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“With All the Buzz of Social, Email Still Yields More Results.”

Margelit Hoffman taught herself online marketing in between three consecutive pregnancies and childbirths to help her husband’s video production business take off.

Margelit founded Hoffman Productions with her husband in 2006. She creates and teaches online marketing strategies with a focus on social media, email marketing, blogging and video marketing. Her clientele has included large nonprofits, small-to-medium sized businesses, and solopreneurs.

Margelit Hoffman, Hoffman Productions - President & Head of Marketing

MO: I’ve never come across the word solopreneur before. How is it different than an entrepreneur?

Margelit: Solopreneur is just a simple way of describing what more and more people are becoming today: sole proprietors.

MO: Did you always want to have your own business?

Margelit: My father started his own moving company in the early ‘90’s. He had nothing – no trucks, no movers, no insurance, and no money. He put an ad in the paper and scheduled a few moves before hiring a team and renting trucks. I’ve watched his business grow to over 60 employees over the years, and from him I learned how to create something from nothing.

My mother also had her own cleaning business, and later a massage business.

I never knew I would go into business for myself – but it was just a natural progression, and something that comes easily, I think, because of what I learned from my parents.

MO: There a lot of marketing companies out there, how do you differentiate yourself?

Margelit: Most marketing companies don’t do a few things that I do:

1. They don’t explain the process to clients, and clients tend to not understand what’s going on. They therefore can’t continue the work they paid for once they transition and bring the social and email marketing in-house. It ends up being a waste of money for most businesses.

I have the heart of a teacher. Some clients just want me to do the work and don’t want to know what’s going on, and that’s fine too. But I make sure the clients understand what they’re paying for and why it’s important.

2. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve taken over for other consultants or online marketers and find that they did not set up their marketing so that it would work in the long-term. They don’t cover all the bases of keyword research, creating a site that’s navigable with the user in mind, or their ad copy is chock full of exclamation points. I have had to clean up the sloppy work of marketers who don’t see the big picture and how all the different aspects of an online presence are integrated and work together. It’s an ecosystem that may fail when one area is not strong.

MO: How essential is navigating social media for any business?

Margelit: First, I want to say that, with all the buzz of social, email still yields more results. It is far from dead.

The main reason social media marketing is important, is that’s where people are spending their time. You put an ad on a billboard when you know x number of drivers will pass that sign daily. Facebook is bigger than the USA. You can’t beat that. What’s more, the targeting power is so much more precise than other forms of marketing, including banner ads.

MO: Is it true that women are stronger on every other social network than LinkedIn? What do you think is the cause and are there implications?

Margelit: Yes, it’s true – last time I checked. At least on the major social networks. Women are naturally social, but there is a tendency for women to shy away from furthering their career, especially when they run a home and have kids, or are even just thinking about it. I think Cheryl Sandberg wrote about that in a very moving article – women just don’t think they can have it all.

And my take on it is: for everything there is a season. I personally need work while raising my little ones so that I don’t go insane. But I choose my projects carefully, because being a wife and raising my kids are my number 1 priority. Yes, if I didn’t have a family I could work much more and get much farther faster. But for me this balance is much more important right now.

MO: Do you think that the use of video in business is becoming increasingly common? Is it another form of media that companies need to implement to stay current?

Margelit: OMG, remember when video was a novelty and even bad videos made it big? Youtube is the #2 search engine in the world, after Google, and it’s owned by Google, so if you’re not on video, you’re not ON.

I read somewhere that 64% of online users will watch a 30-minute infomercial to the end – and only 20% will finish reading an article. Images speak 1,000 words, and people have so little time that you have to show them, rather than tell them.

I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish so far, but I have to say my husband Shmuel made it so easy. He not only creates a ton of video content, but it’s really good. You can’t market a sub-par product with success.

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