It’s been said that the key to becoming an expert is simply practicing a specific task for 10,000 hours. But your schedule is tight, so what we do is talk to the experts in their fields, glean many morsels of their expertise, and then condense that knowledge into one yummy 10-minute nugget. This week we’re talking with author, blogger and entrepreneur Susan Payton. Susan’s company, Egg Marketing & Communications, and blog, The Marketing Eggspert, are all about helping clients realize the benefits of social media, internet marketing and communications. Of course for starters, we had to address the yellow chicken in the room.


First off, I’m very curious about the name of the site since I adore a well-made Western omelet.  Why “Eggspert”?

My company is Egg Marketing & Communications. There’s a story there. When I decided to start my company, I needed a name. Watching the film Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn, I took note of the bookstore where Audrey’s character worked: Embryo Concepts. I liked the idea of giving birth to an idea, but Embryo Marketing was not quite what I was looking for (icky). After a bit more brainstorming…voila! Egg Marketing & Communications was hatched. The blog name, The Marketing Eggspert, is a derivation of the company name. I am, after all, an “eggspert” in marketing!

Seven years in some professions is a short time, but for someone who blogs about marketing to be at it since 2006 is pretty substantial—even predating the Facebook and Twitter explosions. How has the landscape changed?

When I started, some clients wanted “article marketing.” It was a hard sell, since we were primarily writing for article marketing sites, which Google has since deemed as spammy. No one wanted to invest in blogging before 2010. Social media was a foreign language. Now if a company doesn’t “get” social, they at least understand they need to be there.

Is there a common thread among your clients when they turn to you for marketing consultation?

I’m lucky in that I’ve begun to attract a more sophisticated client who knows the benefit of blogging and social media, and won’t necessarily expect overnight success. But there is still some degree of education that needs to be done, i.e. don’t expect being on Twitter to result in millions in sales in a week.

Is it difficult to juggle the different writing styles involved with blog posts, press releases, marketing copy, etc.?

I’ve been doing it long enough that it’s fairly easy to shift gears.

Why is guest blogging such a good marketing idea?

It gets you in front of audiences who might not otherwise know about your brand. It’s also fun to step out of the confines of your own business’ blog and play in someone else’s backyard.

What’s something most small businesses often don’t understand about social media marketing?

Whether they like Facebook, or Twitter, or Google +, or whatever, isn’t important. If their customers are there, they need to have a presence. It won’t always result in an easily trackable ROI, but having a social presence is expected of brands these days.

We often think of writers as reclusive types of who recoil when hit by a stray ray of sunshine, but you actually break that mold, offering public speaking as well. Is/was that a tough transition? And do you do that whole audience-in-their-underwear thing?

Ha ha. I wouldn’t consider myself a recluse, but I work from home and interact via email and social mainly. Public speaking sort of happened for me. I haven’t delved into it fully because I’m not interested in traveling a lot to speak. I still get nervous, but I’m so passionate about marketing, I just get on a roll and talk superfast to my audience. They always seem to catch my enthusiasm.

I know the weather’s great in San Diego, but what is the climate like for web-based businesses?  Does Northern California’s unofficial status as “the center of all things online” trickle down the coast?

Northern California is another country in terms of how things are down south, and yet, it’s like there’s no distance at all, given our digital boundaries. It doesn’t really matter where you’re based. I have zero local clients. They’re all located elsewhere, which doesn’t matter, since everything is web-based.

I noticed you did something amazing in February: You made a list of ways that small business owners should emulate the Beastie Boys. My Mets cap goes off to you, Susan.

The posts I enjoy writing are the ones I take from real life. I’m a huge Beastie Boys fan, and I just started seeing parallels one day between them and business owners.

Lastly, we gotta know: scrambled, sunny side up, or – wait – poached?

Eggs Benedict, actually.


When not renewing her license to ill, Susan writes books, including Lifetips 101 Entrepreneur TipsInternet Marketing Strategies for EntrepreneursDIY Press Releases and DIY Email Marketing. She has contributed to Small Business TrendsMashable,CorpNet’s Startup Starting Line and BizLaunch. Thanks for the time, Susan!