In this show I talk to Tyler Anderson, CEO of the Social Media Marketing Agency Casual Fridays in terms of what to look for if you do want to hire an agency for your social media marketing.
Interview with Tyler Anderson
Tim Lewis: [00:02:00] Hello Tyler and welcome to the show.
Tyler Anderson: [00:02:02] Hey Tim. I’m so excited to be here in looking forward to delivering hopefully some great knowledge here for your audience today.
Advantages of hiring an agency
Tim Lewis: [00:02:09] So you’re obviously the person who runs a Casual Friday social media marketing agency, what all the advantages of hiring a social media marketing agency rather than trying to do the work yourself?
Tyler Anderson: [00:02:20] Well I think at the end of day for people it’s not that you can’t manage social by yourself and you certainly can. Like don’t get me wrong you definitely 100 percent can.
Tyler Anderson: [00:02:29] But for a lot of people depending on their business and in this case if they’re trying to be an author or a published author there’s other things that go into running that business.
Tyler Anderson: [00:02:37] And a decade ago, you know, managing social wasn’t one of them. So it’s one of those things has gotten added onto your responsibilities to run your business.
Tyler Anderson: [00:02:47] And it’s something that it can take a lot of time depending on the strategy that you have in place and so it just comes down to time.
Tyler Anderson: [00:02:54] Is that something you want to devote the time to or are you better utilized doing something else maybe even if you have the time. But do you have better skills that you’re better suited for using that time to do something else that can grow your business and then that’s where perhaps you want to look at a consultant or an agency or somebody who can support you with your social media.
What do agencies actually do?
Tim Lewis: [00:03:12] What kind of things should a good social media marketing agency be doing for someone trying to promote a book in your opinion?
Tyler Anderson: [00:03:19] Well let’s start from the top. I mean at the end of day I think an agency should be able to support you with the following buckets.
Tyler Anderson: [00:03:26] Generally 1: just overall strategy. Some people have no idea what an efficient social media strategy would look like or an effective tool for what they’re accomplishing, in this case it would be publishing a book.
Tyler Anderson: [00:03:37] So they can support you with strategy. They can definitely support you with content creation and with the marketing of that strategy: like how are you going to execute that; what kind of content being created and then actually creating the content.
Tyler Anderson: [00:03:49] And then there’s the publishing component. We have some people who are you know really adamant on developing their own strategy.
Tyler Anderson: [00:03:55] They’re also very adamant on even creating their own content but they just don’t have the time when it comes to publishing the content and repurposing it across multiple platforms and recreating it and that’s the third bucket that they can assist you with that which is the publishing.
Tyler Anderson: [00:04:10] And then the last one which has really exploded over the last I’d say three or four years especially just because it’s gotten so robust it’s not like what it once was back in like 2009 which was pretty simple and that is the social ad management.
Tyler Anderson: [00:04:25] Most of these platforms now have really evolved their advertising platforms and especially Facebook and Instagram just because they are all under the same umbrella.
Tyler Anderson: [00:04:34] It’s a lot of work to actively create and manage your Facebook ads in campaigns and to do so efficiently and make sure you’re not overspending.
Tyler Anderson: [00:04:43] I’d say that’s the fourth bucket that an agency or consultant can support you with, it is the ad management. So again it’s Strategy. Content Creation, Publishing and an Ad Management.
Tim Lewis: [00:04:54] And the obvious question. What kind of money would somebody have to be paying an agency. I mean both in terms of of your own costs and just generally the average kind of amount per month that they would be paying and an agency to do their social media marketing for them.
Tyler Anderson: [00:05:10] Yeah I mean obviously that’s a loaded question right, because it really just depends on a couple of factors. So first of all it’s going to depend on your precise needs: do you need help with all those things I just talked about from strategy to content creation , publishing, ad management everything?
Tyler Anderson: [00:05:29] Do you maybe just need help with somebody come up with your strategy or maybe you just need help with someone just to publish your content for you?
Tyler Anderson: [00:05:36] So it really just depends on a couple of things, like 1, your needs 2, the agency or the consultants bandwidth and capabilities. And so I’m probably jumping around here because you might have other questions that are related to this but I’ll just kind of address it now.
Types of Agency
Tyler Anderson: [00:05:52] There’s different types of agencies, and in full disclosure, when I started Casual Fridays even though I was “an agency” let’s be real I was a consultant.
Tyler Anderson: [00:06:01] I was a solopreneur. It was just me. I did everything for the clients. Now you fast forward to 2017. I started the agency in 2009 and now I have a team of people. I don’t really do anything with any of the clients anymore. I’m the CEO of the company and I focus on other responsibilities.
Tyler Anderson: [00:06:18] But I do have a team that basically works for each client who does those things as well so obviously retaining an agency like Casual Fridays is going to be at a premium versus if you were to go find, and not that there’s anything wrong with this, but if you go out and maybe had a “consultant” or a solopreneur who helped you.
Tyler Anderson: [00:06:38] And I know there’s a lot of “agencies” who are solopreneurs and they do a great job and a lot of times they’re somebody who maybe did marketing or social media for a corporation, decided they wanted to branch off start their own thing, and they go out and they get a couple of clients and that’s all they have the bandwidth for.
Tyler Anderson: [00:06:55] And maybe they just manage those three or four or five clients but they’re fine with it because they’re their own boss. You know they’re not having to report and do the 9:00 to 5:00 thing for someone else. And in those situations it just depends on what they’re comfortable charging.
Tyler Anderson: [00:07:08] So that’s why it’s a loaded question. But even just to put a range on it. I mean I’ve seen people throw out numbers on monthly retainers as low as maybe three to five hundred dollars a month.
Tyler Anderson: [00:07:20] Now getting just what that scope looks like, I don’t exactly know. And again if you’re a big large agency and you’re a big large company with a robust strategy and lots of content to be created and tons of ads to be managed I mean you could be spending tens of thousands of dollars a month. So really just kind of ranges.
Things to watch out for when hiring an agency
Tim Lewis: [00:07:36] So when we’re talking about somebody who’s looking to hire an agency are there any red flags that cause you to advise somebody just don’t even think about going with that particular agency?
Tim Lewis: [00:07:48] I mean what would you say all the warning signs of somebody not necessarily being any good at social media marketing?
Tyler Anderson: [00:07:55] I’ll hit the red flags. But really quick one thing I want to circle back to the money thing again. You know if you’re looking for help to publish your book, because it’s kind of ties in the red flags, if you’re a self published author and you’re just getting started you have a shoestring budget like you should be able to find someone who can help you with a good enough strategy to get the word out.
Tyler Anderson: [00:08:16] Yes probably and be more focused on some of the social ads pay campaigns things like that. You know you’re not going to sit there and you don’t need the Cadillac of social media management from some big agency. I just want to throw that out there.
Tyler Anderson: [00:08:27] And that’s actually a red flag, they should know what your needs are. To me one of the things I actually pride myself on. I’ll turn down business sometimes because it’s not right like someone they’re a startup maybe they’re just in a different position and I just know deep down they might tell me their entire budget to market everything is this.
Tyler Anderson: [00:08:48] And here I am maybe going to take that if I if I brought them on the agency. Yet deep down I know that I’m doing an actual disservice by doing that. So to me that’s a red flag right there too. Not having your best interests at heart.
Tyler Anderson: [00:09:01] So that’s one of them but a kind of a more top level thing. It’s not that it’s a red flag but you should be familiar with what I just talked about.
Tyler Anderson: [00:09:09] Is this really an agency or is this a consultant? If it’s an agency it’s going to be multiple people working on your account: that they might have a community management team; they might have a graphic design team; they might have a publishing team; they might have a copywriting department.
Tyler Anderson: [00:09:21] Versus if it’s someone who says they’re an agency, and you say how big is your staff and they’re it’s me and then I have. If they say might have a few other team members, well are those team members employees or those other people who are just contracting work out too. Right.
Tyler Anderson: [00:09:34] You kind of want to know that. And again not that it’s bad but it’s just good for you to have an understanding of their structure because what you don’t want to do is you don’t want to have somebody who is telling you that they’re gonna do all this work for you and they’re collecting let’s just say retainer X. For easy maths just say they’re they’re basically collecting $1000 retainer from you. But then they might be turning around in subcontracting that work out for 300 bucks.
Tyler Anderson: [00:09:58] Are they really didn’t do a good quality job? So I just be mindful of that. You know I think it’s something you should look for and again I’m not saying these are red flags directly but just to be mindful of are things that you should be looking for with an agency.
Tyler Anderson: [00:10:10] You know where’s their location? Are they near you if it’s important for you to have face to face meetings. I mean yes you can meet people at the Zoom conference or with Skype.
Tyler Anderson: [00:10:19] But if it’s really important for you to have that face to face interaction you might want to consider hiring somebody who lives in and around your area versus remotely.
Tyler Anderson: [00:10:29] I kind of mentioned earlier but just to reiterate you know do they have employees working for them or do they have contractors. You know they have a bunch of contractors, not that it’s bad but I’d definitely be a little bit more cautious and do a little bit more due diligence and homework when looking at them.
Tyler Anderson: [00:10:44] Now as far as the red flags again here: what’s their experience like how long are they been doing it?
Tyler Anderson: [00:10:49] Never hurts to ask for specific examples of clients they are presently working with. That’s the key word: presently. I’ve seen people who will get one or two clients for two weeks and then that’s who they’ll market to and say that oh we’ve done these amazing work for this client, this client and this client yet none of them are present clients and that’s that’s a key word there.
Tyler Anderson: [00:11:07] So I definitely try to get a list of current clients that they’re working with or at least a few examples or case studies definitely try to get an idea of the scope of services that they do offer.
Tyler Anderson: [00:11:17] Again I’ve seen people go hire “digital marketing” agencies. People advertise themselves as digital marketing agencies and say they’re the end all, be all, they do everything.
Tyler Anderson: [00:11:27] And then when it comes to a social strategy well really their bandwidth or even their just capabilities of a really solid social campaign are really limited.
Tyler Anderson: [00:11:36] So you want to have a good grasp of everything that they offer and the kind of services and to what scope that they can deliver on those.
Tyler Anderson: [00:11:44] And then here’s another thing too. This is key. Look at their own social media. I can’t tell you how many times people are hiring agencies or trusting consultants. But then if you go look at that own consultant social media efforts they’re just paltry there’s nothing out there.
Tyler Anderson: [00:11:59] There there’s zero engagement, they’re not practicing the best practices. You know I kind of equate this to the analogy like would you want to trust a financial advisor who’s broke. Right. Or would you would you want to hire a personal trainer who’s really overweight. They’re obviously not practicing what they’re preaching.
Tyler Anderson: [00:12:15] So the same thing goes with social media marketing if you’re going to bring someone on are they implementing and executing comparable strategies and tactics that they’re going to be recommending for you.
Tyler Anderson: [00:12:25] And then I think the last two, that I want to bring up here, again the first one is a red flag. The second one is to be mindful of.
Tyler Anderson: [00:12:32] The first one is this, if you especially if you if you become a bigger company, you know or if you if you’re if you’re let’s just say your book takes off right and you become a bestselling author for example.
Tyler Anderson: [00:12:43] Maybe you build this massive audience through social media. Are they insured? That’s a question I would ask. And when I say that do they carry a Errors and Omissions policy. What happens if they accidentally posted something on on social media that could be detrimental to your personal brand or your business, right?
Tyler Anderson: [00:13:02] You want to make sure you have that protection in a good agency should and will have an insurance policy on that. You get it because they are protecting your brand. Consultants, not so much.
Tyler Anderson: [00:13:13] It’s just something to be aware of. And then again last thing just that you should be mindful of is how do they structure their contracts, are they asking for monthly retainers or are they looking for a full annual commitment.
Tyler Anderson: [00:13:26] Do they charge by the hour? I will say this. You know just something it’s very rare if you say you’re going to go hire someone on a one month trial and base everything off the success of that. That’s really challenging.
Tyler Anderson: [00:13:38] An agency a lot of times is making a commitment to you as well. And if it’s a larger agency because they have to assign staff on you on your account and when they put staff on your account that’s other accounts they can’t work on.
Tyler Anderson: [00:13:50] And so from their standpoint to you, generally at our agency I do ask for annual commitments. Now that being said if someone is truly unhappy and does not see the value of our work I’m going to let them out of that contract no doubt.
Tyler Anderson: [00:14:03] But it takes a couple of months to get things ramped up and I do try to set that expectation. But you should be mindful when you’re looking at agencies of how they’re going to structure that.
What would Tyler do in a typical example
Tim Lewis: [00:14:13] So let’s say there’s a hypothetical author Mrs. X and she’s got financial means from somewhere else. I mean she’s she’s got a high paying job and she’s got this self published book that she wants to promote and she comes to you and you’re happy that she’s actually got enough money to pay you. What kind of things would you actually be doing for her in the first couple of months in terms of social media networks to look at, what kind of activities would you be suggesting that you do on her behalf?
Tyler Anderson: [00:14:43] So is the book done and it’s for sale or are we doing it like a prelaunch?
Tim Lewis: [00:14:48] Well let’s take both cases. I’ll sit on the fence. What would you do if she just approached you she’d already released the book or in the case where there’s a prelaunch?
Tyler Anderson: [00:14:57] So I mean here’s the thing. If the book is already released first of all as much as I’d say we’re going to have great quality organic content, at the end of day now, in this day and age especially, what’s going to drive ticket sales of that book is going to be a paid social strategy, so we want to make sure that we’re leveraging a solid paid campaign. And this is where I would hope that I have my friend Dennis you would like to say I have my plumbing in order of the house, so the plumbing is do we have our analytics set up on our website or do we have our Facebook pixel on the web site or do we have a Twitter pixel on our website.
Tyler Anderson: [00:15:33] And so we would want to make sure we already had all of our plumbing in order. So now we can put together a robust strategy to really drive in move ticket sales and track and measure the results of those efforts. But to me without a doubt a paid social campaign is probably going to be we’re on focusing the majority of my efforts.
Tyler Anderson: [00:15:51] Not that I’m totally forgetting the organic stuff and there’s still a one engagement strategy behind that by the end of day if I want to sell books like that’s what I got to do.
Tyler Anderson: [00:16:01] I’ll be retargeting people have hit the Web site retargeting lookalike audiences driving people back and building up my list and retargeting to them and doing it depending what my book is about doing some really strong interest based bargaining based on other interests.
Tyler Anderson: [00:16:16] But that’s the beauty of social media that you can get that targeting and then I would definitely have multiple campaigns and I’d be doing a lot of split AB testing to really hone in and identify where I’m making the biggest bang for my buck and where I’m getting the most conversions.
Tyler Anderson: [00:16:34] That’s a majority of my focus is going to be on the paid strategy.
Tim Lewis: [00:16:38] And would that just be Facebook or do you go on to the other networks and Google as well?
Tyler Anderson: [00:16:43] Depends what your book’s about. So definitely Facebook is going to be, I can pretty much safely assume, yes Facebook can work for everything. It really can.
Tyler Anderson: [00:16:54] Just because a majority of the world internet population is on Facebook even for B2B cases we can make a strong use case of Facebook ads. So I definitely think without a doubt Facebook can be part of that.
Tyler Anderson: [00:17:05] Now again just depending on your topic of your book and the demographics then that’s where you would maybe want to consider some of the other paid channels.
Tyler Anderson: [00:17:14] Twitter could definitely be a case there. Instagram most likely nowadays is becoming a more of a of a constant. Let’s say your books more and the crafts or food based.
Tyler Anderson: [00:17:23] Definitely I think you might even find make a strong case for Pinterest right especially if it’s your target for your readers are going to be a lot of women. Yeah, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook just depending on the audience of your book you would probably see a case for either of those platforms.
What kind of books work best on social?
Tim Lewis: [00:17:38] If somebody approached you with a particular book title, what would be the book that you would least like to actually try and promote and what kind of book that you think oh this is guaranteed this will do really well.
Tyler Anderson: [00:17:51] So for me personally? Man that’s a tough question here. Let’s see. I’m a sucker of course for any of the nonfiction books. I love business non-fiction, life hacking and productivity type books. I actually just finished a book earlier this week, Plan Tomorrow Today Have you heard of that book?
Tim Lewis: [00:18:11] No.
Tyler Anderson: [00:18:11] Now I love it. It’s all about productivity and life hacking. I’m a big believer in that stuff. Not that I don’t like fiction books. I just I don’t know to me if I’m gonna read, that’s my time where I’m trying to better myself not necessarily entertain myself when I’m entertaining myself I find myself more or less like watching Netflix or you know television and so on I’m a nonfiction guy but I also do listen to a lot of audio books but I don’t if I’ve answered your question you’re Tim.
Tim Lewis: [00:18:36] Well I was thinking more in terms of just as a business point of view so somebody comes up to you and says this is my book and there will be probably some books you would think great that’s going to be really easy to market and that will be others where you will be thinking “not sure”?
Tyler Anderson: [00:18:49] Here’s a perfect example that’s why I think the books that are definitely business related. Here’s reality, anything that is really honed in on things that you can easily target through social ads would be so much easier.
Tyler Anderson: [00:19:02] If somebody came to me they had a book on how to how to plan the ultimate wedding well God that would be amazing to target because I could target females who just got engaged. Right.
Tyler Anderson: [00:19:11] So targeting is built within social ads and specifically Facebook and Instagram. There’s so many subsets. To me any book that’s going to be really I could focus on any one of those categories or topics that’s can be a homerun to target.
Tyler Anderson: [00:19:25] The ones that are going to be harder are probably going to be some of those fiction ones, right. I mean yes somebody might write some book about a science fiction novel.
Tyler Anderson: [00:19:33] Yeah I might be able to go and target somebody like sci-fi, but I mean that’s that’s still pretty broad right. And that’s what going be a little bit harder.
Tyler Anderson: [00:19:39] But again going back to the wedding example someone wrote a book on how to plan the ultimate wedding on a shoestring budget, well now I can go out there and I can specifically target brides who recently just got engaged within like the last couple of months.
Tyler Anderson: [00:19:52] And I can target people who make less than $50000 a year and who are into saving money so I mean any of those things you can really add a lot of those filters on it to narrow down is going to be easier and those are the ones I’d want to have to market through social.
About Tyler Anderson
Tim Lewis: [00:20:07] So I think that just about wraps up everything in terms of finding an agency. How can people find out about Tyler Anderson and Casual Fridays and anything else you’ve got going on?
Tyler Anderson: [00:20:18] Yeah I mean the first thing is I do a podcast if you want to learn anything more about social media marketing and of course it is free. And that is the Social Media Social Hour.
Tyler Anderson: [00:20:27] You can search that on on iTunes and you can easily find that or if you just go to CasualFridays.com/subscribe you’ll be taken a right to our iTunes page.
Tyler Anderson: [00:20:37] But if you want to read more about the agency just go to CasualFridays.com and if you want to learn more about me just go to TylerJAnderson.com where I also have links to all of my social networks so you can go ahead and connect with me on whatever platform you prefer.
Tim Lewis: [00:20:52] But just another question that came to mind: why exactly did you call it Casual Fridays?.
Tyler Anderson: [00:20:57] Well the real answer is I had a domain name and I wasn’t using it. And I just honestly I originally I bought the domain name thinking I was going to have a T-shirt line. And it was it’s a great name. Everybody loves Casual Fridays.
Tyler Anderson: [00:21:11] And so I just set up when I like this great domain name I’ll call the business Casual Fridays. That’s that’s the real answer.
Tyler Anderson: [00:21:16] Now what I tell people are the “story” is that in the traditional workplace Casual Fridays kind of represent a break from the grind of the 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday thing. And in my opinion when I was starting the agency I felt that social media was kind of a break from the grind of traditional media. So that’s kind of that’s the fake story.
Tim Lewis: [00:21:37] OK. Well thanks very much for coming on the show.
Tyler Anderson: [00:21:41] Tim I appreciate. Thank you so much.
If you liked this show you might like How to Use Promoted Pins with Alisa Meredith, The Fundamentals of Facebook Ads with Andrea Vahl and Using Instagram to Market Books with Jenn Herman
Learn to Self-Publish an eBook