I hear a lot of whining and complaining from online marketers about the most recent Facebook changes. I do not understand what the big fuss is about. Yes, your organic reach has gone down, less than 10% of your Fans will see your updates and now they want you to pay for ads to reach more people. Tisk, Tisk!
It's a cold, cold world but if there is one thing that is constant with social media, is that it is always changing! So please relax, adapt your strategy or get left behind.
This post is not about Facebook; it is about why you should have an email list. Social networking platform change, you email list will prevent you from loosing your wig and turning into one of those whining online marketers I referenced early.
I also hear a lot of online marketers questioning their participation in social media. Well, think of it like this; consumers all over the world use social media every day, there is a good possibility that your target market is hanging out too. Why would you consciously go in the opposite direction of the people you are trying to attract? That does not make any sense to me.
Yes, you have to pay to play on Facebook but it is still a whole lot cheaper and it reaches a lot more people than traditional print and t.v. advertising. Dear angry entrepreneur, it is time to figure out how to attract your target audience or get left behind managing your expensive hobby. I said hobby because it will be hard to make money if you are running away from the consumers.
My whole career I have preached, establish an email list, take your customers off of social media. Yes, I know you think people do not read emails but there are many people that enjoy being subscribed to newsletters as long as the content provides value to their life. Just take your feelings out of the equation and figure out what you need to fix so that people are excited to open your emails. You are an entrepreneur, but you are also a consumer first. Do you open all of your emails? So stop the nonsense! Think about the emails that you do open ……..why do you open them?
Always test different methods and focus on the people that actually open your emails because they are the consumers that care about you and your brand. Also, this is a two way street they care about you so you should care about them.Your email list is your best friend through all the social media changes.Guess what? I have some great news. You own your list!
I’m assuming you are growing your list by offering a compelling offer attached to a lovely opt -in form. The consumers that take the time out to opt-in to your list want what you provide and are interested in you, for that moment at least. They want what you have! Maybe they are only interested in your free offer or maybe they truly plan to indulge in your content. That decision is not for you to make people subscribe and unsubscribe every day. But you can try your hardest to make joining your list worth their precious time. Your list is a direct reflection of what you are doing good or bad. Give your subscribers your best, It is your job to inspire your audience. Remember, you own your list!
Take this journey with me real quick. You have your great compelling giveaway offer; you get many new opt-ins, then slowly you start seeing a lot of those same opts in unsubscribe or your click through rates are low. Whose fault is that? Yours! You cannot blame anybody but yourself. Nobody else is sending out those boring uninspiring emails. You cannot control people we all work off of free will and maybe they were not a good fit for your business. If you constantly have a lot of people unsubscribing, you should adjust and try to figure out why people loose interest in your content.
There was no social media change that made them unsubscribe. There were no big corporations that made them unsubscribe, so you have full control of your list. If they don’t like you, find the people that do and if nobody likes you, cough, cough its gonna be a tough road my friend.
There are a lot of different scenarios but understand and truly believe deep down in your heart that you own and have full control over your list. When you understand that concept you will give the people what they want which in return will get you more opt-ins and fewer people unsubscribing from your list.
All the negative business owners that are not seeing results from their list say things like, “people hate emails, and nobody likes spam.”That is a half truth! Duh! Nobody, likes spam but guess what you should not send spammy emails and if you are offering great content and value people will genuinely be interested in what you have to say.
Believe it or not there are a few emails addresses from brands that I look forward to seeing in my inbox because I like what they have to say and the content adds value to my life. So don’t defeat yourself with negative thoughts “social media is always changing, nobody opens email anymore, insert negative comment here," how about you give people a reason to like you and stay on your email list.Stand out from the crowd, provide value, be entertaining give the people what they want!
Online marketers have known for a while that people rarely go to social media to buy directly. (With the exception of the fast growing Pinterest but that is a totally different blog post) So why put all your marketing eggs in one social media basket? Change your thought process and approach. Repeat this "social media is a great opportunity for my brand to form meaningful relationships with my audience and connect with like minded people.”
The main goal of any social network is to help people connect and engage with people that they are interested in. Marketers saw this beautiful opportunity and started throwing out crap content. They forgot or neglected the reasons why people use social media in the first place. So now it is time to get back to the basics.
Forming a relationship is an ongoing process but it definitely starts on social media then you slide in and get the consumers on your email list.Once you get consumers on your list it is solely up to you to keep them there.
How? I am glad you asked:
- Offer something of value, that can be your knowledge or services. Be sure that you don’t only offer your services or products mix it up offer reasons why your service or products can help.- Ask yourself these questions when creating your next newsletter:
- Whats new?- What has changed or doesn’t work anymore?- How can I help the people that open this email?You are in business because you provide a service or product that can help other people, so be creative and be entertaining.
Establish exclusivity by offering coupons, discounts and free training to the people on your list. Also make sure you brag about it on social media. Something to the effect of "Nananaboo boo you didn’t join my list so you missed the 40 percent off sale, but join here so you don’t miss the next one!” Maybe you can go without the nananabooboo part but you get my drift.
Talk to your list! Don’t hide behind your email address. Real people with real emotions, real opinions and thoughts open your emails. You knew that though. Ask for their opinion, thoughts, and concerns. People love to feel included in the process without the handwork attached. You want to catering to your audience is the goal. So, if they say dark blue why go with light blue? It was not that long ago when marketers did not have the option for direct feedback from their market. . Marketers had to go off market research or test fail then try again. So use your email list for everything it is worth.
Surprise! There are other people out there that think like you.A list will also open up a ton of other business opportunities like joint ventures, book deals or speaking engagements. Your list is proof that there is a percentage of people out there that are interested in your products or services. Use your list to your advantage. Sometimes online marketers get caught up in the hype and try to cater to everybody, please don’t take that approach. Having 1000 people that support your efforts, need your products or services and genuinely like you and your approach is way better than trying to appeal to everybody. That's exhausting anyways! Your not for everybody and everybody is not for you!Don’t pimp your list out.
They want to hear from you, but please don’t be a used car salesman we all dislike. "Buy, buy, buy only 5 left, hurry up click here!” Gosh, can you relax? People have lives to live also and don’t like being directly marketed to especially if they don’t even know you, know why they are on your list or what’s in it for them.
Yes, your list is the entrance into your sales funnel but if you only send out emails demanding money you will get you a bunch of unsubscribers and dirty looks even if they are not bold enough to unsubscribe.
I say all this to say, don’t get mad at social media. Social media is doing what it is good at, they change to stay innovative and social media wants people to connect with people that want to be connected. Your just hanging out, dropping your knowledge here and there, walking around the room saying hi and capitalizing on the reach that it allows.
Do you know how to give a Christmas or holiday party toast?
Like many people you will be spending time with friends, family, and co workers for the holiday season. Over the years I have witnessed terrible attempts at offering a toast. A toast is meant to motivate and inspire the guests. There are different approaches to offering an effective holiday toast. You can go the funny route or decide to deliver a heartfelt toast. It is totally up to you, the circumstances and your audience.
In this post I will reveal 5 things to do when giving a holiday toast:
Keep it simple silly! You may enjoy the spotlight or you maybe super nervous either way that can be a cue to ramble. You want to avoid giving a 15 minute toast people are at the holiday party to socialize, eat, and drink and believe me you don’t want to be the person preventing that. An effective toast should be no longer than 5 minutes and even that is pushing it.
You were selected to give the toast for a reason so you should explain early in your toast why. Explain your relationship to the person and the reason why they deserve a toast. Also keep in mind that it is not about you.
Tell a Story
People need to be entertained. Did you know our attention spans are shorter than a goldfish? According to Statistic Brain
a humans attention span in 2012 is 8 seconds and a goldfish is 9 seconds. You feel honored to give a toast and you should know enough about that person to formulate a theme and a quick story. Share whatever will tie into your toast and make the listers listen, follow and understand the reason for the toast.
No Inside Jokes
You probably know the person being toasted very well but, you should avoid referencing any inside jokes as part of your toast. You do not want to alienate the other guests because they won’t know what you are talking about.
Don’t stress too much it is only 3 - 5 minutes. If you mess up really bad remember after a few “special holiday eggnogs” it will be a thought in the wind. This time of year is about spending it with people that you love and creating memories.
Have you thought prepping for your holiday toast?
There has been a shift in the way consumers purchase products and interact with brands or businesses. The popularity of social networking took the marketing world by storm. Social networking is the reason why the marketing industry has changed.
If you are a public speaker believe it or not, that is a form of content marketing. Speaking is a type of content marketing that removes the middle man. The focus of content marketing is having the ability to communicate with your target audience and what better way than public speaking? With a live crowd you definitely have to be engaging, compelling, interesting, and offer some great value. Be your best voice for your business and get out there and start telling people what problems you solve.
Content Marketing is huge because:
- Consumers can see reviews, complaints, and suggestions all with a simple search or glance online
- Consumers do not hesitate to tell friends and family about good or bad service. Word of mouth advertisement has always been huge but with social networking, telling your immediate friends and family has turned into telling the world.
-There are also many other businesses that target the same audience as you. You just need to stand out, by showcasing your personality and what makes you and your business unique. You want people to like and trust you. If 3 people are selling the exact same chocolate bars, you have to figure out what different approach you bring to the table to win the consumers business.
You Can Repurpose your Public Speech
Speech to Graphics If you used a slide show during the original presentation you can turn that content into a PDF training or e-Book. You will have to edit it so that it can stand alone as a product without your speech backing it up. This can be a great opt - in giveaway. Check out Slideshare.net
Speech to Video I recommend video taping your entire presentation. That will be a way for you to critique your speech and develop a plan of things you can work on. You can also use the footage to make a highlight reel or you can break the presentation down into smaller pieces.
Speech to Text You can also transcribe your speech. You will not be able to use it word for word but it will be a great start to a blog post. You can also break your speech down into a series of blog updates with proper planning.
I personally think many successful businesses have been using the content marketing approach for many years before it actually became the “thing to do.” It is all about forming valuable relationships with the consumer. If you are trying to grow your business content marketing will help you get there.