Business, Ideal Client, Services

You're Building The Wrong Business (And It's Making You Broke)

Many service based business owners look in the mirror and feel like they’re not enough.

You know what I’m talking about…

It feels like you’re still playing “pretend business” and you’re wondering if you’re even smart enough to figure this all out like it seems like everyone else has.

This convinces you that the only way to get clients is to do what works for everyone else - posting 3x a day on Instagram, blogging “value add” content, showing up in Facebook groups where you *think* your client might be and so on…

You’re listening to countless other business owners tell you that doing all that ^ is what’s going to work for you...so why isn’t it?

Here’s the truth: it’s not you. It is the strategies you’re using. They aren’t right for YOUR business.

And when you rely on strategies that weren’t built for your business, you are tricked into thinking that you are inadequate.

You start using these tactics as your guiding light; judging yourself on how well you’re implementing them or getting results from them...even when they aren’t working for you.

Here’s the truth: it’s not you. It is the strategies you’re using. They aren’t right for YOUR business.  |  Boss Project

The Big Mistake: You’re Missing The Real Problem

The reason you and SO many talented service-providers fall into this try-all-the-tactics trap, is that you need clients.

Right?

Every new tactic that pops up in front of you seems like something that could work to get that next client in the door, to get you paid, to make it so you can actually make your business work.

So the REAL problem at the foundation of everything is this: You don’t have a predictable and proven way to get clients.

And when you’re constantly concerned about where your next client is going to come from, it’s nearly impossible to grow your business with abundance.

Scarcity takes over…

...and that’s when you make the crucial, but oh-so-common mistake: you continue to add on layers and layers of “shiny objects” to your business (think about when you’ve added on a digital product, started talking to a larger audience, decided you suddenly need to start a membership…). These decisions cost you money and are absolutely putting the potential of your business at risk.

Your drive is there, but your clarity is missing.

Your focus is in the wrong place.

You’re trying to make tactics work, rather than just going back to the foundation and simplifying: first get clients, get booked out, THEN work on growth from there.

You just need a system that focuses on getting that foundation strong.

One that’s actually designed for how your service based business operates.

Without it, you will continue to feel like you aren’t cut out for this.

We were there and we were sick of it.

That’s when we clearly saw that to create a sustainable service we had to focus on getting consistent clients. Period.

No more chasing down “everyone else is doing this” tactics. No more distractions that look good from the outside but don’t fill up a client roster.

Because there are countless service based business who are just getting started or are trying to get more clients that fall victim to this lack of focus. Let me show you.

Lesson 1 - The Tale of the Two Businesses

Especially when it comes to the creative service based industry many business owners come online (hello, you’re here) to learn how they should go about growing their business.

You’re promised “freedom”. And endless clients. And the ability to “make six figures without ever leaving your house”.

You’re inundated with strategies to help you… grow online.

“Get 10,000 blog readers in 30 days!”

“Get your first 1k Instagram followers!”

“Design your opt-in to get your next 100 subscribers!”

The problem is, those strategies aren’t designed for your business. They were designed for businesses that don’t have a 1:1 client model. Ones that NEED high numbers of blog readers, Instagram followers, and subscribers. Think about online education companies, like ours.

Remember, we don’t have 1:1 clients.

So our tactic to fill our courses and podcast listenership is going to look SO different from how we’re showing you to book out your service-based business.

But that distinction is SO easy to forget in today’s shiny online world!

So here’s what happens: You spend your nights and weekends totally crushing it learning strategies for a business you’re not running.

And so weeks and months and *gasp* years go by and when you’re still struggling to build your client base. You’re left wondering what’s wrong with you.

Because you did everything right. Truly.

You were simply deploying the wrong strategies for your business.

Those strategies, in and of themselves, aren’t wrong. We love them.

But they’re Long Term Strategies. With a capital L.

And you’re expecting them (heck, needing them) to work right now.

If you continue down the path of learning these sexy and fun strategies you will probably get some clients. I can’t say that you won’t.

However, what I can say is that it will feel like you’re constantly hustling for that next client. That you’re always having to refine who you’re talking to, how you’re getting content out, and who you’re getting in front of. It’ll be extremely difficult to track exactly what’s working (aka landing you clients).

You will feel like you have your mind in 17 different places. Your brain will never shut off.

You’ll begin to lack confidence that what you offer is any good and that maybe you aren’t cut out for this.

Are you beginning to feel any of that coming?

Compare all that ick to the small business owner that no longer thinks about where her next client is coming from (or if they’re the right fit, or if they’ll pay). When that business owner goes about her work she’s literally freed up an entire part of her brain that no longer has to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from.

She gets to think about fun things like…

“What can I add to this experience to make my client happier?”

“What can I improve in my process to speed up the project?”

“What do I want to watch on Netflix tonight?”

When that brain space is freed up you get to work on your business instead of just in it. And that’s the secret sauce, my friend.

The advantages of ignoring online (for a while) and focusing on perfecting your client acquisition process first is crucial for the success and sustainability of your entire business. But how do you do that when you don’t have any more time in your day?

Lesson 2 - Identify Your Tasks

Right now it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ve monopolized your time with tasks that aren’t actually revenue generating. You’ve convinced yourself that they’re worth it for the growth of your business, but your business needs money to grow, not an audience.

Before we can teach you strategies to land clients quickly you’ve got to clear up your schedule first. Here’s what I want you to do…

I want you to look back at your last week or so of work and right down the tasks you did. For every single day. If you’re memory won’t go that far back (#guilty) then just start today. From the time you stepped into your office to the time you stopped work, what were you doing?

Once you have all of those items listed I want you to run them through an evaluation filter. Ask yourself these three questions: (Put a check mark next to each task for every time you answer “yes”.)

  1. “Do I enjoy this task?”

  2. “Am I efficient at this task?”

  3. “Is this task effective in landing me (or keeping my) clients?” i.e. there is a direct return (yes, $$) OR it is required/vital/necessary to keep your business running

quote_evaluation triangle.jpg

Now we’re going to categorize these tasks so you know what to do with them.

2 CHECK MARKS OR MORE

For everything that got 2 check marks or more I want you to make a decision:

You either need to:

  1. Do

  2. Decide

  3. Delegate

There are some things that you won’t be able to delegate (just yet), but I bet there’s more than you think.

BTW: When we talk about delegating here we’re not always talking about hiring it out to a VA or a contractor. There are plenty of systems and tools you can utilize to take something off your plate (like invoicing, email reminders, project management tools, etc).

quote_eisenhower chart.jpg

1 OR 2 CHECK MARKS

For any tasks that only got one checkmark you need to make a decision:

  1. Do

  2. Decide

  3. Delegate

  4. Delete

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the majority of those tasks just need to be deleted. Without pause.

However, there are going to be some that your business might still need to have done to function (like bookkeeping). That’s one that you can easily delegate to a person or a software or just work on getting more efficient at.

Spend some time really evaluating each individual task. Repeat this process for every task you run into in an average week.

By the end of this exercise I want you to have taken tasks off of your plate so you can create time to focus.

This exercise will be tough. You’ll need to be able to defend everything that’s on your plate, especially if you just “enjoy it”. Trust me, I get it.

You might even trick yourself into thinking all those tasks are effective in landing you clients. When that happens, you need to find the receipts. I want you to trace back where your last few inquiries and clients came from. If they DM’d you on Instagram, how did they originally find you? If they filled out the form on your website, how did they originally find you?

Take it back to the source so you can begin to work with true data instead of what you think is happening. This is where the magic and ease happens.

You are going to be shocked at how FEW activities you actually need to be doing to actually get clients.

When you have this new focus and you are spending your time on fewer things the more effective you become.

What Life Looks Like Now

Once you’ve gone through this process, you should have a good idea of exactly what’s working to get clients and you can seriously focus on those areas.

A word of warning: it's going to seem too easy. In a word that’s telling you to do all. the. things. to market your business online, I want you to resist the temptation to keep adding tactics back in. Remember, the goal is to create a process personalized to YOUR business so YOU can rock it.

And to FOCUS on what will actually get you clients and get you paid.

We’d love to have you share what you’re deleting off your plate. We want to cheer you on as you work through this exercise and begin to shift your mindset on how you get clients.

We’re happy to welcome you to our exclusive Facebook community, The Booked Out Creative. You can apply to join by hitting the button below.

Blog, Marketing

How Blogging 5x A Week Got Me Zero Clients + The Secret Tool I Used Instead to Get Booked

I admit it seems a little odd to be talking about the ineffectiveness of a blog in a blog. But it’s true - I blogged 5x a week for over a year and landed all of zero design clients. Now that’s not to say I wasn’t running a successful business, in fact I was fully booked out in less than 30-days. Blogging however was never the tool that gave me consistent clients. Don’t worry, before this blog is over you will know what was.

Not only will I tell you what booked me out in 30-days, but I will tell you exactly how I replaced my corporate income. And it wasn’t as complicated as you might think. In fact it involved zero social media and a few cups of coffee.

My writing became a passion. As much as I convinced myself it was to gain customers, ultimately it was a self-serving practice. I thought I was building a marketing mechanism for my business and in fact I was building an entirely new audience, one who had no interest in my services. And while it ultimately helped me do other things it was a massive distraction. One that kept me up at night (3am most nights), tired all day and constantly worried about what to write next.

Blogging is a long game strategy - meaning it’s effects are best measured months and years after a blog is posted. It can be a fantastic way to add valuable keywords to your website and to up your search rankings through the power of SEO (search engine optimization).   But here’s a secret about blogs that no one is talking about. Blogs are likely not reaching your potential clients. Blogs are reaching people who want solutions to a problem (think how to type content), not people looking to hire.   |  Boss Project

Blogging has been long sought after as a marketing tool. A way to spread your message far and wide. But used inappropriately it won’t attract the people you need now to make money sooner.

Blogging is a long game strategy - meaning it’s effects are best measured months and years after a blog is posted. It can be a fantastic way to add valuable keywords to your website and to up your search rankings through the power of SEO (search engine optimization).

Your Blog is Reaching the Wrong People

But here’s a secret about blogs that no one is talking about. Blogs are likely not reaching your potential clients. Blogs are reaching people who want solutions to a problem (think how to type content), not people looking to hire.

Think about it this way: when you go to hire anyone what do you do first? Is it frantically google, land on this awesome blog post, figure out how to contact the person and then hire them. OR is it - First ask someone you know who they would recommend? Trust me if you were to make a list of how you looked for someone to:

  • Put a roof on your house

  • Watch your kids

  • Trim your trees

  • Care for your dogs on vacation

  • Insert basically any service ever

You first asked a friend - whether that was a generic post on Facebook, texting your mom, or your neighbor.

But I Google Everything

Ok, I hear the pushback. You use Google everyday to find things, me too. But when you did, what ultimately helped you make your decision? Reviews. Yelp, Google Reviews, Amazon customer feedback...that’s what you trust when you’re looking to buy or try something new. The trust is transferred from the other customers to you, making you feel comfortable in your purchase decision. You are more likely to trust other humans than a companies self serving blog post.

The lesson here: purchase decisions are made when TRUST is established. And the fastest way to get people to trust you? Getting OTHER people to talk about how awesome you are.

The Shortcut to Booking Fast

A blog while potentially valuable is unlikely to build trust immediately. There may be some interest there, someone may hop on an email list, someone may want to learn from you - but booking a service is off in the distant future.

The key to booking fast is those coveted recommendations. And no, I’m not suggesting you go out and spend all this time on a Yelp profile. For most of you reading this you are in the creative field, you offer a creative service like: photography, design or copywriting.

People aren’t looking on Yelp for those services. They honestly might not even be asking anyone for help finding someone. They might not be looking at all.

But with the right warm recommendation you could be the solution they didn’t even know they needed yet.

What You Gotta Do (And What You Don’t)

So we’ve established that blog posts can be valuable for you business eventually.

But I want you to get hot leads, faster than you can handle them.

Because here’s the deal, business isn’t slow because you lack talent. In fact I’d be willing to bet you could run laps around me with what you do… and I want to show you how to get your solution in front of more of the right people faster.

Here’s what you’re not going to have to do though:

  • magically become extroverted overnight

  • cold call people (my personal nightmare)

  • go to a bunch of crazy boring networking events, only to hand out your business card to people who are going to throw it away on the walk to their car.

  • put on pants. (I mean you CAN. But you don’t have to for the method I’m about to share with you)

Here’s what you ARE going to do:

You have to sit your people down (and by your people I mean those closest to you). And tell them what you want, your true ambitions, seriously, what do you want your business to do for you. Because honestly, hiding isn’t getting you anywhere.

You can totally do this. I’ll explain how.

The Mean Girls Method

You remember this cinematic masterpiece, I know you do. In the movie there was a hard core clique - referred to as the Plastics. They stuck together like glue, and bitchy demeanor aside they were basically family. Now their secret to popularity wasn’t their charming good looks, it was there tenacity to stick together. They were stronger together.

You have a group of people in your life that are there for you no matter what. They love you fiercely and want you to succeed. They are your inner circle. Even if you don’t all wear pink on Wednesdays.

Your inner circle is made up of no more than 10 people. It’s the people you are in communication with daily - calls, texting, telepathy. It’s the people in your life you can be your truest self with. It may be your mom, sister, BFF, biz besties. How you are connected is honestly not important. Your belief in how connected they are to your potential customer, also not important.

Step 1: Who is in your inner circle? Remember: if you have to think about it more than 5-seconds they aren’t on the list.

Step 2: In the next 24 hours you are going to contact your inner circle and let them know you are ready to see growth in your business. Share with them the desires you have for the kind of clients you want to work with. Ask them for connections.

Step 3: Use this script if you need it!

Not sure what to say? We got you:

Hey, NAME. I’m sure you’ve seen me post things about _________ and ________. I’m at the point now where I’m getting really focused on landing more clients for __________ and I need your help. Here’s what I know I can provide: ________, _______ and ______. Does anyone come to mind that you could introduce me to - either someone who’s a perfect client fit or someone who knows someone who might be? I’m ready to work with them, can you send 5 messages today and copy me on it?

Sounds simple right? Don’t let that fool you: it’s highly effective.

This is EXACTLY how I was able to replace my cushy corporate salary: One of these conversations led to one intro, which led to a consistent stream of clients. Hear more about how I took the conversation further in this podcast episode.

I repeated the system again with my next ring of contacts and landed relationships that got me deals designing for Coca-Cola, 7-Eleven, Dominos, Massage Envy and more.

So guys, to recap:

While blogging may help long term, I want you to find clients right away to get your business profitable. Try this strategy and then share your results in our secret FB community built just for you. It’s application only and free to anyone in the Photography, Design and Copywriting space. Apply here. 


Marketing, Photography

How to 30x What Your Next Photography Client Will Pay You

There were 50 different ways I could’ve worded the title of this blog post. “How to 30x Your Client Spend After Only Ever Working With 1 Client” was in the running. So was “How to Go From a $75 to a $2,250 Client in 60 Days”. So you get to pick whichever one resonates with you, but you need to know a few things first:

  • This is the exact strategy I used within my first year of starting my photography business

  • My skill at my craft didn’t magically change in 60 days

  • But my way of thinking did

As photographers we convince ourselves that we all have to go through this same “rite of passage” in order to be legit. It looks something like this:

Timeline_camera_Timeline.jpg

Most of you are probably in between the “Charge $50” and the “What the Hell Happens Next” stage of business. Maybe you’ve upped that $50 session fee to a *gasp* $150. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you only want to offer mini-sessions because those are the only ones where you can make a profit (30 minutes for 4 8x10’s, right?). Most of you have convinced yourself that you’re not good at selling so you’ll probably only ever be a shoot-and-burn photographer. Has the lingo caught up with the modern version of this? Perhaps shoot-and-upload?

So the goal here today is to take you from “I could make more money working at Target” to “Holy sh*t I’m looking at a $2k+ deposit”. Ready?

Here’s what you have to promise me first:

  1. I will let go of any preconceived notions I have about selling as a photographer.

  2. I will let go of any assumptions I have about what my ideal client or market can afford to spend on photography.

  3. I will begin to separate my worth from my craft.

Ok, so now that we’re all here together let me point out some major wowza facts for you. Prior to switching up my technique with my clients (aka when I was only ever making $75 a pop) I was barely scraping by. But once I made the shift to putting my clients first and truly understanding how I could better serve them...things went bananas. Some will call this strategy In Person Selling or IPS. But I kinda hate that phrase. I truly never believed I was selling anyone anything. I was creating an experience for them. A journey. I was showing them the value of why they should and needed to invest in photography. And not only photography, but collateral. So for the sake of clarity let’s redefine this.

Can we all agree that shoot-and-burn (or upload) is a 100% valid way of running a photography business? Heck, even my own family photographer of choosing today uses this method. Let’s call this the SAB Method.

The method I want to teach you today takes it further than that. It only incorporates a few additional steps and touchpoints, but the pay off (and satisfaction) is huge. Let’s call this the VIP Method.

Here, look at the difference of my own business using the SAB Method and the VIP Method:

Timeline_camera_Chart.jpg

The $525 was made up of 7 different sessions from 2 different clients.

The $7,300 was made up of 2 different sessions from 2 different clients (neither were a wedding).

To demonstrate the difference in these two experiences (and why you can make a helluva lot more money by utilizing the VIP Method) I’m going to breakdown how each of them look step-by-step.

SAB Method

  • Connect with client and schedule a time to book the session

  • Client pays your session booking fee ($50-$75)

  • Client calls to chat about her ideas for the session (poses, outfits, setups, locations, etc)

  • You text the client reminding them about their session (they probably reschedule)

  • You finally show up to client’s location of choice and work through all the variations she has in mind and end up shooting for around 90 minutes

  • You leave that session and get started editing the 400+ images you took

  • You finalize between 75-100 edited images and upload them into an online gallery

  • You email or text that gallery link to your client

  • The end

VIP Method

  • Connect with client and schedule a time to book the session

  • You lead the discussion on ideas you have for their session including location, outfits and feel

  • Client pays your session booking fee ($100-$250)

  • Your client gets a formatted email reminding them of their session date and time, your reschedule fee, links to their Pinterest board you curated for them and some session expectations

  • You show up at the location at the time of your choice and shoot for exactly 60 minutes

  • You show your client some images from the back of your camera and talk about how you see them coming to life (in canvas, an album or a print)

  • You leave that session and get started editing the 200+ images you took

  • You post 2-4 on social media and tag your client

  • You email your client a formatted email that has a few teaser images and ask them to schedule their Viewing Session

  • You arrive at their Viewing Session and showcase their images in a video slideshow, you’ve brought product samples and dessert

  • You walk them through what to purchase and present them an invoice

  • They put 50% down that night or pay in full ($1,000-$2,250+)

  • You order their collateral and setup a time for your client to pick up

  • The end

You can see that the VIP Method has only 5 additional steps to the entire process from start to finish. So let’s break those down. Here are the main differences between the VIP Method and the SAB Method.

As photographers we convince ourselves that we all have to go through this same “rite of passage” in order to be legit. It looks something like this: Get Camera -> Work For Free -> Charge $50 -> What the Hell Happens Next?! So the goal is to take you from “I could make more money working at Target” to “Holy sh*t I’m looking at a $2k+ deposit”. Ready?  |  Boss Project

SET PRIOR EXPECTATIONS

You can see that one of the first differences right off the top is that within the SAB Method the client is the one to set the tone of the entire experience. When left unguided, a client can get particular. In my experience (and I’m sure you’ve seen this too!) is that my SAB clients (those who paid less and got less) were my most difficult and needy.

We’re talking 7+ outfit changes in one session. Backdrops, chalkboard signs, balloons, location changes and more. But I allowed that to happen. If we don’t step in as the expert that we are to set up the expectations the client will take over.

As soon as I switched to the VIP Method and set up those prior expectations early and often the entire process went smoother and my client was happier. I began to get firm on what days I shot, what time I would shoot and how long the session would last. These were non-negotiable so my clients didn’t even budge.

It’s as simple as changing your lingo from a question to a statement.

“What time would you like to meet?” turns to “I only shoot at Golden Hour so we’ll need to meet right at 6:30 to take advantage of our time together”.

“What would you like out of this session?” turns to “I see some magic happening in this area of the garden. So I’ll have your family meet me there and we’ll get some great shots.”

TEASE THE END RESULT

You can see that within the SAB Method there is a big disconnect between the session and the end result. The client is often left to wonder if there were any good shots captured, how did they look, was their kid covered in snot the entire time? The thread of excitement didn’t continue from session to delivery.

The opposite is true within the VIP Method. When I would shoot I would be immediately be talking about the products that a particular shot would look great as. I would ask clients throughout the session “Where are you hoping to hang these images in your home?” “How will you be gifting these images to family?”

I could then use their responses to tease the end result. If I knew they were interested in a gallery wall above their dining room table, I could make sure to achieve a shot that would work great as a large canvas. As soon as I had it I would show the back of my camera to my client and say something like “Oh my gosh! This is THE shot that we’re hanging above your dining table.”

If I got a wonderful picture of the kids I would show it to my client and say something like “Oh my gosh! These would be perfect as 8x10’s to gift to Grandma.”

This method gets the client involved in the process in a way that still has you in the driver’s seat. It’s getting them excited and expecting to buy more later.

CREATE AN ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

Where do they buy these things you ask? In this VIP Viewing Session. Although this kinda exists in the SAB Method it’s definitely not VIP...it’s simply a viewing session. The SAB client views their gallery alone. On their computer or most likely their phone. Without you there. Lame sauce.

The VIP client has a complete additional experience to see their images for the first time. This is where the magic happens. There are a few key things I want you to note here in order to make your first Viewing Experience amazing.

  • The viewing sessions need to happen no later than 2 weeks from when you wrapped their shooting session

  • They need to happen in the evening, at their home, where no kids are present (typically once they go to bed)

  • Anyone that’s purchasing images or collateral needs to be present

  • You need to bring product samples and a treat (I’ve brought cheesecake and wine in the past)

The purpose of those stipulations is that you’re creating a high-end, intimate, grown-up, viewing experience. Everyone involved knows that there will be money spent in these sessions so the tone needs to be right for that (that’s why no kids!).

TELL THEM WHAT THEY NEED

So now we’re in the Viewing Session. Dessert is getting eaten, wine is getting drunk and mom is tearing up over the gallery you’re playing on your iPad. Right on schedule.

Now what?

As the client is viewing their images, try to make a note of which one she’s particularly ohh-ing and aww-ing over. After they watch your slideshow once go back through it again and pause on the images you deliberately captured for that gallery wall she talked about putting above her dining table.

Show her the options for that gallery wall. Does she want to go with canvas or prints in frames? Awesome. Walk over to the dining wall with her. Let her know what size you’d recommend getting in that canvas due to the size of her wall. Awesome. Now, let’s pick out what the other images are that will surround this staple piece.

Notice that you are expertly guiding her through what choice she should be making. Remember that you are the expert here! You know what sizes images need to be. You know how small an 8x10 looks on a 2-story wall. You know that gallery wrapped canvases look better than foam mounted prints.

Your client is trusting in you, the expert, to tell her what to do and what to get. Every buyer innately needs this guidance. It’s your job to provide it. And if you do it right, the pay off will be great.

To complete this process you simply need to collect payment, order their products and get them in your clients hands. Those four steps that I outlined above are absolutely crucial to creating a true VIP Experience for your next client.

It will be the thing that can enable you to 30x your client spend. But it not only brings in more money, it brings a better experience. For the client and you. The fulfillment I, as the photographer, would get when I started offering the VIP Method vs. the SAB Method was tenfold. I began to find more joy in my work. More purpose. More drive.

I challenge you to make these simple tweaks in your process for your very next client. And let me know how it turns out for you. Come back here and leave a comment with your results or questions.


Loved these actionable takeaways? Join our exclusive Facebook group made to help you book out your photography business.

Email Marketing, Marketing

Email Marketing Basics for Creative Business Owners

So you keep hearing the following statement, “As a business you should probably get around to sending out some ‘professional’ email.” And you may be wondering where the heck you should start or if it is even worth your time.

Email Marketing has some powerful benefits, but to be successful it has to be well thought out and carefully managed. Today, we will cover some of the benefits, how and where to get started and then the ideal anatomy for your newsletter.

Email Marketing has some powerful benefits, but to be successful it has to be well thought out and carefully managed.  |  Think Creative Collective

The Benefits are Hard to Deny


Build Know, Like & Trust

By sending branded, beautiful emails your potential client or customer continues to get to know you better. They generally like you more. And they definitely are more likely to trust your business. Find out how to turn that trust into a sale here.

Boost Your Sales

Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (source).  Hello, why wouldn’t you nurture them then? That’s like throwing away free money.

Stay Top of Mind

How many times have you stumbled upon a gold mind only to forget the name, lose the address or fail to save it for later? Trust me, people who come across you will accidentally close a tab, won’t bookmark the page or restart their computer in the middle of reading no matter how awesome they think you are. If you can manage to capture people’s information then they are way more likely to remember just how amazing you are. Email marketing is one of the only ways to guarantee your entire audience will be exposed to you. Social media is not guaranteed and posting a blog post all by itself is like a shot in the dark. Email marketing forces your name to show up in their inbox again and again!


How to Get Started


Increase Traffic

As much as we would like to assume people magically show up on our email lists the first step to any marketing tactic is to grow your exposure. You can organically increase traffic by creating killer content on a blog (you stopped to read this didn’t you).

Here are some surefire ways to increase traffic on your website. And this includes some super simple SEO tactics to help push your company to the top of search engine results.

Setting Up the Forms

Before you begin collecting email addresses, you need a way to capture this information. Here is a basic step-by-step tutorial to set up your forms in Mailchimp.

Enticing Someone To Sign-Up

Do you willy nilly give out your personal information? Absolutely not! You have to trust someone, and they have to give you a pretty legit reason for you to hand over that coveted email address. The secret sauce to having someone sign-up is using a super valuable opt-in. You can learn all about what goes into one here.

Or if you just need a gold mine of ideas. I have 101 irresistible headline ideas waiting for you in my FREE e-book. Snag your copy back stage.


Anatomy of the Ideal Newsletter


So you finally have a list of people dying to hear more from you because you already gave them some of your juiciest knowledge. But what do you send them? What goes in your “newsletter” of sorts?

Personalize & Customize

Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10% (source). Consider adding someone’s name to your subject line and addressing them in your email. In Mailchimp you simply do this by adding the tag *|FNAME|* which refers to that field on your list based on the email address.

Tell a Story

People want to connect with other people. They get plenty of “ads” in their inbox from big box brands. Don’t spam them. Act like they are a part of your life, you have them over for a cup of coffee and you want to tell them a story. Connect it back to something going on in your life or business.

Call to Action

Give your readers something to do. Perhaps you challenge them. Maybe you ask them to read something. Go and sign up. You can even ask them to buy (don’t do this every time or you will wear out your welcome). Always end your emails with a call to action.

Extras

It is completely appropriate to throw in some extras at the bottom of your email. Consider adding some of the follow items.

  • Blog Posts – What is your newest content you don’t want them to miss?
  • Social Media – Where do you like to hang out online?
  • Promoting Products or Services – What is available to them right now?

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Social Media, Profitability, Planning

How to Get People to Follow, Like & Buy from You

Sounds pretty dreamy right? Someone finds you online. They are interested in what you have to offer and learn to more about you. They like what you do, say, and sell and eventually buy. Well folks, to make this happen you really have to focus on a couple of key things.

Sounds pretty dreamy right? Someone finds you online. They are interested in what you have to offer and learn to more about you. They like what you do, say, and sell and eventually buy. Well folks, to make this happen you really have to focus on a couple of key things.  |  Think Creative Collective

Plan

Do you think any Fortune 500 company started growing without a plan in place? Seems totally obvious, but also extremely easy to skip. Here are a few of my best suggestions to help you put a plan in place:

Post

Next you must generate content both on and off your website that showcases your expert abilities, knowledge and crazy awesome skills. 

Authenticate

No one likes buying from any ordinary “company.” They like buying a story. They would much rather purchase a “persons” goods or services, instead of some mythical 3rd person. Make your brand personal. Use an authentic voice. 

Sell

I know what you are thinking. I am not a sales person. I just want to be creative. Can someone just pay me without me having to give them that icky sales pitch? You can skip all the slimy steps if you focus on getting your audience to know, like and trust you.

The Hard Lesson

What I learned the hard way was if I want my dreamiest of clients to find me, follow me, like me and later buy, I need to know who they are just as much as they need to know me. This meant I have to turn on the hyper focus switch to grow my email list! In 2 months, I quadrupled by list by implementing some simple strategies.

 


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