{Video} Five Cheap Ways to Find New Clients

You don't have to blow your entire marketing budget for 2017 to collect a good number of leads for your business. In this video, I’m sharing some simple, cost-effective ways you can build a big list of people who are interested in what you have to offer.

Don’t forget to follow up and connect with your leads to build trust before you try to sell them something. Wand a great way to build that trust even faster? Make sure your business has a consistent visual brand.

FYI, I help tons of creative entrepreneurs establish and maintain an authentic visual brand in my Facebook group, Visual and Visible. Join us!

How To Effectively Market Your Next Webinar

I’ll be honest. In the past, I’ve always been terrified of doing webinars.

But at the end of 2016, I faced my fears when a few of my business friends invited me to be featured on/contribute some webinars and online workshops they were hosting.

Those experiences eased me into the world of webinars at a semi-comfortable pace and allowed me  to realize that hosting webinars is really well-aligned with my core values.

So this year, I’m going to be doing quite a bit more of them.

In this post, I’ll cover the webinar promotion strategies that I observed to be most effective. Hopefully my findings will give you a couple great ideas you can run with to effectively market your webinars/online workshops this year.

And since I’ve gotten over my fear of teaching on camera, my next challenge is marketing my upcoming webinars effectively.

Over the past several months though, I tested and released a brand new “Launch Graphics” package (available here). In the process of putting that package together, I started studying the most effective ways people market webinars to maximize signups and show up rates (in case you’re wondering, I studied webinar marketing strategies so that I’d know what kinds of graphics to make available as part of my new package).

In this post, I’ll cover the webinar promotion strategies that I observed to be most effective. Hopefully my findings will give you a couple great ideas you can run with to effectively market your webinars/online workshops this year.

How To Get The Word Out 

Talk about it on social media.

This one might be a no-brainer. But I still had to say it because it’s so basic that some people don’t even bother doing it. But it works!

Create some simple graphics to share across all your social media channels in the weeks leading up your webinar. (Don’t forget about cover photos and the link in your Instagram bio.These spots are prime real estate for webinar promotion!)

Run Facebook Ads

These days people tend to think it’s impossible to do a webinar without running Facebook Ads. While that’s definitely not true, I do know that Facebook Ads can be a great way to get the word out about your webinar -- especially if you don’t have a big audience.

Heads up though: a lot of experts recommend running Facebook Ads for up to six weeks before your webinar. But if advertising for that length of time isn’t in your budget (and you’re not alone!), focus on running Ads one week out from the date of your webinar. That’s when most people sign up anyway.

Guest host a Facebook Group

A new trend among creative entrepreneurs who might otherwise be guest blogging to promote webinars, guest hosting someone else’s Facebook Group is a great way to quickly build a connection with someone else’s audience.

Depending on the agreement you have with the Group owner, you could go live in the group for a certain number of days to provide free value and do drive people to sign up for your webinar.

This is also a good list-building strategy. You could guest host Groups to gain visibility even if you don’t have an upcoming webinar. That way when you do have one, you’ll already have a bigger audience of people you can invite to sign up.

How To Get Signups

Write a blog post related to your webinar topic

The most common “launch sequence” (for a course, program or service) includes a blog post, emails and webinars. Even if you’re not launching anything on your webinar, blog posts can be a great way to increase signups.

Create a blog about one aspect of the topic you’ll cover in the webinar and place 1-2 calls-to-action throughout the post to drive people to your signup page. This works well since you’re already speaking to an audience you know is interested in your webinar topic.

Bonus tip: If you are launching something, try tweaking your blog post after you host the webinar. With just a few simple changes, you can start directing people straight to your offer (if it’s evergreen) since your webinar is over.

Create Pinterest graphics specifically for your webinar

Obviously, tons of people create graphics to promote their blog posts on Pinterest. So of course, you can combine this with the strategy above to promote your webinar-related blog post. However, it’s surprising how few people think to create Pinterest graphics directly promoting their webinars.

Just create a pin that drives people straight to your webinar signup page -- simple as that!

How To Get People To Actually Show Up

Go live in the days and hours leading up to your webinar.

You definitely want to build excitement and stay top-of-mind for people leading up to your webinar to increase your show up rates.

Hop on Facebook Live (or Periscope/YouTube Live) with a few quick tips to help people prepare for your webinar. Sharing similar tips or behind the scenes action on your Instagram story is another great way to make sure people don’t forget to show up.

Send a reminder email

Most people are probably already sending reminder emails the week, day and hour (or even minute) before they host a live webinar. Still, I’ve signed up for several webinars where I never got a reminder email. As you can imagine, I totally spaced those and never showed up.

So, definitely don’t forget to do this!

No matter how you decide to market your upcoming webinars, make sure your marketing strategy makes sense for your brand and business.

And if you need help creating polished promotional materials that align with your brand aesthetic, no worries. I can help!

{Video} Recap of 2016

In 2017, I’d like to start vlogging more from time to time. Most of my upcoming vlogs will be quick bits about my journey as an entrepreneur, and showing behind-the-scenes.

I’ll still continue posting my regular Wednesday videos with here on the site with practical tips to help you build a visual and visible brand/business.

This week, I decided to post vlog as my Wednesday video on my site for two reasons:

  1. It’s a recap of 2016 where I’ll share my wins, lessons learned and general reflections about the year. Hopefully some insights I share will help you get off to a great start in 2017.

  2. And because this will be the only vlog I post here on my site. If you want to catch my vlogs moving forward, subscribe to my YouTube channel! That way you’ll be notified whenever I post a new video.

Here’s my recap of 2016:

How to Decide What to Invest in First

If you’re a creative entrepreneur, then you’re definitely no stranger to hearing about all kinds of products, programs, services and experiences that all come with a single, overarching promise.

They all promise to help you grow your business.

I mean, I can’t be the only one sorting through half a dozen sales emails in my inbox, and scrolling past countless ads in my social feeds every single day, right?

In this post, I’ll talk about three great investments you can make for your business. But the point here is help you understand the right time to make each investment so that you don’t have to stress about where to spend money as you grow.

And if you’ve been in business for a little while, you know the world of creative entrepreneurship is actually pretty small. So, eventually we all start getting promotions and/or recommendations from the thought leaders, influencers and business friends we already know, like and trust.

Because of this, it can be extremely tough to decide what you should actually invest in to grow your business.

Still, if you want to stay in business, then you have to be able to filter through these promotions, recommendations and opportunities. It’s important to decide which offers you should invest in right now to help you take your business to the next level.

In this post, I’ll talk about three great investments you can make for your business. But the point here is help you understand the right time to make each investment so that you don’t have to stress about where to spend money as you grow.

First, Invest In Business-Building Workshops

Buying an online course or program to help you develop your skills when you’re first starting out is a good way to go.

Investing in a live workshop is even better. These experiences give you an opportunity to develop your skills while building connections with potential clients/customers/business friends.

Make sure you get a big bang for your buck by choosing a workshop that will teach you specific skills or strategies you need to know right now, to take your business to the next level (or to get it off the ground).

Learn a skill or strategy that will help do something like create better quality offers, make more sales or enhance your client/customer experience. This will allow you to see a tangible return on your investment.

Next, Invest In Your Website

Even as a designer, I don’t think your website is necessarily the first thing you should invest in as a new business owner. (Shocking, I know.)

Here’s why:

Let’s say you’re a photographer who’s just starting out. You could spend $5,000 to have someone custom-build the most amazing site for you. And sure, you might get a ton of clients to book right when you launch your new site. But if you haven’t developed top-notch skills to match your fancy new website, you probably won’t have a lot of success in the long run.

Additionally, if you’re brand new, many of your first clients will likely be personal referrals who probably won’t look at your site anyway. So, make sure you have the skills to “wow” those people right from the start. That way, you’ll continue getting referrals, and then you’ll have money to invest in your site down the road -- when it really matters.

If you’ve been in business for a while and you’re looking to take things to the next level, having an updated and user-friendly site is definitely important. But, that doesn’t always mean you need a brand new site. Depending on the quality of your current site, simply having someone audit or tweak it can make a huge difference, for the fraction of the cost.

Then, Invest In Equipment + Tools

Unless you literally can’t run your business without the specific equipment you’re looking to invest in (say, you’re a photographer who only has an iPhone), I think you should prioritize this category last.

In most cases, your skills contribute to about 90% of what makes your products, services or offers valuable to potential clients and customers.

To put it plainly, a bad photographer with the best camera is still a bad photographer.

On the other hand, a photographer with incredible skills could probably get away with using a Canon Rebel for years, before they’d need to level up their equipment.

That said, having the highest-quality equipment and tools matters most when you’re at the top of your game. But until then, I’d recommend buying only the basics.

Want to know what systems you should prioritize setting up as your business grows? Grab my free Systems Roster below.

Best of 2016

In case you're new around here, I wanted to highlight the "best of 2016" from my blog, videos, and podcast. I haven't done a best of post on the blog before, but why not start now? Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on any of the goodness coming your way in 2017! (There's still time to fill out my reader survey if you want to see something on this blog!)

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2016

Business Lessons

These are some of the valuable lessons I learned in 2016 – in large part, advice that I heard from colleagues and my podcast interviewees! There are so many more that I could list here, but these are the lessons I loved the most and want to remember in 2017!

Tough doesn't mean wrong

Growing pains doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. Just because things are tough, doesn't mean you need to completely change your business, or quit. Of course, this doesn't mean to completely ignore the bad times either. If it goes on for more than a couple of months, it may be time to re-evaluate things. 

Value yourself

We need to stop under-valuing ourselves. Pricing takes some trial and error, that's for sure. But, we need to stick to our guns and charge what we're worth. Don't let others (including clients) diminish the worth of your work. 

Try it, tweak it

We can't predict the future. We don't know if a particular product or service is going to sell or flop. But, the unknown should not hold you back from trying new things. Don't be afraid to fail! If you try something and it doesn't work, it doesn't mean the end of your business. Make adjustments, get feedback, and try again.

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