Who cares about the galaxy far away, when you have customers swarming around waiting to be pulled into your universe right here?
We’ve all heard that content is KING. We may have even heard that video content is QUEEN, which, aside from most card games, always trumps the KING! But, what good is it to create lots of content if you don’t have a plan in place to attract people to the content once it’s created? And even when people come to consume a piece of content you created, what is your plan after that?
Many people put a lot of hours into the creation of a single blog post, video or even website content but then they put no thought into how it will be promoted or what the next step is, and they wonder why no one is finding them. [Read More at- If You Write It They Don’t Necessarily Come]
I’m going to talk about a lot of different content pieces, and I don’t want you to get overwhelmed. You don’t need to create all of these at once, and you can get help with many of these pieces (I know a great team who can help! 😉) but when you do create a piece of content for your marketing, you need to know its role and its place in your content universe.
Your Website- THE SUN
The core of your universe, or your sun, is your website or your physical space (i.e. your store, your office, etc.). It is the place you want to ultimately get people to come to so they can contact you or purchase something from you. If your website is old and outdated or doesn’t have strong calls-to-action for people to contact you or buy from you, this should be your first step. You need a clean website without pages and pages of text.
Donald Miller of StoryBrand says it best, “If you confuse, you lose!” Your website needs to be clear and yet answer the questions people are coming with. If you feel that explaining what you do is complicated, imagine what people coming to your site are thinking.
According to Donald Miller, there are three questions your website must answer in the first 10-seconds someone lands there:
What is it that you offer?
How will you make my life better?
What do I need to do to buy from you?
There are too many websites that never clearly tell people how to actually work with the company. Go look at your website with the eyes of a stranger. Does it answer the three questions above, QUICKLY?
Too much text on a site will also cause your potential customer’s eyes to glaze over and they will leave. It’s too much of an investment that you are asking them to make. I have a hard time when people send me an email filled with text, don’t think people will invest loads of time on your website right away. Have links and buttons to “read more” or “learn more” but don’t make it over-whelming for someone just stopping by to read a blog post.
Here’s the harsh reality, no matter how much you just love the 16 paragraphs you have on that home page, even your mom isn’t reading it. As the popular meme goes, “Ain’t NOBODY got time for that!”
Once you feel that your website will help you convert more of those who come to it, let’s focus on how to get more of those ideal people heading your way.
Your Larger Pieces of Content- THE PLANETS
There are planets that are orbiting around the sun. These are pieces of content that your audience members want and need. These should have a natural gravitational pull that brings people from the piece of content into your core for more. Planets come in many forms:
A challenge series (one tip a day delivered via email)
Live Video Shows or Interviews
Shortcasts (Alexa briefings or Google capsules)
You may have some of these planets directly on your website or they can be delivered through an email or social media post. Your planets can have planets within them as well. For example, you might write a blog post and within that blog post you have a graphic or box that has a “DOWNLOAD OUR TIP SHEET WITH 25 WAYS TO SAVE TIME.” This is a great way to see if your readers are ready to move forward and commit by giving you their email address. I call this a lead magnet delivery campaign.
Keep in mind, as sad as it may be, not all of our ideal customers will be drawn to every piece of content we create. For this reason, you need to continue to create a variety of content pieces to see which ones land with your audience members.
If your content is helpful or interesting and leaves the reader wanting more from you, they will take the next step. So let’s move out into the stars!
Your Social Media Posts -THE STARS
Your stars are the social media posts (and sometimes email pieces) that are pointing people to the planets. They are small, byte-sized, shiny objects that are attractive to people. Your social media posts should be visually appealing, drawing people in to get to know, like, and trust you. They give enough information to entice. They will have short captions that attract attention and make people want to click or be pulled into your orbit.
Email messages can fall into this category since the purpose may be to pull them in closer to your core, but typically a person is already close if you have their email address. This is where you might want to look at how you can segment your email list to create smaller groups to get more personal with –that’s a topic for another post.
The key with social media content is you need lots of it. Just like stars in the night sky, not everyone will see every post. Some go by like a flash and won’t even catch your attention, while others stop you from scrolling immediately, drawing you in. You will need a variety.
Many people feel that posting one or two times a week is plenty of content on their social channels, but what they don’t realize is, like a shooting star, most people miss the infrequent post and so they never get pulled into your universe. If you’re promoting a new blog post, you might want 3-5 versions of social posts, each with different headlines and images pointing people to the post. This gives you five chances to capture someone’s attention.
Don’t forget that your social posts are not just for pushing out promotional content either. You want to mix in a healthy dose of “social” content to allow your ideal audience to get to know and like you. Social posts that do well include a peek behind the scenes in your office showing how you prepare for projects or your work team in a brainstorming meeting. Anything that lets people come in a little closer to learn more about the personality of your brand.
Ask questions to see whether your audience likes listening to classical or pump up music on a Monday morning. Share your favorite quote. That’s the social part of social media.
NEXT STEPS? What do you want your audience to explore next?
Now that we have explored your content universe, you will start to see how important each piece is in your marketing strategy. Nothing works when it sits alone. If you only have a website, you’ve got to work harder to get people to find you. And once people are on your website you will have a lot of work to do getting people to know, like, and trust you if that’s all they know about you.
Is it possible to only have a website and not need the planets and stars in your content universe? Of course, it is. When I have an immediate need for a plumber, if I don’t already have a relationship with someone, I’m going to Google, but then I will take the time to read the reviews on their Google My Business page, which is also a social channel.
Can you use only social media to get business and never need a website? Sure, you can. There is a cupcake truck that drives around Denver selling only cupcakes. You can find out where they will be and what flavors they will have stocked only through their social media accounts. So, you may have something so desirable that people are going to know about you through word-of-mouth and they already like you, so you just have to show up! That’s my kind of business.
The key is, you will shorten your sales cycle and increase your conversions when you have your content universe in working order. So once someone has been drawn to you through a social media post and goes to your website to read a post or watch a video… then you have to ask what do you do to keep them engaged with you? This is where the lead magnets and email campaigns come into play.
Often, we spend a lot of time and stress trying to drive more traffic to our websites, but we don’t think about what the person will do next. We don’t have a next step identified and so the person reads some information and then clicks away to another website. We think our “contact us” page is enough of a call-to-action, or even worse our “sign up for my newsletter.” Who wants another newsletter clogging up their inbox? Why not, “Get our weekly free tips and tools,” or something that sounds like something people would actually want.
When we attract people to our website to read a blog post, we have to think, “THEN WHAT?” What can I offer my reader when they finish, to give them a little more? What can I give them that might allow them to think of my brand a little longer and perhaps allow me to connect one step deeper with them?
You will want to start creating lead magnets and content upgrades for your blog posts or other content on your website to encourage people to exchange their email address for something of greater value. Let’s use the example of a content upgrade in one of your blog posts.
If you were an electrician and had a blog post about the “25 tips to keep your family safe around electricity in your home.” You could then create a printable tip sheet for parents to use with their children to help educate them on the “Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts Around Electricity”. You could have a second sheet that provides readers with “20 Hidden Electrical Dangers Lurking in Your Home.” Of course, your contact information is at the bottom of both sheets. All the reader has to do is enter their email address and download these great resources. Who wouldn’t want these? Since you are an electrician and you want to know who lives in your neighborhood, you could ask for their mailing address along with the email address and then mail out a card with tips on a magnet.
When your blog reader gives you their email address, you make sure you have a statement on the form they fill out mentioning you will send monthly tips and resources to keep their family safe at home, and they are automatically added to your list. Now you need to think of ways to nurture this relationship.
Perhaps you send a welcome email with a short video letting them know you are so glad they are focused on keeping their family safe and that if they are ever interested in having a free home inspection for them to give your company a call. Always mention ways they can stay in touch and find more tips and resources on your social channels. You want to stay top of mind and in front of your potential customers as often as you can
Now you send a regular email with additional tips and resources, perhaps seasonal tips along with additional information that you know a homeowner will find helpful. It doesn’t have to be a sales pitch in an email, and it doesn’t have to be daily or weekly. You are nurturing the relationship. Building trust.
At the end of each email message be sure to offer a free consult or perhaps a summer special or holiday safety check, along with your contact information. Never make people search for your contact information. I’m always surprised how many of these emails I get where they expect me to click over to their website to find how to contact them. Call me lazy, but that’s just too much work!
When this family needs an electrician, who are they going to call? They have now gotten to know you, like you and trust you because of the information you have shared. They certainly wouldn’t dare call someone from a random Google search.
Make sure you’re not collecting email addresses the way many people collect social media fans. If you are adding people to your list and then not doing anything to stay in touch and nurture the relationship, what’s the point? And then when you want to sell something to this list of people, how likely will they be to purchase from you?
WHAT NEXT? LET’S PUT IT INTO PRACTICE TODAY:
Here are 3 things you can do today to start building your content universe:
Create a content inventory of your current assets.
Add all of your blog content, video content, any lead magnets you currently have, etc.
Make a list of ideas for possible lead magnets and content pieces that you will plug into your calendar for creation.
Draw out a simple content map with your website being the sun, the pieces you have floating around the sun and then begin the craft some social media posts to start shining on those planets!
If all of this has your head spinning… RELAX! We can help you with any or all of these activities and we love working with our clients to move from just having social media posts thrown up on your profiles to having a strategy in place to drive more leads to your business!
You’re thinking of starting a blog or podcast but you’re wondering how to ensure its success. No one wants to spend the time and energy creating content for a blog, a podcast, a video or social media posts for that matter if it’s not going to be successful. So how do you start producing content and ensure they are successful?
FIRST THINGS FIRST. LET’S LOOK AT THE WHY.
Why do you want to start a blog? Why would you start a podcast? Some are in it for the money. They want advertisers and sales of products from their blog, videos or podcasts. Some want to show potential customers their industry knowledge or authority. While still others create content because they want to leave a mark. They want their family members, for generations, to read their stories or hear their experiences. You need to understand your own WHY before you begin and keep that in the forefront of your content creation journey to stay focused and not be swayed by either shiny objects or other people telling you all the other things you should be doing.
WHAT IS SUCCESS FOR A BLOG OR PODCAST?
This question is hard to answer because it depends on why you are starting the blog or podcast in the first place.
Your consumers are online. I don’t care what industry you are in, people use Google, SIRI, Alexa, Facebook, and everywhere else to get their questions answered. “Google, how often should I drain the water out of my swimming pool” “SIRI where is the best place to find flowers for my mom?” “Google, what is the difference between social media marketing and content marketing?” People have questions and thankfully, most of the time, Google (and other search engines) has the answers.
If your business is producing (or creating) content to answer the questions your customers are searching for, it is likely that they will find you online. Now the question is, do you want 10,000 people to read your blog and leave riveting comments or do you want 100 people to find your content and 50 of them want to do business with you? Which blog is more successful?
One person wants a blog that is reaching millions, so she can attract sponsors or advertisers. Another blogger might want to share his story of adoption to encourage another family struggling with the same situation. These two bloggers are measuring success very differently.
A friend of mine creates lots of fun and interesting video content sharing their family’s journey. The purpose was to let others see the personal side of his life while he has other videos that are all about business. If you are having fun creating the content, and you are getting better each time, isn’t that also a success? Of course, it is.
HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS BLOG
I’m going to focus on a business blog because the ultimate goal is usually to attract new customers. When you are blogging for personal reasons or to encourage others, you will start differently.
For a business blog, start with the top FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) in your industry. What are those questions that you get asked over and over again? Don’t use industry jargon that only you use. Write the questions the way your customers would type them into Google or speak them into SIRI (even though she wouldn’t understand them).
Now, take each question and write a blog post to answer them. Then turn on that video recorder and create a short video answering the same questions. Now flip the switch on your podcast recorder and do the same. Do you see how that will help you get found? You could be blogging, podcasting, and creating video content on the same topics and they might be found by different people searching in different places. [Read: How to become KNOWN]
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO WRITE ON MY BLOG?
Google loves fresh content as much as I love a fresh cupcake! You can’t create these answers once and stop creating content. If you are a binge content creator, it will not be as effective as if you created weekly or even monthly content over a longer period of time. Today’s search engines want to know that you are in it for the long haul and they want to see that you have more than one small articles on a website about a topic. The more content you have answering these types of questions, the more they see you as a reliable resource.
Continue to create different versions of your answers. Create social media posts that ask the question and link to your blog, podcast or video. Add to your original content when you learn new information or have updates for it. Link from one blog post to your video or vice-versa. This starts creating a great web of content that shows your authority on the topics.
HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO FIND MY BLOG CONTENT?
Once you have created your answers to the most asked questions, now you want people to find it. I’m going to give you the simple overview here:
Tell others about it—email and social media
Make sure you have “optimized it” –SEO elements on your blog content
Tell others about it … again –Repeat all or part of step one.
Most people subscribe to Kevin Costner’s philosophy, in Field of Dreams. That is they believe, “If you write it they will come.” That sadly is not the case. With almost 2 BILLION websites online as of 2018 (according to Internet live stats), and an estimated 152 million blogs (this number is hard to track since Tumblr has stats on this and some websites have blogs that are not always formatted or seen as a blog.) There’s just a whole lot of content out there.
If you want people to find and subscribe to your blog, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others will certainly help, but you have to tell others about it.
Let your email subscribers know about each new post. Get the word out on social each time you hit publish and then next week do it again, both with new content and reminding them of your older content. [Read more on HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG]
Watch this and PLAN TO BE FINDABLE BEFORE YOU WRITE
WHAT ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BLOG, VIDEO OR FUN PODCAST?
So what about that personal content you want to write or create just to share stories and inspiration? Does it matter how many people read it? Not really. Sure, our ego wants the views. Our ego wants to have people share comments on how our writing has impacted them, but if we are creating this content to share from our heart, someone will be impacted even if they don’t stick around to tell us.
I write here for business and then a few years back I started a personal blog (Gina Unplugged), just to have a place to share stories that I want to pass down to my family. I was delighted to hear from people who said they loved one of my stories or they related to something I wrote, but I don’t do anything to optimize these posts and promote them very lightly on social media.
We can’t get great until we get started and the more we write, the better we get. The more we record ourselves on audio for podcasts or on video, the better and more comfortable we get behind the mic and camera.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
If you are ready to create content for your business, don’t wait another week. Start writing, start recording and get your business found. If you are just getting started or still feeling a bit intimidated, start that personal blog or YouTube channel just to get those ideas and thoughts out of your head.
For more tips and tools check out our 15-Day Blog Challenge in the DIYsocial community.
If you’re ready to be more strategic with your blog posts, download our BLOG PLANNER to plan your blog topics and SEO elements before you begin writing.
We all work tirelessly in hopes of providing value to our audiences. We sometimes don’t know if it will be met by crickets or applause, but we do it anyway…day after day.
I was excited to receive a nice note that our blog here had been recognized as one of the top social media blogs. Of course, I love to hear that someone saw the content that I have written over the years and found it valuable enough to mention to others, but I get super energized when someone comments and lets me know that I just solved a problem they’ve had in their marketing or that I was able to make something understandable that intimidated them before.
I’ve been blogging for over 10 years between my old company, Synapse 3Di and here at SocialKNX, I also jump on and do regular live video streams to answer questions and teach something, post videos, and tips on social channels and then recently I started a weekly podcast, which is a lot of work but so much fun! So I know that regardless of the recognition, it’s important to constantly put out content!
It’s all about content, content, content! We need to find ways to get our content out to our audiences via writing (blog), video (YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. etc.), or audio (podcast or even live streaming with audio only). Like I mentioned in my last post [How to get your brand KNOWN], you can be an expert, but if no one knows about you, it is expertise wasted.
So don’t wait another day. Commit to start producing more content and sharing that brilliance with the world. We will be cheering you on over here!
Let me know what questions you’d love to have answered and definitely connect with me on your favorite social channel.
Perhaps you don’t ever want the fame of Kim Kardashian or Beyoncé, but who wouldn’t want their business to have at least a little of that recognition? Perhaps your brand is Y.O.U. and you want to know where to begin to get your expertise and brilliance out to the world. Remember, it doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, if no one besides your mom knows about you, it is brilliance wasted.
With today’s social tools available and free, there’s no reason we can’t get a slice of that paparazzi pie. It takes a strategic focus, consistency, and it takes being in it for the long game (Think Monopoly…not Go Fish!). There is no easy button, no shortcut. You can write a book or get on with Oprah, and you will still be overshadowed by the piano playing chicken next week. You have to do the day-after-day, consistent work to be known and remembered.
If you are just getting started using social media, you might wonder if you are too late to the party. It can feel like you’re showing up to 6th-grade summer camp on day 5 of the 7 days. Everyone has already made friends, practiced their talent show act, and knows where the secret stash of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are. This doesn’t mean you can’t get in and learn the ropes and sign on for weeks two, three and four of camp.
The good news, it’s very doable. If you commit to doing the work and making friends … you will reach thousands and start seeing your impact.
Here are 7 steps to take TODAY to get your brand KNOWN:
Make a list of your top FAQs.
What are the questions you get asked most often in your business or in the work you do? What do potential customers or clients want to know about your industry? Write them down.
Create short videos for your FAQs.
Create one, 2-3 minute video answering one of the questions you just listed in step 1. Don’t wait to have these professionally produced. Don’t wait to get your hair done or until you lose that last 15 pounds. Do it TODAY! Put your smart phone in a simple tripod or even easier, open up your laptop or turn on your computer and start recording. Here are 4 ways to get going:
Record a screen capture video right within PowerPoint? (go to the “insert” link and select “Screen Recording.”) To record right from your computer
On a Mac, you simply open iMovie and hit that record button
On a PC use MovieRecorder to do the same
On any computer you can use a free tool like LOOM to record any combination of your screen, you in the corner, and the audio.
On your iPhone or Android check out VIDEOSHOP for easy editing of short smartphone videos.
Create blog posts for these same FAQs.
Open a word doc and write the answers to the questions. You might have the exact same thing but it doesn’t matter. Some people like to read and others like to watch videos. You want to cover all of your bases.
Load your videos to your social channels.
This may seem like something Captain Obvious would be saying, but there are many people who load video or blog content and never share that via social media. Load your videos to Facebook, YouTube, and if they are under 10 minutes, also load them to your LinkedIn profile. Don’t load them only to YouTube and then share the link from YouTube to the other channels. Facebook and LinkedIn want you to load the file natively. Basically, they don’t want people leaving their platform to go to YouTube (It’s like sending people to an Ex’s garage sale when you have the same stuff at your house).
Load your blog posts onto your website.
You may have to have someone help you with this if you don’t know how …and if you do, be sure to have them show you how to do it. You’re going to be doing this often enough and it is so easy, you should know how to load content into your site.
Load your blog post onto your LinkedIn Profile as an ARTICLE.
This is simply copying and pasting what you have loaded onto your blog, into LinkedIn as an article. When you post a status update, it goes out to your network, like a Tweet and then it’s gone, unless someone knows to go to your profile and search through “All of Your Activity.” Articles showcase your content in a more prominent way. This is a great way to repurpose your blog post. Don’t forget to add a great image to make it visually interesting.
Lastly, don’t forget to share the link to your videos and blog content on your other social channels.
Take the links from your website and YouTube channel to share on Twitter and other channels you may be active on. If you are active in a social group, and if it’s appropriate to share your content, do so there. You can add an RSS feed to the bottom of your email signature or a hyperlink to take people to your content. It’s not a one-time promotion. You have to share your content over and over again, week after week, month after month. Not everyone will see your content the first time you share it. [read: Starting a New Business: What you need to know about marketing it]
This may seem like a lot of work, but keep in mind, the Kardashians weren’t built in a day. It takes time. It takes doing at least one thing each week to get your brilliance out for the world to see. Don’t look for shortcuts. You want great content that provides value for your target audience. It only comes from you getting that out of your head and sharing it via writing, speaking, creating content … week after week! You can do it! I’m cheering you on.
I’d love to hear from you and have you share one thing you are doing this week to get your content out to the world. Connect with me on your favorite social channel or right here in the comments.
Do you remember when you first learned the power of storytelling? I can still remember the excitement in preschool, as we would grab our little mats and sit on the floor to hear Miss Maria spin her storytelling magic. Leaning forward on our little elbows we were pulled into the story and when she was finished we got milk and graham crackers (this is probably why I really loved story time). Everyone loves a great story. A story can transport us to faraway places, or a story can help us find the common ground we share with someone, allowing us to like them or trust them a little more.
I’ve spent the past four days in Sonoma County with a group of friends, touring the wine country. We visited three vineyards and tasting rooms per day, each offering a very different experience. At the end of each day, our group of 7 would discuss our favorite wines, our favorite locations, and which wines we purchased. We talked about what made each our favorite and we found there was a definite connection between the experience that was created during the tasting and the amount of wine purchased. It came down to the power of storytelling. The stories that were shared pulled us in, causing us to feel connected to the family or person that started the winery. The stories brought a familiar feeling and likeability factor.
Here are a few examples:
Storytelling at Christopher Creek
Liam’s storytelling style was like that of an old friend. Comfortable. Easy to listen to. Like a soft flannel shirt (which he happened to have on) He told us the stories of the Italian families that he grew up with and eventually partnered with at Christopher Creek. We learned about how they snuck wine out to families during the prohibition by having their 12-year-old son drive the wine into town because no one would suspect a 12-year-old of smuggling wine to others. Liam told us about his 8th-grade girlfriend (of two weeks) that he now gets grapes from in the valley. He was funny and drew us into his stories of wine making and even his dream of owning an Irish Pub someday.
Storytelling at Toad Hallow
At Toad Hollow, we heard a different type of storytelling. This was not so much the actual stories of the families who started Toad Hollow, but of Dr. and Mrs. Toad and their friend Mr. Badger who decided to make great wine together. We did learn that Robin Williams was the founder’s half-brother, and Ricardo, the storyteller in the wine-tasting room, told us the story of two French toads through wonderfully illustrated paintings that are illustrated on each label. That was when we got a little biology lesson, learning the meaning of AMPLEXUS, the name of one of their sparkling wines.
Storytelling at Ferrari-Carano
Jessica was one of our favorites. She told us stories of the owners at Ferrari-Carano (who also happen to own hotels in Vegas and Reno and Vegas, she taught us about each of the wines and how the drought affected each of them, and she had us laughing and having a great time.
A couple places we visited had lovely gardens, wonderful wine tasting rooms, and some even had good wine, but what was missing was great storytelling. No story time…no drawing us in to feel a kinship. These folks missed a huge opportunity. We didn’t learn about the family that ran the vineyard or what made them unique from the hundreds of others in the valley. The folks at these stops didn’t educate us on the different wines or entertain us with even a single story, and at De La Montanya Winery, the young lady didn’t even ask for a sale. I left craving graham crackers!
So how can you share more of your stories with your audience? Do you have photos of the “early days” or can you perhaps interview one of your early clients or a team member who has been with you since the beginning? Find ways to share stories that help educate your clients or customers, and don’t underestimate the power of those stories in your marketing. They cause people to lean in wanting to know more about you. They help your potential customers find that common ground that trust and likeability are built on.
I’d love to hear your STORY! Tell us how you use stories in your marketing or if you have a great example of a brand that uses storytelling brilliantly in their marketing…do share. We’ll have graham crackers and milk after!
Need some help developing your stories? Download the “What’s Your Story” worksheet to work on crafting your own marketing stories.
Kim told me last week that she has been blogging for almost a year and has never had one person share her posts or comment on them. YIKES, I thought, there must be something wrong here. I asked her if perhaps she gets her comments via social media or email, instead of on the blog. I get at least 2 or 3 email questions a week from people who read a blog post or watch a video and then they go to our contact page to email me or contact me via Twitter. Some people don’t want their comments living in public for all the world to see. Kim said she did not receive any messages from anywhere, so I wanted to use this as a case study and hopefully, all of us can learn a thing or two.
Keep in mind, there is no QUICK and EASY PILL for any of this. If you are in the same spot as Kim, you will have to be willing to do a bit of work, but once you do, it is easy to maintain.
A little background:Kim is a personal coach and offers individual and group coaching. She has always gotten new clients through referrals but would love it if her website and blog would help drive new client traffic as well.
After a quick audit of her blog and social media channels, here is a list of what I found and the suggestions I gave her. You can apply these to your blog and social media posts as well for BIG RESULTS:
Posts not focused and not highlighting expertise.
The blog posts were more observations or random thoughts by her. Some had nothing to do with working with a coach or providing helpful tips or information for people wanting to make changes in their lives. Scan your most recent posts. Can a stranger tell what you are an expert in or how you could help them?
Easy fix. Design a content calendar and fill it with ideas and topics that potential coaching clients might be searching for on Google. Start writing one post per week that is focused and relevant to those interested in making changes in their life—personal and professionally. Answer a question, provide steps and tips, showcase her expertise in this space while helping readers to start liking and trusting her through her posts. Video would be really helpful to build trust and rapport.
Auto-sharing blog posts through a blog…ONCE.
Many people have this set up on their website and blog. When a post is published, a Tweet or other social channel post is pushed out automatically. Kim’s was pushing out a generic tweet and Facebook post when her posts went live and that was the end of her promotion. They looked generic and there was not a call to action in the posts.
First can the auto-push tools on your blog. While they are convenient for you, they do not allow you to personalize or change up what gets shared on each social channel. On Twitter, you have 140 characters plus an image. Your link has to fit in here so you really only have about 115 characters give or take. Facebook and LinkedIn offer more room so you can ask a question and then put the blog title or headline with an image. If you are pinning to Pinterest you can change the image to be longer and add more hashtags. So for your first few posts on social channels, do it manually or at least schedule them using a tool like Buffer.
Create a sharing machine and add clear calls to action on each post—blog and social. I recommended that Kim go through every one of her past blog posts and create an inventory of each. She needed to list the title of the post, the link to it, and two other possible headlines to promote it. Perhaps one is “3 Myths People Have About Working with a Personal Coach.” Another option might be, “Why You Still Can’t Reach Those Goals: 3 Myths You need to Bust” and third can be “Would You REALLY Do ANYTHING to Reach Those Goals? Shake these 3 myths and you’ll be on your way.” Now when the inventory is complete upload these in a tool like SocialJukebox or MeetEdgar.Once your posts are in one of these tools, you can set a schedule to repost your content once a week or once every couple of weeks to keep it in circulation at different times and on different days of the week. Too many bloggers use the one and done approach to promoting their content. If someone wasn’t logged into that social channel at the time you posted your blog post, they may never see it. If the topic is still relevant and helpful (not tied to a holiday or event that has passed) you can promote it again and again. The more content you have in your scheduler, the more spread out you can set your schedule so perhaps each post is only reposted every 3 or 4 weeks.
No strong call to action questions or requests at the end of blog posts.
Don’t leave your readers wanting more. Many times a reader gets to the end and would click on another link or go somewhere else on your site if you offered it, but they are left with the option of searching or closing out the session.
Ask for what you want! Like we used to tell our daughters when they were little, “Use your big girl words.” We often assume just because we wrote a great piece of content and shared it, that people will feel compelled to comment. Most people are still consumers when it comes to content. We grew up reading newspapers and magazines. No one asked us for our opinions or comments on those posts. You must ask people to share their thoughts or ideas in the comments’ area.
Start with very direct and closed-ended questions, “Tell us one thing you can do today to start making changes.” “Let me know in the comment section below, which number above would create the greatest change for you?” These don’t require your readers to think too hard or write an essay for an answer. If you ask, “Tell us about a time you have found this to be difficult…” your reader may opt out.
Ask people to connect with you on your social media channels. Make it easy by hyperlinking to your account. Don’t make people go to Twitter or LinkedIn and have to search for you. Say something like, “I’d love to connect with you on Twitter or LinkedIn to continue this conversation. Come over and let me know what your thoughts were.” (See what I did there?)
Needing to “Prime the Pump” to get a few comments flowing.
Sometimes we have to get a few staged comments on our posts to get the water flowing. Just like an old rusty pump, you want to give it a few pumps, up and down to bring the water to the spout so when someone else comes, they can easily get the water flowing. Email a few friends or peers and ask for their opinions or thoughts on one of your posts. Find a few contacts on social media who may have a great opinion on your topic and ask if they wouldn’t mind reading your post and offering their thoughts. You can’t ask the same people over and over to comment on your posts, but if you spread it out, you may be able to get one or two on a few of your best posts. Most people who comment will then share the post with their social network.
If you try these 4 steps and still get no response from people, you will need to find someone to give you honest feedback and perhaps coaching. You will need someone who can be brutally honest. Someone who can look for these possible writing diseases:
If your writing style is not clear and concise it can be hard for readers to stay with you, let alone want to share it with their audience.
You may need more white space, bullets, and photos to break up heavy text paragraphs. Remember we are a society used to videos, shiny photos and 140 character tweets.
You may have a topic that not many people are interested in. It’s like that 90’s movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” This is a hard pill to swallow, but it may be that you need to assess the relevancy of your blog, your topic or just your writing style. If you are using dated examples or write in a manner that is not compelling, it could just be your readers are yawning and moving on.
Try hiring a professional writer to convey your message. You can go to sites like Writers Access and find someone who might be able to write for your industry and topic.
If you have a topic that can be covered through video or beautiful images, you may just need to shift the format of your posts. It’s like trying to write about art and what inspires you without showing it. Many bloggers do a beautiful job of moving you through photos and fewer words.
Try auditing a few blogs from others in your industry or an outside industry (although you will get more applicable examples if they are in your industry). Look at the format of their posts. Are they long or short? Do they write in a conversational tone or more formal? What do you like about the set up? What might be missing as far as types of content (You might want to address what is missing on your blog)?
Okay, it’s your turn. What other tips would you give Kim? How are you getting more comments and shares to your content? Are there other blog diseases you have seen? We need your expertise here. Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.