My favorite topic!
My favorite topic!
It often happens to many business owners after meeting with an online/content marketing strategist – the deer in headlights look – when they are presented with their strategy, part of which states that they should implement “2,000 new words on their website a month” or “write a new blog post each week.” The immediate response for many is paralysis, or “what the heck am I going to talk about” or “there’s no way I have that much interesting stuff to say.”
Because I’m one of those nice strategists who usually prescribes the above mentioned strategy, I created this “How To” blog that will give you a process for a) coming up with relevant topics and b) implementing them.
First step, take a deep breath.
Second, know you can do this.
Step by Step, baby steps.
1. Get to know your target audience. Need help doing this part? Read my Target Market blog post here.
2. Visualize your avatar (your ideal client.)
3. Get out an old-fashioned notebook and pen, or open a new document on your computer
3. Begin creating lists for the following items
Now that you’ve taken your time and answered these questions, you should have a good list sitting right there in front of you. Sweet! You’ve got a great beginning.
4. Look at these topics and begin to create a new category called “magnetizing blog post titles.”
At this point, I would recommend using the Google Keyword Planner Tool to see which items get more searches and put them in order. But that’s a bit more advanced, and a topic for a different blog post.
In order to create blog post titles, you want to take into consideration the keywords that achieve high search results, AND, most importantly, you want to create “magnetizing titles” (titles that are interesting, informative, and magnetizing for your ideal client.)
Here’s an example. You are a career coach and you have determined that your target audience is goal-driven professional women in the medical and financial industries (optometrists, health practitioners, dentists, financial advisors, bankers.) Here are a few of your brainstormed topics from above:
Self-Confidence – Stop Self-Sabotaging and Start Living Vibrantly
Honoring YOU; 5 Simple Changes to your Work Life to Give you More YOU Time
5, Now that you’ve got your “Magnetizing Titles,” put some bullet points beneath each topic so that you can remember when it comes time to write the post, what you were talking about
You could now run these topics past your marketing strategist for their expert feedback.
Then, if you are a systematic person, you could put these titles into an editorial calendar. Or, if you are less systematic, then schedule a time each week or once a month where you can sit down and pull topics from your fabulous list and begin writing!
Your new list should provide you with quality content for at least a year. Don’t be afraid to add more topics to your list as you get asked more questions by your clients and prospects. There are truly endless amounts of content right in front of us, sometimes we just need to be reminded!
For 25 years Peg Calvario (PegCalvario.com) worked with her husband to run their family-owned business in the fitness industry. After selling that business five years ago she decided to move on to a new venture—coaching for professionals—but was surprised when her marketing didn’t come as easy as before.
Then Something Pivotal Happened – Identifying a Tribe
Meghann Conter’s coaching clients almost always go through a vigorous tribe-identifying process. Peg was no different. While we did work together on messaging, social media profiles, and zeroing in on potential clients with email capture forms and teleclass development, each of those pieces hinged on identifying her new tribe: GOAL-DRIVEN PROFESSIONALS.
“Now I can articulate a crystal clear message to my tribe, especially as it relates to my process. And, as a result, my content marketing comes so much easier and faster,” Peg explained.
Social Media Marketing Is Only What You Can See. What About What You Can’t See?
I may be the Mistress of Social Media® and believe strongly in the power of social media, but I also believe that success does not lie in social media alone. That’s only the piece your clients can see.
The pieces they can’t see are what drive your business. I’m talking about a marketing foundation (messaging, voice, packaging, pricing, promotion methods and processes) you can stand on and a marketing plan you can execute easily. Once you have these two items in place, the magnetic content—and the financial results—will come…just like it did for Peg.
Peg said she now feels better about her marketing and being able to implement it with greater ease, but it’s more than that. The results speak volumes.
Her SEO has improved thanks to targeted blog posts. In fact, she recently got a call from the US Naval Safety Center, an outstanding opportunity, after they found her website. On top of that, she has acquired clients from both Facebook and LinkedIn since sprucing up her profiles with content that attracts her ideal clients.
“Meghann over delivers,” Peg said. “She consistently provided value, even sending me notes from our meetings, and connecting me with valuable resources, and was never someone who focused on cost. She really did a great job.”
If you follow my blog (and you should :-)), you know that I talk about your tribe* often. Your tribe* is the group of people you influence. They are your brand champions, your friends, your fans, your clients, and your prospects. Without your tribe, you don’t have a business.
The narrower you get when describing and then marketing to your target audience, the easier, more effective, and less costly your marketing will be. If you try the “spray and pray” method, you will waste your two most precious resources – time and money. Unless, of course, you have a marketing budget the size of Starbucks’. (Didn’t think so.)
Determining a target market for an existing business
This process is a bit easier, in my honest opinion (IMHO), if you have been in business for more than a year and a half-ish because you can look at past client demographics and data and narrow down from there. Looking at this data is much easier if you have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that tracks important information about your clients.
Hint: if you are just starting out in business now, get a CRM system (which can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet) and keep track of important client data. Here’s a list of data to track, but add to this list as it makes sense to your business.
Are they local/national/international?
What industry do they work in?
What is their position there?
What is their family situation (you are looking for common threads here like divorced, moms, dads, etc.)?
Where do you get this information? Some of it will be guess work, and some you can obtain from LinkedIn. I would also consider making note of who your ideal clients were and using their data over those who weren’t.
Next, what are the psychographic pieces of information? For this part, I recommend you bring up the top five clients you’ve worked with in your business over the last year or so. Then answer these questions based on them.
What were they feeling before they hired you? What were the problems they were running away from? What are the top pleasures they are running toward? What were they calling out for help with?
What did they love most about your process? When they sang/sing your praises, what do they say about you?
What are the biggest results they achieved in working with you, both tangibly and emotionally?
What do they care most about in life, in general?
What do they fear most in life, in general?
There are many more questions that can be taken into account at this point in the process, depending on your business, your industry, whether you are B2B or B2C, and more. After you have given much thought to this information, and written it down, you can now draw the parallels and see the commonalities between the people you love to serve.
What you should come up with on the other side looks something like what I’ve done here to describe my client Mallory, who is a reflexologist and healer:
Denver-based single women, 35-55 years old, educated and professional (career women), who is overwhelmed, swamped, and seeking instant relief from daily stress; typical industries her clients fall within: marketing, authors, speakers, those who travel a lot for work.
Determining your target market for a new business
If you are new in your business, your process is going to look a lot different. Google will be your best friend, as will other people who are experienced in your industry with your products or services. You may also be doing a bit more testing than determining, initially.
My client Sara is an author and her genre of writing is somewhere between Paranormal Romance and Sci-Fi. She began doing research and found a gold mine of statistics here. http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582 This kind of data is invaluable, and you can likely find some of your own.
She also started reaching out to other writers with books and styles similar to hers and asked to do “informational interviews” with them. She asked questions about the kinds of people who come to their book signings and who write to them as raving fans of their work. Some of these people were not receptive to talking with her, but plenty of others were willing help!
In the end
Looking at, tweaking, and refining your target market is a continuous process. Your tribe will shift and change as your business evolves.
* Target market = tribe = target audience
Lately, I’ve seen a growing epidemic … people launching Facebook business pages like they’re going out of style… with no apparent strategy or plan of action for WHY they are starting them or WHAT they are going to do with them. And resulting in the millions of untouched Facebook pages, so sad ;-(
Recently, I saw a friend start 4 new pages ALL in one day, all for herself, with different names and the same message across the different pages. When I asked her why and discussed it with her, she quickly understood that keeping up with four separate pages would basically consume her life and wouldn’t yield anything more than one. We came up with a strategy for a unified approach that made sense for her goals.
Your social media marketing should be done intentionally. Having a strategy for what you are going to do, when you’re going to do it, who’s going to keep it going, WHY you’re doing it, and how you’ll keep up is PARAMOUNT to your success in social media. What is success in social media? Return On Investment, of course! So, why am I choosing to stand on my soap box with this subject? More importantly, what should be done instead?
1. Know WHY you are starting a FB business page (from the perspective of your target audience). What are you going to provide your new fans that they can’t get anywhere else? This should require some thought. No No: “like our page cause we’re going to give you great tips, coupons, ‘n stuff.” With that type of a strategy,you’ll be joining EVERYONE else already using the identical call to action. Ya Ya: What makes you and your brand unique and what value are you going to provide your specific target audience that will BENEFIT them. How is your Facebook page going to stand out from the millions of others? “Love daily inspiration, a community of like-minded conscious friends and FUN content, contests and prizes that you won’t get from us anywhere else? Like our page today and get involved!”
2. Know WHO will be updating the page, HOW often, and WHEN you will be updating it. No No: Put up a page and let it hang in outer space, posting on it once in a blue moon. This won’t help move you toward your goals and objectives. This is like getting married; you don’t just go to the alter and then the next day say “peace out” to your new spouse and go MIA for months. Ya Ya: Choose the right person to be in charge of your social media maintenance – someone who knows contemporary marketing well. Someone who knows how to provide value to your audience and how to engage them regularly. Create a calendar. Test and analyze the best times of day and frequencies to post to garner the most attention and interaction from your specified target audience.
3. Figure out what your target market wants. No No: Use the “spray and pray” marketing method, where you just post and hope that someone somewhere sees it and engages with it. Ya Ya: Answer these questions and devise a plan based on them: Does your ideal client enjoy reading detailed posts and clicking links to read more? Are they more likely to pay attention to, like, comment and share visual posts emphasizing your expertise? Do they like short, impactful videos? What is your content strategy and how will you continue to provide valuable, entertaining, engaging content to your Facebook fans? Learning the optimal ‘post mix’ for your target audience will make or break your engagement on Facebook.
4. How does this page fit in with the rest of your marketing? What are your objectives beyond your Facebook page? No No: Working to increase fans and up engagement levels isn’t enough. That rarely converts to business done. (And by the way, Facebook is not the place to promote, promote, promote. That will turn your potential clients away faster than a knife fight in a phone booth!) Ya Ya: Where will you provide them more information about your area of expertise? On your website through blog posts or value-based video posts (vlogs)? How will you track that website traffic? How will you get them on your email list so that they enter in to your sales funnel? These are all questions to answer before launching your page.
5. How will you monitor your Facebook page performance as they relate to your overall business goals? No No: Set no goals as they relate to your business, and run your Facebook marketing devoid of its contribution to your business overall. Ya Ya: Know what your main business objectives are quarterly, bi-annually, and annually. Understand which goals your Facebook page will directly help you achieve. Example Goal: To increase attendance at quarterly live events by 20% each quarter. Facebook’s role – to increase fans by 20% each quarter and increase engagement 30 % each quarter. Create engaging campaigns directly related to the topics and teachings of your live events and use a mix of posts, promoted posts, and ads to drive new users in your target audience to the events.
There are, of course, other objectives that should be discussed when it comes to your Facebook page strategy, but meeting these is a great start! Do you have any other words of inspiration for setting up a strategy before launching your Facebook business page ship?
Also, share your Facebook page URL here as a comment so that we may all take a look, like and comment, if we so choose!
Englewood, Colorado based Garvin’s Sewer Service got its start in 1940. After 70 years this family-run business is going strong and still serving many of the same customers after decades. However, reaching new customers in the crowded online space has been challenging for Garvin’s for a few reasons.
The Seeds of an Idea
While I’d love to say that dreamed up the solution to Garvin’s social media challenges on my own, this creative plumbing company did a lot of the work on their own. I have been the catalyst to help them get content in place, create new and fun branding ideas, and track progress to prove it is working.
“I met Meghann at a networking event awhile back,” Kris explained. “At networking events I would introduce myself as ‘Kris Plumbing Girl Jordan’ so that I’d be more memorable. When we hired Meghann to do a marketing assessment she saw the Plumber Girl as an opportunity.”
Since those early days at networking events, Plumber Girl has come a long way. Now this seemingly “boring” plumbing company has a character straight out of the 1940s to share blog and social media content in a fun, interesting way for customers, for those interested in plumbing, and even for those who have an interest in a Rose-the-Riveter inspired, sexy yet family-friendly Plumbing Girl.
Implementing the Solution
Each month I visit with Kris to evaluate contemporary marketing performance against their goals and objectives, and then we go into FUN content production mode using Kris’ expertise in plumbing.
“What I love about working with Meghann is that we time block and get it all done,” Kris said. “I’m an organized person, but I break appointments with myself. I don’t break appointments with her. She keeps things fun.”
Client Spotlight: Brenda Abdilla and A Magic Social Media Strategy
In the spring of 2013, Career Coach Brenda Abdilla and her team planned and subsequently cancelled six workshops designed to promote her new book and MOMentum Mastermind Group. All six of the cancellations were due to low registration numbers.
Brenda knew she had identified an untapped market – moms unsure of what they should do work-wise – and she knew there was demand for career coaching and camaraderie among moms. That’s what frustrated her the most. She could see the promise land, but her wheels were stuck in the mud.
Meanwhile, Brenda continues to operate a highly successful career coaching practice -http://managementmomentum.net and was launching this mom coaching business alongside, because she is so passionate about it.
I started working with Brenda in May. After establishing a contemporary marketing strategy aimed at targeting the right tribe with the right offers, we managed to promote a June workshop and fill it with moms (new clients), fast.
“I’ll never forget that first meeting with Meghann when she put her hands to her head and said ‘call it this, delete that, and change this,’” Brenda explained. “It was so clear to her that we had confused our audience with our content and approach. Her advice literally worked like magic.”
Turns out marketing strategy using various marketing mediums to execute it isn’t actually magic. It’s more about speaking to your tribe (that specific group of people to whom you speak and with whom your product/service resonates). Here’s some specific actions Brenda and I identified that led to a revitalized marketing environment and workshop sign-ups:
All of this allowed Brenda to focus her attention on what she does best: high-level career coaching through http://momentummanagement.net while at the same time fueling a huge passion of hers to help mothers in career transition. She’s got an awesome book, you should read it (if you’re a mom in career transition of course).
Brenda will tell you that prior to working with me she was already using social media, writing blogs, creating email newsletters, but, as she later learned, she was using all of these without a strategy. Her tactics had only gotten her so far and she was ready to get some return on her marketing investment. That’s what it’s all about, right?
“It felt good to know that the advice Meghann gave me was not the same advice she gives everyone,” Brenda said. “It was so obvious she had studied my brand and industry. She was the clear voice I needed.”
Strategy – the preeminent component of your social media marketing efforts. Without it, the question, “what’s the ROI from my social media marketing efforts” cannot even be answered or addressed accurately. When I hear people say “I’m not getting results from social media,” my first question to them is “where is your social media strategy?” and “What are you measuring your results with?” Their response is typically the deer-in-headlights look.
So, over the next several months, I’ll be covering my Mistress of Social Media™ Strategy Model, a step-by-step roadmap for building your measurable, rock-solid strategy.
The first component in this formula is setting goals and objectives. This is where you set the targets for your online efforts; how can you know where you’re going or if you’ve arrived there if you don’t know what you’re measuring, or measuring against?
Your social media goals and objectives should directly relate to the goals of your company. I will use a fictitious business as an example throughout these blog posts to illustrate how this all gets put into play. A close friend of mine in Denver and I tend to get bored always saying the same thing when we meet other business owners and get the standard question “what do you do?” So she made up a response – she’s a “Jellymaster” for the nation’s aquariums. She travels around the country as a consultant to the aquariums, mating the jellyfish and ensuring their quality and longevity of life. And, she has mastered the art of delivering this information with a straight face. Yes, you can chuckle She usually throws in fun facts like “Did you know that jellyfish are the #3 attraction at most aquariums?” She then follows up with the comment, “It’s my mission to make it the #2 attraction by 2015!”
Typical goals and objectives for companies who are using social media to market their brands:
• Increase brand awareness, strengthen brand
• Acquire contacts
• Generate prospects
• Generate sales
• Increase customer retention
• Improve customer service/contact
• Increase SEO & website traffic
• Grow business partnerships
Here are the steps, simplified: Determine an overall business goal or objective, then lay out the social media goal(s) that can help you achieve that overall business goal, and lastly, nail down the action steps you and your team will take to reach these social media goals.
Using the Jellymaster as an example, one of her overall business objectives is to increase her jellygigs by 20% this calendar year (from 20-24.) My friend, we’ll call her Sandra, knows that this objective requires that she get introduced to and have webcast demo meetings with 10 new VPs of Sea Life Quality at aquariums each year. This year she needs 4 new VPs to hire her. Knowing this, Sandra can set her social media goals in order to meet her business objectives.
One of her major social media goals will be to increase brand awareness through her online efforts. She can break this down into tactical action steps to get her to her goal. First, she will want to identify her tribe (more about this in Part 2 of this blog series), then make sure that her online image is consistent across platforms and represents her brand culture, core competencies, design look &feel, and overall marketing message.
Next, she could reach out to four new aquarium CEOs or VPs of Sea Life Quality via social media each quarter in order to secure enough webcast meetings. Sandra also sets the goal to blog & vlog weekly using keyword optimized content to keep and boost Search Engine Optimization & to be seen as the Subject Matter Expert in her industry.
Sandra also attends the annual Aquarium Enthusiasts Expo, which attracts her potential clients and presents her with an opportunity to get connected with them in person. She uses LinkedIn to conduct research on the people she knows will attend the conference and arranges mutual connections to introduce them in person while she’s at the expo.
We’ll get into the tactical, day-to-day implementation ideas for Sandra’s social media strategy later in this series of articles. We will also show the importance of measurements and metrics in determining your level of success in achieving your objectives in further articles. Gather your team and set those goals!
Have you seen? You can embed public Facebook posts on your blog or website!! This example is from my Facebook page and is posted as a blog post on my WordPress blog:
So, what is this good for?
Logged in to your Facebook Business page, you can go to any status update that is a public post, then:
Click on the little drop down arrow in the top right hand corner of that status
Select “Embed Post”
Copy the entire code that pops up and then you can paste that code in to the “text” editor field of your blog post, save draft, preview, and voila! your Facebook status is viewable in your blog post.
For a bit more information, straight from the mouth of Facebook, click here.
Have you tried this embed functionality yet? What do you think about it?
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