Russ HenneberryAs part of a new series, I’m going to be doing interviews with local (Saint Louis area) industry leaders that are using social media and other forms of SEM to increase their overall business revenue and objectives.  This week I’m interviewing Russ Henneberry, owner of Tiny Business, Mighty Profits.

Russ Henneberry writes and speaks about Content Marketing Strategy and how tiny businesses can make mighty profits using a personal computer, a little imagination and a few well-placed dollars.

  1. What first spurred you to get involved with social media for your business?
    I started a business in 2004 that was a massive failure. The most critical take-away from that failure was that I needed to be more connected to colleagues, customers, and prospects. I realized that going it alone was not a good strategy and that social media was a great way for me to grow my support network.
  2. Tell us about T&M’s online strategy. What online tools are you using now to grow your customer base?
    I use a WordPress blog as a hub from which to consistently broadcast valuable and timely content that would be beneficial to my market. I use video sharing sites (YouTube, etc), Email Marketing through aWeber, and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
  3. What’s the ‘one thing’ that social media has taught you about your business?
    Social Media has taught me how useful my business can be to others. I try to be as helpful as possible through my Twitter and Facebook account and I find that others reciprocate by helping me.
  4. What was your biggest marketing tactic success in 2009? Your worst?
    The single most powerful decision I made this year was publishing to my blog daily. It has resulted in tremendous growth for my business. In terms of failures, my video podcast was started prematurely and didn’t follow the same branding strategy that I used across the rest of my content. I plan to resurrect this tactic in 2010.
  5. What was your biggest social media blunder? How did it affect your business?
    My social media blunder was in the way that I originally approached Twitter. I automated a lot of my content and didn’t truly engage with my followers. Although much of that automation remains, I have committed to real discussion on Twitter and it has been a fantastic experience.
  6. How do you measure and evaluate the results of your online efforts?
    I use, of course, Google Analytics to measure referrals, etc. However, I concentrate on the quality of the contacts I make through my online efforts and this is more difficult to quantify. In the end, I look at the source of sales, referrals, email sign-ups, etc to determine whether I should continue with any particular tactic.
  7. Are there any new tools that you’re playing with that haven’t caught on to the mainstream, but are working well for you?
    There are three tools that I would recommend that may not be in the mainstream. The first two are video related:

    • Animoto – Animoto is a powerful and easy slide show video program that will take still images and short video clips and turn them into amazing video. –
    • TubeMogul – Tube Mogul allows you to upload your video to ~10 video sharing sites at once, including YouTube. –
    • Meet Up – is a great place to find networking events in nearly every niche. –
  8. What is your favorite part of what you do? Your least favorite?
    I love the ever changing landscape of Internet Marketing and the power that it brings to tiny business owners like myself. I dislike (although I am admittedly intrigued by) the “shady” side of Internet Marketing such as link buying, etc.
  9. What are some good tips for a small business that wants to get into content marketing but aren’t sure how?
    Start with a self hosted WordPress blog. Listen to your market through social media channels like Twitter and then build content that addresses the needs of that market and establishes you and your website as the authority in your industry.
  10. Do you recommend any books or blogs that have helped your business grow?
    Tribes by Seth Godin
    The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
    WebInkNow by David Meerman Scott —
    Junta 42 by Joe Pulizzi —

Russ, thanks for your time and keep up all the great work!  I should also mention that Russ will be speaking on content marketing at the MarketSTL conference in April.  Tickets are still available.

If you’d like to do an interview with me, drop me a dm on Twitter @TechLH or email me will at willhanke dot com

4 Responses

  1. Great Q&A I really look forward to meeting Russ and hearing him talk at Market STL. I look forward to checking out Animoto and TubeMogul. Sounds like pretty cool stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.