Category: Business

SEO 101: Basics + Best Practices

SEO 101: Basics + 3 Best Practices

This blog is a beginner level review on what SEO is and what it can do for you, along with 3 best practices (both beginner and advanced) that you can integrate into your strategy.

3 Components to SEO

  • On-page SEO refers to the content that’s “on the page,” and how to optimize that content to help boost the website’s ranking for specific keywords.
  • Off-page SEO refers to the links that are directed to the website from elsewhere on the internet. The number of “backlinks,” and the authority of the publishers carrying those links, help you build trust in the eyes of a search engine. 
  • Technical SEO refers to the technical aspects of a website and improving them in order to increase the ranking of its pages, so actions such as making it faster, easier to crawl, and understandable by search engines.

While there is no “secret sauce” to ranking in search results, I’m going to talk about a few best practices that you can implement regularly. Outside of these recommendations, you should stay current on SEO news and best practices through continuing education and monitoring trends.

SEO Basics 

SEO is not a one-time job. Whether you’re creating a brand new site or updating a current one, you’ll want to make sure your site has a strong foundation through technical SEO. You’ll also want to review your processes as you create new content and update old info through on-site and off-site SEO. And finally, you’ll want to measure and track your efforts on a consistent basis to ensure that your SEO practices are in fact helping you. 

So, what is SEO? I’ll explain it to you this way: when you have a question, I’m guessing you go to Google to find the answer. Well, your potential clients do the exact same thing! Everyone has questions and problems they want solved, and they use search engines to find the answers. SEO is the practice of growing your site’s visibility in the organic search engine results so that when someone types in a query that is relevant to your work, you’ll show up in search results. 

How do search engines work? Search engines, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo, send out robots, also known as spiders, to crawl websites for content. The search engines then store and build an index, or library, out of this info. When someone enters a query into a search box, the search engines use complex proprietary algorithms to display results pulled from their databases. The ranking of these results is affected by the content’s relevance and popularity. Now, the algorithms for search engines change all the time, and I would highly recommend staying up to date on these changes by subscribing to their news and updates.

3 Best Practices for SEO

  1. A common on-site SEO strategy is blogging. Content marketing through blogging can be an incredible way to rank for keywords and engage your website’s users. Every blog post is a new web page that gives you another chance to rank in search engines. 
  2. A common off-site SEO strategy is reviews. Within your Google My Business pages, it’s important that you allow your customers to write reviews based on their experience with you. Think of ways you can be creative in asking people to submit a Google review onto your Google Business page. 
  3. Another common off-site SEO strategy is back-linking. Search engines calculate rankings based on a bunch of factors, and one of the most important ways is back-linking. A backlink is a link that one website gets from another. The quality of the link is far more important than the quantity. An example of a backlink is this: One blogger writes about you or your services (or classes), and then links to your website within their content. The more authority the website has, the more it helps your website to increase its own ranking. 

There you go – a quick review of SEO and 3 best practices you can integrate into your SEO strategy. Hopefully these tactics help you get started with SEO so that you can leverage search engines effectively.

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings:

3 Growth Hacks You Need to Try

3 Growth Hacks You Need to Try

The following is a guest blog from Taktical Digital.

Every company is looking for new ways to grow and differentiate themselves from other brands in their niche. While it’s easy to find articles and blog posts that claim to provide reliable strategies for growth, many of these pieces end up repeating the same generic advice.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best ways to adjust your growth mindset and make large-scale changes that affect every area of your business. Some quick tips can obviously help you make minor adjustments, but it’s critical to look at the big picture if you’re serious about sustainable growth. Don’t forget to check out our free resource guide for more information.

Think in Terms of Data

Effective marketing requires human input, but it’s important to recognize the role of information in developing and fine-tuning campaigns. Data provides concrete, actionable insights into your brand’s marketing performance, helping you identify weak points and make the necessary changes.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that data-driven strategies lead to a variety of opportunities that simply wouldn’t be available without first gathering information from customers. For example, you can use data to identify customer pain points or compare performance across multiple channels. Improving your data collection practices is the first step toward optimizing your marketing strategies.

Leverage Automation

Social media marketing used to be a relatively niche field, but a strong social media presence is now critical for brands in virtually all areas. Fortunately, contemporary automation software makes it easy to streamline your campaigns on social media and other channels.

For example, marketing automation tools allow users to schedule social media posts and set up comparisons between different variants. In general, automation streamlines a wide range of simple tasks, giving your team the opportunity to spend more time on other areas of your business.

Run Contests

Social media contests are one of the most effective ways to engage your customers, allowing you to reach a large audience for the cost of a few prizes. The best contests involve a prize that’s directly related to the core values of the brand.

A bike company, for example, might give away a free bike rather than simply offering an Amazon gift card or another generic gift. Keeping the contest relevant to your brand helps you connect with people who are more likely to be interested in your products.

Business growth is never a simple or straightforward process, but even a few small adjustments can have a surprising effect on your bottom line. These tips will help you generate more leads and develop campaigns that resonate with your unique audience.

Standard Flow of a Website that Sells

Building a Website that SELLS

When it comes to a website, particularly a homepage, you want to think of it as your digital storefront. 

The very first thing that visitors should know when they first land on your website is exactly what you can do for them. That’s it. That’s the big secret.

Now there is a standard flow that’s based on psychology but also aesthetics. Here it is:

  • At the top of the page, before the scroll, is a header describing what you can do for someone. It should immediately answer the prompt: I’m here to help you….
  • Under this can be prioritized differently, but it’s generally the following:
    • A brief about section (so, who you are)
    • Your offerings (so, what you offer or your services or products)
    • Testimonials (so, how you’ve helped others)
    • Blogs, podcasts, videos, links to subscribe (so, what you know)
    • How to connect (so, how someone can reach you)

One of the most important things you can do is be crystal clear on the reasons your website exists – for you and your visitor. What are your objectives? What specific goals are you trying to achieve with your website? 

Sample objectives include the following (but are not limited to the following!):

  • Grow your email subscriber list
  • Sell your product or program
  • Book a service or appointment
  • Subscribe to your podcast
  • Inspire visitors to comment on blog posts
  • Enroll people in a rewards or loyalty program
  • Build trust and credibility

You will see that these objectives all involve taking action in some way.  This is frequently called a “call to action.” Whether it’s buying something, opting in to something or subscribing to something, your goal is for them to take any action to become a new or future customer.  

One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of entrepreneurs make is when they start filling up their website with all kinds of links and graphics and social media icons that drive traffic away. You want your visitors to stay on your website and then take an action on your website. 

Ask yourself these questions to discover your website objectives:

  1. What are the top 3 objectives of your website? 
  2. Why is my ideal customer visiting my website? What are they hoping to learn, solve or purchase from me?
  3. What emotions are they hoping to feel by visiting my site?
  4. What information do they want from me right away? Use the words or phrases they would use.

The way to figure out if your website is functioning like a digital storefront and actually working for your objectives is through the 3 C’s.

The 3 C’s of an Effective Website

The First C: Connecting to your audience: Your website should be able to instantly connect your ideal customer to your business. You want to make sure that your messaging and the way you format the website is really customer-focused. Think about what your ideal customer wants to see and read. 

How to make sure you’re connecting:

Ask five people (preferably ideal customers or favorite clients) for their honest feedback. Send them your site and ask them the following questions:

  1. When you look at my site, do you instantly know what I do, who I serve, and how I can help?
  2. Is there anything confusing about my website?
  3. Can you easily find where to sign up for ___? (This could be the newsletter, opt-in, free report, webinar, etc.)
  4. Does my website seem cluttered or unprofessional in any way?
  5. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the site to help me improve it?

The Second C: Collecting potential leads: As part of your marketing strategy, your website must be able to collect and capture names and email addresses for the purposes of marketing to your customers and reminding them that you can solve their current problem. Besides making sales, growing your list is the most important reason for your website. It’s a way to build that “know, like and trust” factor of your business. Most people won’t purchase from you on the first visit to your website, so collecting emails in an effort to continue marketing to them is a great way to build genuine trust over time. 

How to make sure you’re collecting:

Now you have to find out if your website effectively collects people’s names and emails. Aside from sales, your website should also collect sign-ups through opt-ins or forms, enabling your potential customers to have an opportunity to stay engaged with you and hopefully become buyers one day. So, simply conduct tests to ensure that these forms are working. 

The Third C: Converting leads into customers: As mentioned, your website is your digital storefront – allowing you to convert leads to sales and generate business. It allows you to really showcase your products and services, make offers, and sell! It should include enough information and make it as easy as possible for the visitor to buy from you. 

How to make sure you’re converting:

There are two primary ways for visitors to convert into buyers. One of the ways is through an opt-in or subscription form. The other way is through sales conversions, or the number of people who purchase your products or services. The only way to know you’re converting is to set up an analytics tool to track it.

Google Analytics is a great tool to measure various elements of your website. From tracking demographics to visitor counts, this analytics platform is perfect for small business owners. 

And those are the 3 Cs to test your website effectiveness! Hopefully I’ve provided some valuable tips as to how you can get your website to do what it needs to do for you – SELL. 

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings:

Is Your Ideal Customer Able to Find You Online?

Is Your Ideal Customer able to Find You Online?

Today I’m going to talk about your ideal customer, and while I’m not going to necessarily dive into the nitty gritty demographics of them, I am going to prompt you with four questions that will help you sell to them. 

Many of us are currently working on launches for products or services or new programs, and in order for us to be able to sell these offerings, we really need to understand who we’re selling to. 

I’m sure each of us has done an ideal customer exercise in the past – if you haven’t, give it a shot. The questions I’m going to prompt you with later will take those details a step further. 

So, what is an ideal customer?

Your ideal customer is someone that you will keep in mind whenever you’re creating something for your business. Whatever you’re creating – your ideal customer is at the core of it. 

I find it easier to think of this “someone” as a character or an avatar, so that you can really visualize and picture them. 

This character could be based on an actual customer that you have, or someone that you’ve worked with, but it’s generally someone that you would love to have as a customer, someone who would embody your dream customer.

Here’s why you an ideal customer.

First, without an ideal customer, chances are you’re really not going to sell much of anything. In order to ethically and honestly sell to someone, you have to actually understand what they want, their deepest frustrations and their desires.

Second, if you don’t have an ideal customer, it’s very likely that you will attract those types of customers that are somewhat less-than-ideal. And we’ve all had a few of those experiences before! These are the customers that don’t value what you do, your pricing, or your time, and it’s all because they weren’t meant to be your customers in the first place. 

Third and lastly, if you’re not clear about who you are targeting, everything that you put out there, from your content to your promotions, will likely be too general and too generic – all ending up as a complete waste of time. 

Now, many entrepreneurs are afraid to get too specific with their ideal customer. Either they feel like they’re missing out on possible leads, or they’re afraid that they are labeling themselves as a provider for only one particular group. 

But I’m here to tell you: if you’re trying to sell to everybody, you will sell to nobody. 

Your messaging will be lost. There won’t be any soul or emotion with it. It will be impossible for someone to identify with it because it’s forgettable and generic. 

And you won’t just speak to one person – many people will identify with your messaging because it sparks something inside them. At the end of the day, you will attract a variety of people to your business, even if you’re speaking to that one ideal customer. This because you’re focusing on one very specific problem and one very specific solution.

I’m now going to lead you through a quick visualization to get you thinking about your ideal customer in a more clear and meaningful way.


So, close your eyes. Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you open them again. Breathe in. Breathe out. 
This visualization takes place in your office. If you don’t have one, simply imagine your place of work. Or place yourself in an office setting. 
Now, envision sitting in your office. 
You’re preparing for your day. 
You tidy up, and then you sit for a moment to prepare for your client. 
You know what you plan to work on today; because it is the one service or product you most enjoy providing to your clients. 
This client in particular has seen amazing results and you’re filled with such pride and eagerness to see them again. 
You hear the front door open, and you know it’s your client in the waiting area. 
You stand up to head out of your office to greet your client. 
As you open your office door, you walk down the hall and turn the corner to the waiting area, and there’s your client so happy to see you. 
Now, take a moment to see your client. Look at who they are as a person, where they are now and where they have been. 
What are they wearing? 
What are they holding? 
How do they look at you? 
You eagerly greet them and escort them to your office. You feel enthusiastic to begin working with them, but also at ease, because this is the person you’ve been wanting to help for your entire career.
This person you’re helping represents your ideal client. 
Breathe it in. Breathe it out. Now, open your eyes. 

Think about how you feel. You’re getting closer to understanding your ideal customer. 

So I want you to step into your ideal customer’s shoes for a moment. This time you are going to pretend that you are them, and when I ask these questions, think about how they relate to your business. After all, your customer wants your offerings. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the problem I am facing right now?
  2. What do I fear might fail in my life if I do not find a solution?
  3. If money were no object, what solution would I buy to solve this problem? 
  4. If that dream solution could appear and solve my problem, what would change in my life?

Ok, now return to yourself again. Once you ask these questions and understand your ideal customer, you can position yourself as their dream solution. Who would they go to receive the healing or education or transformation that they need? What would they look for? 

The answer, my friend, is you. How do you position yourself as their most desirable, convenient and joyful solution?

Really dive deep into this exercise, and continue to ask yourself those questions again and again.

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


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.


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.


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. 


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. 


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.

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: 

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!

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings:

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! (NOTE: This offering has expired, but the new and improved 10-Day Marketing Challenge is available HERE.)
  • 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. (NOTE: This offering has expired, but the new and improved Mastermind Groups are available HERE.)
  • Over the course of 2 months, I hosted 2 free webinars. (The recordings, along with workbooks, are available 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 think outside the box, while potentially risking failure, judgement and rejection. 

But remember – there are millions of entrepreneurs out there that have taken these steps and turned out to have business that are unique, one-of-a-kind successes!

Before we talk about the test, I want to mention a few potential road blocks that can get in your way, at least when you’re first starting out.

Avoid These Mistakes to Ensure Your Business Idea Makes Money

  1. DON’T spend all of your time and resources focusing on activities that won’t move the needle for you. This includes a logo, tagline, fancy website, or whether your business should be an LLC or sole proprietorship. When you’re just starting out and getting your feet wet in your entrepreneurial journey, these details really don’t matter. 
  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! This type of general feedback from non-customers won’t help you nail down your offerings or your ideal customer. It’s much more worth your time chatting with people who you want to work with, or people who have done what you want to do. 
  3. And most importantly, DO “beta test” your offerings to actual customers in an effort to get some concrete feedback in return. I personally do this all of the time for each new offering. It allows me to generate testimonials and social proof, while helping me to fine-tune the offering.

Now, onto the test. This is called the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) 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 KISS Test

  1. Do I have the real-world experience, skills or abilities that are necessary in order to provide this product or service, and if not, am I willing to work really hard to get them?
  2. Am I willing 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 values, goals, the feelings that I want to feel every day, and more importantly, the vision I have for my future?
  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? 

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings:

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. I’m sure you have also seen businesses go further and create innovative new offerings and initiatives to benefit those affected by these problems. While these tactics are thoughtful and proactive, they are also very smart and strategic.

Why? Because 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 world. 

After all, isn’t this all true: 1) true and lasting fulfillment doesn’t come from what we get, it comes from what we give; 2) when our businesses are about something bigger than us, we tap into something deeper and more meaningful that allows to tackle anything that comes our way; and 3) when our businesses have strong values, we 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. 

And if you’re interested in making a bigger impact on the planet, check out this blog all about sustainability tips for the conscious entrepreneur.

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. 

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: