This is a guest post written by Rachel Wortmann
You know you need a system and routine for all your marketing efforts. Because right now it feels like #allthethings. And it’s preventing you from doing all the moving pieces necessary to look like you know what you’re doing. Maybe you even have a few things going: blog is created, you have an email marketing service and a small list, you have accounts for your biz on each social media branch, etc. You’ve sat down numerous times with coffee and determination, but it results in more stress because you hit the overwhelm territory and there’s no going back from there.
So I’ve created a step-by-step summary of what you can do to put your marketing efforts in place in an organized manner and create a stellar marketing routine:
Set Blogging Goals
A great way to establish yourself as an expert and lead potential clients back to your site is through a blog. You know you need to be blogging, but each time you’ve committed, you’ve fallen off the wagon again. My advice to clients I’ve worked with? Be reasonable with your goals. If you struggle with writing content, but know you can’t afford a copy writer yet, commit to posting a blog post every other week, this means only about 26 posts over the entire year. That’s only twice a month, and if you catch the writing bug one day, you can batch write a bunch of blog posts and find yourself months ahead on content.
You can always do more! If you want to be the kind of creative who blogs every week but aren’t sure if you can commit yet, try every other week and build yourself up. If you write every week and then hit a crazy month where you don’t blog at all, this will seem inconsistent with readers, which will not reflect well on you or your brand. Remember to create a marketing routine you can stick to!
Brainstorm + Make an Editorial Calendar
Start thinking about what you want to be an expert in. Is it Pinterest ads? Social media graphic design? Whatever it is, make that center to the content on your blog. My suggestion to clients is to choose 3-4 specific categories you want to be known for in your niche and make sure each blog post falls under one of these. Brainstorm some potential blog posts ideas and then in whatever calendar system you use, set dates for when these will be done and published. Seeing these in your calendar will push you to write and set up your blog system.
I suggest to clients to set two dates. The first being when the blog post should be written and the next one for when you hit publish. There’s a lot of other work that goes on in between those two dates which I explain below!
Design and Create Opt-ins
When writing your blog post you may be thinking, okay I’m giving away my expert knowledge, and sure potential clients may see this, but how else can it help? This is where opt-ins come in. Having an email list is huge right now, and for good reason. These people are already interested in your content, so much so they’re signing up for any further offers you put out there. Now that’s a pretty big deal. Say you get 50 people to sign up for your opt-in and join your email list. That may seem like just a few at first, but consider this: you’re looking for two new clients to fill up your schedule since you are about to have two ‘graduate’ from your program. Oh no. That’s potentially thousands of dollars of work you don’t have. But hey, if you send a mailer out to these 50 people explaining what you can do for them, the direct benefits they’ll see, and other details about working with you and just 10% show interest? That’s 5 people right there. More than double the spots you need to fill your client spots. This is why you need opt-ins. Great opt-ins further on whatever they’re just learned in your blog post. If you’re talking about launch strategy, then a launch checklist could make a good opt-in. Or maybe a social media management workbook? Or a coding cheat sheet? Whatever it is, make sure it’s valuable enough and enticing enough for your audience to want to click on and download.
It doesn’t take a lot to design and create an opt-in. If it’s a workbook, it’s as simple as creating a PDF. Make sure you also put your biz name and contact/social information in the book so people can reach out with questions and compliments.
From Opt-in to Email List
Okay you’ve got your blog post written, your opt-in created, but now how do you trade someone’s email address for a downloadable opt-in? Fear not! Trusty Leadpages comes into play here. Leadpages are a great way to collect email address in a professional manner that requires zero coding (a non-developer’s dream world!). Simply integrate it with your email marketing provider (ConvertKit, Active Campaign, Mail Chimp, etc.) and start creating pages. Although they have templates, I’d recommend playing with the drag-and-drop option. It allows for further customization and in the long-run can look more branded to your business. Once your Leadpage is created you’ll need to link it to a Lead box (aka the actual pop-up that collects the email address) which once someone has filled out will send that information off to your email marketing provider and send the new contact the opt-in (in Leadpages this is called a Lead magnet which you can upload separately). I know this may seem like a lot, but once you get in Leadpages and play around you’ll see it’s pretty easy to drag and drop the different widgets (text, buttons, images, etc.) and create the landing page perfectly branded for your business.
As these contacts are coming into your email list, make sure you’re tagging them! This is a little different with every email marketing provider, but nearly all of them have this feature. You may want to tag them in a few ways: by how they came in (blog post), which blog post, and maybe what they’re interested in (based on the content of the blog post). When you’re ready to launch something new, you’ll be able to segment and target your audience so that you market to the people who are truly interested in that sort of product.
So about that newsletter
Now you have blog content, valuable opt-ins and a growing list of subscribers. One of the major marketing efforts you know you should be implementing is a newsletter. Just like when you created blog goals, be reasonable about how often you’ll send these. I recommend to clients to send one with each or every other blog post. If you’re posting blog posts twice a month, send a newsletter with this valuable content out to your subscribers each time your post. If it’s weekly, you can also send a newsletter weekly (but if you’re a blog-writing wizard and are posting more than once a week, you may not want to hit people’s inboxes that often- so stick to no more than once a week).
Stressed about designing these each week? Create a template which you can duplicate and edit each week so that not only will your newsletters look consistent and professional, but it will save you hours of time recreating them each week. Some things you should definitely consider having in your newsletter? Your social media links, linking back to your website, blog links, and any behind-the-scenes fun that subscribers wouldn’t get if they weren’t on your list.
Blog post? Check. Valuable Opt-in? Check. Growing list of subscribers? Check. Interesting newsletter? Check. Now it’s time to promote these great (free!) resources you’re offering the world. Promote your new blog content on social media and make sure there are plenty of opportunities across your website for potential subscribers to sign up for your newsletters. Whenever you write a guest blog post for someone else’s blog (look at you go, you blog-writing machine!), or are a guest on a podcast, or are making up any collateral (business cards, postcards, etc.) try to link to your newsletter sign up, paired with an enticing opt-in.
There’s a free Leadpages plugin for WordPress which allows you to change the ugly links (ex: leadpages.yourbusiness.com/my-opt-in) to yourbusiness.com/pretty. You can customize the /’blahblah’ to whatever you want. That way when you’re on a podcast or something similar and what to just say “Head to yourbusiness.com/join” you’ll sound professional. Look at you, with a bunch of your marketing efforts in place!
There’s always more you can do to further your marketing efforts. In fact, the list seems never-ending. But pump the brakes and focus on getting the above system down on a weekly routine and you’ll find you and your team are organized enough to take on bigger projects such as welcome automations and sales funnels (Hey! Utilizing all those tags you put in place!). Over time the above actions will establish you as an expert in your niche, and will lead to potential clients finding you.
Rachel Wortmann is the official dot-connector for creatives. She helps creatives translate and uplevel their brand across their many contact channels. From email newsletters, social media strategy, launch strategy, and overall integrations of systems, brand strategy plays a role everywhere. Rachel is the brand strategist with a passion for helping creatives catch every detail and put forward consistent branding across all their channels. Check her out here!