blog advice

Marketing for the New, Confused or Overwhelmed Entrepreneur

By Marrissa Stewart

Alright.

So you’ve got your business. Your brand new, shiny, beautiful business.

You’ve got all your ideas ready to bring to fruition.

You’re excited. Passionate. Stoked, you even might say. You’re ready to get out there and mingle.

You rub your hands together, put your hands to the keyboard and begin your Google search: “How to Market my Business Online”.

1,000,000+ search results come up. “Well,” you think, “at least there are a lot of options and resources for me.”

You begin the trek through the results.

As you begin absorbing all the information, you start to realize your options are infinite:

  • Social media marketing
  • Paid ads
  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Experiential marketing
  • SEO, video marketing
  • Livestreaming
  • Webinars
  • Content marketing
  • Networking at events

…your head starts to spin as you see the options add up.

You think, “Well damn, where the hell do I start with my marketing?”

How do I know which strategy works best?

How do I know where to find my potential clients/customers?

The answers seem endless – and you immediately close out the browser to avoid the overwhelm.

Marketing is overwhelming when you first start, there’s no doubt about that. You’re not sure where to start, what strategy is best for you and what actually works.

So if this is your first time dipping into marketing yourself (or your biz, more specifically) or you’re experiencing the familiar “marketing overwhelm” scene above – I’ve made a little guide for you to breathe easy.

This of this as “A Marketing Guide for Beginners, Newbies & Overwhelmed”.

1.    Identify your ideal client. Now, I could probably write a whole book on this – and I’m sure whole books have been written on this – but simply put. Identify who your ideal client is. Who are they? How old are they? Where are they located? What does a typical day look like? What are they going through? What problems do they have that you’d like to solve?

2.    Find out where your audience is hanging out. One of the best ideas to knowing where to start is finding out where your ideal clients and customers are hanging out. You can research this! It’s easy. This will help set the scene for the next step you need to take to actually decide which marketing strategies you’re going to employ.

3.    What kind of marketing sounds fun to you? There are a PLETHORA of options for every personality type. If you’re someone who does well with meeting people or connecting with others, affiliate marketing, video marketing and networking events might be perfect options for you. With #2 in mind, think about what sounds really exciting for you, pick 2-3 and stick with those.

Do more research in those areas to see what sounds like something you would actually do. If you won’t actually do things you need to implement a particular marketing, don’t pick that strategy!

4.    Pick 1-2 strategies, ONLY. As a business owner, especially as a beginning one, there’s so much you already have to do: business management and administration, customer service, client care, accountant, graphic designer, copywriter …the list goes on and on. Picking 1-2 strategies secures your chances at success and the best quality going into these marketing efforts. Plus, it keeps the overwhelm down. :)

5.    Begin implementation of strategy 3 months prior to the launch. Most strategies take A LOT of time, tasks and energy to complete. Consider the copy, graphics, implementation, technology and software that you will need. Consider the customer support that you will need during launch. Strategies of the one-man or woman variety especially will need a lot of time to complete this – give yourself a buffer.

6.    Walk through your own marketing experience. If you want to know what people are thinking when they experience your marketing, walk through it yourself once you’ve completed all the pieces necessary to complete the strategy. This gives you an idea of the glitches and/or experience your customers go through, and you can make tweaks along the way.

And while this is by no means the end all be all of your marketing techniques, this IS a great starting point.

And to step even further into supporting you with the marketing overwhelm whether you’re old or new to this marketing thing – I’ve made you a little checklist to use to make sure you follow all the above steps.

You can print this checklist out as a step-by-step list for making sure you’ve lined up all your ducks in a row and dotted all your “I”s.

Easy peasy, you got this! 

Marrissa has had the gift of persuasive communication since birth which was honed to a skilled trade when she started her own Online Business Management company in 2013. Through her clients, she was able to help build multiple businesses and manage a plethora of launches. This experience has given Marrissa a unique and unparalleled working knowledge & obsession with marketing strategies that help business owners stand out & profit. When not helping build companies or writing sassy and refreshing copy, she’s a craft beer lover, devoted entrepreneur, gamer, and proud cat momma.

Ready to learn how to market your biz like a boss? Our Digital Bravery Ecourse is open for enrolment now!

How to improve your copy in a few easy ways

By Rebecca Ruiz

Let’s be honest writing copy for your website and marketing material doesn’t come naturally for most people in business. I know how I felt when I started my business and my web designer asked me to submit all my copy for my brand new website including 3 new blog posts. During this time I was only working as a life coach and not a professional copywriter, which I am now. I had no clue where to start, what to say, what keywords I need to include and how to create content for my blog. I just wanted to put my hands up in the air and say this is too challenging for me.

Luckily now I know what I need to do so today I’m going to share some of my secrets with you, to start writing more professional copy for your website and marketing material. Let’s get started.

In today’s competitive marketplace there is lots of competition, which means that our copy has to stand out to grab the attention of our audience in order for us to be successful. Which most of you already know, because you are here.  What can you do to you improve or start writing amazing copy?

Be clear on your target audience

To write clear and compelling copy you need to know who your target audience is to be able to speak to them directly. This is the reason most entrepreneurs struggle with their copy, as they aren’t sure what their audience needs.

Have you spoken to your audience and asked them what they need? When I started I got on Skype with 8 different women I met online and asked them what their challenges were, their struggles and what they need the most help with. By conducting these interviews I had a better idea what my niche needed.

I then used this information to create powerful copy to speak to my audience in their own language. If interviewing doesn’t work for you there is so many other ways to engage your audience just find which method best suits you.

Write your unique copy from your heart

My next point is to speak in your voice when creating your copy and don’t compare yourself to other’s in your field. You are going to be different as your business is a unique creation from you, which is why it’s special.

Especially in a service based business your client’s want to get to know the real you, why you started your business and what you have struggled with. Yes it has to speak to your client’s directly but in order to build rapport with them they need to know the real authentic you. You want your audience to fall in love with you and your message.

If you are in a products based business tell them why you created the products you sell and why you love these products. Have fun with this, be confident with your message and go out and write your copy from your heart.

Creating powerful headlines

It’s important to create attention with your headlines when your potential customers land on your website, read your latest facebook advertisement, your new blog title or your latest webinar. You only have a very short amount of time to get their attention.

To create this powerful headline I want you to think of your client’s biggest struggle in the area you are targeting in your copy right now? Write a few of these down or brainstorm some ideas to get an idea of what your client is feeling. Now you have the ideas to create a headline from this.

I’m going to list two headlines below one that doesn’t say very much and one that speaks to my audience for copywriting to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

  • Learn how to create better copy
  • 5 quick and easy ways to create amazing copy that brings you more sales

I know which one I like more as it’s quick and easy with the potential to make more sales I’m in.

Call to action

At the end of the copy you want to give your client’s a call to action. Which means that you want to engage your audience by asking them a question or challenge them to do something. It important to engage with your audience and it’s a marketing strategy which I could write a whole another blog post about sometime.

Ask your audience an open question so they can come up with an answer. For example the question I’m going to use at the end of this blog post is as a call to action which you are getting a sneak peak to prove the point- What is your biggest challenge with writing your copy?

I have loved taking this journey with you today and talking about how to improve your copy in a few easy ways. I would love to hear from you what is your biggest challenge with writing your copy? Looking forward to hearing from you below.

Rebecca Ruiz is a certified confidence life coach and freelance copywriter for women entrepreneurs at Life Perceptions. She is an ambassador for self-esteem, confidence and finding the inner writer from within. She combines her life coaching and copy writing to create a unique package based on her clients needs to help them move forward in their business. Some areas she works on are mindset, confidence, and learning how to write and blog. She is also available as a freelance copywriter for small businesses.

When Rebecca isn’t working she is enjoying yoga, meditation and spending time with her husband. Find her on Facebook, Twitter or at Life Perceptions

Link Love // The Friday Files

There is a recurring theme here over the past few months of whirlwind days and feeling like each time I sit down to type at this keyboard that I am chasing my tail and always playing catch up. It’s been like that this year – crazy, chaotic, at times challenging but overall pretty damn wonderful. In the midst of buying our first home and packing up our old place, we took off for an anniversary trip to Cambodia which has left me in a blissful holiday bubble as I try to emerge back into reality this week. I put the business on the back burner (and in the capable hands of my team) and truly disconnected while gone. No phone, no internet, (minimal) Instagram posts when we did find WiFi and most importantly just shut off my brain from the ever evolving list of ideas and simply sat still.  I read books, took naps, swam, watched people go by and let my mind wander.

The silence had this profound impact on me that I’ll be sharing more of in the coming weeks. It made unexpected emotions bubble to the surface and made me rethink and question my current business plan, model and direction for the year ahead. These emotions are both scary, thrilling and certainly packed with some honest truths that I feel important to share. So while I let the holiday dust settle I can say that I’m happy to be back here and ready to share even more of myself in this space moving forward. Until then, enjoy your weekend and some link love below…x Jac

  • A great read on navigating work/life balance by these awesome girls.
  • Podcast fan? You’ll love this list.
  • This post hit close to home about feeling a bit lackluster about blogging lately.
  • Embracing the anti-hustle? This is something I can certainly get behind (and loving the new look of this site – well done girls!)
  • I’m in major house decorating mode and this beauty caught my eye.

5 self-care tools that will give you blogging super powers

By Sarah Magdalena Love

Consistently providing inspiring high-quality content can be a huge challenge, especially if you are just starting out. If I am honest, it took me a while to really understand that taking care of myself is time very well spend, especially in the most stressful times. 

Self-care is about so much more than staying hydrated and doing the odd yoga class – it can help you stay spiritually grounded, it connects you to the big Why of your work and it supports you in staying true to your message.

Here are the my five favourite tools I recommend for people who are full of ideas, but are sometimes (like me) running low on creative energy: 

Find a meditation practice that works for you

If I had to name one thing that changed my life for the better, it would definitely be meditation. It gives me clarity, strengthens my vision and keeps me on track. Many of us quit when we dip our toes into a practice that just isn`t right for us because it starts to feel like a burden before it can become a positive habit. But the truth is that you don`t have to sit in silence for an hour every morning – there are countless short, guided meditations that are really easy to integrate into your life.

Look around for a teacher that really inspires you, maybe even find something tailored to creatives and entrepreneurs. If in any way possible, I would also recommend creating a dedicated meditation space. If you have somewhere beautiful and cozy to sit down with a tea and a vision board, getting out of bed and being a little creative firework will become so much easier. 

Integrate movement into your day

We all know that yoga is awesome and that maybe starting to run regularly would make us feel better, but we rarely have the time to make all those “shoulds” happen. 

Taking tiny breaks to shake it out can make a huge difference to your work though – try using the 7 fitness app for a full body workout in seven minutes, bonus points if you listen to “Flawless” by Beyonce. 

I also stream yoga videos online because I want to stay inspired through new practices, but I often don`t find the time to go to a studio class. 

Create a life worth writing about and make your desk THE place to be

Constantly running through routines and feeling stuck in life does naturally reflect in our writing. Even fancy studies show that it`s super important to regularly take breaks from all social media, do something completely different, to go see a new place and go on an adventure in nature. The best ideas always come to us when we stop trying to make them happen. Currently I am trying to go and explore a new neighbourhood every other week, but I also love visiting quiet, peaceful libraries with actual paper books and no WIFI. 

To make sure my return is creative and productive, I treat myself to fresh flowers and have an aromatherapy burner with lemon and geranium oil on my desk. I really do love my space and I make keeping it clear and lovely a priority, even on the wildest deadline. 

Celebrate Monday morning like it’s your birthday

I try to sit down towards the end of the week and make a priority plan for the next week, that way I don`t wake up on Monday feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what to do next. I also don`t schedule any fixed appointments before noon on Mondays, because I love to start the week super mindfully with a hot bath, a nice book and a second breakfast in the garden. I think the added chill totally pays off because I am able to carry it through my week and work with more focus. 

Say no with love

It’s cool to say yes to life, snacks and naps, but sometimes you have to get better at saying no when you need to in order to take care of yourself. Clearing your calendar of dreaded items creates space for new creative adventures that will transform into fuel for your blog. I also use unroll.me to clear my inboxes from anything that doesn`t positively contribute to my life or business because life is too short to waste even 30 seconds a day to delete unwanted emails. 

I totally believe you can do this!

Sarah Magdalena Love is a holistic life coach, a digital strategist for bloggers and creative entrepreneurs, a yoga teacher and a writer. She lives in Berlin with her little dog Orlando and offers Wordpress design & setup programs that include 1:1 coaching and tons of inspiration. 

Connect with Sarah on her blog, her Facebook page, on Instagram and on Twitter.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Are you working in or on your business?

By Lisa Lloyd

I wanted to share with all you lovely Blog Society readers the four simple but incredibly effective tasks that I have set up and use daily to ensure I’m not only working in my business but now working on my business too.

Running your business takes guts, determination and courage, oh and don’t forget all the blood, sweat and tears that you’ll pour into it daily; but what happens when you’re just not getting the results you want even though you’re working days, nights and weekends. 

Recently I took a step back and realised that while I was spending hours on end working in my business, I wasn’t taking any time to work ON my business. Yes, the admin, paperwork and project management is all under control, but I soon realised that to get my business where I wanted it to be I needed to make some changes and place more focus on the business itself.

1. Goals & Plans

You might be starting your first blog, or taking the step into the freelance world and you're thinking 'What on earth do I need a business plan for?' and you know what, I used to think that too. I always thought business plans are for medium to large corporate businesses but I got to tell you, it is essential for ALL businesses. Here's the trick, you don't need a huge stuffy document overflowing with details that will change and just aren't you. Our business plan is a bullet point list on a single A4 sheet. This works perfectly for us because it keeps us focused on where we are, and where we want to be. It means that we can quickly see the goals we're trying to get to and actually get there without having to worry about pages and pages of information that we'll never want to read once we've written the first draft. Keep it clear, concise and in your own words and it will lead to kicking goals.

Along with the bullet list business plan, I also keep a list for myself of how to reach those goals. 

For instance, one of our goals is to have our prints stocked in actual stores, providing a wholesale program for our business. For months I either was too busy to do anything about it or didn't really know where to start (doesn't help that I'm incredibly shy), this is where my secondary list comes in. I sat one afternoon and put together a small plan of how to achieve this particular goal. Now I know where to start and how to get there. Sure it might not be an overnight success (any interested stockists feel free to contact me but at least I have a plan now.

2. Block It

Time blocking is a bit of a saviour for me at times. I can often get so completely taken with a project that it can consume my every waking hour; pre-baby I would even forget to get up and eat or move my eyes away from the screen. Thanks to the little man I'm certainly better at moving away from the screen but this now becomes a huge distraction, albeit a cute one, but a distraction nonetheless that means once I'm back in front of the screen I can lose focus on what it was I was trying to achieve.

Time blocking, may not specifically help me work ON the business, but it does allow me to set certain tasks for certain times of the day including those business and promotion related tasks that always seem to get put on the backburner. For instance, I'm a morning person and find it much easier to write a post, reply to emails, balance the books and do all the admin types jobs in the morning. Once they're out of the way, I get on with a bit of social media and our weekly newsletter on Thursdays, leaving the rest of the day for the fun creative work that I can't get enough of. I also now schedule in time each day to work on Quirk Design. Sometimes this means contacting potential stockists, other times it’s spending the afternoon taking product images.

Sure some days aren't as clear-cut, like when you're little man stacks it and you're off to spend the day in hospital with him, but most days follow this rough plan.

3. Get Social

It's the easiest yet often the most time consuming way to work on your own business and get it out into the world. My problem though is that I was brought up in the pre-social media world, so I'm still adjusting to the social inconveniences. Yes I know I sound really old and very fuddy-duddy! Don't get me wrong, I love that social media allows me to connect with people I never would have had the chance to connect to if things were still the old fashion pre-social media way. 

Plus, I love the inspiration, especially from Instagram that I get on a daily basis but I still find it difficult having a conversation with someone or sitting down for a meal with someone and spending time on my phone when I know I should be conversing and giving them my full attention.

To keep my sanity and not spend hours and hours on social media (Instagram I'm looking at you!!) I set aside time in the morning and the afternoon to update our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds, then after the little Mr has gone to sleep at night, I do my social media surfing to like, follow, tweet and converse with others.

4. New In Town

Have you been in business for a while? Do you remember what it was like to start a business? Do you remember what you needed to get you started? These are all the questions I've been asking myself to see if there is something I can offer others who are starting out. By doing this, I could work out how my own business could grow and move into other areas. To be honest, I kept sticking to the same path and not pushing my own boundaries even though I would encourage my clients to do so.

This was definitely a big one for me, so each month I've set aside a time to explore new ideas to not only keep myself inspired but also to hopefully build this business of ours and provide something that's unique to people.

I think it's really easy to get stuck in a rut especially when you're working for yourself and trying to keep the household in order at the same time, often we forget to take a step back and see how we can improve or make things more efficient. While some days will be easier than others, the important thing to me is to make it my own. While I’ve written many a thesaurus sized document in my time working at other places, for me and my business that’s not something that will work so if writing your business plan on a post-it note and sticking it to your screen works for you, then do it. This is not about a strict list of tasks that you must do to achieve the perfect business but more a starting point to make your business work for you.

We'd love to hear from you, do you have any tips or hints for working on your business?

Lisa Lloyd is  a graphic designer, blogger, print maker and lover of food. She loves working with small businesses and making their branding shine.When she's not in front of the computer, she's hanging out with the coolest people she knows (her hubby, her toddler and two puppies). Find her at Quirk Design

 

Original photo credit: Death To The Stock Photo