While on “holiday” I got to spend some time with a family friend, Jody Wallington, who is gifted make-up artist. She is mid-launch with her business and was feeling good about some things, and feeling stuck about many others.
Here’s how we got her unstuck. I’m sharing with the hope that it helps you too!
First we looked at what she had done, and what was already working for her.
• Her website is great and optimized for SEO
• She’s set up for local search in her area and her industry
• The site is mobile responsive (a must)
• She is very clear about how she differentiates herself from her competition
• Jody was also very clear about her target audience
The above list is the place to start. If you don’t know exactly who you are trying to reach, then efforts on social media or other advertising options aren’t likely to help.
Jody’s first big challenge was about all of the tools and resources that had been recommended to her. Hootsuite, Canva, Hashtagify, are all good tools, but she was wondering how to use them and what to actually post and create with these tools.
We backed away from the tools and started with her marketing and social media basics. We worked together to think about getting her “content” strategically organized.
Create 3 Buckets
- Bucket One – Content Ideas – what are the top 10-12 questions or answers that your ideal clients need to hear from you? What do you know that everyone wants to know from you? Jody listed several things right away.
• What are best products for someone who has received cancer treatment?
• 5 things women of certain age should never do when wearing make-up
• What to do if you are not exactly light, medium or dark?
These 10-12 items can then easily become blog posts or scheduled themes for content.
- Bucket Two – Hashtags and Keywords – these are not necessarily the same, but it’s critical to develop the list of words and phrases that you want to be found for or associated with. This is where tools like Hashtagify can help. Here are some things Jody considered:
• Is she a make-up artist or skincare consultant?
• Instead of “bridal parties”, she’s considering “mother of bride” as more her ideal client type
• Hashtags like #lookinggood #feelingfab might be better than #glam or #hot
- Bucket Three – Photos/Images – start building a portfolio of images that you can use for blog content, marketing collateral and social media posts.
• Do you have them on hand?
• Can you find them on free or paid photo sites?
• Do you need to create them or set up a photo shoot?
• Do you have a sense of what your branded imagery should look and feel like? (Canva is great for this!)
Creating these three buckets requires effort and research, and literally spending LOTS of time on researching social media and sometimes going down rabbit holes. It might not feel productive at first, but seeing what resonates with you – and recognizing what you audience is paying attention to as well – is a huge help when you start creating your own posts, mages, and content.
Tips for getting started:
- Set a realistic schedule and create dedicated (undistracted!) time to do this work.
- Figure out a workable system where you are going to track and be able to access this information. (Scraps of paper are not advisable! Think about a cloud based system, so you can)
- Start researching influencers or people you admire in your industry and see what is working for them.
- Before you start posting all of your great new content, check that all of your online profiles to ensure they are consistent with your brand messaging and images for each platform.
Then we had a bit of an “A-HA” when we working on Jody’s strategy at this point!
While all of the above is critical to appropriately develop your social media and start building content to support your brand, I caution people to realize that this is a marathon vs. race type strategy.
Part of our deep dive planning then turned to developing ideas for FAST TRACK connections and opportunities to get new clients.
Nurture Your Network – Friends, fans and people who already know you can be the best place to start. Find the most direct route to get in front of people who need to refer and recommend your services by letting those in your immediate circle know what you need.
Let them help make introductions and referrals.
LinkedIn – If you don’t appreciate or consider LinkedIn as a critical network for your business building you might want to reconsider.
• This provides a great opportunity to focus on your keywords
• You can start growing your connections
• Connect with influencers or ask for introductions
• It is search-friendly – and has SEO benefits with Google
Start developing an email list and plan to reach your peeps directly in their inbox. I have and could spend hours (watch this space) telling people that building an email list is the most critical thing that they should be doing for their business.
A last word of encouragement:
If promoting yourself and your business feels uncomfortable and icky, like this:
You are not alone. Many people get stuck here. But remember your marketing mindset is an important part of your success. Rather than resisting marketing or continuing to be the world’s best kept secret, it’s time to tackle this head-on.
I challenged Jody (and challenge you) to think about marketing as an extension of service to others. If you can continue to find ways to help people and be of service, and use all of these online tools to do it – then that will be certainly be the most effective marketing you can do!
Are you stuck with your online marketing? I’d love to help you get unstuck, let’s set up a clarity call, so we can get you moving toward marketing success!