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How to Get Ready for Holiday Content

Creating for brands’ marketing during the holiday season is a bittersweet experience. It’s one of the industry’s busiest times of the year, while also being one of the most fun and festive! Ready to get in the holiday spirit? Read on to discover five ways to incorporate the holidays into your content strategy!

HOST A GIVEAWAY

There’s no better way to celebrate the season of giving than with a giveaway. These contests are a great way to gain recognition, followers, and business on social media platforms. Our biggest tip when doing this is to collaborate with other brands.

BE FESTIVE AND RELATABLE

If you follow me on Instagram, you know we love a good meme. Find GIFs or iconic photos that relate to your niche and the season (you can find great ones on giphy.com!). Not only is this content entertaining, but it’s also shareable and a great way to reach new audiences. If you’re having trouble creating visuals, source ones that you can repost!

If you’re looking to *add a little bit of spice* (TikTok reference, anyone??), utilize the power of copy! Research puns related to all things holidays: Christmas, snow, elf, Santa, etc. Being punny is a great way to bring a smile to your audience’s face.

SHARE A GIFT GUIDE FEATURING YOUR PRODUCTS

Another festive way to include the holidays in your social media content is by creating a gift guide featuring your products! If you are a skincare brand, for instance, consider creating a gift guide for women filled with products to promote relaxation. You could include a robe, candle, tea, and more! But ultimately remember to include your products in the guide. This is a great way to be “salesy,” while still providing additional value for your audience.

RELEASE A FREEBIE

Gift your audience this year by releasing a valuable freebie that serves their needs. This is a great way to show audience appreciation. The freebie can be about anything and everything, but it’s always extra fun and relevant if it’s timely! Consider creating a content calendar to get them through the end of the year. Your audience will be grateful to have a new resource to add to their collection. Plus, if they find it valuable, they will likely be more open to purchasing another resource from you in the future.

I hope this blog post was helpful for you in getting your content calendar ready for the holidays. If you want to get in touch about your holiday marketing you know where to reach me! Psssst…It’s at hello@unglitch.io.

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I Want to Talk About My Sunday Riley Customer Journey

First off, what is a customer journey…

Customer journey maps clarify, and develop important parts of just that…your customers’ journey. They allow you to stand in the shoes of your customers, enabling you to improve nearly every aspect of their experience. They provide you with the kind of overview to move customers down your sales funnel. Wait… sales funnel…

What is a sales funnel…

Back to Customer Journeys. Why Are They Important?

  1. Shows you how customers are interacting with your business
  2. Gives the brand owner the chance to stop seeing the perspective from the company, but the perspective of the brand through their customer
  3. Highlights what customers need and when they need it at different stages of the sales funnel
  4. Clarifies needs and pain-points of your customers
  5. Clarifies optimization and development priorities

You can see this best with what’s called a Customer Journey Map.

As a matter of fact! I want to talk about the most perfectly detailed customer journey I went on when purchasing from Sunday Riley, a skincare brand. To demonstrate this, let’s go over my Customer Journey Map and furthermore go through the steps to create a Customer Journey Map. I do this with my clients and their eCommerce marketing strategies all the time and trust me, it helps!

Step One: Build Customer Profiles

The data about customers forms the basis of your map. As a result, this data will come from two places: direct feedback and customer analytics. So who am I?

I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely combo of autoimmune issues including dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day, moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this.

Step Two: Define General Stages

Stage One – Discovery: I visited Sunday Riley because I have a new skin issue thanks to a lovely condition called dermatomyositis. My skin is dry but not like normal when it’s dry. I exfoliate a ton of dead skin cells a day. I moisturize 2x a day, drink 64oz of what a day, and I’ve tried a bunch of products to fix this. Since this started, someone recommended I try Sunday Riley’s Good Genes lactic acid serum.

Stage Two – Research: Before this, I was mixing a concoction of Licorice Root and oil on my face and it helped a little. So I did my research on this product… Besides other great ingredients, Licorice Root is #2 in the ingredient list for Good Genes!

Stage Three – Choose: Now I’ve never tried a Sunday Riley product so when I visited the site I spent a few minutes reading about Good Genes, but then saw that $122 price tag… I clicked away. I don’t want to spend that much without knowing if it works.

Thus a FANTASTIC customer journey begins and Sunday Riley’s eCommerce team kicks into action to reel me back in!

Stage Four – Purchase: I went to a few more products pages to look around. I knew I wanted to try Sunday Riley in general. So I was delighted to find a sample pack.

I purchased the sample pack and waited for my package. It came less than a week later. Even though I only purchased 3 small jars of product to try out, Sunday Riley sent along with my package an equal amount of product samples too.

Ultimately, I got those (3) 0.3oz moisturizers, a 0.17oz sample of U.F.O. Acne Treatment, a 0.17oz of High-Dose Retinoid Serum, and samples packets of various products INCLUDING GOOD GENES.

This means Sunday Riley gave me more than an equal amount of free samples along with my purchase. But Why?

Well…Who am I as Customer Profile?

I clearly am a first-time buyer wanting to try the brand. I spend a lot of time on the website reading about 1-3 products and even added them to my cart. But deleted them before purchase.

Step Three: Attach Goals to Each Stage

Thus, Sunday Riley’s customer journey is now collecting my goals, needs, and desires.

When you do this, consider the most pressing concerns during the stages in Step Two and how to convert me into being a loyal customer. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty when collecting data too. Asking me straight out what I thought of my 3 moisturizers in a follow-up email after my purchase would have been a great step in itself.

But Sunday Riley went above and beyond for this specific customer profile (talked about in Step One) and now I’m hooked!

Step Four: Identify Touchpoints for Each Stage

Many retailers approach this stage too narrowly. It’s essential to account for all possible “touchpoints” in which I’ll interact with your brand as the customer. Ignoring minor channels or interactions will lead to an incomplete customer journey map. So don’t just do this for your website only.

Account for all of the following touchpoints:

  • Word-of-mouth and referrals
  • Outbound marketing channels like online ads, awareness campaigns, and offline advertising
  • Inbound marketing like content, search engine results, and organic social media posts
  • Social media channels
  • Customer support
  • Your website and apps
  • Email
  • Packaging and delivery

Step Five: Identify Moments of Truth

I had two ‘moments of truth’ here. Moments of truth occur when a customer makes an important decision. Mine was when I decided to buy and when I decided to become a loyal customer after a great experience.

Step Six: Identify Drop-Off Points and Goal Completion

Where are customers typically dropping off and ending their journey? Where did I? Before purchasing many higher-priced products. Where are they successfully completing their goals? When did I? When after getting all my samples and trying them I went back to the site and purchased Good Genes.

Step Seven: Get Even More Feedback

Additional feedback can be immensely useful once you’ve started to put together your customer journey. At this stage of the process, you will likely be aware of what was missing in your original customer research, but it doesn’t hurt to ask a customer outright what their feedback is. What’s mine? This blog post (LOL).

Step Eight: Identify Areas for Improvement and “Amplification”

This step is where the customer journey map moves from being an abstract document to a practical tool. So what would this look like with factoring in metrics and emotions of my customer journey with the help of CTA’s (Call-To-Actions) and little nudges the brand did to make me a loyal customer…? Let’s see a customer journey map! Here’s a basic one:

And a closer look at where you and me are visually right now:

In the End…

Using your customer journey map as an aid for idea generation and really realizing what is going on in the purchasing process for your customers. When you think this way, you’ll make much more sales. So how do you create your own Customer Journey Map for your brand?

Because customer journey mapping tools are essentially diagram-creation apps, they tend to be relatively inexpensive. You should consider investing in one if you haven’t already. The best out there is the Salesforce Journey Planner. If you want to go a free route and DIY yourself you can use HubSpot’s templates.

But if you’ve gotten to the end of this post and are thinking “Where the Hell do I start!?”. There is also another option for creating a Customer Journey Map… Unglitch.io! Get in touch today and we can strategize a custom map for your brand to help you boost sales ASAP!

In the meantime, I’ll be over here obsessively touching my new, soft, happy face!


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Why I’m Not on TikTok… Should You Be?

First off, I know it’s spooky season and I by no means want to scare the daylights out of you. But I do like keeping my readers informed. I’m not on TikTok for a few reasons. Let’s get into it!

Privacy Concerns

There are blatant red flags for users’ privacy on TikTok. #1, the app has been collecting children’s data without parental approval; promised to delete it after receiving a hefty fine; then failed to live up to the agreement. Add the allegations from the Indian and US governments in 2019 about sharing user data with Beijing, and you have yourself a very dangerous application.

Why? More and more countries are putting bans on the TikTok app due to its proof of child-stalking (as their the top app users) by pedophiles and child-trafficking criminals. Keep your kiddos safe, folks, and pay attention to what they are posing on TikTok.

How to get around this: Change all your safety settings to “friends” to prevent strangers from interacting with you.

Dangerous Viral Challenges

Challenges have become a viral phenomenon across social media platforms as of late. Some aim to spread awareness on diseases like the ALS ice bucket challenge, while others tested users’ physical abilities like the bottle cap challenge. But some videos that circulated on TikTok were just flat-out dangerous.

The skull-breaker challenge, which involves someone jumping, while two other people kick his legs in mid-air so that he falls down. These actions may lead to severe brain damages, spinal injuries, and sometimes deaths.

TikTok said it would remove dangerous content from its platform, urging users not to take part in such challenges. But they never did during the height of this challenge. I already have an old-lady mentality and less hope for the next generations’ intelligence and common sense, TikTok is not helping this…

How to get around this: Activate the Restrictive Mode feature to filter inappropriate content. Also… start teaching your kids about common sense early.

Content Blocking for LGBTQ+ , the Overweight, and People with Disablities

This is crazy!

According to German outlet Netzpolitik, TikTok used unusual methods to limit the reach of users with disabilities. It also instructed moderators to curb the exposure of overweight and LGBTQ creators, who all ended up on a list called “special users.”

The social media platform confirmed the news, explaining that it took these measures to protect users from bullying. However, this also is against freedom of speech and expression and is clearly bigoted towards these groups.

How to get around this: Flat out; Don’t use the platform…

Final Thoughts

I get it. TikTok is entertaining and perfect for the constantly-hungry-for-content-mind. It’s not for me. Maybe I’m too old (33). Perhaps I just don’t want to silence people OR promote child cyberstalking from preditors OR promote children breaking their skulls. Maybe it’s just me. What about you?

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50 Online Tools Pro Business Owners Use

Social Media Tools

LaterSchedule Instagram posts and stories; as well as Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn posts. Also, utilize the Linkin.bio tool to use links on Instagram.

HeyOrcaSchedule Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, & Google Posts.

Analisa.ioReady to hack your marketing campaign on Instagram? You can with Analisa.io. Analisa.io gives you a range of marketing tools for monitoring profiles and hashtags. You can use it to snoop on your competitors, monitor campaign performance, connect with influencers, and more.

BitlyUse it to shorten URLs when they start getting a bit too long and track your links better with this platform.

RafflePressEverything you need to make your next giveaway a viral success and grow your following!

Audienseis a social intelligence tool that allows you to discover new target audiences and segment them. Most importantly, it helps you understand your audience by telling you how they tick.

Oktopost – a social media management tool designed for B2B companies. It allows you to schedule your content and measure its effectiveness. Oktopost is also useful for curating content that is important for your business. And if you collaborate with a lot of people, it can help make things run smoothly.

IFTTTWith it, you can combine different tools together to create individual “recipes,” or sets of instructions. For example, you can set it up to send a tweet every time you make a new Instagram post. It’s a bit tricky to navigate at first, but you can use other recipes to simply plug and play. Best of all, it’s completely free to use.

BuzzSumo – One of the best tools we’ve found for discovering new and popular content on the web. With it, you can plug in a topic or a selection of keywords.

FeedlyBest known as a content discovery tool like BuzzSumo, but it works a bit differently. It’s a content aggregator, and you can use it to collect content from any number of different areas.

TweepiTweepi is a Twitter tool that helps you get more followers.

Sprout SocialAll-in-one social media marketing tool to help managers better control their efforts. It features multi-level access which makes it easy for managers to coordinate and delegate tasks to team members.

HootsuiteThis app is a simple but powerful tool for the average social media marketer to schedule posts and measure content engagement.

TailwindGreat for creating content on Pinterest and Instagram. Use it with Pinterest to pin to multiple boards at once, bulk upload, and schedule posts.

Brand24This gives you insight into what people are saying online about your brand. With this tool, you have instant access to mentions of your brand anywhere on social media.

VisageVisage is a tool that helps companies design social media graphics that are perfectly optimized for each platform. Visage’s graphics templates make it easy to manage your brand’s style and tone. That way, you can ensure consistency across all social platforms.

Veed.ioWhile a little buggy still, this is a great platform to add your audio to elements like soundwaves and more to enhance your video content.

CanvaWhile my least favorite tool out there since it tends to push non-creative users into having social media graphics that look the same as everyone else using Canva – it’s still great to create graphics, videos, presentations, and more on the fly.

Influencial – Want to jump on the influencer marketing train but don’t know how to begin? No worries, Influential‘s got you covered. Influential is a smart matchmaking platform that connects businesses with influencers.

Website Content Tools

UbersuggestUse Ubersuggest allows you to reverse engineer your competitors’ SEO so you can see how to beat them with keywords.

GrammarlyI don’t care what you do for a living, you need Grammarly which corrects your grammar and misspellings in real-time as you type…anywhere.

ProWritingAidTo get the full potential of this extension for Chrome and some other browsers you’ll need to use the paid version. Not only does this correct grammar, but it shows you things like your Readability Grade, Passive Voice, and more — which is essential in writing for web content.

Hemingway AppWant the features of ProWritingAid but don’t want to pay $20/month for it!? The Hemingway App could be a good option. It looks outdated, but trust me it does just as good a job and for FREE!

SurferGenerate a whole content strategy in a few clicks, and write data-driven content loved by search engines and people.

UlyssesThis app organizes your writing projects all in one place and helps you stay focused on each project. On a side note, I have many creative peers who suffer from ADHD and find writing apps to have too many bells and whistles that distract them. They love Ulysses for it’s clean and string forward use.

Yoast SEODownload the WordPress plugin if you use WordPress or use the Readability Analysis tool while writing content.

AhrefsBy far the best out there is Ahrefs. The minimum price is $99/month, however. This may not be affordable for some startups – but trust me when you can budget it for your SEO it’s worth it.

Local (SEO) Business Listings Tools

MozWant a one-stop-shop that will assess and then tell you where you need to add business listings or correct existing ones. Along with other FREE SEO tools use the Moz Local Listing Score.

Financial Tools

WaveOver the years I’ve tried many invoicing systems. Wave is still the best and keeps getting better and better. Send invoices effortlessly, manage payroll of your team, manage expenses, and all other accounting needs.

HoneybookI haven’t personally used this platform, but I hear good things for invoices, customers management, and more.

NovoConfused about where to go for business checking? Your local brick and mortar may not be the best choice. If you’re looking for the best in online business banking, Novo is fantastic.

Business News

Morning BrewBy far my favorite and the ONLY email newsletter I actually open every day. Their writers are creative as well as to the point. If you have an interest in the topics like what’s new in tech, investing, bitcoin, real estate, and other business ventures you’ll like it too!

Productivity Tools

LastPassLastPass saves your passwords in its encrypted password vault so you don’t have to remember all of them

AsanaI love this project management tool to show clients where I’m at in the project process. It’s also great for big teams to manage what is getting done within many projects.

PinstripedEver wonder how Fortune 500 companies run a meeting while you can’t get Becky in accounting to stop talking about her son’s lost tooth during a work conference call? Pinstriped is a great tool for just that.

FocusmateAnother great tool for my ADHD friends, this site really helps people who have to virtually co-work with another by eliminating procrastination. This also is a great tool to use if you have team members who struggle to stay on topic during Zoom meetings.

Learning Tools

HubSpot AcademyFrom quick, practical courses to comprehensive certifications, learn everything you need to know about the most sought-after business skills.

SkillshareNot sure how to make successful Facebook Live videos? Or fun social media content? Not sure about any aspect of your business and want to learn more. I guarantee there is a Skillshare course for it.

MIT Open CoursewareSpecifically the Entrepreneurship Courses, learn from top MIT professors on things like “How to Develop “Breakthrough” Products and Services” and more.

MasterclassI have to be honest Masterclass can be sometimes more entertaining than informational but still list-worthy.

Scheduling Tools

CalendlyThis is the top scheduling tool right now. There’s a reason everyone uses it! It works seamlessly!

Customer Management Tools

KeapCapture more leads and track them the whole way through they are customers. This is also a great tool for when you want to add more salespeople. You can automate the process with them easily.

Freshworks CRMWant a free version of Keap? Here it is!

Human Resources Tools

BambooHREasily hire and onboard employees as well as manage successful and legal offboarding when you need to fire employees.

Security Tools

SurfShark VPNGET it 83% off + 3 months FREE – Browse the internet safely, keep your identity secure, plus watch more tv shows and movies available in other movies on streaming sites.

ZeroFoxis a security tool that identifies and protects brands against hackers looking to take control of social media accounts. The platform also works to protect its clients’ social media reputations. They do this by removing offensive and intentionally disruptive content, eliminating impersonation profiles, and protecting followers against scammers

Business Podcasts

Love Your WorkDavid Kadavy is a best-selling author and creative entrepreneur who shares tools and inspiration for creators and solopreneurs.

Per our Last EmailRaise your hand if you love venting about the crazy ups and downs of freelancing life! Then you’ll love this podcast on Spotify too!

The GaryVee Audio ExperienceHosted by successful author, speaker, and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, this podcast finishes off our list with a little something for everyone.

Working Without PantsAs the title may suggest, this podcast is unapologetically casual in tone, but that doesn’t diminish its value in the slightest. Jake Jorgovan interviews creative freelancers and consultants on how to attract clients and deal with the inevitable solopreneurial hiccups.

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What is Greenwashing in Packaging Design?

Green•wash•ing /n. disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image. — The Oxford Dictionary

In a new world where more people care about the environment than generations before we want to be a part of the solution as consumers. Not the problem. So we want to buy products that reduce our carbon footprint, reduce waste, and/or are ethical. Great brands are starting to lead by example and give us products that do just that.

Because you can’t have good without evil there are also brands that are “greenwashing”.

Following the demand from consumers, companies that set out to help our planet had to sacrifice to sell their “green” products. Recyclable packaging, environmentally friendly ink, and ethically sourced ingredients are… more expensive. Bottom line.

And for brands who don’t want to spend more money to switch from being a part of the problem? Some brands created secondary packaging for their newly developed products at a higher price point to cover the cost of the more expensive packaging. Bad brands did that too! There is just one main difference. Bad brands didn’t change what’s inside the packaging OR started marketing that they are “green” when they aren’t Or even worse. They just lied to you.

Let’s first start with white lies…

What words can you use when you want to appear green?

  • Natural – Cyanide, arsenic and asbestos are natural – trace amounts will kill you.
  • Organic – A buzz word that means nothing unless it’s certified organic
  • Eco-friendly – Being friendly to the environment? This statement carries no weight.
  • Eco Bio – ‘Eco’ and ‘Bio’ ranges of products are just a name, double-check that they’re actually better for the environment.
  • Green – Going or being green is another hype word that lacks substance.
  • Sustainable – This word has a strained relationship with regards to environmental conservation.
  • x% biodegradable – A product is either completely biodegradable within a human lifetime or it is not. Anything else is hype. 

If you’ve bought any of these brands thinking they were actually “green”, don’t feel like a fool. I actually 100% believed that Mrs. Meyers was “green” for a decade… sigh…

Sometimes there are some quality brands out there that do deliver truly environmentally friendly products. 

We know this because their marketing claims are backed up by industry-recognized certificates and government-backed standards.

Furthermore, they’re open and transparent with the way they operate.

So what’s the difference between greenwashing and green marketing?

Green marketing is not a simple phrase to define, as several meanings cross over and contradict one and other. 

But, is the easiest way possible: Green marketing is the process of marketing products based on their environmental benefits. Period.

How can you tell a company is greenwashing?

It sounds too good to be true. Do the statements sound overstated and perhaps a little dramatic?

It’s hard to double-check. Does a product say it’s organic, but you don’t see a certified organic icon on the packaging from the USDA? Then it’s a lie.

Nature Graphic Elements. This one speaks for itself and is more on the brand than the consumer who wants to be buying products that are good for the earth.

It’s a laser-focused idea. For example, McDonald’s may use recycled paper in their bags, but they are one of the biggest enablers of factory farming, an industry that has mind-blowing methane emissions. Take a look at the bigger picture. Are they trying to show you one hand while hiding the dirty one behind their back?

So what can you do if you’re a brand who wants to know more about going green in an honest way?

Start small. Change one thing at a time if the higher cost of “going green” is too scary right now. Swap your shampoo bottle packaging to recycled plastics? Change the lid of your skincare product to something made from petrochemicals? Is your coffee label made from recycled paper? Is the sticker glue biodegradable?

While I mentioned glue…a new fad in 2021 is “vegan glue” in packaging. Let me just tell you. This isn’t a new thing. By default, the glue used in cardboard boxes is vegan as it uses adhesive polymers from rubber trees. However, if you see a product claiming it uses vegan glue throughout their brand that means it’s a lie. Animal-based (made out of collagen. which is from animal byproducts, leather, and bone marrow) glue is commonly used in tapes, adhesives and other sticky parts of the shipping industry. And without it you can’t ship anything to your customers…

Ok, end of glue rant…

What other small steps can you make as a brand moving forward? Stop selling mini plastic (travel-size) version of a product. Remove single-use packaging and pay a bit more for packaging that a customer will want to keep and re-use (ie. Fun glass bottle).

Bigger Solutions?

Without a doubt, the most ‘ eco-friendly’ packaging is zero-packaging. If there’s zero-packaging used, then there’s zero-packaging to dispose of. But chances are that if you need packaging, zero-packaging isn’t an option.

Use a bioplastic and inform your customers of the importance of it, rather than using petroleum-based plastic. 

Compostable poly mailer bags are a great option if you’re sending durable products through the mail

For many eCommerce brands, the most carbon-neutral packaging option is the traditional cardboard mailer box.

There is a ton of more stuff you can do both with your packaging and within your company to help the environment. Then you can market it to your customers who want to help even more! Do your research and implement innovative ways to stand out as well as be a part of the solution!

If you’re a consumer, do your own homework and check the facts around large corporations and their statements of ‘going green’. Pretty much every cleaning product on the market is not “green”. Most makeup lines are not 100% vegan as well and when they are (like Crunchi) their makeup just flat out doesn’t work as well. So be real with yourself on what products you want to use or reduce the ones that can never really “go green” just on sheer facts.

Greenwashing is a phenomenon that harms both the consumer and honest companies that hold the environment core to everything they do. So you if you’re a brand thinking about whether to lie or tell the truth about being “green” — choose wisely and don’t f**k up!

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4 Ways to Increase Web Traffic Using Instagram

Now more than ever, business owners across the globe are recognizing the true value that social media can add to their brand and marketing efforts. It’s time to move your business in a new way. Read on for 4 ways to leverage Instagram to boost your business and increase traffic to your site!

USE CTAS

Let’s start off with the obvious. Once your audience has finished consuming your content, you need to tell them what to do or where to go next. There’s no simpler way to increase traffic from social media to your website than by explicitly telling your audience to go there.

Try ending your next Instagram caption with “Head to our link in bio for more details!” or your next Instagram story with “Swipe up to shop!”  It is important to note that the “swipe up” Instagram story feature is only available for accounts with 10k+ followers.

Don’t have 10k followers yet? Unglitch.io can help!

FOSTER A RELATIONSHIP

Before you can convert an audience, you must come to know the audience. Create a persona of them so you can fully understand both their demographics and psychographics. Demographics will give you insight into details like their age, gender, location, income, etc., while psychographics allows you to paint a more personable picture of them, including their likes, interests, and frustrations. Creating this persona will allow you to fully understand your target audience and tailor your content and messaging accordingly to appeal to their needs and experiences.

A relationship with your audience isn’t a one-way street. It is almost equally as important for the audience to come to know you. This requires building and fostering a two-way relationship. Once they know about you, they can then come to like you. Once they like you, they will trust you enough to buy from you.

Here are a few pointers for fostering a relationship with them:

  • Post consistently.

  • Engage with your audience in the comments and via DM.

  • Engage with potential audience members that are not following you yet. Like their photos and comment on their pictures to get their attention!

  • Provide them with free valuable content first, before expecting a transaction.

Remember, when you fully know and understand your audience, you can put together irresistible content and copy that will resonate enough for them to head to your website to learn more. Don’t have time for all that each day? Unglitch.io can help!

COLLABORATE WITH INFLUENCERS

A great way to tap into a new audience is by collaborating with influencers. Depending on the size of the influencer’s following, some may charge a fee for their post, while others will be willing to post solely in exchange for the free product.  Consider sending your products to an influencer and having them share their experience with their audience via a feed post or stories. They can then direct their followers to your website to shop for the items shown.

Pro Tip: Send your influencer an exclusive discount code to share with their followers for an extra incentive to shop!

Need help connecting with influencers or setting up an Affiliate Program for your business? Unglitch.io can help!

RUN A PAID AD

This last point is perhaps the most complex and requires a full blog post of its own to fully explain. In short, paid ads are a great way to increase clicks to your website. My top recommendation? Do not boost posts. *face palm* There is practically no real strategy behind this feature and it is essentially just an easy way for Instagram to make money. Instead, create an official advertisement in Facebook Ads Manager, where you choose a goal, define a specific audience, and publish beautiful content and ad copy that converts. This ties back to the importance of knowing your audience. Never put money behind something that either will not effectively appeal to your audience or reach them in the first place. Know who your audience is and what their interests are. Once you’ve nailed down who your target audience is, A/B testing can help you discover which ads resonate best with them! Huh?  Unglitch.io can help!

I hope this blog post was helpful for you in discovering a few ways to increase traffic to your website from Instagram.

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Why Your Sales Funnel No Longer Works

Wait, what…?

I get kind of a twisted kick watching the reaction of people in the digital business world when I say this. I have always said this. The sales funnel is inappropriate for professional services. My stance always creates quite a stir. Turns out the sales funnel is central to the way most people think about how to acquire new customers.

Now I’m a millennial and if anyone who was alive in the ’90s and early ’00s remembers all the old diet supplement websites we fell for. “Just pay Shipping for Dr. Smith’s Fat Buster Pills!” These terrible-looking websites were the original basis for platforms like Cl*ckFunn3ls™ and other similar funnel platforms that are still being peddled by influencers today who have affiliate links to promote with.

This exact template is still being used by modern coaches and funnel enthusiasts alike.

Aside from these websites just making users fell gross… The idea of a sales funnel is not just useless in the world of professional services, it is a distorted and misleading model. The sales funnel model causes otherwise smart people to do the wrong thing when trying to drive business development.

You know the sales funnel. Everyone does, and that is part of the problem.

At the wide end of the funnel are prospective customers who are believed to be primed to buy your product or service. Leads are filtered. The uninterested are culled. The rest are pre-qualified, pitched, and (hopefully) closed over time.

When selling consulting or professional services, the goal is not to find leads then process them like your digestive tract. The objective is to identify a community and position yourself to serve that community over time.

The Math

Now I’ve said it before I’m bad at math, but even I questions the traditional sales model numbers. When managing sales, traditional sales funnel theory tells us to measure yield from one step to the next:

  • 20 of 100 leads result in an initial meeting (a 20% yield).
  • Half of those meetings lead to an opportunity to make a proposal (a 50% yield).
  • 2 of 10 proposals yield a sale (a 20% yield).
  • So, the overall lead-to-sales yield is 2% (20% × 50% × 20% = 2%).

2%! 2%!? What a waste of time…

And from the consumer’s end, millions of dollars are being gained by attracting them in with a small offer. An offer that any TikTok marketer will tell you only takes the professional a bit of time (ex. Record a video of professional tips) to make. Charge for that video and never work again as all that passive income comes rolling in every time someone pays and automates the already recorded video. And to the consumer, they often are getting sub-par info or info they already knew. By 2021, consumers are onto you AND seeing sales funnely website or offer, feels gross.

But instead of jumping into a sales funnel business model what should you do instead?

Are you selling a product?

  1. Start with quality leads: Know who might buy your product. In addition, have someone who can separate themselves from the business pick the products. (Ex. If you’re a boutique owner who loved the color yellow and you end up only stocking yellow products, you won’t sell much). Gather intelligence. Ideally, interview someone who used to work at a company that you want to emulate. The object here is not complicated. You are trying to amass a list of human beings you might call on who would be in a position to authorize the purchase of your product. Keep a list of those people.
  2. Sell! Sell! Sell!: This is where previous sales experience is essential. Which I know is hard to hear if you’re starting your eCommerce or brick-and-mortar boutique. If you do not have sales experience either find another business to run or hire a salesperson to run it for you. Selling is a conversation. The goal is to get a customer to express a “felt need” for which the salesperson or shop can propose a solution. If you have products that can be bought elsewhere, you won’t make sales that can sustain you full-time.

Are you selling a professional service(s)?

We all know that consulting and professional services are sold differently than products. Expert services are sold on reputation, referral, relationships… not selling features of the service. The purchase of professional services requires a leap of faith beforehand.

Despite this, the temptation is to pretend the purchase of expert advice or services is the same as buying office supplies. We’ve been encouraged to accept that the funnel and step-by-step sales process is appropriate. It’s not, and here’s why:

  • The number of relevant leads is limited in a funnel
  • The duration of relationships between client and professional is often long, which causes issues when you are constantly thinking of the client as a new lead to toss back into a new funnel
  • Each client is special, your measurable client data will change per client and the progression of your relationship with them cannot be reduced to anywhere in the funnel process

The super-salesperson is a myth when it comes to professional services. Now there are tons of people online. You see them in Facebook ads and everywhere else convincing you with great charisma to buy their course. You buy. You start the course. You learn nothing. But that person still sold the hell out of you in the beginning, because he’s a salesperson, not a professional service provider. Focusing on the meeting and the art of the sale suggests that some people have some special way with others that causes the target of their affection to bend to their wills. Make sense!?

Salespeople who are thought to be really good with people often come off as just inauthentic and slimy. Call it the backfire effect. I myself am a terrible salesperson. I always have been. I’m here to provide professional creative services, not sell you something you don’t need or want.

The sales funnel assumes that you first create awareness, then uncover interest and desire, and finally that you manifest action. (This is the “AIDA” model of client engagement to which you were exposed in undergraduate marketing.) But what if you stumble on desire first which causes you to get yourself in front of a prospect (awareness)? You decide to do a pilot (action) that leads you to lift the stone on what turns out to be their real problem (interest).

In short for professionals… Do good work for a client. Stay in touch. Keep a long-term relationship with them. It’s that simple. Don’t toss them into a garbage disposable known as a sales funnel.

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12 Things to Look for When Hiring a Social Media Manager

Thinking about hiring a social media manager or agency? Congrats!! Outsourcing your social media to a professional is a big step in growing your business long-term. 

There are SO many social media freelancers/agencies out there – so how do you choose the right one for your business? Here are some of my tips and questions to ask when considering working with a social media expert.  

  1. Look at the agency’s or freelancer’s social media accounts. Do they do a good job maintaining and connecting on their own social media?
    No? Run!
  1. Are they up-to-date with the ever-changing world of social media?
  2. How often will they post? I usually advise posting a minimum of 5 times per week on both Instagram and Facebook (more for Twitter + Pinterest if you choose that option. Anything less and you probably won’t be able to see much growth.
  3. Do they plan? Certain events in the news or trends can change a monthly content calendar — but it’s imperative that your SMM expert have a content calendar. Your SMM expert needs to be open to their clients wanting to promote something that day and shift the content calendar accordingly.
  4. Is your SMM manager a graphic designer as well? Or at least have access to a graphic designer… Unique, original graphics for your post is a must. If your SMM manager is using apps like Canva your posts will not look unique.
  5. How often to communicate do you expect to communicate with them? How do you want to communicate with them? Asking these questions prior to starting an agency or manager can prevent issues down the road. If you’re wanting to communicate every day via text, and they’re expecting 2x a week via email, you might want to look elsewhere. 
  6. Will they handle community management (replying to comments & DMs & engaging with other accounts? Some clients prefer to handle this in house. Especially if you are a service-based business and need to chat directly with customers to schedule them or answer questions. If you’re comfortable with them handling it, be sure to provide them with an FAQ list so they can quickly address customer concerns. 
  7. Have they worked with similar brands in your industry? Typically, some experience with your industry is preferred, but it is not necessary. 
  8. Are they managing your social media for at least 1 month? Anything less WILL NOT WORK. If you hire someone to just do a week’s worth of social media managing and marketing — you’re wasting your money.
  9. How will you be charged? There are three main pricing models I’ve seen: hourly, flat fee, and a percentage of sales. There are pros and cons to each, so make sure you choose what’s best for your business. If you anticipate requesting a lot of edits and changes, hourly might not be the way to go. If you’re killing it in sales already without the social media agency, maybe don’t consider the sales choice. I charge a flat rate to avoid any of these issues.
  10. Do they have any testimonials from past clients? If they don’t, this is a huge red flag! Ask them about the similar brands they’ve managed – like what you see? That’s a good sign!
  11. Where are they based? The great part about social media is that they can essentially be located anywhere. However, it is typically beneficial for your time zone to be the same (or similar!) for communication purposes. Also, if they are doing any photography for you, it might be best to keep this done locally as shipping fees can get expensive.

Be sure to do your research when reaching out to social media agencies and freelancers and then ask them any of these questions if you couldn’t get them answered prior to reaching out.

And if you’re looking for a one-woman social media maven? I’d love to work with your brand. Let’s chat!

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Set Goals for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

A succinct strategy will help your brand tackle its goals with a sense of purpose.

That’s why I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to creating a social media marketing plan from scratch.

Set goals that make sense for your brand

Let’s kick things off with a quick question: “What do you want from social media, anyway? Social media strategy planning starts with your goals.

Increase brand awareness. Gone is the day of SELL! SELL! SELL! Now it’s about getting your name out there. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid solely publishing promotional posts. Instead, focus on content that emphasizes your personality and values first.

Generate leads and sales. Whether online or in-store, followers aren’t going to make social purchases by accident.  For example, are you about alerting customers about new products and promos? Are you not providing your clientele with promos or discounts? Well, that’s another issue to tackle all together… Better start doing that.

Grow your brand’s audience. Bringing new followers into the fold means finding ways to introduce your brand to folks who haven’t heard of you before.

Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening to specific keywords, phrases, or hashtags. Having a pulse on these conversations helps you reach your core audience much faster.

Boost community engagement. Explore ways to grab the attention of your current followers.  This means experimenting with messaging and content. Pay attention to your viewers and their interests. Reach them that way.

Even something as simple as asking a question can increase your engagement rate. Your customers can be your best cheerleaders, but only if you’re giving them something to do.

Drive traffic to your site. Simple enough. If you’re laser-focused on generating leads or traffic to your website, social media can make it happen. Whether through promotional posts or social ads, keeping an eye on conversions and URL clicks can help you better determine your ROI from social media.

When in doubt, keep your social media marketing strategy simple rather than muddling it with too many objectives that might distract you. Pick one or two and stick with ’em.

Now it’s time to create engaging content based on these strategies. Still have no clue where to start? Unglitch.io is here for you! Unglitch.io offers 1-Month social media takeovers that go overs your strategy, a 1-month content calendar, unique graphics, and more – learn more on the Marketing tab!