The one where I help you nail that pesky elevator pitch once and for all.
Hello, and welcome to Episode 55 of the Lightbulb Podcast. Before we get started, I just have a quick bit of housekeeping for you.
For the first time this year, I will not be recording a podcast episode next week and this is because I'll be spending the week in Sunny Devon, at least I hope it will be sunny. We're staying with friends and their internet connection is pretty shocking so therefore, I won't be able to record a show.
However, I will be recording Instagram stories while I'm out and about. If you don't already follow me on Instagram, please do so. You'll find me there as martineeellis.
To make it up to you though, I promise that this week's episode will be value packed.
This week, we're talking about your elevator pitch.
The reason I've chosen this topic for the show is that we have some fantastic discussion about it in The Lightbulb Club, my free Facebook group.
Put simply, it's a quick explanation of who you are, what you do and why you or your business is fabulous. Typically, it would last 30 to 60 seconds. In others words, the time it takes to take an elevator ride.
Now, I don't know about you. Maybe it's a British thing but I tend to refer to an elevator as a lift, but for some reason, your "lift pitch" doesn't sound anywhere near as impressive as your elevator pitch, so we'll go with that.
I'll answer that question with a question. How many times have you been in a situation where somebody has asked you what you do and you've been a bit lost for words?
I'm thinking networking situations, that's where I really struggle.
Also, writing the "About" page on your website can be challenging or if you've done, for example, a guest blog post or a magazine article for someone else in your niche, and you need to provide a very short biography.
Social media profiles too are really tricky to write because invariably you're restricted on the number of characters you can use.
Your elevator pitch, therefore, is all about clarity of message. And ultimately, it will form the foundation of your business plan. It's very important.
When we discussed elevator pitches in The Lightbulb Club, it became apparent that we all find it really difficult. Why is that?
I suspect it's because most of us are, deep down, a little bit uncomfortable with selling ourselves and that word "pitch" definitely has a sales element, doesn't it?
In addition to this, as business owners, entrepreneurs, whatever you want to call yourself, we typically do more than one thing we're told so often how important it is to niche down. Yes, we may have a specific niche but within that niche, we probably do numerous things.
Even when you think you've nailed your elevator pitch, you know exactly what it is, you're really happy with it. When someone asks you at, say a networking event, what you do, you have to recall it and explain it clearly and concisely and that is not as easy as it sounds.
Well, one of the best ways to do it is to find a trusted friend, perhaps your accountability partner. Buy them a coffee and spend 20 minutes or half an hour explaining to them exactly what you do.
Then, ask them to explain it back to you. They're likely to do so without using any jargon and in a clear and concise way.
Make notes on what they say and then use this information as the basis of your elevator pitch.
As always, I've got some top tips for you when you are working on your elevator pitch and I'll share this with you now.
My first tip is to focus on the person who is asking you what you do. Don't focus on yourself. Think about how you help them even though this person has asked what you do.
They are the centre of their own universe. It's harsh but true so by telling them how you could help them, you're going to make them way more likely to listen to you.
Another tip is to take into account the audience for your elevator pitch.
If it's somebody talking to you in person, are they a prospective client? If they are, then focus on the benefits of your product or service for them.
If they're not, focus on simply helping them to understand what you do. Even if they're not a potential client, it's still really important that you spend some time on the pitch because they might know someone who could benefit from your service.
Therefore, them understanding precisely what you do is really important. This is one of the reasons why not using industry jargon is essential.
Here's another tip. Your elevator pitch doesn't have to encompass absolutely everything you've done in your career and everything you want to do because it's only supposed to last 30 to 60 seconds.
You simply can't explain your entire CV. Focus on the now and focus on the person or people you're explaining to.
It's a good idea to consider some form of call-to-action in your elevator pitch where appropriate. In a face-to-face scenario, it might be a case of, I know it's old school, but handing over your business card.
If it's on a website, it might be a contact form or something like that. Do think about a call-to-action for your elevator pitch.
Now, it's time for you to work on your own elevator pitch.
To help you, I've put together a worksheet which includes a number of formulas. If you'd like to grab this, just to the end of this post and click the button.
As usual, I like to keep things nice and simple, so you'll see my short elevator pitch on the homepage of my website and it goes something like this:
"Teaching artists, makers and creative business owners how to develop their online identity, share their work with the world and sell their stuff."
In an elevator pitch format, this would something like:
"Hello, my name is Martine. I teach artists, makers and creative business owners how to develop their online identity, share their work with the world and sell their stuff."
I'm currently developing my elevator pitch because I'm bringing in a membership site to form part of my offering and the membership site is targeted slightly differently. As soon as The Lightbulb Academy goes live, I'm going to tweak that elevator pitch.
Incidentally, if you are interested in getting your name on the waiting list for the Lightbulb Academy, just hop over to thelightbulbacademy.com.
The formula for my elevator pitch then is, "Hello, I'm [your name] and I help people to [?] so they can [?]"
I replaced "help people" with "teach people" because teaching is a very important part of what I do.
You can expand this formula to explain why what you do is better than the competition so you might add "Unlike the competition, I ..." And explain how you do things differently.
However, just be really careful that you're not getting too focused on yourself. Remember, it's all about the benefits for your prospect.
Check out the worksheet for a number of other formulas you can use. I've shared a variety in totally different formats so you can pick the one that works best for you and your business.
Okay, I think that's it from me today. I really hope this episode has been helpful.
Feel free to hop into The Lightbulb Club to chat about elevator pitches. If you want some feedback on your pitch, then by all means, share it in the Facebook group and you'll find there's a number of very helpful people willing to give you constructive feedback.
As I mentioned at the start of the episode, there'll be no podcast next week but I will be on Instagram stories so hope over to Instagram and give me a follow and you can keep up to date with my Devon adventure.
Thanks so much for tuning in. I hope you'll join me in the next episode.
The one where I help you decide if turning your much-loved hobby into a business is a good idea.
Hello and welcome to episode 54 of the Lightbulb podcast. It's so good to have you with me.
Today, we're talking about whether you should turn your hobby into a business.
If you've ever been on the cusp of a career change, I'm certain someone has said to you at some point, pursue your passion, do what you love.
It sounds like really good advice, doesn't it? Well, it isn't, at least not always.
A lot of people decide to turn their hobbies into a business, not necessarily a full-time career but a business because of this advice. Sometimes, it works beautifully, and sometimes, it doesn't.
I think the reason why it sometimes doesn't work out is that the person in question is avoiding, asking themselves some awkward questions.
What I want to do with this episode is go ahead and ask those questions.
I've got nine in total. If you're thinking about turning your hobby into a business, then obviously, this episode is for you.
If you already have a business that's grown out of your hobby, this is probably still a really relevant episode for you because you might be starting to feel that perhaps your business isn't going in a direction that works for you, so it might be a good opportunity to pivot. In other words, branch off in a different direction.
I really hope you find these questions helpful. At the end of the episode, I'll tell you about a freebie I've created for you that will also help you with this process.
If you're making products, for example, is it the process you enjoy or the end result?
This is a relevant question because if you start creating your product as a business, you're going to really have to up your rate of production. Identifying what you like whether it's process and product or both can help you work out whether it's viable.
This is also still a relevant question if what it is you plan to turn into a business is more of a service than a product-based hobby.
This is a related question to question 1 because if you do relax while doing this hobby, chances are when you're doing it to a deadline, you might stop finding the process relaxing.
Conversely, doing lots and lots of your hobby might mean lots and lots of relaxation.
Essentially, are you in it for the long haul?
I mean, really good? Are you excellent? Have you had feedback from someone with knowledge and experience in your area to suggest you are particularly skilled?
This relates really closely to question 5 below.
We're ruling out friends and family there because they are, generally speaking, pretty supportive. They are not going to give you the constructive feedback that you will need at this stage of considering launching a business.
You need to work out if there is a market for what it is you plan to offer. In other words, will there be people wanting to part with their hard-earned cash to purchase your products or services?
You might be thinking, "Well, it's a side hustle. It's a part-time business. It doesn't really matter if nobody buys my products or service," but you know what? It does.
If you're going to launch a small creative business, you don't want to launch to crickets. You want to make sales. You want to feel successful. Everybody does.
This is a tricky one. Sales is really tough.
Generally speaking, people don't like to blow their own trumpets, talk about how fabulous they are or what they're creating is.
But newsflash, when you're selling a product or service, you do have to become comfortable with talking about how great your stuff is. People will need convincing, I'm afraid.
If you're deeply uncomfortable with sales, then maybe starting a business isn't for you.
That being said, you can learn to be better at sales. If you are somebody who loves to learn and is up for a challenge, then I say go for it.
In other words, have you worked out your startup and running costs?
You might be thinking, "Martine, this is only a little side hustle. It's not going to cost me anything."
Believe me, it will. You need to sit down and make a spreadsheet or a Google sheet and work this out. It's really important because costs can mount up without you even realising.
The reason I'm asking this question is if, for example, you have a full-time job and perhaps a family or a dog to look after, then it's going to be challenging to find the time to work on this project.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but what I am suggesting is that you will look at your calendar and you block out time to work on your business.
It might be evenings. It might be weekends. You might have a day-off in the week. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter but you absolutely must block out the time to make sure that it's realistic for you to undertake this venture.
Chances are at some point in this process, you are going to need a helping hand, whether it's helping you create products or helping you with the financial side of things or getting a hand with social media.
Whatever it is, it's really important that you have at least one person around you who is going to be supportive and encouraging. It's good to identify that person at this stage.
I said at the start of the episode, I had nine questions for you but I just remembered another one.
If you've never run a business before, then the whole process is going to be incredibly exciting but also quite challenging.
And if you don't have that appetite for learning, chances are you're going to struggle a bit. If you are like me, someone who is mildly obsessed with learning, then you're going to be absolutely fine.
Those are your 10 questions.
Now, I really hope that by asking these questions, I'm not shining a negative light on starting your own business from your hobby.
Often, it can be absolutely fantastic, but what I really want you to do is go into the process thoroughly prepared. By answering these questions, you'll have all of the information you need in front of you to make a really educated decision.
I truly hope it's a yes because I love small business, particularly creative business. I'm passionate about it. I hope it's a yes, but if it's a no, then what means is perhaps you still want to start a business but you need to think about a slightly different direction to your hobby.
At the start of the episode, I mentioned a freebie.
I've put all of these questions into a workbook for you because I do think there's enormous power in writing down the answers as opposed to just thinking them.
Hop over to martineellis.com/54 to grab your freebie.
I'd also highly recommend you join The Lightbulb Club, my private Facebook group because it's a really supportive bunch of people. And if you've got questions about starting your business, I can't think of a better place to ask them.
Okay, that's all from me today. I really hope you've enjoyed the episode and thank you for listening. I hope you'll tune in next week.
The one where we demystify search engine optimisation.
Martine: Hello and welcome to the Lightbulb Podcast. It's Martine here and I have a guest on the show today. I'm joined by Nanouk Van Gennip. Today, we are talking about search engine optimisation. Hello, Nanouk.
Nanouk: Hi, Martine.
Martine: It's so good to have you here. Nanouk and where are you in the world today? Where are you calling from?
Martine: From Switzerland. You know I've never been to Switzerland. I've always wanted to go though.
Nanouk: It's beautiful, you should go.
Martine: Definitely, I'll put it on the list. Today, we're talking about SEO, search engine optimisation. But before we do, Nanouk, can you tell me a bit about you and your business?
Nanouk: Yes. Well, I have a business together with my husband. He's a web developer and I am an SEO copywriter. First, we worked separately, but then we decided to combine our forces and so we turned it into a business, and we're doing fine. We're doing really great.
Martine: That's brilliant, so working in partnership with your husband. Fantastic. You're an SEO expert. Now, let's pretend for a moment I don't know anything about SEO at all, can you tell me in the simplest terms what is SEO?
Nanouk: Yes, I can. SEO is a term that contains all the techniques to optimise your websites, to rank high in Google or search engines in general but Google. If you want your customers to find your websites, you need to optimise your website for Google so they can find you on the most relevant keywords.
Martine: This is so important because when people are starting a brand new business, some people might think, "Oh, well, I'll put together a website and then people will just find it."
Nanouk: No, no.
Martine: I'm just going to build it and people will find it. It's not quite as simple as that, is it?
Nanouk: No, not anymore. Maybe in the beginning of the internet, but not anymore. There are billions, trillions of websites online that you really need to work for it.
Martine: Yeah, so by using keywords and other strategies and things like that, you can make yourself more visible and that's what we're talking about when we talk about SEO. Excellent. Can you recommend some quick actions or quick tips that bloggers and business owners can do to optimise their websites?
Nanouk: Yes, but before we dive into SEO, there is one thing I always recommend to customers and clients if they want to do a little bit of SEO on their own, is to write for your customers. Those are your people and not Google, so first, start writing for your audience and then for Google, not the other way around.
Martine: That's such a good tip. Actually, I've done a blog post called ... It relates to finding your ideal customer avatar. If you're going to be writing for your customer rather than writing for Google, you need to know exactly who your customer is. I'll make sure I'll link to that post in the show notes because I think it's a really important process to go through with anyone starting a business.
Martine: Who precisely is your ideal customer and like give them a name and occupation and whether they've got children.
Nanouk: Yeah, make up a story.
Martine: Yeah, exactly. That's such a good advice. Make up a story about your ideal customer and then you can be writing for them before you start thinking about Google. I think that's a really good tip.
Nanouk: When I was preparing this podcast, I was thinking about a person I know from my surroundings who was starting a new business and making a new website. And I was thinking, "Okay, what kind of advice would I give her?" I had my avatar, it was a real person and it's helped me with focusing, and it's the same with Google because you want to know which key terms, keywords your audience uses when they enter Google when they have a problem or a question. You want to know which keywords do they enter into Google to find their answer, and then your website will provide that answer and pop up in the top three of Google in theory.
Martine: In theory. I love it. You used the term keywords there and I think that's something that can confuse people sometimes but just to clarify them from what you're saying, keywords are words that people ... If they were looking for some information, they'd go to Google and they would type something. And what they type into the search engine, those are the keywords that we're talking about.
Nanouk: Exactly, yes.
Martine: That makes complete sense.
Nanouk: It's going to be one word like Switzerland, but it can also be a whole sentence, "What to do in Switzerland this summer" for example.
Martine: Your keywords there are going to be things like summer, Switzerland, to do, those sorts of things. Is that right?
Nanouk: Yes. That's exactly right.
Martine: Brilliant. From what you're saying then, if you know who your ideal customer is and you're writing for them, would it not be okay just to put loads of keywords in your text and then hope for the best? Is that the right thing to do?
Nanouk: That could be a strategy but that will take maybe years before you rank high in Google.
Martine: Okay. So, it sounds like there are some other strategies that we can do in order to rank as high as possible in Google. What sort of other things would you recommend?
Nanouk: Well, first, I advise you to target long tail keywords. You might have heard the phrase, long tail, and those are keywords with relatively less search volume. Most often, they have only a little competition and it's therefore easy to rank high.
Martine: That's interesting. These are words that aren't necessarily searched for regularly, but when they are searched for, if you're using them, you will rank highly. Is that what you mean?
Nanouk: Yeah. That's exactly what I mean, and even though the search volume is less, it's better to rank for those because you can rank for them. And short tails, those are keywords with high volumes but they're also highly competitive, most often. For example, if you sell knitting supplies, you can try to rank high for knitting needle but there's a short tail with high search volumes but also with high competition. Well-established websites owned the first page in Google and it's very difficult to beat those. With long tail keywords like best knitting needle or knitting needles for beginners or best knitting needles to use, those are long tails with less search volume but only a little competition and therefore, better to rank for.
Martine: That makes complete sense, and actually what you said about thinking about your customer really comes into play here, doesn't it? Because the person who's doing the searching, if you're thinking about the exact words they're going to use, you can then hit those long tail keywords. That makes lots of sense. Do you know, until this discussion, Nanouk, I have no idea about the difference between short tail and long tail, although I have heard it said several times. This is great. Keep the knowledge bombs going. I love that.
Martine: What else can I do as a person wanting to really boost my SEO?
Nanouk: Well, once you have those keywords, you can analyse them with an SEO tool. I would recommend Keysearch. I'm not a sponsor or something, but it's very easy to use and relatively cheap. That's why I recommend it. Once you have those keywords, you should optimise your blog post and landing pages by putting those keywords in the most important places like your title, your introduction and at least one subheading. And maybe you've heard of the phrase meta description.
Martine: Yes, meta description. Yeah.
Nanouk: Yeah, meta description. When you type something in Google and you got the search results, you see the title, the meta title and a little description underneath it. Well, most often, you can influence what's visible there. And if you put in your most important keywords, then people know this blog post or this website is about the topic that I want to know more about.
Martine: Brilliant. Once you've identified your long tail keywords, if you can include that in the meta description as well as in the other important places you mentioned, then that's going to maximise your chances. That makes complete sense.
Nanouk: Yes, but there's more. Of course, there's more. You should not do the keywords stuffing thing.
Martine: Okay. What do you mean by keywords stuffing?
Nanouk: It means like putting your keywords like hundred times in a blog post or in a page. That doesn't work. Once or maybe twice is enough and then use related keywords, so synonyms, for example, because Google has an advanced algorithm and is smart. Not like a human smart, but like a robot smart. Google understands synonyms and related words.
Martine: In the same vein, Google is also going to notice if you are doing keywords stuffing and they're going to ignore that post. Okay. What else can we do, Nanouk?
Nanouk: Well, it's linked to writing for your audience, that you should write comprehensive blog posts with a lot of information. In recent years, it was sometimes said that you should write for online, short and snappy blog posts because people don't have a lot of time and so, they're in a hurry and they only want to read short websites, short texts. That's not true anymore. Google and your audience, they want answers. If you can provide your audience with the answer they're looking for, then it doesn't matter if it's in hundred words or in a thousand words.
Martine: The length of your blog post, for example, isn't important. What is important is that you are providing value and answers to questions.
Nanouk: Exactly, yes.
Martine: I'm sure that's related to the fact that there is just so much content out there now.
Martine: Whether it's about SEO or not, in order just to distinguish yourself from the other people around you who were doing something similar, you need to do the answers. Do the value. That does make sense, yeah.
Nanouk: Yeah. You want people to go to your blog post and then leave knowing all the answers they are looking for. Not going back to Google and type in another search term because they have, now, more questions after reading your blog post. That's why my advice to be comprehensive.
Martine: Comprehensive blog posts are definitely what you need to be doing. I suppose and correct me if I'm wrong, if somebody finds your comprehensive blog post, reads it and doesn't have to go anywhere else to find the answers, then that will raise the ranking and then more and more people will be reading that one single blog posts and all of that contributes to getting it to the top.
Nanouk: The algorithm of Google is smart. Google knows when people just stay on your blog post for a long time and then after that just go on do something else on the internet or doing something offline. Yeah, this is called bounce rate and a low bounce rate is very good.
Martine: Right. I have to say if I'm looking for an answer to a question and I find that perfect blog post and it's long and it's got loads of detail, the first thing I do is share it on my Twitter and my Facebook, and I guess all of that helps as well to bring the traffic in.
Nanouk: Absolutely, yes, yes. Social shares should help as well. It's one of the many ranking factors Google uses to decide which websites to put on first search engine result space.
Martine: In order to maximise that situation, I guess it's important to make sure your posts are easy to share.
Nanouk: Yes, easy to share. Yeah, you should definitely put share buttons on your websites.
Martine: We got some excellent tips there. Is there anything else that we can do, Nanouk?
Nanouk: Yeah, but it's more technical.
Martine: Go for it.
Nanouk: But don't be afraid because it's going to be very easy. You should fix your site speeds. When you enter a website, it took ages before it's fully loaded, you will leave after a few seconds. Well, that's going to happen with your website if it's very slow. You not only lose potential customers but also Google uses your site speed as a ranking factor.
Martine: Right, this is really important.
Nanouk: Yeah, but there is a very handy tool. It's called a website gtmetrixs.com and you can enter your domain name, your URL and then you will get a list of recommendations. It's free to improve your site speed. Just go there, put in your website and just see which recommendations you get and then just start working on it.
Martine: I'll make sure there's a link to that page in the show notes as well, Nanouk, so people can have a look at that. I think Google has also got a page speed analyser as well because I've certainly used that in the past but I'll definitely be having a look at this other one. Is there anything else that you would like to recommend to the listeners of the podcast for SEO purposes?
Nanouk: Absolutely. Did you ever hear of the phrase link building? Well, link building is a strategy to collect back links, so other websites linking to your websites. It's a signal to Google that your website contains valuable information. The more back links of high quality, the better.
Martine: For example, if you were to, on your website, put a link to this podcast episode on my website, that would be a back link, wouldn't it?
Nanouk: That will be a back link exactly.
Martine: Excellent. Then, if all of your friends were so excited that you're on a podcast, they put links to the podcast on their websites as well. That will again be more and more back links?
Nanouk: Absolutely, and that's good. That's a good signal to Google. It's even being said that it's the most important factor Google users to decide which websites to put on number one in Google. So, link building is important.
Martine: I wonder how you go about link building. Do you just email people and ask them to link to you? What would be the best?
Nanouk: That is one strategy but it's not for everyone, just going around asking people for links. I think you should just stay with a few strategies. For once, write very good blog posts because when you offer the best information that is out there, then people will find you in the end and link back to your websites. But before people find you, you need to do something else. Another strategy, for example, is to guest post. It's a very good strategy to get the back links and to increase your audience.
Martine: I think guest blog posting is a great strategy not only for SEO but for all sorts of other things as well. Like you say, a great strategy for SEO and for just generally getting your name out there. If you can find opportunities to guest blog post preferably with websites that are way more popular than your own, then go for it.
Nanouk: Yeah, exactly. You should look for authority websites in your niche, like the websites that are in the top three of Google in your niche. You should go out and ask them if you can write a guest post for them.
Martine: You just got to be confident and not worry about the fact that they ... What's the worst that can happen? They might say no-
Nanouk: They can say no.
Martine: Exactly, and that's not really a big deal, is it?
Nanouk: No, it's not. No, maybe they don't do guest posting or maybe they think you are a too small blog but that's okay because in a few months you're bigger and then you can just ask again and maybe they say yes.
Martine: And if you're nice and approachable and friendly in your sort of email that you pitch to them with, then they'll be nice back I'm certain.
Nanouk: Yeah, exactly. In your pitch, you should give some examples of topics you could discuss in your guest post and you should emphasise the benefits you can offer for the website you want to guest post on in their audience. If you do that in a very friendly way, yeah, they will say yes.
Martine: It's not so much the size of your audience that's as important. It's about whether your audience is really, really engaged with you. If you've got a small audience that listened to everything you've got to say and share it and as opposed to a massive audience who are not engaged, that's more important to have that engagement.
Nanouk: Yeah, it's quality over quantity.
Martine: Definitely, definitely. Okay, is there anything else, Nanouk? We've gone through some amazing, amazing tips there. Have you got anything else for us?
Nanouk: Well, we just discussed guest posting and I think a lot of bloggers and website owners, they find it very challenging to find the time to write blog post, to guest posting and in the meanwhile run their business. I think that in managing your time, you should stop making an unrealistic planning with, for example, wanting to publish two or three posts per week or something. Just slow down and if you can only write three or four posts per month, make it two for your own blog and two guest posts, for example. I think-
Martine: That's a great strategy.
Nanouk: I think in the long run, that works better than writing only for your own website.
Martine: Great tip. I've just written a little note to myself, reach out to some blogs and do some guest posting because I've done guest posting in the past but to be honest, I haven't done it for ages. I've been really concentrating on building up the content on my own blog.
Nanouk: That's good, but many bloggers and website owners have the tendency to just go on and on and on but you already have so much valuable information on your website, you should then go back to old posts, update them and publish. It takes less time than writing new ones and then put some more time in guest posting.
Martine: I'm so doing that. I've written myself a note to go ahead and do that. God, I love doing this podcast, I get all these excellent advice. I'm going to do some updating of all posts and make sure that I'm pushing those out to my social media platforms and then think about who I'd like to talk to about guest blog posting. That's a great suggestion.
Nanouk, thank you so much for such amazing information, it's so useful both to my listeners and to me as well because I've got a to-do list now of things I have to do. Thank you for your time. Tell me where can people find you online?
Nanouk: I have two Dutch websites so maybe that's not so relevant for your audience but I do have an English blog. It's called digitalnomadswithkids.com.
Martine: Amazing, Digital Nomads with Kids?
Nanouk: Yes. It's about traveling full time with kids and living a location-independent lifestyle.
Martine: Lovely. I will make sure there's a link to that on the show notes for anybody who's listening. Thank you, Nanouk. It's been great. Love having you on the show and you're welcome back any time.
The one where I bust email marketing jargon.
Hello, it's Martine here. Welcome to episode 52 of The Lightbulb Podcast. Today we're talking about one of my favourite topics: email marketing.
You can locate my previous episode about email marketing by clicking the links below:
Today, however, we're focusing on one specific part of email marketing, and that is the content upgrade.
Well, essentially, it's an incentive or a piece of content or value, which is created specifically for a particular blog post or page on a website. Visitors have to opt-in, in other words, give you their email address to receive the content upgrade.
What this means is, you have their email address so you can email them again in the future.
A content upgrade is sometimes confused with a lead magnet, and there are various descriptions all over the internet to explain the difference between the two. But for me, I very much think of content upgrades as part of a blog post, so they are giving you additional content on top of that blog post.
A lead magnet I think of as a more general opt-in incentive. For example, you might have a general lead magnet on the home page of your website and it could be something like an ebook that relates to the topic of your business.
Whereas a content upgrade would be on just one blog post, or you might use the same content upgrade on similar blog posts, but the blog posts would all cover the same sort of topic, and that content upgrade would do what it says on the tin, it upgrades the content that you have received from the blog post.
Use lead magnets and content upgrades is to build your email list.
I'd highly recommend segmenting your audience according to their interests via your lead magnets and content upgrades.
Now, I use ConvertKit as my email service provider, and I highly recommend them. I've mentioned them a number of times on the show.
But basically, what they allow you to do is, if somebody opts-in to your content upgrade about, for example, email marketing, you can then tag that person as interested in email marketing.
Then later on down the line when you decide to launch an online course all about email marketing, you know that that person has already expressed an interest in this topic. Therefore, you're going to have a much better result if you market specifically to them.
So I really recommend using your content upgrades and lead magnets to segment or tag your audience according to their interests. It's going to make your marketing far more targeted. Now, not all email service providers allow you to do this easily, which is why I am with ConvertKit.
With MailChimp, I think you are able to have separate lists according to interests, which works fine as well. The only downside is, you'll probably find your audience have multiple interests, so if there are multiple lists, you have to pay for those, I think, if you're over 2,000 subscribers.
Okay, so we know content upgrades are a good idea. But what are you going to create as your content upgrade?
I've had great success using ebooks in the past. However, if you're going to create a free ebook, I don't want you spending months and months and months writing it because ultimately, you're giving it away. So that's not a brilliant use of your time.
If you're going to create an ebook, I recommend taking the content from existing blog posts and then editing it all together so it flows as an ebook.
Some of my most successful content upgrades include resources lists and checklists, they're really very popular.
Now, obviously, I'm going to add a content upgrade to this post. But what do you get?
Well, I've already mentioned some ideas for content upgrades to you in this episode. But what I'm providing in my own content upgrade is a list of 20 ideas you can take away to use to create your own content upgrades.
I've also included links to some resources that you might find useful too.
This is a really good example of providing a bigger list as your content upgrade. I've listed already some ideas, but I'm giving you a way bigger list if you subscribe.
I'm being totally transparent here. I'm not trying to be dodgy in the way that I obtain your email address. I want to be totally clear on the strategy behind it, because I think that's why you listen to The Light Bulb podcast, you like the transparency.
Now, ultimately, from a user perspective, you can sign up for the content upgrade and then unsubscribe straightaway, and that's totally okay.
You know, it's really important if you're producing content upgrades and you're using email marketing in this way, that there's a very easy way recipients can unsubscribe. Because if you don't do that, it's against the law. So it's absolutely essential that unsubscribe button is really clear in your email.
Right, so you're bursting with ideas, you know exactly the sort of content upgrade you want to create, how do you create it?
Personally, I tend to keep it really simple. If it's a list of resources, for example, I will create that in Google Docs and then I'll download it as a PDF.
If I want to create something a bit more visual, I'll go to Canva. Canva is one of my favorite tools. It's super easy to use and they've got great templates.
I am actually perfectly capable of creating stuff in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, but I just find Canva so much quicker, so I highly recommend it.
Right, that's your brief introduction to content upgrades. I really hope that was helpful.
In other news, I've got a new venture that I want to tell you about, and I'm really excited about it.
You might be aware that I offer some online courses and resources under the banner of The Lightbulb Academy. I've made a decision to take those resources and courses and place them into a membership site. I'm going to be adding to the courses and resources on a monthly basis in the membership site.
Now, if you've not been part of a membership site before, basically how it works is you pay a small monthly fee, and it is going to be small, I'm going to keep it really affordable, to access exclusive resources and courses and that sort of thing.
There's also generally a live training element, and I'm very much planning to do that. On top of that, there's also going to be a community. Right now I'm experimenting with Slack to see if that will work for the community element of the site.
It's going to be small, exclusive, and incredibly active. So if you are a creative business owner or hobbyist and you are looking to take your business to the next level and maybe really nail your blogging and that sort of thing, then this could well be the community for you.
I'm aiming to launch during early August. So in the meantime, if you are interested in being kept in the loop about what's going on with The Lightbulb Academy, then please hop over to thelightbulbacademy.com and pop your name on my list. That way you're not committing to anything, but what I know is that you might be interested, so I can send you an email when we go live.
If you join the membership early, I will make sure that you are doing so at a heavily discounted price and that that price is what you pay for the rest of the time that you are part of the membership. So there will be an incentive to get in there early.
OK, I think that's all from me today. I really hope you've enjoyed the episode.
If you want to chat about it, come and join us in The Lightbulb Club. Just go to thelightbulb.club, and we've love to talk to you in there in the free Facebook group. Thanks for listening. I hope you'll join me next week.