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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

EPISODE #44: ANDREA VAHL Andrea Vahl is the guest in episode 44 of "Diamonds in Your Own Backyard: The Entrepreneurs Radio Show, Conversations with Successful Business Owners that Grow Your Business." Andrea is a blogger, online entrepreneur, consultant, community manager of Social Media Examiner and co-author of "Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies." Learn how this stay-at-home mother of two gets to have a successful career in social media while enjoying motherhood

Andrea Vahl – Social media for your business Travis: Hey, it's Travis Lane Jenkins. Welcome to episode 44 of "Diamonds in Your Own Backyard: The Entrepreneurs Radio Show, Conversations with High-Level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business." Sandra, my co-host and one of my best friends, is not with us today. She is still on the road with race teams at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. Sandra, we miss you. Get back to us as soon as possible. Now for all of our friends listening to the show, I want to ask you to be sure and stay with us until the very end, if you can. I‟d like to share a little inspiration with you, and I'll also reveal who I'm going to connect you within the next episode. Now one quick reminder: if you enjoy these free podcasts that we create for you, we'd really appreciate it if you'd go to iTunes and post a comment and rate the show. This would help us instruct, reach and inspire more great entrepreneurs like yourself with each and every guest that we bring on to the show. Before I introduce you to our guest today, I want to give our new friends that just started listening some perspective for the Entrepreneurs Radio show. Every interview is a conversation between four friends, so it‟s me, Sandra when she's here, you, and of course our guest. Even though we're talking with some of the brightest high-level entrepreneurs and brilliant thought leaders around, this is still just as if we we‟re sitting at a table with each other, having a casual conversation. Everyone that we're talking with has found success doing what they teach, and they want to help you by sharing what they've discovered. Normally, the only way to get this level of personal access to so

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

many high-level entrepreneurs, beyond having your own show, is to join high-level Masterminds, go to seminars, events and build those relationships over several years, and spend an absolute fortune in the process. I‟m excited with this podcast and this platform that we get to share these great people with you to fast-forward your success and your connections that grow your business. Today, our guest is Andrea Vahl. I hope I pronounced that right. Did I pronounce it right? Andrea: Yes, you did. Yes, you did. Travis: All right. I‟m very proud of myself. Now, Andrea helps entrepreneurs leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn to grow their community and increase their revenue. Andrea is also the co-author of "Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies." She is also the community manager for the well-known and very popular Social Media Examiner. So we've got a lot of great stuff to cover that will help you take your business to the next level. So without further ado, welcome to the show, Andrea. Andrea: Thank you so much for having me, Travis. I'm excited to be here. Travis: Yes, I‟m excited to have you on the show. I know you're very busy. Listen, before we get into what you teach, and there are so many different things that you do teach, can you give us the backstory of how you got started and how you found success in doing what you‟re doing? Andrea: Yes, yes. It‟s kind of interesting because I fell into the social media teaching and consulting and speaking a little bit by accident. I was out there. I‟ve been laid off from my job a while before and stayed home with my kids. It ended up being this perfect timing of being laid off. I loved my job, but my son was one year old and I thought he didn‟t really enjoy day care and wanted to be home with him, so it worked out perfectly. I‟ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and always had to be in the business world. I‟ve been fascinated with business. When I was five years old, I went door-to-door selling my paintings for a penny, so I‟ve always been an entrepreneur from early on. And so when I was laid off, I was able to then start to field my own side businesses while I was staying home with my son. That was really wonderful. As I was marketing those businesses, I was realizing the power of being online. Twitter was fairly new. Facebook was new, and it was really exciting when I saw the opportunity and the possibility. As I was getting on these sites and starting a blog and things like that, I was out there looking for tutorials, and it was really challenging to find good tutorials. They were all fairly boring and pretty dry, and so I thought--and I had also been helping other people get their

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

businesses online and enjoyed that, so I thought, “You know what? I‟m going to start a blog that‟s going to be more fun and entertaining.” I also did improve comedy as well, so I took one of my characters. I thought, “I‟m going to make something that‟s a little bit less boring out there.” So I took one of my characters and I started the blog as the character to make it more fun. I chose my character, Grandma Mary, to help start this blog. Grandma Mary really spiced the lessons up a little bit and made learning social media more fun. Grandma Mary‟s motto is: "If Grandma Mary can do it, you can do it, too!" She tries to make it easy and lighthearted because learning new things is always scary and challenging. She breaks it down to really simple steps. I was doing that, and as I was building my blog and building my audience, I was connecting with a lot of people online. One of the people I connected with and formed a relationship was Phyllis Khare. She was the one who was actually connected to Wiley and recommended that I be a co-author for the “Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies” book. She was the one who connected me there. I love the power of social media because you never know where your connections are going to lead. They could lead to a book deal. Travis: Right, right. Andrea: It was just really fun because I was doing something I loved, which was being a little crazy, using my improv gift there, and teaching, so it worked out really well for me. It was a little bit unplanned, but it's all been fantastic. Travis: So now take me back. When was this that you made this transition? When did you start using social media and then start acquiring these skills and then had this epiphany or idea? When was that? Andrea: Right. That was about almost five years ago. That‟s when I started the social media part of my business. Up until then I had been doing some other businesses which were really fun. I ran some inhome wine-tasting business and some other side things. As the social media part grew, I kept getting more and more people who wanted me to help them bring their businesses online and I was realizing how much fun it was. That‟s when I really started focusing more on this business rather than some of the other businesses I had. I really love blogging, so I kept doing that. It‟s been a really fun journey for me. Travis: So how long before--starting at basically zero… To me, I visualize you starting at zero here since you‟re at home, and you‟re learning. You‟re playing with this. You‟re dabbling here and there. How long before you started finding financial success in doing that?

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Andrea: Yes, that's a great question. It was actually a little bit slower growth for me, but that was okay. At the time, I had two young children at home and I knew that I wasn‟t going to dive into 60-hour work weeks. I just started fairly slow. I had a positive financial balance sheet at the end of my first year. It wasn‟t a lot but it was positive, which was good. It‟s challenging. Travis: Right. Yes, that's big for the first year in business, to have a positive… Andrea: Yes, there was a lot of expenses, and I really bootstrapped it. I really was doing a lot of things on my own and not doing a lot of outsourcing and focusing, that first year, on creating a lot of content. I didn‟t have a lot of products. I was working on some products as well, doing some consulting, but not putting in a ton of hours each week. That was okay for me. I realized that I knew it was going to take me longer to get where I needed to go, but for me it was more important to stay home with my kids and be there for a lot of hours every day and just work in my business during short periods and off periods and nap times and things like that, so it worked really well for me. Now the kids are in school full-time, and I‟m really able to focus a lot more and have a fantastic, wonderful growth that I‟m happy with. I‟m very excited to see where my business is now. Travis: Yes. Well, I visited with Rand Fishkin. He is the founder of SEOMoz and has had incredible success. He refers to that as serendipity, and I've talked about that before. Now serendipity could sound like you accidentally became successful, but his take on it is that you get out there and you do enough of the right things, all of the dots start connecting and people start coming to you. You started out in thinking that you were going to go one direction or you were doing one thing in business and come to realize that you could be more passionate and more successful and maybe even more scalable in this other thing. Do you agree with that? Andrea: Definitely, definitely. I think that it definitely... I like how you talked about that connecting all the dots and doing all the right things because I really believe that if you continue to just wag away and keep going and making those connections, that you'll definitely get to where you need to go. It may not be as fast as you'd like or it may not be at the same trajectory as someone else, doing different things and living a different path, and I think you have to work with your own path and really just keep your own crowds. Travis: Right. I want to share with you my observation from my side of what it looks like when you really start dialing in and delivering great stuff, what happens behind the scene. I want to share that with you because I want to get your opinion and see if the same parallel has happened with you, okay?

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

So with this show, in the very beginning, we produced a pretty decent show, but there was, like anything, your school set, your writing, your presentation, everything grows and you get better and better and better. Andrea: Right. Travis: And then a shift happens to where people start coming to you. People want to interview you. People want to share your information. People have natural, organic, caring conversations that you... And all of this is organic—meaning, that it's really just coming to you without any form of paid advertising. It's just happening on its own, and there's a shift that happens. I think that that's a great indicator that you're doing something good and to continue in that direction. Did the same thing happen to you, and is that good advice for other people? Andrea: Yes, I think that is good advice. I think that sometimes people wonder why they're not in this place or that place and they feel bad about where their business might be, but I think you just have to keep going and keep really working hard and focusing on your vision, and then you will attract those people who--your core fans, really, who love you and share your information and pass your name around without any prompting from you. Like you said, you're not doing paid advertising. You're not asking these people to refer you. But if you're helping enough people and really focusing on their needs, they're going to be your best evangelists. They're going to be your brand evangelists that go out and spread the word for you. So I think it's really important to always be focusing on your vision and helping your customers because that word will get out. Travis: Yes and just really focusing on giving it all you got and giving it your absolute best because these evangelists get aggressive. They get aggressive with people and say and do--they'll defend you. They say things. They do things. And so as you start getting people that follow and care about what you're doing based on the quality and the value that you're providing, it really starts propelling things into a whole new level. Andrea: Right. Travis: I guess the reason why I wanted to mention that is to encourage people to keep trying to dial things in and be persistent with what they're doing. Now you've got so many different things that you leverage: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn. Which are your two strongest? Andrea: My two strongest, right now, I would say, are Facebook and LinkedIn. I love YouTube and Twitter, too, but, really, it's hard to focus on a lot of platforms and do all of them well, so I don't

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

recommend people will try and do that, especially business hours. For me, it's a little bit more about my business and where I need to be so I can help other people figure out the best methods for getting their business seen on those platforms. But, even as a business owner myself, it's hard to pay attention to all these places. I love Facebook because I just live and breathe Facebook all day long. Twitter, I still love because it's connected me with so many amazing, fantastic people that I would not have connected with if I just focused on Facebook, but I think, for me, Facebook is working much better. I love the threaded conversations. I love the way it brings people together. I see people who have connected on my page, then connecting in other spaces, too, and it‟s fun to know that I've formed relationships through my community. I also am loving LinkedIn right now. They have been doing some really cool things with their company pages. I think they're innovating a little bit more. I think the feed is getting more active out on LinkedIn. I think they're really tweaking things up to be a great, cool place to be. Travis: Well, I consider myself an early adopter on many things, but I just... I don't get LinkedIn on a deep level like I do with Facebook. Andrea: Right, right. Travis: Facebook is intuitive, and LinkedIn is not. Is that common? Andrea: Yes, it's a little bit... Yes. No, I think what happens on a lot of these platforms is the way they start out and the way they evolve end up making some things a little bit backwards in the way they appear and work. They‟re trying to tack on things in different spaces, but, yes, I think it's common for people to feel much more comfortable with one or two of these platforms and feel like they don't have an affinity with another platform. I think that's totally fine. I think you work best with what you enjoy, and you do it well when you enjoy it. So I had to recommend... Travis: Yes, everybody has a favorite. It's just, I guess, Facebook has taken a page from Apple towards intuitive. You really don't need instructions. You can just open the thing and look at it, jump in, communicate, join a thread or a conversation. In LinkedIn, we've got all these drop-downs and, okay, well, I just don't understand the flow of everything. I understand, or I hear that it's supposed to be--their news feed is similar to the news feed

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

on Facebook, although, you know, "Am I in the right section? Am I..." The posting isn't as easy to do, all of the other stuff. Andrea: Right, right. Yes. Yes, there are a lot of screens. It's a little challenging sometimes, but for some people--I definitely talked to a lot of people who Facebook is a complete mystery to them. They don't understand how people see what and where their posts go... Travis: Right. Andrea: So for some people, things are more intuitive. One platform‟s more intuitive than another. Travis: Now one of the things that I know that you do is you help people really figure out where their business fits in on the whole social media thing, right? Andrea: Right, right. Travis: So, how would you… Let's just do an impromptu. Let's pick a business and let's walk down the path of how you would dissect it and say, "Okay, this business would be best for this platform, and here is why." Andrea: Right, yes. Yes, let's pick a business. Pick a niche, and we'll talk about it. Travis: I think probably most people... I don't know. There's a lot of B-to-C-type businesses. Would it be too tough for you to do like a Main Street-type B-to-C business, maybe… Andrea: Yes, so let's focus on a local... Let's talk about a local shop, a local store, and where they would fit best. Travis: Okay. Andrea: Now I really truly believe that people can leverage almost any one of these platforms in any business. I have seen B-to-B businesses do really well on Facebook even though people talk about, "Well, LinkedIn is the place for B-to-B, and Facebook is B-to-C, and Twitter is this,” or whatever. I don't think you can really put a complete box around any business because if you like it, you do it well. You're active on it, and that's what you're working with.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Traditionally, I like looking at, for a local business; I really like looking at Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, it depends a little bit on the person and the owner of the business—what they like and what kind of use they have on their mobile phone, what they feel comfortable with because some local businesses are just better tweeting. They like Twitter. They're on their mobile phone. They feel like it's easy to do. And so then we focus a little more on Twitter. But let's just say, for example, it would be a business that is more comfortable with Facebook, and that's where they want to focus. From there, what I would definitely suggest people do is, of course, have a Facebook page, and then also look at leveraging your Facebook profile. If you are a business owner who is comfortable combining Facebook, their Facebook business, with their profile page, I think the social media works really well when you are out there connecting because, really… Say, you were a local business and you were going to networking meetings to promote your business, who goes to those network meetings? You do. Travis: Right. Andrea: So it's natural for you to be connecting with people as your person, personal profile, and mentioning and talking about your business on Facebook as your personal profile as well. I think that's where it works best. Some of the other things I really like about using Facebook with a local business is that you can go out and find other local pages and start commenting on those pages as your page. You can become much more visible to a local audience by doing that. Say, you're just starting out. Maybe you only have 50 fans on your Facebook page, and you're wondering how to be more visible. Maybe you don't want to spend money on ads. You're really trying to keep your marketing budget in check, but you want to be more visible. That's where you go out and you find your Chamber page. You find other like, local pizza businesses, if they might have the same audience as you. The people who go to the pizza store might be also people who come to your store. Find those businesses. Like them on Facebook as your page, and then watch your page Home Feed. Go out and make little comments. Don't be saying, "Come to our store." It's just saying, "Great post “or, “That pizza looks delicious," if they're posting pictures about their pizza… Travis: Right. Andrea: ... and things like that, to be more visible.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Travis: Well, you know, that's... I probably shouldn't admit this, but I hadn't thought about using it that way. Andrea: Yes, it does. Travis: So let‟s say this B-to-C, business-to-customer business is a chiropractor. Chiropractors, like dentists and most other local Main Street businesses, they make their living off of about a 10-mile radius, right? Andrea: Right, right. Travis: So as a chiropractor, I would go in and I would like maybe two or three of the local pizza places, and… Andrea: Yes, or any stores, any restaurants just nearby. A lot of local businesses have local pages. Travis: And then join in the conversation with what's going on in a real and authentic way, based on what they're posting? Andrea: Right. Travis: Right, and then what from there? Andrea: And then from there... I really do love Facebook ads. I know some people say, “Well, social media should be free. I shouldn't have to pay.” You know what; this is a different market nowadays. Of course you have a marketing budget. Maybe you're not going to focus as much on some of the ads in the newspaper that you used to do and funnel more of your money towards online advertising, where you can highly target your ad budget and also measure the results in a great way, where you can't necessarily do that always in the newspaper ad. I love Facebook ads for local businesses and other businesses as well. I love using Facebook Authors, which are a way to offer a coupon to people. They claim that coupon, and when they claim that coupon, it shows up in their news feed for all of their friends to see. So Facebook Authors can be a really viable way to get more exposure on Facebook, and they don't cost a lot of money. It can be a great way to really kick off your Facebook presence.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

I also love the traditional Facebook ads, just for the way that you can target them to a very specific ZIP code, a specific profile, so that only your perfect customers would see that ad and click on it, so it's not a scattershot marketing. It's really focused. Travis: Yes. The level that you can drill down is unbelievable. Andrea: Exactly. Travis: Do you promote pages or post? Andrea: I like promoted posts to re-engage your current audience. That is a great way if you're... Say, you've had a Facebook page. You've kind of let it go, and you're not getting a lot of engagement on there anymore. You want to have some promoted posts, which mean that your post is pushed into the news feeds of your fans. That way, you're more visible, and they re-engage as your fans with your page. That's a great way to reconnect if your page needs a little bit of life. If you're looking to get new fans or to promote something like a sale or special deal, then I like either--I like Facebook authors for promoting a special sale, but I like the regular Facebook ads, where they have the sponsored story, sponsored like, as well as a traditional ad where you can say, "Come like us,” and “Here's why we are awesome” kind of thing, and click like in the ad itself. Travis: The post is to grow your community and promoting a certain page as to maybe cause a transaction? Andrea: Yes. The regular Facebook ads, it's challenging to even talk about Facebook ads because they have so many ad vehicles at this point. Travis: Right. Yes. Good point. Andrea: They've really come up with a lot of different ways to advertise, which is great. They're obviously trying to up their revenue, but like a promoted post straight from your page goes into the news feed of your fans directly. You do that right on your page. Then a regular Facebook ad appears in that right column of your home feed, where you see some of those ads where they‟ve got the picture, and you can like them right from the ad itself. Those are great ways to get fans or maybe advertise a special offer or a sale.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Travis: Right. Well, we've had really pretty good success in promoting the post. We've grown 300% in the activity or the responsiveness of the post ever since we've started—actually, probably 600% now that I think about it—just by promoting the post. It's a really incredible way to engage people, and it's really not very much money to do either. Andrea: Yes, yes. It really isn't. It's a very affordable marketing. You can really narrow your target down and connect to your perfect client. Travis: Yes. I feel like we're going back to the era of front-porch attitude, to take a page out of Perry Marshall's book on Facebook advertising as well. That's the way that he presents it in. I agree with him that we're going back to this more personal, front-porch-type attitude rather than the blasé advertising and stuff that was so regular in the past. Do you agree with that? Andrea: Yes, definitely. I think that there's such a focus on relationship and building these relationships. I think that if we keep that in mind and keep that what's-in-it-for-them attitude to the people you're advertising to, then you're going to succeed so much--have so much more success than you would if you're just trying to do the same old marketing. Travis: Right. What does Grandma Mary have to say about that? Andrea: Grandma Mary definitely thinks... Well, one of Grandma Mary's... Travis: Can we talk with her? Andrea: We can. Andrea as Grandma Mary: Travis, I am so glad you invited me. I hardly ever get invited to some of these interviews. Travis: Well, I didn‟t think Andrea was going to let you talk at all. I'm glad you finally… I heard you in the background, so I thought maybe I would just go ahead and ask it, if we could speak with you directly. Andrea as Grandma Mary: Thank you so much, Travis. Andrea kind of hogs the conversation a little bit too much, in my opinion, but... Travis: I didn't want to say that.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Andrea as Grandma Mary: One of my big mottos is: "Don't be blind." That's where I feel like I've had had my success is--is let your light shine. Be a little bit different with some of your marketing. Don't be afraid to take a risk and go out on a limb and be a little crazy, all right? Travis: Well, that's a great advice, Grandma. I'm surprised that you're so hip on this new stuff here because most people in your age range—not inferring that you're old or anything, just someone with your wisdom—normally does not have the perspective that you do. How did you get that? Where do I detect that accent from, the North? Andrea as Grandma Mary: Yes. Sure, the North. Travis: Grandma, how did you get all this wisdom on Facebook? I'm impressed. Andrea as Grandma Mary: Well, That's what it is. That's why I knew I had to help people because, of course, if Grandma Mary can do it, you can do it, too. What I've found is I found a lot of people's tutorials skip steps. They assume people know all the acronyms. I don't like acronyms. I think--let's just keep it simple. I wanted to help people because there needs to be really clear instructions. Some of this technical stuff is overwhelming, but again if Grandma Mary can do it, you can do it, too. I'm going to help you. We‟ll get it done. I've run across some amazing stories. I was just watching some 76-year-old lady starting her first business and having great success, and I love that. You can start a business at any age, any circumstance, anytime, so it doesn't matter. Travis: I love it. Grandma, does Andrea let you work with any of the clients? Andrea as Grandma Mary: You know, I don't do a lot of client work. I need my rest. Travis: You don't have any time for that nonsense, Grandma? Andrea as Grandma Mary: I chime in with my advice here. But you know what I love doing is I love getting out and doing the interviews. I go out places. I've interviewed Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, Amy Porterfield. Fantastic people out there that I've gotten a chance to interview, and that's what I love doing--is getting out there, getting a little crazy, and doing some interviews. Travis: Wow. I'm impressed. Are you single, Grandma?

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Andrea as Grandma Mary: I'm hot to trot. Travis: Well, thanks for sharing that with us, Grandma. You're probably exhausted now. Should we continue? Andrea as Grandma Mary: Now I'm having hard questions, I got to go take a nap. Travis: Thanks for joining us. I guess I'll continue this with Andrea if you don't mind? Andrea as Grandma Mary: Thanks. Love you. Travis: Love you, too. Andrea: Grandma has a hoot. She‟s fun. Travis: Well, she's out there, isn‟t she? She's a little dangerous. Andrea: She is a little dangerous. You don't know what you're going to get. Travis: I love it. Oh, boy. Let's get back to some of this brilliant stuff that you're teaching with us. What if we--teaching, not teaching with us. I'm so caught up with Grandma here that I need to get my head focused back on what we were talking about. Andrea: Says a lot of people, yes. Travis: Yes. Okay. Let's take this same example of the chiropractor, and let's move it over to LinkedIn. Could you walk me through what I should do there? Andrea: Right, definitely. Say, you're a chiropractor on LinkedIn, and like I said, even though it's a B-toC business, I think you can really make any of these platforms work for you because, really... I mean, I just had a presentation last night where the presenter said, "Social media isn't about the technology." It's very true. I think it's about forming relationships, and so you can do it. The platform is just a medium for that. You can do any of these things well, and connecting with, networking with people on any of these platforms, just by thinking about how you reach out and connect and form these relationships. If you're on LinkedIn, one of the first things I definitely suggest is to really work on getting your profile as nice as you can. Use all the pieces that are available to you in the profile and summary area. One of

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

the things that a lot of people neglect is they neglect to fill out the summary, and the summary on your LinkedIn profile is one of the most important pieces because that's where you get to say how you can help someone. You have 2,000—I think its 2,000 words, or no. Is that correct? 2,000 characters. I'm sorry. So, 2000 characters to get your message across and tell someone how you can help them. This may be the first encounter with your business, so you want to make it your calling card. Draw people in, say what you do best and who you like to work with, and bring them in to you, draw them into you with your summary section. You also want to make sure that your skills are filled out in the way you want them. You want your skills highlighted in the correct way because I'm sure you've seen all these endorsements that are going around and people are endorsing you for certain skills that you have, and the ones that are in your profile are the ones that pop up as the skill set for people to endorse you on, and it just looks nice to have those endorsements. What's more important is also making sure you're reaching out and asking people for recommendations because recommendations are a nice testimonial for your business. People look at that. People believe these testimonials more so than advertising. Even though they don't know the person giving the testimonial, they trust that testimonial, so it's important to get. Reach out and get testimonials from your best customers. Travis: Indicators of trust, yes. Andrea: Right. The next thing I would have people do is make sure you have a company profile as well, even if you're a solo-preneur but you own your company. It‟s another way to just increase the size of your footprint on the Web and on LinkedIn. People might not find your profile, but they find your company profile, so you want to give people multiple ways to find you and leverage all the keywords you can because LinkedIn is highly searched. The more keywords that you have in your profile, company profile, the more likely you are going to come up in the searches. Once you have your profile, your company profile, looking as nice as you can, next, I would say just go out and make those connections with people. Find people that you know. Connect with them. Find people that you've done business with in the past. Find old classmates. You'll never know how your connections and where your connections are going to lead. It's important to have a lot of connections. Another reason it's important to have a lot of connections is that you come up higher in the searches if you have more connections because if you've never done a LinkedIn search, you'll notice that what floats to the top is any of your first, second, or third connections. So if you're connected to someone

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that has a thousand people who they're connected with, you're more likely to come up in a search that's done by one of their friends so… Does that make sense? Travis: It does, yes. Andrea: You do want to connect to more people, have more connections, grow your connections because that's where you're more visible on LinkedIn. Travis: Could you draw me a map on that? Could you map that out? Andrea: Yes, yes. Travis: No. You're doing a great job of illustrating. It completely makes sense to me. Andrea: Yes, and then especially for local business, there's lot of local LinkedIn groups, so I would join some of those local LinkedIn groups, start connecting and start posting in there, and just post tips. Post helpful things. Just once a week, go in and post your helpful tip, and don't sell. Just go in and be visible and contribute to the conversation, and you'll find that you definitely end up getting a return on that investment of time, and it doesn't take much time. Travis: It's really kind of the same thing as Facebook then. Once you get everything set up, you get your profile optimized—we‟ll say that—then you basically join groups, local groups or groups of interest or are relevant to your business, and then join the conversations there and just let things happen organically. Andrea: Right. Right. Travis: That's it? Okay, okay. Andrea: Yes. Travis: What's your feeling on having someone come in and drive these things for you? So I'm this busy chiropractor, and I've got so many things going on, Andrea, that I don't really have time to do all of the stuff. Plus I'm not very good at typing, okay? Can I hire you to come in and do this stuff, or you or someone you know, or someone you recommend, to do this Facebook and LinkedIn stuff? Does that happen? Is that viable?

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Andrea: Yes. No, that does happen. I don't personally do the services but I do have a program that I helped train a lot of people who will do this type of business or type of work for you. I have a program called Social Media Manager School, and it's for the people who are doing the activity for the business owner or for the company. Travis: Right. Andrea: The reason, actually, that I started this school with my co-author, Phyllis Khare, was because I think it is very challenging to outsource some of that work. You can't outsource everything. I wanted to train people in how to do it the right way for someone else, and how to get the information from the client so that they could seamlessly do some of this activity. You can't always outsource your voice, but with the right partner, you can communicate enough and can have them tapped into your business enough so that they are an extension of your business, and they are your marketing team. That's the way I believe it works well--is when there's a really good flow of conversation between the person who is doing the posting for you and doing some of the activity, and you. I think it can work to outsource, and I think there's a lot of activity you can definitely easily outsource, like things like following and connecting and doing some of that type of things, if there are some templates on how you reach out to people. Yes, I think it can be challenging, and there's definitely a lot of things that aren't done right with it. That's why I made sure to train some people who do know how to do it right. Travis: Boy, I teed that one up for you didn't I? I didn't even know. Andrea: You did, yes. You did. Thank you. Thank you so much. Travis: Yes. I didn't know. We're just so connected here so... Andrea: We are. Travis: I really am connected with you. Well, that's great. I didn't know that. Now I have some experience in that, and in my experience in doing this or outsourcing it with people that's on my team-is they really need to understand you, your voice, and your take on things. Andrea: Exactly. Yes, because it doesn't make sense to have someone say, "This is so cute," when you would never say that.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Travis: Yes, yes. One of them sent out a TGIF, and I'm self-employed, okay? So I don't think that way. Andrea: No. Right, exactly. Travis: I said, "Hey, hey." No. Every day is just another great day for me, so don't do that. Andrea: Right. Travis: There‟s some people that thinks that is inauthentic. I care about being authentic and straightforward, but let's be realistic. Your business is not scalable if you don't have somebody helping you with things. Andrea: Exactly, exactly. Yes. Travis: Is it a knock on someone's credibility if they're having someone helping them with tweets or some other things? As long as it‟s... Andrea: No, I don't think so. The challenging thing, I think, is for a true solo-preneur-type, who, like, is an author of a book. It becomes hard to really outsource that because they really have to understand the relationships that you‟ve built as well. Your friend might be saying, "Hey, when are you coming over to..." something—events or whatever—and you don't know the history of that personal relationship. That can be the most challenging. I think it‟s the hardest to do, but I think that there‟s things that that person can help with--that outsourcing, like the marketing tweets that you would be sending anyway, and the person who is the face of the company still needs to participate in some ways and connect to people and reach out and chime in. Travis: Yes, that's a great point. You still got... You can't check out. You still need to oversee what's going on. Andrea: Yes, right. Travis: I'm a big believer--I love inspirational quotes. That's probably goofy, but I love it. Andrea: Yes, me, too. Travis: I have my assistant compile an entire list of them and put them in Google Docs, and then I go down, and I say, "Nope, don't like this one. Nope. Nope. Nope. Yes, like all of these. Let's schedule

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

them." That's another way. Again, I run into a lot of people that say, “That's inauthentic,” and I just got to disagree with them. Andrea: I do, too. Yes. Travis: You don't need to be pressing every button. It's a good way to go crazy. Andrea: Yes. It really is, and you can't do it all yourself. You have to have a team behind you. Sometimes having that… You're starting out just you, but as you grow, the only way to grow is to have a team. Travis: Yes. When I'm fired up about something or when I'm saying something, engaging in a conversation on Twitter or whatever, that's me. It's some of the other automation things, so I just want to make sure that both you and I are being clear when we're illustrating this, because every episode, I want to try and give as much perspective than any old, "Aha! Oh, okay. Oh, yes, Okay.” I don't have to do that. It's all about furthering the entrepreneurial cause one step further. I want people to get a deeper understanding of where to go with these things. Andrea: Right, right. Travis: Circling back to a conversation that we had in the very beginning--you may have answered this, although I don't remember--did you say how long before you really started getting a really high level of success, not from just making money, but really... I know this is a loaded question because a lot of times us business owners think, “I've never made it,” although to most people's standards, you've really made it. How long was that period? Was it two years, three years or what? Andrea: I would say it was about two years. My first year was really, really lean but still positive, which was great. The second year was definitely much better. The current cool thing that I realized along the journey is I double my income every year. Now, it's great, but the first two years were just ramping up. Then by year three, that's when I really felt like, “This is where I wanted to be and I'm glad I built this.” And I knew that, again, that it was okay that I went slower and I was all right with the journey. I was trying not to compare myself to anyone else, and I think that's a very dangerous place to go because you can really easily get discouraged when you're looking at someone else's success. You feel like they were overnight, but you don't see, really, their whole journey either. Travis: Right.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Andrea: You have your own journey. You have your own things that are happening in your life. You focus on different areas that you feel are important for you that might not have been important for someone else. I think that it's always important to just really enjoy your journey and be respectful of the journey you're taking. Travis: Right. Yes, good point. Good point. Andrea: Yes, it was year three where I felt like things were really, really where I wanted them to be after a couple of years of pretty hard work. Travis: Right, right. The name of the show is "Diamonds In Your Own Backyard," and it stems from acres and acres of diamonds, and so basically what I've found—I'm 47—and a lot of times when I thought I‟d been dealt a horrible hand or… I even had a phase in my business to where it was catastrophic. I lost everything under my own doing. I was fortunate enough to make it all back in a short period of time, but, really, what I discovered was my true life's purpose, and that's helping entrepreneurs. This low point was my diamond in my backyard because once I rinsed it off and looked at it, I mistaked it for maybe a rock or a piece of dirt or something. It was a really major shift in my life, my business, everything. Did you have a shift like that for you? Andrea: Yes, I had it. With one of the businesses that I had been working at—well, actually, the two previous businesses that I worked on before were both network marketing businesses. I don‟t want to say anything negative about that, but what happened was they were controlled by someone else. I had built my part of my business up to a great point, but the company failed, and so then my business that I had worked hard in building in my little section was also done. That felt to me like, “What am I going to do?” Actually, it wasn‟t that catastrophic because I had already started my consulting and things like that with social media. It was a natural progression for me but at the time was very frustrating because I had worked so hard on those businesses and put a lot of time and energy into them, and ultimately it didn‟t work out. That‟s when I knew, that I said, “Okay, I‟m not going to put my feet into someone else‟s hands anymore. I‟m going to make sure that I control the process, I control what happens, and I control the amount of the success.” I don't know if that‟s as good a story as yours… Travis: Sure. No, no, no. Andrea: …but it definitely… I think these stumbling blocks and things that happen, I always view them as something that happens to help you grow and to help you realize where you want to go. I don‟t

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

believe in failure. I really don‟t. I think it‟s just something that‟s in the view of the person that it happens to—if it‟s a failure or just a bump. Travis: Yes, well, times have shifted because for so long failure was an embarrassment. You were an embarrassment. Failure‟s an embarrassment. You're an idiot or whatever connotation comes from that for each person. It‟s become much more--it‟s quite common now and so it‟s much more accepted. Actually, people prefer for you to be transparent enough to share some of the rough spots. Andrea: Right. Travis: I had built a business to, really, an epic level—many, many, many millions. The interesting thing is I‟ve learned very little from my success and I‟ve learned a whole lot from my failures. Andrea: That‟s a good point. Yes, that‟s one good point. Travis: Well, I‟m a better person now. That happened to me eight years ago, and I‟m a much better person now. Andrea: Right, great. Well, I think it was… I don‟t know if it was Seth Godin who said this or maybe someone, that, “If you want to learn how to succeed, fail faster.” Whatever it is, it‟s really true because I think you learn so much more from your failures and you realize how you can do it better. Travis: Well, you know, the first time--I come from a very poor background, so, I had become a version of affluent. I had become a millionaire before, in my early thirties. Andrea: Wow. Travis: And that was a lot, considering my background. When I got to the top, I was like, “Are you serious? Is this it?” And I was not fulfilled. I needed an attitude adjustment, and I needed to grow. Well, one attitude adjustment coming up. So I learned to value that. I learned to appreciate, and I also learned to align my business activities with something that really excites me and it‟s not just money. Andrea: Right, right. Travis: It‟s much more rewarding. I had to learn all of that through loss so, yes, your failures don‟t have to be as catastrophic, but they‟re just… It always interests me what the turning point was that made you open your eyes and say, "Okay, listen," or, “It‟s time for me to listen, learn and grow from this.”

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

Andrea: Right, yes. Travis: So thanks for sharing that with us. Hey, now I sent you three questions over. I like for the conversation to be as organic as possible. And then there‟s three questions that really require some thought and planning. Are you ready to move to the lightning round? Andrea: Sure. Travis: All right. What book or programs or books made an impact on you, related to your business, that you would recommend, and why? Andrea: Well, I think for me it‟s been… Some of the things that have made an impact on me are just some of the programs that I've been in, and where there‟s been a forum of entrepreneurs, we‟re sharing our journey and connecting in a more intimate group. I loved that. Unfortunately, the ones that I had done in the past aren‟t available anymore, so I wanted to share a book. One of the books that I‟d love— I love reading success books. I love learning from leaders. I love Jack Canfield's "Success Principles." It‟s something I‟d pull out often and review because I really believe that you have to work a lot on your inner self to be a successful business person. Travis: I like that. So what's the name again? Andrea: "Success Principles" Jack Canfield. Travis: “Success Principles” okay. Okay, great. What is one of your favorite tools or pieces of technology that you‟ve recently discovered, if any, that you‟d recommend to other business owners, and why? Andrea: Well, one of my favorite tools--and it‟s not one I have recently discovered but it‟s the one I use every day really extensively--is HootSuite. I love that tool for organizing Twitter, having a really great dashboard for all your social sites. I can check in on Facebook, LinkedIn right from that dashboard and do quick commenting from that. I also wanted to get a new tool that I like using, as well, which is called BufferApp—bufferapp.com. I love it because you can easily put in tweets or posts and schedule them automatically, just with one

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

click, to go out at a later time. It spaces them out for you. It‟s just really easy to throw some quick links in there that you like and have it automatically sent out at good times of the day. Travis: Cool, okay. What famous quote would best summarize your belief or your attitude in business? Andrea: One of my favorite quotes, and I‟ve had times where I‟ve had to sit and repeat this over and over to myself, is: "Don't let discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed," by Abraham Lincoln. Travis: Say that again. Andrea: "Don't let discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed." Travis: I like that. Andrea: I really like it, too, because—I think I‟ve commented on this already a lot—but I really feel like it's easy to get discouraged. It's easy compare yourself to other people and other people's journeys and really gets discouraged. I think that is also very true when you‟re on social media a lot because people are always posting about how awesome their day is or whatever and you may not be having a good day. You might think, “That person is doing so great,” and, “Why am I not doing so great?” I really like just focusing on your work, not getting discouraged, and keeping your eye on your vision and what you want to give back to this world, and then you're going to succeed. Travis: Yes, I agree with you. I think negativity holds too much real estate with too many of us or all of us. That‟s the inverse of what he‟s talking about there. I really like that quote. I have one question that I didn‟t send you that I‟m going to throw you a kind of a curve, okay? What do you dream of? Andrea: What do I dream of? Well, I dream of travelling around the world. I love travel, and I think one of the things that I envision with my business is speaking all over the world and, in a way, getting paid to travel around and talk about business, which I love doing, too, talk about marketing, talk about online marketing, the social sites. I dream of just seeing as many places as I can while I‟m on this Earth. That‟s the one thing I dream of. Travis: I love that. I love travelling, too. That little piece of advice within your dream is worth its weight in gold. Setting your business up in a way that it facilitates your lifestyle can dramatically shift things and cause you to start living your dreams much sooner than you think. I just want to illustrate that for

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

everybody listening--is if you want to travel to Paris, well, book yourself a speaking engagement in Paris, right? Andrea: Right. Right, exactly. Exactly. Travis: The company will cover the cost. Andrea: Right, that's right. One of the things I did for myself earlier this year was I had made a promise, and on my vision board, I had a trip to Paris, which I used to live over in Europe for a little while so I‟ve been to Paris before, but I had wanted to go back and hadn‟t been back in 13, 14 years. So I said, “Okay, when I get to a certain point in my business, I‟m going to Paris.” That‟s going to be a fun, totally business-free trip just for me, so in April, I booked that trip. It was really rewarding because I had it on my vision board for years, and then it came true. Travis: I'm excited for you. You're a wonderful guest. I want to thank you for letting us visit with Grandma Mary there. Andrea: She was happy to chime in. Travis: Yes, and I really appreciate you taking out the time to come and hang out with us, Andrea. Andrea: Yes, thanks. Travis: How do people connect with you? Andrea: They can connect with me on my website at andreavahl.com, and Grandma's got her own corner there. She moved in with me. She had her own website but the upkeep, the maintenance, got a little too much for her so she moved over. Over to my website, she‟s got her corner and she blogs a lot on my site as well. There‟s lots of good… there‟s a free report on “Quick Start Guide to Social Media” that people can grab there, lots of blog posts, and webinars that people can access as well. Travis: Well, good for Granny, and good for you. Any other links that you may have? What I‟ll do is I'll share. Can you hang out two more minutes with us? Andrea: Sure.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

End of Interview Travis: Okay, great. Now listen, I want to remind you that we've got the show notes section—easy for me to say, “show notes section”—and I am going to put all of Andrea's links there. You can go to the books, find the links for the books, the resources, everything under her profile, and just an overall description of the show. I want to remind you to go to diyob.com--that‟s “Diamonds in Your Own Backyard”--short for diamondsinyourownbackyard.com. Enter your name, and we‟ll send you the "2013 Business Owner's Guide: From Frustration to 70 Million Dollars,” a candid behind-the-scenes look at what you need to know to grow your business to incredible levels of success. No matter where you‟re at in business or the size that you want to build your business to, you don't need to want to build it to that size, but there are some imperative things that nobody‟s really covering about marketing and about just a lot of other things, that‟s driving me crazy, that‟s not shared. It's a very candid conversation about what it takes to grow your business in this environment. Also, when you opt in, you'll become a member of the Authentic Entrepreneur Nation, which is basically a network of people, tools and resources that you can trust to grow your business. This is our private rolodex that we use and recommend. As soon as that is set up, I‟ll send you an e-mail and let you know that we‟ve gone live with that as well. In the next episode I„m going to connect you with Yaro Starak. Yaro will share his story of going from a trickle of a hundred dollars a month to earning over a million dollars a year; all while keeping his desired lifestyle. So really, really good stuff. Today, I want to close the show with a quote from one of my favorites, Henry David Thoreau, and the quote reads, "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." This is Travis Lane Jenkins signing off for now. I want to remind you that what you're contributing as an entrepreneur and a leader matters. To your success, may you inspire those around you to take action and go after their dreams, too. Talk to you soon. Take care.

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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business

How We Can Help You We know that finding someone that you can trust online today is hard and that so many “so called gurus” are self-‐appointed and have never really even done what they teach you to do. That‟s exactly why we created the Double Your Profits Business Accelerator. This is an exclusive offer for our fans at a fraction of its normal cost. Here's what to expect. We'll Schedule a 'One on One' private session, where we'll take the time to dive deep into your business and tell you what is missing, so that you can have your best year ever! We'll do this by performing a S.W.O.T. Analysis. This tells us your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within your business. This will be an eye opener for YOU, for several reasons, however some of the most common reasons are. As the 'Business Owner' it‟s difficult to see the big picture of your own business because you‟re in the middle of a daily management. And you are too emotionally involved to completely impartial. This is a common problem for EVERY business owner. It doesn‟t matter if you are a one-man army, or an army of 150, the problem is still the same.

Travis Lane Jenkins Business Mentor-Turn Around Specialist Radio Host of The Entrepreneurs Radio Show “Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs That Grow Your Business"

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044 andrea vahl social media for your business