In my last post, 7 Quick & Fun Steps to Biz Planning Your Whole Year, I showed you how to plan your next year in just one hour. One critical step for your biz was to decide when and what programs you’ll promote. The idea is to think through now how you’ll earn your desired income. If you did that, you’re ready for the next series of bite-size steps — writing ace promotional copy.
First, I’d like to normalize this process for you a bit. I know it can feel scary to promote your programs. You might be afraid of irritating the people on your list. You may believe promotion is ugly or at best a necessary evil. Or you may have judgments about your abilities.
Here’s a prosperous reframe: Think of promoting your program as if you’re inviting people to a party where you’ll serve up your very best. You want them to be there and accept your gifts. You’re offering them a meaningful experience. I have 12 little steps to help you create your “invitation”.
To write compelling copy, become crystal clear about what you’re offering, why you’re offering it, why someone would want that, what it will do for them and all the details they’ll need to know to decide.
Guess what? That’s exactly what’s in a sales or landing page. Here we go!
This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Kenn Schroder, the Coaching Website Specialist…
One key to growing a big list fast is to make sure your opt-in form is very prominent and very easy to use.
Many coaching websites tend to, with very low effectiveness, place the opt-in box low on the home page or buried within the site. This is not ideal for building a list.
Enter AWeber’s “light-box” style opt-in form.
In addition to being a sweet email list management service with great support, AWeber has a very nice form generator tool that enables you to create your opt-in forms.
One such form is the “light-box”.
By the time I created my third coaching website, I realized that a website should be more than an online brochure. It should do a lot of my marketing and enrolling work for me. And then I had a paradigm shift – my website should feel like home to my target market rather than just be all about me and what I do.
Whoosh! As soon as I aligned my website so that it spoke to the people I was serving, my list built exponentially and so did my income.
I often hear from coaches that their website’s just sitting there, doing nothing for them and they don’t know why. Many say they don’t really know what’s on their site without looking.
Sound familiar? If that’s you, I understand because once upon a time I put my website in the hands of my web designer, let go and hoped for the best. I truly thought that I could set it and forget it. Wrong. A website is a living thing.
If you get clients primarily from the Internet, as I do – or if you’d like to, it’s critical that your website is the HUB of your business.
Now, I have a blog for my main website. With all the fresh content and social network plug-ins, it’s a happy command center for my business. Most everything I do, plus all the clients and joint venture offers I attract, come and go from that hub. It’s like a busy airport and I’m really proud of it. (My site won the Best Coaching Blogs contest in 2010 and received Runner-Up honors this year, as well.)
There are three “secret” ingredients every website must have going for it to be a client winning site, one that:
When was the last time you wrote something truly vulnerable and shared it with the folks on your list?
I hope it was within the last week. You may think I’m crazy for saying this (or you may think it’s a no-brainer), but –
Your blog is the perfect place to show a bit of your humanity… to let your tribe in on some of your mistakes, as well as how you overcame them.
There are two BIG reasons why you want to be vulnerable with your tribe:
- Showing that you’re vulnerable builds trust and understanding. People will like you better and want to connect if they get a sense of who you are under all that “expertise” or skill.
- Being real is more fun and… well, more real!
When I started writing for coaches in 2001, I had this idea that I needed know more, seem perfect, and be the “wise one”. I wrote a lot of how-to articles full of good stuff, but I missed the opportunity to show more of myself and relate to my audience.
So when I hear coaches say they don’t know enough to serve their niche market, it reminds me of me back then. But that’s just a lie we tell ourselves.
Of course, some of your blog posts will educate the people in your niche market. Some will correct mistakes or take them step-by-step through how to do something. But your tips will land more deeply if you also share how you got there — which is almost always about fumbling into competency, right?
I’m getting the chance to read lots of other coaching blogs lately. One reason is, my blog is competing in the Best Coaching Blogs contest hosted by Julia Stewart of the School of Coaching Mastery. There are some great blogs being showcased there! If you haven’t already, check it out. There’s a link below this post. (And of course, I’d love your vote and comments, if you are so inclined.)
Plus, I’m working on a new learning system called Client Winning Websites & Blogs. It’s a step-by-step blueprint (with lots of examples) to launch well, get known and attract fans fast. (Coming soon.)
If you’re using a blog to attract clients, or you would like to be, what exactly do you want your blog to accomplish? For a moment, think about this from an outsider’s perspective.
Every new visitor to your site is deciding, within seconds, whether it’s something they value or not. So if you want your audience to grow, you must captivate them as soon as they arrive on your site.
Are you making sure that when your ideal prospects visit your site, they immediately feel seen, heard and understood by you?
Here are the five most important ways to captivate your audience on your blog:
# 1 Resonate Quickly with Your Target Market
There is a set of cues that in seconds tells your web visitors whether they want to stay on the site or bounce off. As a website owner, your job is to optimize those cues so your ideal clients are attracted to engage with what you’re offering. Blogs have the potential to do this best, because fresh relevant content builds connections with your audience.
These 3 critical cues determine whether visitors stay or bounce. They need to be immediately evident without scrolling when someone arrives on your blog (or any website):
I’ve been blogging since 2009. Of all the tools I’ve used to grow my coaching and mentoring business, blogging shines the brightest.
Admittedly, it’s a slow build strategy. So if you’re looking for a one hit wonder, this isn’t it. But you can’t be in “big splash” campaign mode all the time. That has a high cumulative cost in time, energy, and losing folks off your list If they’re not ready yet. It’s exhausting for you as well as your tribe. And big launches suck up lots of hours for your team too.
I’m not saying not to do big launches. They rock! But… everything in balance. You need a “steady-drip” strategy to continually touch the lives of your tribe in a way that is highly effective at building trust.
The same point applies to joint ventures. You can get a big boost to your list from a joint venture, but the connection is deeper and more resilient when people have a reason to follow you over time. A blog provides that touch point with people in ways that ezines cannot.
Before launching my blog, I put out an ezine for 10 years. It created some fans, but didn’t allow for much two-way communication. I often felt like I was talking to a wall.
In just a few months of blogging, I felt a huge shift in my business. My list was expanding with every post, and that translated to my income as well.
But the biggest advantage of blogging comes with more satisfying and long-term relationships. Readers can share comments and tweet out my posts to their friends. That brings me in deeper connection with them, as well as drawing people to my website that I would have never found if I wasn’t blogging.
This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Michele Pariza Wacek…
I am on a MISSION to shine a great big TRUTH spotlight on all the Big Fat Lies you’re most likely telling yourself about Internet Marketing right now.
However, I can only do so much.
I can tell you what the truth is. And you may even believe it. (In your head that is.)
But then, come the darkest part of the night, you’ll wake up in a sweat. And you’ll be thinking: “What if Michele is wrong? What if the reason why I’m having so much trouble succeeding on the Internet really IS all about me?”
During the day it’s easy to be rational. We understand in our heads that some marketing strategies will succeed, some will fail, and the best way to grow a successful business is to analyze why the failures failed and use that information to create more successes.
But in the dead of night, all of those good, objective intentions can fly away, leaving us alone with our doubts, fears, frustrations and anxiety.
So what IS it about these Big Fat Internet Marketing Lies that can wreak such havoc in our mental and emotional health?
I have published an ezine almost since I began as a coach 13 years ago, but I’m finally letting go of it. (If you’ve been getting my ezine, don’t worry. You’ll still get the same weekly content, just in a different format.)
Like other changes I’ve made in my business, this one comes down to a case of taking my own advice. I’ve been telling coaches that a blog is the best web platform for a coaching business. And it is. Right now I’m getting ready to launch Client Winning Websites & Blogs, an online system that teaches how to launch a powerful business blog. So I’ve been thinking about it.
Blogs Invite Interaction
Both blogs and ezines are great ways to connect with your market on a regular basis. But what blogs do better than any publishing medium that came before is to engage readers in the conversation. And that adds HUGE value.