Author: Christina Giordano

3 Types of Value You Can Provide Right Now

3 Types of Value You Can Provide for Lead Generation & Customer Acquisition

Today I’m talking about the one key element of your marketing: value

Your success as a business owner is directly proportionate to the value you provide to the marketplace, so think about these questions: What value do your customers get as they consume your content? What will make them trust you? And then want to work with you? And then want to refer you? And then want to keep coming back for more? 

There’s a general consensus for how value works: The more value you provide, the more lives you touch, the more money you make. 

I’m going to provide info on 3 types of value you can try right now – lead magnets, content offerings with upsells, and brand awareness campaigns. 

Lead Magnets

The first type of value I want to share is a lead magnet (also called an opt-in). A lead magnet is a valuable, relevant freebie that you offer your website visitors in exchange for their contact information. I’m sure you’ve seen these before, and I’m guessing that you subscribed to a lot of lists because of an opt-in. 

The offer you provide can be a free PDF, an introductory call, a brief trial of your service, an audio lesson, a guided meditation, an educational webinar, or perhaps a video tutorial. 

It is essentially anything that you think will be valuable and relevant to your ideal customer. It’s a piece of important content that can be exchanged for contact information.

Here are some ideas: if you’re an acupuncturist, maybe you can share a neat infographic with 4-5 at-home acupressure techniques to relieve stress or specific pain points. If you have a blog, you’re most likely sought out for lifestyle advice so maybe you can create a resource guide for specific local products and services. If you bake cakes and other sweets, maybe you can share a top-secret recipe that is strictly for subscribers. If you’re in real estate, perhaps you can make a checklist of proven methods to selling your home in 30 days. 

Is there a way you can integrate a lead magnet right now? 

Content Offerings with Upsell

The second type of value I want to share is a free content offering with the opportunity to upsell. This means that you provide a free offering, and either during the offering or at the end of the offering, there is a call to action for the prospect to work with you in some way. If your income has been impacted by this pandemic, then this can be a great way of supplementing it. 

So what does this look like? A webinar is an easy way to implement this. You can also create a series of free videos, or use IGTV or Facebook Live to share information and make an offer. If you’re a hairstylist, perhaps you could share a few messy bun tutorials for our “stay-at-home” sassy ladies who want to add a little oomph to their sweats style. If you’re selling beauty products, perhaps in the shopping cart experience, you can offer up-sells as people check out. If you’re a fitness professional and have a digital program, maybe you can offer a mini version of it (or maybe even a sneak peak at a module) so that people can see the value of working with you AND feel inspired to purchase the full version. 

Is there a way you can create an offering with an up-sell attached to it?

Brand Awareness Campaigns

The third type of value I want to share is a brand awareness campaign, particularly for the purposes of audience growth. This is essentially a campaign that lasts a day or a few days, or even 10 days or a month. During the campaign, your prospects are receiving regular content from you, and the content isn’t just blog content or image content, it’s a specific campaign with a specific timeline and overall goal. 

So what would this look like for you? If you’re a tai chi instructor, maybe you do “14 Days of Tai Chi” and share a quick movement every day. Or, maybe you’re a health and wellness coach, so you could create a “10 Days of Healthy Living Eating Plan” and each day you share a recipe that utilizes unique ingredients based on whatever your prospect needs. Or maybe you’re a bodyworker or healer, and for a series of days you share stretch sequences, or relaxation methods, or guided meditations. 

Do you see how you can be super creative with this? Perhaps you have some time now to focus on this type of campaign? Is there a way you can create a campaign to grow your community and with you leading the way? 

Here’s what you need to remember though: we are in strange times. We have all been impacted by this pandemic, and unfortunately, there’s a bit of a collective mindset of lack right now. 

How can you alter your messaging right now?

Here’s the thing – you can sell right now, but you have to do it in a way that is relevant to what’s happening in the world. How can you alter your messaging to reflect more compassion and support, and how can that messaging truly make your customers feel like your product or program or service is incredibly valuable right now, even in a pandemic, perhaps especially in a pandemic. 

So, think of the opportunities you can put out into the world right now. It’s a perfect time to really unleash your creativity. What do your people need right now? How can you be seen as a leader right now? 

At the end of the day, think about this: If your prospect never buys from you, how can you provide such tremendous value that they’ll learn something new, or feel inspired to be a better person, or be empowered to become who they really want to become?

Need help? Book a 1:1 Session, and we’ll strategize your campaigns together.

Social Media Marketing – Algorithm Hacks

Today I’m going to be sharing some quick social media marketing algorithm hacks that I know are super timely and valuable to all of you business owners out there, especially considering the state of our economy and the effects of this pandemic. I’m going to talk about hacking the Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube algorithms. 

But first, before I start with any of these tips, there’s one thing I want you to remember when it comes to all of these forms of marketing…

It’s All About Value 

Your success as a business owner is directly proportionate to the value you provide to the marketplace, so what value can you give your audience? What will make them trust you? And then want to work with you? And then want to refer you? There’s a journey in the relationship building process of sales. First you build trust and credibility, then you build a working bond, and then you build advocacy. This is where the magic happens – when their network becomes your network and you build your business based on the strongest type of marketing – referrals. 

So what is your genius? What knowledge can you share? Think of the value that you can provide as we discuss marketing on these channels. 

Social Media Algorithm Hacks

Instagram

When it comes to marketing through Instagram, I want you to consider these 4 algorithm hacks.

  1. Be consistent. Post at minimum 1 time per week and maintain that.
  2. Integrate videos into your content. Videos bring 38% more engagement than images. 
  3. Start a conversation. End all of your posts with a question. 
  4. Geotag when possible. Geotagged posts average a 79% higher engagement rate than those without.

LinkedIn

When it comes to marketing through LinkedIn, I want you to optimize the title of your profile. The title section of your LinkedIn profile is the only searchable section of your profile. Meaning, if someone is looking for a Marketing Consultant, and type in Marketing Consultant, I will show up in search results. This is where you need to be more clear about what it is that you do.

Facebook

When it comes to marketing through Facebook, this is where things can get tricky. Facebook updated its algorithm in 2018 to become more community-oriented, meaning you will likely only see posts in your feeds from your immediate family and friends. So, for business pages like yours and mine, it’s wildly difficult for us to organically increase our business page followings and generate any type of visibility. However, there is some hope in something called Facebook groups. Not only can you show your expertise and your commitment to your community, but in the 2018 algorithm, groups gained more priority in visibility over business pages. 

Twitter

When it comes to marketing through Twitter, keep this mind: the number 1 category of verified accounts on Twitter is the media. It’s an opportunity to have real conversations with influencers, journalists, producers, editors and writers. You don’t need a publicist. 

YouTube

When it comes to marketing through YouTube, all you need to remember is it’s owned by Google. Need I say more? Therefore, it’s all about optimization. Keywords are key, so make sure you are using them within the first 10 seconds of your videos, within the first 100 words of your description, and in your titles. 

If You Need Help…

There you go, I just gave you the best algorithm hacks for Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If you need help with any of these strategies, or if you’re just feeling inspired and want to chat marketing, you know how to find me

Earth Day - 5 Sustainability Tips for Business Owners

5 Sustainability Tips for Business Owners this Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Today I’m sharing 5 tips as to how you can celebrate Earth Day by making your business more sustainable.

Business Sustainability Tips

  1. Reduce, reuse and recycle. When I hosted my workshops in the not-so-distant-past, I would print lots of fully branded workbooks and worksheets for my attendees so that could leave with beautiful materials and notes from class. Not anymore. Now I’m all about digitizing all of my workbooks and worksheets, and I encourage my students to bring their laptops to my workshops so that they can take notes and keep them all in one place on their computers. This leads me to my next tip…
  2. Go digital. You can store anything on the cloud these days. Instead of taking up physical space and dealing with file folders and organizers, keep it all on your computer! You can simultaneously save space in your home and reduce waste in the world. Proposals, contracts, invoices, tax forms all have digital counterparts. You’ll never lose anything if you know where to find it online. 
  3. Commute smarter. This is easier for someone like me who lives in the city – we really don’t need a car! But this refers to my business needs too. My one-to-one meetings can happen face-to-face but via Zoom. I don’t have to travel to work every day, so I will likely continue using video conferencing to maintain my one-to-one commitments to my clients. Luckily if I do have to commute anywhere, we do have access to public transportation, and I personally love to walk around outside.
  4. Use green-certified office products. Manufacturers of office supplies have introduced a variety of “green” products to the market, such as recycled paper, sustainably-harvested wood, natural ingredients, and more. Buying these products reduces the environmental impact of your business operations. You can take this a step further by buying from local or employee-owned companies to contribute to social sustainability as well.
  5. Consider working with like-minded companies. Nowadays it’s easy to find out what a business stands for. This about this as both a consumer AND a business owner. Work with companies that are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact or support communities that are important to you. 

There you go! I just gave you a bunch of ways to integrate sustainable tips to make your business more environmentally conscious. Take a moment today to give back to the earth in some way – it has given us everything we have. Happy Earth Day to you and yours!

Advice from Successful Self-Made Business Leaders

Starting your own business is no easy task. There are a variety of obstacles that small business owners face, including market competition, funding and other unforeseen circumstances. There are plenty of successful startup stories that show what’s possible with the right business plan, strategy, networking, demeanor and, of course, luck. It’s crucial to not let setbacks deter you from your ultimate goal — the self-made businesses that are bringing in billions all started on the ground floor and faced many obstacles along the way. Whether you’re expanding your business or just getting started, below is a visual that includes advice and tips that all startup and small business owners should hear, especially during difficult times (courtesy of Embroker).

COVID-19 Support - Free Business Offerings

COVID-19 Support: Free Business Offerings for You

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on small businesses.

As you are most certainly aware – we are in challenging times right now.

And I want to do what I can to be part of the solution.

Instead of dwelling on the unknowns, I want to proactively help my fellow business owners shift into optimism, creativity, resourcefulness, and above all, empowerment.

I feel so inspired and driven to serve my community, and so I’ve created 3 FREE business offerings that will take place over the next few weeks.

Free Business Offerings

  • I am currently launching a free “10 Days of Empowered Marketing Challenge” – you’ll get a new task, objective or question to tackle each day for the next 10 days, all in an effort to get into a better mindset, think outside the box, and also leverage the online marketplace. Check my Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn to jump in on the challenge posts!
  • On Friday, March 27 at 12:00pm CST, I’m launching a Marketing Mastermind Group and this is for so many of you that are entrepreneurs and practitioners and small business owners. We’re going to share marketing ideas & experiences, get feedback from each other, brainstorm, and just generally connect with one another. Yes, you will be in a group of random strangers, but we all have the same goals and at the end of the day we’re all in this together. To register: CLICK HERE.
  • UPDATE – on Monday, April 13 at 11:00am CST, I will be hosting a free webinar about growing and sustaining your business online. This is going to be hyper-focused on your messaging as well as the strategic ways to harness email, content and social media marketing. I’ll talk about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and even YouTube. To register: CLICK HERE.

If any of these free business offerings speak to you, I hope that you will participate in any or all of them. I’m feeling very inspired to serve right now and these offerings will hopefully help you pivot and grow and sustain your business during these challenging times.

Please also check out my blog for helpful resources and content!

The One Test to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

One Test to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

Now that you have your business ideas from the last blog post, it’s time to find out which one makes money! This can be the scariest part for some of us, because it means we have to connect with others, and potentially risk failure, judgement and rejection. 

But just remember – you can do this! There are millions of entrepreneurs out there that have taken their one-of-a-kind, unique path to running a business. 

However, this stage can bring with it some bumps in the road! I want to mention those quickly so that you can avoid them.

Avoid These to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

  1. DON’T spend all of your time and resources focusing on the things that do not matter right now. This includes a logo, tagline, fancy website, or whether your business should be an LLC or sole proprietorship. None of these details matter at this stage.
  2. DON’T get feedback on your idea from well-meaning family and friends who will probably tell you it’s a great idea anyway! General feedback from non-customers won’t put money in the bank.
  3. And most importantly, DO offer free or discounted products and services to actual customers so that you can get concrete feedback about what works and what doesn’t. This way you can improve and make what you sell amazing. 

Now, onto the test. This is called the Common Sense Test, and it consists of four simple questions. This test will help you evaluate your ideas and eliminate those that either won’t be as possible or simply don’t measure up. 

Here’s how it works. If you can’t answer yes to all four of the following questions, cross the idea off your list. 

The Common Sense Test

  1. Do I have the real-world experience, skills or abilities to provide this product or service, or am I willing to work really hard to get them?
  2. Am I will to focus a majority of my free time on this for at least the next six to twelve months?
  3. Is the idea aligned with my goals and values? 
  4. Is there a clearly defined, easy-to-reach market of people already spending money on this kind of product or service?

So which business idea of yours is viable and will be profitable? 

5 Ideas to Ignite a Purpose-Driven Business Strategy

5 Ideas to Ignite a Purpose-Driven Business Strategy

As you return to your daily routine and start your 2020 personal and professional goals, there’s no better time than now to get back in touch with the soul of your business, also considered, the purpose-driven aspects of your business. 

The soul of our business of course encompasses the heart and mind of the founder, but it also has a deeper meaning that extends beyond the survival, intention and purpose of an entrepreneur. It extends to the people, communities and planet, because all businesses can make an impact in a bigger way. 

Examples of Purpose-Driven Businesses

In today’s world, we have all seen examples of businesses responding and reacting to crises, natural disasters, and social issues in a way that shows them donating, giving back, and spreading awareness. Believe it or not, aren’t just touchy-feely; they are actually very smart and strategic.

These businesses have decided to consciously and intentionally make their business about more than just money. They use their businesses to create change for people, communities, and the planet. 

And why is this smart and strategic? Because 1) true and lasting fulfillment doesn’t come from what we get, it comes from what we give; 2) when your business is about something bigger than your own survival, you tap into an unlimited well of strength and creativity and passion to overcome whatever comes your way; and 3) when your business has strong values, you tend to attract clients and customers with strong values too. 

Ideas for a Purpose-Driven Business

So, how can you intentionally and strategically give back to issues and causes that you believe in? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Donate a portion of sales or profits to a non-profit, community, or cause you believe in. 
  2. Donate products or services to organizations or communities you believe in. 
  3. Choose to only work with vendors committed to ethical and sustainable practices.
  4. Commit to using recycled materials and keeping a light carbon footprint.
  5. Use your platform and voice to shine a light on social issues important to the betterment and wellbeing of all. 

The ways you can make a difference through your business are limitless. If the idea of being a purpose-driven business lights you up, then challenge yourself to imagine your business as a force of good and think about what that might look like. 

Now more than ever, you have the power to use your business not just for financial profits (which are awesome), but you can also create positive change for others around you – yourself, your family, your community, the environment, and even social issues that you believe in. 

Help with your Business Vision

Need more clarity with your business vision and deeper purpose? Click HERE to learn more about the first of my new monthly “Marketing Made Easy” workshops – launching Wednesday, January 22!

Marketing for 2020

Marketing for 2020: How will you Succeed this year?

How will your business thrive over the next decade? What marketing initiatives do you want to try? What do you want to achieve and learn? How do you want to evolve and grow? 

Now is the time to set your business up to really experience the success you have been working for. This means: getting clear about how you will position your offerings, thinking about your monthly content and email marketing initiatives, and putting relevant dates, deadlines, and tasks into your calendars. 

Here are a few key phrases to keep in mind as you review 2019 and prepare your marketing for 2020. 

The more lives you touch, the more money you make.

Your business success is directly proportionate to the value you provide the marketplace. What are the ways in which you can offer more “give” than “get” opportunities for your target market this year? How can you be of service? 

Start before you feel ready.

You may have new programs, journeys, or offerings that you’re trying to “perfect” before you launch them to your audience. But, don’t delay! What you have right now is enough to get going. Start gathering some testers that can help you tie up loose ends, generate case studies and testimonials, and recommend you to others. 

The key to success is consistency.

How would you behave if you were the best in the world at what you do? Now is the time to consider the good habits you want to integrate into your life and the not-so-good ones that you want to leave behind. Like it or not, being consistent is essential to creating any significant change in your life. 

Make 2020 the year of you. Need some help strategizing your marketing for 2020? Take advantage of my schedule-as-you-want consulting, and sign up for a 1-hour session, so that I can help you brainstorm, plan and prepare. 

CGC: 5 Reasons You Need a Content Calendar

5 Reasons You Need a Content Calendar (& Bonus: How to Create One)

According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers planned to produce more content this year than the previous year. With an increase like that, it’s more important now than ever to have a corresponding content calendar that allows you to plan and prepare accordingly. However, content calendars can track more than just your upcoming blogs. If used correctly, businesses can track every form of inbound marketing, from content queues to social media posts. Below are five reasons you need to start making content calendars, along with a series of brief instructions for how to do so.

  1. The main reason for a content calendar is to remember key dates. These dates can include holidays, events, launches, campaigns, blog releases, and more. Planning ahead for these key dates and being aware of them ensures that you don’t end up scrambling for content for those dates.
  2. Another, somewhat obvious, benefit to content calendars is their ability to keep your schedule organized. It’s a clear benefit, but you would be surprised as to how many brands fail to use them! Staying organized not only helps you remember important dates, but it keeps you updated on what you are publishing, when and where.
  3. While consistency in social media marketing is key to a digital marketing strategy, staying consistent internally is a large piece of this. Content calendars allow businesses to foster collaboration with their marketing teams and potential partners. It’s the single source of information for what’s being published and when.
  4. Rather than making last minute arrangements and coordinating campaigns on the fly, you are saving time, money and resources. With content calendars, you can plan ahead, assign duties and copy in advance, provide ample time for research, and never miss a deadline.
  5. Careful planning also leads to clearer results. As you generate and share content on a regular basis, you will regularly be able to see and monitor results. It will be easier for you to judge which content performs the best. You will notice patterns, and therefore, you will be able to consistently generate more successful content and give your audience what they want.

Bonus: How to Create a Content Calendar

Creating a content calendar is very easy. For my clients, I tell them to start with a simple calendar graphic, such as a template found in Microsoft Word. Then, think about your audience. What are some of their “frequently asked questions?” What do they search for and ask about constantly? Create blog titles around this, for either a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly publishing schedule. Then, search for upcoming daily and monthly holidays that are relevant to you and your business. If you are a massage therapist, Massage Therapy Awareness Week would be relevant to you, and so would regular holidays like Thanksgiving or the Summer Solstice. Incorporate these major events onto your calendar, and include launches, functions, campaigns, blog publish dates, or anything that marks a key date for you. Create social media posts around these events. Alter their character count, length, and imagery for the platform you are working with. And voila! You have a content calendar.

Debunking the Myth of Overnight Success

Guest Blog: Debunking the Myth of Overnight Success

Something I tell my clients all the time is this: there is no such thing as an overnight success! This month’s guest blog is from credit.com and it is all about just that. Building a successful business takes time, so you’ve got to be patient. This guest blog will help you find the inspiration to do that.

***

Both in the business world and in your personal life, anything that’s truly worth doing takes time, dedication, and hard work. It’s easy to glamorize success when people make it look easy — but it rarely is. If you believe in the concept of overnight success, you’re likely only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Behind every great CEO, inventor, and entrepreneur is a mountain of struggle, failure, and doubt. They likely took a long and winding road to get where they are today, and that road is where they learned, grew, and improved. So instead of wanting to fasttrack your way to success, remember to slow down and embrace the learning curve.

Need some inspiration? Check out the infographic below on eight famous leaders and how long it took them to become successful.

The following graphic is from credit.com.

overnight-success