Sopia's a Champ.  Are you?
Sopia’s a Champ. Are you?

Everybody wants to be the best.  Only one, however, can be The Champion.

Well, that’s not exactly true.  In the world of social media marketing, everyone can become a champion, yes, even you.

This is some advice I stole from either Gary Vaynerchuck or Seth Godin or both.  It’s good advice, and you’ve probably already heard me say it in one form or another.  Since it’s so darn helpful, I’m going to say it again:

The shortest distance between you and your target audience is to publicly champion the causes that matter to them.

Seems like a headslapper, yeah? That’s how you know it’s good advice.

For those of you who didn’t immediately raise a small welt on your forehead just now (the welt of incredulous epiphanies, I calls it), let’s go a little deeper.

The Back Scratch Strikes Back

As a short case study, let me offer myself as the sacrificial lamb.

Q: What cause matters most to your target audience?

A: The success of their business, foremost.  That’s what SBT is all about.

Q: And how does SBT contribute to that?

A: We provide marketing strategy, training, and execution.  Read the friggin’ website, dude.

Q: Don’t get snarky with me, pal.  Let me put it another way: how does SBT publicly champion the cause of running a successful business?

Fig. 2: a soap box.  The fact that people used to stand on these to deliver impromptu public addresses says a lot about the level of hygiene in those days.
Fig. 2: a soap box. The fact that people used to stand on these to deliver impromptu public addresses says a lot about the level of hygiene in those days.

A: Easy: We start with the content, the blog.  Not only do we champion the cause, we also provide practical advice on how to pull it off in a digestible format, like a Q&A for example, or our recent blog series “Preach what we Practice” that highlights the tools we use to run our business in the black.

Q: Tools such as?

A: ManageFlitter, Ecquire, Hootsuite, Evernote, Buffer,, etc…  We’ll show our audience how we use those tools, but we’ll also share that blog post with the creators of the tools we mention.  They like it when we do that, and tend to be more than happy to share our blog post with their audience as well, an audience that pretty obviously is going to be interested in the same cause: the success of their business!

Q: What the most recent example of one such meta-conversation?

A: Are you sure you’re using “meta” correctly?  I like to call it a digital back scratch.

Q: I’ll ask the questions!  But sure, digital back scratch sounds good.  Now prove it works.

A: Okay, here’s a recent blog from Nate that outlines more than one B2B sales tool.  He talks about one of our favorite new discoveries, Ecquire, which allows you to easily import contacts from something like LinkedIn into your CRM or Mailchimp or Spreadsheet.  It’s a pretty neat tool.  Nate shared his post with Paul of Ecquire, and he was kind enough to reciprocate with a post of his own.  Paul’s post is a great example of a digital back-scratch.  You’ll notice that social media actually wasn’t involved in this particular exchange, but the principles remain the same.  It’s not just about being a champion, it’s demonstrating that you, your target audience, and their influencers all have something in common.

Soapboxing about Soap.  Now that's meta.
Soapboxing about Soap. It’s meta-cated!

Q: And what do you have in common with your target audience and their influencers?

A: We’re all small business owners.  We’re all looking for that balance between time, value, and profit.  When one of us finds something to help even those scales, we all want to talk about it.

Q: And you think these conversations should be held over social media?

A: They can be.  If you’d rather use the old-fashioned soap-box method, I say go for it, Champ!