How to make an impact and support your family while doing it.
How often have you thought about your job and wondered if it even makes a difference? Whilst you’re very dutifully doing your best and being as productive as you can be, have you ever thought that it doesn’t really matter? Most jobs in the world are largely mundane, and whilst probably necessary for our big economic machine to keep working they don’t make much of a splash. Sure, you might enjoy hanging out with your co-workers. You might relish the challenge of designing a product. You might get your kicks from accurately accounting for all the resources in a project. But are you really making an impact?
Impact is a measure of the tangible effect of your work on a system, or a customer, or the economy. So healthcare professionals would certainly have an impact on their patients. Bankers certainly have an impact on national and international economies (you can discuss if it’s a positive or negative impact!…). But does your job have an impact on anyone?
Making a difference
As an average person you may, quite justifiably, have a pretty low expectation of how much difference your work will make to the world. As kids we all imagined we would be rock stars, astronauts, inventors, or olympic athletes. However experience teaches us that rather than doing something exceptional with our life we are much more likely to do something rather average. Sounds depressing, right? Well actually no, it’s not. Being average is essentially what the massive majority of us are, otherwise it wouldn’t be the average.
So around 80% of you reading this blog are really quite average people. Around 10% of you are above average – good for you. And around 10% of you are below average – sucks to be you. But does this mean that 90% of you should euthanize yourselves because you haven’t done anything exceptional?…not necessarily. Your appalling mediocrity need not be a source of shame for you, as long as you are able to make a difference in some way.
There are many ways in which you can make a difference, or have an impact. That ‘tangible effect’ is actually quite a broad definition, so you don’t need to be curing smallpox for your efforts to be tangible. Providing a great customer experience…? Sure. Helping a client find a great new home…? Probably. Persuading vulnerable old people to sign up for expensive life insurance…? You should reconsider the euthanasia. But how do you know if you’re making an impact on the world? Well, it should start with a question about your values.
Be led by your values
Values are essentially the measure by which we judge ourselves and others. They are fueled by our experiences, our upbringing and education, and how we perceive our world. Some people have shitty values like Have tons of money for the sake of it; Drive a kickass car; Work like a dog to become a Director or some other lofty-sounding title; or Own property in Milton Keynes. These are pretty standard values these days; such is the curse of society. However you don’t have to have these values, or judge yourself by them, in order to make an impact.
Now look, having those kind of shitty values doesn’t necessarily preclude you from making an impact, just like competitive dog grooming doesn’t necessarily make you a nutcase. However I would suggest that if you’re led by those kind of shitty self-serving values then you are unlikely to make the sort of impact you’re dreaming of. Whereas if you are led by values like Spread understanding and tolerance, Be creative or Never stop learning then you are much more likely to make a positive impact on the world, and the people in it.
Not sure what your values are? Well it’s worth spending some time figuring them out. The key thing is to determine if they are realistic, if they are within your control, and if they are really constructive. If you can answer Yes to these questions then chances are they’re good values.
Converting values to success
So what’s next? Well if you’re led by those good values and decide to make your life and career choices based on them then you’re likely to enjoy some success, and to make a positive impact. Now I’m not suggesting that you should all become charity workers, or nurses (given how poorly nurses are paid they’re essentially the same thing). Instead you should follow a path that feels right for you based on your values. I did that and I’m pretty content with my choices. Here’s how…
One of my key values is to be present for my family – in the sense that I don’t want to work crazy hours, and when it’s family time I want to be 100% there and present. I struggled with both of those until I embraced a different life choice, which was to become a social media consultant. I’m now able to commit to family routines with all of my body and mind, without thinking I should be doing something else because I feel guilty for not working enough hours. I work flexibly when I need to and I can walk away guilt-free because I’m managing my own time. So I can support my family emotionally, and also financially because consultancy pays pretty well too. It’s win-win, and I feel fantastic about it.
If your values are similar to mine then you can achieve that too. The life of a social media consultant is awesome – being creative, working with people, working flexibly, making a good living by making a tangible difference. At Social Media Mafia we are building a community of like-minded value-driven achievers. In our academy we help each other to grow, to achieve our aims, and to make an impact at home and at work. If you’re interested in making that impact then sign up and join the ranks. We’re looking forward to welcoming you.
How To Earn What You’re Worth – As A Social Media Consultant
Let me start with a few questions…
Are you ever frustrated that your salary never seems to stretch far enough to comfortably cover the cost of living?
Do you ever feel like you’re worth more than you’re getting paid for your work?
Do you ever get the sense that you’re undervalued and capable of much more?
Well, if the answer to any of those is Yes then you will not be surprised to learn that you are very much in the majority. Two thirds of workers in the US believe they are underpaid for what they do, and not surprisingly it is a significant contributory factor to employee dissatisfaction. That’s because your pay is not just a number. It is an emotional measure of how valued you feel – if you feel underpaid then you feel undervalued.
The damaging linear model
The perception of being undervalued is hard to break away from in the traditional employment model. We understand that salaries are determined according to experience and qualifications, and then you show up for the required amount of time each week to qualify for that salary. This linear approach is very familiar to us.
However this approach is damaging to productivity as it exerts a downward pressure on the importance of value. If you find yourself locked into a salary structure that only requires you to show up and do your duties then you have no incentive to perform better. Even if you have a bonus scheme, or the potential for promotion in the next few years you’re still stuck in the linear model. How will you ever break out and earn what you know you’re worth if you can only ever achieve the salary the company is prepared to give you?
If I asked you to say who you think is paid what they’re worth you would probably name some professions – doctors, lawyers, accountants and the like. To some extent you’re right. Professionals such as these are paid approximately what they’re worth – they have studied hard at school, passed exams, achieved qualifications and deserve their higher salaries.
However they are still stuck in that linear model. They can only earn what someone is prepared to pay them for their time and expertise. Their income is proportional to the time they spend working. This is not earning what you’re worth.
What are you worth?
Imagine then if there was another way to earn money; a way in which you are compensated proportionally for what you are actually worth. You will have guessed by now that this way does not involve ‘getting a job’. Instead this way involves adopting a new model of employment which allows you to determine your own worth.
Have you ever considered what you’re worth? It sounds like the sort of question you hear from your therapist, and really it is related to your sense of self. Our self worth is a measure of how we value and regard ourselves. It is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding and self-acceptance. If you have high self worth then you have a high opinion of yourself and place a high value on your skills and abilities.
Sounds great, right? Imagine being able to ignore the judgement and criticism of others and value yourself highly…well the good news is that you totally can. Whatever you think you have learned about your worth up until this point, it’s probably bollocks as it’s most likely based on the feedback you get from other people on what they think you are worth. You need to break this vicious cycle, which will only drive your self worth down.
The value cycle
Instead you can adopt a way of thinking in which you accept yourself as you are, flaws and all. You can learn that we are all fallible, but that we are all capable of enormous growth. You can learn that as you grow you become more valuable. And so the cycle of growth and value continues. Imagine being in a position where you constantly feel more and more valuable, and are able to determine how much you are paid according to that value.
So how can you achieve that kind of self-perpetuating valuation? Well, the great news is that you do not have to work for other people and be subject to their rules and valuations. Instead you can work for yourself as a social media consultant. Social media consultants are subject matter experts in digital marketing, applying their skills and knowledge to increase brand awareness and boost sales.
Growth is key
You may have already shouted at the screen that you don’t have any expertise in digital marketing, but remember when I mentioned growth…? You will find that it’s surprisingly easy to acquire new knowledge and skills that are enormously valued by clients.
The Social Media Mafia is a community of social media consultants supporting each other in their growth and improving the use of digital marketing in business. Our Godfather’s Success Pathway is an 8 week program designed to take you from where you are now to where you want to be – charging the fees you know you are worth and winning contracts.
How To Earn What You’re Worth – As A Social Media Consultant
One of our students had a massive win before she had even finished the program. She had gained the confidence to sell her services as a social media consultant and approached a few local companies. Within a week she had landed a massive contract and lined up pitches for several more. She had discovered her value and was able to demand her fees based on that. She was set to earn more in six months than she had in the entire previous year. With the Social Media Mafia Academy she is growing her skills and her value.
This could be you. Brands are looking for social media consultants to help them with their digital strategies and will pay them well to do it. So sign up for the academy, develop some new skills and see what you’re worth…
How to think like a social media consultant without having to have a brain transplant
Social media consultants are very much like soldiers
They see the world in a different way, and they think about it differently too.
However they do not have body armour or automatic weapons. But in the important ways they are identical to soldiers…they look at the landscape before them and see multiple opportunities standing out as targets. This is the nature of the social media consultant – someone that is able to distinguish opportunities from ideas and convert that thought process into action. The results are far less deadly than those of soldiers, but can be just as powerful.
Thought is most likely something that most people take for granted
However what many don’t appreciate is that we are the only species on the planet with the ability to think conceptually – to imagine a world without ourselves in it, and to construct images of how situations will play out in the future. That’s why it really wasn’t a surprise to us when Iron Man died in Avengers Endgame (spoiler alert).
However it is in harnessing this power of conceptual thought that social media consultants stand out as unique thinkers, because they are able to see and exploit amazing opportunities for brands in the digital marketing space. By considering the concept of marketing differently they are able to provide targeted advice to brands on how to speak more effectively to their audience.
The key difference with a social media consultant is that they understand the need to know the target audience fully
They understand the need to know how the audience browses and shops, what they actually want, what their values are, what will motivate them to action, how they need to be warmed up sufficiently to convert interest into action. The social media consultant understands how to do this digitally, harnessing the targeting and influencing power of social media; not to cold-target but to aim for warm targets, and how to convert them to sales.
The social media consultant knows the value of studying your audience in order to fully understand the landscape
Take the Dollar Shave Club for example – they wanted to strip back the unnecessary cost and gimmicks from personal grooming products in order to grab a market share. They nailed it through funny ads and convenient purchasing options – exactly what their audience wanted.
Can you think this way? Do you think like a social media consultant?
Strategic planning is habitual to the social media consultant
When engaging in a new mission they will begin with deep thought and analysis on the vision they are working towards. Like soldiers they know the value of having a solid strategy, as its overarching theme guides your everyday tactical decisions and prevents you from going off on tangents and making poor choices.
Social media consultants know that having a sound strategy based on your values is more likely to succeed, because this is what customers are attracted to when browsing social media – values-based content. This is the ad they are most likely to click on; the video they are most likely to watch.
Social media consultants know that if they can connect brands with their target audience values then the resulting resonance can be stratospheric – look at the enormous rise of Airbnb, which tapped into the desire to connect with your holiday accommodation more closely than you would a hotel. They crushed that theme and enjoyed massive success.
Can you think this way? Do you think like a social media consultant?
Resilience is a quality that sets successful people apart from the majority of the population
The ability to persevere despite setbacks, and to learn from those setbacks and come back stronger is the hallmark of champions. Social media consultants know that nothing is ever perfect first time, and that mistakes are inevitable. In fact they know that mistakes are essential for success, because they teach us valuable lessons.
No entrepreneur nails it with their first idea, but the successful ones take the energy from the failure of that first idea and feed it into the next, and the next. Social media consultants have that entrepreneurial spirit and that soldier-like determination to fight on.
Equally, when advising clients on their strategies the social media consultant knows that not every campaign will be a huge success, and so builds in important feedback loops in order to understand what has worked and what hasn’t. This relentless determination to improve and evolve is what characterises the social media consultant.
Can you think this way? Do you think like a social media consultant?
Finally a social media consultant knows that real
Value comes from the improvement you make to a system or process, or the increase in sales that is sparked by your work.
The social media consultant knows that like a soldier, a single person can have a strategic effect. As such the social media consultant knows that they are valuable because of what they achieve, not how many hours they work. It’s quite the mental leap when we have been conditioned to think so laterally about the relationship between time and money.
The social media consultant knows that they can add enormous value from just a few hours work, and therefore command a high fee based on that value they have added. Can you think this way? Do you think like a social media consultant?
If you think that maybe you do think like a social media consultant, or perhaps even like a soldier then you’ve found your family. The Social Media Mafia is a community of like-minded consultants, bringing enormous value to the world of digital marketing. Through our values of constant learning and adding value we help our soldiers to develop the way they think and see the world. Join the family, and join the discussion.
How to rank in Google without having to be a code monkey
It’s always the same. Unless you love an underdog story, and wasting time, you will always click on the first, second or third Google search result that pops up in 0.45 seconds. Very rarely do you scroll all the way to the bottom and then hit the next page, right? Let’s not get into how it’s the curse of the modern generation to be quite so impatient, but instead focus on how your customers behave. That 0.45 seconds it has taken Google to fetch those results were largely wasted as far as the searcher is concerned, because they will only consider the top results. Therefore if you are looking to be ‘heard’ amongst all the digital marketing noise then it is essential you know how to rank in Google.
Google rankings are a mystery to most casual observers and it begs a few questions.
- Have brands paid to have their website pop up first?
- Is it dictated by how many views the site has?
- Is it related to how closely the phrase typed in, appears on the sites listed?
- Is there some inordinately complicated algorithm that determines the order in which the results appear?
The answer to all of those is Yes. But the good news is that getting a site to the top of the rankings is not nearly as complicated as writing that algorithm, and you won’t need a degree in computer science, or to live at home with your parents well into your thirties to be able to do it.
The fabulous truth is that to rank in Google you don’t have to be a code monkey. You just need to understand how to name a site, configure and theme the site, create targeted content and engage properly with Google. Whilst that sounds like it’s on the weird side of the code monkey spectrum, it’s not. It simply requires you to have an understanding of how Google categorises websites according to their name and what’s in them, and then to use that knowledge to your advantage. After all, most small businesses, and even medium and big businesses don’t have that simple knowledge. It’s like wearing a pair of x-ray glasses to a game of poker. The odds of coming out on top will be heavily stacked in your favour.
For instance if we were to put in to Google “plumber near me” you will usually get a series of paid ads at the top. You will see a little ‘Ad’ in a box at the start of the web URL. So with question one above, you nailed it. Google adwords has catapulted those sites to the top of the list, but for a fee of course. Depending on the keywords you’re using these ads could cost the advertiser somewhere north of $10 a click. That’s great if the product is high value and you can make it back with the occasional purchase, but it’s a balancing act, trying to ensure you get the conversion rate up in order to cover the ad spend. Businesses can easily lose money by paying for advertising like this.
However you will be relieved to know that it’s not necessary to pay for expensive adwords in exchange for potential customers to see your site at the top of the results page. You can rank in Google by using the same tactics as those sites just below the ads, without needing to use coding or to pay heavily for the privilege. Instead of using adwords those sites are using keywords, which will probably have been entered into Google by the searcher. By knowing those keywords and using them in your site, and by telling Google where you are in the world, you make it easy for Google to put you at the top of the search results. Now imagine that Google can speak (to itself), and then imagine this monologue in its search engine…
The searcher is looking for a plumber and I can see from their IP address that they’re in Beaverton…whoa whoa whoa sweet child o’ mine, here’s a site that is called Beaverton plumbers and is registered in Google Maps in Beaverton. Send that one straight to the top!
All that happened in a lot less than 0.45 seconds. Google talks fast. And that is how you managed to rank in Google without having to be a code monkey; by applying some simple knowledge of the process when building your site.
If that still sounds a little intimidating, because for a start how do you register a business in Google Maps? Maybe you’re wondering how you’re going to get that simple knowledge? Well don’t you worry, because at Social Media Mafia that’s what we do. We are a family of social media consultants sharing the love and changing lives with our programs. Changing your life and the ranking of your site will take a little longer than 0.45 seconds, but this kind of result is well worth waiting for…
The 8 habits of highly effective social media consultants
We’re all searching for the holy grail, right? The way to enjoy the perfect work/life balance; the way to spend more time doing things you love rather than things you have to do; the way to cook the perfect frittata without burning the bottom. In our age of extreme efficiency and effectiveness we are all looking for the way to achieve our goals in the best possible way with the lightest of touches. Social media consultants are at the vanguard of such a quest – to find the way to deliver incredible digital marketing results for their clients in the most efficient way possible. The social media consultant is not only on a quest for efficiency, but also to achieve the most effective results for their clients. Let’s ride boldly forwards and discover how social media consultants can do that…
- Get your head in the game. The value of mindset is totally underrated by almost everyone in the world of consultancy. However it can be the difference between good and great if you are able to tune in to the powerful motivating force of your mind. Being equipped with a positive growth mindset is like having a super power because you know that anything is possible if you work hard for it. This is the habit of successful people the world over, and social media consultants are no exception. Think like a Boss to win like a Boss.
- Know the market. The fear of many consultants is being too specialised and therefore not appealing to a wide-enough range of clients. Ironically that specialisation is actually a key strength and should be nurtured and exploited fully. A great social media consultant knows their target market inside out and becomes the go-to consultant when brands are looking for advice in that area. So whether it’s legal advice in Dallas or equestrian services in South Buckinghamshire, know your niche and go deep into it.
- Form your strategy. Dominant empires and successful campaigns all have one thing in common, other than ruthless brutality – strategy. Knowing where you want to get to is the critical start point of any successful journey, so effective social media consultants plan in detail for themselves and for their clients. They understand the value of having a vision of the future and then identifying some objectives to help them achieve that vision. Strategy is not only the preserve of military commanders; it is every bit as applicable and valuable to the success of a consultancy.
- Play to your strengths. Whether it’s forming strategy, coming up with creative solutions, or servicing clients, effective social media consultants know and exploit their strengths. No one is expected to know and do everything, but it is one of the greatest misconceptions of new consultants. The fear of diluting your power by involving other experts is powerful, but also destructive. Smart consultants surround themselves with a great team, so every task gets done properly by the best person for the job. This frees up the social media consultant to concentrate on doing their thing, and smashing it.
- Generate leads. Without leads there are no customers, and that means no sales. The effective social media consultant knows they have to generate those leads through smart advertising and then nurturing those leads to turn them into sales. Structuring the sales funnels so that every lead is captured and exploited fully is an essential habit of the social media consultant, and it is so easy to do if using the right tools. There are many tools available to help consultants plan their sales funnels to be both effective and efficient.
- Attract traffic. Out there on ‘the information superhighway’ there is a shit-ton of traffic – people travelling around the net heading for whatever destination they desire. The effective social media consultant knows how to attract that traffic to their street through effective signposting, so before you know it there’s a steady stream of potential customers flowing in. More traffic means a greater chance of sales, and that is ultimately what the smart social media consultant is aiming for.
- Generate sales. Hey, sales are the purpose of marketing. Sales are what drove brands to invest over £100 billion in digital marketing in 2018. Focusing on generating sales is the ultimate habit of the social media consultant, and it’s why brands turn to consultants for advice and support. Effective social media consultants, who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to drive sales, are a huge asset in today’s digital marketing world.
- Look after your clients. Effective social media consultants know how to manage their clients, from interpreting what they need and want, to communicating clearly and giving and receiving timely feedback. Effective social media consultants recognise that clients are the lifeblood of their business, and treat them accordingly.
And finally, effective social media consultants have a fantastic habit of constantly learning. They realise that we never stop growing, and should never stop investing in ourselves. This is one of the core principles of the Social Media Mafia and we live by it. That’s why we’re so proud of our Academy, where we change lives and help effective social media consultants to grow. We just can’t quit – it’s become a habit…
We’re all thinking it, right? How to give up the daily grind and become a social media consultant?
How can I escape the tedium of my daily work routine and start doing something on my own terms?
Unless you’re a hobo you are inevitably beholden to someone else’s demands, someone else’s deadlines, and someone else’s aims and goals.
Your working life is not your own – it’s dictated by the need to be somewhere specific, dressed in something specific, and to do something specific when you’re there. I know that makes it sound like you’re an escort. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t; either way you answer to someone else. Now I think about it that throws an interesting light on the phrase ‘daily grind’…but whatever it is you’re grinding out each day, wouldn’t it be great if you were calling the shots?
Wouldn’t it be great to do things on your terms?
Other than sunshine holidays and stationery theft, breaking free of your job routine and working for yourself is the number one fantasy we indulge in at work. Whether we’re pounding a keyboard, fake-smiling at rude customers, or assembling components the thing on our mind is how to break free and do what we want to do.
I remember that acute sense of waste as I sat in the commuter traffic, burning time and fuel, alongside thousands of others on their way to work each day. It built up in me until it turned into a resentment that this was a necessary part of my routine – a mandatory sacrifice of time and productivity when I could have been doing anything else. Even friends of mine who were occasionally able to “work from home” as part of their routine sadly admitted that they were still subject to a mandatory ‘presence’ by being logged in and available for specific hours.
It has become a cultural norm of our working lives that we grind out a specified number of hours per week in exchange for a proportional reward. This is what we have been shown as the way the world works, because it is easy to structure and control, and to comprehend. But it is not the way it has to be, and a growing number of open thinkers have started to embrace an alternative way of working. You will have heard of them, and probably seen them on social media looking young and smug. I am neither young nor smug, yet I have embraced this fantasy working life. I now work as many hours as I feel necessary, when I want to, and (almost) for as much money as I decide. How have I done this? I’m glad you asked. I have become a social media consultant.
The good news is that you too can give up the daily grind and become a social media consultant. The great news is that it is a job in increasing demand in today’s connected world of digital messaging and advertising. The fantastic news is that you don’t need to abuse yourself like a YouTuber in order to do it. But you will be able to eat burgers and play frisbee and get paid for it. Win-Win! Becoming a social media consultant is a good choice of job if you are looking to break free of traditional employment; to break free of traditional working hours; to break free of someone else’s whims and to start working on your own terms. It is a great choice of job if you have a desire to harness your existing knowledge of social media and apply it to a professional context. It is a fantastic choice of job if you are an entrepreneur at heart that wants to create something meaningful and impactful and to be handsomely rewarded for it.
Does any of this sound good to you? It may sound too good to be true, but you may be surprised to hear just how achievable it is. Becoming a social media consultant is as easy as building on your existing skill-set with some new skills in digital messaging and personal communication, and then getting out there and applying them. That’s the headline, and the more exciting sub-heading is that you get to explore and develop who you are, and feel more challenged and fulfilled than ever before whilst earning more than you thought you ever could. Now I know that sounds good to you…so let me explain how you’re going to achieve it.
A social media consultant is one of those jobs your grandparents couldn’t even have imagined would exist. Your parents probably won’t understand it. Your grumpy Uncle Ted will probably dismiss it as “a load of old shit”. But it is an important function in the world of digital marketing, and as you know, that shit is real. Global spend on digital marketing in 2018 exceeded $100 billion. In Britain and North America 23% of brand marketing budgets are spent on digital marketing, and it is rising. Why wouldn’t it? We are increasingly reliant on digital sources for our information and our purchases. Whether Uncle Ted likes it or not, the world is digital and will only become moreso.
So brands are looking to capitalise on that trend, and the social media consultant is in the fabulous position of being able to help them to do that. As the subject matter expert in digital marketing you will assist brands in forming their strategy of how they will talk to their digital audience, keep their attention and generate revenue. As the expert consultant they will pay you to do it for them. If you’re pursing your lips to explain that you’re not yet a subject matter expert on digital marketing then don’t, because as it happens that’s what we do – help you to change your life by getting involved in this awesome industry.
The Social Media Mafia Academy exists for that sole purpose. Having done it ourselves we are passionate about welcoming you into our family and helping you to give up the daily grind and become a social media consultant.
It’s OK I Got You…
It’s not like it is a big secret…..
Here is what I posted on Facebook today:
One thing I realise (realize) more than most things as I continue on my life journey is….
Being yourself is fundamentally essential.
I don’t think my life has been harder than the average person but I have had really interesting and stressful situations, that I am grateful for now…. totally painful but grateful because it makes us….
…. I can think of two or three really big ones..
1. having to firefight a ship that is ON FIRE while I was in the military. I mean, really…. part of the fire crew crawling through hideously tight spaces, in the dark, in respirator equipment in the dark, on my own, in smoke and water filled containers… if the fire didn’t get put out – we sink… at sea… 300 people. – we put it out!!
2. Being 13 and piloting a boat back 5 miles to harbour in a force 6 gale when father was high on vodka (no fault of his own), he had 13 ships with hospitality to take care of…but it caught up on him…. (and actually all 13 year olds are fucking resilient) … but still..
3. Dealing with my #2 daughter being blood poisoned when she was under a year old… and chasing a blue light ambulance with tears streaming down my face.. My wife was actually incredible in this situation and pretty much saved her life by spotting the issue….. scary as fuck though….
I could go on as I’m sure we all could…. but we don’t….
We often ignore all the greatness we have accomplished… I think those three things are enough, to celebrate….. I’m sure you have your own 3… and more.. I have dozens more stories about stress that I may share….
One of the reasons I share this is…..
I see moaning about stupid shit….
Remember, stupid shit is stupid shit….
SO … when you deal with every day drama, put it into context….
Take time to pat yourself on the back…
So that was today…
OH and another thing…… I’m still letting people get access to my Social Media Mafia Academy at $1 / month… I mean, that’s crazy.. just the sales course alone is about 2K worth of material AND I have eye liner on in the videos!
Anyway, sign in here if you want that (you so need it to sell alone)….
Google Local Search: Going Local Down In Acapulco.
Excuse the song reference but if you are running a local small business you’d be surprised at how easy it is to rank well in your market using the above SEO strategy. Let me give you a very real example of a client of mine.
Danny came to me asking about websites, he’d heard through George (who runs the fishing trips on the Quay) that I build websites and people’s phones ring as a result of those websites.
Danny is a plasterer, you know, the inside and outside surfaces of houses, ceilings, wall insulation etc. So Danny popped into our Falmouth Boat Hire office (a van at the time) and started asking me if I could do something.
This is how it went.
Me: “So Danny you want to attract people that are looking for a plasterer in Falmouth/Cornwall?”
Danny: “Yes, mate”.
Me: “So no disrespect Danny but you can’t have a website called Danny Cole Plastering because nobody searches for Danny Cole Plastering.”
Danny: “How do you mean?”
Me: “Danny, the thing is people will be carrying out searches for things like ‘plastering in falmouth’ or ‘plasterer in Cornwall’ or ‘Falmouth based plasterer’. And you should build out your business from that if you want to use Google.”
Danny: “Really? But people know me as Danny Cole”
Me: “Danny, is your phone ringing? Only word of mouth will come to you from people knowing you, what about all the people using Google all the time these days, on their phones?”
Danny: “OK I get it, so that’s what you have done with Falmouth Boat Hire, and George’s website too?”
Me: “Exactly, I have started from what Google wants, or rather what people are searching for and built from there, to provide exactly that”.
Danny: “That’s smart man, can you do it for me?”
Me: “Of course, give me a week or two”.
And that was that, I registered the domain of cornwallplasterers.com and told him to publish content of his jobs including the location, this is important, the location bit. So I gave some examples of how to format the posts and what type of title to use.
Titles like these became posts:
- Cornwall Plasterers in Falmouth
- Falmouth Plasterer Completes New Walls
- Plastering Job Completed in Penryn
For each of these posts, a unique link appears in Google. And considering none of his competition use this strategy he is now ranking number one for nearly all of the search terms he needs, to keep an endless supply of new clients calling. Danny even went on to rebrand his van with Cornwall Plasterers across the side, on my advice.
I have done this for countless local businesses, this is just one example. Falmouth Boat Hire is another.
You can do this for your own local business very easily. Chances are your competitors are not doing it. You also don’t have to see a website as THE website, why don’t you have three or four and treat each as a unique marketing channel?
Websites are very cost effective.
If you want to do this yourself I recommend buying my Google Local Search Course, of if you want me to do it for you get in touch.
Let’s face it, when you want to know something you Google it, right? And you always click on the most relevant-looking result in the top three, right? Well it’s no coincidence that those results are there – Google has algorithms to ensure you get the most relevant results based on your search. This section will explain how to harness the power of the Google search, and how to put yourself on the map.
Number 1 In Google: How will your business make it? Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
I need to come clean on this one and explain that I am somewhat of an expert when it comes to search engine optimisation.
Here’s the thing.
My first business was an Internet based business, a virtual school in fact. What started out as the thesis for a Masters I was studying, in the subject area of Open and Distance Education, became a fully fledged online business.
The business was known as Audiocourses.com (it no longer exists on that domain). Audiocourses.com offered a variety of courses to students that wanted to learn about music technology and sound engineering, you know, making records. Over a period of eight years the school enrolled students from every corner of the World and had a membership base of over 30,000 members at its most active point.
I can still remember when I built the first website and what was required for it to succeed. Internet traffic, and lots of it, was the vital component.
The thing is with ecommerce, of any kind in almost all industries, is that conversion rates are dreadfully low.
The term conversion rate is a measure, or rather a ratio, between the number of visits to an online shop and the corresponding number of purchases made. Plainly put, if 100 people visit your online shop and 5 of those 100 buy something from you, your store has a 5% conversion rate.
Let me tell you that if you do have a conversion rate of 5% you should continue to push hard on that channel because you are doing excellently. The fact of the matter is that the average ecommerce conversion rate is just a mere 1.33%. So for every 100 visitors about 1.5 will make a purchase!
Your business may not have an online shop, although the reason I am informing you about conversion rates is that your website must have a point to it. In digital marketing we generally call this a “goal”. For you this may be that the customer calls your telephone number, fills in an online form to send you an email, downloads a free guide, etc. The point is, your website has a primary purpose, and generally this should be lead generation. For Falmouth Boat Hire the goal was very clearly aimed at encouraging the customer to make (and pay) for a booking through our online booking system. The secondary purpose of Falmouth Boat Hire’s website was to provide information about the product for sale, the boat hire. However, all of those features were of course all about persuading the user to book a boat, plain and simple.
With a goal, a desired outcome, I could therefore work out my conversion rate. If a customer booked a boat through the online booking system, I would have an xyz conversion rate for bookings. If a user called the phone I would have an abc conversion rate for phone calls. The point here is there exists measurability, and without it, you are in the dark, so this should most definitely be on your checklist.
So then if conversion rates matter, and they really really do, it stands to reason that most websites need a LOT of traffic to obtain a goal (successful Call To Action).
Google loves content
So back to my first business Audiocourses.com. I discovered very quickly that the key to rising up through the ranks of Google was to become an authority in my niche. Google needed to see my website as the best place to go for all things relating to “audio courses”. This tied in very nicely with the domain itself, being audiocourses.com I already had two very relevant keywords not only in my title but also all over the site and contained in web links pointing back to my site (incoming links). Incoming links are also another vital indicator of a website’s authority in Google’s eyes.
As well as incoming links, which I will talk about in more detail later, I realised that for every new article I posted it would become one more unique url (uniform resource locator – or web link if you like) in Google’s search engine results page. This is golden information. We are talking 2000/2001 here and even today in 2017 it amazes me that still the large majority of business websites do not do this. Why, is it lack of understanding? Too busy? Too lazy?
Make no mistake for every new article you post on your website, it really is another unique link in Google that potential customers can find your services for. What tends to happen is that website designers typically know very little about SEO, in fact some know absolutely nothing about it. Therefore, a website can be designed without a goal in mind. The website gets made to look pretty with lots of bells and whistles, and actually nothing happens, nobody sees it, plain useless. Do not let this be you. What you need to have is a content management system such as WordPress which allows you to publish regular content. This is the case if you are using SEO as a channel for traffic. SEO is not the only way, we will look at other channels too, but SEO is generally long lasting and no budget required other than time to write and publish of course, which is a cost too.
So I learnt early on how to play the Google game with SEO, or Content Marketing, and the more I published every day the more traffic I saw coming in. So in essence audiocourses.com become a publishing site, as well as being a school. This was an excellent lesson to learn and I have adopted that with the majority of my online ventures ever since.
Tip: Get a content management system like WordPress and publish content regularly.
Join my coaching program.
I get a lot of questions about how to make money online and what is a sales funnel….
Sales funnels as a concept are over 100 years old, they happen in the offline world and the online world.
When I had my boat business a sales funnel might be:
- Customer sees an advert in a guide book
- Customer then sees a Google ad
- Customer then sees a trip advisor review
- Customer then goes to website and books a boat
Offline sales funnels can be complex, and tricky to measure and control.
Online sales funnels can be equally complex yet often far easier to control and customise to the user.
Make Money Online
An online sales funnel to make money online could look like this:
Facebook ads targets an audience with the following demographics and behaviours>>
- men and women between 25-55
- dog owners
- hi earners
- home owners
- interest in pet food products
- have engaged with ads recently
Etc etc.. the point being we can tailor the advert to a person VERY specifically…
Next we create the ad message itself, and it would make sense to use imagery an words that resonate with the audience we have specified.
The advert links to a landing page that is a “lead magnet”. A lead magnet has the sole purpose of capturing an email address. So you could offer a free PDF document written by a vet that addresses health concerns for dogs. A lead magnet is often called a bribe.
The user gets the PDF and realised it is exceptionally valuable to them and they like you and your style and will stick around on your email list. You can also offer “one time upsells” – perhaps a dog collar, or coupon for a dog grooming service etc..
Here we spend some time giving lots of value and nurturing / warming up the prospect/customer to purchase more from us. One of the keys is to turn a profit, make your ad costs back, in the “back end” i.e. after the initially purchase, where you may even make a loss.
That’s an example of what a typical sales funnel might look like online. One of the key elements in all of this is that once the funnel is built, complete with all the email notifications over time, it is automated completely.
Sell when you sleep.
The secret and where the money is is to be able to turn turn a profit from the initial advertising spend. If you can make $1 turn into even just $1.1 you will forever be financially free.
Why? – because if you can make a profit from your ads two things happen>
- You get a new customer on your email list essentially for free, so you can re-target product
- You can scale without limit.
Spend $10,000 on ads and scale scale…
Building sales funnels takes time, patience, study and money initially to test ads and tweak, measure, tweak..
However, the nuts of bolts of putting it all together is very easy these days.
I personally use Click Funnels to make money online, which is a platform that enables me to build out all the landing pages and all the email automation, in fact it is incredibly simple and enjoyable.
You could try out Click Funnels yourself they have a 14 day free trial here.