Why You Need A Solid SEO Strategy And A Way To Measure Results

Trying to get traffic to your website without a solid plan is a bit like driving around with a vague destination in mind, but no directions on how to get there. You may eventually make your way to where you want to be, but it will take a lot longer and require more effort than if you had your route mapped out. 

The same holds true with website traffic in general, and search engine optimization in particular. With a solid strategy, you will have a goal in mind, and a plan for what to do to get there. Even if you’re new to SEO and you don’t quite understand what it will take to get a certain keyword ranking, or even what a realistic keyword goal is for you, it's good to have a plan. You can always tweak and adjust both your plan and your strategy as you go along. 

When you have a workable strategy with defined goals, and a way to track the results you are getting over time, it becomes easy to determine if your strategy is working. Without either of those, you're guessing at best, and that's not a good business practice. Search engine optimization takes time and effort. And if you're hiring someone to help you, it can involve quite a bit of money. 

So where do you start? Learn the basics of how SEO works. Set up a good Website Analytics program so you can start to measure what traffic you’re getting now and where new traffic is coming from. Google Analytics is a great program that will grow with you. Install it, look through the reports, start to learn to use it and expand your knowledge as you go along. 

Your next step will be to formulate a strategy. This should be a five-step process that includes: 

  1. Determine your ideal target audience. 
  2. Figure out what they are looking for and what keywords and key phrases they use. 
  3. Generate high-value content around those terms.  Content can include things like EBooks, Blog posts, Checklists, Industry reports, articles, or videos.
  4. Implement on page and on site optimization.  Hire a professional if you are unsure how to do this yourself!
  5. Track results and adjust as needed. 

A note about keywords: The question is, of course, where you find those keywords. How can you find out what your target audience is typing into their favorite search engine? 

It starts with a guess. You already know enough about your topic and niche of choice to come up with a list of several words and phrases that you think your readers may be using. From there you have options. One of your best and free tools is Google. Start to enter one of your keywords and see what the autofill options are. Play with different terms and start making a list. Once you have that list, search each term and scroll down to the bottom of the first search results page. You will see a list of related searches. Add those to your list of keywords and key phrases and choose several that make sense for you and the type of content you want to create. 

Another option is to use a keyword tool. If you use Google AdWords, or have at least an AdWords account, you can use Google’s free tool which gives you quite a bit of information on search volume and the likes. Other paid keyword tools are also available. 

Once you have completed the five steps above, you can expand on what’s working, identify more audiences, more terms, and create more content, and slow down on what isn’t working. One important thing to keep in mind is that search engine optimization takes time and that you’re building your site’s reputation with the big search engines over time. Don’t give up on your strategy too soon and whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel.

To your success!

Laura

5 Powerful Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website - Without Breaking The Bank!

"If you build it, they will come". This may have been true for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, but it is far from true when it comes to your website. You can build the most beautiful website in the world, but if no one visits your site, it really isn't doing you any good.

It's critical to create a strategy to get more traffic to your website - you need tools, tactics, and even hacks for getting people to visit with your site - to engage with you and to buy from you! Here are 6 proven strategies for increasing your website traffic without breaking the bank!

Create Amazing, Share-Worthy Content

If you want people to come to your website, you need to give them a reason to come. You need to create awesome content that attracts people and that they feel compelled to share with others. Take some time to consider how you're going to stand out from the crowd and remember that content which answers people's questions and speaks to their pain points will get more engagement. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Would I want to read this?
  • Does this add value to my readers?
  • Is this share-worthy?
  • Does this content answer my reader's questions?
  • Does it speak to their pain points?

The most common form of content is a blog, but can also include product demonstration videos, checklists, EBooks, or other types of reports.

If you create great content, the rest of your promotional tactics become that much easier. People want to share content that is valuable - if you create that valuable content, others will promote it for you.

Share Your Content on Social Media

Share your content multiple times across all of your social media profiles. Why? Because not every one of your followers will see every one of your posts. Sharing multiple times maximizes the chances of your followers seeing your content through social media.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different content formats to see what works best on different social media platforms. Try using links, images, video, or polls to see what drives more people to your website.

Use Your Email List

Having an email list is like having your own website traffic source. Each time you publish something new on your website, send a link out to your email list and watch the visitors come in!

Don't have much of a list? Try offering a freebie in exchange for people's email addresses. Called a "lead magnet", opt-in offers are valuable pieces of content that readers can download once they provide their email address. Examples include: Whitepapers, EBooks, Case Studies, Checklists, or Videos. Another effective way to build your list, is to add an opt-in form on your website - and give them a compelling reason to sign up by telling them what they will get in exchange.

Advertise

Advertising on Facebook, Google, or other social media platforms (like LinkedIn) is one of the most effective ways to get traffic directly to your website. Yes, it costs money - but it doesn't have to cost a lot of money, and you can get some high quality traffic for very little.

The biggest advantage to using paid advertising is that you can put your content in front of a very specific audience. For example: let's say that you are a realtor who has created a checklist for helping people prepare to sell their home. Your ideal audience is a 45 year old homeowner in a specific geographic area. With Facebook, you can target this precise audience. Instead of sharing your content across your social media feeds for free and hoping that the right people see it, you can ensure that the right audience views your content.

Create Various Forms of Content

People learn in a variety of ways. Some people are visual learners and learn best from videos. Others learn best by reading and taking notes. Still others prefer audio content. If you want to connect with the greatest number of people possible, create your content in a variety of formats.

One of the best ways to create a variety of content formats is to use the "pillar strategy". This involves first creating a lengthy, in-depth piece of content such as a video, blog post, or EBook. This "pillar" will talk about your subject from a variety of angles and viewpoints.

From there, you can take the "pillar" and break it up into smaller pieces of relevant content that can stand on their own. For example: take one point from a long blog post and turn it into a series of social media posts, all of which link back to the pillar post on your website. Take another point from that long blog and turn it into a short video or podcast.

Your website should be the cornerstone of your marketing and advertising program. Creating great content for your site and driving people to that content is a great way to take your business to the next level.

To your success!

Laura

5 Tips for a Winning Website

Your website should be the cornerstone of your marketing and advertising program. No longer just blurbs about products, the new era of web presence requires the site to actually offer something to visitors. To make your site work for you, remember that every visitor is a potential client. Here are five pointers for turning a passerby into someone who will stay to learn more. Implement these tips and you will turn prospects into customers!

Get their email addresses

Without the visitors email address, you essentially have no way of initiating any further contact. A good way to to do this is to offer a resource that can't be accessed without an email address. This could be a newsletter, a free report, checklist, subscription, or anything else, as long as it stands behind a wall where the key is contact information. Once that information is given, you can begin to build a relationship and move the prospect further in your sales funnel.

Respond to the best questions from your ideal client

Everyone has questions. Presumably, a lot of your potential clients will have the same questions, so why not address those questions (or objections) right up front. Use a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) tab on your website to respond to the questions you hear most often. This lets your site visitors know that other people have the same problems and that you have the solution.

Show your skills

Now is not the time to be bashful! When someone gets to your website, it is the perfect opportunity to show that your knowledge and expertise will solve the problem they are seeking a solution for. Use the "About Us" section of your website for more than just your address and your hours. Consider recording a video introduction, adding your special training or credentials, or introducing your team so that visitors get a good idea of who you are.

Optimize usability

The more convenient it is for people to move to the next step in the sales process, the more likely they are to take that next step. Consider adding a calendar plug-in to schedule appointments directly from your website - if they are looking at your site outside of regular business hours, you won't take the chance that they will remember to call you tomorrow! If you sell a product, make sure that your shopping cart is secure and easy to use.

Make it mobile

Over half of all websites are viewed on mobile devices, and that number is expected to rise continually over the next several years. Put your best foot forward and make sure that your site looks as good on a phone or a tablet as it does from a desktop. Not sure? Look at it yourself from mobile devices - if it doesn't look good, contact your website designer or hosting company for help in getting "mobile friendly".

If it has been awhile since you have updated your website, now is a great time to do that and implement these tips to take your website - and your business - to the next level.

To your success!

Laura

P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family.  Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business.  We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.

Email: Give Them What They Want - And How To Find Out What That Is

Effective marketing boils down to this: Find an audience, figure out what they need or want and then deliver it. Email is one of the best mediums to help you do just that. And it isn’t always about selling them on a product. In fact, that isn’t at all where you want to start.

First and foremost, you want to build a relationship with your readers. You want them to get to know you. You want to help them out so they start to like you and trust you. Only then will you be able to make an offer and have them pull out their wallet and buy it.

Secondly, pay attention to your stats. Programs like Google Analytics can give you a lot of information of where your readers came from, what page the landed on and where they were on your site when they joined your list. Your email service provider should also have statistics that show how many people opened your email (deliverability) and what link(s) they looked at (Click Rate). That data, along with your ideal customer demographics, will tell you a lot about your audience - who they are and what they are interested in.

Secondly, pay attention to what your customers are saying. As you start to email your readers, they will (hopefully) reply and get back in touch with you. If they are asking questions, it means that they want more information - and it also means that others probably have the same question. This is both a good buying signal and an indication that you may want to spend more time on this topic.

It can also be helpful to ask your readers for suggestions. Keep the questions open ended if you want a lot to work with. Consider having your readers fill out a simple little survey. It’s quick and easy to do with Google forms or a free service like SurveyMonkey. You get some good data and you get your readers to interact. Having them contribute builds a sense of community even via email.

Last but not least go back and look at the past emails you’ve sent. Pay attention to open rates, click through rates and unsubscribes. If a large percentage of readers opened the email, that’s a good indication they were interested in the topic. If they clicked links to additional content, that’s even better. If, on the other hand, not many people opened the email or clicked on your links, or if you got a lot of unsubscribes, that might be an indication that either the topic was wrong or your language and overall message didn’t click with your audience.

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can use to grow your business - both for attracting new customers and for building relationships with your existing customers. Implementing these tips can help you accomplish your goals. If you’d like some more tips for taking your email marketing to the next level, grab a copy of our FREE Blueprint for Success: Email. Get it here.

To your success!

Laura

If you are not currently using an email marketing program, I recommend Constant Contact. It's a great tool for small businesses - easy to use, great list management tools, and helpful metrics for tracking your results. Click here to get a free trial.

P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family.  Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business.  We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.

3 Ways to Make Take Your Email List from Foe to Friend

“You need a list,” they said.

“The money is in the list,” they said.

“You need an autoresponder,” they said.

So you purchased an autoresponder; you added an opt-in box on your website, uploaded your current customers and have added new subscribers to your list. You have a sweet list of people who want to know more about you and your business. Now what?

Now, you sit down and plan out what you’re going to send to your list. The money is in the list ONLY if you stay in contact with the list. If you send out random emails every few months or every few years (yikes!) chances are you’ll have several unsubscribes and maybe even a few spam reports. Simply because you weren’t consistent in your communication and your subscribers probably don’t remember who you are or how they got onto your list.

Know Your Subscribers

Your subscribers should also be your ideal clients. You may have a few who don’t fit that ideal description and maybe they subscribed because something about your opt-in offer intrigued them but basically, speak to your ideal clients.

What do they need? What are their pain points right now, this minute? How can you help them? What kind of information can you share that will solve a problem they are having? What products or services can they use in their lives right now? Knowing the general details of your subscribers’ lives and their needs will naturally tell you what kinds of offers - both free and paid - to make.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

In this social media age, people are gung ho to offer opinions on absolutely everything, so don’t be afraid to ask open ended questions about what your subscribers need. This is market research and shouldn’t be construed as an invasion of privacy. You want to fill their needs and guessing isn’t a productive way to use your time. Use a tool like SurveyMonkey (free for short questionnaires) or just ask people to Reply to your email with their answers.

Get Used to Planning

Consistency is key to developing loyal followers so plan your emails to correspond with your other content efforts during the month. Decide how often you will email your list then pick a specific day of the week. Mark it in your calendar so it’s official (yes, you should consider yourself a client). At the very least, tie in your weekly blog content with your email theme/offer or get adventurous and choose a monthly theme. Write it all down so nothing falls through the cracks.

Email is just one small part of a comprehensive marketing strategy for your business. If you’d like some more tips for taking your email marketing to the next level, grab a copy of our FREE Blueprint for Success: Email. Get it here.

To your success!

Laura

If you are not currently using an email marketing program, I recommend Constant Contact. It's a great tool for small businesses - easy to use, great list management tools, and helpful metrics for tracking your results. Click here to get a free trial.

P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family.  Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business.  We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.

How Often Does Your Audience REALLY Want to Hear from You?

When it comes to relationship marketing and building solid business relationships with your audience, a certain amount of interaction is vitally important. But is there such a thing as TOO much interaction?

Let’s compare three different scenarios and audiences.

Almost everyone has a long lost cousin, friend, or acquaintance who you only hear from once a year in the form of a holiday card. Sure, it’s nice that they reached out, but communicating just once a year doesn’t give you a chance to stay up to date with their family news.

Then you have your college roommate, who lives out of state but you only hear from him/her when there’s drama in their life or they need to vent about something. These are the people who are in touch more frequently than your cousin, but only when they need something – not because they have an interest in what is happening in your life.

And lastly, you have the mother who dropped off her 18-year-old daughter at college for the first time and who texts and/or calls every day, just to check on how things are going. Did she get to class on time? How’s the food at the dining hall? Do you like your roommates? What do you mean your books cost $800? Do you want us to come visit for Parents’ Weekend?

Each of these real-life scenarios can translate to a business situation.

Small business owners or solopreneurs who don’t create and/or use their email list to communicate with their past customers more than once a year won’t create name recognition among their customers.  Email is absolutely the best way to stay in contact with current customers and make them feel special. If you only email once a year, you run the high risk of getting your emails deleted or marked as spam. One possible exception: seasonal businesses.

Business owners who only use their social media accounts or email accounts to promote their products and sales are only interested in making money from their audience. They don’t necessarily care about what their followers need at that moment in time. Your emails should provide helpful information AND solutions to the problems your audience faces. One possible exception: big box stores who offer coupons and other discounts.

Companies who email every single day run the risk of annoying their audience and causing people to unsubscribe from their lists. This is the other end of the spectrum from emailing too infrequently. One possible exception: business owners who follow leaders in their industry or who look forward to daily tips and/or affirmations from these leaders.

The bottom line is: don't email if you don't have something valuable to say.

You must know your market to know how often you should interact with them to build a solid relationship. You must also know what is important to them and what will help them achieve their personal or professional goals. There are always exceptions to every rule, and even within the same industries different businesses will experience different responses to their communications tactics. Research your market, understand their pain points, and create a solution for them.

New! Blueprint for Success: Email

I have released the newest in my series of Blueprint for Success free downloads. In the Blueprint for Success: Email you will find 21 tips for taking your small business email marketing to the next level. Get it here.

To your success!

Laura

If you are not currently using an email marketing program, I recommend Constant Contact. It's a great tool for small businesses - easy to use, great list management tools, and helpful metrics for tracking your results. Click here to get a free trial.

P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family.  Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business.  We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.

9 Ways to Use Email to Get Better Marketing Results

Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing ever used. Don't let ANYONE tell you that email is dead! It’s still more effective than social media marketing, pay per click marketing, and other forms of marketing available to use today. Any rumors to the contrary are wrong. Forbes, CopyBlogger.com, and Hubspot all agree that email marketing is still highly effective.

Attract the Right Sign Ups for Your List

You do not have to have a large list to make money. A smaller, more targeted list can be better than a huge list without a target audience. Create a list with your existing customers. From there, build your list of prospects and new customers with smart campaigns that attract only your ideal customer. Try offering a free gift for people who opt-in to your list. If your free gift offer isn’t interesting to anyone but your perfect client, that’s a good start.

Segment Your Audience

You don’t want to have people on a list that promotes product A when they’ve already bought it. Instead, you want them to be on list B now so that you can promote product B to them. Your email software can be set up to do this automatically. Segmentation allows you to send the right message, to the right people, at the right time. This action alone can help you avoid problems with customers getting bothered by your emails. It will also up the likelihood of your audience buying your next product.

Keep Relevant Information Flowing

When someone signs up for a list it’s because they’re interested in getting the information for which they signed up. If you don’t send them information on a regular basis that is relevant they’re not going to be very responsive. But, if you do send them what they’re looking to get, you’ll be surprised at how positive the email list experience will be, for you and your audience. A regular newsletter is a great way to keep your customers and prospects informed, interested, and motivated to purchase!

Point Your Audience to Helpful Information

In addition to promoting your own products and services it’s also helpful to your list to point them toward information and products or services that they need that you don’t create. Consider sharing helpful articles from industry websites, your trusted vendors, or other newsletters that you receive. You can become a needed and trusted resource for your email list members. As they get to know you and trust you, they’re going to be more likely to accept the helpful information that you provide.

Remind Your Audience About Your Blog

A good use of your email list is to remind them about the messages on your blog - you can't count on people to visit your website on a regular basis to see if you have posted a new blog. Introducing a new blog post within an email message is a great way to ensure that your readers get the information they need about you, your company, your industry, and the products and services you offer. If you're not writing a blog, maybe now is a good time to start.

Write Effective and Interesting Headlines

Don’t be too clever with your headlines. People get angry when a headline is deceptive and dishonest. Be direct about what’s inside so that when they open it and read it they develop even more trust for you based off the fact the headline matched the message. The more direct you are, the more honest you are; the more effective your email marketing messages will be. Experiment with headlines and subject lines - look at the statistics of your campaigns - replicate those subject lines that got a great response and dump those that didn't!

Remember the Call to Action

Like blog posts, every email message you send to your audience should include a call to action (CTA) of some kind. Whether its buy now, read this blog post, schedule an appointment, or share with your friends include something for your audience to do.

Collect & Test Your Metrics

Nothing is ever done without the numbers. Try different subject lines, and different CTAs to see what gets the best results. Which types of subject lines are opened more often? Which CTA’s were answered? How many people purchased X product upon your recommendation? How many people are responding to your questions and surveys? If you know this information you can use it to improve your email marketing campaigns.

Finally, repeat everything that works.

When you find a winning way to run your email campaigns, keep repeating it for different products and services. You will get better email marketing results, and your business will grow!

For more tips on email marketing, download the FREE Blueprint for Success: Email from the Next Level U Resource Library. You will get 21 ideas that you can implement now to take your email marketing to the next level! DOWNLOAD HERE.

To your success!

Laura

If you are not currently using an email marketing program, I recommend Constant Contact. It's a great tool for small businesses - easy to use, great list management tools, and helpful metrics for tracking your results. Click here to get a free trial.

P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family.  Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business.  We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.

3 Ways to Show Off Your Personality on Social Media

Social media platforms were created primarily as a way to connect with people, as a way to be social online without being in the same vicinity. However, with the increased popularity of social media and the ways you can promote your business with these platforms, some business owners forget about the ‘social’ part of social media and use it as a free advertising platform.

It’s been proven by experts that people will spend their money with those they know, like, and trust. But if all you’re doing is posting photos of your product or hyping your service or your signature program, you’re not allowing anyone to know you. If your followers don’t know who you are, it’s impossible for them to genuinely like you and you’re simultaneously hindering the trust factor.

This is the hardest part of social media for me -- and I suspect it's difficult for other people as well. I never want to seem unprofessional and I don't want to be seen as frivolous, so I hesitate to show my personality and my personal life to my business contacts.

So, here's your (our) challenge - show off your personality with your social media posts. Let the real you shine through and you will naturally attract your tribe of followers. Try these 3 tips to spice up your social media posts with some personality:

Act like you’re the host and your followers are at your party.

When hosting a party, you want everyone to be happy and having a good time, right? The same is true on social media platforms. Don’t just hang out on your page; visit other pages and leave comments. Ask your followers questions. Really listen to their answers. Respond to questions or comments that are asked of you. Be compassionate and friendly. Offer friendly advice when asked.

Share your sense of humor and be entertaining.

Search YouTube for the videos that strike your funny bone. Better yet, get on Facebook Live and showcase your personality. This doesn’t mean acting fake because you want people to be entertained; rather, be yourself and tell the funny thing your kid said or relay something comical that happened at work. Everybody can use a laugh and posting videos or funny photos is a way to lighten the online atmosphere.

Provide value and inspiration.

Talk about your business and let your passion shine but let it be more than, “Buy my services!” Your audience wants to know what’s in it for them; how will your services benefit or help them. Do you have the solution to their problem?  It’s not you making sales; it’s about helping them find solutions. Share your favorite inspirational quotes, especially around the holidays, which can be a tough time of year for some folks.

If this is hard for you - as it is for me - start out with silly holidays or memes that make you giggle and work your way up to the Facebook live or glimpses into your personal life. Chances are, your fans and followers will find them funny as well and will appreciate the smile!

Take your Social Media to the Next Level!

Dig deeper into your business and develop your own unique social media plan with the Social Media Planner from Next Level U.  Using our planner, you will get a step by step process for creating a social media strategy for your small business. This is the Planner that I use with Next Level clients to develop their social media strategy! Work at your own pace, implement your plan, and expect big results in your audience growth and your engagement!  Take your social media (and your business) to the next level!     BUY IT HERE.

To your success!

Laura

P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family.  Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business.  We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.

Put the Social back in your Social Media

Do you want to save time during your work day? Do you wish you had an extra 18 hours to accomplish everything on your to do list? Most people would answer, “Heck yeah!” to those questions because a small business owner's' to do list is never really finished, especially if you don’t have any support staff. Automating certain tasks, like social media, is one way to gain some time back in your day but that task still requires you to interact with your followers.

Social media schedulers, such as HootSuite and Buffer, are convenient and budget-friendly. Simply log in, schedule which posts should publish on which platform, and hit the save button. Voila. Done.

Some platforms, like Meet Edgar, are more powerful because they continue to share your evergreen social media posts into the future, thus saving you even more time from creating and scheduling. This all sounds wonderful and who doesn’t want to have more free time! But do these platforms eliminate the ‘social’ from social media?

The answer to that is: only if you allow it. Using schedulers is a wonderful thing and is a task that a capable assistant or Social Media Manager can take over. But you still need to be aware of what’s happening in your social media world. If followers are asking for your opinion, you need to be there in a timely fashion giving your opinion. If customers are asking specific questions about a product or course, you need to be on the ball answering those questions; otherwise you’ll be getting refund requests because your customers feel neglected.

Also, be active in your social media world in terms of connecting with others online. Yes, it’s wonderful when people in your tribe find you but you should put in equal effort to connect with your ideal customer. Passive marketing (or hope marketing, as I’ve heard it called) puts too much power into the hands of your ideal audience. Don’t wait and hope that they find you; make them want to CHOOSE you. Show them how you can help solve their problems. To do this successfully, you need to have a personal presence online instead of allowing a social media manager or third-party scheduler to be in charge.

Crush the Competition with the Social Media Planner from Next Level U!

Dig deeper into your business and develop your own unique social media plan with the Social Media Planner from Next Level U.  Using our planner, you will get a step by step process for creating a social media strategy for your small business. Work at your own pace, implement your plan, and expect big results in your audience growth and your engagement!  Take your social media (and your business) to the next level!     BUY IT HERE.

To your success!

Laura

P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family.  Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business.  We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.

Consistency = More Followers

If you want to build an audience of loyal followers on any social media platform, consistency must be a part of your posting strategy. How many times a week (or a day) you post on social media is your choice - and some quick market research will tell you when your target audience is most likely to be online - but the key to success is to post consistently.

I’m sure you’ve seen Facebook Business Pages that just seem to gather dust because the owner got overwhelmed or too busy managing other parts of their business to keep up with posting interesting and engaging items on their chosen platforms. Even if they are the biggest and brightest expert in their field, having a social media profile that lacks information will lead prospects to question why they aren’t more active.

Planning Your Social Media Posts

Instead of staring blankly at your empty Business Page, take out a calendar – or create a color-coded Google Calendar – and mark down weekly themes or seasonal holidays so you have an idea every month what you’ll post about. Themes can include detailed information about each of your products or services, different features or benefits of your product / service, or different ways your product / service can be used by your customers. What will make your followers engage with your posts? What information do they need to make a buying decision? What will make them loyal followers? A mixture of educational, inspirational, and entertaining posts will mix it up for them, but don’t be afraid to tout your products or services. Don’t rely on subtle hints; tell your audience in your loud outdoor voice exactly what you have to offer.

Stay Sane and Use Scheduling Features

Instead of sitting down every day to write your posts, become friends with the scheduling features that are now available for most social media platforms. Now you can block off some time and schedule a week’s worth of posts by simply choosing what day and time they should magically appear. There’s still work involved with the writing and finding a photo to accompany your posts but by dedicating a block of time each week and referencing your calendar for themed ideas, social media posting will become much more enjoyable.

If you want to cross promote your business across multiple platforms, try using third-party scheduling software such as HootSuite or Meet Edgar. You can manage all your social profiles in one place as well as schedule all your posts. To avoid being labeled a “spammer,” switch up the words in each post while keeping the same overall theme. Think about how much more enjoyable your vacations will be when you can schedule social media posts before you even leave your home.

Free Up More Time: Hire a Social Media Manager

I know it’s hard to give up control of business tasks but if you really want to grow your social following, it’s time to hire a social media manager. The benefits are plentiful: you eliminate stress by delegating to an expert; social media managers can offer posting strategies for growing your audience; you can now focus on money-making tasks. Not only will social media managers strategize with you, they can take over the actual content creation as well as engage with your followers. Of course, you personally need to also interact with your audience, but your manager can help while you’re working with your customers and prospects.

If your budget right now doesn’t allow outsourcing, don’t despair. Plan your posts, schedule them according to plan, and remember to engage with anyone who comments or asks questions.

Develop Your Personalized Action Plan with our Social Media Planner

Dig deeper into your business and develop your unique social media plan with the Social Media Planner from Next Level U.  Using our planner, you will get a step by step process for creating a social media strategy for your small business. Work at your own pace, implement your plan, and expect big results in your audience growth and your engagement!  Take your social media (and your business) to the next level!     BUY IT HERE.

To your success!

Laura

P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family.  Visit our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/NextLevelAd) for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business.  We now have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.