What Puss in Boots can teach us about Growth Hacking

One of my favourite things to talk about is growth hacker marketing. If you haven’t heard of it, it is, in essence, ditching traditional mass marketing and focusing on innovative (and ingenious) methods to market at only the people who will buy from you.

Ryan Holiday is a media strategist for some pretty BIG names and I recently read his book Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising. When I say read, I mean ‘couldn’t put it down and consumed within 48 hours’.

Holiday defines growth hacker marketing in a recent Forbes interview as:

Growth hackers were the secret weapons behind the launches of some of the biggest or hottest companies on the planet. Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Square, Airbnb, Dropbox. These brands came out of nowhere and acquired, collectively, billions of users. Growth hacking was the scientific and scalable marketing approach behind it. I wrote the book because when you lay it out like that, it’s a pretty stunning wakeup call for people who consider themselves “traditional” marketers. It keeps you up at night if the biggest and fastest growing companies in the world were built by specifically ignoring the best practices of your industry.

After reading the book I was hooked. Hooked on the notion of changing how I marketed my own business as well as my clients. This was exactly what I was flirting with offering similar services yet I hadn’t coined it as growth hacker marketing.

Fast forward two days after finishing the book (and my new obsession with growth hacking) I was listening to audio stories in my car with my son. The well-known story of Puss in Boots came on.

Now, Puss in Boots manages to make his owner a VERY rich man. He could have done this by telling his master to sell something, start a market stall or the like but instead Puss thinks of VERY clever ways to get his master in front of the right people.

Puss’s master was a miller’s son and when his father passed away he was given the cat. His brothers got land and property but the younger son got a cat. He was sad until the cat started talking to him promising to make him a very rich man.

The miller’s son, upon request from the cat, uses his all the money he has left on buying a pair of boots and a hat for his newly acquired pet.

There are many variations of this fairy tale but the next few encounters are truly remarkable. Puss in Boots knows who he will market his new master to and he just knows that instead of multiple ways to get money, he will get his master in front of the one person who can truly make his master a rich and successful man – the King.

Puss in Boots catches the King’s favourite, and hard to find, food of partridges (or rabbits in some versions). He then takes a bag of partridges to the King and says it is a gift from his master who knew the King enjoyed partridge pie. The ecstatic King sends Puss in Boots home with a sum of money for the miller’s son.

Next, Puss discovers the King will be taking a certain route on his outing so tells his master to get undressed and go swim in the nearby river to the route. Puss comes running over to the King’s carriage saying his master’s clothes have been stolen and the King orders the finest clothes to be fetched from the palace for the cats master. The Princess, who was travelling with the King, then falls in love with the miller’s son.

Are you starting to fall in love with this growth hacking cat too? Strategic placing of his master in exactly the right place in front of his exact audience.

The miller’s son is then invited into the King’s coach. Puss in Boots then runs ahead and advises (with a friendly threat) a field of countrymen to say to the King that the lands belong to his master. The King was impressed by the lands and asked to see his castle,

The cat then makes the original owner of the lands disappear and gets the castle ready for their royal guests. (Just so we’re clear, I’m all for business growth but do not recommend you completely destroy your competitor.)

The King was in awe of the miller’s son and asked him to marry his daughter, the Princess. The miller’s son accepted and, as Puss in Boots had promised at the beginning of the story, he became a very wealthy man indeed.

I introduce to you Puss in Boots: the original growth hacker!

In closing…

Growth hacker marketing is a strategy any business can use. No matter what size your business is, whether you’re a startup, a one-man operation or a household name brand. Take away the need to market to the masses and just focus on the people who will actually buy from you.

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Why your business needs a content marketing strategy

I love helping clients and readers of my blog position themselves as an authority in their niche. Today we’re talking content marketing strategy which is one of the main strategies I use with clients to showcase their expertise and gain a client wait list.

The words ‘plan’ and ‘strategy’ can feel overwhelming but I’m going to show you how to create yours without feeling any worry or stress.

I believe you should have your content strategy before you even start with the planning and idea creation. Even before this we need to truly understand what content marketing is and why your business needs it.

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as;

“Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

 

In short, instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”

Content marketing will enable you to showcase your expertise, step into the spotlight and set you apart from everyone one else in your niche.

It’s time to get known for what you know!

Content strategy helps organizations provide the right content, to the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons.

Meghan Casey

Lead Content Strategist, Brain Traffic

1) Know where to start and where you’re heading

Having a plan gives clarity to your ideas. Get everything out of your head and onto paper, your laptop, your phone notes, wherever you think you will regularly visit to implement these ideas.

Creating a content strategy means you can see what services you are launching, what your intention is, what offering to promote, what content is being published, and ideally what topics you should be talking about and commenting on social media posts and newsletters.

2) Save time and energy

We consider time to be the commodity we need to manage. In my opinion, everything is currency. Both your time and your energy need managing.

I know so many people who spend far too much time about their newsletters not going out or not publishing their blog post when they said they would. Think about the energy that has wasted when a simple plan could have told you what content to create.

If you’re creative and have loads of ideas it can be difficult to know what to do with them and how to get the most out of them.

Ensure you have a workflow for your content so once you start creating it you know where to save it, how to promote it, what images need to go with it etc (see the resource links below for a workflow I created for you).

You can rid all of this worry by creating your content strategy and then your editorial plan to add in your ideas to know where they fit and if they’re relevant to your audience and where your business is heading.

3) Establish your identity, voice and authority

Your content marketing strategy will, without doubt, start positioning you as a voice to be heard and an authority in your field. If you so wish, you can soon claim the ‘expert’ title.

Establish your brand identity by how you represent yourself. Branding is important for businesses of any size but especially so sole traders, small businesses and entrepreneurs when you are your brand.

Any images, social media posts, quotes, blog posts, or other content you share is part of creating your brand identity and authority building.

Keep a content plan to maintain your expert status keeping everything on brand.

4) Monitor and evaluate what’s working

Monitoring your content will enable you to see patterns arising and also to see what is working and equally what is not working.

Even if you only use social media and newsletters to communicate to your audience, you should still be monitoring the success of your activities.

Here are a few examples;

  • If no one is opening your newsletter you may want to tweak the subject line.
  • If your open rate is 40% but no one is clicking your offers maybe you need to tweak your wording inside the email to be more persuasive.
  • If you’re active on social media platforms but one just isn’t working, it may be time to say goodbye to that account or update your strategy to connect with your audience.

Track your performance once a month and keep things simple. There’s no need to monitor everything on a daily basis or too frequently. Whichever metric you decide to evaluate they should support your goals and you should be willing to improve activity to increase the performance.

5) Boost your ROI

Whether you are investing in outsourcing your content marketing or you are doing it yourself, you need to see a return on your investment.

Having your content plan in place allows you to keep on track with your business goals, your intention for the month thus strategically giving your ROI.

How to create killer content as a coach

If you’re a coach looking to grow your audience, find new clients and make more money then my latest Huffington Post article on content marketing is for you.

In this piece, I’m showing you how to create killer content as a coach to help position you as an authority within your niche and turn your audience to a client wait list.

You may also like to read Why your business needs a content marketing strategy

10 things any business can blog about

I cannot tell you the amount of times I am excited to find a blog page on a company’s website. If I’m on their website, chances are I want to discover more about them. So imagine my feeling when this blog area is just their latest offer or the times they’re open that week. Cue snore fest.

So what’s the secret to turning your own blog into an engaging place to entice readers to opt-in to your freebies, consume your advice and even buy from you?

Most people still think that keeping a business blog going is telling the world what you’re doing but really it goes deeper than that. You need to be showcasing the expertise of you and your team, creating content that resonates with your ideal clients and writes in a style that connects with readers.

If you have a personal blog then, by all means, be personal and share your family photos etc but those that are looking to blog for their businesses need to think about what their readers want to hear and be strategic with how they use their time. Will people subscribe to your biyearly posts about a job you worked on? Probably not. What readers will tune into is informative and interactive pieces where they may also be able to take something away from it even if they do not opt-in to your mailing list or choose to buy from you.

Click here to read: Why your business needs a content marketing strategy

Creating great blog posts can seem an overwhelming task at first but once you nail it your readers will soon enough become raving fans.

Here’s a list of 10 things that any business can blog about right now…

 

1. Get to know you

This could be describing your typical work day, how and why your business started, the history of your team or another personal piece. Readers love getting to know the blogs creators and business founders and are more likely to subscribe for your later updates once they get to know you better.

2. Review something

Visited some amazing websites recently? Just finished a training course? An e-book? Found an app you think your industry cannot live without? Write a review about it. Tag the other business or author in your social media posts about your blog too as they can then easily share your post with their audience.

3. Topical piece

Has something happened in the news this week that affects your industry? Do you have an opinion on a news story that has just broken affecting your business? Host a live stream, prerecord a video or audio and create a blog post from it.

Click here to find out how to use video content in ‘Facebook Lives and social media content 101’

4. Your favourites

Share a bunch of links or a roundup of your favourite websites or blogs. It gives readers a feel for what makes you tick but also shares content that will be of interest to them too.

5. Product launch

Launched a new product or service? Tell your audience about it telling them about the benefits to them, not just what it does or what it includes. Even if you are launching a new opt-in freebie, be sure to create blog posts on similar topics to promote them.

Click hear for more content ideas to support your launch ‘The ultimate guide to sell out your programs and e-courses (without using Facebook ads)

6. Testimonials and case studies

There’s nothing quite like a raving review or social media love for your business to help sell your products. Ask past clients to write a review for you or better yet, record an on-camera interview of how your products or services has helped them and put together a mini case study. This content shows readers the real results they could expect to see should they take the next step and work with you.

7. How to’s & top tips

If in doubt, always go for a ‘how to’ or ‘top tips’ style blog post. These blog posts get shared on social media a lot and allow you to showcase your expertise on topics within your Zone of Genius.

Chose a title that will grab attention, potentially based on a popular issue you know your clients have and the title is the answer. For example, ‘How to lose 10lbs before the Christmas party without going to the gym or giving up cake’.

8. Q&A

What do your customers ask you a lot that you are perhaps surprised more people don’t know? Brainstorm some common questions you get asked by your community and clients and answer them in a long Q&A post, a series of posts or depending on how many popular questions you have they could each have their own blog post.

9. Ask a question yourself

Posting a poll is a great way to start to engage with your readers. Social media is a great place to start the conversation or you can host this in your website in a sidebar or a blog post. You can then make blog posts and future content out of the results you find too.

10. Something juicy

If you have a real meaty subject that you could write for hours on then consider creating a 3-part blog series on the topic instead. It makes 3 pieces of content so you don’t need to come up with additional ideas plus keeps the reader excited for the next part and you couldn’t ask for more!

Fancy some more ideas for your business blog or content?

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The importance of adding personality into your marketing

Organisations spend a lot of money on their branding, brand guidelines, logos and websites yet really there needs to be an emphasis made on creating a brand personality within all of this for you to stand out.

 

Whilst looking pretty is nice, it’s not all about choosing the colours. Companies must differentiate themselves from competitors in ways other than just their logo and their brand values.

 

In order to identify and create your company’s personality you need to consider how you want your customers to feel when they connect with you and after buying your products. Maybe even consider buzzwords you’d love to be associated to your product or company. This emotional connection your audience will have with your brand is crucial.

 

As well as enticing potential customers to your company all promises must be delivered. If your product promises to deliver a certain lifestyle then it has to stand up to the task. Equally, if you promise customers something incredible will happen to them once they join your family and become a customer, it should then happen.

If customers are let down and do not feel the way they intended (how your marketing told them they would feel) then they will undoubtedly start to look elsewhere… to your competitors.

The most effective way to keep your customers loyal and not disappear to competitors is to offer them what they want in a way that appeals to them. Having this knowledge is key to retaining consumers and finding new ones. Consider strategies that make customers return to your brand again and again.

 

While it’s great to attract new customers we must never forget to reward (and interest) those that are already loyal. It is much easier to get another purchase from someone who is already a customer rather than finding a new one, so always keep your current client base in mind.

 

The user experience throughout a customer’s journey is imperative to get right. Your website, your social media, your offices, your store and anywhere you sell your products and engage with your customers are all part of your customers experience of your brand.

 

As well as considering how a customer will feel when engaging with your brand, the experience customers take away from doing business with you is also vital. From online carts, terms and conditions right through to customer service, it is all part of the user experience.

 

Consistency is one of my favourite words when it comes to marketing and it is so relevant when we talk about adding personality into your brand. Your messaging should be consistent across all channels. Your social media, your website, your printed press material, your product packaging, all needs to stay consistent.

 

You will have a greater impact on your audience when you see that it is continuity and repeating your efforts and messaging that will make any marketing campaign a huge success.

 

Here’s other industry experts on how important adding personality is to your brand…

Anna McLoughlinInkspiller

When you sell a service, such as coaching, consulting or therapy, there’s nothing more important than bottling your brilliance and articulating it in words. This is because your clients are actually buying YOU.
Your personality, spirit and way of doing doings. The windows you open up in their minds. Your vision of the world. Your vision of them. They buy possibility. They buy that truth they need to hear. They buy your why, your belief, your struggle. They buy to be a part of your journey, to walk alongside you and to be guided by you.
But unless you’re able to share who you are and why you matter, then there’s nothing for them to buy.
Going online opens up a world of opportunity to business owners from every corner, and that is both empowering and frustrating. Empowering because it gives us all a voice, frustrating because so many people use their voice to say the same thing.
We’re taught marketing tricks that involve following magic formulas, using specific buzzwords, and piggybacking trends… but do you know what that leads to? Nothing. Nothing of note. Nothing of interest. Entrepreneurs with real potential blending into the sea of sameness.
Instead, use your platform for something worth saying. Show your intuitive approach, or your creative strategy, or your penchant for pop culture references. Be brave enough to be a person, as well as a brand. Stand for something. Have an opinion. Have a voice. Have a human side. That’s what will attract the clients, and customers, and opportunities. It always does.

Jon OrchardLocal Buzz Marketing

Being brave enough to add your own personality to your brand makes you stand out at the crucial moments.
In those micro moments when a potential client is reading about your business, it’s a beautiful thing to just be you.

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Champagne marketing lemonade budget

As a Marketing and PR Specialist I get asked a lot about how to do DIY marketing at low or no cost at all.

I often dislike using the terms ‘DIY’, ‘budget marketing’ and ‘free’ because of the association of those words. They can often read as if it cheapens what you’re doing and trying to achieve.

BUT stick with me and I will show you how to do your own marketing (and PR) without losing any class. If anything, my advice will set you above your competitors who paid to advertise and who threw loads of money into their marketing efforts.

It doesn’t have to be that way and I’m going to show you how.

For the love of all that is DIY…

Firstly, just to set the scene and tell you where my love of elegant DIY tips started. Well, straight out of University I was a wedding coordinator in a beautiful 4* country hotel.

I loved spending time with my brides and I would pick up tips from the money conscious ones. One couple I remember had a fake wedding cake on the huge stand in front of guests… it literally was just iced cardboard. Imagine that!

When 7pm came the staff took it out the back to pretend to cut it but we had supermarket fruit cake on trays for the guests. I mean, how amazing is that!

It was my favourite incredible-wedding-on-a-budget tip of all time so I used to tell all my brides about it and had I not moved out the area I potentially would have put all local cake makers out of business.

This then started my obsession for elegant DIY or classy ways to have first class experiences while keeping the spending to a minimum.

Side note: If you’re planning a wedding please feel free to use the awesome cake tip above… this will easily save you £500. You’re welcome!

 

Here’s my top ways to have champagne marketing on a lemonade budget…

  • Host a Facebook Live series or challenge. This could be daily live videos from Monday through to Friday on a chosen theme your audience will love, where the first four days is pre thought out content and the last day as an open Q&A session.

  • Pitch an article idea to magazines. Find publications your ideal clients read and think about what problems they have that you could solve with a how-to article. 

    Find out how to write your email pitch here

  • Invite some awesome people to contribute a guest blog post or comment on one of your blog posts (they will then tell their audience about it and it gets more visitors to your site and you in front of more people).

  • Reach out to event organisers near you and offer to speak at their events. Ensure you do some research to ensure potential customers will be there or people who will benefit from your talk.

  • Host a ‘buy me a coffee and I’ll give you twenty minutes of advice’ at your local cafe. This is great to get your name out there and practice talking to people about your business if you’re just starting out or moved to a new area.

Only do the activities that you adore doing!

You do not have to do everything to become more visible. Just pick out the activities that are right for you, that are aligned to what you’re comfortable with and where you’re business is heading.

If you hate public speaking, don’t do public speaking.

If you don’t like writing, don’t write for magazines.

If you love talking on camera as a coach, get on Periscope or start adding videos to your blog posts.

If you are a people person and own a brick and mortar business then get out there and exhibit at a local business show, or one that is relevant to what you do, maybe negotiate a complimentary exhibition stand in exchange for hosting a workshop or speaking at the event.

Decide what you’re comfortable with and just go with that, never do things you don’t enjoy because it just isn’t worth it and won’t be done as well as things you love doing.

There are visibility boosting activities for all personality types, you just have to find what’s right for you!

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