In this episode, I spoke to Kim Garst about the power of voice marketing. Kim is one of the world’s most retweeted people among digital marketers and Social Media influencers. She is a renowned voice marketing strategist and keynote speaker.
She’s also the international best-selling author of “Will the Real You Please Stand Up: Show Up, Be Authentic and Prosper in Social Media”. Kim focuses on helping entrepreneurs grow their business using social and digital media strategies.
Forbes named her as one of the Top 10 Social Media Power Influencers and she has been featured by Fox News, CBS News, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Businessweek and Social Media Examiner.
What You’ll Hear
- [1:28] About Kim and her background
- [2:33] What made Kim decide to become an entrepreneur
- [7:08] Tips and systems to stay focused
- [12:02] Kim’s favourite social media platform
- [15:06] Kim’s thoughts on Clubhouse
- [20:30] Tips to generate leads online
- [23:44] Kim’s advice for someone starting out in business
- [25:54] The most interesting place Kim has visited
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About Kim and Her Background
Kim started her first online business in 1991 and is now on her seventh 7-figure business. When she first started out there were no resources to help her and nobody was really leveraging the power of the internet. There were no YouTube tutorials or Google searches, so she had to learn through trial and error.
What Made Kim Decide to Become an Entrepreneur
She says she’s an accidental entrepreneur. She was the first member of her family to graduate from college and was planning to go to law school when she and her husband discovered they were expecting a baby. She was focused on that until her son was born, and then her priorities shifted.
Kim went from her plan of being a lawyer to leaving her paralegal job to stay at home with her new son. The family struggled on one income, and she realised that she was either going to have to go back to corporate life or find an alternative. She needed to earn $200 a month to cover the car repayments.
Kim says that a lot of people are in a similar situation when they start out as entrepreneurs: “They can’t imagine building big businesses. I certainly couldn’t at that point. I didn’t even know you could! And it was just about making a little bit extra.”
She started her business out of necessity, rather than with big ideas of what she would do. She says that often desperation can bring great things or make you crumble, and it’s your choice to do something. Things don’t always work out the way you want, but you have to keep moving forward.
Tips and Systems to Stay Focused
Kim says that planning forward really helps her to stay focused and not get distracted by social media – she does this for a month ahead. When it comes to social media, she has a strategy that’s not all business focused.
People don’t really care about our businesses or what we have for sale – those aren’t ‘thumb-stopping moments’. Social media is about opening doors to conversations, and awareness. Kim has ‘content buckets’ on various themes, such as humour, inspiration and motivation.
She uses these to appeal to her target market so she’s attracting the right person, and does this with everything, including her images. For instance, her ideal customer is female, so her posts feature women.
When it comes to engagement and having one on one conversations, she focuses on that more than anything else. She uses Instagram primarily to do this, and encourages people to send her a DM so she can have direct conversations with them.
Social media has changed and it’s no longer a broadcast system. People are over that! They want to talk to each other and find out if there’s a match or if they can help them. Kim feels that one to one conversations is where everyone needs to move to. She personally manages that by time blocking.
She sets aside time every morning to look at who has commented or reached out to her, and responds with a voice message rather than a text. She likes the idea of people hearing her voice and her smiling when she responds.
Years ago, Kim heard Gary Vaynerchuk use a phrase that’s stayed with her: “As marketers and business owners we are day traders in attention.” We have to be able to stand out in some meaningful way. What does that look like for your business, and is it sustainable?
When she first decided to focus on conversation it was scary; “Am I going to get 100 people every day wanting to talk to me? Is that scalable?” But she found that when you can engage with someone directly so they feel seen and valued, it will impact your bottom line in ways you can’t even imagine.
“Am I going to get 100 people every day wanting to talk to me? Is that scalable?”
Kim’s Favourite Social Media Marketing Platform
Kim says she spends most of her time on Facebook. It may not necessarily be her favourite, but her people are there. They’re also on Instagram, and she spends a lot of time there – primarily because she tries to move people across to it. She finds it easier to engage with people there, especially as she does most social media interaction on her phone.
Those are the two platforms where she spends the most time. She feels that there are very few places where you can gain traction without already having an engaged community. On Facebook, if you have a business page, it’s almost impossible to have your content seen if you don’t already have engagement. And if you don’t have engagement, you’re not in feeds.
Instagram is going the same way, because it’s owned by Facebook, and it’s harder and harder to get your content seen. On platforms where there’s still organic reach, people will have a better chance.
In Kim’s opinion, there are only two places where that can happen today, and those are Pinterest and YouTube, because they’re search engines. You don’t have to have a big community on either platform to be found and have people to engage with your content.
You need to have an idea of SEO and use good titles, and your content will be found without major amounts of community. This year, Kim is focusing more on YouTube to get the kind of engagement she really wants.
Kim’s Thoughts on Clubhouse
Kim says she has mixed feelings on Clubhouse and describes it as a phenomenon. People want to be heard and seen, and during Covid we’ve become disconnected from each other. Clubhouse was the perfect storm – people could hear each other, connect and didn’t have to show themselves onscreen.
People were able to engage, give value, build communities and find amazing opportunities in so many ways. However, Kim also believes it’s a huge time suck if that’s all that people do day after day. The FOMO feature of the content disappearing if not consumed live was also powerful.
She says she’s seen a lot of people spending a lot of time there and doing amazing things, but she hasn’t gone all in on Clubhouse – yet. Kim says that the reason for this is because she’s holding out to see what Twitter Spaces looks like and if it will supplant Clubhouse.
This has happened before with apps and platforms, and as Twitter has such a well-developed eco-system, you already have a community there, whereas with Clubhouse you’re building a community from scratch.
Kim adds that the audio element will become more important than ever in future: “We already know that voice marketing is huge, even just from a search functionality standpoint.”
And because Twitter is so established, anything they do with Spaces will be a huge competitor for Clubhouse straight out of the gate. Right now, short-form, temporary content is huge – Stories, Reels, Tik-Toks; even YouTube is introducing ‘Shorts’. Video, audio and snackable content are huge.
Social Media and Marketing Tips to Generate Leads Online
Kim says that we need to remember that our person needs to be nurtured to the point where they make a decision. Most people aren’t on social media for business, with the possible exception of LinkedIn. You can do things differently there.
As a business owner, you need to realise that you have to build rapport, be relatable and value-based and matter in some way to your person before you get to a place where they’re willing to spend money with you. What does that journey look like?
Kim says that within her own business, one thing that’s been successful is using the power of video to educate people from a journey perspective:
“Taking what we know are their objections, breaking those down in short videos and then retargeting with Facebook Ads has been really killing it for us.”
Kim is a big fan of Facebook Ads and thinks they’ve got easier for the average person to use as the platform has been simplified. Anyone can set up a basic ad, although there’s more required for retargeting or long-term ad campaigns.
They don’t require a great spend to get results, either. Kim tells people that if they can spend $5 a day on driving traffic to a video, or to your website, you can see results. So long as you do them correctly and put the right offer in front of people.
Kim’s Advice for Someone Starting out in Business
When she was first starting out in business, Kim learned a hard lesson over many years – we’re often fearful about whether or not something is going to work, and that holds us back.
If you’re just starting out and you realise there’s something you need to know more about, find somebody else who knows about it and pay them to share their knowledge with you. It will save so much time and energy in the long haul if you find a mentor or a coach to shorten your path to the money.
If you’re spending more than an hour trying to figure something out, you need help. You can watch YouTube videos until your eyes bleed; you can read blog posts and try to work out if the information is still relevant, but you need to speak to someone who’s doing it now.
You’re doing yourself a disservice and you’ll waste a lot of time and energy if you don’t find someone to help you – and remember that time is money. If she could go back to an earlier version of herself, Kim says her advice would be, ‘Focus on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses’. Find help for the things you’re not good at doing.
The Most Interesting Place Kim has Visited
Kim says the most interesting place she’s ever been is Israel. It’s somewhere she’s always wanted to visit, particularly from a faith perspective. She saw a lot of the touristy places but says that the people were amazing – super nice – and the food was incredible! For anyone looking to start their own live show, Kim is on the lookout for a handful of people to take under her wing and support them to do so.