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The Interviewer is a blog where visitors to the site can get insights and questions answered from people they may not have access to, but The Interviewer can.

Peter Smith has asked what ways business owners can grow their business that are outside the normal networking and social media channels.

We got Chalkie, the interviewer to ask Tony Adams, author of Marketing Plan Template to give his insights into alternative methods to market a business.

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Crippled at birth in New Zealand, Tony is a high-energy international speaker, SEO webmaster, author and businessman. He also happens to be the world’s fastest tap dancer from 2008-2011 and has broken two Guinness World Records!

Experienced in business strategy, SEO, digital marketing optimization, social analytics and consumer engagement strategies. Tony coaches business owners and professionals in the use of all forms of social media to change how they engage with their clients for greater results.

Tony has also worked as an investment banker, been seen in the top 10 shareholders of several Australian listed companies and co-founded Sydney’s Scorpio Music, acclaimed as Australia’s fastest growing record company and associated with managing major international acts Evermore and Matt Corby.

Chalkie: Tony, what is something that business owners can do to grow their business that is not main stream and being overlooked as an opportunity to be exploited.

Tony: Without question, the most successful strategy I have used, that very few exploit, is to be an authority speaker about your niche. Rotary Clubs are always wanting a speaker for their weekly meetings and for a 20 minute period you are able to give insights on a topic and at the same time indirectly promote your company. The result is that attendees see you as an authority and the go to person in that niche. Media soon pick up on this and they ask for your informed view and comment of matters trending in your niche.

Some may say that “I have nothing to talk about”. This is simply not the case. Its all about being lateral in your thinking. Here is an example. You may do private tours of Sydney. You could approach the Rotary clubs to talk about ‘Trends in Sydney Tourism’ There are a raft of statistics that can be worked into a presentation that can be obtained from the Sydney Information Centre. A ten minute chat with them on what trends they are seeing can be the basis of the talk. Things like the best time to visit Sydney, visitor trends, even the growth in cruise ship numbers all make for an engaging talk.

Chalkie: What do you say to people who don’t like to get up and talk at a public event.

Tony: No matter how much you hate the thought of it you can over come the fear of public speaking. I had a fear of public speaking and went to Toast Masters International and I cannot speak highly enough of they training they provide. In just a few months I saw a massive improvement in my speaking skills and this was the case also with many who were simply petrified to get up on their first Toast Master meeting.

I, like many, grew to really enjoy speaking and, based on my own experiences, to encourage others wrote Public Speaking Mastery.

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Chalkie: Is there any other tips you can pass on?

Tony: Business is about understanding your unique selling proposition (USP).

We built Scorpio Music up to ten international touring bands and artists on a less obvious USP than most companies have. As website traffic is the lifeblood to Internet Marketing, fans are the lifeblood to any new artist. I recognised this and had dedicated staff focusing on building the fan base of each act we managed.

The many thousands of fans that had subscribed to our various email lists became extremely valuable in our pitches to sign hot new artists. The power of being able to offer this almost instant fan base can not be underestimated and we cashed in on it.

This is just one example of how we used this USP. The rewards of building on this USP can clearly be seen in how we leveraged it.

The most powerful use of the fan bases, apart from buying our artist cd’s, attending the live gigs and buying merchandise, was to have the power of the fan bases do our artist marketing for us.

Fans were messaged on email lists to let them know one of the Scorpio family of artists was releasing say an EP. They were given email address’s, phone numbers etc for every radio and music tv producer in the country and encouraged to request the new EP be played. You can imagine a radio show producer opening their email and seeing 400 different emails all requesting a certain song be played. You can bet it got air play!

This is leveraging the company’s UPS at its best and most businesses could do something similar by thinking of their customers as their ‘fan club’.

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