Lead magnets have been around for ages and they’re basically free resources that you use in order to encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter. Think of this as the stepping stone to converting readers into leads and clients. There’re so many lead magnet ideas to choose from but these are my top 6 suggestions for your creative business,
Blogging is one of the most rewarding forms of content creation. I’ve read my share of blogs and I’ve seen the ones that gave me nightmares but also the ones that I fell so much in love with that I found myself either going back to read more or even spend an hour just going through different articles and features. Some of the blogs have even been so effective that I started following them on other social media platforms just to know what they were up to.
A few of the things I found that these blogs had in common was a well laid out sidebar. And no, just because you have an image of yourself on the side and saying that you love pet alligators does not cut it.
I’m going to share with you some of the most useful things you can add to your blog sidebar in order to keep your audience not only much longer but also lead them to following you on other social media platforms.
1. About link and short bio
Make sure you have a dedicated area where you talk more about you, your services and your blog. Instead of writing all this on your blogs sidebar, you only need to include a short bio with the most relevant information about you and add a link that directs the reader to a more in-depth post. I suggest anywhere between 4 to 6 sentences to cover everything that you’d need someone to know about you in a few seconds. I know it may seem daunting but think of the famous elevator pitch that you’d need to do if you needed to land a new job. Here’s an article written by mindtools that explains in-depth what an elevator pitch is all about.
Having an image of yourself or something that represents you is crucial for the sidebar. People want to know and put a face to who is writing or giving out all this fabulous content. Show yourself on the side bar. You can be as quirky and creative when it comes to the final outcome. Maybe the image portrays you doing the hobby you like the most or show you within your element. Whichever way you take it, make the image speak for you.
3. Contact info
One thing that is always missing in sidebars is your contact info. Make it easy for people to get in-touch with you. Include your email address for direct contact or a link to a form if you’d like the option of customising how you receive your emails. Another important aspect is to include is the ‘official’ work hours and when they can expect to hear back from you if it’s work related.
I love the option of viewing blogposts based on categories. Sometimes I know exactly the content that I’m searching for and when a blogger makes it easy for me to find that content then they are definitely bookmarked for later use. Besides making things easier for your readers, you also come out as someone who is organised and an expert in what they are talking about.
If you’ve been on the blogging scene for a while, then a section where you can link to past articles by the year and month is also great. This can also once again put your expertise stamp on your blog because readers can see just how far back your content goes.
6. Popular posts
Being connected to google analytics or using the analytics feature for Squarespace users means that you have access to an abundance of information regarding your audiences’ demographics but also which type of content they like the best. You should make this a regular habit in order to point new audience to your most popular posts in order to boost their popularity even more. These popular posts can be highlighted on your sidebar so that they are front and centre and within your audiences reach.
RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. Think of this feature as a magazine subscription that gets delivered to you whenever a new publication is out. The great thing about people subscribed to your RSS feed is that whenever you put out new content on your blog, they will be automatically notified without you having to send out emails in order to notify your audience.
Here are a few articles to get you started:
8. Search box
Sometimes a search box can come in handy when your audience can’t recall the exact title of the blog but only remember what was about. The trick here is to make sure that the search option is available only for the blog posts and not the whole website.
9. Social media links
Whether you’re super active on social media or not, it’s great to have a presence on other platforms other than your blog. You can not only share your content to a wider audience but also build deeper relationships by sharing more personal content about yourself. Having social media links on your blog sidebar also shows your audience that they can find you even on their own preferred platforms in order to receive the content that you have to offer.
10. Social media feeds
This is different from your social media links. Including social media feeds on your blog sidebar means that you give your audience a preview of what they can expect to see once they click on the social media links because sometimes pictures speak a thousand words.
11. Option to subscribe to the blog/ newsletter
On important thing to always have is the option to subscribe to your blog or newsletter. Capturing emails is one of the things that you can have total control over because as all thing’s social media, there’s no security or assurance that your profile will always remain active. Many people have lost their accounts due to hacking or just the fact that the platform decided to delete their accounts for some reason.
By making sure that you capture emails through your sidebar can give you the peace of mind that no matter what, you still have access to all the people who love and follow your blog.
12. Call to actions
You need to tell people what you’d like them to do. If it’s to follow you on social media or signup to the newsletter then tell them clearly. But also, one thing to keep in mind is mostly everyone has the ‘WIIFM’ mentality. This means ‘What’s in it for me’ if I follow this person on social media or sign up to their newsletter? Maybe you offer weekly live chats or freebies. Maybe they can expect to gain something exclusive. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s right there next to the call to action in order to entice them into following you or signing up.
You don’t need to have all of this on your blog sidebar but make sure to at least have half of the options I’ve highlighted here. Some of these features can be combined together in order to save space on your blog sidebar.
Let me know if there’s anything that I’ve not mentioned!
Psssst, I think you might also like these:
Social media is such a great tool for your business if used correctly. Most of us use these platforms in order to bring more awareness to our businesses and services but one thing we forget is that there are often real people behind those likes and shares and we need to connect with them not only through what we do but also through who we are as the people behind these businesses and services.
Today we’ll look at four things your audience most probably wants to know more about you.
1. What you love about what you do.
Showing your audience that you actually love what you do is a beautiful thing. Maybe your job lets you work outdoors, meet new exciting people or work with Non-Profit Organizations. If that is something that keeps you excited and happy then you need to share those moments with your audience.
We often think that we only need to share completed works or works-in-progress but it’s those in between moments where you’re deciding on how to solve a client’s problem or offer better services that need to be highlighted because most of the people following you already like what you do and when the day comes that they need your services then it’s easier for them to approach you because you have shown them not only what you can provide but also how you work and the process you take in order to get to that final outcome.
2. What you love most about your life beyond your work.
We all have a life outside of the office, at least I hope that you do! And the great thing is that you can share whatever you like and as little or as much of your personal life that you’re comfortable with. Share your hobbies, quiet moments and even the crazy ones if you have them. If you like vintage stores and maybe that inspires the way you work, talk or dress then share it. Maybe it’s something as simple as organizing your week or day. Share those little hidden moments because they are full of treasures for your audience.
3. How you deal with the highs and the lows.
In every business and in everyday life, we go through highs and lows. It may be a client from hell, bills that keep on piling or days that just don’t seem to end. This is life and sharing this part of you humanizes your brand and brings you closer to your audience.
Sometimes I connect better with a person I follow on social media because they show me all the wacky sides of being a business owner or a creative person. From dinners gone wrong to kids who won’t sleep when work deadlines are looming on. This side of them is relatable because more or less, we all go through the same things and make the same mistakes and so it’s reassuring to know that we are in it together. At the end of the day, you want to build a community of like-minded people around you.
4. What inspires you.
Sometimes we find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. What may seem like one thing to someone maybe a totally different thing to another because heck, we all have different points of views. Giving your audience a sneak peek through your eyes is not only a new journey for them but also an adventure because they will also have fun interpreting things in their own unique ways.
It may seem daunting at first when we think about sharing more if ourselves on social media but you do get the hang of it when you share things that are meaningful to you and not for the masses. The numbers will come eventually but you want to get there surrounded by people who are supportive of you and what you do but also people you’ll like hanging out with in real life.
Psssst, I think you might also like these:
It’s been said over and over again that a logo and other visual elements are not the only things that make up a brand. A lot of times, businesses think that just because things look good on the outside / visual side, then their brand will be successful. There are different components needed in order to create a successful brand but for the sake of sanity and simplicity, we’ll go through 5 key elements that you need to adapt in order to help you create a successful brand that all businesses want to achieve.
We're at a day and age where real people are more interested in who you really are and they're smart enough to know when someone isn't being genuine with them. Creating a successful brand means being open and real with your audience. Most of the successful women entrepreneurs that I follow share their hearts with their audience and this helps to draw them closer and become more loyal to your brand. Just to get an idea of what I'm talking about, there's Jenna Kutcher; a photographer whose been able to shut down the issue of beauty and body shaming. She has been able to attract thousands of women to her because she share what everyone goes through in their own private life but instead of choosing that same route, she talks about her own insecurities, failures and successes in life which uplifts her audience!
Another example is Heather Crabtree who has continuously shown that you can not only be an entrepreneur but also a loving mother and wife who lives her life to the fullest on her own terms. You can do it all and have it all too if you set your mind to it. She shows us that it's not an easy road but it's doable. So be authentic whenever you share with your audience and let them connect with the real you and not a persona.
Focus On Generating Value For Others
While being authentic, create content that will generate value for your audience. Value can come in many different forms such as videos, ebooks, online courses, Facebook groups, membership sites and more. It's a general rule that you should give more than you take. For example, if you make youtube videos every week that help your audience one way or another then when you ask them to buy your product once or twice a year, you can make more profit than if you continuously ask them for a sell. The focus should be on creating value for them and not on the final sell because that will come naturally over time.
Let your clients speak for you
What this means is to speak like a human and leave out all the scientific terms by the door. Be attentive of the words your clients use when describing not only their problems but also their vision of the future. This should be the language that you use when describing why someone would choose to work with you or buy your products and not the other guys. Always use this strategy when creating content that you'll share on different platforms as well. The end goal is to have them know that their problems have solutions and that you're the person to help them.
After all this, you need to be consistent in order to build a successful brand. You can't suddenly jump from one thing to the next. People are following you because Of a certain issue or topic but if you decide to do a 360 turn midway then you will definitely lose the hold you had in the beginning and these people will eventually lose interest in you because you no longer align or offer to them what they need. If you must diversify, then you need to ease your audience in your the new topic that you’d like to delve deeper into. But most of all, stay consistent with how you give out content.
There's power in a great testimonial. The fact that someone else is talking in a positive way about your product or service is a good thing. By using testimonials, future clients can see you through the eyes of someone who was in their shoes but has now managed to find a great solution through working with you. Be specific about the structure of your testimonials and even send samples to the client if need be but let them say it in their own words. After you’ve collected a couple, place them on your website but think of it as sprinkling a bit of glitter on a piece of art to make it stand out more and not dumping the whole thing on it.
Always keep in mind that you make your business or brand what it is so stay true to you.
Psssst, I think you might also like these:
To many people out there, blogging is seen as something that is not only time consuming but as somethings that is only needed for people or businesses involved in fashion, travel, food or moms. This couldn't be further from the truth because a blog is a place where your brand's personality, ideas and voice is housed. A blog helps you not only show the world who you are but also allows the world to interact with you. For this beautiful aspect, we’ll go through five reasons as to why you should blog for your business whether service or product based (digital and physical).
1. Great for SEO
Search engines such as google comb through your website to find keywords that are relevant to whatever the person on the other side is looking for. The advantage of blogging is that over time, you get to build on those keywords that are specific to your business and when someone searches for something related to those keywords, your blogpost will be featured in the results given by google. The outcome now is as more traffic comes into your website, it leads to people getting interested in what you have to say and those people then later end up on your email list and hopefully become customers of yours after a while. This process of attracting the right leads to you is made easier through blogging because all your content will be geared to those specific keywords that are great for search engine optimization.
2. Building a community
Now, there’s something to be said for social media. The content is never permanent and you have no control over the platform itself. Your account may be deleted, you may lose followers suddenly and algorithms are always changing. Through blogging for your business, you are the captain of your own ship! Even when social media fails you, you still have a community that is based around your blog and that gives you control and security. The best way to build this community is by engaging with the audience on your blog. Give out content on a consistent schedule and always make sure that they get the best out of your content. Be it educational, fun or a freebie. Connecting with your audience no matter how small will keep you top of mind and when you eventually want to offer your services or sell a product, this community will respond in a positive manner.
There are some businesses that are built solely on their community and they make a living out of it because the community trusts in what the business has to offer through the power of consistently blogging for their businesses.
3. Grow your own confidence and knowledge base
The beauty that comes with blogging for your business is the self confidence that it builds as well as how much your own knowledge base expands due to the constant research that you do. When I started out with my own blog, I didn't know what to write about or even what my voice was when it came to writing. After months of consistently blogging, not only have I become much faster when I write a blog post but I’m more confident in the content that I give out because I have found my own voice and style of writing. It has gotten to the point where all I need is a heading and bullet points for that blog post and words just naturally flow when I sit down to write. This can be felt by your readers and it’s that unique approach that you put into your blog that brings them back each time.
4. Authority in your industry
We all want to be the go-to person for a certain topic, product or service in our respective industries. The great thing about blogging for your business is that through giving out consistent quality based content, you will automatically be seen as the person who can solve that issue. It’s no secret that I’m an introvert and the thought of going in front of people in order to talk about my people was something that I dreaded. But through blogging and knowing what my voice is, I can confidently talk about branding and graphic design. This self confidence and authority leads us to the next positive aspect of blogging for your business.
5. Networking with industry peers
This in itself should be one of the cornerstones for your business. Networking with other people in your industry not only builds your credibility but it also boosts your business because if they refer you for a product or service, then that is good business that they’ve sent your way. This can only happen after building relationships with these people. Instead of seeing them as your competition, view these other businesses as collaborators instead who are there to help take your business to the next level because they may have a wider reach in terms of audience size but also be seen as an authority figure themselves and business built through word of mouth from someone you trust is always great. You may find that through networking, the time that you took to look for new clients has been reduced drastically.
It’s not to say that blogging will take your business from zero to hero in just one month but blogging for your business has shown many positive impacts in the long term. So, dust off that word document and give it a try!
Psssst, I think you might also like these:
As a creative, it’s sort of a weird situation to be in when you’re not inspired by anything at all. I have my fair share of these days and what i’ve found to help me kick off the funk is to surround myself with creative works or spaces designed by other people. Below we’ll look at the five things that you can do in-order to get back into your groove.
1. Change up your ambience
Due to the fact that some of us have set routines and fixed workspaces, this may cause you to lose inspiration as these mundane everyday tasks sort of make you lose that spark that you might have when exploring a new space. So my fix is to change up your ambiance and this can be done in two ways. First you can change the look and feel of your workspace, maybe add some plants, change up the artwork and even your desktop wallpaper. Re-decorate your space to bring in new vibes. The second is to go out and work in another location. Maybe visit the local library, go to the museum, take your work to the cafe if possible. Find a new spot that you can visit whenever you get in the rut.
2. Take up a new craft or activity
A great way to find inspiration is to take up a new craft or activity. There’re so many great teaching sites out there such as skillshare or udemy and you can literally learn a new skill in a span of a few hours or days! Another great way is to find an activity that you can take up outside the house. If the weather allows it then go hiking if you’re the outdoorsy type or a course to better your overall wellbeing such as meditation or yoga.
3. Browse through creative sites and blogs
Sometimes, browsing through other creatives works is a great way to get inspired. You can usually find inspiration in the most unlikely of sources if you open your mind to it. I’ve found myself getting colour combinations from a crochet design or patterns from watching pottery making videos. Try to open up your mind to the works of others because the opportunity of finding inspiration is right at your fingertips.
4. Create an inspiration board
Pinterest is your go to for this part. Create a board and pin everything that you’d like to recreate into your own style or just things that sparked your interest. Head on over here to my inspiration board just to give you an example. What i’ve done is pinned everything related to graphic design, illustration and package design as these are the categories that i’m most interested in right now. And during the days when i can’t find anything to inspire me, i just head on over to my board and choose something to work on for my own private use.
5. Just relax
Last but not least, just relax. This may be your bodys way of letting you know that your mind needs some down time. You know your body the best and if you think that this is what is best at the moment then just lie down, close your eyes and relax. Let your mind wonder to carefree thoughts and not work.
If you decide to try any one of these tips, please let me know in the comment section below!
Psssst, I think you might also like these: