Classy Marketing

Snake Oil Selling Hurts Us All: An Online Business Call to Arms

  |   Business Tips, Classy Marketing, Reputation   |   11 Comments

Snake oil selling is setting dangerously unrealistic expectations for not only what we as online business owners can achieve, but also what we SHOULD achieve. It's time to rise up and say no to misleading sales tactics that are preventing us from growing truly sustainable, successful, and fulfilling businesses.

If it wasn't obvious by now, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit about online business. As of late, my thoughts have kept circling around this nagging question:

What is causing us to feel so overwhelmed, pressured, and, if it goes on long enough, FED UP with the whole idea of making money online?

There’s something going on here.

I mean, I know (and you know) that growing and running a business is difficult NO MATTER WHAT kind it is. There’s always going to be those long days, sleepless nights, and obsessive periods where it seems everything is about “the biz.”

Whether you’re trying to grow in the virtual space or not, that reality is the same.

Yet as I talk to more and more online-focused entrepreneurs -- who have only been doing this for about 6 months to 3 years, mind you -- I hear things I DON’T hear from my friends who own locally-based, brick-and-mortar shops, studios, offices, etc.

Things like,

“I honestly don’t know if I want to do this with my life anymore.”

And,

“No one would guess it, but I’ve been seriously struggling for the last couple of months and am planning on shutting down most of my offerings soon.”

And,

“I’m constantly feeling stressed, frustrated, and behind -- something needs to change or I can’t continue.”

As I’ve been thinking about this, I keep coming to back to one disturbing factor that I think has a lot to do with this level of unhappiness and burnout:
...

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Prep Your Brand For 2017 With These 5 Seriously Smart Actions

  |   Business Tips, Classy Marketing, Customer Service   |   4 Comments

Prepare your brand for 2017 by taking these smart steps to improve your social media profiles, audit your website, deliver better customer service, and more!

No matter what kind of business we run or blog we have, there is one universal truth among all of us: we all want more people to swoon over our brand.

Whether that means more social media followers or just more sales (though it's likely both!), we can spend a crazy number of hours searching for "the latest and greatest" way to market ourselves and make ourselves attractive to people. I've definitely done it, and I'm willing to hazard a guess that you have, too.

The problem is, "the latest and greatest" isn't always the best. And sometimes the info we get can be awfully flashy, skeazy, or downright ineffective.

Today I'd like to share with you 5 solid tips from my own experience in online business that will immediately have a positive impact on your brand for the upcoming year. These tips are simple, and yet will help you look more professional and be more likeable -- so that you can achieve more of your brand goals in 2017.

(For you maybe that means making more money, reducing customer churn, obtaining more speaking opportunities, winning more recognition, making more relationships, or _________. Whatever it is, doing all of the following can seriously, and perhaps surprisingly, impact what you achieve this year.)

I invite you to try them out!
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How To Book Clients With Your First Live Event

  |   Business Tips, Classy Marketing   |   24 Comments

So you've been wanting to host your first live workshop or event, but you're not even sure where to start -- or how to convert it into actual paying clients and customers? These proven tips from a pro event planner are gold!

Guest post by Lauren Caselli, savvy event planner + gutsy boss lady

Remember that goal that you set for yourself to “finally start speaking” in 2016?

Or the time that you told yourself you’d host a live workshop FOR REAL this year?

Or how you’ve always toyed with the idea of possibly teaching to a roomful of your dream clients, buuuutttt you weren’t actually sure how you’re going to pull it off?

And now it’s almost the end of the first quarter and you’ve made no progress toward that goal?

Yea, girl. I feel you.

Back in January of 2015, I was frustrated and really overwhelmed with the whole “building a business” thing. I had a few copywriting clients (which is what I did before I moved over the planning events for digital entrepreneurs and tech companies), I had booked my very first live event client (a women’s retreat in Asheville), but the daily grind of focusing on blogging and social media and marketing -- it started to wear me out.

I was posting -- but no one was reading.

I was delivering SERIOUS content -- but no one was subscribing.

And all the while, I saw people totally blowing up in front of me. Snatching clients out of thin air. Marketing themselves so effortlessly in Facebook groups.

And I got so frustrated.

So, I decided I needed to do something different. I needed to create a community who had my back. Not necessarily for any sort of monetary gain, but because I needed the support of business people who “got it."
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Winning Trust: 50 Proven Ways to Make Your Business Look Professional Online

  |   Blogging Tips, Business Tips, Classy Marketing, Customer Service   |   40 Comments

Use this heroic list of 50 proven ways to make your business look professional online to boost your brand cred and be more successful. The tips here will help you be a trusted, respected authority online, meaning you get the followers you want and the clients + customers you need.

You've figured it out by now.

If you want to be successful (read: get followers + make money to pay your bills) in business online, it's not enough to simply have a website.

It's not enough to simply put up some services or products.

It's not enough to simply post on some social media accounts.

You can have ALL those things -- and still barely get noticed. 

And while you no doubt get that, it's still frustrating. That's because while you know that it does take more, chances are that you're simply not sure what that "more" is.

Does it take gobs of money? Friends in high places? A whiz partner helping in the background?! Or maybe $20,000 worth of e-courses + masterminds?!?!

Let's all take a collective cleansing breath, because I'm happy to tell you that NO: it does not require a single one of the above.

(If I can be a little bit personal with you guys here, I'll tell you that I myself had none of those things that I just listed when I started Olyvia.co. The truth is, I had just left my destructive marriage, was living alone and on food stamps + Medicaid with three young children I had to care for full-time, had absolutely ZERO business connections because I had been a stay-at-home-mom for the past seven years [blogging + doing mostly free freelancing in my spare time], and could not afford to buy a single e-course or mastermind "opportunity.")

What it takes, more than anything, is to make the right impression.

In part 1 of the #heroicbrand series, I taught you all about making an impression through relationships. In part 2, you learned to build a reputation for yourself via the quality of content you put out into the world. Today, in part 3, we're going to take it a step further:   You're going to learn the 50 exact...

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Earning An Audience: How To Be Irresistible + Grow Your Brand Online

  |   Blogging Tips, Business Tips, Classy Marketing, Customer Service   |   80 Comments

How to earn your audience: the actions that REALLY make you noticeable + irresistible as a small business and brand online. Get 13 beginner community-building tips + 4 advanced strategies with examples and questions to help you improve.

The best way I know how to share what I'm about to share with you about building a business on the interwebs is to start off with a little story-slash-confession. I promise, pinkie-swear, and cross my heart not to be boring.

Before I launched the Olyvia brand, I spent my time reading.

By my estimations, I read about 157 gazillion articles on business marketing strategies on a daily freaking basis in the months leading up to my website going live.

You see, even though I had experience in growing communities online -- launching + promoting around a half dozen blogs over the previous 10 years, advising non-profits on social media marketing, informally assisting my friends who owned small businesses, and other rather unremarkable things -- the truth is this:

I was certain that anything I knew would prove to be woefully, shamefully inadequate. Oh yeah: and I would fail.

In my mind there simply had to be the Holy Grail of marketing strategies out there that would guarantee my entrance into biz blogging heaven. I just needed to find it behind some internet guru's squeeze page.

(Don't even ask how many newsletters I signed up for in my quest for marketing enlightenment. #likewhoa)

But sales pitch after sales pitch errr, I mean webinar after webinar, all I found at the end of the rainbow were $2000 courses I couldn't afford -- and didn't trust enough to buy even if I could.

So, alas, the day came when I finally could do nothing more than push Olyvia.co into being. I hoped (and ohhh it was a desperate hope, I might add) that what I knew from my past online experiences -- in point of fact, what I had built my entire brand around -- would be enough to get me started.

What was my so-called strategy?

Only this: ...

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How to Make Easy Passive Income Online With a Free Challenge or Mini-Course (The Ick-Free Upgrade Technique)

  |   Blog Income Report, Business Tips, Classy Marketing   |   67 Comments

Want a simple, no-hassle way to make passive income for your blog or business AND grow your email list? It's not as hard as you think, and you can do it without a scary launch or crazy webinars. (Perfect for introverts + beginners!) Click to read the full tutorial on Olyvia.co

Let's say you've never released a product online and you're terrified. You're terrified because not only are you scared to pull off a "big launch," the truth is -- #letsbehonest -- you don't even know HOW.

Webinars? Sales emails? Instagram parties? Excuse me, but oh. my. gosh. and WTH.

Or, maybe you have launched big before. (In which case I say, you are amazing!) But your hands are full and you're looking for a different, simple way to monetize your blog -- something that's low key, straightforward, and that will continue to bring in consistent passive income without any uncomfortable promotion OR continual sales-y fanfare on your part.

Whichever camp you fall into, this blog post is for you.

Today I'm teaching you all about The Ick-Free Upgrade technique, a monetization strategy for your blog or business that:

1. Does not require a big email list. (In fact, you don't need an email list at all to start doing this and be successful, AND it's going to help you build one at the same time -- #winning.)

2. Is extremely affordable to set up. (All that's required financially is a mass email marketing provider [I use Mailchimp - #afflink] that allows you to set up a simple automated email sequence. To do this in Mailchimp you need to use their upgraded version, which costs as little as $10/mo depending on how many subscribers you have. With ~ 1-3 sales of your product you'll recoup the cost.)

3. Demands exactly 0 promo efforts by you other than the normal promotion you would do for a blog post or email opt-in gift. (In other words, you decide how much and in what way you make people aware of it -- there's no pressure to be a pushy saleswoman or bubbly ball...

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