My Top 3 Favorite Email Marketing Tools

I read a fantastic and inspiring post by Amanda Genther on sales tools, and I decided to replicate it for email marketing tools.

You want to grow your email list so you can make more money online, but finding the best email service provider for your business can be a painstaking task.

You spend hours looking for the right tool. You Google, read reviews, sign up for trials - repeat. There’s gotta be a better way.

I hear ya sister. And, I’m more than happy to guide you through this process. I’ve compared my top 3 paid email marketing tools. Each option lists the key features, costs, and top integrations.

Let’s find out which is best for you.

Aweber

Key features:

  • Campaigns - automated emails
  • Sign up forms
  • Autoresponder follow up
  • Email newsletters
  • Subscriber Segmenting
  • Expert customer service
  • RSS to email
  • Html email templates
  • Mobile App

Cost: 30-day trial. Monthly plans start at $19 for 500 subscribers

Top integrations:

  • Facebook
  • Wordpress
  • LeadPages
  • Paypal

Why Aweber?

Three reasons:

  1. Knowledgeable support
  2. Easy to get paid
  3. Simpler list management

I’ve used Aweber previously and my decision to start off with Aweber, versus one of the free providers, was because I viewed it as the alternative for professionals.

I actually enjoyed my interactions with their support team before I became a customer. They were very knowledgeable when it came to their product, though they didn’t always have real-world experience to draw from to help me create simple workarounds (or find the answer) so I could attain my goals or resolve an issue sooner.

Aweber has a simple integration with Paypal, which is always a win. I loved how they made it extremely easy for me to get paid when I was starting my VA business.

The final reason why I decided to use Aweber was their list management options. I looked at some of the free tools, but I liked that I was able to replicate campaigns across lists. This feature saved me tons of time.

GetResponse

Key Features:

  • Autoresponders
  • Landing pages
  • Forms
  • Niche-based newsletter templates
  • Segmenting
  • Automations
  • Perfect Timing
  • Spam score

Cost: Free 30-day trial. Plans start at $15/month.

Top Integrations:

  • Facebook
  • Paypal
  • Google Analytics
  • Wordpress

Why GetResponse?

I loved GetResponse’s assortment of templates. They had options for both online nd brick and mortar businesses including webinar registration templates or event save the date emails.

I also loved the drag-and-drop feature within broadcast which made it easier to manipulate templates. I didn’t have to worry about coding my emails, which was really important to me. Who wants to code their email newsletter’s every time they send one out.? Uh, not me.

Their smart send technology was another great feature that made it easier for me to identify the right time to email my list by taking that to-do off my plate. I could just add an email to Get Response and schedule it to send, and the tool would send the email at the ‘best time’ to ensure my subscribers saw it and opened it.

ConvertKit

Key features:

  • Automations
  • Responsive opt-in forms
  • Built in landing pages
  • Broadcasts
  • Segments
  • Tags
  • Advanced merge tags
  • Sequences (autoresponders)
  • Multiple from addresses

Cost: $29/month for the first 1K subs

Top Integrations:

  • Acuity
  • Easy Webinar
  • LeadPages
  • SamCart
  • Squarespace
  • Wordpress

Why ConvertKit?

I’m a big fan of ConvertKit because they’ve gone out of their way to incorporate several time-saving features including:

A/B Testing for Subject Lines - I use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to create click-worthy subject lines for my clients, but sometimes I wonder if one would work better than the other. With ConvertKit, I don’t have to worry about selecting the wrong subject line. I can use my top two and keep it moving.

Advanced Merge Tags - Go beyond basic personalizations like adding someone’s name to an email. Add custom content to your emails to create a unique experience for each reader.

Duplicate Forms & Sequences - You don’t have to create an opt-in form from scratch or add a welcome sequence to your funnel manually ever again. Now you can duplicate a form or sequence by clicking a single button.

ROI Tracking - Want to determine your ROI on a particular lead magnet or email campaign. You can do that by leveraging two cool features inside ConvertKit. The subscriber graph (shown below) and campaign tracking with advanced analytics.

Subscriber graph 

Tags Versus Lists - Break free of your lists. ConvertKit allows you to use tags and segments to send custom yet relevant information to your readers/subscribers based on their interests. This post notes that relevancy is the #1 reason why people unsubscribe. Is your ESP going out of its way to help you improve your email deliverability? I think not. ConvertKit = 1, Other ESPs = 0.

Which will you choose?

Let me know if the comments.

How to create unlimited ideas for your lead magnet with ease

Create Unlimited Ideas For Your Lead Magnet

What if your lead magnet ideas were infinite?
 
I’m serious. 
 
What if you had as many ideas for your first (next) lead magnet as there are drops of water in the ocean?
 
It’s possible you know. And, I’m going to show you how.

Get Your Mind Right

Think back to a time when you needed to find several ideas to resolve a problem. 

My biggest obstacle, by far, was when I was potty training my oldest son. He was three going on 30 and stubborn as heck. But, I needed him to go to the bathroom on his on so he could go to summer camp. 

I’d read every book on the market, purchased every gimmick and yet, nothing worked.
 
I had to get creative. I needed an endless supply of ideas to convince my child to go to the bathroom. 
 
One day, I created a list of every potty training idea out there that I hadn’t tried. The list was short, but I think I ended up with something like eight ideas. Next, I developed a plan and decided to tackle one idea each week. Sometimes adding one on top of the other and sometimes starting from scratch completely until he was potty trained.
 
My biggest challenge was potty training my 3-year-old, but yours may have been determining how you were going to bring your dream business to life.
 
In any case, It took a positive mindset, determination, and creativity to overcome that obstacle. The same is true for creating unlimited ideas your lead magnet. 
 
You may have read tons of posts filled with lead magnet ideas. Maybe the ideas seemed too easy, or maybe you just didn’t believe they’d work for you or your business or your niche. And, rather than come up with an idea all your own. You got stuck, or you settled for a simple opt-in form that says, ‘join my email list.’

Let's fix that!

How to create unlimited ideas for your lead magnet with ease

1. Mine Pinterest

Why Pinterest?

I know what you're thinking. Why not start your research on Google? After all, Google is the top search engine.

Well, the answer is simple. I recommend starting with Pinterest because it's less crowded and distracting. Google leverages universal search to offer different types of results from maps to images to videos and more.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is a free social media and search platform that has over 170 million users. And, it's known to influence buying behaviors and drive over 5% of all referral traffic to sites.

Need more convincing?
 
I recommend using Pinterest for two reasons:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Competitor analysis 

You can type a potential keyword into Pinterest to determine its popularity. And, in a matter of seconds, you’ll know if others are using the term and you can identify keyword phrases that may increase engagement with your lead magnet. 
 
You can also forecast a title’s popularity based on how frequently others share pins on the same or similar topics. If you’re creating a lead magnet on a common subject, you might use Pinterest to see what your competition is doing. That way, you will know what others are doing and you can offer your readers another perspective.

2. Ask questions

Asking questions is a great way to get inside your ideal client’s head. If you ask the right questions, you can determine their pain points and identify potential solutions.

So how do you ask the right questions to create epic content?

I’m glad you asked.

There are three ways to ask your ideal client's content-generating questions:

  1. Surveys (if you have a list or know a few people who meet your ideal client profile)
  2. 1:1 calls (Discovery sessions or coaching sessions)
  3. In private communities and Facebook groups (with permission, of course)

When you show up where your ideal clients are and start probing, you’ll find that you have access to endless content ideas.

3. Think beyond the lead magnet

Digital Marketer identifies the lead magnet as step 1 of a 5 step process (funnel).
 
Look at your lead magnet as a free taste that helps you build a relationship with your ideal customer. Don’t just create a lead magnet for the sake of creating a lead magnet.

Take it a step further. Think of creating a lead magnet that is a piece of your product.

To achieve this, you’ll want to:

  • Know where your ideal clients are going (lead magnet aside). What information do they need to reach their goals?
  • Access your solutions. How are you helping your ideal client/customer get to their ‘promise land’? Can you splinter off a component of your product and offer it as a lead magnet?

Pick a strategy and start implementing

Do what comes naturally and easiest to you. 
 
I get it. You’re busy and short on time. You read this informative post, and now, you’re ready to create your irresistible lead magnet. Don’t get stuck, worrying about everything that you could do.

I realize that not everyone reading this post is at the same level. If you’re just starting out, you may want to start off with Pinterest as you don’t need clients to start identifying keywords. The other two options require you to have a community and a product. I typically recommend them to anyone that has an email list and existing clients.

Remember, you can come up with an infinite number of ideas for your lead magnet without spending hours or weeks to do so. Take one of the strategies suggested above and do it. 
 
Not sure you need a new lead magnet? Put your current lead magnet to the test. Take the quiz below.

Email Marketing & List Building Tips for More Growth & Sales in 2017

Email Marketing & List Building Tips for More Growth & Sales in 2017

Email Marketing & List Building Tips for More Growth & Sales in 2017

Have you ever created a New Year's Resolution only to ditch it by January 5th of the new year?

I have.

For the past two years, I've been trying to lose 45 lbs. Last year, I lost 19.6 lbs in 2 months, using this, only to revert back to my bad habits (eating out and binging on Starbucks) and gain 10 of those 19 lbs. back by August.

I felt frustrated and defeated about gaining the weight back and moving further away from my goal. I imagine you feel the same way if growing your list has ever been one of your New Year's resolutions.

If list building is one of your business goals for 2017, I want to help you avoid any yo-yoing and supercharge your growth.

Here are some things you should know:

It's possible

Know that it's completely possible to achieve your list building goals. All you need is a plan, consistent action and the commitment to see it through.

Have a plan

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
— Benjamin Franklin

“If you want to add 1K subscribers to your email list, hoping and wishing won't do the trick. You've gotta have a plan.

When I'm working with my clients, I like to help them create a list building plan that includes annual, monthly, weekly and daily strategies. You have to remember that list building is a marathon not a sprint. It takes consistent actions.

Create an irresistible lead magnet.

The best advice I can give you about creating lead magnets is to keep it simple. I mean that when it comes to both your content, tech and delivery. Less = more.

As for the content, get out a pen and paper. Then, ask yourself these three questions.

  1. What results do I want my clients to achieve?
  2. What's the first thing they need to accomplish to get there, or
  3. What are the top 3 questions I get asked regularly?

At this point, you should have at least one topic to get you started.

If you already have a lead magnet, great. If it's working for you, you can put your promotional plan into action. I've added a few items to the New Client Magnet Resources Library to help you with this including a simple quiz in there to help you better understand if and why your lead magnet is a lemon, and a cheat sheet to help you identify how you can promote your lead magnet on social media. Join the New Client Magnet Resources Library here.

Make a commitment to get visible.

Some people look at me cross-eyed when I say that list building and visibility go hand and hand but it's true. 

Take a guest post for example. Guest posting puts you in front of someone else's audience and allows you to leverage their reputation to gain visibility, offer value and grow your list (when done properly).

You don't have to be everywhere but making a small commitment to show up somewhere (other than your blog) can be a huge step in the right direction.

Trends to Watch

Video

Use video when building your list to build the know, like, trust factor faster.

Use video when building your list to build the know, like, trust factor faster.

As with any other area of business, you'll see some noticeable trends in 2017. Among them, video. These nine compelling video marketing statistics tell it all.

The gist - video is going to drive more traffic and conversions in 2017. I heard Melissa Pharr suggest that "it only takes 420 minutes to build the know, like, trust factor using video."

Coaches and bloggers are using video to grow their lists in a variety of ways including:

  • Video training series (Jeff Walker launch).
  • Webinar, Webinar replay & recorded training.
  • eCourse with video.
  • Video on opt-in for challenge, lead magnet and webinar.
  • Video on thank you page.

Gamification

Start using gamification to incentivize your subscribers.

Start using gamification to incentivize your subscribers.

Wikipedia defines gamification as "the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts."

The gist - gamification is used to give subscribers, clients and followers an incentive to take a specific action that results in both their personal gain and more visibility or income for your business.

Gamification in action:

  • Viral sharing of lead magnet or webinars
  • Bonus incentive on thank you page
  • Challenges
  • Quizzes with badges

Challenges

Challenges are another great way to build your list.

Challenges are another great way to build your list.

Challenges have grown in popularity over the last two years with much credit going to challenge queens like Jenn Scalia and Melissa Pharr.

The gist - They are interactive lead magnets that allow you support your ideal clients and help them achieve one result during a short time frame. 

Resources Library

This is a new take on gated/locked content. You can use your resource library to a) share exclusive resources & content upgrades with your community or b) to house all of your lead magnets in one place.

Melyssa Griffin. Elna from Twin's Mommy, and I are three online business owners with incredible resource libraries that cater to their communities love for actionable, valuable information.

Two pitfalls to avoid

#1 Getting caught up in the numbers game.

It's easy to focus on how much or little your list is growing. 

I want to challenge you to avoid looking at the number because a) it causes you to obsess over your subscriber count, b) takes you out of a place of serving and helping, and c) can cause you to neglect your existing community.

If you remember nothing else, remember this:

#2 Forgetting to follow-up

We've all heard the saying, 'the money is in your list,' but I believe the money is in the follow-up.

In fact, the follow-up is just as important as building your list.

So, in addition to writing your confirmation page, remember to create two things:

  1. a help and profit journey (aka a sales funnel)
  2. a regular newsletter

There you have it.

That's everything you need to know to get you started. Need help creating a custom list building strategy for your business? Apply for a list building breakthrough session here.

3 Questions to ask yourself before you start selling online

3 Questions to ask yourself before you start selling online

3 Questions to ask yourself before you start selling online

A former coach once asked, "Do you have an email list?"

To which I replied, "No."

She followed with, "Oh no. Who are you going to sell to online?"

"So...I need a list if I want to sell online?" I asked. "I Can't I just hop in Facebook groups on promo days and share my offer?" 

"You can but not if you want people to take you seriously and actually buy from you," she said instantly shutting down what I'd thought was a pretty ok idea. (Come on, I'm not the only one who has tried this).

Let's just say this was a sobering conversation. 

When I first started my business, I thought you needed a website, sales page, complicated sales funnel and a large social media following (or a few hundred dollars to spend on Facebook ads). But, experience has taught me that you don't need all that to sell online.

While it's great to have a website, sales page, funnels and social media followers, you can sell online with much less.

The Minimalist's guide to selling online

You only need three things: an idea, an email list and a payment link. (Simple, right?)

One of the reasons why I am always preaching about the importance of list building and email marketing is because I've seen them transform businesses (both my clients' and my own). You could have a Facebook page, Twitter following and be on Periscope but if you're not getting those leads and clients on your list, using permission-based email marketing, you're still leaving money on the table.

Why do I need to get people on my email list? You ask.

Because Facebook pages get shut down. Twitter accounts can get hacked and Periscope is owned by Twitter (in other words, not you.)

When you use these channels to sell (exclusively), you're giving away two things:

1. Control over the relationship.
2. Your ability to earn income that doesn't require you to show up and exchange dollars for hours.

If you're using social media to sell exclusively, I have one question for you, "How will you nurture your warm leads that don't buy from you after seeing the first your post, tweet or Scope?"

Enough already, Semonna. Tell me how to avoid this mess and start selling online. I've got you covered.

There are 3 Questions to ask yourself before you start selling online

#1: Do I really need an email list?

This is a question I get asked quite frequently as my clients (coaches) try to regain control of their ever-growing to do list so they can start selling online. 

I hear this all the time. "I speak. I go networking. I'm in Facebook groups. Do I 'really' need an email list?"

The short answer: Yes. (Duh.)

But, the truth is you don't need an email list. (Yes, I just said that.)

Any of the strategies I listed above can help you gain more clients. Not having a list won't stop you from getting clients.

But, you NEED a list if you want to create leveraged income and more time freedom).

That's right. You need an email list if you've ever:

  • Dreamed of servicing others by designing an e-course,
  • Wanted to increase your income without decreasing your time with loved ones
  • Desired paid time off
  • Had the crazy idea that your business could reach and transform the lives of thousands.

#2: What do I need to start selling to my list?

Funnels and sales pages are all the rage right now, but you don't need them to sell to your list.

You only need three things to start selling to your list: An idea, an email service and a way to accept payment.

I've included two tutorials below to help you get started with two of my favorite tools. Katie Martin of Tin Shingle has a great step-by-step resource (with screenshots) to help you Set Up Payment Plans & Subscription Orders Using PayPal here.

How to create a buy now and subscription button in Paypal

Send Owl Tutorial - How to create a payment link to sell your products and services

Paypal is a great option if you're just starting out. It's a free tool that you can use to create buy now buttons, subscriptions (reoccurring billing) or invoices. You can use advanced settings to connect it to your email service and collect payment from your clients.

Send Owl (affiliate link) is a great option if you're more seasoned and looking to create custom coupon codes or offer affiliate commissions. You can use it as a shopping cart to collect payments via credit cards and Paypal.

#3: How will I know what my people want to buy?

I you really want to know what your community wants, you should start off my asking them. Use Ryan Levesque's Ask Method. You can learn more about Ryan's strategies here.

Here are three things that you can do to get inside your ideal clients head.

1. Stop worrying about your list size and start treating every subscriber like a potential client.

Butter her up and make her feel loved and appreciated. Never make her feel like she's just another number.

2. Ask them

Send them a survey. Ask them within your welcome series or just send a single one-off email.

3. You know them. Put your keen knowledge to work.

Use the knowledge you've collected to offer a product or service that aligns with their needs.

4. Give them a free taste of your upcoming product, program or service.

You could offer a lead magnet such as a checklist or create a free mini course or a complimentary challenge.

Now that you've had time to ask yourself these questions, get out there and implement. It's time to start selling online.
 

common myths about launching

Myths about launching

common myths about launching

It’s launch session here in the U.S.

‘What’s launch session?’

I’m glad you asked. It's that time of year when long forgotten or absent business owners pop back into your mailbox to see you the latest 'great' thing since sliced bread. Though launches occur throughout the year, I'm talking about that time of year just after the kids return to school and before the holiday season ends.

When they pop into your inbox so abruptly, you're likely to do one of two things.

1. Think to yourself - ‘who the heck is this?’

OR

2. Hit the Spam button (or the unsubscribe button if you're the nice and patient sort).

As a list building coach, I think it's important that you recognize how others -prospective clients, partners and leads - see you in order to STOP THE MADNESS PRONTO.

#1: It’s ok to launch a program after a long absence.

Think you’re about to fall for this myth?

Ask yourself, ‘when was the last time that I emailed my list?’

If you're launching a program in the next 3-6 months, your answer shouldn't be six months ago.

Priceless tip: Avoid this pitfall by communicating with your list regularly.

If you're too far gone, try to re-engage your list with a simple, yet effective email sequence (autoresponder). 

The content in these emails will vary based on your industry and business goals. I can help you determine the language, setup and select a delivery schedule for these emails during a List Building Breakthrough Sessions.

#2: I can create a product/program/service based off what you want to create versus what my community is saying they want.

Ask yourself, ‘When was the last time I surveyed my community?’

The members of your community (email list) will change from time to time and it’s only natural that their needs would follow suit. 

One surefire way of determining whether or not your products and programs are still relevant is to ask your community directly. But, be mindful. Doing this incorrectly can leave you more confused and less productive.

Priceless tip: I recommend using a free tool like Wufoo or Jotforms to create a 5-10 question quiz.

#3: I don’t need to vet my offer.

The best way to determine if your community is genuinely interested in your offer is to create a lead magnet that aligns with the product/program/service that you’re launching.

Here’s a question you can ask yourself to avoid this myth about launching.

Is my lead magnet (free gift) relevant?

This one is really important. Your lead magnet is the introduction, or virtual hello, that you share with your prospective clients.  It shouldn't be something you throw together because you think it's something your community may want to read or listen to. Make it count.

Priceless tip: Review and revamp your existing lead magnet to ensure it aligns with your existing services and your current business goals. It's important to be very strategic when deciding on and creating a lead magnet.

#4: I don’t need to grow my list before or during my launch.

Newsflash: List building is quintessential to launching. 

To avoid this pitfall, ask yourself, “What am I doing to get more people to join my community (aka grow my list)?”

If you've been promoting the same offers to the same list, you're bound to get the same results. 

And, if that result was crickets after your last  launch...well, let's not repeat that. Wouldn’t you rather have more clients to serve and more money in your bank account?

Priceless tip: I recommend implementing one advanced list building strategy at least one quarter before your launch (i.e. a giveaway, JV giveaway event, challenge or telesummit).

#5: I need to create new content for each launch.

I’m getting exhausted just thinking about this one. 

The truth is you don’t need to create content from scratch every time you launch. 

If you find yourself falling for this myth, ask yourself, “Can I repurpose any of my existing content to support me during my upcoming launch?”

You don't have to create new content for your upcoming launch unless you want to do it. If your launch was successful last time, reuse your copy, ideas, etc.  

Priceless tip: Review your top blog posts that align with your ideal client's top challenges and/or an upcoming program launch, turn them into videos, audio clips, or graphics. Don't be afraid to outsource.

If you'd like to learn more how you can implement these tips in your business, I'd love to connect with you.

Click on the button below to schedule a 20-minute List Building Breakthrough Session.

Email Marketing Hacks: How to minimize unsubscribes and Spam complaints during your next launch

reduce subscribes

How to reduce unsubscribes and Spam complaints during your next launch

Experience is our best teacher.

It used to drive me crazy when my clients would get upset over losing 3 to 10 subscribers, per email, during a new launch.

From my (detached) perspective, I looked at it as a good thing. That’s one less person that you’re paying to talk to. That’s one less person and one less unresponsive subscriber. 

I didn’t realize how much it stings. Even though we’re taught not to take it personally. It’s easy to see that unsubscribe notification as a big old neon sign saying, “I don’t like you.” (Que the knife to the gut and twist.)

 I thought, ‘I’m supposed to be growing my list - not losing subscribers.’

#1: Give them the option to ‘update your preferences.’

Let your subscribers decide when they want to receive emails from you. They can either pick an option based on the frequency (weekly or twice a week). You can also choose from the various lists you offer.

Pro tip: Not all email service providers offer this option. I believe Aweber and Mailchimp still do.

#2: Let them say NO

Create a separate email list or separate tag that allows your subscribers to raise their hands and say I don’t want to learn more about your promotion/product/program.

I’ve been able to achieve this for clients in various email tools including, Aweber, Get Response, ConvertKit (aff link), Infusionsoft, Active Campaign and Mailchimp.

#3: Add an unsubscribe list at or near the top of your newsletters and broadcasts

Adding an unsubscribe link above your header image or before your intro paragraph may scare you.

After all, "won't that encourage them to subscribe?"

No. It does; however, make it easier for your subscribers to leave your list. Some people opt for the spam button rather than scrolling down to the bottom of the page to subscribe, not knowing that spam complaints can hurt your business and your ability to reach your ideal clients’ inbox. 

Adding an unsubscribe link at the top of your emails helps deter this behavior by giving people who aren't your ideal client an easy out. Though it might seem like you're losing a subscriber or your list is shrinking,  I want to encourage you to reframe your thinking. Rather than losing out, I want you to look on the brighter side to see that you're actually gaining a more responsive list of potential buyers (who want to hear from you).

#4: Don't automatically roll them over to your main list

Let’s say you offer a special opt-in during your pre-launch period, like a challenge or a giveaway. After this list building activity is over, take a moment to nurture these new subscribers. Then, ask them to join your main newsletter list (make sure you give them an ethical bribe or a new lead magnet) and provide an explicit opt-in offer to get their permission to enter your inbox weekly.

Be clear and tell people exactly what they’ll receive. If you’re planning on sending out a weekly newsletter and promotional emails, just say that (I’m all for authentic and simple marketing).

Which of these four suggestions are you going to implement to avoid an increase in unsubscribes during your next launch?

Must have tools for your launch
(for every budget)

Must Have Tools For your launch

You’ve probably heard the horror stories about technology glitches or all out fails. Maybe you’ve even received an ‘Oops I did it again’ type of email. While glitches aren’t completely unavoidable, you can do your part to reduce them. 

One way to ensure your launch goes off without a hitch is to invest in the right tools for your budget and needs. For the past few years, I’ve been managing the backend of my client’s launches. During this time, I’ve demoed and tried almost every launch tool out there.

I’ve put together a simple list of launch tools that can help you go from newbie launcher to confident pro in no time.

Note: Some links below are affiliate links (denoted by 'aff link' in parentheses). This means I’ll receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase through my link. 

Email Service Providers

If you're just starting out and want to go the free route checkout: Campayn,  (aff link), Mad Mimi, MailChimp, Mailerlite or ReachMail 
Looking for an advanced email marketing tool that puts both your subscribers and marketing automation first? My favorite email marketing tool is ConvertKit (aff link).

Free and Paid Stock Photos

During your launch, you'll use images for a number of reasons. Here are my go-tos for stock photos whether you're using them for your website, ads or social media graphics.

Pixabay
A free site that offers quality stock photos, across a variety of topics.

Death to Stock
Offers free (and paid) images each month. 

Unsplash
Will send 10 free photos, directly to your inbox, each week.

Adobe Stock is a paid subscription service that offers various licensing options for their images. adobe.stock.com

Landing page/Sales page

Click Funnels
Known for how easy it is set up simple funnels, landing pages, thank you pages, etc.

Convert Kit (aff link)
An email service provider that offers landing page designs within the platform so there's no need to invest in a separate service.

Instapage
Offers paid landing page templates.

Leadpages (aff link)
Still my go-to. I love how easy it is to customize and tweak LeadPages' endless landing page, webinar registration page, thank you page, and YouTube Live (with chat) templates.

Ontrapages
Offers free and paid landing page options

Optimize Press
A great option that allows Wordpress users to design landing and sales pages from scratch or purchase a pre-built template.

SquareSpace
You can create beautiful landing and sales pages directly within Square Space. Here's a tutorial from Megan Mimms that will help you set it up quickly.
 

Lead Magnet Creation

Canva
A free and paid virtual design tool that helps you create beautiful, branded images in no time.

Google Apps (aff link)
You can use Google Docs to create and share ebooks/workbooks. You can use Google Sheets to share spreadsheets, editorial calendars or your favorite budget tracker. You can also use Google Slides to create beautiful presentations.

Organization/Storage

Dropbox (aff link)
A free and paid virtual storage option. I use this to store files, share mp3 or workbooks with my clients and many of my clients store their lead magnets in Dropbox. 

Google Apps (aff link)
In addition to the features listed above under lead magnet creation, you can also use Gmail and Google calendar to keep your business organized.

Payment Processors

Paypal
The most popular payment processor out there for new entrepreneurs.

SendOwl (aff link)
My go-to payment processor because it allows me to process credit card payments, connects seamlessly with Paypal and ConvertKit, and hosts my affiliate programs for my products and services.

Square
This is an alternative to Paypal and offers similar features.

Social Media - Content Curation

Buffer
Finds and makes content suggestions within their social media scheduling app.

Feedly
Curates the many forms of content that you consume in one place including blogs and Youtube videos.

Quuu
Allows you to select the categories of content that you'd like to share and then sends it out to your Twitter and/or Facebook community.

Scoop.it
Searches millions of websites and serves up content based on your niche.

Social Media - Scheduling

These tools will help you save time on social media by allowing you to schedule your posts, tweets, etc.

Buffer
Allows you to schedule for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. Investments start at $10/month.

CoSchedule (aff link)
Allows you to schedule for the following social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. Investments starting at $19/month. Biggest perk: You can use their calendar to plan out your content marketing strategy on various platforms. They also offer Requeue which reposts your most popular messages.

Hootsuite
Allows you to schedule for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+. Investments start at $15/month.

Edgar
Allows you to schedule for the following social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Investments start at $49. Biggest perk: You can create content buckets, upload content and schedule them.

Teleconference Tools

A teleconference is a free call to share value and invite potential clients to work with you. Here’s a free and paid tool.

FreeconferenceCall HD (Free)
Instant Teleseminar

Webinar Tools

If you’re looking to appear on camera, provide slides or share your desktop, you’ll want to go with a webinar tool during your launch.

EasyWebinar
Instant Teleseminar 
StartMeeting 
Webinar Ninja 
YouTube Live (Free)
Zoom 

Technology can make or break your launch. I don't recommend using all of these tools during your next launch, but I do suggest using the right tools to avoid any potential hiccups.

Leave a comment below and let me know if I missed any of your favorite launch tools.

50 Inspirational Quotes to Help You Move Past Fear + Failure

50 Motivational Quotes about Fear + Failure

Whether you're disappointed over a failed launch or saddened by what's going on in lieu of the recent elections, I hope and encouragement in these quotes. 

1.    "You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." - Wayne Gretzky
2.    "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." - Harry Truman
3.    "Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes." - James A. Froude
4.    "The only failure is not to try." - George Clooney
5.    “If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” - Richard Yates
6.    "One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again." - Henry Ford
7.    “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” - Ken Robinson
8.    "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt
9.    “The phoenix must burn to emerge.” - Janet Fitch
10.    “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Denis Waitley
11.    "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." - Steve Jobs
12.    “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” - Ellen DeGeneres
13.    "Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not." - Virgil Thomson
14.    “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” - Paulo Coelho
15.    "No man ever achieved worth-while success who did not, at one time or other, find himself with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure." - Napoleon Hill
16.     “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S. Lewis
17.    “It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” - Zig Ziglar
18.    "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." - Andre Gide
19.    "My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure." - Abraham Lincoln
20.    “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” - Eloise Ristad
21.    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
22.    “There is no impossibility to him who stands prepared to conquer every hazard. The fearful are the failing.” - Sarah J. Hale
23.    “I failed my way to success.”  - Thomas Edison
24.    "What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?" - Vincent van Gogh
25.    “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” - Bertrand Russell
26.    "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." - Dale Carnegie
27.    “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” - William Shakespeare
28.    "Fear is only as deep as the mind allows." - Japanese Proverb
29.    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas A. Edison
30.    "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." - Nelson Mandela
31.     “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” - Ellen DeGeneres
32.    30.    "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan
33.    "Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out." - Benjamin Franklin
34.    "You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space." - Johnny Cash
35.    “Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” - James Stephens
36.    “Our greatest glory consist not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” - Oliver Goldsmith
37.    "For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour." - Mary Kay Ash
38.    "Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable." - Coco Chanel
39.    “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” - Gandhi
40.    “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.” - William Allen White
41.    "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." - Mike Ditka
42.    “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” - Helen Keller
43.    "Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." - George Herman "Babe" Ruth
44.    "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan
45.    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius
46.    “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” - Marcus Aurelius
47.    “Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems.” - Nelson A. Rockefeller
48.    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
49.    “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” - H. P. Lovecraft
50.    “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.” - Unknown

5 Emails Your Business Should Be Sending If You Want More Clients

5 Email Your Business Should Be Sending If You Want More Clients

Want clients to come to you?

Of course, you do. (That was a trick question.)

But, are you using your best asset to get new clients in the door?

This study from McKinsey & Co shows that email marketing converts better than Facebook and Twitter combined. As a business owner who uses email marketing to promote your knowledge, products, and services, you have the right (no, the permission) to invite your community to work with you.

So, what are you waiting for? 

Examples? Confirmation that this will work for your business?

I’ve got you covered.  I’ve gathered examples of five emails that you can send your list to get more clients in the door.

Spots Available

You can use this email in one of two ways, depending on your business model. You can send an email to your community indicating that you’re accepting discovery calls or you can indicate that you’re looking for clients and share your rates, as Crissy Herron from Indiebizchicks does in the example below.

Source: Crissy Herron of Indiebizchicks.com

Why this works: It’s direct. No need to read between the lines. No need to fill out a questionnaire or hop on a call. If you’re looking for a VA and it meets your budgeting needs, then you’re likely going to hit the buy button at the bottom of the email and grab some hours.

Types of businesses that could benefit from using this email: Service-based entrepreneurs or anyone offering coaching, consulting or done-for-you services.

Why Didn't You Buy

Want to capture more sells after your launch? Use this email.

For this to work, you'll need to have an email marketing system that allows you to tag and/or segment your subscribers like ConvertKit (affiliate link). It will allow you to survey your list to determine why they didn't buy.

I've been studying Bryan Harris of Video Fruit for a few years now and he uses this technique after each launch.

Source: Bryan Harris,

Why this works: It helps you determine which objections and/or pain-points your copy or marketing missed. And, when done correctly, it can even promote down-sell.
A down-sell is an offer that’s priced at a lower price point than the original offer.

Types of businesses that could benefit from using this email: This is great for solo and infopreneurs who offer a paid e-course or group program.

What do you want

'If you build it, they will come.' That's one of the biggest myth about entrepreneurship. 

The truth is, in most cases, they won't just come. If you want people to find your website, you have to put your website/brand out there and create a simple yet consistent traffic-generating marketing plan.

If you want sales, need to figure out what your community wants. If you don't know, ask them. You can do this using a survey or you can ask a question and invite people to reply.

If you have a product idea you want to validate, you can ask your list about that offer exclusively like Melissa Pharr of MelissaPharr.com does in the example below.

Source: Melissa Pharr, MelissaPharr.com

Why this works: It’s a great way to validate an idea or potential offering. Asking your community what they want creates a co-creation process. It also you to hear their top challenges first-hand.

Once in hand, you can take this information and create copy that converts browsers into buyers - faster + easier.

Types of businesses that could benefit from using this email: Product and service-based businesses. 

Here's How I Can Help. (Including Case Studies or Testimonials).

This email is particularly helpful when you’ve switched directions or if you offer a lot of different services. If the latter, pull out a service every few months and feature it in an email to help your community remember that you offer the service.

Don't forget to include testimonials in this email, as Parris has done here. This gives your prospective clients an idea of the benefits and results they can expect from working with you while building your street cred.

Source: Parrish Wilson, ParrishWilson.com

Why this works: This email works because it spells out which services you provide and how you help. It also helps you weed out the people who aren’t a good fit for your tribe. Remember you’re paying for your subscribers (unless you have a free account) and while quantity is great, quality is better.

Types of businesses that could benefit from using this email: Both product and service-based businesses.

Black Friday (Holiday) Promo

I love a good sale and I'm sure your clients do too. While I'm not telling you to discount your services or ask for less than what you're worth, I am suggesting that you go out of your way to thank your community.

LaShanda Henry of Sista Sense does this with her holiday big book. As an avid follower, I look forward to her annual Black Friday Big Book of value-packed offerings. Her ability to make the entire marketing strategy seem like it was created ‘just for you’ help set her apart and help promote exclusivity and scarcity.

Source: LaShanda Henry at SistaSense.com

Why this works: LaShanda doesn’t just tell you she’s throwing a sale. She takes it a step further and creates a Big Book for her subscribers (Think of Toys R Us’ Big Book only for entrepreneurs). It’s filled with her offerings (both old and new) and some of them are only offered for a limited time or being added to her vault.

This email works for retailers and eCommerce sites too. Take this email from Target.

Why it works: I practically live at Target. Between their app and my RedCard, every trip feels like Christmas to me. 

But, when I received this baby in my inbox, I had to click through to find something I wanted.

Who doesn't like saving money, especially when it comes to things you'd purchase anyway.?

Types of businesses that could benefit from holiday promotional emails (as the two pictured above): Product & Service-based entrepreneurs.

There you have it. 5 Emails Your Business Should Be Sending If You Want More Clients.

  1. Spots available
  2. Why didn't you buy
  3. What do you want
  4. Here's how I can help. Case studies.
  5. Black Friday (holiday) promo

Up for a challenge?

Take one of these emails and rewrite it for your business. Then, send it out to your list (Repeat after me. This email shall not collect dust on my computer).

I don't care if you have 8 people or 5K on your list, if you want more clients, get that email out this week.

[Video] How To Get More Webinar Signups -
Webinar Directories

Get more webinar sign-ups with webinar directories.

Get more webinar sign-ups with webinar directories.

I wanted to create a quick video (3:15) to share what I believe is the most unused promotional resource for webinar hosts, webinar directories.

I've identified three free webinar directories that you can use over and over again to get more eyes on your registration pages and more butts in your virtual seats. :)

Got a tiny list? Make sure you add these sites to your webinar promotional plan.