22 steps to double your website traffic and lead generation.

22 steps to double your website traffic and lead generation.
22 steps to double your website traffic and lead generation. It’s not brain surgery. And it brings more business and clients.

Today I discovered my website traffic has quadrupled since December 2014 — and soared to the top 1.5 million US websites according to Alexa. (The prior rank was in the top 3 million).
The number of leads coming in per day are overwhelming me now — and are from business in the US as well as China, Russia, Israel and France.  My Klout rating is now 69 — in the top 1% of all bloggers who write about social media.

How did this happen?

You know the saying: “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot?” I actually started using the Internet marketing techniques I get paid to do for clients to promote my own business.

STRATEGY FIRST:

First, I looked at my competition and analyzed the content marketing and websites of the top 50 Internet consultants listed on the “Forbes 50” list and tried to figure out what was working and not working for them, then copied it. (More about this in a future blog post.)

TACTICS:

Website:

1. Redesigned my website with a state of the art mobile-first responsive template.

2. Chose a unique color palette for my personal brand. (Plum/Peach/Black.)

3. Changed my photo to a recent, digital photo with currently stylish clothing (a gray/black dress) and got rid of the old, black and white photo that was obviously taken pre-digital with a film camera.

4. Added client lists and work samples to my website.

5. Rewrote the first page as a “Pain Letter” writing directly to my potential client and stating how I can solve their problem. (No visibility on the Internet.)

6. Added logos of the clients I’ve worked with in the past on the right hand side of the page.

7. Added a “Contact Me” with a form to send an email.

8. Used a scheduling app (I like VCita) so clients can schedule a 15 minute trial consultation.

Social media

1. Ramped up social media posts to 10-20/day on Twitter by using Buffer to time the posts 24/hrs. day. (It now takes only 1 hour a day to do my own social media.)

2. Got mentioned in a few articles as a social media expert. (Builds SEO. Adds credibility.)

3. Started regular posting on Google +. I know nobody uses G+ but the Google search engine likes Google + and these posts boost your page rank and SEO.

4. Created several new pages in listings and directories that built links back to my website

5. Put my URL on press releases on PR Web. This is huge. It drives tons of traffic back to your page.

6. Rewrote the first page of my website so it is loaded with key words clients are searching for. (“Social media and PR consultant in Silicon Valley and San Francisco”.)

7. Blogged 1 x/ week.

8. Set up content syndication from my blog to Twitter, G+, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

9. Blogged on LinkedIn Pulse — creating more than 2,500 followers for my Pulse blog.

10. Built pages on About.me, Eolio and other sites that point back to my URL.

11. Tweeting about the “trending topics of the day” using #hashtags.

12. Changed my photo to one that looks directly at the reader instead of off to the right.

13. Choose a new color palette for my “personal brand” that no other consultant has. (Deep plum/peach/black.)

Can I do this for your business? Yes. And if I can’t do it for myself, why would you hire me?

This is the #1 reason why your event, workshop or concert fails — and how to fix it.

I’ve probably promoted at least 100 events, conferences, concerts and festivals with social media by now, and over time, I’ve learned what works and what fails. Too many events lose heaps of money and fail, and it breaks my heart to see event producers make the same mistakes that lead over and over again to failure.

Most of these events make exactly the same mistake.

They treat their event like an annual product — instead of seeing it as a year round community.

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When you shift from “marketing” to your “customer” to “community building” and from “branding” to “belonging” you will see an exponential increase in loyalty.

Perhaps the two most successful examples of this is Burning Man — the annual temporary community in the desert, and the TED Conference.

Both TED and Burning Man began as annual events and splintered off into smaller, regional events all over the world that happen year round.

Both TED and Burning Man are events that grew up with the advent of email, the web and later, social media, and have built a presence that is equally strong in the virtual world and the “real world.”

Both TED and Burning Man have become desirable identities that symbolize a certain kind of “belonging” into a community that has meaning and status for its members.

Wisdom 2.0 Summit, which I had the opportunity to work with recently as a marketing consultant, is also cultivating and nurturing a year round brand that has created an almost fanatically loyal following that has now expanded into a global brand.

Musicians who have also very successfully built “families” instead of “brands” include the Grateful Dead and spin off bands like String Cheese Incident, who have cultivated fanatically devoted, year round tribal communities of their fans.  Most community symphonies, art museums and ballets also understand this and cultivate year round communities by selling season tickets and by offering special member-only events.

If you want a successful turn out for your retreat, workshop, conference, concert, festival or event you can NOT wait until the last two months to do your promotion, blast them with email and ads and expect everyone to drop everything in their life and rush out to come to your event.

You are building a community, a family, and you need to pay attention to and nurture your tribe all year long.

If you are a musician, speaker, producer, workshop leader, etc. you must build a virtual social media community and a real- world live event community 365 days/year and not just one month before your event.

  • You are not “selling tickets” — you are building a community!
  • You are not getting “fans to your fan page” — you are building a community!
  • You are not “adding names to your email list” — you are building a community!
  • You are not “advertising to total strangers” — you must build a community of people you know!

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes:

On any given day there are thousands of workshops, conferences and festivals competing for that holy grail customer–someone who has free time and $1500 lying around in spare change so they can just hop on a plane and indulge in a luxury yoga conference, writer’s conference, retreat, workshop or drive 500 miles to a festival.

Maybe .001% of the humans on this planet have unlimited free time, no job, no kids, no pets, no commitments and a fat trust fund to blow on your indulgent fantasy get away, elite conference or yoga retreat.

The rest of us — the 99.99 percent — have to plan all year for these events in advance. We save up, drive the kids to Grandma’s house, beg our employers to give us time off, find a petsitter or a dog sitter and someone to water our garden and we use our frequent flyer miles or shop around for the best possible airfare well in advance.

If we’re lucky, we can go to one or two of these events — and we’re selective.

Get real. Stop chasing after the same mythological fantasy customer who is rich, self actualized and has no commitments and unlimited free time.

How about building a community so real people with real lives will feel like the belong to a tribe — and absolutely must be at the tribe’s annual gathering, which they anticipate all year?

Build a community and your tribe will save up and plan all year to reconnect with their tribe at your event.

How to build a community:

Community = communicate + unity.  You must build an authentic community by engaging your tribe in a meaningful conversation. This means listening and dialogue — not just one way marketing at them.

Marketing is the conversation between people and brands!

Relationships are all we have. With the world around us, with other people, with ourselves. People are coming to your event for one reason — to meet and connect to a community. To belong to a community. To make friends, network and build relationships.

The community = your event.

The fan page = your event.

The email list = your event.

Stop marketing and start community building.

You must work at this 365 days/year — all year long. As you build your community, slowly, organically and gradually over time, you will not have to work so hard every year to “sell tickets.”

So who is in your community?

  • Fans and attendees
  • Performers, DJs, presenters, bands, workshop leaders.
  • The venue and the local community around the venue (including government agencies, city council, law enforcement, fire, neighbors, merchants, and others impacted by your event)
  • Consultants, employees, volunteers
  • Press and local media
  • Sponsors and vendors.

Try transforming your social media into a virtual version of your event. Engage your tribe in online teleseminars, video tutorials, photo albums, music.  Give them a taste, day by day, of what’s coming up.

Invite them to small day longs and social events before and after your big event — to keep the tribe activated and connected.

The more you think of your customers as a COMMUNITY and the less you think of them as REVENUE the more successful you will be.

Invest in building your community. This community will serve you for years to come.

Please, please, please… keep your social media names, logins and passwords simple!

"Give me the password to the email where you send the link to reset my password when I forget it, because I can’t remember that either."
“Give me the password to the email where you send the link to reset my password when I forget it, because I can’t remember that either.”

Did you know that business loses $38 biliion per year because employees can’t remember their passwords?  

The average employee types passwords 4,000 times per year. For a social media pro with multiple clients, this must be tens of thousands of times per year.

And if there is a #1 thing that slows down social marketing and wastes time and money these days it’s having 10 different cryptic passwords and 8 different obtuse email addresses for all your social media accounts!  Especially when you have 6 social media pages and 10 people who need to be admins.

I’ve been doing social media for 7 years professionally and only once was a client’s Fan page hacked.

But 98% can’t remember their passwords!

Your poor marketing employees and social media folks have to log in and log out all day long using these obtuse passwords with multiple characters and symbols. So I recommend that you keep your passwords simple — even if that’s not the “secure” IT-sanctioned way. 

People need to continually use these passwords all day long. It’s adding an extra layer of confusion and complexity if they are complex.

According to eWeek, a survey of consumer users in 2014 revealed that companies lose more than $420 of productivity annually per employee due to workers merely wasting time with passwords.
For a company with 500 employees, the loss is equivalent to nearly $210,000 per year in productivity.
See more at: http://www.eweek.com/security/how-companies-are-losing-money-on-password-time-wasting.html#sthash.jHgFiOBf.dpuf. Your business social media content is 100% public and you want it to be as public as possible — so why are you worried about it staying private?
Who is going to hack into your Twitter account? Everything you do in Twitter is completely transparent and public anyway.

In the rare chance you get hacked, you will be able to change your password a lot faster if someone on your team can #$%^&*( remember it!

Keep it simple. Please.

99% of the CEOs and solopreneurs I work with also cannot find their log in emails and passwords and this can slow things down for days or weeks. I have one client who kept me waiting 4 weeks for the passwords while the meter was running!

One client never got started on her social media campaign and gave up because she couldn’t find her login and passwords.

Another could not remember where her website domain was created so we never got around to actually transferring a website I built over to her URL.

I have seen businesses scrap all their SEO and valuable fan base because they can’t remember their log in and passwords!

The worst thing that happens is when the former social media manager gets fired and refuses to hand the login and passwords over and nobody knows them because only one person had access to this information.  This can literally bring your business to its knees for a few days.  And this happens a whole lot more than hacking.

If you are just starting out, this might not seem important, but someday in the future, when you get as big as you dream of growing, it will be.

And you won’t grow as fast as you want to if you can’t remember your logins and passwords.


TIPS FOR ORGANIZING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS 

  • Create a shared Google Document or spreadsheet for storing the accounts, emails and passwords.
  • Invite all the members of the team in who will need access to these accounts.
  • Then create one company email address specifically for all of your social media pages. (Not the email of an employee who might leave).
  • I recommend one password for all your social accounts.
  • Change all of the passwords on a regular basis, as employees, agencies or consultants turn over.
  • Name every social media page the exact same name (preferably the actual name of your company, film, book or product) and reserve the URL for it. (Example: http://www.facebook.com/mycompany.)
  • Before you even name your business, book, film, band or product, check Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, WordPress, Domain.com and Instagram and make sure your name is actually available on all of these pages. It can be embarrassing if it’s not.
  • Don’t use a Yahoo or Gmail as your one email address — it needs to be http://www.yourcompany.com because some social media tools will only let you use a business email to establish your account.
  • When an employee leaves, or you stop using an agency, please remember to change the passwords and remove the admins. (I am still an admin on about 23 pages for projects I no longer work for, including clients who died and companies that no longer exist but still leave their Fan page up.)

Pinterest is the marketing bargain of the century — free.

This month, something incredible and unexpected happened. My traffic on the social media site, Pinterest, suddenly surged to 5,616 visits per DAY. (43,000 per month.)

At this rate, more than 2 million people could visit my Pinterest page this year.

Compare this to Twitter, where I obsessively tweet 20 times a day to get maybe a few retweets or this blog, which takes all year to reach 20,000 readers.

How did this happen?

What’s really strange is, I didn’t plan on becoming a Pinterest rock star. Pinterest is just a hobby, something I do for fun. But my Pinterest page has taken on a life of its own — pollinating pins throughout the Internet.

The Pinterest statistics (available because I created a Business account) tell me that most of my viewers are women, West Coast American, Canadian and Aussies, and that they, no surprise, are interested in exactly the same things that I adore — bohemian fashion, DIY found object crafts, rustic gardens, sacred interiors, the outdoors, flea market finds, vintage trailers, hammocks in the trees, outdoor music festivals, healthy food.

It’s a look and aesthetic that is distinctly me — and somehow citizens of Pinterest have decided I’m some sort of low rent Boho Martha and they like my style.

And clients tell me: “Meh….Pinterest is a waste of time for our brand.”

Not!

Just look at the statistics and growth on my page:

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If my website got traffic like this, I’d be in the top 1% of websites in the USA. Pins get shared — and as they travel, your traffic grows.

Pinterest does something that no other (free) marketing tool has ever done. It sends your “pin” like a little document, all over the planet — like a seed blowing in the wind. And everywhere it goes, this pin points back to your website. Where you are driving traffic to your webpage. Forever.

  • Pinterest users’ average purchase value is 126% more than Facebook users.
  • 47% of US online shoppers made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest, beating FaceBook & Twitter.
  • Pinterest is the 2nd largest driver of social media traffic after Facebook. 

Pinterest is the marketing and search engine traffic-driving (SEO) bargain of the century. And yet so few brands (except the really big consumer food brands) are taking it seriously yet.  Again, look at the traffic statistics for just one month:

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.39.31 PM
That’s 43,000 views this month. Why? And how do I make money from this? Pinterest’s stats reveal some clues: the brands that my followers like, the products they buy.

I have only 1700 followers on Pinterest, but those pinners can reach 2,000,000 people/year.

But wait this is what is truly amazing, and what most people do not “get” about Pinterest yet — those people don’t even need to be on Pinterest. My pins could land on Twitter, in a blog, Facebook, Instagram, another website, an email — who knows.  Pins, unlike Facebook, G+, Twitter or LinkedIn posts, are incredibly viral.

Pinterest is even more viral than other forms of social media posting because they are not tied to Pinterest — each and every one of those “seeds” it sends out, in the form of a pin, will link back to your website — forever — no matter how often it is repinned or where it lands.  While you can technically do this by sharing or embedding a Tweet or a YouTube video, it is just much more sharable and easier to do with Pinterest.

ARE YOU GETTING THIS YET? This is like, you can reach as many people with a Pinterest page than the entire circulation of the Los Angeles Times. More people than a Superbowl ad on TV.

For free.

And you still think Pinterest is “just for housewives in the Midwest posting recipes?”

Contact Giselle Bisson if you’re interested in learning how you can leverage Pinterest to help your start up start up, build your personal brand or drive more traffic to your website.