For many businesses, the majority of their sales come during certain seasons. For instance, a company that sells swimsuits may see a significant increase in sales during the summer months, while a retailer that sells holiday decorations may experience a surge in business during the holiday season.
While it’s normal for businesses to experience fluctuations in sales throughout the year, it’s essential to consider how to turn those seasonal buyers into loyal customers who will continue to shop with you year-round.
Having a loyal customer base can provide numerous benefits for your business. They are more likely to make repeat purchases, refer your products to their family and friends, and even provide valuable feedback that can help you improve your products or services.
In this blog post, we’ll explore strategies businesses can use to turn seasonal buyers into loyal year-round customers.
Analyze Your Customer Data to Understand Purchasing Habits
The first step is to understand your customers’ purchasing habits. Gathering information on when and how customers make purchases can help you identify trends and patterns in their behavior. This can be gathered through customer surveys, sales data, and interactions with your customer service team.
Once you’ve gathered this data, analyze it to understand what drives your customers to make purchases. Do they shop with you more often during certain times of the year? Which products are they most likely to purchase? Understanding these patterns can help you tailor your marketing efforts to meet your customers’ needs and preferences.
Develop Targeted Marketing Campaigns
Now that you already have a better understanding of your customer’s purchasing habits, you can use this information to develop targeted marketing campaigns.
By customizing your marketing efforts to different customer segments, you can more effectively reach out to seasonal buyers and encourage them to continue shopping with you year-round.
You can use email marketing, social media, and other channels to send personalized messages to your customers, offering them special discounts or promotions to encourage them to continue shopping with you. You can also use this opportunity to keep your customers informed about new products or services or to showcase the unique benefits of shopping with your business.
Offer Incentives to Encourage Repeat Purchases
Loyalty programs are an excellent way to incentivize your most loyal customers. It can also be structured in a variety of ways. For example, you could offer points for each purchase that can be redeemed for discounts or special offers. You could also provide tiered rewards, where customers receive more benefits as they reach higher spending levels.
In addition to loyalty programs, you can offer personalized discounts or promotions to encourage repeat purchases. For example, you could email a customer who has purchased during a specific season, offering them a discount on their next purchase. You can also consider offering bundle deals or special package deals to encourage customers to purchase multiple items at once.
Focus on Providing an Excellent Customer Experience
Providing excellent customer service and support is crucial for building customer trust and loyalty. This includes responding to customer inquiries and concerns on time and being available to assist them when they need it.
There are various ways to improve your customer service and support, including:
– Offering multiple channels for customers to reach out to you (email, phone, or social media)
– Training your customer service team to be knowledgeable and helpful
– Providing resources on your website, such as FAQs or product guides, to help customers find the information they need
– Seeking out customer feedback and using it to improve your products or services
Solving Problems and Handling Complaints Effectively
Problems and complaints will inevitably arise from time to time, but how you handle these issues can make all the difference. By solving problems and handling complaints effectively, you can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one and turn a seasonal customer into a loyal year-round one.
Some strategies for solving problems and handling complaints effectively include:
– Listening carefully to the customer’s concerns and taking their feedback seriously
– Apologizing for any inconvenience and offering a solution to the problem
– Following up with the customer to ensure that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction
– Using customer complaints as an opportunity to improve your products or services
Turning seasonal buyers into loyal year-round customers is essential for businesses that want to maximize revenue and build a solid customer base.
However, it’s important to remember that building customer loyalty takes time and effort. It requires consistent, ongoing effort. But once you do, you’ll be on your way to maximizing revenue and achieving long-term success.
You can’t please everyone, they say. No matter how hard you try, you are likely to receive negative comments or feedback from unsatisfied customers. As a business owner, you know how powerful online reviews are. Consumers rely on them and use them as a guide in making a purchasing decision.
It only takes one negative review to scare off potential customers. Don’t let a negative review stand in the way of achieving your business goals. Show your brand’s dedication to resolving issues with empathy and transparency.
Here are a few tips on how to manage negative reviews on social media.
You can take control of the situation by resolving the issue privately. But before you move to a private conversation, make sure that you respond publicly. At this point, the public’s eyes are on you. You want people to know that you are willing to resolve the issue, but you want to work out the details privately.
Response time matters
In a world where everything can be achieved with a push of a button, people’s attention span became significantly shorter. They expect to get what they want in a flash. So when a customer makes an effort to express his/her disappointment by posting a review, he/she wants to get your attention. They expect you to respond in the soonest possible time. If you can, try to respond within 24 hours.
Most people feel like they’re being ignored when they don’t receive an immediate response. This is especially true when dealing with sensitive issues. Remember, response time, matters when dealing with an upset customer.
Responding quickly to customers who wrote a negative review is important because it shows that the business cares about their customers and is willing to address their concerns. It also gives the business an opportunity to resolve any issues that may have led to the negative review.
Acknowledge your fault
When you receive a complaint from a customer, saying that they waited for about an hour for their food to arrive, your first instinct is probably to give a reason why. It may be because it has been an incredibly busy day or you’re short-staffed.
It doesn’t matter what the reason is. You failed to meet the expectations of your customers and he/she is upset about it. You need to admit that it’s your fault, say sorry, and offer them a small gift or a discount.
Leave the negative comments and reviews
Harsh comments and bad reviews can negatively affect your business’ reputation. Some of you might be tempted to delete them, but don’t. Deleting the comment will only make it worse. Once the person realized what you did, he/she will come back louder, angrier, and more frustrated.
The only time you are allowed to delete the comment or review is when you have settled the issue and the customer has agreed for you to delete it.
Turn negative review into a positive one
Once the issue has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction, you can ask them to consider editing their review to reflect the resolution. By showing that you are willing to go the extra mile to resolve customer issues and make things right, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one and potentially turn a negative review into a positive one as well.
Managing negative reviews and comments on social media is a crucial aspect of maintaining a positive online presence. It is important to remain calm and professional when responding to negative feedback, as it allows you to address the concerns of your customers and show that you care about their experience. By taking the time to listen to their feedback and offering solutions, you can turn a negative situation into a positive one and build trust with your audience.
Remember to always monitor your social media channels and be proactive in addressing any negative reviews or comments in a timely and effective manner.
https://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/How-to-Manage-Negative-Reviews-and-Comments-on-Social-Media.png12602240Kathlyn Angeleshttps://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SocialSpeak-Logo.pngKathlyn Angeles2022-12-28 10:41:532022-12-21 09:00:33How to Manage Negative Reviews and Comments on Social Media
Holidays are undoubtedly the best time of the year to rake in the best profits. It’s that one season when consumers not only shop for themselves but for everyone else who matters to them.
People who usually don’t visit your site may suddenly be on the lookout for a gift for themselves or their family and friends. Either way, they are consumers. The only possible problem is that every brand is vying for their attention.
So how can you ensure that your e-commerce store stands out? Use these tips to boost your sales this holiday season.
Every business owner shares a common goal: to generate more sales. Product bundling is a win-win for both sellers and buyers. You get to sell more products. Buyers, on the other hand, get a discount for buying multiple products. Plus, they get to save money on shipping.
This was a marketing strategy that Nintendo used years ago. They bundled their gaming consoles and video games, and the sales went up by 100,000.
The key is to find the right mix of your products for your bundled package. If you’re selling cosmetics, you can create a bundle that includes lipstick and a lip liner. They’re complementary products and would make sense for consumers to buy them as a bundle.
For most e-commerce stores, their best-selling items make up 80% of their sales. These are proven products your customers love. If you’re targeting a cold audience, you want to be sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Showcasing your bestsellers and recommendations on your platform will make it easily accessible for your shoppers. It can hasten their decision-making process. You’ll be doing them a favor by guiding them on what’s best in-store.
Create gift guides
People turn to Google for gift ideas for their loved ones. By creating gift guides, you’re not just doing your audience a favor; you’re also attracting more customers and improving your search engine rankings.
Of course, you’d want to include your products on the list. Be sure to highlight the features and benefits of each product to show people why it would make a great gift.
The more specific the gift guide, the more likely will it capture people’s attention. Consider the demographic of your audience when writing gift guides. Think about their age, gender, hobbies, interests, etc.
Maximize email marketing
With an average of 24% Click Through Rate and a 6% Conversion Rate, email remains to be the most cost-effective way to speak to your buyers at a personal level. This is where you build relationships with them way before the holidays.
To make the most out of the holiday season, you need to plan ahead. Send out teasers to build excitement for your upcoming sales. So when the day comes, your subscribers will be ready to click the “buy now” button.
Make sure that you personalize your email campaigns. There’s a good chance your competitors are also sending out emails. The last thing you want is for your emails to be lost in an inbox full of similar offers.
Redesign with a festive theme
Want to capture the attention of your potential buyers? Ensure that your E-commerce site, particularly your landing page, is in line with the festive theme of the season.
Choose a theme that resonates with the mood and the spirit of your target market. Changing colors, adding graphics, adding a dedicated category for the holidays would call better attention to your online store.
Make mobile shopping easy
It’s no surprise that the global population is attached to their mobile phones. Make sure that your mobile site is easy to navigate and that checkout is a breeze.
The more user-friendly your mobile site is, the more likely shoppers would do business with you. Support thematic searches (i.e., gifts for men, gifts for her) and give leeway for misspelling for an easier search. According to research, 25% of shoppers leave their cart because navigation and checkout are too complicated. Be mindful not to do that.
Offer limited-time discounts
To encourage buyers to complete their shopping, highlight any discounts on their existing items in the cart. A scarce offer for a limited time frame may also induce a sense of urgency to complete the process. Remember that competition is tough out there. The better your offer is compared to others, the more likely that consumers will stick with you.
Automate as much as you can
Incorrect orders and delivery delays are two of the many things that can completely turn away a customer for good. With the influx of orders during the holidays, automate as much as possible to reduce errors and mistakes.
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for both retail and e-commerce business owners. But let’s face it. Increasing sales isn’t something you can achieve overnight. It requires careful planning and a robust marketing strategy.
If you need help with your holiday marketing campaign, please feel free to reach out to us. Schedule a free 30-minute call with us, and we’ll help you create a marketing strategy that will boost your conversion rates not just on the festive days but the whole year-round.
In the last decade, social media became the most influential marketing tool. Every business, big and small, has incorporated social media into its marketing campaign.
While the practice of social media marketing has evolved over the years, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions around it. Worse, a lot of people are still holding on to them simply because they find it hard to stay up-to-date on what’s really going on with social media.
To help you separate facts from fiction, we listed down some of the most common social media myths you need to leave behind in 2021. Believing these myths will only cripple your marketing campaign.
Social media is only for young people
Some people think that social media is just for millennials and the younger generation. That’s not really an accurate picture of social media users today. In fact, studies suggest that a huge majority of the U.S. adult population is on Facebook. 52% of adults aged 55-64 have a social media account.
Almost everybody is on social media. Having a business account will help you reach your target audience. If you don’t already have one for your business, then you’re losing a lot of great opportunities.
Set up an account in every social media channel to maximize reach
We all know that social media makes it easier for businesses to connect with their audience. But that doesn’t mean that you should set up and maintain an account on every platform. If you do, you’ll only be wasting your time.
In order to yield great results, you need to know which platform your audience frequently uses and then focus your marketing efforts there. Maintaining a presence across different platforms can help your business, but if it isn’t helping you out, just cut it loose.
You need a lot of followers to succeed
Most people think that more is always better. Sure, having millions of followers is great. It means that people are familiar with your brand. But more than the number of followers, what’s more important is the type of followers you have.
Let’s say you have 100,000 followers. Sure, that’s a great thing. But it won’t benefit your business if the majority of these people are not reading or responding to your posts. What you need to focus on is interaction. It doesn’t matter if you only have 1,500 followers, just as long as these people are actually interested in what you’re selling. Having lots of likes is only valuable if you have the right people following you.
It’s okay to use the same posts on all social media platforms
Most businesses publish the same content on all their social media platforms to save time. That’s understandable. However, you also need to understand that different platforms cater to different types of audiences.
LinkedIn, for instance, is a professional platform. The majority of LinkedIn users are business owners, executives, and professionals. That said, your posts should be tailored to appeal to this group.
Instagram, on the other hand, caters to younger audiences. Since it’s a visual platform, you need high-quality images and a strong brand message to succeed on this platform.
Ignoring and deleting negative comments is the best way to get rid of them
Social media is an open platform where your target audience can give you direct feedback after using your products and services. Whether you like it or not, you’ll receive some negative feedback at some point.
It might be tempting to just delete the negative comment, but this will only make the situation worse. Instead, contact the person directly and deal with the problem. It will show your audience that you care about them.
Talking about your business all the time
Social media is a great place to connect with your target audience. But that doesn’t mean you should bombard them with posts about your business.
Social media’s main purpose is to engage with your followers. Talking about your business all the time won’t do you any good. Post content that your audience will find valuable and interesting to capture the attention of your audience.
Keep the 80/20 rule in mind when creating social media posts. That means 80% of your posts should informative and entertaining, while only 20% should be about the products or service you’re offering.
https://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/6-Social-Media-Myths-that-Need-to-be-Busted-blog-2.png1200800Caitlin McDonaldhttps://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SocialSpeak-Logo.pngCaitlin McDonald2021-09-29 21:01:022021-09-28 16:10:536 Social Media Myths That Need to be Busted
In this podcast episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kim Eickhoff, the founder and creator of the SHiFT program.
Kim really stresses how important it is to be present in the moment and to become more aware of your own feelings, patterns, and fears.
Where are they showing up in your life?
When are you feeling sad and why?
When are you feeling frustrated and why?
Taking responsibilities for our own feelings and actions
The one really key point that Kim made was understanding that a lot of these feelings and fears that you have come up from past experiences, whether that be from childhood, young adulthood, things we may not even be aware of on a conscious level.
Now, you may be wondering what does this have to do with business, right? Have you ever felt stuck in your business or feel like you are running in circles? Becoming aware of your fears and how you handle each situation with your clients and colleagues can help you move forward in your business and start creating the life you want.
When we make decisions and take action from a place of fear, or from feeling “less than”, these are not usually the best decisions or actions to take. We have to shift to a place of power, or freedom.
The SHiFT process easily teaches you about your patterns that keep you stuck in the same problems; then how to disrupt those patterns; and finally how to take the right action to move beyond the problems, have better control over yourself and your life, and fully create the life you envision.
Once you learn SHiFT, you can apply it to many challenges in your life and be able to adopt new patterns that put you in the right mindset for growth and success.
00:01 Amber Irwin: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Social Speak Network podcast. I’m your host Amber Irwin and I am so excited for our guest today. Miss Kim, please introduce yourself. Let us know a little bit about who you are, and this is a… I am so excited for this podcast because this is a subject that I’m very passionate about and I know you are as well, so let’s share with our audience a little bit about who you are and what they’re in store for today?
00:29 Kim Eickhoff: Very cool. So, my name is Kim Eickhoff. I have been a business coach for the last 10 years. I love helping entrepreneurs and small business owners learn how to make money doing what they love. I have a lot of clients that are really passionate about what they do, really good at what they do, but they don’t necessarily understand the business side. So, that’s where I come in to just kind of help them with that piece. I also have been a life-long learner of kind of my own personal development, looking at myself, trying to understand why I do what I do [chuckle] and say what I do and get better hopefully at life in general; relationships, business, whatever it is.
01:10 KE: And yeah, I have learned a lot of different tools over the years and so I have now moved my business in a direction of where I still help entrepreneurs a lot, but now I’m also just trying to help people more on a personal development side to become more aware of themselves, what makes them tick, and then how to basically disrupt some of those patterns they get stuck in and make better decisions and create the life they really want versus sort of stuck in a life that they don’t necessarily really want. [chuckle]
01:40 AI: Right. So tell us a little bit about this SHiFT process and why did you create this program?
01:48 KE: So I keep seeing over and over and over again with people, as well as watching myself trying to grow my business, that if I am not working on my own personal issues and I’m not aware of them, that’s what keeps my business stuck or plateaued at a certain level. And as I was seeing this with my clients, a lot of them hadn’t done some personal work and didn’t know about different tools and that sort of thing. So it just kind of dawned on me one day, I have systems to teach them around business so I thought, “What if I had a system to teach them around how to become more aware?” That was fairly simple to learn, can help them see things in a non-judgemental way, so they don’t go into a place of defensiveness or trying to make excuses, but it’s more, “This is really just my reality. This is what I do. This is what I say. This is how I think and feel.”
02:39 KE: And then something that would then help them move out of that. Some tools I could teach them to help them move out of that. So I just started playing with that idea, came up with the idea of SHiFT, started playing with different words that seemed to fit. And then I would say, for the past two years now, it’s evolved slowly and changed a little bit over time to what it is now, to where I think it’s pretty solid. So I’ve been using it consistently for probably the past year the way it is.
03:06 AI: And how do you think that this process has helped you in just your life and business and maybe with your clients as well?
03:15 KE: Well, you know, we’re all human [chuckle] and we all we all get triggered by different things. And what I know for me is I have always been highly emotional. So growing up, I would overreact to stuff. Somebody would say something, it hurt my feelings, or I would get mad about something, I would completely overreact, lash out in a way that was not very helpful, usually. And I mean verbally, not physically, [chuckle] but I would get angry and get mad at somebody, blame somebody else for stuff. And then that never really helped, though. It never really made the situation better. It never really improved or really got me where I wanted to go with whatever that issue was. So for me, what happened was I started practicing this… Well, all the tools I’ve been using over time in various ways.
04:03 KE: Over the last couple of years, once I created it, I started practicing it regularly and I sort of made it my practice when I got triggered about something, something happened, caused a pretty strong emotional reaction, whether it was frustration, or anger, or fear, anxiety, whatever that was, and this could be a cash flow problem in my own business, it could be a cash flow problem with one of my clients because I get worried about them. It could be interactions with people, communication problems, that sort of thing. So not having misunderstandings and getting upset about it, that sort of thing. So I started really using it religiously just to practice it, just to see if it helped. And what I noticed was it the more that I did it, one, I saw really similar themes in how I reacted to certain situations. And so that when it happened the next time, I was much more aware of it and I realized “Oh, I am going into this triggered place.” And when I’m triggered, or somebody is triggered, we don’t usually make the best decisions because our brain goes offline, right?
05:02 KE: Our emotions flood our brain, and so we can’t really make good decisions. So what it does is it helps clear that out so that you can make better decisions. And so, I started practicing it regularly, started seeing the themes, and then at the same time, because I was clearing out all these old emotions, the triggers weren’t as powerful. I wasn’t getting triggered as much in the future. And that was a big… A cool part of it, I thought. Because I was like, “Wow, so now I’m actually releasing a lot of this stuff and what used to really trigger me doesn’t trigger me anymore.”
05:32 AI: Right. You kinda let it roll off your shoulders at this point. You worked through whatever that pattern was.
05:37 KE: Yeah. And the emotions, what I’ve learned is that a lot of these emotions that we have that do kind of come up in these really strong ways, they’re old things. They’re things that happened as kids. Maybe our parents didn’t validate how we felt or we were ignored or whatever, not that parents meant to do these things, but they’re human too and they treat us the way that we probably were raised. And so, we create issues in other people. And so, yeah, when I started to release a lot of that old stuff, because it wasn’t there anymore, the trigger just wasn’t as powerful. And I was like, “Oh that’s really cool, actually. I’m not upset about this anymore.”
06:17 AI: Right, so once you worked that through, like your personal life, how did you see your business grow from letting go of those emotions and not letting those triggers happen anymore?
06:29 KE: Well, so actually, what started me practicing a lot was my business had grown a lot. So I got to this point in my business where I was making more money than I’d ever made, I had a ton of clients, I was really, really busy, but all of a sudden, all this fear was coming up because it felt like, how in the world can I sustain this? Am I really worthy of this kind of stuff? Is this something that I’m gonna be able to keep going with and how do I get to the next level? So all this fear started coming up, and that’s when I started really using shift to work through the fear. What it taught me too was that, yeah, these were old fears that were happening, but at the same time, my intuition was telling me that there are other things I really wanted to be doing and not necessarily what I was just doing so I was just focusing on the business coaching which was fine, but I really felt this desire to move more in this other personal development region as well.
07:29 KE: And I had been pushing that aside because it’s like my intuition kept telling me and I kept shutting it off and I kept… But I’m making money doing this, so why would I change anything? But all this fear, really made me stop and look at that, and when I did, I was like, “Oh.” One, I really wanna get more clear about who I work with ’cause I want clients who really wanna work on this stuff so that helped me see that. And then at the same time, just get clear that this is what I really wanted to be teaching as well as the business coaching.
07:56 AI: Right, yeah, ’cause they go hand-in-hand.
07:58 KE: Right.
08:00 AI: And how have some of your clients that have gone through the SHiFT program, how have their lives and their businesses changed by doing that?
08:08 KE: In lots of different ways. So one client that I have, she’s a photographer and she sells fairly large projects that can range from $10,000-$30,000, so they’re big, bigger size price tags. She would have a lot of fear come up around doing her proposals, because these were big prize tags for her and this was really different SHiFT for her, as far as what she was trying to promote and sell and she just wasn’t ready. A lot of times we’re not emotionally prepared to do something that we know we’re supposed to be doing [chuckle] in our business just ’cause we’ve never done it before, so we have to practice it and get better. So, what I taught her SHiFT and what happened with this was, she would do the process before she actually went into a sales call.
08:54 KE: And so what would trigger her in the middle of the sales call was bringing up the money part. She was able to sort of work through that on the front end and get more comfortable and understand why she was getting triggered and it was all about her own old money stories, really, that’s where she would go with it. And so when she saw that, she learned some tools on how to release that anxiety and those old fears, and then actually just gain more confidence and become more aware that she was worthy of asking for the price that she was asking for. So her business went from… I think the first year we worked together, she sold a couple of projects, so probably $20,000-$30,000 in revenue, around those projects. She did a lot of other things for her business at the time, but she really was moving into this. And this year to this point, I think we’ve sold five, or six already. And so she’s…
09:44 KE: Yeah, she’s really turned a corner with how she presents herself, her confidence and not all that obviously is about SHiFT, but a lot of it helped and she would probably be one of the first ones to say that so. And she uses it now, and she’s in the middle of a meeting, if she starts to feel that anxiety pop up or any of those strong emotions, she knows how to sit there and go through it and feel it and release it and then come back to, “Oh, this is what I’m here to do and this is what I’m confident in,” and then you’re more authentic and you’re more kind of connected, so you’re not just faking it.
10:19 AI: Right. Yeah, and that’s a such an important piece is just being able to notice, when you have that coming up in yourself and not pulling the fingers, but being able to take note and say, “Okay this is what frustrated me,” or, “This is what made me sad,” or… Especially as adults, because you can’t, “You hurt my feelings,” but if you recognize that in yourself, then you can go back and use this practice. So let me ask you this, is this practice easy to learn?
10:52 AI: I mean, we’re talking about a lot here, we’re talking about our emotions. So is this practice easy to learn for everyone?
11:00 KE: It is actually, just because I think that the way it’s broken down. I purposefully made it into a system that is easy to follow. Now what’s hard about it, is to practice it like anything. Like, you can get a gym membership, but if you don’t actually go to the gym, it doesn’t do any good. So, it’s the same idea. You can have tools, but you have to actually use them. But once I lead somebody through it, they’re pretty much on their own from that point, they can always go through it for themselves. The practicing on the back end of the tools that will help you kind of release this stuff and move through it, I find needs a little more hand-holding.
11:37 KE: So what I normally do is I sell this in a few different sessions, like a package, because I teach it to them, they practice it. They come back and see what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and we talk through the tools that they’re using. If they used them correctly, what could they do better that sort of stuff, not, there’s really wrong or right way but… And then we tweak it, and for me, is about me finding what tools work best for different people, ’cause sometimes something might work for somebody that’s super easy. If you’re very aware of your body and how sensations sort of show up in your body, that’s an easy tool to use. For other people, that’s a really brand new concept. They don’t understand that every emotion they have shows up somewhere in their body physically. And that’s a big piece of this process. And so there’s some teaching and training and practicing, that we’ll do around that, but yes, it’s easy to learn. It’s just not easy to practice, necessarily.
12:30 AI: About consistency, stick into it.
12:32 KE: Yeah, totally.
12:34 AI: And so with this… It’s so about your mindset. So you had said that you were focusing on the business coaching, and you were noticing your patterns in changing [12:47] ____ and those emotions, but then, there’s still that fear and that feeling, your intuition was telling you, “This isn’t what you’re supposed to do.” So that shows that money can’t buy happiness in every single way, but that you may think that you’re doing the right thing, but there’s still that fear and listening to your intuition. So is that a big piece of the program, as obviously, you’re looking at where… Like those sensations, how is that fear or anxiety or whatever we wanna label it as, coming up, and then how to deal with it. And that’s what they’re practicing, is how to notice those emotions?
13:25 KE: Yeah. So there’s several components to it, but the main components are your feelings. So if something happens that triggers you, whether it’s making a lot of money, let’s say. So let’s say you have… You made more money in a month than you’ve ever made, you’re excited on one end, but then some fear starts to pop up. It’s just like, “How in the world am I gonna repeat this? Is this possible? Is this sustainable?”, all this stuff. And so, when the anxiety or fear pops up with that, the key you start to look at is the… Are the thoughts that are connected to the feeling. So a lot of times, if the thoughts are about, “I’m not worthy,” about… It’s a lot of deep, deep thoughts. So it’s like, “If I’m not worthy,” or, “If I don’t believe I’m worthy,” these are all beliefs, “to actually make this amount of money and to be successful,” then you will end up sabotaging yourself.
14:13 KE: And that’s how people stay in the pattern, so they’re like, “No, I don’t believe I’m actually worthy, and this is what I’m gonna do to kind of bring myself back down to this amount of money that I feel comfortable at.” So it’s looking at what those thoughts are, and then it’s learning how to challenge those old beliefs and change them, and so the tools around that become one. If it shows up in the body as a sensation, that’s old emotions that are stuck in there, and so you actually have to heal that, and that is about just feeling it. And I don’t mean thinking about it, I mean really feeling it. And this is a process that’s hard for a lot of people, and so I’ll walk them through how to do this and walk them with an issue that they’re having. We’ll actually go through the practice of feeling sensations or as I call it, surrendering to them, ’cause you actually just wanna be present with what’s really happening in the moment and allow it to come up and out.
15:05 KE: And then once the emotions will dissipate, and they always do, you just have to pay attention to them, then those feelings go away. The thoughts go away, and you can actually make some choices on what you wanna do. What I find is, if the fear is showing up over and over and over consistently, and you keep doing this, that’s usually your intuition saying, “Hey, listen, this is not right.” And that’s… ‘Cause fears can mean different things, but that’s… What I’ve learned is like, “Oh, if this keeps showing up all the time, and I keep releasing it, but it keeps showing up, then it’s something deeper trying to tell me something else.”
15:40 AI: Yeah. Oh, I love it.
15:41 S?: [15:41] ____.
15:42 AI: So what is the number one takeaway from this process, and why is it so important in your mind?
15:51 KE: I think the number one takeaway is that we are completely in control of ourselves, and if something happens that… Whether it’s somebody or it’s a situation, somebody says something or does something, and we get angry or frustrated or fearful, all that stuff is our own stuff. It has really nothing to do with what has happened, with what this person has done, with what the situation is. What we do is we take that, and we make it into a much bigger problem, because we’ll ruminate on it, we think about it. I call it “habitual reaction”, so we will constantly think about it and constantly cycle through it, and your body will just get more and more stressed or more [chuckle] and more anxious or whatever it is. But that’s the biggest takeaway to me, is like, “Oh, if I can actually understand what issues of mine are being triggered around this, then I’m in complete control of my life,” because I can actually deal with those, and I can change how I respond to somebody, or what choices that I make.
16:53 KE: If I don’t know what’s happening, and I continue to make other choices, because I’m making choices to get rid of those feelings, I don’t want the feelings, they’re uncomfortable, but if I don’t even know that they’re there because of my stuff, then I’m gonna stay, keep doing things that are gonna keep me in these patterns that aren’t super-healthy for me. And so, becoming aware of that, giving yourself control back, taking full responsibility and ownership of where you are and what your response is, in some way, to me, is huge, ’cause then you’re in the driver’s seat, right? You can make choices, and you can do different things. So that’s, to me, what the coolest part of this is.
17:31 AI: Yeah. Taking responsibility, owning it and making a change. I love it. So tell us how can people work with you? Do you do, obviously, individuals? Do you do group? Do you speak at events? How can people sign up for SHiFT?
17:47 KE: Yes, I do all those things. [chuckle] So I love speaking at events, and I do sort of a 30-minute, big picture overview of what this is, why it’s important, that sort of thing; I don’t necessarily teach it, but I give a lot of information about it. I do one-to-one sessions with people, so I can do them through Zoom, I can do them in person if they’re here in the Denver area. I’m gonna start doing some more kind of group coaching things, but in corporations, that sort of thing, or small businesses. I work… I’d use this a lot with teams, so teaching teams how to do this individually helps them communicate better, because a lot of times people… I mean, you’re interacting with people, so you get triggered by something somebody says on your team, and then all production stops, ’cause you’re mad or whatever, and they’re mad at you, so nobody wants to work anymore.
18:37 KE: Well, this helps you kinda realize that and work through it, so with teams. And then I’m also working on… I wanna do a class, but it would be all video series, so it would be, you get maybe three to five videos in your email, and each one will teach you pieces of it; it’s much more self-directed. Obviously, you do it when you want, but you’ll learn the basic concepts. And with the others, I usually lead you through whatever specific issue you have, in those other programs, so it’s a little more hand-holding, that sort of thing than the other ones, but on the videos it’s like you just learn it, and you do it.
19:15 AI: Okay. And where can I find this information?
19:18 KE: Oh, [chuckle] on my website. What is my website?
19:25 AI: And you’re on Facebook, so they can connect with you on Facebook.
19:28 KE: Yes. Oh yeah, yeah, I’m on Facebook. So Coach Kim Eickhoff, E-I-C-K-H-O-F-F, is my last name. And then…
19:36 AI: And I’ll put the links below in the comments as well.
19:39 KE: Oh okay, cool.
19:40 AI: And then I’ll put your website in there too.
19:42 KE: Okay, coachkimshift.com, so that’s a good place. And then I have a YouTube channel, Kim Eickhoff, if you just put that in there, it should pop up.
19:53 AI: Awesome. Wonderful. Well, I’m so excited. Thank you so much, Kim, for being on with us today. Be sure to subscribe below, everyone. And if you are ready to make some serious changes in your life and take control back, call Kim, and let’s get to work.
https://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Understanding-How-Your-Mindset-Plays-a-Huge-Role-in-Creating-the-Life-You-Want-Blog.png800800Amber Irwinhttps://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SocialSpeak-Logo.pngAmber Irwin2019-07-30 08:00:462019-07-24 16:40:16Understanding How Your Mindset Plays a Huge Role in Creating the Life You Want
For more than 10 years, Deb has worked with professionals to optimize their use of LinkedIn. As the founder of Wise Women Communications, a full-service marketing agency, she sees LinkedIn as a vital marketing tool for professionals at any level.
Throughout her career, Deb has worked with corporations and nonprofit organizations developing and maximizing their marketing and public relations efforts. However, senior executives often don’t see themselves as something that needs to be marketed.
Deb developed “LinkedIn for C-Suite” to provide the assistance busy executives require. By spending a minimal amount of time, professionals work with our strategists to create and optimize their LinkedIn Profiles.
With more than 20 years of experience, Deb also has a Master’s Degree in Marketing as well as a Master’s Degree in Communication Management. She has the experience and knowledge to help busy executives make an impact with their LinkedIn Profiles. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
In this interview we discuss:
Current trends for businesses using LinkedIn for marketing in 2019.
Tactics that were expected to perform well or had a lot of hype, but failed to take hold in 2018.
The top 3 things that a business owner or marketing team should be doing on LinkedIn to see a return from their efforts.
The top strategy that should be followed, but often marketing teams get it wrong.
To learn more about Social Speak, please follow our podcast on iTunes https://apple.co/2GPs1bt
Listen to Amber and Deb’s LinkedIn Tips and Tricks Interview:
Or watch the LinkedIn Interview:
Read the transcript:
Podcast with Deb Krier, LinkedIn Marketing Expert
Hello, everyone. I am Amber with the Social Speak Network. I’m really excited for today’s podcast, we have Deb Krier on with us.
LinkedIn in is something that clients ask us a lot about, and I feel like it’s one of those platforms that’s been around for a long time, but they’ve been in my opinion, in and out of the social media trends and I feel like in 2019 is something, it’s a kind of an untapped gold mine in a way, if you know how to use it. So Deb is an expert in LinkedIn, and we have some great topics we are going to talk to you today about.
Amber: Deb, tell us little bit about who you are and your background in digital marketing.
Deb: Amber, thank you so much for having me on your program. This is going to be so much fun. We actually know each other from Colorado and now we’re Southern girl so that’s very fun.
But I’ve been on LinkedIn, since I believe 2006. so it was one of the first platforms and I… Actually, it was the first digital platform that I got on some of the others didn’t even exist yet, but I got on LinkedIn because I was, I’m looking for a job. So you need to be on LinkedIn type of thing and then other things have come along. I don’t do tons because we can get overwhelmed, right?
You and I have business owners that come up to me and they say, “Oh well, I should be here and here and here and here and here and here and then their head goes.
I was like, No, no, no, pick one or two and go from there. I mean I’m still not on Instagram, I do really, but it’s just… I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and that’s it. Those are the only digital platforms that I use. Because you can get overwhelmed or if you’re like me, it’s not overwhelming, it’s very distracting.
And I think that is one of the reasons why more and more people like LinkedIn or they’re coming back to it, because we can get so distracted on some of the other platforms. Looking at the pictures watching the cute cat videos that all of a sudden we’ve lost an hour and done nothing on LinkedIn at least if you’re getting distracted in you’re reading business articles you’re reading articles about your industry, you’re learning about people that you are networking with and so it’s not really a distraction, right? And so with LinkedIn, what are some trends that you see businesses going after in 2019, when you see more relevant with linen?
Well, I’ve seen just an increase in people using LinkedIn and especially the people who use Facebook a lot and yeah, I’m still one of those people that use this Facebook a lot, so but at its… It’s getting more and more divisive especially in the world of politics as there’s just so many things that are on Facebook whether it’s sports, where there is politics, religion, whatever it is that we don’t want to be there, and we certainly don’t want to be there trying to conduct a business. So then we don’t go at all.
And on LinkedIn, it is something where we’re back to focusing on business there and I think that’s why more and more people are coming back to LinkedIn, and they are adding new features in a… And they’ve got… They recently added being able to do live video as a… They’re just rolling that out to some folks. I have only, I have 4 5000 contexts on LinkedIn. I only had two that currently had the option to be able to do that and I do and people love it, on Facebook.
So I think that’s one of the things that LinkedIn is thinking about. Plus we… It’s fun because you could do say, a conference or a speech, or you and I could be doing this as LinkedIn also, so I so I think video is a big thing and businesses are starting to really figure out that they can have the business pages there.
Well, they catch on. They did a Facebook. Maybe… Maybe not, but I think, again, people are moving away from Facebook, but they know that they still have to be in that digital world.
So, where are they going to be?
And I think they’re training back towards LinkedIn in an… Now, do you think as a business owner, as a…
I know that one thing that our clients had struggled with Facebook is that personal business life balance. And so, we had a client that they just wanted their personal profile to be their personal profile, not to post any business, in business, just to be business and nothing personal, but I feel like those ways are changing now. People you want that authentic brand. Do you think with LinkedIn, the business pages and the profile that… What’s that combination of costing ARE YOU PUTTING… Obviously, you’re not putting your cats and your kids on LinkedIn as as much as you would face to but you still fill with that personal profile that you should be implementing personal and business. And where does that business page, we come in?
Yeah, I definitely think that we need to include some personal things on LinkedIn because as you mentioned is about being authentic to… We all know that we work with, people we know like and trust and… And so we get to know them. I-E… Why those little personal tidbits?
So it’s okay to have a little bit of that on LinkedIn I… And again, like you said, we’re not posting our cat pictures, we’re not posting things like that, but there’s little ways that you can still put that in there, so maybe it is a little bit about maybe if you were at a networking event, what personal thing would you drop in a…
Oh man, I… So maybe it was Han on a vacation. And on Facebook, you’re going to post the 900 pictures on LinkedIn, you might post a picture of your vacation, and maybe something business, I so I-I-I-E-B-A-book. You read what?
Right, right, yeah, yeah, recently went on vacation. Here’s the book that I read. Some things like that.
The art maybe it was you had a great customer service, the example that while you were on vacation or something like that.
Yeah, I, he and I, I, I… People look for those they really… Again, they want to connect with people on that personal level. That’s why I say we always want to include on our LinkedIn profiles, so what we do to volunteer at a past and present, and our education alumni groups are some of the greatest ways to network on LinkedIn. There’s something about it doesn’t matter when you graduated alumni. I want to help other alumni.
So you want to have that in there? But the volunteer is also another great place to be able to put that on LinkedIn to show that you are involved in your community that you’re not just business. All of these various things. Yes, definitely. Well, that kinda goes into… What are the top three things that business owners or marketing team should be doing on LinkedIn to see a return from their efforts?
Well, the first thing is on your personal profile, especially to really make sure that it is current and that is fully optimized.
I see so many people’s profiles, who still look like what they posted four, five years ago when they were looking for a job, so they cut and paste in their resume and then, they never went back and updated it.
We have to have as much content there as possible because people are really researching people before we do business with them.
So you want to have all that content, you really have to have some of the biggest, like a current photo which is always fun, for women because we change our hair styles, you all these various things and it needs to be a current picture. I tell people if I’m meeting someone for the first time, I need to be able to look at their LinkedIn photo and walk up to them in a crowd, and find them to a… A professional headline that needs to not just say President of founder of You need to take full use of the 120 characters there and then really fill out your summary. That’s where I see so many people have, like a sentence to sensing your summary is where you tie it all together.
Yeah, that… So someone doesn’t want to read about the specific experience that you had an X-Y-Z company, or what you did here there. Even when you went to school.
They will read the summary, and then the cool thing that that LinkedIn added I believe it was last year maybe even two years ago, is the Banner background, that goes behind your picture, and it’s kind of an ugly blue default. Right now it’s an… And so people need to take advantage of that. It’s a billboard behind your head. So, why wouldn’t you want to have that there?
So that really is one of the first steps. And I really just make sure that that is current that you’re updating it and then you want to post consistently. We all win.
So you’re comparing say Facebook and a line.
We go on Facebook, and we post 20 times a day. Maybe… Yeah, that’s too much on LinkedIn, yeah, but because people aren’t really posting on Linked-In A… When you do post something that is good content, the it will stand out to because it’s just one of those things where it’s not something that people are using. So when you post and have it great, stuff, you’re going to become that thought leader, right?
And then the other thing is, consistency. It’s always fun to go look and see when with somebody’s last post, so I… Yeah, I only was it yesterday, was it last month was it last year? We can accomplish a lot on LinkedIn in 15 minutes. A day to…
I just felt in utero.
So, I’m on LinkedIn while I’m eating breakfast, that’s kind of my 15 minutes I can do pretty much everything I need to do. I might check in a little bit later in the afternoon, but I don’t spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and you can still really make it beneficial.
I love that. And going back to the first… So the first thing you said about the summary, you also put videos in what you’re carrying right?
You can put video you can put work samples so say you’re a graphic designer, or you can show examples of your work, because you can have files that are uploaded. If you’re, say, a copywriter, you can have things like that, you can have your brochures, all these various things PowerPoint that’s always great. And obviously if you work for a company, you need to make sure that you have their permission to be able to post those things, but in most cases, you do a right, so I… Yeah, you give people those examples of your work rather than doing get the message you contact them, and then you might remember to email it just have it there so that people could go and see it and then make sure that you’re linking to your website A… So that’s the other thing that people forget is they don’t put their own website in there so he… And you can put three so you’ll put your website links in there.
Yeah, so, yeah, that contact information because the best a going to go and try to find you, but they can’t connect with you, they can’t contact you and made in “opole and… Well, and I tell people, put that information in your summary.
So yes, it is in other places in LinkedIn.
The attest a C, you want to make it easy and simple to find. Yeah, I want to open it and see, Oh, there’s the contact information, a back… Don’t put it in your headline.
I see people do that all the time.
No, no, don’t put your contact information there. Don’t waste that valuable character, right, but you put it in your summary so that people… And it’s the old marketing call to action. Hey, contact me at… If you’re interested, here’s all those various things because it’s right there, it’s right in front of them.
because again, we get side tracked. If I have to click another button to find your contact information that I might click out of your profile and do some definitely. So we work with a lot of health and wellness and companies in the helmet, and one thing that we get asked is, we have the let’s just say it’s a chiropractic office that has five locations and 10 chiropractors it and there is a line in business page and then each of them have their only “dipoles that they’re proactive. ENT, I go Really Franco pan. Are those individual people posting to the business page or the sharing content from the business page to their personal profile? How does that work with… Like I…
Oh yes, I it. And because you want as much content out there as possible, right, so I… You so the first thing you need to make sure is consistent messaging.
So, when the doctors, the office manager, whoever it is, they need to say the same thing about the business.
So for example, you wouldn’t want it to one profile to say, we have five offices: another profile to say, we have 10 offices another profile to look like it’s a stand-alone office.
Yeah, yeah, to come up with just a little bit of messaging that has the statement about them. So, it might say here at X, Y, Z, chiropractic. Our philosophy is so again, you’ve got that consistency because people look at multiple ones is… So in essence, it would be like them looking at several different websites and they get confused, right?
The one in the sea, they go somewhere else, so yeah, I… But then posting their own content and… And so it is a little bit on A… You need to develop probably a social media policy as to what is appropriate content, and in a… It is, especially if you’re on your personal page, it is your personal page, but if somebody’s posting content and this doesn’t happen nearly as often on LinkedIn as it does on say, Facebook.
Wait, I think want to have consistent messaging, so you want… But it’s okay to post it on both places or an or be sharing from your other offices, too. So say you and I are doctors in two different locations, right?
You’ve got great content. So I’m going to share it on my page also, yes, so it’s just kind of about sharing those resources because we only… I always tell people, We only have 28 hours in our day, and right, so… And it’s so, I too… So I don’t want to have to spend a good chunk of my time just looking for content, so ran, I can borrow from someone else or share their content, that’s where it really comes in. And so it might be that there’s one person that manages the business page.
Oh, and then people share from there but then they also are seeing from their own personal pages too.
Yep, and do you think that sharing strategy is still as in porn on… And LinkedIn is it as our platforms, I think it is because we see a is a LinkedIn runs on the algorithms just like the other platforms. So the more interaction there is, the more LinkedIn goes. Hey, this is somebody that is very active that they’re very authentic, that they’re, they’re a big power user. So, sharing, liking all of those various things are just as important as they are on the other social media platforms. Okay, and what… And we’ve talked a lot about the business pages and personal profiles and the top things that business owners or marketing team should be doing, but what is an ideas strategy behind LinkedIn, what I think, whether you’re using it as a business owner or as a business. It does help to develop what I would have called a PR calendar or something like that. So maybe a less… It helps you when you’re thinking, “What the heck am I going to post today?
Yeah, so maybe Monday you’re posting an industry article Tuesday, you’re posting something that’s going on in your community Wednesday, you’re posting something about an industry trend Friday, you’re posting something about your office, whatever it is, and then you kinda stick with that, that editorial calendar.
Yeah, so… And they can be, again, it does make it simpler because you’re thinking, “Okay it’s Wednesday. I need to be posting about X now. Clearly, if something comes up, because we want to take advantage of situations in the news a lot of those things. You and I were talking off the air, about Al tribe, and his cancer diagnosis. A lot of times, chiropractic can be involved in something like that, so… So you wouldn’t want to wait until the next time you’re supposed to post an industry article because you’ve missed that curve, so it’s okay to change things up, but kind of plan out your strategy on Monday. I post this and A… And to me, it doesn’t really matter time of day.
I mean, you know, they have a tether, so we really don’t see those. Well, Tuesday, at two is the best time to post strategies anymore because then it was everybody posts a Tuesday to… And then it was overwhelming. Just post whenever, but like I said, I’m on in the morning, so that might be when I post, but don’t get caught up in that and in it, and I think that’s the thing people are like, “Well oh my gosh, I have to be on LinkedIn at 9 o’clock in the morning. I have to post an article, I don’t have an article, I’m going to not go to and then the next day, they find another reason to do it to… Not the other is a Tibetan it is, it still has to be fun because if it’s not fun, if it’s not enjoyable, we’re not going to be there.
Yep, yeah, you still need to give that value, to your audience. You want them to… But now I know with other platforms, sometimes there’s tools like butter or hope to be able to schedule those folks about… Do you use any of those tools for LinkedIn, or are you just having your strategy, and then posting manually?
I do both, I use Buffer to post some things that I know are going out all the time and one of the things that I do is a business quote.
Actually, it doesn’t even have to be a business quote. When I did last week was from cookie monster so so to… But it’s kind of just cute little pithy quote.
I do three a week, so a variety of places. So I create the image and I go into Canvas.
Love Canvas, and so I create those images and then I schedule those in Buffer, so I can do a month at a time, but… And as you know I also have a podcast so we have some images that we schedule for that.
So that’s just kind of one of those things that’s done so to…
I’m a firm believer that if you can schedule something it gets it out of your way.
So then again, you’re not subbing. They only got his Wednesday. And I’m supposed to have posted this, I… You know I schedule it out, I post for my clients a lot of times scheduling things out because I’ll get a lot of things from them, a lot of content and… And now, I don’t want to have to remember to do something on Thursday, so I schedule it.
So I love the scheduling programs and LinkedIn likes the scheduling program here. A, A, A, A, A, A thing with Facebook doesn’t… It is A, I like it doesn’t care LinkedIn, just like content. And it was great. We talk about these things like their people a… But yeah, linking content, content, it doesn’t really matter where it comes from.
So I was on that. I “asanso I have been… This is all that LinkedIn has really been around that to building your business brand identifying your business voice and not once did we mention that LinkedIn was just for jobs?
Because that is what we all think a ritually like you said, the beginning a new… That’s what I was started for but it comes so far. So this is really a place that business owners can conduct business connect with their ideal target market. And really, in my eyes, LinkedIn can really be a really big lead generation tool, right, I… Yeah, and it’s all about developing your personal brand.
Yeah, I can and I…
LinkedIn is great for that, because when you change jobs or careers, whatever you still have your identity on LinkedIn and you’re not having to start over with whatever it is, so it’s a great place to really make sure that your personal brand is going to rock and the other big guy on the block. Google likes LinkedIn A… And so if you look for someone’s name, you’re right. I’m going to meet with you this afternoon, so I’m just going to Google your name to find a little bit about you. If you’ve been very active on LinkedIn, it comes up very high, in a Google search. So, it’s all about creating that personal branding that will transition for years to come, and go with you.
Yeah, I love that, thank you so much that… Tell us a little bit more about the services that you offer on how can people connect with you, your podcast?
So the easiest way talk about personal branding is to go to Deb queer dot com Deb I-E-R dot com, and there are links there to my podcast, which is the business Power Hour, which is a ton of fun and a lot of good business tips there, but I also focus a lot on linked-in trading and so we have LinkedIn, for C-Suite, which is a program or program services that we provide for executives, but you and I are executives also whether we have a company of one or two or a company of thousands, we’re leaders in that company, and so LinkedIn, for S-C-suite, it’s one of those mornings we just as a LinkedIn for C-suite is all about how we create that personal brand and we have that great profile and we got several different services that we provide here.
Whether you want to do it yourself, because it a… We can do that. Or if you’re so busy that you just don’t have time we can create that profile for you. So I love it, awesome, at I-E-career dot com.
Awesome, thank you so much for your time. I E-Go.
This has been wonderful yes, and guys I highly recommend connecting with her podcast are great. And I just think, again, LinkedIn is such a growing platform that the most of us raise your hand if you have a profile, you haven’t updated it, and over a year go to your LinkedIn profile, today, take these tips and update it today.
So I think you have a line.
And with both of us on like a… Please do, I have a great day,.
https://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Deb-YouTube-Podcast.png7201280Caitlin McDonaldhttps://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SocialSpeak-Logo.pngCaitlin McDonald2019-04-10 09:23:522019-04-11 16:06:55LinkedIn Marketing in 2019 an Interview with Deb Krier of the Business Power Hour
John is a technical SEO expert who’s deeply engaged in the local and national SEO community. With over 15 years of web management experience, John has led digital strategy for many enterprise healthcare companies such as Epic Health Services, Aveanna Healthcare, Cornerstone Healthcare Group, and more!
Founded in 2009, Cardinal Digital Marketing has been ranked the #1 fastest growing agency in the Southeast (The Agency 100). In addition, they have been consecutively named on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately-held US companies in 2014 and 2015. The agency has also been a multi-year recipient of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Pacesetter Awards as well as selected as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®.
Cardinal keeps pace with rapidly shifting trends in Digital Marketing, and develops engagement strategies that are not defined by a platform or a category, but leverage the best marketing vehicle to solve every unique challenge. They approach every situation with the client’s customer in mind and measure success not by increased traffic or impressions, but instead higher client profits.
Services offered include Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Advertising, Social Media Management, Web Design & Development, Mobile Marketing, Online Reputation Management, Web Analytics, and more. What are your specialties?
In this interview we focused on SEO and search marketing for health and wellness businesses. We covered:
The difference between SEO and Search Marketing and how this differs from other types of digital marketing.
Current trends are you seeing for wellness practices with SEO marketing in 2019.
Tactics that were expected to perform well or had a lot of hype, but failed to take hold in 2018.
The top 3 things that a wellness center should be doing online to see a return from their SEM efforts.
The top strategy that should be followed, but often marketing teams get it wrong.
Marketing strategies your team is currently testing that you don’t think many other agencies are implementing for their clients.
Please be sure to subscribe to the Social Speak Podcast for more interviews with experts in digital marketing for health and wellness businesses.
Hello my name is Caitlin McDonald, and welcome to the most recent episode of the Social Speak podcast. I am so excited, today we are joined by SEO expert John McAlpin. Now, John works for Cardinal Digital Marketing. Founded in 2009, Cardinal digital marketing has been ranked number one of fastest growing agencies in the South East. In addition, they have consecutively been named on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies in 2014 and 2015.
Cardinal keeps pace with the rapidly shifting trends in digital marketing and develops engagement strategies that are not defined by a platform or a category, but leverage the best marketing vehicle to solve every unique challenge. They approach every situation with the client’s customer in mind, and measure success not by increased traffic or impressions, but instead, higher client profits. Services offered include search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, mobile marketing, online reputation management, web analytics and more.
Our guest, John is a technical SEO expert, who’s deeply engaged in the local and national SEO community. With over 15 years of web management experience John has led digital strategy for many enterprise healthcare companies such as Epic Health Services, Cornerstone Healthcare Group, and more so let’s give a warm welcome to John.
Caitlin: Welcome John, we’re so excited to have you on the show today.
To kick things off. Tell us a little bit about your background in digital marketing.
John: Sure, it actually started way back when I was 11. I started building websites when I was 11. I found it interesting and saw my dad doing it So, I found W3 schools and started teaching myself how to do all that. But at a professional portion of my career I started in the corporate side, mostly in a tech field, international e-commerce, and then I moved into healthcare and fell in love immediately. I was doing full digital strategy for a healthcare company, and then from there, I transitioned to a agency life and never looked back really. I love agency life. It’s nice to get a little mix of everything.
C: Yes, it definitely is. There’s always a new project to be working on … So John a key aspect of Cardinal digital focuses on SEO and search marketing. Can you describe how this differs from other types of digital marketing?
J: Sure, on it’s own this is a really interesting topic. A lot of people get confused about the actual true definition of SEM. I even heard people consider Social media as a part of SEM and so I think it’s really important to know the difference. Search engine marketing is any type of marketing that has to deal with a search engine. Specifically people refer to it with paid search, like PPC or CPC however you want to refer it to, or SEO. And so that’s essentially search engine marketing. While things like social media channels, have a search box that’s different than a search engine. It is important to note. And so search marketing really is just another form of inbound marketing and what’s unique about it compared to other things, is you’re catching both people during the discovery phase, where there’s no intent to purchase, and during the intent to purchase phase.
C: Great, great thank you for diving into that. So what current trends are you seeing for wellness practices with the SEO and SEM in 2019?
J: What people are in healthcare are starting to do is find alternative ways for people to book appointments. Traditionally it starts with a call then developed. Now we’ve got great technology to book appointments on the website, but now it’s gonna find alternative way to give people more options, to book appointments.
Something that we’re doing is Google My business is actually having features to help integrate their platforms truly need to visit your website, to book an appointment, you can even text or even other direct links. There are some other third-party industry sites like if they’re a directory that we can book appointment straight from there. For example, in the restaurant space Yelp, you can order straight from Yelp. And so, the future is hoping to get voice functionality working out. So all you’re a home assistant, such as Alexa, to help book appointments, that’s a future hope. I don’t know if you were gonna get there, in 2019, but it’s definitely in pain that see a lot of people going towards.
C: That’s pretty incredible. So I’d just be able to say “Alexa, schedule my appointment with this center,” and to be able to do it.
J: Right. I predicted to see a specific company, not a healthcare company, but a technology company developing an application. There’s a lot of partners with it, who are trying to work together to develop this type of technology, so I see it being… You signed up with a partner and they will add you to their list, of preferred vendors, and then you would be able to use their system. That’s the place I see this going.
C: That is incredible, that’s wonderful. Now, in a previous podcast episode, and this isn’t something that we talked about previously, but in a previous podcast episode one of our guest Abby was talking about how interactive websites is actually really helping out with SEO because people have more time on site. A lot of health care centers, direct people off-site to do the scheduling and booking. Is it better to have the scheduling tool actually embedded on your website, rather than directing someone off-site?
J: So, that’s an interesting topic because there’s a couple of things that you wanna think about here. Not just your SEO interactivity, but also how you track conversion. A lot and people who have booking on their site or using an Iframe, which means that your analytics may not be able to track.
And so, really it gets to the point where Google is aimed more to the user experience and that’s where people get that time-on-site type of metric, and technically it’s better to have people to book on your site versus off because it’s less steps to take an action, but in a perfect world we be able to develop software to have booking on our site, and have our own proprietary thing. But, not everyone has those kind of resources. And so it is really however you can get the job done. An Iframe will work. Just be careful about what you’re tracking. As marketers, it is hard for us, so we don’t always have the ability to track it. Cardinal specifically does a good job of working with a whole lot of vendors to make sure that we can get the information that you need, but a lot of agencies don’t have that reach or those resources so be careful.
C: Alright, so let’s jump to the next question, are there any tactics that were expected for well or had a lot of hype, but failed to really take hold in 2018?
J: Voice. I think, voice is gonna be a big one. It’s not the future. It’s now. Some data scientists are predicting that 50% of all searches, are gonna be voice by next year. And I think this is a little confusing because people are getting confused between Voice Search and Voice Assistance.
Asking for the weather, asking certain time or something like that. It’s just those are voice assistance not voice search. And so right now we don’t really have a good way to track search. Also, it is important to note that your Search Console data, a lot of these queries can be voice and Google won’t be telling you which are voice.
I’m sure they will, but they’re not telling you right now. It’s also important to know that as far as asking questions that come from your website, all answers are first position featured snippets. They wanted to be voice focus on getting those featured snippets ranking high. And it’s important to know that feature snippets can appear anywhere in the search and only 30% are in position one.
C: Is there any way to be able to do research about how voice searches and the phrases and terminology that people are using and search differ from me typing into a search engine for something?
J: So as far as tracking or as far as optimizing?
C: As far as optimizing.
J: Sure it’s really just answering commonly add questions that you can relate to your business. Anyone can really get a question answered, but that doesn’t really lead to a conversion or help your branding at all.
So if you really wanted to optimize for voice, currently, before the future hits, it’s really answer the questions as quickly as you can. One of two sentences, the question needs to be answered. A lot of people will try to think about word count, not word quality. So they add all of these filler words. Work to really answered the question directly, in a first two sentences. The rest of that page can be or filler content.
Yeah, and those first two sentences, then you can work your brand name and according to Dr. So and So, at whatever your business name, is, the flu can be treated if caught earlier.
That was a the brand recall there. They can go and search that later or if they just are searching that question online at all, on the paper knows your name at the features on it. Oh, the that’s who I heard that from. And they can follow group.
C: I assume that that’s going to be one of the answers to this next question, but what are the top three things that a wellness center should be doing online to see a return from their SEM efforts?
J: Actually, it’s not one of the three in a lot of the…
There a more important foundational things that people need to worry about. A as far as voice, yes. One of the things I focus on Q+ A answer format. Include all of your services include all of your conditions on separate pages and have a way to inter-link them, Focus on your internal in-between them, so that they can relate and people can learn more information.
One of the first things they need to do is focus on having clean citations and for people that don’t know is a caption. That’s just your directory listing thing about Google My Business, Yelp. And then also think about your industry-specific citations.
Rate My doctor and things like that.
These directories have a huge impact on voice search and how business appear – having a consistent citations in.
So there’s a lot of tools that help it is or you can do it manually, but a lot more work, but you can pay more to have is, will do it for us if a lot of out there for it so I think the biggest factor that wellness centers and we really need to focus on is the user experience.
You can do SEO to a crap site. But if it doesn’t convert and people are turned off by it, they can’t navigate through it, it doesn’t mean anything that is so important.
Yeah, you can put a Band-Aid on it. But it’s not going lead to the results that you need in the end. And I feel as though Google with its algorithm, says, “Well it’s ranking site’s higher that have that positive user experience. People are staying on the site longer, they’re going directly to it.”
C: And then, let’s see, what is the top strategy that should be followed but often marketing teams at these health and wellness centers get wrong or other agencies, just get wrong?
J: So SEO, technical SEO, that’s the first thing I noticed that it’s wrong, but really the biggest missed opportunity is having a holistic digital marketing strategy and having your teams to silo doing their own things, not so picking on the same goals or focus or when teams are working on different ways to achieve different tactics towards the same goal.
Specifically, they need to be blending to the technical side of SEO, PPC, social media and their content. Repurpose your content for different channels.
C: That’s great, that’s great. You work for Cardinal digital, which is a full service agency and one of the top-ranked inbound marketing agencies in the US. Tell us about your company and your services, because you do really merge all of those different silos together for work with your clients.
J: As a strategy partner, we use the term partner, because it really is a relationship that we try to build, we try to build long-term collaborative relationships with national enterprise healthcare companies, because not one company is the same as the other, and everyone deserves a customize strategy. There’s no recycled formula for everyone … See what works best for everyone. We also have a really strong paid media team, and extremely simple track or record merging all of our tactics that blended to re-All full welcome out strategy.
C: Are there any marketing strategies that your team is currently testing that you don’t think many other agencies are implementing for their clients?
J: Sure almost doing a lot of the same one-off tactics and traditional SEO things, and payments paid media, but one of the things that we do is that I’ve seen that I have not seen other agencies really focus on is develop cascading edge tracking software.
We’re trying to use every tool the book to make sure that we can unlock the most insights so we can do the best action because really we put the data in the hands of our clients.
This is what we’re seeing our recommendation and this is how we collaborate with our clients, so, but they are fully aware of every step and they can make the best position possible because we give them the best information possible, and that to be anything from, not just keyword tracking, but also heatmap tracking it seems… How users are actually interacting on their site, so we can have the full holistic US experience.
C: Definitely, definitely, that’s great. And then, John, is there anything that I should have asked but I didn’t?
J: Yes, a lot of questions, I don’t know. I think you have a great job…
C: Awesome, well thank you so much for joining us, has been such a pleasure learning about your experience, your take on SEO and SEM and some of what Cardinal Digital is doing for their clients. So thank you again for joining us today.
J: Thanks so much for having me.
C: Wow, thank you, thank you, thank you to John for joining us today. He shared such wonderful information and it’s no wonder Cardinal digital is such a top-ranked agency with talent like John.
We spoke today about optimizing your directory listings, including both services and conditions pages on your website, as well as how to increase your exposure for voice search by having an FAQ section on your website. All of these are simple tips that you’ll be able to implement on your wellness website to help out with SEO and SEM.
Thank you again for tuning in, thank you to our guest, John for joining us today, and I will see you on the next episode of The Social speak podcast.
https://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Social-Speak-Podcast-John-McAlpin.png312820Caitlin McDonaldhttps://socialspeaknetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SocialSpeak-Logo.pngCaitlin McDonald2019-03-13 09:43:112019-03-04 20:57:50Search Engine Marketing vs Digital Marketing - Interview with John McAlpin of Cardinal Digital
In this interview with Gabrielle, she had her heart and mind set on one direction in college, and little did she know after taking one marketing class, how her world would change. Sometimes you have to just trust your gut and take the leap of faith. Gabrielle has created a life around something she has found a passion for, allowing her to create the freedom and flexibility she was looking for. While still having a passion for animals her path has taken her in a different direction. Listen and see how.
More about Rielle Social Media
Gabrielle Crumley is the social media expert and digital marketing strategist behind Rielle Social Media.
I am passionate about helping business owners overcome their branding and social media challenges to see real success online.
Do you stress about what to post, or spending way too much money on ads that don’t convert? Whatever your specific business goals may be, I can help you achieve them. Learn more about her and her services at https://www.riellesocialmedia.com/
How many blog posts have you read about businesses for moms or stay at home businesses for moms? They all include great lists of businesses you could consider, but let’s be honest, they don’t really share the steps to get started and thrive.
In this blog, I’m specifically looking at a handful of businesses that you can start today as a mom. These businesses include:
My goal isn’t to list off all the businesses you could start as a mom, but to give you the actional advice in this ultimate guide that you can follow to get your business off the ground and running.
Now before I dive in, any business you start should be driven by your passions, expertise, and values.
Why? as a mom, and more specifically, as a mompreneur, you will always face competing priorities. From swim lessons to soccer, homework, meal planning, even corporate jobs, starting a side hustle with the goal to grow it into a thriving business takes time, commitment, and a lot of energy.
Your success will come from wanting to work on your business after a long day or before the day has begun.
Your success will come from knowing your industry or craft like the back of your hand and utilizing tools to help manage those other business processes and technologies.
The mom businesses described below are not hypotheticals. I personally have spent years researching the most effective and efficient ways to start each of these businesses (in addition to an MBA) and have started a mom blog, etsy store, dropship store, and added to my freelancing business all since growing our family.
The guide to mom businesses below covers the exact tips and steps that I recommend to get you off the ground and running towards freedom and flexibility as a mom.
Whether your goal is to build a creative outlet or start the foundation for a business empire, I am so excited to learn about you and your vision. As a mompreneur, you are allowing yourself to create exactly the type of business that fits your needs, interests, and goals.
Take a moment to consider your dreams.
Are you yearning for a creative outlet beyond children’s crafts?
Would you love the flexibility to make your own schedule?
Do you hope to contribute financially to your household?
Can you not go another day without adult interaction?
Are you trying to be the best positive role model for your children?
Moms start on their journey to becoming a mompreneur for a lot of different reasons. I’m here to help provide you with the actionable steps you need to turn your interests into a successful business that can help you fulfill your dreams. From bloggers to Etsy store owners, Amazon dropshippers, freelancers, and more, I’ve worked with individuals who seek to contribute and leave their mark on the world just like you.
With a background in digital marketing (yes, I’ve owned my agency for nearly a decade), my advice focuses on the online aspects of creating, growing, and sustaining your business. My resources aim to help you start strong, scale fast, and sell more while you use your own strengths to create the business of your dreams.
What does it mean to be a Mom Blogger?
Mom bloggers, or really all bloggers, produce content that is published on a website.
Mom Blogging often has the connotation that you need to be writing about parenting tips, home improvement, or recipes, but trust me, there are a LOT more mom blogs out there than just these topics.
Start thinking about your PASSIONS and INTERESTS.
Could you create high quality content every single week or multiple times per week on this topic? Is it something you would grow bored with after a year, or does this interest transcend into all aspects of your life?
To be a Mom Blogger, you need to be diligent about creating high quality content (between 2,000-5,000 words) each week and then sharing this information to gain readers and followers of your blog.
Bloggers typically make money through affiliate commissions, advertisers on their site, and digital products. You also may have the perk of freebies from other folks within your industry.
Is Blogging for You?
Blogging isn’t for everyone. To start a blog and see results fairly quickly you will need to spend about 4 hours per day growing your digital network, creating content, putting together your systems, building an email list and sharing the information you create.
To run a successful blog you can’t sit in a bubble and you should try to view your blog as a way to connect and communicate with others who share your interests.
When you have your systems in place and traffic is coming to your website, you will typically find that running your blog only takes 2 hours per day. From here, your income potential can really skyrocket.
There are many mom bloggers who make $20,000+ each month, but far more who only make a couple hundred dollars per year.
It’s not that these bloggers aren’t working hard, they may be focusing their attention on the wrong avenues or may not be giving their blog the chance to really thrive.
What if you don’t like to write?
That is okay! I’ve worked with a lot of bloggers who start first with video or audio and turn transcripts from these into content for their website.
Starting with video or audio allows you the chance to showcase your expertise and your personality. What better way to grow a blog than have this multimedia on your website.
What to do next as a mom blogger
Brainstorm a list of your interests or passions. Narrow this down to the idea that you would want to write about for years into the future.
Who else is writing about this topic? What are they doing well? What would you improve?
Is there one person in particular who you would like to write for? Who will make up your tribe? Be specific! If you know someone who would be interested in your blog, write down their name.
What are your top 5 values? How can you incorporate these into your Blog’s Brand? What are your brand colors and is there any emotion or feeling you want your blog to elicit?
Create a list of all of the topics you can think of that relate to your blog idea. Think about topics that you can tell stories about from personal experience, topics people likely are going to be searching for on Google, and topics that appear to be getting a lot of traction from blogs on the same or similar topics.
Which other bloggers can you partner with?
Jump into Technology! In order to run a blog, you will need a website and an email account. I won’t go into detail here, but I do have a blog post on this at SocialSpeakNetwork.com.
To jump start your blog, I recommend committing to write a blog every other day for a month. Why? This creates a database of content for your blog that you can then link to and share online.
After the first month, you can slow down to 1 blog per week. Just remember, each blog should be high quality (and at least 1,500 words long).
At the same time you are working on this first set of articles, start reaching out to people you know to see if they would be interested in joining your email list. As a blogger (or any digital business) your Email List is the most important asset to your business.
Wrap up to Blogging as a Stay At Home Mom
Being a Mom Blogger can be incredible rewarding if you are willing to put in the time and energy. The first thing we think of when we hear bloggers is a website with articles on it, but in reality it is about building a community around your passion or interest.
Even if your goal is not to make money from your blog, being a Mom Blogger can be a rewarding creative outlet that connects you with others who share your passions and interest. Could there be anything better?
Starting an ETSY Store for Moms
The next topic for mompreneurs is Etsy! I love Etsy both as a seller and as a consumer.
Etsy is a great avenue for converting your hobbies into a business through selling crafts and designs. Just as with any sales channel, you need to think about whom you are selling to and how you can best position your products to sell to them.
Broadly, Etsy is a platform for crafts (wo)men to sell their handmade goods online. Products include everything from greeting cards to knitted hats, digital downloads, screen printed t-shirts, and antique gifts.
I like Etsy as a mompreneur because it is already a portal that your tribe is using to find unique and handmade products.
You don’t need to build a complete ecommerce website and find ways to get traffic to the site, instead you just need to have your products to sell and optimize your titles and descriptions to gain traction.
Is running an Etsy Shop for you?
In order to run an Etsy store, you need to be able to make something handmade or have a collection of goods that others may want to purchase. If you don’t have a craft/hobby (paper crafts, sewing, graphic design, woodworking, etc) or if you don’t have a collection of goods (teacups, antique bread boxes, etc), Etsy may not be for you. Now there is some wiggle room if you don’t necessarily have something handmade to sell, which I’ll describe below.
If you do have a product(s) already, they running an Etsy shop may be a perfect fit. The marketplace is already built, making your shop easy to get up and running, but the most popular stores have at least 15 different products to sell right off the bat.
You’ll need to make sure you have enough of whatever you want to sell in many different designs and variations in order to build your store quickly.
The workaround to Handmade Goods
Okay, so you might be interested in selling on Etsy, but you don’t really have a craft that you could turn into a viable business. This is where you can have a little fun. Let’s say you are a graphic designer or have some Photoshop experience.
You can create designs and then place this design on t-shirts, mugs, dog bowls, bags, etc, using a print on demand service to actually create the products.
This is how I manage my Etsy Store for Yip Yap Woof.
In fact, I have it set up so beside creating the designs and product descriptions, I don’t touch anything when an order comes in.
My silk-screener gets notified of the order automatically and creates my products to be sent out with my branding to customers.
You can set up similar systems for your Etsy shop, too, by using services like Printful* to create the products.
How to get started with Etsy as a Mom
The next steps for Etsy are fairly straight forward and you can get up and running within a few hours! Of course in order to run an Etsy shop that is sustainable you should create an audience and build your email list, just as with blogging, but the first steps are straight forward.
Just as with creating a mom blog, think first about your target market and brand before you set up your Etsy shop. Who will be your core customers? Who else is selling similar products?
Next you can create your Etsy account and start filling in basic information, hold off on uploading your products for the time being.
Creating your store is easiest if you compile all of your information before you get started. This includes:
Keywords to use in your product descriptions
Your product descriptions (make them fun and personal)
Prices and shipping costs (I often just do flat rate shipping or free shipping with the estimated shipping cost built into the product price)
Pictures (At least 3-5 for each product)
After you have your products created and updated, it’s time to build a community around them. Instagram can be a great place to create your community, showcase your products, and post beautiful images.
If you want to take your store to the next level, don’t hesitate to post the product information on Netxdoor App, Craigslist, and Ebay. Additionally, local fairs, markets, and festivals can help you gain local exposure.
Just as with any type of business, your email list can make the long term stability of your new business much more achievable. Start building your list from day 1!
What ideas do you have for your Etsy shop? Can you see yourself growing a community around your crafts and hobbies?
Next up we’ll be chatting about Dropshipping businesses, which are where you resell products from wholesale accounts, but never need to hold an inventory.
This is the second half of my Yip Yap Woof shop where I resell dog beds on Amazon and Ebay and my suppliers ship the orders directly to the customer for me.
Starting a Dropship Business as a Stay at Home Mom
Stay at home moms often don’t first think of dropshipping as a business solution when they are first getting started.
Why? Even though platforms exist to create your website and easily find products, it can be time consuming to figure out the ins and outs of deciding upon products, branding yourself, and growing your network.
As there Is quite a bit of competition in most industries for drop shipping, it can seem daunting to find a way to stand apart with a limited schedule.
So what can mompreneurs do to help decrease the amount of time needed to grow their online dropship store?
Just as with the other tips and techniques, I recommend first analyzing your passions and interests and formulating a game plan around what types of markets you should approach.
Below I talk about my experience of drop shipping as a mompreneur through first finding a pet product company I could stand behind.
I knew I wanted to help people find the top dog products for their pups, but didn’t exactly know where to get started. At first I listed and tried advertising every product under the sun, but soon found my margins (the amount I made) were WAY too low to:
Cover my advertising costs
Cover my time to actually place the order
Looking back at the drawing board, I realized there were products, specifically dog beds and extremely large dog crates with margins high enough to offer free or reduced shipping and cover extra fees like listing the product on Amazon, for example.
Here is my overview for sales through Amazon for a specific dog bed from 11/20-12/13
(Please note, I’m not trying to say that I’m the poster child for how well through this channel with sales, but it is just a REAL example of a fun side hustle that takes 10-15 minutes every few days)
After Amazon fee’s and the monthly subscription to Amazon, I netted $491.20. Now, this number does go down because I needed to buy the dog beds, ship them, and pay for the company’s dropship fee (their extra fee to pay for sending the package directly to my customer).
Let’s take a look.
Sell for $129, my Cost (including shipping and dropship fee) $83.50. Gross profit: $26.10
Sell for $109, my Cost (including shipping and dropship fee) $73.50. Gross Profit: $19.14
Total $83.55 in my pocket
This is just for one type of dog bed I sell on Amazon and you see how the profit diminishes drastically when all fees are taken into account.
But hey, that’s another $1,000 in my pocket every year for very limited work and not selling to my network. Imagine if you are listing more products, larger margin products, and products where you’ve already built an audience of interested individuals!
In addition to these beds, I do sell a few other high-end dog bed options, as well as some dog food and health and wellness items via Ebay. All of these are drop shipped, so I never need to worry about moving my own inventory.
I must warn you, however, I just needed to purchase my order from another supplier for a product that sold and my profit was a whopping $0.56! Ha. Talk about cutting it close!
In the following video I provide an overview of drop shipping for stay at home moms as an option to gain more flexibility and freedom.
Starting a freelance business as a mom may be one of the most rewarding ways to get back into the business world and feel connected to adults outside of your family.
Yes, you can forge similar relationships through reaching out to digital business partners, but become a freelancer opens so many more doors!
As a mompreneur you will often find yourself alone with your thoughts and second guessing your ability to run a successful endeavor. Being a freelancer, however, allows you to form lasting relationships with your clients.
Do I sound partial to starting a freelance business? Perhaps. But this stems from the joys I’ve found in connecting with my clients as I work with them.
Please note, I find the same to be true for coaches, counselors, service providers, etc, but if your business is 100% online, it can be difficult for a lot of women to forge the same type of relationship because often communication boils down to Facebook posts, commenting, and emailing.
Unless you are committed to thinking about digital networking the same as face to face or networking on the phone, it is difficult to create real relationships with people you’ve never actually spoken to.
With freelancing, you are given an opportunity to turn one-off projects into recurring revenue streams for your business.
AND, working with your clients month after month creates an avenue for you to grow your new relationships in the business world without having to give up time with your children and family.
You can take on as many new clients as you have the capacity for and scale up and down as needed.
Types of Freelance businesses for Mompreneurs
As you think of your passions and interests, think of how you may be able to help other people and businesses with completing tasks that relate to these interests. In the digital world, some common freelance gigs include:
How can you structure your fees?
I recommend freelancers try to steer clear of hourly work, but often that’s what it comes down to. As a mom, however, trying to track your time doing freelance gigs while running to sports practices, cleaning dirty diapers, and figuring out preschool options can be quite the challenge.
Rather than setting an hourly price, do what you can to create monthly packages or retainers. In my marketing agency, we collect fees from:
Group Coaching (6 month small group coaching on social media and digital marketing)
Marketing Management (We become your outsourced marketing department with set tasks we agree to complete each month)
Hourly consulting (even I haven’t been able to get away from this after nearly a decade)
How to get started as a Freelancer
Starting your path towards being a successful freelancer can be fairly organic. Some freelancers wish to jump in head first into their new business while others are okay growing their client base at a pace that fits their lifestyle.
As you get started, think about:
How quickly you want to grow
The hours per week you wish to spend freelancing
Your availability for meetings, travel, networking, sales
Current commitments during the working day
Depending on how much time you have available to commit to your new freelancing clients, you may find that a slow growth fits your current commitments.
Knowing this can help you identify the steps you wish to take to get your new mom business up and running and to set your goals appropriately.
Steps to kick your freelancing business into high gear
Now that you know your availability, it’s time to get started! Just as with the other mom businesses you can start, it is paramount you first identify your ideal client.
Create your client avatar: what industry or business do you want to target, what are their fears, how many employees do they have, what revenue do they have, who makes the buying decision?
Build out your service offerings: within your target industry, what services can you offer, what will you charge?
Make a list of personal connections that fit your target market or may know someone who would benefit from your services: think about your connections from your pre-kid career, as well as, family, friends, neighbors, etc.
Think of complementary services that you could build into referral partners. For example, if you are a copy writer, partnering with website development agencies could lead to immediate work for your business.
Create a quick website describing who you are, your services, and providing a glimpse into your expertise.
Reach out to your connections and your potential referral partners to introduce them to your new business.
Join local networking groups to increase your exposure to local business owners.
Sign up for Thumbtack and Nextdoor to browse for folks looking for your services.
Now, you notice I mention only building a quick website at this stage. Contrary to popular belief, though some folks may look at your site, only a handful of referrals actually will.
Your first freelancing clients will most likely be people you know personally.
Additionally, as you talk with prospects and start selling your services you will find that your target market may respond more favorably to one way of describing your services or that the packages you should be offering are slightly different from your initial brainstorm.
You don’t want to spend months making the perfect site when in reality your messaging and offerings are completely off.
As I mentioned before, the best way to grow your new business as a mom is really to dive into something that you are passionate about, an expert in, and that aligns with your values. Without this, it is much more difficult to push through and really experience that freedom and flexibility through business ownership as a mom.
If you are interested in learning more about how your values can shape your business, please take a look at the following posts!
Starting a Dropship Business as a Mom [Transcript]
Today I am going to discuss with you about dropship businesses. What are drop ship businesses? How do they work? How can they fit into your lifestyle?
Basically, drop shipping is when you have an online storefront. When somebody places in order, you then turn to the wholesaler and they actually ship that order out for you. I run a business, Yip Yap Woof, and amongst other things, we sell dog products. One of our top selling products is a dog bed from a company out of Montana that uses organic cotton and it’s made in the USA.
It’s a great dog bed and we get a lot of sales through Amazon for this, as well as, through our website. So how drop shipping works in this case is somebody places an order through Amazon or through our website (or even through eBay). Now we don’t have an inventory, I don’t have a closet in my house just stocked up with dog beds, but I just quickly jump over to the wholesale website, place an order with my own credit card information, and then they charged me a small fee on top of the typical fee for shipping. Then the customer gets the dog bed. It’s packaged in the West Paw Design packaging and everything, but the package slip does have our information on it. I can offer more discounts and promotions for other products that I offer, as well. And so with each of these orders, yes, I’m not making the full $30 or $50 markup that I would have if I did hold my own inventory and do the shipping myself, however I still do get you know between $10 and $20 dollars per order. I can the either reinvest this back into the business or enjoy them a nice lunch out.
How to Start a Dropship Business
Starting a dropship business is actually pretty straightforward there are plenty of websites out there that have whole databases or products. Again, taking dog products, there’s a Pet Store USA and Wholesale Pet USA, as well as a bunch of other stores like this where there is a database of different dog products. It also lists whether or not the company dropships the product or if you just get the wholesale account.
Once you find the products that you’re looking for, you can then list them on Amazon, Ebay, or on your own website. If you’re listing these products on Amazon or Ebay, you will find that there are additional fees that you will incur. Amazon’s fees are actually quite a bit, so that $20 margin or markup that that I would get ends up going down to about five or ten dollars.
You have to pay attention to whether or not you’re actually going to be making money from the product or if it’s all just going away in these fees. It does definitely take some calculations. On Amazon, for example, I won’t sell a product that’s under $100, just because it’s not worth my time and energy to make fifty cents for an order that comes in.
I’d much rather see a thirty dollar kickback rather than just a couple of dollars here and there.
So, setting up that dropship store is quite simple once you have the product that you are going to be selling. You can set it up on Shopify, for example. Shopify is great because it syncs with a lot of these different dropship networks.
If you have an order placed on Shopify, they can actually make it so the order automatically flows through to the wholesale or drop shipping store. This way you don’t even have to touch the order.
You can also make a storefront on WordPress, for example, if you don’t want to have that monthly fee like Shopify. The benefit of Shopify is it’s really easy for you to manage taxes and things like that, but I actually just got rid of my Shopify store and I’m working to just building a more simple blog storefront with WordPress.
The reason is because most of my orders come in through eBay and Amazon rather than through my store itself. I think that that’s just a product of being a newer store, so I haven’t done a lot of work to build up my own audiences.
What I recommend doing is creating a blog for your business where you’re just working to send out valuable content and information. I found the blog to be a great way to gain exposure and also Instagram. Again, I’m just posting pictures of my dog and my daughter. We now have over 1,500 followers on Instagram and so that’s been a great way to get traffic to the Etsy store.
Building up an audience and an email list is should be your number one priority if you are running any type of e-commerce store.
Creating a Dropship Brand
Additionally, you should know who your brand is and you can think of it almost like a real retail store with a storefront. So think about, what’s your brand? What type of customers are you trying to attract? Then post things that these people are interested in and try and grow that network online. This way, when you have the products that you’re going to be selling, you can easily turn them on into it. They already know, like, and trust you.
These individuals have found value from following you, so you can start reaching out to the wholesale companies and organizations.
I always recommend not just listing any old product if you want to make your business more fulfilling. I recommend finding products you have tried and ones where you believe in the company brand of mission. As you’re getting started, try to create a selective group of products that you’ve tested yourself and that you know people are just going to absolutely love. Typically someone is actually searching for these products on Amazon or on eBay, so again, if you’re listed there, you have a better chance of being found.
This is just a quick introduction of what it means to dropship. Dropshipping is definitely very rewarding and easier to set up than businesses where you need to carry an inventory.
Top Three Tips to Starting a Freelancing Business as a Mom [Transcript]
Today we’re going to be talking about creating a freelance business from your passions and your expertise. Now creating a freelance business is a great way to add be creative, have adult interactions, and to find freedom and flexibility.
Until MK was able to walk, she actually came around to every single meeting with me. We were just coffee shop buddies and bounced around here and there. She’d be sleeping most of the time at meetings, but the flexibility that I had with my clients just to bring her along wherever I went was really quite incredible.
At the time, I was even the president of a local networking group and she came to many of the meetings with me. As long as I didn’t act as though I was distracted by her being there, other people followed suit. Owning a freelance business as a mom really is a great way to kind of have the best of both worlds.
MK recently turned 2 so we are finally looking at daycares and preschools that we can potentially have her attend towards the end of the summer. But, keeping her at home until she was 2 was a big goal for us. The flexibility of running a freelance business created the opportunity for this goal to come true.
Now, the BIMS Team is much more than a Freelance business. But freelancing really did create the foundation for all the work and services we provide today.
Different Types of Freelance Businesses for Moms
What types of freelance businesses are there and you can be a freelancer? There are many different types of Freelance businesses you can jump into including:
A graphic designer
A website developer
A freelance copywriter
A social media marketer
There are a lot of different freelancers out there and you might hear some freelancers referring to themselves more as consultants rather than just freelancers.
The big difference here in my mind is who’s doing the work.
Our team provides consulting for a lot of our clients where we are teaching them how to do the marketing themselves, but we have other clients where we are really taking on their voice and managing the marketing on their behalf.
It can be kind of a blurred line whether you call yourself a consultant or a freelancer. Either way, you can go into a lot of different industries.
How to decide on your Freelancing focus
As a mom, you probably have limited time between work (if you are starting freelancing as a side-hustle), children, family, and your own commitments. This makes it incredibly important to make sure you choose freelance projects that you already have the skills to complete.
Think about the areas of expertise or focus that you had in a previous career? Consider your own passions and interests. When you combine these two elements, it won’t even matter to clients that you don’t have a lot of experience working on your own and they will appreciate what your past experience can bring to the table.
If you are worried about lack of experience, that is fine, too. You can even be honest with your first few clients, but position this as a strength because you will be incredibly focused on their business and the work you can do for them.
As a new freelancer, how can you get new clients quickly?
There are a lot of different ways that you can go about getting clients when you are a freelancer. I have three favorite techniques.
Right when you get started, head on over to thumbtack.com. Thumbtack is like Craigslist for freelance jobs. Folks post there from different businesses that need help with X, Y, or Z. You can find local companies or ones that are in other parts of the US.
My husband recently started his own freelance business and I instructed him to go to thumbtack. Sure enough, he quickly was able to reply to a handful of folks requesting exactly his copywriting services. These were job proposals he was sending out the first day of running his own freelance business.
Now my husband had never actually run a copywriting business, and he was the director of software development at his last job, so nothing to do with copywriting, but he was an English major and enjoys writing. On the side he actually had been writing for years for some of our clients, but he never mentioned to his first clients that he was just kicking off his business. He knew he could fulfill his promises.
What about Upwork (formerly Odesk and Elance)
In the past we did utilize Elance for finding projects to bid on, but it is easy to get caught up in pricing and not being able to charge what you are worth.
If you do find yourself on these job sites, I found success submitting bids for Project Based freelancing work, such as creating a marketing plan or a LinkedIn Strategy, and then offering to implement the strategy. We actually are still working with a handful of these businesses 7 years later.
Again, make sure if you are submitting bids you aren’t selling yourself short. I remember one client I got right when I started my freelance business ended up being a $750/mo client, but at $20/hr, I was hardly living the dream.
It’s much easier to manage five freelance accounts with each of them paying $5,000 a month versus 50 accounts with $100 a month.
Attend Networking Events To Grow your Freelance Business and Refine your Messaging
The next place to look for clients is going to networking events to meet local business owners who can benefit from your freelancing services. The strategy typically has a slightly longer turnaround, but is very fruitful and something Amber and I both still do.
Beyond meeting new people and getting that adult interaction as a mompreneur, networking is wonderful because it allows you to refine your message.
When I first started my freelancing business, I thought that I was going to be doing mostly data analytics. In my mind, marketing decisions should be driven by data. I am a math nerd and data analytics geek and trust me, that doesn’t get many other people excited. Some of my favorite clients truly appreciate data, too, but a majority of our clients don’t care about the data behind the scenes.
As I was talking to folks in these networking events, I would just see their eyes glaze over. I realized that people understood they needed someone to help manage their marketing, but would be doing it themselves already if they cared about the solutions.
When you attend networking groups as a freelancer, you will be able to more quickly refine your messaging.
Now networking groups do require you go somewhere in person, so it may not be worthwhile to pay for a babysitter while you attend.
I’d look for groups that meet first thing in the morning (so your significant other can lend a hand before work) or ones that meet later in the day, again, so you can more easily find a helping hand.
These networking events also come in a lot of different forms.
One issue I see over and over is that new freelancers waste too much time attending groups that don’t actually lead to new clients. Don’t just go to the most popular Meetup group or group that meets over happy hour.
I’m an introvert, so I always found myself listening to conversations more than engaging with others in these more open events.
However, I came across BNI about 5 years ago and absolutely LOVE their meetings (and the clients/referrals that come from members).
I’ve since been the president and vice president of the chapter and as a member, you feel like you are actually creating relationships with the folks in your group, who then actually do go out and sell for you.
There are plenty of other more localized groups that follow the same structure as BNI, but BNI is an international organization, so most likely you have a chapter or two (or more) in your area to check out.
Be selective about the networking groups you choose to attend as a freelancing mom.
So, we’ve covered thumbtack, networking groups, and then the third way to grow your freelancing business is through referral partners.
How to use referral partners to get more freelance clients
As you’re going to the networking groups, you will be meeting new partners. You don’t want to just sell to the people in front of you, you want to gain access to their networks. This third piece is taking creating referral partners a step further.
First things first, jump over to LinkedIn and clean up your profile. Then, start researching other professionals and businesses that service your same target market and provide complementary services to your own freelance services.
I had my husband run through this when he was starting his business and within a month he had signed two $5,000 dollar contracts. One of them is still sending clients his way and then the other one actually now is my client and we have my husband do the blog writing.
It all comes down to figuring out who else is servicing your target market.
For my husband, a copywriter, I told him to email social media agencies like mine because I had been sending him business frequently. We also decided on website developers. Now he ended up just emailing the website developers because of the technical side of his background.
After proving himself in an initial blog or writing sample, some of these initial contacts send him any new website build that needs content created.
By creating these relationships with referral partners even if there’s a little bit of overlap in services, there can be short term success landing new freelance clients and provide long-term growth of your freelancing business.
The best thing about tailored and individual email outreach like this is that it takes a whole lot less time than attending 50 networking groups every single week. [Insider Tip: You can also write the emails after your kids go to be and schedule them to send the next morning with the Boomerang App for Gmail).
As long as you’re clear about the expectations with your new referral partners, you shouldn’t have any trouble really diving into those relationships.
So there you have it! The three steps to getting clients as you are starting your freelance business: Use Thumbtack, Join Local Networking Groups, Cold Email Referral Partners
First, immediately respond to those freelance proposal requests on thumbtack or create your profile on Upwork and see what projects are out there.
Secondly, join a local networking group and get to know the business professionals in your area. Again, I recommend finding a group that has structure and that actually shows that it’s passing leads and referrals with each other. I like the structure because I’m an introvert, but you might really thrive if you’re an extrovert with less structure. Still don’t join a group if they aren’t accountable for passing leads.
We see a lot of leads being passed within our group, as do other BNI groups, just as an example.
Lastly, the next item is figuring out who your referral partners could be and reaching out to them.
Now if you notice I’m not focusing on building your website or anything like that.
As you are working through these three steps to starting your freelancing business, you will be learning a lot about the language people are using to describe your specific services.
Just have a home page or landing page to start and then build up more from there.
See how many freelancing clients you can get through the three ways described above and you will be well on your way to a successful freelancing business!
My best advice is to start a business now and give freelancing a shot. Freelancing is incredibly fruitful and it allows for that creative outlet, adult interactions, and again that freedom and flexibility that we all crave as moms.
Thank you so much for tuning in.
Again I’m Caitlin with the Social Speak Network.
Please feel free to subscribe to our channel and head on over to our website. We have a lot of great blogs, videos, and different resources that can help you on your journey to becoming a freelancer.
Interested in learning more? Take a look at these articles:
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By Christina Savage
Owner & Technical Consultant
Christina Savage, LLC
In late summer 2016, I jumped off a metaphorical cliff. I quit my six figure, salaried management job to start my own software consulting business from the ground up.
As a single mom of a 9-year-old son and the sole earner in my household, taking this leap posed a significant risk. Given this fact, you’d think I would’ve created an elaborate business plan, but I didn’t; I just rolled up my sleeves and got started.
After years of working in high-pressure software and IT management roles, I was ready for more autonomy and flexibility. I wanted to build something all by myself. Starting a business is, in my mind, a creative process – and I desperately needed to create.
How I got started
In the software world, there’s a saying, “fail fast, fail cheap.” I knew that if I over-thought things, I’d never start. So, I just started getting things done. As an example, I didn’t create a fancy brand; I just used my name as my company name.
Here a few practical steps that will help you start a service-based business:
Buy a domain name
I bought my domain name from GoDaddy, but there are a lot of domain name registrars out there. It’s fast and easy and will typically cost you less than $20.
Name your company and register it with the state
I formed an LLC by registering it with the state, paying the fees, and filling out the required paperwork. Visit your state’s Secretary of State website to find out the process. Depending on your line of work, you may also need a business license.
Set up a mailbox
I bought a P.O. Box at my local post office, but I’ll likely move to a virtual postbox in the future.
Set up a business phone line
I knew that I didn’t want my personal cell phone number posted publicly, so I set up a Google Voice number. It’s free and forwards all calls to my cell phone. If you plan to build a business with more than one person, be sure to look into other VoIP options like Grasshopper or Fluentstream.
Create a logo
I hired my graphic designer friend to create a logo for me. I love it and I have it on everything – my website, my business cards, my invoices—you name it.
Hire a professional photographer
I hired a professional photographer to take headshots and I used them on my website and LinkedIn profile. Professional photography makes a huge difference, especially when you work with people who find you online.
Launch your website
Even though I’m technical and I’ve worked on a lot of websites in the past, I’m not a website designer. I knew that I’d spend too much time banging my head against the wall over my website theme and design if it was too customizable, so I just went the quick and easy route and chose Squarespace. It’s affordable and really easy to use. In the future, I’ll likely move to WordPress because I think it will scale best for me and offer me better SEO, but for now, Squarespace works.
Set up your email
I’ve always been a fan of G Suite because I love the Google platform. I’m a huge proponent of a paid email platform, as opposed to using a personal @gmail.com account. It’s one of the most critical tools in your business. Plus, G Suite makes it easy add and manage users and it offers some of the best collaboration tools on the market. My Google Drive files are well-organized, allowing me to keep my personal and business documents separate, but to also access my documents at any time, from anywhere, and on any device.
Get your financial tools in order
Set up a business bank account. Be sure to keep your expenses separate from your personal expenses. If you decide to move to an S Corp or other type of entity in the future, you’ll need to keep these separate anyway.
It’ll make accounting a lot easier, too.
Set up a cloud-based accounting software. I use FreshBooks and absolutely love it. It’s made for entrepreneurs and small business. It allows me to track my time in real time (I typically charge hourly), quickly generate invoices, and automate payment reminders. It’s also integrated with my bank transactions and credit card gateway. Plus, their support is outstanding. Having FreshBooks allows me to spend only 10 minutes per month on invoicing.
Finally, consider getting business insurance. Many clients may require it.
Start using a CRM
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a central database to track client communication. I consider it the ‘brain’ of my business. Most CRMs integrate with website forms, sales and marketing tools, accounting software, and reporting dashboards. My CRM allows me to track my prospects, organize my projects, build reports, and market to my clients. It’ll also allow me to easily onboard and communicate with future employees.
These initial steps took me about two weeks. It doesn’t take much. Just start!
How I grew (and the emotions that ensued)
Once I set up my systems and processes, I had to figure out how to get clients. I’ve never considered myself a salesperson and I’m not into self-promotion. However, the primary skill that’s contributed most to my career success has been my ability to build and maintain relationships.
I’ve kept in touch with everyone over the years—former coworkers, employers, employees, clients, and vendors. So, when I started my business, I reached out to everyone. I scheduled coffee meetings and a lot of phone calls. This quickly led to a couple of key software partnerships, including my CRM software partner – a referral source that contributed 48 percent of my revenue last year. Other significant projects and clients came from referrals from friends and former clients.
I don’t mean to make this process sound easy. It took a lot of work and even more persistence. There were many days when I literally had no projects. I spent about eight months dipping into savings before my revenue became significant.
I also had a lot of job offers and people trying to get me to come work with them. As someone who’s used to saying ‘yes’ to almost everything, I had to say ‘no’ to a lot of great opportunities and stay focused on my goal of building a business.
What I’ve learned
Once the momentum starts, it keeps going. There will be many days in your journey when you have no idea where your money will come from next month—when your projects wind down and you have few opportunities in the pipeline. It’ll be scary, but you need to keep moving forward. Schedule more coffee meetings, attend a local networking event, reach out to an old colleague, or teach yourself a new skill. If you keep the momentum going, your business will continue to grow.
Structure your day. Even though you may want to sit around in yoga pants all day—and will probably do that most of the time—you need to stay focused. If you work best in the morning, do your most important work before noon. Schedule your meetings, calls, and business development tasks in the afternoon.
Do great work. You have to put your clients first. Make it as easy as possible to work with you. From your contract to the way you accept payment, it needs to be easy. I accept credit card payments from my clients and I wouldn’t dream of passing through the transaction fees. I invoice clients once a month, my time records are clear and detailed, and I give my clients 30 days to pay. Trust is key.
Systematize everything. Even though you may be starting out as a solopreneur, you may bring on employees or consultants in the future. The more clearly-defined systems and documentation you have in place, the easier onboarding and offboarding will be. Even if you just need to hire a consultant, you’ll save yourself so much time and money if they can easily review your documentation and devise solutions for you. Trust me on this.
Say yes. In the beginning you’ll say yes to almost any work that comes your way. As you grow, you’ll need to start learning how to say no and specializing, but the work you do in the beginning will teach you so much. You’ll also get used to facing brand new problems. Every. Single. Day.
You’ll have to tackle projects you’ve never done before. I’m not sure this ever stops. You’ve gotta be confident that you are smart and you’re a problem solver. In the words of Marie Forleo, “everything is ‘figureoutable.’” Don’t shy away from hard things. Focus and figure it out. You’ll get there. I promise.
You’re going to wear #allthehats. I run my business by myself. I’m the business development rep, sales rep, sales engineer, proposal writer, project manager, technical lead, researcher, marketer, visionary, customer service rep, tester, bookkeeper, and accounting department. I even did my own taxes the first year. Because I worked for small, lean businesses for years, I had experience in all of these areas. If you don’t feel comfortable doing these tasks, delegate or outsource them so you can focus on the highest and best use of your time.
Stick to your vision. As I previously mentioned, I received many job offers and invitations to discuss employee-type roles. It’s flattering and sometimes tempting, but I’m proud of what I’ve built—there’s no salary that could pull me away from doing my own thing.
Track your progress. For me, tracking my revenue is an easy metric to monitor. It took me 8 months to start making consistent and sufficient revenue. I gave myself many pep talks and I had to look at my consulting revenue chart every single month to prove to myself that my revenue was trending up. These trends showed me that I actually had a viable business and that I wasn’t blindly following a dream. Supportive friends and family are also key!
Where I am now
More than a year-and-a-half in, I’ve got 28 clients in 12 states and three countries. I’ve provided consulting on CRM, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), call center, and help desk software. I’ve written enterprise software manuals and marketing collateral, and I’ve managed a few big projects. And now, I’m starting to narrow my focus to the services I enjoy the most.
I’m starting to consider re-branding and doing some marketing campaigns. To date, I haven’t done any marketing besides partnering with a few software providers.
I also started working with a CPA to reduce my tax liability and I put myself on payroll (yikes!). Finally, I’m focusing on larger, longer-term projects and building a recurring revenue model.
My current areas of focus are intended to help my business grow and reduce the chance that I’ll burn out over time. Next year, I may be focused on completely different objectives. It’s critical to be able to pivot and scale as your business grows.
“A year from now you may wish you had started today” – Karen Lamb
If you’re eager to start your own business, just start with the steps outlined in the “How I got started” section. Take one step forward every day. You may be surprised where you’ll be a year from now. Good luck!
Any questions? Comments? Get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.
Interested in learning more? Take a look at these articles:
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