Intro: Congratulations. You’ve joined the Show Runner, a network of accomplished business women who are running the show, where you’ll find the inspiration and the inside information you need to take your marketing expertise to the next level. Bringing her 25 years of experience as an agency owner, and her thirst for continued learning, here’s your host, Kathy Cunningham.
Kathy C.: Hi everybody. Welcome to the Show Runner Network. It’s Kathy, and today my guest is Lisa Buyer. Are you looking for the latest social PR trends or digital life hacks? Then I want you to meet Lisa Buyer. She’s a subject matter expert in public relations, social media, and a recovering digital life junkie. She’s the author of Social PR Secrets, and it’s got a foreword from Guy Kawasaki. Lisa brings 20 plus years of PR experience and she’s always staying ahead of the curve. She’s an early adopter. She’s integrated PR, SEO and social media. I’m very excited to have her. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, startups and niche brands. Some of the industries she works in include technology, marketing, real estate, health, wellness and yoga.
By day, you can find Lisa at her Celebration, Florida based company, The Buyer Group. It’s a boutique agency, specializing in social PR and digital PR. She also teaches a social media management class at the University of Florida, and is a national and international speaker, including keynotes. Her intention is to inspire and motivate with purposeful, actionable techniques. Lisa’s currently working on her next book, the Digital Detox Secrets, a how-to book on digital life balance. She’s focusing on productivity and motivational ways to balance the pressure of working in an always on social world. She’s an avid Yogi, author, entrepreneur, speaker, journalist and educator. Lisa’s experience blends the traditional fundamentals with today’s digital best practices. You can meet Lisa speaking at conferences such as Pubcon, SMX or PRSA, or you can follow her on social via @LisaBuyer.
Lisa, welcome to the show.
Lisa Buyer: Hi, Kathy. Thank you so much for having me.
Kathy C.: It’s great having you here via Skype, all the way from Florida. Thanks for joining me.
I’m so excited for our conversation today because I know you’re going to bring such an interesting angle to our marketing discussion. Lisa, you were perfecting public relation strategies years before the dawn of social media. So, you were at the forefront of the evolution of PR and the digital influence. Tell us a bit more about your journey and background in marketing and PR.
Lisa Buyer: Sure. So, I started out, like you said, in traditional public relations, and it was right before the internet when I … I probably worked, probably, three to five years pre internet in PR. Nothing had really changed in public relations probably for 50 or 60 years, so … Yeah, so, public relations is awesome, but at the time, it was also challenging because there was very much a gray area in measurement, everybody had a different definition of public relations, everybody had different expectations.
So, if you’re a PR agency, your client would have a certain, most of the time, unrealistic expectation of getting headline news, and the process of public relations was pretty much, you know, it went from writing a press release to sending it to a journalist to picking up the phone and calling a journalist, and the journalists were the gatekeepers that really decided who was going to get publicity and who wasn’t. That was pretty much it. I mean, I’m simplifying it and dumbing it down, but that was pretty much the extent of it. And if you did get publicity, if you get that story, you were the hero for the day, and it was here today, gone tomorrow.
So, it was very hard to measure, and it could be very expensive, and it was unpredictable of the results. So, all that together, after a while, I was finding it kind of a little bit getting bored of it. When I saw the opportunity of the internet, and I started getting some clients that were high tech clients, that were on the fast track to going public during the whole .com boom, I had to all of a sudden figure out how to take campaigns that would take normally let’s say six months or a year to get going and get publicity, to all of a sudden, these clients are on the fast track to trying to get funding and you had to get something within weeks or a month otherwise that was it.
So, I just started figuring out ways to get publicity via the internet, and it started working really well, and was able to actually have more control thanks to the internet. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was actually doing search engine optimization using keywords and hashtags before really the term ‘search engine optimization’. I was able to really see the potential and say, “Okay, wow.” If you think about it, public relations is really all about content, and search engine optimization is all about content. So, I brought search into the fold of PR strategy early on, and I also did the same thing with social media. I saw the possibilities of social media and how to bring it into the public relations fold, and how to really use social to get publicity and have more control. We no longer had to go through the journalist as the gatekeeper, we could go straight to our audience. So, that’s been awesome, it’s been very inspiring and given businesses of every size … So, personal brands, small businesses, medium size businesses and large brands can all compete on the same level playing field thanks to social and search. So, I love it because it just gives us more power and more opportunity and more options to get your message out, whether it’s news or whether it’s just developing a relationship with your audience or with your prospects and clients.
Kathy C.: It’s so interesting to me that … I mean, I knew you 15 years ago when this was just exploding, so you were definitely on the forefront of this. The way you describe it is that PR hadn’t changed in 60 years, and it’s so true. It sounds like what you’re saying is what the internet has allowed you to do is, first of all, you don’t have to go through journalists, there’s no gatekeepers, you go directly to the internet. It allows every size company to compete. And you really were a pioneer … ‘Cause PR is content, SEO is content. So, we talk so much about content right now, and, really, it’s birth place was public relations. I mean, that’s what you’re creating. You’re creating content, you’re creating news and information, and you were on the forefront of exploding that.
Lisa Buyer: Definitely. Definitely. And I think that public relations professionals are definitely having to catch up, and they’re all saying that they do social media and that they offer some sort of SEO optimization. And I’m sure, to a certain extent, they do, but I think that the challenge is still … There’s a lot of education that needs to be continued and learned from within the PR industry, and then also search is so new, it’s 10/15 years old, or new, however you want to say it, and social is the same. So, all of this, you’re comparing 10 to 15 years of the digital public relations opportunity to 100 years of doing it one way, and so that’s the challenge, is everybody trying to work together. Because there’s some that only do SEO, there’s some that only do social, and then they forget about public relations, they don’t have the experience in public relations. So, blending of the three, which is tricky still. To me, it’s not tricky, but if you’re only focused on one of those three areas, then you’re missing an opportunity.
Kathy C.: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You know, taking what I said in your introduction, is that you really have to take the traditional public relations format and you have to marry that with today’s digital and social, and I know that you were the first person, that I knew, that really got that.
Lisa Buyer: It was fun. I mean, and it still is fun. It’s a lot of education still, I do a lot of conference speaking to marketing professionals and public relations professionals about the possibility of using social and search, or if I’m at a search marketing conference, the possibility of working with public relations and how they can actually impact the public relations of a company, and working together with the PR agents. Your PR department, they’re going to be better together than working in silos.
Kathy C.: Makes a lot of sense, Lisa. I’d like to hear you talk a little bit about what you think the most significant misconception is regarding public relations and the internet.
Lisa Buyer: Well, I think … I don’t know if you would call this a misconception, but I think one of the biggest areas of … There’s a huge opportunity that we already talked about, but because there’s this huge opportunity of immediate or being able to get quick results, you can also … Things can backfire quickly. I think we’re going to get past this whole thing where, you know, when a brand makes a mistake on social, obviously it’s a mistake, that it doesn’t make headline news, but that is still happening. So, you just have to be super careful. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it and you shouldn’t combine the two. But, there’s ways that you might read about, oh, here’s how to get Instagram followers, get 500 followers a day, or something like that, and that sounds great, but it’s all … You just have to be careful that you’re still doing best practices and balancing kind of what makes sense and what is really going to last, versus what is going to be just a quick fix or getting results too quickly that it almost sounds like, okay, is this really going to last and stay.
So, I think that it’s easy for brands to get sucked into the quick return on something, and maybe it’s not a best practice or it’s going to end up backfiring. So, it could be using hashtags the wrong way or taking advantage of a hashtag. Let’s say if somebody dies or if there’s a tragedy, and brands try to get onboard with using that hashtag to maybe get publicity in a way that’s probably not the most ethical type of thing. So, I see the biggest challenges is really figuring out, okay, how do we stay on the best path that’s going to keep us on a positive public relations path while also using social and search to our advantage.
Kathy C.: That makes a lot of sense. So you can get quick results, but you can also make fast mistakes. So, balancing with the best practices and, you know … You want to be the first one out there to take advantage of some of these things, but you really do have to be patient and work with an expert like yourself so that you don’t make these mistakes, or if you do, you can recover from them just as quickly.
Lisa Buyer: Definitely. And the way that this whole thing kind of connects together is, let’s say you’re doing something on social and something goes wrong on social, and then, all of a sudden, you end up in the headlines of let’s say Adweek or some sort of a publication that has an online version, which, what publication doesn’t have an online version? So, now, all of a sudden, you have bad search results on Google for your brand name. So, that’s bad PR. You want to make sure that you’re being as proactive as possible and getting the positive public relations because things happen, whether it’s a bad review or maybe there is some sort of a slip-up, so if you’re making sure that you’re being proactive and getting your positive search results and positive social out there, then when the day comes when something bad happens, you have all this positive stuff to kind of back you up.
Kathy C.: Makes a lot of sense. Can you describe the impact social media is having on public relations and the strategy of PR and marketing?
Lisa Buyer: Well, I think that, as far as the impact, I think that we’re really just getting started. We’re still in the social media revolution and … I mean, if you look at what’s changed, even since a year ago, even two years ago, with live video and Facebook Live and Instagram and just live video in general, it’s changed drastically. Artificial intelligence, you know … This year we’re looking at ARVR coming into the fold of social media and public relations. So, I think that the impact is that you have to continue learning and you have to keep up with what’s happening, and you can’t just settle into what you learned last year, what you were doing last year, and that’s a huge challenge because it’s very different from even marketing 10 years ago, public relations 10 years ago, advertising 10 years ago. Not that much changed before social.
Kathy C.: The social media revolution is here. Wow.
Lisa Buyer: Yeah.
Kathy C.: And we’ve got to keep learning about it. You know, one of the reasons that I wanted to start this podcast is that I am always … I’m just so thirsty for continued learning, and I know everybody out there needs to hear from people like you so that we can stay on the cutting edge of what’s going on in public relations and marketing.
Lisa Buyer: Yeah. I mean, the struggle is real. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to keep up, even if you’re focused on keeping up. So, it’s not easy for anybody, you just have to really pick and choose your best sources and focus on those sources, and make sure that you’re also not getting too sidelined by all the shiny, bright objects that are coming out. But, I mean, I agree. I just interviewed David Meerman Scott and Peter Shankman about where they think we are with the social media revolution, and, I mean, pretty much, everybody is still saying we’re at the beginning. You know, we’re in between the beginning and the middle. So, there’s more to come that we can’t predict, and if we’re going to be in this industry, we have to stay on top of it.
Kathy C.: So true. Lisa, can you tell us about a marketing challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it?
Lisa Buyer: Well, I can tell you one marketing challenge that is consistent. So, whenever I do let’s say an audit, or I’m speaking at a conference and I ask just raise of hands, one of the biggest misses, and I think this is also the biggest opportunity for brands of all sizes, is personas. That is making sure that your brand, whether it’s large or small, has an idea of who their audience personas are, and that it’s completely mapped out. Most brands, this is scary, but most brands do not. Most brands, many brands, don’t even have a marketing plan that is actually written out. Many don’t have an editorial calendar that is put together and shared by a team and not just in a file, you know, that they renew once a year.
So, these are challenges that I run into when I’m doing consulting, that it’s hard to get … Brands want to just do do do, but before they start doing, they have to start really planning and saying, “Okay, why am I doing this? What am I doing? Who is my audience really? How can I have a writer write something unless I have a persona mapped out, that I can say, “Okay, this is the person you’re writing for, and this is why?”” So, I would say that’s the biggest challenge that I have, that I think brands have too, is just making that time to create the persona, investing in the resources to do it.
Kathy C.: And, also, having an editorial calendar put together, and I like how you said, “And shared.” So, not only having a persona mapped out and an editorial calendar and a marketing plan, but make sure that you share it with everybody and you use it on a regular basis. It keeps you on track, and back to your earlier comment, it helps you to not go down the trail of these bright, shiny objects, you know? We’ve got to also stay on track, too.
Lisa Buyer: Exactly. Exactly. And, you know, sometimes maybe you’re not the one that creates the calendar, maybe there’s some sort of a promotional calender already created by let’s say advertising or marketing, then social and PR should have that calendar as well so that everybody’s writing content that is for the same cause, for the same purpose, under the same theme for that month or that promotion.
Kathy C.: So, we need to plan before we do.
Lisa Buyer: Correct, yes.
Kathy C.: It seems so-
Lisa Buyer: Sounds so simple.
Kathy C.: It sounds so simple, Lisa.
Lisa Buyer: But, the reason why I think it’s such a struggle today more than ever is that everything’s 24/7, campaigns can start like that. I can get on Facebook Ad Manager right now and start a campaign in under a minute if I wanted to, which … We didn’t have that power to just push the button so quick and have a campaign go, and we can stop it and quick as we can start it. Emails come at midnight, they come in the middle of the night, time zones are now blurred, so it’s just everything is 24/7. Everything is expected to happen … Everybody’s in this on demand mentality, and immediate gratification and immediate response required is basically the mentality.
So, that, I think, is what is … You know, whatever we don’t have to do that’s not urgent, we don’t do. So, a persona isn’t necessarily urgent, but we can show something right away. Yes, we have that campaign going, you know, it just … And I’m just as guilty. I mean, I find myself in that frame of mind, and I’m like, “Okay, Lisa, take a step back. This needs to be done even though it’s not urgent.” Do you know what I mean? That’s why I’m writing Digital Detox Secrets.
Kathy C.: Well, I think one of the secrets that you just told us about right now is that this really takes discipline. There’s something that we talk a lot about here at my agency, and that is important versus urgent. There’s so many things that are urgent, but you really have to set aside time for the important things, and you have to be conscious about that otherwise the urgent will just take over your life.
Lisa Buyer: Exactly. Exactly. Some days that does happen, and you have to just start the next day and say, “Okay, I’m going to focus on important even though yesterday was all urgent.”
Kathy C.: Can you share with us one or two brands you’re following and give us an insight on what marketing lessons we can learn from them?
Lisa Buyer: One of my favorite brands that I follow is Deepak Chopra. What I love … He has a couple of things going at once, and you kind of have to … If you go and look at all of his social assets and then also his printed … For example, he just came out with a couple of books over the past year and he has products that he sells. So, he does a Facebook Live pretty much every day, and I watch it every day. What I love about him is that, besides the fact his message and his products and everything are just very useful for what we’re talking about especially, Digital Detox Secrets, but he’s really, he’s authentic, he’s cross promoting and cross marketing. He’s taking his book that just was launched and he’s asking readers to email him questions, then he takes those questions, and he picks a question, and he goes on Facebook Live and he talks about the answer to that question. He’s consistent, he’s bringing in and engaging his audience every day in a live manner, and then taking that and repurposing the Facebook Live via Twitter, via Instagram, via his Facebook page, and different ways.
I don’t really think that he’s doing anything paid, most of what he’s doing is organic. I mean, he is Deepak Chopra and has millions of followers, so it’s a little bit easier than somebody just starting out, but I think that what he does is so authentic and so real, and he’s okay with making mistakes, and he’s able to still engage and really, really connect with his audience. I think that is the most important thing that we have to focus on today, is how can we connect with our audience in a way that they feel you, not in a way that they feel [inaudible 00:21:01] selling to you.
Kathy C.: Oh.
Lisa Buyer: They can actually feel your personality and feel your touch and feel that you care.
Kathy C.: That is such an interesting example of a quality brand that’s doing a great job, and I like the way you talked about cross promoting. So, he’s written a traditional book, but he has live Facebooks daily and he’s cross marketing, he’s asking for people to send him questions, he’s repurposing all of this information on social media. So, this is a great example. Thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever really thought of that before as a brand to look at. And he brings the authenticity to the brand as well, that I think that you’re saying, and connecting in a way that your followers can feel you and not feel like you’re selling.
Lisa Buyer: Exactly. Exactly. So, that’s a little bit off the beaten path example of a brand. More of a mainstream brand that I love and I always use their examples in a lot of my presentations is Starbucks. So, Starbucks is … You know, we were talking earlier about personas and building personas, and it’s quite obvious that they have their personas pretty much mapped out. They know when they’re talking to let’s say Soccer Mom Sally, and they know when they’re talking to College Student Sarah. So, they have many different personas, audiences, coming into Starbucks, and they can’t just have one message, one size fits all. They’re really very good at being creative.
I mean, some of the stuff that you’ll see in their social media stream, it’s not all … Some of it is stock and you can tell that there’s been a photo shoot, and then there’s a lot of user generated content, and they do the same thing. They bring in their audience, into the message, whether it’s designing the latest cups and picking out a winner through some sort of a giveaway. They’re constantly bringing their audience into it, and to the point where they barely … They can rely a lot on their user generated content, and a lot of their organic content is perfect. I mean, they don’t really need to have that many photo shoots, like maybe 10 years ago, to do these product shots, right? They have everybody holding their Starbucks cups and they’re proud of it, and they’re announcing it, and they’re doing their own … Every Starbucks customer is basically doing their own press release for Starbucks when they take a picture inside Starbucks, or a selfie or whatever.
Kathy C.: That is some powerful branding right there, when you have your audience generating your content and providing you with your art clips as well. That’s great.
Lisa Buyer: Yeah, definitely. So, if you want inspiration, it doesn’t matter what size brand you are, what industry you’re in, you don’t have to go to your competitor’s Facebook page to get inspiration, to see what’s going on. I mean, I always go to Starbucks, just to even get ideas or inspiration or to see what they’re doing, because they’re always so in touch with their audience and they’re always doing, it seems like, what’s right.
Airbnb is another great one that I love, too. Those are huge brands that you can just get inspiration from and see what they’re doing, and it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in.
Kathy C.: I think you broke that down in your example in a way that our listeners can understand, because the persona … You know, to wrap your head around it, I like the way that you actually gave two of your personas a name. Soccer Mom Sally and College Student Sarah. So, you go that deep into how to develop a persona. Give it a name. Now, tell us all about Soccer Mom Sally. Where does she do? Where does she go?
Lisa Buyer: Definitely. I mean, even go as far as having a picture of what Soccer Mom Sally might look like and what does she read. It could also be Soccer Mom Peter … I mean, Soccer Dad Gary or Peter. So, those would be different messages too. So, having a visual, talking about what their interests might be, what might they be saying, expressions, things like that, so that you really … If you want a couple of articles, you had your writer, “Here is who you’re writing for. Here is their picture, and here’s their interests, and here’s what they read, and here’s what they hate, and here’s what their frustrations are, and here’s what time they go to bed at night and what’s their favorite social network.”
Kathy C.: Yeah, that’s fabulous. So, again, the lesson that you’re sharing with us here is that you don’t want to have one message, one size fits all. You’ve got to customize it to your persona, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to.
Lisa Buyer: Definitely.
Kathy C.: Makes a lot of sense.
Lisa Buyer: The beauty with … This is advanced, but the beauty of Facebook is that then you could have very targeted ad campaigns that only those personas are seeing, so not everybody is seeing every message. Facebook is awesome for that and Facebook is also very complicated, and it’s also very annoying compared to when we were together in our AMA and Facebook just came out to brands. I mean, it was much easier then. Now, it’s a must, but it also is very complicated and very annoying.
Kathy C.: So true. Lisa, can you describe for us your personal brand?
Lisa Buyer: Yes. So, my personal brand is actually kind of a [blandite 00:26:29] right now. I’m consulting, I’m an author, and I’m pivoting to really focus on taking my social media and combining it with health and wellness. So, I’m doing that through my book, Digital Detox Secrets, that I’m writing, and taking my social media expertise and helping brands that have that purpose. So, I don’t know if that’s a good way of describing it, but that’s what I’m pivoting to right now.
Kathy C.: So, it makes a lot of sense. So, the thing about a personal brand, or a brand, is that it does evolve.
Lisa Buyer: Yes. Yes. I mean, I’ve evolved from traditional PR to then bringing in the fold of search into traditional PR, and then bringing in social into traditional PR. What ended up happening, actually, at that point, is I could see the vision of all this, but the majority of the business world did not see that vision yet. So, that’s where I had to go, you know, back up and say, “Okay, I’m educating more than I am servicing these businesses,” so my brand turned to more of an educator than an agency because so much education needed to be done. That’s why I ended up writing my books, Social PR Secrets, because I was saying the same thing over and over again at conferences, and everybody was very receptive to it, and I was saying the same thing over and over again to businesses that would want to have my consulting services, but they first needed to have an education.
You know, it’s hard. I just kind of got to a point where if you’re having to convince somebody … If somebody wants to do something one way and only one way, and you know it’s not the right way to do it anymore, you just have to back away from that. So, I was having to back away from that more and more, and I thought this is what I need to do, I need to be more on the education side. Doing that over the past five to seven years, I’ve also realized, because I’m basically on the front lines of digital, the front lines of social and I have a teenage daughter that’s also on the front lines of digital and social, that’s the first generation to grow up in this whole era of basically being born with an iPad in their hand, you know? You see how much it all actually takes you down and you have to really balance it.
Kathy C.: It is so true. And particularly in your field of public relations, it’s such an evolution between traditional PR and this digital explosion. Really what it’s meant to your clients, that you really just had to step back and start to educate before you could translate.
Lisa Buyer: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. I mean, it still continues to be an education process, but it’s come a long way in the past five years. Now brands realize, first of all, you can’t survive without social, like that’s a must. It’s not just a luxury, it’s not like, “Oh, let’s hire the intern to do it.” It’s a must, and I think that we have a hard time finding a business that says that that’s not true. That’s really in the past five years, that businesses realize that social is critical. But, the biggest challenge, according to the most recent reports, the biggest challenges that businesses of all size has is proving ROI.
Kathy C.: Right. Definitely.
Lisa Buyer: And social. So, they know they have to do it, but they can’t really … They can’t measure it yet. They are having a hard time measuring it, and I think that that just goes back to the whole, what we were talking about earlier, that if you’re not planning out the persona and benchmarking what’s … Okay, here’s your business goal and objective, is your social and PR matching your business goal and objective? That’s where the disconnect happens. I don’t think that’s really anything new though, Kathy, to [inaudible 00:30:40] because if you think about it, if you … I’ll just use traditional public relations, for example. If somebody hires a PR agency pre-digital, and say their goal is they want to be on Oprah or they want to be in the Wall Street Journal, cover story, or they want to be on the cover of USA Today, that’s great, but is that really meeting their business goals and objectives? That problem still exists, I think it’s just an easier fix today and it’s easier to measure today. You can say, “Okay, yes, here’s our business goal and objective, and this is what success means in social that equals our business goal and objective.”
Kathy C.: I think that’s such an important distinction because even if you get on the front page of Oprah, as you said, what did that do for your business goals and objectives? So, somebody like you is really helping to lead the clients to set up the benchmarks and the goals and objectives so that, again, you don’t just run around trying to get on the cover of magazines if that’s not maybe the wrong persona, maybe that doesn’t match up to the people that you’re trying to speak to.
Lisa Buyer: Right.
Kathy C.: So, if you’re trying to speak to left footed green monsters and you got on the front of Oprah, that’s not really going to help you, right?
Lisa Buyer: Exactly. Exactly. It all goes back to what PR used to be about. Unfortunately, for a lot of companies, it was more ego and it was more winning awards and, “Look how great I am.” You know, so that equates to today how many likes can we get, how many followers do we have. Those vanity metrics don’t really matter. What really matters is are they going to your website, are they buying something, are they signing up for your email list, is it who you want to attract?
Kathy C.: Right. That’s a great lesson. Thanks for sharing that. So, what are some of the best ways for brands to get noticed these days?
Lisa Buyer: Well, I think, I know, right now, for Facebook, the only way is video. You can basically have your own talk show, like you’re doing right now. You’re having your own podcast and you’re the journalist and you’re the reporter and you’re interviewing all of these experts. So, I think, just using Deepak again as an example, he goes live every day on Facebook, he basically has his own talk show. It doesn’t really cost him anything to do it, but his time. He goes on for 15 or 20 minutes a day, and he engages with his audiences and answers questions. So, I think that that’s … Live video is really the hero right now in social and PR.
Kathy C.: Makes a lot of sense. Live video is the newest thing out there, definitely.
Lisa Buyer: Podcasts are too. I mean, anything audio or video. Video just happen … I mean, they’re predicting that the Facebook feed will be 100% video in the next couple of years. So, video is just … It’s harder, though, than doing the audio, doing just the audio and the podcasts. I mean, people are afraid of it and how they’re going to look and how they’re going to sound and whether or not they’re going to make a mistake. So, even though live video is like the number one thing right now, I would say that there’s lots of opportunity in live video because a lot of brands are afraid to do it.
Kathy C.: Makes a lot of sense. But, as you said, live video is the perfect way to engage with your audience, and anybody can do it.
Lisa Buyer: And it doesn’t cost anything, it’s free. You can have your own talk show on Facebook right now for free.
Kathy C.: Amazing. Great way for brands to get noticed. Lisa, let’s talk a little bit about personal learning experience, maybe a time or a situation in your career where you faced a professional obstacle and you overcame it.
Lisa Buyer: The one that comes to mind, that I think was very beneficial, was I was trying to write my book, Social PR Secrets, and I had an opportunity to go with a publisher, actually a couple of different publishers, and I decided to self publish, after a bunch of research, and I just realized that was going to be the best thing for me. Not so much the easiest, but the best thing for me. So, I wrote out my chapter outline and I had that done maybe in one summer, and then eight months later, I still had my chapter outline, but I just couldn’t get going on it. Every day there was a reason why I couldn’t do it. Everything else was critical versus that was important.
So, I hired a business coach to help me through it, and that was number one. Huge that I did that because it gives you somebody to answer to and somebody that you’re going to be able to say, “Okay, this is what I did or didn’t do,” and also give you guidance. So, I hired the business coach, and one of the tips that he gave me to write my book was, he said … We talked about my lifestyle and my business style and my clients and all that, and he said, “Okay, Lisa, this is what I want you to do. You’re going to dedicate three days a week, two and a half hours a day for those three days a week, to writing. You’re going to drop your daughter off at school in the morning, then go straight from there to a yoga studio. Go to yoga, go straight from the yoga studio, make sure there’s a coffee shop very close to the yoga studio, and go straight to the coffee shop and just write for two hours. Check back with me in two weeks.”
So, I did that, and I ended up finishing my book in 30 days. It was so quick, and it really showed me, first of all, the power of having a business coach, and second of all, the power of when you have a clear mind, which yoga gives you, a clear mind, and you’re in that zone, how you can be so much more productive and write in two hours what was taking me basically months to write. So, it really showed me the power of also just basically time blocking and knowing when your creative times are, versus what should be your kind of like answering emails time, and not to mix those two times together.
Kathy C.: What a powerful lesson you just shared with us, not only in the business side and getting a coach to help you with the guidance and the discipline, but using this other part of your life, this yoga lifestyle that you have, and combining the book writing right after the yoga so that you have this clear mind, and time blocking the most creative time of your day to write your book helped you be so much more productive.
Lisa Buyer: Right. And even though I had probably been … I had been doing yoga for at least 10 years when that was all happening, and I only really saw yoga as the physical side of it, the physical benefits. I didn’t really … I mean, yes, I heard, you know, mind, body, the whole thing, but I would see people coming out of let’s say … Like, I would go to yoga, I’d see people coming out of a meditation class, and I would think what a waste of time. They’re sitting in a class, sitting there doing nothing for an hour? At least in yoga you’re doing something, you feel like you’re getting something done. So, I just totally didn’t see that connection, and once … Obviously my coach knew that connection otherwise he wouldn’t have told me to do that, but that’s what made me really realize the power of putting those two together, and that’s what gave me the idea of writing Digital Detox Secrets, because I just feel like there’s so many digital professionals, business professionals, that don’t see that connection, that are suffering from this being on the hamster mill, hamster trail, you know, and just like going, going, going and never getting off to kind of reset themselves.
Kathy C.: Boy, that’s … It’s so powerful how someone like a business coach can see what you’re doing and point it out to you, because, as you said, you’d been doing yoga and you’d been trying to write a book, but you never put them together. You know, that’s a really customized plan that whoever your business coach came up with, that’s really great that he could see what you were doing and help you to refine that and put it all together.
Lisa Buyer: Yeah. His name’s Charlie Gilkey, and he would be a great guest for you too, actually.
Kathy C.: Shout out to Charlie. Thanks.
Lisa Buyer: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely look him up.
Kathy C.: Well, that’s a really great personal learning experience, so thank you for sharing that with us. I’m wondering if you have any kind of, maybe daily habits, a habit or two that contribute to your success, that you’d like to share with our listeners as well?
Lisa Buyer: Sure. So, I try to meditate every day. I try to plan out my day the night before so that I kind of can sleep better. I have a Fitbit that I … You can see it, but … Anyway, I was using, actually, I’ve been using a Fitbit for about three or four years, and I switched to the Apple watch last summer, and I felt crippled by not having the Fitbit.
Kathy C.: Wow.
Lisa Buyer: Yeah. The Apple watch just doesn’t have the fitness features that the Fitbit has, and I think what the Fitbit has that I love is it shows you the sleep, your quality of sleep every day, so your movement. Those two things, movement and quality of sleep, have so much to do on, for me, and studies show that it’s not just me, that it has so much to do with your quality output and mood and everything each day. So, I just got my new Fitbit for Christmas and I feel back in touch with the real … Like, more in touch with myself and I’m better able to make sure that I’m doing the right things each day versus going, going, going. Because when I had my Apple watch, I really had no track over what was happening with my sleep and with my activity like I do with the Fitbit.
Kathy C.: Oh, very interesting. Let’s talk about marketing innovations. You know, we talked a lot about what PR was and where it’s going, and all this innovation that’s happening around public relations. What’s your favorite marketing innovation and how are you using it?
Lisa Buyer: Well, favorite … I would say the most notable right now, that we all should be looking at, would be virtual reality and augmented reality. There’s a book that just came out, that I actually wrote the foreword to, called Marketing New Realities. It’s by Kathy Hackle. It’s written for the digital professional, digital marketing professional, so it really is a very actionable, very easy read on what to expect and what you need to know, even if you’re not going to be doing virtual reality or augmented reality, or you don’t think you will be. In the next year, at last you should know about it and be as well educated as possible, because unlike video and mobile, how it took forever for mobile to finally get here … Mobile’s coming, mobile’s coming, video’s coming, video’s coming. Now, mobile and video are here, but it took a long time. People were talking about it, marketing professionals were talking about it, that we had to have our websites mobile ready, and hopefully everybody does now, but it’s not going to take as long for virtual reality and augmented reality to be very accessible and easy. Not only that, your audience is going to expect it, and if you’re not doing it then you’re not going to be able to be competitive.
Kathy C.: VR and AR, marketing’s new realities.
Lisa Buyer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kathy C.: Well, let’s talk a little bit more about 2018. What do you think are the most significant marketing challenges that you’re preparing for and you’re preparing your clients for?
Lisa Buyer: Well, I think live video is the best opportunity, but it’s also a challenge. So, what I’m preparing all of the brands that I’m working with, that video makes sense, which there’s very few where it doesn’t make sense. It’s overcoming … There’s a lot of fear and anxiety when it comes to live video, and there’s also this expectation of it has to be perfect, what if we screw up type of thing, and brands really need to get over that in order to take advantage of live video, and it’s almost … Facebook is a must, but it’s hard to get results unless you’re doing some sort of live video.
Kathy C.: Yeah.
Lisa Buyer: So, that’s a must this year. I wouldn’t say don’t have a Facebook page if you’re not going to do live video, but having a Facebook page, as of today, is free, it’s expected, it’s a credibility check to your audience so you’re expected to have a Facebook page and you’re expected to be active on it. Activity means somebody lands on your Facebook page and they’re going to see not just you posting something, but people are interacting with you, or at least leaving some sort of reviews or comments. So, all that’s kind of going to be harder and harder to get unless you’re doing some sort of video to attract, get that Facebook algorithm to notice you and give you some love.
Kathy C.: Yeah, so taking advantage of the Facebook algorithms in 2018 is a must, means video.
Lisa Buyer: Correct. And also Instagram’s algorithm, which is another pain. I would say Instagram is becoming the next Facebook and it’s becoming harder and harder. It’s not as hard as Facebook to get results, but all brands are basically running to Instagram now, and the more that sign up, the harder it’s going to get. So, staying ahead of the algorithms. LinkedIn doesn’t have so much of an algorithm, so it’s easier to get results on LinkedIn.
Kathy C.: That makes a lot of sense. Lisa, let’s talk about mentoring. Can you share with us what mentoring’s meant to you, and maybe any lessons that you’ve learned or that you’ve applied that have helped you to become the successful business woman you are today?
Lisa Buyer: Sure. I’ve pretty much had a mentor since I can remember, probably since I was even in college, some sort of a mentor. So, a mentor is important for me, it’s somebody that I can go to and ask advice, and there’s … It’s confidential, it’s not judgemental, it’s open, kind of an open door. I think that it’s also super important to be a mentor, and that can happen at any age. My daughter is 15, I’m setting her up to be a mentor to somebody younger than her, and get a mentor, maybe somebody that’s in college, to help … She’s giving and she’s getting. I think that has to be the balance. I teach a class at University of Florida, where I had … Last semester I had 160 students, so I couldn’t really be a mentor to everybody, but the students that reached out to me, where we were able to have a connection, I still … To all my students, I’m just like, “If you need anything, let me know. If I can help you, I’ll do my best to help you.” The ones that do reach out to me, I’m happy to help if I can. So, I think that it’s super important, it’s almost like a necessity to survive in business.
Kathy C.: Yeah. I like the way you explained that. It’s not only important to make yourself available as a mentor, but also it’s a give and a take. You should be mentoring somebody as well as having a mentor, so that’s a nice way to look at that both sides.
Lisa Buyer: Definitely.
Kathy C.: I love that you’re teaching your daughter that lesson, that’s fantastic.
Lisa Buyer: Trying.
Kathy C.: Teaching a 15 year old about mentoring. That’s fantastic. What advice do you have for women that want to get into marketing?
Lisa Buyer: If women are going to get into marketing, I mean, I think that it’s … It depends on what section of marketing you’re talking about, but public relations is pretty much female dominated. Search marketing is pretty much male dominated, social is probably a mix. I mean, I’m just going off of the conferences, you know, that I see, and who I know in the industry. They’re always looking for female speakers, so I think that there’s an opportunity for women in marketing to rise up, and a lot of women don’t really, for whatever reason, don’t take advantage of that. But, right now, especially with this whole ‘me too’ movement, I think men are going to be much more opening the doors to more women in a better way than they have been in the past.
So, I think that marketing being somewhat male dominated, especially search marketing, that women wanting to break into search marketing, now is a good time because of the opportunity and because of … It’s growing. I mean, it’s such a huge growth industry, and I think if you’re going to … Marketing is such a general term, like even in social media, like to be a social media specialist, it’s harder to be a social media specialist versus more of a niche social media specialist. So, if you’re going to be in marketing or social media, pick a niche, pick a channel. You’re going to specialize in Facebook or you’re going to specialize in Instagram. So, pick a channel.
Kathy C.: So-
Lisa Buyer: I would also recommend that hiring … If you’re hiring somebody in marketing and social media, to hire somebody that is channel specific, that matches your brand’s primary channel, versus somebody that might be more of a generalist.
Kathy C.: Makes a lot of sense. So, pick a niche. And then it’s interesting the way that you talked a little bit about PR being a little more female dominant, SEO a little bit more male dominant, social kind of both, but there’s opportunities in all three of these areas for women to break into marketing, and right now is a really good time.
Lisa Buyer: Yes. Here’s what I tell my students, because most of my students are public relations students in the … They’re in the College of Journalism, but their specialty is PR.
Kathy C.: We’re almost done, I have one more question.
Lisa Buyer: What I tell my public relations students, and I think this is super important, is to get out of the public relations conferences, like don’t just stay in the public relations conference track. Go to an SEO conference, go to a social media conference, go to a video marketing conference. Get out of the box of whatever your niche is so that you can learn other things, or your specialty, you know? Always do that. Then you’re going to be … Instead of being one of many … So, if you go to a PR conference, trying to get new business there, you’re competing against every other PR agency that’s there, or PR professional. But, if you’re a PR professional and you go to a search engine marketing conference, you’re going to be one of very few PR professionals and you’ll have more of an opportunity, whether it’s to get new business or get hired, or just learn.
Kathy C.: Yeah. So, you do have to pick a niche, but it’s important to get out of that box too, so that you can take your niche and apply it some place else.
Lisa Buyer: Right. Exactly.
Kathy C.: Continue that learning in another area, that makes a lot of sense. Well, Lisa, you have shared so much information with me and my listeners, and I just want to thank you so much for all the time and wisdom today.
Lisa Buyer: Thank you. Thanks for having me, Kathy.
Kathy C.: It’s been great talking to you, and the angle that you bring with the public relations and the digital … I have just one more question for you, and that is if you have any marketing resources, any books or podcasts … I mean, you’ve recommended a few today, which I’ll put in the show notes, but anything else that you want to leave our listeners with as far as resources?
Lisa Buyer: Sure. Definitely Guy Kawasaki, follow him. He does, not as regular Facebook Lives, but he does do some. He offers classes, online classes, that if you want to do very specialized classes. Also, David Meerman Scott, I follow him. And Peg Fitzpatrick, she right now is offering … It probably won’t be open by the time this airs, but it’s an Instagram masters class, but she’s offering classes all the time and she’s awesome to follow when it comes to visual and social branding.
Kathy C.: Fantastic. Great resources for our continued learning, and I just want to thank you again, and you’ve been a great guest.
Lisa Buyer: Great. Thanks, Kathy.
Outro: That’s it for our show today. Our latest interview and show notes have been added to our Show Runner Hall of Fame at theshowrunnernetwork.com. Don’t miss an episode by subscribing now to the Show Runner Network Podcast on iTunes. And to network, motivate and gain some more wisdom from the top, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. Keep learning and growing, and thanks for listening.