How to Map Your Content Strategy to the Buyer’s Journey

map content strategy to buyers journey

map content strategy to buyers journey

The Internet is kind of like the universe — it seems to be constantly expanding. Every day there’s a new startup online, a new blog going live, a new podcast streaming. In all of the content, it can be difficult to stand out and attract your clients to your business website. How do you reach them when it seems like everyone else is publishing, creating, and sharing similar content?

You use the buyer’s journey to help you meet your clients where they are and create content that speaks directly to them. It’s that easy, and that hard.

What is the buyer’s journey?

The buyer’s journey is the process (or journey) that a potential client goes through before making a purchase. Leveraging the different stages in the process by creating content that addresses each stage can help you connect with your customers and move them through the buyer’s journey.

In its broadest sense, the buyer’s journey has three stages: the awareness stage, the research stage, and the decision stage. Each stage has its own challenges that need to be addressed as well as optimal content types and subjects you can use during each stage.

Awareness stage

This is the stage that starts it all. During the awareness stage, your client has realized that she has a problem. She doesn’t know what the problem is, but she knows that it’s there. In this stage, your client is actively looking for information that will help her properly identify the problem, or at least give her an idea of the symptoms of her problem.

As a content creator, your job during the awareness stage is to create content that helps your client identify her problem. Blog posts, videos, podcast episodes, and content upgrades or lead magnets all work well during this stage — just make sure to include your awesome personality. If you’re going to help your clients identify their symptoms, checklists are a great option. Examples of content that fits well in the awareness stage includes:

  • X Ways to Tell if X (You’re Stressed, You’re Selfish, You’re an Alien)
  • How to X (Spot Mould on Your Fruit, Identify a Failing Marriage)

Awareness stage content in action

Let’s say you’re a yoga trainer who focuses on introducing non-yogis to the practice. One of your big selling points is that yoga helps people reduce stress, so you’ve created an awesome checklist to help people determine whether or not they’re stressed. This checklist runs through the symptoms generally associated with stress: difficulty breathing, trouble sleeping, headaches, muscle tension, and more.

Amanda, a self-employed mom-of-four, has been experiencing muscle tension and headaches for a few weeks. She thinks she might be stressed, but she’s not sure. She finds your website after a quick Pinterest search, and she decides to check out your site. Amanda finds the checklist on your site and goes through it. After she checks off most of the items on the list, Amanda realizes that she’s stressed.

Because of that checklist, Amanda was able to identify her problem (she’s stressed), and she’s ready to move on to the second stage of the buyer’s journey.

Research Stage

After your customer has identified her problem, she’s ready to look for solutions. At this point, she may have a rough idea of what her ideal solution is, but she’ll still research at least a little to help ensure she makes the right choice.

To connect with your customers in the research stage, you need to create content that outlines different solutions and their benefits. While it’s great that you mention your services and their benefits in your blog posts, you’ll also want to let your clients know that there are ways to DIY their solutions. Promoting your services as the only solution can be off-putting to potential clients, especially if they feel that it’s not the right fit for them.

Content formats that work well during the research stage are similar to those during stage #1 (blog posts; video tutorials; content upgrades), but it’s the subject matter that differs. This stage is where most of the how-to process posts and tutorials fall.

Subjects that fit well in the research stage include:

  • X Ways to X (Destress, Lose Weight, Increase Productivity)
  • X Reasons to X (Hire a Designer, Buy a Personalized Mug)
  • Insider Tips for Working With X (a Designer, a Yoga Trainer)
  • How to X (Remove Mould From Your Fruit, Put Passion Back in Your Marriage)

Research stage content in action

Amanda knows she’s stressed, and while she’s aware that one of the solutions available to her is to eat an entire tub of ice cream, she figures that there has to be a better solution. She browses your site until she finds your blog post called “15 Ways to Kick Stress to the Curb.” Amanda reads your post and finds several solutions that she likes, including the one about working with a yoga instructor. Amanda has moved into the final stage in the buyer’s journey.

Decision stage

By the time your customer reaches the decision stage, she has a clearly defined solution in mind, and she’s ready to act on it. Hopefully, the solution in question is working with you, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. In the decision stage, it’s likely that if your client has decided to work with someone, she hasn’t yet nailed down her professional of choice.

This is your time to show her why you’re the best choice for her and how your specific service or product can help her. Your content in this stage should be focused on showing the benefits of your specific services or products. Now’s the time for your client success stories, case studies, portfolio pieces, and testimonials.

Decision stage content in action

Back to Amanda, who’s ready to be stress-free. Amanda knows she wants to work with a yoga trainer, but she’s not sure if you’re the right trainer for her. She finds some of your case studies on your blog as well as a video testimonial some of your clients created for you. Amanda consumes your content, assesses her finances, and decides that you’re the right fit for her. She contacts you about working with her.

Incorporating the buyer’s journey in your content

Does the buyer’s journey always work that flawlessly? No.

Oftentimes, people will decide that the DIY strategy works best for them, but it’s crucial to have content that addresses each stage of the buyer’s journey to connect with a wider range of customers. Too often we focus on creating content in the awareness or research stage and neglect the decision stage.

While it’s important to have content that helps people identify and solve their problems, you need to have content promoting your specific products and services. If you don’t, you could be losing out on sales.

Your buyer’s journey content table

One of the best ways to ensure that you cover your bases and create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey is to create a buyer’s journey content table.

Write the buyer’s journey stages across the top of the table (along with your goal as a content creator for each stage) and the different content formats you’re comfortable with along the side of the table. Brainstorm ideas for each stage of the buyer’s journey and write them in the appropriate space.

You can also do this with your current content. Categorize your blog posts, videos, or opt-ins by which stage they fall into. This can give you a good idea of any gaps you have in your content strategy. It’s important to create content in all three stages of the buyer’s journey because your customers won’t all be in the same stage. The good news is you don’t have to create a new piece of content for each stage. You can repurpose your existing content.

Be a tour guide

Think of yourself as a tour guide, showing customers the different ways they can achieve their goals.

Creating high-quality content that speaks to each stage of the buyer’s journey will help you attract and inform customers. You want to make sure that each person who visits your website, regardless of which stage they’re in, has relevant content that helps them progress through the buyer’s journey. Hopefully, that journey will end in a new client, but if it doesn’t, you’ve established yourself as a valuable resource.

How To Write Emails That Get Opened

writing emails that get opened

writing emails that get opened

I can’t wait to open your emails!
Your emails are my favorite ones to read…
Your emails make my inbox sing!

When the emails you write to your list are engaging, entertaining or instructional, it’s easy for the readers to love them.

When they ooze with personality and make a connection with your readers, they can’t help but reply to you.

But when the subject line or content encourages a whole world of snoozes, you get…crickets.

As a copywriter, the majority of my 1-1 client projects involve writing emails, whether it’s sales emails, autoresponder sequences, or email courses. Each one of these email types follows a formula that elicits a connection with the reader of the email.

In this post, I’ll talk through two key elements of writing emails that get opened, plus the formula I teach my clients to use. Let’s dig in.

Key element #1: Subject line

Your email subject line is typically the biggest influencer on whether your email is opened.

To up your odds, try writing subject lines that fall into one of two categories:

1. Subject lines that talk benefits

What’s in it for the reader? What result will they get from reading the email? How does it help them specifically?

If this article were to be sent in an email, the subject line could read:

How to increase your email open rate by 30%

It clearly explains the benefit to the audience if they want to increase their email open rate.

2. Subject lines that create curiosity

The brain is wired to close the loop on any story. We can’t help but want to know the answer.

It’s why movie trailers work to promote films, and sadly, why clickbait headlines (like: ‘Banker buys his mother a dog – you won’t believe what happened next!’) are so good at getting us to click.

We can’t help but want the answer to close the curiosity loop. (Why a banker? What kind of dog? What happened next?!)

Using words like secret, hidden, and little known in a subject line will create curiosity. Who doesn’t want to know a secret?

Again, if this post was sent via email, a curiosity-filled subject line might read:

The hidden strategy standing between your audience and your email being read

The same works if you ask a question. Our brains want to know the answer, pronto. For example:

What’s the one thing standing between your audience and your email being read?

Writing subject lines gets easier with practice, and it’s always helpful to write at least 10 different versions of the subject line to find the best one.

So, why not start practicing?

Here are some templates to get you started:

Template: At last, you will find out how to [goal]
Example: At last, you will find out how to effortlessly create Facebook ads that convert

Template: Are you protecting yourself from [problem]?
Example: Are you protecting yourself from your website being hacked?

Template: The [time] guide to [action]
Example: The 10-minute guide to meditating every morning

Template: The only way to [thing they want to achieve] without [thing they don’t want to do]
Example: The only way to find a boyfriend without dating online

Template: Never worry about [thing they want to avoid] with [what you’re offering]
Example: Never worry about emails being opened again with these 15 subject line templates

Key element #2: Storytelling

The second key element of emails that get opened is stories. Just as curiosity creates action, stories create connection.

Think about a book you read that you didn’t want to end, or a movie you watched that made you cry. Why did this happen?

When we experience a story, we see a part of ourselves in it. It brings us closer to the characters in the story.

This is why stories in emails encourage positive responses from your readers – they connect with you because you’ve given an insight into your life, and they see parts of themselves in your story.

Using stories in your emails can be as simple as explaining how you started your business, a problem you overcame, or something you’ve experienced in your daily life that your audience will relate to.

What do you do when you don’t have any stories to tell? Or when you’re struggling to find a story that connects with the message of your email?

Give some of these a try:

  • A testimonial or case study from a client
  • Make references to movies, music or literature
  • Use a parable to explain your point
  • A story from a friend or relative (with their permission)

How to focus on your reader in storytelling

The first way to focus on your reader in storytelling is to change all the ‘I’ or ‘we’ statements into ‘you’ statements.

For example:

‘What do most people think is the best way to grow an email list?’‘What do you think is the best way to grow an email list?’

Or ‘Here’s how I used Facebook ads to get my first 100 subscribers’ becomes ‘Here’s how you can use Facebook ads to get your first 100 subscribers’

The second way is to actively encourage the reader to see themselves in your stories or statements.

For example, drop in phrase and questions that encourage a pause:

Can you relate?
Tell me if you see yourself in this …
Are you nodding your head while reading this?

How to structure emails that get opened

Most successful emails follow a simple structure that’s easy to replicate.

(Keep in mind that “successful” is relative. It could mean the email gets opened, sells a product or service, garners comments on a blog post, elicits responses to a survey or encourages replies, or more.)

Here’s the structure to apply to emails that leads your reader down the page and onto the call to action (the instruction that tells them what to do next):

  • Subject line: A compelling subject line that encourages the reader to open the email
  • Intro: The opening sentence that sets the scene. This could be a question, statement, reminder, or quote — anything that peaks the interest of the reader
  • Context: More detail on what’s to come next. Here, you can appeal to the hopes, fears, or dreams of the reader (choose one, not all three)
  • Story: A story that’s related to the context will help make your concept a
    reality in the mind of the reader
  • Close: A friendly close that includes your name
  • Call to action: An ask for the reader to take the next best step. The CTA
    must be related to the context and story

Finally, let’s see an example of this in action.

The following screen shots were taken from an email from Adam Gilbert from MyBodyTutor.com. His audience includes people that want to lose weight and are tired of fad diets. Let’s see how Adam applied this formula:

Email marketing: How to write emails that get opened
Email marketing: How to write emails that get opened
Email marketing: How to write emails that get opened

Over to you: What will be the subject of your next email that gets opened?

Content Marketing: It’s More Than Just Blogging

content marketing without blogging

content marketing without blogging

As a writer, I prefer the word text to content when I talk about my work. Content makes me think of filler, something more like Hamburger Helper than grade-A beef. But there’s a good reason people don’t call blogging a form of “text marketing.” Content actually includes nearly anything you publish — read, heard, or seen — for your audience’s education or pleasure.

Why content marketing?

The philosophy behind content marketing is that when you offer people free published material they care about, they will be drawn to your business. You essentially become a personalized media outlet just for your target market.

Though it’s relatively “new” in business, content marketing is not a new idea. The earliest known example is John Deere’s magazine, which was so successful it is still in circulation today.

Done right, content marketing will naturally integrate with your other marketing tactics, helping you engage the right audiences at the right time. Some of your content will draw in people who’ve never heard of you; some will help them understand what you offer; and some will keep you on the minds of your past customers. It spans both B2C and B2B markets in effectiveness.

The limits of content

Content marketing sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But it’s not magic. Here’s why:

  1. It takes a lot of time to build content — even more time for optimized, targeted, effective content.
  2. It takes a lot of work to do it efficiently, find ways to reach more people with it, and measure its results. (Naturally, many entrepreneurs outsource their content creation and/or promotion.)
  3. For most, content marketing works best as a piece of a larger strategy that includes paid advertising, social media, and networking.

But despite the time investment it requires, content marketing is here to stay — because it works.

Different forms of content marketing

As you now know, content marketing isn’t just blogging. Whether you’re a graphophobe (someone who fears writing) or blogger who wants to try new things, check out these alternative types of content. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Which of them might appeal to your target market?

Text/graphic design formats

Case study: Essentially the story of a problem one of your customers faced and how you solved it for them. (In psychology and business analysis, case studies are much more scientific and in-depth.)

Infographic: The hipster cousin of charts and diagrams. Infographics are a perfect way to condense a lot of data into an engaging, easy-to-read format.

White paper: Concise reports on a complex topic, explaining a problem and proposing a solution in simple terms. The idea of white papers came from government but are now common among businesses trying to build thought leadership.

Ebook: Digital books you can read on a phone, tablet, or computer. Compared to physical books, e-books are incredibly easy to create and self-publish. Unlike most forms of content marketing, you can sell ebooks from your website or a platform like Amazon.

Note: If content is anything you publish for your market, do video advertisements, Facebook posts, or your website count? Logic and instinct tell me yes, yet the conventions of content marketing — its aim to educate and/or entertain, rather than sell — tell me no. I’ll leave that up to your discretion.

Audio/video formats

Webinar: A seminar or presentation done on the web, using platforms like Crowdcast, WebinarJam, and Google Hangouts. As in a seminar, the presenter usually uses a slideshow and the participants can ask questions.

Video: Audio-visual content used for a huge variety of purposes. You can use video to tell your brand’s story, explain your product or service, highlight key points of a white paper, or give a case study, among other things. Get creative!

Podcast: Netflix for radio. Technically: A digital audio recording, usually part of a themed series that listeners can subscribe to. Some podcasts are only a few minutes and aim to entertain, while others are over an hour long and offer more in-depth content. (OWS tells you everything you need to know to start one!)

Becoming a content marketer

As business owners, content marketing is a crucial part of the job. Your content can strengthen and enhance your presence online and in person. Overwhelmed? Don’t be.

The key to creating effective content of any type is to think like your customers. What content do they need? If the answer is a blog, keep blogging! But if they would love an infographic or video (and love you because of it), branching out might be well worth the investment.

The Simple Way to Streamline Your Blogging Process

blogging process

blogging process

Blogging can be the bane of a solopreneur’s workday. You know it’s important to share valuable content with your readers, but it kills you to think of spending the majority of your day writing one. single. post.

Luckily, there’s a way to streamline your blogging process, and it all starts with batching. You’ve probably heard of batching: The productivity hack that tells you to spend focused chunks of time on similar tasks instead of cutting up your day with a series of unrelated projects.

You can batch many of your solopreneur tasks, but my favorite is blogging. By nature, blogging requires you to focus on several unrelated tasks: brainstorming, planning, writing, design, formatting, and proofreading. Batching allows you to streamline your blogging process in a way that isn’t possible if you try to take a post from “brainstormed” to “scheduled” all in one day.

It takes time for your brain to move from writing mode to design mode to proofreading mode, but if you batch pieces of your blogging process, you can take advantage of focusing on a single task and shorten the overall time you spend creating content.

All it takes is a little planning ahead and a few smart systems to streamline. I rely on these four systems to shave hours off my blogging process!

1. Capturing and organizing ideas

Ever sit down to write a post and waste an hour on social media because you can’t figure out what to write about? Having a system to capture your blog ideas when they come to you will save tons of time and help you be prepared to write as soon as it’s time to crank out a post.

There are plenty of apps to help you store and organize your blog ideas, including Trello, Asana, and Evernote. Whatever option you choose, be sure your system includes writing down each of these elements when an idea strikes:

  • Possible headline
  • SEO keyword
  • Main ideas for the content
  • A launch, promotion, affiliate offer, or series the post fits into (if applicable)
  • Possible call to action

Just imagine pulling up a note with your latest blog post idea and having all this information already at your fingertips. You’ve practically got a post outline with all the relevant information ready to go!

2. Blog post template

Thanks to the extra details you wrote down when you first had your post idea, you’ve already got the bare bones of your content ready to go. Now you can speed up the writing process by having a blog post template to plug your ideas into.

Most of your posts probably follow a similar pattern, right? It only makes sense to write that pattern out as a copy/paste template for speedy blog writing. You could even streamline further by creating a template for each different type of post you write, such as tutorials, income reports, and lists.

I like to create my templates in Google Docs with full formatting using their built-in headers and subheads. Here’s an example of what a post template might look like for you:

[h1] Headline

Introduction

[Insert blog image]

[h2] Subhead

Main Point 1

Bulleted List

[h2] subhead

Main Point 2

Click-to-Tweet

[h2] subhead

Wrap up

Call to action

3. Blog graphic template

Having a template for your blog images makes it simple to switch out colors or photos, add in your new headline, and have an on-brand graphic ready to go in just a few minutes. Instead of starting from scratch every time, you’ll be able to create consistent, branded images in a snap.

You probably already have a preferred program for creating blog graphics. If not, I’d recommend one that lets you save a template to work from, such as Canva, Pages, or InDesign. Your template will look different depending on which program you use and what your brand looks like. Most brands use a formula to create consistent blog images, such as

stock photo + solid shape overlay + text

or

colored background + border + text

Play around to find the formula that fits your brand and is easy to create with the design template you use. (This resource from the Branded Solopreneur will help if you get stuck, and sometimes, outsourcing the initial template design is easiest.)

4. Social media promotion

One of the most time-consuming parts of blogging happens after a post is published! Unfortunately, it’s not a “write-it-and-they-will-come” scenario, in most cases. Promoting your work on social media is a necessity if you want people to actually read your content, and it doesn’t have to be a huge time-suck.

Creating a system for your social media promotion not only lets you batch-schedule posts in advance, it keeps you from getting lost in your Twitter feed when you should be focused on client work.

Use different scheduling tools for social, to plan out your posts in advance. Here are a few examples:

  • Twitter/Facebook: CoSchedule, Buffer, and Edgar make it easy to schedule posts in advance to several different platforms.
  • Pinterest: Boardbooster and Tailwind are simple options for getting your posts pushed out
  • Later is the perfect way to plan your Instagram posts.

(Bonus tip: Many of these apps work with Zapier and IFTTT to send out automated social media updates each time you publish a new post — you won’t even have to lift a finger!)

Every solopreneur has preferred tools that work the best for them. Spend some time experimenting until you find your favorites, then set aside one block of time to batch-schedule your social media promotion for the upcoming week. Having a system for this step alone has saved me hours per post!

Ready to streamline your blogging process?

A few smart systems and the magic of batching are all it takes to shave hours off the time you spend blogging each week!

What are your favorite tools and systems for keeping blogging time to a minimum?

How + Why to Repurpose Your Content

Here at One Woman Shop, we pride ourselves on being as efficient and effective as possible, so we’re always thinking of ways to reuse what we’ve already done. We also believe that business isn’t one-size-fits-all, which means that the way you absorb information might be very different than the way another solo business owner takes it in. Combine these two facts with the idea that “marketing is 20% creation and 80% promotion” and you’ve got a perfect argument for the value of maximizing your creation time through repurposing your content into other forms.

In addition to maximizing your time, what else can you achieve by repurposing content?

  • Serve your current audience in the ways that work best for them
  • Reach new audiences through other platforms
  • Bring back older, evergreen content

How, exactly? Let’s take a look at the different content you might create — and how you can then repurpose it.

You’ve written an epic blog post.

  • Pull out key facts and figures and turn them into an infographic (here’s a helpful tutorial)
  • Make a YouTube video where you go over the same content (you’ll see more of this from us on our YouTube channel)

You’ve recorded a video with an expert.

  • Provide a transcript of the chat on your blog (for those who prefer to read)
  • Strip the audio and release it as a podcast

You created a super helpful list.

You’ve created an interview series.

Keep in mind that this is a perfect time to update outdated information and maximize the original content (another thing we talk about at-length in our Building Your Online Community e-course).

Ready to free up a few extra hours and serve your audience better? Repurposing that content you poured your expertise into is your next step.

The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Blog Tour

If you have a launch coming up, or simply want to get together with a few of your favorite bloggers to build your community, a blog tour might just be your new favorite way of collaborating.

Having hosted my own blog tour for my personal development site, Becoming Who You Are, and taken part in several as a blogger, I find them to be a win-win way to share my work with a wider audience, plus a super fun way of cross-promoting with other fab bloggers out there.

In this post, I’ll share the basics of what a blog tour is, plus a few best practices you can use to make your blog tour as successful as possible.

How does a blog tour work?

In its simplest form, a blog tour works as follows: you, the host, decide on a theme and time period for your blog tour, and reach out to fellow bloggers asking if they’d like to take part. On a pre-agreed date, they publish a post about that topic on their blog, including a small text snippet about the tour (plus any relevant links), and you share all posts on your site as they’re released.

Tips for hosting a successful blog tour

Blog tours are fairly simple to set up, but they do require organization and planning. Here are a few best practices you can use to ensure your blog tour runs as smoothly as possible:

1. Get clear on the details

There are two questions to ask yourself at the start:

1 – “What is the purpose of this blog tour?”
2 – “What is my metric for success?”

Do you have a product or service you want to promote? Who are your ideal clients for that product or service? What is your ideal outcome for the blog tour, and what metrics will you use to measure that? Your answers to these questions will influence the topic of your tour, who you invite to take part (you’ll want to invite people whose communities will be interested in what you’re offering), the call to action you provide, and where you link to on your website, so it’s important to get clear on these points from the beginning.

Once you have the foundation for your blog tour, it’s time to decide practical details like duration (most blog tours are a week or less, however some big launch-related tours can last as long as a month), how the bloggers will notify you of their posts, and how you’ll go about posting them on your site (individually; in a daily roundup, etc.).

2. Plan in advance

Many bloggers plan and schedule content weeks, sometimes months, in advance and won’t necessarily be able to accommodate an additional post at short notice.

Inviting people at least a month in advance will increase the likelihood that they’ll be able to take part without it being a last-minute stress. It also frees up more time for you to spend on sharing and promotion closer to the event.

3. Make it as easy as possible for participants to contribute and share

With your cadre of bloggers on board, the fun really begins.

As a blog tour host, you want to make it as a easy as possible for your participants to take part and share. This starts with giving them all the relevant information they need from the beginning. This might include:

  • The date you’d like them to publish (or a calendar where they can easily snag a date if they’re exclusive)
  • Any graphics or links you’d like to include (I created a text snippet bloggers could copy and paste, which you can see below)
  • Pre-written tweets they can use to share their post when it’s live

Here is the initial email I sent out to potential participants:

“Hi X,

I hope you’re well! I’ve been a huge fan of your blog for a while and so appreciate all the goodness you’ve been putting out into the world. I run a site called Becoming Who You Are, where I teach people how to be kind to themselves, and I’m reaching out to invite you to take part in a blog tour I’m putting together later this month.

The Thriving Blog Tour will run from 24th to 31st March. The theme of the tour (as you might be able to tell… :)) is thriving. I’d be so honoured if you’d be willing to take part, share your insights around this topic, and help me spread the word about self-kindness as widely as possible.

The Blog Tour will be celebrating the start of my upcoming course, From Coping to Thriving, and, on a broader level, I hope it will get people thinking about where in their lives they might be settling for coping and could use a little more self-care.

I’ll be posting a link to each post on my site and sharing them far and wide on social media. I’ll also be compiling the posts into an ebook at the end of the blog tour (working title: The Little Book of Thriving) and you’ll be free to distribute this to your audience as you wish.

I have some topic suggestions and pre-prepared tweets ready for you to share but I want to be respectful of your time so I’ll keep this as brief as possible for now.

If you’re interested in taking part in the tour, please send me a quick email back, and I’ll get the relevant info to you ASAP. If it’s not a good fit for you right now, no worries at all and thanks for taking the time to read this 🙂

Thank you for all the great work you do!”

Once a blogger responded in the affirmative, I sent them the following info:

“Here is some additional info about the tour:

1. Timing

Would you be willing to post on {insert specific date}? Let me know if this isn’t going to work, otherwise I’ll assume you’re good to go on this date.

2. Topics

Here are some potential topics for you to choose from:

My story of shifting from coping to thriving
My biggest self-care mistake, and how I came back from it
What self-care means to me
How I changed [X] habit (and why I’m happier as a result)
5 lessons I’ve learned about thriving in life

And, of course, if you have a topic in mind, please feel free to go for it! 🙂

3. Decoration

To show you’re part of the Thriving Blog Tour, please add the italicised text below to the top of your post and/or use one of the graphics I’ve attached to this email (feel free to adapt the text to fit your own voice).

From Coping to Thriving is a six-week journey that will teach you how to turn your coping strategies into self-caring behaviours, leaving behind struggle and learning to thrive. This post is part of the Thriving Blog Tour, which is spreading self-kindness to the masses. To learn more and join us, click here.

4. Sharing

As I mentioned in my first email, the aim of this Blog Tour is to spread the word about self-kindness to as many people as possible. Feel free to share your post widely around social media and I’ll do the same.

Here are a few pre-written tweets to get you started:

I’m writing about self-kindness for the Thriving Blog Tour with @becomewhour [http://linktoyourbloghere.com]

Want to learn how to shift from coping to thriving? Check out my post for @becomewhour’s Thriving Blog Tour[http://linktoyourbloghere.com]

Do you have habits you want to change? Read about what helped me in my post for @becomewhour’s Thriving Blog Tour[http://linktoyourbloghere.com]

5. Thank you!

Thanks for participating in the Thriving Blog Tour! I know it’s going to be a ton of fun and a way to spread a valuable message. I am running an affiliate program for the course so let me know if you’d like to join and I’ll send you the details.

Please email the link to your post and your Twitter handle the day your post goes live so I can share it and add it to the Thriving Blog Tour webpage.

If you have any questions about any of the above, or anything else to do with the tour, feel free to get in touch :)”

I also sent a follow-up email a couple of days before their post was due to go live, reminding them to email me a link to their post so I could share it.

4. Provide clear CTAs

Just as you want to make it as easy as possible for the bloggers to take part, you also want to make it as easy as possible for their community to find and follow you, which means you need to create a clear call to action.

When you first started thinking about your blog tour, you’ll have identified your ideal outcome—the action you want people to take as a result of reading a blog tour post. This might be subscribing to your mailing list, signing up to hear more about a particular service or product, or even purchasing the service or product you’re promoting. Provide your bloggers with a snippet of text they can include with their post that asks people to do that as clearly as possible.

For example, when I hosted my blog tour, my aim was to encourage readers to visit the registration page for my course so they could learn more and, if it was a good fit, sign up. As you can see from the email above, I asked bloggers to include a specific snippet of text that encouraged people to do this.

5. Be a gracious host

This goes without saying, but coming out of a whirlwind blog tour and launch, it can fall by the wayside. Say thank you to everyone involved in the tour after it’s over. Share a couple of stats with them, like how many people were spreading the word and educating people about your chosen topic or any positive feedback you received so they can see the impact of the collective project.

6. Accommodate post-tour traffic

Just because the blog tour is officially over doesn’t mean that people aren’t still going to be finding your site through the different tour posts. Even if you were running a time-sensitive launch that ends shortly after your blog tour, include an opt-in form on the page where latecomers can register to hear more the next time you open for registration.

Blog Tours Done Right

As you’ll see from the examples above, blog tours come in all shapes and sizes so don’t be afraid to put your own stamp on your tour! Done right, blog tours are a fabulous way of spreading the word about a new book, course, or event and connecting with similar-minded bloggers and business owners in the process. Although they do take some organization, hosting your own blog tour is a great chance to build relationships, grow your audience and have fun in the process.

Have you run a blog tour, or contributed to one? What are your best practice tips? Leave a comment and let us know. And stay tuned for The Road to Solopreneur Success blog tour, starting Monday, September 14th to promote One Woman Shop’s limited-time Solopreneur Success Bundle!

building your online community e-course

Tonight: March #OWSchat with Regina Anaejionu!

By way of popular request, we’ll be hosting our third official #OWSchat on the ins-and-outs of blogging for your biz. We’re pumped to welcome guest expert and host, Regina Anaejionu of byRegina.com to the party!

If that already isn’t sweet enough, one random participant will be the lucky winner of Regina’s Epic Blog Editorial Planner, so you can put all those insights you gain from tonight’s chat to use immediately.

Join us tonight, Wednesday, March 4 at 9pm EST for a fast-paced hour of all things blogging for your solo business! 

PS – First ever Twitter chat? We highly recommend using a platform like TweetChat to keep things organized.

Did You Fall For This SEO Myth? (And How To Fix It)

My friend Joanne is a successful virtual assistant. Her clients adore her and consistently send her referrals. She was counting on her website to bring in new clients as well, but her site wasn’t seeing much traffic.

When I asked her what she does for search engine optimization (SEO), Joanne said:

“I have no problems with SEO. I come up first when I google my business name.”

Ding, ding, ding. SEO myth alert!

Unfortunately, this is a common conundrum for solopreneurs. And it requires a different mode of thinking.

Potential new clients don’t search for your business name because they don’t know who you are (yet).

What do they search for?

Solutions.

Think about the last time you were online. It’s a pretty safe bet you googled something (that might even be how you ended up here). And if you googled something, you were most likely looking for a solution to a problem.

People visit websites because they’re looking for solutions. Even when they’re playing Candy Crush, they’re solving a problem, like boredom or procrastination.

Let’s say I’m a single mom who runs a business from home. I’m struggling to get everything done before my kids get home from school. I could really use a hand, but don’t want the financial commitment of hiring an employee.

A virtual assistant would be a solution to my problem. It would help me get everything done without having to hire an official employee.

Since I’ve never heard of Joanne, I’m not going to search specifically for her business. So what would I search for instead?

  • virtual assistants in [location]
  • hiring a virtual assistant
  • what to look for in a virtual assistant
  • how to find a virtual assistant

This is where SEO comes in.

SEO is not about showing up first when someone googles your business name. That should happen even if you do nothing to optimize your website for search engines.

SEO is about showing up in google when someone searches for a solution to their problem.

What can Joanne (and you!) do to get found more in Google?

Identify the problems your potential clients are trying to solve. What problems do your side hustle or business solve? Consider what you think they are, and survey current or past clients to find out what they searched for when they found you. Get in the mindset of your ideal client(s) here.

Make a list of phrases they would search for to find solutions to those problems. Based on your own brainstorm as well as survey feedback, construct a list of phrases and keywords that should be strategically used to describe who you are and what you do.

Use those phrases and keywords on your website. Producing great content is the key to pleasing search algorithms, but keyword-stuffing will get you nowhere. Intersperse the phrases and keywords you’ve determined your clients will use strategically, and surround them by valuable, quality content.

By figuring out the problems and solutions her potential clients are searching for, Joanne now has an arsenal of keyword phrases for SEO. She can use those phrases in headlines, sales pages, and blog posts to help potential clients find her online.

Did you fall for this SEO myth as well? Now that you know how people search online, you can fool-proof your website by more effectively optimizing it for search engines.

3 Ways to Connect With Your Audience in Your Sleep

Do you yearn to refer to your website as the “salesperson that makes you money in your sleep?”

While it isn’t easy to accomplish, it’s certainly possible. I’m going to get you started.

The first step in making your website work for you is getting to know who your ideal audience really is in order to connect with them. For the purposes of this post, though, let’s assume you have a good, detailed picture of your ideal client.

Because here’s what I’m going to share: I have three ways you can connect with the ideal audience that’s behind the screen.

Making your website your round-the-clock salesperson

Let me introduce you to a certain situation all solopreneurs encounter. In this situation, you’re a hypothetical business coach, and Sabrina just happens to be your ideal client.

Sabrina wants to improve her teaching presence, but she lacks confidence. So she does a quick search on Google with the query “how to gain confidence” and one of your blog posts pop up. She clicks it and reads. You have a few great tips she takes note of, but now she wants more. She starts to click around your website.

At this point, you have approximately 30 seconds to connect with Sabrina, answering her questions and enticing her to stick around. She doesn’t necessarily know what she needs. It’s up to you, in that brief encounter, to introduce the option of hiring a business coach, and communicate the benefits of working with you rather than figuring it out on her own.

Together, let’s explore three ways you can connect with Sabrina in those 30 seconds and how you can deliver the answers to her questions without actually having to be there:

1. Communicate via video/audio:

Providing quality video and audio content is one of the best and quickest ways you can connect, gain trust, and build credibility with a potential client. Here are a few ways in which you can use video and/or audio effectively:

Create an introduction video for your homepage. When Sabrina visits your website, she has concerns and questions that she needs you to answer for her. Develop an engaging, 30-second video that welcomes visitors to your site, and answers any or all of the following:

  • How can you solve my problem?
  • What makes you an expert?
  • Why should I trust you to hire you?
  • What would it be like to work with you?
  • How much does it cost to work with you?

Create a free video or video series for your email opt in. List building is a serious tool for increasing audience engagement. Use a free video or video series as your giveaway to entice sign ups. Be sure to make these videos educational and remember, someone like Sabrina doesn’t know they need to hire you. Speak to what your ideal clients want and need.

Develop an educational webinar. Webinars are another fantastic tool for educating your audience, building your credibility, and allowing you to inspire a connection. And it doesn’t just have to be done in real time. Record a webinar and make it available via your site. Sharing or selling the recording will allow your visitors who didn’t attend live, like Sabrina, a chance to obtain value and see you in action. Alexis Grant has a great example of this with her SEO for Bloggers webinar that can be accessed anytime, for free.

Host or guest appear on a podcast. I am not suggesting you start a podcast unless that is what you want to do — it’s a big undertaking! However, being interviewed by someone who has a popular podcast allows you to share your expertise with someone else’s audience, and it can be linked to over and over again without any additional work by you.

2. Grant easy access to your calendar:

Perhaps video and audio aren’t for you. You still want to make that initial connection with Sabrina before she exits your site. What I’ve seen work: allow visitors to schedule a free consultation with you and get on your calendar instantly. This way Sabrina has access to you to ask any questions she might have and you are able to connect with Sabrina one-on-one to see if she’s a good fit. The best part? all of the logistics can be taken care of while you sleep.

Easy scheduling tools you can use:

3. Talk directly to your ideal client in your written content:

Your written content on your website should be working for you all the time. When you write your content with your audience in mind, Sabrina will feel as if you are talking directly to her and not to the masses when she reads. Use more “you” and less “I.” Make your visitors feel important, unique, and like they’ve found the right place.

Imagining connecting with one individual at a time makes all the difference in your writing. Consider their needs that you are fulfilling. Live conversations with new prospects mean sparking interest by framing your services in terms of how you can help them solve their problem — and your written content on your website should do the same.

Each of these three strategies requires some upfront work, but once set up, they’ll begin the transformation of your website from passive tool to 24-hour salesperson. Because we all need some time off, right?

Which of these three strategies will you focus on and use for your business? Share with us below.

Tools We Love: Feedly

Welcome to Tools We Love, where we highlight some of the tools that make us more efficient, productive, and effective in our businesses. Have a tool that you want to share with the community? Email us!

The online world can be overwhelming. Each day, we discover or are introduced to at least one new blog or website that we vow to keep tabs on, because we know it can serve as a resource for bettering our businesses or personal lives.

So it doesn’t take long to become overloaded, keeping at least 15 tabs open in a Chrome browser at all times, and having 10-15 newsletters flood your inbox per day. Sustainable? Not if you want to stay sane.

RSS feeds to the rescue

There’s an answer to the overwhelm: using an RSS feed reader. Back in the day (okay, just last year), the answer likely would’ve been Google Reader, but once Google nixed that service — to the panic of many-a-solopreneur — a knight in shining armor took its place: Feedly.

What is Feedly?

Feedly, founded in 2008, is a news aggregator application where you can search for the news sites, online magazines, and blogs that you don’t want to miss a beat of.

It’s ridiculously simple to add new content to your Feedly — simply paste the URL of the website or blog and Feedly will locate it, or you can use its search function and find the source by name. Once you’ve loaded your must-follow sites into Feedly, organization is easy. For the Type-A personalities out there (heck, I’m one of them!), being able to organize and sort by categories is a dream come true.

When it comes time to view and read, not only does Feedly easily aggregate updates, but it does so cleanly, with three options for viewing.

Titles View:

Feedly Titles View

Magazine View:

Feedly - Magazine View

Cards View:

Feedly - Cards View

Personally, I use the Titles View most frequently, but each of the views are clean and intuitive, and the options are easy to toggle between.

How to use Feedly

While Feedly provides an in-depth tutorial on the mechanics of using the site, what One Woman Shop solopreneurs really need to know is how it can be used to better their productivity and business. Here are three ways it can do just that:

1. Content marketing + social media: By following news, your favorite blogs, or inspirational resources, your Feedly becomes a goldmine of posts to share via your social outlets and garner ideas from for your own content marketing and blogging. You can even share directly from Feedly, though I don’t often use this option, as I prefer to generate my own bit.ly links for tracking purposes.

2. Create a content library: Use Feedly’s “Save For Later” option to easily bookmark posts that you want to keep track of. This comes especially in handy if you’re a common curator of posts like One Woman Shop’s Weekly Finds.

3. Curate content + resources for clients: As a blogger and ghostwriter for several different companies, I find my Feedly invaluable to aggregating news, trends, and resources for each company I write for. I work with clients to find the best sources, do research on my own, then load them into a new category in Feedly. When it comes time to brainstorm topic ideas or find resources for posts, I have one place to go.

4. Consistent learning + updates: By cataloguing the news and blogs you want to keep track of most, you’re guaranteeing educational reading and consistent updates on your industry. It’s yet another way to satiate the need for perpetual learning, and a great way to keep in touch with what’s going on around your online space.

Feedly on the go

For the on-the-go solopreneur, there’s the free app for both iPhone and Android. And we promise you this — the mobile app is just as good as the desktop version.

Even the Google Reader fanatics agree — Feedly is an amazing tool, with a clean design, and an intuitive app to help you keep up on news and blogs from anywhere. It’s certainly our go-to, and after one day of set up, we’re confident you’ll find it to be yours, too.

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