Ooh there’s nothing like a good promo to get the sales reeling in!
There are so many different types of promos you could run, but we’ll get to that, let’s start with when you can run a special promotion to your store;
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday
- Valentines Day
- In fact any big sporting event
- 4th July
- Any topical event – Election Day / Impeachment Day / Brexit / Megxit
- Your birthday
- Your Mum’s birthday
- Your dog’s birthday
- Weekend sale
Hee Hee, I think you get the point. 😂
There are the obvious winners, but essentially you can run a promotion whenever you darn well please!
So what kind of promos can you run?
Well here’s the folks at The Good.com with not one, not two, but 78 ideas for promotions!
Some of my favorites include;
- Product giveaway with a coupon code for all those who didn’t win
- A 3 day flash sale
- An automatic discount (a beautiful feature in Shopify which allows you to create an automatic discount on all or specific products / collections which is automatically calculated at checkout)
- 2 for 1 deal
- Free + Shipping deal
In fact let’s look at some awesome promo examples so you can see some of these suggestions in action!
1. Muffin Sisters
The Muffin Sisters sell beautiful baby & kids goods inspired by African Culture. Here’s their latest IG giveaway, note how this will increase their follower account (follow us), their engagement (comment) and their brqnd awareness (tag a friend, share on your story).
Nice I might do something similar myself!
2. Ancient Ways Botanicals
Here Ancient Ways Botanicals are using ‘Upviral‘ created by the fabulous Wilco de Kriej who I mentioned in the section on Facebook Ads to generate leads via a very generous gift card giveaway!
Ketonia is using Gleam.io for their giveaway which is a fab platform for running contests & giveaways. The bottom section allocates points for actions you take and can include all sorts of actions such as visiting your IG or FB page, signing up to your newsletter, referring friends etc.
4. Man Of Steel
Warner Bros. Man of Steel’s Facebook Contest was a photo contest. Participants simply had to upload a photo of themselves showing how they were the biggest fan of all things Superman. The weekly winner’s photo was featured on their Facebook page as the “Fan of the week”. What I like about this campaign is that it was predicated on ‘user generated content’ which we talked about a couple of days ago. That would mean that fans would share with friends and so on, helping the word spread fast!
5. Similar to Muffin Sisters, Book Prunelle is running an IG giveaway to increase followers, engagement and brand awareness. How could you do something similar in your business?
I’m going to refer back to Ezra’s video from Day 14 also as it really is such a great example of a holiday sale and he runs through the whole funnel plus upsets in such detail, if you’re at this stage it’s very much worth a watch;
Do not be afraid to run a good promo. Everyone loves a sale and the more fun you can make it, the better!
So spend some time dreaming up reasons for giving your audience a bargain of a lifetime (always ensuring your promos are profitable of course) and enjoy getting the word out about your products! :)
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Ok my friend, let’s eat that frog first.
Adding your domain.
Now remember in Day 6 when we talked about domains and I said it was your choice whether to secure a domain from an external registrar or buy directly with Shopify?
Well now we want to add said domain to your store.
If you have purchased directly from Shopify this will be super easy. You will simply connect your new domain to your store from the Shopify Domains section within the settings area.
If however you’re using a domain purchased from a 3rd party domain registrar, the setup is slightly more complex, dependent on the provider.
Luckily for us, Shopify has step by step instructions for all the domain providers out there so even if you have purchased a domain from someone a little obscure the chances are they have you covered!
However before you run off to consume the instructions, I have good news if you’re a GoDaddy user!
Shopify & Godaddy have made it super easy for you and all you need to do is;
1. Head to domains in the backend of your Shopify store.
2. Click on ‘Connect Existing Domain’
3. Add in your Godaddy purchased domain
4. Click ‘Connect Automatically’
Shopify will verify the settings, it can take anywhere from a few minutes up to 24 hours for the domain to ‘propagate’, meaning getting updated by servers across the web and actually working when you type it in, but essentially your new domain should now work and show your shopify store when you type it into a browser.
One last step though, in order to get rid of the shopify created url, e.g., storename.myshopify.com, you will need to set the new domain as the primary domain.
This thankfully is super easy, you just go back into domains and click ‘Change Primary Domain’
Then click your new domain which will show in the pop up window and click Save. (Please note nothing is showing in mine apart from the main shopify domain because it’s merely a test store and I haven’t added any other domains. But once yours has propagated it will show up).
If unfortunately you’re not a godaddy user, then once you enter your domain in the domain field, Shopify will redirect to their instruction page for each provider depending on which provider you’re with.
You then have the option to try to work it out, hand it over to a good friend or someone you know who is a bit techie to work out for you, call or email the support people at the domain registrar (probably the next sensible option) hire a shopify expert to do it for you (bit pricey), or find someone on Upwork / Fiverr.
What do I do if my domain is already being hosted elsewhere Jo?
Aha! This was an issue I had way back when, when setting up our first store to work alongside our Amazon business.
If you have already purchased your domain and have moved the hosting of that domain over to your hosting company, then you’re going to need to change the domain settings from within the cpanel of your hosting company.
As I am not a technical expert and I could totally lead you up the garden path with this one, my advice? Call your hosting company.
Explain what you want to do and ask them to assist.
If you’re unable to get any support from your hosting company, take my word for it, you’re with the wrong hosting company!
If all else fails, go and find a super clever techie on Upwork who can just make it all happen for you; set up a lovely working domain, emails, the whole shebang and you can go to bed sleeping soundly in the knowledge someone far techier than you is dealing with the whole thing!
What if I want to add Shopify to an existing brand or blog Jo?
Oh my goodness! You really are testing me now aren’t you!
Ok you have a couple of options.
1. Simply add buy buttons to your website.
For only $9 a month you can purchase a Shopify Lite plan and set up buy buttons for all your products which you can place anywhere on your website.
This means you never actually have a full store front, you’re given a backend to create and setup all your products and then the facility to create buy buttons to add to your sites wherever they may be.
2. Create a Subdomain
If however you want a shop and you want it under the umbrella of your brand, you’ll have to create a subdomain.
Something like shop.yourlifestylebusiness.com (which I daresay will be the domain for my upcoming store!).
I am not even going to try to explain how to go about setting up subdomains as it will be different depending on your hosting provider, so my advice?
Call your hosting company.
Explain what you want to do and ask them to assist.
If you’re unable to get any support from your hosting company, take my word for it, you’re with the wrong hosting company!
If all else fails, go and find a super clever techie on Upwork who can just make it all happen for you; set up a lovely working domain, emails, the whole shebang and you can go to bed sleeping soundly in the knowledge someone far techier than you is dealing with the whole thing!
Deja vu anyone?
Years ago I was obsessed with working out all this stuff on my own and I once spent 4 hours trying to get a paypal button to open in a new tab. For those of you who have messed around with your websites over the years, you will know it’s literally a piece of code you add to a link which opens the link in a new tab ‘target_blank’. That’s it. That took me over 4 hours.
I also know that there are umpteen videos on YouTube about creating subdomains, managing your DNS records and such like.
But I ask you, do you want to create a fab store and sell amazing products which delight or enhance people’s lives or do you want to spend hours of your valuable time playing with code.
You don’t need to know how to do everything. Spend your time on the important stuff like sourcing awesome products, creating great copy, promoting your amazing store and leave the techie stuff to, well, techies! 😁
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So as I highlighted in ‘How Not to Start & Grow an Ecommerce Business‘, it took me almost 3 weeks alone to get this part done, but as I explained that was simply because I was a bit of a slacker / busy with other stuff in between.
I could have done this in 2 – 3 dedicated days if I had put my mind to it.
I stupidly created 187 products.
I do not recommend that. At all. Not even close.
How many products you start with really depends on the type of store and the model you’re choosing.
- If your goal is to sell print on demand watches for example, you might want to start with one style of watch, but 5 – 10 different colours.
- If you want to sell novelty t-shirts, you might start with one style of shirt, but 5 – 10 different slogans or designs.
- If you’re following the drop-shipping model and want to test a few different niches before you pick the one you want to work with, you might pick 5 different niches and offer one product per niche to begin with.
- If you’ve defined your niche, you might find 2 – 3 different products within that niche that you really want to focus your time and energy on.
There really are no hard and fast rules, but when you’re just starting out, I would start small.
The work that goes into enhancing quality product images, creating product descriptions and then marketing those products is quite time consuming and right now you have little evidence your products are going to sell.
So you do not want to be creating hundreds of products only to find 99 of them are duds and it took you hours and hours to get them up and running.
Test & measure is the key here my friend!
So if you’re only going to add 1 – 10 products to your store there is absolutely no reason you cannot do it all in one single day.
1. Print on Demand
So adding your products here will depend entirely on which print on demand platform you have chosen to use.
But you will need to have decided the range of products you’re going for, i.e., t-shirts, socks, bags etc., and you will need to have prepared the designs to go on those products.
Each platform will have specifications for sizes and style of designs.
(As a previous user of teelaunch however, I recommend you look at each product for the specific file guide to ensure your image is sized correctly for that specific product as 2400px may be the minimum but it certainly is not the maximum.)
Adding the App
So firstly you’ll need to install the relevant app to your Shopify store.
1. Head to ‘Apps’ in the backend of your Shopify store & click ‘Visit the Shopify App Store’
2. Add the name of the app you’re looking for
3. Select the correct app
4. Click Add App
5. Then Install the App
6. You may have to create an account with the app platform at this stage
8. Then just follow the on screen instructions to complete the installation of your app.
Add Your Products
Now it’s time to add your products!
Here is a fab video from the team over at Printful showing you how to create a t-shirt on their platform!
If you’re not using Printful, check out the support section of the app you’re using or head to YouTube and type in ‘adding a design on X’ (x being your print on demand platform of choice), I’m pretty sure you’ll find someone to show you how.
Create Your Product Descriptions
So once you have uploaded your designs, created the product and added it to your store, you now need to ensure you have included the correct pricing and written a fabulous product description for each of your products.
I challenge you to be super creative here!
Don’t just go with the standard ‘White cotton T-shirt, safe for the washing machine, all sizes available’.
Go crazy! Appeal to your ideal audience by attracting them to your products with educational, informative or entertaining copy.
In fact the super talented writer Henneke Duistermaat from Enchanting Marketing wrote for the Shopify blog 9 Ways To Write Product Descriptions that Inform and Persuade Your Customers
Now whilst our product descriptions weren’t the best in the world by far mainly because there were just far too many to write…
At least they were a little creative and a good starting point. Remember you can always come back and play & tweak with everything later. For now be as creative as you can but don’t try to be perfect because perfection leads to procrastination!
Lastly, particularly if you’re selling apparel or accessories, head to placeit.net and create some images of actual real people interacting with your designs, either wearing them or using them.
Get some nice real life images you can add to your product so that when your visitor is hovering over the images on your product page they can see the products in action!
At some stage in the future you can swap these out for images sent to you by your customers! We’ll get to that in the marketing section.
So that my friend is that! In summary;
1. Select product
2. Upload design / choose colours, sizes etc
3. Add pricing info
4. Add product description
5. Add some ‘real life’ images of your product in action.
Do that for all your products and get them live on your site (which is not yet live I’m presuming), so you can see what they all look like and get excited!
If your plan is to launch with just Print on Demand products then you can almost call it a day now and go and get a cuppa! But before you do just take a quick look at the section at the bottom of this post titled ‘General Product Settings‘.
I just want to touch on Shipping & Collections before you run off.
However, if you want to launch a drop-shipping store, then stay with me here as that’s next!
In theory adding products for drop-shipping is far simpler.
This is because some super clever people have created apps like Oberlo that work directly with drop shipping suppliers allowing you to basically click a few buttons and get your chosen products live on your store.
I say in theory because of course these things never quite work out as simply as we would like right? 😂
Add Your App
Firstly as with Print on Demand above you will need to add the Oberlo app to your Shopify store. Please see above for directions on how to do that (choosing Oberlo as your app of choice of course).
Find and Add Your Products
Once installed you’ll be taken to the Oberlo dashboard where you’ll be asked to select a product.
There is also a playlist of videos walking you through exactly how drop-shipping with Oberlo works.
The Shopify Help Center YouTube channel also has a playlist of 16 videos specifically about Oberlo if you want to get your head around how it all works before installing the app.
Click ‘Explore Products’ in the dashboard and enter the search terms you used when originally sourcing your products or the actual product name and fingers crossed your products should magically appear!
Hover over your product of choice and click ‘Add to Import List’.
Select any other products you would like to add to your import list and either click ‘Edit Import List’, or simply click on “Import List’ in the left hand menu bar.
Add Product Descriptions
Here your chosen products will be displayed and you can now go about the task of changing the titles, description etc.
Please read the section on adding product descriptions above as it’s equally as pertinent here.
When you’re ready click ‘Import to Store’ and you will now be able to see and edit your product directly on Shopify.
(Note you can do this as soon as you have added the product to your Import List and do all of your editing from within the Shopify store if you choose.)
Here you can change the title, description, price, add more images, create tags to make the product easy to find, add to a collection etc.
And that my friend is that, your product is live on your store.
Wow! Super easy right?
There is a ton of information on drop-shipping. So much that you can become quickly overwhelmed.
Personally I would start with the video playlist I linked to above and then the videos freely available from within the Oberlo app. That’s certainly going to help you get your head around how it all works.
Helpful Drop-Shipping Resources
If you’re looking for further resources particularly regards product selection, niches, setting up your drop shipping store, working with suppliers etc, here are some resources (non affiliated) I hope will help;
1. The Oberlo Course – $49.90 (I haven’t taken it so I can’t vouch for it but the information they freely publish is pretty darn good, so it bodes well for their paid course).
2. My pal Nick Peroni’s Ecom Empires. Completely free with lots of very solid information on finding great products, store case studies etc.
3. Justin Woll’s Beyond Six Figures – Definitely for the more data driven entrepreneur, his group has hundreds of success stories and he’s super generous with his information.
4. Adrian Morrison’s Profit Power Hours – Another very generous guy who hosts weekly webinars on all aspects of ecommerce (primarily marketing strategies).
Alright so in summary;
1. Add Oberlo app to store
2. Search for selected products
3. Add to Import List
4. Add to Store
5. Add product descriptions, titles, prices, more images etc.
Boom! You’re up, up and away!
Now you can go and grab a cuppa or something stronger which you may well need to start working your way through all those Oberlo videos! 😂
Although before you go, do please take a quick look at the section at the bottom of this post titled ‘General Product Settings‘.
I just want to touch on Shipping & Collections in case you were wondering…
Lastly for uploading products I want to talk about adding your own products that you make or have supplied by a local supplier.
3. Adding Your Own or Locally Supplied Products
First things first, you do not need an app! Yippeee.
You will be loading your products directly onto Shopify and adding your product descriptions, images, pricing etc, directly into the products section in the backend of Shopify.
Here is a short video from the official Shopify Help Center YouTube Channel explaining how to add a product;
As explained in the video you won’t need to add every setting they explain, just go through the process and add what’s relevant to you and your business.
Here’s a detailed article also if you prefer to walk through it step by step with screenshots.
1. Add product
2. Create headline (title)
3. Add description
4. Add images
5. Add your price (and sale price if applicable)
Bob’s Your Uncle! Your product can now be viewed on your store.
General Product Settings
1. Compare at Price
The compare at price is the higher price you’d enter if you wanted your product to display a sale price.
The only time I have ever used inventory is to post 0 when we’ve run out of stock so it says ‘Sold Out’ on the product.
Getting started you won’t have much call for the inventory settings so you can probably leave them for now but should you want to know more in the future here is the Inventory help doc from Shopify.
3. I talked a bit about Shipping yesterday.
My recommendation at this stage to get off the ground would be to offer free worldwide shipping and price your shipping costs into the price of the product, but at some point you may want to revise that especially as your store gets more popular.
It would be lovely to have Amazons deep pockets I’m sure but you are just one small store in a sea of stores and you’ve got to make a living right?!
Take a look at yesterdays post and section 4 Shipping to see the video on setting up your Shipping profiles.
Also here’s an article from Shopify which explains how to create free shipping rates if that’s what you want to do.
I love collections and this is basically the fundamental way you will organise your store.
If you look at the menu bar of Legends Not Ladies, when you click on any of those menu headers a collection of my products will display organised by tags or type (in case you were wondering what they were for). But you don’t have to create collections just for your menu bar, you can create collections of specific types of products, sale items, from a specific supplier and more.
Here is a video showing you how to create a manual collection;
But the magic my friend is in the automatic collections! Here is a video showing you how to set those babies up!
Phew! I told you today would be a long one!
I hope this has helped.
Your work here is done my friend. I’ll see you tomorrow for creating and adding email campaigns!
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Your first sale! Whoop Whoop!!!
First thing to do is dance around the room to your favorite tune!
Then when the dust has settled, just go through the sale making sure everything looks good. Has the first email gone out, is the product in process, does everything look like it worked?
If so well done my friend, your journey has begun! :)
I actually had my first sale on Legends Not Ladies within about 48 hours of my first facebook ad.
That’s how fast it can happen if you have a unique product and target the right market.
I’m not going to say my stuff started to fly off the shelves at that point as that would be a gross misrepresentation of the truth, but I went on to make $550 worth of sales over my little Black Friday campaign before my credit card decided it didn’t like the charges coming from that little known social media platform Facebook and stopped payments.
(I do have a bit of an over zealous fraud flagging credit card, which is a constant source of frustration to be honest, but I guess it stops me spending too much!)
At that point I decided not to restart the ads as although I was making sales, I was losing money and the whole thing needed far more time and attention than I had at that moment. See my ‘here’s what I should have done’ lessons on ‘How Not to Start & Grow an Ecommerce Business’ post.
But what if you’ve been creating lots of content, tested some ads, seem to have lots of engagement on your posts and conversations, but no sales?
It could be any number of things along your funnel from your copy to your product to the checkout page. Let’s look at some obvious ones;
1. Product! Are you selling a quality, preferably unique product that meets a need of your ideal customer?
If you’re simply out there flogging the latest best seller on Amazon, chances are you’re competing with thousands of other sellers, many of whom with deeper pockets than you or I.
As much as you possibly can, ensure your product or your brand is totally unique to you, making it stand out from your competition.
2. Your sales page (otherwise known as your product page on Shopify). Are you using big, clear attractive images? Have you got a creative description with a call to action? Have you got a video? Is your Add to cart button clearly visible? Do you have trust buttons etc?
3. Your checkout page. Do you have the relevant trust buttons etc? Is everything working ok? Have you run a test sale?
4. Your target market. Have you clearly identified who you’re targeting and why? Are you speaking in a way that resonates with them? Are you providing value or fun in your copy or ads which then encourages them to learn more or click through to your product?
If you have all of those confidently in place, then you really should be making a sale or two fairly quickly off the bat, but if that’s not the case then you’d need to start digging into your numbers.
Feel free to join our free Facebook Community where you can share your journey with other like minded entrepreneurs who are on the same journey as you!
Be aware though that it can take time for sales to materialize.
According to Salesforce it can take 6 – 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead, so you need to be out there telling the world about your awesome products as much as you can!
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Something you’ll want to start working on as soon as possible is getting rave reviews for all of your products on your site.
Reviews are going to be vital for increasing your add to carts and sales.
As I highlighted yesterday, people will trust a review from a fellow customer before they’ll trust anything that you as the seller will say about your superb and unmissable products!
There are a multitude of review apps and platforms on the web today, but for me there is one outstanding winner!
In fact here is a post I wrote a couple of years back when searching for the perfect review app for our kitchen product store we were running at the time.
It’s well worth a quick read actually, but the highlights are I was quoted $16,000 a year for one platform – yep that reads sixteen thousand dollars and consequently found another platform which did everything I wanted and more for $15 / month!
So when setting up my most recent ecom site, I went straight to the $15 / month review app which is just as smooth and easy to use now as it was then!
What’s more, on writing this post and linking back to my original review post I found a comment from the founder of said app on my blog! Now that’s approachable.
So my friends I recommend when setting up your store you look no further than a fab review app called Judge.me (not an affiliate link)
Here’s a video showing how to to set it up on your store in under 2 minutes;
Once you’ve installed it, it’s very user intuitive and you’ll have no problem working your way through it customizing all the buttons and colors etc.
They also have fantastic help documentation and second to none customer service so I promise you, you’re in great hands!
How to start getting reviews when you haven’t sold any product yet?
This is where family & friends come in!
Get your product out to anyone you know who will be happy to come and leave you a review on your store to get you started.
And if you happen to be setting this store up after having received reviews for your product on other platforms like Amazon etc, then you can import those reviews straight into your store using judge.me!
If you’re on any groups in FB or in conversations with people on Insta, nothing stopping you from sending out a few ‘review’ products with the deal being they get the product free for a review.
This isn’t Amazon my friend, there are no rules on getting reviews or the threat of them being removed! So get out there and tout your products far and wide.
Just one sure to get honest reviews from people who have actually tried your product. That’s just good ethics.
You really are rocking and rolling now my friend and should be well on your way to your first sale!
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User generated content is exactly what it says it is. Content generated by customers, your audience or users of your product or service.
It is absolutely invaluable, creating trust for your brand that you will never be able to create on your own!
Think about when you are considering a purchase. Who do you trust more, the company selling or a friend who recently bought the same thing?
What you’re looking for is solicited & unsolicited reviews, pictures & conversations on social media of people who have purchased your products.
An ecommerce brand that’s absolutely got this down is ‘Live a Great Story‘
They sell t-shirts, stickers, accessories etc all with the words ‘Live a Great Story’. Their entire brand is based on people buying their products and taking pictures of themselves ‘living a great story’!
One of the best examples of user generated content and viral sharing I have ever seen.
So how can you encourage your users to share pictures of themselves with your products?
1. Firstly make it super easy for people to share content on the social networks and create your own custom and easy to remember / use hashtag.
2. Then ask your customers to share photos of themselves using your products or talking about you!
When they first buy, in one of your follow up emails, ask them that if they love the product or service you’d love them to share a photo tagging your social media account as they do!
Perhaps you’ll offer a discount code on further purchases or instant access to a loyalty club, or something that’s not on offer elsewhere as an incentive.
But simply asking is a very powerful way of getting what you want in life!
3. Run a giveaway with the entry requirement being to take a photo with one of your products or talking about your service to enter and tag you in the photo.
Host it on your website as a never ending weekly giveaway for the best photo!
4. As soon as you get some photos, you need to showcase them on your website and across social media and even include them in the email you send out asking new purchasers to do the same.
Social proof is a powerful thing.
5. Post your reviews. When a customer leaves a review on your site, simply screenshot it and post it on your social networks.
6. Support a cause. Single Grain gave a fab example on their post 8 Ways to Encourage More User Generated Content.
Aerie, a lingerie & sleepwear brand ran a campaign “pledging $1 to the National Eating Disorder Association for every Instagram user that posted an unedited photo of themselves wearing a bathing suit.
What a great way to raise brand awareness, support a worthwhile cause and empower their customers all at the same time!
Here are some more great examples of brands who leveraged user generated content to further their reach;
Starbucks hold contests like the #RedCupContest to incentivize their customers to participate online for a reward. Users will have to buy a red cup first and take a picture.
Travelex launched a 12-month photo contest campaign, and used unique hashtags each month to encourage their fans to participate.
Dove is well known for using real women in their ads and campaigns but an impromptu shout out by a singing legend is above and beyond!
Here singer Anastacia changes her ‘Outta Love’ lyrics to ‘I’m Outta Dove’ in her bathroom while quarantining during the current health crisis.
Now there’s an impactful piece of User Generated content if I ever saw it!
View this post on Instagram
#Regram #NotAnAd @anastaciamusic made us smile with her latest surprise hit 🎶 We might have a #1 on our hands 😂 How have you been keeping yourself entertained at home? We’d love to see (or hear!) Tag us, tell us 👇 … or record us a song 🎤 #Dove #StayAtHome #HomeConcert #QuarantineSong #StaySafe
4. Amy Porterfield & Marie Forleo
Wondering how to utilise user generated content for a digital or service based brand, well look no further than these two pros!
Here Amy Porterfield is promoting Marie Forleo’s upcoming B-School via a treasure hunt for a signed copy of Marie’s new book ‘Everything is Figureoutable’.
Winners will upload a photo of themselves with the book & tagging Amy & Marie in the process.
What a fun way to get some exposure and to promote a quality brand as an affiliate!
Ok so this was a one off (to date), but here is my good friend Dan from @wanderingworthy, promoting me on his story!
As I write we’re currently in a race to see who can get to 10,000 followers the fastest. It’s just a bit of fun and he started way ahead of me, but in the process we’ll undoubtedly promote each other as we talk about and tell people to follow us to beat the other!
Who said this can’t be fun! :)
When just starting out the best way to get a user generated content campaign off the ground is to call on family, friends or people you’ve met and networked with in facebook groups or on Insta.
Ask a select group if you can send them one of your products for free whether it be physical or digital and if they would then take a photo of themselves wearing or using it.
It will only take a few photos for you to start getting the ball rolling!
So start today, get some messages out to family & friends right now, offering a free product or consult for a photo and a review!
With that being said lets move onto reviews….
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I’ve always found the concept of influencer marketing uncomfortable.
When I was starting out back in 2010, it seemed that so much of people’s success came from ‘who they knew rather than what they knew’.
Wasn’t it Robert Kiyosaki who said ‘Your Network is your net worth’?
People were being catapulted from obscurity because they’d stumbled across a trending idea, created a course on it, had met an ‘influencer’ at a conference and next thing were being touted as the biggest thing in ‘X’ by the influencer and all his / her (mainly his back then) friends.
Then after 2 years of webinars and launches and scarcity and aggressive sales, poof! They were gone just like that.
In other scenarios, groups of people would get to know each other at conferences or events and suddenly all be promoting each others stuff to their audiences. You couldn’t go to one website without seeing the face and endorsement of one of the others in the group and vice versa. It was like the brat pack back in the 80’s. Remember them?
This strategy is actually a great strategy for helping you to get exposure and I wasn’t a stranger to it myself.
Early in my career I joined the lovely Chris Farrell membership program, traveled to LA to meet with him and sure enough we became friends and as he talked about me it increased my exposure. It was a happy side effect of a great friendship.
However, on the whole I found it very intimidating. I lived primarily in and around Asia (still do), didn’t get to many networking events and found it tough to make the relationships online, so I went another route which was to focus solely on my customers.
A slower but very fulfilling route to success!
So what am I saying?…
Well firstly as a lifestyle business owner, your primary focus are your customers.
End of story, there is no competition.
If your whole mindset is on how to make your products the best products for your customer, how to meet the needs of your customer in the very best way and how to give your customer the best experience possible at some point influencers will find you!
Jeff Bezos says ‘ “If there’s one reason we have done better than of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word-of-mouth is so very, very powerful.”
So you should always focus more on your customers than you do relationships with other successful marketers or instagrammers etc.
Influencer marketing is another tool to help you get your message, service, product, ideas out there but it’s not the be all and end all.
However, getting your product or service in front of the audience of a respected influencer will without doubt speed up the rate at which you can attract new customers and serve more people.
So how do you go about it, in a non intimidating, organic way that builds relationships as well as helps you to grow your business?
1. Before we get to any tactics or strategies, check your mindset.
Do you have a closed, this is my idea, I can’t share it with anyone, everyone is my competition mindset?
Or do you have an open, there is enough space in this world, enough people online and enough abundance for me to have my slice of the cake while also collaborating and working with others?
Working with other people requires the latter.
I will never forget and have referred to it often through the years, a webinar I attended back in 2010 / 2011 hosted by facebook expert, author & speaker Mari Smith. She talked about social media superstars and their character traits, one of which was that they were hugely inclusive.
I get that you could be a bit nervous of being super inclusive, as what if your customers run off to one of the competitors you’re being so openly collaborative about?
Well that’s where the open mindset needs to step in.
Yes some customers may prefer someone else to you and have only found them through you, but they’ll also always appreciate the fact you were the introducer.
Many more will stick with you precisely because you’re so secure in your own knowledge of how much value you provide or how great your customer experience is and that you’re not in any way scared of increasing the value you add by bringing other people to the table.
Perhaps if the world worked more in this way, it would be a better place, but that’s for another discussion altogether.
So open your mind my friend and think collaboratively not competitively.
2. Create what my good friend Dan Morris calls a ‘universal spreadsheet’.
- Who are the influencers in your niche / industry?
- Who’s creating great content?
- Who are your customers following?
- Who are your customers engaging with?
- Who holds great values that you can align with?
- Who tends to promote and champion other brands / content?
These don’t all have to be the top influencers with millions of fans & followers. Fine if you want to include some of those folks for when you’re reaching dizzying heights, but you can also start with the next rung up from you and the next rung up from them.
Make a list of 10 – 20 influencers who fit with your brand & niche.
Add them to a spreadsheet detailing who they are, the best place to find them, any contact details you can find for them, how big their audience is and any relevant comments for your reference.
At this point you might also want to split them between the smaller influencers and the bigger influencers as your communication strategy might be slightly different for each.
3. Now get on their radar!
Start to follow them, like their posts, leave comments, share them with your friends and followers.
In fact sharing their content is a great way to start to get to know people. But don’t just hit the share button, be creative! Here’s some great ways to share other people’s content in such a way they can’t help but notice;
- Share and add your own commentary as to why this post struck a chord with you or why you wanted to share it.
- Link to other people’s content on your blog, in your emails, on your own posts on social media to add further insights to whatever conversation you’re having.
- Create regular roundup posts of people to follow and why and include them.
- Invite them onto a FB Live, a podcast or a video interview to introduce them to your audience.
- Send them a link to a post you recently wrote featuring them and telling them why or if you’re a product creator, send them a free product just to try out, and give you feedback.
- Try of you can to get to networking events where you can meet people face to face and form relationships
- Remember they’re human just like you and me. Don’t ask for anything when you make contact, in fact do the opposite try to add value to them first.
Here is a great article from our good friend Brian Dean from Backlinko on Blogger Outreach
I love his example of “Send an ‘I Love Your Blog’ email!
Notice how he’s not asking for anything. Just making contact and getting on the radar.
Staying with Brian he’s also written a superb guide for connecting with bloggers and influencers via email outreach.
4. Influencer Marketing specifically for an ecommerce business
Please note when building a long term brand, all of the above applies even if you have a physical products based business.
Going back to my gardening example, it’s going to be far easier to pitch a garden tool to an influencer if I’ve already made contact, am on their radar and have shared their content.
However, you may also want to get in front of some of the bigger influencers who you haven’t got a cat in hells chance of ever making any personal contact with.
So how do we get the attention of those guys & gals.
These days influencer marketing has become an industry in its own right.
According to Business Insider ‘the influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022!’
$15 billion!!! That’s crazy numbers and just shows how much as consumers we’re influenced by our friends, peers and the people we follow!
This means that rather than just sending out a DM to someone who likely gets a million DM’s a day, companies specifically to put influencers and brands together have been formed.
I daresay they’re not cheap, but of you have a growing physical products business and you’re making sales and want to take it to the next level then this may be the route for you!
Here is a list of 23 Instagram Influencer Marketing Agencies You Should Know from the folks over at Influencer Marketing Hub
If you want to start by reaching out to influencers yourself before going down the agency route, here is a huge list of Influencer Marketing platforms for 2020, making it easier for you to find, contact and manage influencer campaigns.
Lastly, if you want to delve deeper here is an ultimate guide to Ecommerce Influencer Marketing by the folks over at Volusion (ecommerce software providers).
Here are 10 fab examples of influencer marketing campaigns which I hope will spark your imagination!
Subaru’s goal is to get the millennial buyer’s attention, they used Devin Graham, a Youtube influencer, to publish a video of him and his friends while taking turns on a slip and slide (while on a parachute) that propelled them off a 500 foot drop. Subaru’s #MeetAnOwner campaign was employed to increase brand awareness and for Instagram users to follow the campaign and showcase their own Subaru car.
@Coola the makers of healthy sun care products enlisted the help of @peachymama to showcase their new Sun Silk Creme product. @peachymama is a growing account with 11.9k followers showing that you don’t have to only approach mega influencers to get your products seen!
3. Ideal of Sweden & Glacial
For world water day 2020, fashion phone accessory brand Ideal of Sweden partnered with Glacial the makers of fashionable, sustainable water bottles to ‘celebrate nature and move towards a more sustainable approach to consumption and promote the shift towards multi-use plastics.‘
Here you can see them utilising the power of Instagram influencers by creating their own hashtag #yellowforchange, which engaged people who use their products and love them and creating paid partnerships with specific influencers.
Lyft provides more than 1 million rides a day, partnered with over 1,000 influencers all across the spectrum, from celebrities to macros to micros. This includes Chicago’s Baderbrau Brewing marketing a beer that lets people request discounted rides. The 12-ounce cans will each feature a discount code that users can enter into the Lyft app as they request a car. The goal was to make it seem like everyone was taking Lyft.
Walmart is a multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores that started in 1969. They needed a way to change their image and boost awareness targeting younger internet users using Instagram. Walmart launched the #FightHunger campaign as a way to team up with users to give back to their communities. This campaign worked because they got 89k engagements in one month and donated over 1million meals.
Now that many of us have 10mp (and 12) in our pockets, Canon needed to seek out the photography enthusiasts. They partnered with photographers with high-engagement as well as bloggers who rely on photography to entice their followers. Canon had to make sure that when the best photos made their rounds on Instagram, there was a #canonusa hashtag next to them. And now there are almost 3 million posts on Instagram using their hashtag!
7. Daniel Wellington
By using minimalist designs, Daniel Wellington creates watches that can be sold to a younger generation of consumers. DW uses influencer marketing as its ONLY form of marketing. Everything you see is a real photo of a real person wearing a Daniel Wellington watch, using the hashtag #dwpickoftheday. This works because it helps cut marketing costs.
Aerie is an apparel, underwear and swimwear company who celebrate women of all shapes & sizes. They engage in multiple campaigns to promote women’s health and awareness to body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Here they are being showcased by one of my favourite Instagrammers & entrepreneurs Jenna Kutcher who has over 900k followers on IG. Note the link to their IG account and the personalised hashtag #aeriereal
9. American Express
American Express is a multinational financial services corporation. Amex reached out to influencers who flaunted a luxurious and lavish life. Influencers used #AmexPlatinum and #AmexLife hashtags barely mentioning any of the perks of having the card. They simply shared high-quality images of their luxurious lifestyle and associated their ability to live that way using Amex.
Pepsi have used influencer marketing with style for years. Michael Jackson anyone?
But did you know that Pepsi collaborated with Instagram? Using hashtag #summergram, Instagram together with Pepsi, brought to Pepsi’s consumers the latest technology. The campaign used unique graphics on more than 200 million Pepsi bottles. Those who purchased just had to scan their bottle to unlock a Pepsi-branded reality filter to use in their Instagram story.This is a brilliant idea, modern and easily catches the attention of the younger generations who use Instagram a lot.
Clearly the influencer marketing model has evolved over the last few years, certainly since I started online.
But it doesn’t have to be big and scary.
You’re more likely to have to pay for editorial coverage or someone showcasing your product these days, so bear that in mind, but it doesn’t mean the old traditional route of creating great relationships and doing reciprocal promotions is over.
Keep your mindset open, be inclusive, network, create relationships and focus on building a long term brand with your customers your primary focal point and you’re sure to succeed!
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Alrighty my friend, I want to touch on some other marketing strategies today just so you’re armed with an arsenal of information to go forward and grow your business.
I’m going to keep the tips on this page super basic, so they can be actioned quickly and easily on a budget, but will also link out to resources if you want to take these strategies to the next level.
If you don’t feel ready for any of these strategies just yet, feel free to skip today and come back to it when you are.
One of the fastest ways to kick start your business is by advertising it!
There are a multitude of available options for you including FB & IG Ads, Pinterest, YouTube, Google PPC etc.
Now hold on before you let out a big sigh, resolute that paid ads are not for you because they’re;
That’s the point of todays task.
With the help of some amazing online resources and a good friend of mine I’m going to attempt to break it down into manageable chunks for you.
I suggest a super nice starter campaign on Facebook for only $5 just to get you warmed up to the idea and then when you’re ready you can ramp that up a little.
Slow & steady wins the race in my opinion.
So grab a cuppa, put your favorite music on in the background, roll your sleeves up and let’s get started.
1. You may not yet have an FB business account setup so please watch the video below and follow the step by step instructions to setup the Business Manager and your Facebook Ad Account. (Please note the video is by Shopify, but the information is the same no matter what business model you’re building.
2. With your new shiny account ready to go before we even think about setting up our ad, we need to create our facebook pixel which we can then add to our website or store to track the actions of the people who visit.
This way we can track visits, activity on the site, add to carts & purchases on an ecommerce store, create lookalike audiences and all sorts of super helpful information to ensure we can create highly targeted campaigns.
Here is a great video from a chap called Jason Wardrop who explains exactly what a pixel is and how to create it inside your ads account;
Once you have your pixel setup and can access the ID or the code you have a couple of choices.
- You can install an app or plugin which has been designed to make it easy for you to install the pixel on your site. There are a multitude available to you for whatever platform you may be hosting your site including Shopify, WordPress, Wix etc. Just google ‘FB Pixel app for X (your platform of choice)’
- You can ask someone you know who is ‘techier’ than you are to help you out or hire someone from Upwork or Fiverr,com to install the pixel for you using the code.
- Or as Jason said you can reach out to the support or help desk of whatever platform you’re using to see if they can help you install the pixel.
3. All done? You’re awesome! Now let’s create our first ad!
Here my good friend and community member Mike Lawson recorded a fab video walking you through exactly how to create your first campaign.
Please note he used an example from my Legends not Ladies ecommerce store, but the process is the same no matter your business model.
You can use this to advertise your landing page, a blog post, a video you’ve created, a product you want to showcase, anything!
Take it away Mike;
Ok so now you’ve visually seen over Mike’s shoulder how to create and setup a campaign here are some absolutely excellent resources that walk you step by step through everything you have learnt today and much more.
From Facebook advertising partner and ad creation tool Adespresso is their incredibly detailed and easy to follow Beginners Guide to Facebook Advertising
Also specifically for ecommerce stores, Shopify also has it’s own beginners guide to setting up and creating your first campaign
With resources like these you’ll be up and running in no time!
4. If you’d like to take it a step further with facebook ads you have a couple of options.
You can either learn to do it yourself and I highly recommend Wilco De Kreij. His suite of software works to enhance FB Ads and help you to gain more traction, leads and customers using all the features FB has to offer.
Start with his YouTube channel where he offers lots of free training and then sign up for his email list on his blog which also offers a crazy amount of free videos & articles helping you to master the FB Ads platform.
Or you can employ someone else to do it for you. See my article on hiring on Upwork.com.
If facebook doesn’t float your boat, here are some fantastic guides on all the other options available to you;
SEO is a long term organic strategy which is worth putting some time and effort into learning the basics.
If, like me, you feel it’s all a bit complicated and overwhelming, you’re not alone and not wrong. It is complicated and overwhelming!
So here’s my go to guy for everything SEO, Brian Dean from Backlinko to explain his 8 Step Strategy for Higher Rankings in 2020;
Also just check out his channel for more ranking tips, keyword research tips, youtube SEO tips. Seriously the guy is an SEO machine!
I also highly recommend his Definitive Keyword Research guide on his website. This is the one I have used and continue to use to work out how to do the very complicated task of keyword research.
Ok my friend, we spent a long time yesterday on email marketing, mainly because its something I have done for years and know a considerable amount about!
Messenger apps & chatbots on the other hand which are becoming hugely important, especially with facebook talking about how much focus they’re going to be putting on them in the future, are a strategy I haven’t even looked into yet. (You can’t do everything!)
So I’m not even going to try to explain how messenger apps work, however I do know they are an important strategy moving forward so do be sure to join our FB Group or check back here for updates.
Here is a great guide with visual explainer steps from the folks at Adespresso –The 2020 Guide to Messenger for Business
Here is another very visual guide (I like visual guides), from SproutSocial who also teamed up with Drift, a conversational marketing platform specializing in this stuff! – https://sproutsocial.com/chatbots/
Also at some point you may want to run ads to messenger, so here is a guide to messenger ads from the guys over at Hubspot.
I think that’s got you covered for now, more to come….
Like I said at the start, you can pick and choose which strategies you want to focus on, just remember you can’t do everything alone.
You may want to get your head around how some of these work and even have a go at mastering them, but eventually you will have to choose between being a content creator, an operator, a marketer or a CEO.
So if your plan is to eventually outsource FB Ads or Google Ads, just learn the basics to get you started but don’t get too wrapped up in the detail. Focus on what you’re good at and when you start to make sales you can begin to outsource the rest.
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How to Get Started Building an Email List
It may not feel like it in the direct response social media world we’re living in these days but building an email list is still a very important part of your marketing strategy.
There’s no point in denying the communication landscape is changing and I interact with brands I follow much more on social media these days than I do via email.
But a weekly email from a brand I like is a good reminder sometimes that I haven’t caught up with them for a while and will encourage me to go and check out what they’re up to.
Plus if they’ve just released a great blog post or podcast or piece of content that would totally pique my interest I may not hear about it unless I get an email.
The simple fact is your attention is so divided these days that the maximum opportunity we give ourselves to communicate with our customers or potential customers, the better.
However the medium has changed.
Back in the day email was my No 1 sales tool.
Nowadays I would not attempt to sell via email.
In fact I recently signed up to join the email list of a podcast I regularly listen to.
The podcast hosts always give great value, they’re entertaining, generous with their content and I always get a lot out of each episode, so it was a no brainer for me to leave my email address at their website.
What followed however was totally incongruent with their brand. Within minutes I had a sales pitch in my inbox, followed swiftly by another and every day I continued to receive 1 – 2 emails all trying to sell me something and offering me nothing of value.
I was so annoyed by their emails intruding into my day, I unsubscribed and sadly haven’t listened to one of their podcasts since.
These days I pretty much ignore anyone who sends me daily emails of any kind to be honest. I haven’t yet come across anyone who offers so much value that they can get away with a daily email.
I have 3 or 4 people I look forward to receiving their weekly emails and rarely do they pitch me anything, the emails are pure value which I always get something from.
‘So how do you sell to your audience then Jo?’ I hear you ask?
Well let’s use my gardening niche as an example.
Remember my sales goals?
3 streams of income;
- Books, ebooks & video courses on various elements of gardening
- A ‘done for you’ gardening design service
- An ecommerce business selling gardening tools
I don’t need to overtly sell these things in my emails or on my social media platforms.
Let’s say on my website I had content pieces around my books & courses, my done for you design services and my tools and each of those informative content pieces led to a well crafted sales page.
Then all I ever need to do is send people to the content pieces and let my content do the talking.
1. How This Single Mum Designed the Garden of Her Dreams on Her Rooftop
This content piece could talk about how this single Mum used my course, my books, my education to help her do this and how my reader can do the same. I would add in the relevant links and hopefully the reader would get so much value they would click through to check out my products. (Please note be sure to use a real person for posts like this, don’t just make someone up.)
2. X Garden Design App vs X Garden Design App; The best app to use for your garden design.
This content piece could talk about garden designing software and compare one against another, all the time showcasing how hiring a designer is of course your best option and I just happen to know an awesome one….
3. A Beginners Guide to Designing Your Garden on a Budget
This content piece could highlight all the tools needed to create the best garden on a budget and links through to all the tools I sell.
You really don’t need to shove sales pages in people’s faces anymore. It’s a different world out there.
An old friend of mine used to say – ‘people hate to be sold to, but they love to buy.’
Another good example of always but never selling is to add a nice graphic of your products at the bottom of all your content emails. Tim Ferriss is the expert at this, only ever offering top drawer content and never overtly selling.
This image is of all the books he has available is at the bottom of all of his emails.
A far nicer and more acceptable way of marketing to your email list these days!
So how do we go about building an email list? That is the question.
Here’s a 6 Step process to follow;
1. Create a solid lead generation offer.
Why does someone want to give you their email address in the first place?
Just because you have a form on your site that says so?
I don’t think so my friend, competition is fierce and you need to be thinking out of the box.
Or as my old friend Jason says;
This is where knowing your customer intimately is so important.
You need to get to the heart of what your potential customer wants & needs. What is their main motivation and how can you address it for free and in such an attractive way they want to trade their name & email address for it?
In my gardening example I’m imagining my ideal customer as my sister who is a keen gardener. What are her biggest sticking points, what does she really need to know, how can I offer so much value that she’ll want to read my emails, consume my blog posts, join my group & buy my products?
After all your objective here is for someone who will get true value from your content to leave you their name & email.
It’s not just about getting the lead, it’s about whether you can really help that person and they therefore become a valued member of your community.
Awesome List Building Examples
Marie Forleo knows her audience well and knows that women who follow her want to build a business & life they love.
They may be plagued by doubt, fear and all the other insecurities that stop us from going for our dreams.
So her offer is her audio program;
How to Get Anything You Want!
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty attracted to learning how I can get anything I want!
Talk about owning the box, Jenna Kutcher breaks all the rules here and offers not one, not two, not three but four different ways to join her email list!
1. What type of Instagrammer are you quiz
2. 5 must have instagram apps
3. Get your next 1000 followers webinar
4. Captions that convert PDF
These are just some of the many ways you can join her email list. She has free offers scattered all over her site.
Boom by Cindy Joseph doesn’t just offer the old get 10% off here discount button. They have a club. A club that 400,000 pro age ladies are already a part of!
With pics of both their products and ‘normal’ looking more mature ladies they’ve nailed their target market to a tee. No wonder their on track to do $20mill of sales this year.
Gardeners World has an entire page dedicated to competitions which of course to enter you have to register for the website leaving your name and email address.
Gone are the days of a simple sign up to my newsletter unless you’re a huge name & brand already and then you’ll probably get away with that.
You need something specific and highly targeted to your target market.
Going back to my sister as an example, she’d probably leave blood for a chance to win a robotic mower! There is the power of knowing what your ideal audience wants.
Types of Lead Gen Offer
As I’ve shown with some some of the examples above, your lead gen offers can range from;
- Audio programs
- Webinars or Videos
- PDF’s or ebooks
- A club or closed community of some kind
- Free trial to software
- Vouchers or Discount codes
Whatever your imagination lends itself too and that can be delivered in a scaleable form.
Remember you could end up with 100’s of sign ups a day, so a 15 minute free coaching session may be quite tough to fulfill.
Check out Amy Porterfields ‘The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Lead Magnet for Your Audience‘
Here Amy walks you through 7 different lead magnets including;
- A cheat sheet
- A workbook
- A guide
- Video or Audio Training
- A challenge
- A quiz
- A free course
Listen to the podcast to hear Amy give awesome examples of these strategies in action.
But what if you want to get going fast and don’t have a lead magnet? Or what if you absolutely don’t want to create a lead magnet at all, but still want to build a list! What then?
Well believe it or not, you can build a list without a lead magnet.
Think Tim Ferriss 5 Bullet Friday
or Mari Smith’s Social Scoop.
No ebook, guide or video training course here. Just good old fashioned content curation!
Gather together the best resources in your industry on a weekly basis and send that out to your subscribers so they don’t have to go searching for it. This is also a fantastic way to start to network in your space with people you’re linking too!
You can send them a message every so often and let them know you love their stuff and are sharing with your audience. I know I’d be over the moon with an email like that and the more I heard from you, the more likely we’d strike up a relationship!
As Brian Dean from Backlinko says in his blog post about Blogger Outreach send an ‘I Love Your Blog’ email;
Alrighty so there’s some ideas on how to start attracting people to leave you their name and email now how do we actually set this up technically?
2. Sign up for an Email Provider if you haven’t already.
So if you don’t currently have an email provider you’re going to want one!
There are a multitude of options available for you.
and the list goes on.
From my perspective, in my early days I used Aweber for years, however over time it’s counterparts began updating with all sorts of flashy bells and whistles while it stood still. So being a bit of a sucker for bright shiny objects I started to try lots of different providers out including Get Response, Constant Contact, Active Campaign and Infusionsoft.
Right now I’m using Mailchimp which is pretty simple to use, although it’s a little clunky and has limited automation features, so I may well start to investigate a better option.
For Ecommerce my platform of choice is Klaviyo as it is built for Ecommerce stores and has all the flows you need built in, such as abandoned cart, product purchase etc. However it’s not the cheapest option.
As your audience grows you’ll want to ensure you have an easy to use platform, with great segmenting and automation tools.
The guys over at Email Tool Tester have actually done a fab explainer video walking you through what your ideal email provider should have;
They also have a great article to accompany the video – The 13 Best Email Marketing Services for 2020
From looking at their video and reading through the article it looks as though Active Campaign may be a solid all rounder for any business model, including Digital Marketing, Service Providers & Ecommerce.
The best thing to do is pick the top 2 or 3 you’re attracted to, give them a call to see if you can access a demo account or sign up for free and have a play.
Nothing will beat you actually going in there yourself and seeing how everything works for yourself.
However, don’t spend too long choosing. Just pick one and get going! Remember action is the name of the game!
So we’ll get to creating email campaigns shortly.
Beforehand you’ll need to;
3. Create a Landing Page
When I first started in this business back in 2010, my first landing page was built using a platform called Kompozer and I was guided through the process by a very popular ebook at the time called, Create Your First Website by 3.45 This Afternoon, written by my good friend Chris Farrell.
That was back when you had to put yourself through the steepest learning curve to learn how to build one of these bloody things!
Nowadays, you don’t have anything like that kind of learning curve.
I’ll be honest I’m a Leadpages user and have been for years now. Quite simply, its super easy to use, I can get a new landing page up in less than 10 minutes and I love the lead links and the pop ups.
Here’s a quick tutorial on creating a landing page inside of Leadpages;
There are, as with autoresponders, a multitude of choices available to you though and once again you just have to do a bit of research and decide which is best for you.
But before you head off to drag & drop to your hearts content, it’s important to know the most important elements of a landing page so you can create something that converts.
As I said above platforms like Leadpages make it easy for you and offer conversion optimised templates for you to personalise.
However, I am not happy unless I’m getting upwards of a 50% conversion rate on my landing pages and in my experience there are 5 key components;
The 5 Components of a High Converting Landing Page:
1). Specific headline
This is critical! All the time, I see people using really vague headlines which don’t tell me exactly what I am going to get.
Look at your lead magnet and think about what problem it solves and get specific for example;
- 25 blog headlines that will increase your readership today
- 10 ways to do SEO in 5 minutes day
- Lose 10 pounds in 7 days
Your landing page headline needs to be specific so someone can look at it and think, ‘This is exactly what I am going to get today’. Specificity sells!
Also, test different headlines to see what works in your niche (and what doesn’t!)
2). Image / video showing a visitor what they will get
An image tells a thousand words! Years ago images outperformed videos almost every time. Nowadays studies all over the web prove that video increases conversion rates.
BUT it is worth testing and measuring in your own niche. To get going, start with an image and then when you’re ready add video and see if it gives your page a boost!
Here is a great article by the folks over at Instapage with some rules of adding video to your landing pages. I particularly like Rule #3. Short and sweet is key!
3). Add benefit-driven bullet points
Your landing page bullet points need to be benefit driven, NOT feature driven.
Drive home the benefits someone will get from receiving your free gift for example;
- ‘Diet book with 25 recipes’ could become ’25 recipes that will help you shed 10 pounds in a week.’
- ’10 expert SEO tactics’ could become ’10 SEO techniques that will generate over a thousand new visitors to your blog every day’
See the difference?
4). Opt-in button
I’m a real advocate of playing with the wording on this button. You don’t have to stick to ‘Submit’ or ‘Opt in’. I like injecting a little personality. ‘Yes I want in! Give me my free gift.’ or, ‘Yes Jo, can’t wait to download my free Ebook!’
Feel free to play with the text on your opt in button and, as before, test and measure to see which one gets you higher opt ins.
Also, make sure it is as near to the top of the page as possible so it’s instantly seen when someone lands on your landing page.
And lastly, add a ‘spam notice’ message under the opt in button, e.g., ‘We will not share or sell your email address.’
It’s important to reassure people that they won’t regret giving you their email address.
5). Add ‘social proof’
In an ideal world, it would be great to add testimonials at the bottom of your landing page from people who have already downloaded / opted in. Social proof is huge in this day and age!
Think about the different products you buy and the things you try, based on recommendations, reviews and referrals. Testimonials are becoming more and more important and they’re relatively easy to gather.
Just ask two or three friends to have a look at your lead magnet and get them to write you a little testimonial.
Whatever you do though don’t let this stop you from putting up your landing page. It’s something you can do as you go, in the meantime just finish the landing page after the opt-in button.
For more great tips here’s The Definitive Guide to Creating High Converting Landing Pages from Neil Patel, complete with visual examples!
4. Create your Thank You Page
Unfortunately your landing page is only one piece of the puzzle, two hugely important elements that directly follow the landing page are the thank you page your visitor lands on after leaving their email address and the first email you follow up.
Here’s a video from yours truly explaining the importance of your thank you page;
I also wrote an article with examples of great thank you pages right here – Why This Page is the Most Important Page in Your List Building Funnel, so do be sure to check that out to see how others in the industry are presenting their thank you pages.
Lastly here are some more examples of great thank you pages from the folks over at Optin Monster.
5. Create the first follow up email in your email platform.
As soon as your visitor has entered their email and viewed your thank you page, your email platform will now do it’s job (because you told it to) of sending out that all important first email.
But what should be in that first email to a), get them to open it & b), get them to open more!
Here’s another video from me talking about what should be contained that first email;
(Please note dmbionline.com no longer exists, the creator Justin who’s main gift was in the ad buying world has moved on to bigger and better things with his new company AdSkills)
Here’s an example of the first email subscribers receive when they sign up to get my 6 Ways to Build a Business You Can Run From Anywhere in the World ebook;
Thanks for requesting the ‘6 Ways to Build a Business You Can Run From Anywhere in the World’.
Your download link is below, but before you get consumed in all this fab information I would love for us to get to know each other better!
My name is Jo Barnes and I have been building & running businesses online since 2010.
It’s afforded me the opportunity to travel the world and although originally from the UK, I’m now living in Phuket, Thailand. :)
If you haven’t introduced yourself already please click the link directly below to tell me about YOU!
In the meantime here is your link to download the ebook.
Download the 6 Ways to Build a Business Ebook Here
Please note information without action, is just that, information which over time gathers dust on your desktop. So do please take action from what you learn in the book.
Also come and join my community over at our facebook group – Build a Business You Can Run From Anywhere in the World. This is where all the magic happens and we can chat directly!
Thanks again for requesting this information and welcome to the YLB community!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. I endeavour to answer all my emails, even when traveling!
Speak again very soon.
For more examples of great follow up emails look no further than the master of email marketing Ryan Deiss and his team over at Digital Marketer.
Here’s his guide to building an Email Marketing Machine!
6. Create valuable, entertaining or educational follow up campaigns.
Ok so here’s where it can get tough.
How do you come up with great emails that your audience are going to want to continuously open and consume?
Firstly know that you’re not going to get a 100% success rate. Some you’ll win, some you’ll lose.
Also it’s highly likely your open rates & click through rates will diminish over time. People get used to seeing your emails, they’re busy, they get distracted, they don’t have the time, they move onto other projects and forget to unsubscribe, etc.
As I write this I’m playing with my email campaigns. Mainly because email always feels like such a one way street. I so much prefer my FB group as I get instant feedback and can see whether a post has resonated or not.
But with email, you send something out and….. nothing.
Your open rates & click through rates give you an indication of whether you’ve hit the spot, but you never truly know what action someone took as a result of your email.
That’s why recently I’ve become a bit obsessed with trying to get my email subscribers to join my group in order to build a huge community of active & engaged participants all on the same journey and helping and supporting each other.
But I digress, what kind of content you should be sending out on a regular basis?
1. What’s your objective with your emails?
Is it to create conversation, connect with the person elsewhere online, showcase your expertise, get them to click through to your website, highlight offers or promotions?
Start with knowing what you want your outcome to be for sending each email.
If you want to showcase your expertise, then you might send a long informational email with some great tips on how to achieve something.
If you want to highlight a promotion it might be an image heavy email showcasing your products.
If it’s to create conversation, you might link out to other resources and offer your opinion.
If it’s to connect elsewhere you’ll probably be telling them about a post you published or a new video on youtube.
Whatever you do, don’t send emails just for the sake of sending emails, know what you want to achieve and what action you want the reader to take, if any.
2. Be human!
There’s nothing worse than an impersonal email that offers no value whatsoever accept to assault your senses with huge caps based headlines, bold colors and promises of great offers!
When are the bigger companies going to get it?
Here’s one I received today from a hotel we’ve previously stayed at here in Phuket.
Why would I vote? What enticement is there in that email for me to take time out of my day to vote for the hotel, as lovely as it is?
I’m sad to say that some smaller businesses do this also. I’m not going to name & shame but there is a very successful brand online who started as a digital magazine and now sells courses, who simply bombards my emails with impersonal sales message, many of which come with big colorful headlines and huge impressive numbers of what they’ve achieved which is supposed to make me swoon.
There’s a book out which I haven’t read yet, called Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins by Mark Schaefer.
The world is changing my friend and the more human you are and treat every single email subscriber as a friend and member of your community the more people will stay with you, open and read your emails and take the action required.
When writing your emails, try chatting with your subscriber as you would a friend over coffee.
3. Add value
Why will anyone open and read your emails if they don’t get anything from them?
People are busy busy busy these days and being bombarded with content every second of every day.
There needs to be a reason they open your emails and a good one!
I love Tim Ferris 5 Bullet Friday emails as an example.
Every week he links out to cool short reports he’s discovered, a book he’s reading, a show he’s watching, something amazing he saw on YouTube or Netflix. His emails have led to me going down all sorts of rabbit holes consuming all sorts of great information.
Here’s the real kicker though, its information you won’t find anywhere else on his site.
He’s not just linking to his own blog posts or doing a round up for the week of information you can access at anytime.
(Although he also sends out a weekly email with links to his podcast episode or blog posts.)
Each link is to something unique, something timely, something that’s piqued his interest that he hopes will resonate with some of his audience.
It’s an interesting approach.
On the other hand I also receive a weekly email from a local fitness guy here in Phuket who sends out a mini blog post in his email on something to do with feeling good, putting mind and body first etc. I always have something to think about after reading his email and it’s only a 1 minute read. Fast & valuable.
You know your audience, you know what they want. When you craft your emails ask yourself, how can I best serve my audience and don’t be afraid to…
4. Test & measure
There are no right or wrongs when it comes to this, there is only test & measure.
What appeals to me won’t appeal to you. What appeals to you won’t appeal to someone else. And you must remember you’ll never please all of the people all of the time.
So don’t be afraid to try out different approaches. I’m going through that myself at the moment.
I used to do a video every week, then I tried a podcast, then I tried linking out to other bits of content I produced plus my FB group etc.
I still haven’t quite found the winning strategy, which for me is a combination of crafting emails I enjoy writing and increasing my open and click through rates.
But what is a winning strategy for me won’t necessarily be a winning strategy for you. Trial and error will tell you that.
5. Show up!
I’ve always preached consistency when it comes to anything you do in your business, but the meaning of that term has changed over the years.
With the sheer amount of content on the web today whether your email comes out every Monday, Friday or a different day each week I don’t think is important anymore, (unless like mine it’s called Make It Happen Monday, or Tim Ferris 5 Bullet Friday, then clearly it needs to come out on that day).
What is important though is that when it is published it’s consistently great. Don’t email for emails sake and send out something half heartedly.
Show up for your business, show up for your community, respect their time and send them content that’s worth it.
How you communicate with your audience will absolutely determine how your business grows.
People do business with people, never has that saying been truer than it is today.
However don’t mistake this current trend of baring all with our customers and being ‘vulnerable’ with rambling on about your problems all the time, especially in text in an email.
Feel free to throw in a personal sentence or two to add context and personality, but always have your end objective on mind which is how can you serve your reader the best way you know how.
This is a huge subject and I could probably cover a lot more, but for now you need to get going my friend and make it happen!
Get your email funnel in place, set up your first few emails and when you’re ready the best in the business for email marketing is the super knowledgeable Amy Porterfield. She is my absolute go to for anything email marketing and digital course related. So checkout her podcast and take it from there!
Tomorrow we’re going to look at some more advanced marketing strategies, for now I think you’ve earned a cuppa!
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On Day 15 I was very clear (and quite strict) about you picking just one content medium and one platform.
This is because clarity is power my friend! The clearer you are the more action you will take and action is the name of the game!
Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash
The challenge with thinking you want to make videos for youtube, and grow your Insta account and run a facebook group is that all of a sudden the whole thing becomes overwhelming and we end up stopping before we have started.
So it’s super important to focus on your core content and the platform that content is created for.
However, there is nothing stopping us, once we have created that core piece of content, actually turning it into other content that can be used on other platforms.
Now again I caution you, don’t go crazy here. Personally I would pick just one other platform to get started until you can recruit a VA to help you expand your distribution.
But let’s take a look at all the options available to us for repurposing and widely distributing our core content.
Going back to my gardening example. My goal is to create image heavy blog posts for my FB Community.
There’s nothing stopping me taking the images I’ve already created for the post and creating a daily post on IG with that image, linking back to the blog, or linking to join the FB Group. (You have to add your link in bio in IG, but you can use a cool app like Linktree to add multiple links)
Here’s an example of my links for my YLB Instagram account.
One of my goals for YLB this year is to master FB Lives. After recording the live, I can extract the audio and upload as a podcast.
Make it easy on yourself to re-purpose. Don’t create ‘new’ content. Take what you’ve already created and see how you can quickly and easily turn that into something else which will fit nicely on another platform thereby giving you the opportunity to grow an audience on the platform too.
Now take note! The second platform is just that. Your first platform needs 95% of your efforts. You can switch focus to the second platform once you’ve built the first to solid numbers & engagement and you have the time and resources to start focusing on the next platform.
Then you do the same. You repurpose the content on the second platform for a third platform and so on. That’s how solopreneurs without big teams grow.
Whenever you see someone who seems to be everywhere overnight. Actually dig into their background because I’m pretty darn sure they will have put a few good years of hard graft into becoming an overnight sensation!
Let’s break this down.
12 Ways to Repurpose Just One Piece of Weekly Content
So you have created your main piece of content, for this example I’m going to say it’s a blog post, but you can start with anything, a video, a podcast, a FB Live, whatever your weekly core content is and then just swap these suggestions around.
- Create your core piece of content. (In this example a blog post)
- If relevant (i.e, if it’s a long post with a lot of info) create the post as a PDF and add a download link for people to download and read later.
- Take from your blog post quotes or paragraphs you can turn into images to be used on Instagram or Facebook.
- Take the same quotes / paragraphs and use as tweetables or posts on your social platforms of choice.
- Turn your blog post into a video script and record a video or Live to host on FB, YT, IG.
- Break up the video into mini segments to distribute across social media.
- Extract the audio from the video and upload as a podcast.
- Use a small segment of the podcast to create stories for IG & FB.
- Listen to your audience, read their comments and anything relevant, take a screenshot and use as testimonials to post across social media or questions to post and answer.
- Utilise your original article, plus FAQ’s from your audience and create an article for Medium.com
- Find questions on Quora.com relevant to your article to answer with snippets from your post
- 12. Turn your blog post into a shareable Infographic
I’m sure there’s hundreds more! In fact let me know in the comments below any more you can think of and I’ll add them in here with a link back to your site or social media account.
In the meantime here’s an awesome podcast by the lovely Amy Porterfield on 10 Ways to Repurpose One Single Piece of Content. In it she breaks down how to repurpose a podcast as that’s her jam and has some great ideas! Well worth a listen.
Also, the King of Content – Gary Vee has published two decks which I’d like to share with you because they are the best guides out there right now for creating & repurposing content, but I ask you do not become overwhelmed.
Please remember this guy runs a multi million dollar digital agency and has an entire team of people who do this for him and his clients day in, day out.
So take from it that which is helpful to you and leave the rest, ok?
This is an insanely detailed overview of how he produces one piece of content and how his team then chop it ups and distributes it.
Takeaway – he produces one piece of ‘pillar content’ which then gets dissected and turned into lots of other content.
He may do that daily but we’re starting with weekly. What I have called your ‘core content’ is like Gary’s ‘pillar content’. You create that main piece and the split that up easily to post on your second platform.
Here he walks through how to create content on the fly. This is a huge mindset shift from wanting production quality to be excellent to just creating and posting. It’s also a huge challenge if you’re not 100% sure of yourself and are already scared of putting yourself out there!
But if you’re full of confidence and want to share your message with the world then what are you waiting for?
In fact just yesterday (as I write this) I gave my good buddy Dan a 10 day ‘content on the fly’ challenge for his new brand Wandering Worthy. His task is to record a 60 second video every day for 10 days and without editing upload it to his IG feed! As he’s a total action taker he got to work immediately!@
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👉🏼 STUCK IN PHUKET: DAY 1️⃣ – I’m stuck! 🚷 Airports are closed, access on and off the island is closed, and even the beaches 🏖 are closed… but there really are worse places to be stuck, because I got stuck here by choice! – I flew into Phuket for my good friend’s wedding Jo & Rhett @jobarnesonline who had the most amazing beach front wedding you’ve seen!! 💍 – Jo has now set me a 10 day video challenge here on Instagram… so I took action and created the series: STUCK IN PHUKET! 👊🏼💥 – – Over the next 10 days I’ll be showing you what isolation is like here in Thailand 🇹🇭 Want to see something in particular, let me know? – How’s things where you are?Hope you’re staying safe!! 😁 Speak tomorrow ~Dan – – – – – – – #tblogger #thetraveltag #welivetotravel #travelcaptures #travelmoments #thetraveltribe #passportpassion #passportcollective #travelcaptures #traveltagged #travelblog #travelblogger #onewaytravel #travelgram #travelphotography #traveladdict #wanderlust #adventureseeker #travelmore #wanderingworthy #thattravelblog #bloggerlife #mytravelstories #travelbloggerlifestyle #travellerforlife #phuket #travelprenuer #thailand #stuckinphuket #travelvlog #thailandinsider
Lastly, be sure to check out Brian Deans section on repurposing content on his content marketing hub. He gives some fantastic practical examples of exactly how he has repurposed his own content over the years.
Don’t overwhelm yourself!
I stand by what I said, if you are all on your own and just starting out, focus on your main platform and one other to get started. As soon as you’re able to hire an awesome VA, then move onto a third platform and so on.
There are no rules here, you make it work for you.
If you can only do core content on your main platform for a year so be it!
Grow as quickly or as slowly as it works for you my friend. That’s it.
Content Publishing Tools
Ok so let’s look at some tools to make your life easier!
Here’s what I use;
1. Trello for content planning
A bit of a newbie to Trello, I’ve found it a game changer when it comes to planning out content. I love the fact I can add in ideas for posts and then drag them into the different lists when they become more than an idea.
I love that I can view all my content on a calendar right from within the app and add cards and items directly into the calendar.
As a visual person this is right up my street!
How can you use this?
To plan out your weekly core content and the repurposing redistribution across the web.
2. Planoly for Instagram Scheduling
Oh my gosh, I went through about 10 different Instagram apps. I tried Later, Plann, Command, Hootsuite, Buffer (which I love for FB), Tailwind, and some more I can’t remember, but Planoly for me consistently came out at the top.
It’s easy to upload photos, add captions, hashtags, location etc & schedule.
The hashtags for me was a big deal as that can be a huge time suck. But Planoly lets you add hashtag groups so when you create a post you just click on comment and add hashtag group, pick the hashtags relevant for that post and add them in as your first comment. Easy peasy.
How can you use this?
To schedule in advance a week or a months worth of content on Insta!
I schedule in a couple of weeks content at a time at the moment in my FB Group. Mainly because I’m running a 100 day challenge and have a post a day for the 100 days.
The built in FB scheduler is good enough although it’s pretty rubbish on mobile. So a solid alternative is Buffer. I used Buffer for years, a few years back but haven’t had call to use them again just yet. If I were looking for an all round scheduling tool however, they would be my go to.
How could you use this?
To schedule a weeks worth of engaging questions into your FB Group.
4. VSCO for fast photo editing
I’m a visco girl!
I was told by my daughter that apparently that’s not something to be proud of. But I don’t have time to individually edit all of my photos all of the time and the general filters in the apps and on Instagram aren’t great.
So I have a very specific filter I use in VSCO to enhance all my photos. I personally like super rich, vibrant color, even though right now pastels seem to be in fashion. (I’ve never been a pastelly kind of girl).
I actually have a little routine for all my FB group 100 day challenge pics.
Firstly I upload the photo into a little app called Inshot. I’m not recommending it as it’s a little buggy and I’m looking for something better, but it lets me quickly and easily add text in the bottom corner to say where & when my photo was taken.
Then I import to VSCO and add the filter.
Then I upload to….
Typorama for super fast stylish text on photos.
Oh my gosh I think this must be my favorite tool ever!
I am not a designer by any stretch of the imagination. I can’t put colours, fonts, styles together for love nor money.
Which is why a little app like Typorama which allows me to add my text and select from a multitude of text style over my backgrounds is absolutely brilliant! Saves me so much time and hassle, I love it!
How could you use this?
You could take quotes of things you’ve written or said, overlay them on nice backgrounds and post on your second platform.
5. Canva for custom images
So over the years Canva has improved a great deal also making it far easier for the non designer to design. There is a little bit too much customization you have to do for text designs for my liking and no matter how hard I try many of my designs come out looking rubbish (hence why I love Typorama).
But they really are a brilliant app for headers, profile pics, blog images and such like. Highly recommended.
How could you use this?
Let’s say you made a video, you could take screenshots of your video and upload onto Canva, creatively add the sentence you were saying at the time and upload to your second platform.
In fact, I created the ‘Action is the Name of the Game’ image above using Canva, to show you how I did using Loom to record my screen as I did it!
6. Loom for quick videos
Recently introduced to me by my tech guy. Loom is awesome for screen videos.
Whereas I used to fire up screenflow, do a video showing my screen and / or me, then save, render and upload, Loom does it all in a flash!
You press record either the screen, the screen and the camera, or a specific part of the screen and almost by the time you’ve finished recording and hit end, they’ve given you a link to the video.
Huge time saver!
How you could use this?
You could record your screen as you go through your heavily visual blog post explaining it step by step and upload to YouTube.
7. Anchor for podcasts
Ok so I’ve done an entire section on this in Day 17 so I won’t go into it here, but it’s a huge time saver. Go check out the section on podcasting – Day 17.
How could you use this?
Either quickly and easily record your blog post as a podcast or extract the audio from a video and upload here as a podcast.
8. iPhone built in camera
So for Christmas this year my lovely husband bought me a Canon Powershot G7 Mark III and I love it!
It takes the crispest, clearest images and I can set it up so it records me with a fuzzy background behind me which looks so professional. I will definitely be getting to know my new toy more over the coming months.
I have to say though for total ease, as in, it’s in your pocket, I still pull out my iPhone to make a live, a story or take an ‘in the moment’ photo.
My daughter got the new iPhone 11 for Christmas from some relatives (I wasn’t happy) and her camera is even better, so there really is no excuse to create content on the spot so it were.
These clever techies are making it easier than ever!
How could you use this?
Impromptu FB Lives, IGTV, Stories, videos etc.
See how easy it is these days to take content you have already created and repurpose it across the web without it taking too much extra effort!
Here are some tips and resources from other reputable sources on great tools for content creators;
https://optinmonster.com/best-visual-content-creation-tools/ – This is an awesome roundup of what look like some fabulous tools! I will 100% be giving some of these a go this year!
In fact for this action guide I’ve already been using Imgflip Meme Generator which I just discovered a few days ago. Great fun!
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-marketing-tools – This is a much more sensible adults guide to content marketing tools. Booo, I wanna play with fun apps! :)
I hope today has been useful!
Tomorrow we’re going to delve into the world of email marketing…. :)