Using social media to generate leads

Left to right: Elly Deutch, Andrew Barber,
Brad Farris, Brad Wilson.
Photo courtesy of Brandi Heinz Brown (@brandiheinz).
So you weren’t able to make it to SMC Chicago’s February event? Not to worry! You can still learn a few things from those that did go.

Wednesday’s event consisted of three panelists: Andrew Barber, Brad Farris, and Brad Wilson. About 60 people came out to Howl at the Moon to learn about how bloggers and authors use social media to find leads and grow their businesses.

Self-described “hip-hop nerd” Andrew Barber is the founder of Fake Shore Drive, a Chicago entertainment and music blog. Brad Farris is a business growth advisor with Anchor Advisors and executive editor and publisher of EnMast. The founder of Brad’s Deals, Brad Wilson also came out to speak. He recently published his book “Do More, Spend Less: the new secrets of living the good life for less.”

SMCC Board Member Elly Deutch moderated the discussion. Here are just a few of the tips the panelists shared with us:

  • (If you’re on Facebook or Twitter) “you don’t want to flood content on your followers’ timelines.” – Barber
  • “I always had a clear picture of who our audience was.” - Wilson
  • “Bloggers are not creepy, sitting in their basements in just underwear. We’re out and about meeting people and networking.” – Barber
  • Photo courtesy of
    SMCC Founder Barb Rozgonyi
  • “Don’t be automated, be personal!” – Wilson

  • “Focus on what’s working for you.” 
Question: How do you put yourself out there to fuel success?
  • “You have to get uncomfortable. It builds from there. Get out there and hustle.” – Barber
  • “Online only gets you so far – face to face is very important.” 
Question: What tools do you use?
  • "HootSuite, Google Analytics, WordPress Analytics." - Farris 

Question: When did you know you made it in social media?
Wilson was recognized by a flight attendant when he was sitting in first class. The attendant said he’d figured he would be in first class. Wilson said he’d only purchased the upgrade because he got a great deal (of course!).
    Photo courtesy of
    SMCC Board Member Elly Deutch
    Thanks to Autumn McReynolds (@AutumnMcRey), Tim Piotrowski (@TimPio), Brandi Heinz Brown (@brandiheinz), James Ellis (@saltlab) and SMCC Board Members Caleb Garder (@calebgardner), and Elly for using the hashtag “#SMCChicago” while live tweeting. If it wasn't for them, some of these tidbits wouldn't have been captured!

    I'm looking forward to next month’s event at Draftfcb on March 26 and hope to see you there!

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