Why entrepreneur must become SMM pro
Taking Gary Vee's advice too seriously
Sources for picture: Freepik, Alessandro Malossi

Your kid can return you the dream of youth

I've been approaching SMM many failing times. Why do I need it? Simply to earn money. The IG is full of 'how to become an SMM superman' stories. But there is no evidence of how somebody earned actual earnings following their methods.

My very first attempt to win the SMM game was via text. To be honest with myself, I am a not bad writer. I thought that if my texts are good enough, no matter how I wrap them up. People will just read it. Hell, no!

Then I pivoted my next SMM conquest into the 'design-crafted' shield. I've started to make very thorough designs of my thoughts and post them to IG. No success at all.

The third SMM wave was called a 'video'. The idea was to have the same vertical video clip for TikTok, IG reels, and YouTube shorts. It worked at the beginning showing hundreds (!) of views first time in my hard life. But then, as in previous attempts, while the quality was arising the number of views was proportionally declining.

At that pity point, one should stop any attempts to conquer the SMM Olimp and move him/herself to the unprepossessing life of a silent loner. Nevertheless, I ventured to have one more attempt. Why I dared it? Because of two events:

First. My very small YouTube channel has started to bring me new subscribers from around the world! There were only 50 of them. But those were not my friends or relatives. They were not Russian speaking. And they did not know my previous merits. 50 people have watched my ugly 50 y o man appearance and finally, they gave me a credit: the hope to see more similar video tutorials from me. That was quite encouraging!

Second event. My ten-year-old daughter asked me if I had any regrets in my life. I took a deep sigh and remembered a time when I just finished school. With a medal. And at that crucial period, my parents first time in my life left me one-to-one against my strategic cross-road. I wanted to be a journalist. I left my town to meet my dream work. I came to the big city with a solid attitude to enter the journalism faculty of the State University… but finally, I accomplished another University with information technology specialization. "Wow", – she said, – "how come you regret that?! Computers are miracles! It is so interesting to work with them… And you know what? You can do your own electronic newspaper or even TV show and become your own journalist!"

That was a moment of truth. I started a new SMM campaign in the middle of the Russia - Ukraine conflict. With iron walls and total uncertainty of the future.

The storytelling through 200 posts a month

First things first it needed to be stocktaking:
  1. where do I go?
  2. what do I have?
  3. How to join 1 and 2 with the maximum amount of joy?!
Number one. I do want money. I have a studio. We are making logotypes, corporate identities, webdesign, and UI/UX. Actually, I want western market to obtain as many customers as possible. I have one side product in mind, but I can start it only when the incoming cash flow will be more or less stable and growing.
By the way, here comes the first rule of entrepreneurial SMM: do it yourself only. You can not delegate any part of your SMM to anybody. Even scheduling.
Number two. I have the following table of social network groups:
What might be the target? Let's have a look at successful guys in my niche.

Satori Graphics, YouTube: 993K subscribers with 914 video pieces. Main theme: graphic design.
Neil Patel, YouTube: 1M subscribers with 974 video pieces. Main theme: SEO, CRO.

Gary Vee, YouTube: 3,95M subscribers, over 3K videos. Main theme: business, self-motivation, SMM.

Well… surely I'm too old to catch up with these numbers ;) But I should try!

As you probably guessed, number three deserves a biiiiig-big chapter.

Eliminating the strategy gap

What are the power points?

Not to brag, but I need to know the full list of my own strengths:
  1. Bilingual
  2. Love to write, design, and make movies
  3. Can (not love) program development
  4. Can teach
  5. Love to visualize problem-solving
  6. Can (maybe love some day) public speaking.

Not so bad, right?! I am going to use number 5 as my core skill which is able to stand me out from other guys already in the market. That is not only my self-estimation. The commenters on my YouTube channel are telling me that and even offering me (!) the job. Here is the illustration of how I am handling complex topic in just one slide:
The second rule of entrepreneurial SMM: take your main single strength and wait when your readers will start to honor it in comments!

RU or EN?

That is a tough question. Of course English! But I still get some juice from Russian (and former USSR) customers. And if you honestly looked through the table above, I have the following balance between my En and Ru achievements:
This Language Balance table doesn't say directly that I'm a quite known person in IT sector in Russia. Thus half of the Russian auditorium came to me a) after long years of communication and b) they simply know my business achievements. In other words, RU-part is obtained over years (if not decades), and EN-part is obtained by a few posts and videos in a single year without very much focus, sometimes in a chill amateur manner.
A few words about LinkedIn. Probably it is a good network for finding a job. But I never ever heard about the happy situation when somebody found there real lead that eventually became a paying customer. Nevertheless, if you see the table above, I have no idea where to get English-speaking visitors except to wait for them organically. That is why I'm not taking LinkedIn too seriously keeping it as a bulk reposting. Maybe I'm wrong. Convince me!
So, English first, of course. Russian – only in a reposting manner. Obviously, Russians who can not read English for their profession, are not my target audience.

What to talk about, who to talk to

As @thechristosnikas brilliantly said, "we all are coming to the Internet for only three reasons:

  1. Learning

  2. Inspiration

  3. Entertainment".
Learning is a good lead magnet. Everybody learns something and, what is most important, I do not want to deal with the guys who are not life-learning ones.

The tricky thing in teaching is: how to teach your target buyer persona.

Of course, we all are dreaming about very hot C-level leads. But in a reality, we teach those who prepare the choices of decisions for the real decision maker.

Another trick that I want to use is to teach potential decision-makers in a "beginner education" manner. For example, when I was going to build a new house, I tooked over some interior design courses in order to be more prepared for one of my most important construction. Sequentially I've considered the speaking designers as the most prominent candidates for designing my future house.
Neil Patel teaches everybody how to do SMM from zero to advanced level. But for some of his students who grew up enough or just need a higher level of his services, they become his paying customers!
Garry Vee talks about everything, he collects full stadiums, but his marketing agency has many offices around the world and not starving for orders.
I have a hypothesis that my business works by the same approach. I do believe that entrepreneurs of all levels should be much more aware of web design than they are nowadays. My mission is the popularisation of creative leadership. I hate such cases when a big boss says: "We will order our website to the boy".
– What boy?!
– The son of our sales executive.

The leader of the organization of ANY industry has to know the basics of design and fundamentals of IT. That is a 21st-century requirement. And that is what I can deliver!

I know that there will be a "wish vs fact" ratio in my sales funnel. The "wish" is executives that have a budget for my services and they are learning:
  1. How to make corporate identity
  2. How to get web presence
  3. How to market their products/services in a more efficient way.
For example, I have a draft WebDIY course where I explain to executives all the basics of the web with a strong emphasis on business needs. That course can be demanded by freelancers and students ("fact" part, 80%). But some of them eventually will later or sooner become my "wish" part of the funnel – executives (20% of the funnel). Some of the "fact part" can become decision preparators. Apparently, this assumption increases the importance of my beloved 80% of the auditorium further.
Fact/Wish funnel split illustration. The intersected part is decision preparators

Content types and flow

Here comes the situation when words are useless. Let me draw it for myself:
Fact/Wish funnel split illustration. The intersected part is decision preparators
The legend of the image above:
'Minor content' ('portfolio', for example) means that this content type must be good-looking, but it is not in the actual interest of my readers. Thus the priority of a portfolio is lower than tutorials and situative thoughts.
Blue text is an action. Something I ought to do in order to transform YT video, for example, into the longread.
Faded text – are really low-priority platforms, sorry.
Dashed arrows – scheduled auto-postings with captions or not.
All these things could not be done without priorities. And the priority, from top to bottom, I've stated in the next sub-chapter.

Scheduling, timing, and productivity

All this mess with social networks look pretty hard, no? Doable by the whole team of designers, video editors, etc.
But let's keep it in a paradigm of a single priority: English YouTube. One (me) can achieve two videos monthly not omitting current work for money, for real paying customers.
The rest will go by the rest. Other's courses and tutorials plus tools plus my inevitable texts will keep the whole posting more or less regular and consistent.
Ideally, I will spend one-day planning, writing captions, and scheduling for one month ahead.
IG carousel, if done with quality, takes too much time. Then IG - only single image with captions and auto-publishing of stories. Again, video pieces are better than posts 'cause reels are more viral by default.

Some of the groups must be deleted from now on. Webflow Russia, sorry!

Not only idea - video - text flow is allowed. I can take the other way around. For example, this text can be read on camera with a lot of visuals and a YouTube upload will go after the text.
Also, could be wise to translate my Russian text hits to English and all the way back to the video phase.
The third rule of entrepreneurial SMM: don't stop!
One thing is crucial: don't stop! And use automatic publishing since manual posting takes time, sucks energy, and, once missed, accumulates the guilt filling.

Sensing your auditorium means monitoring their reaction periodically. Again, I am going to do that only on YouTube and later on IG. All other groups will be like the drop-box of my life: jokes, stories (not in IG meaning of that word, like "Americans" doesn't mean "only US citizens"), publications on other websites (maybe Forbs someday).

My actual planning

  1. Two YT tutorials are splitting the whole plan into two double-week sprints
  2. The premiere of that video tutorial will give life to the transcribed text for my own website and for manual reposting to LinkedIn articles plus to Medium.
  3. Both publishings should be covered by Instagram posts and stories.
1-3 – are the main obligatory steps that must be done regardless of nature's cataclysm. If you've been messed by the picture above, here is (hopefully) a more intuitive table:
YouTube – English resources marked by red color – Russian resources marked by violet color
X means direct posting or publishing of original content
x means repost/republish as is
c means caption + image + link to original post/publishing
"Vk" is a local social network.

No matter if I have some holes here. These can be filled by my "sudden inspiration" or by certain events needed to be commented on at that very moment.

The one-week show can look like this:
  1. Monday. Announce a real authentic post.
  2. Tuesday. Design trends.
  3. Product/tool review.
  4. Marketing tips & tricks. Or, contemporary news.
  5. WrapUp of the week.
We do need auto-publishing software no doubt. After chasing famous Hootsuite, Buffer, and Zoho Social, I've chosen one far less known one.
Content auto=publishing service screenshot
Well, they have a handy architectural solution that splits all my SMM channels into projects.

Finally, I've decided to have three projects:
  1. EN
  2. RU
  3. IG.
Instagram is allocated separately because it requires loads of special design and attention. I do not want to do IG posts like this one:
But I do want like that:
And here is a reels example made by me just at the beginning of my After Effects learning: SLINKOV.Design CRM History reel.

LinkedIn version of CRM History video.

We can add announces and post-announces of major posts. As well as weekly wrapups about what has been published during the passing week. The latter is a good magnet into your closed groups, btw.

What else is missing?

I know, I know that video lifestreaming, and talking with some special guests online will dramatically increase awareness of my channel. I know. I will work on it later. Promise!

Another important thing is interactive posts. I have to launch Q and A sessions, run polls, etc. It will be considered for sure.


I am lazy.

I am "hardly delegator". In many cases, it is easier to do it myself than explain it to somebody else.

I hope that you, my sincere reader, will help me to fulfill these plans. At least, you may ask me from time to time: Dmitriy, are you following your own plan?! The stronger your ask is, as bigger my reward to you: I will post tips and tricks found on that entrepreneur SMM way.


My YouTube channel.

My own blog in English:

SMM auto-posting tool:
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Best regards,
Dmitriy Slinkov
founder of SLINKOV.Design
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