marketing strategy

2 ways to make money with your blog + grow your following (guest interview - Nicole Stone)

2 ways to make money with your blog + grow your following (guest interview - Nicole Stone)

I had the opportunity to interview marketing/outdoor blogger, Nicole Stone. This lady has grown her list quickly and monetized her blog as a beginner. She currently runs her business at nicolestone.com, where she writes about blogging, marketing, and lifestyle hacks. To find out how to do this in your business, watch the interview here: https://youtu.be/uxxSWavSAXQ

Improve your marketing right now, for free

Improve your marketing right now, for free

Do you feel like you’re pushing out marketing for the sake of pushing out marketing without getting the results that you want? We often try to figure it out on our own. Thankfully, with the world of technology that we now live in, we don’t have to take that approach. Today’s vlog gives you easy ways to get better results from your marketing efforts. 

Super Branding Exercise to Find Your Business Writing Voice

find your business writing voice

Branding is tricky, sticky business. There’s a lot to consider, right? There’s a logo, colors, fonts, messaging, and a target audience that you address in a specific way. And each of those pieces needs to come together as a cohesive whole.

I speak with a lot of business and non-profit owners who are nervous to focus their target market too tightly for fear of leaving out those they love to serve- and understandably so!

Often, I feel like a surgeon giving someone bad news that we need to cut something out for the good of the rest of the body. While these convos can be a little uncomfortable and make business owners feel like they’re leaving money on the table by reining in their focus, I’m going to show you how it can liberating and help you grow your business even more.

What I’m about to share is something that I’ve heard bits and pieces of from time to time, but there was just something about this last time came across as revolutionary to me.

I recently listened to an Amy Porterfield podcast with Jasmine Star as the guest talking about attracting and repelling potential customers.

The part that really struck me was when Jasmine talked about something more extreme than even cutting out some groups of people to focus all of your efforts around a more targeted niche. She said that you should focus on only one person. Even more extreme, this person doesn’t need to be real. Say what?!

Here are my ideas on how to go about this. Think of one person who is your ultimate client.
- what is the person’s name
- what does he/she look like
- what is his/her background
- what does he/she do for a living
- what are his/her struggles
- what does he/she really need that you can help with (as specifically as possible)
- how much time does he/she have to devote to working on the area where you want to help
- and what specifically do you want to say to him/her

Feel free to add in any additional details you want or think could be helpful in guiding you in identifying this person.

Now, in all of your communications, social media posts, business projects/areas of focus, create everything specifically with that one person in mind. Let that shape your voice, communication style, and brand. Like I wrote at the beginning, this is pretty radical stuff!

Here’s mine. Her name is Jessica. I won’t bore you with every detail I wrote down that describes her to a T but here are some of the highlights. She isn’t super outgoing but wants to have a full life and soak in as many sweet and beautiful experiences as possible. She likes to read, be inspired, and take on occasional challenges. She is smart, witty, works a full-time corporate job while her real passion is creating sculpture and ceramics.

She wants to learn how to share her message clearly about her art in a way to get people excited about and buying her work. She also wants to expand the audience who enjoys and seeks out ceramics and sculpture for their home and offices. She wants to educate people, expand their horizons in this specific area and needs help clarifying her message in a way that interests/excites/inspires/educates people.

Essentially, Jessica represents the epitome of who I want to help: those who have a limited time to work on pursuing their dream business, so the time they do spend needs to be extremely focused and help them make real progress.

Now, I have worked with artists and others who are building their dream biz on the side of their corp moneymaker but no one quite like Jessica, in her niche with her quirks. Having the freedom to only write and create for her makes my life easier and much more targeted.

Doing this exercise can actually be a ton of fun. Now I only have to ask myself, would Jessica find this helpful? Would this draw her in to find out more? I no longer have the stress of trying to think of a ton of a dozen different scenarios and people, and wanting to capture all of their struggles and needs.

Here’s the REALLY beautiful part. Not only does this make my job easier but now I will connect with REAL people who share aspects of who Jessica is. Not only will I connect, but they are gonna feel like I am speaking to them as though I’m peering into their soul. They are going to trust me more.

We all know that relationships (biz or personal) are built on trust. So speaking the language of this targeted individual will make a whole lot of real life Jessica’s want to work with me because I know them inside and out and am speaking their language. It’s also gonna bring a lot of others who don’t seem like Jessica to me but they feel the same way.

While this approach won’t draw in everyone out there who needs help with business strategies and communications, it will draw the ones that are best suited for me.

I have to tell you that over the last couple of weeks, this has made my content creation and branding strategies so much less stressful.

I hope you give this a try and that it offers you freedom, peace, and exhilaration all at the same time. Please let me know if you give it a try and what you think.

The Smarter Approach to Goal Setting

If you've been reading my blogs lately, you know I'm writing on the theme of marketing strategy and you've probably been wondering when I'm going to bring up goal setting. For some of you that means today is your lucky day and others of you are quietly moaning as you read this.

Goal setting might sound time consuming, intimidating, or like a way to bring disappointment into your life when you don't achieve your goals. Cheer up, Sugarplum! Goal setting can and should be a fun process that brings you hope, laser-sharp focus, with a path and a plan, not dread. If you stick with me, I will show you a smarter way to go about it that will make you excited, inspired and ready to get after it!

GoalSetting

I have some gems that will help you think smarter about the way you set goals and make sure that you're setting the right goals for where you and your business are at right now. I could go on and on about the importance of goals but I bet you're here because you already know all that. So without further ado, here are my smart, strategic gems as you prepare to create your goals.

First, I want you to think about who you look up to in your industry? Who do you aspire to be like? Identify 2-3 individuals who are killing it doing whatever it is that you do or want to do. Google them, check out their websites, see how they market and sell themselves. What are they doing differently? What are they doing consistently? If you had to describe them in 3 words, what would those be? Ok, if I'm getting a little too excited here by giving you too much homework, just pick one of the above 3 questions to answer.

Second, think about what sets you apart from the others on the playground. What do you do differently? If you want to make it easier, or maybe harder, think of what 3 words describe you? Maybe it has to do with your passion, your background, the reason you got into this business in the first place?

If you are reeling off differentiators you thought of 4 years ago, check 'em to see if they're still accurate and relevant. What are you doing right now, today, that distinguishes you from others? Think about your strengths and the ways that you feel comfortable getting yourself in front of your target audience.

If you’re stuck here, I recommend doing some journaling or talking with a trusted friend, colleague, or coach who can listen to you, question you, and give you trusted feedback as your brainstorm. This is the fuel you will need as you create goals that will grow your business and help you differentiate yourself in the marketplace based on your strengths.

Now, if you’re working with me on your Marketing Strategy Roadmap where we get into both your core messaging and your goal setting (see the bottom for more info on this), then we’ve already discussed this before getting to this point. If you are doing this on your own, feel free to jump into this thought process right now or reach out to me for some help.

Third, you’re ready to create some amazing SMART goals tailored just for you, and yes I mean SMART as in (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound). Don’t go overboard creating too many. You will want to focus on just a few (3-5 to be exact) that you can laser-focus to achieve in the next 60-90 days.

These should each hone in on one specific outcome you want to achieve. Here are some examples of what a goal isn't: posting a blog a certain number of times each month, starting a podcast, attending two networking events a week. These are strategies used to achieve goals and we'll get into these next time.

Examples of goals are:  increasing online sales by 10%, adding 2,000 more names to my email list, selling $5,000/month from speaking gigs. Your goals should be a stretch and a challenge but definitely doable to accomplish in the next 2-3 months.

Bonus tip: I cannot stress enough the help that having an accountability partner will do to help you accomplish these goals in your given timeframe. If you don't have one, find one or come to me and I'll help you.

Extra Bonus tip: First, when you're choosing an accountability partner, make sure they they won't let you off the hook easily when you aren't taking the needed steps to move your toward your goals. Second, make sure that they are both someone you trust and someone who you consider to have valuable insights to help you. Third, make sure they're a good listener and will draw out the reasons behind fears, distractions, or anything else getting in the way of accomplishing your goals. Soooo, you need to feel comfortable being vulnerable with this person.

What to do next: If this has been helpful and you would like to know more about how you can quickly develop your core messaging (mission, vision, values) and goal planning (goal setting, strategies, and action plans) then we really should connect. Surprisingly, when we work together, we can create all of this in only three sessions! I know, crazy, right?!

If you have questions or want to publicly declare your goals right here, I would love to hear all of it in the comments section. Thanks again for stopping by!