Amy Porterfield http://www.amyporterfield.com Social Media Strategy Consultant Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:30:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 #63: How Podcasting Can Complement and Grow Your Business with John Lee Dumas http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/63-how-podcasting-can-complement-and-grow-your-business-with-john-lee-dumas/ http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/63-how-podcasting-can-complement-and-grow-your-business-with-john-lee-dumas/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 18:45:10 +0000 http://www.amyporterfield.com/?p=9528 Last year, one of my most popular podcasts was an interview with John Lee Dumas. But I invited him back this week because I wanted to talk about podcasting again, in a whole new way. Today, I want to focus on about podcasting for somebody who already has a platform. Maybe you have a business with ... Click to Read More

The post #63: How Podcasting Can Complement and Grow Your Business with John Lee Dumas appeared first on Amy Porterfield.

]]>

Last year, one of my most popular podcasts was an interview with John Lee Dumas. But I invited him back this week because I wanted to talk about podcasting again, in a whole new way.

Today, I want to focus on about podcasting for somebody who already has a platform. Maybe you have a business with a blog. Maybe you have an online training program or course that you’re constantly perfecting and promoting from one year to the next. Maybe you are a coach or consultant.

Bottom line, you have something important to say. And maybe you’ve been thinking the podcast thing seems to be growing even bigger, and might be a good way to help your business get bigger, too.

Well, you’re right. It is.

podcast63

No question, podcasting requires a fair amount of work, especially to get it all set up. But it can also be a huge boost to your business’ visibility, to establishing your brand as a leader, and  ultimately to your sales.

John is a podcasting superhero. His show Entrepreneur on Fire is consistently ranked among iTunes’ top business podcasts—he even got a Best of iTunes recognition within his first year! More impressively, though, he puts out a new episode every day! (As in seven days a week—no weekends off for this guy.) This makes him the perfect person to explain why podcasting is worth it, how he gets it done, and how he manages to stay fired up about it every single week.

Why Should You Podcast?

As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for other avenues to grow our audience. That’s why we use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, that’s why we blog and send emails to our list. The podcasting sphere is just another way to reach more people—a lot more people. iTunes has 525 million active subscribers, and SoundCloud, Stitcher and Spotify are catching up fast.

Podcasters are an obsessive crowd—they are constantly looking for new content to listen to during their commute, while walking their dog, while they’re waiting at the airport…you name it!

That’s the great thing about podcasting—it doesn’t require you to say “no” to something else, the way a lot of content does. In our multi-tasking culture, it’s the perfect way to get your message heard and deliver free, valuable and consistent content to your audience.

What Kind of Work Is Involved?

The great news is that you really don’t have to create that much more work to keep a podcast going. You just repurpose content that you’re already creating for one outlet into another outlet.

To get started, simply go back to your best blog posts (or videos, or images, or even social media posts), the ones that got the best engagement, and turn them into a bullet point flow. Then switch on the microphone and talk your way through them. Beef it up by talking about what led you to create that piece of content. Talk some of the comments you received. Talk about what you liked best about it. Talk about how you feel toward that content now.

By doing this, you’re getting the attention of people who may never find you on Facebook, or who always mean to read your blog and just don’t make the time to do it. You’re getting them in the midst of their busy day, and becoming a familiar voice in their  lives.

button63-2

How Do You Get It Done?

First let me assure you that you don’t have to create a seven-day-a-week podcast for it to be a valuable tool in growing your business. But even recording once a week can feel daunting, especially when you’re just getting into the groove, or you get sidelined by a busy week and suddenly realize that you’re scheduled to post a new episode tomorrow.

The key to getting it done is batch processing. This approach is one that will save your sanity, if you stick to it. And it all depends on one big thing…

Scheduling

The key here, John says, is owning your schedule. He doesn’t ask guests what time works for them—he sends them his calendar and has them pick from the slots he has open. And then, each Tuesday from 9am-4pm, John has eight one-hour conversations with podcast guests. At the end of the day, he’s done with interviews for the week! (Plus an extra, just in case.)

It works the same even if you’re not doing interviews on your podcast. Schedule the time, block it out, and power through several recordings in a row. You’ll find yourself getting in a flow that makes each one better than the last.

Template

Having a pre-determined format is crucial when you’re just getting started podcasting. What you don’t want is a lot of awkward silences, information getting repeated, or rabbit trails because you just don’t know what to say.

You don’t need to write a full script—what you do need is some sort of structure to give your episodes consistency and help you find your voice. It will also help people understand who you are and what your podcast is about. (If it’s too free-flowy at first, people may stop listening because they don’t have a framework for understanding you.)

Over time, this structure will become second-nature to you, and your listeners will have a grasp on who you are and what you’re about. More and more, you’ll be able to just talk into the microphone.

Voice

It’s normal not to like the way your voice sounds on a recording.

But John says “Get over it.”

The thing is, consuming audio content makes people feel a personal connection in a way that other media just can’t reach. For one thing, listening is a very intimate act—even more than watching a video. For another thing, people bring podcasts with them into, let’s just say, very intimate parts of their lives. John says people have told him they listen to his show while they’re in the shower! It sounds crazy, but having someone’s voice with you all through the day, even when you don’t know what they look like, makes you feel a real connection to them.

So don’t be afraid of how you sound. Keep your focus on your content and the people out there that you’re trying to reach.

But Wait…There’s More!

John has some incredible free content for you. If you want to learn about how to find your ideal podcast topic, your ideal podcast listener, how to get your show noticed in the ever-growing podcast arena, and so much more, click here to get into his free podcasting workshop.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Podcaster’s Paradise

Free Podcast Course

LeadPages

EntrepreneurOnFire.com

SoundCloud

Stitcher Radio

Spotify

Podcast Details:

Click here to download the transcript.

Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

The post #63: How Podcasting Can Complement and Grow Your Business with John Lee Dumas appeared first on Amy Porterfield.

]]>
http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/63-how-podcasting-can-complement-and-grow-your-business-with-john-lee-dumas/feed/ 12
#62: How to Create a Project Plan for Your Next Promotion http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/62-project-plan/ http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/62-project-plan/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 20:38:25 +0000 http://www.amyporterfield.com/?p=9505 You know me–I teach what I know best. And what I know by now, more than anything, is that the key to making a sales plan work is having a proven, foolproof system.  So today, I’m going to walk you through my project management system, line by line. This is one I’ve spent hours mapping out with ... Click to Read More

The post #62: How to Create a Project Plan for Your Next Promotion appeared first on Amy Porterfield.

]]>

You know me–I teach what I know best. And what I know by now, more than anything, is that the key to making a sales plan work is having a proven, foolproof system. 

So today, I’m going to walk you through my project management system, line by line. This is one I’ve spent hours mapping out with my team. Some of it will be familiar to you, but it’s in the little details that you’ll find the most value–the tiny things that make your promotion polished, professional and, most importantly, effective.

Image for Podcast 62

Another great thing about putting together a promotion with this system is that it sets up your content to be “evergreen”–meaning you can use it over and over again to sell your product and build your business.

There’s a lot of content in this post and in the podcast. But don’t worry. I’ve put together a special checklist for you, so that you can put all this information into action right off the bat. No matter what kind of promotion you’re planning, this checklist has all the basic steps you need to make sure it launches successfully. Click here to download it instantly.

I divide all my promotional planning into three categories:

The Pre category is everything you do before the cart opens (i.e., your product becomes available for sale).

The Live category is everything you do when the cart is open.

The Post category is everything you do after the cart closes.

I’ve launched promotions in the past that I’ve had just a few weeks to pull together. As my business has grown, I’ve had more time to plan and prepare. But here’s the thing: it’s never enough time! Let me encourage you to always get started on this system earlier than you think. There will always be last-minute tasks that have you scrambling. That scramble will be a lot less stressful, the sooner you get started. (Right now, I’m already starting on this system for a promo set to launch in October!)

Category #1: Pre-Promotion

As you might guess, 80% of the work happens in the Pre phase. I’ve broken them down into smaller categories, starting with…

Admin

The cornerstone of Admin is making all your decisions in advance, getting organized and scheduled, so that when you “hit the red button” for your launch, you can enjoy (mostly) smooth sailing through your promotion.

  • Organization

The first thing we do might surprise you: we organize our Dropbox. We have a folder for everything…no file floats alone. But  I’ll admit to being a little crazy about this, but let me tell you—it saves you from going a lot crazier in the long run, wondering where those files are that you need to send to your designer so you can launch in two hours!

  • Confirm and Document All Promo Dates

Before getting started, I put each stage of the promotion down on the calendar. For example, in my recent Profit Lab promotion, I had to nail down when I’d start running various Facebook ads, when I’d release each promotional webinar, when the early bird pricing began and ended…all of those little pieces are determined before anything gets started.

  • Schedule Promotion Phases

I have different phases in each of my promos. Phase 1 includes offering free content that warms up my target audience by offering value before I promote anything for sale. Remember the Product Maximizer from a few weeks back? That was a pre-promo content piece, scheduled for Phase 1. Phase 2 included free webinars that ended with a product pitch. Phase 3 was when the cart opened, so it includes lots of timely bonuses and heavy ad running to people who have shown interest. And the final phases are all about “Take Action Now! Cart Closing Soon!”

These are my phases—you’ll have your own. But the point is scheduling them in advance, to save playing catch-up with yourself later.

  • Determine Price Points/Membership Levels, Hire Designer/Programmer/Copywriter

This is where you’re setting your ground rules for sales and assembling your team to make those sales happen!

  • Set Up All Campaigns in InfusionSoft

Decide in advance which emails you’re going to want to send, and queue them up for sending. You won’t have them all written yet, of course, because you don’t have all the links, downloads, maybe even some product language. But setting up the campaigns in advance will let know where there are holes you need to fill.

Content Creation

This is where I spend the most time…and the most worry…and the most creativity. I love this phase, even in its stressful moments, because it’s when I get to spend quality time with my product, making it perfect for my audience.

I always start this phase by creating a content grid–a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of each component of the content I’m creating. Here’s a snapshot of what mine looks like:

blog62

  • Program/Product Content Creation

This includes everything from creating the product name, brainstorming a logo, getting into all the nuts and bolts of the product. (For me, that means deciding on modules, creating outlines, determining what should be core content vs. bonuses.)

As part of this, I always include a “Stick Strategy”—a juicy bonus I send to people after they purchase, to keep them excited and engaged, and let them know they’re being taken care of.

  • Promo Content Creation

Same as above, except just for the promotion part. I use my free content—my blog, my podcast, social media posts, webinars and related giveaways—to offer valuable giveaways

  • Members’ Area

This is where people log in after they buy, and get all your product content. For the Profit Lab, I create a very specific outline for members to see how the course is going to run—I list all the modules, links for downloads, and bonuses they’ll get along the way. I also include a welcome video to let them know what I’m going to let them know.

Setting this up in advance is especially important so that you can test it before releasing it! There will always be bugs—the important thing is to catch them before your audience does.

  • Sales Page + Order Form Creation

As a team, we lay out the way we want these pages to look, write the sales copy (including testimonials), set up your countdown timer, and collect the images we need for it, and send it on over to the designer and the coder.

Again, you need to test it out! This includes double-checking the sales disclaimer, the privacy policy, the refund policy, all the little details that get overlooked in the stress of actual launch. Also, have someone do a test sale, to make sure that everything happens the way it’s supposed to when real customers show up.

  • Create Email Grid

This outlines every email we’re planning to send in InfusionSoft, and when we’re going to send it. Note the subject line, when they’re going to be sent, and who is going to receive it.

Wondering what kinds of emails you should send? Listen to the full podcast episode to get Amy’s detailed list of what to send and when. 

  • Customer Support

Determine the language around your refund and discount policies, automatic responses, and answers to FAQs that your customer support team can be ready with. This could also include a pre-recorded voicemail if you have a customer support phone line.

Determine Graphics

In the past, we’d be frantically creating images at the last minute. But in my last Profit Lab launch, I had a complete list of every graphic I’d need for anything related to the promotion–imagery for emails, social media, website, the works. As a result, I was able get it all designed in advance by one designer, so it was ready early and it all looked consistent.

I’ve included that list in the free downloadable checklist for this week–get it here!

button62

Ad Grid

Facebook ads, Google ads…we have them all mapped out in advance, with imagery, copy and dates for when to run them in each phase.

Social Media

Creating a posting schedule has really saved me a few headache! We determine ahead of time what we want to post on social media about the promotion, set it up in Edgar (my favorite queuing tool), and have one less thing to worry about when the launch goes live. (Just make sure to glance at your social media from time to time throughout the launch, to make sure that your links and images are showing up correctly.)

“Mastery” Level

I don’t always do this for promotions, but sometimes I include a special “VIP” membership tier that includes extra bells and whistles—a Facebook group, live Q&A calls, all that good stuff. If you’re doing different levels, make sure you list in advance all the extras you’ll be doing, including times/dates, setup you’ll need to do, and whatever material that you’ll be offering.

Waitlist Page

It’s important for your integrity to close the cart right when you said you were going to. Right after the cart closes, I redirect all the purchase links to the waitlist page. This is super important to set up in advance—believe me, you don’t want to be setting up your waitlist page in the minutes right after your cart closes!

Tracking Document

Daily sales, units sold, whatever you want to track, get this tracking document set up in advance and designate the person who will be tracking it. One thing you don’t during your launch is to be constantly adding up your numbers to see how you’re doing!

Get more of Amy’s insights on this step-by-step promotion plan. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Whew! The PRE phase is done…which means most of your work is done. The next two phases are really short and sweet.

Category #2: Live Promotion

Maintain the New Customers Area

As you start to sell, make sure everything’s working for your new customers, and that they’re having a smooth experience.

Price Change

If you did an Early Bird pricing, like I often do, you’re going to be increasing your price at some point while the cart is open. So you’re going to be switching out order forms and change your sales page in the midst of your launch.

Social Media Upkeep

Having this in your project plan is huge—you (or your team member) will know exactly when to change out any social media imagery from Pre phase to Live phase.

Category #3: Post Promotion

Shut Down Ads

Redirect Promo Pages to Your Waitlist

Remove Promotional Imagery from Website/Social Media

Celebrate! 

I’m always ready for a virtual champagne toast by the end of the process. I also send out thank-you notes to everyone who has helped: team members, affiliates, experts, etc.

Links mentioned in this episode:

LeadPages

Asana

Trello

SCRUM

Dropbox

Google Drive

Wishlist

SnapEngage

Ring Central

GoToWebinar

Edgar

Podcast Details:

Click here to download the transcript.

Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

The post #62: How to Create a Project Plan for Your Next Promotion appeared first on Amy Porterfield.

]]>
http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/62-project-plan/feed/ 28
#61: How to Use Visual Content to Drive Traffic, Shares and Sales with Donna Moritz http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/61-how-to-use-visual-content-to-drive-traffic-shares-and-sales-with-donna-moritz/ http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/61-how-to-use-visual-content-to-drive-traffic-shares-and-sales-with-donna-moritz/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 16:16:14 +0000 http://www.amyporterfield.com/?p=9457 As humans, we are hardwired to connect emotionally with visual content. Pictures in particular–we process them very quickly–faster than text, video, or audio. Pictures allow us to make a really quick decision about whether we are going to engage with something. It’s no secret that some of the most successful brands in the world owe their popularity to their ... Click to Read More

The post #61: How to Use Visual Content to Drive Traffic, Shares and Sales with Donna Moritz appeared first on Amy Porterfield.

]]>

As humans, we are hardwired to connect emotionally with visual content. Pictures in particular–we process them very quickly–faster than text, video, or audio. Pictures allow us to make a really quick decision about whether we are going to engage with something.

It’s no secret that some of the most successful brands in the world owe their popularity to their visual content strategy. Notice I said strategy–in other words, not just any visual content will do.

Fortunately, one of the world’s biggest experts in visual social media and content strategy is also a good friend of mine.

podcast61

You probably know Donna Moritz already as the power behind Socially Sorted, the award-winning blog about using visual content on social media. I know her as my #1 student from the very first Profit Lab course I ever launched. She’s also shown up on this site more than once–I interviewed her briefly a few weeks ago, and she created an amazing guest blog for me about Pinterest.

But today, Donna is here to school me–and you–in how to set up a visual content strategy that supports your sales and sends your message.

She’s also put together an amazing freebie for us–a three-part video series that walks you through the process of creating polished imagery. This is where you’ll learn how to use all the tools mentioned in this episode. Trust me–it’s a must-have.

button61

Before she became the renowned expert she is today, Donna learned all the ins and outs of visual content strategy through simple practice. After working in several different businesses–sometimes for others, sometimes for herself–she saw how visual content really created that initial resonance with a target audience that makes them want to learn more.

The main thing with your visual content is to “stop the scroll”–in other words, arrest your audience’s attention so that their finger pauses above their mouse or smartphone screen, and they take the time to engage with your message.

The more Donna learned, the more excited she got about the potential of various kinds of visual content. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer variety of visual content styles out there, don’t worry–Donna is here to break it into three basic levels.

1. Shareables

These are the really easy-to-create, easy-to-share individual images that would be on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Think funny photos, behind-the-scenes shots, images that incorporate quotes, tips or other short bits of text. They are really a good jumping-off point to lead into a longer message.

Here is a sample batch of quote images, observational humor, business tips, questions and motivational images ready to go (and all created on Canva and WordSwag).

These types of images are designed to increase reach and engagement.

Batched-Images

Shareable images get their strength from their simplicity. But that doesn’t mean you can only use them for short, simple concepts. By attaching an image with a call to action or link, you can increase shares (such as retweets on Twitter) and generate more visits to your blog or other “landing content.”

Also, remember that tweets with images get retweeted twice as often…so post images!

Screenshot 2015-06-03 23.57.33

Remember, on all platforms, it is important to keep a balance of your own helpful and entertaining content, and curated content from other pages or businesses. This earns you the right to post some promotional images with calls to action.

You can also work with your designer if you want to save time (and money) or can’t design the images yourself. Ask your designer to create a template which you can then add text to.  This way, you can create a series of quotes or tips using a great design, but reduce the cost and time involved in hiring a designer. One image becomes many!

Here’s a template Donna had designed:

Visual-Social-Media-Smackdown

Using this template, she can create multiple images using a tool like Canva or Picmonkey:

SMACKDOWN_Dont_remove_the_link

2. Step-by-Steps

Checklists, how-to images and tutorials are all great examples of “Step-by-Step” images. This format is deal for sharing procedures, systems or “secret sauces” with your community.

These images work particularly well on Pinterest and get shared a lot.

This kind of visual content doesn’t need to be fancy or even overly designed–they just need to be helpful and easy to use. Remember, people love shortcuts…so with these images, they’re probably going to look right past the bells and whistles of a great visual design to get to the content you’re offering!

Social media expert Andrea Vahl did a great series of simple checklists to help her readers on her blog.

Screenshot 2015-06-04 00.19.55

3. Showpieces

Showpieces are the pieces of content that require more investment of time and resources but are most likely to bring better return in terms of sharing and traffic. This includes infographics, slide decks and short video.

Here is an example of a slide deck that was produced to drive traffic back to a blog post and a webinar sign-up form:

Here is an infographic that was designed to drive traffic to a blog post for list building purposes.  This infographic is still shared regularly more than two years afterwards:

7 Superpowers of a Knockout Infographic

Donna recently posted a blog of her own about these three levels of visual content, with even more info about each one. It’s called “9 Ways to Take Your Visual Content Up a Level,” and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Don’t miss all of Donna Moritz’s tips on where and how these three levels of images work. Click here to listen to Episode #61 in full.

Get Creative

If you’re reading this and thinking it doesn’t apply to you because you’re not a “creative type,” think again! The amazing tools that are available out there right now–tools like PicMonkey, WordSwag and (my personal favorite) Canva–are set up so that anyone can create simple but stunning visual content. Don’t worry if you don’t have a “designer’s eye”–these tools have templates so that all you have to do is plug in your favorite background, choose a font you like, and voilà! Beautiful, polished, eye-catching imagery.

One important thing to note, however, is that size matters. Different platforms will have different optimum size requirements for your image. Donna has a blog post all about that, as well–just click here to find her 5 Social Media Size Hacks for Quick Visual Content.

There’s so much more to learn about visual content strategy in my interview with Donna, so make sure to listen to the whole episode. Also, click here to get the amazing freebie she designed for us–it’s a three-part video series where she walks you through the specifics of how to create images. It’s a must-have for anyone who’s ready to put their visual content strategy into action.

button61

Links mentioned in this episode include:

Donna Moritz – Socially Sorted

“9 Ways to Take Your Visual Content Up a Level”

Canva’s Design School 

Canva 

Picmonkey

WordSwag

Over 

Quick

Instagram 15-second video

Hyperlapse

Stop Motion App 

Videohance

Periscope

SlideShare

Piktochart 

Podcast Details:

Click here to download the transcript.

Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

The post #61: How to Use Visual Content to Drive Traffic, Shares and Sales with Donna Moritz appeared first on Amy Porterfield.

]]>
http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/06/61-how-to-use-visual-content-to-drive-traffic-shares-and-sales-with-donna-moritz/feed/ 32