Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

#524: How To Monetize Your Instagram (Without Changing Your Content Strategy) With Natasha Willis

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:#524: How To Monetize Your Instagram (Without Changing Your Content Strategy) With Natasha Willis

AMY PORTERFIELD: “What do you want? And I said, ‘And answer that question. Don’t just ask the question. Answer it.’ So I'm asking you right now, what do you want? When it comes to where you want to be featured or who you want to interview, what does your list look like? So do this exercise. It’s important. Now, if you're feeling butterflies in your stomach just thinking about reaching out to these people, remember this: if you don't ask, it will never happen.” 

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the 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 a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Well, hey, there. Amy, here. Before we dive into the show today, we have some exciting news. As of this month, Online Marketing Made Easy is officially part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. Something we love about the HubSpot Podcast Network is all of the inspiring shows that are dedicated to helping professionals learn and grow, especially online entrepreneurs. If you love our show and want to check out other shows like us, we definitely recommend checking out the Goal Digger Podcast and My First Million. Check out all of these shows and more at hubspot.com/podcastnetwork. 

Well, hello, there. Welcome to some of my new listeners. I'm so glad you're here. And welcome to my loyal listeners that have been listening for years and years. I so appreciate all of you so much, and I'm really glad that you're here. 

And I wanted to check in. How are you doing? So, at the time of this recording, we are quickly approaching the new year, which is always exciting. I love a good goal-setting session and a fresh start. I'm all about the new year, and I'm looking forward to it. And also, I have some big changes that are happening in my business, and some can be challenging and some are exciting.  

Like, let me tell you something that's very exciting. I landed a dream podcast interview with Joanne Lee Molinaro. Do you know who that is? The Korean Vegan? Listen, if you're on TikTok, you know the Korean Vegan. She's got this incredible story of how she's built her platform, and I'm not even going to share it with you if you don't know yet. You're going to love this episode that's coming up. So that's some exciting news. I couldn't wait to share it, so there you have it. It's coming up in the future.  

But here's the thing. Landing a big interview like the one with Joanne is one of the strategies we're going to talk about in today's episode, and so we'll get there in just a minute. We're also going to be talking about some of my favorite attraction strategies for boosting your organic reach. Organic, meaning no paid ads. No paid anything. Yes, please. We'll take free when we can, right? So I'm going to walk you through some SEO, search-engine optimization, strategies that have worked super well for me over the years. And then we’re also going to dive into how to land big interviews, whether you interview someone big, like an influencer you admire, or whether you're pitching to go on someone else's podcast or on their publication, whatever that means for you. So we're going to get into all of that. I'm going to give you exact action items because you know me, step by step by step, that's my style. So it's going to be fantastic.  

What I love about these strategies is that they are all timeless. They work wonders for newbie entrepreneurs and seasoned entrepreneurs as well. So basically, if you're an entrepreneur, you're in the right place for this episode, so be sure to take notes. And then at the end of this episode, I'm giving you your marching orders, so stick around so you can make a plan and put what you've learned in this episode into action. 

And really quick, before we dive in, have you shared Online Marketing Made Easy with anyone else yet? You know, like, your friends who are running a business and need a little extra support? I would be so grateful if you would take the time, grab the link to this episode, text it to one of your friends, and just tell them, “This might help you, so take a listen.” 

Okay. So let's go ahead and dive in. Let's kick this off with the juicy stuff, the juicy stuff that maybe isn't so sexy but definitely works, and that is SEO. And while it may seem like another language right away, I can promise you that if you keep working at it, it will pay off. The point of SEO is to get more traffic to your website or blog. The more click-throughs to your site, the higher your site will appear in search queries such as Google searches.  

So specifically, I want to share a couple of SEO strategies that are great for anyone just starting out but also great for anyone who has an established business or anyone in between. So first up, let's talk about my top tips for creating keyword-rich content and why it's so important. So when you use the right words over and over and over, this will support your page in climbing the ranks and landing up higher on search engines. So what does that mean? It means that you'll want to begin by spending some time figuring out what keywords you should be using in your content. Trust me, if you don't, you might be getting traffic, but it may not be traffic that will turn into customers, so the wrong kind of traffic. If your ears just perked up and you're wondering how to find the right words, keep listening. My favorite way is to use keyword-rich tools like ubersuggest.com or keywordseverywhere.com. I’ll link to those in the show notes.  

So let's break these down. This is how we use these. You'll start by typing in a keyword that you'd like to be ranked for, and your results will show you related words, competition, and the monthly search volume of each of these words, plus the cost per click. Here's what you're ideally looking for within those categories. A high cost per click, CPC. This indicates keyword value and is essentially proof that visitors are converting to customers on other sites that are using this word. You're also going to look for low competition. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but the more players in the game, the harder it is to get some attention. Less competition means it'll be easier to rank higher in that area. And then lastly, you’re going to pay attention to high-search volume, which essentially means that there's a ton of traffic looking for that specific keyword.  

What I'll say is that you're not always going to find the perfect ideal combo of this data, but do the best that you can. Don't totally disregard using a keyword just because there's more competition. What I want you to do is take the time to do the research, as I've outlined above, and hone in on ten to twenty keywords to focus on in the beginning, and then just build from there.  

Now, you want to use these keywords when you can in your weekly content on your website. So if you're thinking, “But Amy, I have a podcast,” or “Amy, I have a video show,” no worries. I've talked about this before, but make sure you're transcribing or writing show notes about your podcast episode or your video so you can use keywords there. Also, I want to remind you that established websites or blogs, ones that have been around for a while, will be ranked higher in search engines like Google. So if you're just starting out, your brand-new website is not typically going to be ranked high in search. However, it can in the future. So that's what I mean when I say doing the work up front will eventually pay off. You’ve got to play that long game. So ranking on the first or second page of Google can take one to two years. SEO takes time. So keep creating captivating and relevant content, and be patient.  

Now, when I think about the fact that I've been in this game for thirteen years, I wish I did this stuff in my first few years because then I'd really be benefiting from it now. So I’m telling you right now, time flies. Get started now. Before you know it, you’re two years in and so very happy you did this work. 

Okay. So, I mentioned Google earlier. And speaking of Google, let's chat about building content that this search engine loves. So you do this by creating content that is engaging for the viewer. Now, you might be wondering, how can Google tell if I have an engaged viewer on my website? It all comes down to how much time a viewer hangs out on your website or page scrolling, clicking, listening to any audio, and looking at images. So with that, you are ready to make your content more Google friendly. And let's be honest, I think we all are.  

So here are some of my favorite strategies. One, write content in conversational tones. That means using words like you and I. Google can track if you're doing this or not. After all, Google is all-knowing, right? Kind of scary, but true. So whenever you're creating any written content, write it like you're having a conversation with a friend.  

Number two, all that keyword work that you're going to do, well, you're going to use it in your content. However, there's a caveat here. Don't overuse your keywords. Google doesn't like that, and honestly, neither will your reader. So don't overuse those keywords.  

Number three, break up your content by using subheadings. So this happens when you format your content. So you'll adjust the header to a different size, maybe a little bit smaller, and this makes your content easier for people to skim and to read.  

So, for example, if you go to my show notes, you'll see that at the top I have a larger heading. If you scroll down, I have another one that's a little bit smaller. Like, here’s a glance at this episode. And then I have another one at the bottom to prompt my reader to rate, review, and follow my podcast.  

Okay. And then, number four, lastly, use images. Not only does this break up your content, but it makes it more esthetically pleasing and keeps readers on your page longer. And that's what we're after, right? Also, the easier you make it to share your stellar content on your website and other social channels, the more likely people are to share it. So the more sharing, the more organic traffic you'll get, and Google pays attention to this type of activity.  

So, here are two simple strategies that you can implement today to make your content more shareable. Start by adding social-sharing buttons on your site. Now, this one might be a given. You might be like, “Uh, Amy, I did that five years ago,” but stay with me here just in case some of you haven't done this yet. There are lots of great, free social-sharing plugin options out there. Search “free social-sharing plugins” for the most up-to-date recommendations. This step will only take you ten to twenty minutes to implement, so take the time to do it. It will be worth it.  

The other way is by good old word of mouth. Encourage your website viewers and social-channel followers to share your content every chance you get. Even with great content, sometimes we have to ask and tell our audience exactly what to do. You guys hear me say it every single week. I'll say, “Hey, if you love this episode, will you grab the link and text it to a friend and share it with them?” Now, I know that's just one person sharing it here, one person sharing there, but over time, it really adds up. It feels a little bit more grassroots, but it also feels really natural. Like, I have sent podcast episodes to friends. I've been doing that for years. I love it when I listen to a great episode, I'm like, “Oh, you got to listen to this one.” So asking people to do so will increase your chances. 

Around this time of year, we start thinking about what matters most, and I ask this for my business as well. What truly matters? I often think about the impact I have on my community and my customers. If you find yourself feeling the same way, you also might find yourself asking how you can help strengthen those relationships between your customers and your community. With a suite of new purpose-built tools, a HubSpot CRM platform can help you build, maintain, and grow your customer relationships like never before. Custom surveys easily captures feedback unique to your business, shares insights with your teams, and helps you grow your understanding of how your customers really feel, meaning healthy conversations about what matters and less about what doesn't. And payment tools, like native payment links and recurring payments that directly embed in HubSpot's tools and emails, means seamless delivery and easy payment collection. Learn more about how a HubSpot CRM platform can help you build, maintain, and grow your customer relationships at hubspot.com.  

Okay. So, next, let's talk about landing big interviews and features. And when I say big interviews or features, that can be anything from being on someone's podcast or pitching yourself as a guest on theirs, or writing an article for a big publication or you pitching them to do an article on something amazing that you have going on, or maybe it's an interview on your YouTube channel or vice versa. So, there’s so many options here. The list goes on and on. And there’s no shortage of opportunities to get in front of other people’s audiences.  

So I know it can be so tempting to want to go after a ton of opportunities. But let’s keep it simple, especially if you're just starting out. So my challenge for you is to take your time and really put effort into landing only a few media opportunities at a time. Start by thinking about two or three where you really would love to get featured, and then focus only on those for now. Deal? Go ahead, and if you're not driving, write down a couple that come to mind, or throw them in the Notes app of your phone. Like, either who are some people that you'd love to interview, or where do you want to be featured or interviewed? Write it down right now.  

I did a podcast not long ago. I think that it has already come out. But I kept asking the question, what do you want? What do you want? And I said, “And answer that question. Don’t just ask the question. Answer it.” So I'm asking you right now, what do you want? When it comes to where you want to be featured or who you want to interview, what does your list look like? So do this exercise. It’s important. Now, if you're feeling butterflies in your stomach just thinking about reaching out to these people, remember this: if you don't ask, it will never happen. You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to shoot your shot, right?  

And I know it can be scary, maybe even awkward at times. But what's the worst that can happen? They say no. Did you die? No, you're not going to die. That’s the worst that can happen. And by someone saying no, you ain't going to die, right?  

So we're just going to put ourselves out there. We have to. As someone who's building a business, you have to get more comfortable, at least you have to be willing—maybe it will never be comfortable—be willing to put yourself out there. A no won't kill you. If anything, it can make you stronger. So go out there, make those big asks, and keep moving forward no matter what. And when you get a no, all I want you to say to yourself is, “All right. Next. Moving on. That's all.” 

So, here's how you go about landing those big guest opportunities. Let's say that you want to reach out to an influencer about being on your podcast, and maybe you take it one step further and pitch doing a podcast swap. I love that idea, by the way, and I use it in my business all the time. So before you do anything, dive deep into their content, follow all their social channels, subscribe to their email list, engage in their content. But a note on that, be genuine about it. Engage with insightful, thoughtful comments. Maybe share their content here or there. Don't go overboard, but be real with it. And get to know their content and their audience. Try doing a full-week immersion. Read anything they post for a week. Read their website pages, any books they have. You get the picture. This is important because when you sit down to write the pitch email, the request will flow out of you. It will be so easy to talk about their content and influence and why you think they'd be a great fit for your show, or why you'd be a great fit for whatever future opportunity they might have. 

Now, once you’ve done that, you’re going to work on a pitch email. Take the time to research the right point person. Sometimes you have to do a little digging, and you'll find something. Other times, you'll dig and still be in the dark. No worries. You can still reach out via their website.  

So, next up, use a personal introduction. This is so important. Don't be formal. Show your personality and be friendly. If you can warm up the gatekeeper to whoever you're trying to get to, it will go a long way. So right away, you'll want to give a little info about your show or blog or why the influencer is the perfect fit, whatever is appropriate here. And talk about what makes you special, and if you've got stats that are impressive, use them. So you want to really put your best foot forward here. It's okay to brag a little in this email, where appropriate. And another important piece is to talk about who your audience is to show that your ideal community would be valuable to them as well. See if you can make a connection between your show's message, your audience, and the influencer’s expertise and content.  

So let me give you an example. I actually was able to get in touch with Joanne, the Korean Vegan, because I got an email intro from a friend. So hey, if you can do it that way, if you know your friend is connected with the person you would like to get in touch with, ask them for an intro. Like, that's a fast-track way. The way I'm teaching you is how I've done it for years and years, but I happen to have a connection. Shout out to Jonathan Fields. Thank you so very much for introducing me to Joanne. So he did this intro, but then I needed to follow it up and sell myself to see if she would say yes to come on my podcast.  

And what I said was, “Although it might seem a bit strange that a host of a marketing podcast would be inviting Joanne on to the show, I can assure you that it's a perfect fit.” I went on by saying, “We are a top-rated podcast that focuses on entrepreneurial growth, making pivots, examining mindset shifts for success, and everything in between. We obsess over stories around making big career changes, taking leaps of faith, and, also, we value storytelling, all areas that I believe Joanne has taken on beautifully.” So I spoke from my heart, and I shared with her a little bit, and I pointed out the elephant in the room. Like, “I know we're a marketing podcast, and she just wrote a cookbook. But at the same time, let me tell you why I think it's a good fit.” So speaking from your heart and addressing something that they might think of when they're reading your emails is really important.  

And then, lastly, be very clear on what the next steps are. What do you want the point person to do next? Now, in my case, I was talking to Joanne's publicist, so I just said something like, “Just let me know if she would be interested in being on my show. We could choose a date and a time that works best for her,” and then I just ended it. So I kept it really simple. So just make sure you have a call to action at the end.  

Now, before we get into the action items, I wanted to let you know that these strategies that I've been talking about, they’re also strategies that I use to teach my students how to grow their email list. So when I'm teaching my students how to grow their email list, I get into SEO. I get into being featured on somebody’s podcast or interviewing a big name to drive a lot of traffic to your podcast, where, then, you could do list-building opportunities. So I just gave you a sneak peek of how to grow your email list, just as much as how to use organic strategies to increase your reach, which is what this podcast is all about.  

So because these strategies work really well for list building, I wanted to let you know that I have a free masterclass. It's called Why Growing Your Email List Feels So Dang Hard and What to Do Instead. And if you want to sign up for it, go to amyporterfield.com/listbuilding. You can grab your seat. It’s totally free. And let's just make 2022 the year that you finally start growing your email list, and you don't worry about it anymore, so you can go on to the big, amazing, exciting things that you want to do in your business. So again, amyporterfield.com/listbuilding.  

All right. Are you ready for your action items? First of all, I want to say that I gave you a lot of strategies. You do not need to do them all. In fact, you know my motto, keep it simple; get fancy later. Keeping it simple means choosing maybe one or two strategies that I've shared in this episode and just focus on those. Do them consistently, get good at them, and then when you're ready, just add on another.  

Okay. So, go ahead and declare what strategies you're going to implement. I want you to take action towards your first one starting within the week. So write it down; put it in your schedule; get to work.  

Like, for example, maybe you decide to add a social-sharing plugin to your website because you're like, “Amy, you said that most people have done that. I haven't.” Go do it. I love that. Or maybe you want to finally take that leap and get out of your comfort zone and ask that one specific person to be on your podcast. And so you're like, “All right, I'm going to do it. I'm going to draft the email. I'm going to start to engage with them more on social. I'm going to get to know their audience. I'm going to make it happen.” So whatever it is, choose at least one or two things, and let's get to work.  

What's important is that whatever you do, you stick with it. You meet it till the very end. You make sure that you really implement what you say you're going to do. And especially, when it comes to SEO, that's something that's going to take you some time. It's a slow strategy. But dang, I wish I did it sooner because it really pays off.  

So if you love today's episode, please share it with a friend. All you have to do is go to the platform that you're listening on, click the share button or the icon, and just send it to a friend. I so appreciate you taking the time to do so.  

Thanks for joining me. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.