THE WRAP UP: Budget free marketing, brand hijacking and deal killers to avoid.
What a busy month for the VAMO community, eh!?
👋 What a busy month for the VAMO community, eh!?
Firstly, we launched the VAMO Podcast on both YouTube and Spotify to make consuming our content easier and more accessible. Yes, you really can get VAMO in your eyes, as well as your ears, wherever and whenever you like.
If you haven’t subscribed to YouTube or Spotify already you can here.
Secondly, a huge thank you to the paid VAMO community for the conversations and Q’s in our private Slack that gives us the topics for our weekly newsletters, and coaching videos so we can help you grow your businesses, generate more leads and sell more stuff.
And (let’s be honest) that’s what you really want from a business community, isn’t it?
As promised, we’ll be inviting all paid members to our first ever in-person meetup in Manchester at the end of July. Details to follow in Slack, next week.
As this is the monthly wrap-up here’s some of the things we’ve been doing that you might have missed. 👇
👉 The no-budget “Waffle House" marketing strategy challenge.
👉 How we hijacked Gymshark’s audience and why you should try permission-less marketing.
👉 Things you need to avoid if you’re planning on selling your business in the future
The marketing strategy that needs no budget. 🧇
What if I told you there was a company that has zero marketing budget but has managed to open 2,100 restaurants across 25 states & post $1.3 billion annual revenue?
How did they do it?
Well, they strategically placed their Waffle Houses on high traffic routes in and around other popular businesses - like Walmart and Target.
What if I told you that can copy this pretty simple strategy online to grow your followers?
In this newsletter, we broke down The Waffle House Marketing Strategy and we’re all putting it to the test in June.
Here’s roughly how it works 👇
Identify 20-30 stars in your industry/niche that get a lot of attention whenever they post content.
These “stars” are popular content creators, in your niche, that generate lots of traffic.
They’re your version of “Walmart” and their posts talk about the things your ideal client cares about and engages with.
You need to create a list with 30 “stars” on any platform you’re looking to grow. In my example it’s both Twitter and LinkedIn. I used Excel, as I’m old like that.
I don’t care what you use or where you keep it, just do it.
Look at their posts from the previous 24 hours identifying which one is the most popular.
If a popular voice in your industry is talking about a topic and it’s attracting engagement, you need to be in around this conversation so your ideal client knows you exist.
Add a valuable comment on this post that expands on the original idea.
This is important. You don’t just slap any old comment on these posts. You need to strategically post a high-value comment that’ll get the attention of the “stars” audience. These comments are your Waffle Houses.
You’re putting your content in the places your ideal client is visiting, adding value and you’ll gain followers as a consequence. Clever, eh?
Well, it gets better…
Use these comments to test content ideas so when you post your own content - it bangs💥
One risk with creating written (or video) content is you never know if it will fly or die. Well, the Waffle House Strategy removes a lot of the guesswork for you.
If you track how popular your “waffle house” comments using “likes” on LinkedIn or the “tweet analytics” button (like below) on Twitter. You’ll know have a clear indication of the type of topics your ideal client wants to see as can turn them into “proper” posts.
I’ve seen a big improvement in my engagement and my audience has started growing again and have seen some people reporting a 300% increase in followers using this strategy.
I’ve also reduced my number of dud posts as I’ve taken some of the guesswork out of content creation. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
If you’d like to read this in more detail & join the VAMO challenge, click below 👇
How we hijacked Gymshark's audience 🦈
You may remember the controversy in April with Thursday asking creatives to do unpaid work?
If you’ve not seen that video on our YouTube channel you can catch up here 👇
Well, last month I took the calculated risk to do some free work for a big brand and to share with the VAMO community exactly what I did, the strategy behind it and the results (good or bad).
When it comes to marketing I’ve always gone with the line…
‘ask for forgiveness, not permission’
It started when a cool recruitment campaign was posted by Gymshark founder, Ben Francis.
For those that don’t know, I do have a “proper” business. Yes, I don’t just talk rubbish about marketing and sales in newsletters & YouTube. I actually do sales and marketing in a “proper” business that sells actual real stuff.
Is that a little dig at some other business communities run by other people?
You’re damn right it is! 🔫
IAM Productions is my video explainer business. We make animated explainers when companies want to explain something to their audience, usually as adverts, on their website, landing pages, company pages or on their socials etc etc
After seeing this Ben Francis post on LinkedIn I felt it was the perfect opportunity for IAM Productions to create some Gymshark content, whether they wanted it or not!
We took part of the advert and created Gymshark a short animated explainer video, tagging in the main people at Gymshark on social media for a nibble.
It was viewed by more over 100k people and was liked and shared by key members of the Gymshark marketing team.
If you want to read a detailed breakdown of this case study so you can implement it in your business, you can read that newsletter in full here.
It does come with some risk, though …
Noel (Chief Brand Officer) did give us a little scare with his comment. 👇
But as I said: “ask for forgiveness, not permission”
If you’re not willing to take risks with your marketing, you’re never going to stand out.
We’re now connected to the marketing team at a big brand we’d like to work with and other big brands have seen our work.
If they ever need animation work, IAM Productions is front of mind.
If you’d like to learn more about permission-less marketing and how you and your business can use it to win big clients
Click to read the full case study below 👇
Thinking of selling your business? Avoid these deal killers 💀
Bit niche this one and was more for the business owners in the VAMO community.
We don’t always “win” in business and there are plenty of things I wished I’d done differently. So when I was asked in our private slack group about what I learned when selling my business, I wanted to share 3 (almost) catastrophic mistakes that nearly stopped the £8m sale from happening at all.
Here’s that newsletter summarised below 👇
Not having the right contracts in place.
Sounds mad but, even though we hired our freelance team and paid them to create courses for our business it turned out that legally we didn’t actually own the IP so the courses didn't sit on our balance sheet.
Have you got the right contracts in place with your freelancers?
Having a 💩 accountant
They hadn’t worked with a business like ours before or dealt with a sale of this size before and we nearly paid the price.
If you do anything with this newsletter make sure it’s getting monthly management accounts in place and making sure you’ve got a decent accountant.
Sack Yourself from the business
I get it. The business is your baby, but you need to show potential buyers you’re not the hardest working, busiest fool in the business.
You need to remove yourself from all processes and operations manuals – and sack yourself.
If you don’t then the potential buyers might not want to buy your business or they’ll want to tie you in for 24-48 months as they do a handover.
Click to read the full post below 👇
There’s no such thing as a stupid question.
Did you know if you’re in the paid community you can ask questions you want help with?
Our team are on hand to give you the answers you need to help you grow your business, get better at marketing and make more money.
If we don’t have the knowledge we’ll get our little black book out and get some of the best experts around to help you?
Here’s one of our favourites from last month about business cards. 👇
It’s these questions that help us grow the coaching section of Views Are My Own.
If you’ve got a question you’d like answering you can join and ask it in our private Slack community by subscribing below 👇
Early access to Episode 7 of the VAMO podcast is now available 📺
This month we’re sharing our views on:
Swearing in marketing
What to do when people rip-off your content
Plus for the paid community we’ve got an extended coaching section to help you
Generate new business leads from TikTok
Create a successful (low cost) billboard campaign
How to raise your prices & increase your profits.
Paid members: if you want to head over to watch the latest episode now then click here. 👇
Free members - it costs just £150 a year to access all this extra content & get our weekly coaching - so subscribe now and get 52 extra things to improve your sales and marketing over the next 12 months.