The Marketing Advice You Didn't Know You Needed

We all need to start reading listicles and marketing tips critically, or we are hurting our businesses (and sanity).

You need to know this! XOXO

Here’s why:

I am guilty of giving tips away and it’s because people want to hear them. They want to believe the story that there are only 10 things; they can read in 1 minute, which will help them gain 1,000 followers in two weeks. The truth is I want to believe this story too. If I believe it and it works, my job becomes a lot easier. Yours does too right?

I also want to be clear that when we read listicles full of tips, we aren’t being lied to by any means, but we aren’t being told the whole story.

This is dangerous because we start believing a story of ease, and strong disconnects form between want and reality.

I wrote a blog post about doubling my email subscribers in two weeks. The things I wrote about DID work for me, and I hope that they will work for you, but I left out a ton of information. I didn’t talk about my phone call with my coach where we spent an hour coming up with an email marketing strategy. I didn’t talk about the months of iterating, not having things work, and only getting a trickle of subscribers. I didn’t talk about the shame of being a marketer with low numbers, and the hours I spent on Pinterest trying to find an article that would help me fix it. I didn’t tell you about hiring someone to help me with branding and building my website.

In short, I didn’t tell you anything about “baking the cake.”

I simply handed you the can of frosting with nothing to frost and said, “Have a nice day.” Unfortunately the process of “baking the cake” is too long and messy to put in a listicle. I can’t write that blog post in an hour and bang out a catchy blog graphic to be repinned 500 times on Pinterest. That’s not realistic and that’s okay.

We don’t need to be told the whole story, and we can happily consume content in this way, but we need to keep in mind that this isn’t the whole story. We need to keep this in mind because when we don’t, we are harming our businesses (and sanity).

We are harming our business because when we believe that the answers to our marketing woes can be found in a blog post we start focusing on our vanity metrics, stop listening to our clients/customers, and stop focusing on making our service/product better. Consequently all of the “tips” we consumed aren’t going to work for us and we are going to feel really bad about it.

That right there will make your marketing woes a gazillion times worse, and send your business down a mudslide.

So here is my challenge for you. If you are spending a lot of time marketing and it’s not working don’t go on Pinterest and look at more social media tips. Step back and look at your brand/product as a whole. Start thinking about how you can make your product/service more marketable. If you have clients and they aren’t singing your praises, your services aren’t making a big enough impact on them. If people are buying your product and they aren’t coming back for more (or telling their friends), your product isn’t where it needs to be.

I am NOT telling you, “Your product or service sucks.” I know you are a creative genius, and I know it most certainly does not suck. I hope you know that too. I AM telling you to listen and iterate. Listen to the silence. People are telling you something about your product/service by not telling you anything.

Start listening to them and start iterating until that cake is perfectly sweet, fluffy, and moist. You can frost it later, or better yet your happy clients/customers can frost it for you.

If you want more of the “how” on this topic I recommend you read Seth Godin’s book, The Purple Cow. It’s freakin’ awesome and will blow the roof off of your current marketing beliefs.

This blog post is a sneak peek of the kind of content I send to my newsletter subscribers. They get the best stuff first. I also gave away a 30 minute consult + Seth Godin's Book, The Purple Cow to one of my lucky subscribers. Join my tribe so you don't miss out! 

Creating a Community on Social Media as an Introvert

Tried and true strategies to build your business and market yourself as an introvert.

Social media is a great outlet for introverts to interact with others and market themselves. It’s much easier to be brave behind a computer screen, and that is a beautiful thing. On the flip side, it can also be really overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like you are on a train platform and everyone is shouting at you in all directions and you don’t know what to do. We want to grow our businesses with social media and we know we can, but how do we do it in a way that feels 100% us? Because shouting our expertise from the rooftops and promoting ourselves constantly is just not right for all of us. Here are some tried and true strategies that I use to build my business and market myself as an introvert.

Let your content do some of the talking.

Create content and let it promote you. Sitting down to write a blog post, create a course, or start a conversation on Instagram is a great for introverts to put themselves out there. It allows introverts that quiet time to create, but it also helps build up that courage that will allow you to share it. Processing through your thoughts in the creation process and really honing down on what you want to say and how you want to say it will give you that courage to share it. Spearhead those conversations you want to be having with content.

Avoid being everywhere at once.

I hear it all of the time. Be on as many social media platforms as possible to get your work out there. Promote, promote, promote! This is the kiss of death for an introvert. It will leave you feeling scattered and overwhelmed. Social media is all about creating relationships and interacting with a lot of people, but that can drain introverts. So choose one to three social media platforms that energize you and build a community on those. Sit down and really think about which platforms are right for you and your creative endeavors. What skills do you have? And where will they shine best?

If something feels uncomfortable, don’t do it.

You don’t need to emulate how other people market themselves. What your favorite blogger or social media expert tells you may not work for you. If something feels wrong and selling yourself constantly feels icky, don’t do it. I guarantee if it feels awkward for you, it will feel awkward for your audience. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone to build our businesses, but doing this on a daily basis because everyone else does it this way is not a good long term growth strategy. Step out of your comfort zone, but do it on your terms.

Building your social media community can happen one person at a time.

We see it all of the time on social media. There are people with thousands and thousands of followers. On one hand we want that, but on the other it’s scary. Know that this is something that doesn’t need to happen all at once. It can happen one connection at a time. I know that as an introvert I thrive on one-on-one interactions. If you are an introvert, this is probably true for you, too. Use that quality to your advantage. Create relationships one person at a time in an intimate way and you will set the foundation for connections that create advocates for your work. It may take a bit longer to build your business and following than someone who is good at gathering large groups of people, but it will happen. And it will happen in a way that keeps you energized and feeling like 100% you.

Get Quiet

It’s okay to step away! There is so much pressure to be constantly engaged on social media that it’s easy to feel like we are missing out and opportunities are being lost if we miss an Instagram post or don’t blog for two weeks. It’s just not the case. Taking breaks and putting your best foot forward are essential ways to avoid burnout. Create room to hear your own voice and be inspired to log back in and have that fire lit to create the connections and business you want.

Interact with people when you have the energy.

After interacting with people all day on social media for my clients, I feel exhausted and I have so much noise going on in my own head that it’s really hard for me to take the time to nurture relationships with my own followers. I know this about myself so I schedule out times during my day when I am feeling energized and sharp. Sometimes I have to wake up early and respond to people early in the morning over a cup of coffee. Some days I do this at 11:00 at night when I have processed my day and the house is quiet. Do your work whenever you feel energized and sharp. It’s OK if this means you have to wait four hours to respond to a comment. People will be happy that you are responding in an energized, genuine way rather than a quick, exhausted way.

Find your tribe

Interact with people that inspire you and leave you feeling energized. This can be hard, but I guarantee if you find these people it will make all the difference in your social media experience. Talk to other introverts and ask them how they deal with social media. Connect with people who are where you want to be and that share the same qualities as you. You can learn from each other, and that is worth it’s weight in gold. 

Are you an introvert who wants to be #QuietlyUnstoppable when it comes to your digital marketing strategy and do it in a way that feels 100% you? Registration for my course Quietly Unstoppable :: Digital Marketing for Introverts is opening soon and you want to be on the list to get access to early-bird pricing and bonuses!

How to Attract Clients and Make Money Using Instagram

You can totally make money using Instagram if you are strategic. Furthermore, it's totally possible to get clients/customers and make a sale with a very small following. On the flip side, I have talked to people with thousands and thousand of followers who have never seen a $1. Let's avoid this scenerio shall we? In order to get followers that will buy, you need to target people strategically. So here is my tried and true strategy.

How to Attract Clients and Make Money Using Instagram - social media marketing tips for small business owners

First let's get one thing out the way. There is a strategy for targeting followers on Instagram that has been spreading around the social media marketing world. The strategy is as follows: in order to get someone to come check out your account and hopefully follow you, you like three pictures and comment on one. I have found this doesn't work as well as people say it does.

I have been experimenting (I run three Instagram accounts at the moment) and I have actually found that if you like + comment on ONE photo people come check out your account and follow you at a higher rate. 

This makes perfect sense because when someone likes a bunch of photos, but doesn't follow me it feels really spammy. Do you find this annoying?

New golden rule: like and leave a heartfelt comment on ONE photo. 

This strategy has been gaining my clients about 10-20 followers for every 25 minutes I spend commenting. You can target followers by searching relevant hashtags to your business or diving into a complimentary business's followers and targeting them. Stay away from your competitors followers. Although many people do this it's distasteful. Industries are surprisingly small and it will come back around on you. So focus on people that are complimentary to your business, not the same business. 

Let's say you are a graphic designer. You may want to target followers through an event like @altsummit. They have a lot of creative entrepreneurs following them. You can also search creative hashtags like #crafttherainbow. Many creative business owners use this hashtag and it's a fun one to scroll through and connect with people who could benefit from your services. 

*Remember that this strategy is about connecting with your ideal customer/client base. Like pictures you actually like, and leave authentic comments. You want to build relationships, not just gather lots of followers for the sake of gathering followers. 

So try this out and let me know how it goes!