If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, I hope you’re having a very wonderful holiday. The little gathering at my place this Sunday was wonderful.
I’m popping in to write you in the midst of my vacation, because Megan Auman and I are offering a year-end special that could be just what you’re looking for.
Through December 30th, Megan and I are offering a bundle that includes our popular Press Push program and the inaugural Blog Boost that we’re running this January.
We decided to offer both programs together, because we know that attracting more people to your website or online store is a huge pain point for you. The question of how you can build your audience weighs you down, often to the point where it’s paralyzing.
Should you concentrate on creating content for your own site and driving traffic there from social media? Or should you be using PR and media outreach to build your profile and leverage other people’s platforms?
PR and your own blog content work together to create results for your business.
The Blog Boost and Press Push work together to give you the support, training and guidance you need to move forward with more clarity and confidence in 2017. That’s because blogging and media outreach naturally complement and build upon each other.
For ideas-driven businesses, blogging and PR both:
- Establish you as an expert in the eyes of your audience.
- Bring traffic (aka potential clients and customers) to your site.
- Help your audience understand what makes you unique, so they’re more likely to buy from you.
While for a product business, your blog and media coverage serve to:
- Build awareness for your products.
- Attract more customers to your online store.
- Raise the profile of your brand, leading to more sales.
A lot of my clients want to know where to start, and the answer I always give them is that your website should be the main portal for your audience to get to know you.
Publishing regular content is the building block of online marketing success.
Not only does your blog content serve as an opportunity for you to share your point of view with your audience, every post gives your audience an opportunity to spread the word on your behalf.
Whether you publish a weekly outfit post, tell the story behind your brand, or give your audience a flash of insight, you are able to powerfully build a connection to the people you most want to reach, all on your own turf.
That’s why the year starts with the 50 Day Blog Boost, a 6-week program that helps you develop a blogging habit while creating (at least) one post a week for your blog and building momentum for your business.
In addition to weekly blog prompts, Megan and I will give you a promotional activity to spread your content and a writing tip that will make you a better communicator and help your content flow more easily.
Then we take a break, so you can keep up your new-found blogging habit with ease.
We come back in May with the 60 Day Press Push.
This year, we’re adding a second track for idea-driven businesses, in addition to the programming that is specifically geared towards artists, makers and designers.
This is because the types of PR opportunities available to these business types are very different, and we want to focus completely on the media opportunities that are right for you.
We’ve taken over a hundred creative entrepreneurs though the 60 Day Press Push, and the skills you learn in the program will help you maintain a publicity program for your business with ease. The core of our method is focused on action — there’s no drawn-out or complicated planning process. Instead we teach a new pitch style every week, so you can try out different approaches and email templates and figure out what works for you.
The hallmark of both of these programs, though, is the personal attention Megan and I provide through the private Facebook group. At least one of us is in there every week day (excepting holidays!), giving feedback on your pitch ideas (and blog posts in the Blog Boost) and answering questions.
If you’re looking for an extra leg up in the new year to grow your audience and customer base this year, this bundle is for you.
We’re offering the Blog Boost and the Press Push together for a $498 — a $200 savings off the full price for both these programs.
Through this special offer, you get access to:
- The Blog Boost this January and the Press Push in May (you get to choose which track of the Press Push is right for you). All materials are emailed to you, so you can complete the exercises when it works in your schedule.
- Access to the private Facebook groups for each program, where you can workshop with your fellow participants, ask questions of Brigitte and Megan and get our feedback on your drafts.
- Access to 4 Q&A calls hosted by Brigitte and Megan.
The Blog Boost kicks off Monday, January 9th. Each lesson is delivered to you via email, so you can fit in the weekly activities into your own schedule.
I’m heading out in a few to make some final preparations for a Chrismukkuh celebration I’m hosting on Sunday. My husband and I are having a small gathering of friends over for latkes and board games and (if all goes well) lots of laughter.
I know you may be already signed out for the holidays, but I’m also very aware that not everyone feels particularly merry or happy this time of year. Not just on a personal level, but the feeling that you haven’t met all your goals can infect the season with a sense of dissatisfaction.
If this is you, or even if it’s not, I wanted to pop in and urge you to spend a little time in reflection of all that went well this year.
It’s natural to look at your balance sheets or email list and think about how much better the year could have gone.
“I know I should have run some Facebook campaigns this year…”
“I STILL haven’t learned the first thing about SEO…”
“If only I’d hired Brigitte back in June, all my problems would be solved by now.” ;-)
This type of analysis can be very useful, and pushing yourself and your organization to do better is part of your role as a leader.
But if you don’t balance this reflection out with an equally in-depth look at what went well, you’re missing a huge part of the equation.
What can you learn from all the progress you’ve made?
All the revenue that you brought in this year represents things you did well. What specific triggers helped convert those potential customers into buyers? What can you learn from your success?
All the customers and clients and email list subscribers are individuals who have entrusted you with their most valuable resources — their time and attention.
None of us are owed another human’s attention — this is a gift that is earned. Even if you have just one subscriber, celebrate that gift. It is an accomplishment.
What can you learn from the people who have entrusted you with their investment?
What would your business look like this time next year if you not only focused on problem areas but also chose to double down on the strategies and tactics that are working?
Because I guarantee you, there’s a lot you’re getting right. That’s something worth celebrating.
As I come off this epic cold, I’m struggling to get my writing mojo back. Before, I was in a nice groove where the ideas were flowing, and I could finish a post in a little over an hour. But now, I find myself struggling to come up with topics to write about and abandoning drafts a few paragraphs in.
In college, creative writing was my major, and no matter how much I didn’t want to write that day, the need to maintain my GPA to keep my academic scholarship was ample motivation. In my agency days, I got accustomed to my manager calling and asking me to send a press release over about such-and-such occurrence within the hour. The ticking clock ensured my productivity.
At this stage of my career, nothing is holding me accountable to writing other than knowing it’s what I need to do to keep my business growing. I’ve had to come up with my own strategies for coming up with ideas and the get the creative juices flowing.
What I’ve found is that it’s very hard for me to write content that doesn’t feel urgent in some way — I find the greatest motivation in feeling connected to a real question or problem that some segment of my readers is facing.
As the end of the year approaches, I expect you’ll be taking some time off. I certainly am — I’m going to Seattle for New Year’s Eve! You might find yourself needing to overcome a little holiday-induced writer’s block of your own, or maybe you’re struggling to find the motivation to write now.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you three questions I ask myself to come up with relevant content ideas, no matter how blocked I feel.
1. Is there anything in particular my clients are struggling with right now?
The highest compliment is hearing “Your post came at exactly the right time. It feels like you’ve been sitting around the table with me and my advisors as we’ve been working out what to do around xx…”
Obviously I don’t receive these emails every week, but my aim is to make at least some readers feel this way with every post I write.
Here’s the key to relevancy: in any given culture (business culture or community), there are seasonal ebbs and flows to certain types of questions or issues. Right now is a clear example, as a lot of businesses are doing what they can to reach their year-end goals or to plan for the new year.
When I am struggling to come up with post ideas, the first thing I do is try to ground myself in an awareness of what’s bubbling up for my audience right now. I want to see if there’s anything I can help with that’s most useful in this very moment.
2. What’s in the news?
The analysis I described in the first prompt only works when you’re feeling connected to your audience. Sometimes you get back from a break and feel totally removed from your work.
When this happens, I look outside myself for inspiration. Bloggers and magazines and podcasts are all excellent sources of content ideas.
I don’t like to rehash the content I find online, not because it’s wrong or somehow unethical to cover an idea I’ve seen elsewhere, but because it’s boring.
And if I’m bored doing this work…well…why would I continue?
So what I look for are two things:
- What topics feel most relevant to my audience right now? Traditional media nearly always prioritizes timely content. So if you’re not sure what’s relevant to your audience right now, looking at media coverage is a good way to figure it out.
- How can I put a fresh spin on the topic? Like I said, writing the same-old thing is boring. And it’s also the fastest way to fit in with the crowd. That’s the opposite of what you want to achieve with your content. Instead, what you want to look for are the ways you disagree with the messages you’re finding in the media.
For me, this process is energizing. It’s intellectually stimulating to think through why I disagree with a particular piece of advice, and interesting to think through what I would offer instead.
3. What have I learned recently or failed to address?
Sometimes even my media research fails to inspire. Maybe most of the articles I find are fairly evergreen (could be published anytime), or I don’t have a strong disagreement with the advice I’ve come across.
This is where I turn the lens back on myself. I can almost always find a topic by looking to my own experiences, or even looking through my archives to see what I’ve missed.
Often I’ll realize that I never covered an important concept on my blog, or write myself to a solution for my current problem. Funny enough, even if I’m not aiming for timeliness, these are the times I’m most likely to hear from someone in my audience, “I’ve been struggling with this exact same thing.”
If you’re struggling to get into your writing groove, I hope that one of my strategies will help you get out of your slump. The more you’re in the habit of writing, the easier your content flows.