Guest Blog: Hot Advice 04/06/12
This guest post is part of the Blog Series: How to follow your creative dream and make loads of money
Danielle LaPorte is the author of the forthcoming book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms . An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the creator of the online program The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice on DanielleLaPorte.com, a site that has been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.”
hot advice for anyone with a website, blog, business, career or j-o-b. yep, I’m talkin’ to you
I’ve been hammering on the same concepts with lots of folks. I am known to hammer. I’m clear that I am not a coach – I’m an advisor, so I can get away with being passionately opinionated.
MY 8 EMPHATIC SUGGESTIONS FOR ROCKING YOUR BUSINESS:
1. ONE STOP WEB SPACE: SIMPLIFY AND LEVERAGE
Stop thinking of your site and your blog as separate things. Just stop it right this instant. There needs to be a paradigm shift whereby entrepreneurs create ONE on-line space for themselves that includes the “brochure ware” that is the critical function of sites, and regularly updated, juicy, and informative content, aka, a blog. Having a site with a “BLOG” button that pushes users out to a totally different space (usually not even reflecting the aesthetic brand of your primary website,) is like having one clothing store that just sells pants, and sending your customer down the street to your “other” store to buy a shirt. Keep your customers under one umbrella so that they can explore and utilize your universe.
Create a seamless one-stop portal of all that you do so you are capturing the various interests of your visitors in one fell swoop: to read inspiring stuff, to buy a product, to hire you as a speaker or for a service you provide. The more they know, the better. If you architect it with logic and simplicity, you can accomplish a lot in one space. Having a separate blog usually screams “after thought.”
Repeat: If you have more than one on-line space that is essentially talking about what you do or sell – collapse it all into one. This also helps with search engine optimization and ranking. And erase the word “blog” from your consciousness. Think in terms of regular, engaging content that you can deliver.
2. GIVE UP IMMEDIATELY
Stop doing what’s not working. It will feel amazing. It will free up energy to leverage the stuff that has the truest, greatest potential.
3. THERE IS POWER IN BEING SOLO
If there is no “we” to your company – if YOU are it, then just say so. People are hiring you. You don’t hear me saying “We at White Hot Truth…” Of course, if you need copy writers, or web designers, finance people, I’ve got a crew I’m always referring to, but, me is me, not we.
4. TALK TO ME: WRITE IN FIRST PERSON
People are hiring you, paying attention to you, coming to see you. So they want to here from…YOU. This is the stale old 80′s approach: “Danielle is a former think tank executive and communication strategist, who now works with entrepreneurs to develop their careers.” This is the magnetic/heart approach: “I ran a DC-based think tank for futurists, helped put a few authors on the map, and now work with entrepreneurs to rock their careers.” Who would you rather hire?
Besides, anyone you want to work with is smart enough to know that the third person copy is probably written by…You.
5. TURN THE MUSIC OFF
If you have music that automatically starts playing when people log on to your site – turn it off. It’s annoying. People are working in shared spaces, have their own music playing on i-Pods and radios, and don’t need the interruption. If you simply must have music, at least give users an obvious icon to click it off or adjust the volume.
6. WORK WITH A WRITER FOR A BIT, EVEN IF YOU’RE A GOOD WRITER YOURSELF
Working with a talented copy writer can create quantum leaps for you. They will “interview” you and tease out angles, bio points, and creative notions that you may not have seen yourself. The right writer is an essential creative partner when you’re packaging yourself and/or designing your services. My fav new copy writer to recommend is Kelly Diels.
8. BLOW YOUR HORN
Look, I’m tellin’ you: you are amazing. I don’t care who you are, you’ve got something to give. You are likely an expert in something, a gifted contributor to some form of life or avenue of industry, you’ve probably been around the block a few times and as a result, have much to give. And if you’re a newbie starting out, you sure as hell have passion to burn.
So sell it, baby, sell it. Stand in your place of knowing and contribution and give it. The world needs you.
49 promo ideas. simple, grand + the tried n’ true.
1. Post client testimonials on your blog, and include a reply of gratitude.
2. Offer yourself up for blog interviews: “Hey! Interview me for your blog! I’ve got smart and inspiring things to say.”
3. Commit to a year-long experiment and write about it or make a film about it, e.g. The Happiness Project, No Impact Man.
4. Read MediaBistro. Get an AvantGuild membership.
5. Get a Virtual Assistant who will help you rock your social media.
6. Talk publicly about what you’re working on: “I’m writing this book”, “I’m researching a cure for…” You never know who’s listening.
7. Call in some favours. Someone you know knows an editor or a producer somewhere.
8. Do a pre-launch.
9. Start your own TV show on your website. Do it like the world is watching.
10. Pitch a magazine to run your article or do a story on you, even if you know you won’t get picked up, just to work your self-promotion muscle and survive rejection.
11. Speak to a high school class on Career Day. Those kids have credit cards, and parents with credit cards, and they tweet. (I’m joking about preying on teens with Visas…you know that, right?)
12. Have a grand opening party—even if your launch is online.
13. Launch on your birthday. It’s just more fun that way.
14. Have a pay-what-you-can day.
15. Don’t be shy about all the awards and accolades you’ve earned—create a special section on your site’s About page just for that.
16. Have ongoing giveaways on your site to engage customers, generate content, and build up subscriber base. e.g. “Answer Today’s Q&A and you’ll be entered to win the Awesome Gift of the Month.” Get cool people to donate the Awesome Gift (or Service) of the Month and they’ll help with the buzz.
17. Host a Story, Poetry or Photo contest that’s related to your industry. You could take the best submissions and turn them into an e-book, or you could partner with a print magazine and the winner would get published.
18. Pitch a monthly column to a blog in your industry. Six to twelve months later, use that column as traction to pitch a column to a print magazine.
19. Beef up your Twitter profile with a more descriptive bio line.
20. Link your Twitter feed to your LinkedIn page.
21. If you’re selling anything on Amazon.com, you can upload a sales video to go with it.
22. Offer a teleseminar with the cost going to charity.
23. Join forces with a local artist to make some beautiful stuff.
24. Commission art.
25. Host a old-fashioned fundraiser: a yoga-thon, a read-athon, an account-athon, a coach-athon, a knit-athon.
26. Give it away free.
27. Profile other people on your site, in your book, at your event. Make them look as fabulous as they are.
28. Host events in your city: other speakers, workshop leaders, film screenings. Be a maven.
29. Start an advice column. Make it slightly hilarious.
30. If you had 5 minutes on your local noon hour news show, what would you talk about that connects your wisdom/business to current affairs? Turn that into an email pitch. Create the show for them—spoon feed them. Email the producer.
32. Create a referral and/or affiliate program.
33. Do brown bag luncheons—short talks during lunch breaks at companies and schools. In, out, packed with inspiration.
34. Say yes to every single interviewer writing request for the first year.
35. Find a way to sell what you’ve got to the phenomenal demographic called Mommy Bloggers. Their power is not to be underestimated.
36. Have a crowdsource contest for designing your new logo, packaging, or book cover.
37. Optimize your e-signature. (I love Wisestamp.)
38. Just about anything you can do that includes nudity is effective PR. Just about…
39. Say thank you. Mean it.
40. Start an award.
41. Set up your blog posts so that they’re automatically fed into your book page on Amazon.com.
42. Create a password-protected area of the site for retailers and prospective alliances to access sales kits that include video instructions, printable materials, and relevant news.
43. Create case studies for your work—tell your success stories. Raised Eyebrow Web Studio does a great job of this.
44. Create a welcome video for your site. If you don’t speak multi-media, you’re missing out.
45. Send handwritten notes.
46. Create a free screensaver.
47. Write a theme song for your business. Record it. Put it on iTunes.
48. INVITE THE PRESS. Keep inviting them.
49. Throw a thank you party.
The next guest post in the blog series, How to follow your creative dream and make loads of money, is by Donna McCallum with a post entitled, “Business success is paved with money.” Be sure to check it out on Monday!
Other posts in this series: