Aligning your marketing strategy with your realistic capacity, with Samantha Marcellino of SGS Media

I sat down to chat all things digital marketing with Samantha Marcellino, founder of SGS Media, a full-service digital media agency for service providers.

We talked about how to determine what marketing channels and strategies are best for your business, how to align your marketing strategy with your realistic capacity, our thoughts on ManyChat keywords, TikTok, and if VAs should have an Instagram, and more.

The pressure to be everywhere

Running an online business and being a service provider can often feel like you need to be everywhere: TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, podcasts, and more. This pressure can be overwhelming and counterproductive.

Sam emphasizes that you don’t have to be everywhere. She talks about the importance of authenticity and being realistic with your Instagram strategy. That’s a value of hers – SGS Media uses a community-first approach to build an audience of ideal clients, focusing on authenticity in social media and marketing strategies.

From Sam Gets Social to SGS Media

I first worked with Sam back in 2020. Since then, she’s transitioned from her former brand, Sam Gets Social, to SGS Media, shifting from a cutesy aesthetic to an upscale, high-touch agency look. This transition was fueled by the measurable results she was achieving for her clients, warranting a more professional brand image. Love her new site and branding? I created both her Custom Website and Custom Branding!

Determining the right marketing channels and strategies

In our conversation, we delved into how to choose the right marketing channels and strategies for your business. It’s essential to align your marketing strategy with your realistic capacity. This involves evaluating your goals, understanding your target demographic, and identifying where you enjoy creating and consuming content.

Do you need to be on every platform?

Sam advises against the mindset of needing to be on every platform. Instead, focus on where your target audience hangs out and where you enjoy creating content. For instance, if being on camera makes you uncomfortable, YouTube might not be the best fit for you, even if your audience is there.

Mental blocks and perfectionism

A common mental block for business owners is the belief that they must follow the latest trends and advice to succeed. Sam stresses that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. Success can come from various strategies, and perfectionism often hinders progress. Authenticity and consistency in your chosen platforms can be more effective than trying to be everywhere at once.

Scaling up or down based on life and business needs

Life events and personal capacity can seriously impact your capacity to create content and maintain a marketing strategy. Sam shared her experience of scaling back her business during challenging times and finding a sustainable minimum level of activity. This approach helped her maintain relevance and bounce back when she was ready to scale up again.

Do VAs need a website?

We discussed the importance of an online presence for virtual assistants (VAs). Even if VAs don’t have an active Instagram, having a static profile that serves as a mini-website can be crucial. This profile should include essential information like services offered, testimonials, and a bit of personal content to showcase their personality.

Do a vibe check

When it comes to showcasing your vibe through video content, authenticity is key. Whether it’s a clip from a podcast or a casual video discussing your expertise, the goal is to let potential clients see and hear you, helping them assess if there’s a vibe fit.

Must-have marketing channels for online service providers

For online service providers, Sam recommends Instagram and email as the top marketing channels. These platforms work hand-in-hand, with social media driving traffic to your email list and vice versa. Pinterest is another platform worth considering for its long-term benefits (but don’t expect to see quick results from the platform).

The platforms Sam has given up on

Not all platforms are worth staying consistent on. Sam shared her experience of abandoning TikTok and Clubhouse, realizing that these platforms didn’t align with her capacity and goals. It’s important to evaluate and let go of strategies that don’t serve your business well.

The role of lurkers in your audience

Sam highlighted the importance of lurkers—those who observe your content without engaging. These individuals are often serious buyers who need more information before making a decision. Engaging both active participants and lurkers is crucial for building a comprehensive community.

Curious about how different personalities make buying decisions? Check out Episode 10 of Skilled and Fulfilled!

Dealing with metrics and engagement

Struggling with metrics and engagement is common. Sam suggests setting boundaries around how often you check numbers and finding alternative key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your mental health and business goals. Celebrating small wins and focusing on meaningful interactions can help maintain a positive mindset.

Sam’s hot take on ManyChat and marketing tactics

One thing we dive into is the trend of ManyChat keywords. This new strategy can be a game-changer, but it’s important to approach it with sensitivity. For instance, instead of asking people to comment with a potentially embarrassing keyword, offer multiple ways to access your content, like directing them to your bio link. This approach can lead to higher conversions and a more positive user experience.

We also discuss the pitfalls of sleazy marketing tactics. From faceless content to fear-based marketing, these approaches often backfire. Authenticity and community-building should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts.

How to prepare for going viral

Samantha shares a great story about a client who went viral after Amy Schumer’s team discovered her. This experience highlights the importance of being prepared for unexpected opportunities and having systems in place to convert new followers into customers.

What to do if you don’t know what to post

Another key takeaway is the importance of creating a content framework. By establishing themes for different days of the week, you can streamline your content creation process and reduce decision fatigue. This approach allows you to focus on creating meaningful content that resonates with your audience.

What fulfills Sam in her business

One of the most fulfilling aspects of Samantha’s business is empowering women. Whether it’s her clients or her team members, she finds joy in helping women succeed in their entrepreneurial journeys. Her advice for fellow service providers is to prioritize self-care and set boundaries with clients.

Connect with Samantha Marcellino and grab her freebie

Be sure to connect with Samantha Marcellino on her website or follow her on Instagram. And of course, grab her free mini-course, Live to Leads, to learn how to use Instagram Live to grow your audience and business.

The podcast for service providers, coaches, and freelancers

marketing strategy, online business growth, and work-life balance

Def Time Well Spent

When Felter told me the “why” behind her new podcast, I KNEW it was going to be great. Then, when she gave me early access to the first few episodes I was blown away. If you’re figuring out this business thing and would rather get advice from someone in the trenches with you (instead of more outof touch tips from yet another biz celebrity) then stop what you’re doing and press play now!

-AnnaDKornick, Apple Podcasts

this episode features:

Samantha Marcellino

Founder and CEO of SGS Media | Full-Service Digital Media Agency for Service Providers

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