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Plan now - for a better next year - event

Create A Step-by-Step Plan for Marketing Your Business Next Year

Are  you overwhelmed at the thought of a marketing your business next year?

Do you wonder if your marketing efforts with your website, email list and social media are effectively reaching “your” audience?

With 2017 right around the corner, wouldn’t you love to plan out your online marketing priorities for the year and know exactly what’s coming and how to make it happen?

NOW is the ideal time to ensure you start the new year off right!

On Friday, November 11th join me and Kate Schell of Digital Marketing Momma for a LIVE in-person workshop as we breakdown the 4 major areas of overwhelm and confusion that most entrepreneurs face in marketing their businesses online.

In this 3-hour hands-on planning workshop, we will help you:

  1. Identify Your Ideal Audience – do you know who you are talking to/trying to reach?

• Who is your target audience?

• do they want and need from you?

• What does the marketplace look like?

 

  1. Create a Marketing Calendar – it’s time to get dates and deadlines on your calendar NOW!

• Using worksheets we will clearly define your business goals so you know the end results you are working towards

• Plan out your work/life calendar to see when you can plan key dates, campaigns and promotional opportunities and give yourself the space to prepare and create.

• Determine what your primary marketing efforts should be. This will help you focus solely on the places and opportunities that will generate engagement and revenue.

• Understand what resources you will need based on your goals. By creating this list you will not have to scramble last minute.

 

  1. Identify the Most Engaging Content – what is the ideal information you want to share or promote using your online marketing?

• Brainstorm ideas for what the most compelling, engaging and valuable information you can be sharing with your target audience.

• Narrow down and prioritized the most effective and efficient way to develop/create/curate your content marketing.

• Get a complete list of popular programs and resources to use to help your content creation and curation easy and fast.

 

  1. Develop a Content Strategy Plan – so you know what to do when for the entire year!

• Map out your content calendar.

• Learn how to determine the right time to post and how best to connect with the right people for your business.

• Plan how to review and measure your marketing efforts to find areas that work and areas that need improvement, so you know where to spend more or less time, money & resources.

After this workshop, you will walk away with a clearer understanding, strategy and plan of how to reach your ideal audience as well as the steps and tools you need to do so to rock your business next year!

What are you waiting for? Register now (and get the discounted rate before November 4th) as there will be limited seating to keep this as interactive, dynamic workshop as possible.

 

Date:    November 11th, 9:00am – 12:30pm
Where: Stamford Innovation Center
           175 Atlantic St, Stamford, CT 06901

Cost:
$99 -discount price before November 4th
$149 – regular price after November 4th

 

REGISTER NOW!

 

Interested in the event, but can’t attend due to date or location? Let me know by email as we will be planning a virtual workshop soon.

Content planning tips

Time for a Plan! What, Why and How of Content Planning

Do you find yourself scrambling every day, week, or month, trying to figure out content planning (i.e., what you are going to blog, post or email to your fans and customers)?

How would it feel if you had a schedule and system, where your content was all planned out – so that every day you and your team would know what was posting when? Awesome, right?

Say goodbye to stress and feeling guilty about neglected social media platforms and blogs. Say hello to organization for you and your audience in providing consistent valuable and engaging content that will leave your fans wanting and expecting more.

Let’s dig in to the WHAT, WHY and HOW of content planning:

WHAT is content planning?

Content planning – sometimes known as editorial planning or editorial calendar – is the system of planning out all of the your content (blog posts, promotions, campaigns, newsletters and social media posts) ideally in calendar format (or spreadsheet, or Word docs) so that you are constantly and consistently delivering valuable, timely information to your peeps.

For example, I try to blog at least once a month about something I’ve been working on with clients or something that I think needs explaining to my followers who are interested in learning more about online marketing and social media.

I then create a monthly newsletter to share the most recent blog post(s) and any other recent online marketing and social media news and trends as well as upcoming events. And for my “secret sauce” – try to include a playlist!

Typically, I plan this for the middle of the month, because I’m usually busy at the beginning of the month working on client work (their newsletters, etc.). Then, I share the blog/newsletter on all of my social media posts, for people who might not be on my email list.

Example of my typical content planning:

Example of content planning and scheduling for my blog

 

REPEAT!

That’s a very simplified version of my content planning and scheduling for my blog, newsletter and related promotional social media!

WHY should you plan your content?

The main reasons you should plan your content marketing are:

First, you will eliminate the stress of always feeling like you should be more to communicate with your ideal audience. Once you set up some sort of system, you can rest easy that you have a plan to make it happen.

Second, planning makes it easier for your team (admin, designer, web person) to support you. If you have your content planned out, then you can enlist the support of your team to potentially help with research, images, posts and scheduling, etc.  Heck, you may even be able to delegate the whole process. Many hands will make light work, especially when they are working with your new schedule.

Lastly, your audience will love, expect and come to rely on your regularly shared insights and expertise with your blog and newsletter delivery. With consistent content, you’ll become the teacher, adviser and coach constantly engaging and delighting your clients with valuable information that further establishes you as an expert in your field. 

HOW do you create your content plan?

First, decide what kind of content will you be creating, curating and sharing? – For some, it’s easier to think about what they want to say, share, teach, or promote. For example, you might have a series of “how-to” videos, timely tips blog posts, a project portfolio or seasonal promotion or campaign with a countdown. If you are stuck, I often tell clients to think about the top 10 questions that they get asked by their clients.

Related Reading: Blogging When You Hate to Write

Second, establish when will you be posting and sharing your content – While it’s important to consider how frequent your audience wants to hear from you, it’s equally if not more important to answer the question – how often can you/your team reliably and consistently deliver?

While many “experts” advise that weekly is the ideal frequency to stay in touch with your tribe, I advise starting with what feels like a manageable schedule. You are much better off to commit to a monthly schedule and consistently deliver for a year, than to dive into a weekly commitment and peter out after 2 months.

NINJA TIP – Batch your content if you can

Instead of writing a new blog every time you have one scheduled, consider writing them in batches. Why not bang out 3-4 blog posts then you would be done for the month or the quarter depending on your frequency.

The same can be said for social media content. You should consider posting at least a week’s worth of your social media in advance. This is particularly good for evergreen and/or promotional posts that aren’t tied to news and trending ideas. If you can schedule the bulk of your

SUPER NINJA TIP – Schedule your content

Most of your online marketing platforms like WordPress, MailChimp, Facebook and/or third party apps, like Hootsuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, and CoSchedule all have super helpful scheduling features so you don’t feel tied to your computer when you need to post.

If you can plan and schedule your online content, it will become part of your business activities, instead of an afterthought that never happens.Click To Tweet

 

Sign up below to get your own free Content Calendar from me:

 

Please share in the comments below what your favorite tips, tricks and tools are for optimum blog and social media content planning. Or connect with me if you need some help planning your content calendar. Now get planning!

3 Ways To Optimize Your New Website Launch

3 Ways to Optimize Your Website Launch

I’ve been knee-deep in new website launches with clients and with my own website, recently.  After months of fussing over getting everything just right, it’s totally understandable to want to get that new baby out into the world. I get it – you can’t wait to finally share your new look and branding with everyone.  However, here are a three steps you should consider taking so that your fantastic new website gets maximum exposure and visibility.

1)   Get your website Google-ready.

As important as it is for your new site to function properly and be easy to navigate for new users, it is just as important for it to work well for Google and the other search engines. Make sure that you have created the best headlines, meta descriptions, and keywords for all of the content on your site so that the search engines identify your website as one that is reliable, informative, and appropriate for searches in your areas of expertise.

yoast

For most WordPress sites, you can add in plug-ins (Yoast is the most popular) to help you do this. However, if it sounds too confusing, I advise hiring an SEO (search engine optimization) expert to help you with this process – ideally before you even design your new site.

2)   Carry your new design across all platforms.

No doubt hours and hours were spent thinking about the images, color, fonts, and the look of your new site – right? Keep that awesome design going with your branding for your newsletter, social media networks, and online presentations. You want your fans and customers to feel like they are in your world with your consistent look and messaging no matter where they are in your online space.

branding

Create new newsletter header, and new (and appropriately-sized) social media images (both profile and cover images) using your brand’s new look. Also, make sure your website and looks good when it is shared. Get your designer to help you, and use social sharing plug-in (my website designer  recommended Social Warfare) and set up your social cards on your website so that you can control the look and specific content that is shared.

3)   Let your tribe help spread the word and engage with your new website.

Nothing is as infectious and engaging as a happy excited employee or fan, so let them help you share your good news. Encourage them to share the new website with their networks. If they have been involved in the process, this shouldn’t be difficult as they are probably as enthusiastic to get the word out.

stats

In one recent launch, the team was so excited and proud of the new website, the employee team shared it on Facebook and encouraged all of their friends to like the company’s Facebook page, nearly doubling the the audience in one week!

Or make a game out of it. My friend Patty Lennon just launched a gorgeous new site and to get her people to check it out, she created a treasure hunt on her site – hiding a phrase that she rewarded people for finding.

It could be so easy to finally flip the switch and just let your site be your new site. Often, people choose to forget these extra steps or they wait until they realize they are not getting the traction they expected.  But taking the time and implementing these critical to-dos into your launch strategy will most certainly give you the wider visibility and engagement you are seeking for your most important online marketing tool – your website.

Want to learn more about maximizing your new launch? Schedule a clarity call with me now.

Where Do I Start?

Where Do I Start? Tools To Help Launch Your Business Online

In this guest post, Kate Schell, aka Digital Marketing Momma shares an exhaustive list of resources to help you launch your online business. Dig in!

Are you ready to earn 6 Figures This Year In Your Business?

Learn The Techniques to Earn 6 Figures!

Join My Program And I’ll Show You How To Make Millions!

How many of these headlines do you see every day?  I know my inbox is flooded with emails and offers with experts trying to give me their secret to 6-figure success.

Truth be told… I fell for a lot of these marketing pitches.  I bought programs and listened to endless webinars about how to make the big bucks in my business.  I spent a lot of money trying to learn how to be rich.  Funny concept huh?  Spend a ton to learn how to make a ton.

Here’s what I found out.  Most of these high-level courses and programs are mostly strategy.  A system that was “created” by the expert that made THEM a lot of money.

Strategy is great, but what about the how-to piece of it all?

That’s where most of these programs were sorely lacking.  I love strategies like everyone else but if you’re not showing me how to do something, then I’m no better off and now I’m probably even more overwhelmed.

Here’s an example.  I studied an amazing program on Launches.  It’s a massive program that many many many people have studied and followed and succeeded using.

The content of the program is awesome, but here’s the thing.  At the end, I still wasn’t clear of where I should start.  Like, what’s Step 1?

Think about it this way – houses need a foundation.  A concrete, solid footing to hold it up.  It doesn’t matter the size of the house, it will still need a foundation.

Think about your business in the same way.  Whether you are just starting out or have built a successful business – you still need the foundation to support it.

What makes up the foundation:

  • branding and logo
  • website
  • sales and landing pages
  • email marketing program
  • a way to receive payments
  • social media profiles
  • a way to call/video chat with prospects and clients

These are the basics.

Then we get into the more specific needs of a business like:

  • a webinar program
  • facebook advertising
  • email automation
  • blogging
  • content creation
  • offers and packages
  • online trainings and courses
  • tracking online analytics

and so on…

Keep in mind, these are just some of the starting points for an online business.  It all depends on what type of business you have and what you are offering.

It also depends on your audience.  Maybe they aren’t very tech savvy so social media for them isn’t that important. Who knows? Your business set-up is just as unique as you are.

That’s why getting started can feel super complicated.  You are probably looking for someone to tell you how to set up YOUR business and that manual doesn’t exist.  You’ve probably been trying to piece together the advice of many and it’s confusing.

A very good friend who runs her own business said to me “I have this amazing network of entrepreneurial people and they all have amazing advice and feedback for me. However, I’m taking the advice of many and some of it conflicts and I’m getting confused.”

As solopreneurs we are in charge of it all and when it’s time to figure out how to do something for our business we go to Google and try and figure it out.  Do you remember the scene in Alice in Wonderland when Alice falls down the rabbit hole….  That’s what Google is.  The endless rabbit hole of information and it’s very hard to know what’s right and what’s garbage.

So What Do We Do?

The first thing to do is set aside so time (I know, time, haha, who has extra time?) and figure out what it is you NEED to run your business.

What systems do you need to move things along smoothly?

Let’s use a Business Coach as an example:

A business coach may need:

  • A Website/Blog
  • Email Accounts/Email Marketing
  • Payment Gateway/Online Banking
  • Intake Forms (preferably ones that can be e-signed)
  • Social Media Profiles
  • Dedicated phone line/Cell
  • Skype or a similar video conference program
  • Appointment Scheduler that links to a gmail calendar

What systems could this coach use?

  • Website/Blog – WordPress
  • Email Account – Gmail For Business
  • Email Marketing – AWeber or MailChimp
  • Payment Gateway – PayPal
  • Intake Forms – Google Docs
  • E-Sign Forms – DocuSign
  • Facebook Business Page (if applicable)
  • Twitter Profile (if applicable)
  • LinkedIn Profile (if applicable)
  • Instagram (if applicable)
  • Pinterest (if applicable)
    (why did you write “if applicable”?  Well, you should focus your social media efforts on the platform your audience hangs out in.  No need for social media overwhelm when you are getting started)
  • Dedicated Phone Line:  Very few of us have landlines these days BUT keep in mind if you are going to be interviewed for podcasts or radio shows a landline is more reliable than a cell.
  • Video Calls: Skype
  • Appointment Scheduler:  TimeTrade or ScheduleOnce

There are many “shiny objects” out there that will promise you “great results”.  Try not to sign up for all of the latest and greatest programs and platforms.  Figure out what you need as you get started and then when those systems are working well, consider adding more advanced systems.

I’m sure you are now really curious about these “advanced systems” – here are a few that you may roll up into:

Opt-Ins and Lead Magnets:

If you are at the point where you may be considering doing webinars, or would like to create easy to use sales pages with opt-ins, or want to test a few different lead magnets (or freebie downloads), you may consider using LeadPages. The pro plan is $49/mo and is an investment, however, if you are ready to create some really cool and user friendly sales pages and opt-ins, this is a really great program to try.

Social Media Scheduling:

If posting to social media is becoming a pain, you may want to try these options for an all-in-one system for scheduling and managing all of your social media profiles in one place.

  • Hootsuite:  Easy to use.  You can manage all of your social profiles in one place.
  • Edgar:  Manage profiles and Edgar will recycle the content for you.
  • Beatrix:  Manage your profiles and Beatrix will recommend content for your to share.

Webinar Platforms:

If you are ready to start adding webinars into your marketing toolkit, here are some suggestions:

  • Zoom: Easy to use. Capable of screensharing or just showcasing your smiling face
  • GoToWebinar:  Expensive, but very user friendly
  • WebinarJam:  Has a ton of added features
  • StealthSeminar: If you’d like to run pre-recorded webinars

Advanced Analytics Tracking:

If you are a numbers lover and like to see the analytics on your website and social media posts you may consider some of these.

QuillEngage: An easy to understand report for your Google Analytics.  Report emailed weekly

Need Content to Share for Social Media?

  • YouTube:  Find a video that’s relevant to your business, share the video and comment.
  • Quora:  Want to know what your ideal customer is asking?  Go to Quora and find out.
  • Alltop:  Great source of content to share.  Search by topic.
  • Google Trends:  Why not go straight to the search Giant for top content?
  • Buzzsumo: With a free account you can search the top content shared.

Stock Photos:

Need some awesome photos for social media, blog posts or your website?

These are just a few of the amazing programs that are available out there. Trust me – new ones are popping up everyday!

Try some of these out. Jump over to Facebook and share any that I may have left out!

Good luck my busy entrepreneurs!!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Kate Schell, aka Digital Marketing Momma is an entrepreneur and crazy busy mom to four. Digital marketing, online business models, funnels and sales strategies are her drive and passion in business! She gobbles up anything and everything that has to do with online business and backend technology systems. But her true passion lies in supporting women entrepreneurs in building their businesses and CRUSHING their fears around technology and digital marketing!

What Gifts Have You Given?

What Gifts Have You Given?

As we are headed toward the countdown to Christmas and the end of the year, you probably have a running list of overwhelming to-dos and a mental list of all of the things that you didn’t accomplish this year.

Here’s a just a glimpse of my running list –

  • Christmas cards still to sign and send
  • Presents to wrap and ship
  • Didn’t master several new social media strategies
  • Didn’t blog more than once a month
  • Didn’t run regularly

Sound familiar?  Seriously, we could totally beat ourselves up fretting over all of our shortcomings, challenges and issues we may have faced this year.

But stop for a minute.  Take a deep a breath – and let’s look at the other side of this coin.

What if you asked yourself “WHAT GIFTS HAVE I GIVEN THIS YEAR?”

Think about the clients whose businesses or life paths you altered in a positive way, or the co-workers you helped with a project, or the community organizations and non-profits that you supported.

Think about the “just checking in” phone calls or texts that you DID make. Don’t focus on the ones that you didn’t.

Instead of the obsessing on the perfect family dinners that you may rarely have or the not-so-tidy house you keep, think about the time you spent standing around the kitchen island laughing at a really stupid joke or hugging a loved one when things weren’t going so well.

Instead of fretting about the time you didn’t spend with your children, think about the time that you did.  Whether driving them around or being on the sidelines at a game or in the concert crowd, you were giving gifts!

I’m certain that there are probably hundreds if not thousands of people – family, friends, co-workers and strangers – who benefitted this year from your gifts of talent, time, love, attention, kindness, donations and probably just a smile at a time they needed it.

They may not have all been able to thank you, but I am.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH! The world is a better place for all that you do! Keep up the great work!Click To Tweet

(Credit and shout-out to author Laura Vanderkam – my first and favorite client – for this inspiration on “changing the narrative”.  It’s far better to focus on what we are doing right instead of having a persistently negative mindset about what’s going wrong.  To quote her: “Nobody wins in the Misery Olympics. Victory comes from refusing to take part.”)

Please share in the comments what gifts have you given this year, or connect with me on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, or Instagram.  And if you are having trouble coming up with the gifts you have given, shoot me an email, I’d love to help you with your list!