There are a lot of people talking about niche and targeting your ideal customer lately, but here’s the thing…
…if you’re stuck on what type of online business to start, then all of that stuff doesn’t actually matter yet!
You can’t target the right customer until you actually know WHO your customer is.
And you won’t know exactly who your customer is with any kind of clarity until you know exactly what type of online business you want to start.
In this article, I’m talking about the different types of online business and what you can do to actually get started, today!
After more than 14 years of accumulating and analyzing data about growing and scaling different types of online businesses, I can tell you first hand that TRANSFORMATION is what moves you from zero to six-figure salary, not someone else’s “framework.”
Listen up, because this is important.
Transformation comes from within. It comes from knowing exactly how to uncover your unique voice and then knowing how to use your voice to amplify your message….online.
I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the years, from small business owners to executives of large corporations; the most successful online businesses are not created from tactics that people teach, they are created from your very own experience.
You see, YOU have experience in your life that you can actually turn into an online business, you just need to know how to uncover it.
So lets get started!
What exactly is an Online Business?
Selling a product or service on the internet is an online business.
There are different online business models based on the type of product or service that you’re selling, but all of them have one thing in common, and that is the online sales and marketing strategy.
The first step in understanding how to start an online business is to recognize that the digital business model is still a business, in other words, in order to actually make money, you have to sell something.
What differentiates how you go about setting up your online business is actually based on whether you are selling a physical product, a digital product, or a service and also whether it’s your own product or someone else’s.
Lets dig deeper.
A lot of clients that I’ve worked with in the past have said: “I’m not a salesperson, and I don’t like sales.”
It’s almost as if they are surprised that starting an online business means that you actually have to sell something.
But here’s the difference, an online business is more like “passive” sales rather than active sales.
Passive income is the buzz word that everyone likes to use these days.
In other words, passive income means that you do the work up-front so that your product or service eventually sells itself.
That of course doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do any work. On the contrary…
There is a shit-ton of work involved.
And how exactly do you go about setting up this coveted passive income stream?
Whether you choose to sell your own services, a product, or someone else’s product, the most important part of an online business is to get your strategy and your systems set up properly.
So lets unpack this concept of strategy and systems a little further because you may have heard that you can start an online business without actually having a product or service to sell.
The 3 Types of Online Business:
Someone Else’s Product or Service (ie: Affiliate/Influencer/Commission Based)
In a ‘traditional’ business setting, you might recognize that selling a service means something like what an accountant, an attorney, or even a life coach would do…where people pay a fee for your services.
Service Based Online Business
In the past, the clients of these kinds of professionals came from the same local town or region. However now, with the digital business model sweeping the globe, clients of professionals like this can be virtually anywhere.
But that’s not all…the reality is that you don’t need to have an advanced professional education in order to sell your own services online.
Here are a few examples of online, service based businesses that have been proven to be successful even if you don’t have a formal education:
Social Media Services
If you’re great at social media, you can manage social media accounts for businesses as your service.
You can choose to specialize in one network or a few, although I recommend becoming intimately familiar with just one or two so that you can position yourself as an expert. When using Social media for business purposes, the networks are very different. A person who is good at understanding how to optimize Facebook ads for conversion doesn’t necessarily know how to leverage Pinterest for business marketing because they are two very different marketing strategies.
So if this is your desired course of online business…choose the network you like best and become intimately familiar with it so that you can offer your expertise on that particular platform.
Virtual Assistant Services
If you’re organized, you can sell your services as a virtual assistant for many different types of businesses. Virtual assistants do everything from project management to digital marketing, so depending upon what you’re good at, you can offer your services on a contact basis.
Graphic Design/Web Design/Digital Marketing
This is the fastest growing segment of the online service based industry, and if you’re a creative person, then it’s likely you’ll be attracted to this type of service based online business. The best way to get started with this kind of business is to set up your own website and start blogging.
Life Coach/Business Coach/Fitness Coach
If you’re great at motivating people and encouraging people, you can sell your services as a coach.
Any knowledge that is above and beyond what regular people have in a particular area of focus can be sold as a service online. By making your services available online, you now open yourself up to a wider audience of potential consumers around the globe, and this is what makes an online business so different from a regular business. Imagine being able to perform services for people anywhere in the world, not just your hometown.
Selling your knowledge doesn’t stop with a service based business. In fact, one of the most lucrative types of online business is to create a knowledge based digital product.
What exactly does that mean?
This brings us to #2…
You obviously know what a physical product is. If you’re going to open a fashion boutique or sell a physical product that you create yourself such as a wreath or a bar of soap, those are physical products. A digital product means that whatever you are selling is available to access online, such as an ebook, a digital download, or a digital course.
For example, one of my side streams of income is my Etsy Shop. I create artwork that people can instantly download and print on their home printers. Have you ever seen a great quote in a beautiful font that you wished you could either print and hang on your wall or share on your social media feed? That is exactly what digital art is. Want to see some real, live examples? Click here to visit my Etsy Shop.
Digital products can generate income more quickly than physical products and the best part? A digital product based online business also applies to knowledge.
For example, if you know how to do something like make the best strawberry jam or spaghetti sauce on the planet, you can teach others how to do that on a video and then sell your video as a digital product.
More often these days, this is called a digital course. Creating your own digital course is all the rage right now, and if you know how to do it right, it’s the most lucrative types of digital businesses.
Inside my Online Business Coaching Program, I use a signature method to help you uncover your unique genius zone so that you can create a highly scalable online business. And I don’t charge and arm and a leg to do it!
Because I know that your business has to be based on you, and no one else on this planet is you. That is your super-power. YOUR super power!!
Simply following what someone else does isn’t going to be the key to your success; the key to your success is to take what you have to offer, your unique super-power, and know how to structure it to fit the online business model.
Are your juices flowing yet? Are you gaining some insight into some ideas for your online business? Let me know in the comments below!
Startup Costs of an Online Business
Even though an online business doesn’t have a lot of up-front startup costs like a traditional business, it still has startup costs.
And what exactly are those startup costs?
The costs are highly dependent on the type of online business you are starting. For the bulk of online business, the costs are going to be for software tools and for online marketing.
The software tools that you will use for your particular online business will again depend on the type of online business you have. For example, if you’re a creative person and you’re thinking about selling digital downloads (like the art I mentioned above) through an Etsy shop, then your costs are going to be focused more on marketing, because there is only a minimal cost to post your artwork on Etsy.
If you’re planning to teach people how to do something and sell your knowledge, for example: how to edit videos for YouTube, then your startup costs will focus more on software, both your own (video editing software) as well as the software necessary to deliver your course content. You’ll also likely have online marketing and advertising costs, and you’ll likely use software for scheduling and research as well.
If you’re planning to do affiliate marketing (i.e.: sell someone else’s product) then your cost is wrapped up in starting and marketing your blog, which includes domain, hosting, marketing, advertising and scheduling and research.
3. Affiliate Marketing (also called Influencer Marketing)
Affiliate marketing means that you blog about someone else’s product (such as a piece of clothing, jewelry, or bag) and then if someone clicks over from your blog post or social media post, then you receive a commission on the sale of that product. It’s very important to note that this kind of marketing only works well if you have a very large social media and/or blog following. Otherwise, the clicks just will not generate enough income for you to make a living.
Perhaps most importantly, the biggest cost will be investing in yourself. In order to be successful and make a full-time income building an online business of your own is having the knowledge of where to start and how to actually make progress.
If you need some help along the way, I encourage you to learn more about my online business coaching program. It’s a live program, that means you’ll get private access to me and my team to answer your most pressing questions about your online business, as well as walk you through your software and technology integrations to help you get your business up and running in the most efficient way possible.
Think of it as if it’s your own private technology help desk, with the benefit of giving you sound advice about online business too!
Not quite ready to make an investment? Join my FREE Private Facebook Group to ask a question and get help from other bloggers, social media influencers, and online entrepreneurs! (TIP: The Facebook Group is focused on Pinterest Marketing techniques, but it’s really so much more!)
There is ONE Mistake You Should Never Make in your online business…
In this article, you’ll learn why your ads and posts may not be converting as expected, and what you can do to instantly change that.
Nobody wants traffic without conversion, so if you have a product, most especially a digital product, then you need to be absolutely sure you are marketing your product to the correct stage of your target buyer’s journey.
If you mess up this one critical component, you’ll never get conversions. Sound confusing? It’s really not…read on for more!
Why are my Facebook ads not working?
One of the biggest mistakes that I see businesses of all sizes make with their online marketing and advertising efforts, is that they put together an ad (such as a Facebook ad or a Google ad) and they start driving traffic to the product or service that they are offering.
Oftentimes, they are paying for these ads, and looking at their analytics, wondering why they are getting clicks but not getting any sales. They are wondering:
Why am I not getting any sales…how long does it take, or are the ads being shown to the right audience?
How do I know what makes an ad “good” compared to a “not so good” ad?
I’m not sure how to interpret the data.
The problem is not that your product or service is a bad idea, the problem is that you are likely marketing to the wrong phase of the sales funnel.
Most new online business owners try to follow someone else’s advice. Maybe they read a blog (or a few) or they got suckered into the online business ideal.
Don’t worry. If you’re not a professional marketer, it just means you could use a little guidance to get your online business off the ground.
Think about it. If you’ve never heard of someone, are you going to just scroll through your social media feed and then pull out your credit card as soon as they catch your attention?
Of course not.
You’re not an idiot.
You’re going to do some research first.
Look at their website.
Read some reviews. Maybe ask around.
Check out their other social media channels.
Just because they got your attention with their ad doesn’t mean you’re rushing to open up your wallet and buy…especially if what they’re offering is upwards of $500.
But listen closely…even if it’s only $50.
The Digital Business Model
The part of the digital business model that includes the digital sales process has 3 very different phases of the buyer’s path toward purchasing your product or service.
These 3 phases are: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
When you develop a digital marketing campaign, remember the very first step is to first determine who you are targeting, but what most people forget, is that you also need to determine what phase they are in.
You absolutely must only market a decision phase offer (ie: your product) to someone who is in the decision phase! This does not work on a cold audience.
Here’s the thing, you can’t market a bottom of the funnel product (i.e.: something you expect them to pay for) to a top of the funnel prospect. Top of the funnel means that they are a cold audience. Reference the sales funnel diagram below.
People whom you are trying to attract to your business….Those are cold, those are the people who don’t know you, but you’re trying to get the word out about a solution you have to their problem.
Why can’t I market my product to a cold audience?
Because if they don’t even know you yet, they don’t trust you. In order for someone to buy from you, they must first believe that you have a solution to their problem and that you can help them.
This is the single reason why so many coaches and online entrepreneurs fail miserably and lose their money on Facebook when they run ads for digital products. Because they’re running an ad to an audience that has never heard of them, they’re not ready to buy yet.
What exactly is the solution?
The better option is to market a lead magnet to your cold audience, and gain their trust by giving them something valuable in exchange for their email address. It’s a quick win for them because you’re giving them something that will make their life easier and solve a problem for them, allowing them to move forward, this proves that you can actually help them. So you gain their trust.
Next is where the nurturing comes in. Now that you have their email address, you can move them down the sales funnel to the next phase which is a warm lead, and eventually with the right automation sequence, you can feed your evergreen lead machine in a way that enables them to become ready to open up their wallet and buy from you.
See how that works? Lead first. Email them about your offer next. After some nurturing of course.
Maybe you’ve heard of a tool like LeadPages or Clickfunnels and you’re wondering what exactly it is, and how it can help you grow your business.
Think of this post as your official initiation into understanding how these kinds of tools work, and I promise you’ll walk away with a ton of ideas about how it will help grow your blog or your online business.
Now listen, I love my husband dearly, but I am a fempreneur all the way. I support women-owned business, shattering the glass ceiling, and all things #GirlBoss, especially in online business.
Clickfunnels was developed by a guy, and I’ll tell you right now, a lot of people who use this software fit into that category of men that make webinars showing their fancy sports cars (in the industry we call this “bro-marketing”).
But if you can get past their hype, you will recognize that the software really is exceptional, just don’t go to their Facebook Group with 100,000 members for support, because it’s full of arrogance and you’ll never get the support you need.
It’s not a good place for women entrepreneurs.
The software itself is magical, but I hate their Facebook group with a passion.
Ready to rock and roll?
How does a FREE half hour consulting call sound?
If you’re interested…keep reading.
So I’m going to have to talk more about Clickfunnels because it’s literally a magical landing page builder. This software is relatively “new” in the world of online marketing, as it only started in 2014, but here’s what it actually is, just in case you’ve never heard of it or you’re wondering if this post is even relevant to you:
Clickfunnels is a cloud-based software tool that you can use to create stunning landing pages for lead magnets, selling your digital products, and even webinars in order to grow your business.
Cloud-based simply means you can log into their website from anywhere and work on your website. You don’t have to download and install anything onto your computer. It’s very robust, but super intuitive and easy to use. I use it every day. Seriously…every.single.day.
What Clickfunnels is not:
Clickfunnels is *not* the same thing as your email marketing software, such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit, or Aweber. While Clickfunnels does give you the option to use their own built-in email marketing platform, I would not recommend it.
Instead, start with a free account from ConvertKit (Click here to sign up for the FREE account!). Almost all of the newer email marketing automation providers integrate with Clickfunnels, but in my experience, I have found that ConvertKit is the one that does the job best.
MailChimp used to be the only one that was free, however, in late 2019, ConvertKit rolled out a free program, so this is actually a game changer because ConvertKit is far and away the best email automation provider. Why? Because you can see your automations visually (like HubSpot). HubSpot is an enterprise system that is best suited for businesses making over $250,000 per year in annual revenue (and they require payment up front) so many new bloggers don’t have the ability to go pro with HubSpot Automation right away, but in my opinion, the closest you can get to HubSpot is definitely ConvertKit!
Clickfunnels offers a ton of one-click templates that allow you to start with a sales page (that is proven to convert) and then just customize it with your own brand colors and photos (and text obviously!). Because they offer tons of templates, you’ll be putting up high-converting landing pages and easily sending content upgrades like a pro!
What do you use Clickfunnels for?
Clickfunnels is super robust, you can use it for a variety of tech needs. If you can only afford to pay for one software tool, this is the one, because it can do so much! Here are 5 things you can do with Clickfunnels:
1. Use Clickfunnels to Create Your Own Website
If you don’t already have a website, you can create your website pages and essentially DIY your very own website using Clickfunnels. They offer templates with menu navigation so you can literally put a menu at the top on your regular website pages and then create your landing pages without the navigation!
2. Use Clickfunnels to Host Webinars
Webinar software can be pricy, but this solution allows you to do them nearly for free by embedding either a live broadcast or your evergreen video. It’s a great option for anyone getting started with webinars so that you don’t have to fork over the cost of software like WebinarJam right off the bat.
3. Use Clickfunnels for Automated Content Upgrades
If you’ve already signed up for a ConverKit account, then you will see how Clickfunnels is an excellent solution for content upgrades because you can style your forms to match your brand. While you can also do this inside ConvertKit, the catch is that there is a limited amount of customization. If you want to grow your list with content upgrades, but don’t know how to figure it out tech-wise, Clickfunnels can help. Here is an example of an appropriate Content Upgrade for this blog post (feel free to subscribe and download the checklist or just keep reading).
4. Use Clickfunnels to Create Beautiful Opt-In Popups
There is nothing worse than a popup that appears when you least expect it. The beauty of Clickfunnels is that you have complete control over your opt-in! I like to use a button, so if someone is interested, they click the button and know that a popup will appear. I use this on my landing pages a lot, and it’s also great for giving away free lead magnets.
5. Use Clickfunnels to Create Landing Pages and Sales Pages
This is one of my favorite things about Clickfunnels. Most of the time, designing a proper lead magnet landing page or sales page on on your blog or website is difficult because many WordPress themes don’t easily remove your navigation menu, or you have to figure out which plugins will work best or even mess with the code. Instead of all this, Clickfunnels makes it mega easy. You can literally just use one of their templates and it takes 10 minutes.
How Can Clickfunnels Help Improve Your Blog or Online Business?
I like to design my content upgrades in Photoshop or Canva so that I can insert an image of the free checklist or worksheet people will receive if they subscribe (it’s more convincing) as shown in the example above (you can also click on the link to create an account with ConvertKit for free so you can do these yourself), but if you’re looking for an easier solution, then Clickfunnels allows you to easily insert a clickable button right inside of their software.
Using Clickfunnels for Affiliate Marketing with a Bridge Page
If you do any advertising or Affiliate Marketing at all, Facebook Ads or Google Ads for example, then you already know that you have to send visitors to a verified website that you are connected to, and you cannot send them directly to an affiliate product.
Sending paid ads to a landing page means that they only have one choice: to subscribe or leave. There are no other distractions to keep them from opting in, so if they like your offer, they’ll subscribe. If you are selling something, then you can then put them in an email nurturing sequence to eventually pitch your product. Conversion rates on landing pages are much higher than simply sending someone to a blog post, and most often, if you’re paying for ads, you want to get the best chance of conversion. You can do that with Clickfunnels!
Once you have someone’s email address, you’re able to communicate and build a relationship with them. It’s much different than if they simply visited your blog once, two weeks ago and never come back.
Online marketing is no longer an option for today’s small business owner, and if you’re trying to start or grow an online business, then Clickfunnels is a no-brainer.
With as many as 90% of small businesses using online tactics, the question isn’t when, but what tools will you use to expand and grow your reach?
Too often, business owners feel stumped by all of the options, allowing all of them to take a back seat instead of harnessing the power of the ones that really make a difference.
Maybe it’s a fear of the unknown or the overwhelm that comes with learning something new. Whatever the case, the effective use of these online tools can confuse even the most seasoned business marketer.
But the good news is this…
No matter what stage you’re in, you can reinvent your online presence, starting now! Before Clickfunnels came on the scene, I had several different software integrations all designed to work together. Even though I had been using WordPress for 14 years (and I still do) when I discovered how easy it was to create the exact type of landing pages that I wanted using Clickfunnels, I couldn’t believe how much easier the “tech” part of my online business became!
Huge BONUS just for my Blog Readers!
Vogue Media is partnered with Clickfunnels (because I love it that much!) I would never recommend a product that I didn’t personally use and love, so here’s the bonus…
If you decide to purchase Clickfunnels, make sure you click through and start with a FREE 14-Day Trial using my referral link (CLICK HERE for your FREE TRIAL) because if you do, to show my gratitude for the referral, I will offer you a FREE 30-minute phone call or video screen share, live with me, to help you out with anything you might be stuck on!
This is a huge bonus, because if you’re trying to set up an integration or a sales page, or anything…and you get stuck…I can help! But only for my referrals, so be sure to use this link to sign up, then contact me to schedule your free 30-minute session.
Questions about Clickfunnels? Let me know in the comments below!
The Art of Social Media Marketing and using Pinterest for Business
Is social media marketing an art? The word analytics kind of screams math to me, and as far as I’m concerned, math and art don’t exactly go hand in hand.
Analytics can sometimes seem overwhelming.
Business owners know they should be measuring their data, but how do you know exactly what metrics to look at to get the best ROI? And what if it’s not working they way you expected it to?
To gain some perspective, we need to first gain some perspective and address the state of digital marketing…and the paid traffic correction that we’re currently in the midst of.
Let’s start with the obvious.
Unless you’re using a very specific retargeting and custom audience strategy, don’t expect Facebook ads to work the way they did in 2014. You can read more about that here, but in this article, I’m specifically talking about why the age of interruption is over and how you can leverage the power of Pinterest to help you implement a sustainable online business model.
You likely already know that Pinterest is a search and discovery platform…just like Google.
Search engines are completely different from other social media channels, so you have to understand the nuances of SEO (search engine optimization) in order to leverage all that Pinterest has to offer.
But don’t let those three letters (SEO) scare you. It’s really not that hard, and anyone can learn how to do it.
Using Pinterest for business allows you to reach your audience at a specific moment…the moment when they’re visually attracted to whatever beautiful idea they see on Pinterest.
That’s what makes Pinterest different from other social media channels.
Banner ads and low quality content just won’t do well on Pinterest, and that’s what I love. No shitty looking clickbait sales pages, around here yo!
Remember when anyone with a sexy headline and a Clickfunnels account could turn a profit in their online business? Well folks, those days of money-hungry, funnel hacking, sleazy business are over (thank goodness!). I still use Clickfunnels, actually, but lets not get side-tracked with my sarcasm.
Here’s how this fit’s into the big picture of Pinterest.
Russell Brunson, the founder of Clickfunnels, created a truly amazing software tool that has made it very simple for millions of people all over the world to create online businesses using the funnel system.
But the key is, to actually be successful, you first need to clearly understand how to make it all come together, and that begins with understanding the online business model and the proper strategy first.
Not all online businesses are created equal.
In order to really harness the power of Pinterest for business, you have to get deep inside your Pinterest user’s mindset, because the right combination of words and pictures can motivate action! And that my friend is how you make money.
The Storytelling Approach to Attraction Marketing
Telling a relevant story at the right time to the right person in a way that allows that person to realize they need your product or service is the real art behind social media marketing…And telling that story in a picture is what Pinterest is all about.
It’s not about posting a really long rant on Facebook, pushing the ad to cheap countries to bulk up your “likes” and posting aggressive ad copy.
Lets talk about the psychology of behavior because this will explain why the aforementioned strategy does not work anymore.
People typically make a purchase decision based on whether they think you understand their problem, and whether they think you have the knowledge, resources and commitment to solve their problem.
Social media marketing is simply an extension of the age-old technique of getting to know your customer and then meeting their needs.
The “REAL” strategy is: Measuring brand awareness and harnessing the customer journey using attraction marketing
Not funnel “hacking”.
Not “smashing” the funnel.
(By the way…If you don’t quote know what a funnel is yet or understand how to use it to grow your online business, then please take a moment to click here.)
What most of this sub-culture of fake digital marketers neglect to tell you about successful digital marketing is that the online business model is still based on traditional sales, and you can’t make it work using the same shitty, high pressure sales techniques that never worked before.
“Hello, Mr. McDigital…1999 is calling…you left your pitch-heavy, automated webinar that’s disguised as a masterclass over there, next to your friend who’s Facebook Ad looks exactly the same as yours.
If you don’t like sales and you want to start a blog or an online business, you better learn to like sales…you just have to figure out the right way to attract your audience.
(Hint: It’s not from any mentors who drank from the dirty pond.)
What’s the dirty pond? It’s the fact that nearly everyone “sneezed out an online business” lately and they all think they are giving out good advice, but really the only thing they are doing is telling the same story in a different way.
The reality is, nobody can tell you how to grow your online business, you have to let your own statistics guide your decision making.
For businesses, marketing has entered a new era, the Age of the Consumer. It takes a focused and forward-thinking business owner to embrace the ever-changing media landscape without sacrificing strategy and measurable results.
So…you want to know how to make it all come together? Let’s do this!
Pinterest is the best kept secret in online marketing.
Contrary to popular belief…it’s not Instagram.
Well, lets talk about who your target audience is for a minute. If your business is targeting people outside of the US, you’re in luck because 80% of the people who use Instagram are from outside the US according to the 2019 State of Social Media Report by Buffer.
But here’s something else to consider…if your business targets upper middle class, college educated women from the US, guess where 80% of your audience hangs out?
Yeah, it’s Pinterest.
More specifically, lets think about what those female head of households are looking at and shopping for…
If your business has anything to do with home decor, jewelry and clothing, makeup and hairstyles, children, weddings, books, travel, or food, and you’re not leveraging the power of Pinterest, you might want to start thinking about it.
So how do you measure ROI (return on investment) and really make sense of Pinterest analytics?
Well the first step is to make sure your Pinterest account is properly set up for business and that you’re doing all the things that you should be doing (including SEO) in order to drive traffic to your website.
So before you can actually evaluate your Pinterest Analytics as a small business owner, you need to actually have some numbers to look at. Starting at the beginning? Download my checklist to help get you on track for success with Pinterest.
Using Your Own Pinterest Analytics to Understand Your Target Audience
In terms of using social media to promote selling your product or service: don’t assume someone is ready to have a particular conversation with you just because you’re ready to have the conversation with them.
In other words, just because you put your business out there doesn’t mean people will come flocking. The social media fairies don’t work that way.
Consumers now have access to more information and have more control over the sales process than ever. With this change, a new way of selling has emerged. This method combines the power of Pinterest’s search engine optimization with a business owner’s expertise in both design and communication skills in a way that not only brings revenue to the business, but it deepens the value of the overall relationship.
Because social media marketing is an approach to the sales and marketing of your product that is relationship-focused instead of transaction-focused, the immediate goal isn’t necessarily to get a sale as quickly as possible; the immediate goal is to establish a relationship.
So if there is no sale…how do you understand what is working and what isn’t working when it comes to your Pinterest analytics?
The key is to know exactly what Pinterest metrics to look at and where to find them.
Here’s a quick snapshot.
If you look at Analytics directly from the Pinterest dashboard, be sure you change the drop down to “Link Clicks” as well as change the radio button to only your website to see which of your pins are getting clicked on the most. The default setting is “Impressions” which is a vanity metric that doesn’t really give you any concrete information.
Focus on the design of your pins
This may sound obvious, but if you’re not a designer by trade, the creative, typography, and color combinations might not come naturally to you. Use quality stock art, and most importantly, do not use free stock. Use Google analytics to review which pins are producing the most traffic, and model your future designs off those pins. Buy a subscription to someplace like PixiStock or IvoryMix.
Here’s a example of two different pins that lead to the same blog post. Can you guess which one has more link clicks? It’s the one with the prettier design.
If you need some help with templates for Pin design, the easiest way to get started is to create a free account with Canva.com.
The Age of Interruption is Over!
Understand the digital sales process. Instead of interrupting customers with a sales pitch, a product or service is marketed to a consumer when the opportunity presents itself. Aside from the obvious (answering questions and responding to inquiries on your own social channels, and using email nurturing the right way) how exactly can business owners join the social selling conversation?
Here is a short video to show you exactly what Pinterest Analytics to look at and where to find them.
A few other examples of ways to incorporate social selling in your online business:
A potential consumer asks a question that your product or service is uniquely able to handle. How do you find those asking questions? Solution: If you don’t have the budget to invest in monitoring apps (such as Cison.com) simply search an industry specific hashtag to see what thought leaders are conversing about. #DigitalMarketing
Example: A consumer expresses a concern or problem with a competitor’s product or service. Solution: Offer your solution in the comments. Be careful not to force your product or service down someone’s throat. Instead point them to an article your company has produced (such as a blog) or another educational piece that shows that you understand the problem they are faced with and how to resolve it.
Example: A consumer asks for your recommendation by email based on previous content you wrote about or expertise they know you have. Provide a direct link to a piece of content or an offer that provides the answer to what they are looking for.
You want to give people only what they will find valuable. If your business is a petstore and a potential consumer is interested in puppies, you don’t want to send them an email trying to sell them a fishtank. If you do, it’s likely they will opt-out of your list and you’ll never have the chance to sell anything puppy related to them again.
How does social media marketing work in the context of Pinterest?
Social selling isn’t a straightforward process; it is rather a collection of strategies designed to establish a relationship with your leads and customers.
Unlike traditional selling, social selling allows you to establish longer-lasting relationships with leads and clients by delivering only what your prospect is interested in. In order to do this, you need to understand the nuances of the Pinterest Platform in order to take full advantage of it for marketing your business.
Here are 4 tips to help you take full advantage of your social channels to help you attract real, targeted leads that are stronger and better qualified:
1. Social Listening
Pay close attention to and respond to potential sales opportunities and clients through comments on your blog and on your social channels. Often this technique is overlooked by companies who don’t have a lot of time or recognize the value of customer service.
It’s important to realize that digital media is a powerful way to connect with your audience and if used properly, your brand’s voice will be amplified tenfold by interactions that can be seen and heard by people all over the digital world.
2. Brand Building
Establishing your brand as a subject matter expert and your business as a credible authority within a particular niche is very important in today’s online landscape.
People perform online research more than ever before, so a combination of search engine ranking and detailed content that is relevant to a particular search or need will help position you ahead of your competition. Post a thought leadership article on LinkedIn or a carefully crafted Tweet, but whatever you do, make sure it’s thoughtfully aligned with your core values.
Create blogs, videos, white papers, ebooks, or other educational information about your industry that offers insight and value for current and prospective clients. The key is to provide something valuable. Don’t be cheap.
Make sure your content is informative and relevant. More content doesn’t necessarily equate to more visits…remember it’s always quality over quantity.
Your Pinterest analytics will tell you exactly which pins are gaining the most traction. The best kind of content marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all; instead it tells a story and appeals to your prospect’s emotions. Consider what problem your product or service solves, and then create content around delivering a compelling story.
Remember when an Excel spreadsheet replaced the old-fashioned rolodex? These days even a smart spreadsheet isn’t going to amplify your prospecting. The gold mine of opportunity that exists with a CRM platform allows you to identify prospects for up-sell or cross-sell, convert existing customers to new products or services, target new marketing, or even track invoices.
Managing your interactions between customers and your business using an automation tool is the best way to monitor, analyze and follow-up upon the metrics delivered by your digital marketing efforts. Different platforms make sense for different size businesses and industries.
For businesses making over $250,000 per year, I highly recommend HubSpot. If your business is making from zero to $250,000, then your best option for marketing automation is ConvertKit.
Last but not least…
Keep in mind that the true art of social media marketing on Pinterest is knowing that it’s not about you, your opinions, your point of view or your circumstances.
It’s about helping others by meeting their needs, understanding their concerns, and adding a valuable solution to their path forward. Have a question about Pinterest? Join my FREE Private Facebook Group: Pinterest Marketing