Ep. 040: Growth and Marketing Strategies from Online Entrepreneurs
To close out a truly epic second season of the podcast, we recorded this episode LIVE with our community, while also sharing growth & marketing strategies from some of today's top online entrepreneurs. Hilarity ensues, we have a bittersweet ending to Season 2, and you'll learn stuff!
GROWTH & MARKETING STRATEGIES
- Erin's news: Instagram is the most damaging social network to mental well-being
- Kirsten's news: Facebook adds new (awesome) features to Facebook live
- Kayla Hollatz: I highly recommend batching your content! Creating your content in one sitting rather than spacing it out can help you be more productive and work on other areas of your business that need attention.
- Kristyn Merkley from Lil Luna: Instant Share groups on Facebook have been a game changer in creating viral Facebook videos. I've gathered with similar size pages to create a group and at our scheduled time each week, we all share each other's video soon after it has gone live. This has created an instant boost in the shares and likes and also creates the momentum needed to create viral videos and grow our Facebook pages.
- Rachel Moffett from Define Your Hustle: My business growth all goes back to having a content marketing strategy. From your blog to your email newsletter and your social media posts, you need to be strategic about the content you share online. This all starts with knowing and understanding your audience. You need to be able to deliver the content they want and provide value. You should also set goals for your content so you know exactly what you hope to achieve with each piece you publish. Everything should serve a purpose and be working toward an end goal, whether that’s brand awareness, building trust, earning sales, or something else. When you’re strategic about the content you publish online, you’ll see results. To help with this, create an editorial calendar for all your content types each month. When you take the time to plan in advance, you can make smarter decisions about your content, as opposed to quickly throwing something together at the last minute.
- Britt Hyatt from Home Sweet Hyatt: I highly recommend building trust with your readers and prospective clients by showing them "proof" that working with you or implementing your strategies really do work. We've gone back to our clients a year after working with them to check-in and interview them. We've also given away free worksheets within blog posts to build trust in our work before our clients hire us or before we launch a paid workbook. Giving them sneak peeks and proof helps them to feel more comfortable with you before you actually talk to them one-on-one!
- Crystal Hollman from Crystal Clear Photography AZ: As a Styled Stock Photographer I am here to help you, the blogger. From a marketing and strategy stand point, I pre-plan out my graphics targeted to my client base. I layout a plan specific to how many graphics I want to post each day, for each platform over 30 days. Then I list out categories that are specific to different things I want to highlight that month such as - flowers, tips on how to use stock photos, etc. Once I have those categories I divide up how many graphics I need by the categories and get to work on creating my graphics. I use Canva - super user friendly. I go in and create the graphics and pull stock images that will work with the message I am looking to convey. Once all my graphics are done I can move forward with scheduling them out for my various platforms.
- Jen Rudd from Grow with Jen: I spend a ton of time in Facebook groups as a two fold marketing strategy - first I interact with my target audience - answering questions and sharing relevant information. But I also use it as a way to find out what my target audience has questions about. There tends to be the same questions about business, systems, strategy and marketing that come up consistently - sometimes one topic is super popular and asked over and over again. I write down those questions and topics and write blog posts around those questions. Then instead of just writing out the same answer over and over, I can just share a link to my blog. Voila! Instant traffic and I also gain authority with my audience - I answer the questions that are on their mind!
- Mariah Liszewski from Mariah Magazine: As a web designer and online strategist, I'm allll about finding ways to use your website smarter. One growth and marketing strategy that is constantly growing my email list is putting my opt-ins on a separate page. Growing your email list is one of the most important parts of growing your blog, so the idea is that you want people to find you, and sign up for your email list, right? By creating a separate landing page for your opt-in or lead magnet it makes it a million times easier to link to that opt-in landing page in your posts and pages. It also allows you to create social sharing images for that page directly so people can share it on social platforms....so when people click on the social post, they're directed to the opt-in page itself, instead of having to filter through your content first. This page totally comes in handy when you're looking to do promos or FB ads too....because BAM, you have a link, alllll ready for people to sign up at. Your landing page doesn't have to be anything crazy, just a picture of the image, a catchy headline and sub heading, then a little blurb about the opt-in and how it's going to help your audience.
- Sophie Areli from Your Podcast Show: I'm the CEO and founder of several online business ventures. You know how it can be tough to get traffic to your e-commerce website and then once people DO get there it's hard to convert them to paying customers? Here's a tip that can solve that. Include a "How To" video with each product. Not only will a "How To" video boost the experience your customer has on your website, but those videos can then be placed on YouTube. Google owns YouTube. If you create "How To" videos for your website and then post those videos to YouTube, Google may favor your videos in its search engine and send more traffic and potential customers to your website. Lastly, those videos will help customers see your product IN ACTION which may prompt them to go ahead and buy from you.
- Ardelia Lee: Connect with people in meaningful ways, and be consistent in your connections. That one tip has been responsible for the massive growth I've seen in my business. An extension of this is to be active in Facebook groups (or wherever your audience is) and answer their questions. Post helpful tips in the same Facebook groups and offer personalized help where you can. I've also found that coffee chats have been a great way to generate clients and referrals. I never go into a coffee chat in a sales mindset. I'm there to connect honestly, but sometimes people end up telling me they need my services or that they know someone who does. Also, just building out your referral network and being able to give referrals of your own is a great way to further your connections and keep your business top-of-mind with your fellow entrepreneurs and bloggers.
- Kate Boyd: As someone who has turned her blog into a business, I'd say one crucial way to grow your blog and the monetization is to be in touch with the needs of your audience. Ask the audience you have for what they want to know (this is how I sold out my first product before ever creating it), doing keyword research, or using a tool like AnswerThePublic.com to get ideas for what's really being looked for and use those ideas to solve problems and become an expert they turn to regularly.
- Rachel Allene: I personally serve two different audiences with my business; product shop customers and creative entrepreneurs. I currently use my blog to serve the latter audience and it's been a huge way in growing my business as an educational resource. My best advice is to give away a lot for free. I know that can seem counterintuitive, but it builds a lasting trust with your audience. They will become blown away by the free content you provide, so when you want to sell something, they think "If this content is free, I can't even imagine how valuable the information will be that she is selling!!" Your audience will look to you for advice, education, information, tips, etc. and they will be more than willing to purchase something from you. There are strategic ways to do this and the best way is by adding opt-ins to your blog posts. You can do this through having a very streamlined system for these opt-ins and email sequences! The best way to do that, in my opinion, is by using ConvertKit to start and grow your email list. This app also has incredibly easy ways to create and ad opt-ins to your blog posts. I also LOVE using Squarespace for my blog and I've been able to blog more consistently and easily since switching. That might be more than one tip, but creating this type of system for your blog is the secret sauce.