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Influential Writing Tips: Allan Dib's Masterclass on How to Write Well

If anyone ever told you that you'd never be a great writer, I want you to write those words down on a piece of paper. Then burn it or throw it in the garbage...

Messaging

If anyone ever told you that you'd never be a great writer, I want you to write those words down on a piece of paper. Then burn it or throw it in the garbage and wipe it from your memory. We're starting afresh, and you're going to use these writing tips to craft copy that influences and sells.

I know this works because I was once told I didn't have the talent for writing too — that I should stick to computers. Well, I certainly showed Mrs. Starr. Twenty years on, I'm a bestselling author, turning words into dollars for a living.

And you can too.

But to be clear, I'm not going to show you how to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel or use flowery language. That's not my specialty.

I'm going to show you how to influence people with your writing. How to get them to do what you want them to do. Whether that's purchasing a product or responding to your post is up to you.

Just make sure you apply this writing advice to your emails, blogs, social media posts, sales pages, and web copy.

So are you ready to sharpen your writing skills?  

Watch the live training now, or read on.

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What is influential writing?

Influential writing is the ability to get people to do something with words. It could be purchasing your product, joining your email list, attending a webinar, or responding to your social media post. It's a skill that people pay thousands of dollars for.

And guess what, you don't need to go to university to learn how to write well. I didn't. I dropped out in my second year of college and never looked back. In fact, I've learned more from reading books and attending online courses than I ever would have at university.

If you want to be successful in business and marketing, you need the right words. But finding them can often lead to page fright. I'm going to show you how to get past your fear of writing.

Are you struggling with writers block, we show you how to get passed it
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3 ways to combat writer’s block or what I like to call page fright

Seth Godin once said, “People talk about writer’s block, but you never hear a plumber say I’ve got plumber’s block. ”

I prefer to call it “page fright.” You sit down to write a book, email, or blog, but the words won't come. Instead, you're left staring at a blank page or a blinking cursor.

It's not that you don’t know what to write. You're just afraid that what you'll write won't be good enough. You fear writing the wrong words. When you do eventually pluck up the courage to start typing, you'll find yourself deleting entire sentences and paragraphs again, and again, and again.

And before you know it, the day's gone, and you've got nothing. I want to help you kick writer's block to the curb. So I'm sharing my top three tips that I personally use to combat it.

As I’m hardly ever at a loss for words, I'd encourage you to try this advice.

1. Build a SWIPE file

One of the things that I do to combat writers' block is to keep a SWIPE file. A SWIPE file is a vault of inspirational content.

Whenever I see a sales page, turn of phrase, subject line, headline, or something attention-grabbing, I’ll take a screenshot or copy the web page down and save it to my SWIPE file.

And I use it for inspiration when I need to come up with an intriguing email subject line. The key is not to copy. You want to use their words as thought-starters.

I genuinely believe you become a better writer by reading more and paying attention to what's said. So get building your SWIPE file.

2. Copy until the right words come

Did you ever see the movie Finding Forester? If not, do yourself a favor and check it out. It's about a young man who has a gift for writing, but to unlock his creativity, he first uses the words of another author. From there, the story becomes his own. Many great writers used this old-school writing hack to get past their book-writing fears.

Here's how you can apply it to your writing.

Before you begin, set yourself ten minutes to get your creative writing juices flowing. Start by copying the words of another author. Within minutes you'll notice they're sparking new ideas. Once you're in the writing zone, that's the time to shift to creator mode.

It's a very powerful technique, but use it wisely.

You can't copy other people’s work and pass it off as your own. That's plagiarism. Rather, I want you to use it as a guide. Then once you've completed your written piece, you can go back and delete the copied bits.

Need inspiration?

Gary Halbert is one of the greatest sales writers; you can find his newsletters online. I'd encourage you to check them out. It'll give you insight into how great words and copy are written.

3. Write drunk. Edit sober.

Give yourself permission to suck. Many writers will tell you that the magic happens in the edit. That is your chance to cut verbose copy and craft sentences that pack a punch.

If you fixate on writing a perfect draft, you're only going to land up frustrated. It's also why I recommend you don’t write and edit simultaneously. Get your words and thoughts out first, and let it suck. Then use the editing phase to refine your writing.

Try this tip.

Imagine you have to pay money for every word you write. You'd want to make each word count. So you'd think about how to shorten your sentences to create more impact with fewer words.  

If you can write a sentence in 8 words instead of 18, that dramatically increases the effectiveness of your writing.

Write too many words, and you run the risk of your message getting lost. So don't be shy to slice and dice.

Next, let's look at my top tips for writing well. And this can be used for writing a book, blog, social media post, sales page, whatever.

These are the writing tips I apply when crafting copy for my audience

How to write well: 12 tips for writing an influential blog, book, or story

I've taken writing courses and workshops. I've listened to podcasts that teach how to write well. And I read a lot. Over the years, I've honed my writing skills. I've seen what works and what doesn't, and these are my top writing tips:

1. To become a better writer, you need to read good writing

It's as simple as that. Read good writing as often as you can. Any book by Dan Kennedy, David Olgivy, or Gary Halbert are top of my list. I'd also recommend Laura Belgray's The Copy Cure. She's a master storyteller, and as she earns a million dollars writing emails for a living, you could learn a lot from her.

Also, don't be afraid to google “how to write well. ” The internet is a treasure trove of great writing. Explore it.

2. Write it conversationally

There's a myth that serious work requires serious writing. For example, if you're a lawyer or accountant, you need to use jargon and convoluted words. You couldn't be more wrong.

Keep it conversational. Think about the types of books you read. Maybe you love a good crime novel. The writing is gripping, but chances are you're not hitting up your dictionary every five minutes to look up a particular word.

People respond to conversational writing far better than so-called professional speak. So forget sounding like an intellectual, and instead focus on crafting something compelling.

3. Give your writing personality

Every day I get emails from people all over the world. And the one thing they always mention is how much they love my writing. They relate to my sense of humor and self-deprecating tone. Many feel like they already know me.

That’s because my book is a genuine reflection of who I am. I don't take myself too seriously. I like to have fun. So write as you'd speak. Show your personality. It's what your audience is going to connect with.

4. Write your headline last

Speak to any writer, and they'll tell you that your headline is the most important written element. It attracts your target audience and compels them to take a deeper look. That's not to say the rest of the article isn't important. But if you write a brilliant guide and the headline's not great, your work won't get read.

Don't try to come up with a great headline before you've written your article or sales page. This is something I like to leave to last. The same goes for writing an email subject line.

Draft the outline. Write the content. Refine your words, then craft your headline.

Examples of great headlines:

  • Amazing Secret Discovered by One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards to Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks and Slices… and Can Slash Up to 10 Strokes from Your Game Almost Overnight!
  • How One Very Lucky Enron Exec Made $280 Million by Impregnating a Stripper, Destroying His Marriage, and Losing His Job
  • Why I Stuck a Cracker Up My Cracker
  • 12M Emails Analyzed - 10 Rules for an Effective Email Pitch
Lucky Enron Exec Made $280 Million by Impregnating a Stripper

As sensational and clickbaity as these are, I want to know what happened. I’m going to click or open that newsletter to find out more.

Your writing doesn’t have to be over the top or outrageous, but you want it to create curiosity.

Top tip: Try to write up to 20 potential headlines for every piece of content you create. Most won't be great, and that's fine. Finding the one that connects and compels your reader to act is key.

5. Keep the focus on your reader

Great marketing focuses on the purchaser, not the seller. So if you want to make an impact with your words, your audience needs to see themselves in your writing. Sharing personal experiences they can relate to is super important, but so is using “you” and “your” as much as possible.

Don't write in the third person. That's best left to academic text.

I'll give you an example of third-person vs. second-person writing

"Most customers leave because a company did something wrong or they got a better deal. That’s often a symptom, but it’s not the cause. Apathy is the #1 reason why customers leave. Like any relationship, companies need to maintain it and feed it. If they don’t, the relationship goes bad, and they lose a valued customer."

Now, if I write this in first-person, it reads like this:

"Most customers leave because you did something wrong or they got a better deal. That’s often a symptom, but it’s not the cause. Apathy is the #1 reason why customers leave. Like any relationship, you need to maintain it. You need to feed it. If you don’t, the relationship goes bad, and you lose a valued customer."

In the first example, I could be talking to anyone. That means the reader can choose to see themselves in the story or not. But in the second example, I'm addressing the reader directly. The writing feels personal, and it forces the reader to place themselves within the story.

In this case, the reader needs to reflect on how their actions might affect the success of their business. But you can also use second-person writing to create excitement and convince your reader to take action.

6. Create a dual readership path

You get two types of readers: those who read every word and those who skim read. You want to write for both, especially when crafting long-form text. This is called a dual readership path.

It guarantees that even if people only read your headers, they'll still have a complete overview of what you're talking about. They can then drill deeper or decide to opt-in, purchase, download a lead magnet, or fill in a form.

For example, if you've read my book, The 1-Page Marketing Plan, you'll notice I have a headline every 500 to 600 words. This makes it very easy to skim read. In comparison, most books have a title chapter with very few headers. You're met with reams and reams of text. It's just not easy to read.

Don't do that. Follow my top tips for creating a dual readership path in your writing:

  • Keep paragraphs between 300 and 600 words.
  • Use headers to break up large chunks of writing and to pull skim readers back into the copy.

7. Use the grease slide methodology

The grease slide takes a person from one step to the next until they are ready to buy. Before writing a piece of content, you need to decide what is the one-single action you want your prospect to take.

Most marketing is confusing. Small business owners are notorious for writing ads that sell their features, benefits, how long they've been in business, their accreditations, and why they're better than the competition. This doesn’t work.

If I’m writing an ad, the only thing I want people to do is to click that ad. When they click, they might be directed to a landing page. Again, I have only one action I want them to do: opt-in. Then I'll trigger an email sequence that might promote my book or get them to download a framework.

I'm thinking about the one physical action I want them to take at any stage. So map out your sales funnel. Decide the one action you want your reader to take at every stage of your content journey.

Check out this article on direct response marketing. It will help you craft copy that gets your target audience to act.

8. Forget nuances

Don't be tentative in your writing. Use your writing to take a stance and tell people why this is the best option for them.

I don't know about you, but I like to read customer reviews before purchasing a product. I found that people tend to say, “Depending on your situation, this might be a better one.” That’s not what I want. I’m looking for an opinion on what I should do.

I don’t want you to be nuanced because I can get the data myself.

You need to have an opinion. It's a vital part of being a thought leader. People are coming to you for advice. They want to be led. So don't be afraid to tell them what to do.

9. Make it easy to read

Be honest with yourself. How often do you read a book? Once a week, month, or year? Maybe you haven't read a book since you left high school.

The key to writing well is not to overcomplicate it. You're not trying to win a Pulitzer prize, and your audience probably wouldn't read it if you did. So keep your writing style simple. I like to write at an eighth-grade level.

You can use the writing app, Hemingway, to test your writing. Just copy and paste your writing into the app, and it will tell you what writing level you're at.

How to tell the difference between passive voice and active voice

10. Write in active voice, not passive voice

Active voice is decisive and confident. It creates a sense of urgency and inspires your readers to act.

For example, in an active voice, the subject performs the action. "I'm taking applications for the next round of certification."

But in a passive voice, the object is in the position of the subject. "The next round of certifications will be opened for new applications."

I'll give you another example:

"Do you want to join the coaching program?"

Asking a direct question demands a direct answer. It shows confidence that I know my worth and the value I deliver. This is compelling to a potential coaching client.

But if I were to flip it and write it in a passive voice, it would read like this.

"Is the coaching program something you'd be interested in joining?"

Immediately, I've lost that sense of urgency. This gives the prospect time to consider. Maybe it's not something that would interest them.

So try to avoid passive voice as much as possible. Use software like the Hemingway App or Grammarly to pick up passive voice and other grammar issues.

11. Choose clear language over cleverness

When you have the option to be clear or clever, choose clarity; it's much more powerful.

Often when we try to be clever, we'll add humor to our writing—for example, Enough of this Sheet. It doesn't actually tell me anything. Don't get me wrong, Coda's campaign certainly won over social media followers. But they also had to put a landing page together to explain the campaign.

Here's an example where I think the writer is trying to be clever:  

This is a bad example of not being clear when choosing your book title

Does anyone understand what’s inside that book? What is a 365 vision? I have no idea how this book will create value in my life? Also, the modern writer's guide suggests that this book is only for writers.

What about if I wanted to get into writing? Does this disqualify me from reading it?

Here's an example of choosing clarity over cleverness:

this book will teach you how to write better

Immediately, I know what this book is about: how to write better. It uses simple words and language. It tells me what it’s about and how it will improve my life.

Clearly conveying your meaning is a skill that will serve you very well.

12. Get Grammarly

One of the best decisions you can make is to invest in Grammarly. I'm a great writer, but my spelling and grammar are atrocious. I used to send emails to my list littered with spelling mistakes, and people would contact me to let me know.

This diminishes your trustworthiness because it's sloppy and easily fixed. So make sure that you spellcheck your writing. It takes a few minutes, but can be massively valuable to your business.

Another tip I like to use is voice editing. This can help you to cut unnecessary words or refine clunky sentences.

Frequently asked questions on writing

Can you repurpose copy from a blog to social media or email marketing?

Absolutely. I re-use content all of the time. Here's what I like to do. Once a month, I'll host a live training. I record these sessions. Then my team takes the transcript and repurposes it into various media.

So one training can result in five to ten social media posts, one blog, two YouTube videos, and one or two emails.

The key is to curate your content for the platform. Find out what performs well, and ensure you write for that medium.

For example, Twitter works best as news blasts, Instagram does well with video content, and LinkedIn performs best with long-form posts. You can’t use a one-size-fits-all.

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Should I edit as I go?

Personally, I like to get all of my thoughts onto a page before I begin editing. But my in-house content writer edits as she goes. She knows what she wants to say and how each paragraph will lead to the next before she begins writing because she’s already outlined her article.

Find what works best for you.

How do you protect your writing and intellectual property?

As your content (books, lead magnets, social media posts, emails, live trainings) get more popular, people will take advantage. They’ll breach copyright and pirate your stuff. It’s a problem, but it’s less of a problem than obscurity. If no one knows you, it’s a bigger problem.

In the beginning, certainly don’t worry about Dan from Downunder, who copied your viral social post and changed a few words to make it his own.

But if you find that someone is wholesaling your stuff, there’s a law in the US called DMCA. You can send their web host a DMCA notice to have it taken down. Visit DMCA.com to learn more.

Will AI replace good copywriting?

I just don’t see Jarvis.ai replacing good copywriting. AI isn’t there yet.

I’ve seen too many sites where they’ve fired the writers in favor of using AI, and the articles are terrible. The images used sometimes don’t even relate to the article, or they’ve picked the wrong subject. The writing is repetitive, and it reads like a machine wrote it.  

This just affects your brand perception, and you don’t want to do that.

Stories inspire, not words. So get good at writing copy. Use my writing tips to craft influential sales pages, books, courses, LinkedIn posts, and TikTok videos. It all counts.

Are you ready to use these top writing tips to build your influence?

If you want to craft good writing, you need to write more. Any chance you get, find-tune your writing talents. Post on social media. See what boosts engagement, and then double down your efforts.

Push fast forward on your email strategy. A/B test subject lines, video emails versus plain text, short- vs. long-form emails, and using emojis in your writing. Figure out what your audience responds to.

Use these writing tips as a guide, a starting point for honing your craft. And don’t be scared to invest in writing courses, but make sure they’re legit. Nowadays, anyone can create a course, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good.

Check out their customer reviews. Are they a recognizable authority? A simple Google search will suffice. If you notice there’s a ton of press from that authority, it’s probably a good investment.

Keep learning and keep writing.

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How To Systemize Your Business As A Solopreneur

There's a common misconception that you need a team to build business systems. After all, as a solopreneur, you're so busy getting clients and delivering...

Systems
Deliver A World Class Experience

There's a common misconception that you need a team to build business systems. After all, as a solopreneur, you're so busy getting clients and delivering on promises that there's no time to document how it's done.

Besides, you know what needs to be done. And therein lies the problem. You're shackling yourself to your business. You need to get what's in your head on paper.

That's why I'm going to show you how to systemize a business as a solopreneur. It's not as tricky or time-intensive as you'd think.

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I show you how to systemize your business even if you're a one person business

You need to start building business systems from day one.

But why, you ask? I like being a micro-entrepreneur. I have no intention of scaling my business and taking on employees.

You still need systems, especially if you don't want to manually create invoices each month. It's a time waste.

Most entrepreneurs and business owners put off systemization until they can afford to hire a systems champion to manage the process. But by then, you may have years of processes stored in your brain.

Think about how many hours you'll spend teaching someone else how to do what comes naturally. And when you do, make sure they document it. Otherwise, you'll be rehashing the same information month after month.

My suggestion: don't fall into this trap.

Systematizing your business will free up your time to focus on revenue-generating projects. It ensures you continue serving your clients to the level they expect while also ideating new products and charging forward with marketing your business.

Here's how easy systemizing your business is (and it doesn't take much time).

5 steps to systemize your solopreneur business

Step 1: Note your internal processes down

Identify and document what systems you need to create. Anything and every task you do regularly in your business, jot it down in an excel spreadsheet or Keynote.

Section it into marketing systems, sales systems, and administrative systems. This makes organizing the process that much easier.

Step 2: Get your process on camera

Every time you work on a new task, record an instructional video walking through each step. You can use Loom or Zoom. Verbalize what you're doing so there's no chance of confusion.  

This saves you a lot of time when you eventually do hire someone to help grow your company. Whether that's a VA, marketing coordinator, salesperson, or account manager, all you need to do is give them access to the videos so they can begin documenting the process.  

Step 3: Organize it

Remembering what you named your video six months ago isn't as straightforward as you'd think. Unless, of course, you have an eidetic memory. If not, here's what I suggest.

In your excel spreadsheet, give the task a name, and in a separate column, add a link to the instructional video. You can take it a step further and create folders in your database where you save these videos.

For example, if I were to build a process that automatically logs when someone from my email list registers for a live training, it might look something like this.

  • Step 1: Create a standard SOP folder (here, I'll house all my standard operating procedures/business processes.
  • Step 2: Create a sub-folder titled Marketing SOPs.
  • Step 3: Within the Marketing folder, create an Email Marketing SOP folder.
  • Step 4: Film the instructional loom video and save it within this folder. Give it a name like How to automate a 1-click Zap. Don't be clever. You want this to be easily searchable.
  • Step 5: Open your SOP Excel spreadsheet and title your columns:
  • DEPARTMENT
  • FOLDER (where you will save it)
  • SUBJECT (the task name)
  • STATUS (if it's in progress, under review or approved. Leave it blank if it still needs to be done)
  • INSTRUCTIONAL DOC
  • HOW-TO VIDEO
  • DATE CREATED (you may find better ways of doing things, and this way, you know when a video is outdated and should be updated)
  • LAST UPDATED
  • NOTES (anything that could be helpful)
  • List the name of the video within its applicable column and hyperlink the text.

That way, when you or your new hire need to find anything, it's all neatly organized and accessible.

Step 4: Hire someone to execute

Now, this doesn't need to be a full-time employee. You could hire a VA for a couple of hours a month to help set up your business processes and free up your time. Ideally, you want them to review the video and translate it into a step-by-step how-to guide or what I like to call a Standard Operating Procedure.

They need to include visual references and a link to the video. And because your VA is learning as they document, there's no reason why they can't eventually take over the task saving you time.

When you are small, it's a great stepping stone for getting your systems built.

Step 5: Set up an administrative email

Create an email account for your future assistant even if you have no intention of hiring an employee. This could be general@companyname.com or support@companyname.com.

Get into the habit of using this email for scheduling, responding to general or account inquiries, whatever. By doing this, you won't have to separate these tasks later when you hire a VA.

Also, customers don't necessarily expect to hear from the founder or CEO regarding their accounts. Think about when you have a problem or are following up on a matter. Do you email the business owner directly or a support team?

Having that administrative email account ensures you won't have to worry about giving your new hire access to your personal email. Instead, you just give them the username and password for the support email address, and they can get started.

So that's how to systemize your business the solopreneur way.

The tools you need

These are the absolute bare minimum tools you need to build business systems. If you run an online business, you're going to need  or something similar.

Google Workspace or something similar.

You want to be able to see all your operations and processes at once glance. So you'll need access to Word Docs and Excel Spreadsheets.

You'll need some kind of video recording tool. I use  to record live trainings or webinars and  to record in-house instructional videos. You could also use. Zoom to record live trainings or webinars and Loom to record in-house instructional videos. You could also use Wistia.

Don't resist business systemization. Get it done.

Don't resist business systemization. Get it done.

Remember, systemization is not a scalability blocker. It's all about capturing what you're currently doing so you can eventually hand it off to someone else.

As your small business grows, you have to juggle many more balls. What was manageable with two clients can with five clients lead to you working 16-hour days. You don't want that.

Implementing business systems ensures you can delegate tasks that aren't a priority. You can create a system for writing a blog, hiring new employees, managing your social media accounts, building processes, and responding to a customer.

Systemize: it's a game-changer for your business.

For more great tips on business systemization, watch the video below.

Marketing personalization: Why Personalized Marketing Is Key To Customer Acquisition And Conversion

What is personalized marketing? And why do so many business owners get it wrong? Every day I get emails that start with “Dear Sir/Madam” You probably do too.

Marketing

What is personalized marketing? And why do so many business owners get it wrong?

Every day I get emails that start with “Dear Sir/Madam.” You probably do too. As I don't care for impersonal, bulk emails, they go straight into my trash folder.

I also get clever emails. Just last week, someone sent me a screenshot of my site. It looked like they were having a Zoom call with me. This caught my attention, largely because it was personalized.

Your raving fans (aka your customers) want unique and personalized experiences. Even though they're doing their shopping online, they don't want to be treated like just another nameless, faceless transaction.

So how does a virtual business replicate that vital in-person experience? With technology.

The internet has changed the way we do business. It's given your company access to a global customer base. But that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Their location, economy, and finances can influence how consumers engage with your business.

That's why I'm going to show you how to leverage technology (and digital marketing) to create authentic experiences that increase revenue.

Free Personalized Marketing Strategy Worksheet

Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

What is personalized marketing?

Marketing personalization, also known as one-to-one marketing, isn't just about adding your customer's name into an email or using “you” and “your” in a sentence. It goes much deeper than that.

Personalized marketing analyses data to gain invaluable insights into your audience. Why do they buy? When do they buy? Do they prefer to shop online or in-store? What influences their decisions?

Understanding this allows your brand to curate individualized content for people coming to your website, social followers, and subscribers on your email list.

What is personalized marketing and should you care?

Why is personalization crucial to happy customers?

Imagine this. You walk into your local coffee shop. The same coffee shop you've been going to for the past five years. The barista greets you by name and asks if you'd like the usual, "A large cappuccino with almond milk?"

This little exchange gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling. This is a brand that knows you and anticipates your desires. It's what keeps you coming back.

Now imagine this. You walk into a Walmart with thirty or more aisles, and no one greets you. No one stops to ask if you need help finding what you’re looking for. So you waste 20 minutes searching for the right aisle, only to be overwhelmed by choice.

You eventually find a salesperson, but they can’t tell you why one product is better than the other. So you end up leaving empty-handed, choosing instead to go home and research online. And due to the poor service, you’ll probably never go back to that shop again.

That's why personalization is vital to happy customers.

According to a, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from brands that deliver personalized experiences report from Epsilon, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from brands that deliver personalized experiences.

Your customers want to build and foster happy relationships with your business.

  • They want you to talk to them on their terms. This could be through online chat, in-store, or over the phone (all depending on your market research).
  • They want to receive tailor-made messaging.
  • They want personalization.

But knowing what drives your customer's decisions ensures you can create a personalized marketing strategy that delivers authentic experiences.

It also transforms customers into raving fans.

Does marketing personalization benefit your business? Here's what we think

Four benefits of personalizing your customer experience

1. PERSONALIZATION ENHANCES YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

What do your customers want? What would keep them on your website longer?

With the rise of digital technology, more and more consumers are choosing to shop online. They don't want to head to the local supermarket to stock up on a week’s worth of groceries. They're not interested in battling traffic to attend a yoga session or pick up a package.

But you won’t know this unless you’re analyzing your data or getting on the phone and talking with your customers. That's why personalization is vital. You need to know:

  • Why do they buy?
  • Why would they buy from you?
  • And what do you need to do to retain them?

Understanding this lets you create content that builds trust, answers their frequently asked questions, and streamlines the entire customer journey. You’re also able to suggest products that might improve their experience like an app.

For example, say you purchase a flashlight online. It arrives, but without batteries. You don’t have AAA batteries at home so you have to go to your local store to get some. It puts a damper on your purchase.

Amazon, in contrast, will recommend products other customers bought during the decision phase. They do this because they know it enhances the customer’s experience and it wouldn't be possible without data.

So look at ways to improve your customer purchasing and onboarding experience. They’ll thank you for it.

2. PERSONALIZATION BUILDS GREATER BRAND LOYALTY

Personalization is key to brand loyalty. In fact,  comes from repeat purchases 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat purchases.

Take Apple customers, for example. Chances are, if they own an iPhone or iMac, they probably have an AppleTV and watch. And let’s be honest, Apple doesn’t come cheap.

One might argue that Garmin produces the best athletic watches for active people. Or that Samsung and Sony produce better quality televisions. That doesn’t matter to an Apple customer. They stick with the brand they know and love because it delivers a consistent experience.

So using personalization in your marketing can increase customer loyalty and ensure long-term rewards.

3. PERSONALIZATION ENSURES CUSTOMER RETENTION

It might be stating the complete obvious, but happy customers are less likely to leave.

If most of your customers are one-off purchases, you’re not doing personalization correctly. You don’t know what drives your customer’s decision-making process or what they care about. So you can create digital content that connects with them on an emotional level.

Get to know them by:

  • adding more digital forms to your website
  • sending out surveys
  • asking questions via email.
  • checking out your social feed
  • spending a day at your helpdesk.

But get into the mindset of your customer. Knowing your customers means you can build a content strategy that deals with their specific pain points.

Online surveys can reveal a ton of information about your audience

4. PERSONALIZATION INCREASES ROI

Personalization reduces your advertising costs. Forget billboards, radio spots, or television ads.

According to SmarterHQ, will only engage with personalized marketing messages. By using a broad or generic message, you'll only be targeting 28% of your customer base 72% of consumers will only engage with personalized marketing messages. By using a broad or generic message, you'll only be targeting 28% of your customer base.

Essentially, you’re throwing your marketing dollars down the drain.

Creating strategic marketing messages ensures you attract qualified leads. You’re able to identify the media channels your customers use and create targeted campaigns with tailor-made messaging.

You can send them to personalized products landing pages or funnel them into an email automation sequence for further nurturing.

four ways you can build a strategic marketing campaign

How to build a personalized marketing strategy?

Savvy  to win at the game of marketing. Bouncing from one digital tactic to another doesn’t work marketers know you need a plan to win at the game of marketing. Bouncing from one digital tactic to another doesn’t work.

But for your , you need to have built your personalized campaign based on real-life research. So many business owners get this wrong because they’re not marketers. marketing strategy to be successful, you need to have built your personalized campaign based on real-life research. So many business owners get this wrong because they’re not marketers.

They think, I know what my customers want and what they care about. The truth is, you don’t. Unless you’ve completed market research and analyzed your findings, you’re still playing a game of chance.

Here’s how to build a personalized marketing strategy that converts leads to customers, earns their loyalty, and retains them.

How to gain valuable insights into your customers purchasing habits

1. CAPTURE CUSTOMER DATA

Why capture customer data? Because as a marketer, you can see these statistics to see which marketing messages perform and tweak those that aren't (or drop them entirely). You can also identify problem areas.

For example, maybe your email campaign isn't converting. Which email sees the biggest drop-off? Or you've got a high bounce rate on your products' landing pages. Perhaps you need to revisit and rework the messaging.

So make sure you're capturing your customer data. Here's how:

  1. Use lead forms on your website. I have contact forms across my site. Every product landing page, my contact us page, the home page, blog, whatever. Capture their full name, , company name, and perhaps ask a question. You can feed this data into your CRM email address, company name, and perhaps ask a question. You can feed this data into your CRM.
  2. Use CRM Software. An email welcome sequence is a great way to delve deeper and get to know a lead. Where are they based? What brought them to your site? What do they need help with? You can organize customers into segments, and you can then send targeted emails. This reduces your unsubscribe rate and increases your open and clickthrough rates.
  3. Monitor Google Analytics. I love . I can see where my leads are coming from if they're male or female, whether they prefer to browse my site via mobile phone or desktop, which pages get the most traffic, what keyword topics perform best, which days see a drop off in users, and which are my best-selling products. Google Analytics. I can see where my leads are coming from if they're male or female, whether they prefer to browse my site via mobile phone or desktop, which pages get the most traffic, what keyword topics perform best, which days see a drop off in users, and which are my best-selling products.
  4. Check out the social chatter. What are your customers saying online? Are they actively talking about your brand? Did they share a review? What questions are they asking? What content do they engage with most? Use Facebook and Instagram Insights, LinkedIn Analytics, Twitter, or whatever to get a feel for customer sentiment.
  5. Send a survey. To get direct feedback from your customers, use a survey. I recently sent a survey to customers who bought my 1-Page Marketing Plan course. I wanted to find out what they loved, what they would improve, and what goals they had achieved after completing the course. I then used this information to rewrite the course landing page using my customers' words. My team also rebuilt the course to include many customer suggestions. We're relaunching it now, and I look forward to seeing an uptick in sales.
  6. Run a poll on social media. Another great way to gather customer sentiment is to run a poll. Do they prefer your business to engage with them—via email, direct mail, or telephone? Gathering this information can help you improve your customer service and enhance their experience.
  7. Read your product reviews and customer testimonials. What are your customers saying about you online? Again, this can help you to identify weaknesses. You can also use their words in your marketing messaging. I tend to talk a lot about clarity. It's because my customers always mention it. I help them gain clarity into building a marketing plan. So it's messaging I want to drive home. What message will you drive home?
Example of how we gain insight into our customers and personalize content

2. COMPARE ANALYTICS

What do your customers like and dislike about your brand, product, or service?

What behavioral patterns can you identify? For example:

  • Which ads receive the most clickthrough?
  • What platforms are your customers most active on?
  • What information are they looking for?
  • Which blog articles receive the most traffic?
  • What email subject lines perform best?
  • Do your customers prefer short or long emails?

Compare the data you collect from social media, your email CRM software and  to understand what motivates your customers Google Analytics to understand what motivates your customers.

I’ve done A/B testing with my email list. I sent an email promoting my private Facebook inner circle and received over 900 new leads. I did the same for Instagram and only got 80 new leads. This told me that my audience isn’t active on Instagram. I’d been posting on Instagram for two years with little success. Now I know why.

So comparing your analytics, you can see which media to go big on and which to drop.

3. SEGMENT YOUR AUDIENCE

After gathering data from , Instagram, Facebook Insights, and email analytics, you can now segment audiences and develop targeted marketing campaigns. Google Analytics, Instagram, Facebook Insights, and email analytics, you can now segment audiences and develop targeted marketing campaigns.

For example, consumers coming to Successwise can be segmented into the following groups:

  • Owners or entrepreneurs looking to grow their business with proven marketing strategies
  • Consultants or coaches ready to scale their businesses to the next level
  • Marketing professionals wanting to upskill, get results, and supercharge their careers
  • Startups hoping to start on the right foot with a solid, proven approach they can trust

Each segment is at a very different stage in the buyer's journey with vastly different needs.

A startup won't care about my high-end certification program because they’re not looking to sell coaching services. At the same time, a consultant won't be interested in my marketing book. They want to build a six-figure coaching business, not write a marketing plan.

So segmenting your audience allows you to personalize your marketing. You can craft individualized marketing messages that target your customer’s pain points and overcome objections.

You can deepen relationships, earn their trust, and sell more. Best of all, email automation software ensures you only need to do it once.

Personalization means you can create products for different segments in your target market

4: DEVELOP YOUR MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

Now that you know which media performs best, the segments your customers fall into, and the messages they’d care about, you can start building your marketing campaigns.

Your campaign could include:

  • A free webinar sharing top tips on overcoming a problem your customer has.
  • Google Adwords and social media ads pushing high-value leads to a product landing page, blog post, or webinar.
  • A sales page dedicated to a particular customer segment. You want to take this prospect on a journey. Start by establishing familiarity. Show them what their future could look like after using your product or service. Share customer testimonials. Sell, sell, sell.
  • Funnel your customer into a targeted email sequence. Whether it’s a series of five or seven emails, use this as an opportunity to build trust, gain their confidence, establish your authority, overcome objections, and ultimately close the deal.

Lastly, use technology as much as possible to automate the process.

Examples of marketing personalization

1. ADD ONLINE CHAT TO YOUR WEBSITE.

Are you making it easy for consumers to engage with you? While FAQs are helpful, your customers don’t want to waste time searching through lists of information to find what they’re looking for.

They want answers, and they want them now. A good way to overcome this is to add a chat button on your website. This is something that, ideally, you’d have monitored 24/7.

There’s nothing more frustrating than submitting a question and having to wait hours or days to get an answer.

So it’s convenient, and it recreates that in-person experience.

For example, I recently went to purchase a weather station. I first looked for a chat button on a website because I had questions. Only, they didn’t have a chat button, which annoyed me. I had to fill out a form, which delayed my purchase by at least a week. I could have gone to one of their competitors because of this.

So adding online chat reduces the risks of potential customers straying to competitors.  

An example of using a chat bot to personalize your customer experience

2. SHOW UP ON VIDEO MORE.

Your customers want you to produce more video content. In fact, according to Hubspot, 54% of consumers want to see more It's why I'm showing up on video a lot more, and you need to as well video content. It's why I'm showing up on video a lot more, and you need to as well.

Video is powerful. It cuts through the noise of a crowded digital space and engages your audience. It also creates a one-to-one experience.

Don’t believe me. See for yourself.  

  • 72% of consumers would rather learn about a product or service through a video (OptinMonster).
  • 79% of consumers say video content convinced them to download or buy a piece of software.
  • Adding a video to your product landing page can increase conversion rates by 80% (Wordstream).
  • Marketers get 66% more qualified leads each year with video (OptinMonster).
  • According to marketers, by using video, you are likely to grow 49% faster than brands that don't (Wordstream).

For example, I recently wrote a blog about . Normally, I’d upload pictures and share my top tips building a recording studio. Normally, I’d upload pictures and share my top tips.

But this time, I included a video of me walking through my studio explaining how I set it up, what equipment I bought, and it’s getting hits.

Video elevates the article and gives consumers a glimpse into my private space. That goes a long way to establishing trust and positioning me as an authority.

So make sure your marketing strategy includes video content.

3. SEGMENT YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR MORE PERSONALIZED MARKETING.

The worst thing you can do is to send your subscribers irrelevant information.

Your welcome sequence is your chance to segment your audience. I always ask my subscribers to tell me a little more about them.

  • What is their biggest marketing challenge?
  • What brought them to Successwise?

Based on their feedback, I can determine:

  1. Whether they’ve read my book (if not, I’ll send them a link to the book web page)
  2. If they’re wet behind the ears or have tried marketing before
  3. What field they’re in (and if I can help)
  4. What type of product would benefit them most

4. USE VIDEO PERSONALIZATION IN YOUR EMAIL MARKETING.

I'm a massive fan of email. I've had the greatest success with email marketing which is probably why I wrote an entire blog dedicated to using email to fuel your overall inbound marketing strategy

But I also understand that not all consumers are created equally. And while some might prefer text, others love video content.  

So I've recently started using personalized video in my email outreach. It just elevates the message, and according to, 84% of consumers have been convinced by video content to purchase a company's product or service OptinMonster, 84% of consumers have been convinced by video content to purchase a company's product or service.

Video personalization works great for cold outreach, especially if you're going after a high-ticket customer.

For example, I recently received a video from an SEO expert. They'd put together a short three-minute video showing a few graphs and detailing weaknesses in my . I could tell they knew their stuff, and they’d made an effort to get my attention. Not just some lame, templated email sprouting the same old content strategy. I could tell they knew their stuff, and they’d made an effort to get my attention. Not just some lame, templated email sprouting the same old.

These are the tools I use:

  • Loom to send personalized videos
  • VideoAsk we use to ask for video testimonials, or you can also use Facetime.
Top tip: use personalized video messages in your emails

5. THINK LIKE MARKETERS AND PERSONALIZE YOUR WRITING.

The center of your writing is to help your customer get from point A to B. A place of pain to pleasure.

So when writing copy, always write to one person, even if it's going out to thousands. Visualize the person you are speaking to. Are you addressing their pain points? Would they care about what you have to say?

Here are a few other top writing tips:

  • Use their name where possible.
  • Don’t generalize. Use the words “you” and “your” instead of “hey everybody, ” “we, ” and “y’all. ”
  • Write as if you’re chatting to a friend. You want to make your reader comfortable. So keep your writing conversational and at the level of a 4th grade reader.
  • Use active language. Passive writing can put you to sleep. You want to actively engage your audience.
  • Add emotive language. Play on customer emotions—fear, anger, happiness, sadness, anxiety. When you tap into their emotions, that’s when you convert prospects to customers.
  • Share your journey to success and all the mistakes you made. Remember, your customers have made many of the same mistakes and are still struggling. That’s why they’ve come to you.
  • Don’t put them down. I always try to steer clear of making my audience feel less for the mistakes they’ve made. You want to praise them for persevering and encourage them to make crucial changes.
  • Stick to the point. What action do you want your customer to take? What is the goal of your email or blog? Remember, one email, one point.

Start personalizing your content

Now that you know the keys to personalization, it’s time to revisit your marketing strategy and make vital changes.

Start with research. Gather crucial data, analyze it, and note where change is needed.

Develop new campaigns. If something isn’t working, don’t throw it out. Instead, try new messages and media to see if there’s an improvement.

Remember to be real. Bridge the trust gap by sharing your story. Don’t be afraid to mention mistakes you’ve made and vital lessons you’ve learned. These stories create a shared experience and earn your customer’s trust.

Deliver value. Be open to helping without expecting anything in return. I always say, give your best content (intellectual property) away for free. A customer that wants help will pay for it. Sharing value-added content moves them further along the buyer journey.

Monitor and manage your results. Marketing is an iterative process. There’s always room for improvement. Make sure you’re on point.

Good luck.

Check out this blog if you want to learn how to write influential copy.

How To Build A Marketing Infrastructure That Scales Your Small Business Rapidly

A marketing infrastructure constantly brings in new leads, follows them up, nurtures them, and converts them into raving fan customers. Building it takes time, but when...

Marketing

As a kid, I watched the futuristic cartoon The Jetsons. I was sure by the time I grew up, we’d all be riding around in flying cars. 40 years later and transport still remains terrestrial.

While modern cars have some nice bells and whistles in their basic form and function, motor vehicles haven’t really changed in the last 100 years.

We have the technology for flight. But why aren’t we all zipping around in personal flying machines?

Simple. There’s no infrastructure to support personal flight. Modern houses, buildings, and cities are all built to accommodate cars.

This brings me to your business.

It has access to everything it needs to scale rapidly and become a multi-million-dollar success story. Only without the right infrastructure you’ll experience little growth.

That’s why I’m going to show you how to build an effective marketing infrastructure. I’ve used this method to scale and sell two businesses for more money than I could ever have imagined. And now I’m giving it to you.

So let’s begin.

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Stylized illustration of an open envelope with a document emerging from it, marked by a downward arrow indicating downloading or receiving an email.

What is a marketing infrastructure?

A marketing infrastructure is the systems and processes businesses use to constantly bring in new leads, follow up with, nurture, and convert them into raving fan customers.

And it’s the reason why some businesses get a constant flow of and prospects while others struggle to get any leads and prospects while others struggle to get any.

There are four vital components of a successful marketing infrastructure.

Analytics, email sequences, cornerstone content, are all examples of a marketing infrastructure

What are the elements of a marketing infrastructure?

1. Tools

Technology is key to building an effective marketing infrastructure. Leverage its power, and it can augment your abilities. You’d never have to worry about repetitive and menial tasks again.

  • Forget manually adding meetings into your calendar.
  • Or setting reminders to send monthly invoices to customers.
  • Stopping throughout the day to send a welcome email to every new subscriber. Too damn disruptive if you ask me.

When used wisely, tools and software can make doing business with you and building relationships with your prospects so much easier. Plus, it allows you to focus on revenue-generating projects and ideas.

For example, every online small business needs a website customer management system (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM) tool, payment gateway, and social media tools like LinkedIn and Instagram.

But you also need to track the performance of these tools. You need data. That’s where Google Analytics, social insights, and email analytics come in handy. You can quickly see which marketing assets bring in new leads and where to double down your efforts.

Are you leveraging the power of automation?

2. Assets

An asset is anything of intellectual value. It establishes your authority and industry credibility, builds your brand awareness, and gets high-value leads to self-identify.

For example, a cornerstone piece of content can be a blog, book, guide, or report. It can also be marketing collateral such as your website, a brochure, or an email sequence that consistently converts prospects to customers.

Assets are not only valuable to you, but they can increase the saleability of your company.

3. Processes

These are the systems and procedures you implement to ensure vital day-to-day tasks get done. Also known as a standard operating procedure, these processes outline who will do what and when.

For example, it can help you plan content marketing. What marketing articles, resources, or images do you need?

If you decide to post a blog article once a week, the process will outline the following:

  • How to research keywords.
  • Who writes the article
  • What tools need to be used to optimize the article
  • Permissions - so who needs to review the article before it gets published?
  • When to add interlinks?

Processes save you time and money. But they also help you scale.

4. People

As a solopreneur, it’s difficult to scale your business alone. You may reach five or six figures, but you’ll burn out trying to do it alone. If you’d like to retain control of your advertising and marketing message, you’ll want to build a team of marketers, sales, and tech experts.

These four components (tools, assets, processes and people) are fundamental to your marketing infrastructure.

Why an effective marketing infrastructure is vital to your business growth

There are four main reasons you need to invest in building infrastructure to market your company.

Your marketing infrastructure is crucial to your sales process

1) It reduces the cost, time, and effort of customer acquisition.

Most businesses do what I call "random acts of marketing.” They’re not building an infrastructure. They throw up an ad here and there, perhaps a website or a brochure.

These sporadic, one-shot acts of digital marketing usually cost more than they bring in, which is demoralizing. It also sometimes leads business owners to say ridiculous things like “marketing doesn’t work in my industry. ” In a nutshell, it's expensive.

If you don’t have a system to generate new leads, prospects, and clients, you have to replace it with manual labor: cold calling, cold emailing. You're wasting hours following up on unqualified leads. It's exhausting.

Now, imagine you had a machine that does that for you.

Here's why that's so powerful...

2) It optimizes your sales and marketing, which influences business growth

You have a better understanding of what the market wants. It tracks the data.

You can see where a lead came from, what information they're interested in, and what content to produce. Give this data to your sales team, and they'll know what message to push, what objections to overcome, and when to cut a prospect loose.

3) It makes your life more pleasurable

You don’t have to wake up and hustle all day. Automating much of your infrastructure ensures you start to get leads in-bound. I'm not saying outbound is wrong. It’s just more difficult.

With a sound marketing infrastructure, sales know exactly what to do, marketing has a proven growth plan to follow, and you can go on holiday without worrying things will stop.  

How to build a marketing infrastructure

To build a system, we need to think it through from start to end. We need to understand how it works and what resources we’ll need to run it.

Here are a few examples of successful marketing assets in my marketing infrastructures:

  • Lead capture websites
  • Free recorded message info line
  • Newsletter
  • Blog
  • Free report
  • Direct mail sequences
  • Email sequences
  • Social media
  • Email auto-responders
  • SMS auto-responders

I continue to build bigger and more sophisticated assets, but these are some of which make up my core. Each one of these has a place and purpose. All the ads I run are designed to plug cold leads into this system and convert them to raving fan customers.

It does take time and money to build a marketing infrastructure. But just like building physical infrastructures like roads or a railway network – the bulk of the time and cost goes into the initial build. After that, it’s just maintenance.

And here’s the exciting thing – thanks to advances in technology, much of my marketing system is automated, which gives me enormous leverage.

When I find a combination that works, I can redeploy it repeatedly and reliably get the same results.

Follow these five steps to begin building your marketing infrastructure

Step 1: Complete your marketing plan

Without a marketing plan, you'll continue to waste time, energy, and dollars on random acts of marketing. A sound marketing plan details every step in attracting a cold lead to churning out a raving fan.

It's the foundation on which your marketing infrastructure is built.

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Stylized illustration of a 1-Page Marketing Plan.

Step 2: Identify the crucial next steps in advertising your company

Implementing an infrastructure can be overwhelming for time-strapped entrepreneurs. You want to start building that database of leads, so focus on getting your website and CRM operational.

Step 3: Document your processes

Even if you can't yet afford help, you need to document your processes. It can be as easy as filming Loom videos while you work. This way, when you can hire someone, you won't have to spend time showing them how to do things. It's already done. They just need to follow your instructions.

Step 4: Assign KPIs and track your data

An essential component of your infrastructure is data. Business growth requires you to stay on top of your marketing numbers. Speak to any marketer, and they'll tell you they frequently review every piece of data they receive.

  • Can we A/B test an email subject line to see which performs better?
  • Opt-ins for this marketing leaders report are down. Check historical analytics to see if this is seasonal or a messaging problem?
  • Leads from Instagram are non-existent. Clearly, our audience isn't there.

Knowing your numbers allows you to cut the tools that aren't delivering, saving you time and money.

Step 5: Optimize, optimize, optimize

Marketing is never done. So get into the habit of testing and optimizing regularly.

  • Make time to review your marketing plan every year. Ask yourself, is this still true?  
  • Review your campaigns. If it's still converting, don't change the message. Often business owners think their messaging is old and tired. But remember, someone somewhere is seeing this message for the first time.  If it's not broken, don't fix it.
  • Be open to trying new technology. There may be more sophisticated means of automation that can make your life even easier.

Are you ready to start building your infrastructure?

Are you building your marketing infrastructure?

Are you constantly adding to and improving your marketing systems?

Doing so is what will put you far ahead of your competitors, who’ll be just fluffing about with their random acts of marketing. Use the steps listed above.

Craft your marketing plan. Identify which systems and assets you need to build. And get it done.

5 Underrated Techniques for Delivering a WOW Factor

Can you wow a client without sending a physical gift? Absolutely. There are many ways you can exceed your customers' expectations without investing your hard-earned...

Marketing

Can you wow a client without sending a physical gift?

Absolutely. There are many ways you can exceed your customers' expectations without investing your hard-earned dollars.

I get it. Direct marketing can quickly become costly, but what is a high-value customer worth to you?

If a $20 gift results in a $3, 000 monthly retainer, that’s money well spent. It's a great investment.

But if you really can’t afford it, here are my top five underrated techniques for delivering a WOW FACTOR on a budget of zero.

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What is a wow factor?

It's the movie star who releases box office hit after hit. It's the tennis pro who can tap into a reserve pool of energy five sets into the game and return an impossible shot to win the grand slam. It's a state-of-the-art kitchen that turns a lovely home into something special. And in business, it's the experience your company or brand delivers to show customers how much you appreciate them.

A wow factor in marketing could be a handwritten note, a monthly gift voucher to put towards any purchase, free tickets to an event you're hosting, or a phone call asking you how your day is going.

It doesn't always need to be grand. It just needs to be unexpected. See for yourself.

I always send two books to customers so they can give one to a friend

5 Ways Your Business Can Deliver a WOW Factor without Sending a Physical Gift.

Contrary to popular belief you don't need to spend money to impress your customers. While a physical gift goes a long way for generating a good rapport with your customer, you can achieve the same buzz on a budget of nothing. Here's how.

ONE: Pick up the phone and call that person directly.

Think about the last time you purchased something online. What if, minutes after making your purchase, instead of the expected automated email you received a phone call from that company thanking you for investing in their product or service.

It's a living being who's seen your transaction and taken action. They've gone to the effort to find your phone number and personally call you. That would make a pretty big impact. It's not something you're going to forget.

In fact, you're probably going to tell your friends and family. So don't be shy to  every now and then with a phone call surprise your customers every now and then with a phone call.

TWO: Send video messages.

This is something I'm seeing more and more service-based businesses implementing. I'll give you an example.

About a year ago, an SEO expert reached out to me on LinkedIn. They'd spent about two minutes putting together a video analyzing my website's performance, noting gaps in my SEO strategy and advising small changes I could fix immediately.

It impressed me because it wasn't the usual regurgitated email template for cold-pitching, where the sender changes a few words, mentions something notable about your company and why they'd like to work with you.

I could tell this approach had taken time and effort, and as a result, I felt compelled to respond. I didn’t sign up for his services because I already work with a skilled SEO expert, but if a company was looking for an SEO agency and they received a similar video message, I guarantee that many would have hired him.

As WOW factors go, this option demonstrates your expertise and delivers value upfront so I’d highly recommend adding it to your marketing strategy.

Video WOW Factor Example 1:

I received this cold email from an SEO supplier plying his trade.

Video WOW Factor Example 2:

How can you demonstrate your expertise to win business off cold leads

THREE: Create buzz for your business.

What can you do to generate buzz or goodwill for your business?

For example, in a bid to support the efforts of The Ukrainian Red Cross Society, Page Optimizer Pro asked its community to donate to the worthy cause. Everyone who donated was then entered into a raffle to win access to their IMG Courses.

It was a win-win. Their efforts raised $2,717 while calling attention to their course offerings.

5 Underrated Techniques - Gifts

Here's another example:

James Laurain, a freelance writer peddling his services on LinkedIn started hosting an online copywriting showdown. His community of business owners and fellow writers would challenge him to see who could write the best ad promoting a brand or product.

These showdowns generated a ton of free press and exposure for the businesses and the writers. Laurain's list of connections grew, as did his influential status and clientele.

5 Underrated Techniques - Buzz

FOUR: Share notable information.

Have you read a great article or book lately that you know will interest your client? Maybe you've discovered a useful new tool. Share this information with your client. Send them a personal email explaining why you think they’d benefit from it and include the link.

If you happen to have a joint venture (JV) partnership with this authority or business, you can include a discount to their course, book, or software. I do this with all my JV partners. If they’ve written a book, I’ll offer it to my list for free or at a discount.

We get the highest click-through rates on these emails. So give it a try. They’ll thank you for it.

Example of a free book I sent my list

FIVE: Remember personal details.

Take an interest in what’s going on in your clients’ lives. Maybe they have a sick kid. Perhaps they just moved, or it’s their birthday. Message them to wish them well or their kid a speedy recovery.

It builds customer loyalty and delivers a wow factor. It also shows your customers that you actually care and that's powerful.

Take an interest in your client's life, they'll thank you for it

Forget about grand gestures.

Your customers don’t need those from you. It’s the little things that count...

A monthly handwritten note checking in to see how they're progressing. A motivational text message once a week. A video message responding to their email.

So what small changes can you make to deliver exceptional customer experiences?

12 Best Marketing Tools for Small Business + Free Tools Checklist

So you've decided to build your marketing engine. Only you have no idea where to start. As a small business venturing into the marketing unknown...

Business
Systems

So you've decided to build your marketing engine. Only you have no idea where to start. As a small business venturing into the marketing unknown, you’re probably wondering if you need to invest in a plethora of marketing tools that may or may not help you get ahead.

You don’t.

Small business marketing is very different from big business marketing. For one, you don't have the budget, time, or available resources. So you need to be savvy about which marketing tools you invest in.

So to help you stop guessing and stressing about building your marketing arsenal, I’m going to break down which marketing tools for small businesses you need to get things done.

Allan breaks down the tools your need in your marketing arsenal

Give your small business a head start with these online marketing tools.

Marketing for small businesses is easy when you have the right tools.  I’ve listed twelve of my favorite small business marketing tools. You don’t need to purchase these all at once.

But if I had to choose my top five marketing tools for small business or a startup, I’d recommend:

  1. Business and communication tools
  2. Project management tools
  3. Content Management system
  4. Email marketing tools
  5. Social media tools for social media management

I’ll discuss these in more detail, but I’ll also touch on other marketing tools worth adding as your business and internal marketing team grow. The key is to start small. Okay, let’s get into it.

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Top 12 small business marketing tools

1: Business Marketing Tools

The first marketing tool you need to invest in is Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite). It’s ideal for remote teams, and here’s why.

Google Workspace offers you cloud computing, email and calendar capability, online document editing, file sharing, and much more.

My team uses Google Drive extensively to house all company documents and collaborate on projects. For example, we use

  • Google docs for creating copy for emails and landing pages, SOPs, and brainstorming new things. You can add comments and suggestions and track all changes. It logs changes made and by whom, so that’s pretty nifty.
  • Google sheets for planning, recording, and tracking stats. It’s so important to know your numbers. If you’re not monitoring the performance of your marketing, you’re doing it all wrong.
  • Google slides for creating presentations for monthly team meetings and speaking events.
  • Google forms for surveys and questionnaires for clients.

It also offers single user sign-in, which is great if you want to log into other apps like Slack or Loom, Zoom, your Helpdesk, whatever. You can do it all via your Google Workspace account.

And if a team member leaves, you can just suspend their account, which automatically locks them out.

So it’s convenient, secure, and relatively inexpensive.

Just don’t use it for bulk emailing. That's what your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is for. I mean, you can try, but your account will get flagged and banned.

Other Tools

The competitor of Google Workspace is Microsoft Office 365. It has very similar functionality, but I've found it clunky and targeted towards corporations rather than small businesses.  

2: Project Management Tools

The next tool you’ll want to add is a project management tool. Without it, you’ll waste time and energy emailing and following up with your team to find out where they are in a project, who’s waiting on what, where to find documents.

As you can imagine, this is frustrating, and housing your to-do list and deliverables on a Google Doc or piece of paper just won't cut it, especially as your team grows.

With project management software, you can map out and track every project, task, and job you’ve got planned for the next six months. And you can view it all in one place.

My team uses Asana. We've tried ClickUp and Trello, and they're both good project management software, but Asana is by far our preferred tool.  

A screengrab of our Asana content marketing board and how it helps the team stay on top of projects

Use it to:

  • Map out project timelines
  • View company workflow in a calendar, board, or list format
  • Track what’s in the pipeline
  • Manage daily and weekly tasks
  • Segment it according to the various departments in your company
  • Assign tasks to different team members
  • Share documents
  • Track conversations
  • Add reporting (great for tracking email-open and click-through rates)
  • Reschedule due dates
  • Receive daily email updates on tasks completed and those due

And there’s so much more. Project management software is key to your marketing team's productivity. It's necessary if you want to stay on top of your to-do list and crush business goals.

Other Tools

If you’re just getting started with a project management tool and want to play around, I suggest opening a Trello account. It’s free, and the card system is really easy to use. But if you’ve got a team of five or more, switch to Asana.

3. Content Management System (CMS) & SEO Tools

An essential tool for small businesses is your website. It forms the center of your marketing. Unless your business is complex or a big corporation, you don’t need a custom-built website. It’s expensive and generally not user-friendly. And having to contact their IT department every time you want to make a change to your site is impractical.

You want to be able to handle those things in-house or by yourself. Software tools like Squarespace and Wix have all of this really cool functionality built in, but if you require something they don’t offer, that’s it. You’re stuck.

So you want a content management system that you can use to capture and follow up with leads, load blogs, add landing pages, and implement SEO with little training.

I’d recommend WordPress. You can purchase a template design and build a really attractive site with minimal effort. Plus, you can find virtually any plugin you need.

  • Payment gateway―no problem.
  • Video streaming―you’ve got it.
  • Email integration―it’s a breeze.
  • Leave a review―why not.

And if you can't find a suitable plugin, you can always get someone to develop it for you.

Do you need different websites if you serve B2C and B2B? Click the link to find the answer.

Another great feature is Yoast for WordPress. It tracks how readable your article is, if your writing is optimized for search engines (SEO), and whether you have the keyphrase sufficiently. Take a look for yourself. Here’s an example.

Know your SEO score and if your copy is too hard to read with Yoast

For advanced SEO, check out Page Optimizer Pro. It shows you which words your article needs to include and where to include them, giving you a content score out of 100.

SEO is key to your digital marketing strategy. It can mean the difference between being found online or not. Remember, SEO is the main driver of organic traffic to your website.

Organic traffic is non-branded search. These are prospects typing queries or questions into Google and the search engine is showing your site as the best source of information. So make sure it's part of your online marketing strategy.

SEO is key to creating cornerstone content that ranks and Page Optimizer Pro is a must

Other Tools

SquareSpace and Wix are great for the solopreneur who’s never going to expand their business. For e-commerce businesses, I’d recommend Shopify.

If you're looking to invest in an SEO tool I'd suggest Page Optimizer Pro or SurferSEO. I've used both and each has massively helped my team to rank our content.

4: Email Marketing Tools

Much like your website, your Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) or email marketing tool is at the center of your marketing infrastructure.

The purpose of your CRM tool is to capture high-value leads that come to your website,  trigger email automations that nurture, and eventually convert them into customers.

Here’s why: On average, roughly 3% of your target market is ready to buy today. Unfortunately, every other brand is fighting for their attention.

There’s another 40% who might not be ready to buy today, but will be ready someday. If you don't have a CRM system, you won't be able to keep in touch with these prospects. So when they’re ready to buy in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 180 days, a year, two years they’ll turn somewhere else.

You need a customer relationship management tool you can rely on to automate much of this process, especially if you’ll be sending three to four emails every week.  

I use Ontraport. It’s an all-in-one integrated platform. It has features like membership capability and payment processing, but that's not why I use it.  I use it because it has powerful automation capability, excellent support, and it's really well-priced for a large number of contacts.

It also has landing page capability built in, but I don't really use that. I do use tagging, which is essential. If you invest in any digital marketing tool, your CRM needs to be up at the top.

Automation is key to your marketing success. We use Ontraport

Other tools:

  • Beginner: Convert Kit If your business is purely digital, selling things like courses and eBooks, and you’re just getting started, I'd use ConvertKit.
  • Intermediary: ActiveCampaign If your business is primarily email-based, I’d look at investing in software like ActiveCampaign to automate your emails. It has this nifty little Chrome plugin, which can pull data directly from your Gmail and populate that back into Active Campaign, which is great for tracking conversions.
  • Pro: HubSpot or PipeDrive I use PipeDrive to monitor sales leads. Anyone who looks like a good fit or is interested in one of my products gets loaded in there. It plugs into my email software so I can tag leads and my sales team can track our conversations. From there, they can set up a call and move them along the sales funnel.

All three have free trials and powerful automation capabilities. So, if you're not sure which one is right for you, you can try them on for size and make a decision from there.

You might want to check out these blogs for more information about email marketing:

- How email marketing is necessary to inbound marketing

- 9 dos and don'ts of email marketing

- The real reason why your email marketing isn't working (+ how to fix it)

5: Social Media Tools

Building your social presence requires great content. The message alone is not enough to cut through a crowded market space. You need something eye-catching and shareable, especially if you're trying to make it on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn.

You could hire a graphic designer to craft visually engaging posts, but that's expensive. And they need access to design software (like Adobe Photoshop) and a bank of images (such as Shutterstock or Getty Images) that requires a license, which can get spendy.

To up your social media marketing game, here's what I like to do instead. My team uses Canva, which is design software that anyone can use.

  • It gives you thousands of templates to choose from. So whether you need business cards, banner ads, a social media post for LinkedIn, or digital assets, just drag and drop the template you like and replace the copy and image as required.
  • You can design your company logo.
  • You also don't have to pay to use the images. No matter your topic, you'll find a host of free stock photos you can use.
  • But you can also upload photos or illustrations.

The professional graphic designer will likely use Adobe Creative Suite. If you’ll be creating infographics often, I’d use Venngage. Good luck.

If you can't afford Adobe Creative Suite, Canva is a great entry-level design tool

6: Editing & Grammar Tools

Another small business marketing tool you want to think about investing in is editing software. There’s no point writing a killer landing page or great social media content if it’s riddled with typos and grammatical errors.

I can't tell you how many times I've received an email from someone on my list telling me they spotted a spelling mistake. It happens, but it's also embarrassing.

With tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway App, you can write content that anyone can read. It’ll highlight which sentences are difficult to read so you can correct them before posting that new blog.

And you can download the tools to your desktop so you never have to open them and input your writing piece. I use Grammarly on Chrome and it automatically checks my LinkedIn posts, emails, and website. So even if I’m responding to someone on Instagram, it’ll highlight if I need to add in a comma or use a different word.

Grammarly checks your spelling and grammar, it also gives you a plagiarism score

7: Social Media Marketing - Scheduling Tools

To do social media marketing effectively you need great design and editing tools, but you also need the right scheduling tools.

Social media marketing doesn't just involve design creation and hitting the post button. You need to monitor engagement and track results.

  • What posts performed well?
  • Do your users prefer video content, text-based content, or a combination of image and text?
  • Which days have the highest social traffic?
  • What are the best times to post?
  • Which brands have reshared your content?

If you're posting to multiple social media platforms, you need a tool that can, at a glance, show you what you’re working on, what’s been published, and how it has performed.

My team uses Loomly, which plugs nicely into our social media channels. Essentially it can house and schedule every piece of content you create for social media. So whether you’re posting to Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, it’s all there.

Reminder, we’re a fully remote team, so my CMO needs to be able to review posts, make notes, edit copies, and reassign as necessary. Loomly does all of this and more. Once the content is approved, my team selects a publish date and hits go.

We also like Loomly’s analytics features. It ensures we can track views, likes, comments, shares, and much more. I’ve tried using project management tools like Trello, but we like Loomly best, and it’s cost-effective.

Added to this, my team uses Unum.la for grid planning and TapLink for adding links to our bio.

Other Tools

If you’re solely looking to build your Instagram presence, I’d have to say these are the best Instagram marketing tools: SocialPilot, Iconosquare, and Buffer.

For a small business, social is a long-term game. To reap the rewards, you need to track your performance month to month, and there are tools to do that. You just need to choose the right one for your business.

We use Loomly to Schedule our Social media content

8: Internal Messaging Tool

If you run a remote business, you absolutely need some kind of internal messaging tool. If you’re not in the office with your team, you need a way to communicate with them quickly.

When I worked in corporate, we often met up around the water cooler and discussed projects, and internal messaging software replicates this in-office environment.

My go-to messaging tool is Slack. It’s something my team uses every day.

  • We get so many emails each day, and it’s hard to track conversations. With Slack, my team can direct message each other or create different channels for the various departments. And we use these channels to collaborate and broadcast messages.
  • We’re able to share documents (files, images, Loom videos) and celebrate milestones or major wins.  
  • I also use it as a reporting mechanism. So I have a weekly stats group where we post the past week’s sales numbers, email-open and click-through rates, and web stats. There’s a to-do-today group where we can see who’s working on what for the day and what was completed. It’s an easy way to monitor workloads and progress.
  • It dramatically cuts down on email load, and it's instant and available on your cell phone, desktop, or other devices.

It’s a digital marketing tool that you want for your business.

Send docs, videos or quick messages to your remote team using Slack

9: Virtual Conferencing Tool

As a business coach, I use virtual conferencing all the time. Whether for podcast interviews, customer calls, hosting webinars, or attending a speaker event, it’s a marketing tool that ensured businesses thrived during the pandemic.

Now I’ve tried a few, and I’ll go into these in a bit, but my favorite tool for online training is Zoom. I'm in client meetings all day, so I need software I can rely on. Zoom webinars integrate with Zoom meetings, and the video quality is excellent.  

It’s essential if you’re building a global business.

  • GoTo Webinar is one of the original virtual conferencing tools. It's got great features, but it's pretty expensive. It’s really for businesses with big budgets, not a startup or small business.
  • Demio is another conferencing tool that you can check out. I used it for a bit, and I liked that it integrated with our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. If you held a webinar and someone registered but didn't attend, it would tag them automatically in your CRM system and trigger an email sequence. With Zoom, I have to manually upload the CSV file which can be cumbersome. So Demio had really powerful integration on email automation. I didn't stick with it because I felt the video quality was poor. As a business coach I need to recreate that in-person experience and you can’t do that with a grainy or hazy image. If I don’t give my customers a good experience, they’ll leave and that will affect my revenue.
  • WebinarNinja is a live training tool I'm trialing and loving. It's ideal for coaches and creators. It the software comes standard with sign up pages, and thank you pages. Plus, it's really easy to use and reliable.  So make sure your marketing blueprint lists a virtual conferencing tool.
Host a webinar, meeting or live discussion with Zoom

10: Calendar Tool

Another great marketing tool is Calendly. As a business coach, I’m constantly connecting with customers across the globe. Imagine the back and forth of trying to find a time that works for both of us.

If I always had to convert time zones I’d lose my mind. So using a tool like Calendly makes scheduling customer calls so much easier. It’s user-friendly and integrates nicely with Gmail and Google Calendar.

You can block off unavailable times, and schedule specific times for quick discovery calls, media interviews, team catch up, and much more.

So if your business works across multiple time zones, I suggest you add Calendly to your list of must-have marketing tools.

11: Video Marketing Tools

You need to think of yourself as a media company. More and more, we’re seeing big software companies acquiring media properties. Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post. HubSpot bought The Hustle. And the crypto space is acquiring tons of media properties every year. It’s booming.

Here’s why: When you control the media, you control what gets published. You control the narrative.

Now that’s a really powerful position to be in.

Just think how much easier it would be to get the word out about your startup or new product ―not to mention the cost savings. Buying media space is expensive, but not when you own the channel.  

You can use video to respond to prospects over email, introduce products on your website, ask for testimonials, and share social media tips. But you could also use it to answer frequently asked questions, work with people on a sale, or provide tech support.

So many people send mass emails, and they end up in your spam folder. A much more powerful strategy is to use personalized outreach with video.

My favorite video tool is Wistia. Unlike Youtube, I can upload videos that only my customers can see. So if I create video content for a course, I’ll house it all on Wistia. Unlike Youtube, I can upload videos that only my customers can see. So if I create video content for a course, I’ll house it all on Wistia.

  • I use Loom to send personalized videos to customers and my team. We also use it to film instructional videos. This is super helpful when onboarding a new employee.
  • We use VideoAsk to ask for video testimonials. You can also use Facetime.
  • You can use Vimeo, but I’m not a fan of this marketing tool.

So these are my best video marketing tools. Remember, 85% of internet users watch video content monthly. That’s why you need to be using video as a critical part of your content marketing strategy.

If you're looking to set up a recording studio I go into the recording gear you need here.

Instead of uploading your videos to YouTube try Wistia

12: Data Reporting & Monitoring Tools

The only way to know if your marketing is working is to monitor your numbers. I like to use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track website visitors, the best-performing pages, top sellers, organic conversion rate, and bounce rate.

A high bounce rate means our content isn’t serving visitor search intent. So we can use this information to make vital changes. Perhaps we need to optimize our introductions or re-evaluate our meta descriptions.

If there’s a sharp dropoff in visitors to a particular blog, I know we need to revise it.

I use Search Console to submit new web pages to be crawled. It also gives me an overview of our best-performing keywords. But to get greater insight, I use AHREFS. It tracks our domain ranking, backlinks, referring domains, new keywords, and organic traffic.

My team can search for related keywords, search volume for that keyword, which sites rank for a particular term, and the difficulty factor.

And based on these results they can determine whether to target a longtail keyword or a small, high-volume keyword. If you’re not monitoring and managing your page performance, you’ll start to notice a drop in visitors to your site, and that will affect your bottom line.

If you're not monitoring your analytics you won't know what's performing and what's not

Other Tools

  • SemRush
  • UberSuggest
  • Moz Pro

I’ve tried all of these, but AHREFS is my preferred SEO monitoring tool.

Example of AHREFS and using it to track web performance

Help Scale Your Startup With These Free Tools

As a startup or solopreneur, you're likely cash-strapped. Spending your limited budget on tools for marketing your business doesn't make sense. At least not until you've got a steady stream of new customers.

So where possible you want to invest in free online marketing tools. These are my top tool suggestions.

  • Canva
  • Trello
  • Google analytics
  • WordPress
  • Wistia
  • Hemingway
  • MailChimp

Helpful Terms

Marketing: The process of getting your target audience to know you, like you, and buy from you. It uses a mix of paid and free marketing tools to promote your business’s services and products. Read our definition here.

Marketing tools: Any tools you use to develop your brand presence and promote your business. It can be online or offline, but for the express purpose of this article, we’ve focused on online marketing tools.

Content marketing: The process of conceptualizing, creating, and disseminating content that is engaging, insightful, and educational across a variety of media channels. It could take the form of a blog article, social media post, podcast, video, or course.

Digital marketing: The process of advertising your business online, using a variety of media channels. It could be pay-per-click, Google AdWords, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), PR, contributor content, and much more.

Social media marketing: The art of connecting with and promoting your business’s products and services via social media. Popular channels include TikTok, Instagram (B2C), Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn (B2B), and Twitter. In the US alone, 82% of people consume social media content, and that’s why you need to have your content machine up and running.

Digital marketing tools : This could be your CRM (email marketing), CMS (website), content marketing, social media marketing, analytics, SEO.

Marketing tools roundup for small businesses

So these are my go-to online marketing tools for startups and small businesses. They are core to our marketing toolbox.

Marketing is the fuel that drives your business forward and marketing tools are the components that help your small business to function optimally.

I've shared a combination of free must-have digital marketing tools and paid options. You'll want to price and get as much information as you can on each tool before settling on the best fit for your needs.

Start small and build as you go. If you’re a solopreneur, you don’t need every tool listed in this article. If you’ve got a team of five or more and you want to grow to 7-figures, make sure you’ve got automation, and that you’re invested in project management, social media, and content management.

And use the 1-Page Marketing Plan to map it all out. Get your 1pmp canvas here.

B2B vs B2C: Do you need different websites?

B2B vs B2C. What is it and do you need two different websites? We answer your burning questions.

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You’d be surprised by how often I get asked, “B2B vs B2C, can I be in both, or do I need different websites for my B2B and B2C customers?”

It's a decision many business owners grapple with. While there are some benefits to having more than one website, in most cases, a single website is ideal.

To help you reach the best decision for your business, I thought I’d provide a little clarity. But first, let's review the definition of B2B and B2C.

Can you have the same website if you serve a B2B and B2C market?

What is B2B?

B2B is short for business-to-business. These are companies that deal directly with and sell to other businesses. While they may invest in marketing their products or services, they don't sell directly to consumers.

For example, a publishing company sells books directly to retailers, such as bookstores. And farmers sell their produce to wholesale supermarkets or restaurants.

The benefit of the B2B model is you can sell a greater amount of products to a broader audience, but you will have to reduce your price.

What is B2C?

B2C is short for business-to-consumer. These are businesses that sell products and services directly to customers—for example, an e-commerce store, restaurant, or business coach.

Using the farmer as an example. They might choose to sell their produce directly to consumers. In this case, they’d probably set up a stall at a farmers market.

The benefit of the B2C model is you can charge a higher price for your product or services. But it does require you to invest more time.

So why is this relevant to your website? Perhaps, you want to target your products and services to both B2B and B2C customers.

Can you do that with a single website?

Is B2B and B2C marketing the same? We explain the difference between

Can a website be B2B and B2C?

Absolutely. There’s no reason why you can’t serve both B2B and B2C customers from the same website. Lots of companies do.

While Apple has a range of phones, laptops, watches, a movie studio, and streaming services, everything is housed under the Apple brand and accessible via the iStore. But you can also purchase these products through retailers.

Johnson & Johnson also serves a B2B and B2C market. They sell soaps, bandages, baby lotions and wipes, creams, and more directly to the medical industry (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies) and to consumers via retailers. Yet, it’s all housed under one brand and one website.

The same applies to Procter & Gamble.

So YES! You can sell to a B2B and a B2C market, but… YOU NEED TWO MARKETING MESSAGES.

Need help planning your direct response campaign? Click the link to learn more about this powerful marketing strategy.

Why do B2B and B2C markets need different marketing messages?

Because using the same message won't work. It won’t connect with your audience because wholesalers and consumers are motivated by different things.  

For example, consumers are motivated by the result the product or services promises. So many of their decisions are based on emotions.

  • Can they afford it?
  • Do they need it?
  • Is it going to positively impact their life?
  • Will that new Garmin sports watch improve their race time?
  • Are they going to attract more clients and retain them longer by investing in your business course?

You want your marketing message to tap into those fears, hopes, and dreams, and you can do that with emotional direct response copy

But the wholesaler is motivated by a product that will move off shelves quickly and make them a good profit margin. They only care about numbers.

So your sales team needs to be clear on which marketing message to use and how to deliver that message.

B2B vs B2C: Why don't you need multiple websites?

Now, as a small business owner, there are several reasons why having more than one website would be a bad idea.

4 Reasons why you don't need different websites (B2B vs B2C)

1. It’s double the work.

First, having two websites creates a lot of unnecessary work for your team. It’s two sites to design, maintain, update, and optimize for search engines (SEO).

If you're a startup, small business owner, or solopreneur, chances are you can't afford to outsource the management of your website. So you handle it yourself, or you've delegated it to a team member. And unless they have a background in digital marketing, managing your website probably takes them twice as long as a skilled marketer.

Adding another website would eat up time you don’t have. So keep it simple and focus on creating one quality site for your customers.

2. It’s double the content.

Before you think, I'll just duplicate content to save time, here's why that's a bad idea.

Search engines don't like duplicate content. It creates a poor user experience and can result in Google penalizing you. This affects your domain ranking and, eventually, your bottom line.

If you're going to create a separate B2C and B2B website, you need to craft unique content for each target customer. That takes time.

It requires a dedicated content writer—someone to research keywords, write blog posts, and upload them to your site. But again, we're back to double the work, which leads me to my next point. Read my top writing tips here.

3. It’s double the cost.

Adding another site means purchasing a new domain, creating a new design, crafting unique copy, optimizing each web page for SEO. And that all costs money. You probably don't have a substantial marketing budget, so you want to be smart about where you invest your money.

4. It’s double the confusion.

And lastly, creating two sites can be confusing for customers, especially if both sites target similar keywords.

Say your B2C customer accidentally visits your B2B site. They might waste time looking for the product or service they need. And because they can't find it, they become frustrated and leave.

But they genuinely want help, so they search for your direct competitor. Their site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Within moments, your would-be customer has all the information they need to make an informed decision. The result: they purchase the product and you’re out of luck.

So those are four reasons why you don’t need a separate B2B and B2C website.

Here’s what I suggest instead.

Creating separate user journeys is a great way to direct B2B and B2C customers

Don't waste time, energy, and money creating separate websites. Instead, use landing pages, a survey, or a selector tool to segment your audience when arriving to your site. This way, you can funnel your prospective customers to relevant information.

For example, a hospital might add a pop up with the options “I am a Doctor” and “I am a Patient.” Can you do something similar?

You can also use PPC ads, Google Adwords, or Facebook Ads to drive your customers to specific pages instead of your home page. Your B2B customers might never know you also serve the B2C market.

And by housing all of this information on one site, you can use Google Analytics to track which web pages perform best, where there’s room for improvement, and which marketing messages resonate most with your customers.

You might learn that B2B outperforms B2C, or perhaps they’re evenly split. But it’s far easier to review your marketing numbers when they are all nicely packaged in one place.  

So is there ever a time when you’d need two completely separate websites? Yes.

When would you have separate B2B and B2C websites?

If you’re selling or adding a completely unrelated line of products or services, then I’d advise building a separate website.

For example, let’s say you currently sell insurance. Over the years, you and your team developed a piece of software that helps you streamline the quoting and claims process, and you now see an opportunity to sell this software to other insurance companies.

That's when you’d use a different website to market that software to the insurance industry.

Is your website set up for maximum sales and customer retention?

Now that you know the pros and cons of having one website dedicated to your customer base, can you save costs and combine your B2B and B2C sites?

What about giving customers the option to self-select and segment themselves upon arriving at your website?

And if you’ve purchased multiple URLs, you could just add a 301 redirect to your site. Google interprets this as a permanent move, and it won’t affect your domain ranking.

Take things one step at a time. Create a project board and identify the tasks you need to complete. Then assign them according to priority. All that’s left to do is action each item.

The beauty about the digital world is it will still be there tomorrow.

8 Tools You Need to Build Your Home Recording Studio + Free Checklist

How to set up a professional home recording studio on a tight budget. Here are the 8 essential tools you need. Check it out.

Tools

Whether you’re launching a podcast from your basement, recording an audiobook, or building an online coaching business, you need a home recording studio. But it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune or involve extensive renovation.

It’s actually really easy to do. And to take the guesswork out of it, I’ve put together a comprehensive guide of the equipment you need to buy to produce quality audio and video content that your tribe of raving fans can’t get enough of.

But before we look at the essential gear you’ll need, let’s discuss the benefits of building a home studio.

Kit your home recording studio out with these essential items

Is a home studio worth it?

Absolutely. Billie Eilish recorded her Grammy-winning debut album from a self-built, home recording studio and look at her today. She wrote the latest James Bond theme track and was featured on the cover of Vogue. That would never have been possible 15 or 20 years ago.

So technology has dramatically changed the way we do business. It’s allowed coaches, consultants, and creatives to build recording studios and 7-figure businesses from the comfort of their homes.

Booking a professional recording studio can cost you upwards of $200 an hour. Now imagine if you’re recording an online course or an audiobook. It could easily take you 40-80 hours to produce. Think about how many copies you’d need to sell before you break even.

Plus, having that studio in-house means when inspiration strikes, you can hit the record button and work your magic, night or day.

So the long-term benefits of creating a recording studio are cost-savings, convenience, and business growth. Now, what would you expect to pay?

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How much does a home recording studio cost?

Price really is a matter of budget. What are you willing to spend? I spent a little over $4,000 on my home recording studio and that wasn’t including my Macbook Pro which I already had.

You can build a recording studio for a lot less ($500) or a lot more ($30,000) depending on your goals. I want to launch a Top 100 marketing podcast. To do that, I need top-quality home recording studio equipment.

If you’re in the beginning stages of building a virtual consultancy, or a small niche podcast, start small. You don’t need to invest in fancy lighting equipment, or the best podcast microphone, or video podcast equipment. You can purchase entry-level equipment without sounding like an amateur.

Just don’t do things on the cheap. Every time I’ve done something the cheapest way, I’ve usually regretted it and ended up paying a lot more further down the line.

If you’re serious about turning your home studio into a lifestyle business, then be prepared to pay once, cry once. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it hurts. But with the right recording studio setup, you’re going to recoup your investment much faster.

So here are the podcast tools you’ll need for your home recording studio.

8 recording studio essentials  for beginners

Allan Dib's Home Recording Studio for Content Creation
  1. Computer
  2. Lighting
  3. Camera
  4. Microphone
  5. Light and mic stands
  6. Tripod
  7. Teleprompter
  8. Accessories

1. Computer

Your computer is arguably your biggest expense when setting up your home recording studio. This is the tool you’ll be working on every day so you need to be sure you’ve got a computer with enough memory and disk space. You’ll be installing production software and working with large video and audio files, so you need a computer that can cope.

You also need to think long-term. Do you want to be working off a small laptop screen or a desktop computer with a much larger monitor?

I have a Macbook Pro, but if you’re cash strapped, stick with your existing computer and upgrade once you can afford it.

Here’s the computer I’d get: (Amazon)

Now let’s talk about lighting.

2. Lighting

Good lighting is vital if you’ll be filming videos for social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

If you’re a business coach or consultant launching an online course with video content, you want it to be slick. And it won’t be if your face is partially hidden in shadow or you’re sweating profusely because you’ve got a flashlight aimed at you.

I also appreciate a well-lit room when I’m jumping on calls with clients or presenting a talk to a virtual audience. So you want to recreate an in-person experience as much as possible.

You can hire an electrician to rewire your designated studio space, but that’s really expensive and unnecessary. Instead, invest in good lighting equipment for a fraction of the cost.

Here is all the lighting equipment you’d need:

  • Godox FL150S 150W Flexible LED Video Lighting. This is a bi-colored, foldable light.
  • Heavy-duty Light Stand Tripod
  • Godox Softbox with Grid for Flexible LED Light
  • Neewer Ring Light Kit

3. Camera

Get it on camera. Visual quality is everything, especially if you want to capture video content that you can repackage for social media, online courses, and your blog. Your time is money, and wasting it filming multiple reiterations of the same theme just doesn’t make business or financial sense.

And a poor quality video image will negatively impact your tribe's experience of your brand. People won’t watch it if the image is grainy.

By investing in a good camera, you can film high-quality video content that your editor can tweak and repurpose as needed. I’m a fan of Sony. So I purchased the Sony Alpha a6400 mirrorless camera. Its real-time tracking and excellent light sensitivity are great for shooting moving images.

For example, as a coach, I’ll sometimes share thought-starters while driving or out walking my dog, and I need it to feel like my viewers are there with me. So I want to create that in-person experience, and this camera helps me do just that.

For content creators, I’d advise you check out the Logitech StreamCam. It auto-adjusts the focus as you move, so it’s great for live streaming and creating engaging high-definition videos.

Next, you want to think about sound.

4. Microphone

Audio is by far one of the most important elements of your home studio. If you’re just starting out, you probably won’t be able to build a sound-treated studio. Let’s be honest; it’s expensive. And unless you’re the only inhabitant of a private island or located in the middle of a forest, finding a noise-free zone won’t be easy.

What you need is a podcast microphone with voice isolation technology.

I love the Shure Motiv because it has built-in headphone monitoring and voice control, meaning it automatically adjusts your vocal tone. So it won’t matter if you move away from the speaker, the microphone will adjust your voice tone in real-time. Just set it to auto-level mode and the microphone does the hard work for you.

If you’re not a techie like me, it really is the best podcast microphone. You won’t have to spend a ton of time in post-production editing the recording. It stops unwanted background noises from creeping in— so blaring car horns or kids running rampant down your hallway won’t be a problem.

Best of all, it connects via Bluetooth, so you don’t need a USB plug-in. And it is compatible with all professional interfaces.

I’d also advise that you purchase a windscreen for your microphone. This is a foam-like cover that you place over your microphone to reduce wind noise and cut out unwanted breath which can quickly become distracting and detract from the experience.

I bought the Shure A7WS Windscreen but you’ll want to buy one that fits your brand of microphone.

You’re also going to need to purchase a stand for your microphone. If you’d like a microphone that comes standard with a stand, check out the Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording and Streaming. It’s ideal for podcasts and YouTube video creators.

5. Lighting and Microphone stands

Imagine you’re giving an hour-long presentation. The last thing you want to be doing is holding your microphone for the duration of the talk.

You also don’t want to be adjusting and readjusting your microphone or video recorder while hosting a podcast or filming a course. So investing in a modular rigging system is essential. You can also use it for freestanding cameras and lights.

A multi-mount and flex arm lets you position and lock your equipment so you can focus on inspiring your audience. You’ll also need to purchase a multi-mount weighted base.

Your camera and lighting equipment is expensive. It’s not something you want to worry about falling over. Using a heavy-duty weighted base gives you confidence in knowing that your equipment won’t get damaged.

To recap, these are the light stands and tripods I’d recommend:

  • Manfrotto light stands
  • Elgato multi-mount
  • Elgato flex arm
  • Elgato multi-mount weighted base

Remember, you can buy all of this equipment from Amazon or B&H. Now, let’s talk about tripods.

6. Tripod

You need a tripod to mount your video camera or teleprompter (I’ll get to this in a bit). I use the Manfrotto 290 XTRA Kit with video head. It’s made from solid aluminum and has adjustable legs to position your camera at a height that works for you.

Unlike a weighted base, it’s easily movable. So if you want to change up the scenery and shoot a thought piece at the beach, just grab your tripod and off you go. And at $350 it won’t break the bank.

Back to that teleprompter I mentioned.

7. Teleprompter

Why do you need a teleprompter? If you’re anything like me, you speak off the cuff. You’ve got notes jotted down which you use as thought starters, but for the most part, you’re freestyling.

This is where a teleprompter comes in handy. Use it to maintain eye contact with your audience without having to glance down at a piece of paper to remind you what comes next. It’s all there, in your line of vision, and your audience would never know because it looks like you’re locked on them.

So whether you’re hosting a video podcast or filming course material, you want to invest in a teleprompter. It takes the pressure out of presenting educational material.

Lastly, accessorize.

8. Accessories

If you’re working with dual monitors, a camera, teleprompter, microphone, and laptop you’re going to need something to plug everything into. I’d recommend the Plugable Thunderbolt 3 and USB Docking Station.

Not only is it compatible with Mac and Windows, but it also has 11 ports of connectivity.

I’d also look at investing in the Elgato Cam Link 4K. It enhances your video image, delivering far more compelling and captivating visual content. All you need to do is connect it to your camera and computer then hit the record button.

It’ll ensure that you never have to worry about maxing out your memory card in the middle of your recording session.

And that’s all the equipment you need. Next, I want to talk about choosing your designated recording room.

Choosing your recording Room

This is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to setting up your home recording studio. You need a space that can house all of your recording equipment, provide excellent acoustics, and be insulated from outside noises.

Some people will tell you to invest in soundproofing (foam rubber insulation on the walls and ceiling) but that can be costly when you’re starting out.

My top tip: choose a room with a carpet, and preferably no windows. This acts as a buffer against outside noise. If you’re like me, and you need a view, make sure the window frames seal tight or add heavy curtains to reduce the echo.

And those are my top tips.

Plan your studio, purchase, put into action

Now that you know the recording equipment you need, start planning your next steps. If you’re on a tight budget, decide what gear you need to buy first, and what you can live without for a little while. Then get it done.

Only invest in a new computer if it fits into your budget. Otherwise, start filming and launch your podcast, coaching business, or course and see how things go. Test it on the market, and get feedback from your audience.

Is the visual and sound quality good enough? What could be improved? Then take action. Good luck, and have fun.

Cornerstone Content: How to Craft Great Cornerstone Articles

Why cornerstone content? Imagine your ideal prospect has a problem they desperately need to solve. They're looking for a cure, but they don't know who...

Lead Capture

Why cornerstone content? Imagine your ideal prospect has a problem they desperately need to solve. They're looking for a cure, but they don't know who to turn to.

So they open up a browser and type their question into Google or Bing if you'd prefer. The search engine then presents your target audience with a list of sites they believe are best positioned to handle your potential customer's request. And it could be your site if you had a great piece of content.

Now, this lead doesn't need to know who you are. By ranking in the top three positions in search engines, you're immediately positioned as a trusted authority—the ideal choice. No amount of advertising is as valuable or powerful.

That's why I’m going to show you how to research, write, and optimize great cornerstone content that drives high-value traffic to your website and helps you convert leads to customers more often. But first, let's tackle the definition of cornerstone content.

Allan Dib explains how to create cornerstone content that makes you famous
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What is cornerstone content?

Cornerstone content is a free piece of content that you're famous for. For me, it's my book and 1-Page Marketing Plan framework. For you, it could be a report, how-to guide, software, eBook, landing page, blog posts, whatever.

Your content cornerstone is a compelling article or content piece that gets a high-value lead (your ideal customer) to raise their hand and say, hey, I'm vaguely interested in what your business has to offer. And to get their hands on it, they're willing to barter their email address or phone number.

Remember that a great cornerstone informs, educates, and delivers a result in advance. It's not about selling. It's about establishing a great first impression.

Why is cornerstone content important?

Well, think about this. Your prospects have two questions on their mind when shopping for a solution to their problem.

  1. Can this person or product help me?
  2. Can I trust this brand?

Everyone wants to buy from an expert and a trusted authority. Nobody wants to buy from a stranger. Unless you're a well-known brand like Apple or Garmin, you have minimal credibility. You're essentially starting in negative territory. So you need something essential, indispensable, and life-changing for you and your customer, and that's great cornerstone content.

Remember, a content cornerstone positions you as an educator and an expert authority, giving you instant credibility. It's the next best thing to a word-of-mouth referral. It also demonstrates that you can help your prospect by creating value or giving them a result in advance.

It sets the tone for a lifelong customer relationship.

What are the benefits of creating cornerstone articles

6 ways cornerstone content benefits your business?

I've mentioned some of the benefits of writing a cornerstone piece, but to recap, here are six ways it impacts your business.

  1. Builds your brand authority
  2. Drives high-value leads (traffic) to your website
  3. Builds your email list (top of your sales funnel)
  4. Positions you as an expert in your chosen field
  5. Establishes trust (super powerful)
  6. Create natural backlinking opportunities from mainstream publications and niche bloggers (necessary fuel for your SEO strategy)

If you're reading this, you're probably an entrepreneur, coach, or consultant looking to scale your business. Adding a cornerstone article to your content strategy will help you achieve just that.

But how do you identify cornerstone ideas?

Allan Dib shares the five ways he identifies cornerstone content ideas

Creating cornerstone content: How to come up with content ideas?

There are several ways I like to generate ideas for cornerstone content. Remember, this is a pivotal part of your content strategy, so you want to ensure that any content you create covers topics your target audience is interested in.

These are my five go-to channels for generating cornerstone ideas.

1: Speaker Events

Often when I'm speaking at an event, I'll allow time for a Q&A session, or there's a chance to mingle with event-goers. I get a lot of content ideas from these events. And the same applies to virtual events. I'll always leave 10 or 15 minutes for Q&As. I'll note down thought-starters in Key Notes and then feed these content ideas into my content strategy. It's a great way to devise cornerstone content.

Allan speaking at the Foro-Go event in Mexico

2: Engaging with customers

What are your customers’ frequently asked questions? Do you know? A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners assume they know their customers. You might be guilty of this. I know I have been. We think because we built it, we are our audience, we know what makes them buy, and often that's simply not true.

It's why I encourage my clients to spend a day manning their Helpdesk or engaging with customers on the floor to gain insight into their questions. They're telling you what cornerstone content they need, so pay attention to the questions your customers are raising and craft relevant content pieces.

3: Google searches

What keyword or keywords are your customers typing into Google? Take a look at your web analytics. What are your top-performing blog posts? These are the content articles that receive the most traffic on your site? Which keywords do you rank for?

Each keyword is an indication of customer interest and intent. That's the cornerstone you should be writing. Note it down. Then brainstorm possible related content pieces.

For example, suppose I wrote a blog post on How to Start a Coaching Business from Scratch. In that case, sub-topics could include Scaling your Coaching Business, 5 Ways To Generate $50K a month in Coaching Revenue, Group Coaching vs. 1:1 Coaching: What is the Difference? You get the idea.

This is known as cornerstone cluster content. You’ll add internal links from each article to the pillar topic because each link shows Google, which is your high-priority content piece. It also helps website visitors to get the answers they need. And it becomes a lot easier to rank on search engines.

Now, if you're stuck on what to write and can't afford search engine optimization (SEO) software like AHREFS or SEMRush, Google is a wealth of information. You can use the People Also Ask section to see related content ideas or, if you scroll down to the end of the page, you'll find the See more section. It'll offer a host of other long-tail keywords and content ideas that your readers are searching for.

So it makes sense to use this information to build out your content marketing strategy.

4: Reviewing blog posts and social media comments

Again, check out your blog and social pages to see what comments your website visitors and social media communities raise? You'll find that your readers are opinionated.

They may agree with certain statements, but they may also challenge you or ask you what you think about something else. Look out for recurring themes, and don't be afraid to start creating cornerstone content blog posts and social media posts that use your readers’ exact words.

use reviews to get cornerstone ideas

5: Customer surveys

Survey your readers via email or online. Market research is vital in understanding your target audience and search intent. It's the foundation for all your marketing activities, every blog article written, every campaign launched, every product's landing pages built, the keywords you target, and the cornerstone content you create.

Ask structured and unstructured questions. I like to ask open-ended questions because it gives you the chance to capture your customer's feedback. Mine this data and make sure you use their thoughts and words in your marketing and when writing an article or blog page landing page, email sequence, whatever.

For example, your audience doesn't necessarily use your terminology. I recently bought an electric bike. That's what I googled. But the correct terminology is pedal electric bike. Google can match search intent with keywords, but those SEO articles also allow customer terminology. That's why you need to be using their words.

So I encourage you to explore using these strategies to generate cornerstone ideas. The next phase of your content marketing strategy is to create cornerstone content. I'm going to show you how.

Show you how to write a cornerstone blog in 8 steps

How to create cornerstone content that makes you famous?

To create cornerstones people actually want to read, follow these eight steps.

1: Start with research

The first step in creating a cornerstone article is to start with research.

Ideally, you want to use a combination of keyword research and market research.

I use my social pages, Google analytics, webinars, and client surveys to drive cornerstone ideas.

  • What questions do they frequently ask you?
  • What are their barriers to success?
  • How can you provide clarity?

As long as you've spent time engaging with your readers, you'll know which content topics to tackle.

Note these ideas down in an excel spreadsheet.

Then use a tool like AHREFS to do competitive research and determine keyword difficulty. You want to know:

  • What are your chances of ranking for your chosen keyword?
  • What is the monthly search volume that keyword receives?
  • Is it worth going after?
Example of AHREFS Keyword Research

For example, there's a ton of advice online about building a marketing plan, and finding a unique spin on it might not be possible. You’re also going to be competing against brands with high domain authority. That’s not easy.

Instead, create cornerstone content focused on long-tail keywords because they're easier to rank for. Or try to win a featured snippet.

This is a brief description that Google extracts and shows to users to answer their questions quickly. It’s a great way to get eyes on your content.

An example of a Google Featured Snippet

2: Build your cornerstone strategy

Think of your cornerstone content strategy like a travel plan. There is a destination or intended purpose and then the journey to reaching that goal. Your content strategy is the journey you take your readers on. The goal is the outcome you’d like to achieve.

To start, decide what is needed to make the reader's journey worthwhile?

The reader's goal is to get answers. To find out more information about a topic of interest. Your strategy needs to include their questions and anything else relevant.

Review your content plan and identify the related articles you'll link to. Remember, your goal is to keep website visitors on your site for as long as possible.

Will your cornerstone article include a content upgrade?

This is a worksheet or template that they can download for free and use in their business to build out their social media strategy, or craft a well-written blog, hire a marketing coach, whatever.

It needs to deliver value.

Will you push them to a sales page or webinar?

The goal isn't just to get eyes on your content, to educate and inform. Ultimately you want your prospects to take action. Whether that's opting into your newsletter, filling in a form, downloading a free guide, arranging a call, or purchasing a product depends entirely on you.  

Cornerstone-Strategy-Example

Who will write the post?

Do you have time to research, write, edit, design images and publish your article? If not, you need to hire a content marketer. This is someone who knows how to write a compelling piece of content, optimize it for search engines, and upload it.

Put together a standard operating procedure for this person to follow. It makes automating content creation easier.

3: Choose your content type

Now that you've identified the cornerstone topic you want to write about and the information you need to cover, you need to decide how you’ll present it.

You could do an:

  • In-depth how-to guide (this could be a blog or sales landing page)
  • video series
  • Data report or infographic
  • A free tool like a content plan, product trial, framework, or template
  • Podcast
  • Evergreen webinar

Much of what you produce will be dictated by your target audience. What media do they prefer to engage with? Is there merit in mixing media, adding video to a long-form article. Or giving users the choice of watching a webinar instead of reading the article?

Don’t be afraid to shake things up. You may be surprised by the results you get.

4: Write your cornerstone masterpiece

It’s time to build out your cornerstone content. I like to use an SEO tool like PageOptimizer Pro as a guide. I know roughly how many words I need to write, the questions I need to cover, how many images, keywords to include, and where.

Use an SEO optimization tool to craft cornerstone articles that rank on Google

But if you don’t have this tool, you can do research using Google. Check out the People Also Ask and Related Searches section.

Google's related searches will help you identify potential content ideas
Alternative ways to optimize your Cornerstone content

Look at the top four ranking articles and note down the questions they cover, the words they frequently use, the average number of images on all, their title tags, and meta descriptions.

Use this information as a guide, but be sure to bring something new to your article. Search engines won’t rank your post if it just regurgitates the same kind of information.

  • Your article needs to be helpful, well-written, value-packed, and match the users’ intent.
  • Use high-resolution images. Poor quality visuals diminish the credibility of your post, so use good design, and make sure your visuals are optimized for the web. They should be no bigger than 100kb otherwise, it will slow the load speed of your page, affecting your ability to rank.
  • Use original ideas and share anecdotes from your experiences.  

5: Optimize your content for search engines

The entire point of your cornerstone content is to attract new leads to your site. These are potential customers that might, otherwise, as a result of reading your blog, opt in to your newsletter, or purchase a product.

For example, 8 out of 10 of my most trafficked web pages are blog articles (non-branded keywords). That’s users typing a question into Google.

Google Analytics clues you in on the content cornerstones your users are reading

But they won’t find you if your content isn’t optimized for organic search.

  • It needs to be shareable on social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I include social media chicklets that scroll with the document so a user can share the post at any point. This way, they don’t have to look for the sharing button.
  • Your images should have alt text. This is a brief description explaining what the image is so the user can make sense of what they’re looking at. So image optimization is crucial.
  • Have you segmented your blog post into H1, H2, H3, H4 tags? Have you used bullet and numbered points, bold, italics? Have you included a content list that users can skim or jump ahead? The layout of your content is super important. It can mean the difference between a user browsing or bouncing.
  • Don’t keyword stuff. Some bloggers make the mistake of placing keywords in their content like confetti, especially if they’re short. Remember, you still need to write a readable piece of content. So if it sounds clunky, edit, edit, edit.
  • Optimize the Title Text and meta description. I've built my website in WordPress, and I use Yoast SEO to determine whether the title and meta-description of my cornerstone article are optimized for success. You must use your keyword in both.
  • And ensure your blog is mobile-friendly. If it doesn’t display correctly on mobile devices, you have a problem.
  • Include an option for users to comment or opt-in to your email list. Your goal should always be to capture your readers' details.
  • To optimize the body of the article, I use PageOptimizer Pro. It gives me a score rating out of 100 and tips on improving keyword usage. It’s helped me to take articles that didn’t rank to appearing in the top 10, so give it a shot.

6: Promote your cornerstone content

You’ve spent all this time and energy writing a world-class article. Now you need to promote it.

  • Start with your email list. I’ve taken to sharing blogs with my email list, and it’s resulted in over 300 readers coming to that page in one day. This increases my chances of businesses linking to content or sharing it with their colleagues and business circle.
  • Share your content on social sites. You want to promote your blog on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Write a LinkedIn article (a condensed version of the original content piece) and link to the full blog post. Choose an engaging image for Twitter and Facebook and craft an intriguing caption that drives the reader to act.
  • Mention it on podcast appearances. Most podcasters will promote your episode and biography on their site. You want to ensure you’ve included a link to the article in the synopsis.
  • Approach bloggers in your industry to see if they’d be interested in a contributor piece that references the main cornerstone content. You can link back to your article. This method improves your page and domain authority.

7: Add internal linking

When you create cornerstone content, you need to pay attention to the internal linking structure of your website. Internal linking means adding a hyperlink from related content to your cornerstone article. You can link a particular keyword or phrase.

Internal linking is vital to your SEO strategy. It can keep readers on your site longer, but it also says to Google which are the most important pieces of content on your website.

So add at least ten internal links to your cornerstone article.

8: Monitor and manage your content

Finally, the thing about content marketing, it's never done. It's an ongoing journey. You want to give your article a month or so to see how it’s performing. After that, you may need to add new ideas or tweak the headers.

I’ve had blog posts which with time, have slipped from the top three spots to eighth or ninth, and it’s because they are valuable keywords that other brands want to rank for. So competition creeps in, and it’s up to you to ensure your content is up-to-date.

Be willing to refresh your content, and when you do make changes, update the published date. Many web visitors won’t read a blog written three years ago.

So track your content’s performance and enhance where necessary.

Now that you know how to write great cornerstone content let’s look at a few examples.

Follow these 8 steps to build your cornerstone blog

Examples of cornerstone content

1: Cornerstone articles (SEO)

Cornerstone articles bring in high value leads that can potentially become customers

Crafting search engine optimized cornerstone articles is vital in this day and age. Every day your ideal prospects are looking for advice or guidance on how to do something better, what it is, where to find more information. You want to create pillar content, basically in-depth blog posts that answer your readers’ questions.

Think of these cornerstone pieces of content as mini-guides and, or long-form articles on a particular keyword topic.

For example, I rank for the keywords and long-tail phrases business systems, direct response marketing, lead nurturing email sequences, marketing coach, reactivation campaign, etc.

Sometimes this content pushes a lead to a landing or product page. Other times I offer a free download or content upgrade. This is a template, worksheet, infographic, or guide that they can use in their business.

The goal is it attracts organic traffic. High-value leads. Business systems alone bring in over 700 leads a month. Social media posts don’t get nearly the same traction as cornerstone blogs, so make sure it forms part of your strategy.

2: Cornerstone Data

Data is such a powerful piece of cornerstone content. Data works well in most industries because numbers are compelling. Journalists want to be the first to publish it. People like to use it as a guide for making decisions. So if you can put out a report or some form of data, do it.  

Use data to attract your niche target audience.

For example, if I'm buying or selling a house, I want to know what the area is like, what I am going to pay, and what I will get for that amount?

Having some report or price range or guide that will help me understand what my house is going to be worth is very powerful.

This example is from Mornington, my local suburb. There are some things they did well, but they could have taken it a step further.

They should have segmented the guide into the beach, forest, inner-city, and countryside areas. Looking at it, I know what sale price I can expect to get in my area and what I can expect to pay for an inner-city property and what you get for that. Because you pay for a view, you pay for convenience, which often comes at a price: smaller properties, less land but easy access to bars, shops, offices.

So anywhere where you have some kind of cornerstone data that can be updated regularly, maybe monthly or quarterly, is very powerful.

Data is a powerful piece of cornerstone real estate for your business

3: Cornerstone Research Reports

Industry research reports are great for B2B as your target audience wants to know what’s happening in their industry and how that affects their business.

Every quarter Akamai releases a report called The State of the Internet Report. Inside the technology industry, Akamai is a powerhouse. Their data and research are used a lot in news publications.

For example, whenever you see a report ranking broadband speeds across the world that's based on the research by Akamai. They're tracking different threats, emerging trends, and the business implications for those trends are. It also contains commentary from the editor and leaders in the industry, so it’s massively powerful.

It gets released every quarter and generates press and relevant traffic to their site. It enhances their credibility and authority in the industry. So, their cornerstone content has helped position them as a thought leader.

A great report contains lots of data, stats, graphs, diagrams, and content.

Release a cornerstone report to get media coverage and grow your authority

4: Cornerstone Product Reviews

As a consumer, anytime I purchase a product, particularly something of value, I look for product reviews. I like to use a mix of professional reviews and customer sentiment.

I also like to watch YouTube reviews because you get a sense of how it works and what you’re getting into.

The best example of product reviews on Youtube is Gary Vaynerchuck. He started with a channel called Wine Library TV. All he did was review different wines, the flavor, texture, taste, and what might pair well with them.

Wine lovers would have subscribed to his channel, and they’d buy from him and his family's business. So it’s a smart way to grow your business. You can embed those videos on your website and push them to product landing pages.

So product reviews are fantastic cornerstone content for eCommerce.

Gary Vaynerchuk is an excellent example of cornerstone product reviews

5: Cornerstone Guides

How-to guides are great for identifying your niche audience. For example, Qualaroo sells software that helps you survey your customers. They've created a guide called The Marketers Guide to Surveying Users. This cornerstone content tells you exactly who it's for and what it will help you do.

It's what I like to call a tripwire. If someone downloads it, you can assume it will be a marketer, and there is a high probability that they're looking for a tool or software to help them survey their clients.

This piece of cornerstone content allows you to enter the conversation taking place in your prospects’ minds. You can capture their email address and keep in touch with them. You can provide nurturing content, deliver value, and perhaps give them a result in advance.

How-to guides work especially well for companies selling software, so start building yours.

How-to Guides make excellent content cornerstones

6: Cornerstone eBooks, Frameworks, Templates

Can you write a book, template, or framework that changes your and your customers’ lives? I did, and I know of many other business coaches who’ve done the same.

My book  is the cornerstone content I am most famous for. Sure, if you Google my name, you'll come up with blog articles, and I get a lot of traffic through my blog. The 1-Page Marketing Plan is the cornerstone content I am most famous for. Sure, if you Google my name, you'll come up with blog articles, and I get a lot of traffic through my blog.

But my book is my key piece of cornerstone content. Anyone who purchases it can find a link to my 1PMP framework. They have to opt-in to my sales funnel to acquire it.

I’ve built a 50,000 strong email list through this book. Many of whom have gone on to purchase my course, group consulting, 1:1 consulting, and my consulting toolbox.

So think about what piece of cornerstone content you can create that solves a problem.

Build your email list with a cornerstone ebook

7: Cornerstone Video Content

85% of all internet users watch videos. So you must consider creating video content.

For me, River Pools and Spas nailed video cornerstones. In 2008 they were hit hard by the recession and were on the verge of closing shop. They had to get creative fast. So, Marcus, the CEO, started blogging. He wrote content and filmed videos answering their customers’ questions.

Things like:

  • what kind of heat pump do I need?
  • how much does it cost to build a fiberglass ground pool?
  • how much electricity will it take to run the pool pump?
  • do I need to have the pool cover open or closed?

These were then loaded onto his retail website. They went from almost going out of business to being one of the top fiberglass pool manufacturers in North America, which is incredible.

People from all over the world contact them even though they're only based in the US because their cornerstone content is world-class. It generates a ton of traffic.

It's an incredibly powerful strategy because you're working with Google. You're creating search engine optimized content that answers what they want, and you're catering to your customers' questions.

Google wants your audience to find the most relevant content. So think about how you can use videos as part of your cornerstone strategy.

Create video cornerstones to help your target market

Start writing your cornerstone marketing piece

Now that you know what a cornerstone article is and how to create it, you need to create your own lead-generating masterpiece. Something that's going to bring high-value leads straight to your inbox.

If you don’t have the time, hire a writer who can interview you and get as much information as they need to write it. Then get a designer to craft something eye-catching. Or a videographer to film it.

Once you’re satisfied with the end result, publish it, and monitor its performance.  Good luck.