Are You Up To This Challenge?

This is one of the first campaigns we coach people how to create when they’re turning their business into an Automated Revenue Machine. It’s a vital piece of growing and converting new leads. It’s also a terrific exercise to help you re-discover why you do what you do. Are you up to the challenge? Take a look!

Interested in a free one-on-one digital marketing strategy session? Just click here!

My Secret to Being a Great Blog Writer

(Authored by best-selling author & Southwestern Consulting Co-founder, Rory Vaden)

BloggingIt is amazing to me to think that in February 2015 my first book, Take the Stairs, will have already been out for 3 years! My new book (Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time) will be coming out in January. This week I put the final finishing edits on this new book that I believe will be an absolute game-changer for the way the world thinks about time and productivity. I love the writing in this new book.

Thinking back, I never set out to be a great writer, though. Honestly, when I first started I wanted to be a speaker. Writing originally seemed like a necessary evil in order to get the chance to speak more. Until one moment when everything changed…

Many people dream of getting to write a book for a major New York publisher but what I never expected was the amount of pressure I would feel to write an outstanding book after I finally got my book deal.

When I first signed with Penguin I set out to write a phenomenal book to share with the world! It was going to be my life’s work. The book, that if I died tomorrow, would let the world know what I stood for: self-discipline and Take the Stairs.

I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote, and there was one major problem…the writing wasn’t any good!

When I would go back and read everything I had written it just sounded so generic. So blasé. So much like everyone else.

Until one night I had a phone call with someone very close to me. During our conversation, I got so frustrated with this person – whom I love deeply – and the poor choices they were making in their life.

After the phone call, in a fit of emotion, I wrote down all of the things that I wanted to say out loud to this person’s face but that I just didn’t have the courage to.

So instead, I wrote at them.

It was almost as if I was pouring my heart out to them on paper. It was everything I wished I was man enough to say in person but just couldn’t because I was afraid.

Then I went back and read what I had written…

It was phenomenal!!

Heartfelt. Relevant. Emotional. Impactful. Unique. And moving.

That day changed my life.

That was the day that I became a writer.

Because I realized you cannot write for “the world,” instead you must write to a single person.

It can be a message to yourself, to someone you know, or to a specific fictitious character struggling with a distinct set of psychographic challenges. But you cannot write to “people” “everyone” or “the world.”

You can only write to…a single individual person.

I learned the biggest lesson in my writing career: Don’t write to people; write to person.

Pick out a person in your life that you know and write their name at the very top of any writing you ever do.

From that day until this, I never write a single word without thinking of someone specific in my mind that I am writing to…

Including this.

Why No One is Listening to You on Social Media

Every 60 seconds, 350,000 tweets, 44,940 Instagram photos, and 293,000 Facebook status updates are being put out online. (Source: Internet Live Stats)

This means you are likely to get lost in the noise.

Most people will tell you to post more because that is a surefire way to get noticed; The “squeaky wheel gets fixed” theory.

While this is a good strategy for being seen, it is not enough to be noticed.

So how do you break through and get users to actually listen to you?

social media

Put out good content!

It really is that simple. Yet, it seems to be overlooked by the majority of the users online.

The basic reasoning for this is that humans are naturally selfish. We are always thinking about ourselves and therefore, only post about things we like.

The problem with this mentality is that we are not paying attention to what our audience actually wants.

The good news for you is that once you understand this, it is easy to stand out.

In a world of selfish chatter, be the one that adds value to people’s lives.

You will see results when you have gained the trust of your followers and you do this by giving them a chance to glean some wisdom from you.

Whether you’re in real estate, a financial advisor or a car salesman, you have valuable knowledge.

Know your niche or area of expertise and share it.

Give people something of value.

No one cares that you’re drinking another latte. Unless, of course, that is your area of expertise. Even then, what are you saying about the latte that is giving value to the lives of your viewers?

Be helpful, not selfish.

Winning the hearts of real people reading your posts and sharing your photos takes investment. Loyal brand evangelists and engaged community members are earned.

So you want to see results from social media? Share good, relevant content, and stay invested.

Online Vanity vs. Online Marketing

What’s your goal for having your business online? Do you even know?

Few do.

Determining the action you want your audience to take is the most critical part of any online marketing campaign. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Sure, it feels good to get likes and retweets, but those don’t pay the bills. There has to be more to it. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time and energy. You’re simply online for vanity. And that is never good for business.

We have to decide what action we’re trying to get our audience to take, and then help them get there. Whether it’s buying a product, downloading a lead magnet, opting into a list, etc., that’s why we are doing all of this in the first place, right?

ttt

It’s that third (and the most overlooked) piece of the triangle we’ve talked about before… conversion. Yes, content is critical, as is traffic, but without conversion it’s an incomplete marketing campaign.

One of the tools we use for conversion is Infusionsoft. It’s a three-in-one software that combines a CRM, email marketing, and e-commerce. It allows us to create web forms like you see on our site. We also use it in numerous other ways for internal automation, and external communication and sales.

The next time you go to write, post, or share anything online, ask yourself why you’re doing it and how will it help drive your audience to a conversion point.

If you’re interested in learning if Infusionsoft is right for your business, click here to sign up for a FREE digital marketing strategy session with one of our Certified Online Marketing Coaches.

10 Steps to Writing a Great Blog

blog

(Authored by best-selling author & Southwestern Consulting Co-founder, Rory Vaden)

I’m getting asked more and more about my writing methodologies. Here is my quick preflight checklist for writing blog posts.

  1. Think of a person or persons in your life that you are writing to and put their name at the top of the page.
  1. In one sentence define what the message of your article is and write that at the top of the page. That is what do you want the reader to think feel or do differently after reading your article.
  1. Write the post. Write emotionally, unapologetically and without editing.
  1. Re-read the post and edit for proper message communication. Cut out anything that doesn’t directly forward your message at the top.
  1. Re-read and edit for proper emotional tone.
  1. Re-read and edit for grammar. Read out loud on this one.
  1. Make a list of targeted SEO words you want the post optimized for.
  1. Re-read for SEO purposes and highlight or appropriately add-in any keywords you want the post optimized for.
  1. Re-read for tweetable moments from the post. List them out separately.
  1. Follow the secret posting schedule.

For more writing resources here’s My Secret to Being a Good Writer and Tips for Writers.

How do you eat a digital marketing elephant?

One thing we hear regularly from small business owners on the topic of online marketing is – you know what you should be doing – you just aren’t. One of the main reasons is how big it all feels, how enormous. It’s simply too much.

If you fall into that category, we get it. You most likely understand the basic principles of creating content, driving traffic, and converting sales. You agree that blogging regularly, being active on social media, and email marketing could vastly improve your bottom line. Yet you’re still not executing.

We’ve all been in the same boat, regarding a number of topics over the years. Sometimes we finally do take action, other times we never do.

But if we knew something could help our business grow, if we knew we could generate more leads, automate processes, and create more return customers, why wouldn’t we do it?

Fear.

It’s just too big.

Right?

Wrong.

How do you eat an elephant?

One.

Bite.

At.

A.

Time.

Create a strategic plan. Then execute it piece by piece. Type it out, or stand up at a whiteboard, or sit down with paper and pen, just get it all out. What are the steps you need to take in order to get to where you want to be? Then do it.

Let us help you build an automated revenue machine.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither will your online marketing empire. But it has to start somewhere. It begins when you commit to investing your time, energy, and resources into your business. And then you take the next step.

Don’t think you need to be conquering the Internet in a week. That’s not even close to how it works.

Take a look at your audience and customers. What platforms are they using?

Take a look at your content inventory. What can I (and will I!) create?

Take a look at your lead magnets on your website. Are they generating new leads?

Take a look at your social media. Are you growing followers and driving traffic?

These are just the beginning pieces. It’s the starting block. This is how your plan gets drawn. Then start. And do it again. And again. And again.

And that first time you see results, wow! You’re going to want more. And that’ll fuel you to do even more.

But for now, that fuel has to come from you. You have to take the first step.