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5 smart ways to end 2016 with success

5-smart-ways-to-end-2016-with-success

Do you feel that months have gone by this year and you have made no real progress?

Do you want to have the clarity on how to end 2016 with success?

We all know that goal setting matters, but for all the good intentions research from University of Scranton shows that only 8% of people actually achieve their new year’s goal. So if you slacked off from the goals you set for the year, don’t worry.  I have researched what most successful people do to achieve their goals and it is the daily activities that they fill their time with that sets them apart. You too can learn to manage your activities efficiently and end 2016 with success!

Here are 5 smart ways to end 2016 with success.

#1 MAKE A LIST OF SMALL MANAGEABLE TASKS

Sir Richard Branson carries a notebook with him everywhere and writes down every single idea that he has.  He says; “no idea is too small and no idea is too big either”. He also makes a list of small manageable tasks to complete each day by cutting his day up into chunks.

#2 AVOID PROCRASTINATION TO END 2016 WITH SUCCESS

Did you know that procrastination is a psychological issue? The good news is that you can defeat it with the right principles? Procrastination is putting off doing something for another which ends up in lost opportunity.  Surely, none of us wants to wake up one day to realize that life passed us by due to lost opportunity.

One of the best slogans ever made is Nikes “Just do it!”  So stop procrastinating and start now even if the alternative looks easier. Don’t wait until everything is perfect or for the right opportunity to start. The perfect opportunity never arrives.

In their book Rework, Jason Fried & David Heinemeir Hansson say, “what you do is what matters not what you think or say or plan.” So I say just do it and move on to the next project.  Here are 5 ways to beat procrastination by Syed Balkhi.

#3 USE A TIME TRACKER

Time yourself as you work through your projects. This will help you track how long a certain project is taking you and help you make necessary changes. To help her stay focused, serial entrepreneur and business coach, Melanie Duncan uses a time tracker.

It is a simple table with the Time and Task on the vertical column corresponding with a dollar rate across for example $10, $100, $1,000 or $10,000, to measure if the activities she is spending time on, are income generating activities.  Using her phone timer, after every 2 hours she stops to record what she has been working on.

At the end of the day, she says “I total up the hours that I’ve spent in each column, multiply them by their rate and then add it all together to see how much value I produced for my business that day.”  This helps her keep on track with her goals or if she needs to reevaluate how she is spending her time

#4 HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE

Creating a morning routing whereby you wake up early before everyone in your household gives you the benefit of uninterrupted peace to do what you want such as to exercise, read or to meditate. Most successful people like Oprah and Deepak Chopra spend their first hour of the day by quieting their mind and connecting to God.

They also journal what they are grateful for. You can put in as little time as 5 minutes in each area with this routine or you can squeeze in your prayer, journaling, exersize all in one hour or less. Having a morning routine is a great way to start your day with a cleansed mind free of anxiety, stress and frustration. So squeeze in a few extra hours a week even if it means going to bed an hour earlier than normal

#5 LEARN TO SAY NO TO TIME WASTERS

If we are going to accomplish our goals and end 2016 with success, we must learn to say not to those things that are not in line with our goals.  Sometimes we find ourselves trapped in things that are not in our priority list, such as random surfing of the net and neglecting what is important.

Do you sometimes find that you are on the net surfing about juicy topics, wouldn’t it be nice if you were using that time with activities that add value to your life, such as reading a motivational book, exercising or finishing creating that course that you have been putting off?

Leave a comment below and share what you are doing professionally and personally to end 2016 with success.

 

 

3 Quick Steps to Find Your Ideal Audience and Sell More Online

3 Quick Steps to find your ideal audience and sell more online

Want to know who your ideal audience is, where they hang out or what they need from you?  Are you looking to make more sales online with your program, product or services? The foundation of our marketing comes from knowing who our ideal audience is first.

Here are 3 quick steps to find your ideal audience and make more sales online using a survey.

Step One

Create your questions:

The first thing you need to do is to align your questions to what you are offering your ideal audience.  You want to find out what challenges they are going through so you can tailor make your offer according to their answers.

Let the introduction be short, easy and fun just as if you were talking to a friend.  Always thank them and tell them how long it will take and who it is for.  For example you could say: “Thanks for taking 5 minutes to fill out my survey.  Please let me know how I can help you better.” Or “I’m collecting thoughts on a few new projects. Can you spare a couple minutes to fill out a quick survey?”

Some questions you may want to ask your ideal audience:

Start with the easy questions and leave the more lengthy ones for the end. When you ask questions, make sure you can take action with the answers you get otherwise don’t ask the question.

For instance if you want to know why they choose you over others in your industry.  You may want to ask a question like this one: “Why did you sign up for my product?” The answers should help you know what’s working for your business.

Remain neutral and avoid leading questions or questions that are biased that can confuse the respondent. Here’s an example of a biased question:

Q: Since cigarettes are dangerous and have deadly side effects such as cancer wouldn’t you agree that smoking should be controlled to save the lives of many?

This type of question can make a respondent believe that their answer could have a negative impact on their image in the eyes of the researcher (you). It can be reworded this way:

Q: Should people have the right to smoke?

Don’t forget to include the “prefer not to answer” option.  Sometimes people may not want or don’t have the information you are requesting.  Make sure you ask one question at a time. Asking more than one question at a time confuses the respondent.  For example:

“What is the fastest and most economical Internet service for you?”

These are two questions because fastest does not necessarily mean most economical.

Also remember to leave room for feedback that you did not ask. “Is there anything else you would like to tell us?”

Step Two:

How to get people to take your survey

Offer an incentive

It doesn’t hurt to give an incentive for your survey audience to encourage them to join in. The more you know about your audience the better you will become in your marketing.  I give a $50 Amazon gift card.

Step three

Get your survey out there

Use social media to get your survey out into the hands of your ideal client.  You can create a short video on You Tube and link your survey, post it on Twitter using a question in the survey, Facebook or LinkedIn if that is where your ideal hangs out.

I normally use a boosted post on Facebook which is simple to create.  You simply create a post just like you would create a post on your timeline and boost the post. On your status update say who it’s for, how long it is and what it is for. Here is an example of how I worded my status update for my recent survey:

“Attention women entrepreneurs, if you are struggling to generate leads and sales for your business, please fill out my survey.  I just might have a solution for you to get bigger results.  Give me just 5 minutes and tell me where I can really help you here. I really would like to hear your feedback. Then link your survey to your post.

I use Survey monkey to do my surveys.  I use their Select service which has more features than the Basic, but you can use the Basic one which is free to start with.  After my survey is done, I  then downgrade to the free version. At the close of my survey I create a sense of urgency. This always works by getting people who may have been on the fence to take the survey.  And a deadline always gets people to take action.

I have created a freebie for you to download which will give you insights on what you do with your survey results to make more money.  It is called “The 3 step guide to sell more products online.” Click here to download it now.

Here are the benefits of a survey:

You identify who your audience is and what their needs are.

When you carry out a survey for your ideal audience, you get to know what their struggles are and learn how you can perfect your product so you can tailor it according to their specific needs.  This helps you sell more of your product. When I do a survey, I want to understand who my clients are and where they are in terms of their business and what their pain points or struggles are.  I also like to know what else they need to understand or be aware of from me.

You will speak their language.

A survey will help you know the language your audience uses to describe their challenges or wins, so you can use it in your copy when communicating with them.  Trying to use technical jargon or fancy words can make you lose your audience.  I recently did a survey with a goal of understanding if my ideal audience understood what a marketing funnel meant.  Most of them said that they did not know what a marketing funnel was and neither did they know the steps they needed to take to create a marketing funnel.  I figured that if I used the term marketing system which has the same meaning as marketing funnel, I would not alienate them. Using the language they use, makes them know that you get them.

You can use your survey results for product development.

Once you collect the results from your surveys you can create the right topic for your blog posts or create new products that solve the problems your ideal audience has.  You can get a great deal of ideas about the topics that your audience needs help with or which areas of their needs are not being met and find solutions for them. Each time you create a product, you will be creating something that your ideal audience is interested in.

I hope that this inspires you to do your own survey in your business to find out what your ideal audience wants from you and how you can help them.

6 creative ways to use your Facebook cover photo

6 creative ways to use your facebook cover photo
Wondering how you can use your Facebook cover photo to grow your business?
A Facebook cover is the big photo on your page. It should visually represent the person, place or thing for which the page was created. It is a  prime real estate that you can take advantage of to a maximum effect.
Here are 6 creative ways to use your Facebook cover photo.
1. Showcase what you do on your cover photo.
The cover photo is the perfect place to show what you do.  Simple Green Smoothies showcases what they do on their cover page.  They show a variety of juices they make.
emitations
2. Give your fans special offers.
According to a report from Syncapse, fans are influenced to like a brand by emotional and relationship motivators. Giving a coupon to your fans will build fan loyalty while helping you sell.  Emitations jewelry is known for giving it’s fans discount coupons. When a fan clicks on the Shop Now button they are taken to the website where they can shop and redeem their coupon.
emitations
3. Showcase your location
Use a picture of your location if you are a page with a location.  This is a great way to showcase your location.
jw-marriott
4. Promote on your cover photo
Promote your services or products in a very subtle and gentle way on your cover photo. I quit sugar promoted on her cover photo she had an 8 week program starting in October.  She put the date and used great images and told her fans what it was about, which is to quit sugar.
i-quit-sugar
5. Use your cover photo as a lead magnet.
I use my Facebook cover photo to collect names and emails  A Facebook page means nothing to you if you are not moving your Facebook fans into your website or store front, then moving those leads into paying customers. See, when you move your fans into your website you have more control of building a relationship with them through email marketing, as opposed to trying to get their attention on Facebook where you are competing with others.
my-cover-photo
When a fan clicks on the Sign up call to action button, they are taken to my lead capture page where there is an opt-in opportunity to leave their email address in exchange of my free giveaway.
 landing-page
6. Show a behind the scenes of your event
Use your cover photo to show the behind the scene of an event.  Donna Moritz, a social media visual expert and owner of Socially Sorted, uses her cover photo to share the behind the scene of the Social Media Marketing world event that she attended.
donna-moritz-event
Cover photo tips:
Your cover photo should be 828×315 pixels.  If it is smaller than those dimensions Facebook will expand it and it will look blurry.
Most people are accessing Facebook via mobile so make sure your cover photo is mobile friendly so it fits nicely without sections of it cut off.  The measurements for a mobile Facebook cover are 640×360 pixels.
Here are some free and paid tools to help you design your cover photo and wow your fans immediately.
How about you, how are you using your Facebook cover photo? Leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you.

5 Steps to a Profitable Marketing System with Facebook

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Are you looking to creating a profitable marketing system with Facebook?  Would you like to know how you can generate leads and while making a consistent income with Facebook?

If you are looking for a way to turn your fans into leads and turn those leads into paying customers, I have a solution for you.  I want to show you how you can use social media, specifically Facebook to market and promote your business. You see, Facebook does not work on its own.  There is a system, a marketing funnel that has a beginning and an end.  This is how it looks like:

#1. Know your audience.

Before you market to anyone and you shouldn’t market to everyone either, you need to know your audience. This is not just knowing the demographics of your audience, but it is knowing who your ideal audience is, knowing their pain points, their struggles; what keeps them up at night. It is also knowing where they hang out; which other Facebook pages do they like?, what sports do they like? Which television shows do they watch?

Knowing your audiences’ needs will help you with your marketing message because when you speak to them you will be using the same language that they use.  Here is an example; if I know that my ideal audience is struggling to make sales on Facebook, then I would know how to create my content like this blog post to give value to my audience by sharing tips to boost their sales.

If I know that my audience likes a certain television show then I can create a Facebook post that asks a question about that show igniting engagement with them.  An easy way to know your audience would be by using Graph Search on Facebook.  Graph search is the long search bar across your timeline that looks like the one below.

graph search 1027 blogpost

Access Graph Search from your Facebook profile.  Search “pages liked by fans of your Facebook page”, click on the Pages tab and see the results you get. When I search for Pages liked by fans of The virtual assistant USA these are the results that I get;  Small IJ Lift, Oprah, Tyrese Gibson, Upworthy and Facebook for Business among others.  This is important information because it tells me where my fans hang out.

graph search 1027 blogpost

 

I can go to those pages and see the kind of content that has the most engagement.  I can now create similar content when I post on my page because I know my fans will most likely be interested in it.  This builds engagement with your fans.  They will know that you get them.  As you may well know, people like to do business with those whom they know, like or trust.

#2. Build engagement.

To create a profitable sales system with Facebook, engagement is a big part of the puzzle.  When you know the kind of content that excites your ideal audience, you can now start posting on Facebook and writing your blog content with that in mind.  You want people to engage with you through your content.  See, social media is about building lasting relationships and the key to this is through engagement.

By engaging with your fans you will find who needs your product and how you can help them. Now, you may have noticed that when you post on Facebook your organic reach – meaning how many people get to see your content for free has dropped.  This is because Facebook uses an algorithm to sift through content.

They do not want us posting content that is overly promotional.  They want us posting content that is valuable to our ideal audience.  When you create content that has value to your audience they will engage with you by either liking, commenting, sharing or clicking on a link.  Facebook considers engagement to be reactions such as Likes, Shares,  Comments or clicking to a link.

So when you post have a goal in mind.  Is it likes, comments, shares or a click on a link that you want from your audience?  For example if you want people to comment on a post, ask questions of your fans.

Make your question fun and engaging, keeping it simple and to the point.  Preferably, ask a question that does not require your fans to feel like they have to write a novel in their answer.  Here is an example; “I ____________ so I can _____________.”

When your engagement goes up on Facebook, your posts will be pushed into the news feed because Facebook gets the impression that your page really does deliver value to its users. So the next time you post on Facebook ask yourself, what action do I want my fans to take?  Is it a like, comment, share or click on a link to a post? And then create posts that ignites each action.

Here is a post from Kim Garst of Boom Social that asks a question.  I took this screen shot 2 hours after it was posted and notice how many comments it had in that short time- 91 comments!

kim garst engagment post 1027 blogpost

 

#3. Add value with your content 

Provide content that adds value to your ideal audience. If you sell a physical product you can add value to your customers by offering a discount or free shipping.  If your business is service based or information based you can give some of your information that is valuable for free, say a 15 minutes free coaching session, a free PDF, a free report, a cheat sheet, a 3 video series, a webinar…you get the point.  Make your free giveaway so good that your audience would pay for it if you were selling it.

#4. Turn your fans into email subscribers

Facebook or any social media platform means nothing to you if you are not converting your fans into email subscribers.  For the next 15 minutes think of a free giveaway that you can offer (use the examples on number 3 above).  Make sure your free giveaway is aligned to what your business is about. For instance if you are in the weight loss industry and you are selling a program on how to lose weight, your free giveaway can be something like this: “The 7 foods to avoid when you are losing weight.”Ask yourself what challenge can I help my ideal audience solve that I can put in a mini giveaway that they can find valuable? Then create a Facebook Ad for this giveaway,  You can spend about $5 or $10 a day to promote it so people can opt-in for your giveaway aka lead magnet.  Just make sure that you deliver the giveaway that you promised after they opt-in.  Here is a free giveaway that I offer on my cover photo.

my profile lead magnet 1027 blogpost

When people click on the link they are taken to my lead capture page below where they get to opt in with their email address in exchange of the FREE guide.

landing page1027blog post

#5. Automate your marketing funnel.

Once your subscribers give you their email addresses, send them an email saying “thanks for subscribing to my newsletter (or whatever it is that they subscribed to), here is the giveaway I promised you.”  Then send them a link to download that giveaway. After that, you will need to create a series of emails also known as autoresponders giving free value to your subscribers.

You can send them to a blog post in your site.  The key thing here is to create relationships with them so they can know, like and trust you. You will need to use an email service provider like Aweber, Get Response or Mail Chimp to mention a few, to send weekly newsletters or create autoresponders . After a while, you can start introducing your services, products or program and send them to a simple sales page where they can buy your products. That’s how people get to do business with you.

In a nutshell these are the main parts that make up of a simple marketing system where you attract your ideal audience, engage with them, build your email list and sell more of your products using Facebook.

If you want to create something equally extraordinary in your business, then I would love for you to join me in my new Live masterclass.  In this training you’ll discover how you can use Facebook effectively as a system, to get leads, grow your email list and sell more products.

Leave a comment below and share how you are maximizing Facebook to build your sales funnel. Also don’t forget to share this post with your peeps!

Click here to reserve your seat for the Live masterclass.

6 creative ways to use visual content to brand your business on Facebook cover

Looking for creative ways to use visual content to brand your business on Facebook? Want to know how to instantly connect with your target audience on Facebook? Adapting a visual strategy in your Facebook marketing will help your brand stand out while grabbing your audiences’ attention.

In this article you’ll discover 6 actionable ways to use visual content to brand your business on Facebook so you can drive more leads and sales.

#1: Use attention grabbing status updates

When you post a status update on Facebook make sure to include attention grabbing images as opposed to text only.  Images take up more real estate on the news feed making it easier for people to skim through.  There’s so much noise in the news feed, we need to stop people from scrolling and engage with our posts.

Southwest Airlines shares this attention grabbing Lilly Pulitzer post in their status update. Being the first day of summer, the colorful image and message instantly evokes emotion. Southwest is clear about their audience’s values and what resonates with them. They ask a simple question in their status update – …”what’s your favorite destination for summer travel?” This helps get them a lot of Facebook Reactions and engagement on their page.  Its warm and friendly tone, and personality makes it easy for Southwest to create native content (content that blends in with your audience’s conversations) that directly tells you what their brand is all about without saying “buy a ticket now”.   This creates a bigger impact for their business.

Southwest image

 

#2: Use your Facebook cover to tell your brand story

Spotlighting what you do with your Facebook cover photo is a great way to show your audience what you’re all about. When you perfect your brand story through visuals on Facebook you are able to help your fans make a decision on whether to buy your product, program or services.

Hungry Girl uses their cover photo to tell their audience what they are all about through an eye catchy cover photo. They do not use any text on the image but it speaks volumes about their brand.

Hungry girl image

 

#3: Let your visuals do the talking

When you know what resonates with your ideal audience you can use quotes that convey your message without having to be creative with your own copy.  Kim Garst of Boom Social uses inspiring quotes that resonate with her audience. They have a lot of color that stand out on the news feed.  These image quotes posts make her audience relate to her, and her Facebook page engagement is always off the charts!  Then she always includes her logo at the botton which is a great way to brand your images. When people share them, it increases brand visibility.

Kim Garst quotes

 #4: Use Facebook Live

Are you using Facebook’s free live streaming video yet? Facebook Live video is a very powerful strategy to connect with your audience, build relationships and engage with them in real time.   By using Facebook live streaming you get to tell your audience your brand story or take them behind the scenes. In an interview with Amy Porterfield, Kim Garst who uses live streaming regularly,  shares that a Facebook live video gets 10 times more organic reach, than a regular post! In addition, she explains that the replay is just as valuable in terms of the reach it gets.  Remember to ask your viewers to share your live stream so you can get in front of their audience as well.  At Social Media Examiner, founder Mike Stelzner does a live Q&A session where viewers get to ask any social media related question, making him the go to person in his niche. Always have a call to action on the description of your video that directs people to where you want them to go.  It can be either to land somewhere like a blog post where you have them sign up for a freebie or to sign up to a webinar, or to a product sales page. Once you have them there then follow up with email marketing.

Mike Stelzner

#5: Short videos

If you’re not a fan of live video, you can use short videos to share your expertise.  Short videos on Facebook go a long way, if you are able to tell people what’s in it for them.  For instance you can make a quick one minute video showing people how to do something.  Upload your videos directly from Facebook’s platform to get more organic reach, visibility and engagement.

Here’s a less than a minute how-to use Facebook Reactions video in Social Media Examiners Facebook page. As you can see this post reached thirty four thousand viewers which is pretty amazing!

Facebook Reactions how to

 

#6: Use consistent brand colors

Color increases brand recognition up to 80%.

Constant contact always has colors and images that visually represent their brand and their voice.  They use them consistently in their status updates.  Use certain fonts and different versions of your logo to incorporate in to your images.

#6 Constant Contact

 

Tips & Tools for creating visual content

There are many tools out there that can help anyone to be creative even if you don’t have a designer’s eye. Make sure your images are the right size for your platform.  For a perfect Facebook post, the specs should be 1200×1200 pixels. Use eye catchy images that grab attention. Both square and landscape work for Facebook.

Use Canva.com a photo creating tool with tons of templates to get you started. Picmonkey.com is a photo editing tool that has great filters. You can import your brand fonts into Picmonkey.com.  In addition. you can use your smartphone to take original photos that you can use for your brand.

Use Jing or SnagIt to capture screen shots of visuals you see on the web that you like that you can use in your Facebook posts.

What do you think? Are you using any of these strategies to brand your business on Facebook? Share in the comments below how you are positioning your business on Facebook.

 

5 Facebook marketing techniques to boost your business in 2016

5 Facebook marketing techniques to boost your business in 2016

Is Facebook relevant anymore?  Yes, it is more relevant than ever.  Your customers or consumers are using Facebook everyday!  In this post, learn 5 Facebook marketing techniques to boost your business in 2016.

Your ideal audience is using social media to talk with their friends and family and we have the ability to connect with them right where they are talking to their friends and family. It’s a matter of you doing your research to find out where they are hanging out and what type of content makes them tick so you can engage with them authentically.

#1. Audience Insights

One of the tools that I recommend you use in 2016, is Facebook’s Audience Insights. Audience Insights can help you mine valuable information about your Facebook fans. Facebook designed Audience Insights with the goal “to help marketers learn more about their target audiences, including aggregate information about Geography, demographics, purchase behavior and more.”

You can find out who your fans are, and what their interests are and what other pages they like.  This becomes helpful information when you start running Ads because you can target those pages that have similar products to what you are selling or common interests of your ideal audience.

Go to Facebook Audience Insights by going to https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience_insights.  Choose people connected to your page

audience Insights

In the graph below where it says Interests, enter the name of the page of your competitor or of other pages that you talk about similar topics.  For me I would enter Female Entrepreneur Association.  Make sure that you are entering big pages so that they can pop up here. If it doesn’t pop up use the name of another page.

audience insights interests

If I click on Page Likes, I am shown other pages that my audience is likely to hang out.  On the left is the pages categories and on the right are the names- Female Entrepreneur Association, Melanie Duncan, The Girls Mean Business, Women in Business, Ali Brown, etc. This is super valuable to note because not only am I able to go to this pages and see what kind of content they post and even what kind of questions their fans are asking, but when I start running ads I will enter the names of these pages in the Interest section.

audience Insights Page Likespng

#2. Content creation

Your customers are online and they want to hear from you.  With great content we can reach our customers every day and have conversations with them.  All we have to do is create engaging content that is conversational and friendly and talk to them like you would talk to a friend.  People are not on Facebook to do business with you – they are there to catch up with their friends.  So we have the advantage of meeting with them where they are, to talk to them and build relationships.  Use canva.com a free visual content creating tool to create great visual content.  It’s fun and easy to use.  They also have many tutorials if you get stuck.

I have created a FREE guide for you laying out proven content creating strategies on Facebook that will increase your engagement and help you get leads that convert to sales from your IDEAL customers.

#3. Videos

Video right now is huge on Facebook.  Native videos are getting the most reach.  Meaning a video that you upload through Facebook and not via 3rd party like You Tube.  Video connects you with your customers.  They get to see your story.   It’s about creating content that not only catches people’s eyes but content that makes your audience want to look good in the eyes of their audience when they share it. Create content that people impulsively feel they must share vs. content that is about you and your business.  So make it that part of your strategy is that you will set aside time to create videos.  Some video creating tools are Animoto, Flixel and Diptic.

#4. Facebook Ads

If you are not using Facebook Ads then you are not taking advantage of the reach an Ad can get you on Facebook.  Organic reach continues to drop on Facebook and so you only get to be seen by a tiny fraction of the people who like your page.  With the right Ad targeting you can increase your reach with as little as $5 a day.

#5. Mobile.

People are on mobile 24/7. We buy from mobile and use our phones to access social media. Make sure that everything from your Facebook cover to your email marketing copy looks good on mobile devices and that your website is optimized for mobile so you can reach your customers and make more sales.  The dimensions for a Facebook cover photo on desktop are 851×315 pixels, but to optimize your cover photo for mobile, make your overall dimensions 851×475 pixels.

Take the time to implement each one of these strategies at a time. They can play a huge impact to the success of your business.

Which strategy will you implement today?

How to create visual content that your fans will love

How to create visual content that your fans will love cover photo

Want to take your content to the next level but don’t know where to start?

In this blog post I share with you some nuggets about how to create visual content that will help your brand get noticed in the sea of social marketing content.

As you may know, social marketing is all about providing quality, relevant and timely content so you can build relationships with your audience and engage with them authentically.  However there is a lot of noise in the social sphere and it can be very hard to be seen by your ideal audience.

Using great visuals with your content is a smart way to get your audience to stop scrolling down the newsfeed and engage with your message, after all 90% of information transmitted in the brain is visual.

Rebekah Radice is a good example of someone who uses visual elements to relay her content message beautifully.

In a recent visual content webinar that I attended, Rebekah said that one of the best investments she ever made was taking the time to identify how her brand was going to look like.  Here are some of the tips I got from the webinar that I would love to share with you.

Lay out your content strategy.

Before you go out looking for visuals to use for your content here are a few things you may want to take into consideration.

  1. How are you going to use visual marketing to extend your brand?
  2. How are they going to tell your story?
  3. Graphics should share that part of the story.
  4. There shouldn’t be any disconnect between your visual and content. Your visual elements should help get the point across faster.

Notice here that these questions will help you come up with a visual content strategy that is intended to be consistent across all platforms.

Donna Moritz, is a renowned visual content expert and owner of Socially Sorted, an award winning blog about using visual content on social media.  In an interview with Amy Porterfield, she shared the following tips about visual content:

Images help you increase reach and engagement

Images that are shareable such as inspirational quotes, business tips or funny are easy to create and can be shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.  If you want to take it a step further on your shareable images you can add a call to action such as a retweet (tweets with images get retweeted twice as much) on Twitter or include a link to drive people to your blog or any other page you want them to land to, and learn more about your business. Also don’t forget to add a Pin It button to your website so your web visitors can pin your images.

You can use canva.com or the app Wordswag to create these kind of images

Create content that is specific to the format of each platform

One size does not fit all images on social media, each social platform has its own dimensions.  I have created a quick printable reference, social media image guide to help you remember the image sizes requirement of each social media platform.
CLICK HERE TO INSTANTLY DOWNLOAD YOUR “SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE SIZE GUIDE.”

Here is an example of a shareable image. This tip of the day from Female Entrepreneur Association had 355 likes and 139 shares.

Female entrepreneur

Show behind the scene images of your brand. 

Regularly share images of behind the scene, or of your friendly team at work.  This humanizes your brand and as we know, people love to do business with people not with brands. The Instagram expert Sue B. Zimmerman, is a master of showing behind the scene photos of her brand.  Here she shares a video of her filming her Instagram training.  This video had more than one thousand views.

Sue B Zimmerman

Be Mindful of your fonts and colors.      

Express your brand personality by choosing colors and fonts that you will use consistently across all platforms.  The colors you choose will inspire the kind of action you get from your audience.  Look into some of the famous brands for inspiration.  You can have one font for headings and titles and another for subtitles. Use no more than 3 fonts or you will look disorganized.

Create a pipeline of visual content

Create your content in batches of 10 to 20 so that you have one image for each platform to share for a week.  Kim Garst categorizes her visual content in buckets.  She will have a humor, inspiration and motivation content bucket.  She might have 5 inspiration and 2 tips for the week.

Resources

While Canva and Picmonkey are my favorite free image editing tools because they are easy to use, have templates for all social media and don’t require design skills, here are other good places for images:

  • Deposit photos.
  • Dollar photo club (small budget each image is a $1).
  • Photopin.com (Free image site)
  • Relaythat.com (incredible)

I hope these tips will help get you started with your visual strategy.  Please leave a comment if this post was helpful and share it with your peeps!

5 Ways to Sell on Facebook Without Spamming Your Fans

5 Ways to sell on Facebook without spamming your fans

Want to know how to sell on Facebook without spamming your fans?

With the holidays upon us a social media holiday selling strategy is a good idea about this time.

If you have not already come up with a social media holiday selling strategy, don’t fret – you can pull this off – I am here to help.

In this post I will share with you 5 ways to sell on Facebook without spamming your fans.

#1. Use your Facebook cover photo to showcase your products or services to drive sales.

If you’re selling a product, put it on your cover page.  You don’t need design skills to whip a professional cover page up.  Just use Canva.com they have all kinds of social media templates ready for you to customize.

Here is a perfect example from Simple Green Smoothies promoting their new book.

Simple green smoothies cover page

When you click on the cover photo it takes you to this light box below.  On the right side there is an Amazon link where you can buy their book.  So make sure you have your links for your website if that’s where you want to take people.

Simple green smoothie light box

 

#2. Grow your email list

If you are not moving your fans into your email list then you might just be spinning your wheels on social media without results. Here’s why: Social media changes all the time and with organic reach on Facebook dropping, it means you are not guaranteed that you will reach all your fans.  Only 16% or less of your fans gets to see your posts.  So what are you to do? Offer a free giveaway like a free coupon, a free eBook, a webinar or a cheat sheet.  When people opt-in you have the freedom to reach them to talk about your paid offer anytime you want through email marketing. Just make sure you link your giveaway to an opt-in form where you can collect names and email addresses and sell through email marketing.

Kim Garst does this well using her cover photo.  If you use your cover photo strategically you can build your email list with Facebook which is the fastest way to turn leads into customers.

Kim Garst

#3.  Do a giveaway

Giveaways are great.  People can use them for themselves or as gifts.  Just come up with a cool giveaway especially one related to your niche. Be aware of contest rules for whatever social media platform you use.

Here is a giveaway by Simple Green Smoothies:

simple green smoothies giveaway

When you click on their Instagram link, they are asking their followers to tag their friends.  This helps them grow their following and sell more products.

simple green instagram giveaway photo

#4.  Showcase what you do with a story.

This image is from the Extraordinary Gifts.  The status updates says “Congratulations to my precious niece Lorraine and Allan! Loved crafting this for you, may your union manifest Christ’ love for His Bride, the Church.”

One of her fans comments on the post asking her how much would it cost to make one for him.  So notice that she did not ask for the sale.  She did it in a suttle way using story telling.

extraordinary gifts 2

#5. Support a charity

Your customers would love to help you for a good cause.  If you are collecting items for a charity that you support, offer a discount to your customers when they bring the items.  People love to be a part of something that touches others, especially around the holiday season. Here is a perfect way of giving back. Emitations gives a link to the giveaway earrings. When someone clicks on the link they will want to browse through the website for other products. They are making the entrants aware of their brand and therefore gaining customers when people visit their site.

emitations

These are just a few ways that you can sell on Facebook without spamming your fans.  Use them to build your list, engage with your fans and drive sales to your business.

If you like this post please leave a comment below and share it with your peeps.

 

5 success tips told by a successful entrepreneur

5 success tips told by a serial entrepreneur

On a beautiful summer afternoon two women graduated from the same college with marketing degrees. These two women were both young, bright and talented and like any college graduate were filled with dreams, hopes and ambitions for the future.

Recently, at a sales and marketing conference these two women met.  They were still very much alike.  They both had gone on and married their college sweethearts, both had young children and both had gone to work for successful companies.

But there was a difference:

One of these two women was a staff at a leading advertising agency in New York City making $150,000 per year salary.  The other woman chose the path less traveled and used her marketing skills to start her own digital agency raking in over $1 million dollars a year in net profits.

What made the difference?

You might be wondering what made the difference in those two women. Here’s the thing, it isn’t always intelligence, dedication or talent.  It isn’t that one person is a “go getter” and the other one isn’t.

The difference is directly related to what each person knows and how they make use of that knowledge.

And that is why I am writing to you about lessons I learned from Emeric Ernoult, a serial entrepreneur and owner of Agorapulse a social media management platform.

I recently met Emeric at a social media sales and marketing conference in Chicago, #socialboom15, and no, I am not either one of the two women mentioned above (although I would like to be the one who became a successful entrepreneur).

By using the knowledge that he has Emeric has built multiple successful businesses.

Here are 5 success tips told by Emeric about what he knew and how he made use of that knowledge:

Success (sales) equals a great product or service and awareness

A great product or service is only as good as that.  Adding awareness to it, and what you do with that awareness is what will set you apart from your competitors.

Just remember success may look like a straight line to outsiders but it has twists and turns. However enjoy the journey – “It’s not the destination it’s the journey” says Emeric

Find good business ideas.

Among many ways of finding business ideas here are a couple to think about:

  • Fill a gap in a market.  It happens every day. Of course you and I may not invent some major new product but we can create something new that customers want.  Ask yourself where is there a need and how can I fill it? What special knowledge and experience do you have and how can you make use of it?
  • Changing the way a market operates. A new twist to something old can make it new. Uber is a great example of a company that wanted to change the way the taxicab industry operated.  Their goal is to “seamlessly connect riders to drivers through their apps.” You can request, ride and pay via your mobile phone using their app.
  • Provide a simpler solution.  Information and technology has evolved so quickly.  There are so many new approaches, tools and strategies to use to provide a simpler solution to everyday problems. Agorapulse is a good example of this.  It is a platform that helps users manage all social media messages in one place.

Start small and focused – you may not need investors

Less is more and the more focused a product or service is, the better.

Start a business you can afford to build. The graph below shows you a comparison of Agorapulse to its top two competitors, Hootsuite and Sproutsocial.  Agorapulse started with $300,000 while its other competitors started with huge amounts of money most likely from investors.

Agorapulse

Now if you look in the image below, you’ll notice that according to information based on ratings and reviews from users, as well as data collected from online sources and social networks, Agopulse rates third.  Not bad at all for a company that did not start up with huge amounts of money or funding.

Agorapulse crowd

You don’t need more content, you need the content your clients are looking for

What do I blog about?  If you write a blog you may sometimes hit writers block and ask yourself this question. Guess what, your problems are about to be over because I will share with you hidden nuggets where topics to write about are buried. If you spend just a few hours a month on the Q&A site Quora, Facebook help center or Twitter help center you will be surprised at how much valuable data you can mine that relates to what your ideal audience is looking for. This will help you write content that answers a problem that people need solved. You can also check for high volume searches of your main keywords on a tool like keywordtool.io.  This will pull up keywords that have high volume that you can use.  After you have found your topic, run it through SEO filter to see if it relates to what people are looking for. Use a tool like Headline-Analyzer Co-Schedule to help you write SEO friendly headlines.

Selling is a combination of techniques

There are many ways you can get your business from.  Public relations, social ads, content marketing, SEO searches, collaborating with other bloggers the choice is endless.  Use your advocates and influencers to help you get your word out there. They can mention you in a blog post or on social media.  Create a system where you store a database of your network and leverage them. They already know, like and trust you – they are your best asset.

“Whatever I do, I try to do it right and love it” ~ Emeric Ernoult

If you liked this post, please use the social buttons above to share it with like-minded friends. Get the word out!

 

5 top tips to set your business for success on Instagram

5 top tips to set your business for success on Instagram

Are you setting your business for success on Instagram? Did you know that Instagram is a great opt-in opportunity to grow your email list? Instagram is a great platform to provide your ideal audience with visual content – this includes photos as well as videos that are up-to 15 seconds.

Sue B Zimmerman known as the #Instagramexpert has built a successful business on Instagram and uderstands that it is a natural lead funnel.  I recently attended the #Socialboom15 conference in Chicago, and here are 5 top tips to use Instagram to build your business which I learned from Sue:

  1. Have an optimized bio

To set your business for success on Instagram, you will need to have a great Bio and avatar (profile picture) You get 150 characters on Instagram in your Bio to let people know what you do. Sue recommends that if you are your own personal brand, your avatar should be your smiling face and not your logo.  People like to connect with people and not with brands. They want the face of the person that makes that business thrive and want to engage with you. See, every time you comment on a post, your face is shown and people see you. When they see your face they get to know, like and trust you more. Don’t forget to use emojis on your bio as well. They are searchable on Instagram. And finally share a relevant call to action and a link that you can send people to.

  1. Change your link once in a while

Change up the link depending on what you are doing such as promoting an e-course, a webinar, or giving a coupon code. Use a customized bit-ly link so you can track your success from Instagram to wherever you are sending your fans.

  1. Use hashtags

A hashtag is the # pound sign that is put before a keyword to make it easy for people to look up specific content such as trends, locations and topics. Hashtags help you connect with other people who are using the same because they have the same interests as you. Search and see what hashtags are relevant in your niche so you can use them to attract your ideal audience. Do not use hashtags like #followtofollow as they are questionable and they attract spammers.

Remember you are not on Instagram to attract followers but to attract your ideal client that will find value in what you offer. Those ideal clients then become part of your community.

  1. Share great captivating photos

Post great photos with great lighting especially natural lighting, one that is cropped well and one that is “captivating in some exciting ways,” says Sue. Show visual content attached with a description in the space that you serve.

If you are struggling with your visual content and want to stand out from everyone else, go to the explore button and explore the 16 trending tags that change every day.  Focus on the top 9 that have the most likes. Take a look at those tags and see what they are. Look at the value of the post and see what you can learn from them.

  1.  Engage. 

Like any social media platform engagement is key and it is what will get you raving fans who eventually become your customers. Don’t just tap a photo, let the person who posted it know what the post does for you. Pay attention to the people that engage with your post. They will become your brand ambassadors in time. To quote Sue “The more you engage with other peoples posts, the more they’ll come back and engage in yours”.

Here are some brands that are crushing it on Instagram.  Follow them and see if you can borrow examples from them. And because I want to give Sue credit, tell them #theinstagramexpert sent me to you.

@winelibrary

@theperfectfit

@lilazimm- #freshfitandfearless

@richardbranson

@kerenakatrina

@ituneitup

I would love to hear from you. How are you setting your business up for success on Instagram? Leave a comment below. Now go crush it with Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Your Pricing Strategy Hurting or Boosting Your Business?

Is your pricing strategy hurting or boosting your business cover

Is your pricing strategy hurting or boosting your business?

As an entrepreneur, you may often wonder how to price your services so you are not undercutting yourself or lose clients due to what may seem like an overprice.  But I have come to find out that price is just one of the determining factors of whether a client decides to work with you.

In addition to the quality of your work, there are other reasons other than price that a client will pay for your services.  What you offer and how you offer will be a game changer in whether a client will want to work with you.

Here is the secret to pricing your services without hurting your business.

  1. Charge clients based on value

Charge clients based on the value you will deliver.  For example, if a client wants you to set up and manage their Facebook page and grow a community while converting them, here are good questions to ask:

  • How will a Facebook page help a business?
  • How will you know the Facebook page is successful for your business?
  • How much money do you lose without having a Facebook Page?

So dig deep and know what your clients needs are behind the project and how much real value it will offer. In this case, it’s not the number of fans that will bring in revenue for them, it will be the number of fans who will convert into paying customers that will matter.  This will help you know that you are billing what you are worth.

  1. Be professional and thorough in your quote

If you are not thorough in your quote, you will appear unprofessional.  For example if you just send an email saying “yes I can do this job for $3,000, there are several problems in this kind of quote:

  1. It does not show any details of the nature of work or the value it will deliver.
  2. It’s focused on price.
  3. It turns into a Yes or No because of it’s lack of details
  4. Many high value customers will dismiss it due to it’s informal nature.

Research shows that the right presentation of your fees to your clients can gain you more approved projects. Better still, it can even gain you more money for each project.

Here is an approach I found from www.sixrevisions.com.  Try it next time you are presenting your fees to your clients. It’s known as the bundled pricing technique.  Here’s how it would look like:

  1. Bundle your fees into a single solution

Instead of itemizing your rates like in this example:

Facebook page management – $500

Content creation – 1,000

etc…

Create a single solution with a price (do not include hourly information).  Name your solution based on what benefit it will bring to your clients problem.

Service Solution/Benefit Name Price #
Solution description Write the description for your service here
So to use our previous example of Facebook marketing funnel here’s is how it would look like.  Note: You can replace your type of services with mine here.
Service
Creating a Facebook marketing funnel
Price
$3,000
Solution description
This solution includes branding, content creation, list building and selling.

Branding: The focus will be on setting up and optimizing your Facebook page to lay your brands foundation, increase your social media presence and build a community.

Content creation: The focus will be to create a plan to post timely, relevant and value based content that will engage and ignite action with your fans, by getting more likes, comments, shares and clicks.

List Building:  The focus will be to use strategies to build a Facebook page with quality fans and turn those fans into email subscribers.

Selling: The focus will be to effectively craft Facebook promotions and create a plan to use a promotional calendar to effectively boost your sales.

As you can see, present your services in a way that will clearly show your customers the benefits that your services will give them.  If you show them clearly how you are going to save them time and money doing what you promise to do for them, they will pay for your services no matter the price.

How about you?  I’d like to hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment below and share any thoughts of pricing strategies you use that have boosted your business.

3 ingredients of a successful blog

 

3 ingredients of a successful blog

There are 3 ingredients to a successful blog that influential bloggers such as Problogger’s Darren Rowse use.  What if I told you that you can adapt these tactics and have a blog that your fans rave about? Whether you are in the coaching, technology, health and fitness, or marketing business your ideal client wants to like, trust and know you before they can do business with you.

Writing a blog post helps you connect with people who are interested in a product, service or program that you can help them with.

Your blog is a great platform to build awareness of the problem you solve.  It is also a way of building relationships and confidence with your potential clients.

So with this in mind write content that has these three goals

Know

Like

Trust

  1. Content that will get people to know you.

When thinking about writing content ask yourself, “What type of content can I write that people are going to share?” Your posts are only a way of pulling people to get to know you.  Offer relevant, and valuable content that will get shared and get people to know you. When someone shares your post their friends get to know you.  Make sure that your content really resonates with your audience.  A blog post showcases your expertise while showing your personality and therefore letting people consider working with you as opposed to someone they don’t know.

  1. Content that will get people to like you.

We’ve all heard this one:  be a story teller. Share stories on a more personal level.  They could be on video or webinars. This helps people see your voice or face and start connecting with and liking you. Inspirational content or anything that helps people get motivated is a surefire share magnet. Also content that helps people to feel something or feel like they belong or content that changes peoples lives- such as teaching them step by step to do something.

Share what you know or mistakes you made that you now know to avoid. When people see that you know what you are talking about they now go a step further from liking you to trusting you.

  1. Content that will get people to trust you.

In their 2006 report Edelman Trust Barometer, a global PR firm which reports on the trust level of people to NGOs, governments and businesses across 23 countries, participants said they were more likely to trust “a person like me”.  Those whom they could relate to and who are like them. The good news is that when you are the authority in your community then people will trust you.

A couple of things to build trust with your audience are: 

  • Be honest about your business.

Times have changed and we are seeing more solopreneurs everywhere.  Do not pretend to have a multinational business while in truth it’s just you and your dog Buddy.

  • Be honest about your expertise

In this day where everyone has become an expert it is easy to call yourself an expert. Sharing what you know and pointing out what you are really not good at makes people relate to you.  For instance I am not techie at all.  So when I am showing a step by step video on how to use a Facebook feature and it involves a technical part such as copying a code,  I let people know that, that part of the particular feature I am not good at and it would be valuable for them to hire an expert to help them in that area.

Finally, don’t forget to mention how you can help

When you put out an article in your blog, every now and then mention the services that you offer in a non salesy way so the reader does not get swamped in the blog and forget the services that you offer.  For instance if you write a blog on how to lose 30 pounds in one month, mention that you offer one on one coaching or a free consultation to anyone who is looking to lose weight and get fit.  The key thing is to do it in a way that you are not trying to sell your services on the blog.

As you grow and build an audience through your blog, you will find great intel about your ideal audience’s needs wants and struggles. By people knowing, liking and trusting you, you will see which posts are most popular by either the comments they get or by the way they have been shared by your audience.

Their challenges will help you tailor make your services or products with them in mind.  For instance if you are a business coach and you find that your posts about productivity are getting more comments and shares, then you can gather that creating a program on how your audience can save time and achieve their goals would be well received.

I have created a free cheat sheet for you to print out and put it next to your computer so you can use it every time you write a blog. Click here to download it.

CLICK HERE TO INSTANTLY DOWNLOAD MY FREE CHEAT SHEET: “3 INGREDIENTS TO A SUCCESSFUL BLOG.”

So what are you waiting for?  Go ahead test out these 3 ingredients for your next blog post.  Do you use your blog to build awareness of the problems you solve? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

 

6 Facebook mistakes

6 Facebook mistakes

Is your small business making any of these Facebook mistakes that could be a missed opportunity to connect with your potential audience?

In this article, I’ll share 6 Facebook mistakes entrepreneurs like you are making and how you can avoid them.

#1. Not filling out your About Section

The About section of your page has different categories that are determined by the category (type of business) which you choose for your page.  The category for my page is Brands & Products with a sub category of Product/Service.  Choose the category and subcategory that fits your business then fill out all the sections of your About Section.

You can make the information on your Short description section a lead magnet (free giveaway).  Tell people a little bit of information about the lead magnet or free giveaway and then link to it. This information shows on the left side of your Facebook page. The About section is indexed by Google so use keywords as much as possible.

About section1

The link to your free give away that you give in your Short description is shown below here on the left side of your page. Also when you add your website URL, this improves the ranking of your page in search. Notice how below you have an opportunity to put two hotlinks.  One, people can go to my website and opt in and get a free guide or they can go straight to my website.  So make sure to take advantage of your About section.

Short description of left side

 

I have created a FREE guide for you laying out proven content creating strategies on Facebook that will increase your engagement and help you get leads that convert to sales from your IDEAL customers.

 

#2. Not Linking your personal profile to your business page.

If you go to the About section of your Facebook profile and you have nothing for people to click under Work and Education, or it’s linking to a “dead page” then the smart move is to fix that ASAP. You could be losing potential customers!  When people come to your profile and want to connect with you on a business level, you want them to find you on your business page. So you want to make sure that you are making it easy for them to go over to your page by linking your profile to your business page.

link your profile to your business page

#3. Not using a Facebook business page

If you are an entrepreneur and don’t have a page at all, set up a Facebook page for your business and link it to your profile.  You can’t afford to lose anymore opportunities for your business. When you link your profile to your page, it shows at the very top of your About section as shown above and this helps you attract more fans and leads. Notice below how my facebook business page is different from my profile above.

Business page

#4. Not having a professional cover photo

Your cover photo is your first impression. It tells people who you are and what your business is about.  If you sell a product, use great imagery to showcase instantly what you are all about. You can showcase different products in your cover photo.

Take advantage of your cover photo and promote upcoming events such as a book or a speaking tour, a free giveaway, or if you are an author use your cover photo to promote your book.  If you are a local business such as a salon, a restaurant, a vineyard, a doctors office, you can use an image of your business location.   You can change your cover photo as many times as you want. Simple Green Smoothies does a great job show casing their different juices here.

Simple green smoothie

#5. Not posting consistently and regulary

How often do you visit a Facebook page that was updated 3 months ago? Probably never. Sticking to a consistent content calendar is the deal maker for your business.  Before you start posting ask yourself “What do I want to achieve with my posts?”  Is it a like, a comment, a share or a click? Post about niche-specific topics to build rapport with your fans.

Then determine how many times a day you are going to post.  If you are stuck with topics to post about, research new trends and updates in your niche as well as what your fans needs are.

#6. Keeping it all business

True there is no denying that social media sells stuff.  If you nurture the relationships that you create on social media it can impact your bottom line.   In his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk says that it’s important to understand the nuances (how people interact) of each social media platform.

For Facebook, people are there to interact with their friends and catch up.  So post content that seamlessly blends in with your fans behaviors without interrupting the conversation by sounding salesy and pushy.  When you are not too salesy people will trust and want to do business with you.

Take Action

Take 5 minutes to go through your Facebook business page. If you notice any of these mistakes, fix them as soon as possible.  Make it easy for your target audience to find you on Facebook where you can interact with them and solve their problems with your expertise.

Links mentioned in this post

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk

 

3 Specific Components of an Online Business

3 Specific components of an online business image

 

There are 3 specific components of an online business that I am happy to share with you.

I love how Melinda Emerson aka the Small Biz Lady uses the Three Legged Stool Marketing approach. Her approach is a must have for every entrepreneur.  Here are the 3 components of an online business using the three legged stool approach:

  1. A website/blog,
  2. Social Media platforms
  3. Email marketing campaigns.

1.     Your website

While you can’t sell your product, program or service on social media like Facebook, even though it’s an important piece of your marketing funnel (and it should be) you can sell from your website. Your website is literally your domain; meaning this is the one territory that you own and of which you have control.

There are many free tools such as WordPress.org that can help you create a website in no time. You don’t need to be a techie to do this, so if you are a newbie, don’t fret, the set up process is easy to understand and pretty simple. Once you have this piece taken care of, then you are well on your way to building relationships.

2.     Build Relationships with Social media platforms

The second piece which is the social media platforms is where the fun begins.  Once you have narrowed in on who your target audience is and where they hang out it is time to warm chatter them through your engagement on social media platforms. Word of caution – people are not on social media to buy, so engage authentically giving them value. Listen intently and find out what their pain points are.  Share things that are interesting and thought provoking. Remember the 3 Es – educate, entertain or empower with your posts. However, while it is great to engage with your fans on social media, remember, and I quote Facebook Queen Mari Smith in her recent interview with Buffer “engagement doesn’t pay the bills” move your audience to your website where you can convert them into paying customers.

3.     Nature Relationships through email marketing

You now have built relationships through social media channels and subscribers have given you their names and email addresses through your free giveaway aka lead magnet.  A lead magnet can be in many forms such as a free eBook, a cheat sheet, a discount coupon, a free webinar or free tips on your expertise.  They still have not bought from you so you need to nature them.

Take time to know them by creating a series of emails (auto responders) and great content on your blog that will make them keep coming back to you and eventually will buy from you when they are ready.  Make every effort to deliver value based content to benefit your prospect and not just you.  Don’t be afraid to show your true personality, as well as using your own story in your emails.  Your audience will know that you are real and you are just like them and they will connect with you.

There are several email service providers out there that you can use to help you automate your business.  Some of the popular ones are AWeber, MailChimp and Get Response to name a few.  To market online you legally need one to collect names and emails and to send emails.

So as you can see, there is a method to the madness.  Each one of the three components of an online business leads to each other and is crucial in order for one to sell a product, service or progam which ultimately is every entrepreneur’s goal, right?  I hope you can effectively use these three components as you build your business online.

If this post entertains, educates or empowers you please leave a comment and share with those who might benefit from it. I have created a FREE downloadable guide with tools to help you build your dream business.  Download it here.

 

 

5 tips for self discipline and business success

5 top tips for self-discipline cover

For the last couple of weeks I have been feeling frustrated about the way I have been spending my time when it comes to my business.  I would wake up energized with a list of about 10 things to do for the day but I would find that at the end of the day I had checked only one or two things off.

What’s been frustrating is that those things that I get to check off, rarely are they high value but are mostly low value activities such as paperwork, surfing the Internet, administrative work – nothing that contributes to my goal of sales generation.

Then I read this book by Brian Tracy “No Excuses! the Power of Self Discipline” which totally made me shift my daily activities from low value into high value customer relationship and income producing activities.  Here are tips and quotes from Brian Tracy and other famous Entrepreneurs that I would love to share with you.

  1. Concentrate on generating sales every hour of every business day

When it comes to self-discipline and sales, Tracy says “Whether you are a salesperson or a business owner, you require the self-discipline to focus and concentrate on generating sales every hour of every business day”.

That was powerful! This made me realize how much time I have been spending on things that were not bringing me closer to my core business goals.  I was so inspired that I stopped reading the book for a moment, picked up the phone and called all the prospective clients that I had been waiting to call “someday.”

Out of ten, I got an appointment with one and in three days he had become my customer. Talk about focus! Key thing to always remember: Increase face or ear time with customers and prospects.  Do your paperwork before or after work, but during working hours when customers are available to be seen or talked to, dedicate yourself to sales generation.

  1. Start Early.

This is another area that I have been struggling with.  But I learned that it’s all about discipline.  Discipline yourself to start work and 7:00am or 8:00am and make your calls or write that great content first thing in the morning.  Take two hours at the beginning of each week and create your social media posts for the week.

Use tools like Post Planner or Buzzsumo to find content that you can curate.  If you are an offline business and your job involves visiting clients, cluster your calls in a small geographic area where you can reach more people in a smaller amount of time.

  1. Work throughout the day.

As an entrepreneur you are your own boss. Avoid the temptation to slack off and go for coffee, lunch or surf the Internet. Pretend that you have a boss who is observing every move you make during the day. I like this because it gives you a sense that you are being accountable to someone else.

  1. Get Organized:

Do you subscribe to more newsletters than you can read and all you get is distracted to clicking 7 more links which waste your time and scatter your attention just to find you wasted 4 hours? Then block an hour right now and unsubscribe from some of those lists.

Let me help you figure out which ones must go. Ask yourself “how do I feel after I read from this person? Do I feel inspired to take action, does it add value to my life?  If your answer is no, be ruthless and press delete.

  1. Introduce the T.I.O method:

I learned this one from Marie Forleo.  It stands for Touch It Once.  In other words make a habit of touching something only once. When you open an email that needs to be replied, respond on the spot – it should take you no more than 10-30 seconds to do this.

This goes as well to opening your mail and putting things where you got them from including that one cup that you leave in the sink to clean later. T.I.O gives you time and energy to take advantage of only what matters.

 

Take Action
  1. In the next 30 minutes call on any prospects that you have been putting off for the “perfect time.” Start writing that blog post that the thought of writing has been scary even though you know it will be sooo valuable if you shared it with your fans and will get you closer to engaging with them.
  2. Block an hour to clean your electronic, physical and psychological space so you can create room for what is important.
  3. Overcome your fear of rejection.  Don’t take no personal.  Prospective customers will say “I don’t want it,” or “I can’t afford it” just know that those are normal and natural responses in a competitive marketplace.  So discipline yourself to call on more prospects.

Do you have a simple yet actionable advice to help us focus in our business? Let me know by leaving a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

I have created a PDF for you that you can print out and put it in your bulletin board or use it infront of your computer and use it every time you feel distracted from your core business goals.  Your free downloadable self discipline and business success guide – get it here
CLICK HERE TO INSTANTLY DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE: “5 TOP TIPS TO SELF-DISCIPLINE AND BUSINESS SUCCESS
Links mentioned in this blog.

No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

Hiring a Social Media Manager

Hiring a community manager

If you are a small business owner like me, you are most likely the CEO, the marketer, the assistant and are pulled in a million different directions. Hiring a community manager might be just the answer to help you maximize

As a smart marketer, you understand that Facebook is a core social network that you should use to get exposure, get more leads and make more money.  So neglecting your Facebook page can come at a cost too much to bear.

However, in order to have a successful Facebook page it is crucial to have a plan and strategy to build your fan base. That includes using the right content to build engagement with your fans which in return builds affinity. If you find that you have no time to manage your page, then I recommend you hire a community manager either internally or by outsourcing one.

The advantages of hiring an internal community manager is that they are familiar with your company’s mission, products or services.  However, if this is not possible and you have to outsource one, be sure to train him/her well and monitor activity closely the first couple of months.
A community manager is an admin for your Facebook page.  The community manager must understand your overall Facebook marketing plan and execute it daily.  Their responsibility is to make sure that the page is running smoothly.  Meaning they know what to post, when to post, how to engage with your community or fans on their terms and most importantly that they know how to use your voice.
All this will increase your reach and visibility.  Because lets face it when your online community is engaged, they will stay interested in your blog, product or service. So all this is well worth your time and effort.
Some of the characteristics that you should look for when selecting a community manager are; in addition to being someone who is passionate about your goals and vision, good communication skills, a good listener, one who enjoys working with people of all type personalities and has a professional and positive attitude at all times.
While all these characteristics are great, it is important to have a community manager who can connect with your audience.  People are not on Facebook to buy your products or services at least not initially, they are there to make connections.  So a community manager who understands your audience and the nuances of Facebook as well as one who contributes to ideas to grow your audience will be a great investment to your company.
If you have several page admins for your page, the community managers role would be to manage them. He/she decides the role each admin plays based on their skill sets and strength so everyone is on the same page.  With an admin team, you can optimize time and resources. You have the advantage of having your page managed and monitored every day at any given time.  It also enables you to give excellent support to your fans by engaging and answering their questions.
Be sure that you have a clear plan for your marketing strategy before the community manager can assign different roles to different admins.
What to consider while creating a Facebook Marketing Strategy
  1. Creating some guidelines of what type of content that you will have on your Facebook page.
  2. Are you going to post videos, text, images or links or are you going to mix them up?
  3. How often to post.  For example , you can decide to post 3 inspirational or motivatinal posts a day, 1 humor type post a day, 2 business related posts a day and 1 blog post a day.  Some people post 1/3 of their own content and 2/3 of other peoples content that they find valuable. This “giving love to others” strategy is great especially for new entrepreneurs who are looking to network with others in their niche.  When you post other peoples great content that is valuable to your fans, you become a great resource to your fans and they will always expect to read from you.
  4. When to engage with your fans answering questions and giving them support.
The Roles of an Admin
  • Any admin can post on the Facebook status update as the page and not as their profile.  If they want to post as themselves they would have to remove themselves as admins of that page. They can also add their names every time they comment so the fans know whom from the team  is interacting with them
  • All admins have the capability of editing the page which means they can add or edit posts, videos, as well as organize the tabs and change the profile.
Since all admins have full access to your page they can add or delete other admins – so looking for someone with integrity during the selection process is key here.  With all these accessiblity of multiple people to your page the community manager should set strict guidelines based on your mission and goals on each individual roles so that everyone is clear on their roles.
To add an admin to your page just go to your Facebook page and click on Settings.  Then click on Page Roles,  and then click on to Add Another Person.  Under Specify an Email Address, add their email address and under the drop down arrow you will see a variety of roles, select one and save changes.  Here on the dashboard of your Facebook page you can add or remove admins.
Add-page-admin
And now over to you.  I would love to hear how your company manages your Facebook page. Feel free to share your ideas or comments below.
My free guide this week has tips that will inspire you to create content on Facebook that will get you more leads from your ideal audience. Sign up below to get it right now.

5 Tips to make Facebook work for you organically

 

5 Tips to make Facebook work for you organically cover

You have worked hard and feel that you have earned the right to promote your products or services to your fans but the game has changed and you are now required to pay to play on Facebook. Are you noticing a decline of your Facebook reach this year? As you know that the only constant in Facebook is change, January 2015 came in with a significant change in Facebook. After doing a survey with a segment of their users about what they cared to see on their newsfeed, Facebook reported on their blog that they decided to tighten control of content that is seen as promotional. Here is what Facebook said:

“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

So how do you determine what looks promotional on Facebook?

• Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
• Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
• Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

As a marketer what are you to do? If you are like me or any other small business with a small advertising budget, you must be frustrated and about to throw in the towel with Facebook. However, don’t give up because with a little tweak of your marketing strategy you can still reach a decent proportion of your fans organically (FREE).
Facebook wants its users to get the best experience from the pages they have liked and so they only posts to your fans newsfeed what they think will add value to them. If your fans have not engaged with your posts either by liking, commenting, sharing or clicking on a link, then Facebook assumes that they don’t care about that content and therefore does not push your posts into those fans newsfeed.

Here are 5 tips to use to make Facebook work organically for you:

1. Give value with your content
Engage with your audience by posting content that adds value. Find out what your ideal audience’s pain points are and post content that helps solve their problem. Your content should not look salesy but instead create content that sparks engagement. Content that teaches people to do something such as a “how to” video goes along way with engagement in Facebook. Oreo’s video on how to make an Oreo Banana cream pie is a good example and gets tonnes of views and shares!

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 2. Have a goal for your post?

When you post content, have one of these goals in mind. Is it a Like, a comment, a share or a click on a link that you want from your post? With a clear goal in mind you will be able to post content that elicits one of those four actions. A good example of a post that elicits shares is an inspiring quote. People like to be inspired, so if it evokes emotion they will like your quote. Another thing is that people want to look good to their friends when sharing content, so if you post an inspiring quote, chances are it will get to be shared. Always remember to include your logo on your post so when it gets shared non-fans get to know your brand. Check how this post by Iyanla Vanzant gets tens of thousands of likes – and thousands of shares!

3. Make it personal.
You have heard this before- “people like to do business with those whom they like and trust.”  (Tweet this) Occasionally post a personal post. This can be a family vacation you took or a behind the scenes photo of your office and your staff. Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media does a great job with this post inviting her fans to know her better.

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 4. Ask compelling questions of your audience

Ask questions in your post that relate to your brand that resonate with them that they can comment on. Even though likes are great, comments on Facebook are more valuable. People love to be asked for an opinion. Melanie Duncan asks her fans of their opinion regarding products she is creating. This has two benefits – one it works as a survey to find out if this is something they care about. Many people make mistakes by creating a product that they had not researched to see if there is a need for it. Second you are letting them know that you are soon going to be launching a new product.

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5. Use link share posts on your images

If you want to drive traffic to your website then link share posts are a surefire way to lead your fans there. Link share posts are posts that when clicked on, drive the lead to a different destination. Facebook recommends this kind of posts and says that they help your content get pushed in the newsfeed. The way you post a link share post is you simply copy and paste the URL on your status update, it then pulls the image. Once it is pulled you can delete the URL and add whatever title you wish. In this example this image by Melinda Emerson is clickable not only on the image but also on the text below and drives her fans to her website to read the rest of the blog post from there.

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How about you? What are you doing to boost your engagement on Facebook? Leave a comment below and remember to share with someone whom you think might like this post. Have fun crafting engage-worthy posts.  Be sure to download my free eBook on how to use images to increase your organic reach on Facebook.  Click here for your free download.


How Your Brand can steal the Valentine moment in Facebook

How your brand can seize the valentine moment in Facebook image
According to Facebook business news, Americans spent a whopping estimated $17.3 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2014! I bet that you know that Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days of the year to get engaged. What does this mean for your business?  It means that as a brand you have the opportunity to engage with the engaged couples as well as the 2.6 reported engaged couples in Facebook, the weeks following the holiday and be a part of their wedding journey and more.
Did you know that nearly two thirds of Americans don’t start to plan until a week or less before Valentines? Now is a good time to connect with those 18-44 year old men who are now planning their gift giving.
And of course you don’t want to forget those not engaged as Valentines is not just for those in a relationship.  The most popular topics on Valentines day on Facebook in the US are Love, Family and Friends.  So go ahead and reach out to others not in a relationship with encouraging posts that will evoke emotions to connect with their loved ones.
Read more on this topic here.