The Money Is In The Follow Up

The Money Is In The Follow Up

How many times do you start researching something you were thinking of buying, just to get distracted? Or realise you need to talk to someone else before you buy? Or you’re just doing initial research? How many times do you put things in your online basket and aren’t quite ready to check out yet? How often do you go into a shop just looking for ideas but you want to think about it before you commit?

In other words, how often do you start the ‘buying’ process but don’t finish it? Fairly often, if you’re anything like me.

And your customers will be just the same.

So why then, do we not follow up with these people? Why are we so worried about pestering them or feeling stalky? Surely, if they enquire there is a possibility they might be ready to complete that sale, hopefully with you, at some point soon?

Let me share a story.

I was shopping for a dress online and I got it in my online basket, paid and the payment failed. It was because my card had been cloned earlier in the year and I got a new one, but I’d saved my old card on this site and didn’t realise when I clicked to use it that it was my old one. The message said ‘payment failed’, I couldn’t be bothered to go downstairs right at that point to fetch my purse but I thought I’d remember to go back and get this lovely dress while it was still in stock.

The trouble is, I didn’t. Remember, that is. Even when the store kindly sent me an email an hour later reminding me that I still had things in my basket and I just needed to update my payment method. I meant to do it because I definitely wanted the dress, but I was putting my daughter to bed and by the time I got back downstairs, I was zonked and updating my payment method didn’t even enter my mind.

It wasn’t until I got a phone call the next day from the team at the store – as soon as I answered the phone I knew exactly why they were calling and I was happy to speak to them and finish my purchase but I was just about to go on another call and didn’t have time to speak.

Finally, the following day the team called me, a lovely lady very politely asked if now was a good time and would I like to complete checkout with her. I did indeed want to and I finally bought the dress.

Now, did you see how that worked?

How many steps it took for me to actually buy? It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it’s just life got in the way. I was really happy to receive the email and 2 phone calls. I didn’t feel pestered or stalked or freaked out. I was just glad they persevered because I wanted to buy that dress but my life is busy and often chaotic and I get tired and forget because I’m a mum and a business owner and a wife and a dog mum and a home educator.

Your Super Customers are just the same and your business could work the same way as the store I bought from.

Imagine if you followed up with customers who put things in their basket but didn’t check out? Imagine if you followed up with people who enquired about services a little while ago but never came back? Imagine if you got your web visitors to sign up to your email newsletter so you didn’t lose them when they left your site. Imagine how many more sales you could achieve and how much more profit you could make? And all you have to do is follow up.

Not in a pestering way or a stalky way. Not in an uncomfortable way. Just in a helpful way because your Super Customers are like me that day, life gets in the way.

You’re helping them like the store helped me and I was happy to be helped.

Yes, you may get people who were genuinely researching and don’t want to buy but at least you have tried to help them and for every one of those, there could be a busy home-schooling mum and business owner whose brain feels like a sieve some days and who will be eternal grateful that you helped her finally buy that thing she wanted. Just a thought.

Avoid These 7 Cashflow Killers

Avoid These 7 Cashflow Killers

Running out of cash is one of the most frightening (and sadly most common) things to happen to small businesses. It’s easily done if you’re not keeping an eye on things and can sometimes be hard to spot before it’s too late. So what can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen to you in your business?

1. Understand the numbers in your business When it comes to the numbers in your business, knowledge is everything. At any given point you need to know what you owe out and what is owed to you. You need to know how much you have tied up in stock. You need to know how much you will need to fulfil orders. You need to be able to pay yourself, pay the bills and pay for any help you employ. Make sure you know your costs and how much profit you make on everything you sell, as an absolute minimum.

2. Don’t count your chickens Don’t assume you have an order until you have the order! Don’t assume people will pay on time. Don’t buy extra stock ‘in case’ you’ll need it. Don’t overstretch yourself. One of the biggest cashflow killers is tying up money in stock or supplies or committing to costs without having the cash to cover it. All it takes is one non-payer, late payment, cancellation, change in circumstances to throw your plans out of whack and your cashflow with it. The last thing you need is to end up with stock you can’t quickly liquidate or commitments you can’t meet because you trusted someone to do the right thing. Get your terms and conditions in place. Have a clear refund policy that protects you if someone cancels once you have ordered stock. Don’t take risks on someone else’s behalf using your business. Protect your downside (in other words don’t commit more than you can afford to lose) and be mindful. It’s not magic money, you have to earn it to cover what you pay out, and then some.

3. Track your sales Don’t guess how much you have taken in sales, KNOW it for certain. Track every sale coming in. Track deposits. Track instalments. Know what is due, when. Look for patterns. Know your quiet times, so you can come up with ideas to drive additional business. Know your busy times so you can plan for them and manage your cash accordingly. Where you put your attention is where the magic happens, so if you track your sales and understand how they work in your business, you will get more. Know how much of it is profit at any time. This is important because your profit is what turns into your salary or gets reinvested back into your business – if it’s not profit then you shouldn’t be spending it unless it’s directly related to delivering your products or services.

4. Collect your payments If you give credit to customers, collect it when it’s due. Don’t let embarrassment or fear of offence stop you. Think like a business owner and put processes in place so you know what is due, when. Make your credit or payment terms very clear at time of purchase. Get the customer to read, acknowledge and sign them so they can’t come back later and say they didn’t know how it worked. On the day the money is due (or even the day before) send a polite reminder notice. As soon as the payment is overdue, chase up every day or two.This is YOUR money. You are not here to cashflow someone else’s business. Successful business owners don’t let their money collection slip. You’re doing nothing wrong by reminding late payers and requesting payment, you are simply running a business in a professional way and if they don’t like it they can go elsewhere. It’s not worth putting yourself under stress trying to accommodate bad payers, when you could focus your attention on your Super Customers and have people who would happily pay in advance.

5. Plan ahead If you know you have shows or events or busy times coming up, plan ahead, not a week or two but a few months ahead. That way you’re giving yourself time to buy stock a little at a time, make the most of special offers and set aside cash as a contingency. Businesses are more likely to run out of cash if they get caught out or haven’t planned ahead. Don’t put yourself in that position.

6. Be Frugal You have to earn every penny you spend. It’s very easy to spend, spend, spend but how much will you need to sell to replace that? If you start adopting this attitude, you will soon get a different perspective on your business. That swanky new laptop bag might be gorgeous but if you have to find 5 new customers just to cover the cost of it, is it really worth it? If you’re spending money on stuff for the business, make sure you get a good deal but don’t talk yourself into stockpiling to get a ‘wholesale’ price, otherwise you’ll potentially have loads of stock tied up in the business that could take months or years to turn into cash. Always think about the return you’re going to get on anything you spend.

7. Choose wisely Choose your customers (not all customers are good customers). Sit tight, be really clear who your Super Customers are and market to them rather than saying yes to everyone. Make wise decisions. Don’t cashflow someone else’s business to the detriment of your own. Don’t be bullied into putting up with someone else’s bad money attitude  – you keep control over your business. Have confidence in yourself and your ability, you know more than you think.

I know it can be tricky if money is tight but the more you plan, the more you know your numbers and the more you realise that cash is the lifeblood of your business, the more likely you are to make sound business decisions and protect your business. My sales coach used to make me justify every penny I spent for months until I understood how much extra profit I’d need to make to cover my less-than-thrifty spending habits. I promise I’m not a killjoy, I want you to love your business but I also want you to keep having a business and not fall victim to dodgy cashflow. Did anything in this blog resonate with you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments and I’d also love to hear any other cashflow tips you have. Protect your cash and keep building your gorgeous business.

Facebook Video – Getting Over Your Fears

Facebook Video – Getting Over Your Fears

If you’ve been putting off doing Facebook video because it’s way too scary, this is for you.

In my last blog I shared Facebook expert Mari Smith’s excellent blog post about the changes going on at Facebook and the top things we can do to get Facebook working for us. She was very clear it was all about video and I shared her top 10 tips along with my own input and explanations on using video in your Facebook marketing and business.

I’m going to take those Facebook video tips one by one and show you how you could use them in your business. So, in this blog we’re going to tackle number 1 – focus on video but this is a HUGE topic in itself, so I’ll cover some today and the rest over the next couple of weeks. This is going to be a mammoth FACEBOOK VIDEO MASTERY series, I think you’re going to love it!

Video already takes priority in Facebook’s newsfeed. It’s only going to get bigger.

If you have tried putting videos on your Facebook page you’ll hopefully have found they get much better engagement than other posts? Obviously it depends on what’s IN the video, but if you can crack this, you will get lots of video views, which improves your Facebook page engagement, which in turn helps your page get seen by more people. At a time when it’s harder than ever to get seen on Facebook, it’s definitely worth grabbing video with both hands while its working well.

So, why might you NOT be using videos yet?

Let me take a guess…

Oooh, maybe you feel like you’re not ‘right’ for video. You might think you’d like to lose a bit of weight before going on screen? Maybe you keep telling yourself it would be better if your hair was tidier, or your voice was different or you had a more photogenic ‘look’. Hmm?

Or maybe you’re using the ‘I’m not techie enough’ excuse? I can’t ‘do’ videos! What about the editing? What do I use to record ON? Do I need a tripod? It’s all too scary!

Maybe you’re up for it but you’ve got video block – whenever you think about doing a video, you get stuck on what to make a video about? I mean what could you say that your customers and page fans would want to hear and watch? And what if they don’t like it? Oh heck, what if they laugh at me?

Blimey, what a lot of reasons NOT to do video! If you’ve talked yourself out of it before you recorded a single second  of video I’m not surprised!

But let me share something with you. I’m going to tell you how to work with and around all those reasons and excuses above.

GETTING PAST VIDEO FEARS AND OVERCOMING THE EXCUSES

Creating videos for your business, whether for your website or social media can be a nerve-wracking experience. It triggers all sorts of insecurities within in us about our appearance, our self-worth, our value – so why on EARTH would you want to drag all that up?

What if people laugh at me? What if they think I’m too fat/thin/ugly? What if I sound stupid? What if they think I’m unprofessional? What if my friends / old boss / mother-in-law see it? What will they think? What if people realise I’m just winging it and don’t really know what I’m talking about?

Run away! Run away! Why would you even want to go there? Even I had a wobble with those as I wrote them but do you know what? We all feel like that. Even people who are on TV every day!

But wouldn’t it be great to NOT worry about all those things? I mean, if they are holding you back from doing videos, imagine what else they are stopping you doing?

What if I told you these fears are not important and definitely not worth worrying about? What if I told you nobody really cares what you look like or sound like, as long as there is something for them in the video? What if I told you there are some things you can do to make Facebook video MUCH easier? It’s true!

Remember, it’s not about you

The first thing you have to realise is, it’s not about you.

People don’t watch videos ABOUT YOU unless you are a celebrity (sorry!) unless it’s an ‘about me’ video on your website (which is an awesome idea) but generally in our world, as small business owners (with big ambitions) people watch our videos to get help. They watch our videos to learn something they need to know or to see if they are missing something.

As long as you are sharing something interesting, relevant and of value TO THEM they don’t care what you look like or sound like, as long as they can understand what you’re saying. Occasionally you might get a nasty comment because Facebook does have trolls. I’ll tell you how to deal with them in a mo.

They want to know wiifm

What’s in it for me? Why are you reading this email? To see if I share something that could help you in your business, right? A tip, an idea, a new way of looking at something. Well, that’s the same for your Facebook fans, email subscribers, in fact anyone you come into contact with in your business.

Once you realise that, the whole Facebook video ‘thing’ gets much easier. What do your fans and customers want to know? What could you share that would help them in their life? What would make them take notice? What words or phrases could you use that would grab their attention? What are they thinking about or worrying about that you can help with? What would make them happy? What would they find intriguing?

“Why does my dog eat grass?”
“How long should my baby nap for?”
“Should I send e-newsletters to my customers?”
“How do I deal with email overload?”
“Why aren’t people visiting my website?”
“Why has my silver jewellery gone black?”
“How can cheese help my concentration?”*

*I have no idea how cheese could help your concentration, but if you know the answer then I know a load of people who would love an excuse to eat more cheese!

Think about what your customers and Facebook fans might be putting into Google. Think about what YOU put into Google! I know, right? Weird and random things (if you’re anything like me) but if you can figure out what your fans are bothered about, then YOU can be the person showing up on Facebook videos in their newsfeed with the answers!

What if I get a nasty comment?

It might happen, it might not. Depending on what you’re sharing, you might ‘trigger’ someone who then feels hurt or upset or angry or jealous and makes a nasty comment. The more controversial you are, the more likely this is to happen.

If you’re not controversial and you’re just sharing how you painted your latest picture of a puppy, it probably won’t happen. If you’re talking about vaccinations, politics, parenting, money, anything that people are likely to have strong feelings about, you’re probably going to get all sorts of comments, good and bad.

So what do you do? Well, understand first of all that people are very brave when they are on Facebook and will say things they would NEVER say in real life so they are unlikely to be a real threat. Don’t reply. Don’t bite. Don’t engage. Ban. Delete. Move on. No matter how hurtful a comment might be, don’t let it get to you. Don’t let it hurt you because then they win. Let it slide off and have a way of dealing with it so it doesn’t ruin your day.

As someone who has had ALL sorts of nastiness happen on my Facebook page I can tell you this is easier said than done – but for your own sanity you have to just ban (so they can’t comment any more), THEN delete the comment, then do something that requires you to focus so you can get them out of your head. Whenever you catch yourself dwelling on it, STOP IT. DON’T LET THEM WIN. Focus your precious time and energy on making your business stronger.

If you can’t BEAR the thought (yet) of putting your lovely face on a video, in my next blog (coming soon) I’m going to show you that you don’t have to be ON video to make a video.

And in the following blog  I’m going to give you some great ideas for Facebook videos.

And that’s just part 1! After that we’ll cover video production tips, technology tips, different types and sizes and lengths of video, monetising video, captions, and more! You’ll be a Facebook video pro before you know it.

The Facebook Feed Rumours Are True! (Sort Of)

The Facebook Feed Rumours Are True! (Sort Of)

The Facebook Newsfeed Rumours

OK so for AGES rumours have been flying around that very soon the only way we will get our business posts seen in the Facebook newsfeed will be to pay for ads. So is it true?

Well, sort of.

Very simply put, Facebook has so much content, paid and organic, that it’s impossible to show every user every post that’s targeted at them. And although Facebook has shareholders and advertisers to keep happy, they also have to keep their USERS happy, otherwise they will stop using Facebook.

This article by Facebook expert Mari Smith explains LOADS about what’s going on and what we can do about it.

I’ve pulled out some of the key things I think will help you. Firstly this video from Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Head of News Feed where he explains how the newsfeed works. I found it really interesting. Here is the link to his article.

Secondly, here are Mari’s top 10 tips on what businesses can do to keep getting seen. Not unsurprisingly, it’s all about VIDEO. We’ve known for ages that videos, especially FB live videos take top priority in our newsfeed – this is just the start!  Mari’s version has a lot more technical detail that might feel a little overwhelming so I’ll leave you to read the tips in full on Mari’s blog here but here is my ‘translated for small business owners with big ambitions’ summary. 

Over the next few weeks I’ll take each of these tips and give you LOADS of ideas on what you could do, and how you can use them in your business, so make sure my emails aren’t going into your spam folder!

1. Focus On Video

Video already takes priority in Facebook’s newsfeed. It’s only going to get bigger. Facebook is putting even more things into place to make it a viable alternative to your TV, after all I tend to get my news via Facebook these day, THEN see it on TV later. How about you? If you’re not already doing videos then you need to start embracing the idea. They don’t have to have you talking to the camera, there are loads of alternative ways to create fantastic videos. Don’t worry, there will be a way that works for you.

2. Do More LIVE Videos

OK so the novelty of Facebook live videos has worn off a bit. To start with we watched all of them. Then we realised that some aren’t as good as others. Now we’re being more selective and picky about which we watch and there are certain things that DEFINITELY make your live videos MUCH more likely to be watched. I’ll share those with you in next week’s newsletter. Even though the novelty has worn off, Facebook Live videos are still top of the newsfeed priority list so it’s definitely worth doing them (but the RIGHT way). 

“We’ve seen that people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos. ~Facebook”

3. Do more short, punchy videos

According to Mari, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer recommends creating ‘snackable’ video content. That is, between 6-15 seconds. This is the ideal length to be used as ad breaks. Now, I’m sure Sheryl was referring to the big brands when she mentioned this but how can we, as small businesses with big ambitions use it in our marketing? Well, 6-15 seconds is not a lot of time – what could you do as a teaser? What could you demonstrate in 6-15 seconds? What could you share that your fans would love? I’ll give you some ideas in one of my newsletters very soon.

4. Create longer videos too

OK so the short videos I just mentioned are what you’ll already be seeing while you watch longer videos – the longer video stops while a short video ad plays. Yes, I find it intensely annoying too.

But Facebook still needs longer videos in which to insert the ad breaks. Also, your fans won’t just want short videos, if you have something awesome to share with them. So, how long is longer? Well, according to Mari anywhere from 90 seconds to 30+ minutes for your regular Facebook videos. And, for your Live video broadcasts, a minimum of five minutes and up to four hours. And for Instagram, 60 seconds. Phew!

5. Add captions to your videos

According to Mari’s research 85 percent of videos are watched with sound off. It’s not surprising when you think how often you’re somewhere that makes listening tricky. Also, sometimes you just want to watch the story and read what’s being said – it’s definitely how I prefer to watch videos.  Adding captions is easy and lots of the work is done for you. I’ll show you how to do this in one of my newsletters very soon!

6. Create highly shareable videos

According to Mari ‘Share is the ‘holy grail’ on your Facebook business content. It’s free viral marketing, when you can get it. According to Facebook, “Recommendations from friends are powerful: in fact, 48% of video watch time on Facebook comes from shares. ~Facebook” So, how can you create videos that are sharable? Well there are lots of ways and obviously I’ll be sharing a load with you very soon in one of my newsletters but to get you started, think about sharing stories about your business. Think about sharing those time lapse videos of work in progress. Think about sharing videos of magical things in your business – I sat yesterday and watched a wax melt melting. I watched it 3 times. It was mesmerising. More ideas coming soon!

7. Create square videos

According to Mari’s research  “square videos perform better on Facebook, resulting in 28% more views, more likes, and shares, while leading to a 67% greater view-completion rate.” Wow! That matters when you’re trying to make an impression and build relationships. Also, you get more space in the newsfeed with a square video as opposed to a landscape one, which is a good thing.

Adobe Spark is great for creating square videos and it’s free! I’ll share some more apps and software very soon. Remember if you make your videos 60 seconds or under, you can use them on Instagram too.

8. Monetise your own videos

According to Mari, there are three primary ways to monetise:

  1. Your own offer. This is probably the most relevant to us as small business owners. It’s where you put a link to your offer in the video, or the post, or both.
  2. Sponsors. Worth a look but probably not your best option.
  3. Ad breaks. You need at least 2,000 followers and your live broadcast needs to have more than 300 people watching at the same time. Then, you’d qualify for ad breaks after you’ve been live for at least 4 minutes. You can take additional ad breaks every 5 minutes after your first break. But they are really annoying for your viewers. Just saying…

9. Stay away from the Boost button

According to Mari Smith, “most savvy marketers on Facebook have long known that the Boost button is a ‘lightweight’ ad interface. The Facebook ad algorithms know that you are a somewhat novice advertiser if all you do is boost your posts…” It’s time to get familiar with the Facebook Ads Manager and start looking at proper targeting and custom audiences. Luckily, I can help you with this – there will be a newsletter about it very soon!

10. Be a more sophisticated advertiser

According to Mari, if you “Use Ads Manager + install the Facebook Pixel + Standard Event tracking + use Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences + do retargeting + choose Traffic, Conversions, Products or Leads for your ad objective. This combo shows the Facebook ad algorithms that you are a much more sophisticated advertiser, compared to a business that only hits the Boost button.”

OK if that sounded like a very scary foreign language to you, I’m not surprised! What Mari is saying is that if you start to use the Facebook Ad Manager tools properly, your ads will perform better and you MIGHT get better organic reach too. Hmm. I don’t doubt it’s true but it feels like hard going! Try the first few options first, I reckon!

So, in my next few newsletters and blogs I’ll be taking Mari’s excellent advice and translating it into ideas you can use in your business. Don’t worry, you’ll be using Facebook like a pro very soon.

I’d love to know what you think of this. Does it make you excited? Worried? Scared? Are you already using videos on Facebook? How are they working for you? Tell me! 🙂

 

Scared To Put Your Prices On Your Website?

Scared To Put Your Prices On Your Website?

Don’t be scared to put your prices on your website. Here are 4 REASONS why:

1. If you’re scared of your competitors finding out, they will find out somehow anyway. Forget about them and focus on building a loyal following of people who LOVE YOU and love what you do. Your Super Customers won’t care if you’re not the cheapest – they come to you because you are awesome and they trust you.

2. Leaving your prices off is off-putting for customers. If I have to dig around a website, fill out a form, make a phone call or send an email just to get an idea of price I’d sooner go elsewhere. I assume the prices will be so high that the company will have to get a salesperson on the phone to HARD SELL to me (eeek!)

3. Out Of Hours Shoppers – I do most of my online browsing and shopping when my daughter is in bed, after 9pm. Here’s how it works: If I love what I see on your website or Facebook page AND if I can see the price and it feels like good value AND if I can get answers to any questions from your Frequently Asked Questions section AND I can see lovely reviews and I can see videos of you and I can see you’re a real person who can be trusted – I WILL BUY. You’ve made it easy for me. I like that.

4. Be proud of your business and what you sell and don’t be ashamed of pricing properly. Your Super Customers know you have to make a living. They know you are worth it. You’re not after bargain hunters – you want to attract people who value what you do because it’s perfect for them.

If you offer bespoke or custom products or services then at least say “prices start from” or “basic packages start from” or “this item cost £XX as a guide price, this is how we cost it” Give us a clue. We will still love you.

YOU ARE WORTH IT

YOU ARE WORTH IT

YOU ARE WORTH IT

Got that? Good 

Love, Claire xx

3 Ways To Make More Money From Your Website

3 Ways To Make More Money From Your Website

Is your website sitting sluggishly on the internet, not pulling its weight? Is it snoozing when it should be selling? OK, here are 3 things you can do to get it making more money for you – no more lazy websites around here, thank you very much.

 

 1. Don’t be SAMEY

If you’ve got the same old boring stock photography as every other business out there, you’re going to look the same as them. If you use the same cliché phrases as your competitors, nobody is going to be able to tell you apart. And then you’ve got a problem because they will start comparing you on price and unless you’re the cheapest, you won’t get the sale.

DON’T PUT YOURSELF IN THAT POSITION! Show how you add value, show why you are awesome and how you help people and what difference you make and why they should care. Use your own photography, make some short videos showing what you do and why it’s awesome, put some of your bubbly personality into your website and STAND OUT for all the right reasons. Your customers will love it!

2. Make It Easy To Buy

If a visitor has to click 49474 times to get through all the menus and choices on your website, they are going to give up before they check out. See how you can simplify the choices people have to make, reduce the time it takes to find and pay for a product or service and don’t make people jump through hoops. Plenty of websites make it WAY too hard to buy – don’t let yours be one of them.

 3. Capture People’s Details!

How many people find your website, love it but for whatever reason they don’t buy there and then? LOADS!!! Life gets in the way. They get distracted. Maybe they are just researching now to buy later. Maybe they need to ask someone else’s opinion. There are so many reasons why people don’t buy right away so what happens to them? Well, you have to rely on them finding you when they ARE ready to buy. Are you happy to take that risk and hope your website was memorable enough or would you like some control over this?

Why not capture their details and get them on your mailing list or newsletter list, so you can keep in touch, stay top of their mind and keep building a relationship with them? Think of what might entice the right people to sign up – maybe a free shipping code in return for their email address? How about a useful free tips sheet? A money off coupon? Even a ‘what type of product is right for you’ quiz.

You can use MailChimp for free to create a mailing list and sign up form to add to your website.

Let me know how you get on!!

Love, Claire xx

10 Ways To Use Facebook Groups To Grow Your Business

10 Ways To Use Facebook Groups To Grow Your Business

If you use Facebook there is a good chance you’re a member of at least one Facebook group – heck, you might be a member of several (if you’re thinking ‘more like 247’ you might have a slight addiction!) and why not? Facebook groups are great for socialising, supporting learning, buying and selling, organising events and generally giving you somewhere away from the ‘noise’ of the Facebook timeline to chat.

I’ve been using groups to support my business training since 2012 and to be honest, I LOVE them.

  • They allow me to virtually get to know my students.
  • I can support them in a safe setting.
  • They get peer support from other members.
  • We brainstorm and chat, tackle problems and challenges, celebrate success, practice videos and give feedback on blogs and websites and make friends.
  • We set up introduction threads, run competitions, support each other to hit milestones and help each other build our business.

That’s powerful – in fact you will often hear me talk about the Power of the Group. 

It adds a new dimension to my teaching – you’re never alone in your learning. And THAT is more important than it might at first sound because many of my learners are women business owners working by themselves, at home around busy lives where their friends and family just don’t get what it’s like to be taking on the huge task of building a business.

What’s Good About Facebook Groups?

Facebook groups are incredibly versatile. You have different privacy settings from secret (not findable – membership is by invitation only and only members can see group details and content) to closed (appears in searches for groups and non- members can see the group title, description and admins/members but only members can see content) to open (searchable, content is open to everyone, members can either join and be given immediate access or  can be set so an admin has to approve the request).

  • You can choose whether to allow members to add people automatically or set it so you have to approve requests. You can choose whether member posts automatically appear or whether you have to moderate them.
  • You can create group chats with the whole group (think carefully before making this a regular thing as it can be annoying to be pulled into group chats you neither requested nor wanted).
  • You can create events within a group, that all members can see. The events area lets you add images and videos, times and dates and information and it keeps it all together in one place.
  • Members can choose to receive notifications when someone posts or comments (that can get overwhelming quite quickly) but you can choose your notification level and control what you see.
  • Members can create Facebook live videos within the group. They can also upload videos, images and documents that are all then neatly stored in the photos/ videos/ files sections for future reference.
  • Members can search within the group for words, phrases or people.
  • Admins can set out group rules in the ‘about’ section and members can report posts they feel are not within the rules, which are then flagged up to admins to delete or approve.
  • Admins can ask questions of people requesting to join the group, to help them decide whether to let them in.

Businesses are using Facebook groups for a whole range of reasons, so could you be using them to build YOUR business? Here are a few suggestions to get your brain cells whirring.

 

1 Support a study programme

This is how I use Facebook groups in my business. Every programme or club I run has a Facebook group attached to it. It allows me to add value to my teaching and build a supportive community in which I can help my students and they can help each other.

 

2 Parent’s group

If you run children’s classes or have a business working with children or parents, a closed Facebook group can be a great way to share opinions, ideas and images away from the public timeline.

Often, parents worry about sharing images of their children on a Facebook page because it’s open and anyone can share from a page. In a closed group only group members can see the posts and images and if they try to share them outside the group, the post comes up with an ‘attachment unavailable’ message, you might have seen these before.

Yes, people can save images within a group to their device (or screenshot them) but if you limit group membership to parents and carers of the children you work with, there shouldn’t be any issues. Best make the group rules very clear, however, and tell people that they can only download images of their own children and must ask permission if another child is featured in the photo.

Finally, if you do work with children and parents it’s always sensible to ask them to sign an image permission/disclaimer form to allow you to use images of their children in your marketing. That way, you know who is happy for images to be shared AND who isn’t.

 

3 Interest Group

If your business sells wool, you could set up a local knitters Facebook group. If you run a toyshop then you might set up a local children’s event Facebook group for parents and team up with other businesses aimed at parents in the area, to pool your marketing. If you are a florist and you run local workshops, you could set up a local ‘florist workshop’ Facebook group.

You get the idea. Bringing together people with the same interests, who are a great fit for your business allows you to get to know potential customers, build a relationship and share your knowledge. That way, when they are ready to buy they are much more like to buy from you than someone else.

 

4 Special offers and sales

If you have regular stock clear-outs, or often launch new products  it can be a good idea to set up a Facebook group where your group members get first dibs at the deals. It makes them feel special and they are much more likely to buy than your general Facebook fans, as they have chosen to be in that group for that reason.

 

5 Feedback group

Imagine a place where you can get useful, honest feedback on your products and services in a safe place away from the public gaze. Imagine a group where you can share ideas you’re thinking of developing and get a steer on the best options (in other words, what people would BUY). Depending on your type of business, a closed (or by invitation only) Facebook group could be just what you need.

I recommend this in Crafty Business School as a way to gauge opinion on product ideas before you go to the time and expense of developing them into full-blown product lines. Also, if you listen to your group members and create what they have asked for, guess who will be the first to buy?

FREE BONUS: Download my 7-point checklist for running successful and profitable Facebook groups!

6 Networking Group

If your business involves selling to other businesses, you could create a virtual networking Facebook group to bring them together. Not only do you have a lovely group of people to get to know, but they all get to know each other too – it’s a win-win.

My study groups are full of business owners and even though the primary purpose of the groups is to support their learning, I find that friends are made and business is done, because they are all entrepreneurs.

 

7 Support group

Imagine you work with new mums, maybe you’re a breastfeeding coach or offer baby massage. It might be a great idea to set up a local mum and baby Facebook group – NOT for the purpose of selling to members, but rather to get to know them and see how you can help. It could become a safe, friendly place so the group members don’t feel alone and can ask questions they might not be able to ask outside the group. I have a policy in my groups, which is ‘there’s no such thing as a silly question’ and it’s true! If you don’t understand something, there is a good chance you’re not alone. This alone means your support group becomes a valuable resource for the right people.

 

8 Event group

If you run or regularly sell or teach at events, workshops or fairs, Facebook groups can be a good way to bring together people who want to know where you are (in a non-stalky way) or who have attended your events and want to keep in touch. It means you have a group containing raving fans, who are much more likely than the average person on the street to seek you out in future.

 

9 List building group

So, this won’t work for every business and you have to be careful not to spend so much time in there that your core business is neglected, but offering membership of a Facebook group to fans and followers can help you build your subscriber list. In essence, you are bringing together people who already like what you do and because they are members of your group (depending on their notification settings) there is a high chance they will see your group posts ahead of stuff from pages.

This, therefore is a great place to ask them to sign up to your newsletter because they are already warm contacts, and if you let them know you will share offers, deals and valuable information regularly, they will probably sign up. It’s important to build your email list because with social media you can never guarantee your posts will be seen (yes, even in groups) so it’s a good idea to build an email list, so you can get your helpful messages in front of your fans on YOUR terms and not just when Facebook decided to show it to them.

It’s also good if you can offer an incentive to get them to sign up – a little freebie tips list, or one-off discount code, or some other nugget of awesome that they can only access in return for their email address. Just remember, the right people (your Super Customers) will love it. Don’t worry about everyone else.

 

10 Market night

If you sell lovely products, Facebook groups can be a great place to host market nights. There is definitely a trick to getting these to work and much of it is about building a buzz before hand. Showing photos of what will be for sale on your Facebook page and telling your fans they can only buy them on Market Night and it will all be happening in the Facebook group, is a good way to get them chomping at the bit and ready to buy. Don’t assume that because you’ve mentioned it once that’s enough. Oh no – you need to market it like crazy, because people are busy and will forget.

Make sure you post for at least 10 days prior to the event, showing bits and bobs that will be for sale, then ramp up the volume closer to the day. In other words, post LOADS of gorgeous things they will be able to buy, tell them which are one-offs, tell them which are bargains, treat it like an exciting bumper-sale!

Usually Market Night holders issue a password in the group at the start of the event and the first person to comment with that password on a particular item has bought it. This avoids confusion. You just need to make it really clear in the group rules and on explanatory posts that this is how it works.

Finally, make sure you get paid! People need to ideally pay on the night (it’s good if you can have someone generating paypal invoices and doing the admin as you go) otherwise you waste valuable time chasing non-payers and then might have to list the item again, which is a shame

Is it for you?

Running a Facebook group definitely isn’t for everyone. It can be time consuming, you can get plagued by spammers and every so often you get personality clashes and full-on battle taking place in groups!

My best advice for you is first of all, don’t set up a group for the sake of it. Make sure you know what you want from the group and how it will help your business.

Secondly, put some rules in place, so everyone knows where they stand. Are ‘sales’ posts allowed? Do you need everyone to introduce themselves when they join the group? You don’t need to go overboard – just keep it firm, but fair and let the group find its feet.

Finally, it’s often helpful when you have a new group to ask a series of questions, maybe pop some videos of you in there, things that will bring people out of their shell and make them feel comfortable and confident to ask questions.

I’d love to know how you have got on so far with Facebook groups in building your business, and what plans you have to try them. Pop a link in the comments and let me know 🙂

 

 

Facebook Live Tips For Nervous Business Owners

Facebook Live Tips For Nervous Business Owners

Videos are easily the best way to get seen on social media. Most of the social media platforms are putting a big focus on video and live streaming and if you’re brave enough you could really benefit from this. Facebook in particular gives its Facebook Live videos priority over other types of content so, if you post a video, it is more likely to be seen than anything else on your page. It’s a quick and easy way to get more engagement and it’s so simple to do, if you can get over yourself and give it a go.

If you do decide to try them, here are a few tips to help your Facebook live videos be the best they can be, for free!

1. Make sure you have a good internet connection because any sort of live streaming takes up LOADS of bandwidth. If you have a poor signal, your videos won’t load for your viewers and if you DO manage to get one to play, it will usually cut you off in your prime. Ouch! If you don’t have good internet, opt to record a video on your webcam or phone/tablet and upload to Facebook instead of live streaming.

2. Have a point to each video and keep it short. You don’t need to waffle for ages just to fill space. A 15 second video that shows us something interesting is better than a 5 minute one that sends us to sleep.

3. Make good lighting a priority. You don’t have to spend money – a couple of desk lamps with daylight bulbs, positioned in front of you while you are recording, can make your video look much more professional. Alternatively, sit with a window in front of you (not behind you, or you’ll look like a silhouette) and choose an overcast day. If you’re trying to record in bright sunlight, you’ll squint, your eyes will water and you’ll get a runny nose. That’s not quite the look you’re aiming for. Also, bright sunlight on your face will bleach out your features. Natural but not too bright light is best.

4. Look at the camera, NOT at yourself on screen. I know it’s tempting, but you will look as though you’re talking to someone else and you need the viewer to feel you are talking directly to them. If in doubt, stick a little sticker next to your camera to remind you (you can put some bullet points on there too, to keep yourself on track).

5. SMILE! From the minute you reach to hit the record button until after you’ve pressed ‘stop’. You’re on camera as soon as you hit ‘record’, so even if you’re sitting back down again or haven’t started talking yet, smile and engage with us. It will make you look and feel more relaxed and you won’t have that ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look you see on so many videos.

Remember, when you create any videos for your social media accounts but particularly live ones, it really helps to build a relationship between you and your viewers. When they can see and hear and even talk with you via chat in real time, they feel a part of the business and they feel like you’re no longer a stranger. Marketing is all about people and relationship – people buy people, as the saying goes and it’s true! We are much more likely to buy from someone we ‘know’ than a total stranger, even if we only virtually know them from videos.

People aren’t watching to judge you or laugh at you (unless that’s your aim) but instead, they want to get to know you and hear what you have to say so ditch the nerves and give it a go. After all, if you fluff it or forget what you wanted to say, you can always delete and start again!

Why Isn’t Social Media Working For Me?

Why Isn’t Social Media Working For Me?

You’ve tried just about everything you can think of on Facebook and your business page still feels like a ghost town, with tumbleweed blowing through it. No-one seems to see it, nobody likes or comments apart from your friends and family, and it’s certainly not helping you sell anything. Gah!

Twitter scares the pants off you. Instagram is great but what’s with all the hashtags and as for Pinterest? Well, you can easily lose an afternoon gazing at beautiful things on there but how the heck is it supposed to help you build your business?

So, what do you do when you feel like it’s just not working for you? Should you give up? Pay for expensive ads that probably won’t work either? Stick a sandwich board over your shoulders and take to the streets? Buy a megaphone? Well, that might work…or you could just take another look at your relationship with social media.

The Thing About Social Media

The first thing to remember is first and foremost, social media is there to connect people and build relationships. It’s designed around the user, rather than businesses.

So, the first thing you need to look at is how you are using social media. Are you using it like a frustrated business owner who is desperate to sell stuff? Or are you using it like a relationship-building network, where fans and followers are actually real people and not something to be collected and counted? Those are two very different approaches and could have a big impact on how they work for you.

Why Social Media Might Not Be Working For You

I see loads of Facebook pages that are just sell, sell, sell. They push out the same old messages, on autopilot, a few times a week but there is no relationship building going on.

I see Twitter accounts that are just auto-posts from LinkedIn or Facebook. Sentences are cut off, pictures are the wrong size and there is nothing to tempt you to read the tweets, let alone click.

I see Instagram accounts full of dark, badly lit images that look out of place among the lovely photos displayed by other accounts.

These are just a tiny few of the reasons why social media might not be working for you – there are many, many more.

All these ‘mistakes’ are symptoms of someone who doesn’t know what THEY want from social media or, crucially, what their CUSTOMERS want from it.

Oooh I Love That!

Think of the social media accounts you love to follow.

Are there Facebook pages that feel like a lovely place to be? They might show you things you would love to buy. They might help you with tips and advice. They might even feel like a community. They definitely feel like somewhere it’s worth spending time. My goal with Facebook is for my page to be a really useful resource, somewhere business owners can come and find things they like and that will help them. And it works. It helps me to build my business. And I have fun at the same time.

I know I love certain sites because the page owners are artists or crafters and they show things they are working on. I love seeing videos of things being made. I also follow some pages because they share really good tips and advice. In some cases I just love the way they do things. How about you? What are your favourite Facebook pages to follow?

Are there any Twitter accounts you find funny? Or interesting? Or useful? Or thought-provoking? I’m not a big Twitter user but the accounts I do follow tend to be useful. They share things I need to know or keep on top of. My friend, on the other hand is a Twitter ninja. She takes part in local Twitter hours and has made real friends as a result. She’s also had lots of business from it. She’s also had her business featured in a couple of magazines as a result of getting to know journalists on Twitter. She really enjoys using it and it shows.

How about the Instagram accounts you follow – there will be some that you find fabulous or inspirational, I’m guessing? Again, I’m quite a casual Instagram user but I know some business owners who are IG whizzes! They have their content down to a fine art. Not all of them have businesses where they have ‘pretty’ things to photograph, but they make up for it by posting inspirational quotes, fun videos and great tips. I know gift shop owners who drive traffic to their bricks and mortar shop and website via Instagram, and it brings sales. I know jewellery designers and fitness instructors who are using Instagram to build awareness of their brand and they get customers from it. And they are having fun while they do it.

I’m pretty sure with our non-business head on it’s easy to see which social media platforms and users we love and which we don’t. We just forget to apply that same thinking to our business social media.

Why Did I Think That Was A Good Idea?

Why do we think we’ll do well with sell, sell, sell when it doesn’t work on us?

Why do we think it’s a good idea to fill our Twitter feed with auto-posts from Facebook when it cuts off our sentences and looks rubbish – we wouldn’t click on other people’s accounts if they looked like that, so why do we do it?

Would you REALLY click on a bad photo on Instagram, where the lighting is all wrong and you can’t really see what you’re looking at? Or would you just not bother and instead look and like and comment upon the lovely photos?

If we just put ourselves in the shoes and mind of our customers, we wouldn’t do these things. We just get busy and we forget. We stick any old stuff out there because we need to be on social media, don’t we?

Could Your Social Media Be Harming Your Business?

Imagine if someone we met at an event checked out our Instagram account, to see badly-lit, hastily posted images that really don’t do us justice… would that be more favourable than seeing an account with just one or two lovely images and a bio taking us to our just-as-lovely website?

How about if someone was referred to us and checked out our Twitter account, to find a feed full of ‘couldn’t be bothered to do it properly’ tweets?

And what if a magazine was looking for businesses to feature and they checked out your Facebook page to find nothing other than random, salesy posts and no attempt at showing the heart and soul of the business?

Do you see what I mean about badly-done social media doing more harm than good?

Quick Steps To Making Social Media Work For You

Let’s look at how it could work, if you are not sure what to do for the best.

  1. First of all, pick ONE platform. Ideally the one you like best, which ideally also happens to be where your potential customers will be looking. One platform done well is better than several done badly.
  2. Stop counting fans and start talking to people. Every fan or follower is a person. This doesn’t mean you have to personally welcome every new fan to your page or account (that can look a bit stalky) but it does mean you need to try to get people talking. A handful of ‘engaged’ people is worth more than a thousand who are indifferent. Think about what makes YOU love certain pages or accounts or businesses. What can you learn from them?
  3. Give it a chance – it takes TIME. Once you have figured out what type of content and posts would work best on your chosen social media account, get on and do it. Even if nobody interacts at first. Even if it feels like you’re talking to an empty room. Keep trying new things. New variations. Ask questions. Make and post videos. Try live streaming. Share tips and advice. See where and how you can help your fans and followers, those REAL people behind the usernames. Give it time, keep trying and testing and tweaking. Keep going. Keep helping. And one day, it will start to work. If you are posting the right content – if it’s useful and interesting stuff your buyers would love, it will work. It works ON you, so let’s get it working FOR you.

[Tweet “Stop counting fans and start talking to people #tgmb #socialmediatip “]

Of course, there are loads of other things you can do. I’ve got lots of blogs on social media and how to use it to build your business but my best bit of advice is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you were them, would you love what you see? If you were them, would your social media accounts feel lovely? And useful? And interesting? And like a community? If the answer is NO, then change things until they do.

Bonus!

The bonus is, it’s less work than trying to manage lots of accounts badly and it will feel so much nicer to work on ONE account that makes you and your customers smile. So, should you give up on social media? Well, that’s up to you but why not try what I’ve suggested, have some fun, make some changes and see if you can’t fall in love with it a bit. Your business will thank you for it.

19 Things You Need On Your Coaching Website

19 Things You Need On Your Coaching Website

I have a question for you.

What is your website DOING for your business?

I’m asking because, if your website isn’t bringing you clients or building your list, then I’m sorry to tell you this but you’ve probably wasted your money. Every week I see beautiful-looking coaching websites that have cost their owner a small fortune but aren’t achieving either of these things and it frustrates me!

Let me share something. My website pays its way. I get a GREAT return on my investment.

  • It builds my credibility
  • It helps me get found in Google searches
  • It’s a place where my clients can find loads of free help and advice
  • It gathers leads for me – lots of leads, every day
  • It builds trust with my web visitors
  • It adds value for my readers
  • It drives sales
  • It brings me money

Does yours?

If not, don’t worry because I’ve put together a list of 19 things that will help you to make the most of your website and get it working for you the way that mine works for me.

Here are 19 things it would be REALLY useful to have on your coaching business website (if it’s going to build your business and make you money)
 1. Your personality, shining through

Yes I know it sounds simple but do you KNOW how many coaching websites I look at each week? Loads is the answer and do you know how many stand out and are memorable? Hardly any at all. Most are samey and sterile. They use the same old stock images. They look the same as each other. They say the same things in the same words. Booooooooring!

Do you know what your best selling point is in your business? It’s YOU. You are the differentiator. You are unique. You are what sets you apart from every other coach, even those in the same field. So BE YOU on your website. Talk from the heart. Use personal stories and experiences. Write as though you are talking to a friend. Ditch the ‘professional’ language and explain why you are the perfect solution for your super-clients. Share successes and breakthroughs. Be you, loud and proud.

2. What you do and for whom

DON’T just list your services – people aren’t interested in what services you provide. No, stop arguing with me, I know what I’m talking about, I promise! It’s all about them. People want to know what you can DO FOR THEM. They want to know how you are going to make them feel. They want to know what problems you are going to solve for them and how their life will be better, as a result. They want to know the outcomes, not the processes. So make it really clear who you work with, who your Super Clients are and then tell THESE people what you will do for them and why they should care.

3. Blogs

Blogs are a biggie on any coaching website. They add value for your visitors, especially if you are really clear on your Super Clients and write specifically for them, addressing their challenges and solving their problems. Blogs are brilliant for getting your site found on Google because the search engines LOVE new, regularly-added content and a blog is the simplest way to achieve this.  Every new blog you write gives the search engines more to choose from when they are picking which sites appear in searches. Weekly or monthly blogs on your expert topics allow you to showcase your expertise, add value for your website visitors and build relationships with your readers. Every blog you write has the potential to turn into LOADS of other things, from social media posts to e-books (even more reason to get blogging right now!)

4. Videos

You need to bridge a big gap from stranger to trusted coach before people will buy from you and adding videos to your website is the quickest and easiest way to do this – it allows people to see and hear you, to learn from you and see whether they think you’re a good fit. A video will act as a magnet and a filter – it will attract the people who ‘get’ you and love what you are saying and will filter out anyone who doesn’t feel you’re right for them. Think about including a little ‘my story’ video on the about page if your story brought you to coaching, or how about a couple of mini help videos or classes, under 5 minutes long where you give people a valuable snippet of what you do – after all if they like your free stuff, they are going to LOVE your paid stuff.

5. Sign up box on your front page

If you don’t collect email addresses then you are losing out on every person who visits your site and doesn’t buy right away and that’s a waste! There are loads of reasons why people might not buy on their first visit to your site – it wasn’t the right time, they were just researching, they needed to speak to someone else about it, they got distracted, plus a whole load of other possible reasons. That doesn’t mean they WON’T buy. It just means they weren’t ready at that point, so what you need to do is create an easy way to figure out if they are a good fit for you and if they are, then give them a reason to sign up and hear from you.

Encourage them to hand over their email address using a great offer that really speaks to your Super Customer but not really to anyone else (because you only want to attract the RIGHT people onto your list, not just random people) and then you can start to build a relationship with them. Getting them onto your list means you can send regular value-packed e-newsletters and (occasional) amazing offers that will keep you top of mind and show your subscribers why they need to read your emails. Adding a sign up box is easy peasy with Mailchimp or any of the major email software packages.

6. Irresistible Freebie

Once you have your sign up box, you need that tempting offer I mentioned in point 5 to encourage people to hand over their email address. This can be a cheat sheet, a short video, a guide or e-book – anything your Super Clients will love (don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of it). You can use Canva.com to create quick and easy great-looking freebies that you can download as a PDF and deliver using your email software.

7. Contact details

You want people to be able to get in touch with you, so make it easy for them. It’s helpful if you let them know where in the world you are, if you offer local sessions but you don’t need to put email address on there (which will be picked up by the spammers in a matter of days)…Instead, you can use a contact form Most websites let you do this as a standard feature or your web person can set one up very easily. This will let people contact you and will forward enquiries to your email. It’s also helpful if you can manage people’s expectations and let them know when they are likely to hear from you. You could say ‘we respond to emails within one working day’ or ‘we will get back to you during our working hours (9-5 Monday to Friday)’ or whatever works for you. That way enquirers won’t expect an immediate response and if you do happen to get back to them sooner than expected, that’s a bonus!

8. Good quality images

Don’t use the same old stock images ‘woman looking thoughtful’, ‘woman staring at ocean’, ‘woman at laptop’ – make a bit of effort! You want your website to SPEAK to your Super Clients and be memorable and if it looks the same as every other site out there it’s not going to do either. Think about a style that reflects YOU. Don’t always go for free images – a better, less over-used image might only cost a few pounds but will set you apart. A professional photographer could spend half a day with you and take LOADS of photos that are yours, to love and keep and use. It won’t be as cheap as buying images off the internet but really, what’s it worth to you to have a beautifully branded, unique site that will look amazing and professional, but not samey? Also, think about getting illustrations done – they don’t have to be expensive but they can really stand out in a crowded market place. Fiverr.com is a brilliant place to start. We’ll talk about photos of YOU shortly…

9. Client testimonials

If you have happy clients and are getting great results, SHOUT ABOUT IT! When people visit your website they want to know what you can DO for them, what results you can bring and how you can make them feel. Now you can tell them but imagine how much more compelling it is if your CLIENTS tell them. Ask your clients for testimonials and be really specific about the sort of details you would like them to include and then USE them. Have a ‘success stories’ page or a ‘testimonials’ page or ‘what people are saying’ page. Testimonials are what we call social proof – they are a third party saying that you do what you say you do, and that’s worth a LOT

10. Good bio

You must include a biography (or bio) on your coaching website to show people, quickly and concisely who you are and what you have achieved.

This can feel quite uncomfortable to write, but put yourself in the mind of your website visitors and think about how you would sum up YOU. In my case I say I’m a mum of one, I give a brief history of my career to date (literally a sentence or two) and then I talk about my biggest achievements! This is your chance to shine and connect, so be yourself. Don’t list all 27 of your qualifications – if you MUST list them, just do the top few most important qualifications and maybe create a PDF where you list all of them that people can download if they really want to. Think about places you’ve been featured in the press, any events you have spoken at, anything that adds credibility and shows you’re not just any old coach.

11. Sign ups on bottom of blogs

In addition to your front page sign-up box I mentioned in point 5, it’s also a REALLY good idea to add a sign up box to the bottom of each blog. Why? Because hopefully you’ll be sharing your blog on social media and people will be following your links back to read your individual blog posts, bypassing the front page. That’s a lost opportunity so make sure you add a link to your irresistible freebie onto the bottom of each blog to capture those visitors who never see the front page – you can use JotForm (free) or Magic Action box (paid) for this.

12. Photos of you

Yes, I know you don’t like getting your photo taken. Yes, I know you’d like to lose weight/grow your hair/get a new wardrobe first – just stop it! You are gorgeous as you are and your Super Client website visitors don’t CARE if you’re not a super model, in fact they are relieved you’re not, and that you’re a real person like them. You NEED photos of you on your site. With coaching, people are buying YOU either in person or remotely via online programmes and you have to show them who you are (remember, YOU are your USP). Invest in getting some nice photos done – yes get your hair done and look your best but don’t wait, just book in and get them done asap. And instead of getting just the usual head/shoulders shot, why not have you being yourself? Don’t be boring. Be you. Let your personality shine through!

13. Social sharing buttons

Some of my blogs have got over 1000 shares on social media and guess what, if I didn’t have social sharing buttons that would never have happened. Over 1000 people shared them on their social media accounts, so just imagine how many MORE people saw them? I’m thinking it could be squillions! You NEED to add social sharing buttons to your blog. My blog and site are on WordPress (if you’re not then you need to seriously consider it) and you can get lots of social sharing plugins to add buttons to each blog. Google ‘social sharing plugin’ and go for those with the best reviews and ratings. If you’re not on WordPress then ask your web person if they can add social sharing buttons. Every blog shared is another chance to reach new Super Clients and another chance to build your list if you have a signup box on the bottom of each blog, as I mentioned in point 11.

14. Credibility strip

A credibility strip is a little strip on your website where you have the logos of all the publications/websites/media where you’ve been featured. Remember I talked about social proof in relation to testimonials? Well, a credibility strip is an other example of social proof – it’s a third party endorsement because you’ve been featured in the media. My credibility strip includes Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Ireland AM, Huffington Post, Essentials Magazine and Closer Magazine to name just a few. Do you think this helps my credibility and helps people to trust my content? Of course it does, it helps a lot and that’s why you need one too. Even if you’ve only been featured in your local press, it matters! Start to be strategic and think about what you’d LOVE to have on your credibility strip and how you can make that happen! PS ONLY EVER put logos on your credibility strip if you have actually been featured there – fibbing lacks integrity, is bad form and will come back and bite you!

15. Media page

If you DO want to build your credibility strip then you need to start getting featured places! This means you need to proactively seek PR opportunities and then do your best to show you’re just what that paper or magazine needs. Add a media page to your website showing your core areas of expertise and where you have been featured before because if you DO approach journalists, they are going to do some research on you. If you can make it easy for them, show them where you’ve had articles featured, any books you’ve written, where you’ve been an online expert or who you’ve done speaking gigs for it makes their decision easier. Link to any guest content or articles you’ve written so they can get a feel for your style and see if it works for them and their audience.

16. Easy path to buying

Look at your website. Are you making it easy for people to get in touch? Work with you? Enquire? Buy? Really? How many pages do they need to click through? How many hoops do they have to jump through. Why not ask someone else to look at your site with fresh eyes (ideally someone who is as close to a Super Client profile as possible) and see what they make of it. The more hoops and hurdles you put in place, the less likely someone is to stick with it and sign up for your freebie, fill out your enquiry form or buy that product.

17. Facebook likes box

If you have a business Facebook page it’s a great idea to embed a Facebook likes box into the front page of your site because it gives people another way to connect and engage with you. Tell them that you share loads of tips and advice on your page and to come on over and say hi. The more ways you can connect and engage, the quicker your visitors will get to know, like and trust you, and the quicker they will buy if you are right for them. Embedding a FB likes box is as simple as including a bit of code on your site – if you can’t do it then your web person will be able to sort it easily for you.

18. A clear call to action

What ONE thing do you want people to do when they are on your site? On my site I want them to join my mailing list or buy something. I give them tons of great value, high quality free marketing resources while they are there but really, I want to be able to keep in touch with them once they’ve left the site so the minimum I want them to do is sign up for my irresistible freebie, or one of my tailored list-builders like the one on the bottom of this blog.

19. Something unexpected your Super Clients will love

Instead of the same old stuff everyone else is sharing, why not think about sharing something that will surprise and delight them? Share your favourite energy-boosting smoothie recipe, a list of your favourite books, your best productivity tip – something that they can’t get anywhere else and that makes them feel that you’re opening up and sharing part of your life.

You don’t need to have all these on your site right now, but you do need to get them on there at some point. Some are really quick and easy. Others like photos of you or a great irresistible freebie might take a little planning but put them on the list and give yourself a deadline.

If you have all 19 of these elements in place your website will magically turn into a brilliant marketing and sales tool that builds your list, drives enquiries and brings you new Super Clients while you’re busy doing other things. What’s not to love?

Let me know if you have any more to add to the list. What really works on YOUR site?