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Delton Childs

Smoke Shop Blogger at Head Shop Hero
Delton Childs smoke shop enthusiast and product reviewer. D loves talking with friends about new products and innovations in the smoke shop industry as well as hanging out with his schnauzer Einstein at the park. Be sure to give him a shout on your favorite social network.

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Imagine this just one second: You’re laying in bed friday night and you’re going through your phone.  You see a new email blast from your shop, you click it and it takes you to a great article about a new product or a tip from one of your employees about a frequently asked question.  Then you visit your Facebook page & theres tons of new photos & 3 new articles, including the one you just looked at from the email blast.  Imagine your store as a wealth of information about your products and services.  You’ve already got the tools you just need to start using them.

The last thing everyone needs is one more thing on their plate, especially if that thing is something new, time consuming, or it’s simply just not the thing you’re most passionate about doing in life. That’s where most online marketing campaigns fall apart. This comes from a lot of different places. Sometimes It’s business owners trying to take on everything, sometimes its not that business owners don’t have the time but they might lack the technical skills needed to do what needs to be done quickly and efficiently.

Task delegation is one of the most basic skills successful managers use to take care of otherwise impossible projects. I know, I know… “I can do it all alone” is what most people think, or they think they can do it all and Micro manage a project in every single last little detail. Let’s take an email marketing campaign for our example.

Just Look at The Necessary Skills for Effective Email Marketing

  • Implement Sign Up Forms Online
  • Code & Create (Beautiful) Email Blast Templates (worthy of being looked at)
  • Create The Marketing Copy That Goes Into The Email Blast
  • Create The Content That Marketing Blast Links To
  • Schedule And Monitor The Campaign
  • Grow Your Database

That’s a big list… how the hell am I ever going to get that done every week, especially with the things I’m already doing or planning to do.   This is the summarized short list in running a campaign.  Consider the task of just creating or finding images and marketing graphics suitable to run a really professional campaign.  That can take hours alone if you don’t have a strong background in graphic design and manipulating pixels in a program like photoshop.  Once that’s done we’re still in the graphic asset production phase and how much time have we already spent, or wasted,  if things are not up to snuff.  That’s where things fall apart with marketing campaigns in a lot of businesses.  These task are not the job of one person who has never done them.  The task needs to be handled by a professional or broken up into smaller and therefore more manageable chunks.

If there is one thing I learned working with large companies, here is the one thing you need to remember as a business owner.

“Automation is the Key to Survival”

This means different things on different levels. To large companies automation means some kind of software integration but to smoke shop and dispensary owners, this just means a project that needs to occur at regular intervals ends up getting done automatically with a minimal effort by you, the manager or owner.  Just to be clear we’re not talking about new software.  We’re just talking about delegating social media and certain marketing tasks to employees.  So many small business owners act like they’re afraid to dump a social media marketing task on a tech savvy employee or making it a requirement that each employee post about one product on the facebook page or even write a weekly article on the website answering some common question they get by customers.  It’s part of the job now.

Everyone Has A Talent, It’s Probably Not Ringing Up Someone At A Head Shop

This is your business.  This is your industry, do you just want to scrape by or do you want to be a leading voice in your industry.  I always tell clients that if they’re really passionate about what they do then they need to take a voice in their industry, or rather their company needs to.  Some business owners just feel like doing these kind of marketing things are just so far beyond the “customer checkout” process they’ve got their employees stuck in.  It can take a paradigm shift in how you think about your team and who the strong members of our team are.  Everyone has a dream and there is a role in your shop that can help your employees skills outside of your shop, to help them grow as individuals as well as a professional member of your team.  Maybe you have an employee that writes, maybe you have one that loves online marketing and managing facebook pages.  Don’t be timid, plant those seeds of success.

How Can I Do It?

A few tips for getting professional about your online marketing.

Let Your Employees Shine On Social Media

First off, you don’t need to be handing out your shop’s email and password to any employees or creating all these fake email and facebook accounts for “pho-users” to administrate this stuff.  I’m always getting on smoke shops about this.  They think they’ve had an employee for 6 months so they can have everything, every password. Or they’re create some kind of fake person on facebook to try to do it. No fake accounts. The major social networks like Facebook allow for multiple page managers.  Not only that but your employees can post to your shop site as your site.  You don’t have to share your password or email address with them, you don’t have to give them your login info.  You can just grant them access using their existing social media accounts.  Well, what if they say they don’t want “smoke shop stuff” posted by them on social networks.  That’s bullshit because the process is transparent.  They can post AS your page and no one but you as a supervisor and they, who made the post, know who posted it.

Different levels of access can be granted and revoked very easily.  The social networks are savvy to what businesses want to do and they’ve already incorporated different levels of administrative access as part of the system.  Use it, it’s there for you as a marketing tool, so you can delegate tasks and revoke that access if you lose an employee.   It’s a button click away.

Get Creative On Your Website & Allow Authors

Ok, that’s just social media.  What about my website?  The same rules apply for your website.  You can have an official “Editor” of the website, you have “Authors” on your websites that can post freely and you can even have “Contributors” whose articles need review before they go live and are published.  These are different levels of publication access so each employee should have their own username and login to the website, keeping things organized.  Just their own email is fine, gmail, whatever.  Nothing fancy about it.  You can revoke access to that employee at any time and go so far as to attribute anything they’ve posted for your business to another Author on the company news feed.     Part of what makes that system work is “the boss” not having everyone login with one account though.  Thats a mess.  It’s 2014, let’s get with it.  I’m not even going to go into how you can schedule content on your website to automatically share to multiple social networks.  It’s all possible now.

 

5 Online Tasks Storefront Business Need To Delegate:

  • Product Photography – Taking one photo each day is not going to cut it.  It’s too easy to forget.  You need to go around and take 50 photos and have them all in a folder.  That way you have an archive too.
  • Social Media Posting – On most social networks this can even be schedules so you never miss a chance to connect and then your daily posts by staff are just a bonus on the feed!
  • Website Product Updates – You’ve gotta post about new products on your website. Websites are not some static never changing blob.  Most of the sites we all visit most often are the sites that actually change and your site can be that way.
  • Website News or Blog Roll – This is an essential way to connect and drive website traffic.  I always like to say, If you’ve been asked a questions more than once it’s a great blog post.  Weather that’s product knowledge or just the top 10 new products of the week they might want to check out. It makes great content.
  • Email Marketing – Another cornerstone of successful marketing that all major brands have adopted.  This is one of the primary ways to directly contact people who are already interested in your product or service because they signed up themselves to get updates from you.  Why not update them.

 

Side Note:

Head Shop Hero provides training videos for employees, we talk with a delegated team member and provide basic training and advanced training so you can start to get some of these marketing tasks automated for your shop or dispensary.  Don’t get me wrong, it can take a second for everyone to fit into their rolls but in the end you have a well oiled machine and will end up increasing your bottom line.

Helpful Resource

This is a pretty good article on task delegation too!  If it’s going to occur at regular intervals, you might want to delegate the task and meaningfully involve another employee in your business.

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