You can listen to today's blog post on Episode 12 of our Build Your Biz podcast.
It's a new year and there is a lot of ways to help plan for the year ahead so that you have a successful business strategy. It's critical to plan your strategy out ahead of time so that you have a smoother work-flow and process, as well as make sure you're ahead of the game. You can get some more business planning tips from this post.
Remember, the online world is going by so fast as it is, you need to know when, how, and WHY you are doing something. It is easy to be caught up in content creating and focus less on planning it out, but having a plan can be as simple as a Google calendar and will help alleviate so much stress.
Download our 12-month editorial calendar complete with holidays and observances you should take advantage of in your social media strategy.
Growth hacking is when you are trying to increase your traffic, increase/build your lists as quickly and effectively as possible while using the least amount of resources (time, money, energy, etc). Sometimes you cannot avoid spending a good amount of resources doing something. The key is to figure out the right balance of what resources you are spending to get X amount of new followers, subscribers, sales, etc.
Here are 9 growth hacking techniques you should use in your business this year. For more in-depth information, there are video tutorials and worksheets in our training portal. You can also catch the replay of the mini-episodes in the Facebook group.
1. Develop & Nurture Your Email List
Having your own email list is so important. If anything happens to the social media sites that you use to connect with your followers (ex: MySpace), then you have no way to get in touch with them. Having an email list is a way to make sure you can remain in contact with your followers.
To capture their email address and create a reason for them to provide it, you must provide an irresistible incentive in the form of a lead magnet.
Nurture your list:
Reach out to them
They are people, not just a number
Provide value to your list so they not only stay on your list but will open your emails
2. Free Resources
My favorite example of free resources is a blog. Lead magnets and email opt-ins are also terrific ways to offer free resources. For example, designers who offer stock photos, free fonts, social media icons, etc can give them away as lead magnets.
A free resources library is a great incentive and opt-in for many people, though it is not necessary for everyone. It is a great tool for two groups in particular: coaches/consultants and niched brands. Having a free resources library does a few things, including keeping people on your webpage and interested in coming back for exclusive content.
3. Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are exclusive pieces of content that you are giving away in exchange for a visitor to give you something (more than likely, their email address).
Helpful lead magnets can be created with Canva, Pages, Word Docs, Photoshop and Design (as a few examples) but you don’t have to have a fancy program, you just need to provide great advice, tools, or help.
4. Place Call to Action
Web design is a user experience. You want to be the one to guide and direct them to click on and buy your services/products.
A call to action can be as simple as a hyperlink, a button, a clickable graphic, or a navigation bar. You can also start getting into forms, pop-up banners, fly outs, and welcome mats.
The call to action needs to be on your homepage, in your footer, and on your navigation bar. It's worth considering also having a top bar as it's not as intrusive as pop-ups. Pop-ups and fly-out banners are also starting to get penalized by Google as they are seen as spamming the visitor.
5. Social Media Presence & Engagement
Social media presence is not just being on all 10 platforms. The best strategy is to be on 1-3 platforms and rocking them. Start with one, dominate that, and repeat.
But do know (and don't be discouraged) that there is a unique strategy to each platform, and it can take awhile to grasp a certain platform and to know what makes it unique. Social media marketing is a time investment in your brand and your people. Treat it as such.
6. Offer Actionable Help
Several bloggers offer advice that is very generic and glossed over, then ask for money to learn more. Don't be one of these people! Yes, you have to earn money (you want to make this your job, right?!). But offering high-quality advice for free is a great way to establish trust. Fortunately for you, a blog is a great way to do this. But in 2018, a lead magnet and a free resources library will help you stand out a little bit more.
- A short email course
- A free Teachable course
- Interactive Facebook and/or LinkedIn groups
- Email marketing campaigns beyond just selling your stuff
7. Have the Right Tools on your Side
There are beginner, intermediate, and expert tools offered on Skill Space.
You need to do your research to find the tools that work for you.Invest and make the effort to use a tool or two to trial. At least 5 of them will be worth it for you!
You definitely need:
- Email marketing program: MailChimp, ConvertKit, Infusion Soft, etc.
- A list building program (anything that will collect an email address for you, aka an opt-in)
- Mail Chimp & ConvertKit have opt-in boxes and landing pages. They don’t have the range of customization that a dedicated list building service or landing page service has.
- Squarespace now offers lead capture forms (in addition to newsletter signup forms) and you can get freemium plugins on WordPress
There are also more tools listed on the Skill Space website that might be beneficial to you.
8. Free Advertising
You need to do it! It is the entire point of marketing, which is utilizing platforms, tools, and resources to help bring eyeballs and credit cards to your website as the visitor moves through your sales funnel.
Previous examples of free advertising have already been given: social media, promotions, calls to action, etc.
- If you aren’t good at charming people, make sure to give them actionable advice.
- Use social media to give tips and engage with people
- It is essential to have Pinterest worthy, high quality, well lit, high-resolution graphics – this is a non-negotiable
Blogging is not dead! It is, however, ever-changing. Remember, blogging is first and foremost a marketing platform. It is a way to add free value, as well as to establish both trust and authority. Google and Bing both love it.
Advantages of blogging:
- It's a marketing tool
- Adds free value
- Establishes both trust and authority
- Furthers your relationship with your reader
- Adds more depth to your online resume
The new "rule" of blogging is that it does not have to be as often, as long as the content resonates with and engages your readers. Two key takeaways: try to be consistent, try to be predictable.
Learn more from the Facebook Group, Build Your Online Biz.