marketing strategy

[343] The three audiences you must build to create a profitable online business

Are you feeling frustrated because you're trying to build your online audience...but you still don't have enough clients?

While activities like social media marketing, blogging and building your email list are brilliant for attracting cold leads (i.e. people who don't know about you yet), research consistently shows that most people need at least 7 or 8 touch points with you before they buy. Which means it could take up to a year - or longer - before they are ready to buy from you. 

So if you’re prioritising attracting people who might be ready to work with you in a years’ time (your cold audience) over people who have the money and desire to work with you right now (your warm and hot audiences), you’ll soon find yourself short of clients.

That’s why it’s vital to remember that you actually need three audiences: hot, warm and cold and you need to be giving the right kind of attention to each. 

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

1. Your hot audience 

Your hot audience includes the people who are most likely to buy from you. These are generally people you already have a relationship with e.g. your existing or previous clients/customers, friends/family. The marketing activities that generally work best for your hot audience are:

  • Personal emails
  • Personal messages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc)
  • Phone calls
  • Meetings
  • Letters
  • In-person networking

These are generally referred to as high-touch marketing strategies and include a mix of on and offline activities. With high-touch marketing strategies, you would typically contact the prospect on a one-to-one basis.

Typical conversion time: If a prospect already knows, likes and trusts you, they may be able to make a buying decision immediately. Which is why hot audience leads can convert in 30 days or less.

If you're prioritising attracting clients who might want to work you in 12 months' time (your cold audience) over people who might want to pay you to work with them right now...you'll soon find yourself short on clients

2. Your warm audience 

Your warm audience is the second most likely group to buy from you. These people are generally aware of you - and may have expressed an interest in your product/service - but you don’t necessarily have a relationship with them. e.g. engaged social media followers, email list subscribers (who either haven’t bought anything from you or have only made a small investment so far), Facebook group members, friends-of-friends.

High-touch strategies can also work with warm leads but generally this group are still getting to know, like and trust you. So the marketing activities that tend to work best with your warm audience are:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Social media posts (high-value)
  • Facebook Lives
  • Books
  • Speaking
  • Lead magnets
  • Online networking
  • Retargeting ads (adverts that are shown to people who have already looked at your sales page)

These are generally referred to as medium or multi-touch marketing strategies that include more online than offline activities. With medium or multi-touch marketing strategies, you typically contact the prospect on both a one-to-one and one-to-many basis (e.g. automated emails sent to multiple recipients).

Typical conversion time: If a prospect already knows a little bit about you, they may be able to make a buying decision more quickly. But they still need to get to know, like and trust you. Which is why warm leads can take 3-6 months to get to the stage where they are ready to buy.

3. Your cold audience 

Your cold audience is the least likely group to buy from you. These people don’t even know you exist right now...so why would they buy from you right now?  This group still need to get to know, like and trust you so they also need to be nurtured with content. So the marketing activities that tend to work best with cold leads are:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Social media posts (high-value)
  • Facebook Lives
  • Books
  • Speaking
  • Lead magnets
  • Online networking
  • Facebook / Instagram ads

There’s no reason why you can’t target this group from ‘cold’ content e.g. Facebook ads or blog content, but you will probably find they need to see your content 6, 7 or 8 times before they buy.

These are generally referred to as low-touch marketing strategies that generally only include online activities. With low-touch marketing strategies, you typically contact the prospect on a one-to-many basis (e.g. automated emails sent to multiple recipients).

Typical conversion time: Most people need 7 or 8 touch points with you before they buy. Which is why it typically takes a year or longer to convert cold leads into buyers.

So if you want to boost your sales - quick - you need to focus on your hot audience and use high-touch strategies to reach them. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be thinking about your warm and cold audiences….you should be working on attracting and nurturing these people every single day.

Avoiding the ‘cold audience’ trap

Many coaches, consultants and experts fall into the trap of spending too much time on cold audiences...and barely any time on following up their hottest leads.

This is because your hottest leads tend to be people you’re working with right now or have worked with in the past. And these people typically respond best to high-touch activities e.g. email, phone calls etc.

The problem is, reaching out to family, friends or current/previous clients can make you feel embarrassed. While these people - the ones who already know, like and trust you - are the ones who are most likely to say ‘yes’ to you (or refer you to your ideal clients) - they’re also more likely to hurt you.

Because getting a ‘no’ from someone you know stings far more than getting a ‘no’ from a stranger, right? Which is why it's tempting to distract yourself with social media, blogging and creating email lead magnets....instead of reaching out to people who are ready to work with you right now. 

How much time should you spend on your cold, warm and hot audiences? 

The rather unsatisfactory answer is: it depends.

If you have enough clients and leads to keep you busy for the next 12 months, you may be able to spend as little as 30 minutes a day on your hot and warm audiences - freeing you up to spend time on your cold audience (which is typically more time consuming).

But if you need clients right now - if you’re struggling to pay your bills each month - it's time to get honest with yourself. Are playing in the cold ring i.e. focusing on your cold audience because it feels more comfortable than reaching out to your hottest leads? 

If the answer is 'yes' it's time to refocus. Here are the steps I'd recommend:

  1. Take an honest look at how much time you're spending each day on your cold, warm and hot audiences. Use a tool like Paymo or Toggl to track how you are spending your time.
  2.  If you're spending too much time on your cold audience, hit 'pause' on your cold outreach activities for a few days while you have a system in place for prospecting and following up with your hottest leads.
  3. Do an audit of your hot, warm and cold leads (as in the example above) and the activities that will work best for each
  4. Decide how much time you have each day/week for your cold, warm and hot outreach (I’d recommend getting into the habit of spending the first 30-60 minutes of your working day on hot outreach - you'll feel so much better knowing it's done.

Podcast show notes:

  • Why your marketing strategy isn’t attracting you any leads (5:15)
  • The three different types of leads you need (8:20)
  • How to reach out to your ‘hot’ leads and convert them into clients (11:02)
  • How to reach out to your ‘warm’ leads and convert them into clients (20:12)
  • The average conversion time for your warm leads (28:40)
  • How to reach out to your ‘cold’ leads and convert them into clients (32:30)
  • Why you shouldn’t spend all your time attracting cold leads (40:40)
  • How to prioritise your marketing strategies correctly (48:02)

Resources

Blog Post: How I chose the speakers for Build Your Audience Live

Episode 335: How to create a high-converting lead magnet

Keap (previously InfusionSoft)

Janet Murray’s Prospecting Kit

Purchase the ‘How to create coaching packages’ masterclass here

Join the waitlist for the Build Your Audience Programme here

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Join the priority wait list for Build Your Audience Live Event here

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

 

[342] How to build your audience on YouTube with Jessica Dante

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. So if you want to get in front of a large audience, having a Youtube channel can be a smart move.

But if you’re not familiar with the platform, the practicalities of setting up a channel, deciding what kind of content you should be creating and getting people to actually watch it can feel daunting.

In this podcast episode, I talk to Love and London founder and successful YouTuber Jessica Dante. She shares her tips on getting started with a YouTube channel, finding your niche (and why you need one), growing your YouTube audience and how to overcome your fear of publishing less than perfect video.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

What kind of content should you publish on YouTube

When Jess started her YouTube channel in 2015 she knew she wanted it to be based around travel but was reluctant to niche down too soon. Initially, she focused on general travel tips and guides to interesting European cities, but quickly learned her focus was too broad. As Jess says: “If you try and talk to everyone you’re talking to no one.”

After a few months of consistently uploading videos each week, Jess noticed that the videos which focused specifically on London were outperforming others and that YouTube had started to recommend them to viewers.  She decided to niche her content down, focusing solely on London - and that’s when her channel really started to take off.

If you’re new to YouTube, it’s unlikely you’ll hit the spot with your content straight away, says Jess. Most new YouTubers have to experiment with different topics until they find their style and niche.

Even if you’re just working out your niche, the one thing you can get right straight away, is the type of content you create - content that solves viewers’ problems. For Jess, this was about helping people find interesting things to do in London (and find their way around). For you, it must also be about solving your ideal clients’ problems.

Once your channel is more established, you can start to create content that is specifically about your products/services, but initially your focus should be on helping your audience, says Jess. This will help you develop authority and credibility - vital for building your Youtube audience.

How long should your YouTube videos be?

Although there are no hard and fast rules, if you’re new to Youtube, Jess recommends keeping your videos at around three to five minutes, although longer videos work well for certain types of video such as tutorials.

How often?

When you’re starting out on YouTube, Jess recommends posting a new video each week. This will help you develop a consistent publishing schedule and boost the YouTube algorithm in your favour.

How to set up your channel correctly

Jess believes the most important thing when you’re getting started on YouTube is to focus on your video titles and thumbnail images – the small preview image of your video - as this is how people decide whether or not to watch your video.

Although YouTube automatically generates a thumbnail image for you, Jess suggests creating and uploading a custom thumbnail using a design tool like Canva.

“Use a picture you’ve taken especially for the thumbnail, for example if the video is you talking to the camera then get a picture of yourself doing that and then on Canva add two to three words to the side that will complement what the title is, not a duplicate of the title,” she says.

The video description is also important.  Jess recommends including the keyword for the video in the first 25 characters and give plenty of detail (one or two paragraphs is ideal) which should sell the video and tell people why they should watch it to the end. This should be followed with some general information about you and your business and add some links to your website or to resources you mention in the video.

How important is video quality on YouTube?

When you’re just starting out, don’t worry too much about equipment or quality (although good audio is important), says Jess. She points out that one of her most popular videos - made in the early days of her Youtube channel - is poor quality. Focus instead on adding value for viewers.

Janet agrees. She often searches for piano tutorials on YouTube and finds the quality of the video isn’t important to her: “It’s more about what’s accessible and which has the most value. It shouldn’t be style over substance”

For video editing, Jess recommends  iMovie for Mac users or Windows Movie Maker for Microsoft. For the first two years Jess did all her own editing and suggests keeping it simple, “People are interested in the information not the fancy transitions,” she says.

How to keep people watching your videos to the end (and why it’s important)

If you want people to keep watching, it’s important to keep the introduction in your videos short. Jess recommends aiming for five seconds, but definitely less than 15. She usually prepares three sentences for her introduction: one to introduce the topic of the video, one to introduce her and one to tell viewers about the lead magnet she’ll be giving away at the end.

Offering something of value at the end of each video can be a good way to encourage people to watch to the end of your video.  For example, Jess offers a lead magnet – a resource or information product you create with the purpose of encouraging your ideal customers/clients to sign up to your email list - at the end of many of her videos. She tells people about the lead magnet at the beginning of her video to encourage viewers to watch to the end.

Jess has also started adding outtakes/bloopers in at the end too to give viewers an extra reason to watch to the very end.

Which numbers to track on YouTube

When you’re new to YouTube, it’s easy to get obsessed with viewer numbers. While this important (the more people view your videos, the more people YouTube will show your videos to). But other key metrics are equally - if not more - important.

YouTube’s ‘watch time’ is a measure of how many minutes people spend watching your channel and give a good indication of how engaged viewers are when watching your videos. YouTube also tracks your retention rate – the percentage of your video that viewers watched.

Jess explains: “The higher retention the better, but when you’re starting aim for at least 50% and then work up to at least 60% and 70%. Nobody ever gets 100%, it’s just not possible.”

How to keep viewers on your YouTube channel (and why you need to)

YouTube is not just tracking how long people watch your videos for, it’s also looking at how long people spend on your channel. And the more time people spend on your channel, the more people will be shown your content.

That’s why it can be a good idea to use YouTube cards – interactive ‘panels’ that slide in and out when a video is playing – are a great way to encourage viewers to watch more videos on your channel, and therefore increase your watch time. Creating playlists of videos on similar topics and using cards to direct people to related content can be a great way to do this. In fact, planning your content in clusters i.e. creating five or six videos on a similar topic is a strategic way to build playlists as you go.

When using cards, Jess recommends you mention when they appear and point to the corner of the frame where the card shows. She also uses cards to send people to landing pages (dedicated web pages with a single call to action) for her lead magnets, as she believes they help create a better experience for viewers too.

How to use keywords to help your videos get found in search

If you want your videos to get found on YouTube, you need to use the words/phrases your ideal viewers are searching for.

Ideally you want to use terms that people are searching for, but not one that is so popular that your post will get lost in the noise of the competition.

Narrowing things down can help with this. For example, the phrase ‘how to write a press release’ is a very popular search term. Using a less popular, but more specific phrase like ‘How to write a press release for your small business’ or ‘How to write a press release for a charity’ (generally referred to as ‘longtail’ keywords)  is likely to be more effective when it comes to Google rankings.

If you’re not sure how to make your topic more specific, using YouTube's autocomplete function can help, says Jess.  For example, if she is thinking about creating a video on how to use an Oyster card in London, using the autocomplete function  might show that some people are searching for, ‘How to use an Oyster Card in London with kids’. This is a much more niche term, which means it’s likely to perform better in search.

How important are comments on your YouTube videos?

Comments are a signal to YouTube that people are enjoying your videos and that people are engaging with you and your content.

“When you’re just starting out, check your comments on videos every single day. Get into a conversation with these people as they are your early adopters. Treat them like VIPs and ask what other content they want to see from you,” says Jess.

How long does it take to grow an audience for your YouTube channel?

Building an audience on YouTube is a long term game and Jess advises new users not to expect anything major in the first year. After your first six months, you can do a thorough evaluation and make tweaks where necessary.

Janet uses Beth Campagna from Mama Life London who started her channel in 2018 as an example. Some videos only have 200 views but Janet has bought Beth’s products because she liked what she was doing on YouTube. “It’s a mistake to think you can’t make sales or get clients if you’re not getting massive views. You can make an impact with a smaller audience,” she says.

How building an email list helps to grow your YouTube audience

Jess thinks it’s important to consider how you’re going to send people to your YouTube content.

It’s also important to promote your YouTube content on social media but bear in mind that it’s not always as effective to ask people to move from one channel to another. For example, people are often reluctant to move from Instagram to YouTube but, if you can get people off their current platform to YouTube, YouTube will promote your content and recommend it to viewers watching content on similar topics.

Jess also uses email to promote her YouTube videos and stresses the importance of doing this within the first 24 hours of publishing a new video.  Not only will your videos get more views as your email subscribers start watching, but YouTube will register that people are watching your videos and start recommending them to more people,” she says.

The YouTube algorithm looks at how well videos perform in the first 24 hours. It takes into account the first seven days too, but the first 24 hours are crucial.

Jess’s biggest piece of advice for building an audience on YouTube is to focus on building an email list. When she started her YouTube channel she wasn’t building a list and on her first 25 videos there was no offer of a lead magnet.

The first video she promoted a lead magnet in performed really well and she found she’d got 35 subscribers overnight. She suggests having at least one lead magnet from the very start to help you build your email list.

Janet is also a strong advocate of building an email list. Although it takes time, she tells her clients to celebrate every single person who joins the list. It takes time and a lot of experimentation to learn the best strategies for getting people onto your email list - and keeping them there - which is why it’s important to remember that it’s a long term game.

Jess agrees it takes time, and believes there’s too much focus on big numbers: “You might only need 100 people on your email list or one person to see your video to generate money.”

Podcast show notes:

  • Jess’ business story (10:02)
  • How testing different content can help you work out what your niche is (and why you should stick to it) (13:30)
  • How to get started with growing your YouTube audience (19:55)
  • How to use keywords to make your videos rank higher (22:05)
  • The different types of content you can create on Youtube (27:02)
  • How to get your first videos on Youtube seen and searched for (31:05)
  • How to write an effective description (34:40)
  • What is ‘watch time’ and how you can improve this data (35:40)
  • Why your videos don’t have to be professionally recorded to succeed (43:10)
  • How to use ‘cards’ on Youtube and how it will help your videos rank higher (45:40)
  • How Jess has grown her Youtube channel (50:38)
  • How long it takes to grow your Youtube channel (53:30)
  • Why you need to trial and test different lead magnets (55:30)
  • How regularly you should be posting content on your Youtube channel (1:04:50)
  • How to edit your videos if you’re a beginner (1:05:06)

Resources

Jess’ Website: Love and London

Love and London on Youtube

Love and London on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter

Canva

PicMonkey

Leadpages (Affiliate Link)

Andrew and Pete

iMovie

Windows Movie Maker

Episode 241: How to build your email list via a Youtube channel

Purchase the ‘How to create coaching packages’ masterclass here

Join the waitlist for the Build Your Audience Programme here

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Join the priority wait list for Build Your Audience Live Event here

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

How I chose the speakers for Build Your Audience Live

If you’re thinking of coming along to Build Your Audience Live you may want to know more about the speakers – and how I chose them.

A quick bit of background: At Build Your Audience Live you’ll get to meet some of the world’s most inspiring marketing experts – all of whom have built a large online audience on a particular platform (or several). And you won’t just get to meet them…you’ll get to hang out with them for the full two day event.

We keep the event deliberately small (80 delegates max) so you can chat to them over, coffee, lunch, dinner – and during our dedicated table talks where you can get personalised advice on how to promote your business. Topics include: video marketing, podcasting, social media strategy, Pinterest marketing, traffic generation, Facebook ads, Instagram marketing, content strategy, SEO & traffic generation, Twitter marketing & more.

There’s absolutely NO queuing at the side of the stage for a selfie…these guys are all yours for the ENTIRE two days.

Janet Murray (that’s me)

In 2015, I was a journalist with a blog about how to get featured in the press. Today I’m a content marketing expert, author, podcaster and speaker who speaks all over the world about building online audiences. I run my business from home, generating income from a membership community, mastermind groups, online courses and related products. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants build online audiences because I know it’s the quickest route to making a decent income (without having to trade time for money). I also know how hard it can be, which is why I’ve created this event to help you build, grow and scale your audience.

Ian Anderson Gray

I first met Ian when we were both speaking at New Media Europe back in 2016. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with him at various marketing conferences, including Social Media Marketing World in San Diego where he has spoken for the last four years. You may also have spotted me taking part in Ian’s fab Christmas Carol Of The Day project and virtual choir. Ian - who is also a singing teacher - is an expert in live video confidence, but is also a successful blogger whose popular posts receive over 2m views a year - meaning there is tons for you to pick his brain about at Build Your Audience Live. Ian is great fun and I can’t wait for you to meet him.

You can listen to our podcast interview here. 

May King Tsang

I first met May King when she attended one of my live events Media Influence Live.  I was impressed with her social media coverage of the event - particularly her live tweeting - which really put her on my radar. May King has live tweeted for events all over the world. She now specialises in social media FOMO* creation for live events offering live social media coverage that creates a buzz around the event and recently worked on Atomicon 2019. As well as speaking at Build Your Audience Live, May King will be delivering her FOMO* creation package...so watch and learn people!

*Fear of missing out

 

Jeff Sieh

I first heard of Jeff when I was looking for Pinterest advice and came across his podcast The Manly Pinterest Podcast. I invited him to be a guest on my show and recently had the pleasure of hanging out with him in Nashville, where I was speaking at the Tribe conference (in fact he took it upon himself to be my personal photographer/videographer).  Jeff, who is based in Texas, is a regular speaker at Social Media Marketing World (in fact he’s part of the Social Media Examiner) team. I’m so excited for Jeff to share his Pinterest tips with you, but also his wisdom on developing a strong niche. It’s his first time visiting the UK, so I can’t wait to introduce him to you. 

You can listen to our podcast interview here.

Jessica Dante

Jess has built up an 88k following for her YouTube Channel Love & London - an online travel guide for visitors to London. This has helped her build an email list and generate income through the sale of her travel guides and partnership with brands. I can’t wait for her to share her tips with you on growing and monetising your YouTube channel. Even if you don’t have a YouTube channel  yet - I know you’ll get tons of inspiration from her on what kind of content you should be creating to attract your ideal clients, growing an audience for your blog/vlog and monetising your content. She is also one of the most approachable experts I know. 

You can listen to our podcast interview here

Colin Gray

I first met Colin back in 2015 at New Media Europe. Since then, we’ve gone on to share a stage at numerous events together, including the Youpreneur Summit in London, CMA Live in Edinburgh and Inbound in Boston.  Colin, aka The Podcast Host, is an authority on all things podcasting.  He’s also a successful blogger, whose blog gets 2.5m visits a year, app developer and is brilliant on time management and productivity. Colin is one of the nicest guys I know and I can’t wait for you to meet him. 

You can listen to our podcast interview here.

Kirsty Merrett

I discovered blogger Kirsty Merrett (aka @labelsforlunch) on Instagram when I was looking for interesting accounts to follow. I loved the content she was sharing on shopping, fashion, beauty and interiors and was intrigued by how she was working with brands. I’m excited to introduce her to you so she can share her tips on creating a beautiful-looking Instagram feed, compelling Instagram stories and how to find your ideal clients/brands to work with on Instagram.

Find out more about Kirsty here.

Gavin Bell

I first met Facebook ads specialist Gavin at CMA Live in Edinburgh and have had the pleasure of hanging out with him at various marketing events. Gavin is one of the UK’s leading experts on Facebook ads who works with brands all over the world to get them great results. He’s also a vlogger and speaker (we recently shared a stage at the Marketing Business Summit over in Milan). What I love about Gavin is that he makes Facebook ads sound so simple. He’s also an utterly nice guy and I can’t wait to introduce him to you. 

You can listen to our podcast interview here.

 

[336] How to make sales from your business blog

You think you’re doing all the right things to build a successful business blog. You’re showing up every week, you spend ages researching, writing and promoting, but it’s not making you any money.

In this episode, I break down the steps you need to take to create strategic blog content that people actually want to read - and will actually lead to sales. I look at the type of content you should be creating, how to find the right keywords to help people find you and how to gear your content towards your paid products and services.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

Create content your ideal customers are actually searching for

One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners making with blog content, is choosing topics that they want to write about rather than what their audience want to hear about. They assume that what interests them will interest their audience too, or use their blog as a way to vent about the things that are annoying them.

Another common mistake is to use creative but obscure blog titles. For example, one of my clients wrote a blog post entitled ‘Beginnings’. But when was the last time you did a Google search for ‘Beginnings’? That’s just not how people search for content online.

Think about your own online search behaviour — what was the last thing you typed into Google?

For me it was ‘Motorway service stations M1 KFC’. I was travelling along the M1, totally starving and I needed to find some food, fast. I was asking a very specific question to solve a very specific problem.

That’s how your customers search too. They don’t necessarily care about the topics that interest you, or your opinions - they just want to find the answer to their problems.

That’s why when you’re creating content for your blog it’s so important to get inside the head of your ideal customer. Ask yourself, what’s the problem they need help with? Which words or phrases would they use when they’re searching? What would they type into their search engine?

My client - the one who started off with obscure blog titles - is killing it now. She’s writing topics like, ‘five fundamentals to choosing a career you love’ and, ‘seven lessons from being on the brink of burnout’ because these topics tap in to the things that keep her customers up at night. The things they’ll actually be searching for on Google.

Make sure your content links to your paid products and services

You’ve read a million times that blogging is great for brand awareness and establishing expertise but don’t forget that your business blog is there to drive sales too. Which means you shouldn’t shy away from linking your content to your paid products and services.

In fact, doing so is mutually beneficial — you’ll increase your sales and your audience will benefit too. After all, they need the products you’re selling or they wouldn’t have landed on your page in the first place. Not giving them the opportunity to buy would be doing them a huge disservice.

Start by making two lists - one on the most common questions people ask you generally about your industry, the other on more specific questions customers ask you in relation to your products or services. You can then use these questions to generate topic ideas, which you can link back to your paid products (including information on how people can buy from you).

Take my Media Diary as an example - it’s an A4 desk diary full of key dates and awareness days that will help you plan your content.  More general questions people may ask are, ‘How do I create a content plan?’ or, ‘What should I post on my blog?’. More specific questions, about my Media Diary include things like, ‘What size is the diary? or, ‘How do I use the diary?’.

The first list is a great springboard for general ‘How to’ content that will answer the question and offer the Media Diary as a potential solution, and will include a call-to-action (where I show readers how to order the diary), while the second list gives me a host of ideas that I can turn into blog posts, all of which will encourage diary sales.

How to do keyword research

Once you’re creating content people want to read, the next step is making sure that your ideal customers can actually find it - ideally on the first page of Google. This is where keyword research comes in.

A lot of this is down to common sense and goes back to my earlier point about getting into your customer’s head and thinking about the kind of things they’ll be searching for online. But using keyword tools can help you refine your terms.

The first thing to do, now that you have some topic ideas in mind, is to find your keyword sweet spot — ideally you want a term that people are searching for, but not one that is so popular that your post will get lost in the noise of the competition.

Narrowing things down can help with this. For example, the phrase ‘how to write a press release’ is a very popular search term. Using a less popular, but more specific phrase  like ‘How to write a press release for your small business’ or ‘How to write a press release for a charity’ (generally referred to as ‘longtail’ keywords)  is likely to be more effective when it comes to Google rankings.

If you’re not sure how to make your topic more specific, using Google’s autocomplete is a fantastic hack. Start typing in your topic title and take note of the suggestions that come up under the search box — that’ll give you a great idea of the kinds of things that people are searching for relating to that subject. You can apply the same trick to Youtube and Pinterest too.

Other keyword hacks

If Google autocomplete isn’t giving you what you want you could try looking for inspiration in your industry’s trade publications. You could also head over to Amazon and look at books relating to your industry (chapter titles can be a great source of topic keywords), or have a quick look at your competitors’ sites for inspiration too.

Keyword tools

Keywords Everywhere — Type in your chosen phrase and this nifty tool will tell you how many people are searching for that particular phrase so you can determine whether it’s going to be too popular a search term.

Answer The Public — Key in your topic and you’ll find a list of related questions that people are asking about that particular subject.

Google Ads — Enter your keyword and let the price be your guide: the higher cost per click, the more popular the search term is likely to be.

Keyword Finder — This tool gives you really in depth information on how easy it’ll be to rank for your chosen phrase and shows you the top 10 pages ranking for that term. It even gives you some alternative suggestions, again showing you the popularity of each phrase.

Break down your content into awareness, consideration and purchase content

You may have heard me speak about the three main types of content before but it’s so important it’s worth mentioning again for anyone who missed it.  Dan Knowlton originally taught this so brilliantly at my event last year, Content Live.

  1. Awareness content: this content relates to your area of expertise and general information about the type of products you sell — so for my client Jennifer Hamley, who designs handbags, an example might be: How to protect an expensive handbag in the rain.  Or for my Media Diary: How to create a content calendar in six easy steps
  2. Consideration content: this is where you get a bit more specific about your product or service to help people decide whether to buy. For Jennifer, this is where she looks at how previous customers are using the specific features of one of the bags she sells, showing potential customers its many benefits: Eight ways to carry your cross-body handbag. And for my Media Diary: Have you got a 2019 content calendar for your blog? (How the 2019 Media Diary can help in just a few hours of using it)
  3. Purchase content: this is the straight up selling part — where Jennifer might do a live sales event on Facebook, for example.  I have also done a Facebook Live to sell the Media Diary or an Open Day to sell the Love Marketing Membership.

Most people are great at creating awareness content but fall down when it comes to the other two categories - often because they believe that it’ll come across as too ‘salesy’.

I find though, that lots of my new clients come to me directly as a result of my consideration or purchase content. And when you think about yourself as buyer, isn’t that the kind of content that makes you feel more confident about your purchasing decisions? You appreciate consideration and purchase content — and so do your customers.

When planning for the three content types, it’s all about hitting the right ratio. I’d generally go with about two to three ideas for each content type every time you launch a new product or service to make sure you’re not missing out on sales opportunities.

Podcast show notes:

  • Why you need to write blog posts that answer your clients or customer’s problems (6:03)
  • How to tailor your blog posts towards a paid product or service (12:54)
  • How to use keywords that will help you rank higher on Google (18:36)
  • Examples of the three different types of content you need to be creating (35:45)

Resources

Keywords Everywhere

GoogleAds

Answer the Public

KW Finder

Jennifer Hamley

Jammy Digital

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

 

[330] How to write awesome sales copy for your business

Do you struggle to write sales copy for your business?

In this  podcast episode I share practical tactics for writing sales copy in your business including sales pages, marketing emails, Facebook ads and more. And I share the frameworks I use in my own business to help me write awesome sales copy - and do it fast.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes}.

Here’s an overview of what I cover in the episode:

I spent 18 years writing and editing for national newspapers like the Guardian. I’ve also helped hundreds of business owners with copywriting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: if you’re struggling to write sales copy for your business, it’s not because you’re a bad writer and/or don’t have any ideas. It’s simply that you don’t know what you want to say and/or have a structure or framework to follow. With that in mind here’s five practical tips and tactics to help you write more effective copy in 2019 and beyond. 

1.Focus on the problem your product/service solves for your customer

Before you even think about writing sales copy for a product or service, you need to understand the problem you’re solving for your prospective customers or clients. You need to be able to articulate that pain point - and show how you can heal that pain.

This means you need to get specific. Let’s say you’re a Facebook ads specialist, for example. Saying that you have an online course for small business owners who are fed up wasting money on ads that don’t work or specifically for business owners with online membership communities is far more likely to resonate with potential customers than simply saying you have a course on Facebook ads for small business owners.

It can be scary to niche down on a very specific type of customer/client - or hone in on a very specific pain point - but if you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll end up appealing to no one.

2. Create a ‘core offer’

For every new product/service I launch I write a ‘core offer’ - around 200 words of sales copy that sets out exactly what I’m selling and who I’m selling it to. I use this core offer as the basis of all my ad copy e.g. email marketing, Facebook ads, sales pages, social media posts and more. This saves me hours of time as can literally just cut and paste the words  into different types of sales copy.

You can hear me teaching my four-step sales formula to one of my clients in this podcast episode: On-air coaching: how to write awesome sales copy. 

My sales formula, along with a tutorial on how to use it, is also available as part of my how to write awesome sales copy course (which also includes templates, cheat sheets and swipe files for email marketing, sales pages, Facebook ads and more).

Get my how to write awesome sales copy course.

3. Focus on benefits not features

People don’t buy your product or service because they want a ‘thing’. They buy because they want the transformation that comes with having that ‘thing.’

For example, people don’t buy my how to write awesome sales copy course because they want a bunch of video tutorials, templates and swipe files. They buy it because they want the transformation that comes with the course: becoming the kind of person who can simply open a word or Google doc and write great copy (without spending hours sweating over their keyboard).

And they don’t buy high-end handbags because they want a bag. Yes they need something to carry their belongings in, but why spend £500 when a £10 bag would do the job? They buy the £500 bag because they want the transformation that comes with having the bag. For some people that might be about feeling fashionable and stylish (because that makes them feel good). For others that might be about showing off to other people that they have money.

Whatever you think of their motivations, it’s important you understand that peoples’ buying decisions are driven by emotion. Which is why simply listing the features of your product or service in your sales copy will leave them cold. Focus on the transformation your product or service can offer and you’re much more likely to grab peoples' attention.

4. Create or follow a framework

If you’re struggling to write sales copy, it’s not because you’re not a good writer, it’s because you don’t know what you want to say. And without a plan or a structure to follow the task of writing a sales page, Facebook ad or an email marketing campaign can seem too overwhelming.

This is why I’ve created frameworks for all the sales copy I create in my business. For example, when I’m writing Facebook ads, I generally create around 12 ads for each campaign (so I can test out different combinations of copy and images to see what resonates with my audience).

Sitting down to write 12 ads (around 3600 words) could be quite a daunting task, But because I’ve created frameworks I can follow to write Facebook ads, I can write each one in around five minutes.

Here's how I do it.

I create three styles of ad for each campaign: aspirational, painful and playful (I generally do 3-4 of each) - most of which are built around my 200 word ‘core offer’ (I explain what this is in point 2). This means all I have to do is switch the opening sentence or two in each version of the ad to create a new one.  As a result, I can generally write copy for 12 ads in around 90 mins. Without that framework I think it could take all day.

You can get access to my Facebook ad writing formula in my how to write awesome sales copy course.

I have similar frameworks I follow for writing email marketing campaigns, events sales pages, social media posts, online course sales pages & more - all of which are also available in the course. 

Learn what's working on Facebook right now. 

5. Be conversational

If you want to engage your ideal customers/clients in your sales copy, they need to feel as if you’re talking just to them. That’s why it’s important to use a relaxed, conversational style, personal pronouns (i.e. ‘you’ and ‘you’re’) and use simple, accessible language. If you imagine you’re writing a post on your personal Facebook page or a letter to a friend, you should have it about right.

Want to stop stressing over your sales copy? Get my how How To Write Awesome Sales Copy course. 

Podcast shownotes

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to access all the resources referenced in this podcast (3:45)
  • Why you need to understand the particular pain point your customer has (8:35)
  • How to nail your ‘core offer’ (15:42)
  • Why you need to focus on the transformation your customer will receive/experience
  • How to understand the particular pain point your customer has (if you are a product based business) (23:15)
  • Why you need to use writing frameworks to help you create your copy quickly (32:07)
  • The three different types of ad copy I write (32:10)
  • The three different types of email copy I use (35:22)
  • Why you need to get conversational with your sales copy (39:02)
  • Examples of ad copy that works (40:41)

Resources

Book your place on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course here 

Jennifer Hamley’s Website

Episode 325: Three social media posts that will help you generate sales today

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Janet Murray’s Facebook Page

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

[329] What’s working on Facebook right now with Liz Melville

Do you feel like Facebook is constantly changing and you can’t keep up?

In this podcast episode, Facebook ads specialist Liz Melville shares her thoughts on what’s working on Facebook right now, including whether we should ditch free Facebook groups, why the algorithm isn’t to blame for poor engagement on your content, plus what you need to know to get started with Facebook ads.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes}.

Here’s an overview of the advice Liz shares in this episode.

Get good at creating organic Facebook content before spending on paid ads

If you’re struggling to sell your products/services, you may think Facebook ads are the answer to your problems. But remember Facebook ads are just paid content. So if you don’t understand how to write engaging copy for your Facebook page - and how to select the images/videos that will attract your ideal client/customers to your organic content, you’ll end up wasting money on Facebook ads that don’t convert. This is why Liz recommends you get good at creating organic content before investing in paid Facebook ads.

Don’t blame the Facebook algorithm if your content isn’t getting engagement

If you’re posting regularly on your Facebook page but you’re only getting handful of likes and comments - you may wonder if it’s worth having a page at all.

But if this sounds like you, this is nothing to do with the Facebook algorithm. “It’s because your content is rubbish,” says Liz.

The way the Facebook algorithm works is that the more people who are engaging with your content (through comments, likes and share), the more people will be shown your posts.

This means there is a lot you can do to improve your engagement and generate leads and sales for your business (without spending a penny on advertising).

Creating engaging Facebook content is about solving your customers’ problems

Liz believes posting content that helps your ideal customers/clients is the best way to get engagement on your content. Which is why questions, polls and/or anything that encourages your audience to engage in a conversation with you works really well.

Many business owners find themselves in a ‘chicken and egg’ situation with their Facebook page. Because few people are engaging with their page to start with, even great content may not get shown to many people. The only way to break this cycle is to find ways to get your ideal customers/clients over to your page.

Engaging in relevant online communities, adding the link to your Facebook page to your email signature and starting comment pods (groups of business owners in similar industries who commit to commenting on each others’ content) are some of the ways Liz suggests you can break the cycle. But she warns against getting friends/family to like and engage with your page as this may result in your content being shown to the wrong type of people.

Free Facebook groups are still worth the effort -as long as you’re seeing an impact on the bottom line of your business​​

Many business owners are reporting that it’s getting harder to get engagement in Facebook groups. So is it still worth having a free Facebook group? Liz Melville believes it is - as long as you’re seeing an impact on the bottom line of your business.

Liz closed her free Facebook group at the end of 2017 because engagement was poor and she wasn’t seeing an impact on the bottom of her business. Janet closed hers at the end of 2018 for the very same reason. Both are now building their Facebook communities around their page, which is working really well. And they are both still using pop-up Facebook groups for free challenges (as part of their email list-building strategy) and report that setting up smaller, more focused groups that they close at the end of the free challenge is much more effective than having free groups that are open all the time.

Listen to: Why I'm closing my 13.5K Facebook group 

Do your own Facebook ads before you outsource

Liz believes it’s important to do your own Facebook ads - or at least learn how to find your way around Facebook Ads Manager (Facebook’s tool for creating and running ads) before outsourcing to a specialist. If you understand the basics, should you decide to outsource, not only will you be much better equipped to find the right person to handle your Facebook ads, you’ll also be able to diagnose and fix problems if the need arises.

Build a relationship with your audience before you try to sell anything​

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make with Facebook ads is thinking they can ‘cold sell’ their products/services - without building a relationship with prospective customers/clients first. But as Liz points out, people aren’t on Facebook to buy. They’re on Facebook to socialise with their friends/family. So unless you’ve got your targeting absolutely spot on (like the companies who managed to sell Janet a running belt  and ponytail beanie hat because they knew exactly what kind of content their ideal customers would be engaging with) people are unlikely to buy from a person/company they have no prior relationship with. And even if you’re targeting is spot on, most people need a bit of ‘warming up’ before they buy, says Liz.

Understanding your customer journey is key says Liz. She uses a three stage approach she refers to as ‘attract, build and convert’. An effective way to attract your ideal customers/clients can simply be to start by turning a Facebook post that is getting great engagement into an ad (which is different to ‘boosting’ a post, which Liz advises against).  For example, prior to launching her 2019 Media Diary, Janet invited her Facebook followers to vote on the cover they liked best for the diary, which got lots of engagement. According to Liz, this would have been the ideal kind of post to convert into an engagement ad. The next step is to build a relationship with this group of prospective clients/customers by re-targeting them with more engaging content. For example, Janet created a media calendar as a ‘lead magnet’ for her 2019 Media Calendar - a downloadable pdf with key dates/awareness days for January, which is basically a DIY version of the 2019 Media Diary. Facebook users who had downloaded Janet’s free Media Calendar were then re-targeted with ads for the 2019 Media Diary (the ‘convert’ phase)

Read: How to create a media calendar for your business 

As Liz points out in this episode, serving up cold Facebook ads to your audience is a bit like asking someone to get into bed with you on a first date. You need to ‘woo’ your prospective customers/clients before you even attempt to start selling to them.

Podcast shownotes 

  • Liz Melville’s business story (and how she’s honed her niche) (4:44)
  • How to improve your Facebook marketing (8:10)
  • How to increase engagement on your Facebook group or page (14:30)
  • How to create engaging content on Facebook (20:08)
  • Do free Facebook groups have a future? (28:32)
  • What you need to know about Facebook ads (37:15)
  • How to get started with Facebook ads (46:45)

 

NEW PODCAST EPISODE

Do you feel like Facebook is constantly changing and you can’t keep up?  In this podcast episode, Facebook ads specialist Liz Melville shares he thoughts on what’s working on Facebook right now, including whether we should ditch free Facebook groups, why the algorithm isn’t to blame for poor engagement on your content, plus what you need to know to get started with Facebook ads.

You can listen here: http://bit.ly/2RJRok6

Teaser: So it becomes about, ‘How do i get that engagement?’ and most people will say there’s no point me trying because the algorithm is gonna stop people from seeing my content.  And it’s simply not true, you can get that engagement, and if you’re not getting it, it’s because your content is rubbish!

12:38

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Liz Melville’s business story (and how she’s honed her niche) (4:44)
  • How to improve your Facebook marketing (8:10)
  • How to increase engagement on your Facebook group or page (14:30)
  • How to create engaging content on Facebook (20:08)
  • Do free Facebook groups have a future? (28:32)
  • What you need to know about Facebook ads (37:15)
  • How to get started with Facebook ads (46:45)