Day 6 – Facebook Ads

Today I listened to no podcasts because I couldn’t be bothered and I had other things to do.

I’m not sure what I want to learn about today so I am going to open my facebook account and scroll down my feed till I find some business or marketing coach advertisement. I know it will be there.

Webprofits for the win after only 60 seconds of scrolling.

I have opened their website and gone straight to their blog. The one I have chosen is about facebook ads from Singapore companies. Not sure how relevant this will be…

  1. test all your ads on mobile as the text sizes can be reduced there.
  2. retargeting. Meh not applicable to my business.
  3. replicate for different audiences. Going a bit far for me I think.
  4. emotive ads work.
  5. be entertaining.
  6. use the call to action button.
  7. create a quiz rather than a question. This may be helpful as a number of services can’t be advertised on facebook.
  8. contrast catches the eye.
  9. don’t hide things as you are paying for all traffic. Be specific about who you want.
  10. use ads to get reviews. Yeah no fucking way. That is opening a whole heap of trouble.
  11. invest in high quality photos and video of your product.
  12. downloadable resources.
  13. tell a story.
  14. how are you helping people.
  15. put a timeframe to a process e.g. how long to request a quote

Well I was pretty bored by the time I got to number 15 but I’ll look into 7 and 11.

Day 5 – Search Engine Optimisation

Today I listened to a Tony Robbins podcast interview of Connor McGregor. It was entertaining but what I took from it was that you need to be passionate about what and who you are surrounding yourself with. You need to be able to throw yourself into projects 100%. Pretty much the same thing everyone says but a good example of how it can work.

Day 5 I am going to focus on Search Engine Optimisation [SEO]. Specifically I am going to learn what I quickly can off Neil Patel. I always see his adverts on facebook and he looks like a killer. Hard to know though as social media can have that affect, people seeming bigger than they are.

I just completed a quiz on his website which is then to produce a cheat sheet on how to improve my SEO.

Tip 1. Find a shoulder niche. Use Buzzsumo or google news to find high interest topics people in your industry want to read. I put in the topic Brisbane and it came up with Cyclones, a snake licking someones face (LOL) and an amazing wedding photographer. Lots of facebook and Pinterest shares…. I’ll admit I just spend much to much time using Buzzsumo to see what people are sharing and liking. Lots of snakes. Apparently. Overall, this is interesting but not really helpful for my small niche unless I pay Buzzsumo for all their features.

Tip 2. Check out MarketMuse. Basically you can’t just create blogs using keywords anymore, you need AI. So I have put one of my blogs into the website. It’s taking it’s time to get the information together…. It’s producing a content score… and I think I broke it. Not broken, it is actually a pretty good report. I will keep this one in mind. MarketMUSE.

Tip 3. Use LSI graph to create key words. There are a lot of acronyms in this tip and I am just bloody confused about what is going on. I don’t think this is free anymore, or maybe my search topics are too niche. This is a meh from me.

Tip 4. Voice search optimisation. Ugh. At the risk of sounding like someone who doesn’t like change, I don’t think my industry is ready for this yet. Was interesting to read that you should keep things to a 9th grade reading level. Suits me! The part that didn’t suit me was that each page should have a word count of 2312. Ewww.

Tip 5. Have a Q&A that is concise and simple that google can put at the top of a search page.

Tip 6. Create a title question, answer below in a paragraph and then expand. This is best practice.

Tip 7. Use SEMrush to find content on your website that could be improved. I have signed up for 10 free searches. Amazing. I love it. So there are a couple of ways to optimise the information. Increase length to 2000 words, add pictures, adjust formatting to make it scannable, add new information and add some internal links.

There was a heap more in the cheat sheet but I have had enough learnings for today. Done.

Day 4 – Email

Today I listened to 2 Podcasts. The first was Joe Rogan interviewing Robert Oberst who is a strongman. It was entertaining but I didn’t take too much learning from it other than people are being paid to kill iguanas in Florida because they have become pests.

The second podcast I listened to was Episode 267 of the Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield. The episode was called ‘are you known for something specific in your business’. What I took from her was that there is power in niche and that people who have been following your for 3 months or 2 years should be able to articulate what you do. What I didn’t understand though is what actually constitutes a niche as Amy’s example was, don’t try and dabble in tech, fashion and fitness all at once as it is confusing. To me that isn’t about niche but maybe it was a side track thought. She did give a good example of a lady who specialised in helping women lose a specific amount on weight. Which on the opposite scale is niche but that is still such a large audience (no pun intended). I believe my business is already quite niche as I only work with particular projects in a particular locality. I will think on this some more.

I am doing some stalking of Amy Porterfield and her content. First up on her website she gives a few examples of tools she recommends. The skeptic in me assumes these are paid adverts or monetised links. The only one of interest was Meet Edgar which is an automated social media manager. At the moment I use Buffer. I was only interested in Meet Edgar because it said it posted natively, can’t find anything online about it (not that I tried hard) and it is $49 per month whilst Buffer is $10 per month (USD). I don’t think I’ll be changing over anytime soon.

Back to the Porterfield website she doesn’t have too many freebies online in her toolkit, I assume because she focuses on paid courses and the podcast. So I have downloaded her Cheat Sheet for building a email list. 20 Strategies apparently. Let’s get started.

  1. Feature box. This is just an opt in at the top of your website. Meh
  2. Freebie inside a blog post. Content upgrade. I like this might use if I get my shit together.
  3. Pop up boxes. I hate this with a passion. You could tell me I’ll get 10% off and I’ll still click out of it.
  4. Full page pop up. Ehhhh
  5. Landing Page. Could do but nothing revolutionary.
  6. Sidebar advert. Could incorporate I guess.
  7. Slideshare. Looks lame.
  8. Facebook live. Probably good if you do live video of which I do not currently.
  9. Segment by providing more than one offer and letting clients choose what they are interested in. Maybe when I’m making a mill..that is a lot of work.

Ok so apparently that was only 9 items but maybe 20 examples within the document. I feel ripped off (even though it was free) so I’m going to end this now.

Day 3 – Instagram Content

I ended up listening to two Stevie Says Social podcast episodes today while I was driving around. I would have liked something different but bluetooth chose for me and who am I to fight the tech. The first episode was with Clare Wood. I actually saw her name pop up on facebook in a Business Chicks post when she was advertising her podcast, I believe she is a business coach. The podcast was based around Clare growing her instagram engagement and following by experimenting with content in May 2019. I went through her instagram feed and I can’t see a significant difference between May and the previous months, but it is clear that she is now investing in professional photographs of herself and solely posting these with good copy now. She says she is a service based business but in reality, her service is kinda generic and is an on trend topic ‘business coaching’.

I did get a few good snippets though being – profit over revenue, you could have a million dollar business and have less profit than a 100k business. Photos of people get the most engagement and 3% engagement on a profile with a large following is normal, 6% is high.

The second episode I listened too (tbh I only listened to half) was Stevie discussing the online software she used for her business. It kind of sounded like a paid promo for these software companies so whether that is correct or not I quickly lost interest and none of the software was ground breaking for me.

For day 3 I took a look at my current instagram content and undertook some quick research into how I could improve.

Being a serviced based business with no pretty products and a small team I have constantly struggled to find interesting and engaging content for my instagram feed. Previously I just posted things as I felt and had the time for, over the past 2 months however I have had a content plan which is executed by a graphic designer and posted via Buffer. The content plan is something along the lines of 5-7 posts a week inclusive of blogs, podcast promo, completed projects, inspo projects, quotes and a weekly video of me talking about a relevant topic.

I have noticed over the past 2 months that engagement has reduced, followers have slowly increased, but recognition of our brand is at a high and there is an increase of people clicking through to our website. There is always room for improvement though.

At the moment there are two things I think I could incorporate 1. more professional photography 2. more pictures of myself and staff 3. better copy as ours is currently terrible, I don’t put much effort into them. I also think I need to drill down into who my ideal audience is again…for the 40th time in 2 years haha. Whilst writing this I have actually reached out to Clare Wood cause my Co-Star told me I’m an ox in need of a yoke today :p

Today’s google search was “how to improve instagram content for service business”. Sendible is the first blog in a line of many. Their tips are summarised as follows: 1. Use images to creatively show what you do (nothing specific is mentioned) 2. Use insta stories (not very revolutionary) 3. Create a profile bio (omg I am about to fall asleep) 4. Just post a heap of shit till something resonates (I got creative summarising that one) 5. Use hashtags (we covered this in Day 1) 6. Stop. Collaborate. And listen. (Collabs so far have been pretty boring but I’m going to explore this) 7. Build anticipation and exclusivity of new products (I’m bored).

The next article I have read is from the Social Media Examiner, who’s graphics are not my fave but this has been a long running popular site. Here is the summary of this blog: 1. Be a thought leader and include infographics and data-packed videos (This is actually interesting) 2. Be a reliable News source (hmm) 3. Use client success stories to establish trust (have just started doing this but could also improve with more stories) 4. Client quotes (we used to do this a lot but meh. I’m not interested in other peoples) 5. Feature employees (this is always nice but tbh I never look at random company employees, I only like if I know them already) 6. Get employees to post on their personal accounts (awkward…).

My concluding thoughts are that I am going to run a social media comp and see if I can collaborate with other businesses. I am going to post more news and data infographics as I feel our feed is getting a bit feminine.

Day 2 – Hashtags

For general learning today, I listened to Tim Ferris interview Seth Godin on his podcast. It was a pretty good episode and I took away a few key points: “sell what people want to buy”, “if something isn’t working it might be your business model” and that in business we have choices and you have to pick your poison.

My Poison today is going to be hash tagging on instagram. I want to know what hashtags I should be using and if they even matter. As part of my research I listened to the Stevie Says Social Podcast episode 56 and some google searches.

Currently, my hashtag game is pretty weak, this is not an area I have spent too much time considering. Rather I have a set of approximately 20 tags and I use these on each post with maybe a variance of 1 or two new or altered words. I only use tags on instagram, however I have an employee who often copies the hashtags from instagram over to our other social media platforms.

From what I understood of the podcast, hashtags can get you likes but they aren’t going to get you substantial growth if you aren’t using the correct tags as people will follow and then unfollow. If I remember clearly (50/50 chance at time of writing this) I also believe that it was determined that using hashtags on facebook and LinkedIn don’t really work, if anything they will reduce engagement. The overall point of the podcast was to demonstrate that using hashtags should not be the focus for growing a following online and this is one of those 5%er type things where you can use them well and it might give you a 5% edge (I made up this figure).

Sprout Social has a blog on “how to use hashtags on every social media network”. I am already cautious as I think it is in their best interest to make more work for people to keep their platform busy. I do like that they compare hash tagging to categorisation. It is a simplification but I am all about that. Using more than 2 hashtags on Twitter or Facebook = not good. Using 10 hashtags or more seems to lessen engagement but it looks pretty same-same when looking at their graphs. One piece of useful information is they list trends that most companies can use for topical content:

  • “Events and conferences (#WorldCup)
  • Holidays or celebrations #WorldPizzaDay)
  • Popular culture topics (#GameofThrones)
  • Popular hashtags for days of the week (#TBT)
  • General interest topics (#blogging)

I’ll probably be avoiding holidays such as #worldpizzaday though cause, who cares, but the other listed items are useable information.

The article also mentions a few sites where you can have your hashtags found for you and gives you analytics. They are all for twitter and facebook though. Given those two platforms only work with 1 or 2 hashtags I’m not going hard on these but for future reference is interesting.

From my own experience using sites that create hashtags for you, they are pretty hopeless and as the article suggests, it is probably better to go looking for similar content to yours to find relevant hashtags.

I have looked for content similar or related to my business where it is clear a social media expert has been engaged but the hashtags are still very generic. Will give them a go over the next week or two anyway and see how we go.

The best part of the article is using a branded hashtag. We currently use our business name but now I could get creative and make something a little more exciting. For the scale of my business though, this is probably a waste of time and not going to go viral. LOL.

It is interesting to learn that there isn’t any really good analytics for hashtag usage outside of twitter. This in itself makes me question the validity of using the hashtags for legitimate growth rather than ego boosting likes for business that aren’t selling or providing services that are ‘on trend’.

Next I have read an article by CreativelySquared (Jan 18) and they state “on average 5 hashtag views for every 1000 in feed impressions” on instagram. This is pretty shithouse and is worse stats than my estimated 5% figure above. The rest of the article goes on to talk about instagram hashtag theories as no one really knows what the algorithms do. The piece of information I took from this was that it is best practice to use limited hashtags that truely are relevant to your feed and business which means with different content you probably should be mixing up the tags.

In summary: Hashtagging seems to take a lot of work to get it right with minimal pay off. I think I will just come up with 3 # plans and stick to them for a few weeks.

Day 1 – Podcasting

I have started this blog to document my learnings about marketing service based businesses online using websites, social media, youtube and podcasting. I currently run my own small service based business in Australia so this will be my ‘test business’.

I have named the blog, “I have an idea girl” because I literally have a new business idea every 5 minutes but no idea about online marketing.

No idea is probably a stretch though, I have been playing with online marketing for a while with my current business but being a service based industry with a small niche in a small locality it has been a bumpy ride. I am not a trained marketer, I do not have a business degree, I am an industry professional who is very much still vital in the day to day operations and services of my business.

To start this off I thought I would discuss where my small business podcast is at today and do some quick online research into podcasting.

I started my podcast in Australia 15 months ago in 2018. The purpose of the podcast was to be a creative outlet and to help me meet more people within my industry while offering them some value for their time by promoting them. I decided on a format where I interview people within my industry as I found that more exciting than me talking to myself for half an hour about a topic.

I am approximately 16 episodes in with 2000 overall downloads which only averages around 200 downloads a month. I haven’t been very consistent, I took 7 months off there but I have received good feedback within my industry as far as people knowing about the podcast.

Initially I thought this might be an opportunity for revenue by offering adverts to those within the industry or interviewing people who paid to be on the show. I have since decided that I am happy to keep the podcast simple and not monetised.

Each episode costs approximately 4 hours of my time with another 2 hours from a graphic designer. I do the production work outside of my 9-5 hours but ultimately each episode costs approximately $640 if we were working on an hourly basis.

I currently just use two lapel microphones connected to my mobile and record with the ‘voice recorder’ app. This is then processed with an intro and music in Auphonic on my Mac and finalised in Audcity to a MP3. Finally it is uploaded to and sent out to Spotify and iTunes. As far as marketing goes, I just put a small picture and comment about the podcast as one post on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn upon each episodes release.

I started the podcast by meeting with a girl who had been doing podcasting for a while, I paid for her lunch and by talking to a man who also podcasted about the equipment he was using.

It was pretty tough getting the first few interviews, then it became really easy and now it is tough again with many potential interviewees being worried that they “will say the wrong thing and lose clients”. My podcast is nothing controversial but it has been a steep learning curve to find the type of people that interview well.

If you are going to start a podcast the best way to be successful will be to learn from those who have been there, done that. 

There are two places I found that you can go to learn how to start and create the best podcast you can. 

  1. Podcasts – You can pretty much listen to any podcast and take notes on what a good recording sounds like and what a bad recording sounds like. Some of my favourites at the moment are Joe Rogan Experience, How I built this, Stevie Says Social. Podcasts that I go on an off are Garyvee Audio Experience, Entrepreneurs on Fire, Tony Robbins Podcast and Tim Ferris Show. There are a few more sitting in my subscribed list but I am yet to listed to more than one episode.
  2. Online Course – I am yet to do an online course. There are so many people out there selling their ‘expertise’ on subjects, so I am always cautious about paying for online course incase they give me the wrong information. I am thinking about doing a course with John Lee Dumas Not today though 🙂

I have found a lot of content online, blogs etc which talk about how to start a podcast but these are very elementary. I clearly did the old google “how to interview for a podcast” and “how to start a podcast” and this was kind of helpful, but not as helpful as just starting. There is way too much do this and don’t do this out there and it can become overwhelming when you start to consider it all.

The best piece of advice I came across today was from John Lee Dumas stating that no matter what you decide to set your podcast on, make sure it is something you will enjoy and sound passionate about for 1-3 years because podcasting is a marathon not a sprint.