Whether you’re right on point or running behind the moving train on this one, influencer marketing is killing the game. Whereas your Facebook posts may only get shown to 1% or 2% of your followers, BOSS influencers are consistently getting 2% to 5% ENGAGEMENT on their posts, translating to increased brand awareness, product visibility, and the holy grail of marketing – sales.
Read this post on social marketing statsthat I wrote for TheShelf.com to help you get a handle on just how important a role influencer marketing should play in your marketing strategy in 2018.
Perhaps the most important marketing skill you can learn right now is getting your business to show up in search results. With tools like Google Home and Amazon Echo enabling your potential customers to search by voice, it’s crucial that you find a way to make sure your business is always the answer to, “Okay, Google…” In this guest post, I chronicled 5 easy ways any business or expert can boost their page rank and start showing up in Google search results. Continue reading at LadyBossBlogger.com.
I was browsing Upwork for interesting projects and came across one for an IT company that needs SEO help. I checked out the company’s website and its social. I never got around to submitting my actual proposal to do the SEO work because after seeing their digital footprint, I decided to just offer some advice. My advice was so spot-on for many of the SaaS and IT companies I’ve done copy for that I decided to make it a blog post. Enjoy and deploy.
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I’m going to lead with a peculiar statement and that is this: I’m not sure what it is you do.
That may or may not be a bad thing, depending on who your client typically is. If your clients are other tech stars, huzzah! You are probably winning!
If they are regular Joes like me (I literally read your website, then went and made a cup of coffee before coming back again), you may have a UX issue as well.
The next thought I’m going to lead with is that I may not be the best fit for your team. I say that because if someone on your team cannot de-nerd your home page for me, I’ll be no good to you.
But I am a helluva SEO writer and a brilliant content strategist, if I do say so myself. So, I do have recommendations for you.
TIP #1 – BLAND, WHITE-LABEL FILLER
Get rid of sentences like these: “Our company provides a wide range of Project Management and Installation Services to meet your business needs.” Found it on your IT Project Management page. You get one or two sentences to drive the point home before your prospect’s eyes start to glaze over. SKIP THE FILLER. NEVER FILLER. Gostraight to their problem, the pain it causes them, and how you solve the problem.
TIP #2 – WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT
Only write about what your customers are searching Google for answers to. None of your customers are searching the term “Redundant IT Support.” But they are white-knuckling their phones and dashing around the office punching in stuff like:
“What to do when your IT network is down.”
“How do I choose an IT support team?”
And saying stuff like…
“OK Google, how do I repair a broken network fast?”
The words your customers use to conduct Google searches are your KEYWORDS, and keywords are what Google is looking for to connect your solution to their problem.
Use keywords in your blog titles and throughout your blog content at a density of about 2% to 4% (2 to 4 keywords to every 100 words in your blog post).
TIP #3 – GET YOUR FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM GAME TIGHT
I see you’re making use of your Facebook page. I have one suggestion: Stop talking just about technology. If you MUST tech-it-up, how about telling people the inner workings that must be in place for the Oscars to go off without a hitch? How about just putting up a cool quote or two that the funniest guy in the office said? What about a 10-second Instagram series called, “What I hate about tech guys”? Just be people like 30% of the time and techxperts the other 60%.
Oh, 10% of the time, you’re going to be asking for the sale.
That should get you started.
I’ve attached my resume for you to review. I can help you. Contact me. -Sorilbran
P.S. – *** If you have the resources, consider updating the look of your website. Go full-width, bold colors, clean design. When it comes to your home page, choose graphics + headlines over paragraphs. Easier to grab people’s attention that way. I’ve attached a picture of how your current home page looks on my phone. So many words. It’s like a Stevie Wonder song.
The New Kajabi. Here are my first impressions of the platform and my thoughts on using the New Kajabi for your membership site.
A year ago, I wrote an article on Member Mouse, as I was in the middle of trying to find a membership platform to host my membership site. At the time, I was testing Paid Memberships Pro and Member Mouse, with plans to move on to WishList Member. Instead I gave myself a much-needed respite after my long-time friend and oft-times business partner, Ron died unexpectedly of a stroke in mid-November.
For me, taking a break from web technology for a year was like taking a break from walking for a year. I came back having to re-learn everything all over again… including WordPress.
During my year off, I chose to work as a bookkeeper for an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization. I thought it would be mindless, mechanical work. And it would have been if the company that hired me had done any bookkeeping at all over the previous three years. The job turned out to be quite challenging, a bit stressful, and somewhat frustrating.
After my stint with the nonprofit corporation was done, I went back to doing what I do best – helping busy entrepreneurs create content, build information products, and market themselves online. Which pretty much catches you up to date.
My current client is a successful real estate investor who hired me to help him create several products simultaneously, one of which is a paid membership community for novice real estate entrepreneurs. Because he already has the New Kajabi, we’re using the New Kajabi for his membership site.
What is Kajabi?
Kajabi is a content delivery platform. It allows you to create and deliver both paid and free content. I’ve used Kajabi before when it was Kajabi Next and found it… technical. And even using it all last weekend, Kajabi didn’t strike me as a platform for the busy mom who just wants to share strategies with other busy moms in a membership community. At first glance, Kajabi seems like a comprehensive tool for professional online marketers who spend their prime hours building membership sites, not the busy mom whose aim is to share strategies with other busy moms in a members-only community.
Kajabi is Actually Very Straightforward
I know. I know. Easy isn’t everything, Sorilbran. True. And the New Kajabi turned out to be very straightforward once I stopped looking for it to be super-easy. Straightforward? Yes. Intuitive? For me, no. I had to watch hours of tutorials and read about a dozen articles online to get a clear picture of Kajabi’s functionality and capabilities.
The New Kajabi has fantastic functionality. You build an entire website, fully equipped with a blog and static pages right on the Kajabi platform. What does that mean? It means you can have the New Kajabi for your membership site and not even need a separate website for your brand. I’ll get more into that later.
What About Designing a Website Using Kajabi?
Well, that’s the one drawback for me was the design limits. Coming from a WordPress background where functionality can seem limitless with the strategic use of plugins, Kajabi’s design capabilities feel quite limiting to me. There are a handful of website templates from which to choose and I had a hard time distinguishing one template from the next. Wonderfully, the website dashboard is set up a lot like the WordPress dashboard, so it was easy to navigate. But I didn’t happen to come across a website design I like, so we opted to build a separate .com website outside of Kajabi and use New Kajabi solely to host the premium content / membership site.
I would have to learn more HTML code to get the blog posts to look like I want them to look. Not my favorite thing.
Organizing Content on Kajabi
I think this is the area that was least obvious to me. As a blogger, I’m used to using tags, categories and posts. In the Kajabi ecosystem, categories and posts are used to organize paid content. Here is the hierarchy:
The Sales functionality for your membership sit will contain an Offer that you name and to which you assign Products. Each product is made up of one or more multi-media Posts and downloads. Each Post is assigned a Category; within each category you have the option to release enable the content to be published immediately or to be included as part of a content drip, delivered X number of days from the date the member first got access to the product.
So for instance, for my client’s membership site, we’re building out 52 weeks of drip content that’s divided by topics that we’ve called Units. Each unit is made up of a series of training modules and each module is made available seven days after the previous module becomes available. In Kajabi-ese…
There will be a total of 10 products bundled as part of this membership.
Each product contains between 4 and 10 training modules + downloads like sample contracts, worksheets, and instructions + supplemental video content to further explain or show examples of each topic covered by the training modules
Each training module is put on a drip schedule using categories. So Module 1 is available immediately once a REEP member signs up. Module 2 becomes available 7 days later. Module 3 becomes available 14 days after sign-up. Module 4 becomes available 21 days after sign-up. Etc.
I will admit: I didn’t immediately grasp the way in which Kajabi structured this part of the membership system, despite having used at least two other membership platforms before. And I didn’t love the video tutorials. For whatever reason, that one guy who explains all the features makes me sort of zone out.
This guy sort of makes my eyes glaze over.
I can remember running down the process in my mind several times, trying to connect the dots as I drove to pick the kids up from school. By the end of the week, I pretty much had the process down, which is why I say the functionality is fantastic once you stop looking for the easy win.
Kajabi’s List Management Capabilities
Kajabi also provides its members with the ability to send emails and manage their lists from within Kajabi, or to integrate their own list management software using Zapier. Were I just starting out, I would use Kajabi’s list management functions just to keep things simple. But of course, my client already has a list of nearly 7,000 members in InfusionSoft, so we’re in the process of integrating InfusionSoft to track and tag user engagement.
The New Kajabi does have a pre-determined set of emails that go out to your new members confirming their membership and letting them know when the next training module is available. You have the option to revise those emails or use your own once you integrate your own email auto-responder.
In part two of this review on using the New Kajabi for your membership site, I’ll talk about creating landing pages, setting up your Kajabi store, and pricing. Have a productive week.
What are your thoughts, ideas and homegrown processes worth to your business? It very well may be that you can give your firm a distinct competitive advantage by monetizing your ideas and building an intellectual property portfolio.
It is no secret that small businesses drive the economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for99.7% of all employer firms and employ over half of the U.S. workforce. We’re talking 40% of our scientists, engineers, and tech talent. But there is an underlying reason for small businesses being able to employ technical and creative talent – intellectual property (IP).
What is Intellectual Property?
Let’s start with the basics here. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has this to say:
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
We’re talking about ideas. Thoughts. And more than just fueling your daily actions, your ideas – some of them, at least – have market value.
Why IP is important for Woman-Owned and Minority-Owned Businesses
IP can boost the value of your company. Intellectual property presents a huge opportunity for minority business owners who may be cash-strapped but idea-rich. Women entrepreneurs actually seek outside funding far less than their male counterparts. Adding intellectual property to your portfolio can not only help you build multiple streams of income but a collection of copyrights, trademarks and patents boost the value of your company.
IP can give you a fast and firm market advantage. Intellectual property can also help your firm gain the advantage over your competitors by bringing new innovations to market. What business owner wouldn’t want to be responsible for an invention that helps her dominate her market and have a patent in place to ensure her competitors cannot duplicate her processes?
Inventions and patents aside, the Internet is built on intellectual property. If you want to remain competitive in tomorrow’s market, minority-owned businesses should start adopting the practice of creating content – videos, books, articles, social posts, podcasts, courses, and other intellectual property – today. In our web-driven, search-engine-fueled economy, a business will have a hard time surviving without it in the coming years.
IP can help you differentiate yourself from your competitors. Intellectual property also strengthens your ability to differentiate yourself in the market. As a consumer, whom would you rather patronize: A professional who works a 9 to 5 and does the occasional lecture at a nearby college campus, or the expert who has invested so much time and effort into mastering their profession that they have produced half dozen books and training courses to present and sell at the occasional lecture?
If you miss the live event, you already know you can buy the recording on her website in a matter of days or weeks. IP makes the difference by allowing you to meet your targets right where they are.
The U.S. Economy Thrives on Intellectual Property
Small businesses may be paying everybody, but intellectual property is creating the jobs. A report released by The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and The Economic and Statistics Administration offers insight on just how valuable intellectual property is:
“The entire U.S. economy relies on some form of IP, because virtually every industry either produces or uses it.” – Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus
The United States is not exclusive in its mission to perpetuate innovation by offering creators protections for their ideas. These protections – delivered in the form of copyrights, patents and trademarks – encourage creators to market and monetize their ideas. The more great ideas we are able to turn into profitable businesses, the more economic stability the country can enjoy.
Look, I grabbed this report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization called Intellectual Property for Business. It contains very valuable information, insight and strategies for how small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) can get ahead by using intellectual property.
If you’ve thought at all about formalizing a process or creating and selling multimedia content, I urge you to download Intellectual Property for Business by clickinghere.
You’ve written a book and published it. So, why aren’t you at least web famous? We’re going to talk about what you may be missing and why becoming an author just isn’t enough anymore.
Paulo Coelho is a cultural icon. His book, The Alchemist has gone down in history as the most translated book by a living author, available in five dozen languages around the world. What most people don’t know is The Alchemist is author Paulo Coelho’s sixth published work.
A small publishing house in Brazil first published The Alchemist in the mid-1980s. Legend has it, the initial print run was for 900 books and the publisher had no intention of running a second print. With a firm belief in his own book, Coelho says he took his book and literally went door to door in search of another publisher. The publisher he found agreed to take a chance on a book that had already been in the market and not done well. And that’s how the “legend” of Paulo Coelho started.
Of course, today, Paulo Coelho is Paulo Coelho, but had he not taken his book and knocked on doors with it, we may still not know anything about a seemingly random book written in Portuguese about a boy in search of a buried treasure. I’ve read The Alchemist. I read it after I heard Will Smith mention it in an interview with Tavis Smiley. But think about that: From obscurity to Will Smith’s mouth to my house. My, what a little foot work can do for a book.
It’s okay to use authorship as a cool side hustle
We are living in the fast and furious age of information. You and I both know that you can Google just about anything these days and generally learn more theory about a topic than the guy next to you.
By reading a few well-chosen web articles then writing a few well-placed ones, anyone can feign expertise in anything and write a book about it. Heck, I earn my living doing just that for folks. Ask me anything about Joe Biden, pomegranates, the paleo diet, nursing informatics, digital marketing… the list goes on and on and on.
The Internet has changed how we consume, and therefore value, written content. The more content we have access to for free, the smaller paychecks get for writers.
Having never been in the world of traditional publishing, I wouldn’t dare attempt to recommend best-practices for getting published and staying relevant in that space. But I will say it’s a hard mountain to climb if you’re writing books, publishing them and banking on the quality of your work to be your only marketing tool. For goodness sake folks, we’re pushing out more than 4,000 books a day in the U.S. And a recent article in The Guardian entitled “Authors’ incomes collapse to ‘abject’ levels” lets me know authoring and publishing are no money machine in the UK either.
Books have been demoted to being just another medium by which we share content. That said, if you’re still thinking of book publishing in the old-fashioned way, I urge you to catch up.
Digital publishing, on the other hand, is the next phase of writing and authoring books. With a smart marketing plan supporting your efforts, writing a book really is a great way to build your brand, get traffic to your site, boost your profile and create residual income from one-and-done efforts.
Digital publishing is more my terrain and comes with opportunities that will help you make money faster and gain more traction as you build your brand. There are those who write trade books and want to see them sell. Then there are those who write trade books they want to see sell them. I am in the latter category.
Here are two proven ways to help any book perform better, assuming you have the time to do them (or the budget to get someone in there to do it for you)
Whether you pursue traditional publishing or you self-publish, you will need to implement a marketing plan that willset you apartfrom the other authors crowding the virtual bookshelves. There are two strategies you can employ that will keep you from being just another nameless author with a book on the shelf.
First, build your tribe. Marketing expert, Seth Godin talks about this notion extensively in his book, Tribes. Even before you release your book, your team should be working to locate your target audience, figure out what your audience wants and how they engage online. This happens long before your book ever goes to market.
Effectively building your tribe is going to require the three things people are most stingy with: time, energy and attention. Still, this one important practice is the single most important thing that separates the experts from the book authors. They are no longer one in the same these days.
Second, build your brand. As important as finding those who are interested in what you have to say is making sure you’re actually out there saying something. In addition to your book, you need to have other digital marketing collateral. These are the elements I like to call “movingparts” and they are a big part of your brand identity. They also play a key role in supporting and validating your book. These include:
Your social media platforms
Your videos and podcasts
Your membership site
Your opt-in products (books, reports, templates, videos, training)
Your subscriber list
Your training program(s)
On the surface it may seem like a jumble of marketing tactics where one has nothing to do with the other, but the truth is, without even consciously being aware, these are the elements or moving parts your audience expects to see from you. It helps them feel good about trusting you.
So, write that book. Get the forward done and vie for the endorsements… and while you’re doing that, have your creative team handling the other important things on the list. For this is how you build a brand and building a brand often makes becoming an author worth the effort.
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GRATITUDE, STRATEGY & IP
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