6 Reasons Hosting a Virtual Summit is Easier than Launching an Online Course

Guest post by Bailey Richert | this post may contain affiliate links

In 2016, my infopreneur business was reaching a bit of a plateau.

Nothing was wrong; everything kept moving along as it was supposed to. I just had this desire to take my business to the next level. I wanted to elevate my exposure in my niche, grow my email list and increase my revenue fast. 

I already had ebooks, online courses, private coaching and other revenue streams. I was also already doing all the usual marketing techniques: social media, podcast interviews, and the like.

So, I decided to try something different. I hosted the Infopreneur Summit.

In just 90 days, I was able to completely launch a virtual summit from scratch, and I was simply blown away by all the benefits I reaped from this endeavor!

I grew my email list by over 1,000 people.

I grew my Facebook group by 355 people.

I made an additional $4,000 in revenue that month.

I formed business relationships with 27 influencers.

Today, when business owners – both beginners and those who are more established – ask me what I did to achieve such rapid growth, I tell them: host your own virtual summit.

Many people who don’t fully understand how virtual summits can benefit a host remain skeptical at the idea of launching their own. I often hear in response to my suggestion, “I would rather put that effort into creating another online course.”

Oh, if only they knew just how much easier and more beneficial to their business hosting a virtual summit would be over launching just another course!

In this post I would like to share with you 6 specific ways in which I have found that hosting a virtual summit is far easier than launching an online course, and perhaps convince you to give it a try! 

1. You don’t need an expensive video recording setup.

When creating an online course, everyone wants to appear as professional as possible. Part of that entails creating a recording ‘studio’ in your home to create your content. Even if you only invest in middle-of-the-road equipment, it can all add up fast! A backdrop, camera, tripod, lapel microphone, desk microphone, video editing software, screencasting software.

The content you will record for a virtual summit is in the form of online interview which require far less equipment. For my first virtual summit, I was able to get away with a $60 webcam and USB microphone. I even edited my videos inside of YouTube for free!

You can get by with less hardware and software when hosting a virtual summit compared to creating an online course.

2. Content creation is much, much easier.

Speaking of creating content, it can take literally hundreds of hours to create awesome content for an online course. Even if you are “only” doing screencasts, you still have to edit, add callouts and on-screen text or captions. Plus, don’t’ forget all the time that the videos take to render!

Interviews with influencers are the content in a virtual summit. The people you are speaking with are literally creating the content for you! There’s no scripts to write out, perfect and memorize. The video interviews are recorded once, barely edited and ready to go.

Creating content for a virtual summit is faster and easier than recording videos for an online course.

3. Launching takes less time.

Piggybacking off of number 2, it is easy to see why having help from influencers makes the content creation happen more quickly. But that’s not the only reason why virtual summits can be a faster revenue stream to launch than an online course.

In my free ebook, I explain my 3-phase process for launching a virtual summit in just 90 days! That is exactly how quickly I was able to launch my first summit from “idea” to “execution”. Normally, when I launch an online course it can take me anywhere from 4 to 6 months to allow enough time for recording videos, developing bonuses, recruiting affiliates, pre-selling, creating the sales funnel and more!

A virtual summit can be launched in 90 days whereas online courses often take many, many months. 

4. You don’t have to be an expert in everything.

When creating an online course, it can be hard to determine where you should start and end the content. You want to provide your students with as much help as possible, so you start to teach on topics that are truly beyond the scope of what the course should be. Sometimes, you might even feel obligated to offer content on topics you don’t really know. Boundaries for online courses can be tough.

Virtual summits solve this problem entirely because you are asking the guest speakers to offer their expertise. As the host, it’s your job to let them shine. You don’t have to be an expert in the topic that they are sharing. It’s your job to ask insightful questions, not be the teacher.

Virtual summits highlight other influencers’ expertise so you can cover many topics for your audience, even those of which you have little or no knowledge.

5. You have dozens of influencers promoting for you. 

Let’s be honest. Profiting from an online course can be difficult if you don’t have an amazing email list of subscribers. Plus, it can be tough to recruit affiliates in your niche who are busy promoting their own products.

Virtual summits bring together dozens of influencers who will be sharing and promoting your event at the same time, culminating in a huge rush of traffic to your opt-in page.

Whereas promoting an online course can be an uphill battle, promoting a virtual summit is easy with many influencers working to drive traffic to your event at once. 

6. Urgency prompts attendees to buy more without requiring a “pushy” hard sell.

Many online business owners went into business to practice their craft, not to sell. It’s a common fear, and the others just think it’s unnatural to ask someone to buy. But, when you are launching an online course, that’s exactly what you need to do: push your product.

A virtual summit has the benefit of being a limited time event. Attendees are faced with a very real sense of urgency to purchase their All-Access Pass because the summit has actual start and end dates at which time the price goes up. The attendees accept these deadlines more easily than they do with online courses where potential buyers are more inclined to put off purchasing in favor of a holiday sale or the next launch.

Virtual summits use the short time period of the event to create urgency around the purchase of the All-Access Pass which sells more easily than online courses do during a launch. 

While online courses tend to be the beloved revenue stream of many online business owners, virtual summits should not be overlooked. In many ways, they are far easier to launch than online courses and can bring even more benefits to your business that an online course cannot, such as exposure, explosive email list growth, business relationships with influencers and more.

The next time you are thinking of new ways to boost your business, give hosting a virtual summit a try instead of just creating another online course!

Interested in learning more about virtual summits?

Download my free “Virtual Summit Set” and receive an ebook, 2-page planning worksheet and guest speaker checklist all intended to help a beginner learn to launch their own virtual summit from scratch in 90 days! 


Bailey Richert is a business coach who helps individuals launch profitable online enterprises as “infopreneurs”: respected experts in their fields creating value and generating income by sharing their life experience, knowledge and passions with others in a manner that supports their ideal lifestyles.


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Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.

5 Case Studies on the Power of Pinterest Marketing

For the past year I've been working with students and clients to improve their Pinterest strategy, and skyrocket their traffic, leads, and sales for their businesses and blogs.

I’ve created a free 5-day Pinterest course that over 1K students have worked their way through, I’ve held multiple free online workshops, I’ve written “share-all” blog posts, and I’ve worked with hundreds of students in my signature Pinterest course, Pintastic Profit Plan.

I love when students get back to me after implementing even just 1 or 2 of the strategies that I teach, and get these incredible little “wins,” that really encourage them to keep going and fully implement a complete and strategic Pinterest strategy.

Today I want to share with you the results from 5 different people who I have worked with on their Pinterest strategy in some way.

Whether it be as a student in one of my courses, or someone who participated in one of my other free trainings, these ladies have achieved some incredible results!  But before we dive in, if you KNOW that you’re ready to increase your traffic, leads, and sales for your business or blog, but don’t know where to start, then I’ve got something for you!  


And now, on to the Pinterest case studies!

Elisa Giorgio from Single Mama Blueprints was able to add over 50 followers in less than 24 hours!  

“I just wanted to say thanks for this e-course! All I did was update my profile and description yesterday and already have picked up 51 followers! Holy cow! I know followers aren’t the ultimate goal, but it was that instant gratification I needed to keep moving forward :)” ~Elisa

Casey Evans from Baipai Creative was finally able to wrap her head around how to plan out a successful Pinterest strategy!  

“I've had my Pinterest account for several months, however I've always known that my Pinterest game wasn't even in the right zip code!  I found your course, and just did it all in 5-hours!  Now I'll be the first to admit that I have A LOT more homework to do!  I didn't cut corners exactly, I just did a fast-track, doing some very minimal trials and testing, playing around with it along the way really.

Well guess what?  I've doubled my followers in the past hour (LOL, it's true, but I only went from 2 to 4)!  Just off of ONE (!!) new pin that follows your methods (the rest of my boards and pins are still a mess!).  But let me tell you, that alone, on top of the makeover I'm doing to add my photo, better "about" and board descriptions, etc, has given me tons of confidence and a great sense of accomplishment today.  So I genuinely want to thank you for making that impact on me!” ~Casey

Chakayla Taylor from ChakaylaJTaylor.com was able to increase exposure and traffic for her blog! 

“THIS is what I call a Pinterest come up! Since taking your course, my profile impressions are through the roof. After tweaking my Pinterest profile to reflect my target audience (instead of my obsession with cupcake recipes) and creating branded (and beautiful) pins, my impressions have increased everyday since completing your Pinterest course. You are truly the Pin whisper!” ~ Chakayla

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Holly from Create Alchemy was able to design a Pin that went viral based on what she learned!  

Checking in again because one of my pins went viral (222 repins last I saw!) and my audience has grown even more since I last emailed you. I'm at 929 today and I'm projected to break 1000 by Friday. (I only had about 160 followers and 600 pins when I started). I have 2074 pins now with hardly any work.

Now I just have to recreate the magic of that pin that went viral, and I think I'll have cracked the code. But the most exciting part is logging into Pinterest and seeing that red notification alert at the top with a 10+ inside it. :)

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And finally, I want to go even more in-depth, and share with you the full case study of Morgan Nield of the Etsy Shop, Little Highbury, after going through my course.  Morgan is already a highly successful, multiple six-figure business owner, that is sold on the opportunity that Pinterest gives her to increase her audience and exposure for her business even more!  Now she is teaching other small business owners how to turn their Etsy side-hustle into a full time business at MorganNield.com.

Here’s a quick interview with Morgan on her experience with my Pinterest course ...

Q: Tell us about you and your online business.

Morgan: I’ve run a multiple six-figure Etsy shop for about 2 1/2 years, and throughout the process, I got A LOT of questions asking for tips + tricks for selling on Etsy. These were always my favorite questions to answer! So I decided to start a new business that would help handmade sellers effectively market their business + convert followers into profitable sales.

I started this completely from scratch— no email list, no social media following, and a brand new website. It was daunting to say the least! I knew that I wanted to focus a lot of my energy on Pinterest strategy, but I also knew that I needed a clear plan if I wanted to succeed.

Q: What were your goals before you started the course?

Morgan I started from square 0 — absolutely nothing. It was a completely new experience for me going from selling physical product to an online service, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I KNEW that I wanted to hit around 1,000 Pinterest followers in the next 12 months, and I wanted to have Pinterest be my largest traffic-driving source. At the very basis of it, I guess you could say that my real goal was just to convert at least 1 client through Pinterest to prove to myself that I could make a business out of this!

Q: Tell us about your experience starting your Pinterest account.

Morgan: I was that awesome horrible case-study story that started out with 15-20 boards with 10-15 pins on each featuring everything from home decor to recipes to kids crafts— you know, the stuff that I was interested in. It was a hot mess, to say the least, and I had NO idea what I was doing. I was trying to use my Pinterest business account as if it was a personal one (yeah….)

I finally stumbled upon Summer’s free Pinterest Power class (on Pinterest, of course!) and immediately signed up. Lesson 1 came into my inbox and I KNEW that I had found something awesome :)

The next couple of weeks were spent optimizing my Pinterest boards, getting a decent number of pins on each, and making Pinterest-optimized graphics that linked back to my blog. Summer was SO generous in all of her information.

Q: Did you achieve concrete results from taking the course?

Morgan: Oh my gosh, yes! I seriously was stuck on 149 followers FOREVER. Seriously. Like I would gain 2 a week and then lose 2 that next week. It was frustrating and disheartening to say the least.

Once I implemented Summer’s tactics + optimized my boards for getting more views, I was AMAZED at how effectively I started to grow my followers! I’ve been following her strategies for about 2 months now and am almost at 800 followers (which is HUGE for me!). I gain around 60-80 followers/week on a consistent basis and only spend around 30 min/week on Pinterest in total!

Q: What was your biggest takeaway?

Morgan: I absolutely LOVE what Summer said about not losing sight of why we’re really on Pinterest—to get people to our website + convert! Sometimes I get so caught up in pinning other people’s content (which is great!) that I forget to pin my own! I’ve since come up with a “pinning schedule” that reminds me to pin 2-3 of my own pins for every 10-15 pins from other people. It helps keep my content new + fresh, but without bogging people down with shameless self-promotion.

After those 5 case studies, are you convinced now that Pinterest is a MUST for any business or blog?  I hope so!


 If you’re really ready to amplify your audience and reach online, be sure to grab your copy of "The Ultimate Pinterest for Business Checklist

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Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.

Swipe Guide to my Top 5 Automation Systems for Business

This post contains affiliate links for programs that I use and love! 

I’m all about utilizing whatever I can to make it so I’m spending less time on the mundane, repetitive tasks in business.  On an average day I’ve got about 2-3 hours max to truly devote to business (those of you with multi-passionate business dreams, kids, or 9-5s will understand!), so I’ve really got to make sure I make each of those minutes count.

I definitely don’t have the whole “work-life” balance thing all figured out.  Sometimes my evening will be spent writing emails on the computer after the kids go to bed, rather than hanging out with hubby.  But on the other hand, some days are spent going to the zoo all day with the kiddos, rather than actually doing work.  It’s not perfect, it’s not your “normal” work schedule, but for now, it works for us!

So today, I want to share with you a swipe guide on how I’ve set up 5 different automations in my business, with the help of some pretty kick-ass systems and programs.

The goal is to spend the limited time I have to work, on things that truly move my business forward, rather than dealing with the tedious (but need to get done) tasks.

AND because I love you guys, I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY where you can win a subscription to a couple of my favorite programs (ConvertKit AND Tailwind … woohoo!!!), plus a scholarship to my Pintastic Profit Plan 2.0 course that relaunches this October (totally updated, along with a huge section on website conversion strategy added).

Go ahead and grab your entry now! It closes October 6th, 2016 so don’t wait.  AND you can get (a lot!) more entries by sharing the entry out on social media, so be sure to look for that after entering.

Now on to the swipe guide to my top 5 favorite automation systems for business.

1.     Tailwind

2.     ConvertKit

3.     MeetEdgar

4.     ClickFunnels

5.     Deadline Funnel

1.  Tailwind (win 1 year free!)

I’m starting here because I’m ALL about Pinterest marketing, so of course using an automation system to keep my pinning schedule consistent is at the top of my list. I’ve been a Tailwind customer for quite some time now, and after looking at all the other Pinterest scheduling options out there, it’s definitely top of the pack in my opinion.  They are constantly coming out with new snazzy features and updates based on customer feedback!

Here are a few of the ways that I use the system, and keep my pinning queue full:

-       Optimized schedule: Right now I have 30 times picked for each day when my pins will be sent out.  This schedule is all optimized on what Tailwind says are the best times for my pins to receive the most engagement. (Yep, they know that kind of data!)

-       Group board lists: I have all of my group boards that I’m a part of listed in 1 Board List.  This allows me to quickly schedule a new blog post image to post to ALL of my group boards, spread out over the next week, with 2 clicks.

-       Tailwind Tribes: this is a new feature in Tailwind that allows you to join a group of like-minded Pinterest users to be able to easily share and re-pin each others’ content.  I like how easy this makes it to find new, high quality content from other Pinners that I trust.

-       Pin Inspector: I love this tool that let’s me quickly determine which of my boards and pins are doing the best on Pinterest in terms of gaining traction. This allows me to figure out the topics and Pin styles that seem to be the most popular, so I can base future content on that information.

If you’re serious about using Pinterest for marketing or traffic generation purposes, then a system like Tailwind is really a must. 

Remember you can win 1 FREE YEAR of Tailwind in my Pintastic Business Booster giveaway.  Or if you just can’t wait, you can sign up through my referral link to get 1 free month of Tailwind when you purchase a paid plan.

2. ConvertKit (win 6 months free!)

ConvertKit is my complete email system, and was one of the first “pro” investments I made in my business. (If you missed it, I just wrote a blog post about 17 lessons learned from 1 year with Convert Kit)

Like many of us, I started out with the free MailChimp plan, but quickly realized that there was a lot of functionality that I was missing.  I knew that I was going to be building my email list by using multiple opt-in “freebies” and an automated free email mini-course, and with MailChimp that whole process was going to be extremely clunky and time consuming.

ConvertKit has made it easy for me to do all those things that I only *wished* I could do with MailChimp. 

Here’s some of my favorite ways that I use ConvertKit:

1.     Free Email Course: Creating a free email course was one of the best decisions I ever made for my business.  It’s been responsible for bringing in over ½ of my 3K+ subscribers, and it’s an asset that I can keep promoting over and over again.  My free course has come a long way since I first created it, but to start with it was a simple 5 day sequence of emails that provided instruction and value on my topic.  It’s a great way to gain trust in your business and brand!

2.     Tags: I set up systems in ConvertKit to tag subscribers based on how they joined my email list.  Some of my tags include what they are interested in (based on where they signed up), what they have purchased, or what trainings they have attended.  This helps me to know what my audience is interested in, and where I should spend my time creating new content.

3.     Automated Webinar Sign-up: Instead of forcing people that are already on your email list to enter all of their information again to sign up for a webinar (or anything that you’re offering), you can create an automated link.  So if someone clicks on my webinar sign-up link in an email, they are automatically tagged and registered for the event!

4.     Connections to other Systems: I love how I can connect ConvertKit to my other automation systems. I have it set up so that when someone purchases my Pinterest course or my Canva Templates, they are automatically added to my email list, AND they are sent an automated welcome email giving them what they need to access their purchase.

And don’t forget, you can win 6 months of ConvertKit for FREE in my Pintastic Business Booster giveaway! Woohoo! :)

3. MeetEdgar

Honestly there is no way I would be able to keep a consistent presence on my Facebook and Twitter accounts without this social media scheduling tool.  It allows me to enter my content into the system once, and then it keeps posting it over and over again for me on whatever schedule I want. 

I tried the whole sit down once a week or once a month, and schedule all your social media at one time thing.  But it just wasn’t happening for me.  MeetEdgar is less than you’d pay a VA to do your social media each month, so that works for me! Also, it allows me to manage the social media accounts for both of my businesses, which makes things even more cost efficient.

I change up my schedule in MeetEdgar here and there, but some of my regular categories are:

  •  My blog posts
  • Quotes
  • Inspirational / funny
  • Tips
  • Others’ content to share
  • My newest blog post + content upgrades
  • Promotional
  • Webinar
  • Checklist

4. ClickFunnels

This is a newer system to me that I’ve justimplemented in the last couple of months, so I know I’m only scratching the surface of what it can do for my business!  I like to think of it as “LeadPages on steroids.” :) 

The whole idea is that it allows you to easily recreate a sales funnel, with an easy drag-n-drop interface.  So within ClickFunnels, I’m able to create the initial opt-in landing page, the thank you page, a tripwire sales page (a low priced offer that is available for a limited time after opting in), the checkout cart, and then deliver the product. But really, that’s just a small part of what it can do. 

Here’s a few of the ways I’m currently using it, as well as future plans I have for the platform:

-       Designed + created all of my opt-in pages for content upgrades

-       Hosting my full free 5-day Pinterest course on the platform

-       Hosting a webinar directly within ClickFunnels, along with Google’s live streaming

-       Processing either Stripe or PayPal payments through their system

-       Creating a password protected membership or course site

-       Easily split testing pages to see what converts best

-       Creating an automated webinar funnel

One of my favorite parts is that they have a lot of template pages and complete funnels already built within the program (that are totally customizable), so it’s easy to get additional ideas directly within the system. 

If you want to give it a try, they do offer a free 14 day trial that you can get started with here through my referral link

5. Deadline Funnel

This is a bit more of an advanced system, but totally worth it if you currently have any type of sales funnel in place that needs a form of urgency to promote sales. 

Creating funnels within my business is a large piece of my profit puzzle, and Deadline Funnel lets me create an individualized deadline for each person that enters my funnel.  That means I can offer each person a special offer within my funnel that expires at a specific day/time based on that individual person’s signup date.

If you’re new to funnels, and want to learn more, my recent blog post, The 5-Step Client Booking Funnel is a great spot to get started, and even includes a free sales funnel swipe file to download. 

Here’s how I’m currently using Deadline Funnel:

1.     Free Pinterest Course: When someone signs up for my free Pinterest course they activate a deadline countdown timer.  It is set so that my paid Pinterest course is pitched to them with a special offer included throughout the free course content, but only for a limited time.  So once the deadline expires, it goes back to the standard offer for them.

2.     Evergreen Webinar: When someone signs up for up for my automated evergreen webinar recording, they activate a deadline countdown timer.  On the webinar they are pitched my course at a special offer.  After several days of follow-up emails after the webinar, then the special offer closes again.

3.     Tripwire Canva Templates: When someone opt-ins to either my free Pinterest course or signs up for my Pinterest Checklist, they are offered a chance to buy my set of 10 editable Canva templates for just $7 (regularly $19).  That offer is only valid for 15 minutes, the Deadline Funnel timer counts that down.

So what happens once the timer expires for an individual person? They are automatically sent to a different page of your choice (could be the regular sales page, or a different page that says the deal expired).  It works correctly even if they access the link from different devices.

If you want to give Deadline Funnel a try, you can get a 30 day free trial through my referral link (on the website, you can only get 14 days).  And if you have a sales funnel currently in place, I think you’ll definitely see results within your free trial period after implementing Deadline Funnel!

And that’s a wrap! My 5 favorite automation tools and systems to keep my business working, so that I don’t always have to!

Let me know if you have questions about any of them, or need ideas for how you might implement them in your own business.

And don’t forget to sign up for the Pintastic Business Booster Giveaway to win:

  • a scholarship to my online course Pintastic Profit Plan 2.0 (relaunching this October)

  • 1 year of Tailwind

  • 6 months of ConvertKit

  • a subscription to Wonderfelle’s Styled Stock Society

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Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.

17 Email Marketing Lessons Learned from 1 Year with ConvertKit

This post contains affiliate links for programs that I use and love! 

This month marks my one year anniversary of using ConvertKit in my business. Now maybe that seems over-dramatic to mark the anniversary of a software system in my business.  

But honestly it’s one of the major reasons that I’ve found success in the online world.  

I opened Lady Boss League in August of 2015, and like most of us, I got started on the free MailChimp plan.  I mean what’s not to love about free, right?  Well, there turned out to be a lot not to love.  

I knew going in that a big strategy of mine was going to be to build my email email by using multiple “freebies” or “content upgrades,” as well as creating an automated free email sequence mini-course.  I soon found out that even with the MailChimp automation feature (which was going to cost me $15 a month), the whole process was clunky, time consuming, and built on a bunch of “work arounds,” which wasn’t really how I wanted to run my business.

I’d been floating around the idea of investing in ConvertKit for a while, and when I came across an incredible offer for a year of ConvertKit for about what I was paying for MailChimp already, I was ALL IN!

Over this past year, I’ve put my ConvertKit account to good use …

  • writing almost weekly emails to my list
  • building my subscribers to over 3,000 people
  • creating multiple freebie offers and opt-in upgrades
  • Designing sales funnels that sell my offers on auto-pilot
  • Putting together a free email course that has brought in over 1,500 subscribers alone
  • Building webinar sequences that convert    

I can say that I’ve learned A LOT in the past year about email marketing, through trial and error.  So I wanted to share with you 17 lessons that I’ve learned from a year of email marketing with ConvertKit.

And now on to the 17 Lessons I learned from a year with ConvertKit ….

1. Subject lines matter a lot. 

The ONLY goal of an email subject line is to get the person to open the email (without being deceiving or too “click-bait”).  It doesn’t matter how amazing your email is if you can’t get people to open it up.  I use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer for almost every email I write (it’s also good for blog posts).  So effective!

2. Don’t be afraid of unsubscribers.  

When I first started out I would stress out if I got more than 10 unsubscribes on an email.  Now my “norm” is more towards 25-35 unsubscribers per email.  I’ve got entrepreneur friends who get 100+ unsubscribes per email! It’s all relative based on list-size. Keep an eye on your unsubscribes to see what types of email get more unsubscribers compared to others, but it’s not something to worry about or take personally!

3. Images can hurt.

 I used to be someone who wanted my email perfectly formatted with logos, images, different fonts, etc.  Now I keep it fairly simple, rarely include images unless it’s a screenshot, and keep all fonts pretty consistent.  Any type of image can greatly increase your chances of your email landing in someone’s “promotions” or spam folder.  To me, it’s just not worth the risk.

4. Test your emails.  

ConvertKit has this nifty little feature where you can send a test email to yourself before scheduling it to be sent out.  I ALWAYS do this, and I make sure to view the email on both my computer, and my phone.  You don’t know how many times I’ve caught broken links, mis-spelled words, and paragraphs that look like their formatting is a bit wonky, by doing this.  You’d be surprised by how different an email can look on mobile vs. desktop, so be sure to give it a look on each before scheduling it to send.

5. Mix up your lengths.  

Personally I really enjoy writing, so sometimes my emails can get a bit long.  Some people love reading lengthy emails (as long as they are informative/entertaining), but others hit delete as soon as they get past the first 150 words.  So I try to mix it up.  

In one email I might tell an in-depth personal story, in another I might only give a little preview and include a link to a full blog post, and in another I might try adding screenshots or images.  Not everyone likes the same thing, so keep changing it up.

6. Avoid the promotions folder.  

If you have gmail, you know there is a promotions tab where more “spammy” messages end up.  You want to avoid having your emails go there.  I’ve found that if I include the word “free” in the subject line or in a link within the email, then I can pretty much be guaranteed it’s going to promotions.  Think carefully before using words like “free,” “winner,” “money,” etc. in  subject lines or links.

7. Keep top of mind. 

You need to remember what the purpose of having an email list is in the first place!  Are you promoting your business, gaining sales, and keeping in your client/customer’s minds by regularly showing up in their mailbox?  If not, then you might as well not have an email list. If you don’t use it, you lose it!

If by the time you send your first email, it’s been months since they first subscribed, that person will have forgotten who you are.  And you better believe they are unsubscribing fast if they don’t remember signing up for your list!

8. Don’t send a “newsletter.”  

If you’re sending out emails with the subject line “newsletter,” promise me you’ll stop right away!  No one reads newsletters.  People want information that is going to help them … not “fluff” because you felt you were required to send something.

9. Create an email “mini-course” for your business.  

This one here is a GAME-CHANGER.  I created a 5 day Pinterest mini-course that I could promote across my whole website, and throughout my blog posts, that introduces people to my knowledge on Pinterest. My first version of it was simply a set of automated emails that were sent out once a day for 5 days.  

The value of this type of “freebie” is HUGE, and is much more likely to be shared by others.  Take the time to create this once, and you’ve got an asset that will continue to grow your email list for months into the future. My Pinterest mini-course has on it’s own brought in close to 1.5K subscribers to my list.

10. You don’t need a fancy landing page software.  

Now, full disclosure, I am now using ClickFunnels for my opt-in pages and loving it, but I didn’t start out with anything.  All I did was take a ConvertKit form, insert it into a blank page on my SquareSquare site, and add an image mock-up of the freebie that I was offering.  Worked like a charm! Don’t feel like you have to invest extra money in landing page programs, if you’re not ready yet in your business.

11. Treat your free stuff like it is paid.  

Just because you’ve created a mini-course that you’re giving away for free to build your email, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put the same effort into giving it a “sales” page to show people what you’re offering.  Don’t expect people to give you their email address for nothing!  Their email list is a form of “payment,” and you’ve got to show that it’s worth it for them to give it to you.

12. Include image mock-up of digital products.  

Since you’re likely offering a digital freebie, it’s important to make it tangible to your audience.  Consider taking a screenshot of your page, and then using a program like Canva or Pages to showcase it within a computer screen or iPad, or make it look like a physical book. This portrays a higher value item to your audience.

13. Don’t be afraid to use the re-send to unopens feature. 

 If I’ve got something that I really want to be sure as many people on my list know about as possible, I often resend it 3-4 days later to anyone who doesn’t open the initial email (this is a ConvertKit feature).  I’ll change the subject line and change up the email text a bit to see if I can encourage a new set of people to open it.  You’ll get more opens, and of course more unsubscribers too.  Repeat after me …. That’s A-Okay! :)

14. Remember during promotions, people like to procrastinate.

 If you’re promoting something that has a deadline for purchasing  (like during a launch), don’t be afraid to send 2 or more emails during the last 24 hours that it is open. People LOVE to be last-minute.  Even if you feel like you’ve sent out WAY too many emails already, be sure you at least send out a “final call” email a few hours before the close of the promotion.  You’re almost guaranteed to get some more sales because of it!

15. Don’t send everyone, everything.  

One of the top features of ConvertKit is the ability to segment your list.  The simplest way to do this is through tags. You can tag everyone who is interested in a specific topic, or tag people that clicked on a link to your sales page, or tag people that purchase your product.  

The options are endless for ways to segment your subscribers through tags.  Then you can send specific emails only to people who are interested in specific topics.  It’s all about personalization, so what easier way to create emails that speak directly to a certain group’s struggles!

16. Get support.  

If you ever feel like you’re not making the most of your email system, or you’re confused about how to make it work for your specific business, I’d highly suggest setting up a call with them to talk more.  Yep! You heard that right.  You can schedule a call with ConvertKit support, and talk with a real live person about any struggles you’re running into while getting set up with their system. Love their personal touch!

17. Use a system that you can grow with. 

 I made the switch from Mailchimp to ConvertKit when I had about 300 people on my list.  That meant I didn’t have any complicated systems set up yet with tagging, or sales funnels, or sequences.  This made the process VERY easy to convert my list to ConvertKit.  If you’re feeling like your current email system isn’t going to grow with your business, and you know you’ll need to make a switch at some point, I’d highly suggest during it sooner rather than later!

And there it is!  I’m guessing you can now tell why I love ConvertKit so much, and how it’s been a HUGE part of my success during my first year in business. I’m SO glad I made the switch early on to an email program that I know I can continue to grow with from here on out!

12 Comments

Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.

The 5-Step Funnel to Book Clients on Auto-Pilot

If you’re been following the latest “catch phrases” in the marketing world, you know that FUNNELS is one of the big ones right now.  

Normally I’m pretty against doing anything just because it’s the “cool” thing to do. But this time around, I’m totally on board with the power that a funnel can have for increasing sales in a semi-passive manner for your service-based business.  

I know there are misconceptions out there about a funnel being an icky marketing ploy that takes the relationship-building out of the business. So I want to clear up right away what a funnel is and what it’s not.  

When I’m talking about a funnel, I’m referring to a series of content and emails that attract your ideal clients, and guide them on an educational path towards eventually booking your services (if it turns out to be a good fit).  

In no way do I ever want a funnel to be seen as a sly marketing technique to get people who really don’t need your service to buy it. Let’s be honest, if someone isn’t really interested in what you’re offering, they are probably going to pretty much ignore your attempts to put your content in front of them anyways.

The people opening your emails, reading your blog posts, and connecting with you on social media are people that are interacting with your marketing.

Those are the people that your funnel is going to take from casual reader to forever fan and red hot buyer.  

If this sounds like a strategy that you’re ready to implement in your service-based business (I’m taking to you designers, copywriters, VAs, travel agents, health coaches, business consultants, etc.), then read on, and I’ll take you through the 5 steps of setting up your first funnel to book clients on auto-pilot.

And don’t miss your chance to steal my EXACT "mini-course" sales funnel to use as a model to create your own funnel that brings in clients on auto-pilot while you sleep!

I’m giving you my Complete Sales Funnel Swipe File, that includes the exact swipe copy of my 6 automated sales funnel emails, my complete email schedule, and a behind the scenes look at the tools + software that run it all! You'll see exactly why each type of powerful funnel email is a must-have to turn your funnel into a 24/7 sales machine. AND how you can do the same! 

The 5-Step Funnel to Book Clients on Autopilot

Step 1:  Figure out what people most commonly want to know related to your business.

When I get started writing a new blog post or crafting a new piece of content, the first thing I do is go to either Google or the Pinterest search bar. My goal is to find the exact words and phrases that people are most commonly using when searching for topics centered around my business.  

I could spend time checking analytics and using keyword tools to get even more specific results, but I like to keep things quick and simple. So I start typing phrases into the search bar and I see what comes up in the guided search.  

For example, let’s say that you offer online dog training consultations. In Pinterest, I type in dog training and the following phrases come up:

  • dog training tips
  • dog training ideas
  • dog training tricks
  • dog training potty

Those results make me realize that a lot of people are searching for info on how to potty train their dog. 

So I try the search bar again, but this time I get more specific. I search several phrases related to potty training a dog, and I find that many people are searching for “how to potty train a puppy in 3 days.”

For my purposes, this result is perfect…it’s specific, it’s actionable, and it’s something that I could definitely create content around for my audience.

Step 2: Create a “pillar” piece of content that is high-quality and educates potential clients on topics related to your service

Now that you know the topic for your piece of content, it’s time to create an in-depth, high-quality blog post. This can’t be a “fluff” piece of writing.

The job of this post is to attract people that are interested in what you offer, and there is no better way to attract them than showing off your expertise and knowledge.

Ideally, you’re going to provide enough information in this blog post for people to take action on one piece of the overall strategy that you provide through your services. Never be afraid of offering “too much” info. This should be your best work, and there is no reason to hold back.

When someone hires you it is for the personal attention, the one-on-one service, or the complete package. A single blog post (no matter how amazing it is) will not cause someone to suddenly DIY it instead.

For example, if you’re a travel agent that specializes in the Caribbean islands, you may write an blog post on which Caribbean island is the best for honeymoons. In this in-depth post you review each island, give specific resort recommendations, suggest possible romantic excursions, and provide a few insider tips about how to make the best decision.  

A person who reads this article is going to realize a couple of things:

    a. you’re an expert on the topic who knows what you’re talking about

    b. there are a lot of parts to figuring this out, and even with your well-written article, they are feeling quite overwhelmed

    c. maybe this is something better left to an expert

Now that you’ve provided enough educational value for your reader to start thinking about the potential of using an expert’s services (ideally yours!), it’s time to move on to step #3...

Step 3: Provide a “Work with me” opportunity, or get them on your email list

At this point, you have two options. Every blog post that you write should have one main business-building purpose. 

You need to decide if your blog post’s purpose is to:

a. Get your potential client to fill out a specific “work with me” form indicating their interest in booking your services so that you can follow up

OR

b. Provide your potential client an actionable and valuable “freebie” piece of content related to your blog post topic, that they can receive if they opt-in to your email list

My ultimate suggestion is to eventually follow this process for several blog posts so that you can split your blog posts between directly driving people to your opt-in form, or driving them to your email list opt-in form.  

For now, you’re going to be better served driving your readers to your email list so that you can continue to follow up with them, providing more value, and eventually working towards a sales.

The key is to make your “freebie” that you offer, so irresistible, and closely related to the blog post that you just wrote, that it’s an “no-brainer” for them to opt-in to your email list to receive it. The freebie should make it easier for the reader to take action on what they just read.  

For example, my freebie in this blog post is a swipe copy file of the exact emails to send out to people in your automated funnel. This helps you to take action so that you don’t have to start from scratch with writing emails (which can be overwhelming!). 

Here’s some other examples to get you thinking:

  1. Dog trainer writes a blog post about potty training a dog in 3 days = “freebie” is an hour by hour schedule that shows exactly what you should be doing for the 3 days time period to potty train your dog.
  2. Travel agent writes a blog post about honeymooning in the Caribbean = “freebie” is a ebook that gives a 1 page fact-sheet for each island, providing all the specifics you’d need to know for each (language, money, airports, best restaurants, resorts, and activities for honeymooners, etc.)
  3. Copywriter writes a blog post about the most important pages to have on your website to increase sales = “freebie” is a template for your about page that shows exactly what sections to include and sentence starters for each.

This freebie is something that’s going to build trust in your business and brand with your potential client, so don’t be afraid to take some time to really make it high quality and presented professionally.

Once you’ve got it created, you can use it in multiple blog posts, on social media, and any other place you connect with potential clients. 

The effort that you put into creating a piece of free content is going to show your potential clients that the experience of working with you in a paid capacity is likely going to exceed all their expectations. Which is exactly what we want!

Step 4:  Make the opt-in opportunity “magnetic”

Now that you have a freebie that’s going to be a “no-brainer” for your potential clients to opt-in to, it’s time to make it super easy for them to do just that!

That means that a little text link hidden in your blog post isn’t going to cut it. People are “skimmers” when it comes to online content, so we need to be sure your opportunity to opt-in really stands out.  

You’re got a couple options to try:

  1. Create clickable buttons, a minimum of 2 per blog post (towards beginning and end)
  2. Include a clickable image of your freebie (could be in combination with buttons)
  3. Include an “ad” for your freebie in the blog sidebar
  4. Create a pop-up or slide-in box specifically for that blog page

We don’t want to overwhelm the reader, so I don’t suggest doing all of these options together. However, I do suggest providing at least 2-3 opportunities per blog post to encourage opt-ins for your freebie offer.

The key is to make sure the reader is aware of the valuable freebie, but don’t over-do it by pushing it in their face continually.

Step 5: The FUNNEL!

We’ve finally made it to the step you’re been waiting for…the FUNNEL! This is the part that gets those people that are currently on the fence about your services, primed and ready to book as a paid client.  

Steps 1-4 have focused on getting their email address, and now that we have it, we have permission to follow up, provide more value, and prove exactly how amazing you are at what you do (and why they should book your services!).

Remember that a funnel is simply a series of emails that are automatically sent out to the people who opt-in to your freebie.

You can set up this automated email series through your email provider. With MailChimp, you’ll need to purchase their automation capabilities, or I suggest ConvertKit, which includes this automation capability with their standard service.

Let’s break down a simple series of emails that you can use regardless of industry, that works like gangbusters to take casual readers to red-hot buyers!

And if this all seems overwhelming, be sure to grab my swipe copy of the exact email copy you need to set up a sales funnel for any industry.  

Email 1. Automated Email on Opt-in (delivered directly after the person opt-ins for your freebie).

This one pretty much does what it says. Get that freebie to them!

Very little text is needed in the email other then saying thanks for opting-in and providing a clear link in the email to download their promised freebie. The whole point here is to build trust by doing what you said you would do — providing the freebie in exchange for their email address.

Email 2. Did you See This? (delivered one day later).

After opting-in, some people will hop right over to their inbox to consume the content, but others are in the middle of something or just aren’t in a spot to access their email right away. Life goes on, and they may forget about your freebie.

This email is sent 1 day after opt-ing in, to remind them that this is something that they requested, and provide another link to download it if they didn’t get a chance yet.

This email is also a great chance to introduce yourself, and remind them of what you do. Here’s the format I like for this email:

  • Paragraph 1: Did you miss this? Provide a reminder of the freebie and another link to download.
  • Paragraph 2: A few sentences to introduce yourself and your business.
  • Paragraph 3: Why should they care? Tell a little bit of your background, your experience, and how you help your clients (be sure to focus on benefits to your clients and don’t just toot your own horn).
  • Paragraph 4: Let readers know what to expect from you. Mention that you’ll be sending out several other valuable pieces of info over the next few days.  Invite your readers to reply back with any questions, and you’ll be happy to answer.

In your paragraph 2 or 3, be sure to include a link to your paid services page that is relevant to what you are writing about. This isn’t a big call-to-action, but just a small mention that naturally fits in with your writing.

Email 3. Education email.  

The whole point of this email is educate.

Often your readers may still not understand why the service you offer is even worthwhile paying for. This is your chance to educate them on the value of what you do.

You’re not trying to directly sell you or your service. You’re showing why what you do is valuable to your clients.  

Some possible topics for this email could be:

  • 5 Reasons why you need …..
  • 5 Reasons why you should ….
  • 5 Things you’re missing by not using a ….
  • 5 Ways to know you’re ready for a …….

Don’t be afraid to make this a more lengthy email, where you really break down each of the 5 reasons, providing well thought-out, in-depth reasons that speak to your ideal clients’ common “hold-ups” on hiring someone who provides your type of services.

Email 4: Training or How-To Email

It’s time to provide more value to your reader. You already covered one facet of your business in your initial blog post. Now it’s time to pick another sub-topic or strategy to provide a more in-depth training, tutorial, or how-to.  

Pick one small thing in your business that you can teach to provide a “quick win” for your reader.

When teaching about it, you can do it in written form directly within the email, and consider including screenshot tutorial images if helpful. You can even provide videos if that helps to get your point across better.

Be sure to provide a link at some point in this email that links back to your paid services page. Once again, this is not a strong call-to-action, but it is a casual link that allows people to find your paid services if they want to know more.

Email 5: Mistakes/Myths

In this email you’re going to address mistakes that you used to make before becoming an expert in your field. Try to think of a personal story from your own past that shows these mistakes in action.

Or you can instead focus on myths if you prefer. Address 3 common myths that people believe about your industry, and then dispel those beliefs as untrue.

In this email you will follow up with a direct pitch for your services. What do you offer, how can they find out more, and where should they click to book with you? Directly ask your readers to take action.

Email 6: Case Study

Do you have a client that you really “hit it out of the park” for? Did your services produce incredible results for them?

This is the email to showcase exactly what you did for them, including visuals if you can. Also, ideally, the client will provide a testimonial in their own words, in either written or video form.  

Be sure to include a link to your “work with me” form for people who want to achieve similar results!

Email 7: Final Sales Email

This is the time to lay it all out on the line and push for the sale!

Show off your best testimonials, answer all of your FAQs, describe exactly what the process is like to work with you, and include strong calls to action.  

You’ve provided a bunch of free value to your readers, so it’s time to go all in for the sale. Make it super easy to figure out how to book you, and what the next steps are.

Optionally, you may want to include an urgency to your services by offering a limited time coupon, or bonus upgrade, if they book (or at least contact you with their interest) within the next 48 hours.

So there you have it! A complete sales funnel sequence to book your clients on auto-pilot for your service based business.

Does it seem like a lot of work? Honestly, it does take some time to get all the emails written and scheduled into your funnel.

That’s why I’m providing you with a free swipe copy file that includes the exact emails that you’ll need for this email sequence funnel.  Take them, tweak them, and make them your own for your own business!

And don’t forget that, once you get this all set up one time…..it’s ALL automated!

That means you can spend your time serving your clients, working on other parts of your business, or even taking a day off! Once you have a client acquisition funnel set up, the options are limitless for how you spend your time rather than always hustling for new clients.

10 Comments

Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.

7 Must-Have Features to Turn Your Website into a Client Booking Machine (that works while you sleep!)

If you provide services as your main profit producing activity in your business, and you don’t have a plan in place to continue to secure NEW clients going forward…. We need to talk!

Here’s what happens. Business is going well, you’re hustling to find new clients, and eventually you find yourself at the ultimate goal…BOOKED OUT! Your days are spent serving ideal clients, doing exactly what you were meant to do, and you’re dreaming of how you could happily do this forEVER.

No need to go back to that crazy marketing schedule that you created for yourself when you were trying to find clients, right?! 

I mean, you don’t really have time anymore to post in Facebook groups 24/7, write new blog posts, and work on your Pinterest strategy…you’re spending all your time actually serving clients.

But then suddenly (and it ALWAYS happens all at once!) shiz hits the fan ...

  • one of your clients has hit a rocky spot in her business and needs to cut back on expenses
  • another one is planning a cross-country move and needs to put everything on pause “just for a few months”
  • the other has experienced such amazing growth that she decides it’s time to hire employees specifically devoted to her business, rather than continuing to outsource

You’ve just gone from the perfect client roster to “everything is about to fall apart if I can’t pick up a new client by the end of this month!”  

I understand that you don’t have a lot of time to market your services, especially when you have a full set of client work. That’s why you need a “sales person” that does the selling of your services for you, on auto-pilot, 24/7 while you work with clients (and sleep!).  

Hiring someone else, you say? NOPE! I’m talking about your website.

It’s time to turn your website into a client booking machine that does the work for you, so that you have a constant stream of new client inquiries coming in every single week.

I’m going to show you 7 must-have features that need to be present on your website for it to do the selling for you. By making these simple website tweaks, you’ll soon have a warm list of potential clients ready and waiting for you when a spot opens up in your client roster. No more new client hustling for you ever again!

And don’t miss grabbing my complete, free swipe file of 21 proven website design features that WORK, specifically for booking more clients.

I’m giving you the Ultimate Website Checklist to Booking More Clients, complete with screenshots, real life examples, and URLs (so you can check them out on your own!).  You'll see exactly why each easy-to-implement feature is a must to make their website is a 24/7 sales machine that works while they sleep.  AND how you can do the same! 

You’ll see the 7 must-have features that I’m talking about today in action, as well as grabbing a slew more of quick tweaks you can make in less than 10 minutes to your own site. So go ahead and grab your swipe copy file, and then it’s on to the 7 must-have website features.

7 Must-Have Website Features to Turn It Into a Client Booking Machine

1. A Super Clear Way to Hire You, Accessible from All Website Pages

When someone wants to hire you on the spot, or at least is ready to contact you to discuss the possibility more, you don’t want to make it difficult for them to figure out how to do that. When you’re a service-based business, you need an easy way to contact you that is in view no matter what page of your website that they land on.

Ideally, this would be a category in your navigation bar, or a different clickable button that “sticks” to the top of your page at all times. This isn’t the time to get “snazzy” with your wording. Copy that is very clear, and includes a call to action, works the best.  

For example:  Hire Me, Book Me, Call Me, Become a Client

We’ll get into more details about your services, packages, and the details of what you offer in a different step. For now, this button is to encourage action specifically from those people that are excited to book you right away.  Don’t make them wait!

Jess Creatives makes it very clear with a Hire Me Button in her navigation area:

Jess Creatives makes use of a hire me button to turn her website into a client booking machine

Jamie Jensen with Your Hot Copy gets a little cheeky, and uses the navigation link Call Me:

your-hot-copy-call-me.jpg

2.  Provide a specific contact form ONLY for potential clients (if you want to talk in advance)

This step applies if you have a service where you want to either speak with, or email with, a potential client before accepting them as a client. In most scenarios, if your service package includes intensive or personal work with your client, you will want to take this additional step to ensure it’s a good fit for everyone before booking.

You don’t want potential clients filling out your standard contact form on your website. It’s too easy for those responses to get lost in your inbox, and you’re likely not going to get the initial info that you want from a new client with your standard form.  

There are two ways to do this:

1. Present your standard offerings, and then give a direct link to your calendar to schedule a free call.

Miranda Nahmias does this for her virtual assistant agency at The VA Collective:

Miranda Nahmias from The VA Collective gives her clients a direct link to her calendar.

Or ….

2. Provide a form that collects the pertinent info (name, email address, website, maybe Skype name), as well as gets a general idea of what the potential client wants (package interested in, budget, etc.)

Krista Rae of KristaRae.co does this for people that are interested in her blog strategy sessions.

This gives you a way to weed out people who may not be a good fit, before always jumping on a free call first.

3. Spell out EXACTLY what it means to work with you.

Never assume that a potential client understands what the process is like to work with you. They may have never hired someone in your industry before, and even if they have, it’s likely that you do things a little differently. The more details you can provide about the experience in advance, the better.  

A person that is confused or unclear may never take the time to send you an email to get answers, and they may never book a call to talk more. By laying out the expectations in advance, your chances of booking that client (who now can imagine your work process unfolding in her head) has just gone up substantially.

Leah Kalamis does this perfectly, with an entire section on her Work with Me page that is called “How this Goes Down.” She lays out exactly what happens, when it happens, and who is responsible for each step of the way:

4. Create service packages with limited options.

Have you ever heard that if you have too many options, rather than making a decision, your potential clients will just look elsewhere, rather than wading through the overwhelming options?  Yup, it’s true!  

When you go to a sandwich shop, why do you think they have created specific “signature” sandwiches complete with a catchy name, and all the ingredients spelled out for you? Because they KNOW that packages sell. I don’t know exact sub shop statistics, but I’m going to guess that the large majority of customers buy one of their custom subs, rather than wade through all of the ingredient choices offered on the menu.  Why take a chance and create a bad tasting combination, when you can pick a proven mix of ingredients that works? Right!?

Same goes for your service-based business! By providing a limited number of preconfigured packages that encompass the services that you provide, you’re showing potential clients how to get the best value for their investment in your services.  

Amber of Amber Creative Co. does this by offering 3 packages at different price points, and different levels of commitment, that encompass her brand and website design services:

5. Share that social proof.

Why do you think social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are so powerful for service-based businesses? Because people like to talk when they have a good (or not so good!) experience with a business. And where better to share your feedback with your network than on social media!

You turn to your friends for their best recommendations for everything you might need from a local pizza kitchen to hiring a dog walker. So it only makes sense that you’d be looking for social proof when it comes to a business that you discover online.

Halley Gray of Evolve and Succeed does this with a full page on her website devoted to Social Proof, complete with client headshots, and 2-3 sentence testimonial statements packing a powerful punch: 

Halley Gray makes use of testimonials from her previous clients

6. Blog posts that have a REAL purpose.

I’m a firm believer that if you’re using your blog to further your business, then each blog post that you write should be doing some heavy hitting for you.

You have 3 main purposes that you can pick from for each blog post (but only pick 1 purpose per post):

  1. Promote your email list
  2. Promote your work with me form or free call scheduling calendar
  3. Promote a direct purchase

I’m going to suggest that you either focus on promoting your email list, through a content upgrade “freebie” that is directly related to the services that you offer, OR you promote your client form or free call.

For example, Diana of TheCoffeeDate.com offers a paid Instagram course that she knows appeals to online bloggers and people who identify with the title “creative entrepreneur.” So she has written a blog post about “What to Post on Instagram when you’re a Creative Entrepreneur,” and gives you an opportunity to grab her Instagram Content Creation Guide freebie that you’ll get when opting in to her email list.

Instagram Content Creation Guide from The Coffee Date

Diana knows that anyone who takes the time to read this blog post, and opt-in for the freebie offering, is likely her ideal client that is interested in learning more about improving their Instagram presence. Now that she has their email address, she can stay at the top of mind with her potential clients. Maybe she emails them additional content that’s related to conquering the Instagram algorithm change, or she advertises a special deal on a done-for-you Instagram service. 

By collecting email addresses, you now have the opportunity to follow up over and over again, rather than lose that potential client, never to be seen again once they click away from your website.

7. Present yourself as a REAL person.

If you don’t seem like a “real” person online, your clients are not going to trust you.  And if they don’t trust you, then they don’t book you. No longer can you hide behind a website and expect people to feel comfortable booking your services.

There is a reason that content centered around video and live streaming has become such a hot marketing strategy recently. It’s because it works!  

If you’re not convinced, try this experiment ….

Follow an entrepreneur that posts regularly on Facebook and Instagram (using still photos, not video). Consume all of their content on their social media platforms for 1 week.

See how you feel about that person by the end of that week….

  • do you know them better?
  • do you feel more invested in their business?
  • do you think you’ll be likely to stay connected with them in the future (and even potentially become a client at some point)?  

Now, find a second entrepreneur to follow that posts daily on SnapChat or Periscope, holds live webinars, or has YouTube channel. Consume their content for a week. How do you feel about that person by the end of the week?

I’ve recently been enjoying following Caitlin Bacher and Megan Minns on SnapChat, if you need a suggestion. Both of them share a great mix of business behind the scenes, personal life, what they are currently working on.

Then ask yourself…which entrepreneur and their business has your attention? My guess is it’s the person that has allowed you a little behind the scenes into their own life through video, showing you their little quirks, their personality, and showing their excitement and passion for what they do.

Throughout your website and social media, ask yourself how you can give clients a look into your life, your service offerings, and share with them your own passion.  Your excitement will be contagious!

So there you have it!  7 must-have features to turn your website into a 24/7 client booking machine:

  1. Super clean way to hire you.
  2. Contact form or calendar only for potential clients.
  3. Spell out the exact process of working with you.
  4. Create service packages with limited options.
  5. Share the social proof.
  6. Blog posts that have a real purpose.
  7. Present yourself as a real person.

And if you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your free swipe file of 21 proven website design features that WORK, specifically for booking more clients.

I’m giving you the Ultimate Website Checklist to Booking More Clients, complete with screenshots, real life examples, and URLs (so you can check them out on your own!).  You'll see exactly why each easy-to-implement feature is a must to make their website is a 24/7 sales machine that works while they sleep.  AND how you can do the same! 

It’s time to let your website do the work it was meant to do, and let you focus on your clients!

4 Comments

Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.

The Complete (& Easy) Guide to Creating Your First Tailwind Tribe

Guest Post by Allie Williams

If you love Pinterest as much as I do, you know how much of a time-suck it is. With all the different options you have for time management software out there, it can be overwhelming to decide on just one.

I am going to help you understand one of the best options today by breaking down what Tailwind Tribes are, how to start your first one, and how to get members to join!

What is a Tailwind Tribe?

If you’re in any Facebook groups, you know that they have a promo day (typically) and that you can post your most recent accomplishments or blog posts and get likes and comments. In the same manner, a Tailwind Tribe allows you to add your blog post images to a group of other women (or men!) also doing the same thing.

After you’ve added your own posts, it’s easy to go through and repost everyone else’s content since it’s all in one place. This is one of the best ways to skyrocket your repins and basically trip Pinterest out, causing it to place your pin toward the top in the search results.

A Tribe can double, triple, or even quadruple your chances for your pin getting seen since Pinterest acts as a search engine, and whatever pins are getting repinned and liked the most are going to show up first.

If you already have a Tailwind account, you can skip this next part.

Step 1: Create a Tailwind Account

Obviously, if you’re going to create a Tribe, you need to have a Tailwind account. This is the easiest part of our tutorial. Simply head over to Tailwind and click “Get started for free!”

Once you’ve reached your dashboard, you should spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the software. It’s fairly straight-forward, but there are a few things I should explain before we move on to Tribes.

Your Weekly Summary will be your home base. You can see everything from here: your new followers, your pins that have come from your domain, and your most followed boards.

Creating Your Tailwind Tribe

(This is a great time to show you my dashboard because our new Pinterest just went live last week, so I can truly show you the power of Tailwind!)

The other area that you’ll love is the Optimize Content section. Under it, you’ll see lots of options, but as if you've just signed up as a free trial users, you only have access to the Pin Inspector. This is a fabulous tool because it allows you to see all the pins you’ve ever pinned and how they performed! It even allows you to reschedule the pins that did the best so that you can keep the ball rolling with that pin.

Step 2: Creating Your First Tailwind Tribe

JOINING A TRIBE IS REQUIRED

This step is a two-part process. Since Tribes are still in the testing process (called Alpha), you have to be invited to a Tribe in order for the “Tribes” section to show up in your sidebar. If you’d like to join my brand new Tribe, just click here. Once you’ve joined that Tribe, you can move on to the second section of the two-step process.

HOW TO CREATE YOUR TRIBE

At the top of the screen, under “Tribes”, there is a drop-down box with a button next to it that says “Create New Tribe”. Easy peasy, right?

How to Create Your Tailwind Tribe

Click that button.

A pop-up box will appear and you’ll have the chance to do three things:

  • Name your Tribe: Make sure it’s something easily remembered! It can be something as simple as your name.
  • Add a Tribe description: Plop a short bit about the Tribe here. This is what I wrote in mine: Go pin-crazy! We love seeing what you bring to the table.
  • Include Tribe rules: Tribe rules are important. You don’t want people to simply pin all their own content and then run away, only to come back and spam the group again a few days later with more of their own content, without ever pinning anyone else’s content. People put a lot of work into their content and their blog posts, and it deserves to be pinned. I like to stay reasonable, so I request that everyone repin everything that is within their genre or suits their brand.  I don’t require food bloggers to post about calligraphy because that simply doesn’t work, right? I also state that anyone who is inactive for a month will be removed. This means they haven’t added or repinned anything for 30 days, and because we want to leave room for those who are actively pinning, those who are inactive get the boot. If they’d like to come back, no worries! They can do that! We just like to be above board about our expectations.

You can also request a certain number of repins for every pin a member adds. In one Tribe I actively participate in, they have a “2 repins per pin added” rule and it works out nicely.

Step 3: Adding Members to Your Tribe

Depending on your niche, you’ll want to add people fairly selectively. Not everyone is active on Pinterest, and not everyone has the same goals in mind as you.

Personally, I am looking to drive a ton of traffic to my blog by creating epic blog posts with a ton of information and getting the pins for those posts spread around Pinterest as much as possible. My goals are growth, but some people aren’t focused on that.

Make sure that whomever you add has goals that align with yours.

Facebook groups

Facebook is a giant resource to us entrepreneurs, isn’t it? Posting in these Facebook groups can increase the likelihood of someone joining your Tribe. Here’s a good way to position yourself with your words when you’re looking for new members:

“Hey ladies! I have a Tailwind Tribe that focuses on blogging, business, entrepreneurship, and time management. If you blog about any of these things, I’d love to have you in my Tribe! My only requirements are that for every pin you add, you repin two other pins from other contributors. Thanks so much! Here’s the link: (link here)”

Twitter

I have posted a couple of times on Twitter for my private Tribe (not the one you joined) and advertised for new members, but in order for Twitter to be a successful place to find new contributors, you need a landing page where they can be directed to view your rules.

They need to know what the requirements are before joining, as well as what you post about, etc, and that can’t be written out in a Tweet.

Instagram

Posting a photo on Instagram and captioning it with information about your Tailwind Tribe is a good way to get the word out. The only problem here is that you have to provide a link, which goes in your bio, right? So you’d have to make sure you changed that over to your Tribe shortlink and that can be a hassle.

Adding Content to Your Tribe

I promise this part’s super easy! First, you have to make sure that you’ve installed the Tailwind extension. I use Chrome, so if you do too, here’s a quick link to the Tailwind Publisher extension.

Once that’s installed, simply visit Pinterest or your blog and find a pin you want to add to your Tribe. Hover over the image and the Tailwind icon should pop up. If it doesn’t, no worries; it’s also to the right of your URL bar… the little blue tail.

Now that you’ve selected an image to add to your Tribe, a pop-up window should be live with a lot of options for you.

Create Your Tailwind Tribe

Under the description of a pin, there’s a button that says “Add to Tribes.” Click this button, and you’ll see another window.

Create Your Tailwind Tribe

Simply select the Tribe you’d like to add your pin to (or multiple Tribes, if you’d like!) and you’re all set. Once your pin is in the Tribe, it can be repinned by any other members at any time.

If you want to pitch other bloggers to join your Tailwind Tribe, but just aren’t sure how to make that happen, snag our free Pitch Kit. With 10 free social media pitches, 2 email pitches (one long and one short), and 20+ email subject lines, you’re guaranteed to get seen!

*Tailwind links are Allie's affiliate links to a program that we both love and trust! 


Write here...

Allie Williams is a twenty-something entrepreneur who enjoys most basic things like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Yoga pants, and messy buns. She is passionate about email marketing, content upgrades, and Pinterest. She recently co-founded the Shield Sisters Initiative, which is a membership site for female entrepreneurs.

4 Comments

Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.

5 Steps to Creating Your Dream Audience Profile

Guest post by Nonni

Almost 18 months ago, this was the bane of my business existence! I had no idea what I was doing, and Google and YouTube had me spinning my wheels, throwing everything at the wall. I did figure it out, finally. Lots of doubt, dollars and many, many hours later, because it’s such an unavoidable part of being successful online.

No matter what type of business you have, you need a target market.

There are people who want and need your products, and the goal of your content and marketing efforts is to connect with them. Without a clearly defined target market, you're taking shots in the dark and just hoping that you’ll find people who will buy, read and understand you. You have no real idea if what you are doing is right, or in the wrong direction altogether.

Your perfect target market is a specific audience that wants and needs what you have to offer, and you direct your content and marketing to them. It’s that simple.

We mostly hear about the importance of knowing the age, gender, income level and geographical information of our audience.

Great. Demographic information like this is very important, but it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. Other aspects of your ideal audience include psychographic information, like how your audience sees themselves or see the world around them, and I think that this is more important than demographic information.

The point of market research, when done properly, is to give you a complete picture of your dream audience’s profile.

This is the ideal customer who wants and needs your products, and it's very detailed. A good customer profile has to be as specific as possible.


Before we get started, grab your free copy of the Dream Audience Profile worksheet, and let's get to work figuring out EXACTLY who you are serving in your business. 


Now, let’s take a look at what you need to know about your audience, so you can serve them better.

Demographic Information

This is the basis of your customer profile. Important but shallow. You can think of these as their "personal stats."

  • Age or age range
  • Gender
  • Geographical location
  • Level of education
  • Type of occupation (or specific occupation)
  • General income level
  • Family structure

For example, your customer may be a mother in her 40s, who is working at a professional job and lives in the suburbs. Or you may target mostly 20-something single women who earn over $72,000 a year and live in the inner city. This is a fair starting point.

Lifestyle and Hobbies

Lifestyle and hobbies are also important. These are part of the psychographic data, subtle information that you can use to laser target your focus.

  • Free time activities
  • Eating and health choices
  • Smoking and drinking habits
  • Clubs, groups and organizations they belong to
  • Places they visit often

All of this is equally important, if not more so. For example, your dream audience may be well-to-do single females in their 30s who enjoy a vegan lifestyle.

If you also know that your ideal customer is active on the weekends, going camping, hiking, running, and doing other outdoorsy things, the way you talk to her would be different. You now know more about her than just superficial details. Another girl could have exactly the same demographics, but have strong political views and attend rallies on the weekend. These are very different girls.

Morals and Values

Psychographic data gets to the core of how people see themselves. You want to clearly define their attitudes and beliefs about themselves, the world around them, current events, and their views on products like yours.

This is obviously important when it comes to how you position yourself and products in the market and how you deliver your marketing and sales messages. If your audience is made up of single Christian women who are celibate, they won’t appreciate the meme of twerking girls in your last email quite as much. 

I usually put goals, aspirations, and where they see themselves in the future in this category too. I LOVE Pinterest for this, because it’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole. Those celibate girls? They’re probably into modest clothing too.

Pain Points

To be successful with your blog or online business, you need know what your audience’s pain points or major problems are. You're going to offer them the solution — your product.

The key to successful marketing is to identify your market's pain or problem and offer a solution. That’s all.  If you are not solving problem or addressing a pain point, people don’t care. We don’t have the time.

Along with defining your niche, you need to define what frustrates them, what they worry about or fear, and what problems they face and what kinds of solutions they're looking for. It’s the only way to have a blog or a product that people care about. If you know exactly who they are, you can communicate your product's benefits and the results they can expect in a language that makes sense to them.

Say your dream audience is in their 60s, retired and are driving across America. You know that they are not into blogs and are up and about during the day, so you might find that a weekly podcast is better for them than a blog. That way, they can listen while they walk and do other things. You’re meeting their needs and solving a problem.

Shopping Habits

Your profile should also address how people in your audience shop. You’ll need to know things like: 

  • how much they spend
  • where they like to shop (online or off)
  • if they shop based on price or quality
  • how they use the products they buy

As a business owner, it's your job to connect them to the right products where and when they’re looking for them. That's why this information is so important.

When you know what your customer sees as value and how much they are willing to spend, you will know exactly how to offer them a no-brainer choice. This will shape the kind of language you use on your blog, the extras or lack thereof in your products and how your products and services are delivered.

Rather than just looking at the comparison between a high-end and lower-end shopper, it’s more valuable to look at the reasons why your audience buys.

Try answering questions like: do they shop with long-term goals in mind, or are they more concerned with branding and being flashy. These are very different people and motivations. 

Stereotyping much? Yes! Because it works.

When defining your target market, you don’t want to be caught out by making assumptions. I spent almost a year trying to figure it out and wasted so much time and money guessing.

By creating a detailed profile of your ideal customer, you know exactly who you’re talking to in your messages. Research your target market and they'll tell you what they like, what they think, and what they want from you.

Create all of your products, content, marketing materials and sales copy by speaking directly to this ideal customer and the right people will get the message. 

And don't forget to grab your Dream Audience Profile worksheet to help you on the way!


Nonhle Sibiya guest post on The Lady Boss League. Dream a

Hey! Nonni here. I help passionate bloggers and infopreneurs define their niche and turn their skills and passions into profitable businesses. I do this by helping them get crystal clear on their niche and super detailed with what their dream audience wants and needs with a zero guessing, step-by-step process. My internet home is at www.incrediblyniched.com

Comment

Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.