With effective content marketing, you can establish yourself as an authority in a particular subject/area and attract a steady stream of warm leads as a result.
Dylis: Hi there, this is Dylis Guyan and welcome to The Inspired Selling Podcast. The place where business owners, consultants, coaches, trainers and professional experts discover how to attract, convert, and retain more of their ideal clients on a consistent basis as always. I’ve got another great guest for you today and that’s Janet Murray. So let me just tell you about The Janet Murray.
Janet helps six and seven-figure coaches, consultants and experts, create engaging content that attracts high ticket clients, which is what we all want of course. Over the past five years Janet has built a successful blog, podcast, email list and large social media following. When I say large, I mean large, I mean like larger than large. She has also been featured in dozens of national newspapers and magazines and on radio and TV and she’s actually written a book to you help find out how to do that.
She’s spoken at high-profile events, both in the UK and abroad and this has helped to build a six-figure business with multiple streams of income. I love this, Janet says she has learned that marketing isn’t an activity that you do when you have a bit of spare time, it’s how you make money, which is why you need to do it every single day. I love that Janet and thank you so much for coming on today.
Janet: Thanks so much for having me.
Dylis: Oh it’s a pleasure. So Janet tell us your backstory, share that with us and tell us how you go to where you are today.
Janet: Well I actually started life as a school teacher, but I decided after a few years that I wanted to retrain. So I retrained as a journalist and I worked for about 15 years as a freelance journalist. I was writing and editing for national newspapers and magazines. The thing about journalism is that it’s not very well paid you, get paid by the word or sometimes by the article. I was looking for ways to supplement my income. People were approaching me, as a journalist I specialised in education, and they were approaching me with nice juicy corporate gigs. So they were approaching me to do copywriting projects, they were approaching me to do training and consultancy and the kind of money I was picking up was like way beyond anything I could earn as a journalist.
I thought at the time I want a bit more of this. I want more of these nice juicy big corporate clients approaching me and asking me to work with them. So at the time I thought, I knew nothing better, and I thought I’ll start a blog, and then they’ll read about me, these big corporate clients and then they will get in touch with me and they’ll put me to work with them. So I started this blog and I had quite a good following on Twitter as a journalist at the time and people seemed to like my blog, but then I thought well actually I need to get more people to read this blog.
So I started to learn about how to get traffic to your blog, I started to learn all the different ways to get people to your website and to read your content. What I was really doing was content marketing, and I realised that it was a thing called content Marketing. I didn’t know what I was doing but I was creating valuable content. So it was things like how to write a press release, like how to get in touch with journalists, how to find journalists, how to pitch a journalist. All the things people were booking me to help them with. Now I was basically thinking if I put this content online people will find me and I don’t have to go out and kind of pitch, so that’s, I kind of fell into this whole thing accidentally.
Dylis: As you do.
Janet: I wanted to learn about it, I realised that I enjoyed doing it and I started to build this following and then I wrote a book and I started to get booked to speak and I built this whole kind of brand around helping people with press. But then I realised something I think it’s probably still quite relevant to the story. I realised something. I realised that in this kind of world we live in at the moment and everybody you know seems to think that getting in the national press or getting on radio, TV will kind of explode your business but as a journalist that’s not my experience. It helps, it’s great for your credibility and authority but what really moves the needle for you in your business is your own content. I knew that from my own situation because I think I missed a bit out and started the podcast. Started to build up a really good following from this podcast.
I started to feel that press was maybe less relevant to people and we needed to be talking more about content broadly. So I pivoted and moved into helping people more broadly with content marketing. Which is where I am today, that is kind of a very abridged version of the story. Now-a-days I help people to build online audiences to generate the kind of people that I work with, coaches, consultants, experts who are, often what they are looking to do is either attract their ideal clients online or they’re trying to do that and create some kind of passive income. So maybe online courses or memberships that kind of thing. They’re a bit tired of traveling around and being on the move all the time. Generally how do you build your audience? Well you build your audience through great content and being the best content creator in your space. So I teach people how to do it. I’ve got a membership community which has got 350 members. I’ve actually got a couple of membership communities.
Janet: I’ve got, I do work with one to one clients as well, I do a little bit of consultancy and coaching, I’ve also got a book, I’ve got the podcast, I’ve got multiple ways that I generate income but at the heart of it all is helping people to build online audiences to build their following through top-notch content basically. Does that kind of give you a…?
Dylis: Yes, it does. That’s perfect and you could have actually slipped my name in there when you said you know you help people who want to build something online which is exactly what I have done because I was tired of traveling. I was traveling internationally, and I was absolutely worn out. So I was working with corporate with the sales teams and the sales leaders and probably about six years ago I thought I need to just pivot and start to think about content marketing because I’ve now got an online program.
So I still do in company but I’m helping as I mentioned at the beginning the same audience as you actually, helping them to get more corporate clients. One of the things that I often hear is well if you if you’re selling B2B you don’t really want to be involved in content marketing. Which you and I know is not true. So first of all could you explain to us why its important that the SME’s consider content marketing even though they’re selling to, even though they want to go into bigger businesses. And when I say corporates I just want to clarify that I don’t necessarily mean big international corporates. I could be talking midsize corporate, small corporate, large SME’s mid-size SME’s, University’s it could be not-for-profit type of company. So I’m using the word corporate in the round really. So why is it important?
Janet: Okay so the first thing that somebody will do when you get in touch and pitch to work with them and ask about working with them is they’ll look you up basically.
Janet: They’ll go onto your website, they’ll look at your social media, and they’ll look at your digital footprint, they’ll look at what you’re creating online. What they will look at, is obviously they’ll look at your website. Do you have the credibility, do you have the authority, have you really done the things that you say you do and do you have that social proof? So if you are, I don’t know about you, but my experience is that the coaches, consultants, experts the world is full of them and a lot of people are vying for the same business, and same contracts.
So if you’ve got the choice between going with somebody who, I don’t know, say your looking for somebody to come in and deliver some social media training or something like that. So you’ve got the choice between somebody who says their social media expert but there is nothing on their website because they’re so busy delivering I guess. And somebody who has a whole suite full of blog posts or podcast with really practical good ideas on how to do that or somebody who maybe has a book or somebody who is just consistently putting content out there that they’re not just saying they’re an expert, they’re are proving it through their content. Other people are engaging with the content, other people seeing them as an expert or authority.
So for me it’s about providing that social proof, that stamp of approval and that kind of trust, because if you’re going pay somebody a big amount of money to come in and deliver some training, or some coaching, or consultancy then you need that reassurance that that person is good. But the other part of it as well, because I don’t know about you but most of the coaching and consultancy work that I have got has not been from completely cold leads. It’s generally from relationships that I have built up over time.
When people get in touch with me, to ask me to do coaching, training, consultancy speaking they’ve usually been following me or my content for a while. That makes the sale part of it really easy because they’re already sold on you because they’ve read your blog post, they’ve read you podcast, listened to your podcast episodes or they’ve followed you on social media so they already know that you know your stuff. It’s just a matter of the formalities. So for me it’s about kind of making that whole selling process easier. It’s about attracting people towards you rather, than you’re having to go out there and do the pitching. I still do that and I think it’s important that you can do it. It’s about drawing people towards you so that you’re always top of mind. So, when they need somebody to do this or that or whatever it is that you do. You are the first person they think of. Or when they ask their friend “Do you know somebody who can come and deliver some training on sales? Yeah you need to hire Dylis because she’s great. I know it because I follow her and I follow her content.” Does that kind of makes sense?
Dylis: Yes, absolutely and I’ve got a great example of exactly that. I got an email actually, just out of the blue from this guy who wanted to talk to me about coming into something to do some sales consultancy and coaching and we made the appointment, I went along to see him and I said “How did you find me?” He said it was from someone; I do work at Syed business school. I do a sales program there for the MBA students, and it was one of those students that he’d been talking to that had mentioned my name. He said and “Then I had a look about you because this person’s recommended. I went on your website and then I had a look at other things you were doing and you’re all over the place.” That was really because he didn’t know me, the recommendation was good but the credibility was in other companies that I’ve worked for and my footprint. I always talk about exposing yourself, metaphorically speaking.
Janet: Yeah. I’ve got quite a similar example. So a year or so back I was invited to go to Loughborough University to do some work with, it was like a business incubator. This enquiry pretty much came out of the blue I didn’t think I knew the person who booked me but when I got there to deliver the training it turned out that she had read a blog post of mine quite a few years ago, which was something to do with press release writing or something like that. It was quite, quite an old blog post and she just remembered me.
When she’d been given some budget to spend on getting somebody to come and help these startups, I think it was with kind of content including press she thought of me and it was 2 years or so after I think she had actually read the post but she just remembered it, thankfully she remembered my name. She Googled me to find the post and then there I was sat and I remember saying to the group at the time this is proof of why this stuff is important because I am here because of some content that I created a few years ago. So it can be a long game but you are so right you leave a footprint all over the Internet basically.
Dylis: Yes, yes, and this has certainly helped you in your business hasn’t it? In terms you having this huge email listing and the social media following, I said in the introduction this is a huge following that you’ve got and it absolutely is. When you’ve got that there are so many benefits to it and we’ll talk about that in a second, but first of all let’s talk about the mistakes that you see. So people who think that right I’m going to engage in content marketing what do you see that they’re doing wrong that they could improve on?
Janet: Okay, where can I start? I think being a bit arrogant about it and thinking that you don’t have to do it. What I always say to my clients is, if you are absolutely booked solid for years and years then okay maybe you don’t need to do any of this. But if there is even a hint of worry in your mind that a few months down the line you might have a dry spell or you might have a little bit of a gap in your calendar, then this is investing in your future. This is investing to make sure that you have a constant flow of leads and sales coming in years and years down the line. So first of all, the biggest mistake is thinking that you, it doesn’t matter and it’s fine. And it’s okay I’m doing okay now.
The second thing is it’s not about you. So for example when I go into LinkedIn which is a platform that lots of coaches, consultants and experts use. I just see lots of people broadcasting, and I see lots of people broadcasting into an empty ring. So “Hey have a look at my event that I’m running next month” or “I’ve been working with these people today” or “This is an interesting article.” And it’s like nothing, they aren’t getting anything back, but they keep doing the same thing over and over again. Keep posting, just announcing stuff that nobody is listening to.
I think that damages you on a number of levels. So first of all kind of what’s the point? I mean some people hire VA’s to do this for them, some people hire VA’s and waste money to post stuff that’s not interesting. Why would you do that in the first place? But secondly when people check you out, when somebody checks me out on LinkedIn what they go and see is a really lively account. So they’ll see that every conversation I have I get comments, replies, interactions. They see that I’m posting there regularly, and they see people having conversations with me, which I think is a really good thing because I’m the kind of person that people want to have conversations with. I’ve got something interesting to say, whatever.
However, if you are just broadcasting and nobody ever talks and nothing you ever say is remotely interesting enough for anybody to even go thanks for that Dylis, there is something wrong. So the way I look at it, your content is not about you, it’s about your ideal customer or client. What would they be interested in hearing about? What problems are they having? How can you solve their problems for them? For me it’s more about starting conversations. So one of the challenges you can have, I don’t know if you have ever experienced this, Dylis but if you have blog or a podcast, that you might be creating have a really useful episode, like we did an episode together didn’t we.
Dylis: Yes. We did.
Janet: It was about big business and it was a really great episode. If I just posted out listen to this great podcast episode with me and Dylis Guyan, I’d probably get hardly anybody interacting with it. So I have to think really carefully about how can I make this about people? How can I turn this into a conversation? So instead of just posting that out. Do you work with corporates? What are your tips for working with..? I think you remember what I did to get people in a conversation about it and then share the link to the podcast.
So I think it’s about a change in mindset and it’s thinking about how can I start interesting conversations on LinkedIn? The other thing as well maybe we can talk more about strategy and what kind of things work and what don’t if that is helpful. The other thing is people give up too soon and they don’t take account of the social media algorithms. So the way it works in social media is that the more comments, interaction you get, the more people your content will be shown to.
So what does that mean when you’re first starting to up your game? It means you’re probably going to have to go and get friends, family, anyone you can get, business friends and say please post on this for me, please get involved just to nudge the algorithm and get things to move along a little bit. So they’re the sort of key mistakes I see people make and they’re the sort of big four, would it be helpful for me to talk about what kind of content?
Dylis: Yes, please because some people might be sitting thinking okay they’re talking about content marketing what exactly is it. I know you alluded to it in your back story but maybe some clarity around that would be great.
Janet: So content marketing is essentially any content that you create which is designed to be of service or help your ideal customer or clients. You’re giving value, you’re not trying to sell anything you’re just being a really helpful source of information. What I suggest my clients do, particularly if they want to make sales from it, is they create three types of content.
So the first is what I call awareness content. So this is when you can sit and make a list of all the problems that you solve for your clients. So in your case for example Dylis you usually solve problems where people might have a team of salespeople but they’re not selling anything or they might have, or maybe they’ve got a really high turnover and because they’re haemorrhaging sales staff. Whatever your ideal clients what their problems are, then you create content around that, that solves their problems, it could be in the forms of blog post, podcast, YouTube it can just simply be useful social media post. Some people never get started because they think they need to have a blog or a podcast or something. Start on social media and then you can work up from there.
So just for a couple of examples of things that I have done that have worked really well in my business. So my clients struggle with getting engagement on social media, and they struggle with what to post. So for example I created a little video, they struggle with video for example. I don’t know what to create a videos about. I need all these fancy kits, so I created a little 2-minute video on how to light your videos without any fancy equipment. All I did was said you stand in front of an open window then I’m turning to my window,
Dylis: I’m facing mine.
Janet: And then you look better and if you turn away from it, you will look worse. This tip that I recorded you would think I’d shared some kind of amazing tip. People were like “Oh my God thank you so much for that, I didn’t realise that, I thought I needed a fancy camera.” Things that I have created content on how to write captions on videos, really easily and you have seen that in the content that I create.
Dylis: Yes, I have.
Janet: Though these are things that I do for free. Nobody pays me to do this but I solved my potential customer’s problems. If I give them a quick win, if I can take them from A to B for example when I was helping people getting press coverage I had to do lots of blog posts or pieces of content on how to write a press releases, just breaking it down step by step, how to pitch a journalist, how to find journalist contact details. If you give people that information they learn to, know, like, and trust you. Then when they do have a need you will be the first person that they call. And there is an issue around giving away too much of your content. Which I don’t know if you want to tackle it now?
Dylis: Well I was just going to say. I was going to ask you that question. Because I know people have said to me, well I don’t want to give away everything but not everybody sees everything for a start. I don’t know what your take on it is Janet.
Janet: I believe give it all away for free, so give your best away for free because you know I can put out a press release. Or I can put out a blog post on how to write a press release since that’s the kind of thing I used to do, or I can put out a blog post on how to create really engaging social media posts but what people pay me for is the personalisation and the application to them. So I can give you all the stuff but you might try it and you’d be like well it kind of worked but what I’d really love to do is jump in the pool with Janet and get her to tell me why some of it didn’t work and to personalise it to me as well because you know what it’s like when somebody shares a piece of content. You will always be like yeah but what about, how does that work for me.
So people will pay for the personalisation, they’ll pay for the convenience so yes they might read my blog post on how to do whatever it might be but actually that’s not the same as inviting me in and getting me to train the team on it. That’s not the same as buying my course or going membership. So actually if you’re too scared it’s almost like a little bit of a law of attraction thing but if you’re too scared to give your best content away then I think that’s what you get back from people. If you’re not brave enough to actually just go out there and give people really good value and show what you’re made of then you will struggle to attract clients. I never struggled to attract clients I’ve always got a constant flow of people coming towards me even though I give away so much.
Dylis: So much.
Janet: The next thing is really about the buyer’s journey. So once you’ve raise that awareness of the problems that you solve for people and how you helped them and you can also talk about your product and services while you’re doing that. The next stage is what I called the consideration content stage. This is when people are…they’re kind of interested. I’ve seen Dylis around, I’ve seen her content she seems to know her stuff but I’m just not sure about her because I don’t know how she works. This is what we call the consideration stage. So this is where your creating content that specifically answers those questions and those objections that people are raising.
So say for example when I run a live event I will do a load of awareness-raising content but then my next stage will be I would do a blog post or social media post like 10 reasons to attend this event, 10 reason not to attend it. I will do things like what to do if you want to come to my event but you don’t have the budget.
Dylis: You are covering all of the objections.
Janet: Yeah, what to do if you don’t have the time. So basically its sales you just take all the objections you put the elephant in the room. I have this where people come to me and they say I don’t know whether to do your coaching program or your membership program. So I’ll just put that on the table. I’m not sure whether to sign up for this or this. So you basically just take all that and the other thing is as well is sometimes people just need a little bit more information in order to make a decision.
So for example I sell a media diary which is [inaudible23:26] It’s got key dates, and awareness dates, content planning. The key question that I get asked about that all the time is what’s it like inside even if we have pictures. So I’ve just created a video of me showing the inside of it showing the pictures and that sells. It takes people over the line. Sometime it doesn’t take people over to the line because they’re like Oh actually it’s not for me in which case that’s a good thing because I’d rather somebody buys it who really wants it than buy it and try to send it back up.
Dylis: Yes. That’s right.
Janet: So the equivalent lots of coaches and consultants tell me that they get asked all the time ‘What is coaching? How does coaching work? Like sometimes why are you so expensive?’ You can create a piece of content around that. This is why my rates are this and you can explain it. So it’s very similar to sales in a sense that you’re just taking people’s objections and you’re just addressing them and getting it out on the table. This helps people move over the line, it may help them decide you’re not fit in which case it’s probably good for both parties.
Dylis: If I could just say in terms of the way you position all of this, really what you are doing is you are you are putting out content that’s resonating with the thought process of your audience.
Janet: Yeah, yeah. So what you’re doing is you’re getting people involved in a conversation about your product and services and so one post that I suggest people do all the time is, you know we walk around as a business owner with all these questions going around in your head like should I do this or should I do that. Should I include this in my program, or should I include that or should I put this in the price or exclude it in the price? Put that out as content on social media. So for example with my diary that I sell, we’re just about to put it on sale for 2020 and We always start with a cover design so instead of keeping that to myself and my team I turn it into a piece of content.
Dylis: I saw it, I put a comment.
Janet: And then what happens is that people say where can they buy it, where can they buy it? Then you drop the link. So you’re getting people excited and I’ve got a live event coming up and I was wondering about the program. I was wondering about whether I should list my sessions at my event in terms of platforms, so platform specific LinkedIn, Twitter whatever or generic strategy. So again, I was in my head, I was genuinely thinking about it and I put it out there. Like you and I attended Expert Empires together.
Janet: I remember one of the things that I noted when I went there was that there was no lunch and when I run events, we always have lunch. Sometimes I think that adds quite a bit of expense to it. Do people really want it? Do they want to actually go out and have, you know, so those things that are going on in your head so I can turn that into post by asking when you go to a live event do you like your lunch to be included in the ticket? Getting people to talk about what it is that you are doing without actually, if you’re putting together a coaching program or some kind of consultancy package share it, ask people to give you feedback. While they are doing so they will be like oh I didn’t realise you did that Dylis.
Janet: And by chance you get a call about it.
Janet: So you know that’s the awareness and consideration phase. Most people do quite good at the awareness content. People tend to be less good at doing the consideration stuff. Dealing with the questions because sometimes they get a bit vulnerable and writing post about why you’re more expensive than your competitors that kind of thing can feel a bit uncomfortable. It’s quite a good thing to do.
Then the last type of content is purchased content. So this is literally when you are saying this is my new coaching, consulting package here’s the link to sign up for it or this is my new training program or this is my event or whatever it might be. I think you should do a much smaller amount of that kind of content because people just become immune to it if they get this every post you do. But if you’ve taken people through that journey, through the awareness, consideration and purchasing, you don’t have to do much of it because will be going cool where can I buy, can I get the link and they’ll DM you. It’s quite a different approach to sort of pitching, it’s almost like drawing people to towards you. Does that kind of make sense?
Dylis: Yes, it absolutely does and the other thing that’s s striking me which I talk about a lot is this is strategic as opposed to just being random tactics.
Dylis: You’ve really got a strategy in terms of what’s coming next and so you can talk about that and create the awareness. Then what did you call it the consideration so you’re looking at handling the objections and then you can position what it is you’re going to do.
Janet: Yeah I think a lot of it is about slowing it down as well and just remembering that most people need seven or eight touch points before they need to hear about your product or service, you or whatever. So they need to read the blog, read the emails, see the social media posts. All of that will just kind of pile up until it sorts of topples and they’re like right, no Dylis is definitely the right person.
Dylis: The person yeah and I’ve sort of had this work the other way on me just this week because I was on someone else’s group doing a live and we were talking about different things and how people could position themselves with corporates. There was a lady who did make-up and things and she says you know I’m not sure that would fit into corporate. I said it’s not going to be the easiest but there is an opportunity because health and well-being is a big thing in corporates at the moment and people feeling good and having confidence and the way they dress the way they look and so on. Particularly, not so much for the men. Not in my experience anyway but for the ladies they are more conscious of how they look as they’re getting older.
Anyway to cut a very long story short she then connected with this particular lady, connected with me on LinkedIn. She’s been sharing and commenting on my posts so she’s got herself on to my radar and then she sent me an e-mail today because I was talking about these various touchpoints and not to give up too soon. She said I thought you might be interested to see these before and after photographs of this particular face cream or whatever it is that she is doing and it really peaked my interest. I’ve written back to her and said that looks really great give me some more details. So it’s worked the other way on me because I was saying, here I am, not in my winter years yet but I’m in my late autumn years now, and I’m conscious that I’m getting the odd wrinkle. I’m a little bit blessed because my mothers got wonderful skin and I think genetically, I’m not bragging here, but I think genetically that’s sort of passed on to me and my sister actually. I’ve got this wrinkle here and she obviously picked up on that and sent you know. It was all about me not about her, even though in this email she was selling her creams and lotions, potions whatever but she did it in the form of photographs before and after and it just peaked my interest enough for me not to delete it but to reply to it.
Janet: Well I wanted to share something that kind of links to that, that I have been doing recently, which is almost a mixture this content marketing but also things that you teach as well. I’ve given it… and I almost don’t want to share it because it just works well, but you have to be creating regular content for it to work.
Janet: So I will get people who contact me on LinkedIn and try to sell me things and when I go back and have a look at their profile, often, so for example these guys got in touch with me and they wanted to sell me some type of video package or something. They just went straight in started to try and get me to do something and then I had to look at the website and had a look at their content and I thought these guys were just starting out, they’re just trying to find their way.
So I sent them a message back and said look I am really happy to help you with the survey or whatever it is they wanted but while you are on I have a few little bits of feedback for you, would you be interested in hearing? This is the key thing, asking, would you be interested I’ve got a few little bits of feedback for you. One of them was a couple of typos that I picked up and I kind of said, I don’t want to be one of those annoying people that just kind of picks up on typos or whatever but it might be helpful. Then I just sent a couple of voice messages on LinkedIn and said look like here’s how I felt when you got in touch with me, and this was how and here’s a few tweaks I would suggest as to how you might have… and one of them was their content.
They had no content so if I had gone on to their website and seen that they had a really fantastic blog post or podcast, whatever or something about video or something I would have been more kind of, anyway what happened was they went and had a look at my content and then the next thing and they sent me a message back and this has happened quite a few times now and said do you do any coaching? Because we are interested in finding a coach that can help us build our audience.
Janet: So this is what contents does. So these guys we’re trying to sell to me and I went back to them and just said no. I have a few little tips for you would it be alright if I shared them? Being a helpful person, asking permission and then the next thing, and they’ve chased me up several times about doing it but that’s all because I’ve got content. When they went and checked me out they could see who I helped, how I did it, what I was sharing and so I didn’t have to work for that lead. That sort of thing, so it’s a little technique, it works quite well but you can only do that if you have content, you can only do that if your secure that you’re creating really good quality content.
Dylis: Yes. Yeah absolutely and I love these examples of how things have worked for you it just it, it adds another dimension to the interview really by giving those stories. It’s great. So if you just give a high-level let’s say I don’t know how many steps but a high-level you’ve already given us some terrific insights there, in terms of awareness post, consideration post and purchase post which I think is really helpful. Is there anything else you would add in terms of people thinking right I need to really get started with some, putting some content marketing or doing some content marketing?
Janet: Well when I first started teaching this. I used to go all-in with everything and because ultimately for me your goal is to have an email list because if you have an email list then you can send out emails and sell stuff to people. Even if…it’s your security. So even if, you were telling me that on Friday you took a day off to go and see a friend who was unwell, and when you have an email list if something happens in your life and you need to take some time out or whatever you can carry on selling even if you are not actually able to do it you can automate it, so that is your ultimate goal but obviously building an email list is a journey you need to get people to your website you need to create some kind of incentive to get them onto your email listing. You know it’s a tough thing but if you have an email list with thousands of people on it, it’s a great asset to have.
But when I first started teaching I used to kind of get people all guns like on social media, doing some kind of podcast or blog or whatever. What I realised actually was that it can just be too overwhelming, and a lot of people give up because it all just builds up to too much. Now what I say is you start by building your audience on social media, you see what content works, you test things out and see where you get good feedback and you sell. You see how to sell on social media. Then you start to create something like you’re doing and I’m doing a podcast, or blog or YouTube videos regularly in order to attract people to your website and then get them onto your email list and then that list just kinds of you know the more advanced side of things. That’s where I suggest you start if you are literally building this from scratch because I get a lot of people come to me and they say Janet I want to launch an online course or a membership because I’m fed up of traveling around. The story that you told me.
Dylis: Yeah, yeah.
Janet: The first question I ask them is you how many people do you have on your email list? And they say well you know forty or something like that. The average online conversion rate is one to two percent so that means if you sell hundreds of people onto an online course you’re going to need a lot more people than you’ve got now. You need to build this audience. I would start on social media and just get into a regular posting schedule and just focus on getting people to engage with you so getting people to talk back to you.
Few little tips on that. There’s so much you can do in terms of the way you post is just trying to turn everything into a conversation. Just like the example I gave you earlier, if your launching a new product or service don’t just tell people about it. Find a way to get them to give you…show them the new logo, show them the book cover. I do this all the time I have these playbooks that I sell strategy playbooks. Show them the covers to get them to vote on their favourite cover. Maybe show them some different titles get them to tell you which they think is… and while you’re doing that they’re getting interested and thinking maybe I might want to get involved in this.
The other thing is never give more than one call to action on a social media post because if you try and get people to do too many things it’s like a sales, you know sales meeting. They just can’t process it all and just make it as easy as possible. So people are really busy if you can get people to respond to you with something that just takes one. I call them, I actually call them two tap answers, because if you are giving people a choice like do you prefer cover 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. Or logo 1,2,3,4,5 then all they have to do is literally type the number and then hit return and they’re in the conversation with you and you say oh that’s interesting why did you choose number 1?
Dylis: It’s that one.
Janet: And then more conversations so it’s about what’s the easiest way for you to get someone to reply to you and to get this conversation going. Another thing you can do is if you’re a coach, consultant or expert you know we all have to have headshots taken from time to time. When you get headshots taken, pick out your best final six, put them on LinkedIn or whatever it is, Twitter, wherever you are on social media and get people to vote on their favourite.
Dylis: I remember you putting something on about a dress.
Dylis: What dress do you think I should wear for this event.
Janet: Are any of your listeners’ speakers Dylis?
Dylis: Yes, yes.
Janet: I would imagine lots of new speakers so I was speaking at the Upino Summit in London. Now if you’re a speaker you’ll know that if you just post hey I’m speaking at this event you’ll just get like yeah okay whatever. I thought I really want people to know I’m speaking in my industry this is a really big event, I want to let people know that I am speaking there so they can book me to speak elsewhere. I thought how can I do it and I had a genuine problem. So I bought a pink dress and a blue dress to speak in and I couldn’t decide whether the pink or blue dress. So I took a picture of myself in both dresses I posted it on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, everywhere. It got like thousands and thousands of comments. Men as well, everybody was in on it, everybody remembers it. Others used in their talks and other speakers have used it in their talks.
So something so simple that you would think why is that relevant. I’ve started lots of conversations around speaking about… I was at an event. The other thing that I haven’t touched on which it is okay to quickly touch on is your personal experiences. So when I was speaking at Upino Summit I was at the speaker’s dinner I sat next to all these kind of cool people like Pat Lyn and John Lee Dumas a big digital marketer [inaudible39:33] of mine. A lady knelt down beside me and she said her are you one of the speaker’s wives and it was an awful moment where I just kind of thought being British like I want to say yes because I don’t want to embarrass her but at the same time I wanted her to know. I shared that as a post on LinkedIn and said this really shows how difficult it can be to be taken seriously as a female speaker and what do you think about this. Started a massive conversation hundreds of hundreds of comments on it.
So those things you think are probably not interesting like you probably think that your new program or some new development in your industry, the worst thing you can do actually is share other people articles it’s just death for your [inaudible 40:20] don’t do it. If you are going to share somebody’s article or piece of content, summarise it in your own words and ask a question about it would be my tip, what do you think.
Often the things that you think people are going to be less interested and I ran the London Marathon earlier in the year. All of my content I shared about the marathon and you know because if people haven’t done it themselves, or never would, they probably know someone who has. It’s about being relatable and human, and I don’t think enough people do that on social media and even people who are potentially hiring you in corporate are people.
Dylis: Of course yes.
Janet: Who probably even families who like things other than their job and so it’s just a really great way to make that personal connection. One last example if it’s alright to share because something that people say to me a lot is I don’t know what any of this has got to do with my business. But I shared a video on LinkedIn recently I shared it across all of my social media platforms of me playing the piano and singing. The point of sharing it was to make this point that actually just because we’re on social media for work doesn’t mean we always have to share things which are about business.
Not only do I get loads of engagement and loads of conversation out of it. You know I like the song, I didn’t know you did this, I play the piano too, all this kind of stuff. I got a guy who said to me I think this is really misleading because you, I thought you were a singing teacher or a piano teacher and then I went and looked at your profile and I saw you were an expert in building audiences and content marketing. I was like you just made your point there haven’t you because what I did made you go check my profile out and now you know what I do.
Dylis: Yes, exactly.
Janet: And if I hadn’t done that you wouldn’t know and maybe it’s not of interest to you but now you remember me as that piano playing lady who does content marketing audience building and you may well refer me to somebody else. So actually I think you proved my point.
Dylis: This is fantastic.
Janet: Hopefully that has given you a few examples.
Dylis: Yeah, that’s been brilliant Janet. I really appreciate that you’ve shared and I know you do share your philosophy anyway it just is give the best of everything that you’ve got. I know that it’s worked for you and I know you’re highly regarded in your industry. So if anyone would like to get in touch with you how might do that?
Janet: Best place is to head over to my website www.janetmurray.co.uk. I’m also active on LinkedIn so just search for me up there, Instagram Jan Murray UK and Twitter, Jan_Murray and do just say hello. If listened to this podcast episode then do tag both me and Dylis in and let us know that you, you’ve heard this interview.
Dylis: Fantastic, Janet thanks again and hopefully we’ll speak again soon because I think we could talk for quite a long time on this subject, so thank you.
Janet: Thanks for having me.
Dylis: Your welcome. So another great guest with some great insights there and just to cover off a couple of the things. The highlights of this in terms of your content is your awareness content, your consideration content and your purchase content. Janet explained that in terms of being strategic so you are giving away your best tips and insights for people and then the consideration is about dealing with those objections and putting out some content whether it be blogs, whether it be a video whatever and then your purchase content.
So absolutely brilliant please leave me comments below and just let me know what the highlights have been for you, what resonated with you, what your biggest takeaways have been. Subscribe to my podcast so that you never miss any of these great episodes. Also please come and join me if you’d like to kind of get closer, metaphorically speaking I always say, but come and join my Facebook group Inspired Selling. So just go into Facebook and put in the search bar Inspired Selling and click to join. I’d love to see you in there.
So until the next time have a great time selling and remember selling is about serving. It’s about giving people the opportunity to benefit from your product or service to put them in a better place than they were before they were involved with you and before they were using your product or service. So until the next time bye for now.
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