This article is going to be serving as a thinking starting point. There are no big, a-ha moments that are going to completely change your entire business. What I’m hoping this article will do is give you the ability to say, “Huh, I haven’t thought about it like that yet. What if I did this instead?” And get the juices flowing.
Because as we enter this really busy holiday season, I think it’s really easy for people to kind of sit back, do things by default, and, frankly, miss out on some really big opportunities. What is that opportunity? That opportunity is your small business edge.
And I want to bring this out because most of my clients are either solopreneurs or they have a very small team, most of which is not full-time like themselves. And because of that, they and I )and probably you as well) have a huge advantage. And that is that you have the ability for a quick pivot.
I know… are we over the word hate there? I know that we all overuse that word at the beginning of the pandemic, but I don’t mean it in the, “Hey, our world is imploding” kind of way. I mean it in the, “Hey, something’s not working here. It used to work. And now it’s not. And I’m going to make a small shift, little tweaks, little small percentage points, figure out how to fix it. And then all those little small things will add up to a big difference over time if I take the time to test it out.”
So to do that, I am going to walk through three quick scenarios, all things I’ve either personally experienced in the last year or so or I’ve up close and front seen my clients experience.
The first one of these is that you decide you’re going to make weekly videos, and then repurpose them to other venues.
Maybe that’s a Facebook Live, a YouTube Live, even LinkedIn Live, right? Something like that. You commit to doing it, you even say, “Hey, Tuesday’s gonna be my day I do this every week,” and you start doing it, but you’re getting like crickets in response.
First of all, if that’s happening, go see recent podcast guest, Tracy Phillips. She’s like the Facebook Live queen, and she’s got all the information and answers and she’s a hoot on top of it. So, go do that. But second of all, you’ve got a couple options here. Maybe you were doing these lives, and they just aren’t the right content topics. Maybe you need to revisit your content system, figure out what your content buckets are, make sure that they are pieces of content that are actually going to drive some good thought provoking content (much like this episode, by the way — hint hint, nudge nudge, right?).
And maybe we just got to make sure that they’re a really good match with your audience — the audience of best clients that you really, truly want to be working with, because you’re so good at doing the exact problem that they need solving. So maybe that’s your problem.
Or maybe you’re transcribing these videos and converting them to blog posts. And those blog posts have all the potential to do well. But you’re not titling them with good SEO, keyword-rich titles.
Maybe you’re using Pinterest to drive traffic to those blog posts. And they also could benefit from an SEO audit by someone who really knows what they’re talking about, and says, “No, your clients aren’t searching for it in those terms. Here are the terms that they are using.”
All of those are quick, easy, pivotable solutions to your content repurposing problem. And all they require is for you to look at what isn’t working, backtrack it to the place where you can’t diagnose any further and say, “I’m going to make a small change here. Now let’s measure it for the next couple weeks and see how it’s going.” If it’s going better, congratulations! Your pivot was a success. If it’s still not going, well go down the list. Try the next thing. There are so many different opportunities in every way in which we as online business owners market that we can’t forget to just test them one at a time.
And that leads me to my next scenario, which is that maybe your primary lead generation is Facebook ads.
And if you’re not actually living under a rock, you’ve probably heard someone in your marketing world talk about how Facebook ad costs are skyrocketing. And this is not just an iOS 14 issue. Yes, that did make it more difficult, but this has been a problem that’s been trending for quite some time.
And because of it, people who used to do decent ads and have pretty good launches off of them are now struggling. There are a lot of different options here. One, hire an ads person who really knows what they’re doing. That is costly and expensive, I’m well aware. So maybe you just need to look at the messaging in your ads. Go back to those content buckets. What are people really, really worried about? And how can your service alleviate those worries? Talk about that kind of stuff in your ads. You might end up in a scenario like one of my recent clients.
She came to me about a month ago. And I think she totally could have benefited from a funnel dashboard where we could actually track all the different things because she had emails going from two different service providers, one of which was Kajabi where her actual course platform is. So she had metrics from Kajabi, she had metrics from her other email service provider, she had sales pages, she had sales, cart tools, I mean, there was data everywhere. So a dashboard would have been a huge help for her. But we didn’t have time to build that we were less than two weeks out from her launch.
And what she could do was ask me to look over her emails, and I saw a really good opportunity for her there. Maybe her Facebook ad costs were skyrocketing (and that is true.) Maybe she wasn’t converting as many people from those Facebook ads (that was also true). Though I no longer touch ads, what I can do is say, “Hey, for the people who are converting, let’s make sure they’re really well qualified.” And for that, we went and rewrote all of her email sequences. So the pre-webinar sequence, the post-webinar sequence, and emails to her regular list, even if they had not actually signed up for the new webinar.
And, you guys, the results were fantastic. And I would like to point out, she was an excellent writer, even the stuff she gave me was already good. So we did some polishing, some injecting more personality, some really good results-driven proof in the copy, we did all of that. And she sold 23% more people into her program this launch than she did in her past spring launch, simply as a result of saying, “Hey, Facebook ads are really expensive. So let’s make sure when people do come in through there we are serving them as best we can.”
So we made sure that her email was doing more heavy lifting, and as a result, she had a better launch. 23% more sales. And as a result, a much higher launch revenue as well. So even though the Facebook ads were more costly and didn’t convert as well, we picked it all up on the back end with really good email sequences. So that was scenario number two.
Now let’s talk about scenario number three, which may sound very familiar to a lot of people here.
So let’s say your Instagram strategy used to have really good results but it’s slipping. Last year around this time, you were getting an average of 35, maybe 50 likes on a post, and now you’re lucky if you’re getting 15. However, those are vanity metrics. I don’t want you to put too much stock in them.
What we actually want to look at is what leads are coming in through your Instagram. For that, you want to be tracking them. Yes, we’re gonna have to get a little bit technical. We’re gonna have to start using UTM codes, we’re gonna have to probably set up a content measurement dashboard. But once you can see which posts, which stories, which weeks of content are actually producing lead results — and not just those vanity metrics like comments and likes — then you can start making the tweaks.
You can, again, backtrack until you can’t diagnose it any further. And say, “Here is the point where I can no longer change things. But here’s the point where I can. Let’s start changing this measure for a few weeks, see what happens,” and so on and so forth.
So all three of these scenarios are speed and adaptation rich.
They are giving you as a small business owner, an incredible edge over someone with a large team because they don’t have the ability to quickly make these changes. You as a micro business owner, do. Now whether you’re “just” a service business owner, or if you are a course creator, these scenarios play true to all of us. When there’s something that you can’t control, you have to backtrack to where you can control something, and then start testing those little tweaks — 1%, 1%, 1%, 2%, 2%, 2%. Over time, these small numbers add up and you end up to that 23% increase over your last launch. That is fantastic. It feels good in the moment. It’s a huge ego boost.
And in addition to all of that, it gives you the potential to make your mark even in this age of launch malaise, even in this rising costs for advertising age.
You still have the ability to have a flourishing business by making sure that you have a good content plan to begin with, and that you are measuring results along the way, so you can see when you need to make these tweaks.
That’s all I have for you today! If you need help with that content strategy, if you need help setting up a content measurement dashboard so you can do some of the things we talked about here, I am a message away.