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!
being human Tag
Dear Friends and Readers,
Do you ever want to write something terribly important to you, but no matter how many different ways you think about it, when you sit down to put words to the screen, you can't seem to make it sound like the mighty words living inside your brain?
That's where I am right now.
I suppose the only thing to do in these situations is to blurt it out and hope it doesn't come out sounding too ridiculous. Too rough around the edges. Too whatever.
(But you'll just have to forgive me if it does. ;))
So, for the lack of a better idea -- and, apparently, better composition skills -- that's what I'm going to do now.
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)
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: ...
In assurance to makers, doers, and dreamers everywhere, they say "if you build it they will come."
But I'm about 102% certain that whoever the heck "they" is never had a blog.
(Picture who you may at this point, but all I see in my head is a young, baseball-playing Kevin Costner.)
See, I don't know about you, but I've built a large number of websites in my day.
And only a handful came to most of them.
(Especially that fun -- but ohhhmyugly -- "I-am-so-darn-fed-up-with-Britney-Spears!" site I created as a 15 year old. Ha.)
Along the way I did learn what it takes to steadily attract website visitors and get noticed online, but getting blog traffic is -- to continue our corny baseball + Costner theme we have going on here -- like only getting to first base on the baseball diamond.
So what's second base?
Getting engagement (otherwise affectionately known -- probably only by me -- as blog comment luv).
Before I "pitch" you the steps to get more blog comments (oh I crack myself up), let's be clear: simply because you don't have much engagement on your blog DOES NOT mean you can't make money from it or that it's one colossal failure.
You can monetize and sell successfully through your website as soon as you've started bringing in some visitors, and the fact you have little to no comments coming in right now doesn't necessarily mean your blog is failing you.
HOWEVER, there are good, business-y reasons for wanting engagement on your blog, which I will explain to you later on in this post.
With that, let's get to the 5 secrets to getting more blog comments!
I know how it goes down.
You're busting your (sometimes) manicured nails on your blog, staying up until 1 a.m. hustling for business, and trying to convince yourself that:
1. you DO have something worth saying,
2. you ARE capable, and
3. gosh darn it, people like you.
And then, just when you think you've found your groove, what happens?
Someone comes along to tell you just how ridiculous, incompetent, fraudulent, and ignorant you really are.
(Or at least that's how negative online comments feel, yes?)
The experience can be horrifying.
And worse, it can make us want to be horrifying in return.
But I have a better way to deal.
(Because there's only ONE thing more destructive for your biz or blog reputation than critical, complaining, and rude comments, and that's a poor response to them.)
This is how to handle negative comments online, Chief Olyvia style. Ready to roll with me? Let's go!
... Read More
Knowing how to delight your customers is a big deal, and something that really, truly, seriously intimidates a lot of new entrepreneurs + freelancers.
I know because when my freelance business in web and graphic design started getting serious (you know, I wasn't doing things for free-ish), the burden to make sure my clients liked me + my work was super heavy.
I felt -- and still feel -- that the entire key to my success in business was going to hinge on how my clients perceived me. And THAT would depend entirely on how well I could serve them.
This would have to be achieved not just by doing GOOD work (hellooo -- clearly a non-negotiable!), but by making sure their entire experience with me was pleasant, smooth and, well, utterly delightful.
I know back then I was hungry for any and all simple advice from people in a similar space as me on how to deliver this great customer experience , which is why I decided to pull together the collective brains of some impressive entrepreneurial women in this post today.
They have been incredibly generous to share the little, unassuming things they do that make a biiiig impact on their customer happiness, and I'm so SO excited to pass them on to you.
Here's what they had to share with me: