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June 17, 2022

E036 Mike Allton: Virtual Event Strategist

The Most Important Thing You Can Do Is Create Your Authentic Brand and Give People Opportunities To Know, Like, and Trust You By Adding Value To Their Lives, Whether Through Virtual Events, Email Or Other Channels.

Mike Allton is a virtual event strategist, an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Head of Strategic Partnerships at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and partner brands.

He is the producer and host of The Virtual Event Strategist Podcast helping brands make their first virtual event a success that they can scale.

Mike Allton is also the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing alongside Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson and Eric Butow, available wherever books are sold.

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Mike Allton 0:00
Networking will happen. And the reason why that's so important is because when I talk to somebody at an event, whether it's virtual or in person, and I have a conversation, that's an opportunity for a magical moment, that's an opportunity for at USCIS and I, to connect, and maybe find something in common, we build a little rapport. Maybe the conversation flows into a potential project, a potential relationship, professional, personal doesn't matter. But something could happen in that conversation in that networking time. That is magical.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 0:46
Once upon a time, there were millions of businesses struggling every day, they wasted time, effort, and money on repetitive tasks that added no value one day, the better automation podcasts by process CEO came to help them find a way. Because of this, these businesses save time, reduce costs, innovate and make better decisions because of that. These businesses grow, scale, and use human creativity to change this world. Hello, my name is Aziz and I'm your host that better automation podcast by process co where I interview the world's top experts and share their very best ideas on how to improve your business and automation in your processes and life. My guest today is Mike Alton. Mike is a virtual event strategist, and award winning blogger, speaker and author at the social media hat and head of strategic partnerships at Agora Pulse, where He strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and partner brands. He is the producer and host of the virtual event strategist podcast helping brands make their very first virtual event the success that they can scale. Mike is also the co author of The Ultimate Guide to social media marketing, alongside Jen Herman stuff. Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson and Eric bootle available wherever books are sold. Mike, how are you today?

Mike Allton 2:31
Fantastic. As always, I really appreciate that introduction, I appreciate you having me. Today. This is gonna be a lot of fun,

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 2:36
I feel blessed, I feel happy, I feel ready. And to begin, in a very, very simple way. What are virtual events? How are they different than other kinds of events? And more importantly, what value do they add to any business? Using them?

Mike Allton 2:57
That's actually a really big question. We could spend the next hour just answering this question. But I'll keep it simple. For everybody listening, virtual events, could be anything that's happening online. That's that's scheduled. So that could be a webinar, that could be a live stream to Facebook or LinkedIn, those in fact, are called events on those platforms. It could be a trade show, it could be a meetup, or it could be a big massive summit in a conference that's taking, taking place 100%, or almost 100% online, just depends on your perspective. And your worldview and your experience. A lot of people are used to webinars. So when I say virtual event, they're thinking, a webinar, they're thinking, you know, one or two people speaking, maybe it's recorded, maybe it's live, maybe I had to register for it, maybe I didn't. That's their perspective, the event virtual events that I come through are live streaming, to social platforms, or massive virtual Summit, that's been kind of my wheelhouse. So there's a lot of options within that virtual event. Genre, right? If we're saying we're gonna do a virtual event, we probably got to narrow it down. But that speaks to the benefits. And the goal is is a business. If you are going to think about doing a virtual event. There's a lot that you can get out of it. I've written about 10 or more benefits that businesses can get from doing virtual events. The most obvious one is leads. Most businesses are running virtual events, whether it's webinars or virtual summits, something along those lines to build their pipeline to get hundreds, maybe 1000s, maybe 10s of 1000s of people to sign up for your virtual event, whatever that virtual event is. And now you have their information. More importantly, you have the fact that they're qualified. It's not just a random email from somebody on the other side of the world from your business. They signed up for that virtual event because they wanted to know more about the topics that are in your virtual event. So now they're Have a qualified lead. And through the process of having that virtual event, you can further qualify him, you can further warm them up, and then take that lead and hand them off to your sales. That's the number one reason for doing any kind of virtual events, but you can do them for brand awareness, you can sell absolutely through the process of having the event itself, you can have demonstrations and so on. I could be demoing a product, right now, if I wanted to, you can build community, you can build up customer retention, you can increase the lifetime value of your customers, right, you could have a virtual event that's only for your existing customers, and take them from being happy customers, to raving fans. And we could talk about what that looks like. But if you've got raving fans now, for your business, not only are they less likely to churn, they're less likely to not to be a customer anymore, they're more likely to buy from you in the future, they're more likely to buy even more from you in the future. That's a wonderful benefit for virtual events. Another one is content. If I have a virtual Summit, with 50 sessions, which is what I did a year ago, for agencies, after the summit's over, I now have 50 pieces of content 5020 to 45 minute videos, that I can build an entire YouTube channel out of I can put them on Thinkific and have a course on Thinkific. I create a podcast, I can do all kinds of things with that content. So there's lots of reasons to do virtual events, whatever those look like.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 6:36
Thank you very much. So there is so much to talk about, I have so many questions. And what I understood is, in many ways, it can be a replacement for cold outreach, where by qualified or at least what you said first is they raise their hands, they put effort and put skin in the game to attend your webinar or event of any kind that could even be a Twitter space, or whatever it is, it's not limited by technology. And therefore, those people are a lot more likely, if you further qualify them, whether they have the budget, if it's part of your thing, if they have like a deadline of their decision maker, or whatever it is based on what you sell, you can do that or nurture them. I have a question about raving fans. But first, I'll play the devil's advocate a little bit, which is some people will say, look, virtual events, a lot of people are struggling in that you cannot feel the people, there isn't that energy of the room where you're in a physical room, people like Tony Robbins are so excited to return to a physical seminar, because they can create an energy that creates more sales, more bonding, whatever, and it cannot really be created in the same way when people are dispersed all across the globe. What's your perspective on this?

Mike Allton 8:01
That's a great question. And there's a couple of ways to look at the one is that if we're trying to completely recreate an in person event on a virtual stage, we're probably not going after the correct goals, because they are two different things. However, I would push back on the idea that if I'm Tony Robbins, and I'm on your show right now that I can't bring the same amount of energy that Tony Robbins brings when he's onstage? Oh, no, we could do that if we wanted to. It's a little different, it's perhaps a little more work on the part of the host. But as an audience member, if I'm watching Tony Robbins, and he's talking to me through the computer screen right now, doing his thing, I'm going to feel it. Now I might not feel the same energy, it'll be a little bit different. I won't necessarily have all the same people around me. So it'll be a different vibe, I won't have the crowd energy. And from a host perspective, from the speaker perspective, if I'm Tony Robbins, I don't even have to be Tony Robbins, I can be my column, if I might call it and I'm speaking to you. The only people I see are the other people who are on camera. Right. So like if, if this was a virtual presentation, and you were the moderator, and I'm the speaker, maybe we have three, four or 500 people in the audience, whom I can't see. It's a little more challenging for me, as a speaker, to be energetic. And I simply had to be mindful of that and aware of that, but I'll tell you, a good speaker can do it. It's not that big a deal. But good speaker can create the energy within them and they know how to project that out to the audience. And with the platforms today we can see audience reactions, we can't necessarily see all their faces and let's run a massive zoom call. But we can see emoticons floating up almost every platform now. Audience members if they're watching like an actual virtual presentation right within a virtual Summit, they can hit that like button in the heart button, and they can make all the stuff come up. And they can comment. And as a speaker, I can see that, and I can see that my message is resonating, and I can feel it. And if there's a host or a moderator or other panelists, you know, other people on the call, I can still look at their faces, and I can key off at them. The key to that, remember is that any kind of virtual event isn't about the host experience isn't about the speaker experience. It's about the audience experience, right? So if it's a little more challenging for the speaker, that's okay. What matters is what is the audience getting out of it? Is the speaker bringing that energy? Are they motivated? Are they excited, if that's the energy we want, then the audience is going to feel it, and they're going to be excited. And they're going to take away from that session. The desired emotional impact and feeling now to the point of the question, not every speaker is able to do that. Right? Not every virtual event, has the audience in mind has a speaker equipped to deliver an emotionally charged presentation. So it's not uncommon to attend a virtual event, and walk away from it feeling like

that wasn't great. I didn't feel anything from that that wasn't memorable. And to be honest, to be fair, that happens in person too. Many of us have been to in person presentations that were boring, that we fell asleep at just thinking about collegiate classes where you've got a professor at the front of the class is droning on, I'm not having to make that up. That happens on a regular basis. We're just not comparing apples to apples here. When we say virtual events can't do that, they can just got to be mindful of that. The other fun thing about virtual events is that too often, virtual event planners are not building in opportunities for that crowd engagement, that crowd energy that needs to typically happen, though, outside of a presentation session, right? Like if I'm giving a presentation right now, there can be networking happening in a live chat with the hundreds of people that are watching. But there's not going to be a lot of networking happening. And they're not going to be having a lot of one on one conversations. And they certainly aren't going to be having one on one or small group video conversations. Because what's happening right now as I'm giving the presentation, so as a virtual event planner, we would need to build in networking time, it's very important in a in person events. That happens organically in between sessions. And if you've ever been to an in person event, like I have, they go to these massive conference centers like San Diego convention hall, Cleveland Convention Center, and they'll have sessions room at the room at a room packed with hundreds of people per session. And then they'll have 15 to 30 minutes in between sessions because the doors will open, everybody screams out in the hallway. And conversation starts start to happen. This isn't silent. This is a little bit loud. Because there's now 1000s of people in these hallways. And they see people they know like, as he is, hey, I'm Michael, we connected on LinkedIn the other day, I don't know if you remember, but it's great seeing you right. And we now have a quick conversation in the hallway. Maybe it's not so quick. Maybe we have a two minute conversation, and we decide you know what I was hoping to see you. I was really hoping to connect with you because I'd like to talk to you about a project I've got coming up. So we go grab a table and we sit down we have a conversation. If I schedule a virtual event, that's only about the content of the event itself. And maybe it's a session, maybe it's 10 sessions, but they're scheduled back to back to back to back. I don't allow opportunity for that kind of networking to happen. But the virtual event platforms today, they can facilitate that kind of networking, you can have speed networking, you can have table talks, you can let attendees talk to each other one on one scheduled one on one FaceTime meetings, and so on. So we need to schedule that time, we just need to be more mindful of the fact and have breaks in between sessions and not just a coffee break. Because if I get up to go get coffee right now, I'm walking downstairs to my kitchen, and there's nobody else there for me to talk to you. I'm not doing any networking on the way to my coffee here. But if it's a scheduled networking break, and we tell people go to the lounge, go to the speed networking, go to the expo hall, you know, talk to some of our brands and sponsors and partners that are here.

Actual networking will happen. And the reason why that's so important is because when I talk to somebody at an event, whether it's virtual or in person, and I have a conversation, that's an opportunity for a magical moment. That's an opportunity for a USCIS and AI to connect and maybe find something in common we build a little rapport Maybe the conversation flows into a potential project, a potential relationship, professional, personal doesn't matter. But something could happen in that conversation in that networking time. That is magical. And as the event producer, I have no idea what you might talk to with another attendee, I can only know that the conversations will take place. And I can know from past experience, that out of those conversations, magical moments or relationships will happen, that will cause you to look back favorably on that event, it'll cause you to think favorably about my brand. Because I put on that event. When I think about my best friend, I remember that the first time I got to meet her face to face with a Social Media Marketing World, in San Diego, put on by Social Media Examiner, when I think about the job that I have at Agora Pulse, I can recall that I met my CEO, my boss, the guy who hired me at that same event, it was a couple years earlier. But I met him in 2016 at this event, and he hired me, two years later, my first day on the job was at that event in 2018. And so I will forever link in my mind, Social Media Marketing World, and the brand that put it on Social Media Examiner with three very positive events in my life, and nobody can ever take that away. Those were magical moments that I had as a result of those events. That's what can happen. So you can absolutely create virtual events that are exciting, that are interesting, that are impactful. Just gonna maybe think about it a little bit differently.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 16:45
Thank you, I love this, it reminds me of two mental models, if we might say, the IKEA effect, which is that when people are involved in the creation of an event or of a product, they fall in love with it, feel a sense of connection with it. Therefore, that's what it allows, as well as in networking being a person who can connect people and the reason, new relationships start is a huge value add, and therefore you're doing it at scale with your events. And therefore, it's not even about the content, the fact you allow for. And I have heard a lot of founders, they say yes, I met my partner in this business at XYZ event or saying, Oh, wow, 10 years ago, we met at this conference, blah, blah, blah, like I hear that quite often. So in many ways. Networking is you're finding different ways to hit like multiple birds with one stone, which is you don't just deliver value in terms of content, or whatever it is that you do, but you allow for alliances, which is as human beings, you know, surviving in nature, it was through tribes and alliances, that we are able to stay alive, and therefore you're helping people survive. And that's like the hugest primal value you could ever do. And they see you, of course, as an ally, and the goodwill will be fantastic. And I love this. I'm looking at you now as a strategist. So I'm asking from this perspective, when people even try to design a sequence to follow up with qualified leads in order to nurture them into fans. People don't know what to do. They're like, I have no idea how fans are created. I don't know what nurture means. Because especially in a virtual world, often, we totally disconnect our social part of the brain, they think, okay, I'll just send them some random information is often boring, or I'll send them whatever happened that day, or an article I found that I think is interesting. And I spray and pray, hoping that something lands on whatever and often it seems like that follow up funnel is just some random collection of things that we tell a story that they make sense, but we don't know whether they're nurturing or not. And often we find that while people have such a need for like the only sales that happen is you get the right person at the right time hitting them with the right email and they're like, oh my god, I was ready to buy this I will buy from these people and there is no nurturing happening. So how to think strategically what needs to happen in order to build a relationship with the lead as a business. What is it what happens that creates that bond between brand and person?

Mike Allton 19:42
The first part my answer is super quick. Go read super fans by Pat fun, because super fans will help anybody who's struggling with this issue there. They want to create great fans of their business great raving fans out of their customers, but they're not sure how they've never done it as a great Both are resource super fans by Pat fun. So the, the answer that I can give you right now is first to say, be prepared to do some work. This is not going to be, let's go find four of our existing blog posts. And we'll email those out. And we'll get it done in an hour and call it a day. No, no, this is gonna take some work, the first thing you have to do is identify who you're talking to. Who are your audience members that you want to be fans? What do they look like, you can call them personas, avatars, ICPs, however you want to look at it, that's fine, doesn't matter. The point is, you need to think through who we're talking to. And that may be different people. And this is an important distinction. Because if you've got different kinds of people that you're talking to, maybe you've got different products and services, maybe you've got different segments, different audiences, different markets that you're going after, you can't talk to them the same way. They don't have the same issues, pain points, they don't have the same goals as each other. They're not at the same stages of the funnel, the same stages of their buyers journey. This is an important thought process. It's an exercise that is going to take some time to think through. Because each one of these people, I'm using that loosely, people that you're talking to, they require their own follow up sequence from a marketers perspective. As a marketer, Mike Walton, I have my side blog, the social media hat. I talk a lot about virtual events. That's been a big focus of mine over the past six months, but the social media has existed for 10 years. I talk about social media, I talk about blogging, I talk about email marketing, I talk about SEO, somebody who's following me, because they read all of my content about Facebook, and then one of them more about Facebook. They're not interested in virtual events, I can't assume they're interested in virtual events, I can't assume they want to know more about all the virtual event stuff that I'm doing, and I can't treat them the same way. However, if someone signs up for my webinar on 10 benefits of virtual events for SaaS companies, that's different from somebody who signed up for my Facebook survival kit, right? They've got a different mindset, probably different background, definitely different pain points and struggles. So if I'm building a funnel, for the people who signed up for my webinar, they're looking for reasons to do a virtual event. And I wrote the title very specifically for SAS brands, right. So that's probably true for that they're probably coming from a SaaS company. Now I know something about them. And I know that not only are they interested in virtual events, and that they're from a SaaS company, but because they're exploring the benefits of a virtual event, that means they're thinking about putting on a virtual event of their own. That means, at the start of the webinar, they were unsure if they should, hopefully, by the end of the webinar, they're sure that they should. Now I can start to build out a sequence of emails of content of touch points, that I'm going to automate using whatever system I want. That's going to regularly reach out to this person to Hey, I know you've signed up for this webinar. Here's something else of interest to you. And I phrase it that way. Because the purpose of the sequence, the ultimate purpose is to sell. But the purposes of the sequences themselves is to establish what I call know, like and trust, the sign up for the webinar, they hopefully watch the webinar, that doesn't mean that they got to know me, that was a 20 minute webinar, maybe they get to know me a little bit, but probably not a lot. They probably don't trust me, we haven't built rapport, we haven't had a conversation. They definitely don't know, everything that I could do for them, they definitely don't know everything that they need to know to make a decision to buy whatever that is, whatever that looks like for your business. So I usually recommend, most sequences have between four to 10 steps. And that's gonna depend on your customer, their buying cycle, the size of whatever it is that you're selling, if you're selling a $5 item, obviously, you don't need four or five emails in your sequence. But if you're trying to sell a retainer client, where they're going to pay you hundreds of dollars per hour, if you're trying to sell a big service, that's might be 1000s of dollars, or 10s of 1000s of dollars, you're going to warm them up, and you're going to recognize that their buying cycle is probably measured in months, not days, weeks or hours.

So you design a series of emails that are going to help demonstrate that you know who they are, you know that the pain that they're going through is very real, and you're there to help them through that pain in a non salesy way. By that I mean you're going to have resources, you're going to create resources if you don't already have resources, blog posts, ebooks, FAQs, video content, podcast content, whatever it is that you think would be most helpful to the individual without actually obviously replacing whatever it is that you sell. That's the creative line, that you've got to tightrope walk. As you create content, whether it's top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom funnel doesn't matter. We got to think through, how much can I share? How much can I teach, without taking too much away from what I can actually deliver professionally from a sales perspective? And you do that over the time and you think through? If somebody just signed up for the webinar? Where are they in their buying process? Where do I want to get them? How can I help them get there. You can also think through some really fun psychological nuance, like, well, what's their learning style, they signed up for a visual webinar, that means they might prefer visual content. You might also have an e book on your site. And you might actually have a different sequence for the ebook than you do for the webinar. Because the webinar was visual, the ebook is digital. I'll give you a little clue. I'm a digital person, I would much rather read an ebook than watch a video, I feel like I can consume the ebook faster, I can skim sections that don't apply to me. Whereas the webinar, I'm stuck with the video for 20 minutes. And I don't know what's coming next. So I just have to sit and wait for the video to play to its conclusion. Other people prefer video content, other people prefer audio content. So you could have a series of videos, you could have a series of articles and white papers, you could have a series of podcasts. That's what I did with my own podcast, my own podcast, the very first four episodes were very strategically created. So that I can refer people to Episode One who want to learn more about how to create their first virtual event, I could say, hey, go listen to the virtual event strategist podcast episodes one through four. The rest of the episodes are very topical, and maybe you need them, maybe you don't. But the first four episodes, I want you to listen to those in order. And I chose to do that because I know some people prefer that kind of medium. That's how they learn best. Nothing you can think about is what we call the convincing strategy. In other words, how many times as somebody to think about hear about or even touch something before they decide to make a purchase. This is best informed either through a actual conversation like we're having today where I might ask you some questions, and I might gauge your responses. Or you look at your data. And you look at how many times a prospect, read a blog post, watched a video, listen to a podcast attended an event, before they became a paying customer. And look at that persona information and understand for yourself as a business. Because most people don't have this information. I'll tell you this right now, most people don't know the convincing strategy of their audience. So if you can figure out the convincing strategy of your target, ideal customer, I mean, you want more of these people, because they pay you they pay you on time you love working with them, whatever that ideal customer is for you. You want more of them? What is the convincing strategy? How many times do we need to talk to you? Or is it they need to understand the value they need to understand the price or whatever it is, whatever that convincing strategy is, if you could figure that out and nail it, then in your copy. Giving example. Let's suppose that I need to have been reassured seven times.

That's just that's just what it is. For me, I need to think about something, it needs to be brought up in my mind, I need to read something from a particular brand about like a big problem, a big problem. I knew that about seven times on average. And if I'm your ideal customer, I just told you email me seven times, not in one day. That will be an opposite effect for you. But if you set up a sequence of seven drips, and you give me seven reasons to buy from you, and that's my strategy, your sold. You just You just made a sale. And the beauty of having a sequence is now you can automate and scale it right now you just need to work on that top of funnel you need to bring those people into that funnel because the sequence is going to sell them.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 29:50
I love this and this ties in so perfectly to my next question. I know I want more time with you. You have a lot of insight, a lot of wisdom I'm learning and loving every second. So this is the question, the top of funnel and to focus on social media specifically, since you know a lot about that as well as is the topic of the day in many ways. Okay, people will say, I'm a creator, I'm a business person, I am whatever. I don't want to be dancing on Tik Tok, or whatever is going viral on social media. And I don't want to just post links to my blog posts that I put for SEO purposes, or whatever. What kind of content? Can I put that will make people know like, and trust me? And if I want to go further and build a personal brand? What does that mean? What is it? How does it work in the social media world? And why do I even need it? If we lived for millions of years being ourselves, and we didn't need to have any personal neural brand? In theory, I mean, in practice is a different thing? Well,

Mike Allton 31:02
the answer to the first question is implied in the answer. The second question is implied in the first question, why do you need a personal brand? Well, if I want people to know like, and trust me, that's me, they have to know like, and trust me, my personal person, my personal brand. And the truth of the matter is, people don't know like, and trust brands, people buy from people, it might be people they know within a brand. And we're, again, we're talking about major purchases, not going to the grocery store and buying a soda. We're talking about b2b, a lot, even b2c to an extent. So why do a personal brand so that people can know like and trust you, and want to work with you want to buy from you partner with you support you whatever the case might be? So the bigger question is, well, how do I do that? Right? How do I create that? Which social networks do I use? What kinds of content do I create? For the social networks? A lot of big questions in here. Start with understanding what you want to accomplish, and who you want to reach. Before you think about the specific platform. Right? What am I trying to do? Well, if it's in the case of virtual events, this has been a personal project for me for the past six months, it's why is top of mind. I had never done virtual event consulting professionally. I built virtual events for a gore pulse. That was my job, that still is my job. And I was consulting other businesses, who knew that I did it. And they just came to me, I was not actively telling the world, I can do this for you. So I made the decision in late 2021. You know what, this should be a new project for me, I should formalize what I do around virtual events, formalize who I talked to, and make myself known, broader than just my existing circle of influence in the world as a virtual event strategist. So as a result, I knew a couple things. Number one, LinkedIn was going to be one of the most important platforms for me, as well as Twitter. Not tick tock, not Snapchat, not Instagram, not even YouTube. And that's because I knew that in addition to the topic of virtual events, the audience was going to be b2b SaaS companies. Specifically, I'm trying to talk to CMOS sales directors, heads about marketing, people that were likely told in a meeting last week, hey, I need you to put on a virtual event next quarter. And they said, Oh, okay, great. And then then went away from that meeting thinking, well, how the heck am I going to do that? Because they've never done it before. Those are the people that I'm talking to the day. And I'm reaching them through LinkedIn, and Twitter. Now I know that because I know that social networks and other demographics. So once you figure out what is it you want to accomplish, and who you're trying to reach, you might need to do some more homework because you might not be as familiar with social networks as I am. And you might not have that information on your in your head, but that's okay. That is the next thing to figure out which platforms will best serve me are most likely to be the active home of the audience. I'm trying to reach in a way that I can reach them. Because here's the thing. There are CMOS on tic tock tic TOCs. Like what the fastest growing social network in the world, right? It was the number one app downloaded in 2021. It was the number one most visited website in 2021. There are CMOS on tick tock, but do they identify as CMOS on tick tock? No. You can't find CMOS necessarily on that particular platform. So it's a little bit harder to reach that audience on that platform and they're not going there. Typically in a mindset where I would be able to speak to them to your point, Tik Tok is a very much entertainment focused platform. If I'm creating content for Tik Tok, first and foremost, it has to be entertaining, or it's not going to work very well. So that's the fourth and final consideration. What can I do? What kind of content can I create? And we have to think through the first three questions. Who are we trying to reach? What are we trying to accomplish?

And what's the platform? Because once we're armed with that information, now we can think more specifically and strategically and tactically about the content that we are going to create. LinkedIn doesn't have short form vertical video. So that's, that's out of the question. With LinkedIn, it's short form text content that performs best. And again, I have that information up here, because I'm in the industry. For those of you listening or watching, you may have to do some more homework. Okay, well, I've decided that Instagram is the best platform for me, because that's where my audience is. Great. Google, how to post to Instagram best content for Instagram best Instagram strategies, or go to Gen. Herman's site, Gen, which will teach you everything you need to know about Instagram. But that's the process. That's the thought process, what I want to accomplish, who am I trying to reach? What's the best platform to reach them. And then finally, now, what's the content that I need to create? Now I'll tell you, whatever content you're creating for social networks, that's the initial attention grabbing tactic. Your strategy for social media is a network that people and grab a little bit of their attention at a particular moment in time, that's not where you're going to truly establish, know, like, and trust. That's what your websites for, or your podcast, or your YouTube channel, where you can have long form content, where you can actually establish know, like, and trust because here's the thing. I love that you mentioned, I don't remember how you put it you didn't say since the dawn of time, but it was it was it was that kind of refresh rate for a long time. As human beings. We've been able to establish relationships with each other without Tik Tok, without Snapchat without Facebook, right. And that's because as prehistoric humans, we developed cues.

You can see my hands. And I could sit with my hands on my lap. While I'm talking and I can control myself and not speak with my hands if I wanted to, I deliberately allow my hands to do these kinds of things. Because I know that are prehistoric parts of the brain. If you see my hands, you know about a threat, you know, I'm not hiding a weapon behind my back. And you've never thought about that probably consciously. But our unconscious mind still thinks along some of those ways, and knows that if you can see my hands. I'm not a visual threat. And there's other things. If I'm smiling, if I'm making eye contact to you, one of the things that I do, before coming into an interview like this, I've got my good camera on. We're in a platform, we happen to be using Riverside, I make the Riverside app as small as I can in the upper middle portion of my screen. So right now, I'm looking at Riverside, but it appears as though I'm looking into the camera. And if anyone's watching the video, they're seeing my eyes look at them as though we're in the same room together. We're making eye contact eye contact is such an important nonverbal cue. But of course, you're also listening to my voice. You're listening to the tenor, the pace, other aspects and tactics between the things that I'm saying you can you're picking up on it, even though you're not thinking about it consciously. Your unconscious mind is thinking Mike is calm. Mike seems focused, Mike seems authoritative. You don't realize it, because I'm not doing it. But if you were to think back, you would not be able to count very many UMS ahs stutters those kinds of things in my presenting voice. I've worked very hard again, to remove those. Hopefully the filter doesn't remove everything I just said, because I'm working on delivering a presentation. I'm not reading presentation, but I'm working on delivering how I present information verbally, in a way that projects calm authority. Right trends. cornice, it's almost to tranquil. Sometimes I know I get it. But what's coming across hopefully is that I know what I'm talking about, not just in what I'm saying, but how I'm delivering that information. So that's how you can deliver and create know, like, and trust through a personal brand. By creating long form content like this, this wasn't a 32nd sound bite on Twitter, or an Instagram reel or a tic tac. Right? This has been a long form podcast interview, that hopefully by the end of this interview, you know a little bit more about me, you've gotten to know like, and trust me a little bit more, even if we're not in the same room.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 40:41
That's wonderful. This is one of my most favorite episodes on the podcast. And on all of my podcasts that did more than 500 interviews. So that says a lot. And to end, can you please share if people want to discover your content to learn more about you to read your book, to use Agora Pulse or whatever is interesting to you right now? Can you share? What is each on what each of those things as well as what are the best links for people to go? And I'll make sure to write some of them in the episode description.

Mike Allton 41:19
Yeah, so I appreciate that. First of all, I really appreciate your your feedback. I love that you think this is your best episode ever that's honoring and humbling to me, I really do honestly. Appreciate that. You said that. For those who want to learn more about me the social media is home base. For me, that's where you'd be able to read literally hundreds of articles that I have there for free on blogging, social media, SEO and more dozens on virtual events, because like I said, I spent the last six months creating a wealth of content there. And you can get to the podcast of virtual man strategist podcast from there. You can also connect with me on social media directly if you prefer I, Mike, Alton al TLN, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and so on Twitter, and LinkedIn are probably the easiest ones because you could follow me on those channels. You can direct message me just like as he's has to get me on this podcast, you can direct message me, He'll vouch for me. He knows I respond to direct messages. I love talking with people on social media. I've been doing it for a decade, please reach out if you have questions.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 42:19
Thank you so much. I'm grateful to you. I'm honored. And of course, before we finish, I thank processor as well, which is responsible for making this podcast possible. And all this great content, and great guests processes, the modern low code, no code platform for advanced automation and creating an enterprise grade back end for your software. Any listener and viewer can request access to a totally free account that processor dot app. And for those with higher business needs. You can use the 50% discount code better 50 off one word in capital letters more information in the episode description. Thank you again so much, Mike. You're amazing. You worked very hard. I can tell that you know, talent is overrated. Hard work is the way and you have put in the hours. So I encourage you a thank you, man. Keep going. You're sharing great knowledge in a way that is palatable to people in an age filled with distraction. And that's rare and needed. Thank you again. Thank you