Welcome to “The Horse’s Mouth” with Tom McManus, a cool, unique talk show where guests belly up to the bar to discuss business, marketing, and life. No gossip, no hearsay, no BS, just the straight-up truth, right from the source.
Tom’s longtime love of bartending has come full circle since his days as a linebacker on the inaugural Jacksonville Jaguars football team—slinging drinks and talking shop with everyone from high-profile sports figures and entertainers to business leaders, journalists, and community leaders. Tom and guests trade insight and anecdotes, explore day-to-day topics and tackle the hard subjects, all with equal measures of energy, honesty, and laughter. Get the skinny on the real people behind the headlines, straight from the horse’s mouth.
What is the biggest challenge for you when it comes to reaching your audience?
The first thing is name recognition. When I call someone and say, “Hi, I’m Steve Strum,” their response sometimes is, “Who are you?” You want to get your name out there where people know you and are familiar with your work. Secondarily is what differentiates your process from the other thousands of financial advisors that are vying for clients. Credibility is huge.
I have been in the music business for a while, so I have that credibility but beyond that, I think it is incredibly difficult to break through all that constant noice on social media. You’ve got to have a really interesting story especially as an artist. You need to be able to tell people and connect with people one on one even though you’re on a social media platform.
My biggest challenge is time because finding that trust is really huge in the line of work that I do. You are making a lot of decisions that are gonna be lasting. Doing more human interest stories, doing the type of marketing that I find works just takes a lot more time and creativity. That’s in shorter demand when I am working during the day. I’ve had to build it into my schedule. My market is primarily women, and within that demographic and the human interest stories are typically a hit. It helps build that emotional connection. Even in the digital age, people still want to see beautiful pictures and they want to see moving images.
We want to really benefit the community we live in. We’re local, we are not corporate where decisions are all made down the hall. The biggest challenge is how do we get it all in and make it work? How do we make everybody happy, that’s a jigsaw puzzle that my general manager, Steve, has done a pretty good job of piecing together. We want to keep everyone engaged and happy and make sure that we’re serving the community. Local means topical. So, if if it’s on our minds about Kobe (Bryant) and the tragedy and all that happened, we’re talking about it, but nowhere else can you get the insight we have. When you break that down, it comes down to community. It’s a dying craft because across the country corporate radio, especially very recently, has laid off hundreds of local hosts that keep it local. Eventually, someone’s gonna have to say, “Are you really serving the local interest? Are you worthy of that license symbol?”
Along those lines, whatever side of the fence we are on, in the end the purpose of media is to be a watchdog for local government. If you have media that’s outside of the area, does that even get picked up?
Only five percent of my business takes place here. I have to market beyond the local, and while I made have a hundred different ideas as to how that is possible, what I need is a team behind me that really helps put analytics behind them. It’s all about keeping an eye on the trends and being aware of what is coming up and what is popular.
How important are analytics in your business?
Trial and error have helped me the most, especially since I am a small business. I have to watch what people love and dislike, what people watch and don’t watch. Right now what seems to be popular are the how-to videos. People love it when I pull out samples and show them. And making a lot of effort and finding people really didn’t watch that. What I find people absolutely Rob are the how to videos. They love it when I pull out samples and I show them. However, I make sure to have a variety of viewing options. I still have some clients who don’t know how to get into Facebook, the magazine-style works better for them. For me marketing is a mash up of multiple things. I have to keep in mind that I do not have a big budget, I need to utilize all the different means available to me. I have enough clients, my goal is to share information and share what I do, promoting Luxury for Less and more.
A huge part of the music industry when it comes to marketing is show, don’t tell. I can sit there and say all that I’ve accomplished, but you’re failing to make a connection when you do that. The music consumer wants to connect with you on an emotional level like we were talking about earlier. So that can be very interesting when you’re both the content creator for your social media and then when you get into the analytics of it. When you do analytics, you have to turn off the emotional side and be strictly business.