On Episode 33 of the Accounting Insider podcast, Kym Nitschke talks about how Facebook buy and sell groups are surprisingly helping him cut through social media noise.
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Episode 33 Accounting Insider transcript:
Andrew Montesi (host, Apiro Consulting): Welcome to Accounting Insider, I’m Andrew Montesi with Kym Nitschke, and Kym we’ve just had a brief discussion about this episode. I’ve got no idea to where it’s going to be going to be honest. Let’s start by talking about some of the revelations you’ve had about social media.
Kym Nitschke, Accounting Insider: I love social media and I love where it’s going, and this podcast is very much a part of that. Our website, blogs, Facebook posts, all of that stuff is just really building brand and image for us.
What I’ve learned is that it’s basically all free which is amazing. The traditional advertising model is out the window, where people are spending hundreds and hundreds and thousands of dollars on TV, getting corporate box tickets that’s old hat.
The new model is free, but there is a lot of competition. A lot of people are getting on to it, but what I’m finding is that where you have a lot of fresh thought and new ideas which are outside the box, you’re actually given a lot of weight as a result of coming forward and putting them on the table.
Reflecting on that, what I’m finding is that’s now rolling through my whole practice, where twenty years ago when I was out in practice I was thinking, I’m going to over service my clients as soon as they see me – I don’t know if we had text back there, but as soon as they ring me I’ll ring them straight back with an answer, I’ll get back to them, they’ll think I’m very efficient.
Now, what I’m finding is that I’m slowing down my responses. If someone rings me I’m not ringing them straight back. Someone texts me I’m not sending a kneejerk text back. I’m reflecting on it and thinking okay, some of the time they’re offensive texts. I know it’s funny, I get so worked up and I want to shoot an email and text straight back. Not very often but that does happen with emails and texts.
But when you actually sit back and reflect on it and consider the context, consider their perspective of where they’re coming from, I find that if I send an answer like minimum one, maximum three hours later, I come up with a completely different response to that one that first came to mind when I first got it. I’m finding that’s starting to set me apart from other people
Andrew: Do you let them know that you’ve received it?
Kym: No, it just sits, and there’s also a benefit from doing that with phone calls to, because some people just like a chat. In our busy world we don’t have time to just sit around and chat. It’s often better that I don’t pick up the call. They go and find the answer another way, and I ring them back that afternoon or later that morning and say that’s all solved now anyway, so I’ve just saved myself some time, so what would have been a half hour chat is a two minute chat.
Andrew: What about new leads?
Kym: New leads are the exception of the rule. As soon as they come into the office, on email, mainly phone calls I guess, I have to ring them back within an hour. I aim for half an hour, because you consider the mindset. If you ring them back at the end of the day, these people that are wanting to change accountants, they want investment advice or whatever they’ve usually got a couple of options; they’ll ring me then they’ll ring my competitor.
If my competitor picks up or gets back to them before I do, they may have already locked in on an appointment. Because they’re the lifeblood of my business, I’ve told everyone in the office that as soon as we get an enquiry, we’ve got to jump on it straight away.
If someone gives me a referral during an appointment, I make it my business that I’ve followed up or rung that new person before they drive out the driveway because it’s so important. That’s the two extremes there, that’s what I’m learning.
Andrew: Has it been effective?
Kym: Absolutely, as soon as I get a whisper. I thought in the old days that I don’t I want to be too pushy, be cool, be relaxed, you know ring them a week later. It’s too late. These people, if they’ve got an issue they want a resolution straight away.
Andrew: Can we kind of get back to social media because I started this episode talking about social media and we’ve completely gone off straightaway. Your point was yes it’s free, technically free, but what you’re doing is investing in quality content.
Kym: Exactly. Quality content and it’s the thought behind all of that that makes it special, not the money you’re spending on it. It doesn’t matter what platform it’s being delivered in, it doesn’t really matter what your website looks like or your blog. It does help, but after that and when they’re searching the terms and searching your blogs they want really thought provoking insight into their situation.
Andrew: But also what you’ve done you’ve invested in unique channels. You do blogging which a lot of people do. You’re on the mainstream social media platforms which a lot of people do. But, you’ve invested more heavily in podcasting, which not everyone’s doing and you’ve also got a Facebook group.
Andrew: Tell me about that while we’re talking about social media.
Kym: I think we touched briefly on my electric skateboard.
Andrew: We did, I can’t remember which episode but it was fairly recent.
Kym: My $1500 electric second hand skateboard, which is made in California and it’s called the Boosted Board. I was searching night and day on EBay and Gumtree for this particular skateboard. I’d been watching Casey Neistat YouTube videos and was hooked on that.
The point of difference is that he’s got all these people watching on YouTube as he rides a skateboard to work every day, so I thought, I’ve got to have that skateboard. He would rave about it, and he’d review all the other skateboards because he’s become the skateboard guru, but nothing measured up to the Boosted Board. So I was checking EBay and Gumtree, nothing came up.
One came up, finally after six months of searching on a daily basis and the reserve price was like $900 and had a week to run. It was halfway into the week and I’m thinking, yes I’ve got this in the bag. It disappeared off EBay. I’m thinking oh my god, something that I’ve been looking forward to for so long has gone, what do I do.
I sent a message to the seller. I said, hey, is it still for sale? Why did you rip it off? He said I sold it through my Facebook group, and for someone who had been avoiding Facebook for years and years and years, I’m thinking hang on, what’s all this about.
I asked him for the link, he sent me a link and it was Boosted Board Buy and Sell.
Andrew: That’s what got you into Facebook groups.
Kym: It got me into Facebook, but what this is leading into I thought okay, how do I use that for my own advantage? Where am I going with all of this is, I love Porsches!
Andrew: I love the way you delivered that; I love Porsches. I do too mate.
Kym: I like old Porsches. The accountants perfect model of motoring is that you drive this amazing car, is that when you get out at a party and everyone goes oh wow, this is awesome, or Kym’s here because his Porsche is parked out the front. I love all that.
I’m trying to get an old one because I read an article ages ago, about this lady who lived in this house that looked like a spaceship, and she had 36 old Porsches and she had made money on every one. That was a lightbulb moment for me.
I though wow, I could have these amazing cars, make money on them, drive them around, get a historic registration.
Andrew: You know that’s how Gerry Seinfeld has made a ridiculous amount of dough.
Andrew: Through old cars, making money, investing in cars.
Kym: Well you can see where this is going. The world has gone nuts over Porsche 911s, 1970s and 1980s. Ten years ago they were 20 grand, now they are 120 grand and you just can’t get them. The specific ones you want are the Australian delivered matching numbers. Now I don’t know what that means. I think that means all the panels are stamped with the VIN of the car or something.
Again, I’m thinking if I can get one of these, I don’t have the money to put into it, but I can justify on the basis that it’s going up in value, so it’s not costing me anything to drive. Then with historic registrations instead of spending $800 a year, if you become a member of the Porsche Club, the registration is $100 bucks a year. It’s win-win on all these different fronts. If I can get a car at the right price, I’m going to make money on it and it’s all coming together.
These cars don’t come up that often again checking Gumtree, EBay nothing. So I thought, I wonder if there’s a Porsche 911 Buy and Sell Group on Facebook. Looked it up there wasn’t, there was one for parts.
I went to my receptionist, who’s the social media queen and said look, I’ve got this idea can you set this up for me, and how long will it take. She goes yep, no worries I can do that, and I can write a post why we’re doing it. No joke, it would have taken here one to two hours, consider her hourly rate, so for under 100 bucks it’s up and running.
Andrew: Have you go any member yet?
Kym: Well, I had to join up 50 friends.
Andrew: I think I got a request from you, and think I would love a 911, but give me a few years and I’ll join your group.
Kym: That’s what everyone thought, so I joined up 50 friends, and then one of my friends, he is the quintessential Aussie who drives a V8 Holden right. He actually drives a V8 Valliant and I thought he’s probably going to give me a bit of shit for putting him up in the group because he wouldn’t want one. Anyway, I joined up the 50 and I’m getting some likes and then my cleaver receptionist posts it on some other Facebook group sites, and all of a sudden I’ve got a flood of people coming in.
But going back to my 50 that I originally signed up, this guy, my mate, the Aussie he contacts me with a text, and he goes that photo that you put on your Facebook group, my mates got one of those cars sitting in his shed and he wants to sell it. I’m thinking I could not believe it, I was dumbfounded. I said can you send me his details, and he said not sure how much he wants for it. He wants to take the money and spend it on his Valliant restoration. I’m thinking, are you nuts? I mean everyone’s interested in different things.
So I’ve got the photos, I’ve got the price and I sent it around to a few mates and said is this a good value. They said, grab it. Do not hesitate. That is a steal, $65,000 for a red 911, 1983 Targa Australian delivered matching numbers and all of that.
Andrew: So you bought it?
Kym: I haven’t bought it yet because this happened so fast and I went snowboarding for three weeks in Japan, so it’s sitting in someone’s shed that I’ve got to have a look at. He’s sent me the photos. He’s sent me his name, and the amount he wants. So it looks like it’s all ready to roll, it’s just that I haven’t had time to do it yet.
But that’s what’s come out of that. We set it up on the 12th December; we’ve now got 600 members. People are posting cars, mainly UK, USA, so it’s getting momentum, it’s going off.
This is the bizarre thing; I have to approve the sale posts, so everyone who wants to sell a car around the world on my group basically has to get my approval. So I can go back to them and say, that’s really nice and I’m going to add that to my collection.
Andrew: Have you thought how you can monetise it. There could be a number of ways that you can get in on these deals potentially be either buying it if you want it, or assisting with the sale that’s in Australia.
Kym: Well someone could buy this Porsche worldwide, might just buy this group off me when I get to 20,000 members and getting three or four cars listed a day for sale. Who knows where it’s going to lead.
Andrew: Becoming a dealership.
Kym: Yes, but I’m passionate about Porsches. I love them, I’m so excited about the group and I check it overnight with all the requests that come in. Its fantastic fun and I don’t have to do anything and it doesn’t cost any money, and I’m the controller of it all.
I’ve got people joining from China, even though you can’t even read their names, but they’ve got photos of what I can gather is their collection of 20 Porsches. Just associating with these guys is just so exciting and so much fun for me.
Andrew: On a business level I’ve seen a lot of people who’ve done extremely well by doing exactly what you’re doing, and building a community around their commercial interest. Porsche is a passion thing for you, so you’re not necessarily thinking about how much money I can make out of this. But there are people who have done very well by being very commercially focussed with building a group or a community, or a forum and being able to monetise it incredibly well.
Kym: That will probably all happen, but for me, the last episode was about getting something in Kent Town, one of those properties has a massive warehouse. I wouldn’t mind filling it up with these old cars. As my mate said to me, he said when you retire Kym what do you want to do? Do you just want to tinker around with some old cars? I reckon that would be great fun, not that I’ve got the patients or the time to do all that. But I’d get someone to do it all for me, and what a great little hobby, interest, money maker, sideline that would be.
So what I’m getting at is it’s not too late to move into that space, get creative, and if you are interested in something like that go for it. Set up the site, it’s so easy. You’ll be amazed at the results that you’ll achieve. You can possibly at some point if you’re interested in it monetise it down the track.
Andrew: To come back to some of the earlier points, you said off the top, social media is highly competitive, so you’ve got to find your own niche. Whether it’s your own podcast or your own group, there are opportunities. You’ve just got to find your own little slot.
Kym: If there would have been a Porsche 911 buy/sell group already on Facebook, I wouldn’t set up another one to just go into competition.
Andrew: You would have just joined it.
Kym: I would have just joined it and I would have maybe saved this whole thing for another platform or another idea.
Andrew: I know we had a few other topics but I think we should save them for our next episode, is that all right.
Kym: Absolutely how are we running time wise on this one?
Andrew: Well, it’s not too late but I’ve got somewhere to be mate. Thanks for listening to Accountant Insider, and to connect with Kym, hit up accountinginsider.net
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