Why social media matters so much

Back in January, I discussed my new focus on social media marketing with Walter Mitty, my Bakerman. I applied my new knowledge to Facebook pages I manage and noticed, for instance, how the right use of little hashtags can increase my organic reach.

“Wow just got 2 more leads for social media marketing,” I brainstorm my current activities with him. “This is really booming business.”

“Yes. Go for it,” Bakerman says, eliminating any sense of hesitation within me. “It’s more interesting than analytics.”

“It sure is more interesting,” I sum up the results. “There is conversation and interaction. People care a lot about their social, strangely enough.”

I love my job. It consists of promoting products, driving more traffic, or selling on Facebook (for my business and for my clients). It is a continuously evolving market and things are getting harder.

There are two ways to approach social media marketing. The first is to build up your organic tribe with relevant content. After that you can further grow your following with strategic marketing.

Like I said, social media is an ever evolving market. Change is always coming. So don’t worry. If you read up on these things regularly, you will be ready to make it through confusing times.

Enjoy your day!



Lighten up

Bakerman didn’t show for my morning delivery of freshly baked buns, so I decide to call him on the phone to check whether everything is okay.

“Howdi,” I start out, and already the excitement of hearing him made me totally forget my reason for calling him. “Did my mom’s tarot yesterday. She pulled the death card twice. Does this mean I am going to die?”

I pull a horrified face which I am sure he can’t see at the other end of the line. “Went to see the solicitor yesterday. To see for marriage contract with Wim. Brrr… very scary. And also to sort out custody for Willem should anything happen to me. If I die, Willem goes to his godparents, Wim and Buidi.”

My chatter is ongoing on I’m half wondering if Bakerman is amused or trying to get a word in somewhere. “Also writing up an offer for a new client. I really want this one. It would mean 1.400 Euro monthly recurring. What can I do to make sure I get this client? Any magic or woohoo I can do?”

I pause for a moment for the magic to set in. Then I finally request a response from him: “What kind of lessons do you teach Mary?”

“Hi,” Bakerman breathes amused down the phone. “The death card means change. Not a physical death. Are you doing a prenuptial agreement? Let’s hope nothing untoward happens to you as your family will break up and the kids will lose touch.”

“Yes split contract, prenuptial,” I emphasize the cleanliness of the deal. “It’s scary though. I want to get married but last time I didnt like being married.  If I die and if Willem goes to Wim or Buidi, they will maintain contact with the kids.”

“I see,” Bakerman is making sense of the ongoings. “Are you going to live together?”

“No,” I laugh out loud at the crazy suggestion. “Later when the kids are at uni.”

“Then what’s the point?” Bakerman asks me a little annoyed.

“The feeling, the intention, the love,” I spell it out for him. “The commitment.”

“Really?” Bakerman sounds unconvinced. “Oh well that’s great. Sounds wonderful.”

“It’s good and slow enough for me,” I beam at him determined not to get unbalanced in my personal conviction.

“When will this happen?” Bakerman continues prodding the reality of my plans.

“After Wim’s chemo therapy,” I announce a little too sure of myself. “I guess September. We’ll get the contract sorted now and then set a date when health permits.”

“Very cool,” Bakerman is humouring me, I can tell. “This way you get to keep your cake after you have eaten it.”

“We’re doing things backwards: buy a house, have a baby, get married… live together,” I know just by saying this that I am the rule, not the exception, but I chose to ignore the uneasy feeling creeping up on me. “ Yessss! How do I make sure to get this client?”

“Fantastic,” Bakerman susses me for now.

“Come on, a magic phrase or whatever?” I plead him to give me a feather of confidence to hold onto.

“Which client?” Bakerman questions me.

“The tourism agency one,” I go on very excited. “They want social media, Adwords and analytics.”

“What do they want?” Bakerman pretends he didn’t hear me first time. “Oh.”

“I am quoting 2.800 set-up fee and 1.400 monthly recurrent,” I go on divulging the details of the calculations I made based on the prospects business requirements.

“Can you use Mechelen as a reference?” Bakerman has got his business thinking cap on. “You will guarantee the results are true.”

“Yes I could,” I realize this is the ultimate referral which should convince my prospect of experience and quality of work. “Okay. The results are true?”

“Use Mechelen,” Bakerman emphasizes.

“Excellent idea,” I congratulate him for being such a fantastic consultant.

“Yes after you have done social media, AdWords and analytics the dashboard will reflect unbiased and true results,” Bakerman points out my own unique selling propositions. “You don’t spin the result like others do.”

“Oooh okay,” I breathe excitedly. “Is my price ok?”

“Things will start to pick up now,” Bakerman predicts ahead. “February is always a bad month. Although it’s a very good month for holidays.”

“Super,” I am happy at this thought of business picking up and income increasing. “Things will be good by the time the Star returns. Mid November she’s back.”

“I can’t say if your price is good or not as I don’t know the market value,” Bakerman points out. “Better a bit high than a bit low.”

“Okay, will review before sending,” I decide content with the outcome of this conversation.

“Good girl,” Bakerman teases me.

“How are you?” I finally recall my reason for calling him. His absence this morning to deliver my daily bread.

“I am sick with flu,” Bakerman informs me matter of factly.

“Oooh poor you,” my cheeks burn slightly red that I had not inquired before.

“Had hoped to get going now but set back another week,” Bakerman informs me I’ll be without my daily bread for a few more days. Bummer, you start enjoying little routines and it feels awful when these fall away abruptly.

“Are you being spoilt?” I want to know.

“No,” Bakerman replies short.

“No oranges and honey?” I ask incredulously. “Why not?”

“I like to be left alone to sleep,” Bakerman gives a totally plausible yet surprising answer.

“Where’s Debbie?” I ask checking if all other factors remain constant.

“She is around,” Bakerman answers my real question.

“So I’m bothering you?” my cheeks are still a high colour of pink and I’m happy he can’t see that.

“No,” Bakerman smiles. “I don’t agree that as a man I am useless when sick. I think we suffer equally as much. But life goes on. Having my tummy rubbed is fun but at the right time and for the right reason. But for flu I just need tea, vitamin C, food and sleep.”

“Agree,” I sigh relieved. “Men do make a fuss. Or life just ends there and then.”

“Yes they do become babies,” Bakerman chuckles.

“Got to go,” I jump up looking at the time horrified. “I have a conf call.”

I head back off to my desk and computer my head spinning with new ideas. I have a few new ideas how to approach this prospect with promises on how to manage and analyze their social media marketing in one dashboard, how to use analytics tools to improve their advertising performance. And I am also feeling optimistic and confident with the marketing support I am getting from my friend Bakerman. Right now I feel like yes, I can succeed!

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

Free bread, last chance!

Bakerman had invited me to a sample sale of his new baguettes. It was nice. Lovely little nibble bites and lots of smiles from the locals. We live in a village. At the end of the day, everybody knows a little bit about everyone.

“You are very quiet,” Bakerman had made his way across the room. People had started to leave and I was just considering doing the same myself. “What’s wrong?”

“Hi there,” I greet my baking friend. “Nothing really. I didn’t want to keep complaining about the usual. My mother, work stress, money problems and Wim’s health. So I just got busy with some stuff and couldn’t think of anything else to tell you.” I give him a meek look which reflects my inner turmoil. Then I am quick to change the subject. I don’t like having the focus on myself for too long. “How are you? How are your sarnies? How can you make a baguette taste like an éclair?”

“I make a secret sauce,” Bakerman winks at me. “The eclair has no sugar in it and is very easy to eat. The Oban is being fixed right now so I will do some bake tests in it to get to know it and use the expensive stove for the first time.”

Bakerman had just stuffed his face with an entire mini-éclair. “Ovan,” he repeats again, his face turning a dangerous colour red. “Oven,” he finally spits out with great frustration.

I throw my head back with amused laughter. Laughing with friends is a great way to let go of the negative energy and allow for the light-heartedness.

“Shitty thing is I will have to move in six weeks to a new kitchen,” Bakerman looks around his current little bakery. “Thanks for the correction. How are you? Any new Reiki clients?”

“No, I’ve stopped advertising Reiki and meditation after throwing money away for 3 weeks,” I pull a funny face to highlight my annoyance. “Maybe I should create a Facebook page and try some social media marketing instead.”

“Yes,” Bakerman nods at me encouragingly popping another mini tart into his mouth.

“Yes the right mindset and all,” I say pensively. “I’ll give that a try when I have the time. I am now creating my slides for the video training. And learning new stuff about social media marketing. And seeing to new and existing clients. Very very busy. Only generated an extra 1.100 euro though this month.”

“That’s cool,” Bakerman replies nodding at me again.

“Didn’t make my 1.500 target,” I correct him. I have set myself solid targets for each month. Generate more income than the same month of the previous year. Gain at least one new client each month. And then a target amount to put aside in savings each month. I am continuously tracking my progress and pushing myself to perform, for my own sake. “But I did get a new client so that’s something.”

“Keep going,” Bakerman smiles at me with that penetrating blue gaze. “Maybe I should consider learning Facebook marketing and SEO and come back and sell the service. I will have to go out and cold call clients too for my sandwiches. I am very cheap. 1.50 euro for a veggie one.”

I shudder as I hear the term ‘cold calling’. In fact, I can see goose bumps appearing all over my arms. I must be allergic to the idea. Hate it. Absolutely hate cold calling. “I am pricing myself cheap because I am desperate for clients,” I sigh a little ashamed to admit this. I’m a posh lady. My time and know-how is worth more than that. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

“Try being expensive and give a discount out of empathy instead,” Bakerman whispers to me. “Hard to raise your price if they think your value is cheap.”

“True,” I answer as my thoughts start drifting off in all different directions. My head is swimming with images and thoughts related to many different subjects. In my mind they are all intricately connected, though I know in reality they are not.

“Also explain the difference between instant gratification and delayed gratification,” Bakerman reminds me of his favourite sayings. “You provide more delayed success that is longer lasting then a short term win that is gone in a day.”

“Yup I do,” I say as I realize this is true. I’m finding back part of my value and the feeling alone makes my eyes sparkle.

“How are your kids?” Bakerman suddenly changes the subject, eyeing me carefully.

“Anyway first I need to complete those slides before I chase new clients,” I say summarizing my work priorities. “Only done one third of the slides so far. Deadline is eighth of March.” I sigh as I take a sip of my sweet English breakfast tea. “Kids are doing great. Hockey for Winston three to four times a week. Lilly loves the piano. Willem loves the piano and loves to eat.”

“Are you writing dialog for your slides?” Bakerman asks and I can tell it’s a trick question.

“No, no dialogue. Just keywords and some bullet points. I would like to do on screen demos,” I lay out my plan for the online video trainings in Google Adwords. It’s my opportunity, my moment to try for passive income. After all, I’ve been talking about this wish and desire for what, about a year now?

“Wim got worried last night,” I give him a conspiratorial look. “What if Marc turned up now, or in five years to claim the baby? What rights does he have? This is his quality time with Willem.”

“Do you need a baby grand piano for the lounge?” Bakerman looks up suddenly as if a brilliant plan had just emerged to the front of his mind. Or some psychic interference, who’s to say?

“I have a piano in the lounge,” I tell him realizing Bakerman never got any further than my kitchen. “Renting it.”

“I think Marc has visitation rights but you could argue he gave them up by complete rejection and no financial support,” Bakerman reassures me. “I assume you got over your vanity crisis?”

“Yes I did,” I chuckle my cheeks flushing bright pink.

“Wonderful,” Bakerman beams back at me.

“In fact the law says he can’t claim anything now unless I let him,” I tell him, my head held high and a certain note of haughtiness in my voice. “He had twelve months to claim paternity and he didn’t. So he has lost any rights he might have had. And me too. I can’t pursue him now anymore if I changed my mind. Twelve months is up.”

“Nice to hear Wim is getting into surrogate fatherhood,” Bakerman cajoles in a soft voice. “How is Wim doing? Pity we can’t be friends Wim and I. Yes it’s for the best to let Marc disappear forever.”

“Marc is a jerk!” I say a little too loud. I look around me to see if nobody noticed, but there are just a couple of old biddies hovering over the last of the strawberry tarts in deep discussion. “You don’t like Marc, do you?”

“No I don’t,” Bakerman pulls up his nose. “I didn’t think he was a wise choice for you.”

“Anyway, Wim is ok,” I sigh with relief, and then smile to show my optimistic confidence on this matter. “First round of chemo went well. He was tired for three days, a little sick but not too much. Extremely sensitive to cold stuff. I continue my Reiki on him. My kids love Reiki too.”

“Very good,” Bakerman nods, pouring another cup of tea for us both.

“I just wanted a baby,” I say a little too exasperated. “And that’s what I got.”

“Yes. Good you accept that truth,” Bakerman nods, stirring his cuppa with a little spoon. “Santa came early that year when William was born. Willem.”

“I love that little baby,” I smile fondly as I picture my babies.

“It let me type productions without correcting me,” Bakerman waves his mobile phone at the old biddies who just ate the last of the strawberry tarts. They look at him a little alarmed and then quickly scuttled out of the bakery. We’re the only ones left.

“I love all my babes,” I smile a bigger smile now, laughing again at the thought of the old gossiping women leaving the bakery. “Haha!”

“Me too,” Bakerman joins the banter. Somehow he understood what I was getting at. So I pull another funny face at him and laugh even louder.

“No it still interferes with my inability to spell,” Bakerman is still fiddling around with his mobile. “It’s stopped snowing. Yay. I can go outside now.”

“Switch it off,” I urge him with the voice I use when commanding my littles.

“How?” Bakerman looks up at me to gauge my mood.

“It’s freezing here,” I suddenly notice the temperature has dropped now the bakery isn’t filled with half of the village. “I don’t know. Mine doesn’t autocorrect me.”

“Yours knows you can spell,” Bakerman teases me.

“Yes I do,” I state wisely.

“You are very clever,” Bakerman compliments me. “So when I write you will correct the English and spelling, OK?” He looks up at me and meets my puzzled expression. “I mean articles.”

“Yes when are you going to write?” I ask him sipping the last of my tea. “Then we can discuss recipes.”

“Good question. I haven’t thought of a subject yet,” Bakerman scratches his head. “Any suggestions?”

“What kind of articles are you writing?” I need to know more details before brainstorming wildly. Making assumptions is never good, I learned the hard way.

“You are funny,” Bakerman laughs at me jolly faced.

I pull another funny face at him in reply. I shouldn’t make assumptions, yet he expects me to know these kind of things.

“Life skills,” Bakerman starts summing up on his fingers. “Sometimes communication skills, intra-person stuff. Thought about charisma as a topic.”

“Yes charisma would be great,” I enthusiasm. Bakerman must have many personal skills he can write about. After all, he knows how to sell. He knows how to talk to people. He watches and observes the entire village all day long, every day. He has life knowledge and knows what people are like. What makes them tick. “I’ve discovered I can indeed sell. I am getting new clients. I can sell.”

“Is the sandwich shop in Keerbergen still for sale?” Bakerman enquires.

“I wouldn’t know,” I start out hesitantly. “You’re not coming back!”

“Yes you can and if you overcome your fear of rejection you will be an excellent sales person,” Bakerman has still not given up on my hidden talent for persuasion. It is so well hidden, I still haven’t found it to this very day. “I might. I will give it a little more time and then decide. I still feel like a round peg in a square hole.”

“Poor Debbie,” I wink at Bakerman.

“Yes,” Bakerman teases me again. “Too bad, so sad.”

“I still want to become filthy rich,” I say nonchalantly getting up and putting on my warm winter coat.

“See you later,” Bakerman waves after me.

I head off home feeling like I’ve stretched my comfort zone with line breaks.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.