I’m excited to be launching the first in my Q & A blog series, Ask Becs.
This is your opportunity to pick my brains on all things marketing! Each post will feature a different entrepreneur and I’ll answer their top 5 burning questions. If you want to take part, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week, I’m so happy to introduce Susanne Marie Wilson, a lifestyle coach expert, super passionate speaker, adventure traveler and positive force of energy! You can read all about Susanne’s budding new business below.
So, without further ado, let’s get cracking! Here is Susanne’s first question:
Great question Susanne. This can be a real conundrum as you know you need a website, but have heard so much about blogging. Firstly, let’s look at the difference between the two.
A blog is normally ordered chronologically, and can be updated daily, weekly or monthly with new words, images, and videos. It’s a great way to keep people engaged and coming back for more. It’s also a really important Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tool, which basically means if you are posting great content on your blog that gets lots of hits, and shares, Google is going to love you and put your website at the top of searches.
A website will consist of pages and tends to be more static. Normal pages you see would be Home (a general intro to your business), About (where you can tell your audience all about you), Work With Me (this acts as your online shop) and Contact.
These days, it’s very common to find the two have been combined. Businesses will have webpages on their blog, or a blog on their website. Most platforms such as WordPress, Weebly and Wix make it pretty easy for you to build a website with a blog attached, and this is what I would recommend to you. The main reasons are:
- It’s much easier for you to manage one site, and make sure all the pages are consistent with your brand
- If you keep the blog interesting and updated regularly, it will keep readers coming back to your site again and again. And the more they come back, the more likely they are to eventually make a sale. And if your blog is on your website, it’s all in one place, so it’s far easier for them to do so.
Hootsuite is a fantastic free resource to allow you to view your social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ & Linkedin all in one place. You can schedule posts which is an invaluable time saving device because you can plan your regular content in advance, then sit down at the beginning of each week and schedule in some posts so that you know you have something going out every day. Important things to remember are that your audiences will be slightly different on each, so don’t post exactly the same content. Whilst you CAN post on the same topic, adjust your wording & tone of voice accordingly. Twitter allows you to write a lot less than Facebook (only 140 characters) so you need to get your point across succinctly. Facebook is a great visual tool, and Linkedin is a lot more corporate. Remember you need to check in daily as well to answer any questions and interact with your followers. Simply scheduling posts at the beginning of the week then forgetting about them is not the best way to build fans & followers.
Buffer is also a fantastic app for scheduling your posts, and it has a handy analytics tab which allows you to easily see which of your posts have been performing best. Hootsuite does have this feature too, but it’s not quite so easy to view.
If you want to take it to the next level, then Meet Edgar is an amazing app to help you manage all your social media posts, and store them so that they can be used again in the future. It does, however, have a monthly charge.
I often get asked by entrepreneurs which platform they should be on, there are so many out there it can be difficult to choose. First and foremost, I would recommend you only choose one or two to start with which you are comfortable, and most importantly which you enjoy, using. Marketing via social media takes time and perseverance, and so you need to make sure you choose platforms where you will genuinely enjoy interacting with your followers. You should also think carefully about where your target audience ‘hang-out’.
Here is my overview of some of the top sites:
Twitter is great for interacting with other business owners, as well as keeping abreast of what is going on in your industry by following relevant publications and journalists. It’s also a great way to drive people to your website, where you can encourage them to sign-up to your mailing list.
Facebook business pages are a great way to promote your business visually and with top content. Facebook have changed their settings recently so it is much harder for your posts to get organic views, which just means you need to be a little more creative with your marketing. Interaction is key here, so you can run competitions and ask questions to get people interacting with your page. Facebook advertising can also be a very good list building tool, I have had some great results by posting highly targeted adverts with a fantastic image. Adverts can be a useful way to drive people to a newsletter opt-in page on your website, or encourage people to ‘like’ your page. You can target whose newsfeed your advert appears in by demographics such as age, geographical location, internet habits and interests, and Facebook allows you to drill down and really nail your niche. What’s more, you can also target people who ‘like’ complimentary pages to your own. If you want maximum interaction, you can start your own Facebook group, but be aware this will need work from you to keep the conversation flowing and to moderate discussions as it grows.
Pinterest & Instagram are both extremely visual platforms, for sharing great images, and potentially allow you to build a fantastic following. As a service provider, you would need to be creative about how you project your business. Interesting images coupled with motivational quotes are a popular way to start.
Linkedin is a much more corporate platform, more like an online CV. It also allows you to join groups and post conversations and interesting articles. It’s good for networking.
Google+ is still growing, and can take a little while to master. A bonus is that it connects to your YouTube channel, so if you decide to post YouTube clips you can easily link them to your Google+. You can also make use of Google Hangouts, an increasingly popular tool for webinars and online training.
My own strategy is to build my list for Write and Reach through targeted Facebook ads, and continue to build my Twitter and Google+ profiles. Later on this year, I plan to launch my very own Facebook group where I can have proper conversations with my tribe.
I would suggest Twitter & Facebook to start with, and then moving into one of the more visual platforms once you have built up some followers and also some great content. But as mentioned above, choose those which really chime with you, and remember it takes time to build a following. I truly believe if you really hate using one, don’t use it.
You can use my handy 2015 Content Planner Template to help you save oodles of time and manage the process.
There are so many fantastic programmes out there. If you want to concentrate on building your blog, I can highly recommend Jo Gifford, The Dextrous Diva. Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life has fantastic programmes to help your business lift off. The Female Entrepreneur Association from Carrie Green has a wealth of handy information and resources, and LKR Social Media run very detailed courses. I also can’t rave enough about Leonie Dawson’s Shining Life & Biz 2015 Workbook. I use it every year and it is a great way to map out your business plans for the coming year. Grab your copy here. And of course, check in regularly here at Write and Reach, where I will be posting lots of fab new resources over the coming weeks and months to help you market your.
I hope you found these answers useful Susanne!
About Susanne Marie Wilson
I’m Susanne Marie Wilson! I’m a Lifestyle Coach Expert, Super Passionate Speaker, Adventure Traveler and Positive Force of Energy. I work with successful, professional, overachievers who want a huge transformation in their lives. Together we’ll identify your values aligning them with your passion and purpose by facing your fears, making a plan and taking action! Together we’ll design a First Class Life for your career, relationships and body.
I offer 1:1 programs, group coaching and mastermind retreats. I also work as an inspirational speaker and in my speech, I share the 3 things that separate the people who love their career, are able to make a difference in the world and are living a life the rest of the world dreams about. You can find out more soon on Susanne’s website.