Karlyn is the founder of Oh Snap! Social and creator of the Fan Firestarter Framework, a new approach to social media marketing made specifically for businesses “tempted to fake their own death and flee to Tahiti at the mere thought of content creation.” Karlyn developed her user-friendly strategy after working for a decade with a variety of brick and mortar businesses who were decidedly social allergic, as she calls it, not because they didn’t want to do social media, but because they were intimidated by it. In response, her new system helps newbies get on the fast track to “unsucking their social media” in just one hour per week.
Full transcript below:
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to The M Word. My name is Jennifer.
Heather Myklegard: [00:00:03] And I’m Heather.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:00:04] And today we’re talking to Karlyn Ankrom with Oh Snap! Social. Karlyn is the founder of Oh Snap! Social and creator of the Fan Firestarter Framework, say that 10 times fast. It is a new approach to social media marketing. Karlyn developed her user-friendly strategy after working for a decade with a variety of brick and mortar businesses who were decidedly social allergic, as she calls it. Not because they don’t want to do social media, but because they were intimidated by it.
In her response her new system helps newbies get on the fast track to unsucking their social media in just one hour per week. Thanks for being here, Karlyn. I’m excited to hear all about what this Fan Firestarter Framework is!
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:00:45] Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be chatting with some friends. This is awesome.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:00:50] Yeah, we agree, and we’re really glad you’re here.
How about to set the stage since not everybody knows you, like we do. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background in marketing, and how long you’ve had your business.
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:01:01] Yeah. So it’s a long story. I think like many of our kind of founding stories, but really to keep it short and sweet and simple. I started, Oh Snap! Social about seven years ago, as a side hustle. Like many of us did, I was working full time for an agency. It was a branding and management agency in the area.
And, I worked for several startups before that and developing social media strategies from scratch. And when I was in this agency, I was learning a ton about systems and SOPs, and just how to develop a framework around how to run a business. I always knew I wanted to own my own business and I was a little gun shy at first, I was like, can I really do this? Is this something that I have the courage to take that leap? I hired a business coach, she gave me the knowledge and tools to put in my two weeks notice, and I did. I took, Oh Snap! Social after, for five years as a side hustle, full time for myself, and I’m about to hit three years, which is insane, in July of 2021. So, that has been my journey with Oh Snap!.
Before that I have a journalism degree, I’ve always loved writing. I was like the 10-year-old kid that was filling up composition notebooks, like of all their ten-year-old thoughts, which I thought were genius. I found them a few weeks ago when my mom was weeding out her house.
And it was just a lot of going to the pool and hanging out with my friends is what was captured on that. But I made it a thing every single night to write in my journal and talk about my day and record my adventures. And now, like social media is doing that for businesses, recording those micro-moments to captivate an audience and relate back to them.
Heather Myklegard: [00:02:33] Congratulations on three years. That is awesome.
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:02:37] It’s crazy. I can’t believe it’s been like three years already.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:02:39] in the next thing, there’ll be 10
Karlyn. So tell me, are you actually doing social media for your clients? Are you training them to do their own or a little bit of both?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:02:48] A, a little column B, I have been doing the done for you service since the inception of Oh Snap! Social, even when it was a side hustle. And I now see a greater need for the solopreneurs and small business owners to really take the reins of their social and run with them. Because anyone can hand it off, but what really makes social special is that behind the scenes, the human to human, that we always are talking about, that relate-ability the approachability, and as much as I would love to say that I can be my client, I’m pretty good at doing that with my journalism background, but I’m not them I can not go on camera and be them, that’s not a thing that is possible to do, unfortunately.
So I’m constantly pushing it and you guys know this, right? Like constantly pushing the boundaries, getting them to show up, and I always say this, show their face step out from behind the logo and own it, and sometimes they need a little bit of hand-holding and sometimes they need a, like a good swift kick in the rear to get them out there.
But once they get out there, they have a sense of confidence that they didn’t know they had, and so that’s probably one of the most rewarding pieces of what I do is like seeing them, like it clicks in and they get it and they start to shine and they’re like, oh, I know more than I thought I did because we are so in the trenches every day of what we do, that they don’t really realize their value until someone like us comes along and pulls it out of them, and I think that is the coolest, like eureka moments that happen, and it helps when I have a little fun in the process, so I try to keep it fun and light, but yeah that’s a little bit about kind of the two sides of the coin, the done for you side, I get more fulfillment, honestly, out of helping them see the light at the other side of the tunnel where it really clicks in for them.
Heather Myklegard: [00:04:22] Yeah, we always say, there’s no substitute for you, but they definitely need some coaching and a little hand-holding, and it is so cool when they’re like, oh, that wasn’t so bad, and then they finally start to do it on their own.
Karlyn. You said that you love marketing. What specifically do you love about marketing?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:04:40] What I love about marketing is a lot of the time, there’s no rules. Just because the strategy works for a competitor doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. And what I love is that it can drive your sales, right? That’s the whole point is as marketers, we are the messenger for the message.
It is our job to help, one, bring awareness to people who have no idea who you are, and then share something that’s so gosh, darn creative that they’re like, Ooh, that’s good. That’s me. You get me, we here, and then getting them to take that next step, whatever that next step is and the goals for that particular client or company.
And we get to connect all the digital dots, which I think is the coolest part about marketing. But I also think the expectations around marketing frustrates a lot of companies and clients.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:05:25] Go more into that, what do you mean, the tension between the ones who are trying to do it right, and the Ick factor you started to talk about cringe, right?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:05:35] Yeah, it’s an epidemic of sorts, and I don’t like to use that word but everyone that has a conversation with me that is in that small business, like one or two people, like a boutique or a book author or anyone that comes to me, and they’re like, I worked with agencies and they royally screwed me. How are you different? And i’m like, I am also a small business so I am not one to churn and burn your money, and if I can help you, I will help you, and if I can’t, I will send you and refer you to someone else because I’m not in the business of burning other people’s money and flushing it down the toilet.
And a lot of the times that almost takes their guard down because they’ve been burned so many times and it hurts my heart because I’m there and I’ve been screwed before, too. Like I bought a lot of Facebook data and that makes me less sad about saying that I spent tens and thousands of dollars on Facebook ads that didn’t work because I didn’t do it myself. I trusted someone else that was their job, and they didn’t deliver. And they didn’t deliver on these huge expectations and air quote promises they were giving me, and that’s what happens a lot of the time. Marketers come like we can do this and then the small businesses get super jazzed and then they don’t get this big thing over here, and then they’re pissed and upset, and then they’re ruined for the rest of us who actually genuinely want to help them.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:06:47] Yeah. And I love how you’re sharing that because it’s so true, and you mentioned expectations and expectations setting, more practically, like if you’re a small business who’s listening to this right now and you’ve not done social organic or paid social, what are the flags How do I know that the person who’s trying to sell me this service is not blowing smoke?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:07:07] I would say, ask for results. If they have numbers especially for Facebook ads, I think that’s the most common one. You have to do a little bit of educating too sometimes on these discovery calls, which I love doing let me be real with you. And also, really educating them first, number one, and then number two, asking for that agency to give you some results or a case study or something like that. So you can get a feel for who they are and what they do, and then also do your due diligence and read their website. If there’s not a ton about their core values there’s no face of their company, or who they are that’s a red flag too. So those three things are a great place to start.
Other than that I would totally find someone that’s in alignment with like your energy or they worked with companies similar to yours. Those are really good factors too, because I look out for that too, when I’m talking to new clients, because if I don’t mesh well with their personality, it’s going to be a problem regardless. And so I try to find people that are fun, upbeat, trusts me, which takes some time, but that’s something that I encourage everyone to shop around, do your due diligence, ask a lot of questions and go from there.
Heather Myklegard: [00:08:11] Karlyn. I want to talk a bit about spending money, particularly on Facebook ads. you were burned. It sounds like, and I remember that story. So what would you tell someone who’s listening, a small business owner? What should they expect to spend and what should they expect to get out of it? Do you have a standard now that you tell people?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:08:29] I try to stick to a standard, but it evolves and changes as much as we change our underwear if we’re being honest. So, for me, I need to get a really good handle around what is the goal they’re trying to accomplish? What is their offer? I am not their business coach. I am not the CEO of their business. They need to share with us what their objective is with their ad, we want to sell 20 slots in our next webinar. And then when I look at it, if I’m like, have you tested this offer? No. Okay. Let’s test it organically first, do people even want it? Put it in your newsletter, those are your tried and true people, if they don’t want it, then ads might not convert. And I always say like Facebook, and this is what I love, it’s like Facebook is a great place to start an ad campaign or like test something because it’s cheap.
It’s really cheap to get your ad in front of eyeballs, really inexpensive versus a billboard that’s tens of thousands of dollars on the interstate, and people are driving by at 80 miles an hour and they don’t even see it. That’s where I think people again are waking up to the fact that digital is more cost efficient it takes less time and energy, and you can actually see the data and the results versus a billboard, you don’t know how many people are driving past it at 80 miles an hour. How many people are pulling over snapping a picture and remembering that for later, you don’t know that. Facebook ads, you can see that, is this working, is this not working? Do we need to switch up the strategy?
So my recommendation is if you have not already installed a pixel on your website or Facebook, do that. There’s a lot of nuances now with the new iOS 14 updates, install all of the pixels all of the event pixels must be installed. And then, that allows you to gather that data so you can eventually retarget down the road.
Run traffic campaigns to your landing page, get people there, get people aware that you exist, and you can do that for, $200 to $500 a month. But again, I know people that put $10,000 of ad spend, and then on the other side, they get $50,000. So your ROY is huge in that capacity. So it really just depends on where you’re at.
Most of the small businesses that I help they’re in that $200 to a $1,000 ad spend. We’re creating leads, we’re getting them to have downloads and add people to their email list, or getting them signups for their webinars, or just driving traffic to their website.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:10:38] So it sounds like you are not a business owner who’s afraid to invest in her own marketing, cause you have stories to tell of bad investments in your own marketing. So where does that leave you today? Where are you Investing in your own growth and why are you investing where you are?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:10:53] I love this question.
I am investing right now in a team. We’re small, but we’re mighty. I have two other people that helped me with content development and community management, for our clients. All that manual Instagram engagement, that the client doesn’t want to do. So I have someone that’s really great from the hospitality world that helps with that so she’s got that, pleasant factor and can really take note of the voice and tone. And then I have an integrator, which I guess is like an OBM. I have someone that’s helping with all of my SOP and getting all of my business stuff taken care of cause it’s like not my zone of genius when I create content all day long, I do not wanna do that. So she’s helping me with that, so that’s where I’m investing. Now on the social landscape, I’m going in on Instagram and LinkedIn. Why? LinkedIn is where people are going to sign a contract with me because they’re there to do business.
Instagram, quite honestly, it’s one of my favorite ones, and it opens me up to other social media managers, so if, and when, I decide I want to create more of a digital product or something, that audience is going to be more readily there. So two different audiences, one’s more fun, one’s more buttoned up. Though the fun stuff is working really nicely on LinkedIn lately. So those are the two that I’m going in on, and then I have to feed the fire on the others to see that I’m active.
Heather Myklegard: [00:12:03] Karlyn, I follow you on both, and I’ve seen your very fun posts on Instagram. Is there any marketing tactic that you haven’t yet tried maybe because it’s a little out of your comfort zone and what would that be?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:12:15] Any type of live video. I love video, but I’m not good on the fly. Like at all, like I needed to be prompted, I need people to ask me questions, which is why podcasts is great, but the thought of me doing my own podcast or own live show literally gives me anxiety.
But I also know, Facebook live is where it’s at. I’ve done some in the past and it’s really fun. But I think I get the tech tools and all of that get in my way and it used to be a lot simpler for me. And I’m like, I need stream yard down, I need this, and I’m like, can I just hit record? Like why is it so dang hard? And I want to get LinkedIn live because I feel like that would be more valuable for me. I’ve been applying, but I haven’t yet. So I’m waiting for 5,000 followers on there and maybe they’ll give me a shot.
Heather Myklegard: [00:12:58] That is so surprising to me because yes, you and I used to do our live show. We did have some notes, but I wouldn’t know that watching you on LinkedIn and Instagram and even Facebook. And I think it’s just a Testament to those listening who, are like, oh, I could never do that. Even those of us who are doing something get nervous and we get scared. And actually Facebook live, I would much rather just go for it without a script, and to me, that’s my comfort area right now, but like putting together a real I need your tips.
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:13:29] I love me some reels, man. Those are fun times. Love them. I encourage everyone to do them because just the cold reach.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:13:37] Yup. That’s right. But a part of what you were saying that jumped out at me, cause you didn’t say it this way, is sometimes we create barriers for ourselves to do marketing. If I don’t do it this way with that tool, then I don’t want to do it, maybe we’re perfectionist or just intimidated by it all, and we see this with our clients too. Sometimes you just want to say, just do it get out of your own damn way, stop creating a barrier to entry because to do a lot of these tactics, as you’ve said already, Karlyn, is it’s just hit record, and maybe it isn’t going to be something that you’ve seen out there, but it’s going to be better than not doing anything.
So I really want to go back to where we started and that was you sharing the system that you’ve created, to really work with folks who are intimidated by the whole thing, and you’re saying an hour a week, you can get people going from zero to engaged on their own social. So tell us more about this. How, what, where?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:14:31] Yeah, so the Fan Firestarter Framework, yeah, I was trying to say that 10 times fast when I first made it up, I was like I love alliteration. Like love alliteration. Anytime I can be redundant like that, I’m here for it. But I was like, okay, how can I break down the Fan Firestarter Framework in a way that’s even easier to consume. And it’s simple PSA, pulse check, strategy, advance, and the advanced piece is broken out into two little spokes where it’s implementation and management. So, with the pulse check if you are not popping the hood on where you’re at, how on earth are you going to know where you’re going?
Like, how are you gonna be able to put a strategy together if you’re not drawing a line in the sand and saying, okay, this is where we’re starting from. This is the content that’s working, this is the content that’s absolute garbage, and we should never do this again. But a lot of times and I know you guys see this too all the time is they’re posting and then they’re ghosting and they have no idea what worked, and then they get frustrated because they’re like, this didn’t work. did you keep posting that same type of thing for months and months? Why don’t you switch up the strategy? And that’s where we come in as professionals to help them. And so the strategy is to make sure everyone’s on the same page, that they know where they’re going. They know what success looks like on social media. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked people on discovery calls or whatever, what does success look like for you on social media? The amount of blank stares that I get. When I ask that question is, I’m just like, okay let’s start there. Really, because that helps me manage their expectation. And if they say something like I want 10,000 followers in a week or a month or whatever, I want to be like, that’s cute booboo, but social is a long-term game. You gotta be in it to win it, and you gotta be, buckled in, and ready to rock with a strategy in place.
Then the implementation piece, we all know that’s the fun part, that’s the contact creation. The management is nurturing the community, which we all know, and then reevaluating everything.
Now talking about the content per hour to get it cranked out. That’s all you need because I think you hit the nail right on the head too. Jennifer, is people overthink everything when it comes to their social, because I think what starts to leach into the brain is that’s already been done. What makes me the expert in talking about this, right? It’s that imposter syndrome, that comparison, and then just the lack of knowledge and experience on putting themselves out there. But I’m with you, just press the dang record button. See what happens if Joanna Gaines can film an entire food network special on her iPhone with her kid as the camera man, and also forget half of the ingredient, you can hit the record button too, on your phone, or have your kid or husband or wife, whoever record you.
You have value between your ears, share it with people, so they know that you exist. People are looking for solutions that you provide. You’re doing them and also yourself, a disservice I feel uncomfortable being in front of the camera. I don’t want to do this. I feel uneasy.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:17:13] Is it part of it though? Like you work with retailers, right? And we’ve heard this too, like I sell cookies or, I’m a dry cleaner what do I have to say on social media? Like what do people want to hear from me? How do you help them see that there’s a story they could tell?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:17:27] Asking a lot of questions. And getting so excited when they tell me their story that they suddenly are energized by the fact that I was like, that’s the best story. Why aren’t you sharing that on social?
And I’m like coming from an actual, genuine place because I have a junk removal company as a client right now, junking isn’t sexy. It just isn’t, it’s not pretty pictures, but there is some creative ways, that I’m super stoked to put out there into the world that share their story, that make them different than their competitors.
And it’s finding that differentiator that’s going to resonate with their audience that no other dry cleaner, no other baker, or dentist or whatever has, that they do that will resonate with someone There’s 850 million social media people in the world, but not everyone’s going to resonate with my ridiculously high energy.
Some people may be like you’re a lot, and I’m going to be like, I know I’m not for everybody, and that’s okay.
Heather Myklegard: [00:18:18] It’s okay! * laughs* Karlyn, what have you seen over the last year, in regards to the pandemic and digital marketing?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:18:26] What have I seen? I’ve seen a double down in digital and that’s been super, super exciting.
I think people are waking up from their social hibernation and realizing since they couldn’t rub elbows with other professionals locally or otherwise that they need to take this social media thing seriously, especially on a place like LinkedIn. I’ve seen more use there, tenfold and even myself just getting my own profile a facelift, with some key words and all that good stuff.
Last year generated 15 grand extra on my bottom line that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. So there is power in taking another look at your profile and finding other people to connect with on a place like LinkedIn, whether it’s local or ballooning out to a more national level. But I think people get so stuck in a rut when it comes to LinkedIn, they’re like it’s just a place for my resume. No, it’s a place for you to be a resource for other people, just like most social, share your story, share what you’re working on, share your win, do a fun podcast with your colleague and share it there. You know what I mean?
There’s a lot of different things that you can do on LinkedIn. And what I love about that one in particular, is for the be to be people that are listening, you need to be there, you just need to be there. Show up consistently, engage, share your value, and your expertise.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:19:37] That’s great. Given the industry that you work in and you quipped that it changes as much as we change our underpants
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:19:45] Facts.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:19:45] Where, and how do you keep up and, are there people, or sources, or resources that you look to for your own continuing education, or people that you respect a lot in the field?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:19:57] Yeah, you have to be careful with who you follow, to be fair because I also get stuck in the comparison. And everyone’s you gotta do 800 reels in one day and you’re like, but I’m running a business, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and it’s where you have to really shift and myself included, of who I’m following, what I’m taking, and what I’m leaving.
My favorite resource, still to this date, because all the, how-tos is social media examiner, I’m just gonna say it, they just have really good step-by-step. So if I’m like, how do I do? And then I like search there and it’s there. I don’t listen to a ton of podcasts, if I’m being honest, cause I don’t have a commute anywhere anymore.
I’ve been really liking clubhouse, to listen to some rooms more or less to feel validated, not necessarily to learn. There aren’t a ton of rooms in there that are super high level, in my opinion and people I respect in the industry, Jenn Herman for Instagram, all things Instagram. She’s absolutely phenomenal, she calls it like it is, she’s going to tell you if your feed looks like a dog’s breakfast. But she’s from Canada, so she won’t actually say it like that., She’s very nice. But yeah, Jenn Herman is great for Instagram, and I respect her a lot, in that industry,
Heather Myklegard: [00:20:57] Karlyn, you mentioned social media marketing world. It’s I think the first conference you and I went to together and we have many friends in that circle. What’s your opinion or stance on live conferences coming back this year? Do you think it’ll happen? Would you go, would you pay for it?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:21:13] I think they’re going to come back. I think they’re going to be September, October of 2021. I think they’re going to make a resurgence. I personally don’t feel comfortable going on an airplane yet. So that being said, I have a few personal engagements coming up in the end of the summer, that I’ll be forced to be on an airplane. So we’ll see, I think you have to be really smart with the type of conferences you go to, and have a goal when you go. What’s your goal? Like for social media marketing world, mine was to deepen the relationships that I made, year over year. Because you have your internet friends, which sounds super dorky, but I think that’s everyone now, which is great. But having a set goal, a clear intention are you going to go to learn?
Are you going to go to the network? Are you there to, find and sign clients? Close deals? Or are you there to, just deepen the relationships, with either the person who started the event or other people that, go back consistently year over year? And I haven’t even been paying attention to them, to be honest, i’m like, I don’t know what’s coming up. but yeah.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:22:07] So Karlyn, if you could go back to the first day that you put your shingle up, Oh Snap! Social and tell yourself anything. What would it be?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:22:16] I actually recorded a video of my very first day as an entrepreneur. I was wearing pajamas because I could, it was great.
If I could tell myself one thing, that shit’s going to get real. There’s going to be speed bumps. There’s going to be big ass pot holes. There’s going to be people that want you to fail. And sometimes that person might be you. That you are worthy of success. That you know what you’re doing. And go get it, girl.
Heather Myklegard: [00:22:40] Well said, Karlyn, if our listeners want more of Karlyn and Oh Snap! Social, where can they find you?
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:22:46] ohsnapsocial.com. or you can find me Karlyn Ankrom, a, n, k, r, o, m at LinkedIn and @ohsnapsocialkarlyn on Instagram.
Jennifer Mulchandani: [00:22:55] That is awesome. So thanks Karlyn. This has been a lot of fun talking with you today. Our time always flies by, especially having a friend here, which is really nice. So, appreciate you sharing your insights. To our listeners, we’ve been talking with Karlyn Ankrom from Oh Snap! Social and stay tuned for our next episode.
Karlyn Ankrom: [00:23:12] Bye.
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