AMY PORTERFIELD: “With an indirect post, whether you link to a freebie or not, you start out with something more casual, more fun, more inviting, more personal, not just like, ‘Hey, I've got a freebie. This is what it's about. Go get it.’ Because your audience on social media wants to connect with you and learn from you, they likely don't want to be sent directly to an opt–in page, with every single post you do or directly to a podcast episode or directly to anything that you're promoting. After a while, that can get annoying. So I love to do direct posts. I do them every week, but I love to do a sprinkle of indirect posts, both linking to something and not linking to something, throughout the week as well. I believe both are equally important.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small–but–mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step–by–step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.
All right, my friend, we are talking about organic traffic today, and more specifically, I'm going to give you some step–by–step strategies that are going to be simple to implement into your own business. But first, I want to take you behind the scenes, all the way back to my first date with Hobie.
Now, when Hobie and I met, some of you already know this, but Hobie's ex-wife, Tracy, introduced Hobie and I and encouraged us to go on a first date. And I know that sounds crazy. I've talked about it many times on different podcast episodes. But basically Tracy and I worked at Tony Robbins together, and so when she divorced Hobie about a year later, she said, “You've got to go out with my ex-husband. You two are perfect for each other,” and she set us up. Wild, right? Tracy now lives five minutes from us, and ever since then, we've been co–parenting sweet Cade, who just went to college this year.
But way back when, Cade was, I don't know, around four, maybe five when I first started dating Hobie. And our first date was a car ride up and down the beach here in Carlsbad, where we were in Hobie's big red truck, Cade was sleeping in his car seat in the back seat, and we couldn't stop the car because Cade would wake up. I was going on some kind of business trip with Tony Robbins, and so I was leaving for, like, a two–week period when Hobie and I just started talking on the phone. So he said, “Before you leave, I'd love to take you out on a date, but I've got my son tonight, so how about we just get in my truck and we drive up and down the coast and we just chat and get to know each other?”
So that was our first date. And let me tell you, it was a perfect first date. And so our first kiss was on our first date. Maybe I'm too fast; I don't know. But basically, Cade was in the back seat for our first date, and we always tease him about that, where he was literally there on our first kiss.
So that was my first date, but what I loved most about it is that we just made it work. Hobie didn't have a lot of time off at the time. He was newly divorced. He had his son in the back seat, but he just showed up, like himself. And he was charming and sweet, and he listened to what I had to say. I bet this was, like, a two–hour–if–not–more date, literally just driving up and down, up and down the coast in Carlsbad. So to me, it was perfect, but I was smitten with him the minute I met him.
But what the heck does this story have anything to do with organic traffic? Well, let me explain. You see, an excellent first date is kind of like attracting organic traffic. You want to show up authentically so that your audience can trust you. And if all goes well, you want them to come back for more. And if you show up time and time again and you build a relationship and hit things off, then, in time, you might want that person to commit to a long–term relationship, a.k.a. subscribe to your email list and eventually become a loyal customer. So you see the connection, right?
If you want to attract organic traffic, you've got to show up authentically. Show up like yourself, right from the get–go. Be real. Listen more than you talk, and really make the time for your audience. And then from there, show up consistently, build that relationship, add value, make your audience's lives better. And while I wish there was, there just isn't a magic bullet for growing your business with organic traffic. Instead, it all goes back to something I've been preaching for as long as I can remember: consistency. If you're not showing up consistently, at least in one place, the strategies we talk about today won't work.
I don't want this to discourage you. I say that to get you to commit to creating consistent content. I don't care if that's a blog or a podcast or a YouTube video or Facebook Live or Instagram Live. It doesn't matter. What matters is that every week you're building that credibility and dependability for new and loyal followers. Because it's one thing to podcast weekly and to create a lead magnet that's enticing to your ideal customer, but what if you're just starting out? Just because you're creating content consistently and you have an awesome freebie to put out there doesn't automatically mean your ideal customers are going to easily find you like that and magically jump onto your email list. I'm snapping for emphasis there. I wish the old saying “Build it and they will come” were true, but in the world of online marketing, you have to go out there and capture attention.
So commit to these three strategies I'm going to share with you. Commit to showing up and commit to growing your business. Deal? Let's dive in.
The first strategy is all about pitching yourself to other experts, publications, or established influencers in your area of expertise. And don't you worry. I'm going to give you an example of just how to go about pitching yourself, even if you're just starting out. Now, here are some ways you could pitch yourself as a guest. However, this is not an exhaustive list and varies for every industry, but it should give you an idea and get your creative juices flowing. Now, you could guest blog. You could be on someone else's podcast. You could join someone on their Instagram or Facebook Lives, or maybe you get featured in a media outlet.
But here's the deal. First step, you want to sit down and brainstorm all the possible businesses and experts that you could connect with. Depending on your niche, maybe you want a spot in parenting magazine or maybe Yoga Lifestyle. Or perhaps you're a social–media expert and you want to be interviewed by Jasmine Star on her podcast, or you're in the finance industry and you want to join Rachel Cruz for a Facebook Live. You get the point. I say dream big.
Now, to make this happen, we have to start with your pitch angle and how you'll position yourself. It's always important that you lead from a place of service and give a ton of value. Instead of making your pitch about yourself, make sure to make it about their audience in terms of what their audience wants and what will resonate with their audience the most. The good news? If you come from a place of service right from the get–go, you will stand out among all the other pitches that they are getting on a daily basis.
Now, in addition, you'll want to take your story or your expertise and make it specific to that publication or audience. So this is really important. Your pitch should be timely and relevant. That means do your research. Take at least a week to do a full immersion. I don't mean the entire week. Just take some time throughout the week to do a full immersion into their content and into their audience. Get to know them on an intimate level.
Here's how to pitch yourself, and just know I have a free resource with a pitch email template in the show notes. So go to amy.online/352.
Now, also, if you're nervous, just remember that if you never ask, it will never happen. The worst thing is that they could say no, and you're not going to die. You're just going to move on. No harm done.
That being said, there are a few things that you want to do before you pitch yourself, such as follow them on social media, engage with their content, and like I said, research and do a total immersion kind of thing just to figure out who they are, what they're all about, what their messaging is all about, and who their audience is. Now, once you've done that, you're ready to pitch.
Here's what to include when you reach out. For starters, do a little research. Yes, more research, but trust me, it's totally worth it. I want you to identify the point person so that you can email them directly and personalize your greeting. Trust me, friend, there is always a gatekeeper for big influencers. If you can warm them up a little bit by being friendly, conversational, and reach out directly to them, asking if they could get your information in front of the influencer, then you're making an instant connection.
One of the things that doesn't work in my world is people will just DM me, and say, “Hey, Amy. We want you on our podcast,” or “Hey, Amy. Can I come on your show? I could teach x, y, z.” We get thousands of DMS on the regular, and we cannot sift through requests like that. And so I don't believe a DM is the best way to reach out to an influencer. I might be biased there, and some influencers love it, and they've got a big team that can sift through all of those. I don't think it's the best way to go.
Now, next, give some info about your show or blog or expertise, depending on if you're trying to get them on your show or you want to get on their show. This helps to make you credible. If you've got specific stats, share them here.
Next, build rapport by relating to their content and highlight who they serve so that you show you've done your homework and you know this person and their audience well.
Next, offer a proposed topic. Make it unique, thoughtful, and relatable. For example, I'd be intrigued if someone reached out and said, “I heard you share about how you organize and execute a photo shoot on one of your Facebook Lives recently. Because I'm an expert photographer, I'd love to come on your show to share specific tips and tricks that your audience can use right away to enhance and get the best out of their photo shoot. These tips include…” and then I'd love to see them dive deeper into what they talk about. So if they can relate back to something I've already done and they could enhance or add value to that, I think that's always a really great thing.
Now, pay attention because this part's important. Be sure to let them know that you're flexible and you're more than willing to pivot the content to something that would fit their audience best. And of course, connect them with any social proof that you have so that they can get to know you and your business better.
Here's how you could make this appearance or collaboration into a list–building opportunity. So go the extra mile and create a lead magnet that will be relevant for their audience and that is aligned with the topic you're discussing. But always make sure it's okay to offer a lead magnet. So you could say something like this, “When you interview me, I have a special cheat sheet about x, y, z, and it will add value to our discussion by outlining our key points and giving your listeners their next steps to move forward. My goal is that our discussion will get people to take action and get results. Are you good with me, at the end of the interview, just mentioning where they can go to download the free cheat sheet?”
Now, this might be something you want to mention after they say yes to have you on their show. So, you know, we're kind of talking about maybe you getting a really great influencer on your show, which is always awesome, but we're kind of more, in this episode, focused on you getting on other people's platforms. I think both are equally awesome, but let's focus a little bit more on you getting on their platforms. So what I prefer is I do want somebody to ask me this question and never just spring it on me on an interview. I'd rather you keep the “Hey, I've got this great cheat sheet. Here's what it's about. Would you mind if I offered this?” I would ask that after you secure the interview.
Now, just for reference, we used to allow our speakers to send people to different cheat sheets and checklists, but it kind of became a little bit too much. And because my podcast is intended as an audience builder and list builder, we didn't want to compete with our guests’ lead magnets. So we actually don't allow that anymore on our show. But remember, I've been doing this for several, several years. I wouldn't have made that rule years ago. But because we're more established now, we do ask our guests not to pitch a lead magnet on the show. We will link to all their stuff in the show notes. They can give a shout out to their website or podcast or something like that on the show. But sometimes it gets away from me that the guest forgets or they'll offer something that I'm like, “Ooh, that wasn't intended, but I'll just roll with it.” But typically we do ask our guests not to do that. So I just want to put that out there so you kind of see behind my business.
Okay. So there's the strategy. Now, remember to head on over to the show notes, amy.online/352, to grab the template for a pitch email that you can use. And just note that we're trying out a shorter URL to make it easier for you to grab our free resources. So when you hear “amy.online/352,” that’s the special URL we're testing out to see if it actually is easier for you all to jump over to my notes and grab our freebies.
All right. The next organic traffic strategy is centered around your lead magnet. If you've created one, you want to use it everywhere that it will get some traction. Now, you might be saying, “But, Amy, if I mention it everywhere, people are going to start to tune it out.” Well, my friend, I'm so glad you brought this up, because I'll teach you how to directly and indirectly talk about your lead magnet so you keep people engaged no matter how much that lead magnet makes an appearance, because there is most definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about sharing your lead magnet.
So first things first. Sit down and make a list of all the places that it would make sense in your business to mention your lead magnet. Some examples from my list would include Instagram; Instagram Stories; Instagram Reels; Instagram News Feed; Facebook, on my business page; Facebook Live and Instagram Live; on my podcast; at the bottom of my email signature; and when I'm featured or a guest on somebody else's content, if they give me the okay.
Now, here is how you set yourself apart and make sure no matter how often you mention your lead magnet, it's never ignored. It's through a direct and indirect approach within your content and posts. Direct posts are 100 percent focused on driving traffic to your opt–in page. It's straightforward and completely obvious that you're promoting your freebie, because it leads your audience directly to an opt–in page.
So, for example, we offered a sneak peek of my program, Digital Course Academy, for our most recent launch. Here was one of the direct Facebook posts we wrote to drive traffic to that lead magnet, because a sneak peek is essentially a lead magnet during a launch. People give you their name and email; you give them module one to take a look. So here's what that posts look like. Remember, this is an example of a direct post. “Surprises are great, but I like having a hint or a sneak peek behind the scenes instead of being caught completely off guard. That's why when it comes to my signature program, Digital Course Academy, I don't want there to be any mystery around the quality of the material and step–by–step approach you'll find inside. The only real way for you to experience what DCA is like is for you to see for yourself. That's why until September 2nd, you can access all seven lessons inside of module one, completely free, no strings attached.” And then I linked to the lead magnet, which is where they sign up to get the sneak peek.
Also, if you create a few direct posts to the same lead magnet, you want to use different images and copy so that it's not always the same post. So with that, I just linked directly to the opt–in page and people could sign up.
So on the other hand, indirect posts are more subtle. They might start out with a story or a tip or insight. You can still promote your lead magnet after you add value, or you don't have to promote it at all and use this instead as an opportunity to nurture your audience and continue to build a relationship with them.
Here's an example of an indirect post that I posted with an image of my dog Scout and I. So here's what I said. “Just when I was about to record a new podcast, look who wants all of my attention. Do you think I resisted? Hardly. I'm a total pushover when it comes to Scout’s demands. Anyone else a total softy for their furriest friend?” And then, I went on to say, “And by the way, my latest podcast episode just went live. Here's a link to it,” and then I tell people what it's about.
So basically, this indirect post is, first, I'm kind of having a little fun with the image and the content or the copy. And then, “Hey, by the way, my latest episode just went out all about x, y, z. Here’s a link to go grab it.” So this would be considered an indirect post. Now, you can also do posts that don't link to anything. I could just talk about, “I was going to record a podcast episode. Here’s Scout wanting attention. Anyone else have this issue?” and then just leave it at that. That's also considered an indirect post.
But with an indirect post, whether you link to a freebie or not, you start out with something more casual, more fun, more inviting, more personal, not just like, “Hey, I've got a freebie. This is what it's about. Go get it.” Because your audience on social media wants to connect with you and learn from you, they likely don't want to be sent directly to an opt–in page, with every single post you do or directly to a podcast episode or directly to anything that you're promoting. After a while, that can get annoying. So I love to do direct posts. I do them every week, but I love to do a sprinkle of indirect posts, both linking to something and not linking to something, throughout the week as well. I believe both are equally important.
Now, with that in mind, use your direct list–building posts sparingly and focus more on the indirect posts that drive organic traffic to your brand and eventually help you grow your email list. So maybe for every direct post I do, I'll do three indirect.
Now, I've also included a few examples, including the ones I just shared, in the free resource for this episode. So go grab that resource at amy.online/352.
And now a quick word from our sponsor.
Here's the deal. Whether I'm launching or sharing a free resource or talking about my podcast, I want to make sure I'm getting my message in front of my perfect ideal customer. That means if I see a simple way to share what's going on in my business with my ideal customer, I am all about it, which is why I love marketing on LinkedIn. I love it almost as much as I love kombucha and Scout, but let's not get crazy. So using LinkedIn Ads guarantees that I connect with the right people at the right time. Why? Because there are sixty–two million decision makers on LinkedIn. That's a lot of people, my friend.
Now, I know what you're likely thinking. “Okay, Amy. How do I get in on this?” Well, right now, LinkedIn is offering my listeners a free $100 LinkedIn Ad credit to launch your very first campaign. So to grab your $100 credit, visit linkedin.com/amy. That’s linkedin.com/amy. Terms and conditions do apply.
And now let’s get back to the episode.
Now, the third and final strategy is especially important when you're just starting out. It's all about interacting with people who you would consider to be your ideal community online. So that would be in Facebook groups or forums that align with your area of expertise, ones where your ideal community would hang out. Initially, you'll have to do a little research to identify where your ideal customers or ideal community is hanging out and what groups they're active in, especially on Facebook. So, for example, if you're a dog or cat groomer who only uses natural clean products for grooming, you want to find a Facebook group or forum where pet owners hang out. Even more so, you'll want to find a few groups where pet owners are in favor of using all natural products.
For more information on how to identify which groups are a right fit and not a waste of time, check out episode 324, “Email-List Growth Strategies That Will Transform Your Business,” and I walk you through step by step how to do that. So just go to amyporterfield.com/324, and you can go check out that episode. I’ll link to it in the show notes as well.
So once you're clear on that, it's time to show up. That means you intentionally schedule time for each of those groups, and you look for questions, comments, and posts where you can show up as the expert and offer support and guidance. This strategy takes time. You're in it for the long haul if you're willing to do this, but I know many of you are willing to do the work in order to be here for the long haul.
So if you're multitasking, come back to me, because this part's important. When you do this strategy, you must, must, must show up with integrity and be helpful. Don't just drop your lead–magnet link in there and think that people will just sign up for it. Plus, the people who own those groups are going to be very annoyed by you. So spend some time cultivating trust and credibility, and show them that you are actually human and want to help them, and you're not just there for their email address.
Also, even if you get in there just a little bit to help, so you're not overbearing, like, trying to take over the group, paying attention to the questions they're asking and where they're struggling is such great fodder for your own content that you're creating. So there's a lot of benefits to get into other groups.
And remember, lasting relationships start before anybody even gets on your email list. How you show up on social media, in groups, speaks volumes and helps people to determine if they want to get on your email list. So, again, building a loyal relationship with your audience members begins before they get on your email list.
Here's how this would look. Search through the comments and the posts and the questions, and respond to any that you know you can establish yourself as a reliable expert, offer guidance, ask for their questions, or simply just start a conversation. Now, after you've established a little bit of a relationship, you can either offer your lead magnet in the comments of your conversation if that's allowed, or, and this is what I have seen work much better, get them into your direct messages when appropriate.
Now, I have a lot of groups, and my least favorite thing is to see someone continuing to tell people, “Get on my DMs,” or “I'll DM you. I’ll DM you,” like, the same person throughout all the conversations. But be selective on this, and when it's appropriate, DMing them to further the conversation is not a bad idea. Use that sparingly.
And one last thing on this strategy. With your posts, say on Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn, aim to use words and key words that your audience would say or relate to. So if you've done any validation or research calls, use your findings from those to craft your post, and use personal, relatable stories whenever you can.
All right, my entrepreneurial friend, there you have it, three strategies to start building organic traffic today. Let's take a quick recap. The first strategy is to pitch yourself to other experts, other influencers, or publications. Be sure to use the template provided in the free resource for this episode to copy and craft your communication. The second strategy is to use direct and indirect posts to drive traffic to your lead magnet and email list. To see more examples of those, check out the free resource as well, and, again, you’ll find that in the show notes at amy.online/352. And last but certainly not least, chummy up to potential audience members by hanging out with them online and eventually getting them over to your DMs so you can directly offer them your lead magnet.
I have a feeling you love this episode as much as I did. The reason why I'm jumping to that conclusion is that you all tell me you want step–by–step strategies. So there you have it.
Again, be sure to grab the free resource from this episode by heading over to the show notes.
Thanks for joining us today. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.