AskPat 665 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 665 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
Neil Tyra: Hey Pat, this is Neil Tyra. I'm the host of The Law Entrepreneur, a new podcast that is doing quite well, thank you. In large part due to the inspiration, and the lessons I've learned from listening to you forever it seems. In any case, I'm at a point now where I need to spend more time on social media platforms engaging with both my audience and future hopeful listeners, and I'm wondering whether or not it makes sense to outsource that social media responsibility? I'm pretty savvy. I understand a lot about Twitter, and Facebook, and Periscope, and a lot of these platforms that we all use. Particularly when we follow your example, to promote our products, and our podcasts, our books, and what have you. But it's just the amount of time that's necessary to do that and the devotion to that process that is kind of a challenge for me. I'm an attorney during the day and work on the podcast at nights and weekends, so it's a trade off. And I'm starting to lean towards outsourcing the social media interaction, and if I choose to do so, what are your thoughts and suggestions on how best to do that? And how best to monitor the process? I'm thinking about things like sharing your login credentials, monitoring time spent, and how to compensate somebody who would be performing that function for me on initially a part-time basis, and hopefully as time grows, to a full-time basis. So thank you, Pat. That's my question. I appreciate it. Appreciate all that you do, and all the value that you provide, so much of it for free, and keep up the good work, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Neil. What's up? Thank you so much for the question today. I really appreciate it, and I appreciate this question too because I know social media can take up a lot of time. And for many people it takes up most of their time, and unless you are noticing a result, it can actually work against you. I'm really happy that you're thinking about ways that you can actually make this work for you, which is great. And again thank you for all the compliments, and I'm glad to see that things are going well for your podcast, and on top of your attorney job. So, great job.
Here's the thing. I would be okay with recommending to outsource social media. However, you need to be very careful, especially you, Neil, because you're dealing with law and that kind of thing. You need to really, if you're going to outsource your social media, you really need to be clear on what it is exactly that the person who's going to be managing this account, which a lot of people have that. A lot of people have people who do the social media for them. I don't personally, and I'll tell you why in a sec.
But for you specifically, Neil, you need to be very careful, because you are gonna be liable for anything that that other person says, and if you're giving law, or legal advice, as you know, most likely, you don't want to get into trouble for that. There's a number of different things that you can do here. You can just define what another person can respond to, and I have similar ways of responding on my blog. A lot of you may know this, I've mentioned it one or twice before on the podcast, but maybe you don't. But because of all the comments are coming in on my blog, for example. Comments for the longest time when it was just me, I didn't have a team, it was one of my favorite things to do was to reply to all the comments.
But then as my blog grew, I just couldn't do that, because I just didn't have enough time. But I still wanted that interaction, and that engagement, which is the same reason why you want to do this for social media. Well, I have people on my team responding for me for things that don't need my personal touch. And what I mean by that is the thank-yous. So if people say, “Hey, Pat this is a great post,” I have someone come in, and say, “Hey, thank you so much for reading, I appreciate it.” That kind of thing. But, every Thursday I get a spreadsheet of comments from my team, and in that spreadsheet are the comments that are left by my audience that they can't answer, or shouldn't answer based on the rules that we set. And I answer them all in one fell swoop in that spreadsheet and then they put them in for me.
That's one way you could do it. You could do that for social media too, if you like. However, I will say that social media, there is something to be said for being quick to reply. Which, of course, if you're working 9:00 – 5:00, and have another job it can be difficult to do that. You don't want that to get in the way of other things that you might want to do. And why that works very well is because people who are leaving comments on my blog, they know that they're being responded to. They know that they're not just saying it to nobody. That there is somebody there on the other end, which is really comforting, but I don't let them reply when it needs my input. I don't let them answer for me. You can have that setup if you like. That's one way to go about it.
Another way to go about it is to have software help you to … Now software isn't going to be good at replying for you, but software, and by software I mean things like MeetEdgar.com. That's Laura Roeder's company that has a tool that allows you to send out tweets and Facebook messages out ahead of time, and it allows you to recycle through messages that may not have been read earlier. It's a great tool. You can check that out at MeetEdgar.com. Now I use those tools to start conversations both on my Facebook group and on Twitter. I have certain tweets that go out that ask questions, or just are motivation quotes, or things like that, which keep people engaged. Which keeps people seeing my name coming up, but also can start that conversation. And then I can come in later and reply to people's replies to that initial thought or question. Software like MeetEdgar can work very well for you. There's other ones like Buffer. Buffer app is a great one. Even CoSchedule, which is a tool that I use for my editorial calendar. My team and I love it. It has its own way of having your posts and your podcast episodes be automatically sent out days after you hit the publish button. You can automatically set what those social media messages are so that it's just all done in one fell swoop.
And again, that helps with the automated side of the social media, but social media, you can get too automated. It does need that personal touch. I would, if you had the resources, and you wanted to try it out, outsource some of those quick replies. If people are like, hey, where can I find information about such and such? You can have your VA, for example, go in there and share that post. That's nothing that necessarily needs you to do, but it's still you and your brand helping out that person. It's just somebody's answering for you, and stepping in for you to provide that information, provide that value. But if it's asking you a question, you don't obviously want somebody to answer for you when they're not the ones who are gonna know the answer. Like I said earlier, you can have them answer for you after you give them the answer if you wanted to do some sort of time hacking in that way. A spreadsheet is a great way to manage that.
Again, I would also try as much as possible for you to be in there. It's really important for you to be in there replying, and it doesn't have to be a 24/7 kind of thing. It could be 30 minutes a day. You go in there and just see who had replied, and then you can go in there and further conversations. Even with Twitter and Facebook, yes people appreciate the quicker reply, but there's still an expected delay before answers. Whenever you have time I would potentially schedule it if you could. Go in there and start replying and interacting with your audience. It doesn't need to be very much time during the day in order to have it really make a big impact in your business. And like I said, all the promotional stuff can be automated through those tools that I mentioned earlier.
Now the last thing related to your question was, how do you manage this? Well, you can have your VA create a spreadsheet and tell you exactly what they did. This is very common in the VA outsourcing world. Having them every day give you a report that they've written that lists all the things that they've done. Just so that you know that they're working on stuff that they need to be working on. In terms of sharing credentials, I would use a tool like 1Password. 1Password actually just came out with the cloud-based, sort of team-based, 1Password, where you have all your credentials in there, but everybody just has one master password to access all those. They don't actually get the passwords to those different tools, they just have one password that then opens it up for them. So that it just makes it very easy. My entire team uses 1Password. There's another one that's called LastPass, which works very well too.
And then lastly, there are tools that could help you with the interaction of all the different social media channels that you use. I would recommend just focusing on two, though. Too many people focus on too many different ones. For you I think LinkedIn in would be a big one, and then of course Facebook and Twitter. Maybe three, I guess. But I would say LinkedIn because you're sort of doing the professional thing with the attorney stuff, but Twitter and Facebook are big too. Just focus in on two major ones and maybe have a side one for some other interaction, but it depends on what your audience best responds to and also what you feel you're best at. And there's tools like Hootsuite, H-O-O-T-S-U-I-T-E, which allow you to manage all your social media platforms in one sort of tool. which is really nice, because then it's just one place you have to go to, or your VA has to go to, to be able to manage everything. And you can see what all the conversations about and what not. And I believe you can schedule posts on that too, but it does come with a price. you can check that out too. Hootsuite.com.
Neil, thank you so much for the question. I hope that helps, and at least gets you thinking about what you could do to manage your social media. Because it is important, absolutely, but it's also something that needs to be approached in a very smart way. I appreciate this question once again. Thank you so much. We're gonna send you an AskPat T-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. And for everybody else listening out there, thank you so much, and please head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask your questions right there on that page, and I'd also like to thank you, just the listener for being awesome and continuing to listen to the show. If you haven't yet done so, please subscribe on iTunes, and I look forward to serving you the next episodes here. We're up to 665 and we're not stopping anytime soon.
So, thank you so much, and as always, I like to end with a quote, and today's quote comes from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He says, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.” Do that thing, guys. Do it. You know you can do it. All right, take care, guys. I'll see you the next episode. Bye.