usually get a good idea from those conversations of the person’s knowledge and how well you are going to work together.
Ruth: Excellent tips! Any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
Michelle: Yes. I want to share some stats about social media that are good to tuck in your resources:
- 44% of B2B (business to business) companies have generated leads from LinkedIn
- 39% of B2C (business to consumer) companies have generated leads from Facebook
- Facebook has grown 83% in 2 years as an important or critical marketing element
- 77% of buyers say they are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media
Top Social Media Networks
- Facebook – over 1 billion users monthly (October, 2012)
- YouTube – over 800 million users each month (January, 2013)
- Google+ – 500 million users (December, 2012)
- Twitter – 500 million users (July, 2012)
- LinkedIn – 200 million users (January, 2013)
- Instagram – 90 million active users (January, 2013)
- WordPress – 74 million blogs (January, 2013)
- Pinterest – 25 million users (January, 2013)
Ruth: Wow, those are some great stats to have on-hand, Michelle. Thanks for being a guest today and sharing your information with us.
Michelle has authored an ebook, “Facebook for Business Getting Started” and it’s FREE. Click here to visit her site and get your copy.