Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.
About Joel: Joel Libava, The Franchise King®, is a brutally honest, mostly non-politically correct entrepreneur, who’s hyper-focused on teaching would-be franchise owners how to become wildly successful as franchise owners, and not lose their money. Joel’s book, Become a Franchise Owner! The Start-Up Guide to Lowering Risk, Making Money, and Owning What You Do, was just released. (John Wiley & Sons, Publisher) (www.becomeafranchiseowner.biz)
1. How did you get started in social media?
In 2006, I met George Nemeth, (www.georgenemeth.com) one of Cleveland’s first bloggers.
I started to leave comments on George’s “Brewed Fresh Daily” blog, and felt that I had known him just enough to ask him to have breakfast with me one morning. (I was starting to get fascinated with the whole “blogging” thing.)
We met at a Cleveland, Ohio area café, and talked for about 2 hours. He shared his views on blogging, and during that conversation, he helped convince me to start one up, myself. So, I did. (Thanks, George!)
I felt that if I was among the first to set-up a blog about franchising, it would really help me long-term. I looked at it as a way to differentiate myself. I also felt that it would help me build real credibility in my field. I was correct about both items.
I started one of the first-ever blogs on franchising (http://www.blogster.com/ohiofranchisecenter) in 2006. It was a great learning experience. I started to meet other bloggers in my local area, and attended some blogger “meet-ups.” All of us shared what we were learning, and as each one of us perfected a skill needed to improve on what we were doing, we freely shared our knowledge with each other.
My current blog, The Franchise King Blog, (http://www.thefranchiseking.com/blog) has been going strong ever since. It’s been a game-changer for me, and it’s even won some awards for content and influence.
Facebook was the first social network I joined after starting The Franchise King Blog, and I opened up a Twitter account a while later. LinkedIn followed, and now of course, I’m on Google+, also.
2. What’s your strategy for the content you produce and share on social media?
I write a post about franchising, small business, or both, and hit the “Publish button.” That starts everything in motion. If my post was written on any of my own web properties, it’s automatically sent out to all the major social networks. After about an hour, I check these networks, (Twitter, FB, and LinkedIn) to make sure the post went out. Later on that day, I send the post to bizSugar, a small business bookmarking website. (Full disclosure; I’m on the advisory board for the site.) I also send it to a couple of other social bookmarking sites that are a bit under the radar. Finally, I go back to Twitter a couple of more times that day, and send the post out again, but with different post titles. I’m a true believer of the GKTT. (Guy Kawasaki Twitter Technique.) Guy suggests that we make sure to send our posts out on Twitter several times a day. (I tend to overdo things, so his technique fits well with me.)
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their social media influence and presence to the next level?
The way to take things to the next level, social media marketing wise, is to always be on the cutting edge of things. If you can be the first one in your circle to use a new software tool, or a new social media platform-successfully, you’ll be looked upon as an innovator….as someone to watch…to follow.
While I know in my heart that social media is really not about “the tools,” the reality is that lots of people are attracted to the newest shiny, bright objects. If you can find a way to use of the newer tools, and even teach others how to use them also, it could be a game-changer for you.
Look what Lewis Howes has done with LinkedIn. Chris Brogan took the time to learn how to use Google+, and secured a 5-figure book deal in the process. Several people have written books about how to use Twitter. If you want to learn about Facebook, who are you going to follow? Mari Smith!
Finally, if you want to increase your influence, and presence, stand for something! That’ll give you some Klout. People that know me, and have followed me on all of the social media channels that I’m on, know what I stand for. Some of the things that I’m passionate about (when it comes to my industry) don’t always make me the most popular guy at parties. And you know what? I don’t care. Some of my blog posts are controversial, and tend to piss some of the folks in my industry off. That’s okay. I speak my mind, and I don’t back off of things that I really, really, believe in.
You shouldn’t either.
Follow @FranchiseKing on Twitter!