Episode #7 and Episode #8
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In Episode #7 and #8 I'm joined by the wonderful Pascal Fintoni and we’re talking about How to do Online Reputation Management the Right Way. Now, there was so much amazing content in this episode that I decided to split it down into two parts.
In Part 1, Pascal discusses how you can use storytelling techniques to build your online reputation. Pascal really takes us back to the roots of storytelling and the power of being able to engage and develop your brand so that we can avoid under communication.
We also discuss things like attracting people into your business and then using different tiers to interact with them, whether that's on your fan page, in a Facebook community or in a VIP setting. I spoke in-depth with Pascal about his passion for film and how he's combined that in his new podcast, Two Geeks, and a Marketing Podcast and how combining your passions will allow you to attract the customers that you really want because you have that commonality straight away.
Something that I’ve struggled with! Now, if you're somebody who is creating content day in, day out. Maybe you feel like you're on a bit of a hamster wheel that you are constantly chasing your tail of getting new content out there but you're not seeing increased revenue, you're not seeing increased leads, and you're not seeing increased customers.
You probably need to focus on your interactivity and be sure to listen to Part 2 where we discuss this in more detail.
More from Beth
Gratitude Journey Challenge https://visualiseyou.com/gratitude
Get Your Freebies (Affirmations, Meditations, A Guide to Journaling) https://bethhewitt.com
The Visualisation Vault https://visualiseyou.com/vault
More From Pascal Fintoni
Pascal’s Website https://pascalfintoni.com/
Two Geeks and a Marketing Podcast https://two-geeks-marketing-podcast.captivate.fm/
Two Geeks and Marketing Videocast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCChv7HnP_ZqGoFQbzqkeaKA
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Full Show Transcript
Beth: Hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Visualise You. I'm joined today by my good friend Pascal Fintoni – welcome to the show, Pascal.
Pascal: Thank you so much for having me.
Beth: Let me introduce you to our listeners.
Pascal is a professional trainer and speaker with over 25 years of practical experience in digital marketing. Pascal has worked across diverse industry sectors, developing, and implementing audience engagement campaigns. He is also a video producer, and he has introduced many storytelling techniques used by filmmakers into his coaching to help his clients create great online reputations.
His focus for the last few years has been to coach business owners to take back control of their digital communications and become the most trusted brand in their chosen markets. And today. We're going to be talking about building your reputation online the right way. So, I'm really looking forward to today's episode.
Pascal: Thank you. What an introduction? I can't wait to hear what I have to say with your wonderful interviewing techniques and questions.
Beth: Let's start with what you were doing previously to what you're currently doing today, and then we'll dive right into building your online reputation.
Pascal: Yeah, really, Beth, I started my career in marketing in the early nineties. I was almost wincing. When you said over 25 years, I wonder if I should take that out of my biography because I'm going to be as old as the internet very soon, but I began really in the travel industry.
I was working in London for a tour operator and a few months in, I was given this project of building a website. Now I must take you back to, this was 1994, I think. So, these are the early days. And I was a bit surprised, to be given this project, but the reason why I was chosen is because one
I was the youngest and two, I knew how to use a computer. I was pretty much the job spec. And so, I went ahead and made this very first website, which was painful as a first project. Back in the days, we went way over time, way over budget. It was very complicated and overall, not very pleasant. I will say. So, we had the first website, and it wasn't particularly great.
Then I was invited to do a second website, and I was thinking, do I really want to do that to myself? Bearing in mind, the memory of the first one. So, I went to see the MD. Who was quite a formidable character at the time. And he asked why don't you want to do it? And he said good, so now you know what not to do, go and make this second website.
And I must say that the second time around, of course, we all knew a lot more and we understood more about how to go about it. And what was fascinating that we saw real positive result in terms of the bookings of our holidays. Now, back then you couldn't do any online bookings. It was far too early. But what people could do is go online, discover the destinations.
They could print the webpage and then go to the local travel agent to say, I want to go there, please. And what that taught me is that the reason why we were getting bookings wasn't because actually the platform was particularly good is because a, we were one of the first to do that. In the travel industry, but also, I think how I presented the information was such
that it was very compelling.
And what that taught me is that when you want to present information, whether it's about yourselves, about a business proposition, what you're doing really is making a promise that something in the future is going to go very well. And you better know how to articulate that.
And. I therefore always been very grounded in, I would say almost traditional forms of communication from the way the world of print. Of PR advertising, but then using them via the internet. It just gives you that kind of very rapid growth and exposure.
And sometimes the results you get from the web is quite disproportionate to the effort you've put in and I become a big fan. So, I think from 1996, I chose to specialise in online communication.
Beth: Wow. Okay. So, from when you say somebody is physically printing a document out and then taking that to the travel agents with them, that's a massive, almost leap of faith.
That what you're saying is correct, because, in terms of a call to action today, when you're just simply clicking on a button for your next step, you really need to get a lot of different elements of that, correct in terms of the marketing and the copy and the psychology behind that as well. So, I think we forget a little bit about that.
Pascal: I think you're right. The sole business of promoting anything online is seen to be a technical endeavour. But I think psychology is far more important and a lot of what I do with my customers. So just to close on your question. So, my career then carried on, and I moved to different sectors, but still did the online stuff.
It was 2003, really, where I got a phone call. To help a business support agency to create courses and workshops for small business owners, because in 2003, from memory, there'd been a recent report from Government suggesting that SMEs as the acronym and goes, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises were missing out on sales, on inquiries and in fact on customers because their online presence was not adequate.
And they wanted to try and find ways to simplify and demystify that whole, this whole business of building a brand and building inquiries. And I remember vividly, I got this phone call. At the time I could not understand a word this person was saying because of all of that public sector kind of jargon and kind of acronyms and so on. Eventually, I said, okay, what do you need?
And why are you asking me? And really, they said well, we're asking you because recently you spoke at an event and it was so simple. It was so easy to understand what you were talking about that we thought, you were great. And I said, thank you for the compliment, but do you realise that I have no choice.
If I don't keep things simple in the office, if I don't actually get results quickly, I'm going to lose my job. So, I think also what has been very grounding for me when I transitioned. over to knowledge transfer and business support Beth. Was that I'm still driven by this has to work. Otherwise, ultimately as a marketing guy, you would just get asked to leave because you can't go and see your boss even back in 2003 and say, by the way, I'm going to do this thing called SEO. If you wait for six months, I think we might get some results.
You can't have that conversation. Not if you want to, keep your job, and also get to get the budget. So there has to be some something very practical, and very real about we're doing this because the effect is increasing the order book or the inquiry book, depending on what you're looking at.
And I think sometimes, what has happened over the years is we've lost our way a bit. We've been so busy to understand the technology and understand how to master the different platforms, but we've lost track of the customer. And using our real customer service skills and networking skills and psychology. And we've lost track of sales. I think on occasion.
Beth: That's really interesting. I think it leads really nicely into what we're talking about today in terms of how you were identified as somebody, because of your reputation and what they'd seen online, that you could provide a service in a completely different sector. So, it just proves how important really that brand and reputation of ourselves as well as the companies that we're trying to build.
Pascal: I think so and what was interesting is, I was surprised both by the compliment because I assumed that everybody else was doing the same thing as me and they clearly were not. And I think when cause I'm thinking of your audiences as well Beth.
When you find your way when you've cracked the code in your sector and in your kind of discipline, you should really embrace that and cherish it and find different ways to communicate that through, using different means from one to one too many online and face to face.
So, for me was the realisation that I was doing something very different. And very unique, but it wasn't until I was out, and I would publicly share it and be getting the feedback that the resonance sets.
So, the other lesson as well is, don't keep it to yourself and find ways to communicate it and share it because that feedback loop is very important. Otherwise, as I was, Beth, I was busy working as a full-time employee in the marketing function. It would have just got on with it and didn't look up very often.
Beth: Yeah, and I've had a number of conversations the last couple of weeks of people who are; They're doing their business day in, day out. And actually, they do not realise how amazing they are in that particular sector. So, say, for example, they may not share a particular blog post, because they think everybody knows how to do that.
When clearly everybody doesn't know that, Actually, those are the kinds of bits that light, those light bulbs up for people. So, it's interesting that you say that as well, it's clearly something that we all do as human beings. That way, we don't play ourselves up.
Pascal: No and, I can't recall who said that, but part of what is happening right now, I would say the last few years, but I think as we are approaching 2021, if not already, and the next few years. We need all of us to find a way to learn, to be, to become our biggest fan. Which I think is a very awkward thing to do because I'm still from a generation where I was, I was taught humility.
I was told you know to actually really keep quiet and get on with the work. But I think, and when we have to promote ourselves and the way in which people buy. Is actually, I would argue that a customer, particularly for small business owners and those who are, have an enterprise based on the talent or real craft, and that could be intellectual craft as well as the manual or physical one – is that people become addicted to their own passion.
Now, obviously, if you don't share that passion, then it becomes much harder for customers to then connect with you. And be part of your success journey. That's why small businesses have loyal followers because those customers want to know, and they know that they are part of that business success.
And then they become something that they embraced as part of their identity, which is why, as you well know my position, which is that, the world of online and the internet is actually the domain of small businesses. The big brands, they usually mess it up.
Beth: Me and Pascal know each other from working on particular business support programmes in the past, and there's a particular Facebook community where I asked the question this morning, I was going to be speaking to you and did they have any questions? Sarah Smith left a question around that, so as we're growing our businesses.
How do we ensure that we've got that integrity, that we're not just attracting anybody and everybody, but actually we're targeting the right people and maintaining our reputation as we grow?
Because I think you can lose that when you're a small business. When you first start growing your followers, you can have that really intimate relationship with a smaller group. But then I think as that starts to grow. Challenges come with that for all different reasons, depending on where you are within your business.
But how do you maintain that you continue to attract the right level of people for where you are, in your business at that time?
Pascal: So, one thing that works for me and has worked for my customers. Thanks for the question, Sarah. Is accepting that because the volume of customers and followers and well-wishers is going to grow the small percentage of people who are not quite right, for you will grow as well. So, what you need to prepare for is almost a tier for system in terms of your customer service.
And that could be before sales, customer service, as well as after-sales customer service. So, the very practical example I can give you, Beth is this idea of somebody who starts maybe on social media. Let's use this example because I know it makes complete sense that someone would do that. This is a wonderful environment for good market research and getting value conversation going.
So, you may start with a Facebook page. And you get 10, 20, 50, a hundred, 200. And then what you'll be able to tell is that on that Facebook page, there's a core following of followers that are always on it.
As in they respond, they comment they share, and you can see that almost they are organising themselves in that unique cohort. Your role, therefore, as the facilitator of that networking environment is to invite them to go into a, more of a premium service, which will be a Facebook group.
That would be an example. So not all the Facebook page followers. I invited only those who are deemed to be the most active and so on. So they've gone to a Facebook group, and they can spend more of your time, over in the Facebook group and suddenly reports to date and data would suggest that you get more value and potentially more sales from that.
But even within the Facebook group, you're going to get again, a nucleus of kind of hardcore followers. And they then can go into a private, VIP room where they get even more of your time and more of your value and so on. So, it's about accepting there will be, different kind of levels and interaction.
It is for you to be attentive and very present and reward people with different levels of experiences. I think of it as taking the best elements of loyalty and reward schemes and that kind of things. The biggest difference is not points are going to make gift or money off products. It's more of your time because remember the reason why you have those core followers is because of you.
For me, the hardest thing that I see my customers having to deal with is when they grow, and they build a team. Because you have two tensions. You've got your regulars who only want to deal with you.
They don't want to deal with one of your team members, which is just tricky so I think part of the realisation for my customers and me is that whilst they are building a business and whilst they're building teams, they still have to make themselves highly available,. They have to be the face and voice of the business. That's not going to go away. But that's my reaction to the question certainly for now.
Beth: That's interesting cause I suppose when you get to a certain size and when you do start introducing additional people into your teams, there's that whole culture element of it. So obviously you still want to remain present, but you almost want to. Start creating a culture within your own teams that other people will find that reputation is still there.
Pascal: Yeah. And that's when you have to…which you should have done, from the get-go, but that's when you have to have a story, and that story becomes the thing that people who hook on. I know for a lot of the online businesses, one of the best sources of recruits would be your own customers.
Because if you think about it, they've had the pleasure of obviously the expense of being a customer, they've been probably your best advocate for months and years. I will not hesitate to actually within the Facebook group or the VIP room. To say to somebody actually, I've got this vacancy for someone to work in, fill the blank, whatever function.
Any of you, someone, would you even consider it? Because I think at that stage, you're reducing the likelihood of someone who's not a match for your culture because also the story that you've been sharing and repeating, reinforcing all along and interestingly, when it comes to the story to be the hook around culture, I will say that US companies do it a bit better than most.
Even though sometimes, the manner in which it's presented to us is a little, a kind of sometimes preachy or whichever, but you'd be hard pushed not to find a US company who can't tell you their story. So when I work on stories, storytelling via video with my customers, as part of the, the heart of this reputation management activity, you want to essentially, again, think of it as, storyboarding or scripting it before you find ways to express it.
You should be able to summarise your story on a piece of paper and go through this. And for me, the story, answers four key questions. So, question number one is, who do you help? And the who needs to be really well thought out. And you can have more than one customer groups, but those customer groups need to be spelt out to me.
So, I'm sure you've covered this with your audience on previous sessions, but to say I help, anyone or everybody doesn't work because what you want to do when you story tell. Is for the audience to go ohh they're talking about me or, they're talking about someone that I know, and either way, you're going to get a customer or a champion.
So, who do you help? And you need to be able to describe people where if you want, by the theatre of the mind, you recognise yourself or somebody, that's question number one. And you can just shoot you just put it points soon to begin with. The next question, you need to vent. So actually, very rapidly is why do they need you?
Can you share with me some anecdotes that show your customers in a scenario that goes, and as a result of which without our help, this is harder without my help, this is slower and so on. And literally, you want to be able to show those anecdotes because those anecdotes are what I would be repeating to my network and for them to go.
Oh, that's me. So again, people need to recognise themselves or someone that they know, within your descriptions and the storytelling is simpler, but yet harder than it seems. And the reason why it's hard is that all too often, people start from the wrong end, which is, let me tell you what I do. And then for you to work out whether or not it's right for you.
And I would say you're missing some ingredients in them, so who'd, you help is important. And why do they need you? Tell me stories, anecdotes, and I don't care how many you have. If you have two, you have two, if you have 20. 20, but the reason why I want people to listen is that that becomes a source of inspiration.
So, whenever you want to do marketing in future, instead of opening your laptop and thinking, what am I going to say on Facebook? You go back to your story and go, ah, do you know that anecdote that we made up six months ago about this family struggling with a following? Why don't we explore that further?
Why don't we, and that's the beauty of storytelling, which is the inspiration for you. As well as your customers. Question number three. So now that you know who they are and why they need you because you've made up stories, but they are real case scenarios. How do you do what you do?
It's a clumsily crafted question, but how do you do what you do? Is where I become the pest as we're doing the workshops because I need lots of details. So, what people will tend to do; there are two forces at hand. One is because that's not that interesting to do.
The other thing is also because people have listened to the, I think, well-intentioned advice, you have to give things succinct on the internet. And there is some truth in that, but not to the point where I don't understand what you do, or it becomes enigmatic.
So how do you do what you do? I really force people to give me the before, during and after stories. So what do you do for customers before they actually even start being your customers whilst they are your customers and enough before they're walking into the sunset and I want people to give me the long list of bullet points.
All the things they do for their customers, because one of the biggest, I
would say a pitfall and crime when it comes to promoting yourself on the internet is what I call under communication. Most businesses are guilty of under communication.
The reality is if I met somebody face to face and asked them about their business. I would get such a rich experience of information and passion and energy. As soon as I go on the internet, it's already flattened. Very samey. So, what this storytelling exercise of preparation really does, it makes you reconnect with how special you are and actually, how you crack the code thinking. When I list all the things that I do for my customers.
This is pretty amazing. Oh, by the way, I only share about 20% of it when I talk to people or when I buy something online, whatever. So, it's also a very important exercise to go through. And then the fun one, the fourth question, which is more in and around your uniqueness, is what I called the inspiration.
So, can you share with me the story of the moment? You became, who you are today and whichever. So in my case it was that phone call from that person, I could not understand in 2003, and I share it all the time, and I can see myself back in that office back on the phone frowning thinking.
ERDF what and ESF the other.
And I couldn't understand a word of it, but clearly, they saw something in me that I didn't at the time. So, if you take the trouble to go through this exercise, which may take a couple of passes. You may do it once and then leave it for a few days to go back to it.
And then you rediscover more. You may want to present it with some of your peers because they remember things that you've forgotten, but eventually, all you have is the ingredient of the story. And then for you to pick and mix and do what you want with it from writing blogs to doing a video, to being a guest on a podcast, it doesn't matter, but you can't deviate from the story.
It would be hard to because obviously, you'd be so connected with it, but more importantly, you need to make sure that you cover most of it as often as you can.
Beth: So much good stuff there, pascal. I had so many Aha moments and ideas. Then I think one of them is actually from selfishly from my point of view, like when I'm interviewing people, I do try to ask some of those questions because I think it's really important to know where somebody started out, what they do now and what it is that they do on behalf of the people.
So, from an interview point of view, that's a really good way to approach it. One of the things I wanted to ask you though, is, do these have to be real-life situations? Because I feel they would be more powerful or is it acceptable. If you're a large company where it's not a personal transaction relationship, where actually you can make a story up that would tick all of those boxes and would translate?
Pascal: Oh, absolutely. So, let take the example actually of a new company. So, you're starting a new, and this exercise is perfect because it would give you the ingredients. So you can essentially use imagination, which is by far the most powerful tool, you have as part of marketing, and you can just say, imagine a situation where, and then you just carry on.
So, it's not something that you live through yourself. It's not a recent customer or so on, but it is an anecdote that essentially allows you to showcase the qualities that you have as people. And of course, the properties of your service and product. So yeah, absolutely. When you do the, who do you help?
What do they need you, and how do you do what you do? This could be essentially something that is projecting to the future because it doesn't exist yet. You're just starting your business. The one that will be real is obviously the inspiration. So how did it all begin? And you'll notice that.
At no point, am I asking the question though? What do you do? And the reason for that is fascinating. When someone asks you, what do you do and you reply, they won't remember a thing. It's fascinating to observe. So even when somebody asks you, what do you do? You should tell them the story about who you help, why you help them and how you help them.
That's the answer to the question of what do you do? And if you just say, Oh, I do X, and then you've learned the marketing word, or you've learned the one-line sales pitch. It's got so little element in there to be memorable that people walk away. I would be in no position to actually recommend you and refer you to anyone because there's no story for them to carry.
There are no anecdotes.
Beth: I identify with it. That's so good.
Pascal: So, for me, the idea being when someone asks you, what do you do? Don't give them the answer they could find on a business card. The business card is a helpful item, but unless you have a conversation, then get the business card. That business card is of no use to the person who has it.
Say if they can see the business card. What they're going to do then is literally going to their memory bank. I remember where they bumped into you at the networking event now, and most likely to be when the met you on the zoom call or the webinars kind of things, but so the business card is just a device for memory.
And that's why for example, people who do networking, I would say politely the wrong way when they just dish out business cards and they're going to go, this didn't work this business malarky doesn't work I say no because you've done only 10% of the job. 90% was the exchange of information in the story in story form, and the business card is just that way for someone to go.
Ah, I remember when I met Beth, and this is what she said now in the position to make the phone call or in a position, or even if someone was to recommend you and someone says, you don't know what I can do that. So yes, here's the business card. Here's Beth, but they're also going to add supplementary information that obviously they got from you.
Beth: I love that. Let's lean into storytelling a bit more because obviously, your passion is film. And I think one of the things we should say, you have another podcast that you currently do. And do you want to just say what the name of that podcast is?
Pascal: Yeah, well, I've got a video series. So, the video series is m way to get on with making videos because I love video content, but also, I love collaborating. So I'm currently working with Roger Edwards, who is based in Edinburgh from Roger Edwards Marketing, and we have a video podcast and audio podcast series called Two Geeks and a Marketing Podcast where we essentially, unashamedly, combine popular culture and marketing advice.
Beth: Which is brilliant. I absolutely love all of it. I just love the mixture, and my daughter was listening to the other day, and she was like, Oh, it's got sections. You should do segments in your podcast. But one of the things that I really love is how you do combine your passion for marketing, with your passion, for film.
And I think that's one of the things that I've certainly struggled with in the past is actually people know us with different hats on. People know us for working in business support sector, or maybe in the health sector now, or, local Government in the past for me, but I'm also quite, very spiritual and heart-centred entrepreneur, I would say as well.
And I think sometimes it's difficult when you've got many hats to combine something. So I'd like to lean into that a little bit in terms of was that something that came easy to you when you started this podcast I know that you have brought film and the storytelling into the masterclasses and training that you've delivered in the past, but has it always been as easy to do that?
Pascal: Not at all. If anything, I worked harder to keep things separate then to actually to include them.
Beth: but I think it's not necessarily the right thing to do in.
Pascal: no, it's not. And I can't recall now the motivation, but I think it was probably because I was concerned probably by the reaction from the audience. And it was probably, also wondering whether I wasn't pushing my luck and was essentially wanting to have our cake and eat it with cheese as well. I'm going to go to work. And I'm going to talk about what I love, as almost as a hobby.
And that seems almost like the forbidden thing to do this shouldn't be allowed. So, my personal filmmaking started in the early two-thousands, really? And I've just got busy doing our creative fiction work. Which was me, at weekends, evenings, and holidays.
And then during the daytime, I was the online marketing guy and consultant eventually. And it was until really video content became a topic of conversation. And I could see a lot of. Poor advice I would say, or misleading advice or misinformed. Bit of, of, a recommendation. I went, two things are happening here.
On the one hand, people are all, over-complicating a video production, the bit about recording, editing videos. And I think they should learn from the world of indie filmmakers, which is where I belong, where we don't have the best kit ever. We don't know how the best times the best budgets and whatever. And then the other thing that's happening is that.
When people actually work, to get their head around the capturing of video, the way it's structured is actually nowhere near as engaging as a film that's a short story of a few minutes or a feature film because people have not understood the story structure. What I could see was, on the one hand, you have filmmakers who had this desire to do better online, but they didn't know how to do that.
And then those who are online, have a desire to make films and didn't know how to do that. Maybe I could be the glue. So, I, nervously, I did a test where I did the masterclass actually at the time, I think you were involved. You have a master class. I think it was called something grand like video marketing secrets from filmmakers, something like this.
I thought I'll do a half a day. So, if it doesn't work, I can't be blamed for it much. And the reaction is back to that, which is, once I got, the reaction. Once the feedback was so, positive, then it became a day. Then it became two days and now it’s become really part of who I am and so on and so forth.
But yeah. Back to your question. My initial reaction and intention were I would keep that almost like a secret. No one will ever find out that I'm doing film and that I know so much about film like literally I'm like some kind of walking film, archive, and Wikipedia.
And But, and then even with the Two Geeks and a Marketing Podcasts, when Roger and I were, negotiating with each other and the segments, and so on and so forth, when we got to film and marketing, we went, are you sure about that?
Are you sure the audience is going to actually buy this concept of you and I, reviewing a film and talking about the marketing of the film and not go these two are having far too much fun? They should not be allowed, on the podcast, which is really silly isn't it. Again, the reaction has been so that not only do we, like films you choose, but we like the way which you explore the marketing of that film.
And it works well. So that would say it's never been easy, I don't know, maybe it's an important part of the journey for anyone to go through a small discomfort to realise that actually what you're worried about was, not particularly well-founded.
Beth: I was in that discomfort for such a long time, and I think. Now, I suppose to just bring it back to what we're talking about in terms of reputation online, what would you say to anybody who maybe does have a passion for something completely different, but is trying to build a business in another particular area.
Pascal: Two things, you're in the business of improving someone's situation for the better. And by the way, the request could be a positive one. I'm getting married, or it could be a challenging one.
I'm losing sales on something. So, you're in the business of providing the solution. You should take great pleasure in designing a solution that is unique to you because you then would be the best at selling that solution to the other party.
If, for fear of almost a, for lack of success or criticism, you actually end up replicating what's already out there in the marketplace. I can guarantee your marketing will be so much harder for it just naturally, but also, you're not going to have any fun selling this at all. And so now when I say to people, oh, by the way, I've integrated techniques about filmmakers and documentary makers in my coaching.
I say this with a smile because not only do I know that it works because I've had the pleasure of practising that, but I also know that in a way if it's not for you, you'll pass. And suppose it's for you as a customer. In that case, you're going to be actually engaged with me with even more Gusto because we find commonality here.
And I think for me also, when it comes to the practice of online marketing and reputation management. It is about self-expression number one. It took me probably 20 years to discover that, the idea being that. So if you have, the chance to write an article, if you have the chance to put together a visual, if you had the chance to put together a short video, you will no matter how you try.
You will eventually end up by expressing your true self. Even if you try techniques and devices to hold that back, you will fail. You will fail miserably eventually to not do the best video ever because actually you connected with who you are as an author and discover your voice in the process.
And that's truly liberating. So, I would say that. I've in the last five years to me, since the film element is at the centre of my communication have been so much more enjoyable, rewarding. I'm not suggesting by the way that the last 20 years have not, but I suppose I feel really connected now with who I am as an individual, as a professional and as a content creator.
Beth: Yeah. And I think that's where I am now. Is that actually, I'm just me. I just need to be me and
Pascal: I can sense that certainly from what I've seen and which is why it's a delight to see you doing, not only that, the business Visualise You, the podcasts and so on, and it feels, and I could be wrong. You are not holding back any longer, because I always knew you as the very good creative writer.
I was always impressed by how you come up with a title for your blogs. Because while as I prefer video because I don't have to write then, it's much better. But how does she do that? Impressive. I always thought that and the way in which you've been able to now have a vehicle for all of that. I think, again, the next few months, a few years are going to be a blast for you.
Beth: and do you know that my English teacher said that one of my, essays was horse manure year and for a long time. Yeah. I thought that I wasn't any good at writing it wasn't until I was maybe late twenties that I realised actually I've got a talent for that. And actually, copywriting comes naturally. In terms of how I communicate,
Beth: Oh, thank you for that.
Pascal: But, back to that, If I'm allowed one indiscretion. I think education needs to do a far better job to encourage creativity because when it comes to people actually joining a workplace at some stage, they will be asked to come up with a creative solution to a problem whether it's a technical problem, or if it's a creative problem, that someone needs to sit down and come up with a better idea than the competition for the next blog for the next Engine for the next you know kind of accountancy package, whatever it might be.
If we have people that just repeat, what's already out there for fear of criticism, we're not going to move very far as a society. I remember vividly my essays or whatever you want to call them. They were full of red marks and things that were wrong. And it's really quite off-putting as opposed to actually, yeah.
You can correct the spelling and the grammar, but actually, how do we have somebody who's a creative thinker who was trying something a bit different and by trying something different you're going to make, or it's not going to work the first time around, because when I look at my customers and when I help them recruit, for example, And because of my work, Beth, I would have someone to recruit for the marketing team or the customer service team it is always in the round.
And the one reason why somebody gets the job is because they can show us that they are creative and not creative to the point where what they do has no merit. It's more this question of how do you deal with this problem creatively? And you know if you get a customer service call and its off script, what do you do about it?
If someone says to you, right? This social media campaign is not working as we thought. What we're going to do instead. And the answer is not going to be oh we're gonna put more money in advertising. Or we're going to do the same, but more often, it's not going to be the answer you want to hear.
Beth: let's just talk about some of the, maybe practical ways that people can build their online reputation, whether it's dealing with customer complaints or that fear of feeling that they need to be on all platforms and managing everything.
Are there kind of some key things that you'd like to share.
Pascal: Yeah, I'm very keen to share a bit of a formula if you don't mind. So everything will begin with this belief that the job at hand is reputation management or online reputation management, and to try and resist the temptation to use terms like online marketing or digital marketing and so on when you talk about—online reputation management.
I think the words are very powerful. It would convey something very different. And this essentially, you're going to put in place your efforts and results so that the audience that is right for your business and knows you exist. They believe in you, and they want to be part of your success story.
And with that in mind, you need to go back to who do you help? Why do you help them? Why do you do what you're doing and so on? They are the great source of information, but when it comes to shaping the plan of action, you want to be again, very practical. There are three main stages to any online management activities, whether it's for a week, for a month or for a year.
And the three stages actually kind of marry up to a customer journey or a sales funnel if you prefer the term or whichever, but it recognises the fact that. People need to believe in you and ask you to believe in themselves before they can become a customer. And I think all too often, the temptation has been to force the communication.
One way which is. Let me show you how good we are, what we do, and for me as a customer and go well I assume that you are, I'll take a punt, I assume that you're good as a supplier, what I'm not so sure about is whether I'm good as a buyer. And you mustn't underestimate, people being nervous about making a poor buying decision because they don't feel confident.
So, this is where content comes in, of course, but back to the three stages, you've got three stages, and I would highly recommend that people don't try and cut corners. There are three steps, and they are there for a reason. Within that, of course, the details would be what are you going to do when it comes to a platform like Facebook and so on and so forth.
But actually, interestingly in your plan, they may not feature because it's nowhere near as informative. So, step number one of your reputation management plan is what we're going to call visibility. And the question that I have for you is what do you have in place under the label of reputation management to be highly visible?
And because if you're not careful, you're going to put things in place that actually doesn't help at all, but I'll come back to the first step. Step number two is visibility means you've been discovered and that the right customers are mildly curious and interested in, this, as an example of say, maybe that's where they are in the state of mind.
Stage two from step up from visibility is what we call credibility. And this is where you're going to put some effort into your storytelling and more to make sure someone goes from maybe to actually, I'm interested. And we're going to look at some of the details of that.
And then step three, which is a very important one nowadays to build trust properly, is interactivity. And interactivity is all about what are you doing and what do you have in place to make yourself available for further questions or for interaction that would be almost like a taster version of what you do.
The result of a reputation management plan put in place is as follows. Somebody has consumed information via the internet, and the reaction is, if this individual or organisation is that helpful before I'm even, a customer, I can't wait to be looked after by them.
Which I know is a very ambitious goal and a very ambitious kind of example, but what you want someone to have is just enough, to consume just enough content, maybe just as we say, snacking on some of the headlines and so on, but the impression they get is that this organisation, this individual take great pleasure and pride in being helpful.
That suggests to me that when I become a paying customer, that would be at least on par, if not better than just what I can glean at this moment in time. And all too often, people are just too concerned about using the tools of the time or the website and the SEO and the email marketing and social media, and in a way, deep down what they're working towards, and in a way you want them to go, ah, ha they are pretty good on Facebook, but I still don't know whether I can trust them. And that's what you want to really avoid.
You're much better off having someone that knows very little about Facebook, but they are so good at the content creation, that relationship. And so, on that someone goes, the Facebook page is a bit, mmm but you know what, I love them. That's what you want. And I think we miss that all too often.
So, visibility, the first step is a very interesting one because all too often, what people tend to do is they'll say to me, I don't understand Pascal. I've read the book about how to do amazing stuff online. I've got the website, like the book said, I've been on, I've done the SEO like the book said I've done social media.
I've done email marketing. I put in my advertising I've done this and the other. And I'll be honest with you, Pascal, my levels of inquiries and the sales figures, are very disappointing. And my reaction is, I'm not surprised because everything you've described belongs to credibility. The moment you put effort into your own platform, your own website, your own Facebook, LinkedIn profiles, your own email marketing and so on and so forth.
As soon as you do anything that's to do with your platform or your account, whatever it might be. That's credibility, which means that actually, your journey is short, by one step you're not doing visibility. Now, what is visibility? Well, visibility is when you use others? And other platforms to become discovered if I may use that term, perhaps clumsily.
And I think there's been there for what I call the false promise of online marketing, all the misinformation of online marketing, which is this kind of belief that the formula is as follows: Content on the website. Listings on search engines, posts on social media, equal inquiries, and sales That's not true at all.
It may have been true in the late nineties and two thousand, but we're now in 2020, 2021 onwards and that's not going to be the case. And don't get me started with the algorithm that and is going to get in the way as well, anyway, or any of that stuff. So, you must work on your credibility. of course, you must have the website.
You must have the LinkedIn. So, the listings on Google maps, you must have one or two very well run and managed social networks and a YouTube channel. Yeah. I'll give you the shopping list, but if all you do is spend your time to create content that goes on those platforms, all you're doing is getting ready to be discovered, but are you doing anything to be discovered?
So, visibility is when you work with others, you collaborate such as having a podcast series with guests so that the guests then can share onto the network—part what you want to do. I a big fan of the, what I call the guest marketing tactic, which is what you're applying for your business, whereby either you're a guest on the platform, or you have a guest on your platform, but either way.
The other part is going to really market and promote you. And that's a great way, can you piggyback someone else's email marketing campaign? Can you sponsor it? It could be worth your while. Can you make some very soft approaches on social media by using recommendations?
So again, others, can you discover whether your audience is reading a newspaper? A magazine, are they following a particular radio show? Whatever and can you apply PR advertising rules. So usually they are the four things you can do, guest marketing and piggybacking someone else's direct marketing.
Because that can be printed of course. You can also, of course, apply the PR advertising on the right channels. And you can do some social selling, by asking for recommendations, but the moment others are involved, then things going to change for the better for you.
Beth: Interesting. I think we and I know that I've been guilty of focusing on the credibility a bit too much. I think it's just that perfectionism sometimes that we have isn't it of getting everything ready, getting all our ducks in a row, making everything look pretty getting our testimonials and LinkedIn profile done and everything.
But yeah, it's that
Pascal: so, once you've done that, the job then is to be discovered. If you don't use at least, I would say. 68% of your time on visibility, you are not doing reputation management. No, if you're not, if you're doing credibility, you're doing content marketing, and you're just caught in that kind of hamster wheel and the risk with that, because the other thing which is lovely about visibility, I'm a great believer in that.
Is that it's a wonderful form of marketing that helps you recharge because actually at the heart of it is human interaction. Whether you're negotiating, a presence on a magazine or you have a podcast.
And I think when I look at reputation management and why I favour the term to online marketing and content marketing is because you've got to be very careful that you don't end up in a situation where your pursuit of getting customers on board by creating content is so draining, that eventually, you're going to burn out. Like you, I burned out in 2009, which was a major wakeup call as well. For me, in terms of doing things very differently, and what I love about visibility is by the way it works, and it helps build the business.
But as an individual, as a team, it helps you recharge because it's a very different way of, of doing things.
Beth: So if you were just starting out today though, cause, I think. It's okay saying that when you may be already up and running, but let's say that you're just starting out today. Would you focus more on visibility or do you need to get certain things in place before you even attempt to do visibility or can you be doing it at the same time.
Pascal: I would say so true. Your question is I'm describing the steps based on the customer journey. So firstly, only discover you on other platforms, then they're going to check you out. And then we'll talk in a moment about the third step, which is, interactivity. So, if I were a brand-new business, all I would do at this stage is have a website.
Where the information is factually correct. And you've got the beginning of a blog. I would have a LinkedIn profile and a sign-off, and then you get going and start visibility. And with visibility, there's a fun exercise that you can do.
Part of visibility, which is interesting, it allows you as well to showcase a wonderful quality that I wanted to have as a professional is that you're curious about what's happening in your industry and actually the world of your customers. So actually, you could start visibility by saying to somebody I'm curious about the following. Which also happens to be something that our customers need to know.
Would you have some time to share your knowledge and so on and so forth? And begin like this, and there are four areas that you could look into. So, to begin with, you could approach other suppliers. So not obviously competitors that do what you do, but if you'd step back a bit and realise who your customers are, you appreciate that they need more than just you to function and operate.
So, you can extrapolate what other suppliers do they need? In my case, people need probably web designers I don't design websites. I love website design. I think I've paid my dues now, so I don't have to get involved so much.
So, I would say a very natural thing, to do would be to interview web designers and ask them. About WordPress and then Wix and Squarespace, whatever and deep dive on to another form of web design consideration.
So you could essentially start a research project and almost become like this journalist thinking I'm going to pretend that I don't know the answers to these and on behalf of our audience when they ask all the right questions And as a result of which not only do I have wonderful content but also have people going to say, Hey, I was a guest on Pascal's a podcast or videocast and go check it out.
We talk about WordPress So I think you can look at suppliers. The other thing that you can do is look at in your customers kind of sector or conveniverse as others sometimes call it. Is look for event organisers. So, are there out there events virtual conferences now and so on and so forth that your customers are likely to attend and then literally get in touch with the organisers and say, would you like to talk about your event?
Generally, I'm curious. I don't know this event much, but it seems like a good event to attend. Can we talk about it and they'll come on and talk about an event, and then they share the interview with their audience. So that's the next group? What is interesting about the events?
Usually, if you look at the event's website, they would be sponsored by media companies. Then get in touch with the media company and say, Hey, I'm curious about your magazine and what you stand for. Would you like to consider writing an article or jumping on the podcast or videocast?
Whatever it might be. So, media companies are also important and then the final group as I'm going through, as you can tell the diagram that I usually do on the whiteboard. Would be the membership organisations in the form of associations or federations institutes. So yeah. If your customers belong to a profession that is likely to be organised, it's all from a professional body.
Get in touch with them and do the reverse thing whereby you can say to them, I'm curious about the following. Would you like to jump on a call or answer some questions you could send? For example, a word document question that they can just type the answers but becomes the article to go on your website to get full credit.
And then when you share it on there, we'll share it on to their social network that's visibility. Part what you can do is do some research and Google. Now it is amazing what you can find and almost map out what we would call your customer's trust network.
As you mentioned that your customer is in the middle of a network of support that would have come from other suppliers and would come from event organisers for media companies and membership type organisations, you find a handful of each.
You've got probably enough guests for the next 12 months to see you through that visibility element. Then I am a, a customer of yours but I don't know you exist. But a minute ago I saw a newsletter from my membership organisation that says, I spotted as part of the items, our newsletter, or go check it out.
There's a video interview with our chief exec and Beth. And then they're going to click on the link and discover you. And then not only are they going to probably consume, the article, the video, but they're going to check out roughly what you do, which is where interactivity comes in.
So, the risk of that if people do the visibility well, and practice will make perfect. There's not enough credibility and not to do a great deal, but they forget the last step, which is interactivity. So, imagine that you have a visit on your website, you have a visitor potentially on your Facebook page.
Maybe they're just quickly looking at your listing on Google maps. They've gone to YouTube, the check what I call your reputation pack and they just leave. And maybe they'll go back next week because of our reminder, so what you want to do is maximise your chances with using coercion necessarily to get someone to become a, not just interested, but actually to become part of your community.
And this is where. On the website or on all those credibility platforms that you control, you have to make the offer of interactivity. What does that mean? Ideally, you're going to say to them, you're in luck because if you found this interview with the chief exec of this media company if you found this chat with, the supply interesting every Friday at 11:00 AM on Facebook I'm live to answer your questions.
It could be, that could be an example of interactivity. You're in luck next week, we've got a webinar looking at that book, your place you're in luck every, Wednesday, between 10 and 11, you can book a coffee and a chat with Beth. And so, making the offer of interactivity very clearly, wherever you have control is very important.
Here's the thing, sometimes the offer is enough. For somebody to then make the step from maybe to, yes, I believe in you. And if to take it up even more because they imagined a conversion would be quite high. And that to me is the newer version of subscribing to my newsletter.
Which can still be present, but because of malpractice and abuse from primarily the big brands out there, I think the number of people happy to subscribe to a newsletter is lower than it was in the past. We understand that, but here's the thing.
If they check you out, or maybe just, keep that distance. So, they join the Facebook live session. They don't say anything because they don't trust you just yet. But having seen and heard you being helpful to others, which is by far the most, best way to, manage your reputation. They're going to go, wow.
Now I don't need to sample the next one, or I really like the approach. I'm going to make sure that now subscribed to the newsletter.
Because I've had the chance to really, challenge myself and my preconceived ideas and so on. And I've seen that actually the way in which, Beth explained something, although in which she's brought in her belief in the soul lead, running a business as well, a kind of things.
Is what I believe in, as well. And in fact, what I'm going to do, I'm going to unsubscribe to the other two or three, who I'm not really in line with my thinking. But I was just stuck with them because I didn't know anybody else out there. And now I'm going to choose Beth instead, which is, of course, the ultimate compliment.
To me. That's why the three steps exist, but so what do we do practically? You're right. We do it in reverse order. So, the customer is going to go visibility, credibility interactive you behind the scenes need to prep your interactivity. So, when and where would you do the interaction there?
And really it doesn't matter what you choose so long as you do something. I remind you that, before we had to operate very differently because of the current crisis, some of them would have included in our networking. Or going for a coffee and a chat somewhere. So, we'll do it virtually, for now, the credibility now, what have you got in place?
So at least people can at their own pace, discover more about you and learn more about you and so on. And then what do you have in place to be working with others? But I would say. In terms of time for me would be yeah, maybe 60, 30, 10, roughly. And whenever my customer says to me when they're busy this week, I say, fine.
Then did you do visibility? Yeah. A website visitor first around one really be offended. If your blog is slightly behind. They won't mind if the product page is not up to date, By the way, they won't know, anyway, not that you should, use that as an excuse to not do enough on your website, but what they will mind is however they go on the website, and it feels like that's the end.
If they go on a website that is managed to the best, no one can, but you've got a date. And the times for the next time, I can jump on the call and ask you some questions or observe your answering questions. Then you've done your job.
Beth: Amazing. All three steps
You've certainly made me think about how I can interact differently on. my website. So I'll definitely be doing that., that's all really exciting stuff to be thinking about; I've had blogs and things in the past, and it's been really easy to generate leads on maybe on the back of a piece of content, for example.
But I think, yeah, you're right. It's all about that interactivity now. Isn't it. And doing things slightly different. It's the one bit that again
Pascal: the big companies cannot do. They couldn't get their head around, to begin with, who is going to be the person that's going to manage the Facebook live or do the webinar, some do but must that don't. And more importantly, if you're building in business based on as I've understood your career, your experience, and your very unique way of solving problems.
That's the best way someone to really get to know you understand you and those Facebook live sessions, they can last a quarter of an hour, 20 minutes. They'd have to be very long. The webinars can be just an hour. And I would say to somebody if you can't find an hour to a week to talk to lovely people, Then, by all means, go back to the some of the business, elements and see if you can reclaim time by either delegating or buying services, whatever it might be.
But I would say once a week, you need to be available to an audience that is considering using your services, but they're not sure just yet.
Beth: Wow. It's been such a fascinating conversation. I think we've been all over the place, but is there anything that you would want our listeners to take away today?
Pascal: I think for me, I'm reflecting on our conversation. It reminds me of something that I realised much later on. So I think that the good thing is it won't take somebody 20 years to realise to do this, but for me, in our reflection, the gift of the internet, it is really the self-expression and discovering through obviously iteration your true voice as a, as a communicator, as a solution designer.
And essentially then once you have that true voice to stick with it. And don't listen to others who they'd be well-intentioned to say to you, you should really be on Instagram, or you're doing video, but you should be writing more, all that kind of thing, because once you have connected with, what, you are as an individual and you can express yourself fully, then the rest you can curate it.
So, for example, in my case, as writing is not my thing. I can do it, but if you asked me, I wouldn't choose to do it, but I can curate amazing articles and syndicate—part and parcel of what I do. So, I think for me, number one for me would be the gift of the internet is discovering your true voice and then sticking with it.
And actually, month after month, and year after years is practice becoming the best at that form of expression. We, by extension, is marketing. And then the second element would be that the platforms, the tools, they're there to support that. So, you should always design a plan of action based on your understanding of the marketplace and your customers, and not based on the tools available.
So, for example, when someone says to me, we're going to do an online marketing plan, and they start to talk to me about. What websites they're going to have or what social media platform that they're going to go for. Actually, that's the decision that it should be taken much later. First, you should just imagine and design an amazing experience for your audience.
That gives them a chance to understand who you are, and then you'll decide whether or not it's Facebook or LinkedIn.
That's so easy to decide on that because ultimately it'd be done to your customers, but if you've not come up with an answer to the question of how will you keep someone interested on Facebook or on social media you know and forget the platforms, then those platforms can’t help you.
And to me, that's been the realisation that the most important asset. And the one kind of talent that one has to nurture above anything else is imagination. If you can imagine a better way or unique way, you need to you to use a platform, then you're on a winner. If you don't, then you're going to have to copy others, and that's going to leave you feeling quite empty, quite miserable, and probably actually a quite dissatisfied with the result and the practice itself.
Beth: I completely agree with you on that my thing is writing and obviously I'm moving into audio now, so one of the things I've been playing and toying around with is taking the transcript from podcasts and repurpose in that. And that gives me immediately something to play with content-wise.
I can do whatever I want to do with, so I think it's knowing where your strengths are knowing what your kind of macro piece of content that you can then repurpose and use multiple different ways is. And if that's Facebook lives for you, then that's great. And if it's not, then do what is
Pascal: So, I think you're right. So the question shouldn't be, for you, what is your version of interactivity that now works for you? so if you can all Facebook live because back to my recommendation, that's just a decision to be taken much later is your version of interactivity to be able to supplement, for example, with additional comments and reaction the articles you've written.
So the one that, stuck with me, because I thought at the time it was a great, when you talk about, how to be a serial quitter and, to this day, I think you've written a lot more than that, but I just thought brilliant. So is your version that you're going to have interaction interactivity sessions.
We're going to explore that article further and take questions from the audience or whatever.
Beth: It could be now Pascal; you've just planted a seed in my head. One of the things that I thought I could do is use medium. So medium is obviously a platform where you can create content. So, taking audio from podcasts to maybe you could even put the transcripts on medium, but potentially as well as maybe having them on your own website.
But then yeah, using that as a, maybe a way to engage with. People and say, do you want to come and find out more about this as
Pascal: we could have a whole session on content. Repurposing is fantastic because again, it's back to the imagination, which is right. You've done the podcast and, it’s gone, it's going its journey, but are there other ways which you could be of service to others? As my vision, which is why much prefer the term, reputation management is because it opens up so much more possibilities than online marketing could.
And one of it is obviously how do you find ways to provide better customer service online. It's part of reputation management, not just marketing, and you're right. Would describing the best performing podcast episode and give that to an audience who would not normally listen.
Although I know the numbers are very healthy, and podcast consumption is going through the roof, but I'm sure there's still a lot of people who they won't at all.
Beth: Oh, you could be doing Facebook lives and transcribing Facebook lives or whatever it is that you're doing, but it's the start Italian. That is the content that we're trying to get across.
Isn't it? Not necessarily, like you say, it's not the application, it's not the technology.
Pascal: I think for me, it's just starting on, which is, when people look at promoting their business, in today's economy, what you don't want someone to congratulate you for your, online skills or digital skills, Whatever, doing something to go based on what I've seen. I believe your approach to customer service is outstanding, based on what I've watched.
I think you're very good at what you do and I, like way you're doing, therefore, I want to become a customer. Again, this is a means to an end. And I think that the risk is that people spend so much time learning what they believe is the answer, which is technical skills.
They don't practice actually far more important skills, which is empathy with the audience, that kind of storytelling.
That very intuitive way of dealing with people generally is harder, with the small screen and that kind of things. But it's born out of things that you've done outside and in our way from the laptop and the mobile phone.
Beth: I have really enjoyed that conversation, Pascal. I think
Beth: and I think certainly got my imagination going. Thank you very much for that. Where can people find out more about you online?
Pascal: I'm lucky that I've got a proper, what I call an SEO. I can't hide easily, and I can't be mistaken for somebody else. So, people go on Google and put PascalFintoni, they can see a list of results.
Will show you the website, the LinkedIn profile the Facebook. If you want to do things if you are interested in both marketing and film then, by all means, do find us on Two Geeks and a Marketing Podcast and most podcast directories.
And also, as you pointed out, an example of how you can do podcast production as well.