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Review of August 2014 Meeting: Social Media & Branding For Your Business and Aerial Mastcam

A good crowd of professionals from various facets of media filled the meeting room at the Digital Media Center for this joint meeting of PVN and MCA-I. MCA-I President Art Kirsch introduced the first two speakers, MCA-I members Tim Keenan and Manny Pacheco, who did back to back presentations that fit together perfectly. Each had some very useful tips to market your media business successfully. Later, videographer JL Slade demonstrated her unique aerial mastcam and discussed the importance of a high shot for filming. We'll review JL's presentation in another article. But overall the evening was informative and lively with a number of good questions and answers.

Tim Keenan told the crowd he uses Twitter and Linked-In as ways to find and keep new business. He emphasized that social media makes you visible in today's marketplace. However, he warned, you need to target people who are potential customers not just friends or peers. Start by 'following' them. As a tweeter for 6 years, Keenan advises that you always 'follow' those who re-tweet your messages. Besides being a common courtesy it's how you build a loyal following of your own. With over 3500 followers of his own he in turn follows most of them. Of course he doesn't read them all—nobody can—but he is happy to re-tweet a good message when he sees one.

Keenan also follows advice given to him by MCA-I member Marcelo Lewin: be an expert in a subject. For Tim, that's audio recording, post production audio for film & TV, voice overs and working with talent. That's the core of what his company, Creative Media Recording does. His rule is to be sociable--don’t try to sell and don't brag. Be helpful. Let your knowledge as an expert (your business) do the selling for you. Tim says Twitter is a great way to promote your blog, which is another way of sharing expertise with potential customers.

While Tim Keenan characterizes Twitter as a headline feed, he sees Linked-in as a way to disseminate longer messages and business information. LI has a headline feed too as well as great tools for blogging! Its key strength he feels is the service's ability to organize subgroups. These allow for some powerful connections with others on Linked-In. The phone and contact information available on LI make it particularly valuable. And did you know that both Twitter and Linked-in come up on Google search? Among many other points, Tim explained that the power of social media is creating emotional connections as well as reaching thousands at a time. He also had a hand-out outlining ways to find the right social media platform for you.

Manny Pacheco picked up right where Tim Keenan left off and took us into the concept of promoting your business everywhere at every moment. He brought passion to the topic, as well as convincing details. Pacheco, who is a talented broadcaster and author of "Forgotten Hollywood" series of books, pointed out that nobody can promote your business better than you.

As Manny put it, most of us in the media industry ARE our business! We live it 24-7 and we love it. The problem many of us have is-—especially freelancers who are essentially selling their talents—we have trouble talking about ourselves! His solution: talk about your business! Talking about business is not bragging--talking about yourself is bragging! So, Manny suggests, talk about your business: your product or your service! Which is why so many athletes and others use the royal 'we' in speaking about themselves.

It helps, he said, to have a catchy phrase for your business—a slogan to set you and your business apart from the competition. Others call it your USP—Unique Selling Proposition. Don't be afraid to think big! And at the very least be different. Find a niche and own that specialty, he suggested, following up a similar point made by Tim Keenan.

Choosing your audience is important, says Pacheco. Look at your natural sphere of influence and target your audience based on demographics such as age, gender and economic status to reach the customers who will be most interested in your service.

Manny also gave his own experience as a demonstration of marketing 'outside the box:' In selling his 'Forgotten Hollywood' series of books he looked back and realized that over the years he's actually sold more books at Rotary meetings and other such appearances and lectures than at Barnes and Noble! Counter-intuitive, but true! He also carries a few books with him to autograph for sale at any time. And he is consistent about using his Forgotten Hollywood brand on everything he touches!

Manny Pacheco also offered a hand-out with advice on Branding Your Business broken into categories including Self Promotion; The Art of Marketing; Success & Failure and Application. He suggested that Facebook is less friendly to business marketing but if you use it for such, it's wise to create a separate business page.

The last speaker of the evening, JL Slade, practices many of the suggestions offered by Tim Keenan and Manny Pacheco but her topic, demonstrating her Aerial Mastcam, was a change of pace—both technical and production oriented. Rather than making this report too long we've separated that information into another article, "JL Slade's Aerial MastCam Presentation at MCA-I Aug 2014," available at

A video recap of each of the three presentations is available online at MCAI's Meetup site:

While you're there leave a comment, please. The three videos are also available on You Tube.

Follow Tim Keenan on Twitter:
• For audio post-production tips & advice follow @Soundtrack_Pro
• For voice over tips & updates follow @TJKeenan

Follow Manny Pacheco: