Sun, 28 June 2015
I started out this year with a fully fleshed-out calendar. I knew exactly what I was going to do, when we were going to promote, when we were not going to promote, when I was going to take vacations, etc. Everything was planned.
Well, as you probably know, things change as the year gets going. As entrepreneurs, the challenge is to be flexible enough to seize good opportunities, but not so flexible that we lose all our momentum.
Now that it's July--where did the time go?--I decided to hit "pause" in the calendar flow and regroup.
I'm going to walk you through a simple, powerful exercise to evaluate where you are right now in your business, what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to change.
I've also created a downloadable template that helps you chart your progress in this exercise. You can get it by clicking here.
Get the "Back On Track" Action Assessment
Ready? Let's get started.
Step #1 - Review Your Week
Write down every single thing you can remember you’ve done in the last seven days. I mean everything--creating content, training, phone calls, reading emails, writing emails. It's crucial to know how you've been spending your time.
Step #2 - Perform a Brain Dump
Think ahead to the next six months, and write down all of the things you need to get done. People to contact, products to create, events to attend, blog posts to write . . . I mean everything. (Warning--don't use this as an opportunity to come up with new ideas! This is just for what you've got in the works right now.)
Step #3 - Identify the Revenue
Now that you've got your list of six months into the future, take a highlighter pen and highlight every item on that list that will produce revenue for you, either directly or indirectly.
Learn more about how you can successfully "regroup." Click here to listen to the full episode.
Step #4 - Identify Misspent Time
Now take another highlighter pen in a different color, go back to the list you made in Step #1, and highlight the tasks that were either a big waste of your time or that you could have delegated but didn't.
Now go back to the Six Month list, take a third highlighter pen, and highlight all of the things that you could either do farther into the future, or that can be leveraged or delegated.
Lots of highlighter action, I know. But this is all about identifying where you should and shouldn't be spending your time.
Step #5 - Color Code Your Calendar
I use Google calendar, which makes it very easy to highlight each entry in a certain color. The point is that to have different colors for different categories--planning a project, upcoming deadlines, content creation, podcasting, being interviewed with someone else, even time off or personal errands (like getting my hair cut).
Once you do this, you can step back and see the big picture of your schedule. Where are your biggest blocks of time being spent? Is that enough, given what you know about your work flow? Are you spending enough of your week doing the things you really love?
After all, isn't that a big part of why we start our own business?
Don't forget to download Amy's template that walks you through this whole exercise, step by step. Click here to get it.
Get the "Back On Track" Action Assessment
At this point, it's time to pat yourself on the back, take a walk, breathe deeply.
That's the whole point of this exercise--giving yourself more room to breathe. You now have a bird's-eye view of what your schedule really looks like. You know where you need to focus your time. You know what things you can quit doing or delegate.
Without these moments to regroup, the day-to-day hustle can start to consume you. These regular check-ins with your schedule will put you back in charge of your business.
Sun, 28 June 2015
For busy entrepreneurs, the About page of a website is one of the easiest to put off. You might throw a few vital details up there, like your name (always a good place to start) and your credentials, and promise yourself to fill it out later. Maybe you even go back and try adding some details that paint a fuller picture of you as a person.
But for many, no matter how hard they work on it, their About page just falls flat. It feels fake, like you’re pretending to be someone you’re not. And that makes sense—we’re all taught never to brag about ourselves…so it feels pretty strange to suddenly write a whole page about why your customers should think you’re so great!
That’s why I’m so happy to introduce you to Melissa Cassera. She’s a publicity expert (as well as a screenwriter and an actress), and if you read her own About page, you can see that she is an expert on how to write about yourself in a way that comes out warm, genuine and authentically irresistible.
Why Is An About Page Important?
Melissa compares the About page to the gown a Hollywood actress wears on the “red carpet.” It’s the way to show off both your importance and your individuality at once, impressing people and engaging them at the same time. The About page is where you give people just enough information about you to want to know more.
In other words, you don’t want to give away the whole story on your About page—it’s their intro to all the excitement that awaits if they choose to work with you. For the reader, it should feel like they’ve met you in person, looked you in the eye and shaken your hand.
So how do you convey that feeling in words?
Think About How You Serve the World
Rather than begin by talking about what you do, begin your About page with a line or two about why you do it. This should be the element that guides you through the writing process for your About page. If you get stuck or are wondering if you are including the right kinds of details, ask yourself if what you’ve written paints a picture of the world/society/lifestyle/change that you are trying to build with what you do.
Hear more of Melissa's tips on how to make your About page shine. Listen to the full interview here.
Make Your Credentials Fun
It’s important to list the things that give your business credibility—an advanced degree, an impressive title or certification, a number of years in your field or successful working relationships with noteworthy people. But rather than just list them, Melissa advises having fun with them! Try translating your credentials into an analogy that helps your audience understand what that kind of cred means in your industry. (“I attended the Harvard of health coaching schools” is a good example.)
By listing your credentials this way, you can use your bragging rights to gain your readers’ trust and build engagement.
Get Melissa's Guide: "Craft A Crazy-Impressive About Page"
Show Your Non-Professional Side
Would it surprise you to learn that the part of your About page that really sells you is the part where you talk about something besides work? This, Melissa says, is what really seals the emotional connection with people and allows them to get to know you on a more personal level. Not only that, but this section is what sets you apart from your competition. Nobody else has the same story, the same style, the same lovable quirks and personal motivations that you have.
As Melissa says in her "Better Bio Challenge" blog post,
Counterbalance Your Accomplishments
If your About page starts feeling a little self-indulgent, Melissa says an easy way to lighten it up is to “show your brushstrokes.” After mentioning the glowing review of your program on the Today Show, drop in a reference to that one time you tried to teach a college class and sat on a whoopee cushion. Details like this help keep you human to your readers, and show them that you’re the same as them—just a little farther along in the journey toward success.
Get Melissa's Mad Libs-style template for creating an irresistible About page. Click here to download it instantly!
Offer Fun Facts
Like the “non-professional life” part of your About page, this part is meant to connect with your ideal audience in a way that nothing else can. Tell a few “secrets” about yourself—that you cover your eyes during the scary parts of movies, that puppy videos make you cry, that your favorite place to work is in your kids’ treehouse.
Be forewarned—this will turn off some people. But they are the right people for you to turn off. At the end of the day, Melissa says, your About page is not meant to engage every single person out there.
Create an “Action Step”
By now, your audience has fallen head over heels in love with you…so what’s the next step? Where does the relationship go from here? Melissa says this is the moment to offer them a concrete action step. Offer a free opt-in gift, list links to your five most popular blog posts, tell them to contact you to set up a consultation. Whatever your specific action step is, make it simple and immediate for them to make the next move.
Get more of Melissa's suggestions for making your About page actionable. Click here to hear the full interview.
The Bottom Line: What Is Fame For?
Melissa has a stellar blog post called “Four Questions to Help You Identify What's Not Working in Your Biz...And Make It Better.” In it, she offers this really thought-provoking quotation:
It’s not enough to have people think you’re “fabulous.” Better sales come from a real relationship with your clients, and the About page is all about relationship building. So while a clear action step is a great way to end your About page, leave the sales messages to your sales page and emails. Focus your About page on building trust and rapport with your target audience, and they will search for ways to work with you.
Thu, 25 June 2015
Two weeks ago, in Episode #62, I reviewed the project plan I use for all of my promotions. And if you downloaded the free Project Plan Checklist that I offered, you might have had some questions about the bigger action items on that list.
I'm going to break down some of those bigger items in upcoming episodes. Today, though, I'm going to walk you through some of the details that led to the overwhelming success of this promotion.
This blog post is going to be just a tease for the podcast, for the simple reason we cover a lot of ground in the audio version! If you haven’t listened to this week’s episode yet, I really encourage you to download and enjoy the whole thing.
But for now, here are the basics:
Launch in Review
My recent launch of the Profit Lab was very different from past launches. I took some risks by changing things up and I’ll be honest—I was a little worried. But those risks paid off in a big way. It turned out to be the most successful launch I've ever done, with sales just under a million dollars, and some amazing new insights that will make future launches just as profitable.
Here's what really paid off this time:
This launch came during the most consistent year I’ve had, in terms of offering free valuable content. Between my podcast, my blog, and the downloadable giveaways I offer each week, I was able to build a huge amount of affinity and trust with my audience. That really paid off when I started promoting my program for sale.
Surveying My Audience
A few months before the promotion began, I put a survey out to learn more about my audience. (I talk about that survey in Episode #55, if you haven’t checked it out yet.) That survey gave me immense insight into how my audience feels, what they need and, best of all, how they talk about those feelings and needs! When it came time to promote my program, I was able to speak their language better than ever.
A Targeted Giveaway
The Product Maximizer, which I gave away a few weeks before the launch, was more than just a free download. It was targeted at the exact people that I knew would benefit from my program. I had over 7,300 people opt-in for that free giveaway. When it came time to promote the program, I got to speak to those 7,000 people in a different way than anybody else on my list, because I knew they would be keenly interested in exactly what I was going to offer.
Educating My Target Market
Another pre-promotion I did was a live webinar series, where I taught on a topic related to the Profit Lab. The reason I did this was to help my target market understand what they truly needed for making more money online (i.e., a sales funnel). That gave me a perfect segue into selling my program, which is all about creating that sales funnel!
This year’s Profit Lab had a brand-new look and a brand-new name. The name change was a risk, but I went for it and it paid off. And I think the facelift had a lot to do with that! Everything from the ads to the imagery to the course materials was done by one great designer. As a result, the whole thing had a very distinctive look that appealed to people who had never heard of my program, and renewed interest from people who had heard of it.
Get Amy's "Profit Lab Ad Creative Setup"
This was the first time I’d ever done this. Retargeting means running ads specifically to people who showed interest in a product but then didn’t “pull the trigger.” In this case, it meant people who had visited a sign-up page for the free webinar I was offering, but then didn’t register for it. I created retargeted Facebook ads to reach those people and encourage them to go back and sign up. For those who did sign up, I retargeted them with an ad that sent them directly to the Profit Lab sales page.
There are so many more details of this launch that I want to share with you, including what worked and what didn’t work so well, especially when it came to running Facebook and Google ads. These details will be immensely helpful alongside this week’s free download.
Fri, 19 June 2015
Last year, one of my most popular podcasts was an interview with John Lee Dumas. But I invited him back this week because I wanted to talk about podcasting again, in a whole new way.
Today, I want to focus on about podcasting for somebody who already has a platform. Maybe you have a business with a blog. Maybe you have an online training program or course that you’re constantly perfecting and promoting from one year to the next. Maybe you are a coach or consultant.
Bottom line, you have something important to say. And maybe you’ve been thinking the podcast thing seems to be growing even bigger, and might be a good way to help your business get bigger, too.
Well, you’re right. It is.
No question, podcasting requires a fair amount of work, especially to get it all set up. But it can also be a huge boost to your business’ visibility, to establishing your brand as a leader, and ultimately to your sales.
John is a podcasting superhero. His show Entrepreneur on Fire is consistently ranked among iTunes’ top business podcasts—he even got a Best of iTunes recognition within his first year! More impressively, though, he puts out a new episode every day! (As in seven days a week—no weekends off for this guy.) This makes him the perfect person to explain why podcasting is worth it, how he gets it done, and how he manages to stay fired up about it every single week.
Why Should You Podcast?
As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for other avenues to grow our audience. That’s why we use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, that’s why we blog and send emails to our list. The podcasting sphere is just another way to reach more people—a lot more people. iTunes has 525 million active subscribers, and SoundCloud, Stitcher and Spotify are catching up fast.
Podcasters are an obsessive crowd—they are constantly looking for new content to listen to during their commute, while walking their dog, while they’re waiting at the airport…you name it!
That’s the great thing about podcasting—it doesn’t require you to say “no” to something else, the way a lot of content does. In our multi-tasking culture, it’s the perfect way to get your message heard and deliver free, valuable and consistent content to your audience.
What Kind of Work Is Involved?
The great news is that you really don’t have to create that much more work to keep a podcast going. You just repurpose content that you’re already creating for one outlet into another outlet.
To get started, simply go back to your best blog posts (or videos, or images, or even social media posts), the ones that got the best engagement, and turn them into a bullet point flow. Then switch on the microphone and talk your way through them. Beef it up by talking about what led you to create that piece of content. Talk some of the comments you received. Talk about what you liked best about it. Talk about how you feel toward that content now.
By doing this, you’re getting the attention of people who may never find you on Facebook, or who always mean to read your blog and just don’t make the time to do it. You’re getting them in the midst of their busy day, and becoming a familiar voice in their lives.
Click Here to Sign Up for John's Free Podcast Workshop
How Do You Get It Done?
First let me assure you that you don’t have to create a seven-day-a-week podcast for it to be a valuable tool in growing your business. But even recording once a week can feel daunting, especially when you’re just getting into the groove, or you get sidelined by a busy week and suddenly realize that you’re scheduled to post a new episode tomorrow.
The key to getting it done is batch processing. This approach is one that will save your sanity, if you stick to it. And it all depends on one big thing…
The key here, John says, is owning your schedule. He doesn’t ask guests what time works for them—he sends them his calendar and has them pick from the slots he has open. And then, each Tuesday from 9am-4pm, John has eight one-hour conversations with podcast guests. At the end of the day, he’s done with interviews for the week! (Plus an extra, just in case.)
It works the same even if you’re not doing interviews on your podcast. Schedule the time, block it out, and power through several recordings in a row. You’ll find yourself getting in a flow that makes each one better than the last.
Having a pre-determined format is crucial when you’re just getting started podcasting. What you don’t want is a lot of awkward silences, information getting repeated, or rabbit trails because you just don’t know what to say.
You don’t need to write a full script—what you do need is some sort of structure to give your episodes consistency and help you find your voice. It will also help people understand who you are and what your podcast is about. (If it’s too free-flowy at first, people may stop listening because they don’t have a framework for understanding you.)
Over time, this structure will become second-nature to you, and your listeners will have a grasp on who you are and what you’re about. More and more, you’ll be able to just talk into the microphone.
It’s normal not to like the way your voice sounds on a recording.
But John says “Get over it.”
The thing is, consuming audio content makes people feel a personal connection in a way that other media just can’t reach. For one thing, listening is a very intimate act—even more than watching a video. For another thing, people bring podcasts with them into, let’s just say, very intimate parts of their lives. John says people have told him they listen to his show while they’re in the shower! It sounds crazy, but having someone’s voice with you all through the day, even when you don’t know what they look like, makes you feel a real connection to them.
So don’t be afraid of how you sound. Keep your focus on your content and the people out there that you’re trying to reach.
But Wait...There's More!
John has some incredible free content for you. If you want to learn about how to find your ideal podcast topic, your ideal podcast listener, how to get your show noticed in the ever-growing podcast arena, and so much more, click here to get into his free podcasting workshop.
Thu, 18 June 2015
You know me--I teach what I know best. And what I know by now, more than anything, is that the key to making a sales plan work is having a proven, foolproof system.
So today, I'm going to walk you through my project management system, line by line. This is one I've spent hours mapping out with my team. Some of it will be familiar to you, but it's in the little details that you'll find the most value--the tiny things that make your promotion polished, professional and, most importantly, effective.
Another great thing about putting together a promotion with this system is that it sets up your content to be "evergreen"--meaning you can use it over and over again to sell your product and build your business.
There's a lot of content in this post and in the podcast. But don't worry. I've put together a special checklist for you, so that you can put all this information into action right off the bat. No matter what kind of promotion you're planning, this checklist has all the basic steps you need to make sure it launches successfully.
Click Here to Get "The Project Plan Checklist"
I divide all my promotional planning into three categories:
I've launched promotions in the past that I've had just a few weeks to pull together. As my business has grown, I've had more time to plan and prepare. But here's the thing: it's never enough time! Let me encourage you to always get started on this system earlier than you think. There will always be last-minute tasks that have you scrambling. That scramble will be a lot less stressful, the sooner you get started. (Right now, I'm already starting on this system for a promo set to launch in October!)
Category #1: Pre-Promotion
As you might guess, 80% of the work happens in the Pre phase. I’ve broken them down into smaller categories, starting with…
The cornerstone of Admin is making all your decisions in advance, getting organized and scheduled, so that when you “hit the red button” for your launch, you can enjoy (mostly) smooth sailing through your promotion.
The first thing we do might surprise you: we organize our Dropbox. We have a folder for everything…no file floats alone. But I’ll admit to being a little crazy about this, but let me tell you—it saves you from going a lot crazier in the long run, wondering where those files are that you need to send to your designer so you can launch in two hours!
Confirm and Document All Promo Dates
Before getting started, I put each stage of the promotion down on the calendar. For example, in my recent Profit Lab promotion, I had to nail down when I’d start running various Facebook ads, when I’d release each promotional webinar, when the early bird pricing began and ended…all of those little pieces are determined before anything gets started.
Schedule Promotion Phases
I have different phases in each of my promos. Phase 1 includes offering free content that warms up my target audience by offering value before I promote anything for sale. Remember the Product Maximizer from a few weeks back? That was a pre-promo content piece, scheduled for Phase 1. Phase 2 included free webinars that ended with a product pitch. Phase 3 was when the cart opened, so it includes lots of timely bonuses and heavy ad running to people who have shown interest. And the final phases are all about “Take Action Now! Cart Closing Soon!”
These are my phases—you’ll have your own. But the point is scheduling them in advance, to save playing catch-up with yourself later.
Determine Price Points/Membership Levels, Hire Designer/Programmer/Copywriter
This is where you're setting your ground rules for sales and assembling your team to make those sales happen!
Set Up All Campaigns in InfusionSoft
Decide in advance which emails you’re going to want to send, and queue them up for sending. You won’t have them all written yet, of course, because you don’t have all the links, downloads, maybe even some product language. But setting up the campaigns in advance will let know where there are holes you need to fill.
This is where I spend the most time...and the most worry...and the most creativity. I love this phase, even in its stressful moments, because it's when I get to spend quality time with my product, making it perfect for my audience.
I always start this phase by creating a content grid--a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of each component of the content I'm creating. Here's a snapshot of what mine looks like:
Program/Product Content Creation
This includes everything from creating the product name, brainstorming a logo, getting into all the nuts and bolts of the product. (For me, that means deciding on modules, creating outlines, determining what should be core content vs. bonuses.)
As part of this, I always include a “Stick Strategy”—a juicy bonus I send to people after they purchase, to keep them excited and engaged, and let them know they’re being taken care of.
Promo Content Creation
Same as above, except just for the promotion part. I use my free content—my blog, my podcast, social media posts, webinars and related giveaways—to offer valuable giveaways
This is where people log in after they buy, and get all your product content. For the Profit Lab, I create a very specific outline for members to see how the course is going to run—I list all the modules, links for downloads, and bonuses they’ll get along the way. I also include a welcome video to let them know what I’m going to let them know.
Setting this up in advance is especially important so that you can test it before releasing it! There will always be bugs—the important thing is to catch them before your audience does.
Sales Page + Order Form Creation
As a team, we lay out the way we want these pages to look, write the sales copy (including testimonials), set up your countdown timer, and collect the images we need for it, and send it on over to the designer and the coder.
Create Email Grid
This outlines every email we’re planning to send in InfusionSoft, and when we’re going to send it. Note the subject line, when they’re going to be sent, and who is going to receive it.
Wondering what kinds of emails you should send? Listen to the full podcast episode to get Amy's detailed list of what to send and when.
Determine the language around your refund and discount policies, automatic responses, and answers to FAQs that your customer support team can be ready with. This could also include a pre-recorded voicemail if you have a customer support phone line.
In the past, we’d be frantically creating images at the last minute. But in my last Profit Lab launch, I had a complete list of every graphic I'd need for anything related to the promotion--imagery for emails, social media, website, the works. As a result, I was able get it all designed in advance by one designer, so it was ready early and it all looked consistent.
I've included that list in the free downloadable checklist for this week--get it here!
Click Here to Get "The Project Plan Checklist"
Facebook ads, Google ads…we have them all mapped out in advance, with imagery, copy and dates for when to run them in each phase.
Creating a posting schedule has really saved me a few headache! We determine ahead of time what we want to post on social media about the promotion, set it up in Edgar (my favorite queuing tool), and have one less thing to worry about when the launch goes live. (Just make sure to glance at your social media from time to time throughout the launch, to make sure that your links and images are showing up correctly.)
I don’t always do this for promotions, but sometimes I include a special “VIP” membership tier that includes extra bells and whistles—a Facebook group, live Q&A calls, all that good stuff. If you’re doing different levels, make sure you list in advance all the extras you’ll be doing, including times/dates, setup you’ll need to do, and whatever material that you’ll be offering.
It’s important for your integrity to close the cart right when you said you were going to. Right after the cart closes, I redirect all the purchase links to the waitlist page. This is super important to set up in advance—believe me, you don’t want to be setting up your waitlist page in the minutes right after your cart closes!
Daily sales, units sold, whatever you want to track, get this tracking document set up in advance and designate the person who will be tracking it. One thing you don't during your launch is to be constantly adding up your numbers to see how you're doing!
Get more of Amy's insights on this step-by-step promotion plan. Listen to the full podcast episode here.
Whew! The PRE phase is done…which means most of your work is done. The next two phases are really short and sweet.
Category #2: Live Promotion
Maintain the New Customers Area
As you start to sell, make sure everything’s working for your new customers, and that they’re having a smooth experience.
If you did an Early Bird pricing, like I often do, you’re going to be increasing your price at some point while the cart is open. So you’re going to be switching out order forms and change your sales page in the midst of your launch.
Social Media Upkeep
Having this in your project plan is huge—you (or your team member) will know exactly when to change out any social media imagery from Pre phase to Live phase.
Category #3: Post Promotion
Shut Down Ads
Redirect Promo Pages to Your Waitlist
Remove Promotional Imagery from Website/Social Media
I’m always ready for a virtual champagne toast by the end of the process. I also send out thank-you notes to everyone who has helped: team members, affiliates, experts, etc.
Wed, 3 June 2015
As humans, we are hardwired to connect emotionally with visual content. Pictures in particular--we process them very quickly--faster than text, video, or audio. Pictures allow us to make a really quick decision about whether we are going to engage with something.
It's no secret that some of the most successful brands in the world owe their popularity to their visual content strategy. Notice I said strategy--in other words, not just any visual content will do.
Fortunately, one of the world's biggest experts in visual social media and content strategy is also a good friend of mine.
You probably know Donna Moritz already as the power behind Socially Sorted, the award-winning blog about using visual content on social media. I know her as my #1 student from the very first Profit Lab course I ever launched. She's also shown up on this site more than once.
But today, Donna is here to school me--and you--in how to set up a visual content strategy that supports your sales and sends your message.
She's also put together an amazing freebie for us--a three-part video series that walks you through the process of creating polished imagery. This is where you'll learn how to use all the tools mentioned in this episode. Trust me--it's a must-have.
Get Donna Moritz's Free Guide To Creating Visual Content
Before she became the renowned expert she is today, Donna learned all the ins and outs of visual content strategy through simple practice. After working in several different businesses--sometimes for others, sometimes for herself--she saw how visual content really created that initial resonance with a target audience that makes them want to learn more.
The main thing with your visual content is to "stop the scroll"--in other words, arrest your audience's attention so that their finger pauses above their mouse or smartphone screen, and they take the time to engage with your message.
The more Donna learned, the more excited she got about the potential of various kinds of visual content. If you've ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer variety of visual content styles out there, don't worry--Donna is here to break it into three basic levels.
These are the really easy-to-create, easy-to-share individual images that would be on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Think funny photos, behind-the-scenes shots, images that incorporate quotes, tips or other short bits of text. They are really a good jumping-off point to lead into a longer message.
Here is a sample batch of quote images, observational humor, business tips, questions and motivational images ready to go (and all created on Canva and WordSwag).
These types of images are designed to increase reach and engagement.
Shareable images get their strength from their simplicity. But that doesn't mean you can only use them for short, simple concepts. By attaching an image with a call to action or link, you can increase shares (such as retweets on Twitter) and generate more visits to your blog or other "landing content."
Also, remember that tweets with images get retweeted twice as often...so post images!
Remember, on all platforms, it is important to keep a balance of your own helpful and entertaining content, and curated content from other pages or businesses. This earns you the right to post some promotional images with calls to action.
You can also work with your designer if you want to save time (and money) or can't design the images yourself. Ask your designer to create a template which you can then add text to. This way, you can create a series of quotes or tips using a great design, but reduce the cost and time involved in hiring a designer. One image becomes many!
Checklists, how-to images and tutorials are all great examples of "Step-by-Step" images. This format is deal for sharing procedures, systems or "secret sauces" with your community.
These images work particularly well on Pinterest and get shared a lot.
This kind of visual content doesn't need to be fancy or even overly designed--they just need to be helpful and easy to use. Remember, people love shortcuts...so with these images, they're probably going to look right past the bells and whistles of a great visual design to get to the content you're offering!
Social media expert Andrea Vahl did a great series of simple checklists to help her readers on her blog.
Showpieces are the pieces of content that require more investment of time and resources but are most likely to bring better return in terms of sharing and traffic. This includes infographics, slide decks and short video.
Donna recently posted a blog of her own about these three levels of visual content, with even more info about each one. It's called "9 Ways to Take Your Visual Content Up a Level," and it's definitely worth checking out.
Don't miss all of Donna Moritz's tips on where and how these three levels of images work. Click here to listen to Episode #61 in full.
If you're reading this and thinking it doesn't apply to you because you're not a "creative type," think again! The amazing tools that are available out there right now--tools like PicMonkey, WordSwag and (my personal favorite) Canva--are set up so that anyone can create simple but stunning visual content. Don't worry if you don't have a "designer's eye"--these tools have templates so that all you have to do is plug in your favorite background, choose a font you like, and voilà! Beautiful, polished, eye-catching imagery.
One important thing to note, however, is that size matters. Different platforms will have different optimum size requirements for your image. Donna has a blog post all about that, as well--just click here to find her 5 Social Media Size Hacks for Quick Visual Content.
There's so much more to learn about visual content strategy in my interview with Donna, so make sure to listen to the whole episode. Also, click here to get the amazing freebie she designed for us--it's a three-part video series where she walks you through the specifics of how to create images. It's a must-have for anyone who's ready to put their visual content strategy into action.
Get Donna Moritz's Free Guide To Creating Visual Content