social media

[345] How to increase your social media engagement - fast

Are you frustrated by the lack of engagement with your social media content?  

You’re publishing content regularly, but your posts aren’t attracting enough likes, comments and shares - leaving you wondering if it’s worth bothering with social media at all.  

If this sounds like you, the first thing you need to know is that it’s nothing to do with the algorithm and everything to do with the kind of content you’re sharing.

Which means there is a lot you can do to improve your social media engagement (without spending a penny on advertising).

In this podcast episode I share practical tips and strategies you can start using today to increase your social media engagement.

{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}.

Why social media engagement matters

Imagine you’re walking around an unfamiliar town or city looking for a restaurant for dinner. Restaurant A is packed with people, enjoying their food. Restaurant B is empty. You’ll likely assume (rightly or wrongly) that Restaurant A is better - just because it looks busy and popular.

That’s exactly how it works on social media. If I visit your profile and everything you post is getting just a handful of likes, I'm probably going to assume (incorrectly perhaps) that you're not very influential or authoritative in your industry/space.

If you’re starting interesting conversations and people engage with your content enthusiastically - with tons of comments, likes and shares - I'm going to get a very different impression of you. Which means I’m far more likely to remember you, trust you enough to want to work with you and/or recommend you to others.

If you’re not getting engagement on your social media content but you are getting inbound leads from your ideal clients (enough to keep you busy for a good 12 months), then don’t worry about it.

But if you’re not getting enough engagement on your social media content - and you don’t have enough clients, you need to do something about it.

Busting the algorithm myth

The way the algorithm works on all social media platforms is simple: the more engagement you get (i.e. comments, likes and shares), the more people will be shown your content.

If you’re currently struggling to get engagement,  this might feel like a ‘chicken and egg’ situation. If no one is seeing your content, how do you get people to comment, like and share?

The answer is surprisingly simple: instead of sitting back and hoping someone will comment on your content...you need to make it happen.

You can do this in several ways:

  1. Quietly asking friends/family/colleagues to engage with your content
  2. Creating an ‘engagement pod’ - a group of colleagues who are also looking to get engagement on their content and agree to engage regularly with each others’ posts.
  3. Commenting on others’ content (if you comment on other peoples’ content they often can’t resist coming over to have a look at your profile).

When I share this advice, people often try to tell me that this is not a good strategy because, in the long-term, you need Facebook (or whichever platform you’re trying to grow) to show your content to your ideal clients…not your friends/family/colleagues.

This is true, but when you’re just starting out, you can’t afford to be choosy. Your social media accounts are your shop window; if people look you up online and see you broadcasting to an audience of zero, they may assume (rightly or wrongly) your business is not successful. If they see engagement - in the form of likes, comments and shares (even if they do initially come from your best friend!) they’re much more likely to take you seriously.

In the early days, getting some engagement is better than none, so just do what you can to get your account looking busier. In the meantime, you can work on attracting more of your ideal clients.

It can feel embarrassing and uncomfortable  to ask people to comment on your content (believe me, I’ve been there). But not making enough money in your business because you don’t have enough clients is far more uncomfortable, right?

1.Publish timely and relevant content

When you’re scheduling social media content, the question you must always be asking yourself is: ‘why do people need to hear about this now?’ That’s why Anna Iveson - who helps small business owners find the perfect virtual assistant - had great success with this LinkedIn post on whether you should ration your children’s Easter eggs (which she published during Easter weekend).

Prior to implementing the advice in my LinkedIn Strategy Playbook  Anna was getting a handful full of comments on each post. At the time of writing, this post has attracted 64 comments and nearly 4k views.

Not only is this post, timely and relevant, it’s short, well laid-out, divisive and has a single call-to-action at the end - all key characteristics of an engaging social media post.

If you’re wondering how a post on this topic can help Anna find her ideal clients, consider this.

The more engagement Anna gets on her posts, the more people will be shown her content. The more people are shown her content, the more people will view her profile.  And the more people who view her LinkedIn profile, the more inbound leads she will get (as long as her profile is clear - which it is).

Remember also that people like to do business with people they like. So if you can create a connection - and some common ground - with your ideal clients, they’re far more likely to want to do business with you.

A great example of this is my recent social media posts about the London Marathon. Even if you’ve never run the London marathon - and have no intention of doing so - you probably know someone who has. This is why I believe my posts about taking part in one of the most iconic marathons in the world, got so much engagement.  For example, this 30 second video which shows me spotting my family 13 miles into the race attracted over 4000 views on LinkedIn in as many days.

2. Ask questions.

One of the easiest ways to get engagement on your content is to ask a question, as technical copywriter John Espirian does in this post on who has viewed your LinkedIn profile. 

There is an art to asking effective questions though and the key is to make it as easy as possible for people to respond.

The most important thing to remember is to ask closed questions i.e. ‘how long does it take you to write a blog post?’ (which requires a specific answer which can be given in minutes or hours) rather than ‘how do you feel about writing blog posts?” (which doesn’t lead towards a specific answer)

The more specific you can be, the better, which is why asking people to state ‘agree/disagree’, ‘yes/no’ or ‘true/false’ can work well.

If you want people to comment on your social media content, you need to make it as easy for them. This is why giving your audience clear choices e.g. A, B, C or D, yes/no, agree/disagree can be brilliant for encouraging engagement with your posts (I generally refer to these a short/two tap answers).

Not only does it make it super quick for people to engage, they don’t have to think too hard about what to say - which means they’re far more likely to respond. Asking questions that encourage debate is a great way to increase your engagement, as I found when I published this LinkedIn post on whether you need to ask your husband’s permission to invest in your business.

Again, you may be wondering how a post like this can help me attract my ideal clients. The week I posted this, my profile views went up 150% and my inbound leads increased too.

If you want to increase your social media engagement, the best questions to ask are those that don’t require any special knowledge/experience. For example, in one of my best performing Facebook posts, I simply asked whether people were for or against dogs in hairdressers - attracting 96 comments in a matter of hours.

3. Give a clear call to action in each social media post

If you want to get more engagement on your social media posts, you need to tell people exactly what to do. You can do this by issuing a clear call to action e.g. ‘Type A, B, C or D in the comments below', ‘Shoot me a DM if you want to know more’ or ‘post in the comments below if you’d like me to send the details' as in this example below (which generated several leads for my upcoming masterclass).

For example, I published my Social Media Engagement Playbook recently, I wanted to ‘warm up’ my audience - and get them interested in the playbook - before it was available to buy.

First off, I asked my Facebook groups which cover they preferred.

Next, I recorded this short video of me talking about the playbook, which attracted over 150 comments. I published similar posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Remember that most people will be watching your video on a mobile device with the sound turned down/off. This is why it pays to add captions.

I recommend using Rev.com* which creates video captions for $1/minute. This generates an .srt file, you can upload directly to LinkedIn (look for the pen icon in the top-right corner) which will add captions to your video.

Personally I find using .srt files to generate captions on both Facebook and LinkedIn can be a bit hit and miss i.e. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This is why I prefer to add permanent captions to my videos using a service like Kapwing. This also allows me to easily repurpose my videos on other social media platforms.

4.Don’t overlook the importance layout of your social media posts

If the text in your social media posts is all bunched up together, if it's difficult to distinguish between the headline and your body text, people are unlikely to read it.

This is why using clear headlines and breaking up your body text with emojis, bullet points and even capital letters can make a huge difference to your engagement.

It can be helpful to think of your social media content as an article in a magazine/newspaper - if it’s not laid out with a strong headline and attractive layout, people will keep scrolling.

5. Keep your posts short

If you want people to read your posts, keep them as short as possible, and remove any superfluous words and phrases.

If you have multiple social media posts to write/schedule for different platforms, it’s worth using a tool that will help you write to a particular character count.  

If you tend to be too wordy in your social media posts, I’d recommend restricting them to 1300 characters (the maximum character count for LinkedIn). I’ve noticed that when I paste my Facebook posts this online character counter in here to reduce for LinkedIn, I end up removing a lot of words/phrases that don’t really need to be there.

And writing tweets (which must be 280 characters or less) is a great exercise for working out which words/phrases are necessary to get your message across and what’s just fluff.

For example, my ‘dogs in hairdressers’ post (example above) is just 56 words long, but got tons of engagement.

6. Create engaging content

It sounds obvious, but if you want to get more engagement on your social media posts, your content has to be interesting. Which means you need to choose topics that people actually care about - things they can connect with emotionally.

Sharing your own personal stories can be a powerful way to connect with your audience - particularly when you’re willing to share your vulnerabilities and weaknesses. As storytelling Marsha Shandur pointed out in our podcast interview on how to use stories to attract your ideal clients, when you show people that your life isn’t perfect, that you make mistakes - just like them - it’s much easier for them to connect with you.

It’s important to remember at all times that the content you create is never about you - it’s always about your audience. The question I ask myself all the time - even when I’m creating content about me - is ‘how can I make this about my audience?’

When I look at my clients who are getting great engagement with their content, this is exactly what they’re doing too. For example, I recently responded to this post from Facebook and Instagram ads experts Laura Moore. Laura publishes a weekly round-up of Facebook/Instagram updates. In her latest she talked about a new Instagram Stories sticker that allows you to ask ‘quiz’ questions. My daughter had shown me it, but I couldn’t see it on my own account, so when I spotter her post I asked Laura about it. I responded because she was sharing helpful, practical content that was relevant to me and my business. Notice also how she has a single call-to-action at the end of her post.

Another client, academic coach Lucy Parsons, recently achieved her long-held ambition to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. While she shared a number of posts about her radio appearance, the one that attracted the most engagement was where she asked a question about the topic she was discussing on the show - children’s party bags. Why? Because she made her post about her radio appearance about her audience.

Business coach Fay Blakey - another client of mine - had a recent hit with a LinkedIn post in which she asked: do you rush to get your barbecue out when the sun starts shining. Not only was it timely and relevant (this was over the Bank Holiday weekend), it was also fun and easy to respond to.

In my Social Media Engagement Playbook, I break down the four types of content that guarantee engagement and give tons of examples. You can get my Social Media Engagement Playbook here.

Podcast shownotes

  • How social media engagement impacts on your business  (2:25)
  • Why you can’t blame the algorithm if you’re not getting great social media engagement (7:10)
  • The importance of timely and relevant content (13:33)
  • How asking questions can help you get more social media engagement  (19:50)
  • Why you shouldn’t give more than one clear call-to-action in a social media post (29:49)
  • The importance of layout in your social media posts (31:54)
  • Why it’s important to keep your social media posts short (33:57)
  • The four types of content that guarantee engagement on social media (36:03)
  • Why you must make your content about your audience (and not about you) (47:49)

Resources

Get my Social Media Playbook

Get my LinkedIn Playbook 

Anna Iveson website 

2019 Media Diary

Episode 341:How to use stories to attract your ideal clients 

Laura Moore website

Lucy Parsons website

Fay Blakey website 

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

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

Join the waitlist for the Build Your Audience Programme here

Book tickets for Build Your Audience Live

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

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

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

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

 

[344] How to build your audience through a Facebook group

Is your Facebook group taking up all your time but not making you any sales in your business?

In this episode, I talk to Gordon Burcham, Martial Arts School Owner and Multi World Kickboxing Champion about how he is generating a six figure income from a Facebook group. He also shares the remarkable story of how he bounced back - and turned around his business - after losing his home, 12 years ago.


{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}.

 

The importance of perseverance in business

Today, as well as a hugely successful Facebook group, Gordon runs a 400 plus member martial arts school, but he and his family have overcome significant hurdles to achieve this success. Twelve years ago he lost his house while trying to build his business: “I was an instructor but I didn't understand business. I was just throwing money at advertising and didn't really know what I was doing,” he recalls.

Despite struggling to feed his family on £25 a week, he borrowed money and sold his possessions to invest £3,000 a month in a business coach. In less than 90 days, he was generating £10k a month in his business.

Turning his business around meant weeks of 16 hour days, when he and his wife walked the streets, pushing leaflets through peoples’ doors.

But Gordon believes many business owners aren’t prepared to put in this kind of  perseverance. “Most people don't want to do the hard work,” he says. “They’re lazy marketers and they're lazy in their business. They're not willing to do what it takes. I'll just do more than the other people are willing to do.”

How changing his marketing strategy helped Gordon turn his business around

When Gordon looked at why his business was failing he realised that by trying to market his martial arts classes to everyone, he wasn’t appealing to anyone. So he started to niche down the programmes he offered.

He began to target specific demographics - starting a ‘ladies only programme, for example and creating leaflets and landing pages specifically designed to appeal to women.”

And instead of relying on one or two marketing strategies to generate sales, he introduced a marketing mix. And when he started to use a combination of online and offline marketing activities e.g. leaflets, emails, networking and referral marketing, his business really started to take off.

The power of mentors/coaches

Gordon believes that investing in business coaching has helped him accelerate his business success by around 10 years. But many business owners aren’t prepared to invest in themselves, he says.

Too many people tell themselves they don’t need a coach because they’ve read all the books and done all the courses. But knowing and implementing are two completely different things. And many business owners need to hear the same information, over and over, in different ways, before it really sinks in.

“Repetition is so important,” he says. “You need to hear the same information from your coach and you need to hear it in different ways. And you have to repeat it enough for it to sink from your conscious to your subconscious mind.”

(Listen to episode 257: Do you need to pay to play for more information on why investing in yourself is vital for your business.)

How to harness the power of live video

Live video is now a huge part of Gordon’s marketing strategy. “It is so powerful because it creates a deeper connection between you and your audience,” he says.

He repurposes his Facebook Live videos by downloading them and getting transcriptions from Rev.com  (Affiliate Link) and turning them into blog posts. This content now forms the basis of a membership site,  for which he charges £47 + VAT per month - meaning he is truly leveraging the time spent recording those Facebook Live videos.

Gordon understands that many people are nervous about going live on Facebook and admits it’s taken him a long time to do it with confidence. “When people see me on stage, I'm very out there, very dramatic and I've got a lot of energy. But I've taught myself to do that. It's not natural,” he says.

How Gordon has built a profitable Facebook group

The Martial Arts Mastery is an extremely successful Facebook group turning over a quarter of a million pounds despite having only 1,400 members.

Gordon explains that the key to his Facebook group’s success is that it’s very niche (only martial arts school owners from the UK are allowed to join).

There are several things that Gordon does to encourage engagement in the group. These include:

  • Welcoming new members as soon as they join the group
  • Posting daily content in the group
  • Going live inside the group at least once a day
  • Asking for likes and comments on his Facebook Live broadcasts
  • Running regular competitions inside the group
  • Asking members to share their opinions on martial arts related topics (and not being afraid of being controversial)
  • Checking your stats and only posting within the optimum time slot

(Listen to episode 265 for tips on how to get more engagement in your Facebook group.)

He is not afraid to make paid offers to the group because he is providing free valuable content on a daily basis. If you’re adding value, you’ve “earned the right to sell.” he says.  And in the early days he offered free coaching in exchange for testimonials. In fact he still does this now - all he asks is that members share their successes in the Facebook group.

 

Podcast show notes:

  • Gordon’s business story (4:55)
  • Why you need to niche down who you’re targeting (13:05)
  • Why persistence pays off and you need to work through the fear (16:04)
  • How to grow your Facebook group and keep your audience engaged (26:25)
  • How to structure your time to create content for your Facebook group (33:38)
  • Why you need to invest in training - and then put it into practice! (39:35)
  • How to sell in your Facebook group (44:10)

Resources

Gordon’s website

Gordon on Facebook and LinkedIn

Rev.com (Affiliate Link)

Episode 327: Why I’m closing my 13.5k Facebook group

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

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

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

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[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)

[328] The three numbers you should focus on in your business in 2019

Want to make more money in your business in 2019? Then you need to start tracking key marketing metrics in your business. But which numbers should you be monitoring and how often?

In this podcast episode, I share the three numbers you must focus on to grow your business in 2019.

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

1.Your email subscribers

First off...a reality check.

While you may make the odd sale on social media, the majority of sales will happen in your inbox. Which is why building your email list is the single most important thing you can do in your business.

But here’s the thing.

The average conversion rate for online sales is 1-2%.

Which means for every 100 people on your email list, only a small number will actually buy from you.

If you’re a coach selling 1-2-1 coaching and need 20 clients a year, you may only need a thousand or so on your email list.

If you sell low-priced products or online courses/memberships you’ll almost certainly need to shoot for 10k or beyond.

When you get more experienced at email marketing, your conversion rates may improve. For example, my Media Diary converts at around 7%. This is great, but it still means the majority of people I’m marketing to are either saying ‘no’ or completely ignoring me.

So whatever it is you’re selling…you need a much bigger email list than you think.

The trouble is, most people don’t give away their email address without a good reason. Which is why you need to create a ‘lead magnet’ to encourage them to join your list.

A lead magnet is a resource/offer you create to encourage people to join your email list. A great lead magnet solves a specific problem for a specific type of ideal client/customer and gives them a quick win.

My audience calculator which tells you how many email subscribers you need to reach your sales targets - is a good example of an effective lead magnet. 

My marketing checklist - which set out the marketing activities you need to do to achieve key income goals in your business (1k, 2k, 5k and 10k a month) is another good example. At the time of writing, it’s added around 1700 new subscribers to my list - in just a few months.

Lead magnet ideas for product-based businesses

If you have a product-based business, you may think offering discount codes is the only way to add subscribers to your email list. But while this can work well initially, you may find people unsubscribe from your list as soon as they’ve used their discount code. This is why creating an information product can be a much better long-term strategy.

I created an information product as a lead magnet for my 2019 Media Diary - a downloadable media calendar you can use to plan out your content for the coming year and includes key awareness days/dates for January.  Essentially, it's a DIY version of the diary - which gives people a taste of what it might be like to use the diary for content planning.

Check out my 2019 Media Calendar. 

If you’re stuck for ideas, remember that you don’t just sell products, you’re an expert in what you sell. 

So if you sell coffee pods, you’re an expert in coffee. Which means you could create a downloadable guide on the best coffee pod machines, how to recycle coffee pods or a gift guide for coffee lovers, for example. 

If you sell handmade children’s clothing, you’re an expert in making children’s clothes. This means you could create a downloadable guide on how to source handmade children’s clothing, how to sell second-hand children’s clothing or even give away some of your sewing patterns (you may think this sounds counterintuitive, but most people will try to follow your patterns, then realise it’s easier to outsource it - and who is the first person they’ll think of?).

If you sell dog coats for whippets like Debbie Humphrey, founder of Redhound for Dogs, you’re probably an expert in All Things Whippet Related. Which means you could create a guide on how to measure your dog for a new coat, give away recipes for whippets or even a gift guide for dog lovers.

Learn how to get started with email marketing.

2. Your website traffic

The second number you need to be tracking in your business is your website traffic. But before you start monitoring the metrics, you must first understand how to drive traffic to your website.

You do this by publishing regular, high-quality content on your website that solves your ideal customers’ problems - on topics they are actually searching for in Google.

For example, my blog post on how to write an effective press release for your small business appears on the first page of Google. Despite being a few years old (I recently updated the post) it sends hundreds of visitors to my website every single week. Not only has this helped me build my email list, it’s also helped me make tons of sales.

Start with keyword research: It’s not enough to publish a weekly blog post on something that’s grabbed your interest. If you want to drive traffic to your website, you need to be strategic about it - creating content around the keywords your customers are actually searching for in Google.

There are many resources out there to help you with keyword research, but my personal favourites are:

KW Finder

Google KeyWord Planner

LSI Graph

Answer The Public

Publish high-quality content weekly: When I look at the people in my industry (marketing and business) with large audiences - for example Andrew and Pete, Chris Ducker and Jessica Lorimer - they all have one thing in common. They publish consistent, high-quality content - week in, week out - and have been doing so for years.

Over the past five years I’ve been building my own online audience, I’ve published over 300 podcasts and hundreds of blog posts and published a book (plus run dozens of free webinars and challenges) - all addressing my ideal customers/clients concerns. Which is how I’ve managed to build my audience - and crucially, my email list.

If you want to attract traffic to your website, I recommend publishing at least one high-quality piece of content on your website every week.

Grow your social media following: Publishing regular social media content will help drive traffic to your website - and your lead magnet - which will help you grow your email subscribers.

Create guest content: Giving podcast interviews and/or collaborating on guest blogs can be a great way to get in front of new audiences and drive traffic back to your website. Learn how to land guest podcast interviews. 

Use Pinterest: Pinterest is a visual search engine that will help drive more traffic to your site. Pinning your own content - and other peoples’ - could have a big impact on your web traffic. Mine has increased 500% since I started using it regularly. Learn why you should be using Pinterest in 2019. 

Be patient: It’s worth pointing out that nobody wakes up being a brilliant podcaster, YouTuber or blogger. You have to learn your craft, and you have to learn through experience.

The key thing is to solve your customers’ problems - and you don’t need to have tons of followers to start making an impact. For example, I bought the t-shirt I’m wearing in the video below after seeing Mama Love London founder Beth Campagna’s video on what to wear with a pleated skirt. I’d never have bought this t-shirt on its own – because I wouldn’t have known how to wear it. Seeing Beth demo how to wear it with different outfits not only gave me the confidence I could carry it off, it reassured me I had something to wear with it. I bought a hoodie and another t-shirt after watching some of her other videos.

I share this because when you start out with blogging/vlogging, it’s easy to get frustrated because you don’t have millions of followers/likes/views.

But if you keep showing up, creating valuable content - and focus on creating the best possible content in your industry/space  - you WILL start to build your audience.

How to track your web traffic 

It’s easy to get bogged down in tracking page views and visits, but I think it's more important to look at behaviour i.e. what pages are people visiting most/least, which pages are they arriving on/leaving from, how long are they spending on the site (and on particular pages). This will allow you to do more of the things that are working and less of the things that aren’t.

To that end, these are the key metrics you should track every week using Google Analytics.

  • Mobile usage (Google indexes this first)
  • Time on site
  • Landing page/exit pages
  • Popular pages/posts
  • Bounce rate

3. Your social media followers

First off, I want to dispel the myth that it doesn’t matter how many social media followers you have.

Actually it does matter - a lot.

While quality is always better than quantity, the more social media followers you have (providing they are your ideal customers/clients) the more traffic you’ll be able to send over to your website. This traffic can be converted into email subscribers and sales.

Don't try to build your social media following on every platform though - at least not at the same time. If you've done your research, you should know which platform(s) your ideal customers/clients are hanging out on. So if you know they’re over on Twitter and LinkedIn, it's better for you to really focus solely on those platforms. In fact, it can be a good idea to focus on one platform at a time. When you get really good at sending traffic to your website from one social media platform, you can generally replicate your best strategies on another.

I wish I could tell you there was one magic strategy that would help you grow your following on every social media platform. 

Sadly I can’t.

But what I can share is strategies that typically work on most social media platforms.

These are:

  • Creating engaging content that solves your customers' problems
  • Asking questions and starting conversations (rather than broadcasting)
  • Using closed questions e.g. ‘yes or no’, ‘agree or disagree’, ‘blue, yellow or pink’
  • Automate posts but don’t just ‘set and forget’ (you need to schedule time to respond to comments)

Learn three types of social media content that will make you sales. 

The best tip I can give you is this: focus on becoming the best content creator in your space.

If you do this, you will naturally also start to get curious about how to promote that content.

For example Andrew and Pete are brilliant on YouTube. But they didn't just wake up one morning and create amazing YouTube videos that got tons of views. They learn over time by experimenting: monitoring the ‘watch time’ of their videos and experimenting with different episode lengths, questions, graphics polls, playlists (and more) to find out what was working best for them.  

There's no getting away from it: building your audience is hard. Particularly building your email list. In the short-term it can feel painful - like you're adding one subscriber at a time. But in the long term this is the thing that will have the biggest impact on the bottom line of your business.

Podcast shownotes

  • Some of the changes I will be making in 2019 (0:45)
  • Details on an exciting product / resource I’m launching this week (3:28)
  • Why you need to keep an eye on your audience numbers (8:40)
  • Why you need to focus on your email list (15:16)
  • Why the ‘magic number’ is different for everyone (18:35)
  • The importance of having a good lead magnet (and how to create one that converts) (21:41)
  • Why you need to track the traffic to your website (and how you can increase it) (30:10)
  • How to create content that people are searching for (37:00)
  • How to increase your following on social media (38:40)
  • Why collaborating will help build your audience (40:16)
  • How to use Google Analytics to analyse your own content (and find out what you should be creating more of) (43:50)
  • Why you need to focus on one social media platform at a time (51:40)

Resources

[325] Three social media posts that will help you generate sales today

Do you feel like you spend all your time on social media but never actually make any sales? In this podcast episode I share three different content ideas that are guaranteed to help you start making money today.

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

  • Why you need to actively tell people your products are for sale (4:05)
  • Examples of ‘review’ content (5:26)
  • How to use review content to promote a product or service (9:35)
  • Examples of ‘gratitude’ content (12:16)
  • How to use gratitude content to promote a product or service (17:35)
  • How to create behind-the-scenes content(21:06)
  • The four key stages to consider when creating these types of content posts (27:42)

Resources

Screenflow

Episode 294: How to quadruple your income in the seven days with Jennifer Hamley

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)

My FREE Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook