I consider every 500 anything to be a milestone. Every number counts. A sister hit me up in my inbox about any suggestions I would have in starting a YouTube Channel. I knew that whatever I told her would help others as well.
Before we get to point #2, you must first have good content. I didn’t say perfect content. You don’t need perfect lighting, space,ect. You just need to make sure that what you’re talking about is something people would tune into and watch. Talk about what you know and focus on that. One video did that for me. I did a video on how to start you own mug and journal business. That one video has almost 9K views and counting. I made a video on something that I knew well and was something people were searching for. I am currently at 670 subscribers. I get about 2-3 subscribers a day. To me, that’s exciting because these are complete strangers. That’s the amazing thing about YouTube. I value YouTube subscribers as far as engagement more than all social media platforms. The attention span is wider and it’s real people watching this content. Because of this, you need to make sure that you’re not creating pointless content. I’ll be the one to say what most won’t. Don’t make video content about random stuff unless you’re a comedian or personality that is built on doing random things. Most people aren’t. Let’s just be honest. Care about the content you make and only make content that you can run with. Whatever content you make is the composition of your YouTube Channel. People come to channels for a specific reason. The best channels serve a particular purpose, even if you’re a personality (people come to you for your personality).
Also, don’t forget to do videos when certain things are trending that match your expertise or your channel’s purpose. For instance, when certain people, celebrities, events, are trending in the world, do an awesome video that pulls that attention to your channel.
Here are some other tips as well when it comes to content…
- Keep your videos between 5-10 minutes ideally. My most popular video is 21 minutes. I’ll be honest, that’s a miracle. I’m going to be creating more content like this but shorter.
- Have an outline and plan for your videos. Don’t “freestyle” unless that’s the whole purpose behind the video.
- Don’t record last minute. This is a trap. I used to be a big procrastinator. I would try and do things in speed. It’s better to spend a weekend of free time recording and then spending the following week editing and then uploading. Work ahead of schedule.
- Don’t try to be perfect. Just start. Who has time to wait for “the perfect time”. Not I. My most popular video was shot when it was dark outside and on my laptop and the quality is not great and I think I looked a hot mess. It’s my most popular video that I did just on a whim.
This is the one thing I’m working on still. My goal is to ramp up my channel’s upload consistency. Once subscribers start coming, give them content. However, don’t over promise and under deliver. If you can only do one video a week, do that. However, don’t come out the gate saying that you will post twice or three times a week. Once you factor in editing the video and more, it’s a time eater. Put yourself on an easy schedule and stick to it.
3. Make It Look Nice
To be honest, you don’t have to that much as a beginner. No one is expecting you to have the quality production of a channel with 2 million viewers. However, you don’t have to start at the bottom either. Here are my tips for how to spruce up your channel visually.
- Use Canva.com for your YouTube video thumbnails. They have templates sized for your videos and they are very easy to customize. You can also use Canva to create a YouTube channel art backdrop. This is the artwork that sits on your channel page at the top.
- If you don’t have money for a good camera, use your phone and invest in a tri-pod from Amazon that has a mount for a phone or tablet. I record from my laptop as well. Once you saved up some coins, invest in a good camera. Shop around and ALWAYS research and look at reviews.
- If you look at the screenshot above, you’ll see my social media links & website located at the bottom right. You can add those links using the “About” tab located on your channel page (see image below).
- Take advantage of the description box. I just recently updated mine. Instead of having to insert a standard description every time, you can use the Upload Defaults under the Channel Tab in Creator Studio. I’ve included a screenshot. If you notice in the photo, I have a set description with a line at the top. The reason for this is that when I upload my video, I can place specifics above the line and then have my standard description below that tells them more about me & what I do. People will read the description box. It’s a “YouTube” thing.
- When using music, use music from YouTube’s Free Library located here: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music. You can download any track you desire and use it in your videos. This is very important because if you use music that is protected by the artist, you may be able to still use it but you can’t monetize your videos. Monetization is how you can make money off of people using your videos. You can choose to make your channel monetized in the settings.
Well that’s it for now. For me doing a video on a topic that was highly searched was pivotal. Also, providing more videos surrounding my expertise or channel purpose also helps. I obtained my 500+ subscribers organically. I didn’t do any ads and I also don’t promote it that much within my tribe, ect. The reason why was because I wanted to first see could I get strangers to support my platform who didn’t know me. The answer: Yes.
I’ll be providing more tips. Until then, stay consistent and create good content!
After laboring over a book for some time, it can seem easy to simply drop it on social media and tell everyone that it is available. However, that is the worst thing you can do for book sales. I want to give you five ways you can improve or plan to market your book effectively as a Christian author where your genre is non-fiction.
Before we jump into these tips, make sure you have created a marketing plan that is planned in advance. Plan all content in advance and start with thinking about how you can integrate my strategies for you.
#1: Bring Your Audience Behind the Scenes & Build Up A Hashtag
Instead of announcing your book once it’s finished, bring people along the journey without revealing too many details. A great way to do this is to start conversations about the topic that your book surrounds to stir up conversation and interest. Post correlating scriptures and content that match the theme. When you post the content, use a hashtag. The hashtag doesn’t have to be the name of the book but it should be a hashtag that correlates to the theme. This tip will not work if you want to go half-way on interaction. This only works if you desire to really engage your followers throughout the process.
#2 Create Powerful Landing Page to Capture Sales
While you’re working on engaging the audience and getting them to talk/be involved, work on your website or do a landing page within your site. I get asked many times about if purchasing a website just for a new book is necessary. It really depends on your marketing strategy and also if you believe that the name is very unique to the point that someone else may publish content that is similar. Having a website that is just for the book helps focus attention solely on the book and nothing else. In my opinion, if you did a site plus domain, the average investment would be around $150-$200 for a full year. If you don’t make that money back from your book sales, you may need to figure out if you need to readjust your sales strategy.
Now what should be on the site or landing page? Here are some ideas:
- Summary of the book
- Video including story & impact of the book
- Author Bio w/Professional Headshot
- What void or issue this book addresses & the solutions that it brings
- Testimonials/Endorsements (Send your book to a few people that you respect & that can bring credibility to your book)
- Graphics/Quotes that can be shared on social media
- Where Book Can Be Purchased (If directly through the site, make sure e-commerce is setup)
- Freebie Opt-In (They provide their email, you provide a sample of book + resource)
- Mockup (Graphic) of the book
Here are some examples of book stand-a-lone sites:
Here are some examples of book landing pages within websites:
#3: Present a Pre-Order Deal & Bundles
Pre-Orders are amazing. I love pre-order bundles even more. The strategy behind this is presenting people an incentive to place their orders before the books drop. This helps you have some cash flow to order your first batch of books. It also gets people excited because by pre-ordering they will receive things that people who wait until the book drops won’t get.
So let’s say the book is $12.99. If they pre-order, they can get the book, t-shirt, and wristband for $30/$35. You can also do bundles if you have previous books out and you want to provide a bundle where they get a few of your previous books plus your new book for a bundle deal. If you don’t want to increase on price, you can do the book plus a free digital item such as an e-book, audio download, worksheet, wallpaper,ect.
Here is a list to help:
- Audio Download
- Apparel/Accessory Item (T-Shirt, Hoodie, Wristband)
- Video Teaching/Course
#4: Create Curriculum or Online Video Courses to Further Push Concepts of the Book
One of the greatest ideas that I saw came from Steven Furtwick and the Free Online Bible Study he did via his book Unqualified. It involved portions directly from the book causing many people to purchase the book because in order to fully understand, you needed the book. I loved it! It offered a free way for people to get engaged with the author and the book. It included the video, study questions, and scriptures along with the matching chapter. This was launched along with the book so it was obvious he took out enough time to schedule and get together this content. This is why there is no need to ever rush a book. Never.
Another idea came from John Bevere who launched an online course entitled “Called”. It’s based upon a chapter from his newest book “Driven by Eternity”. It’s an online 10 module course that was built using the platform called Kajabi. This is a great way to dive further into particular concepts of the book. This was offered as a paid course.
One of the most popular things that I absolutely love is expanding your book to be a resource for churches. This strategy isn’t for everyone because in order to do this, you’re going to have to pitch and present your book as something that can be used for curriculum. First, you need to create a separate book as a bible study guide that can be used by small groups, individuals, and churches. If you want to go a step further, you can accompany those books by including videos that match each chapter. These videos need to be professionally shot.
#5: Create Challenges, Campaigns, and Strategic Online/Physical Events
I know everybody wants to do a book tour. I get it. However, do you have a strategic plan behind why this is necessary? If so, go for it. However, make sure every move is strategic. You have to know where your audience is and what will work best for them. I often suggest to balance physical with virtual or online events. Once a book is released, many authors stop going hard. You have to keep the momentum going. Create online free challenges linked to the book that you can layout via an email marketing platform and then do a Facebook Ad to engage people to join the challenge. Do online social media campaigns promoting the book indirectly. Telling people to “buy”, “buy”, “buy” won’t work. You have to fill the void. The book itself isn’t what fills the void. It’s the content itself. If I’m writing on how to fix broken marriages, I need to do some challenges or social media campaigns discussing how to heal broken marriages. I should probably post encouragement about scriptures or tips on how to do these things. I should also address the challenges that couples are facing who are going through this. You have to meet the people where they are before they place your book in the shopping cart and purchase. As much as I love book signings, try to make your event more than you signing your name. It should be educational, fun, and engaging. Shift the focus from purchase to empowerment and being transformed.
Have any further questions about how to market your book? Drop your questions below in the comment area and I’ll be sure to respond!
People are always asking me about how did I convert my followers on social media into clients, customers, and loyal fans. That’s an awesome question and I wanted to dive into this topic before I go into it heavier in March. Here are five tips to get started building your tribe.
1. Make It Clear What You Do
The worst thing to have is a confused presence. I bring creativity and strategy to Business & Ministry. I recently refreshed my tagline to make it even clearer. After answer the “What”, go into the “How”. I bring creativity and strategy through technology and design implementation including organizational systems to make sure these target goals are reached. You should be able to explain what you do in under 2 minutes. However, it shouldn’t be so broad that you sound like what you do can be done by everybody.
2. Be Professional but Be Yourself
Social Media should reflect your reality. I know many people fake it. However, try to keep what you do as real as possible by being yourself. Your social media and online website should reflect who you are and what you’re passionate about. On the same level, you will never attract a tribe if you are all over the place in mindset and deed. Depending on your craft and what you look to be, be careful of what you say and how you say it. Some posts are extremely personal and should be kept off of social media. Never try to attack someone on social media using your platform that would discredit your own character and keep any beef or personal drama off of your feed. In the words of a famous teenage girl who was on Dr.Phil recently, “Catch Me Outside. How about that?”. If you have any beef, take it outside and not on social media. Leaders know how to correctly manage their emotions. People are looking to follow someone they can look up to and not down on.
3. Be A Resource
Believe it or not, everyone who has a massive following is a resource. You probably would be surprised to know that Kim Kardashian is actually a real resource. Even people who may have very side eye professions are providing a resource. Any time you give your tribe what they need, they see you as a resource, good or bad. For my tribe, they come to me for business and ministry advice. However, I don’t cover everything when it comes to business and ministry. I cover leadership and the creative and startup realm of business and ministry. You’ll notice that most of my tools and resources address those aspects. No matter what, make sure you give your tribe what they need and want. Keep the content coming in various ways.
4. Convert Like Crazy
A real tribe converts into coins. What’s the point of followers if they don’t support you in the end? In my opinion, people invest what they truly believe in. I don’t care what anyone says. Will you buy my book? Will you get the knowledge that has the price tag on it? My social media & website platforms are to provide free help via my blog, podcast, challenges, and webinars, and have that convert into paid coaching, paid consultations, paid webinars, and books being sold. Make it easy for people to purchase your items and please have an email list. It’s 2017. You should know how many true supporters you have. Email Marketing is still alive and well.
5. Remember That It Isn’t A Sprint
Stop sprinting as a business owner. You’ll remain just a hobby and you won’t build a tribe. Building a tribe is a lifetime thing. It took me three years to get to where I am now and people have been following me for those three years. I am about dedicating myself to writing and providing resources. Don’t go hard for 30 days and then stop providing help to people. Continuously show up and show out. I’m working on providing three major webinars this year and I’ve already received hundreds of people for my first one of this year. I’m working on providing challenges all this year and collaborations to help my tribe. Your tribe consists of real people. Like I said before, give them what they want. They are waiting on you!
Want to dive deeper into tribe building, don’t worry. I have a 31 Day Challenge coming in March for $31 that is going to transform how you build your tribe. Interested? Email my team at [email protected] and we’ll add you onto the list before the crowd fills up these seats.
You have a product but you need exposure. You have friends and family but they already know about what you are selling. You need massive brand awareness and inventory to leave your office or store. Maybe you provide a service and you’ve been trying to promote via your own social media channels, Facebook Ads, and more but you need to latch onto a larger audience.
That’s where influencer marketing comes into play. What is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is when brands pay or send free product to someone who has influence over a targeted community to persuade them to become interested about a product. There is very large shift happening in our world right now in marketing period. We’re living in a time where marketers are having to find other avenues besides TV to get products or services in front of their desired audience. YouTube along with other major social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook have become platforms where influencer marketing is happening.
Influencers are individuals who have built up a following over time and people trust what they have to say. Don’t believe it? Let’s look at a few statistics.
- 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube. (Source)
- 96% of people believe that the advertising industry does not act with integrity—69% of these people attribute their mistrust to the advertisers’ desire to sell more effectively. (Source)
- 49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions. (Source)
Here’s an infographic showcasing influencer marketing via Twitter.
So now that we’ve established that influencer marketing is big, let’s jump into what you need to look for in an influencer and how you can connect to them.
- An influencer is someone who has built up a “tribe” or a following with a targeted purpose. People don’t follow Kim Kardashian for tech tips and small business advice. Kim is fashion and beauty. You have to gauge how influencers influence. For instance, I’m not a mother so sending me children’s clothing to use for my 2 year old daughter (that doesn’t exist) won’t be the best marketing move. However, the influencer may be a mother but if they don’t highlight their children that much then the audience probably won’t be so moved when little Aubrey is wearing your clothing from your children’s boutique. Look at who is showcased many times on their profile to get an idea of what kind of items you can pitch for them to promote.
- An influencer is someone who is dedicated to their platform and engaging their following. Influencers don’t need to state that they are influencers. It’s clearly shown. They are focused on providing high quality photos, good content, and more to engage their audience. You may think that Roxy is just obsessed with selfies and vain but she’s moving in strategy. Her followers follow her for her beauty, style, and more. However, there’s a whole world of different influencers who have all sorts of niches from tech to cooking to dogs to business and more. There are influencers who have a targeted focus and then there are influencers who just have a large following just because. It’s better to start with targeted audiences and then work your way out.
- Know what level or type of influencer they are. This may be a hard pill to swallow for those who are influencers themselves but you have to know your lane and the influence you yield. There are influencers and then micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are those with a smaller platform but still provide major engagement. For instance, I’m a micro-influencer. When platforms approach me about doing affiliations, referral codes, or showcasing products or systems, they aren’t expecting me to produce at the same level someone with 30K or 100K or even 500K would produce. There are levels to this. Don’t try to go for large accounts first. Start small and work your way up (not too small but enough so that you have some promised ROI).
- Only connect with influencers who care about their platform and have knowledge of their base. Ask for a list of other brands they have worked with and look at their past posts, videos,ect. to get a gauge on if they truly know how to influence others. You can have a large platform but lack engagement. Are people commenting? What does the data reveal? Remember that you’re running a business and not a give-a-way.
Now let’s get into how to create a strategy…
- What’s the plan? Before you start connecting with any influencer, you need to first figure out what you want from them and what you want to promote. This is the most vital step before you begin this whole process. Look at your products and figure out which one(s) would be best to promote. Are you trying to get rid of inventory so you’re promoting discounted products? Are you trying to promote a new product? Are you providing the influencer with a discount code to give out to her audience or not? What is your budget for influencer marketing? What platforms would you like for them to promote on? Instagram with a photo? YouTube with a demonstration, unboxing, or try-on/haul video? Snapchat with a story featuring your product? Twitter with a photo or special link?
- Who Are Your Influencers? Now that you have a plan, it’s time to connect. Don’t harass influencers. Get to know them. This is important because you want to be a good judge of character and making sure that this person fits your brand and what it stands for. Start connecting with them via comments and then start making the business connection. Gather up your list using some kind of cloud system or a customer management platform such as Hubspot or Zoho CRM where you can have a complete directory of all of your influencers. Include their contact information, platforms, your engagement activity with them, and more.
- Make The Connection for the Project. Get their email address and send a professional proposal of what you would like to do via marketing project. Make it personal. There is nothing worse than a generic email. Talk about how you enjoy their platform and state how exactly your brand matches with their brand. Suggest some ideas of how you think this partnership would be successful. Ask them if they have any further ideas or input to market the product and of course discuss money. Some influencers will accept money & free product or just free product. Also, do not forget to include in your email information about your brand with links, videos, or anything that would be helpful.
- Packing the Product or Service. When you send your product via physically or digitally, make sure the influencer has enough to promote with. You can provide them with a script or just some keywords or information that you think will be helpful. Don’t be too much of a control freak though. Influencer Marketing goes best when the influencer is themselves so allow them to do what they do but give them some information just in case they need more. Make sure that the packaging for physical products is awesome. They are presenting your product to the world. Be ready. Remember that the audience is expecting that same treatment. I’ve seen horrific comments on platforms where the influencer received an amazing product but then their audience received crappy versions of the same thing.
- Track the Investment. When you connect with an influencer, it’s best to provide some way to track the result of the partnership. I recommend some kind of discount code that’s linked to the project that their audience can enter. This is a great way to track if it was all worth it in the end. You can also set up a referral link as well. Depending on your commerce platform, you can go even deeper by providing them with a link that tracks all engagement. Be sure that you have Google Analytics set up on your site so that you can receive more data in regards to the incoming traffic.
Here is a link to a FREE E-book from HubSpot on Influencer Marketing!
Have you used influencers for recent projects? Are you an influencer? Do you have any further insight you would like to add? Be sure to share your comments below!
I wish I could tell you that this was an obvious one. However, I’ll never forget when an acquaintance came to me asking if I would “sell” my followers over to their list. The first thing that popped into my head was: “Why do they need email subscribers like that?”.
First of all, selling your email list is illegal. So I’m glad we got that out of the way. The second thing is that people ignore building up their future client or audience list.
Here is a perfect example. It’s 2 a.m. and you’re fast asleep. Sally is surfing the web and because she’s in California it’s only 11 p.m. for her. She finds your Instagram or Twitter profile and is loving your social media pages. She clicks the link in your bio (because of course your website link is there-duh!). She’s loving your products/services/ect. but maybe she’s not an instant buyer.
But OH NO! There isn’t a “stay connected” or “subscribe today” opt-in for her to type in her email address. If Sally really loves your brand, she might bookmark your site. However, most people don’t. You wake up in the morning as the roosters sing their song (or maybe that’s just your weird alarm app you downloaded). You have a new product that’s coming out and your only plan is social media. What about Sally? How can you get in contact with Sally? What if Sally isn’t on the ‘gram or with her “twitter peeps” and misses your announcement that you put out to social media?
Some people tell me that email is becoming extinct. Yeah right. The minute Zara tells me that they are having a sale, my fingers are already moving at 50 mph. Guess how I found out? Through email. Remember that email is not the most important but it is what I call a “connection layer”. There are 7 levels of interaction and one of them is through email marketing. It’s another layer to the experience of the current or potential customer/visitor/audience participant.
Where can you start?
MailChimp and MadMimi are free. Mailchimp is my favorite for small brands with small budgets.
I’ve also used the free plan from Benchmark for other brands I’ve worked with. However, Benchmark has a BIG con. They don’t allow you to add subscribers yourself. They have to use the opt-in link or box that you place on your site or social media pages. This is big issue for those of us who have friends or network buddies who are just like, “add me to your list”. However, if you’re a brand that doesn’t have those worries, then check out Benchmark.
Other great ones with premium plans? Constant Contact, Aweber, Campaigner, and Vertical Response are other companies that you can check out that offer trials but are paid plans afterwards.
Here are my quick tips for your email list & building subscribers:
1. Promote people to subscribe via your social media pages with a graphic. If your brand doesn’t have a website yet, use the website link space to place your sign-up link for email subscribers. This is a great way to send people somewhere so that they can be added as someone interested in your brand. When your brand launches, you’ll have a nice platform of interest established.
2. Give your email subscribers first pick or choice for events and so forth. This gives people who haven’t signed up a reason to sign up even more! Another huge thing is to offer a “freebie” as a gift for joining your email list. Take a previous or old blog post and turn it into an e-book. (I’ll be doing a blog post/video on this soon for just our Business Babes!)
3. Don’t oversend! Sending emails all day will turn your subscribers into unsubscribers! If you are an online boutique, send daily sales. However, don’t send an email every day if you have nothing to say. Also, get creative with what you send. Everything doesn’t always have to be about BUY BUY BUY! Maybe send some inspiration one day. Highlight another business or someone who motivates you another day. Then, spend 1-2 days out of the week discussing your products and what you have for people. The worst thing to do is to oversell yourself out of a business. People don’t want to be forced to buy something. Make it fun!
(Originally written for BusinessBabesOnline.com)
Hello amazing people!
Well it’s time that we had a little talk about Instagram.
Yes. We know that it’s become a HUGE way of gaining an audience, customers, and loyal fans. However, here are some tips & updates for you to keep in mind!
1. Should personal accounts & business accounts be as one?
It depends on your brand. If you are your brand then it can work. However, be careful how “real” you keep it on your business accounts. Some things shouldn’t be shared for your own good and privacy. All business accounts should be PUBLIC unless there is a specific reason why. Keep your personal account locked or unlocked. However, it’s really crazy when I want to see a product and their IG account is private. You just lost me as a customer. You now have given the customer the expectation that they are going to remember your brand so much to check back to see if you accepted their request.
2. What should be in my Instagram Bio?
Awesome Question! Keep it real and keep it short! Your bio should be able to answer the following… 1) Who are you? 2) What do you do? 3) How can I get in contact with you?
If we’re talking about this from a business account/personal brand standpoint, every bio should have a link. If you don’t have a website, think about setting up an About.me page or adding a link to another social media page like your Facebook or Twitter so that people can connect further. If you are working on a site launch, think about adding your email marketing sign-up form link.
3. How do I build my followers?
This is something that is a tricky one. Would you rather have people that added to your count or people that added to your pockets? The goal is to reach your targeted demographic. Awareness is how you build up your followers. Think about collaborating with other IG accounts for features, giveaways, ect. Stop asking people to shout you out. That’s lazy. Also, using hashtags that fit your market is a great way to create some buzz around your posts. Don’t go overboard but do think about the best ones to add as the caption to your photos. Also, people will follow you if you have something they think is beneficial.
4. How do I create a beautiful profile?
Photography is the beauty of Instagram. However, it depends on how you want to use your account. I personally am investing in a camera and will be turning my IG account into a more photography focused account. Use the captions to say what you desire. The worst types of accounts are the ones where there are barely any pictures unless your account is one of motivational wall quotes. However, I suggest that you mix it up (a few quotes here with some pictures sprinkled throughout the week). Also, do a spring cleaning of your profile every now and then and get rid of content that doesn’t align to your brand anymore.
5. Is there any such thing as Instagram Manners?
This is important for you and your customers/followers. Be sure to establish boundaries. If you do or don’t allow people to send questions via DM, make sure that is stated along with where they can send questions. I was in the Business Babes IG account a few days ago and I was looking at our DM message requests (over 100). One young woman asked us to give her a shout out because we were a brand that supported women. I felt so bad for her because that’s not how you pitch yourself as far as being promoted. Contact us via email with a proper introduction about you and your brand. All of this goes for your brand as well. Don’t DM people asking personal questions about their business or about collab opportunities. Send an email! It’s very important to be professional even on social media. Now as far as certain questions, I will answer them on the ‘gram. However, you won’t find someone interviewing me for their magazine in my comment section. No bueno.
6. Can I Have Fun on Instagram?
This is probably my #1 rule! Be sure to make your Instagram profile fun and inviting. Spice it up with some humor and let people get to know the people behind the brand. People want to connect to people. The human touch is so vital and essential to branding. Have fun with your pages and make some real and amazing connections! Instagram has blessed me in so many ways, I couldn’t even count. I met my best friend off of Instagram and my ministry blew up almost overnight due to this platform. This is the same app that connected me to new customers, opportunities, and connections just off of a “tag” or a mention.
(Originally written for BusinessBabesOnline.com)