“B2M, Growth and Visibility for Niche Consultancies” Presented by Kahshanna Evans

Zintro Webinar Series – Marketing Tips for Consultants Session 2

View other webinars in the series:

Session 1 – Switching on the Growth Engine in Your Small Consulting Practice

Session 2 – B2M, Growth and Visibility for Niche Consultants

Session 3 – How to Expand your Business Network


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Stuart: Hi, everyone. I am Stuart Lewtan, Founder and CEO of Zintro. I would like to thank the over 400 people who signed up for this webinar, for participating in this event. This is the second installment of our webinar series covering the highly relevant topic, Marketing Tips for Consultants. For those who participated in the last session, we had Brian Gladstein discussing how to ignite the growth engine for your consulting firm. We’re very lucky and it’s with great pleasure I introduce Kahshanna Evans, CEO and Director of Kissing Lions Public Relations, a boutique publicity hub. Kahshanna has over a decade of experience in public relations and has successfully managed creative services and social media for many consulting firms. Okay, we are seeing people raised their hands. We take that as a positive sign. Thank you. You can feel free to send questions as the webinar is going. You can type and write into the questions box in the go to webinar panel and then what we will do is we will collect those questions and we’ll have a Q&A session after Kahshanna finishes with her prepared remarks.

So without further ado, I’d like to turn it over to Kahshanna Evans.

Kahshanna: Okay. Well, thank you so much Stuart and Bhairavi in the intro team. This is a really exciting opportunity to talk about growth and visibility for niche consultancies, something we’re always whispering about, we’re always murmuring about. We’re always fishing through our email boxes to figure out how we can optimize visibility and how we can be in the flow of information with our emerging brands, with our existing brands or as we transition. So we’re going to have a good time today. So essentially, what I want to start by talking about is the difference between B2B which many of you probably already know, business to business. That’s a phrase widely used in many professional industries. B2C which is business to consumers but I often find myself using a phrase that is very helpful when I’m talking to clients about their first strides in media. And I refer to this as B2M which is business to media. So rather than it being hyperfocused on marketing or connecting with other businesses to then of course hyperfocus on marketing, your business to media is a little bit more about what steps you’re taking in terms of brand telling or making sure that your story is being told. Stories that you’re well informed about or that relate to the industry that you’re in.

So you definitely want to position your brand to be an influencer to target media outlets. It sounds simple and it may sound like a given but it takes a little bit of focus to start shifting from our regular sort of way to focus on marketing and getting new clients in assuring that we’re making a living for ourselves but really be on that. Something that really supports that is to be sure that you’re telling your story to new audiences, not just the audience you currently have. And one incredible way to do that is through target media outreach. So why is it important? To engage in media, it’s important to determine your target influencers. So you definitely want to help people understand what your brand is trying to say and you also want to declare that your executives are the thought leaders. We always see articles written about different brands, different companies, and so we’re going to talk a little bit more about what we can be doing and why that’s very important. Even for emerging brands and especially for people who are very seasoned because they’re very ready to be leaders, to be thought leaders and influencers within their own respective industries. So building on that is a really great way to take some broad steps to the visibility.

Okay. So I’m going to introduce our first poll question: Is public relations too expensive? I wish I could insert some jeopardy music, that would be our fun moment here. So I’m going to give you guys a couple of moments to just check into is public relations too expensive. I’ve had feedback on it but let’s delve into that when I hear a little bit more about your thoughts. So content, a very widely used phrase. It both frustrates people, terrifies them and gives them these incredible sort of fantasy images of what content can potentially do. So the one urban myth is you can just grab any video camera, you can grab your iPad and suddenly throw something on to YouTube and you’re an overnight sensation. It’s suddenly raining clients and you’ll become rich and wealthy and ride off into the sunrise. That’s somewhat of an urban myth. You get out of it what you put into it. Now especially in relation to small consultancies and small businesses, I think there’s something very important to tuck in your back pocket. If nothing else you should remember the opportunities and resources offered by the internet and online and offline for that matter. Those opportunities are not to overwhelm. If you find that they are opportunities but you’re becoming overwhelmed by them, it’s just to signify you can maybe take a step back and prioritize.

With content, because everyone is so excited talking about content, it’s available. It’s a way to tell our visual story. But you definitely want to have at least one. I recently talked to clients and they were ready to launch an entire series all year and they were going to pull budget out of the corners of the earth in order to create this incredible video series. Budget that they didn’t really have and budget that could have definitely been used in different areas to promote themselves and to expand visibility. So when I spoke with them, we talked a little bit more about what they need and what they want. We arrived at the understanding that one piece of content is a wonderful way to start and that should be . . . Yes. If this is your last chance to finish up that poll question and Bhairavi, yes, you can go ahead and close the poll. So the three takeaways for content for a video content piece, it should be efficient. It should efficiently address and embody your brand story or the story of your small consultancy. And it should be stylish. Now let me say here that I do have a background in film and television and a little bit in production. When I say stylish I don’t mean that this has to look like the Rolex of content pieces but I just mean keeping an eye to detail, making sure there’s no cats creeping around in the background or people coming in and out of your door, you know basic things. But stylish also is in well edited.

Great video editors are like an incredible resource so that’s definitely not an area you want to skim in if you want a quality piece of content. And essentially a piece of content should demonstrate your knowledge. So it’s a way to tell your story, it’s a way to demonstrate your knowledge and again you don’t need to start with five. Start with one really well branded piece of content and that should be something that is integrated into your website and you can keep the conversation going there. I’m going to go ahead and play this video so we can really take an overview of one well done piece of content.

Richard: When you think an engineer, it’s a professional license. So an engineer is to the building what the doctor is to the body. They provide feedback and guidance on how the building is and how it’s acting like a doctor might provide you with feedback and guidance on how your body is acting and how it’s maturing. To be able to have an engineer that understands the community, is part of the community, lives in the community, knows what some of the building issues are in that environment, that becomes a very, very important part of our franchise models. So we were able to be 60 offices strong in 45 states as well as in office up here in Toronto, Canada and one in Vancouver. That’s extremely important for us. To take a special person to become an engineer, you need to be book smart, you need to go through a lot of education and then you need to really spend a lot of time studying, getting continuing education and certification from the different states that you might be practicing in. My family’s practice is the oldest practice in the organization.

Henry: The Criterium Organization has the ability to offer great service for great value to the local community and I think we’re sort of a unique service because we are approachable by the average person.

Richard: What makes it special is that we’re able to provide value down to the offices. The offices are able to still feel that they’re running their own practices and have the control and make their own decisions but at the same time have the guidance of history and of a firm that’s done it since 1957. Most importantly, it allows for the expansiveness of an organization. It allows us to be able to have feet on the ground in every town, in every main street across the United States. Expansion come in many different ways. Again it could come by going to different territories and we’re toying with the opportunity of doing work in South America. We’re toying with our motto being reproduced in Saudi Arabia.

Henry: The soaring experiences is actually been working with my clients. Because we do solve people’s problems and it’s a good feeling.

Richard: What’s important to us, our homes, our families, our children, our core values. The ability to be knowledgeable about engineering, to be able to communicate the point to the client effectively so that they understand it because it is a complicated profession.

Kahshanna: You know to me the really powerful story that this piece of content tells, this is a small one flagship among many franchise locations of a particular business. So to me it’s really exciting that they have found a way to tell their story and this is a piece of content later picked up in a space on a third party website that would have cost this client thousands and thousands of dollars in advertising money. But because the piece of content was well done and it was a relevant third party website, they just made us an offer to let it live on the website and that’s where we are. When you’re ahead of the curve, the phrase you’re cooking with gas but you’re really literally are cooking with gas. You want those opportunities to find you and you want people to identify your brand with being well seasoned and ready to take opportunity. This is a favorite phrase I always use so forgive me if you hear enthusiasm in my voice. Free virtual real estate. People say, “Well, what do you mean free virtual real estate?” This is an invaluable resource. When I say free virtual real estate I mean any professional online profile, any place online that there is you live as a listing website like Zintro, websites like LinkedIn. These are places that you fill up your profile. Don’t just put a name and some random photo that’s not you or that you don’t want to show everyone who you are as an executive so you put a picture of a cat.

I mean obviously I’m not likely to speak into those but if there’s any of you out there listening, you want to swap out a relevant professional photo of yourself. So you definitely want to optimize your social media profiles. You want to be able to tell your brand story to media. So some people say, “Yeah, but it’s just LinkedIn. I mean if it’s just one of these random websites why should I bother?” I’ll tell you exactly why. What you’re doing is working, people are curious and especially media is curious. They get paid to be curious. They get paid to know stories and they get paid to share information and stories, data and information. So when you fill out your profiles in a way that communicates you are a thought leader. You are an influencer. You really are also engaging the interest of media professionals in your network whether it’s local, regional, or national, depending on what you do. If it’s effortless and if this is something that’s budget friendly, my question is what would our resistance be to doing that? It can only help. So within those free virtual real estate profiles, within those social media profiles, you want to include quality content and video content where available. Utilizing visible relevant news for your company is one of the ways that you can continue to share your story within these places that allow you or your business to have a profile.

So here, you can just see I’ve just shared a screen grab of a post that I’ve shared about a gallery clan that I had. Okay. So sharing your news in relevant groups is also really valuable. Now on LinkedIn I know Zintro has its own setup and there’s a couple of other groups and professional groups that one can belong to online but LinkedIn is one that is relatively a well-known so I’ll use this as an example throughout the presentation. So sharing your news in relevant groups. There are do’s and don’ts to that. So here I’ve gone to a very specific group and I have double-checked, if you see up on the right there’s a little i, there’s information on these different groups. And so you want to just double-check your best practices what the group is asking for to see if your news is really relevant to that group and you also might want to just give it a twist and when you share it, really address that group. I find that it’s helpful so I mentioned here hello and thank you for allowing me to join your group. And then I jump into my news. So just keeping that in mind. Whenever I come across as too spammy you want people to say, “Hey, that brand was really great.” or, “Hey, that team is doing something really cool and they also seem to know best practices. Let’s keep connected with them and see what else they have going on.” So you’re utilizing free resources for posting articles. This is a miracle. They’re giving us away for free so put it in your shopping basket, please.

LinkedIn recently has spaces for you to share your content, the articles you create about your brand, about relevant topics. This is such an incredible opportunity and it’s time for us as small businesses or people that may have walked away from really large brands, wanting to start their own consultancies because they’re 10+, 20+ years with seasoned experience. This is the place that you should start to share relevant information. It doesn’t have to be a book but make it interesting. There’s space for photos, there’s space for videos so have some fun exploring that. Also this is a screen grab, I felt Zintro would be a great example for this. So this is a screen grab from LinkedIn and what you’ll notice here is there’s a space for a business profile. So whoever your business is, this is again such an opportunity to be visible because when what you’re doing is working or continues to work, people will be curious. It’s always exciting to go to a branded, a great website that is your website. You control the information there but if you’ll notice, some of the less contemporary websites have lots of horrible flashy things, “Buy here, buy here! 50% off! We’re really cool, we’re stronger, we’re the best!” But you’re really marketing now to groups of people that are much more sophisticated.

They don’t fall for the flashy things so quickly and they’re interested in learning your story. They’re interested in staying in touch with brands that matter to them and that are doing the things that are community oriented that they value. So I definitely want to say definitely explore where your business profile can live. Now I’m Kissing Lion’s public relations. I have opted not to have a business page right now because I’ve been so slapped with word of mouth and I actually am growing at a really wonderful pace. So when I’m ready for a larger lead I am going to revisit this. As long as you’re aware of it, this isn’t for everybody by the way but if you’re aware of what it is and how it serves you can utilize it when the time comes. Okay, Bhairavi, it’s time for the second poll question: Are you actively pursuing relationships with media outlets or journalists? Okay. So I will definitely be excited. We’re going to run this poll question. I’m going to talk a little bit more for a couple of slides and then it’s going to close, so go ahead and get your answers in. Okay. The first thing I want to say about the slide is please don’t panic. Let’s all take a deep breath. I think one of the most interesting things about public relations and integrated marketing that I’ve experienced is when I say something like this where, “Who are some people, what are magazine outlets that your brand really connects with or that really seems to tell stories about topics relevant to your company or services.”

People panic. So I want to put out there that this is really an ongoing invitation. There’s no need to panic. There’s no fail here. It’s not a onetime test. What this is an ongoing, something that you can consider an ongoing basis. Who are your top 20 media influencers are that relate to your company brand or service? So one thing you might want to consider doing is a real quality takeaway is identifying the top 20 most important media outlets to your brand. And another way to focus on how can we start to get visible? We don’t have $7,000 a month for some of these large firms to launch some of these very sophisticated marketing programs. So one thing in these consultancy can do, small businesses can do, is your online commentary for relevant topics is really important. For example, if you want to be in News Day and there’s articles, “Oh, we could have been in it? How did this person get quoted on this? We could have said so much more.” So one thing you can consider doing in your very busy schedules or have some of your staff start doing is creating some structured online commentary where these articles are living. If it’s living on News Day, logging in under that branded name and making a quality commentary. And within that subject range, having some consistency there.

If you’re doing it maybe once or twice a week trying to be consistent, it’s going to help you build some great media habits until you are prepared for more specific strategy for your brand. Now the third thing is like probably in the top three things that I will mention here which is engage outlets seeking contributors. This is really exciting. A client I worked with last year was placed on an e-How series. Their clicks went through the roof which was really exciting and all he was doing is essentially sharing what he knew about. He would easily do this a million times in a day with clients on the phone. But when he did it for e-How and e-How put it on their pages, he is seen more as an influencer and those clicks were interestingly enough driving more interests to his brand via Google and via his website and social media pages. So we were really excited about that. Of course I invite you to manage your expectations, it’s not like the urban myth of someone’s going to knock in your door with a million pounds in gold and you’re going to be the king. But just keeping your eye on continuity and places to be a contributor. There may be a trade publication. There may be a local magazine. But if you have an opinion that is specifically useful to any of those outlets you may be able to be a guest, offer guest post, etc.

So I would definitely explore who your top 20 is and if there’s any opportunities in there to engage outlets, seeking contributors, it seems like a great place to follow up on. Okay. So top 20 can include magazines, blogs, influencers, specialized groups, clubs, radio, television and pod casts. Blogs, just a quick note before we move on, I’ve recently had someone say, “We don’t want blogs. Blogs are these funny guys that aren’t even out of college or high school yet writing about a bunch of things we don’t care about.” There is nothing farther from the truth. There are bloggists that have followings of 2,000+, 3,000+. But even for those with under a thousand followers, if they’re willing to carry a quality conversation about what you do you should definitely consider keeping your eye on them and learning where the synergies are there. Okay. So I’m going to scroll up here. Okay, now, let me try to do this without butting ourselves. Okay, good. So hopefully you can still see my screen. I’m going to scroll up to the questions. Okay. So I think because there was a little hiccup, the first questions I don’t yet have so Bhairavi, if you can send this to me that would be great. So let’s start with the second question which is here. Great. So in the second question . . .

Stuart: Kahshanna, can you hear me? Kahshanna?

Kahshanna: Yes. Hi. Yes, I can hear. Hello? Okay.

Stuart: Hi, Kahshanna. I’ll be glad to ask on behalf of our users if you’d like. Okay, are you prepared for a question?

Kahshanna: No. Actually I wanted to cover the poll questions.

Stuart: Okay. Oh, please. I’m sorry. Sorry for jumping in.

Kahshanna: Oh, no problem. And if Bhairavi can send in the first poll results because I think it got gobbled up.

Bhairavi: Sure. I’ll send that right away.

Kahshanna: Thank you. This is so exciting. Everything is live. So on the second poll question, are you actively pursuing relationships with media outlets or journalists? 23% said yes, so wohoo! 23%, that’s super, super excellent. So for the 77% that said no, I’m guessing that’s a not yet because I think we’re all interested in the same thing which is to continue to find places to tell our story to people that are not currently within our own mailing lists so that’s pretty exciting. And the first poll question. Yes, let me pull the question up so it could be seen here. Okay. So the first poll question is, is public relations too expensive? 65% said yes and 35% said no. So we’re going to talk a little bit more about that. I’m in New York City so I would definitely say for people in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, some of the larger markets you’re going to have sophisticated products and things that are really competitive with those larger brands that are out there. But I feel that savvy brands are going to make that extra effort to find resources that are within their own budget range. Okay, so that’s super exciting. So we’ve got a little bit more to go through and then we can click over to questions. Great. So every brand has a story to tell.

You have services, you are niche consultants, you have news to share, there’s exciting things happening with start-ups, exciting things happening with tech and tech conventions are blossoming like crazy, and specialty products that you may create. So that’s definitely something to consider. Specifically what your story is. It’s not enough to reach the same group of clients. You want to tell new people your story. You want to get people interested in you, your brand, your event or your services and you want to commit to that long term. So you want to utilize quiet season and now this is really funny. Stuart mentioned the other day, often times small consultancies are battling between the feast or famine and it tickled me because that’s an absolutely, I’ll see crickets and then I will just . . . And so many clients coming in that I actually have to have a couple of sleepless nights to get things in order. So one thing you could be doing for off season aside from focusing on where the new clients will come from is utilizing quiet season to organize all the things that I’m sharing in this webinar. Your target online events over the course of a year, your off-line events that are great for you to be in person at trade shows, conventions, panel discussions.

These things that relate to your brand are going to help you meet the people you need to meet. And conventions and trade shows are great. They are full of information and often times there are outlet and publications they are wanting to know the new gadgets, the new toys, the new breakthroughs in invention. So prioritize, take actions, set goals, and remember to use your resources. So what if you don’t know what the resources are. If you don’t know where to begin then hire someone to help. So when I’ve spoken to people that maybe have a brand that they’d like to launch or launching their own trade show because they have sort of a special group of people that they want to cater to and share information about. There’s sometimes a panic button there where small consultancies, sometimes we don’t really know where to start. Hire someone to help. Now the great thing about what I do and what I feel like a small consultancy has the option to do, hire seasonally. It’s not against the law. Hire someone for your four months of busy season, your six months of busy season, or your eight months. And then dial it down when need be but I find that especially with integrated marketing and public relations, if you let those resources and find them this is going to be something really exciting.

The things that the brands should have that you are potentially hiring out for to help tell your visual story, logos. So there’s a lot of talk about logos. Good logos, bad logos. I actually had a very talented graphic designer I worked with at one time, not the person that’s done these logos and he says, “You know Kahshanna, people just type some fonts on a piece of paper and they’re calling it a logo and that’s just not what we do.” So he was very passionate about logos and telling a visual story. So I just want to encourage that if there are resources and we’re going to get to some of those in pages in a few moments here, you definitely want to have a logo. It’s going to live in places when you do participate in events. It’s just something quality to have. And if you don’t have one, it’s super fun creating them, having those dialogs, find the right graphic designer and you can continue to flash that part of your brand out. So publishing articles for your brand is an incredible action as well because no one knows your story better than you. Okay. This is a screen grab of a product offered by LocalVox and a branch of LocalVox is Near Say. Near Say is a way to produce articles that are related to your brand and post them online. It gives you back end information, back end data and exposes you to all the LocalVox and NearSay partners. This was incredible.

I used it last year with a client and I can’t say enough good things about the uses of it and the back end information. So for those of you that are really data junkies and want to know what’s happening on the back end, NearSay has just relaunched their back end dashboard and it’s to die for. I love these toys. That’s my secret joy. So this particular article has been read 192 reads since January. Okay. So here’s the famous resources page. This is one of my favorite slides. It’s one of my favorite slides because we all need resources. We all imagine public relations. If too expensive, we can’t afford it. $7,000 a month, oh, my goodness. So there’s a lot of the stress and struggles surrounding taking your first strides in visibility. So I listed up a couple of really wonderful businesses, services, and products to consider. Zintro as we well know is a wonderful platform to exchange and share businesses and services and connect people who offer resources and people who need them. So LocalVox which I spoke a little bit more about. Richard Davies is at LocalVox. LocalVox is really, really updated media. They got some great dashboards and back end things happening. So really user friend and really great for local, hyperlocal and now also national. And he can update you on more about that.

So a couple more at the top are very, very relevant. Media Bistro which you see on the right is a wonderful place to hire freelance media professionals, freelance journalists and it becomes important to small consultancies who are screaming budget. “Budget, Kahshanna. We want to do it but where’s the budget?” So you want to bet your resources and you know public relations, it’s a very special practice because it’s very much about the intellectual property. So it’s the shape of and the approach to programs that are going to help businesses be visible. multiMind Media, they are at the upper right hand corner. They also operate with web design, branding and logos. I know Jennifer McMenemy, if I’m saying that correctly. I get tongue-twisted. Jennifer McMenemy who is also with multiMind Media, she is apparently a guru and I’ve yet to dig out this famous infographic that I’ve been told about. But infographics are such an incredible way to be visible, tell your visible story, give the numbers and data relevant what you’re sharing and why in a branded visual that helps people understand who you are and what you have to offer. So a few more at the bottom which you can see, Kreative Monkey is the brand that made the logos in the top slide.

Elance, freelance writers. SmartShoot, freelance videographers. LinkedIn Learning Center, if you’re just experiencing an incredible resistance but really want to make a breakthrough. LinkedIn Learning Center is wonderful. Wikipedia as you know which you should be mindful, you cannot log on to Wikipedia and think that you’re going to sell your wears and create that. They really are information-based and they do that. And SoHelpful where you can speak to a consultant. So this was a really exciting opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts on B2M. I want to stick in here before we shift over to questions. The special offer, a promotional rate for PR for the Happiness Economy will pick up where B2M leaves off and that promotional rate will be $450 for all of those who followed this hyperlink on this slide which will also be included in the Zintro follow-up commentary that will follow this webinar. So we can click it over to questions now. You can revisit the slide of how the KLPR team can help you with media strategy and outreach, video and photo content, new media and social media strategy, and event launches.

Stuart: Hi, Kahshanna. Can you hear me okay?

Kahshanna: Yes. I can hear you.

Stuart: Okay. What I did was I pulled out the questions from some of other comments regarding the poll and some of the people indicating that they are having technical problems so if you’d like I could read you the questions.

Kahshanna: Yes, please.

Stuart: Okay. The first question comes from David and it’s the cost for a small consultancy can appear significant particularly when there’s a lack of evidence that the type of executives we want to reach can be reached via social media, PR inbound and outbound content versus brands. Can you comment on that? Are the senior executives actually looking at social media types of outreach efforts?

Kahshanna: So in terms of social outreach efforts, I definitely invite everyone to manage their expectations when it comes to social media. It’s an urban myth. Social media does not operate by itself. It takes dedication and care and it takes continuity. Executives are interested, well every brand that I know that I have come across is interested on what appears on social media but I don’t think anyone is just assuming that you’re going to hire a tribe of ten social media professionals just consistently host information and data. So one thing here that’s really important to say is small consultancies that are just taking your first strides pace yourself. Don’t feel intimidated that larger brands have actually hired entire departments dedicated to social media. But when you do host make it regular. You don’t have to do it every day but if you’re going to do it a few times a week on LinkedIn, do it a few times a week on LinkedIn. That is important and pop in a few of your favorite groups, see if anything catches your eye and if it does in the time that you are dedicating to social media, perhaps make a commentary on that or go to those magazine articles that really relate to your brand and make a commentary there. Numbers do count but there’s also social media farms.

I could easily go to a social media farm, pay someone some strange amount of money and have 10,000 followers by next week. But in essence you’re going to see that your ROI numbers are not going to change just because your numbers look impressive. What changes is when you tell your story to new outlets and I believe public relations is the cousin of social media that you want to really have in place so that your entire outreach ecosystem is harmonious.

Stuart: Thank you, Kashanna. We have a bunch of questions coming in so I’ll try to manage the time for you here. The next question comes from Jennifer. She asks if there are inexpensive resources to help manage the free real estate resources that you talked about. As a single owner principal consultant, it’s difficult to find time to keep up with this but I’d be willing to pay someone to stay on top of this for me. Are there resources that can help people manage and stay in touch with people via social media.

Kahshanna: There absolutely are. This is a really good question and when small consultancies are excellent at what they do find that they do grow. And this demand is something that will be knocking at that door when you begin to do well and be well. There are people that do that. I would highly recommend that brands, small consultancies, small businesses, remember a few things. Producing content in house is something that really relates to your social media behavior. So it means that you don’t just have to pump irrelevant content out there and that when you hire someone to represent you for social media and create social media commentary on behalf of your business or service, you want to make sure that your values as a company or as a brand are promoting what is shared and why. Your social media professional can help you and yes, there are. I will dig up some info and pop that over to Stuart so he can send it in the follow-up email. But you really want to remember that your values are all about related content which is great to share all the wonderful information online but you also want to work into their articles that you’ve created in house. You have complete control of those and I don’t suggest that those be over, they shouldn’t sound overmarkety. “Sale now! Buy it here! We’re so awesome and we’ve been awesome since the 80’s.”

People want to kind of see a little bit more information. Well, they want to find out what are shifts and trends and how are things changing and how is your business or service answering to some of those changes. People want interesting information and related content. So if you do hire someone, make sure that they understand your values and make sure that they shuffle in your relevant content not just photos, not just infographics, and not just video content, not just the articles but a really well balanced social media meal of everything. And those social media professional should also be looking at your media calendars. How can the one year active calendar your business has, you should be releasing content that is related to all of those special times of year. For some liquor brands that I’m working with, they need to focus around Christmas. Around November is liquor brands really have a demand but for engineering firms, namely the one that I worked with last year, they had to really focus on the real estate seasons and busy season and the trade shows that surround those. So make sure that you are helping your social media professional that you’re going to hire on. Have a conversation about topics that are quality.

Stuart: Okay. Thank you, Kahshanna. Now we have a lot of questions coming in and we’re not going to have time to get to all of them but I do want to promise you that anyone who asked a question, we will share with Kahshanna your contact information. She can respond directly to you or through us at Zintro. Okay. But I do have some more questions here. I’d like to refer to another David question. On the B2B or B2M slide, are you promoting inbound of outbound marketing techniques. The former being presented by HubSpot and Focus or a mix. There’s a multi-part question so I’m going to hit you one part at a time here.

Kahshanna: Okay. Great. So let me try to find that slide for you all so you can see. Here, is this the slide he’s referring to?

Stuart: I believe so. Again I think the context of the question, are you promoting inbound or outbound marketing techniques or a mix of the two?

Kahshanna: Public relations is a mix of the two. I call what I do public relations and integrated marketing for good reason because it’s not just conventional PR. I’d like to better understand the ROI goals my clients have so that their marketing teams and their public relations outreach methodologies are integrated. So it’s all of the above.

Stuart: Okay. Thank you. The next part is as a consultant or a small consultancy, how important is your website versus actually reaching out to PR outlets?

Kahshanna: I think the website is an incredible asset. I have clients that had goals and dreams of being on the pages of top magazines, top periodicals, but when I look at their competitors’ websites they are more savvy. The flash lights have essentially all but died. No one uses a flash anymore because you’re not visible on tables and most business being done these days is on iPhones, tables, computers, and there’s still a shade in there of things happening by phone. So that to me is really important. Having a contemporary quality website doesn’t have to be a million pages but it should clarify your call to action, how to contact you and it should tell your story. If you have exciting media breakthroughs, is there a place on your website to help people understand? Oh, wow. They were in this cute little newspaper ad or these people are really awesome. They’re really moving and grooving. You just definitely want to give them that little experience even if you don’t . . . You know I don’t suggest you spell it out like you were on the cover of Forbes or anything but have a little discreet area so that your press and media better understand more about what you’ve been up to.

Stuart: Okay. Thank you. I have a question from Mike. He said, how would you approach the problem of reaching a rather rarefied group of potential clients? My business is analysis of processing for extracting metals from ores applicable to new mining ventures. Investors are gun shy justifiably at these. What can I do to help sift the wheat from the shade? Can you comment and how I could reach this investor community?

Kahshanna: I think the first thing is to really consider are you creating news worthy announcements for your brand? If it was a great year, are you doing your media outreach in order to share that? And for real specialty small business in niche consultancies, remember that what you produce you become influential so you definitely should be looking at publishing white papers once per year, well-researched and you can hire out for that. You can hire out and create that but those types of things are really important and also being personable. Brands that are hiding behind a well done logo but no one can quite put their finger on the face behind it, it always raises questions for me. I don’t want to deal with robots and autobots, I want to deal with human beings and I want to give human beings the relationship I want to build with them.

Stuart: Okay. Thank you. Next question, how much is the amount to pay for a good website for a start-up?

Kahshanna: I think for a start-up I would say the best rate I’ve heard recently is $1,000. It sounds like a lot but I really feel that $1,000 is not $2,000 and $1,000 is a good enough price that you can still budget in a logo. So you want to be doing your website and logo at the same time. You may see small to medium businesses in New York shocked and surprised because here $1,000 is like a couple of martinis downtown unfortunately. So as little guys, you have to definitely jump on these resources and I will include something about that $1,000 website rate in the follow-up email.

Stuart: Okay. I have a fun question for you. I’m sure a lot of the consultants here can appreciate this. How do you approach a client who thinks he knows everything but does not use media?

Kahshanna: Oh, great. Oh, gosh, I love this question. I’m wondering if a couple of my friends aren’t listening like teasing me by asking that. So there are a lot of people allergic to media. I completely get it because the pressure to produce is a direct conflict to engaging with real paying clients and doing what our real everyday job is. If you don’t want to engage with social media, in the least have your profiles build out. That way if you’re never ever on LinkedIn, you got a video on there, you got a slide share and a really well done summary statement about what you do, what you offer, your credentials, and now it’s a party. You don’t have to be on social media every single day but wherever you’re leaving there, whether you check in or not, it should be fully flashed out which can kind of help this allergic reaction to many experience with social media.

Stuart: Okay. And I think we have time for one more question here and let me see. Which one should we take? Oh, here’s a good question. If you’re using social media, what are the best times of day to post?

Kahshanna: This is a question that is ongoing. So if you have an article, a piece of content or an announcement, throughout like maybe the first couple of weeks. You want to post that at different times and on different days. So if you’re doing it on Monday in the morning, you might want that same piece to go out that Wednesday or Thursday in the afternoon, and then perhaps Friday in the evening. Because there’s different time zones and there’s different people engaging our profiles for different reasons or there’s different people on social media and those times vary a great deal. So the most recent best practice is if you have a dashboard, a hoop switch, or tweet deck or any of these places, you just kind of schedule your commentary so that it pops in from time to time although I’m really a fan of human posting, but the resources are there.

Stuart: Okay. Fantastic. I’d like to close there. On behalf of the 130,000 members of Zintro, first of all I’d like to thank Kahshanna for a very intriguing presentation. I know I learned a lot here today. And I know that it’s not something that independent consultants, small consultancies always think about how to best leverage media and it’s clearly a very, very important topic. So thank you very much for that and to all of our 400+ participants today. Thank you for responding to the polling questions, asking question, engaging and for being members of Zintro and for participating in this. I’d like to remind everyone that we will send out a follow-up email. It will have links to the special offer that Kahshanna offer as well as how to contact here. And I hope you continue to participate in these series. We’ve got a number of additional ones lined up so stay tuned for announcements on those. And from Boston, Massachusetts, thank you very much and on behalf of Kahshanna from New York, thank you so much. It was a great presentation.

Kahshanna: Okay. Thank you everybody. I look forward to your questions and let’s be out there and let’s be visible. B2M all the way.