#SeriouslySocial The Podcast
with Simone Douglas and special guest Steve Hubbard
Our guest on this episode of Seriously Social is Steve Hubbard from DIFY Social. He chats with Simone about life, social media, and the differences between marketing and sales.
Special guest: Steve Hubbard
Connect with Steve here:
LinkedIn – Steve: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevehubba/
LinkedIn Business: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dify-social/
Facebook – Steve: https://www.facebook.com/stevenghubba/
Facebook Business: https://www.facebook.com/DifySocial
Instagram – Steve: https://www.instagram.com/stevehubba/
Instagram Business: https://www.instagram.com/difysocial/
Twitter – Steve: https://twitter.com/SteveHubba
Twitter Business: https://twitter.com/DifySocial
Google my Business: https://g.page/DifySocial
Check out our page for updates and teasers about upcoming episodes, links, and details about Simone’s best-selling books.
Hosted by Simone Douglas
Videography by Marie Carbone
Audio by Chris Irving
Music used in this episode is “Alte Herren” by KieLoKaz, used with permission under a Creative Commons Licence
This production is protected by a creative commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence.
Chris Irving 0:00
Welcome to the seriously social podcast with your host Simone Douglas. Our guest this episode is Steve Hubbard from Duffy social. He chats with Simone about life social media and the differences between marketing and sales.
Simone Douglas 0:17
Okay, so welcome to this week’s episode of seriously social the podcast today I’m joined by the fabulous Steve Hubbard from Dify Social so no always seems a little bit strange when you have people who do what you do in a space that you play on your podcasts for some people doesn’t seem strange to me. But Steve, you’re based in Melbourne, but you serve as clients all around the country, you have a team that runs all around the country. Give me the cliff notes version as to how you ended up on the podcast today.
Steve Hubbard 0:50
The cliff notes version? Well, the first thing I think I ended up on the podcast because you have a support person there that surname is the same as mine, Hubbard, what a great name, you don’t see that very often. And so that was the first thing that attracted my attention, I think to a post on LinkedIn. But you and I had spoken before. And I know, one of the best things you ever said. And it’s probably a little bit of along the lines of your opening, then was that you know, you and I both have a very similar sense, I think to doing business. And so relationships before sales, we’re both involved in BNI and business networking. And so the reason I’m here today is to actually record a conversation between you and I just in case we say something smart, and then that will be really advantageous.
Simone Douglas 1:36
Absolutely. So it’s been interesting, I suppose for me this week, in that I have had to really leverage my networks this week, which happens every now and again, I think, for everybody. But I went and bought a house with my partner, Alex and we moved in together, which means we’re amalgamating two houses, which is always entertaining. But in typical fashion, we got the keys. And we, you know, went in through the front door, and we discovered that the bright shiny object was perhaps not as bright and shiny as we thought. And so I had to then, you know, we’ve got to rip up floors and paint walls and do things like that.
Steve Hubbard 2:14
Simone Douglas 2:15
I thought it was a really good analogy in terms of how that happens with social media and marketing agencies quite often. So obviously not yours or mine, but they tend to be these bright, shiny objects that promise the world. What advice would you give to someone that’s looking to retain an agency about what are some of the questions that they should be asking to uncover? Whether they’re all that or not so much?
Steve Hubbard 2:42
Yeah, I hear Look, I first the probably the best answer. Firstly, I also hear you around the house. I remember getting a townhouse den in Denmark, which is south of Western Australia. And the first night we ever went down it was a holiday. It was almost like a timeshare but we did invest in it. But I remember the first night lying in bed and and it was the most loud noise and we were like oh my god, this is like paper, thin walls. We’ve paid for this place and oh my god anyway, I think that’s called you need a cooling off period sometimes, right? But to your point, like we’re, we are unabashedly not an agency, so we’re consultancy realistically. So I’m a social media marketing consultant. That’s very niche. And we we serve to be quite honest, small businesses that most agencies probably wouldn’t want to serve. So probably that’s the first thing to say to your question. And so what we do though get is we get a bit excited about it, or they sometimes a little bit frustrated as well is those ones that have been with agency and particularly say a trade that’s grown, or others that have really been taken for a bit of a ride right so one of our sort of key cultures, his windows smoke and mirrors here, right? So ultimately we tell people how it is. We often tell people that they might not be ready for us potentially. But we also don’t go and suggest to them ultimately we’re marketers so I’m a practicing marketer my guys in the different territories are also graduate marketers and so we apply marketing principles most businesses just call that business by the way most businesses call marketing, marketing communications so technically speaking, we’re a social media marketing communications consultancy made up of marketing consultants right? But yeah so what we do do is promise what we aim to deliver right for them which is basically competitive advantage around social media marketing and as he said, it is unusual but you know, realistically you one of the reasons why you and I, I think connect and kind of is because we get it right so we’re very with with strictly nationwide, six channels, Facebook advertising. That’s the And so we’ll set them up, revise them, and then we’ll plan and then we’ll manage every report, you guys will create content, you’ll do a lot more that we would do. So you got more that digital. So I would I reckon you should be called Digital Media AOK. But anyway, that would just be my suggestion.
Simone Douglas 5:16
we need to re-band.
Steve Hubbard 5:18
Yeah. But the I know you’d have to re break but but it is often we spent a lot of time having to quantify with people what social media is from our context. And I think you would find this as well, wherever sin, similar genre in terms of, or whatever you call it. Yeah, our clientele that we’re working with, often need quite a lot of education around it, because they don’t know the difference between internet marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, or website photography, content creation deliver, they have no clue, right? So I shouldn’t say no clue. But they often there is, they don’t know what they don’t know. And then as you said, there can be people that can take advantage of that, and often charge them way too much for what they’re going to deliver. So I hope that was a bit of a segue into what you were asking me around, particularly for the small business owner. Yeah, be very careful. You know, there’s plenty of ways that you can shop around nowadays to make sure that you are getting the best. Best Value for what you’re seeking. Yeah. So I think and I know, and you I’m sure you find the same and you can tell me is that, you know, often you just need to do the education to start with, there’s no, I, if I go into a full diatribe around what the benefits of social media marketing Facebook advertising might be, I may as well speak a slightly different language, right? So we keep it pretty simple. We use 6 channels, it’s all about getting 10s of 1000s of eyeballs into 1000s of recall, you know, brand awareness into engagement and, and traffic through the website. Ultimately, they might get disappointed when we say, well, we’re not going to sell it for you though ultimately, the end of the day, we’re marketers, we’re not sales people, you need to close it.
Simone Douglas 7:08
I had a guest on a while ago, who was a client quite some time ago. And his biggest problem was the leads came in the door. But their sales process was broken at the time. And so they weren’t converting the leads. So spending all this money pulling all these people through the door, and then it was falling down in the sales process because they weren’t being nurtured the right way. So, yeah,
Steve Hubbard 7:33
so do you find at times that you save people money by actually doing it, and then going, Hey, this isn’t working the way we would expect it to because of this, right? Or because maybe you need to do that.
Simone Douglas 7:45
I think I’ve accidentally become more of a sales coach, or trainer as much as I have become like a marketer or a digital marketer. So it’s, it comes from having so many different businesses myself, too. So I will tend to sit down and say, all right, realistically, here are all of your roadblocks to a sale right now. And these three here are critical. You need to fix those before you pay me any money to do anything, because there’s no point. Yeah,
Steve Hubbard 8:15
exactly. And I think, you know, we often sort of say that we can, you know, people are stat up, and they’re creating their websites. And you know, we can do the setup around the socials. But the reality is, it may not be timely to be, you know, doing your planning session yet until you’ve actually let a bid down. You’re actually and then the other thing is, you would do this because again, you’re broader, right? Is that where social media sit in the marketing house, if you like or the business strategy house, where does it sit? And then, you know, have you got your act together at the moment and and what else are you doing? Right? I was actually having this conversation before we started, right. We talked about you know, I meet up with my marketers once a week and we do a one to one and, you know, and we’re no different to any other business. You know, at the end of the day, we still need to close right? We can do, we can be the best social media marketers and Facebook advertisers and BMI networkers. But the end of the day, we need to close right? And I was talking about the fact that I put my hand up on you probably already getting it already. I’m a much better talker than I am at listening. You probably already hear that right. But just about every time and you could tell me but a lot of salespeople and business coaches will tell you the trick of the sale. First you got to ask or you got to ask for a sale. But secondly, you got to listen. All right. Listening
Simone Douglas 9:42
There’s a really good book called pre suasion, which is like all about sales. And there’s a chapter in that where it talks about this guy followed around the leading sales guys of security systems, so home security systems to try and work out so there was this one guy That was outselling everybody else by three times. So and they couldn’t work out what it was. So he followed him around and he finally worked out that he was doing, like, soft closes on the way through. So he would go in to people’s homes because of security. So they’d let him in, you know, need to sit down and start talking to them. And they do a bit of an assessment. And what he would do is he would say, I’ve just left something that I need in the car, I’m going to go and grab it, do you mind if I let myself back in? Once have grabbed it? And they would always say, yes, absolutely, that’s fine. So what he’d got them to do was to subconsciously give him permission to enter their homes, like under his own name. And by doing that, it had created this subconscious link of like that he was part of the fabric of the house, and therefore they were more likely to close the deal. And it was just the tiniest little thing. So it really got me thinking about, you know, what you were talking about, which is listen to the customer pay attention to where the customer’s attention is going. Because we often if we get caught up in our sales pitch, we’re busy selling what we think they want not finding out what they need. So
Steve Hubbard 11:17
we just to your point, is that you also want to find out what is working for them as well, right? So we often, particularly as marketers, we want to come in and fix a problem, right? What’s the problem? You know, people aren’t seeing me all my all my competitors are doing this, that and the other, right. But often, there’s a number of things that they do Don’t be an is a great example, I say you’re a busy Business Network, you’re getting a lot of referred business as a result of BNI great! Right. So sometimes just keep doing that. You know what, it may sound some to the lady here, okay, well, that’s great, that’ll that’ll win, which good for us to know that right. So. So we do try and glean out, you know, and that’s, you know, an example of as he said, So that sounds example that was working. And so then how do you share that within the other members in that team, so they, you know, use a similar approach. Funnily enough, I did go to a over here, one of the big growing councils is Melton Council. And the one guy that I hooked up with at the end of the night and had a chat with had Home Security. He was a super guy, he actually had he’s, he was a former pastor of Hillsong Church. So I have just happened to be a Christian as well. So he must have had his his radar on to someone that he should have a chat with. And we had a brief conversation, right? Just around, you know, being in business and that sort of stuff. But I’m definitely going to tell him about that little idea of, you know, are you doing this already? Yes, sounds like a good way that you can get trust in
Simone Douglas 12:43
you visiting this subconscious thing of trust. And I think as marketers, how we do that is by having honest conversations in plain English that are devoid of jargon. So I know that by keeping it simple, and like you said, by giving a bit of education, it allows our potential customers to trust us but more importantly, we make friends with the business owners that we meet, whether they’re customers or not. So what would be your piece of advice to someone who’s maybe you know, like their two, three years into business they’re a little bit established and they want to grow so that they’re not doing all the work themselves anymore from a marketing perspective. Where would you get them to start?
Steve Hubbard 13:32
Well, that’s actually a very good point. I’ve actually had one of my marketers say, I’m finding that I’m getting a number of these people that are sole traders in BNI and when I’m doing my one to one this service interested but they’re not interested because they feel like they’re already too busy. And so and so that’s a really interesting an interesting sort of scenario right? Because it to your point, right, so while you’re you know, it took me a while right? So I remember I don’t know if we’ve talked about this before, right? But I have a sport and recreation background. So in local government, so my my undergrad was in sport and Rec. And so I spent 15 years in you know, boom Council in Western Australia in Rockingham and then spent two years in a what they call Brownfield So pretty much built out bottom for difficult council here in Melbourne. People could Google if they wanted to, but it was a terrible working environment right? And so just toxic and so that’s what drove me to go back and do study marketing so I studied a master’s in marketing and and there’s not too many people that tread that path. Let me tell you they go from local government to marketing right? And so So, I am going to get to your point you know, around working on the business, right? But so initially when I so I did my my few years of Master’s in marketing, I was still consulting back into sport and rec to a degree. But anyway, initially, particularly the first year like I was terrible in BNI as well, right? Because I really was I was stat up, I was trying to work out what I was doing. as marketers, we most want to work with brands, right? So I wanted to work with the AFL or Nike or something like that, right? And I was lucky enough to get a gig with the basketball, Melvin tigers, and then a software company at one point, right? But then someone said to me, I you should come along to my business network, we do referral marketing, and I’m like, the heck’s that. I’ve just done three years. I’ve never heard of that, too. Well, so anyway, I went along, joined first year, I reckon I got one new client, but it was all on me, right? Because effectively, I was thinking corporate brand marketer. And so for my first year in business, I reckon if I was lucky, I know I’ve got enough to make me think, Okay, well, that’s probably enough that I’ll read during the second year. But then I had to reframe, you know, what my service offering and how much it cost and all that sort of stuff, right to bring it down to the small business level. And then I’ve got this view that it’s always from the grass roots, right? So because I was grassroots sport, and then I was into small businesses like grassroots business, right? That’s the real business layer. Yep. But for the first year or two, I felt spectacularly unsuccessful. And yet, I got to about maybe into my second year, maybe it was even the third year, right. And at that stage, I was trying to scale, right, I was thinking, Okay, I’ve got to scale. If I scale, I’m going to be successful, right? But then I hit a point that sort of said, Well, okay, actually, I’m now earning what I used to earn back in the day in local government. And if someone had said to me when I left uni, that you know, within two years, you’re probably going to give back to pretty much where you were that time I would have gone. Awesome, right? Yeah. But at the time, I was thinking, Oh, man, I’m still not successful. Right. But in a way, it’s that so I think there’s an element of soul. You know, if you want to work and run your own business, the first success you can have is just to create yourself a living. Yeah, right. That’s, that’s your first success, right? So I say Yay, to those people, right? So if you’re busy enough, and that’s what you want to do. I know that it took me a while to realize that after two years I’m successful as a consultant, I’m successful, right? And, and, and maybe it was by the third year, I thought, Okay, well, that’s success. I’ve made it and so an extra fact, then for about a year, I was actually thinking, I’m actually content. I don’t know that I want to scale. Right? So and yet, and yet, you’re often getting you do meet people, I’m sure you’ve met people in BNI, they could be sparkies. They could be doing whatever they very content with whatever they’re making. Yeah. And it’s giving them a good living, and no, and no ######## boss to have to talk to right other than themselves if they’re ######. But, but ultimately, I think that success in a territory, you’re talking about working on the business, I guess the first thing that you want to work on with the business and with your marketing is to be successful. where you’re at?
Simone Douglas 18:02
Steve Hubbard 18:03
If you’re a sole trader to be successful at that, right? If you want to scale, then that’s a different, that’s, that’s different, because then you need to probably speak to a business person or somebody that’s going to help you with through a franchise program in terms of how I scaled my business, because I didn’t have that knowledge, right, in terms of how do I scale it? Right. And I don’t necessarily know that market is the best people to talk to with scaling your business, right?
Simone Douglas 18:28
You need systems and processes incorrect.
Steve Hubbard 18:30
right? systems is key. Right? So So yeah, so t i think you’re asking around that sort of growth and, and, and growing. Often what we would then do is that’s where the network comes in, right? The Business Network is incredible. Right? Have you and I talking you’re in Adelaide? Yeah. I wish I was at your pub what pub you’re at?
Simone Douglas 18:50
It’s Dukes Of Brunswick,
Steve Hubbard 18:51
I’d love to be at that pub.
Simone Douglas 18:52
It’s a great little pub
Steve Hubbard 18:53
gonna I’m sure how many Dukes of brunswick are there
Simone Douglas 18:56
There’s one in Melbourne somewhere
Steve Hubbard 18:58
I was gonna say in Australia, I reckon there’d be a few DOB. Did yours a good one.
Simone Douglas 19:02
Well we’re the Australia’s only certified gluten free pub. So our kitchens entirely gluten free. So we think we’re pretty good.
Steve Hubbard 19:11
I’m going to a little foot bar tonight for Footscray traders. We’ve got our Footscray traders meeting. So if you ever come to Melbourne, come and have a have a beer in the West at a little foot bar. So stews the president Yeah, and I’m the long serving secretary. But But yeah, so there are a lot of bars and cafes and bricks and mortar traders Yeah, Melvin’s
Simone Douglas 19:33
got a great vibe for that I lived there for five years it was the best. But that brings me on nicely to it’s time for us to wrap up, but I think we’ve covered a really important point which is like it’s okay to be happy and successful where you’re at, and it’s okay to want to scale but if you want to scale, get the right advice. And that’s not always about throwing dollars in at a marketer to get leads for you. Sometimes you need the systems in All right. So yeah, Steve, thanks very much for joining me on the podcast and I look forward to catching up with you soon.
Steve Hubbard 20:08
Absolutely. Thank you Simone.
Chris Irving 20:13
We hope you enjoyed this episode of seriously social. Check our website for the latest news show notes and for details about Simone’s latest book, confident networker.