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How to Create Monster Loyalty in Your Fan Base

May 11, 2015

Join us for a free webinar “How to Strategically Build and Maintain Your Audience” on May 28th at 12pm (CST) hosted by best-selling author of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics, Jackie Huba, and Greenleaf's Director of Marketing and Business Development, Ashley Jones. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6407076721264852225 

We will share strategies for authors and experts to: 

  • Define their audience 
  • Effectively reach an audience 
  • Maintain relationships and build loyalty among fans 

Monster-Loyalty-How-Lady-Gaga-Turns-Followers-into-Fanatics

Check out Jackie's speech on creating monster loyalty in your fan base: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8G747MZ5HQ

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The “Everyone is My Audience” Conundrum

May 6, 2015

Join us for a free webinar “How to Strategically Build and Maintain Your Audience” on May 28th at 12pm (CST) hosted by best-selling author of Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics, Jackie Huba, and Greenleaf Director of Marketing and Business Development, Ashley Jones. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6407076721264852225 

Defining-Your-Target-Audience

 

Knowing exactly who needs your expertise and, therefore, who should be your target audience can oftentimes be a challenge. One of the most common errors that authors and experts make is thinking that “everyone” is their audience. While it may be true that just about anyone could benefit from the information that you are sharing, it’s important to consider who would want the information, and who is likely to be most excited about it. For example, just about anyone could benefit from learning how to manage their money, but only a select few will actively seek out that information.

 

As an expert who is looking to build an excited and engaged audience, the best people to attract are the ones who will not only be interested in your content but will also be so enthusiastic about it that they help to promote your brand and recommend you to others. Think about it: If you could dedicate resources to gaining one audience member who then shares your content with their entire social network, or you could dedicate the same resources to gaining ten fans who “like” you on Facebook but don’t recommend you to others, which is the better investment? 


For most experts, this is a simple calculation. A dedicated and excited fan is much more valuable over the long-term.

 

The biggest question is how to identify and communicate with that audience of engaged, excited fans. I recommend a fairly simple exercise to start narrowing down your target audience. The more specific you can be, the easier and less expensive it will be to communicate with them.

 

Let’s go through some initial steps to defining your target audience using an example brand. This brand is focused on helping people to learn how to exercise more effectively.

 

Step One: Identify who could be your audience.

For our exercise brand, we start with the widest possible audience. We know that just about everyone should be exercising, so most people have the potential to be in the target audience for general information about exercise. People who we could exclude are elite athletes, who probably already know how to exercise very effectively, and people who should not be exercising for health reasons.

 

That’s a pretty wide audience, and trying to communicate with everyone who could possibly be part of that audience will not be very effective—it’s expensive and lacks focus.

 

Step Two: Identify who is most likely to be a part of your audience.

Sure, 90 percent of the population could be part of the audience for our exercise book, but we can quickly eliminate quite a few people from our list due to the likelihood of them seeking out information about exercise. First, we might do some research and find out that the audience for most exercise books is in the 18­–55 age range. People outside that range may be interested in your content, but they are the exception, not the rule. Next, it is unlikely that someone who goes to the gym once a year is going to be looking for information about improving their workout. It might be a good idea to say that the target audience has to have a demonstrated interest in fitness. A good test of that is how often they exercise. Given that information, perhaps we’re looking at people who are 18–55 years of age and exercise at least three times per week. That’s a much more focused market than what we had already, but still a big one.

 

Step Three: Who will love your content?

While lots of people may be at least somewhat interested in your content, the truth is that there is a narrow group who will be very excited about it. That will be the group who becomes your most valuable audience and that’s who you want to influence how you develop.

 

In the case of our exercise book, we might look at the types of exercises being covered—the advice could apply to anyone who works out, but perhaps the advice is most useful to runners. Alternatively, perhaps the author has tremendous credentials in the realm of weight lifting and can speak, in particular, to that community.

 

If the advice in the content requires special equipment, or for the readers to be at a certain level of fitness, then it’s important to consider who all can be a viable target for that information (who can afford access to the equipment, and who is fit enough to benefit from the information).  


With this in mind, our exercise book audience may look something like this: People who are 18–55, work out at least three times per week, have a mid to high income, and have a membership at a gym.

 

This simple and fairly intuitive line of thinking will help you to come up with a good picture of your target market. While some of the assumptions above are fairly safe, the next step is to test your theories and back up any assumptions with research. After all, you’re going to invest both time and money into reaching this audience, so it’s a good idea to verify your assumptions before investing.

 

In next week’s blog post, I’ll offer some ideas on how to do simple research on your target audience, which will help to verify that you are talking to the right people and determine the best way to reach them.

 

Don’t forget to register for our FREE webinar where we’ll take a deeper dive into building a dedicated audience:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6407076721264852225 

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The Power of Great Content to Boost Your Brand: Webinar Recap

April 24, 2015

Did you miss last week's webinar on SEO and leveraging content? No worries. We've got you covered! Click the link below for the full recording. 

SEO Optimization

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc9clfFQr8o

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Content and SEO: One Big Secret to Improve Your Discoverability

April 23, 2015

Join us for a free webinar “The Power of Great Content to Boost Your Brand” on April 23rd at 1pm (CST) hosted by Greenleaf Brand Strategist, Elizabeth Barrett. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6848011670983740161 

 SEO-Content-Discoverability

 

This month we’ve examined the power of great content, both as a way to build your platform assets and as a way to promote your business. However, there is also power behind strong content as a way to boost your discoverability in online searches.


What is SEO?

Showing up in a Google search is key to increasing traffic to your website and gaining exposure for your brand. Search engine optimization (or SEO) is a crucial part of this process and offers a collection of strategies that can improve the visibility of your website or blog in organic (or unpaid) search results. In other words, SEO includes tips and tricks for getting your site to rank as high as possible (ideally on page one) when people search online for something you have to offer.


What’s the connection between SEO and strong content?

There are many SEO strategies, and a significant number involve keyword selection. Keywords are words (or phrases) that describe what your book/business/speeches/etc. are all about. The goal is to choose keywords that accurately describe your offerings, but that also have a high rate of search frequency. If you have great content that is interesting and timely, it is likely that people will be searching for the information you have at hand. If you are able to provide creative solutions to common problems and then use keywords in the body, tags, and headers of your content, you will be able to alert search engines that you have the answers being sought, and your website will be discovered more easily by your target audience.   


So what’s the big secret?

While SEO keyword selection, as described above, is nothing particularly new, there is a powerful way to leverage it, and this technique is not always considered or utilized by content creators.

THE SECRET: Structure your keyword selection within a sales funnel in order to reach your audience at every phase of their decision-making process. 


What is a sales funnel?

When people get online and start searching for help, essentially a sales funnel has started. Unknowingly, these people may be searching for solutions that will eventually end in a conversion of some sort – perhaps a purchase or newsletter signup or event registration.

The three levels of the sales funnel are:

Awareness à Consideration à Purchase

In the Awareness phase, a person is feeling a pain point and searching for help, but they don’t necessarily know what the solution is yet. For example, a keyword at this phase could be “Living Paycheck to Paycheck.”

In the Consideration phase, the person has learned enough to now be searching for a specific solution. To keep going with our example, this person has now figured out that he needs a new job in order to make more money, so a keyword here could be “Career Change at 40.”

In the Purchase phase, the person is ready to become a customer through purchase or participation. For our example, a keyword could be “Career Planning Books.”

 

How can I apply this to my platform?

If you were an author who had written a book on career planning, our example person above is your perfect customer. And it is likely that you may already be utilizing the keyword “Career Planning Books” since this would be an obvious selection for your SEO list. However, you may have forgotten to include the keywords that this person was using towards the beginning of the sales funnel – and you would have missed out on a great opportunity.

By using keywords from the Awareness and Consideration phases, you could have reached this person earlier in his decision-making process, before he even realized that he wanted a book. By writing a blog post titled “How to Change Careers at 40” or by using this keyword as a back-end blog tag, your content could have potentially popped up in his search results and converted him to a customer sooner.

A last point to consider is that by the time a person reaches the Purchase phase, there are normally a lot of competitors vying for their business, and they might end up becoming a customer for someone else. Stop waiting until people are ready to buy and then fighting for their attention. By using SEO keywords across the sales funnel, and offering great content to convince them of your expertise, you will be able to expand your site’s discoverability, reach larger audiences amidst lower levels of competition, and convert online searchers to fans of your brand.

 

Don’t forget to register for our FREE webinar where we’ll take a deeper dive into the power of great content:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6848011670983740161


 

 

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4 Reasons Why Your Book is the Ultimate Business Card

April 9, 2015

Join us for a free webinar “The Power of Great Content to Boost Your Brand” on April 23rd at 1pm (CST) hosted by Greenleaf Brand Strategist, Elizabeth Barrett. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6848011670983740161 

4-Reasons-Why-Your-Book-is-the-Ultimate-Business-Card

In my last blog post, I discussed the power of content to jump from the pages of your book to the assets of your platform. The ability to repurpose high-quality, diverse content into platform entry points is a powerful means to connect with readers in new and different ways.


However, great content is also powerful because it can enhance your credibility as a thought leader and can serve as a way to promote your additional lines of business. Although a nicely printed business card with a slick logo still serves to enhance the perception of your work, publishing a book is an even more powerful and impressive way to stand apart from the crowd and strengthen your brand.


1) A book gets your name out there

Within the publishing world it’s a best practice that most books are (or should be) accompanied by publicity – both online and in print. So once your book is published, you can count on having your name appear not only on the shelves of bookstores and in Amazon title listings, but also within national PR coverage including media mentions, interviews, and reviews. This visibility means that people who have never done business with you before, and that may never have found you otherwise, will suddenly be seeing your name associated with a thick volume of impressive knowledge – a perfect way to market your expertise. In addition, media coverage and the back cover of a book are also perfect places to list URLs for your company website and/or social channels, so that interested readers (and potential new clients) can be driven back to your digital hubs to learn more about what your business can offer.

 

2) A book sets you apart in your field

Being a published author is clearly beneficial as a way to cast the net and spread awareness of your name to new audiences, but it is also beneficial because of what it conveys about you – that you are a proven leader in your field. Publishing a book can serve as a differentiator and enable authors to establish their expertise among competitors who have not captured their wisdom in a book. When searching for a consultant, advisor, strategist, or trusted resource, clients are well advised to only hire the best, and having a book can enable your business to jump to the top of their list.

 

3) A book can lead to speaking opportunities

The stage is a natural place for thought leaders to spread their ideas. However, there are often barriers to entry at top conferences and events. Once again, just like clients searching to hire the best consultant, conference organizers must ensure that they only bring in top experts that can truly offer value when speaking to registered attendees. One way to narrow down the search is to see whether a speaker has also published a book. By having this asset, it becomes clear that a speaker has a solid thesis, a well-thought-out message, and is capable of telling a story that is captivating enough to keep a reader interested. A book sends the message that you can shine on a stage, and can result in speaking offers and a chance to grow your audience, your business, and your revenue even further.

 

4) A book can cross-promote other products and services

Finally, in addition to book sales, consulting fees, and speaking gigs, there are other ways to monetize ideas through content offerings such as workshops, online classes, training seminars, webinars, and whitepapers. Having a book serves to both hook a customer’s interest in your topic and leave them wanting more, while also reflecting highly on the quality of your ancillary products. If your book is compelling, it’s likely that your other products will be too. A book serves to cross-promote and enhance your brand, assuring clients that when they engage with your business, they can expect the best. 

 

Don’t forget to register for our FREE webinar where we’ll take a deeper dive into the power of great content:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6848011670983740161

 

 

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