“I hate social media..can’t stand Facebo..” – so do I, so do I, BUT, you could sit back and complain that it’s an invasion of privacy (I’m looking at you Alan) and let your business fall prey to your competitors, OR, you could swallow your pride (like I did) and jump in with a business mindset. You are going where the fish are.
More on social marketing in a coming update where we will look at each of the popular networks and which one, ones’, or if any, are the best for your business.
Here’s what we’re going to cover this week – Launch week!
- Social Media Marketing – should you use the “be everywhere” strategy?
- Automation vs Real – can you fake the human connection? (spoiler: no)
- Paying for Leads and customers – is it worth it? How to not break the bank while trying to fill it
- Leads to Launch – how to put our entire process together to build a launch phase for your idea/business
- plus much more..
Some really cool broadcasting this week, we will take a look behind the scenes of our paid traffic, how we have set up our campaigns and what works within each of the big guns – FB and Google Ads.
It’s launch week, did I mention that? Are you guys getting excited? Leave a comment below and let us know where you are at. Whether you are going to launch this week, or what your struggling with. We’ll help you out!
[Day 2 Update] – Which Social is best for me?
Happy Halloween everyone! You would have noticed all that Halloween stuff all over your feeds – social media marketing having one of it’s favourite field days. Did you know the next one is Black Friday (biggest. shopping. day. ever.), following shortly after by Cyber Monday (biggest. ONLINE. shopping. day. ever.)
You can use this to your advantage by adding this tactic onto the platform (or platforms) you use for social media. But how do you know which platform(s) to use for your business?
Let’s take a look at the big ones and how they are used by the best.
1 Billion Users. Nuff said.
I mentioned Facebook yesterday and that you can use this as a powerful business driver.
I’m not talking about spending hours (huhmm..I mean WASTING hours) on cat videos here. Prior to this year, I had 9 posts on my Facebook page. 9. Now I use it daily and it’s one of the biggest drivers of traffic to all our sites.
AND – this traffic is targeted. They are usually the converted, they land, they buy!
Facebook’s ad plaform is second to none. As long as you target over 1000 people and stick to their (strangely strict, but easy once you get the hang of it, more on that later this week) rules about race/age/minority/no sleaze, you can target so specific to your buyers it’s almost scary.
Example We Saw Recently: You are a pregnancy masseuse in Gosford. You can target woman – 25-40 – on the central coast – who are pregnant (it’s called “live event”). How about a picture of beautifully pregnant woman frowning and clutching her side and a quote: “No one knows this sort of sore muscle like we do”
Best Use: Create a page. It’s a must. Native content (repurpose your blog content if you have to at first) will get you much better engagement from Facebook and if you already have customers – you must be retargeting. More on that later this week.
232 Million Users (a lot less “active”)
New Ad Platform
Noisy – touted as the Cocktail Party of social networks
Twitter is an older platform and has slowed over the years, but it’s still a very important tool in many companies toolboxes. Just last week, we experienced an outage with our home internet, frustrated (as I was unable to Blab with you guys because of it), I tweeted @Bigpond and received a very helpful tweet within seconds, faster than it would have taken me to select the options from their automated answer service on the phone helpline!
Best Use: 1-1 conversations. Think of this like a cocktail party. Introduce yourself, be nice, offer value, don’t be sleazy “here’s my business card”, instead try “love what your are doing over there helping kids with confidence in sport, we have qualified, police-cleared personal trainers and would love to partner with you to help too”
300+ Million Users
New Ad Platform
Owned by Facebook..
We love the ‘gram. Our strongest performing market just happens to touch every main circle within this social network – Cross-fit, Organic, Paleo, Low-Carb, Young fit and active, so it’s certainly an easy fit for us. But it’s not enough to put up a bunch of your products and a couple hashtags and hope the sales just pour in.
As with all social networks, the magic is in the engagement, but there are several nuances with this platform you need to be aware of.
- No linking. You get one link – on your Profile. All other links aren’t clickable, thus it’s actually considered bad Instagram etiquette to link in your images
- More in a later post this week
Standing out on Instagram is about this engagement. There is a reason you couldn’t (until very recently) schedule your posts on Instagram, people just didn’t like that. Instagram is very high up the “attention graph” meaning, people are spending a lot of time, heavily focussed on the content on this platform. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what people are doing on the train next time – scroll stop, scroll stop, double tap, scroll, scroll, stop – that’s Instagram.
Later this week, we’ll deep dive into exactly how we have 10x’d our Instagram followers in 3 months with less than an hour a week of effort.
Best Use: Use SEARCH, find people who already like stuff related to your thing – I know that’s vague, but here’s an example:
You sell Organic Coffee in Sydney? Search for that. Find people who have tagged #Sydney and #Coffee and #Organic and go like EVERYTHING GOOD you can find. If you can offer value (I mean it, do NOT ask for anything…) then comment too – “coffee looks nice and strong, but that chocolate croissant looks like it’ll handle it!”
100 Million Users, Skews to Females (but that’s changing)
New Ad Platform
That’s quite a stat. It’s a new one too, done in July by Millward Brown and Pinterest, they concluded that 93% of people who are active on Pinterest are using the tool to plan purchases. With a new ad platform on top of this, I’m super excited to dive into this platform. We have a part-time (15hrs) VA getting this going for us at the moment while we focus on other things, but already we are seeing direct conversions of new customers coming directly from Pinterest to the checkout!
To stand out here, you should aim for unique content and images. If you can’t create your own good quality images, make sure you get stock images from unusual places, otherwise you will end up with the same “flexible girl in yoga stance on beach”, “crumbled choc fudge chip muffin”, and “heart cappuccino” as everyone else.
Best Use: Infographics are hot. If you are selling food or fashion, this is a no brainer. Works equally well for “coaches” with informative graphics on your topics – “3 Steps to the best nights sleep” or “Top 5 Abs Building Yoga Poses”
300 Million Users
Skews B2B, Professional
One of the older networks, LinkedIn’s main goal was to connect professionals and thus it skews this way. While the context of the network is more corporate, it is possible to stand out here by bucking that trend and being more personal.
Best Use: If you are selling to professionals and business, a popular and successful strategy is to create your content in the form of a Slideshare (which was bought by LinkedIn – so they knew this one too) and share it on LinkedIn in groups and use ads to target individuals by Company, Title, or Industry.
(Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, etc, etc, etc, etc)
While not instantly monetisable and difficult to judge how well it turns viewers into actual customers (conversion), these new video based platforms are booming in popularity. Giving your audience inside access to you and your brand/company is a great way to build rapport and start relationships with potential and existing customers.
Best Use: Be vulnerable. Building trust is the key to sales, so show a little insight or insider details of you or your business or product.
Need all of these? Then maybe you need to dip in to each of them.
BUT: WOAH UP THERE!! Don’t spend the next 4hrs creating accounts and fiddling with cool backgrounds and colour settings…that’s a sure fire way to end up feeding the procrastination monster.
Pick one. Go deep.
Pick one of the above, which one makes more sense right now AND/OR which one have you had some experience with before? Chose that one for now.
It will take some time to build real relationships, but instead of having a goal of “get traffic”, you end up with actual leads, people interested in you and what you have to say (and potentially sell).
What’s your plan for marketing? Which platform suits your business? Not sure – leave a comment below and we’ll help you out.
[Day 3 Update] – Automated Marketing
Should You Automate Social?
There is a case for both answers. If you follow @GaryVee it’s a flat out no. Never. Ever.
It’s Sunday. Quiet time.
You should be putting down the phone. Go walk barefoot on the grass. Chill.
Good. Now, if you’re still hustling, you can use this real mood to engage with real people on social.
Automating Your New Lead Generator
We covered a lot on automation in week 2 including how to automate your social media.
As a quick refresher, each of these tools will allow you to pre-create content
If you want to read some more on how to use this strategy without coming across as scammy or like everyone else, the guys over at Buffer created this short actionable read.
So, how do you “be everywhere”?
If you have set up notifications for your profiles it’s easy to find out when people contact you directly (say with a message on your Facebook page), or even mention you (say in a picture on Instragram), but what if someone spells your Instagram name wrong, or mentions your company name in a comment on an article (positive OR negative!), how do you know?
Easy, spend hours every day scouring the internet, reading forums, and searching Google right? WRONG!
There’s an app for that
Actually, there are several. Each of these simple tools/services will make monitoring the social media world for your business/ products, or services super easy and save you thousands of hours.
Google Alerts – this is super simple to use, you will be surprised you haven’t set this up already.
- Log into your Google account (if you don’t have one – shame on you) and go to google.com/alerts
- Type in your alert e.g. “Millinery Australia” and you will see a preview of the type of alert Google will send you
- Select your email address and how often you want to receive these alerts (I suggest as a digest at first so you can tweak these as you see how many you get vs. the value of each of them)
- You will find mentions of your company, your products or service all across the web, in news articles or forum posts and it’s a great way to be informed and even then jump into comments and thank the author or if it’s not directly related to you but mentions something that you might sell, you could say something like “such a beautiful piece, inspired me to create one here http://mymillineryshop.com” – adding value!
Mention – similar to Google alerts but much more powerful, this service will give you real time alerts on your company, your competitors, and help you automate the process. It’s like having a full-time PR agency!
Rapportive – I love this, a lot. An add-on to GMail that lets you see the social profiles of people you are emailing. It works a charm on real email addresses and can show you all sorts of interesting information to help you connect with customers or even influencers.
Buzzsumo – this is such an awesome site. Not only can you find popular articles on subjects by how many shares they have on social media, you can actually export a list (.csv) of the people who shared it! Talk about warm leads!! I’ve mentioned my friend Bryan Harris before, he has this awesome post on the Vaccuum Formula showing you exactly how to do it.
This site has the added bonus of being a gold mine for content ideas. Selling Match Tea? Type “matcha tea” into Buzzsumo. What’s the number 1 article, shared over 70k times? “9 amazing health benefits of matcha tea” – guess what your next article should be about? You’ve even got a proven headline/title for it!
There are many other tools out there, but those should get you started. Simply setting up a couple of Google Alerts on your business/product/industry is enough to get you going for now. The important thing is to action them.
If an alert comes through for an article promoting your type or product, jump straight into the comments and talk about it.
Buy my thing.
No. Stop that.
I’m such a huge fan of this tea. Did you know you can have it cold too? Great before the gym for that little kick that keeps you hydrated. My new favourite www.yourproduct.com
Much better. Well done.
Then, you can rinse and repeat and soon you will be able to have a presence across the social-sphere.
[Day 4 Update] – Final 30D.C. Periscope!
Marketing Deep Dive
In tonight’s Periscope, we are going to take a look behind the scenes of the 2 strategies we’ve used to grow our online stores reach using social media.
- Organic: Instagram engagement
- How we 10x’d our Instragram followers with less than an hour a week
- What’s the most successful way to engage?
- Paid: Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads
- Should you use either or both?
- Is Boost Post enough to win at Facebook?
I’ll share the insider scoop on our paid traffic/advertising strategies and show you exactly what is working for us and how you can use this for your own products or services.
We Go Live at 8pm WST tonight, so if you haven’t followed me on Periscope yet, just click here and hit the FOLLOW button.
[Day 5 Update] – Launch? Launch!
Good. Now the real work starts.
If you haven’t, why not? What’s holding you back?
Perfection is the enemy of progress
I’ve seen so many amazing launches recently, people who have absolutely nailed it, but you don’t need massive fanfare to label your launch a success, opening up the doors
So, how do you ensure your next big launch is to some fanfare and not more tumbleweeds?
Our first launch followed the 7 Day Startup methodology and making our first online sale from a stranger in a week felt awesome. It was really, really hard work and has taken all the steps we’ve covered in automation, scaling, VA’s, simplifying, and marketing to grow it to a $20k+ a month business within a few months.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my business mentor again – Bryan Harris, who knows how to do a launch. When I met Bryan 15 months ago, his blog was only a couple of months old and he wasn’t really selling anything. He summarises his journey in this article and it culminates in a $250k launch week 18 months later, pretty awesome.
These stories aren’t meant to impress you but merely impress upon you that you should be proud to start small, everyone that has made it big started exactly where you are.
Don’t compare your first step to someone else’s 20th
Later this week I would love to showcase your businesses here as part of the [30 Day Challenge], so let me know what you have launched or created and want to launch and your biggest win from following along either by hitting reply to one of my emails (if you are on the email list…hint hint) or hit me up on Twitter.
Tomorrow is our in-person meetup and it will be a doozy as we hit Marketing and we will also jump on Blab (hopefully without technical issues this time) to have a Launch Party – some special treats coming too..
[Day 6 Update] – Peri/Blab Party + in-person!
Are you ready to launch? Are you still thinking about your idea? Still trying to work it all out in your head?
As Dan Norris points out in the 7 Day Startup – You don’t learn, until you Launch!!
And learn we did. This time last year we were 2 months into our first online store and due to a combination of some great products, marketing strategies (we mentioned yesterday), and just the biggest shopping months of the year, we were growing exponentially. We were not ready for this.
Let’s step back a couple months, I had been using a whole range of healthy products for over a year and was a complete fan-boy. Knowing how to create a website, it didn’t seem that far a stretch to start an online store. Surely it was buy product, put it on the site, sit back and collect the moneys. Right?
My wife and I began a business plan of how we were going to take over the market, launch the brand in Australia and create a 6-10 person strong sales and marketing team that would be fully funded by the brand’s owner, while we created our own lines…12-18 month plan.
I was reading the 7 Day Startup at the time and we like to refer to this as serendipity, but you might want to just call it dumb-luck, the brand we were looking into was about to be featured on a national radio station – in a week.
Out goes the 12-18 month plan, new schedule, get the site up and working, get our site to the radio station – launch. I turned back to the book for inspiration which I found in the last chapter. Dan showed how simple it was to launch and to treat the launch day like any normal day, just another day in your business. This helped us both cut through all the procrastination and old school business crap that you learn from slow moving corporations.
Do we need this?
Will this help us launch?
Is this really needed for launch!?
So, that’s exactly what we did – we launched. Idea to Sale in 7 days!
Now it was time to grow.
I stumbled across the book Traction, while looking for ideas about getting from launched to growth, “More is lost by indecision than by wrong decisions.” it was clear we made the right decision to start but abundantly clear we had some major tidying up to do to simplify our new business.
- Each order was taking 25 minutes on average to pack – fine when you have 3 a week, not fine when you have 3 a night and you haven’t seen your wife all week!
- We had wholesale enquiries and nothing to send them apart from “here is our website, prices will be cheaper”…very unprofessional
But, none of these are insurmountable problems and certainly shouldn’t scare you off the launch. They are just part of the natural growth of the business. Here’s how we quickly got over these:
- Printer compatible sticker sheets – you can buy a pack of 100 sheets with 30 stickers the size of address labels from a stationary store for about $20. Print out your return address and save yourself over 50hrs with each pack.
- Home Hardware Supplies (i.e. BUNNINGS!) – we are big fans of sustainability and it’s one of our core business values. The idea of removing items from a box, buying new smaller boxes to put them in, which would then be thrown out when they reach their destination made me uncomfortable and is just plain inefficient! So, we use recycled boxes. We also reuse all bubble-wrap and filler from suppliers boxes to pack up our customers orders. This not only saved money, it saves time on organising packing products suppliers, deliveries etc.
- Excel and a VA – managing a growing product line, price changes, tax, wholesale pricing, and an ever expanding list of potential customers and suppliers, we were losing out on both of these until we sent it to our VA to look after it. Phew!
These aren’t the only challenges our businesses have experienced, but they are examples to show you not to expect smooth sailing and every issue can be solved one way or another.
Don’t fear the launch. Launch already!
[Day 7 Update] – the end?
Today we do a full recap of everything, warts and all.
What have we achieved this month?
It’s been a looong month, but looking back now it seems to have flown by!
Our Number 1 Goal here was to help more people (outside of the in-person meetup group) start their own thing. So, did we achieve that? Let’s take a look…
Personally, I’ve written every day, as of writing that’s over 20,000 words, images, and slides, which is crazy!!
We’ve done 9 live appearances, twice a week (3 last week) and we got to chat in person about your websites, your business ideas, your marketing, and more.
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many of you personally about your ideas, your limiting fears, perceived challenges, and procrastination holding you back from launching or growing your business. It’s amazing to see how far some of you have come in such a short period of time. Hoping we can share some of these successes tomorrow!!
- Daily publishing meant I had the ultimate accountability to provide you with value, every day. It also kept many of you engaged and accountable to get your ideas off the ground.
- Twitter @video replies – these were fun, outside of my comfort zone, and worked! My Twitter followers has doubled this month and people are really digging the videos
- Actionable/Walkthroughs on Periscope. My #Scope game improved over time and this was certainly an area where the vanity metrics were really good. Periscope followers doubled and hearts went from 238 to over 1000. Happy with that.
- For those on the mailing list, you received special gifts along the way (which are still available to any new comers), which did see slightly better email open rates (see below)
What Didn’t Work?
- Comment engagement – we only had 2 comments in the first week, then nothing. Why? Maybe the ease of access to me via email and the length and depth of the questions everyone had on how to progress their idea. Maybe nobody felt comfortable sharing their ideas or struggles on a quiet blog? Either way, more work for me to sort that out
- 24hr Challenge – that was loads of fun for me but didn’t seem to resonate with you guys as much as I thought it would. Not much feedback, so I’ll need to find out if it was the subject matter (music) or the way we went about it
- Meetup numbers didn’t increase much (37 new members) but it received no additional attention from me to warrant it but the traffic to the site was slightly higher towards the end of the challenge
- Bonus Content for Periscopes. This took a huge amount of time and though provided a heap of value, were totally missed due to the medium. Live broadcasts on Periscope are more suited to the “let’s chat about…” than your traditional “let’s walk through this…” webinar type presentations.
- Blab. (grrr) No comment.
What Needs Fixing Next Time?
- Eat My Own Dog Food! Several of the tips and strategies I have shared with you, specifically around focus and marketing, I haven’t been following myself. Spend 20% of your time building, 80% promoting – more like 30% of my time building this and 5% promoting it which had already max’ed out my time available to this project. Next time – we’ll allow an extra few hours to ensure we get to help as many people as possible 🙂
- Outsource More – I know, I know, more of my own dog food. I did get my VA’s involved and I even had them share how they work with me as part of this challenge, LaKenya (my full-time VA) was paramount to the Crazy 24hr Challenge but I will ensure they are move involved, especially in the repeatable tasks now that all the workings of these challenges have been ironed out.
- More reader to reader engagement – reducing the 1-1 email requirements on me, allowing all you [30 Day Challengers] to work together and form a community like the in-person meetup does (very well)
- Increase Meetup group involvement and content. Meetup has plenty of places to showcase content that could have increased exposure, members, and ultimately readers
- Better outreach to find more traffic sources to get more readers. Initially we had a spike, but this tapered off over the 30 days 🙁
- As readers didn’t grow, neither did mailing list subscribers. I had started with a very small list of existing members and this spiked at the start of the 30 days, but after initial growth, it stopped. Next time we do more outreach!
- Testing! What we didn’t do was test things out with the emails to improve their open rate. Things like split testing subject lines and email send times are super easy to do in Mailchimp, but I didn’t prioritise them. It shows.
…So, after all that – did we achieve our Number 1 Goal? You betcha!! We’ll share some of these tomorrow with you.
We need feedback from you.
In order to improve these challenges to help you start and grow your business, we need some feedback from you.
What did you like about the [30 Day Challenge]?
What would you change about it?
Leave a comment below, hit reply in one of my emails, or simply tweet me @lifeonautosite.
Tomorrow we share you! We’re collecting up progress and success stories from you the reader and we’re sharing them out with everyone else. Want exposure for your business? Want feedback on your landing page? Let me know your business details and what you have actioned over the last 30 days and we will try to include it in tomorrow’s update.
[It’s Day 29!] – the end Part II
Today we take a look at some of the Rapid Startup members launches! Some of you are doing the “I’m in stealth mode”, which you know I scoff at, but I understand, for many of you it’s your first business and I was the same with mine. It’s silly, but, we all do it.
Here are 3 recent launches from members:
Muler is stuff carried by others, way faster and way cheaper than any freight companies ever could. The brain child of Matt who had this to say about his progress so far and how the [30 Day Challenge] has helped him
My passion for this project has been rejuvenated and totally reinvigorated, I’m making time to breathe life into something I had given up on way too prematurely.
Matt plans on starting the [30 Day Challenge] again now that he has an MVP (remember, that from week 1?) or minimum viable product that he is able to share his idea around and get feedback on. Going through it again and adding in the stuff that wasn’t essential for him to launch, will help him grow now he has something up he can talk about. Well done Matt!
Introducing: Bo The Dolphin
As part of Paddy’s passion for giving a voice to those vocal minorities, the premise behind the book and the upcoming full launch has an extremely important message of conservation and one we can all get behind.
Congrats Paddy, and everyone should go check out the book 🙂
Introducing: Roark and Co
The full business plans are still in the works, but big claps for Scott!! Great looking site and perfect to start to build buzz for the roll-out. Oh, and he got his first sale, so another Rapid Startup success!
Have you launched or have any success stories you want to share, leave a comment here and let us know.
If you are struggling with something, leave a comment below and we will help you out!
[Day 30 Update!!] – the end Trilogy Part III
So, now what are we going to do?
Well, you have work to do.
Actually, so do I. All those little fires (and some medium sized ones..) that are burning while I put this all together for you need tending to.
But, I’ve been working on my other businesses in the background and we have 2 big new projects under way that I want to share with you:
- We are launching our own Physical Product! (actually 2x of them…just to make it interesting and crazy – how we do things around here) Globally. Why is this relevant to you? Well, if you are interested in physical products, private labelling, sourcing from overseas, or even selling on Amazon (the biggest store in the world and growing!), then I will be sharing all the tools, lessons, wins (and of course ALL the losses) of starting this from scratch. If you have signed up for the email list already, great, I’ll let you know when I’m going to start sharing this and if you are interested in learning about this and aren’t on the email list, you know what to do..
- Rapid Landing Pages Course – After several requests, I am putting together another course like the Rapid Email Self Paced Course creation, where we’ll go through, step by step how to create a beautiful, functioning and automated Landing Page for your idea/business. – if you would like to be part of the BETA group and get involved in this course while it’s being put together, you can buy the pre-sale now for a 1/5 of the eventual price when I launch it, go check it out here
This has been tremendous guys, thank you. Now it’s up to you to take action. If you want to keep in touch, jump on the [30 Day Challenge] mailing list in the sidebar and hit me up on email. You can also get me on Twitter and I will continue to do Periscopes about starting and growing your business and sharing the tools and tips I’m finding while on this journey too.
If you are interested in taking your business further 1-on-1, I will be opening up 3 coaching spots in a few weeks where I can work with you in-person/over Skype to help you start and grow your business.
Leave your email here and I will let you know when these spots become available:
The Rapid Executive blog will continue with more actionable strategies and awesome tools to help you grow and simplify your business. See you soon 🙂