As a blogger or business owner, your content is at the core of your online brand.
Without content, you don’t have a blog or business, and, well, that’s what you’re here for, right?
But, as is the way with our industry, you want to attract more readers and clients. That means you need to brush up on how you market yourself.
The thought of publicly putting your brand out there might make you want to quiver in a corner. Self-promotion doesn’t come easily to the best of us. But marketing doesn’t have to mean boring advertising and overused tactics.
How can you create content to get yourself out there? Understand your audience.
I know, I know. So many people talk about finding your niche and getting to know your target audience or clients - but it’s something that you need to do.
In order to start growing your online brand, you need to have content that’s worth reading and an offer that’s worth selling.
When you know your audience, you can start creating content and selling services that directly target their pain points. This means you’ll be continuously solving problems that they face.
Here are a few pointers for when you’re next having an inspiration session:
- Your audience probably isn’t aware that they need this piece of content or service from you yet. But when they find out about it, they’ll want it REALLY bad.
- You need to be solving a specific problem. If it’s too broad and you don’t know for sure whether you’re solving a problem, narrow it right down.
- You need to inspire your audience or client that this is something they need right now. Not in a day or a week - they can’t say no.
Once you’ve come up with some ideas that do these exact three things, and you’re sure that your audience or clients need and want this in their life - that’s when you start implementing some marketing strategies to promote what you have to offer.
Utilising the written word to get more out of your marketing
A lot of bloggers and business owners write a brief piece of content, publish it on their website and then sit back and put their feet up. They wait.
But there’s a problem. There’s a huge difference between a written blog post and a strategically written blog post. You need to utilise the written word to really stand out and make an impact. How? By making your copy reflect your audience’s emotions, beliefs and values.
Woah, stop right there, Holly - this is getting a bit too deep for me now.
I get it. But if you push past the initial resistance, this can actually be really simple to do. Especially as I’m going to let you in on a few copywriting techniques right now!
#1 | CREATE A SENSE OF INDIRECT PRESSURE
Have you ever been shopping online and filled your basket with loads of stuff, only to leave it there for a few days? Then you get an email in your inbox saying, “Hurry! If you order everything in your basket within the next 24 hours we’ll give you 10% off!” (You get what I mean, right?)
As soon as you see that message, you instantly feel pressure that you have to go and hit the purchase button right now, so you don’t miss out.
This is a key copywriting tactic that can be used to create a sense of indirect pressure in people. It’s FOMO (fear of missing out) - and it’s a powerful tool, especially when used in a positive way.
Now, be careful with this. You don’t want to take it out of control and start telling people you’ve got your next two months worth of content planned when you have zero ideas.
But you want to make it feel urgent. Only keep a certain amount of slots open for new clients. Ask readers to respond to you within a certain timeframe to get access to an exclusive piece of content. Use urgent words in your headline, for example, “need”, “right now”, or “today”. Make it limited.
Creating a sense of indirect pressure is one of the best ways you can get more readers and attract more clients and generate loyalty more quickly. Give it a go and see what happens.
#2 | WORD FEATURES IN A DIFFERENT WAY
So many bloggers make the mistake of simply talking about what something features, whether it be a beauty product, travel destination or free tool. Likewise, I see business owners just stating what they have to offer.
“I offer custom branding, blog post design, basic SEO and email list integration.”
What’s the problem with this? It sounds dull. It sounds like everyone else. It doesn’t tell people how you are going to help them.
So word the features in a different way:
- “I offer custom branding to help make sure your brand is unique and represents who you are and what you have to offer.”
- “I offer blog post design to ensure your content stays consistent, on brand and keeps people reading for longer.”
- “I offer basic SEO to increase your presence in search engines and grow your audience organically.”
- “I offer email list integration to create a loyal base of customers that will help to grow your business and reach your goals.”
Sounds better, right?
You’re telling people exactly how each thing you offer is going to help them grow and improve.
People don’t care about features. They want to know WHY. Why has it worked? Why is it effective? Why should they get involved? From this moment on, with everything you write, whether it be social updates, landing page copy or blog posts - dig deeper. Expand and keep asking why.
#3 | KEEP LOYALTY IN MIND
Marketing has developed so much over the past few years.
In 2004, people still used MySpace. Now, there are so many platforms at our fingertips that allow us to implement targeted advertising and manage our online reputation in the best way possible.
Now, it’s all about engagement and building relationships.
Instead of treating each person who signs up to your mailing list as a “subscriber”, connect with them. Make them a real part of your community. It’s essentially like influencer marketing (which my friend Zoe has a great course on - click here to take a look!)
This is my three-step system that you can try:
- Connect with a blogger you admire on Twitter/Instagram
- Retweet a piece of content they’ve shared or comment on one of their latest photos
- Ask if it’s okay to send them an email
This is a simple yet effective strategy that I follow and it works. Instead of going in and marketing yourself straight away, you’re delaying it and doing it indirectly. This means the person on the other end is much more likely to pay attention to you when your email lands in their inbox.
You don’t have to beat around the bush. Just use that strategy each and every time.
#4 | CREATE A BUILD UP
I know I’m not spoiling things when I saw that as a blogger, you want more subscribers to your mailing list. And if you’re a business owner, you want more clients.
Think about it: when you’re deciding where to go out for dinner one night, it’d probably take you a few minutes. When you’re deciding where to stay when you go on holiday, it’d take you longer, right?
That’s because it’s a bigger and more important thing to think about. There’s more weight to it.
What if your hotel isn’t near the beach? What if there isn’t enough room? What if you regret it when you get there?
It’s totally normal to feel like this when you’re making a big decision. And what do you do in both of these situations? Read the reviews.
In blogger and business owner world, the translates to reading the testimonials.
But don’t worry if you’re just starting out. There are some things you can do to attract those first subscribers and clients.
The way I did it when I first began was to let people know exactly what they could expect from both my mailing list community and my services. I made sure they knew how I worked and how much value I could give them.
So, one way to do this is to offer some opt-ins for your mailing list as a teaser, so your potential subscribers know what to expect.
This means subscribers can take a look at what you have to offer and get to know you before really deciding whether they want to stay subscribed or not.
These first few steps can then lead your subscribers down the rest of your funnel until they become a loyal member of your community.
You can create a sequence of emails where after every few weeks, you can the pitch the next step of your community (whether it’s a new free product/service, which then eventually leads to a product/service that they’re ready to buy). This means you’re allowing subscribers to get to know you and what you have to offer.
These are just a few copywriting tips to help you market yourself more effectively, without feeling like you’re doing too much self-promotion.
Once you get used to marketing and start consistently updating your content and services each month, you’ll find it a lot easier. Especially as you get to know your target audience.
Now it’s your turn - do you use any of these tactics in your copywriting? If not, how do you deal with self-promotion? What marketing strategies do you use to attract more readers and clients? Let me know in the comments!
If you’re ready to get a breakthrough with your blog and build your community, check out the Blogging Breakthrough challenge that does EXACTLY that!