Scroll down for this week's edition, as we discuss:
As a professional homosexual, I am both qualified and authorized to comment on Pride month. Love a Pride month. Looks good in every color. And she's looking great this year after sitting out for two seasons because of the pandemic.
On the marketing side, though, it always gets noisy in June. There's a really good marketing lesson here. Our market – normally a blue ocean with not a lot of competition for market share – suddenly becomes a red ocean.
Saturated, competitive, and full of sharks. There's blood in the water! So here's my maybe-controversial take:
Don't spotlight queer people or causes just because it's Pride month. Spotlight them because you want to.
Market and promote with intention!
This goes for spotlighting other communities or causes as well.
Do you really need to wait until a certain awareness month to start talking about the topics that are important to you? No!
Don't get me wrong, an awareness month can certainly help you capitalize on certain media opportunities.
But if it's really noisy, like Pride month has become, it might be worth moving your efforts to a different time of year.
This will help: Here is a free guide I did earlier this year on 37 LGBTQ Awareness holidays throughout the year to know about.
For all of you who won't launch your lead magnet because it isn't 'pretty' enough, go look at this! It was literally a Google doc saved as a PDF.
Just do it!
And for additional reading, here are some past articles I've done related to Pride month that might be of interest
This week for The Slide Grease, I interviewed Rachel Wright, MA, LMFT.
Rachel is a sex and relationship therapist who currently has 23,700 followers on Instagram and bylines in SHAPE, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Business Insider, and HuffPost.
Rachel became a client recently because she wants to diversify her audience off of social media. Her subject matter expertise runs the risk of being shadow-banned by Instagram.
We discussed audience growth strategy and offers.
(This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
NW: What are some of the ways that you are diversifying your marketing strategy in 2022?
RW: I'm approaching 2022 with an "And" mindset instead of an "Or" mindset.
I am looking at Instagram – knowing that that is my bread and butter, that is where my largest audience is, that is where my highest engagement is – and thinking about if it shuts down or goes away.
Like there was that one entire day last year where Instagram was shut down. I was like, "My entire business is gonna blow up". It was a full day of crisis.
The hardest part is that I have polled my audience, and they have specifically said that they want content on Instagram versus other places.
Followers are obviously saying, 'I want the content on this platform', and I try to explain to them 'that's great, but it might go away, or you may not see it [because of the algorithm], so turn on notifications.' They're like... no. 😅
So in realizing that, and as the owner of the business, I have to make decisions. I need to make it enticing and interesting to also join my email list. The reason why people follow me is because it's interesting and enticing; I believe I can crack this.
I do so much free content. That helps when I go after paid partnerships. [Followers have] asked me questions for months now and gotten answers.
And all of a sudden, I'm like, "and here's my favorite vibrator". And followers say, "Of course I'm gonna buy that." The data is solid here.
I'm still putting the same amount of effort into Instagram, knowing that it could go away, and still focusing on growing it, upping engagement, all those things. But I also have a plan for where else I can use the content if it disappears tomorrow.
NW: You have a large audience. We're all jealous. I know everyone on my list wants to know: How do you grow your audience consistently? What have you found have been some of your most successful mechanisms for growing your audience over the years?
RW: For me, three things.
Number one: AMAs on Instagram, hands down. People from the beginning of time have loved advice columns. And an AMA (Ask Me Anything) is just the Instagram version of an advice column.
AMAs, by far, get my engagement to skyrocket. Every time I do one, people are sharing story slides more than any other day. And then I get tons more follows because my followers are sharing the slides [in DMs].
They send it to their friend that brought up an open relationship one time; they're like, 'Look, this woman answered this question about non-monogamy', and then the friend starts following me.
So that has helped me grow. I save all of my AMAs as Story highlights so people new to me can binge.
Number two: doing Instagram lives with people who are aligned, but different. Maybe we overlap in the fact that we're both therapists.
But this person specializes in eating disorders, and I specialize in sex and relationships, like that overlap is going to have people that are already interested in following therapists, find another therapist. That has helped me grow.
Number three: partnering with multiple other ethical, wonderful brands to do joint giveaways. Not just "Hi, I'm giving away this one thing from this one company" – those don't really do anything. It helps the company, but not me on Instagram.
But the second that there are five companies involved, and to enter this giveaway for five items you have to follow all five accounts, all of a sudden that's a big influx. For the last one I did, I gave away one comp ticket to a $33 prerecorded workshop, and I gained about 450 followers.
NW: Another great example to productizing your expertise – you can use it as an asset again and again when needed!
My readers fall into two categories: (1) current business owners, and (2) aspiring entrepreneurs who haven't made money online yet, but want to in the future. If you could start all over again, what would be your advice?
RW: A couple things. I think that sales are only scary when there's a lack of confidence in the outcome that the person will get with your product.
If you're confident that your product, service, whatever it is, will truly help someone, then when you're having a conversation with them (that's technically a sales conversation), what you're really doing is having a conversation to help someone.
And if you feel confident that your product or program or service is the thing that will help them with what they need help with, it all of a sudden doesn't feel icky, not even 1%. So making sure that you're not selling to people who don't need your product is also advice.
Not everyone needs everything. And that's okay.
The other piece of advice that I would give is I have had a lot of growth in my sales and revenue by doing front-end offers that were low-ticket or donation-based.
So whether it's my non-monogamy support group, or a workshop that I do as donation-based, like a "Pay What You Can" with a minimum of $2, that then gets people involved, and they're still committed in the way that they have put down dollars.
I know that once that person learns from me, if they found value, they're going to stick around. And so I have had so many of those people be the people who wind up being my longest clients. Because it was organic.
They found something, they paid literally what they could. And then when it came time to do something where I set the price, they were like, "okay, great," because the trust was there.
I didn't like gouge them at the very beginning. And I have found that those have worked better than free webinars or events, like making it $1 or $2. Pay what you can with that minimum. It's so much better than free events. Retention and conversion are so much better as a result.
Rachel Wright, MA, LMFT is a psychotherapist based in New York City. Join her list from her website, give her a follow on Instagram here, and be on the lookout for her forthcoming podcast "The Wright Conversations," a podcast about mental health, sex, and relationships.
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Summer is a great time to take a look at your tech stack.
Here's what I'm using these days. (Some links are affiliate links.)
Email marketing: I always recommend ActiveCampaign first, and have used it since 2016. I've also built for clients in ConvertKit and Flodesk. Mailchimp also gets the job done. Don't bother with Substack.
I like LeadPages best for landing pages, I keep my annual subscription just in case I want to whip up landing pages quickly.
Checkout/Sales: If you're a beginner, Stripe and PayPal get the job done. Later, when you're ready for a checkout page, get ThriveCart, because you only pay for it once.
Later on, if you develop multiple small products, use SamCart. I only recommend SamCart if you have multiple $20-$200 products you can use as add-ons on the checkout page. Otherwise, it's not worth the premium.
Operations: I use Gusto for payroll because it makes contractor tax paperwork super clean. Guideline is 401Ks for entrepreneurs. I've used Bench for my bookkeeping since 2018; minimal thinking required, which is what I like.
Have any software tools you absolutely love? Reply and let me know, would love to hear.
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