Thinkific CEO Greg Smith interviews Laura Roeder, CEO of Meet Edgar, on how to use Meet Edgar to automate and schedule your social media marketing.
To learn more about Meet Edgar visit: www.meetedgar.comHow To Use @MeetEdgar to Automate Your Social Media Marketing @lkr Click To Tweet
[Greg] Hi and welcome to Teach Online TV.
I’m really excited about our guest today.
She has started a business that allows you to very easily schedule your social media.
And most importantly, we use it ourselves.
And what it does for us, at least, one of the great things I love about it is that you really don’t run out of content.
It has this amazing ability to kind of keep the content coming so you’re not running out of content
which is one of those things I think we all struggle with promoting in social media and content
is you keep running out and having to go back and putting new things in the queue or remember to go and tweet things.
And Meet Edgar really takes care of that.
And our guest today, Laura Roeder, also has a history in online education and actually courses led to her creating this amazing company, Meet Edgar.
Which is experiencing some amazing growth recently.
So really excited to welcome you Laura.
And hear your thoughts on courses and education and social media and more about Meet Edgar and maybe help people to use that with their online courses.
[Laura] Thank you.
I’m excited to be here.
So maybe as actually a starting point,
what’s the best place that people can find out more about you?
Is it just meetedgar.com?
Is there a place where people are interested in learning more about you in social media and marketing?
Is that the best place to send them?
meetedgar.com and blog.me.edgar.com
I also blog about mostly entrepreneurship stuff at my name, LauraRoeder.com
Thank you. Great.
And so I’d love to hear just a little bit more about how you got started.
And I know you were mentioning,
before we hit record here that Meet Edgar kind of came out of a course.
So I’d love to hear about how all that got started for you.
[Laura] Yes. So I was running a course business since 2009.
So about 5 years before I started Meet Edgar.
And one of the courses that I taught that actually you can still access online was called social brilliant.
And it taught this methodology that I had developed as kind of workflow for social media– for getting your status updates out.
And basically I noticed that it’s really smart to repeat updates because the stats show you that less than 10% of the people who have chosen to follow you are going to see any update that you send out.
The way most people handle social is they have to come up with original updates every day for the rest of time.
And you know, anyone watching knows, it’s a lot to handle especially for solopreneurs or small business owner.
It’s a huge workload.
[Laura] So I kind of figured out, why am I coming up with new stuff all the time?
I should just get a solid library of content and then just keep repeating it.
Keep cycling through.
So that’s what we were doing at my company.
That’s what we’re teaching others to do.
And before we had Meet Edgar, there was no tool to do it.
So I was showing people, create a spread sheet.
Put all your social media updates in the spread sheet.
But then, if you have an image, you’re screwed.
So we really don’t do that in the spread sheet.
So it was kind of an interesting journey to software because basically the software was built to just do it for you everything that I was teaching people to do and in the course
And so that– it really sprung out of that.
So I’m curious, why get started in the course space in the first place?
[Laura] Yea, so I first started working for myself as a designer.
Making websites for clients and the social media started to become a thing.
I would just advise them on social media, and all my marketing.
And eventually enough people– enough clients told me, ‘we will pay you just to tell us about social media.’
And I thought, dream job.
I don’t have to do anything.
Talk to people about social media.
Sign me up.
So I started doing that and very quickly, I discovered the whole world of information products, courses, information marketing.
Whatever you want to call it.
And for me, I found that it was such a great fit as a business model because I remember the very first course that I ever created which was a course about Twitter.
In 2009, I made $3,000 off the launch of that course.
And for me to get a $3000 contract on my consulting business,
I would spend months talking to people, chasing them clients trying to get this deal—trying to get this contract for $3000.
So once that happened, I was like, ‘oh, courses.’
This is great.
This is what i want to do.
Over the years, I taught courses about specific social media tools.
About– I had a course called Creating Fame.
About how to use online marketing in social media to become famous in your field.
Well-known in your industry.
So yea, the course business was very good to me.
And I also cofounded B-School with Marie Forleo which is one of the more popular online marketing courses.
[Greg] Hold on, you cofounded B-School with Marie Forleo?
Yea. So she and I co-created it.
Taught it together.
A lot of people don’t know that because I left 2 years afterwards and then she, since I have left, she obviously redone everything with the way she wanted it [5:06]
[Laura] and nobody knew who she was in those videos.
And you know obviously improved them and I updated them, made them more professional and stuff.
That was a really fun thing to be a part of.
That’s become a huge community and I meet people all the time that are like, ‘B-School changed my business.’
So it’s really fun.
[Greg] Wow, that was amazing.
So I did my research before I called but I had no idea that you’ve done that.
[Greg] And obviously congrats on Meet Edgar.
It’s an amazing platform.
As I said, we use it here.
And it’s great.
That’s really cool that you’re involved in B-School I might have to ask a few more questions about that.
So I’m curious.
And that’s really cool story to hear.
So basically you were doing the sort of non-scalable dollars per hour.
You created the course.
That allowed you to really scale yourself.
Reach more people.
And then you got hit with the addictive passive income, it sounds like.
[Laura] Passive. We all know how passive it is once we started and actually doing it.
Yea. I mean, my personal online courses.
It’s been around for 10 years.
And I spend about half an hour a month on it.
[Greg] And it still pays mortgages.
[Greg] So it’s– for me, that’s passive.
You’re right at the beginning, though.
Totally not passive.
Tons of effort to get things going.
But I mean for you now, you’re a hundred percent focused on Meet Edgar, right?
Yea. And actually, you know.
So Meet Edgar came from—the idea came from a course and also the profits from the course business are what allowed us to start Meet Edgar.
So we didn’t raise money.
But we did self-fund the profits from the training business when we turned over to the software business.
When I launched it, the plan was to do both.
I thought okay, we’ll teach people about social media and then we’ll provide a software.
It will be this great mix.
Edgar just took off really quickly.
And I just found that I love the software business and I just wanted to do that.
It also allowed me to take off more time because with the courses, I was the teacher.
I was the face of it.
I was actually pregnant when I launched Meet Edgar.
I took 3 months maternity leave within at the first year of the business.
So that would’ve been more challenging to do in my course business.
Wow. That’s awesome.
Okay. That’s really cool.
That’s funny because it’s very similar to my story.
My online course helped fund starting Thinkific and allowed us to get a going rate from the early days.
And wow you were pregnant starting it.
That’s really awesome to hear.
Coz I know its uh—
I got a 15-month old at home.
And it wasn’t easy but let’s face it.
I’m the guy.
It was a lot easier than me and my career than it was on my wife so I’m super impressed that you went through that in the first year of the business.
How old is your?
Is it a boy? Girl?
He’ll be 2 in January.’
He’s almost 2.
So I guess Meet Edgar’s his big brother/ big sister?
[Laura] Yea. People sometimes ask me if my son is named Edgar.
And I’m like, no, that would be so weird.
Especially since Edgar is what, a cephalopod?
An octopus there?
[Laura] You have done your research.
[Greg] Yea. I did.
I didn’t find out about B-School though that’s pretty cool.
So any tips?
I mean you’ve done the course.
This is so cool coz you’ve done the course creation, you’ve done marketing consulting and you’ve got a tool that helps with that.
So you’re really uniquely positioned to help our course creators—our audience who’s watching here.
Any tips and ideas in terms of promoting their courses?
Whether that’s generally through social media or other tips or even just specifically using Meet Edgar.
I’d love to hear how you think people could use that with their course promotion.
So I mean if you create courses, you create content.
You create free content along with your courses.
By the way, even if you haven’t been creating free content, you can just pull content from your course.
Something from you’re eBook, right?
I know you have a bunch of content that you can repurpose and you can use.
And that’s what you want to be sharing on social media.
because that’s what gets passed around.
No one is going to share the link to your contact page on Twitter.
Generally people aren’t sharing the link to your sales page.
But they are sharing a link to your great free content.
So the whole idea of why Edgar is created is because people put so much time into creating this content.
A blog post takes you at least a few hours.
Finding images, formatting everything, getting them live on WordPress.
And what so many people do is that they spend all their time.
They send it out.
Sometimes once on social media which always cracks me up?
I’m like, really?
Just one tweet?
A lot of people are a little more savvy now.
They send it out a few times the first week.
But after that, it’s just dead in the water.
And so many course creators have been planning for years and have created this incredible back library of great content that no one is seeing.
Because before Edgar, it was just really difficult to make sure that you are finding your own blog post and sending them out again over and over again.
So that’s really the problem that Edgar was built to solve.
So with Edgar you just load up all your content like what I’m saying once.
When I say or call Edgar, ‘he’ instead of ‘Ed.’
And then he handles sending it out for you over and over again.
And by the way, you don’t have to have Edgar to do that.
Like I said, you can create spread sheets and you can do it manually.
It just makes it a lot easier.
And we see with our customers, they get a lot more traffic from social.
And it’s not because we have any magic formula.
It’s because if you use Edgar, there’s something that links back to your site everyday on autopilot because Edgar’s doing it for you.
And it’s just really hard as a small business owner to set aside that time and say, ’okay, I’m going to be active on social media.’
And I’m going to find a link so one of my old great blog posts that people still want to read.
Like doing all that just takes way too much time.
Let software do it for you, in my opinion.
So you can free-up your time for more valuable activates.
[Greg] That’s awesome.
Yea. And I know, I found that initially you’re doing the same thing is the posting of just going back and grabbing stuff.
And I think you tend to focus on what’s recent, right?
Like you grab what you recently wrote and you share it.
You don’t necessarily look at what’s best.
So we have some really pillar pieces.
Even for my course, I had some really pillar pieces that people just love and got huge traffic and good conversion rates.
And were super helpful to the audience.
So now where something like Weekend Editor 11:17
I can focus on that and promote them specifically more frequently.
And so I can go back and say, here’s the top 10 or top 3 articles that I’ve written, that are super helpful where I’ve invested extra time in it.
And everybody really should see it as a starting point.
Coz I kind of think one of the flaws in blogs today is that you go there and the first thing you usually see is the last thing that they wrote.
[Greg] Which if it’s your first time coming there,
maybe what you should see is always, hey you’re a first time visitor, this are the top 3 posts that you should be reading’
But with Meet Edgar.
You can totally get that scheduled so if people are finding you through social.
They’re always seeing the stuff that you think is most important to be getting out there regularly.
[Laura] Yea, and you know kind of an unexpected benefit is we find that really—
Using Edgar, it’s kind of takes the pressure off content creators, content marketers.
because people generally feel like, well in order to have something to post about on social,
I have to write something new.
They’re like what am I going to post about social this week.
I better write a new blog post.
And we all know, it’s better to have fewer higher quality blog post than it is to have more lower quality blog post.
So that’s been kind of a cool side effect.
Coz we’ve seen it helps people really focus more generating really high quality content.
Because they know that they have something to share.
They’ve now gotten themselves out of this paradigm that they can only share their latest thing.
You have so much value to share that you’ve created over the years.
[Greg] Yea. So you’re not rushing out these 300-word post or anything like that.
And it’s not just blog post, right?
You can share anything, YouTube videos you’ve created.
And I love the idea that–
That seems exactly kind of what I did too.
I went into my online course.
I picked out the top 3 or 4 videos.
I cut out sections of them.
I put them on YouTube and that’s what I shared all the time.
And then I’d edit those videos a bit to convert to—‘hey comeback and get more free videos and my free trial of the online course.’
But yea, you’re not limited to just sharing blog post you can share anything that way.
I mean, inspirational quotes are another really popular category.
Or little kind of words of wisdom.
Again, this is great fodder for you to pull right from your course.
What are those top tweetable takeaways people learn in your course.
That’s something you want—
That’s your core message, right?
And so mistakes a lot of people make is like,
they think to post it once in January when someone wasn’t following you in January
or they didn’t see that one tweet that you sent out.
They’ll never know that– that core messaging and of core teaching that you want to share.
So you really want it going out over and over again.
[Greg] Right or Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever you’re scheduling to, right?
Any other thoughts, tips, marketing for online course creators?
Thing that they can learn from or ideas that you have for them?
[Laura] I mean, I think it’s interesting that you’ve brought up your course that’s still—
That has become for you at this point set it and forget it because as I’m guessing you’ve learned,
in order to do that, you do need some sort of marketing machine behind it.
It’s not set it and forget it in the sense that like you’ve built a landing page once and you never linked to it again
[Laura] But you can set up automated systems that can kind of do this marketing for you.
So Edgar’s just a really great way to get your social media marketing kind of more similar to maybe how you think about your email marketing.
You know, a lot of people with their email marketing they’re like, okay, I’m going to create a little mini course.
And it’s going to go on autopilot right for everyone’s who opts in.
They’re going to go through this mini course.
And it’s going to sell the course.
They’ve figured out social media.
I mean, they’ve figured out marketing automation with regards to email.
Well marketing automation can apply to social media as well.
— Just like we’ve been talking about.
So it’s again, I’m not saying like you have to use Edgar.
There’s other ways to do this.
But I just really want to impart the idea with people.
Start thinking about social media like a marketer.
Like a smart marketer the same way you think about your email listing.
The way you think about your blog post.
Your blog is probably not just a personal diary that you’re writing of you know.
What was interesting to you that day
You’re being strategic about your content, about your topics, about your frequency.
Apply that marketer’s mind set to your Twitter, to your Facebook and to your LinkedIn as well.
And something I definitely recommend that all of you check out and experiment with.
And yea. It’s a great way to look at that.
I think you’re right.
There’s a lot of people look at automating email , I mean we’d never think of saying, okay, every time someone submits their email.
I’m going to sit down and personally drop an email to each one.
And then I’m going to set a reminder to follow up with each one a week later.
And even if I collect 10,000 emails, I’m going to be sending 10,000 emails plus 10,000 follow ups.
And even then you probably want to send 10 follow ups to each person.
So there’s 10,000 emails you’re going to be dropping.
And you should really—
You’re right. Look at your social the same way.
It should be automated.
And for me, any tool that automates things and saves me time.
And we probably use like 50 different tools in our marketing back in terms of automation and stuff like that.
It’s a no-brainer for me if it’s saving time.
[Laura] Totally, Greg.
[Greg] Yea. Yea.
I’ve tried the spread sheets.
I’ve went there long time ago.
[Laura] Very painful.
[Greg] Not good for keeping you sane.
[Greg] Aweseome. Okay
Let’s see, any other stuff we should know about you.
Courses and Edgar?
[Laura] Man, where do we start?
I mean I think, I—
I still love courses as a business model even though I have moved on now.
It’s something that I’ve taken a lot of that learning to my software business.
And you asked me before the show about what sort of education we do.
I told you that I wish that we did more.
But even just our blog post.
We have a blog that we post on every week.
And we’ve experimented with different topics.
And we found our–
I think kind of educational niche which is translating the latest social updates into real understandable actionable information.
[Laura] So the social networks are always making these scary updates.
Like we’re changing everything and you’re not getting as many followers anymore.
No one’s going to see your stuff anymore.
And they often just put it in these really scary terms.
They’re like, does it affect my account?
What does it mean?
[Laura] So we write posts explaining.
Okay, here’s what it really means.
And here’s exactly how you as a small business owner can react to this.
[Laura] And I think a lot of what we do in our marketing comes from my background in courses understanding that teaching element is so key.
Because I think a lot of people make a lot of assumptions about what their market knows.
I think that’s what you have to learn in order to teach.
Is okay, all these things in my head, not everyone knows them.
[Laura] I think everyone knows them.
But that’s not true.
And a lot of people in the marketing get way too advanced.
Thinking, oh everyone already knows these things about social marketing but they don’t, right?
[Laura] That’s why they’re coming to us.
Because we are the experts so they can learn.
[Laura] I think as someone–
If you’re a course creator, you are already just so far ahead in your marketing, in my opinion.
Because you were coming at things from those– that point of view.
And you want to be teaching your marketing just as much as you’re teaching in your course.
[Greg] So that was interesting coz I wanted to ask you a little bit about how you—
What works for you in terms of acquiring customers in marketing?
And it sound like a big part of that is just looking at what is in the media?
What’s in the news?
And writing and explaining and teaching around those topics from your area of expertise.
So that’s definitely something that course creator can look at.
Look into the media for your area.
Do what’s called news jacking and write articles explaining what’s going on talking about it where you inject yourself into the media hype.
But you put your own spin on it and establish yourself as an authority and bring it back.
Is there other areas for you that’s—
That’s a great one.
Are there other areas where you find like your key acquisition channels or marketing tactics that really work well for you or strategies?
[Laura] Yea, so.
I mean we’re big on content marketing.
Absolutely, social media marketing.
It all goes together.
We do get most of our customers from search.
And that’s how you show up in search now.
And do the job there in your content in your social media.
We’re also really big email marketers which is something that’s actually a little bit unusual in the software world.
A lot of software companies don’t build a list.
Don’t do a lot of email marketing.
I’m like, man, all the better for me that you guys haven’t discovered this.
And so we actually do—
That’s what we do on our homepage is build an email list which is very unusual for software.
So we want to collect email addresses.
We can keep following up with people.
Keep educating them.
People don’t make business purchases as an impulse one off purchase.
People aren’t coming to your site and deciding to buy business software or a course.
[Laura] For their business.
So that follow up marketing is so important.
And people read–
I mean people read so little.
Just like, I have someone the other day.
And he sent me this message.
He’s like, I don’t know how anyone knows what you do.
I couldn’t figure out anything about what Meet Edgar does.
I couldn’t really understand why he was saying that.
And I was like, do you mean that our homepage you thought it was confusing?
And he wrote back and he was like, ‘oh, I didn’t see that you can scroll down on your home page.
Just read the headline and haven’t read the rest of it.
[Laura] It’s kind of funny but it’s also a good reminder that that’s what so many people are doing.
Are just reading 1% of what you publish.
So it’s really important to keep sending emails.
To keep educating people.
I’m always talking to my marketing team.
I’m like, ‘I know you guys are really bored with this message that we’ve said over and over again but our audience still doesn’t know it.
[Greg] Yea. They’re not–
And for you, I’m curious, what’s your—
Like in terms of segmenting, who’s kind of your ideal customers?
[Laura] So ideal customers are small business owners that publish content in support of their business because that’s really what makes Edgar a homerun.
[Laura] All you’ve done is load up your old blog post and send them out once a day.
[Laura] That would make it really useful.
So we don’t have like industries that we target.
Just more tech savvy small business owners who understand this world of content marketing.
Well that was amazing.
I really appreciate that.
I think there’s a lot of useful stuff in there for course creators.
I know for me, content and social have been the biggest channels for sure for my online course.
So this is definitely something that’ll be useful for people who want to get about the word out about their course.
And I think it makes it a lot easier like I said.
Anything that automates things makes it easier.
Saves you that time where you can spend the time writing that brilliant blog post or creating that great video or your next course rather than worrying about spread sheet and posting stuff is awesome in my book.
What I want to say.
I really appreciate it.
And if you want to learn lore about Laura or Meet Edgar or scheduling your content.
Check out meetedgar.com
[Laura] Thank you.
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