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!
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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.
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