Interview with Social Media Marketing Expert: Lisa Orrell, PromoteUGuru

Every Monday I will be posting an interview with a social media marketing expert. My blog focuses on using social media to promote books (particularly self-published books), and I believe authors can really learn a lot about successful social networking by following the experts.

This week we meet Lisa Orrell, the PromoteUGuru.

KS: Tell me about your company – how it was created and what you do.

LO: As The Promote U Guru, I’m a Branding Expert, Marketing Consultant and Certified Success Coach who works with small business owners, entrepreneurs, entertainers, industry experts, coaches, consultants, speakers and authors. Clients come to me to: Create or improve their brand platforms & positioning, improve their Marketing & PR efforts, develop their social media strategies, increase their sales, and build their businesses. And, for my author clients, I also strategize their book marketing plans. I’m the author of 2 books, with my third one coming out in April, so I can totally relate to the authors who come to me for help.

Basically, I’ve been a Marketing professional for over 20 years. Prior to launching this business, I owned a Marketing Agency in Silicon Valley for 2 decades, and worked with well-known technology clients. But I got burnt out on that and decided to launch my current consulting and coaching practice to work with individuals and smaller businesses. I love the change, and have also enjoyed writing my books and growing my professional speaking career.

KS: Who do you feel can benefit from a social media marketing strategy?

LO: Anyone who offers a service or sells a product…of any type and in any industry. And regardless of whether you’re a one person show trying to sell your book or your business services, or a large company with a big brand, if social media is not in your marketing mix, you’re totally missing the boat.

KS: How long have you been blogging and what is the primary focus of your blog?

LO: I’ve been blogging for about 4 years and I have 2 blogs: One that supports my Promote U Guru brand and one that supports the Gen Y and Generational Dynamics topics companies hire me to talk about. I basically own 2 businesses, but my main focus is on my Promote U Guru business. The speaking I do on Generational topics is more on-the-side, and I do about one speaking engagement per month for that.

For Promote U Guru, I blog about branding, marketing, sales, book marketing, PR, book writing and publishing, and social media topics. My posts are always focused on “how to” strategies, tips and resources to help educate my target audience.

KS: What is your favorite social networking site?  Why?

LO: I’m a big Twitter fan. I have met so many amazing people through Twitter who have become “offline” friends that I collaborate with, refer business with, develop workshops and webinars with, etc. I would have never met these people if it hadn’t been for Twitter and they are top-notch experts in their fields.

I also love Twitter because of the research aspect of it. I follow a lot of experts who tweet great info that I learn from. Sure, there are people who tweet silly stuff, but if they do it too often, I simply un-follow them. I really only focus on following people, or entities, who tweet quality, useful info. And, I focus on only tweeting the same.

Facebook rocks, too, but so far I’ve just gotten more out of Twitter in terms of quality connections. I do have a Fan Page, so I’m involved in the Facebook world, too. They’re just different animals that offer different things.

KS: What is your #1 piece of advice for social networking newbies?

LO: Most clients who come to me, or people who attend my Promote U seminars and workshops, are social media newbies. And the one thing I say to everyone is don’t focus on the “me” in media; focus on the word “social”. I even wrote an article about people suffering from social ‘me’dia syndrome, and it got tons of links and hits. Newbies tend to get involved in social media focused on what they are going to get out of it. They want tons of people to read their blogs, join their Fan Pages, follow them on Twitter or connect with them on LinkedIn. But they don’t reciprocate. And they don’t get involved. They just expect everyone to get into what they’re about but they never post comments on other people’s blogs, or retweet other people’s tweets, etc. You have to give to get, and that’s where newbies to social media really drop the ball.

Along those same lines, many newbies make it all about them by constantly posting about their products, services and events. That really turns people off. Social media is about offering good info, promoting other people’s info, and getting involved in your social networking communities…not just promoting yourself.

And newbies need to know social media is not “the” answer for sales and success. Many newbies think it will be. It’s just one new tool available, which is why I help clients develop complete marketing plans that include a variety of tools and strategies; and social media is just one in the mix.

KS: Tell me about your books.

LO: I’ve written 2 books:

1.)    “Millennials Incorporated”: That is about how to recruit, manage and retain Millennial (aka Gen Y) employees. I wrote it because I was researching that demographic from a marketing perspective, but quickly realized companies, and managers over 40 years old, were struggling with understanding this new crop of young people entering the workforce. So I decided to write a book about them, and that has led to my being hired by many companies to conduct seminars about this younger generation.

2.)    “Millennials into Leadership”: That was written for the Millennials themselves about how to be young, effective, respected leaders at work. I wrote this book because I saw the young professionals starting to get promoted into management/leadership roles and many of them were totally unprepared. So now I also get hired by companies, and colleges, to conduct leadership seminars for these young adults.

And my third book is coming out in April this year. This will be the first book in my new “Promote U Guru Guide to…” series and the title is “Boomers into Business”. And even though it has a “generations” theme to it, it’s actually a branding and marketing book for Boomers who want to re-invent themselves and start their own businesses before or after retirement to generate additional income. I wrote it because many people over 50 can’t fully retire when they hit 60’ish, due to their retirement accounts taking a hit in the economy, or they simply don’t want to fully retire yet. This book gives them direction on how to take what they know and turn it into a revenue generating strategy as a self-employed person.

KS: What differentiates your books from other books in your genre?

LO: The first book came out before many of the other books about Gen Y did (then many followed). The second book was the first, and remains one of the only books, specifically written for Gen Y about leadership. My third book coming out is a topic that’s starting to get discussed a lot, but there are only a few books out now in that genre, and mine is angled, and contains info, very different from those.

KS: Do you plan to write more?

LO: Yep! As I’d mentioned, this third book is the first in a series I’m launching, all of which will be focused on branding, marketing, PR, book marketing, etc…so there is a lot I can write about! My intention is to release one new book in the series every 1.5 to 2 years. So I should probably get started on the idea for my second book in the series now!

To find out more about Lisa and PromoteUGuru, visit:

Twitter: @PromoteUGuru
Website: http://PromoteUGuru.com
Blog: http://PromoteUGuru.com/blog and http://TheOrrellGroup.com/blog

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About Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht works in publishing and book marketing. As an avid reader and blogger, Kelly posts book reviews at Read & Tell Reviews (www.readandtellreviews.blogspot.com) and writes about book marketing and social media here.
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