About This Episode
Navigating the Future of Marketing with Lion Shirdan
In a recent episode of the "Brilliant Thoughts with Tristan Ahumada" podcast, marketing expert Lion Shirdan joined as a guest to discuss the evolving landscape of marketing, the role of AI, and the keys to building successful sales teams. Shirdan, who brings over two decades of marketing experience to the table, shed light on his unique approach to marketing, his company's revamped services, and the importance of the human touch in an increasingly tech-driven world.
The Evolution of Marketing and AI's Impact
The conversation kicked off with an exploration of the changing marketing landscape due to the rise of AI. Shirdan emphasized that the capabilities of AI have transformed the field, revolutionizing how businesses market themselves. Shirdan's agency, which previously employed multiple copywriters, now only requires one to oversee the AI-powered content creation process.
He noted that while AI tools are rapidly emerging, they aren't always perfect substitutes for human creativity and touch. Tools like chatGPT have proven useful, but human editors are still vital for fine-tuning and ensuring high-quality content. Shirdan cautioned against complete reliance on AI, emphasizing that a human touch remains necessary for delivering genuine and resonant marketing messages.
Building a Strong Sales Team: The Human Element
Shirdan transitioned to discussing the keys to assembling a successful sales team. He highlighted three critical attributes that stand out: personability, education, and an authoritative presence. A salesperson's ability to connect with clients on a personal level is paramount. Equally important is deep knowledge of the product offering, which enables effective communication and builds trust.
Shirdan stressed the significance of an authoritative figure within the sales team who can navigate conversations confidently. He shared his belief that the combination of these attributes is essential for selling complex and high-value products, such as his agency's services, which start at $15,000 per month. For Shirdan, a strong sales team's success lies in its ability to convey product value authentically and connect on a human level.
Leveraging Untapped Marketing Opportunities
Shirdan provided insights into untapped marketing opportunities that businesses often overlook. He revealed that his agency focuses on three core services that set them apart: data-driven PR, organic social media creation, and talent partnerships. The agency's data-driven PR approach emphasizes earned coverage in broadcast and podcast segments, proving more effective in building connections with audiences compared to traditional written press.
Moreover, the agency's focus on social media revolves around organic content creation, such as TikTok videos and Instagram reels. Shirdan explained that their results-driven methodology centers on creating unique content that resonates with audiences and differentiates their clients from competitors.
The agency's talent partnerships division leverages its extensive celebrity connections for collaborations, endorsements, and partnerships. This strategic approach capitalizes on influencers' and celebrities' reach to create impactful campaigns.
The Road Ahead: Innovation and Adaptation
Shirdan wrapped up the conversation by discussing his agency's forward-looking approach. He emphasized agility and innovation as paramount in today's dynamic marketing landscape. By staying ahead of emerging tools and technologies, his in-house research team ensures the agency is always ready to implement effective strategies quickly.
In Shirdan's view, the marketing landscape is undergoing a revolution akin to the shifts brought about by the internet and other technological advancements. He stressed the importance of adapting rapidly to these changes to gain a competitive edge.
Narrowing Down the Focus: The Key to Clarity
The conversation kicked off with an exploration of how businesses can effectively cut through the noise and capture the attention of their potential clients. Lion highlighted the importance of narrowing down the focus and making it easier for clients to choose to work with you. In a world filled with options, simplifying the decision-making process can be a game-changer. Lion emphasized that, as business owners and entrepreneurs, it's easy to want to cover all bases, but honing in on a few key offerings can lead to clearer messaging and more successful client interactions.
The Trending Focus: PR and Social Media
When asked about which areas are currently trending, Lion pointed to Public Relations (PR) as a significant focus for their agency. They've observed that their unique approach to PR, which includes a month-to-month model with guaranteed results for the first month, has been drawing a lot of interest. Many companies have had negative experiences with PR in the past, and Lion's agency provides a refreshing approach that resonates with clients. Social media also remains a powerful tool, considering its ubiquity in today's society. However, Lion stressed that their agency's services are geared towards larger companies, ranging from Fortune 500 enterprises to well-funded startups.
Defining the Target Audience and Pricing Strategy
Lion further discussed the importance of defining a target demographic. Their agency has made a deliberate decision to focus on well-funded startups and Fortune 500 companies. This choice also influences their pricing strategy. Lion explained that while they keep their pricing competitive, their services are tailored to higher revenue tiers, with social media starting at around $8,000 per month and PR starting at about $15,000 per month. This clear positioning enables them to deliver the most value to their chosen clients.
The Power of Founder Involvement and Storytelling
When considering how businesses can make their mark in a new market, Lion emphasized the power of founder involvement and storytelling. They noted that the founder's presence and ability to tell the story behind the brand are critical. This involvement can extend to in-studio appearances on broadcast platforms, creating an authentic connection with the audience. These appearances not only build credibility for the brand but also offer a personal touch that resonates with potential customers.
Navigating Limited Budgets: Starting with Social Media
For businesses with limited budgets, Lion provided valuable insights. They recommended that if engaging a PR agency like theirs is not immediately feasible, businesses can begin by leveraging social media. Consistent engagement through video content, even if it's done monthly, can provide a platform for founders to share their stories and connect with the audience. Lion underscored the importance of human connection and how the founder's face can create a sense of comfort and relatability.
Tackling PR on a Budget: Podcasts and Broadcasts
While reaching out to podcasts and broadcasts directly may not always be the most efficient path due to the sheer volume of incoming requests, Lion shared that working with a PR agency can provide access to established relationships with producers and bookers. They noted that successfully breaking into the podcast and broadcast space often requires a strategic approach and a level of industry expertise.
Learning from Adversity: From Financial Focus to Making a Difference
The conversation between Tristan and Lion took a deeply personal turn as they delved into Lion's journey and the profound experiences that shaped his perspective on life, business, and human connection.
Lion attributed his emphasis on human touch and connection to a blend of his professional background and personal experiences. Having started in the oil and gas industry and later transitioned to marketing and sales, he recognized that, irrespective of the industry, understanding human psychology and fulfilling needs was the common thread that tied success together. This realization underscored the significance of storytelling in creating relatable content that addresses people's problems and forms connections.
However, Lion's transformational experience came from a personal struggle - a diagnosis of Burkitt's lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer. The ordeal led him to reevaluate his priorities and outlook on life. He underwent intensive treatment and emerged cured, with a profound understanding of what truly mattered. His focus shifted from the bottom line to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Lion shared that helping people, improving their lives, and making a difference had taken precedence over financial gains.
As the conversation continued, Lion reinforced that putting people first and striving to create positive outcomes were central to his approach in business and life. He emphasized that while financial success could be an outcome of good work, it should not be the primary goal. Instead, focusing on delivering value, solving problems, and enhancing lives should guide business decisions.
About Lion Shirdan
Lion Shirdan is a prominent figure in the world of business and media, serving as the Founding Partner and CEO of UPRISE Media. With an impressive background as a Forbes and Entrepreneur contributor, Lion Shirdan has established himself as a respected voice in the industry. His expertise lies in assisting brands to achieve unparalleled growth, leveraging his strategic insights to guide them toward generating remarkable revenue gains, often exceeding 20 times their initial figures. Lion's visionary leadership and extensive experience make him a sought-after resource for companies aiming to navigate the complexities of modern business and achieve exceptional success.
You can visit Lion Shirdan’s site here.
DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.