Interview with Shane Barker
Today we had the pleasure of talking to Shane Barker, digital strategist expert and brand influencer and consultant. Connect with Shane or seek out his internet wisdom through his grade-A consultations!
A little bit about Shane:
Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing consultant. From working with celebrities on digital reputation management to obtaining a #1 national ranking with PROskore as a social media consultant, Shane has built an impressive list of accomplishments in digital marketing. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.
Nicole Scott: Hello, Shane! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. The social media world is shifting like crazy right now, so we’d love to share some of your professional insights. Let’s start by giving our readers a small profile about yourself and in what ways you contribute to the online universe.
Shane Barker: I am a digital marketing consultant with over twenty years of experience in this industry. I specialize in influencer marketing, content marketing, sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. I also speak at industry-related events and summits.
NS: Picking the right social channels, as an influencer or marketer, can be pretty overwhelming right now, especially since channels keep changing features and algorithms, and new ones keep popping up. What advice can you give to make this endeavor seem a little bit less overwhelming?
SB: Selecting the right social media platform depends on two things—your target audience and the type of content that you want to post. For instance, if you want to post articles and want to target professionals, LinkedIn should be your platform of choice. But, if you are a travel vlogger and want to target travel enthusiasts, you should go with YouTube.
However, I also want to emphasize the importance of cross-posting content on multiple social media platforms. While you can pick one as your primary platform, given your content type and audience demographics, but there’s no harm in promoting that content on other channels.
This strategy will provide you much broader reach and will relieve some of the pressure that comes from narrowing it down to just one platform.
NS: The overwhelm to make strategies even better isn’t only exclusive to big business, but for startups as well. With your extensive experience with the startup culture in California, specifically, what insight do you feel is the most illuminating in separating your brand or idea from “just another startup?” Do you think the California startup culture is any different from others, and if so, what it provides or doesn’t in comparison to other areas of the United States?
SB: One of the best things that you can do as a startup is to be very specific about your target demographics and cater only to that niche. In a time when startups are popping up like wild mushrooms, you need to carve out a niche for yourself.
Highlight your company’s USP in a way that it clearly shows that you are targeting a specific market and solving a specific problem. This will not only make you stand out among other startups but will also give that exclusive vibe to your business or product.
NS: You have worked from small business to celebrity. Do you feel the consultations you give differ between the types of clients? Do you think depending on how large your audience is to start creates a different foundation for how one should tackle an initial online marketing plan?
SB: Absolutely! There is a difference. The main point of difference comes from the different budgets for different types of client. Also, the marketing goals and campaign objectives are different for every client. It is not just about whether it is a startup, an influencer, or a large business. Every client’s requirements are different and, hence, my advice for each also differs.
NS: That beginning marketing plan for your business sometimes starts developing unintentionally in a creative’s mind before they would even seek out a professional consultant. Many founders of startups don’t even know they are creating a strategy, but it just isn’t formulated or coherent if they put it on the page yet. What are signs you can point out when you’ve already started coming up with a strategy and when is the time to move forward with a professional?
SB: Every business owner has some expectations or ideas about how they would like to market their products and services. It is only natural to start formulating a broad strategy in your head even before you make it official.
However, planning and executing your first online marketing campaign is not as simple as that. You need to get the help of a professional, especially, for your first campaign.
NS: Is it possible to create that strategy on your own with just pure drive for your business to succeed?
SB: Well, I would rather not comment on whether or not someone is capable of doing that. If you are exceptionally talented and have some prior experience, then why not?
However, for most new business owners, my advice is to consult a professional. Any company’s first marketing campaign helps in shaping their brand’s image. So, at this point, it is crucial to give it your best. And that includes consulting a professional.
NS: One last note: on your website, you compare online marketing to the thrill of running and reaching the finish line. Apart from the dedication (and endurance) that is required to run 10 miles a day, how else can people learn from other activities like running to help improve their online marketing mindset?
SB: For me, starting my day with running or any sort of exercise gives me the right start for the day. It gives that positive boost of energy to help me get through my day with a positive mindset.