Category: Marketing

CGC - How to Build an SEO Friendly Site

All About SEO + A Free SEO Tutorial

SEO has become one of those complex technical parts of a website that has become an “expert-only” area. However, I’ve decided it’s time to simplify it for you, at least through a basic approach, so that you can optimize your website yourself.

In this free tutorial, I’m going to talk about the basics of SEO, including how to build an SEO friendly site, with tasks you can do on your site and off your site to maximize your efforts.

But first, a little about SEO…

What is SEO? When you have a question, I’m guessing you go to Google to find the answer. Well, your potential clients and buyers do the same thing! Everyone has questions and problems they want solved, and they use search engines to find the answers. SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is the practice of growing your site’s visibility in the organic search engine 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 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.

Why should you care about SEO? Most traffic that comes to your site will arrive via search engines. SEO helps boost your rankings in those search engines so that your site is visible to the right people – the people you want to attract to your site to buy your products and services. By fine-tuning your SEO, you can increase the quantity and quality of traffic that goes to your site through the search engine results.

Ready to improve your SEO? Follow this link and scroll down:

 

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Keep in mind, SEO is not a one-time job. Whether you’re creating a brand new site or you’re updating your current one, you’ll want to make sure your site has a strong foundation. You’ll also want to review your processes as you create new content and update old info. This training will help you as you go!

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC - Why Email Marketing Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Why Email Marketing Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

If email marketing isn’t part of your marketing suite, it should be.

Here are 6 reasons why email marketing is a marketing channel you shouldn’t ignore.

  1. It’s more effective than social media, especially when it comes to customer acquisition. Social media is a great way to engage with customers and strengthen your personal relationships with them. In a previous blog though, I talk about why it’s secondary to email marketing. The biggest reason why email marketing is more important is because when it comes to converting people into subscribers, supporters and customers, it is four times more effective than any other digital channel.
  2. It’s easy, effective and inexpensive. Need I say more? Email marketing allows you to reach all of your customers (whether it’s hundreds or thousands) at a rate of nearly nothing per message. Many platforms today, such as MailChimp, are even free to try and start, depending on your list size. For those entrepreneurs on a budget, this is a much better choice than direct mail, TV or radio.
  3. It’s completely personal and entirely customizable. When you’re email marketing, your sending a personalized message to a customer directly to their inbox that will resonate with them. This is different from other methods, such as social media, where you are more or less broadcasting your messages to a larger audience. If your content is friendly, personable and relevant, it’s not going to be spammy.
  4. It’s action-oriented. This is my favorite part about email marketing – there’s always a next step. You can reply, forward, click-through, sign up, or buy. The very nature of email is transactional. It can be used to direct traffic to your website and boost sales.
  5. It’s measurable. Any email marketing software available on the market today offers valuable analytics telling you who opened your email, which links they clicked, and who unsubscribed. This wealth of information gives you the ability to continuously monitor your email marketing campaigns so that you can always make adjustments and improve them.
  6. It’s mobile-friendly. As with any digital marketing campaign, this is a must. Since we are always on the go, mobile devices allow people to check their emails constantly. And they are – whether it’s in line at Starbucks, or in a waiting room, or on their train commute. In fact, a recent study showed that 91% of people use their phones to check email, as opposed to 75% who use their phones to check social media.

Convinced? Then it’s time for you to either start or strengthen your email marketing campaign so that you can generate a following, boost online traffic and increase your business sales. Need help? Check out my Empowered Marketing program where you’ll learn how to set up a successful email marketing plan, along with other marketing tactics. And if you need even more assistance – my consulting services allow for email marketing strategy, design and even implementation.

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC - 4 Ways to JumpstartYour MarketingThis Season

4 Ways to Jumpstart Your Marketing Strategy this Season

The back to school vibe is all around – we’re heading back indoors, back to full work days (so long, summer hours!), back to the strategy boards and ready to take on the fourth quarter of 2018. Right now is the best time to take advantage of the energy of the season and use it to revitalize and jumpstart your business marketing. Take a look at the four strategies below for some tips on how to freshen up your marketing, prepare for the end of the year, and launch campaigns that will hopefully increase your sales and your bottom line.

  1. Get very clear on your brand. Powerful messaging requires a strong identity. Before you launch any marketing campaign, you must be clear on your brand – what you stand for, how you want to appear in the world, who you are targeting, and why you’re the best solution for them. Now is a great time to do some branding exercises or even attend a branding workshop. By being crystal clear on your brand, you’ll be able to figure out marketing avenues that are more aligned and intentional.
  2. Launch a thoughtful and action-oriented email campaign, and then complement it with social media efforts. As many of you know, I believe email marketing to be paramount to any successful marketing plan. Set up an automated campaign, a drip campaign or just a few e-blasts within a third party email distributor, like MailChimp, and be super intentional with your messaging. When complimenting your efforts on social media, focus on where your ideal customers are located – are they on Facebook? Twitter? Snapchat? Wherever they are is where you need to be.
  3. Find like-minded brands and influencers to collaborate with and cross promote. Once you have figured out your brand identity, including the specific audience you’re targeting, you can align with those businesses that may have similar audiences but provide different services. For example, if you own a yoga studio, check out brands within the “health foods” or “yoga clothing” industries. Broaden your company’s awareness by aligning with them and creating strategic partnerships.
  4. Take a look at what your competition is doing. Instead of trying to look at what they do and snag their ideas, you would create a “strategy canvas,” which is a visual representation of your business in the industry. On this canvas, you would map out what the competition is doing, from their pricing to their offerings, and then map out your business, with the intention of differentiating yourself. I discuss this exercise in depth in my blog post about the Blue Ocean Strategy book. The exercise requires leadership, creativity and really trying to revolutionize the industry.

Through these four tips, you’re well on your way to ending the 2018 on the right foot. Each one does take some time and effort, but none of overwhelming. How do you plan on jumpstarting your business this season?

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC - 3 Rules to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed with Social Media Marketing

3 Rules to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed with Social Media Marketing

In this blog, I’ll share with you my personal perspective on social media marketing (since I get asked about it so frequently) and then I’ll provide you with access to a social media tutorial that includes three rules to avoid social media overwhelm, along with a few tips and best practices to help you stay efficient with your efforts.

My Thoughts on Social Media Marketing

My personal opinion of social media marketing is truly based on my experience and the results I’ve seen with my own clients and other successful business owners.

I am personally not a fan of focusing all of your attention and energy on building a social media presence. Of course, this perspective varies a bit if your business depends on social media, such as with influencers and bloggers. However, for those of us with small businesses, and with services that focus on helping others and making their lives better, I believe that email marketing should be your first priority and that social media marketing simply complements your efforts. This is because you own your email list and pay for your email distributor. You don’t own any social media platform or have any control over the algorithms.

I also don’t believe in being everywhere at once on social media. Wherever you are in your business, your time is limited, and you have to be really conscious about how you spend it. There are so many valuable platforms out there (FacebookTwitterInstagram, etc.) and each one has ever-changing features and updates that require even more time getting familiar with. Here’s the point: Don’t make the mistake of being everywhere at once. It’s difficult to do everything well or see results if you’re spread so thin. Remember, there is only so much time you can spend on building your online presence, and quality is important. The expectation to be on every platform and engage with people and publish regular content is just unrealistic. So, don’t get sucked into that mindset!

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC - Amp Up Your Marketing with this Summer Reading List

Amp Up Your Marketing with this Summer Reading List

Below is a list of 20 books related to marketing your businesses. Many of these books are referenced in my Empowered Marketing Program, and others I often recommend to my clients to help them write better, think in different ways, or understand how psychology plays a role in it all. Take a look and add a few to your current summer must-reads!

Please note that the following are affiliate links. CGC is a proud affiliate of these authors. If you use our links, we may earn a small commission.

Your Must-Reads this Season:

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

Learn how lasting success is created from “blue oceans,” which are untapped new market spaces ready for disruption and growth. Get a sneak peek of the concept in this blog.

Buyology by Martin Lindstrom

Get the astonishing findings from a groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million dollar neuromarketing study that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from around the world as they encountered various ads, logos, commercials, brands, etc.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Find out what makes things go viral and why certain products and ideas become popular. Learn the set of specific techniques that will help your services or products spread like wildfire.

Content Rules by C.C. Chapman

Social media platforms allow business owners to have a voice, but how do you create the stories, videos, and blog posts that create raving fans and ignite your business growth? Find out how to develop content that people care about.

The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly

This is perfect for anyone who writes copy. Included in it is dozens of copywriting techniques that can help you write ads, commercials, direct mail and more.

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna

Are you a career changer? Or perhaps a passion seeker? Are you trying to figure out your true calling? This book calls for you to find your gift and gives you advice as to how to share it with the world.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Become a skilled persuader by learning about the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply those understandings to your life and work.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

This a blueprint for social media marketing strategies that work. Find out the meaning of jabs and right hooks and how the winning combination of those can bring you social media marketing success.

Ogilvy On Advertising by David Ogilvy

Even though this book was written over 30 years ago, the author is a pure genius and is still considered a wizard in today’s modern world. Get all the details about successful advertising.

Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Lee Odden

Optimize your online presence through this practical approach of integrating search and social media optimization with content marketing to boost relevance, visibility and customer engagement.

Positioning by Al Ries & Jack Trout

Find out how to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical and overcrowded market through this revolutionary approach that creates a “position” within your customer’s minds.

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

This book examines the “predictable yet irrational” buying behaviors and decisions that people make everyday, from losing weight to drinking coffee, and from choosing a romantic partner to buying a car.

Priceless by William Poundstone

Understand the hidden psychology of value. Find out how the psychology of price dictates the design of price tags, menus, rebates, “sales” ads, cell phone plans, supermarket aisles, real estate offers, wage packages and corporate buyouts.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Are you a purple cow? Find out how to put a purple cow into everything you build, and everything you do, in order to create something truly noticeable.

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Customers demand authenticity, originality, creativity, honesty and good intent, and because of this, we’ve reverted to a new (yet also old) form of customer service that is all about customization, personalization and truly caring. Those that follow this new path of customer focus will profit in today’s world.

The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy

Too many sales letters end up in the junk file or waste basket. Learn the step-by-step formula that will help you nail the sale.

Tribes by Seth Godin

Turn your scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. This book will help you demystify the process of rallying colleagues, customers, investors, and others around your business idea.

Triggers: 30 Sales Tools by Joe Sugarman

Find out which psychological triggers effectively influence, motivate, and persuade prospects into making positive buying decisions. Become a master sales-person.

Word of Mouth Marketing by Andy Sernovitz

Learn the five essential steps that make word of mouth work and everything you need to know to get started. You will also learn how to work word of mouth with social media, viral marketing, and buzz.

Words that Sell by Richard Bayan

Win customers through this edition of a copywriting classic that is packed with inspiration for busy professionals. Get more than 6000 words and phrases to help you promote your business.

Which ones will you read this summer?

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC: Why Do You Need a Brand

Why Do You Need a Brand? What is a USP? (& A Few Good Exercises to Find Yours)

Although a brand and a logo go hand in hand, they are not the same. A logo is a business’ identification in its simplest form via a recognizable mark or symbol. On the other hand, a brand is the emotion behind what someone feels, sees and tastes, when they interact with you on any level. It bears much more responsibility than a logo. For small businesses in particular, branding comes down to creating a positive perception through clear, concise and consistent communication.

To do this takes two steps. The first is to decide what you stand for, or what your unique selling proposition is. A unique selling proposition (or USP) is what makes you different from your competition; it’s what sets you apart from the rest.

Let’s look at a USP in a deeper way. If you are a massage therapist, for instance, some questions to ask yourself might include:

1)   What type of massage do you specialize in?

2)   Do you have other qualifications or certifications, which may be relevant?

3)   Do you have other life or career experiences that will give you a better understanding or make you more relatable to specific potential clients?

4)   Are you involved in other activities that help to establish you as an expert to your niche market?

5)   What about the delivery of your service? Can the experience with you be different than any other experience from beginning to end?

Finding your USP is the first step to establishing your brand. The second step is then making sure that all aspects of your business are in line with these. The goal is to apply your values to everything you do, clearly and consistently.

Exercise #1:

1)   List the features and benefits that are unique about your product or service. Think about your competitors and the benefits that you have that set you apart from them.

2)   Decide what emotional need is being specifically met by your product or services. Think about this from your customer’s perspective.

3)   Identify aspects of your product or service that your competitors cannot imitate. Put a star next to anything that cannot be easily duplicated, reproduced or copied.

4)   Now, using the words from steps 1 to 3, create phrases about your unique product or service that are short, clear and concise. Make sure that they can be easily communicated to and understood by your customer.

Exercise #2:

This a fun exercise called The Comparison Game. This exercise is about equating your brand with something else. It’s a quick way to assess your brand’s personality and positioning.

If you’re brand was an animal, what would it be?

You can draw it or write out its traits. This exercise helps you look through a different lens to see new things in your brand. For example, you may dream of being the lion when your brand is more like the lamb. There’s something non-threatening about comparing your brand to an animal, and it can reveal interesting insights.

Exercise #3:

If you found the previous exercises to be challenging, I have another exercise in mind that should be able to help you a bit more. For the exercise, simply complete this contact form: http://www.christinagiordano.com/#contact and in the “Message” box, put “Branding Exercise #3” to receive it within 24 hours!

The goal of these exercises is to come up with a brand message (or an elevator speech) that really conveys who you are and what you do in about 10 seconds or less.

Branding is all about the impressions you make. If you want to succeed, that impression should do two jobs – it should convey what is special about your business and it should show you in a positive light.

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC - Are you a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 Marketer?

5 Disciplines to Marketing Mastery

The following disciplines will hopefully help you to create lifelong habits that will help you become a master of your marketing.

Marketing doesn’t have to be scary or difficult or scammy. It’s just about practicing compassionate, effective communication.

Here are the five key disciplines that will help you become a marketing master.

  1. Discipline 1: Embrace marketing. Check out what other people do to market themselves. Allow marketing to become part of your business strategy. Learn to love it.
  2. Discipline 2: Practice copywriting. Write headlines, teasers, service descriptions, etc.
  3. Discipline 3: Connect with your market consistently. Have real conversations with real people. Engage with your followers and be relatable.
  4. Discipline 4: Track everything. Notice what works and do more of it. Track conversion rates, and pay attention to what gets you results.
  5. Discipline 5: Continue your education. Take courses, go to seminars, read books, read blogs, listen to interviews, etc. Continue learning for the rest of your life!

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC: 5 Ways to Market Your Business this Holiday Season

5 Ways to Market Your Business this Holiday Season

The holidays are here! Amidst the hustle and bustle, who has time to think of marketing strategies and campaigns? I’ve made it easy for you by providing this list of 10 ways you can seamlessly market yourself this holiday season, without feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Give these 10 ideas a try this season, and watch your business thrive.

  1. Prepare your calendars. If you have a content calendar for November, December and January, you’re already ahead of the game. Ensure that the Holidays are labeled clearly so that you can prepare relevant and trending content around these days. Plan, develop and execute your content well in advance, as you will be taking time off to enjoy the holidays yourself.
  2. Offer a sale. Black Friday and Cyber Monday both have no traditions behind them; they only help to give businesses a boost in sales. So take advantage of these dates! If you missed the Black Friday and Cyber Monday boats, create a special Holiday flash sale that lasts for only a few days, but gives you enough time to ship out goods or complete any services in advance of the gift-giving Holiday.
  3. Promote giving. The winter holidays all center around the idea of giving, and there’s not better time than for small businesses to give back to the community. Make it well known in your advertising and promotions that a portion of your sales will go to a specific charity. You could even specify to be based on consumer spending. This small incentive could give your business the competitive edge is needs.
  4. Emphasize “easy” holidays. Despite the time off work, comfort food, winter activities, sweet treats, and time with family, the holidays still seem to be the most stressful time of year. If your products or services can provide relief, wellness, ease or any comfort, this is the time to promote easy living during the holidays. Promote the ways in which your business can help you to solve holiday-related stress and problems.
  5. Throw in a gift. Tis the season for gift-giving! Instead of cutting prices with sales, or in conjunction with them, you can sweeten your deals by throwing in a gift for your customers. This could be something as simple as an informational product or special coupon code, or as extravagant as free consultations or sample products. Either way, your customers will feel as though you are celebrating with them.

Remember, you don’t need to have the most in-demand product or service of the holiday to wrap your small business in holiday spirit. Prepare your content in advance, offer a few special sales, create a campaign of giving back, emphasize a stress-free collaboration, and throw in a few gifts for your customers yourself. Happy Holidays!

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC: 7 Reasons You Need a Niche Market

7 Reasons You Need a Niche Market

When I refer to niche market, I’m not referring to your target market. Your niche market is actually a combination of your target market and a specific service that you specialize in offering to them. It’s a small market segment that is highly specialized. The more narrowly you can define it, the better. Additionally, strong niche markets don’t just fall into your nap; they must be carefully crafted. Below are seven reasons you need a niche market for your business in order to market yourself efficiently, proactively and with intention.  

1)   You won’t spread yourself too thin. Instead of saying that “everybody” is your potential client, niche marketing will help you focus on a specific group of people, and what their specific needs and wants are. You won’t be able to serve everybody, so focus on what you do best and for a group of people who will buy from you.

2)   It becomes easier to identify and target potential clients and partners to work with. This is especially important as you become more targeted with your marketing efforts.

3)   It becomes easier to become an expert and well known. You will easily be able to answer the question of “what you do” and “for whom.” And, as a result, your visibility and profile will also increase tremendously within this group.

4)   As it becomes easier for others to understand what you do and for whom, it simultaneously becomes easier for them to refer more and better clients to you.

5)   You can finally differentiate yourself from your competition! There will be less competition, as you provide specific services for specific people, in a specific way. The big advantage to this is that you cannot be replicated, and you become more unique.

6)   Marketing becomes easier. Niche marketing will really help with your marketing, positioning and branding as you will attract the ‘right people’ much more easily.

7)   As you can provide an increasingly better service or product, based on your client’s needs, the chance is that you will get more repeat business – people will come back for more, and often will start spending more with you as the relationship grows.

Below is a quick exercise regarding niche marketing, just so that you can begin to think of what your niche market might be. You will do this by analyzing your current clientele.

Write out the answers to the following questions:

What type of client makes up the majority of your client base? Describe that client in detail. Is it new moms looking for support pre and post natal? Is it elite, professional level athletes?

Who do you enjoy working with the most? Describe that client in detail.

And my favorite question, who would get the most bang for their buck with what you have to offer? Describe that client in detail. Yes, I’m sure anyone could benefit from your services, but who would benefit the most? The answer will guide you to help people more, which leads to (obviously) helping more people and making more money.

Once you find your niche market, visit this blog to learn about how you can focus and specify your brand for them.

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/

CGC - 3 Digital Marketing Trends Your Business Needs to Try Right Now

3 Digital Marketing Trends Your Business Needs to Try Right Now

Each new season comes with new trends and inspiration! How are you refreshing your marketing strategy? Are you redesigning your website? Generating more and better content? Creating a stronger email marketing queue? Jumpstart the last quarter of the year with these digital marketing tactics that are sure to produce results. Whether you’ve heard of them, tried them, or didn’t even know they were available to you, these strategies are current, relevant and valuable.

  1. Make the most of your Google+ business page. If you do not have a business page yet, set it up immediately, and if you have a storefront, make sure you are on Google Maps. Not only are these low hanging fruit, but both are guaranteed to give you an immediate boost in traffic. Once you have your Google+ business page, take it to the next step and create a post on Google. No, I’m not referring to a regular Google+ post that goes to your business page. This one is different. It allows you to post about events, products, and services, directly to Google Search and Maps. Your timely content will be placed directly in front of consumers when they Google you. The best part is that your customers can take direct action on the post, like signing up, learning more, or buying a product!
  2. Go live…on Facebook and Instagram! I particularly prefer Instagram for this, because it has an easier interface and is more mobile. Now more than ever, you have the capability to truly establish your business as an industry thought leader. Furthermore, now that we know that 1) more than 50% of video content is viewed on mobile, and 2) marketers who use video grew revenue 49% faster than non video users, this is where you need to be putting your marketing efforts. While live videos on both Facebook and Instagram have been around for some time, more and more people are just now starting to catch on. This live element of social networks is adding a humanistic component to brands, helping to increase the feelings of trust and loyalty amongst customers. The results speak for themselves. Make your mark today!
  3. Tap into influencer marketing. In a previous blog, I spoke about HARO and how it’s a great way to get started with digital PR. All forms of media from bloggers to journalists need reliable sources for their articles, and they also love receiving content ideas. That’s where influencer marketing comes in. Influencers these days have follower counts in numbers comparable to national publications. Influencer marketing entails the utilization of these leaders for the purposes of driving your brand’s message to a larger market. You do this by inspiring, hiring, or paying these influencers to get the word out for you. Share promo codes with them, give them free stuff, or have them include your services in a round-up post.

Which strategy do you plan to try out this season?

Need more help? Check out my 1:1, group and self-study offerings: https://christinagiordano.com/offerings/