Influencers, Preparing for Success on Social Media & More with Jake Ellis

Jake Ellis, TV star and Localsearch Digital Marketing Specialist, discusses how businesses can prepare for success on social media and the actionable steps they can take to manage their account.

Katrina: Today, on the Help Me Grow My Business Podcast, we’re exploring the impacts of going viral for businesses who are unprepared, with reality TV star turned business coach Jake Ellis.

Sarah: He’s obviously very used to having all eyes on him and helps businesses prepare for how to turn views on ads, posts and more into actual customers.

K: You’re going to love this one! So let’s get into it!

S: Okay, so today’s guest is someone you may be very familiar with, I’m talking about Mr. Jake Ellis.

K: Oh yeah. Jake is not only known in Australia, but internationally for being a contestant on multiple leading reality TV shows, but is now using his love for helping people learn technology as a digital marketing specialist at Localsearch.

S: This is going to come as a surprise to anyone who has watched Jake fall in and out of love on TV. But when you know him, you know he’s a giant softy for helping people, including business owners and has worked in marketing and media for many many years.

So, welcome Jake. Thank you for joining us today.

Jake: Thanks for having me.

S: So, you obviously come from a bit of an untraditional background to some of our other guests, to say the least.

J: Untraditional is the word for it yeah.

S: So, a lot of people hearing that you now work for Localsearch as a Digital Marketing Specialist may be a little bit surprised.

J: Mmhmm.

S: Can you kind of share with us and our audience why it actually makes so much sense?

J: Yeah, well look for me, I’ve worked in the media and I’ve done sort of three TV reality shows for the Bachelor franchise. Look, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that turned into three times, and look I really wasn’t expecting for it to grow as well as it did, but it put me in a really unique situation where I did live off social media for a few years. You know and one of my biggest skills I think for me is as a networker, is really utilising those sorts of meetings and those opportunities and taking advantage of them. So making the transition to Localsearch and working as a digital marketing, I guess consultant, look it was very exciting, but it was a bit of a no-brainer.

S: Alright, so we do have some questions that we ask all our guests at the start of every episode, so people can get to know you maybe in a different way.

J: Oh, I’m nervous.

K: Haha yes, they’re a little bit quirky and unprecedented.

S: Alright, because you — you’ve done quite a lot. So, what would you say out of everything you’ve done is your proudest career highlight?

J: I think for me it would be… Because I’m the national ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, so I tour the country, you know I lost my mum to breast cancer, almost three and a half years ago now. But it was something I started with her when I did my first show, we used to hand out daffodils on daffodil day just my mum and I. You know, we reached out to help and then that sort of progressed to me touring the country and sharing my mums story in front of you know, hundreds of… I think the biggest one was close to 1,000 people but…

K: Wow.

J: So that would probably be my most proudest achievement. Look that’s no monetary value to me, that’s just something that means a lot to me and something that I really want to keep pursuing.

S: That’s beautiful, you hear a lot of people…

K: That’s such a nice career highlight!

J: Yeah so it’s definitely… yeah.

S: So something business owners might not be aware of is, it could be the most positive thing in the world that you’re posting on social media, it could be an amazing story that you’re running ads around, there’s going to be trolls online no matter what. They’re going to want to get under your skin.

J: Mmhmm.

S: How do you stop yourself from going back at them, especially when it’s really something getting under your skin?

J: Yeah, that’s such an interesting topic. I think the business is a lot different to what my experience was, but like it does help me obviously but you know everybody’s got an opinion, there’s always going to be a troll no matter what the story is or what you do.

You know even when I still do posts about my family, not as much now but there was always like one or two that would say something. Just get under my skin and you know there’s a few times it really did and I didn’t react, I guess because I wasn’t allowed to and sort of learnt my lesson, but the ones around me, like I remember my brother and a few of my brother’s friends took like real offence to some of the trolling that when the shows were on and really reacted.

But I think for businesses they just need to try to spin the negative into a positive. You know, if there’s a bad comment or a bad review, especially on social media, ads that are running or sponsored ads or whatever it may be, is to try to diffuse the situation.

S: Mmhmm.

J: You know, someone leaves a bad comment, be like “look you know I’m sorry that you had that experience, would love to discuss with you how we can change that next time you come in.”

It depends on what the topic is, and how harsh it is, but in my experience if you’re… especially if you’re running a big social media campaign, you do have the benefit to delete some of them. But I think in having some sort of trolls or even ones that are a bit more on point or a bit more lighthearted, I think keeping them there and really showing how you handle that situation, does benefit your business because people can look at it and be like, “oh look, they did respond,” or “they have an answer there” or “they have an understanding,” or whatever it may be.

S: It’s a good example of customer service.

J: Yeah definitely.

S: Because there’s all the stats about online reviews where people obviously… if all the reviews are positive they tend to not actually believe that they’re all real.

J: Yep.

S: So a couple of negative reviews have been shown to help that, but what flips the person still going to the business is how they respond to it. So it’s definitely a good way to go about it.

J: I think it’s definitely different with Google reviews obviously because you can’t delete them.

K: Yeah.

J: It’s a public forum whereas with Facebook maybe it’s a little bit different, with social media it’s a little bit different, but I think definitely the way they handle that bad review or the way they handle it as in customer service, shows a lot more than just ignoring it or running away from it or expecting it to just disappear because it’s not.

K: It can turn it into an opportunity.

J: Yeah, exactly right.

K: So, obviously you have a personal brand, which a lot of business owners will do as well, how has that changed your life? What’s the most unsuspected things that’s happened since doing that?

J: Yeah making a personal brand, even just businesses, I guess it’s finding that point of difference — I think this is the best way for me to explain it — but having that point of difference.

If I put it into perspective for me for my profile from the shows, and we’ll use that first, so coming from the shows, everyone that’s a part of the show, like all the other reality people, you know we’re all sort of in the same situation and in making our personal brand it’s having that point of difference for us to be standing out.

I’ve been very fortunate, like my 15 minutes of whatever, I just go on for you know, four years.

K: Take advantage of it, honestly haha.

J: Essentially, and I think it’s just by being a little bit clever about it and being a little bit honest and transparent and who I am and I think with businesses the biggest thing is you know this whole digital world, everyone’s starting to realise how important it is and everyone’s sort of like, “we really need to be on this train,” and that’s where I come in and what I’m pushing with almost everyone I ever meet.

But I think what I say is look if… in people being late to the party it’s going to be harder for them to play catch up, whereas the ones who are leading from the front, even whether they’re in the same industries as their competitors, they’re sort of doing things differently.

But a lot of my clients are sort of tentative of wanting to try new things and try things with the digital world, you know I try to, rather than be pushy on it, I try to explain to them “look, this is the way everything’s going, if you don’t do something now or you don’t make that transition, like you just get left behind.”

S: Yeah.

J: Like it’s adapt or die I feel.

K: Yeah definitely.

S: 100%.

J: And word-of-mouth, which is the common objection that I always get, “Ah nah we’re just too busy, we’re word-of-mouth,” like that’s great and I love hearing that but it’s not going to get you much further, unfortunately, I feel.

S: And word-of-mouth still happens on social media, that’s what social media is.

K: Yeah it’s the new word-of-mouth social media.

S: With the Localsearch TikTok, we’ve had quite some good success on there and a lot of things have gone viral.

J: Yep.

S: Working in social media, we obviously know when something gets a lot of publicity, or reach, you’re going to get a lot of likes and comments and messages and everything like that.

K: There’s a lot of work that comes with it.

S: So when you have a post that does well, you obviously experience all the comments and everything like that. How do you stay on top of it?

J: Personally, or as a business, or both?

S: Both.

J: Look, like social media’s so… it’s whether it’s businesses or whether it’s personal, like I feel, people resonate with things that are real and genuine. You know I could put a post up that’s got nothing to do with a brand, it could just be me or could be a photo with me and a family member, or whatever it may be and like they go insane. Like 10,000 likes, half a million impressions, stuff like that. That’s for my personal ones and people resonate with that.

But then I could do a post the very next day at the same time with me holding some sort of brand and then everyones just… you know what I mean? The engagement’s nowhere near as much. So it’s being that little bit clever.

I think especially with businesses when a good social media campaign does go off and it really picks up for them, I feel like at the start they’re all excited, they’re like look this is great we’re getting that awareness in and we’re really getting some traction but then once that sort of high engagement keeps coming then someone’s going to have to manage that, because otherwise you’re missing the opportunity. You know you could just let it run and then as you say they were going viral with your TikToks with Localsearch TikToks and stuff like that.

Look, yeah you need to be able to capitalise on that engagement and on that reach, I think. Look if you just let it sit, you’re going to miss out on the whole opportunity. I think with a lot of businesses to say they run their own social media, like they run their own social media obviously yes. But like their own social media campaigns, look there’s a point of difference to having someone else help manage that.

K: Definitely.

J: Where they can do what they’re good at, which is running their business and like Localsearch and our team, we can do what we’re good at and that is you know, running social media campaigns.

K: Oh yeah, because it’s very tricky if you’re not used to actually dealing with that platform in the backend as well if you’re doing ads.

S: Oh yeah.

K: It’s very chaotic if you’re not used to it.

S: But it’s like you’re doing all of this to get that reach and the eyes on you, but then if you’re doing nothing with it, I think a lot of people aren’t prepared for actual success.

J: I think it also comes down to, I guess my role as well or people in a similar role as myself is managing that expectation and sort of explaining that you know obviously at the start of when you do sort of bring someone on board for a social media campaign, or whatever it may be, yeah you sort of tell them, “this is what we’re aiming for, this is what we’re trying to do,”

S: Yep.

J: But look if this happens this way, or this goes like this way, you’re going to need to do this, or you’re going to have to capitalise on this. It all comes down to how well you can convert…

S: 100%.

J: …and how well you can handle everyone coming to you. Like I’ll bring everyone to you, but it’s up to you to close the deal.

K: Okay, so at the end of each episode we like to give our listeners a bit of a checklist of things that they can do, straight after they’ve listened to this episode, to help their business.

J: Yep.

K: So as someone with such a strong personal brand who works with businesses, what’s your checklist for brands — of what they need to do before they put themselves out there in the public eye.

J: Pfft, that’s a big checklist it could be…

S & K: Haha.

J: I think it’s just take a look at… a lot of businesses have a shop front or a store front, I guess is a good analogy. You know, they take pride in how it looks, how it feels, what people feel like when they come in and how people are treated.

I sort of try to use that analogy if you’re looking or if you want to really branch out into the digital world, consider everything you see like your website or your social media, as the same as your store front. I mean you don’t want people coming to your website going, “this place looks terrible,” or they go to your social media just there’s no engagement and people are sending messages but they’re not getting responses, or there’s reviews and people aren’t replying, you know you need to treat everything as front of view, and the first thing that people see is the first thing they’re going to be appealed to.

You know human interaction we’ve got, I think we’ve got the shortest attention span out of anyone.

S: Oh yeah.

J: And you know me personally as well, if I go online, if i go onto a website or if I go onto a social media that I don’t like, *snaps* like I’m off it in like three seconds.

K: Oh, 100%! It can tarnish your brand easily.

J: Yeah exactly right. And I’m sure people do that on my social media, like they’ll unfollow me or they’ll look at my page and be like, “nah I don’t want to follow him,” or… Especially in business everything’s becoming so much faster, everyone wants new information faster and yeah I think the checklist is just take a look at everything and if you’re happy with it, then by all means that’s great. But if you’re not, then you need to make changes.

S: Alright, so obviously a lot of people are put off by social media because they don’t want their presence and stuff out there…

J: Mmhmm.

S: …what do you say to the business owners who say they don’t need or they don’t want social media?

J: Yeah I feel like every business should have at least a social media page, you know what I mean, at least for their clientele and so people that they know can see what they’re sort of doing other than their official website or you know their Google My Business or whatever it may be.

I feel like social media marketing is becoming one of the biggest ways of marketing obviously. It’s taking over. You know a lot of businesses are like, “I don’t even know what social media marketing is,” and they think that them doing it themselves like boosted posts is social media marketing, but like it’s not.

S: No, it’s very different.

J: Yeah that’s probably the other common thing that I get, they’re like, “Ah nah I do that myself,” which is like, well mate, that’s great and like that’s great you do that and you can keep doing that, but how’s it actually working for you and no that’s not sponsored posts, that’s not what we do and there’s a big difference.

S: I guess a lot of people don’t realise as well, if you don’t put yourself on social media, Facebook creates those like, location holder pages and like random people can put whatever they want on there. They can put prices, or whatever. So by creating your own profile you’re controlling that a bit as well.

J: Yeah definitely.

K: Yeah you’re safeguarding your business.

J: Yeah that’s right. That’s exactly right. I think people are just scared of change I think in generality like you know. I think everyone is. Like I know I am of certain things, I think everyone is, at some point.

S: It’s biology.

J: Yeah exactly right and you know people who are a bit older or set in their ways are very hesitant, but I think they just need a bit more nurturing, just a bit more explanation and just go through it a bit more.

S: Alright, if someone has any questions for anything that you’ve spoken about today, where can they connect with you?

J: Yeah, just through my social media, so it’s @jakeellis86, which I need to start using more myself with putting it out there that I’m in this role now, with Localsearch. You know I’ve sort of been waiting a little bit for the right time and I think that’s more so for businesses to interact.

Or you know my email, which is [email protected] But look I love meeting new people, and whether it’s just a question about who I am or who Localsearch is, or how I can help, you know I love talking to new people.

S: And of course, you can find Jake’s checklist for preparing for going viral over at business.localsearch.com.au/blog.

K: And if you have any questions, drop us a line over at the Help Me Grow My Business Facebook group or Instagram.

S: Well, thank you so much for joining us today. You’ve given us some really good tips — some we definitely wouldn’t of heard from anywhere else that’s for sure.

K: No, haha.

J: Haha, nah thanks for having me, I look forward to maybe doing it again soon, after I’ve been around a bit longer.

S: Definitely!

K: Definitely!

S: Thank you so much for listening and don’t forget to follow us on socials to have the experts in the know answer your questions in future episodes.

Bye!

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