Marketing 101: Who is it for?

Continuing our Marketing 101 series:

We’ve talked about the very basics of marketing, how to identify what you are offering, know how it helps people, how to make sure they know about it and knowing what to tell them. The next step in creating your marketing campaign is to make sure your marketing message is reaching the right potential customers. Get the info to the right people and you can actually help them change something in their life.

Marketing can be boiled down to this:
Know what you’re offering, how it helps people and make sure they know about it.

Let’s dig deeper into knowing who your offer is for!

Your product is NOT for everyone. Sorry. It’s just not. And your marketing is not going to be effective until you start to embrace the small niche that is interested in what you have to offer.

You need to think about questions like:

  • How does your customer spend the bulk of their time?
  • What kinds of things do they value?
  • What is their experience with similar products/services?
  • Who or what is the major factor in your customers’ decisions?

Your product might be for stay-at-home moms who need to run purchases by their husbands because they don’t feel comfortable spending money they didn’t directly earn. Your product may be for just-out-of-college professionals who have a full-time income for the first time in their lives. Your product might be for 40-something couples who are not quite at a mid-life crisis but are still looking for something exciting to shake things up.

Your marketing message can be tailored to a very specific group as in these examples. You just need to know who YOUR specific group is.

For example, now that I am moving farther into fiction-writing circles and introduce myself, I often have to give the disclaimer : “Oh, I blog for blogging crafty creative ladies. You, middle aged nerdy male writer, are not the audience so don’t even bother looking me up.” It also saves me from having to try to explain what 30 Days of Lists is, for example. Unless you are already acquainted with the idea of an online class or creative challenge, #30Lists is mind-boggling.

As Seth Godin says about figuring out who your product is for, “It’s cheaper to answer these questions than it is to spend time and money on marketing, but, alas, it usually doesn’t happen that way.”

P.S. This weekend will be the BUILD virtual retreat! You MUST be registered for the ecourse to join, but all weekend I’ll be online answering whatever questions you want. We will tailor the retreat content very specifically to the attendees.

P.P.S. The BUILD ecourse price will go up on September 1, so this is the best time to jump in if you have been thinking about it.

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Blogging resources

Just a few great posts I’ve found recently …

P.S. WAY more blogging resources in the BUILD ecourse or on my Pinterest board

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TravelScrap HQ Launched!

If you were not around last Friday morning, I spent almost 3 hours live online setting up a new little mini site:

TravelScrap HQ

Travel Scrapbooking

My goal is to build a lot of content and let it be a source of leveraged income (affiliate links, ebook sales and non-live courses). I think the site will really start rolling once there’s a ton of content, but that is (of course) immensely time consuming. But, since both travel and memory keeping are subjects I truly love, I’m not that worried about the time spent. I would be making these books and albums anyway, so why not have a focused place to show them off?

I used essentially a big chunk of the info and strategy I have included in the BUILD ecourse. You can visit this page and watch the (long) video and check out my full to do list.

You can follow TravelScrap HQ on Instagram and Pinterest

Those are the only social media I’m using for now, because they are image-centric. I have grabbed TravelScrapHQ on Twitter and FB as well, but don’t have plans to use them very soon.

I am also accepting guest post and you can read guidelines for submission here.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for the site, let me know!

If you are thinking about creating your own tiny niche site, watch how I did it here and register for the BUILD ecourse

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Watch me launch a website LIVE

I talk a lot about building your online platform. I really think ANYONE can start a little online business that can help them make a little money on the side, or raise their public profile or help promote their cause.

Anyone can do this. Anyone! This is more or less what Gary Vaynerchuk talks about it Crush It! You can just figure out what tiny little niche you love, and work on connecting with the other weirdos who love it too.

So I’m gonna do it. Are you busy August 8? Because I am going to be online that morning, and I thought you might want to join me.

On August 8 I will be setting up a new minisite LIVE online!

That sounds weird, right? So here’s the deal:

About a year ago I registered a URL for a little niche site I wanted to set up. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off because it involves creating a *bunch* of content that I just haven’t had time for. But I LOVE the niche – it’s so close to my heart and something I’m involved in anyway and (let’s be honest), if I can figure out some way to make it part of my business I will love my job that much more.

I’ve been brainstorming how and when to launch this little niche site…..  But, the more I think about it, the more I realize some of you might be interested in what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

So, Friday, August 8 at 9:30am PT I’m going to get on Google+ and do a LIVE hangout and show you what I’m doing to create this new site.*

I have no idea how long it will take, or what *exactly* will be included. I have a big to-do list, but I’m going to stay flexible. The site will be called TravelScrap HQ, and I’m pretty excited! I believe it will be recorded and I’ll put together my whole to-do list and related resources so you can launch your own minisite.

And the whole event is totally free! I hope you’ll join me!

Make sure you’re on my email list and I’ll send a reminder that morning.

*Note: Specific technical steps with secure info like setting up an email address and creating a Pinterest account will NOT be done live. But I will tell you about all of those steps and do everything that is *not* security related live.

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Connect Guest Blogging ebook redesigned!

Connect: Guest posting templateGood news! Another one of my ebooks has now been redesigned by Alexandra Rae Design to match L&R branding!

I could not be happier.

Grab yours: Connect: A simple template to make guest posting work for you

I love the practice of guest posting – both giving and receiving. In the 6+ years I’ve been blogging, I’ve have DEFINITELY found guest posting to be one of the most effective ways of promoting my site.

Guest posts are valuable as marketing, as a form of networking or as just a way of connecting with a new audience.

When pitching your guest post, what is the best way to make that post work for YOU – instead of just the blog’s owner?

Guest posting can be used for

  • Marketing. Growing your audience, gaining a few more customers, increasing your visibility.
  • Networking. You will start to connect with new readers and other blog authors and start to gain name recognition in your little industry
  • Practice. Practice practice practice. Writing well takes practice and the more you do it the better you will be.

I try to brainstorm a guest post whenever I’m sponsoring a site, as well as every couple months in between sponsoring a site.

But any guest post I write, I always have a goal. I always have a reason for the guest post. And I always give that new audience a reason to come visit Lemon and Raspberry. And it has WORKED. Worked to grow my audience (in REAL numbers). Worked to make sales (tracked directly to guest posts).

I figure, if it’s working for me if can work for you too ….

Written by me and designed by Allie Trumpower, Connect contains the basic structure to help you build a guest post that both connects with new readers, and guides them to follow-up with you to help grow your business or blog audience.

The simple structure outlined in this pdf is easy-to-use and perfectly adaptable to any subject or niche you may be blogging about.

This guest post template – Connect – gives specific steps to crafting a guest post that is both promotional for your new product or service, but also intimately connects with the reader in a way that does not feel “salesy”.

Add to Cart

Download yours and let me know if you have questions and how guest posting has worked for you!

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LIVE: Virtual retreat for BUILDers

Mark your calendars! I will be hosting the first virtual BUILD retreat August 22 – 24.

virtual retreatYou *must* be a registered BUILDer to attend, so be sure you join now! It’s the best time to jump in – the price of BUILD will be raising on September 1 to reflect all the extra content that has been added in over the last year since it was originally launched.

Which means, if you register now you will be getting:

  • Lifetime access to the full (giant) self-paced ecourse (including any and all additions)
  • Access to the private mastermind Facebook group
  • Access to the virtual retreat in August
  • The original price before it goes up!

Plus, of course, you will have the blog-building tools right at your fingertips for a big fall push!

This is the perfect opportunity to set aside some sacred focus time to get done what you want to get done.

The BUILD ecourse is self-paced, so I know everyone will be working on their own thing. The retreat will be structured as a series of themed Q&A live events, so if you are working on building your email list you can pick my brain during the marketing session, or if you are working on your editorial calendar, jump on for the content section. This format allows me to exactly personalize the weekend experience for the BUILDers who attend.

Please note: We will all be in different time zones, but I would be useless at 3am, so you will be able to submit your questions ahead of time.

Schedule:

Friday, August 22:

  • 7pm ET: General mixer and discussing goals

Saturday, August 23:

  • 10am ET: Design
  • 3pm ET: Content
  • 8pm ET: Monetization

Sunday, August 24:

  • 11am ET: Marketing
  • 3pm ET: Maintenance
  • 8pm ET: Congrats! You did it!

There is a private Facebook event where links and discussion can be posted. Plus each Q&A will be recorded and live in the BUILD ecourse content, so you can come back and listen as many times as you like.

Be sure you REGISTER soon – so you can jump in to the virtual retreat!

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5 easy ways to blog consistently

Coming on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of Spark, it’s time for a reminder that for those of us that are professional about our blogging, there there is no slacking, no matter what kind of mental slump you are in. You are COMMITTED to your blog the way you are COMMITTED to your job. You never call in ‘uninspired’ do you? No. So no excuses.

If you want you blog to be your professional online platform that helps you do awesome things, you’ve got to blog consistently. Don’t let your readers down.

blog consistently

Invest more time in Pillar Content

Here’s why: If you write a post that is super timely and right-now-centric, you’re going to want to publish it right away. Which is totally fine. Unless that means then you don’t have another post for next week. Instead, focus on writing evergreen, perpetually useful content that you can publish at any time. Next week I will be holding a free blogging webinar *just* on Pillar Content, so sign up to join me!

Example: Other than the mentions above of “yesterday’s announcement” and my “free blogging webinar” coming up, this post could be read at any time and still be useful. Tomorrow. Six months from now. Three years from now.

Seriously, though. Sign up for the webinar because I will talk about this at length.

Use an editorial calendar

Wait. Have you heard me say this before? Like here and here and here and here? Huh. Well, what do you know?

In all seri0usness, if you want to be consistent you need to know what that actually looks like. Practically speaking. Which means you need to dig out your calendar and commit to blogging consistently on a regular basis in the future. Even if you only have *teeny* bit of time to create blog posts, you can still be consistent. 1 post every other week consistently is better than 4 posts in 1 week and then none for 2 months.

Batch your tasks

So, let’s pretend that you only have a few hours each week to blog (or, like a BUILDer, you only have the summer to work on your blog because you teach the rest of the year). If you are in fact committed to publishing a blog post once a week, try batching your tasks and getting several weeks’ worth of blog posts done and scheduled at once.

You can write 4 posts on a Sunday afternoon, and then have consistent content for your readers for weeks.

Embrace the brainstorm

If you are going to commit to blogging on a regular basis, that means you need to have the ideas flowing. I have found that the best way to always have ideas for blog posts is to write down EVERYTHING. Brainstorm. Mind map. Journal. Make Evernote your best friend. Anything to help you record all the ideas that flit through your brain. Then you have plenty to draw from when it is again time to blog (on your consistent schedule)

Related: Revisit previous topics. Repetition just establishes you as an authority.

Practice publishing

Ok, all these other tactics are specific to the mechanics of getting blog posts written and scheduled. But what if your problem is … fear? Fear of finishing. Fear of putting your ideas out there. Fear of publishing just in case maybe you got it wrong and if you do not hit schedule then no one can judge you or troll you or tear you apart in GOMI. Slightly extreme, yes.

There comes a time when you just have to be BRAVE and hit publish. Consistently.

So how often will you be blogging?

CONSISTENTLY?

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Summer BLAHs – and a solution

It’s coming. I can feel it. The SUMMER BLAHs.*

That slump in the middle of the year when you are far from your new year’s resolutions, but still don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s like The Dip and creative blocks combined on a recurring annual basis. We’ve been 140% committed to our new goals and our One Little Word and making this THE BEST YEAR EVER, that we *may* have overcommitted ourselves and gotten burnt out.

I can tell you that my friend Kam – Campfire Chic – has sent me quite a few emails and texts over the last few months. She’s up late because she has too many deadlines, she needs help, and sometimes she has even had to stay home sick because her body is just protesting! In all of this, Kam thought to put together a collection of tasks and challenges to help her move past that overwhelm and BLAH. Kam is one of the smartest bloggers people I know; I am always so grateful when she has time to help me talk through my own overwhelm and BLAH.

Which is why today I am so excited to help her announce Spark – a new ecourse that will take you 30 days of challenging yourself, refocusing your intentions and combating the overwhelm and BLAHs that every blogger inevitably faces.

What is the Spark ecourse?

Spark will take you through the 30 day process of getting out of a blogging rut. It’s an email based course so the daily content is delivered straight to your inbox – no hassle of remembering a password to some website you’ll only visit once or twice. Some of the tasks are a little unconventional, but if you trust the process and you have a little fun while finding your spark, you’ll understand why Kam included some of the sillier things with each email. This is the prescription she gave herself to halt her blogger burnout in January. In fact, I’m sure she used some of the lessons again recently when she was burning ALL of the midnight oil.

I have just signed up myself, so I’ll be sure to give you all a more complete review once I’ve gone through the emails. So far I have created a specific folder in my email box for these because I’m *sure* I will want to revisit them after these initial 30 days.

The 30 emails will take me almost all the way to my 1 year quit-versary – the *perfect* time to rekindle my passion for blogging. I’ll be armed and ready to combat those Summer BLAHs. Lemon and Raspberry is my job, so it is important that I am totally committed all the time, not just when I’m all hyped up on new year goals.

CLICK HERE to register and join me!

*If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere,
do you get Winter BLAHs this time of year?

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Review: About You ebook and workbook

About You ebookLast week I recommended that you spring clean your blog. Did you get on that yet?

I am *always* thinking about reshaping my About page and I recently re-did my short author bio for guest posts and things. It is a constant maintenance issue and I actually have a recurring event on my Google Calendar to remind me.

Writing about yourself is always tricky. You need to come off with authority but also not like a know-it-all.

I know it’s hard to write about yourself. If you’re stuck on what to write about, how to write about yourself or where exactly you need to keep your About info updated, check out Campfire Chic’s ebook and workbook About YOU: A simple guide to writing about yourself with confidence.

Favorite part about the ebook:

The 10-minute tasks. A) These little exercise give you a succinct idea of what you should be learning from the chapter and B ) Taking action (even little ones) helps me learn better. Also (bonus) I don’t have to take more than 10 minutes and over-think it (which I am prone to do).

Favorite part about the workbook:

I love the space to visually consider what the about page will look like, including space for photos, bulleted lists and other visual design space. What a great idea! Especially when you consider all the little pieces you can put in a full About page.

I would actually do something similar with a shorter author bio too – you don’t want those to be too link-heavy and a visual can help you see if it’s off-balance at all.

I have a bit of an advantage, in that I can get away with harassing Kam ALL THE TIME for her advice on my blog/business/etc. But even so, I loved reading through this for her thoughts on such a specific aspect of my online platform. She’s so smart :)

About YOU: A simple guide to writing about yourself with confidence is a 20+ page ebook focused on you and your story. It’s clear and concise, because you’re busy and want to make changes right away. The ebook progresses quickly and reinforces lessons in each chapter, because practice is awesome!

About You ebookChapters include:

  • Introduction
  • What do you have to say?
  • Write about what you know
  • Do some research
  • Brand narrative
  • About page
  • Author bio
  • Your social media profiles
  • Interviews
  • About for projects
  • How much is too much?
  • Get your calendar out

Need more homework? Check out some About pages from that I really like:

Grab About You ebook + workbook (or just the ebook) and get your info all fancified, up-to-date and effective!

Full disclosure: I am an affiliate for this product and was given copies of both the ebook and workbook. That said, all of the opinions in this post are totally my own, and I delayed posting about the product until I had the time to go through it properly. Even though it is *months* after launch.

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Blogging resources

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