Brand Values

I stress the importance of brand values to all of my clients. Brand values, just like personal values are a set of philosophies that define your business and set the foundation for how your brand communicates who you are. Businesses of one or even a few tend to hold these values in their core as truths and operate accordingly. However, as your business grows you will hire new employees who may not have the same values or may start receiving opportunities which bring in a lot of money, but challenge your values. 

This is where a sturdy set of brand values becomes crucial. They can be used as a tool through which to filter all business decisions and also as the foundation for everything from developing your visual brand identity to training new staff or opening new locations. 

Here are a few examples of exceptional brand values: 

A Brand is Not Just a Logo

I run into this one on a daily basis: "We need a brand for our company, let's create a logo." And their branded, right? Wrong. A logo is a visual representation of a brand. It is an excellent tool for communicating what a brand stands for, but it is not the core of the brand.

I like to think of it like a wardrobe. You can tell the world an awful lot about a person by the clothes they choose to wear: their socioeconomic status, their interests, who they aspire to, how much time and energy they put into their beauty regimen. These are all very descriptive things, but do nothing to describe a person's story, their background, their attitude, their perspective, and their values.  All crucial components to being human. Like people, great brands have deeper layers that make up the foundation of who they are, the commitments they are making to their customers and their ability to follow through. 

ps this is an incredibly complex process, which is why it is often applied poorly or misunderstood.

From the Pros: Legal Advice for Food, Fitness and Wellness Professionals

While building my business and working with clients, I / we often run into needs for contracts or trademarking questions that extend far beyond my branding and communications wheelhouse. This week, I've enlisted two amazing lawyers Rina Grassotti and Ashley Molson to share their legal considerations for food, fitness and wellness professionals. 

Rina Grassotti's focus is on contracts, employment and litigation, you can find Rina at www.grassottilaw.com and Ashley Molson focuses on intellectual property and small business law you can find Ashley at www.molsonlawfirm.com.

Contracts

Jacqui:  What kind of contracts are important for small businesses? Anything specific to food, fitness wellness brands?

 Rina: It really depends on the type of business but the rule of thumb here is to have a contract with any person or entity with whom you do business, whether its on a one-time basis or for an on-going type of arrangement.  Common contracts that food, fitness and wellness brands need are consulting agreements, employment agreements, license agreements, NDA's, vendor agreements, rental agreements and waivers.

Jacqui: What can happen if these contracts aren't in place?

Rina: Not having tightly-worded contracts is one of the biggest mistakes a small business can make.  All kinds of things happen, ranging from the headache of not getting paid and having no way to recoup those monies, to ambiguity over the parties respective rights, to much more serious and expensive issues such as who is responsible if someone is injured or who bears the financial loss when a relationship goes south.  These disputes often lead to lawsuits, which can be financially burdensome or even crippling to a small business, especially when compared with the up-front cost of a contract.

Jacqui: Why is it important to hire a lawyer instead of use legal templates found online?

Rina: Because you don't know what you don't know.  Templates can only get you so far, whereas a lawyer will fully understand your business and customize your contract so it best suits and protects your business.  There are a lot of options that exist that a template can't deliver.  What I think is important to remember is that these are legally-binding documents meant to protect you and your business.  When something goes wrong, the words contained in that document are critical to determining the outcome and can be enforced for you or against you in court.    

Ashley: Working with a lawyer will help you put your voice into your contracts and other legal dealings that your clients will have to come face to face with.

Jacqui: What are some common legal mistakes that you see made by food, fitness and wellness professionals?

Rina: Some of the common themes I see with food, fitness and wellness professionals is failure to protect themselves from legal risk by way of insurance policies, a proper business entity and legal contracts. Another common mistake is misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

Ashley: Make sure you look up HIPPA laws in how to take care of keeping client information secure. It's also important to have your clients sign waivers against injury, sickness, etc. and include disclaimers in your contracts, unless you are a medical professional your services should not replace medical advice.

LLC vs Corporation

Jacqui: Why is important for entrepreneurs to register as a corporation / LLC?

Ashley: It's extremely important to register your business as an entity (LLC or Corp.) Although you may be the face of your business, it's really important, legally that you separate the business from yourself. By setting up an entity you legally do just that. But just setting up the entity isn't enough. You also have to follow certain procedures in order to make sure you keep the protections that come with setting up the entity. So what protections do you get? Well you get beneficial tax benefits or protections. Many expenses become deductible and this is very attractive for business owners. Another benefit is financial protection in a very broad, but important sense. If a client sues you via your company for any particular reason and wins, if you have a separate entity, the court can only come after the assets of the business to pay your client or what lawyers like to say, is to satisfy the judgment. If you don't have an entity, the court can go after ALL of your assets. This would mean your house, your personal bank accounts, your cars, and etc. These protections alone should make it a no-brainer for someone considering setting up an entity or not. Of course, you have to be serious about having your business.... There's no need setting up an entity and paying filing fees if you're not going to be selling any products or services.

Jacqui: "Can you tell us a little bit about the difference between the two?

Ashley: An LLC is the most popular choice among small/solo business owners. Why? It's a really easy entity to set up and maintain. This is because filing fees are lower and there are less formalities that come with keeping the LLC "legal" as far as the state is concerned. All states have different annual and start up requirements and the requirements for LLCs are a lot less than corporations. The great thing is that LLCs and Corporations are both afforded the same asset protection that I mentioned above.

Corporations great for any business owner who knows they're going to have a lot of employees. They're also good for business owners who are starting with more capital. They're more expensive and more complicated, but they may come with more tax benefits than LLCs. "

Websites

Jacqui: What legal things should food, fitness and wellness professionals consider when building their website?

Ashley: Every website must have, according to the law, a privacy policy if the business owner is collecting information about the user of their website. By default I suggest that every business owner gets one because the way websites are designed today, they're always collecting data, whether it be cookies or IP addresses and etc. I also highly suggest that they have this customized. They should also have a section for Terms and Conditions or Terms of Use. This automatically creates a contractual relationship between the business owner and the person using their website. It covers everything from their special sauce (copyright, trademarks) to return policies. Having these two documents customized is a great method of, one covering all the nuts and bolts of your business and two protecting you from any misunderstanding a user of your website has. An example of a misunderstanding might be what you're allowed to send them when they sign up for your newsletter, or if you allow returns of products or programs purchased online. If you simply copy and paste another person's Privacy Policy or Terms and Conditions, you could get yourself stuck in some very sticky situations. 
You should also include a disclaimer on your website. 

Trademarks: 

Jacqui: Do you have any advice on trademarking programming?

Ashley: So this question has a pretty intricate answer. First I need to explain what can be trademarked. Trademarks are used for logos and branding. You can trademark a slogan, like "Making Healthy Cool Again" and you can also trademark your logo and the look and feel of that slogan. It's important for business owners to do this in order to have rights over something that may be very catchy. Many entrepreneurs assume they're so small no one will steal their name and or logo, but unfortunately, they're mistaken. This internet makes us all very susceptible. 

Now trademarking is very tricky. There are do it yourself resources out there put together by attorneys, but you shouldn't also feel like you should avoid seeking legal help on this one. The USPTO (the office that approves of your trademark) is very finicky. 

Now if you have a program you're running, you may be able to copyright the materials for it. Fitness professionals who put together books with workouts, pictures, stories, plans, calendars, tips, tricks and etc. should definitely copyright their work. Now, you automatically have copyright rights in your work once your ideas manifest on paper or the computer or wherever, but in order to enforce those rights you have to register the copyright. 

NDAs

Jacqui: When is it a good idea to have an NDA in place?

Rina: When to use an NDA is a judgment call and there are different schools of thought on the issue.  The best rule of thumb is when you start talking beyond the basic concept of your business (the "what") and start sharing the sensitive information such as strategies and trade secrets (the "how"), or you start sharing sensitive documents or data.  Investors will often balk at NDA's so sometimes you have no choice but to roll the dice, but most reputable consultants and businesses are willing to sign them.

The beautiful, amazing, accomplished pros:

 Rina Grassotti grassottilaw.com

Rina Grassotti grassottilaw.com

 Ashley Molson molsonlawfirm.com

Ashley Molson molsonlawfirm.com

 

5 Ways to Improve Your Email Campaigns with MailChimp Segments

Did you know that 89% of marketers (in a certain study) said that email is their primary channel for lead generation. Furthermore, relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. (sources: Forrester Research, Jupiter Research)

What does this mean? If you send people emails they want to read, you have a much better chance of building a loyal community and client base.

Here are 5 ways you can use MailChimp segments to improve your email marketing strategy:

  1. Send exclusive content or special deals to your most engaged followers. Use Campaign Activity and Member Rating filters to send a gesture of appreciation to the people on your list who have opened and clicked the last 5 campaigns or have a high member rating. These people are the core of your tribe.
  2. Tailor emails to community interest. Create topic-focused campaigns and keep track of what your community is engaging with by using Campaign Activity 'clicked'. Going forward you can start tailoring your content to communities with similar interests. For example, if you are a healthy chef, you can segment your lists by people who engage with vegan, raw and gluten-free content and send out emails that are specific to these interests.
  3. Create geographic segments. Create Location segments to target specific regions. This comes in handy if, for instance, you're hosting a small event in New York City and you don't want to send the invites through the wires to your national list. 
  4. Send gentle reminders. Create segments for Campaign Activity 'did not open' or 'did not click' to send out gentle reminders about event invites or special announcement that these folks may not have gotten a chance to view. Make sure the subject line is exceptional when segmenting for these groups.
  5. Send a welcome note. Using Signup Source and Date Added segmenting, you can send special notes to people who have joined your list from a certain partner, event or during a specific timeframe. 

Don't have a MailChimp account yet? MailChimp is the leader in email marketing, and it's free! (up until a certain point). Sign up here.

Want to learn more about marketing your healthy brand? Click here to set up a free 30-minute consult.

Make sure to sign up for weekly email marketing tips for food, fitness and wellness professionals and download my Guide to Social Media for Fitness Professionals

If you’re so excited that you think every professional you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.

 

 

 

 

Understanding Your Sales Cycle, Part 4: Loyalty

So you've closed the sale. Hooray! Time to call it a day, right? 

Nope.

The last part of the sales cycle is one that is often forgotten and arguably the most important: Loyalty and Advocacy. Once you've made a sale it is crucial to deliver quality, consistency and satisfaction over and over again. Why? It is much better to spend your energy making sure your current customers are happy, then to continually be chasing after new business. Consider these statistics: 

  • It costs 500% more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones.
  • The cost of bringing a new customer up to the same level of profitability as an old one is up to 16x more.
  • 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper to execute than acquisition.
  • Lowering your customer churn rate by 5% can increase your profitability by 25-125%.

(source)

Here are a few ways to keep your customers happy:

  1. Offer an exceptional product
  2. Show your appreciation. Let your customers know that you care by giving them gifts or offering special events, classes or discounts.
  3. Be friendly (and make sure your staff is, too!). Your customers' first interaction with your company should always be a friendly face. 
  4. Pay attention to detail. Make sure every moment of the customer's experience exceeds expectations.
  5. Listen to and incorporate customer feedback. Remember the purpose of your product / service is to add value to people's lives, it is important to listen to their needs.
  6. Build a community around your product or service. People love connection and to feel like they belong. Find a way to create a community around your business. 

Here is an excellent infographic that visualizes some of these concepts:

What is even better than a customer who comes back to you over and over again? A customer who passionately and authentically tells all of their friends about you (you can also engage paid brand ambassadors, but the real deal is more powerful). I have yet to experience a company that did not cite word of mouth as their number one source of customers. People trust products and services more if they receive a raving review from someone who they trust. 

Want to learn more about marketing your healthy brand? Click here to set up a free 30-minute consult.

Make sure to sign up for weekly email marketing tips for food, fitness and wellness professionals and download my Guide to Social Media for Fitness Professionals

If you’re so excited that you think every professional you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.

 

Understanding Your Sales Cycle, Part 3: Sales

Once you’ve built up your lead pool by creating awesome content, meeting people and impressing the heck out of them, you’re ready to convert these leads into dollars. Last week, we talked about building leads. To some extent converting leads into sales is a numbers game, a matter of building your lead pool and converting x% (this is different for every business) into customers.  According to Vorsight “only 3% of your market is actively buying. 56% are not ready, 40% are poised to begin.” It is, however, important to work towards building lists of qualified leads, or people who are likely to purchase your product. What makes a lead qualified?

Here are a few general guidelines for qualified leads:

1.    They have the funds to purchase
2.    They have a need for what you are selling
3.    They have been engaged and interested in what you are doing thus far

In my opinion, one of ways to convert your leads into sales is to offer a product of value. If you’ve built up a significant enough pool of leads to begin your sales process, chances are you’ve already figured out which kind of content makes your audience tick and there is organic demand for a more robust product that people will be excited to spend money on.  If not, value is something to take into serious consideration.

A few other tips on how to convert your leads into sales:

•    Clean user flow. Make sure that there is a clear path guiding your leads from your marketing efforts (e.g. email marketing) to purchase. If there is any break in user flow, you have the chance of losing folks mid-stream.
•    Integrate. Have a diverse and structured marketing and sales plan that includes social media, email marketing, network marketing, content, PR, public speaking etc. 
•    Your personal network is usually your strongest network, make sure you are asking them to support your sales efforts.
•    Pick up the phone. Even though we live in an extremely digital world, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and do some good old-fashioned sales. 
•    Follow up. According to The Marketing Donut, a mind blowing 80% of sales require five follow-ups. Wow.
•    Relevant and personal emails. According to Aberdeen Group, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%.  
•    Set clear, attainable sales goals and make a commitment to achieving them. 

There are also some interesting psychological tips to closing sales: 


The Science of Persuasion includes these principles:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Authority
  4. Consistency
  5. Liking
  6. Consensus

Each principle listed above is well outlined in this Science of Persuasion You Tube video.

There is also quite a bit of research around pricing psychology, which is thoroughly summarized in this article by Nick Kolenda

Stats source: Hubspot

Happy Selling!

Want to learn more about marketing your healthy brand? Click here to set up a free 30-minute coaching session. I'm almost completely booked for Brand & Communications Consulting for September, so be sure to sign up now!

Make sure to sign up for weekly email marketing tips for food, fitness and wellness professionals and download my Guide to Social Media for Fitness Professionals

If you’re so excited that you think every professional you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.

 via  optinmonster.com  (this week we're talking Preference + Purchase on this funnel)

via optinmonster.com (this week we're talking Preference + Purchase on this funnel)

Understanding Your Sales Funnel, Part 2: Generating Leads

Now that you have brand / product / service awareness, it's time to start converting all of these eyeballs into paying customers. Here is a visualization of (one version of) the sales funnel again for reference:

 Image via  optinmonster.com

Once you've created awareness by activating various networks, you'll want to convert all of these eyeballs into leads (consideration + preference in the above). This is where you capture email addresses, followers and likes and impress the hell out of them. You'll want to impress them so much that they have an insatiable desire to buy your products and attend your classes & events. 

Right now the best way to attract digital leads is to create awesome content that adds value to your readers / viewers / attendees' lives and guide them down a clear path to your email distribution list where you continue to serve them exceptional content. Once you have folks on your email list, you will be able to segment lists, rate leads, track engagement and conversions and ultimately sell more products / services (I'll discuss these processes in Part 3). 

This process is both a game of numbers and quality content. The more folks you have on your list and the more value you add to their lives, the better your chances of converting leads into sales. Here are a few different content marketing strategies that can help you build your email lists: 

  • Sweepstakes
  • Events
  • E-books
  • Webinars

Once you've driven traffic to your site by creating content and sharing it throughout all of your networks and beyond, it is important to guide the user through an easy email sign-up.  Tools like landing pages and email capture pop-ups like Privy and SumoMe can help you make this process seamless. 

Once you capture these emails, you'll need to put them to use in a CRM (customer relationship management) and email service. In my (and most of the experts who I work with's) opinion(s) MailChimp is the hands down the best email service. MailChimp can serve as a rudimentary CRM where you can keep track of opens and clicks over time which can give you incredible insight into your potential customers interests and activities which can help drive sales. 

Next week I'll talk about how to convert leads into sales - stay tuned!

Want to learn more about marketing your healthy brand? Click here to set up a free 30-minute coaching session. I'm almost completely booked for Brand & Communications Consulting for September, so be sure to sign up now!

Make sure to sign up for weekly email marketing tips for food, fitness and wellness professionals and download my Guide to Social Media for Fitness Professionals

If you’re so excited that you think every professional you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.

Understanding Your Sales Funnel, Part 1: Awareness

The objective of all businesses is to make money. Yes, even your business which feeds, heals, empowers, trains and builds community. If your business makes enough money to keep you comfortable, you will have more time, energy, and value to give back to your clients. A great way to begin to understand how you are making money (and subsequently how to make more) is to understand your business' sales funnel.

Here is what a sales funnel can look like (there are several interpretations out there):

Today, I'm going to talk about awareness. In advertising and digital marketing we refer to this portion or top of the sales funnel as 'impressions'.  If you run an ad in a magazine or post on social media the number of people who see these posts / ads are considered campaign impressions. The idea is that the more impressions your brand message receives, the more potential there is for converting these eyeballs into paying customers.

 Here are a few strategic ways to increase awareness about your brand:

  1. Understand your target audience. While you are working to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible, it is important to focus your efforts on reaching the most people who may purchase your product / service. Not sure of where to find your target audience? Read my post on defining your target market.
  2. Analytics. Analytics are an important tool in understanding your target audience. Integrate Google Analytics into your site and learn all you can about your potential customers. Who are they? What are they clicking on? Where are they coming from? Expand campaigns that are working. Note: it happens frequently that who you think you are marketing to and who is actually buying your product / service are different people. Analytics will help give you gain a real understanding of your audience that is supported by data.
  3. Cut the fat. Stop doing anything that isn't reaching eyeballs that may convert into customers. Immediately. If you are a solo-preneur building your business, you don't have time and energy to waste.
  4. Activate your network. Reach out to your friends and family, current clients and colleagues and ask them to share information about your business. Your personal network are almost always your strongest advocates.

Here are a few platforms that can help you start to effectively increase awareness about your brand:

  • Your personal network
  • Social media
  • Blog posts + leverage on social media 
  • Facebook ads
  • Google Adwords
  • SEO 
  • Webinars

Important note: it is really important that you have a clean website and social media profiles before taking the initiative to increase brand awareness. If your digital presence isn't clean, it will greatly affect your conversion rate. It is also crucial to have a clear call to action that supports the visitor on their journey from viewer to customer.

Next week, we'll dig into how to begin to turn these impressions into sales leads.

Want to learn more about marketing your healthy brand? Click here to set up a free 30-minute coaching session and make sure to sign up for weekly email marketing tips for food, fitness and wellness professionals.

If you’re so excited that you think every professional you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.

 

The Power of Unplugging

I just returned from a 10-day trip visiting family and friends in Europe. This was the first time I had gone on a serious vacation since starting my business and it was pretty scary. It was incredibly difficult for me to put my work down, so I planned to do at least the essentials while we were traveling. Unfortunately, I ended up finding myself in several situations in which we had a bad connection or didn't have a converter and all of the stores were closed and I was unable to access my email or phone or work documents. At first, I panicked - this work needs to be done! However, anxiety about something over which you have no control is, in my opinion, a waste of energy, so instead I began to embrace the time away. 

london

This allowed me to share moments with my husband, my in-laws and our friends, to sleep in a few days, read a book (I just finished You are a Badass and highly recommend), I think there was even one day that I didn't even open my laptop (*gasp*). If you are a solopreneur, it can be hard to walk away from your work, but these forced unpluggings have convinced me that not only are breaks essential, but they can actually help your business grow. Here are a few benefits of unplugging: 

1. Clarity. Stepping away from deadlines and emails allows time to do some soul searching and evaluate your desires and goals from a place of non-restriction. 

2. Recharge. If your cup is empty, it is impossible to serve others. Unplugging allows you to recharge your energy which will help you serve you customers and clients in a more powerful way.

3. Creativity. Inspiration often comes from unexpected places. Taking some time to take your eyes off the screen and notice and engage with the world around you can facilitate major inspiration for your business and beyond. 

4. Learn. I find that I mostly interact with people within my industry. While it is truly wonderful to engage with people who share your passions, interests and knowledge, meeting people from different industries, cultures and social circles can open our eyes to new information, ideas and sown times even business partnerships. 

ps. If you do have to work during your vacation, I highly recommend WeWork. WeWork has offices in major cities all over the world and is my go-to if I need a quiet space for a phone call or dependable wifi. 

 The view from WeWork South Bank

The view from WeWork South Bank

Just Do It, Refine as You Go

Hi amazing food, fitness and wellness game-changers! 

Each week I write tips on how to effectively implement your marketing strategy.   This week's post on taking action is not necessarily a marketing topic, but instead something that seems to permeate the human experience. 

Oftentimes wellness entrepreneurs spend much time and energy understanding our goals, but waiting for the right conditions or conceptualizing to perfection or gathering the opinions of others. Quality is, of course, crucial to anything you do, but it is important to not let perfection stifle progress. In my experience, almost every instance the circumstances that arise with the launch of a product or service or new content will end up being beyond your comprehension or expectations. So why not just launch right now?

Here is how this shows up in a client / consultant conversation: "I've been thinking of launching this [product, service, content], what do you think should I do?" My answer (almost) always is "just do it, refine later." By launching your [product, service, content] you will have the ultimate feedback of people who have really tried, tested and loved your [product, service, content]. The worst that can happen is that you learn a lesson about what not to do. 

  • If you want to start a wellness e-newsletter, do it. Refine as you go. 
  • If you want to launch a new fitness class, do it. Refine as you go.
  • If you want to connect with someone, reach out now.
  • If you want to teach a class, just book it and see if people sign up.
  • If you want to write a book, sit down and write a chapter. Refine as you go.

What will you start?

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Need a Facebook for Business Page for Your Wellness Business?

Social media marketing is a constantly evolving environment. A few years ago the answer to this question would have been a resounding YES! but the Facebook community is has drastically changed. Just like to all other marketing activities, there is no clear yes or no answer. Your goals, time and content resources, engagement and conversion analytics should be considered for every platform strategy that you put into place.

Below are a few arguments for each side:

computer.jpg

A few reasons to manage a Facebook for Business page:

1.     You don’t have a website and need a place to share essential information about your business.
2.     You are a large organization with resources to post regular and engaging content AND are seeing traffic and conversions from these posts.
3.     You want to purchase digital advertisements. Facebook’s ad targeting mechanism is amazing. You can get really, really granular about who you are targeting on Facebook. 
4.     You host a lot of events. Facebook events are a great way to spread the word about events.
5.     You are not interested in mixing your personal digital life with your professional digital life.

A few reasons to use your personal Facebook page instead:

1.     If you are a solopreneur, practitioner or face of your brand it could be to your advantage to simply use your personal page for business.
2.     Why? your friends and family are often your best supporters. Make sure to ask them to share news about new products or services with their network (don’t overdo it).
3.     You can join Facebook groups. I am loving Facebook Groups right now, they are a great platform for networking and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.

Want to learn more about marketing your healthy brand? Click here to set up a free 30-minute coaching session and make sure to sign up for weekly email marketing tips for food, fitness and wellness professionals.

If you’re so excited that you think every professional you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.

 

Should You Offer Free Services or Products to Promote Your Wellness Business?

This question comes up a lot when I’m working with my clients. Usually it comes in the form of:

“I’m tired of giving it away for free, I need to make money.”

This is absolutely correct.  You should without a doubt be making money off of your food / fitness / wellness business. If you are not making money, you will not have the freedom or energy to offer the very best value to your customers.

That being said, there are a few ways that giving away free services and products can help you build a paying client base: 

1.    Build your digital community (a.k.a. potential clients). Effective mediums for achieving this goal may include: webinars, blog content, and e-books.
2.   Make in-person connections (which tend to be more powerful than digital connections). Effective mediums to achieve this goal may include: panel discussions, tasting events, mini fitness classes, lectures, and workshops.
3.   Give potential clients a taste of your awesome service / product. Effective mediums to achieve this goal may include: consultations, classes, lectures and product samples. (I would be cautious of giving away free services, anecdotally these folks can be tough to convert into full paying clients). 

Once you have wooed your potential clients in the door with a free product or service, it is super important that you engage with them effectively. 

Don’t forget, the end goal is to increase revenue and/ or number of clients.  Make sure all of your efforts are driving towards this goal. Click here to read more about goal-focused marketing.

Here are 5 things you can do to help convert free offerings into clients:

1.    Make it mini. Instead of giving away your entire curriculum or program, offer an abbreviated version.
2.    Give them a delicious taste. But, make sure to give enough that people are getting value – this will leave your potential clients hungry for more.
3.    Funnel. Make sure your sales funnel is set up and that at the end of your free class / webinar / consultation there is a clear path to enrollment for the full price version.
4.    Charge a small fee. In my experience, charging a small fee does two things: 1) makes people more accountable to show up 2) weeds out people who are just in it for the free stuff. (This works best for in-person events, I wouldn’t charge for digital products in this context).
5.    Evaluate. Constantly evaluate your marketing efforts. How many clients have you received from free classes or consults? How does that compare to clients coming in from other channels? If it’s working, then expand your efforts. If not, then look to build elsewhere. Don’t worry so much about people who may be taking advantage and focus instead on the real potential clients and how to best nurture them through your sales funnel. 

Giving away your valuable product for free can feel really uncomfortable, but you really do have to give in order to receive. 

Have you had success marketing your small business by offering free services or products? I'd love to hear about your wins and learnings here.

Still confused about how to use free services or products to build your healthy brand? Click here to set up a free 30-minute coaching session and make sure to sign up for weekly email marketing tips for food, fitness and wellness professionals.

If you’re so excited that you think every professional you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.

 

How to Use Analytics and Insights to Build Your Wellness Business

In our digital world almost every action taken on your website, Facebook page or Twitter profile is tracked. The data captured from these sites can be instrumental in helping you build your food, fitness or wellness business. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but I have no doubt that there is value in taking the time to understand how people interact with your business online. Awareness about how visitors and followers (a.k.a. potential clients) engage with your website and content can help you focus your energy on activities that directly support your business goals.  

Here are 4 important metrics to get you started in the exciting (seriously, this stuff is awesome) world of analytics:

analytics-for-wellness

1.    Traffic. You can find your traffic statistics on your website dashboard or you can enable Google Analytics to find out the volume of visitors you have on your site in any given month (day/year/custom date). On Facebook you can visit Insights > Page Views. Why is traffic important? If you are selling something on your site or it is an important tool for building leads, then this traffic number is at or near the top of your sales funnel. Therefore, the more traffic you get, the more opportunities you have for visitors to turn into customers or leads. Traffic is also an important metric if you are a blogger and looking to monetize through brand partnerships. Brands are looking to get exposure to as many targeted folks as possible and traffic is one of the first metrics to be reviewed. 

2.    Engagement. More important than traffic and followers is how people are engaging with your site / posts. In Google Analytics, you can see which pages and posts most popular and on Facebook (Posts), Twitter (Top Tweet) and Pinterest (Top Pin Impressions) you can view which posts / tweets / pins have gotten the most engagement. Once you understand which content makes your audience tick, you can spend your energy creating content that people really want. This will keep your readers / potential customers coming back for more and much more apt to spread the word to their friends. Quality engagement is especially important when seeking out brand partnerships. Smart brand managers will look into your engagement and determine if it is organic or paid, and whether or not your community fits their targets.

3.    Audience. Who is engaging with your content / visiting your website – what is their age, gender and geographic location? What are their interests? What other brands are they engaging with? What are they buying online? Knowing who your audience is really comprised of (and not just who you want to be talking to) will help you define your target audience and focus your time on creating content, messaging and products specifically for these people. Understanding your target audience is a crucial component of a creating a powerful brand message. You can find audience data in Google Analytics > Demographics, Facebook > Insights > People, Pinterest > Analytics > People You Reach.

analytics-for-fitness

4.    Referral Source. Google Analytics (Acquisition) and Facebook (Page Views> Top Sources) let you see where your traffic is coming from. If a guest blog post, social media channel, media mention or keyword brings in relatively more traffic, you should focus on expanding and nurturing these streams. 

Where to find Analytics:

Google Analytics: https://analytics.google.com (you’ll need to sign up for an account and paste the tracking code into your site. 
Facebook: Your Page> Insights
Twitter: Profile and Settings > Analytics
Pinterest: https://analytics.pinterest.com/ (you must have a business account)
Instagram: n/a, but there are third-party analytics services available.

Still confused about how to use Analytics to build your healthy brand? Click here to set up a free 30-minute coaching session and make sure to sign up for weekly email marketing tips for food, fitness and wellness professionals.

If you’re so excited that you think every professional you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.

 

The 4Ws (& H) of Developing an Effective Content Strategy

So you’ve set up a blog, signed up for MailChimp and have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account for your wellness business. Now what? Creating a content strategy can help strengthen your brand and add structure and accountability to your communications efforts.

Here are the Who, What, When, Whys and Hows of developing an effective content strategy for your wellness business.

Why?

  1. It can help you to achieve your goals. Taking the time to evaluate your business goals and mapping out how your communications efforts can support these goals is crucial to the success of your wellness business. 
  2. It prevents you from wasting time, energy and resources. Creating a structured content strategy helps you stay focused on the activities that are helping you near your objectives.
  3. It helps maintain a sense of control. The many platforms and mediums available on which to market your small business can be overwhelming. Creating a plan and schedule will help you feel like you’re ahead of the game. (do make sure to allow room for creativity and a rapidly evolving social media landscape).

Who? 

It is incredibly important to create content with a specific customer / reader in mind. Not every audience has the same needs and desires. Not sure how to identify your target audience? Read my blog post on defining your target audience. 

What? 

Your content strategy can include images, articles, videos, infographics, recipes, tips and more. Regardless of the medium, all of your content should be evaluated through the following filters:

  1. Value. Is your content adding value to your readers’ lives? 
  2. Brand. Does your content adhere to your brand guidelines? Better yet, does it help strengthen your brand?
  3. Engagement. Which content are your readers engaging with? How are they engaging with it? Have they given you any feedback? 
  4. Aesthetic. Is your design and photo aesthetic consistent? Better yet, do they help define your brand?
  5. SEO. Are you using keywords that will help boost inbound traffic?

Bonus: The ideal length of posts, backed by science via bufferapp.com

How?

Here is a list of tools that are useful in creating a successful content strategy:

  1. Create a set of brand guidelines
  2. Establish photo aesthetics
  3. Create an editorial calendar – what will you post, where and when
  4. Write it all down so you can refer to it later (this becomes particularly useful as you scale)
  5. Evaluate platform analytics
  6. A / B testing


When? 

Here is some information on how frequently one should post for optimum results (again from bufferapp.com)  Don’t let this information overwhelm you. If you don’t have time to post 5 pins per day, then don’t. Being consistent is much more important than achieving these benchmarks. 

7 Tips to Grow Your Wellness Business with Email Marketing

In my experience, email marketing can be an incredibly powerful tool for converting potential customers into your loyal, service-buying tribe. Second only to good old-fashioned word-of-mouth, email marketing done properly can help create awareness, build your brand and drive sales. Here are 7 tips for getting the most out of your email marketing:

1. Give. Make sure you are sending out information that adds value to your readers' lives. This is super, über important. We all have little time and none of us like for it to be wasted. Send your readers something of value like tips, recipes, meal plans, video tutorials, etc.. Don't be worried about giving away too much. If you are giving your readers something they want, they'll want to come back again and again (and spend $ too!).

2. Don't oversell. Even if your goal is to drive sales, try not to oversell. A sales strategy of: "here is an awesome thing, want more? then follow me this way" is way more effective then: "hey, wanna buy this? hey wanna buy this? how about now?"

3. Design matters. Take time to make sure your email is well formatted. Use high-quality images, videos and on-brand color combinations - it doesn't have to be complicated, but it should be aesthetically pleasing. 

4. Flow. This one is important. First, your content should be clear, concise and include all pertinent information. Second, you should include an easy to follow call to action (click here, download this, read more, buy more etc.). And finally, once people click through they should land on a page that easily guides them through the next steps to get them to take your intended action. This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many emails miss out on at least one of these components.

 Yeah, what MailChimp said. fyi - I use and recommend  MailChimp  almost exclusively. No, they don't pay me to say that, they're just genuinely awesome.

Yeah, what MailChimp said. fyi - I use and recommend MailChimp almost exclusively. No, they don't pay me to say that, they're just genuinely awesome.

5. Share. Share your email content across all of your social media platforms and use relevant hashtags to extend the reach and find new readers / potential clients! 

6. Understand. Take the time to understand your sales funnel. Decide on your goal, create clear calls to action and evaluate. If you have 100 people on your email list and 2 people sign up for a session each time you send out an email, then your conversion rate is 2%. If you want to have 20 customers, then you now know you need to have 1,000 people on your email list to reach this goal.

7. Grow. Now that you understand your sales funnel, you know how many readers you'll need to build to convert them into your ideal client base. In my experience, the best way to build your email list is through the offering of free, valuable content like an e-book, webinar, or cookbook.

Want to learn more about marketing your food, fitness or wellness business? Sign up for weekly email marketing tips or click here to schedule a free consultation.

If you’re so excited that you think every professional that you know should have access to this information, then make sure to share this with a friend.