Do I really need a website?

The simple answer is yes!

But let’s chat more about the different approaches you could take as a business owner;

A website with all the bells and whistles, but you have not gone live yet, cos it is not complete.
Your website is a ‘living’ thing; it’s never going to be fully complete; it should and will always be evolving. Don’t stress too much about having everything prepared before you launch your site. I work on my website all the time, change my mind about look and feel or adding new services, etc. As long as you have at least one page for customers to land on, the other pages could easily be ‘coming soon.’ Don’t use this as an excuse not to move forward; just go live!

Your website is live, but you haven’t had the time to update or maintain it.
As it says above, it is a ‘living’ thing and needs to be nurtured. There is always something to fix, add or change to make it more consumer-friendly. If you feel overwhelmed with keeping on top of this task, it is super easy to find a VA or Business Support person to keep it fresh. Don’t allow it to get stale; this is your storefront and represents you.

You don’t have a website as you rely on social media to get your product or services out to market.
Digital marketing is advertising delivered through digital channels, including search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Some of the different avenues tie into each other; email marketing, for instance, is one of the most important ways to communicate with your tribe, but it cannot be used if there is no where for your consumer to go to view your product/services or add their details for your database. You don’t have to create a website to do this; it can simply be a one-page landing page. It is not overwhelming to create but essential for the success of your business.

So take the leap, it will be ok!

12 Types of Content to include in your Membership site – Part 2

Part 2 of my previous post on types of content to include in your membership site.

Here are the last 5 to consider;

Stand Alone Content
Not every piece of membership content needs to be a full course or a live session. Blogs, tutorials, how-to’s, or “mini-courses” are very valuable to your community. This works particularly well for short subjects or something new on the market.

I love cheat sheets or checklists; there is no better feeling during a busy day to tick off the items on your task list. So if you have a course that allows for these, they are a great addition to your site.

Workbooks and action plans
The theory of any course is essential, and most students, including myself, are excited when they are in the moment. But without any action plan or workbook to work through, the theory they learned goes nowhere. This type of content just cements the learning even further.

Member news
Membership content doesn’t have to be courses and community – a day to day content is an often overlooked area. Regularly reporting the latest news from your membership – keeping people up to date on new content additions and development to your membership, rounding up the hottest community discussions, letting members know what’s on the horizon, and shining the spotlight on member successes are all worth doing.

I have been part of a few beta groups when a course is being created, and one of the types of content I always suggest is testimonials or interviews of those in the know. It allows for the subject matter to become more real, and successes and pitfalls can be highlighted.

The most successful membership sites have a mix of the content I have highlighted over the last two posts.

It can be tricky to balance the right between offering enough variety and not overwhelming people with too much content, but it is worth taking the time to think about it. 

The key is to focus on the problem you’re solving and identify the best way to deliver the solution – then you are off to the races.

12 Types of Content to include in your Membership Site – Part 1

Are you thinking about a membership website? What kind of content do you need to include?

You should think of your membership website as a value exchange.

As long as you keep adding benefits to your members with content, resources, and value in your product – your tribe will keep supporting you in continued subscription payments.

Let’s chat about what types of content to include in your membership site to ensure you have kept up your side of the deal.

Here are the first 7 to consider;

Online Courses
These are the most common elements you will find on most membership sites, from short tutorials, advice, or to more extended programs spanning weeks. Continuing to update and teach your community will give them something to come back to.

Live Webinars
If you have no courses in place or plan to do one. You can create content by including live webinars for your tribe to tune into weekly or monthly. These also provide a great way to start a discussion amongst subscribers and give you ideas for future content.

Member calls
Another form of live interaction is through a member or Q&A call. These are more focused on your community of subscribers as it is their platform to ask any questions. The format can differ depending on the topic. I did an Instagram course last year, and I will often pop onto her weekly Q&A to get some ideas or feedback from other subscribers. Her call lasts an hour, and the subscribers can ask anything they want regarding the course, no specific topic.

Content Archives
I think this is an important one; I often cannot attend Q&A’s or Webinars live, so I rely on getting the recording to listen to when I have an hour or so to spare. This is another way for you to add content.

Community Forum
Community or tribe is vital on these websites. You want your subscribers to feel part of something and continue to return. There should always be a place for the community to add comments in a discussion section or formal forum set up.

I love this part of any membership website; I am a real junkie for workbooks or tools to use. It can either be worksheets to work through a program, an online tool for a particular activity, etc. It is always fabulous when I am doing a course that I have access to a selection of resources I didn’t have to create from scratch. These downloads can also be used as freebies in your email marketing.

Member Perks
You can have the best content, training material, and community, but the value is a perception. If your members feel that they are getting deals for their hard-earned dollars, they will continue to subscribe. So offers, discounts, and perks need to be top of mind. They will also refer you to friends and family if they feel that value.

There you go, some great ideas to start adding to the planning phase of your membership site. Chat with me if you need help with creating your membership site, I can assist with the creation and implementation.

Part 2, with the final 5 types of content, coming soon!

5 Email marketing trends for 2021

So what are the emerging or already been in place for a while … trends for 2021?

  1. Email continues to be the most effective online marketing tool.
    As the pandemic has changed our way of life in so many ways, email marketing just became even more trendy rolling in 2021. Email sending volume increased by 20% in 2020 compared to the previous year and it is not stopping. Part of this are landing pages which have increased by 70% since 2019 and pop-ups grew by 75%, as a result e-commerce orders tripled late 2020.

  1. Consumers are craving authentic and positive content.
    When I post on my IG account, I find the posts that get the most attention are those with authentic photos or just being honest in your captions. I often fall into the trap of trying to be too fancy, but you know what you are talking about, and you are talking to your tribe, so chat to them as you would face to face.
  1. You can create a business doing newsletters.
    Due to COVID-19, many traditional newsrooms and publications are experiencing a tough time. In 2020 many technology and political journalists have left their companies and started paid-for newsletters. Most of the time, paid newsletters have a niche market and specific audience. You can pay anything from US10 and up to get your subscription.

  1. Personalizing emails in large numbers and automation
    Automating your email on a large scale is one of email marketing’s key features. If you or your business support person sets it up in the right way, the consumer will feel like you are talking to them directly. Automation allows for your business to grow even when you are asleep. It takes time to think and plan out the steps you would like your consumer to take, but it is worth it in the end.

  1. No coding knowledge is needed.
    We are spoilt for choice with between 40-50 new products being added daily to ProductHunt. More and more platforms are thinking about non-technical users and enable them or their business support person to create products easily, no coding required.

So there you have it, folks, there is no stopping you now. When it’s time for you to get this going for your company, I can guide you through; it will be a breeze!

How to Determine When to Use JPGs vs. PNGs for your website

If you are not a graphic designer, like me, when you see all these different digital photo options, it can be confusing on what to use when?! Cos apparently, it makes a difference.

JPEGs tend to have a smaller file size and load faster than PNG. However, every time you save a JPEG, it loses image information and can become pixelated. PNG’s don’t lose their quality but can slow down your web pages. PNG also allows you to include transparent elements, which can come in handy for your website, particularly for icons. An example below from a previous post.

There are many other options other than JPEG and PNG, so why focus on just these? They are better suited for web pages than most alternatives. A few reasons are;

Image compression – they both compressed, which allows for faster loading times, ideal for the web.
Small file size – the compression process means that these options take up less room on servers.
Integration – many web tools assume you will be using JPEG and PNG options.

So how do you determine when to use either option?

JPEG is a perfect format for;

Complex images – although JPEG loses quality when compared to a PNG image, it is almost unnoticeable with complex images such as photos.
Photo albums – when sharing photos in bulk, the smaller file size will load the images way quicker.
Opaque images – JPEG doesn’t allow for transparency, so if the picture doesn’t need it, it is a comfortable fit.

PNG is better used for;
Images with hard lines – pixelation is very noticeable on images with hard lines, such as logos and text; sticking with PNG here is a good idea.
Portfolios – PNG’s do provide the best in quality for photographers or designers that need to showcase their talents at the highest level.
Transparent images – if you want a shot to ‘blend into’ a page, PNG is the only way to go.

There is also the introduction by Apple of the new HEIC format in their iOS 11 update. Here is a great article giving those details comparing with a JPEG.

Hopefully that gives you some insight into choosing images for your website.

Sales Funnel or Landing Page, what is the difference!?

Definitions of tech-savvy jargon can be very overwhelming, and there are often many opinions.

Instead, it would be best to look at the terms’ definitions and then decide which one is best for your business at each stage. You can add or remove these as your business grows.

What is the difference between a sales funnel or a landing page in lamens terms?

* A sales funnel is made up of many web pages that direct a customer towards his/her final sales decision. Each page in a funnel is an opportunity to sell additional (upselling) products or services. That means a funnel will have multiple CTAs (call to action) for different purposes.

A typical sales funnel looks like this – each step taking your client into a different page to gain their loyalty as a consumer.

* A landing page is a stand-alone web page designed for a specific purpose such as marketing, advertising campaign, and gathering a visitor’s information. It focuses on one sole product or service to be marketed or sold.

One is not better than the other, just different formats to showcase your product or service.

Three Best Practices when using Canva

I love playing around in Canva, and it can make you look super design-savvy, even if that is not your strongest talent.

Today’s 3 best practice tips for using Canva …

✨ Is it worth upgrading to Canva Pro? I would have to say yes! I love the fact that I can access certain tricks, like removing background or the wide variety of stock images that are up grabs.

✨ I have always had ‘signature envy’ when I would see some cool designs pop into my inbox. So I decided to design mine in Canva, which turned out pretty great, if I should say so myself.

✨ If you plan to use quotes or written format on an IG post, using contrasting fonts to help you bring a point across works wonders.

Canva is an excellent tool for you or your business support persons’ toolbox.