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Create an Automated Email Sequence with ConvertKit

Create an Automated Email Sequence with ConvertKitIf you want to interact with your email subscribers, build their trust and put your email marketing on auto-pilot, an email sequence is what you need! ConvertKit has made it incredibly easy to set up your email sequence. I’m going to walk you step-by-step how to set it up so you can take advantage of email marketing right away!

 

Create a new sequence

When you log in to ConvertKit, click ‘Sequences’ at the top and then ‘Add Sequence’. You’re going to be brought to this screen when you can name your sequence and get started created! Click the ‘Create Sequence’ button when you’re ready to begin.

Create email content

You’ll notice ConvertKit auto-creates a series of emails to get you started. If you aren’t sure what the format of your email sequence should be, this is a great reference! Below is the screen you’ll be taken to. All of these emails are in draft mode, so no need to worry! You can delete, add or edit all parts of this sequence.

I think ConvertKit does a great job at setting up a format for your sequence. It starts with an intro email, introducing yourself and your business to your new subscriber. Then provides them with a pure value (no pitch in sight!) email and the third email provides more value and introduces your product or service. Your email sequence should build your new subscriber’s trust and show them the value you provide.

Now let’s talk about the top section of each email.

The ‘Status’ section lets you know if the email is just a draft or it’s published and going to be delivered when someone signs up. Make sure once you’re done with all your emails you change them all to published!

The ‘Delay Sending By’ is when your subscriber will receive this email. This email is set to send 1 day after they sign up. When you want to update this, just click the little pencil icon near the delayed time. You can change this delay to hours, days or even a specific day of the week. For example, you might not want your emails to send on weekends and can choose to only check off the weekdays. If you set the delay to 0 days or 0 hours, it will send immediately after the person signs up.

The icons that look like a filter and a trash bin are exactly that – a filter and a trash bin! You can delete an email from a sequence or add a filter. Let’s say you pitched your e-book in your 3rd email and people bought it. There’s no need for you to pitch your e-book again in email 5 to those same people. You would create a tag for everyone who purchases your e-book so you can add a tag to the filter here. Your filter would look a little something like this:

The preview section lets you preview what your email will look like in a browser or email you a test email of what it will look like.

Now you can start creating your subject lines and writing your emails!

Updating email sequence settings

You’ve already set up most of the top part of the Settings tab. Here you can edit your sequence name and adjust the time of day your emails get sent.

You also have the option to exclude specific people from this sequence. Like I mentioned before, maybe someone already purchased the product or service you’ll be sharing in this sequence and you don’t want to pitch it to them again. You can exclude people who are already subscribed to a form, sequence, tag or segment.

If you make any changes in this section, be sure to click the ‘Update Sequence’ button in the bottom right hand corner.

Link email sequence to form

Your email sequence is ready to go! All you have to do now is link this sequence to the form people will be signing up through. Go to the Settings on your form and in the Main Settings you’ll see this:

Where the drop down menu is, choose your sequence you want linked to the form. You can also choose whether past subscribers to that form will be receiving the sequence and if all new subscribers will receive the sequence.

Save your ConvertKit form settings and your email sequence is ready to start going out to your audience!

4 Ways to Make Your Social Media Profiles Work for You

4 Ways to Make Your Social Media Profiles Work for YouBeing active on social media is great for attracting people to your profiles, as long as your profiles are working for you. There are a few key things you want to utilize in your social media profiles. Today, I’m going to go over different ways you can make the most off each of your social media profiles!

Call to Action in header

Instead of just writing down your job description in your profiles, add a Call to Action (CTA). Make sure you have a set goal for your CTA. Whether it be to draw attention to your latest blog post or get people to sign up for your content upgrade, a goal will make sure your profile is working for you.

Above is a screenshot of what my Twitter profile says. It lets people know what I do and calls them to go get my content upgrade. My goal for this is to turn my Twitter followers into subscribers by capturing their email. I also provide them with an awesome list of systems and automations they can set up in their business so I start providing value to them right away!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Make your social media profiles work for you with a few quick tweaks!” quote=”Make your social media profiles work for you with a few quick tweaks!”]

Pin tweet

On Twitter, you can pin a tweet to the top of your feed so it’s the very first post people see when they’re on your profile. You can update this as you roll out new things and to freshen your feed up a bit, so don’t worry about your first pick. Below, you can see that my pinned tweet has a clear CTA and links to my content upgrade so I can capture their email address. Remember, social media is awesome for marketing but your social media goal should always be to bring those followers to your website.

Facebook sign up button

If you already have a Facebook page for your business, you might already have set this up! There’s a sign up button right below your cover image to get people on your list. Some people make their cover images draw attention to this button with arrows and let you know what you’ll get when you sign up. For example, if you’re hosting a workshop soon, you can link your sign up button to your workshop’s landing page.

Pinterest name

Your Pinterest name doesn’t just have to be your business name. Adding a description of what type of content people can expect to find on your profile will make you more Pinterest SEO friendly. Below, you can see instead of just Let’s Talk Lady Biz, my profile name includes “social media & marketing strategies”. Now when people are searching for social media or marketing strategies, my profiles and pins are more likely to come up.

Go make these quick tweaks to your social media profiles and get the most from each one!

3 Ways to Automate Email Marketing With ConvertKit

3 ways to automate email marketing with convertkitIf you’ve been hanging around for a while, you know I’m all about automation in business! Which is why I’m totally in love with my email provider, ConvertKit (affiliate link). ConvertKit automates so many parts of your business and will lessen your workload. Today, I’m sharing 3 different ways you can automate your business using ConvertKit.

Content Upgrade Delivery

I’m sure you’re aware that content upgrades (or lead magnets) are a great way to grow your email list. ConvertKit makes it super easy to set up automatic delivery of your content upgrades. All you have to do is create a signup form that you’ll embed on your website and under the “Incentive Email” section you’ll choose the “Incentive download” and upload your content upgrade. It’s that simple!

Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a series of emails that builds your audience’s trust, provides valuable content and introduces and pitches your product or service to them. Talk about putting your email marketing on auto-pilot! A sales funnel doesn’t have to be terribly complicated. I’ve heard of people creating a 5 email sales funnel and people who have a 21 email sales funnel. No matter how easy or complicated your sales funnel may be, it’s super easy to create in ConvertKit.

Just pop over to your Sequences tab and create a new sequence. ConvertKit automatically fills in a rough draft of emails to give you some ideas of what each email should include. Just fill in each email with your content and link your sequence to a form. Once someone signs up for your email list or downloads a content upgrade, they’ll automatically start receiving your sales funnel!

Triggers

One awesome feature in ConvertKit is there automation triggers. Pretty much anything you want CK to do, it can! These triggers allow you to be really smart with your email marketing. Take a look at the image below to see what types of automated triggers you can create.

These automated triggers help you to tailor your email content towards what your audience is interested in. For example, let’s say you just sent out this weeks newsletter introducing your new product. You can create an automated trigger that allows you to add a tag to everyone who clicked on the product link. You’d name this tag something like “Interested in product X”. Now, instead of bombarding your entire email list with the sales funnel about your new product, you can have the sequence go out to everyone who was interested enough to click and learn more about your product.

Get started on ConvertKit today and setup your automations!

32 Social Media Post Ideas

32 social media posts you can schedule todayYou’re posting on social media all day, every day, and it can get hard to come up with post ideas.

Sometimes we just need a little inspiration to fill up our social media queue. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Here are 32 social media post ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Just fill in the blanks, add your links and you’ll have over 30 social media posts ready to go!

 

 

1. Tired of (pain point)? I’ve got just the thing for you.

2. Never want to (pain point) again? I thought so.

3. (#) ways to stop (pain point) and start (solution)!

4. Want to know my secret for (pain point)? I’m spilling here:

5. Have you seen my post on how to ____?

6. You’ve gotta check this out! I’m sharing every tip I know on how to_____.

7. Want to take your ____ to the next level?

8. (#) hacks to take your (pain point) to (solution)!

9. Want to (solution)? This post will show you how!

10. (#) ways to deal with (pain point).

11. Everything you need to know about _____.

12. If you’re ready to ditch the (pain point) and skip to the (solution) click here:

13. Are you making these (#) mistakes when it comes to (pain point)?

14. You might think (myth) but I know the truth!

15. (pain point) is hard. Here’s how to fix it.

16. Do you ever just want to (dreamy solution)?

Use SmarterQueue to automate your social media

Use SmarterQueue to automate your social mediaIt’s no secret that I’m pretty obsessed with SmarterQueue. It’s the first platform that has everything I was looking for in a social media scheduler – affordability, flexibility and most importantly, automation! Being a Social Media Manager, I’m all about getting the most results from social media in the least amount of time.

Today, I’m going to walk you through how to get started on SmarterQueue so you can automate your social media!

Decide on post categories

When you first set up your SmarterQueue account, you’ll need to create post categories. Your categories are the types of content you’ll be sharing on your social media accounts. Categories may include past blog posts, promotional posts or content upgrades. You want to create multiple categories so you’re constantly switching up the type of content you share. You don’t want to bombard your audience with 5 posts a day about your free course! Below, you can see that I switch up my post categories for each post on all my platforms.

Create a social media schedule

After creating your categories on SmarterQueue, use the categories to create a social media schedule. You’re going to create different schedules for different social media platforms. For instance, you may post 7 times a day on Twitter but that would be overkill on Facebook. Make sure you test out what times are getting the most engagement from your audience. I’ve found that early morning, mid-afternoon (like lunch time) and late evening are when people are checking their social media feeds the most. The gaps between those times, like 2pm – 5pm, are when people are working or traveling back from work and I don’t see as high engagement during those times.  The great thing about your social media schedule is it can always be adjusted so use it as a learning experience!

Create evergreen posts

If you aren’t familiar with what an evergreen post is, they’re posts that are continuously recycled. When you add posts, it fills up your queue by populating the next available time slot for that post category. Once a post gets shared, it goes right back to the bottom of your queue. This is the most time saving feature of SmarterQueue! You’re able to load up your queue and let the platform do the rest.

Recycle old blog content

You spend hours creating blog posts, so make sure you’re making the most of them. Keep in mind that new followers haven’t seen all of your old blog content so sharing them ensures you’re getting them in front of fresh eyes. Start building your list of evergreen posts by creating 1-3 posts for each blog post. You’ll grow your queue of social media posts and they’ll always be shared with your audience. If you want to freshen up your social media posts every so often, replace the caption with something new after it’s been posted multiple times.

Share promotional posts

When creating evergreen promotional posts, stick to the 80/20 rule. That means only share promotional posts 20% of the time. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with promotional content. Create posts that promote your products, services or content upgrade options.

I keep my paid promotional posts in a separate category from my free promotional posts. While I’m still promoting my content upgrades or newsletter, I only share pure value in there so there’s no harm in not following the 80/20. The 80/20 rule applies to all of your paid content and promotion.

6 Systems to Automate Your Biz (for Under $40)

6 systems to automate your biz for under $40Wouldn’t it be amazing if your business could practically run itself? Turns out, people thought that exact same thing and have created systems to help automate your business. I’m sharing 6 of my favorite systems that can help run your business, without it running you. Oh yeah, and they cost less than 40 bucks!

Here are 6 systems that will automate your email marketing, lead captures, social media scheduling + sharing:

BoardBooster

Pinterest can drive crazy amounts of traffic to your website. It can also take up crazy amounts of time if you don’t automate it. That’s where BoardBooster comes in. You can completely automate your Pinterest marketing by setting up BoardBooster, starting at just $5 a month. It pins other people’s content to your Pinterest board and all you have to do it set it up once!

You can see below how my follower growth continuously rises with the help of BoardBooster. And to be totally honest, I don’t really go on Pinterest at all, so this growth is solely from the consistency of BoardBooster.

SmarterQueue

Within my first day on SmarterQueue, I knew it was a game changer for my social media scheduling. Not to mention it has a lot of features for about $17/mo. Their evergreen content feature is one of my favorite parts of the platform. You can create posts and have them recycled for future use so your content is always being shared with your audience. This really comes in handy when you have old blog posts that need to be shared and promotional content. You separate your posts into categories and create a schedule based on those categories. You’re able to see what type of content is going out and when and make sure you’re doing a healthy amount of self-promotion.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Here are 6 systems to automate your #smallbiz (for less than $40!)” quote=”Here are 6 systems to automate your #smallbiz (for less than $40!)” theme=”style1″]

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a huge time saver in my business and it starts at $29/mo. You can create email opt-in forms and email sequences so you’re constantly bringing in new subscribers and gaining their trust through sequences.

ConvertKit has so many customizations that your email marketing can run on autopilot. I like to think of ConvertKit as the smart email marketing platform. Pretty much anything you want it to do, it does. If someone buys your product through one email sequence, they can automatically get transferred to another email sequence. You’re building their trust, and all you did was set something up one time.

LeadPages

If you want to quickly create landing pages and sign up forms, LeadPages is the way to go. If you pay the whole year up front, it’ll cost as little as $25/mo. It’s super easy to create eye-catching landing pages and forms since they have pre-made templates. You can upload your lead magnets to LeadPages and it’ll automatically send it out when someone signs up. What I love most is that I can find a format I love and duplicate the page or form every time I need to create another one.

MailChimp

If you’re just starting out and aren’t ready to invest in ConvertKit, MailChimp is a great, affordable option. Their plans start at just $10 a month and you can create automated email sequences. The email sequences can be as simple as an initial welcome email or an entire email sequence.

Social Warfare

You’ve automated your social media posting but now it’s time to make it as easy as possible for other people to share your content on social media. The Social Warfare plugin for WordPress is only $24/yr and allows you to put social media sharing buttons on your blog posts. I love that this plugin lets you choose the images that pop up when people click the sharing icons. You can even write the post description so it’s already filled out for people when they click the share icons. Below, you can see that when my blog readers click the Twitter sharing button, the tweet is written, has the blog post link and tags my Twitter handle. All they have to do is click Tweet!

If you’re ready to automate your business, I have just the thing!

Business Systems Series: How to Set Up Your Accounting System

Business Systems Series: How to Set Up Your Accounting SystemTo end the Business Systems Series, I’m going to help you set up the not-so-fun part of your biz: accounting. Keeping track of your income and expenses is one of those tedious tasks that everyone dreads. At least I know I do!

I’ve streamlined my accounting system as much as possible so there’s no scrambling to get everything together months later. The best part about this post? You don’t need to spend any cash getting your accounting system together. You track your income and expenses, totally free!

Keep a folder with receipts

I find it helpful to have a Google drive folder to keep track of all receipts. I’m all about going digital – it’s much harder to look through stacks of paper than it is to find a perfectly labeled folder. If you purchase something in person (like office supplies), scan the receipt in and add it to the folder.

You can set your inbox so that anytime you get your monthly invoices, they go right into a dedicated folder for invoices. Then, all you have to do is move them over to your Google drive folder. Trust me, I know it’s a paid to keep track of all expenses but you’ll thank me when you’re filing your taxes!

Use a (free!) accounting software

You want to start using an accounting software BEFORE your accounting becomes overwhelming. I use Wave because it’s free and does everything I need it to. It keeps track of everything that comes and goes in your bank account and links with PayPal. It’s so much easier than keeping track of everything on a spreadsheet!

I really like the reports feature because it breaks down your income, expenses and calculates your net income(income after expenses). It also breaks your income down by separate revenue streams (affiliates, coaching, courses, etc.).

Create an accounting day

Take the first workday of every month (or whatever works for you, but stay consistent!) and update any income and expenses you have from the previous month. You can spend this day moving over your online invoices to your Google drive folder and looking through your accounting system.

Keeping track of your income and expenses every month isn’t enough. Actually pay attention to where your money is coming from and going. Checking this on a monthly basis can be eye-opening. You may notice that one of your coaching programs is bringing in a significantly less amount than another and can re-evaluate its positioning.

This post is short and sweet because there really isn’t that much that goes into your monthly accounting! The only time it gets to be overwhelming is if you don’t create a system and let it pile up. If you set up an accounting system, it will be a quick (and painless) process.

Business Systems Series: Streamline Your Client Onboarding System

Streamline your Client Onboarding SystemDoesn’t it feel amazing when you hop off a discovery call with a client, they’re a fabulous fit and you booked her?! But that feeling quickly goes away when you start thinking off all the onboarding tasks you have to do. (yawn)

Thankfully, onboarding your new clients doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. By creating a simple (and free!) system for your client onboarding, you’re able to get everything done quickly, without missing any crucial steps.

Okay, these first 2 are really for pre-onboarding activities, but it’s going to make your entire onboarding process flow together.

Automate appointments

Your client is at the peak of excitement when they send you an inquiry, they’re dreaming about all the possibilities of the two of you working together. The last thing you want to do is waste 3 days deciding what day and time you’re both free.

When someone inquires about my services, I shoot them an email with the link to my scheduling page on Calendly. You could even automate this system even more. I know when people fill out my services form on my WordPress site I get an email with a subject line of [SERVICES], and if I click reply, it automatically fills in that person’s email since they entered it in the form. You could set up an automated email that goes out thanking them for inquiring, with the link to schedule their appointment. That means you literally do nothing except show up for the call!

Set up forms in WordPress

You don’t want to go into a call with a potential client not knowing a single thing about them or their needs. You may be able to weed out whether you’re a great fit (or not) for someone just by the answers to your form questions. If you have WordPress, click the “Add Contact Form” button at the top of your page to customize your form.

For example, on my services page, I ask people for their website link so I can check out their website + social media sites to see if I have the voice they’re looking for. As you can tell, I’m pretty laid back in my writing! If someone from a fancy law firm wanted their social media to sound super professional and lawyer-esque, I’m not their girl. Now, if I check out their website and find a business owner who takes their work seriously, but loves to add personality and fun into her posts, I’m gonna hop on that call. Decide on the most important things you want to know before hopping on a call with a potential client and put it on your form.

Create contract templates

Your client said a big fat “YES!” to working with you, now it’s time to get down to business. Creating a contract template is a lifesaver because all you have to do is fill in the blanks with the new client’s info. You don’t have to go design crazy with your contract template. I created mine in a Google doc so I can easily update it when necessary.

Next, save your contract template as a PDF and add fillable sections to it so there’s no chance of mistakenly deleting something. Every Time you need to onboard a new client, make a copy of your contract PDF and save it as something like “Julia Contract” and update it through there. I use PDFescape to add fillable sections to my PDF’s. It’s totally free and really easy to use.

Get your contract signed

Your contract is ready to go, but do you dare send it via email and task your client with printing it out, signing it and scanning it back to their computer? If they don’t have Adobe to electronically sign it, this can be a huge pain. Make your onboarding process as easy as possible for your client by using a platform like HelloSign to manage your contracts and get them signed. You can send up to 3 contracts a month on their free plan and will have to upgrade to a paid plan if you need more than that.

Create invoice templates

PayPal has been my go-to spot for sending invoices. You’re able to add your terms + conditions, tax rate, discounts quantity, logo, product description and price to your contract rate. Seriously, all I have to do is hit ‘create invoice’, it automatically updates the invoice number for me, is completely filled out and all I have to do is enter the client’s email and my invoice is ready to go. After you create your invoice template the first time, you’re only a couple clicks away from sending out all future invoices.

Your entire client process from the second they show interest on your form to sealing the deal with an invoice has a system and will run so much smoother!

Business Systems Series: Create the Perfect Blogging System to Create Content Quicker

Create the perfect blogging system to create content quickerI’m sure I don’t have to tell you there’s a lot of steps that go into blogging. Never mind the task of having to come up with fresh ideas regularly to share with your audience. In part 3 of the Business Systems Series, I’m going to walk you through creating a system for your blogging process.

Create content ideas

Finding fresh content ideas, especially if you’re posting every week, can sometimes seem impossible. For a quick and easy system to come up with content ideas, use this method. Think of the “what”: What value do you want to provide your audience every time they read a blog post? This may be something like “I want my audience to get bite-sized tips to living a healthier lifestyle that they can incorporate into their daily routine.” Now think of the “how”: How can I accomplish this goal? Jot down 5-10 ways you can accomplish that. These will be your umbrella of blog post categories. It’s much easier to think of ideas for individual categories to get your blogging process started.

Writing the post

Sometimes you have a blog post idea, start typing and your fingers literally don’t stop typing. Other times, they stay hovering over the keys, typing a word (only to delete it 2 seconds later) and you’re left with a blank page wondering how you’re going to fill it up. When you create a system for writing your posts, you can break it down into small chunks instead of looking at the post as a whole.

Remember in elementary school when you had to fill out a diagram before writing a report? Well, we’re about to go old school. Start by writing down your main blog post topic. Next, choose 3-5 of the most important things you know need to be in the post for it to be valuable. If you’re going to add a content upgrade, include it on the page. Now, instead of starting with a completely blank document, write down your main topics and start writing!

Formatting

Formatting your blog posts is a little more complex than formatting your emails. Decide on a distinct format you want to use for your blog posts. That includes headers, colors, bolded sections, where lead magnets should be inserted, what the lead magnets should look like, link colors, click to tweets, featured images, everything!

Think of your blog post format as a template for how each post should look. You may start with a pinnable image at the top, an introduction paragraph, Header 1, all your information and then a big, colorful call-to-action at the end. Get specific with each area of your blog post. For example, you may want your lead magnet opt-in to be shown at least twice in each blog post – once at the very bottom and once when it’s introduced in the blog post. The more detailed you get in your formatting process, the easier it is to outsource to a Virtual Assistant or Content Manager.

Creating graphics

Just like with your social media graphics, create templates for your blog post images. You can easily update the title, pop in a new background image or switch between colors. Your blog post should include multiple image sizes so your audience can share the best image for each social media platform. If you have the Yoast plugin, you’re able to add a Twitter image and Pinterest image. The only picture that shows up in your blog post will be your featured image, not all of the images. This way, when someone wants to share your content on social media, they can choose which image is best fit for that platform.

Adding Lead Magnets

Something I’ve heard over and over from clients is how much they hate integrating their lead magnets into blog posts. LeadPages makes adding your lead magnets incredibly easy. Within a couple minutes, you can have your LeadBox created and insert the HTML into your blog post. Decide how you want your lead magnet to look – should it be a button, a link or an image? Then break that down into specific details. I know I like my buttons to have square corners, a little bit of a shadow and alternate the color between my 3 brand colors.

Scheduling

Pick a day and time your blog posts should be posted each week. If you haven’t decided on a day or time yet, test it out to see which day/time receives the most activity from your audience. Choosing this will also keep you accountable since you know you need to have a post scheduled before your deadline. And we could all use that extra bit of accountability!

If you want to get organized and save yourself time while blogging, The Blogging Systems Workbook will set you up so aren’t staring at blank Google doc each week. Get the workbook now!