Tag: Content Marketing

Content marketing for wellbeing businesses doesn’t have to mean a hard sell – it’s simply sharing what you love with others. Read our blog posts to find out how to grow your yoga or wellbeing business without losing your soul.

Want to learn the art of marketing your yoga business?

The room feels warm. The candlelight gently flickers. A smell of incense hangs in the air. You look across the mats at the blanket-covered bodies, watching them silently breathing. Taking rest from the journey you’ve just travelled on together.

This is yoga. And it feels incredible.

As the last student leaves the room, she smiles at you and says, “Thank you, that was wonderful.” The hairs on the back of your neck tingle, a lump appears in your throat, and you place a hand on your heart as you smile warmly back. You have no words.

You love this practice. You love teaching. And you want to share it with more people. But how can you do this in a sustainable way?

Practise the art of authentic marketing

Over the next 4 months we’ll be diving deep into the art of authentic marketing, with our new blog series, covering:

  • Are you ready to market your yoga business?
  • Which website platform should you use for your yoga business?
  • How should you structure your yoga website?
  • Do you need to be blogging as a yoga teacher?
  • How to use great images on your yoga website
  • How to grow a yoga community through email marketing
  • How to sell more places on your yoga retreats and workshops
  • How do you know your marketing is working?
  • Do you need to make videos to run a successful yoga business?
  • Do you need to create digital products for your yoga business?

So that you can find your authentic voice and grow your yoga business without losing your soul.

But first, let’s take a step back to explore the landscape.

A shift in mindset

If you’re a yoga teacher or you run a yoga studio, the first thing you probably need to do is shift your mindset. Many yoga teachers don’t believe they can make a living from it. Indeed, some don’t feel they deserve to.

But, contrary to popular belief, being spiritual doesn’t have to mean being poor!

So, what exactly are you doing as a yoga teacher? You’re doing what you love. Yes, and that’s amazing. But you’re also running a business.

And businesses need marketing. But that doesn’t have to mean selling your soul. Marketing your yoga business is simply sharing what you love with others, in the right way. Marketing is a practice, just like yoga. It takes time and effort to get used to it and feel good about it.

In fact, authentic marketing is an art. Which is why we’ve created this brand new blog series just for you, ‘The art of marketing your yoga business’.

Yoga is big business

Everyone, it seems, wants to leave their job and become a yoga teacher, or run a studio. The rise of the internet and social media have meant that the ‘yoga lifestyle’ of exotic holiday locations and celebrity clients is what many newly-qualified teachers aspire to.

Yoga media figures such as Rachel Brathen (aka Yoga Girl) have completely altered the public perception of what a yoga teacher or business owner looks like.

According to a 2016 Yoga Journal report, 36.7 million people practise yoga in the US, 81,000 yoga teachers are registered in the UK, and the global yoga ‘market’ is worth approximately £74 billion. That’s a lot of downward dogs!

Standing out from the crowd

So, with so many yoga teachers and businesses all jostling for pole position, how do you stand out?

Do you need to post your latest handstand video on Facebook? Or images of your ‘green smoothie of the month’ on Instagram? No. And getting noticed doesn’t mean coming up with the next new trend either – of some crazy blend of yoga, alcohol and furry animals! It simply means being clear about what you offer and how you can help your students.

Attracting the right audience for your business is what matters above all else. And then building a community of like-minded people, who are engaged in your teachings, and will keep coming back for more.

How we can help

At Wildheart Media we’re passionate about yoga. And we’re passionate about marketing.

We’re experienced yoga practitioners and teachers ourselves. And we know that most yoga teachers feel conflicted about promoting themselves, particularly online. You feel overwhelmed and lost in a digital sea of noise. Where on earth do you start?

Our new blog series was designed with you in mind. ‘The art of marketing your yoga business’ will guide you on a clear path through the confusing landscape of digital marketing.

In the meantime, if you need help getting your yoga business off the ground, or attracting more students to your classes and workshops, check out our Packages page. We’ve designed packages with you in mind, that will transform your marketing, so you can grow your business with confidence.

See how we’ve helped our clients

Read the next post in this series

The next post in this series asks Are you ready to market your yoga business?

Or go back to Blog series: The art of marketing your yoga business.


The great wall of permission marketing: which side are you on?

Following last week’s Content Kitchen video Guy explained what permission marketing is and gave you three top tips to get you started:

  1. Be clear about what people are signing up for
  2. Give people an option to opt-out
  3. A yes is not forever – unsubscribing is a healthy sign

If you’re using email marketing to reach your customers you need to know how to reach out to and engage your potential customers. So in this blog post we explain more about permission marketing and how it can work for you.

Why is permission marketing important?

In particular, if you run a yoga or wellbeing business then you want to be as authentic and ethical as possible, as our recent post How to market your yoga business explained. This means your content is delivered to the right people (those who are potential customers) at the right time (after they’ve given you permission).

Which side of the wall are you on?

As the internet has grown, so has the way businesses and brands market to their prospective customers. Permission marketing allows for personalised and long-term relationships that are built on trust and sharing, rather than traditional marketing methods that ‘interrupt’ consumers with advertising they don’t necessarily want to see.

Marketers seem to be on two sides of a wall – those who follow permission marketing and those who don’t. It seems like those who do are in the minority, but if you’re serious about building a community or ‘tribe’ who’ll respond to what you’re offering, then you need to follow a few basic principles.

1. Be clear about what people are signing up for

Let’s say on your website you’ve got a sign-up form saying: Sign up to our newsletter. But no-one signs up. Why? Because it’s not clear enough and doesn’t set expectations. How often will they receive emails? What kind of content will you be sending them? How will your content make their life better?

Make sure you’re explicit about what people are signing up for and how often you’ll be delivering your content to them. You can also provide a sweetener called a ‘lead magnet’. This is a valuable resource that you give away for free in return for an email address, such as an e-book or other useful download. You can read more about this in How to grow your email list using lead magnets.

2. Give people an option to opt-out

Giving your readers the option to opt-out of your email communications is really important. It reminds them that the whole process of receiving your emails is voluntary and they can choose to stop receiving them at any time. People often forget why they signed up in the first place or may not find the information useful anymore.

3. A yes is not forever – unsubscribing is a healthy sign

Yes, that’s right! When people are unsubscribing it means they’re engaging with your brand. And for every person that unsubscribes you’ll find another who signs up. This will enable you to find your ‘tribe’ – that is to say, people who are genuinely interested in the content you’re sending and some of whom may convert to paying customers.

Don’t worry when you see that someone has unsubscribed. It’s a very common trap to think that email lists are a numbers game. Having a big list is what we call a vanity metric. This is a number that makes you feel good about yourself or your business but provides little or no value. List growth can also be a vanity metric, i.e. my list is growing by X subscribers per day, week or month, but how many actually engage and eventually buy?

Always favour quality over quantity: it’s always better to have a small list of 100 people who show genuine interest in your brand, over a list of 1000 who don’t engage with you.

So where should you start?

A good way to start growing your business is to sign up for a free MailChimp account, as we showed you in 5 reasons why you should use MailChimp for your email marketing. The next step is where many people go wrong – they export all their contacts from their email into Mailchimp and start sending out regular emails. This approach will get you banned from MailChimp almost immediately! So it’s important to follow the correct guidelines that will ensure you get the most out of your email list.

What many people don’t realise is that good permission marketing by email works best when tightly integrated with regular blogging. So, in order to grow your email list you need to be creating regular high quality content that your subscribers look forward to receiving.

  • Do some research – In how to do keyword research we explained why keyword research is so important for your website. In a nutshell, knowing which words and phrases people are using to search for your product or service is key to being found by the right people in organic search.
  • Start regular blog posts – as we pointed out in 7 steps to writing a great blog post the key to growing and maintaining your audience is to publish consistently. Set a weekly or fortnightly schedule for blog posts and stick to it. Make sure you have a call-to-action in your blogs, such as a sign-up to receive emails containing future blogs or a lead magnet.
  • Send an engagement email – to make sure you definitely have people’s permission to email them, send a one-off engagement email inviting them to opt in and be clear that you won’t email them again if they don’t.

Best practices for permission marketing

Content marketing is not a shortcut to success – it’s a methodical approach to growing an audience, some of whom will hopefully convert to customers. With that in mind, here are our top tips to ensure you’re following best practices for permission marketing.

  • Always include a reminder of how people got added to your list and always give people the option to opt-out – these should both feature in the footer of every email.
  • Make sure you segment your list, as explained in nurture your community by segmenting your email list. You can give people options to choose from, such as: “I’m interested in yoga workshops in Hebden Bridge” or “send me your weekly inspiration email”.
  • Regularly ask your subscribers for feedback – it doesn’t have to be a one way street. What do they like? What do they want more of? Do they like your next big idea?
  • Periodically send out emails reminding people why they’re receiving your emails and let them know about any changes in scheduling or new emails you’re sending out.
  • Give your subscribers the option to update their preferences and continue to receive content that’s relevant to them.
  • Periodically prune your list and get rid of dead or unresponsive emails, as we detailed in 4 steps to a high quality email list.
  • Grow slowly: it’s better to take your time creating content that people find useful and growing your email list slowly over time than aiming for fast growth.

By choosing to be on the permission marketing side of the wall, you can build trust and a loyal relationship with your audience. And by carefully tending to your email list and their preferences, you can create a ‘tribe’ of those people who are engaged and responsive to what you have to offer.

Not sure where to start? We offer a free consultation for anyone interested in learning more about authentic content marketing and what it can do for you. Get in touch to find out more!

Book a free consultation


How to market your yoga business without losing your soul

Following last week’s Content Kitchen video How Do I Grow My Yoga Business? we promised to delve deeper in this follow-up post. In the video Guy offers three ways to start growing your yoga business without losing your soul:

  1. think like an entrepreneur
  2. embrace technology
  3. drop the jargon

So let’s dive in!

1. How do you think like an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are not just business owners but are creative and dynamic forces often turning their passion into a thriving and sustainable business.

If you’re a yoga teacher then you should treat your students like customers. Besides inspiring them in your yoga classes, your job is to delight them outside the yoga studio. Start to think about your customer life cycle. Do you offer your customers a clear path of development they can follow? For example, if you offer pregnancy yoga at your studio, can you develop post-natal classes to encourage your new mothers back into your regular schedule?

Know when to give something away or charge for it. Delighting your customers means surprising them in a good way. From free content in the form of instructional videos or a free class or workshop, delight is hard to forget.

Start thinking about how you can package your yoga services for your customers. What do beginners need, what do your more experienced customers need? This will help make it clear how they can progress with you.

Be innovative. What do you have that no-one else offers or that makes you unique? What can you use to your advantage: what is unique about your skills, city or network of contacts that you can use to stand out and reach more people? For example, you’re a yoga teacher who is also an artist, so your classes tap into and promote creativity and you offer retreats that blend landscape painting and yoga classes.

Standing apart from the generic yoga teacher crowd is about finding your own interesting angle or niche. That doesn’t mean you have to come up with some crazy new idea, it’s simply about letting people know who you are and what your unique perspective on the practice is.

Running a business on your own is very hard. Who can you partner with? Get a mentor or coach, join an online community and get inspired!

2. How do you embrace technology as a yoga business?

The first step is to get organised!

The most successful entrepreneurs know that their time is valuable. It’s often easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of admin and organisation that running a yoga business can generate. Manage your time using cloud-based email, calendars and documents. Create task lists and review them. Here at Wildheart we use an organisational tool called Trello, because it’s so satisfying dragging items into to-do, doing and done!

Take time to regularly reflect on what’s urgent versus what’s important. Urgent stuff is always knocking loudly on your door but checking off important tasks is what helps you grow your business. It’s easy to get confused between the two. You need to take time out regularly to keep track of these two streams of tasks. A business coach or mentor can help with this.

Technology is very good at repetitive tasks – much better than humans. But it takes time to set up. If you find yourself repeating tasks more than 3 – 5 times over a period of time then you should question whether you can use technology to make your life easier.

Emails

If you want to come across as professional you need a proper email address – Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail accounts are for amateurs.

Use boiler-plate responses – do you get the same questions over and over again by email from new customers? Create templates that you can copy and paste from and be sure to have an FAQs page on your website.

Website

You must be able to quickly add and update pages on your own website, whether that’s using a simple blog template from WordPress or a more complex design that involves programming code. Get some online training in the areas you feel most lost. Make sure your website is current. If you run any online courses, a teaser or taster video helps showcase your most recent activity.

Blogging

Good quality blogging is essential for the SEO (search engine optimisation) of your website, which means greater visibility and reputability for your yoga business. Writing blog posts that are useful and that will be shared on social networks is important, but also using good links from popular, well-respected sites can help too. Make sure you don’t link to irrelevant sites as Google doesn’t like this! One way of making sure you have fresh content on your website is to partner with other teachers who like writing and feature regular ‘guest’ blog posts.

Email marketing

You want to keep your students up to date with all your activities, so you should send a weekly or monthly newsletter. Including a blog post in your newsletter is very effective in terms of engaging with your students, as this is something they will look out for and share with their network.

As we explained in How to nurture your community by segmenting your email list, by inviting your subscribers to join groups relevant to their interests you can target your emails more specifically. But don’t give people more than 3 or 5 things to opt-in to. Every segment you create needs to be regularly maintained, so make sure you keep your list up-to-date and only send relevant content to each segment.

Social media

Be very careful about how much time you spend on Facebook and other social media channels. They are designed to be engaging and fun, not to make you money. Beware of trends and fads. A good rule of thumb is: can you generate revenue from what you’re about to do on social media? Selfies and yoga challenges are fun for other yogis but quickly turn into yesterday’s newsfeed.

Creating posts and other content that people will want to return to is the key. One way you can do this is by posting in other relevant groups. Rather than just posting a link to your website (which will be deleted if not appropriate), become part of the community. Making meaningful contributions to discussions where people are asking for advice and help can ensure your name (and website) pop up on a regular basis. This will help to grow your reputation and is a good way to attract more credibility either as a teacher or provider of online courses.

Images

Think about your potential students or customers. The kinds of images you present say a lot about the kind of teacher or yoga professional you are. Handstands on glorious beaches are fun but this could alienate a whole group of people who might not resonate with that idea. Headshots and more generic images are preferable. Check out our Creating images for your website post for more detailed guidance on this.

Video

It takes a lot of effort to get good at delivering video content. You need to commit in order to make it work, and we’re talking 12 – 24 months. There’s also a lot of technology in video, as most professional content is produced using SLR digital cameras, professional lighting and, most importantly, a good microphone. However, your trusty iPhone is the perfect starter camera, and a relatively decent microphone is affordable. See our planning your video blog post for more guidance on this. If you’re really camera shy, start with blog writing instead. Or perhaps try recording a podcast, there are plenty of great apps to get you started.

3. Drop the jargon

Yoga is an eclectic blend of Eastern philosophy and Western movement practices. However, for beginner students in particular, ‘yoga jargon’ – long words in Sanskrit or over anatomical terminology – is a turn off.

Use plain English and simple terms where possible. Speak in a language your students (and potential students) can relate to and understand. If you’re a teacher or studio owner, make sure your class descriptions are straightforward – a ‘deep Kali-inspired Vinyasa Flow’ means absolutely nothing to most people, but ‘a more challenging flowing style of yoga which connects breath and postures together’ tells it like it is.

We all suffer from the ‘curse of knowledge’ when running our own business. But resist the temptation to show how much you know and let your expertise shine through your teaching instead.

We hope this article has inspired you to start growing your yoga business by thinking like an entrepreneur, making the most of technology and dropping the jargon. If you need help to start growing your yoga business without losing your soul, why not check out our Packages page – we’ve designed packages just for you!

See how we’ve helped our clients


What is authentic content marketing?

When we started Wildheart Media our strapline was “Content marketing with passion”. Our business is ever growing and evolving and it’s important for us to continually adapt to these changes. So, we recently changed our strapline to “Authentic content marketing”.

In this post we’ll explain why we made this change and what it means for both our business and our clients.

What is content marketing with passion?

Content marketing is all about building relationships. And the most important relationships for any business are with its customers. Because you can’t exactly do much business without any customers, can you?

Because content marketing is focused around your website, email marketing and social media, your main relationships actually span wider than this. It’s not just your customers you’re appealing to; it’s also your website visitors, your email subscribers and your social followers. In other words: your audience.

Your audience is the absolute heart of content marketing. The aim of successful content marketing is to build a relationship with your audience by creating content they’ll love. You want to be instilling a sense of trust and credibility by creating content they find useful, interesting, inspiring and entertaining that will keep them coming back for more. And you do this by sharing what you’re good at in your business.

In other words: content marketing is about building real relationships with your audience by sharing your passion.

Sharing is the new selling

Content marketing is not about making a quick sale. There should be no hard sell tactics or manipulating manoeuvres involved. You’re not trying to trick anyone or pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.

Your ultimate goal is to build lasting relationships with your audience. Some of your web visitors will turn into email subscribers and some of your email subscribers will turn into actual customers. But often not straight away; growing your audience takes time.

In order to build trust with your audience and demonstrate your expertise, you first need to make sure your website is crystal clear about what you offer and makes it easy for visitors to take the next step with you. Once this foundation is in place you need to be publishing regular, high quality content on your website. This can be in the form of blog posts or ‘cornerstone content’ such as an FAQs page, beginners guides, tutorial videos or a Start Here page. You can find out more about this is in How to create awesome cornerstone content.

Then, you need to start sending this out to your audience via email campaigns and social media updates. You need to be publishing content they’re interested in and you need to grab their attention with each email and post. So you need to know your audience really well.

One way to help build authority in your field is to give away content in return for an email address. This provides a low-impact way for your audience to engage with you, get to know you as a brand and see if what you offer resonates with them. And it’s a great way for you to start building your email list. You can read more about this in our article Why you should give away content to grow your business.

Why authentic content marketing?

At Wildheart Media we’ve recently found our perfect niche – marketing for yoga businesses. Our team members are all dedicated long-term yoga practitioners and we’ve been helping yoga businesses grow for many years. Until now we’ve felt a certain resistance to being pigeonholed into only working with yoga businesses, but we’ve finally decided to embrace this niche with open arms! And, as is so often the way when you find the right path, things seem to be flowing much more easily for us now.

One of the reasons we believe content marketing is so perfectly suited to yoga businesses is because they both have authenticity at their core. In our experience, most yoga teachers and yoga studios are resistant to traditional marketing because it feels too fake, ‘salesy’ or even downright manipulative. And yoga isn’t something that can be sold.

But content marketing is quite the opposite. In fact, in a sense, it isn’t really marketing at all. It’s simply using your authentic voice and passion to share what you do with others. Which is exactly what you’re doing as a teacher in the yoga studio. You see, passion is a very infectious thing. And it’s your passion that will inspire passionate action in others – whether in your teaching or your marketing.

At Wildheart Media we’re passionate about content marketing. But we’re even more passionate about authenticity. Our approach is to help you share what you love with others, in a genuine way without losing your authentic voice or soul.

Hence…

Wildheart Media: authentic content marketing


Content Kitchen 9: How do I get more enquiries through my website?

Brought to you on the first Friday of each month, Content Kitchen is a series of videos in which our co-founder Guy answers your content marketing questions. Why Content Kitchen? Because they’re recorded in Guy’s kitchen of course!

How do I get more enquiries through my website?

This is a question that businesses ask a lot. You’ve spent time and money making sure your website looks great and is packed with the right information, but how can you start generating more enquiries through it?

This month Guy shares his top 3 tips for getting more website enquiries for your business – these are 3 simple things you can do right now. Guy’s 3rd tip is inspired by Don Miller at StoryBrand from something he calls the “grunt test”.

So what are you waiting for? Watch the video, find out what the “grunt test” is and put our advice into action!


How lean principles can help you grow your website audience

Eric Ries developed a great process in his bestseller The Lean Startup – yes, this is recommended reading! It’s called “build-measure-learn” and by the end of this post you’ll be able to apply these principles to the content marketing on your own website to improve the quality of your traffic and build your audience.

Why lean principles?

Anyone who wants to grow their business today is faced with an almost paralysing array of choices:

  • Your website
  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Paid search engine advertising
  • Paid social ads
  • Business networking
  • Cold calling
  • Paid lead generation
  • And my father’s personal favourite: “Get out there and knock on doors, boy!”

Perhaps you’ve tried one or all of these methods without really knowing what works. It’s the not knowing that’s a killer. You’re just not sure if you’re wasting your time or not. But you have to do something, right?

Time for a sanity check

Well, the lean methodology can provide you with a little sanity, and when done right it provides you with a measurable way of making incremental progress with your content marketing. It goes without saying that building a loyal audience for any business requires time and unwavering dedication to creating awesome content.

Lean Startup

Let’s start by introducing The Lean Startup. The Lean Startup is a bestseller written by Eric Ries back in 2011. Eric shares his personal experiences of working on startups in Silicon Valley and adopting an approach to product development based on lean manufacturing principles.

Build-measure-learn

At the core of the lean methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop.

You start with an idea or an assumption, i.e. you think problem X needs solving; then you build what is known as a minimum viable product (MVP) to test this assumption; you measure the results; and then take what you’ve learned and create a new test, restarting the cycle once again.

You continue to iterate through this feedback loop, trying to improve the results from each of your tests.

So what’s the big idea?

The big idea here is that: you think you know what people want, but actually you don’t.

The feedback loop provides an objective way for you to prove or disprove your assumptions.

So how can we apply this approach to content marketing?

The centre of your content marketing

Here at Wildheart we advocate creating regular, original and high quality content on your website to build a loyal audience for your business. We believe this is THE place to start when it comes to content marketing.

Regular blogging is also a fundamental part of content marketing as it helps to position you as an expert in your field and give people a reason to come back to your website.

So, when it comes to content marketing, we can adapt the build-measure-learn model to publish-measure-learn. Let’s break it down.

Publish-measure-learn

Before you start publishing content for your business, there are a number of steps you should go through first. Check out How to choose your blog topics for your business audience to learn the process we use with our customers.

You also want to set some goals for your website. We have a blog post coming up over the next few weeks about creating a measurement plan for your website. So keep an eye on our content marketing blog.

Publish

Your content calendar contains a list of blog topics that you’re assuming your audience is interested in. Publishing these posts, sharing them with your email list and on social media is going to give you something to measure.

If you’ve been creating regular content for a while then you’re in a good place to start measuring the results. If not, then you’d better get busy!

Measure

There are 2 important things to consider when it comes to measuring the success of your blog posts. First, you should be aiming to create relevant evergreen content that becomes more valuable to your target audience over time.

Secondly, your website traffic is constantly changing and your audience today won’t be your audience in a year’s time. You should be focusing your efforts on improving the quality, rather than the quantity, of your traffic over time. By focusing on the quality you’ll naturally increase the quantity.

Measuring the quality of your content

When looking at your top content you want to keep an eye on:

  • Average time on page,
  • Returning visitors to page,
  • Page bounce rate.

Measuring the quality of your visitors

When looking at your audience engagement you want to keep an eye on:

  • New vs returning visitors,
  • Average pages per visit,
  • Average visit duration.

An example of how NOT to do it

Back in 2006 I started blogging for my first agency. As someone who loves art and design, I visited an art exhibition on Constructivism in London and wrote a blog post about it. Over time this became evergreen content on our site, meaning it became one of our most popular pieces of content. Unfortunately, it was completely irrelevant to our audience of business owners needing our marketing services.

My first mistake here was to focus on my own interests rather than on the needs of our potential customers. Now, ideally you want to appeal to both. It’s important to write about what you’re interested in and knowledgeable about, but not at the expense of your business audience. Be disciplined and keep it relevant.

My second mistake was measuring content that wasn’t aligned with our own business goal: to generate business enquiries through our site. It sounds so obvious, but don’t measure what doesn’t matter. Get clear about your goals.

Learn

In this step in the process you’ll want to use the data you’ve gathered to inform what content you’ll create next for your audience. The more times you repeat this process the more you’ll learn about your audience and the better equipped you’ll be to offer them content that’s meaningful to them.

One of the greatest benefits of approaching your marketing using lean principles is that you’re always learning from your audience. This attitude of constant learning is very handy in the ever shifting sands of the modern business world.

Are you ready to transform your business with content marketing?

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Sharing and ownership: 2 keys to your content kingdom

In this month’s Content Kitchen video Guy highlighted the importance of having your own website in this social media age.

You may already know that content is king and why you should be giving away content in order to grow your business. But what should you give away and what should you keep?

In this post we’re going to explore 2 keys to the content kingdom: ownership and sharing. And why you should be posting your own original content on a website you own.

The paradox of knowledge vs sharing

If knowledge is important in the knowledge economy then how can it be good to give it away?

Ideas need to travel so that they can spread and reach enough minds in order to bring about change. The printing press was a revolution in how ideas travelled. All of a sudden it was possible to create exact copies of books cheaply and quickly. With this ability to create copies came the need for copyright.

Copyright is the exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. It’s important to note that copyright doesn’t protect the ideas or concepts within, only the distribution of them.

Let’s hop over the telephone, skip over the radio and jump over the television to land at the next great communication revolution – the internet. The internet absorbed all the innovation that came before it and out of it was born the world wide web, created in 1989 by English scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The world wide web gave us the web browser – which you’re using right now to read this.

Digital content gave us the means to instantly create infinite copies faster and more cheaply than was ever dreamed possible before. Ideas spread faster now than they ever have, thanks to search engines and social media. This sharing of ideas in the form of content continues to transform our lives.

Key #1: ownership

It’s now become standard for companies to have a virtual home in this digital domain. This is your company website. You even have your own domain name. Ours is wildheartmedia.com. This is where we create and store all our original content. But we can’t control who finds us, copies or shares our content. In fact, we want people to make copies of and share our content – as long as they attribute it to us.

Creative Commons is a much needed upgrade to copyright designed to meet the needs of our modern times.

All of this can get confusing for businesses. Especially if you get paid for your ideas. But if you don’t share your ideas no-one will find them – or you. So it’s really important that you create your own original content on your own domain.

Whilst you most likely own the content you share on various social media networks, it’s very easy for ownership to get lost in the wave of social sharing. So, as a general rule, we always encourage our customers to own their content by first publishing it on their own domain.

Key #2: sharing

Here at Wildheart we give away almost everything: we share our strategies, our tactics and our processes. We even create videos showing you lots of great content marketing tips. We do all of this because it shows we’re confident and really know our stuff.

So how do we actually add value? We add value when we work with our customers. Because there’s one thing we can’t give away. And that’s context.

What this means is that when we work with customers we help them to do the right thing with their content marketing at the right time. This is what helps them get results. By repeating this process over and over again we build deep and rewarding relationships that help businesses grow over time.

Where do you draw the line?

In this new sharing economy, high quality content is freely available. And, yes, your competitors are giving it away too. This forces businesses to be more creative about how you give away or share your content. It’s also more important now to be clear about where you draw the line in your own business.

What do you give away in order to attract new customers and what do you keep to yourselves? Let us know in the comments section below.

 


Overcoming the curse of knowledge

Our co-founder Guy was recently interviewed for Site Visibility’s Internet Marketing Podcast. The topic was ‘Overcoming the curse of knowledge‘ and you can listen to the full podcast below.

In this post we’ll explain what the curse of knowledge is and share some tips for breaking free of the curse. By the end of this post you’ll be able to transform how you speak and write about your business – so that people actually get it!

What is the curse of knowledge?

Let’s start by defining what the curse of knowledge is. Here at Wildheart we define the curse of knowledge as: “The more you know a subject, the harder it is to write about it in a simple way.”

To become an expert in your field you spend years learning and refining your craft. This creates a knowledge gap between yourself and those who would buy from you.

When you meet someone and introduce yourself face to face you have multiple cues as to whether they understand what you’re saying: body language, facial expressions and conversation. This means you can continually adapt what you’re saying until you know they understand you.

Forget it, let’s dance!

Have you ever been at a party where the music was really loud and someone asked you “What do you do?”

After a few seconds of leaning in and shouting in their ear you can see them looking over your shoulder and eventually looking bored…

If you’re quick you may just grab their hand and say “Forget it, let’s dance!”

What’s happening on your website?

On your website you don’t have those same cues to respond and adapt to in real-time and you sure don’t have your dance moves either!

So, what do you have? Just text and images mainly.

And the text starts with the very first heading people see on your homepage. When a new visitor lands on your website you only have a few seconds to virtually grab their hand and take them on a journey.

The 3 most common symptoms of the curse of knowledge

Take a look at your homepage now and see if you can spot these common symptoms:

  1. Your website copy is all about your business, your services and your expertise.
  2. Your copy includes industry terms and inside jargon.
  3. You’re not clearly asking your visitors to take action or you’re giving them too many choices.

How to overcome the curse of knowledge

Based on the 3 common symptoms above, here are our practical tips for overcoming the curse of knowledge:

This really isn’t about you

The single biggest mistake we see businesses make is writing too much about themselves and not empathising enough with their customers.

You need to position your customer at the centre of your marketing campaigns and web copy: How does it feel to have their problem? And how will it feel if you solve that problem?

Shoot straight!

When reviewing your web copy and marketing campaigns, keep an eye out for industry terms and jargon. Swap these words for more straightforward alternatives.

Even words that seem simple to you might not mean a great deal to your audience. Remember: you’re the expert with years of experience in this area. They’re coming to you with a problem that needs solving and they want to quickly and easily find out if you can help them.

If you’re too close to your own copy, or you’re not sure if it’s too jargon-heavy, try asking a layperson or someone outside your industry to read it and give you feedback.

Don’t make me think

Give your visitors one thing to do on each page of your website. Do the hard work yourself by deciding on the one action you want them to take on each page.

Remember: the more choices you give people, the more friction you create.

Kicking the habit

Unfortunately, you can’t be cured of the curse of knowledge: you simply know too much!

But the curse can be treated. Get into good habits and follow our recommendations above every time you’re planning your marketing campaigns. Make it part of your standard process to actively seek out symptoms of the curse and remedy them.

Have you got any curse busters?

What techniques are you using that help you overcome the curse of knowledge? We’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below.

And to find out more about the curse of knowledge, listen to Guy’s interview on the Internet Marketing Podcast.

Listen to the podcast interview with Guy


4 things you need for successful content marketing

In How to ride the content marketing wave to grow your business, we defined content marketing as a way of promoting your business via regular content you publish on your website, email campaigns and social media.

It’s an ongoing process that’s all about communicating with your audience and potential customers without directly selling to them. The main aim is to educate and inform, although a little entertainment goes a long way too!

So, how do you get started?

4 essential ingredients

Before you can even begin to grow your business with content marketing, there are a few things you need to put in place first. Well, 4 to be precise.

Without these 4 key ingredients, your business simply won’t have the solid foundation it needs for growth.

You may have heard of the 3 Ps, but what’s the 4th ingredient…?

People

People are the bedrock of your business. Your business simply can’t exist without them.

Good relationships with clients are essential. Are you nurturing those relationships? Are you thinking about what your clients want? How they feel? How they behave? Are you considering your clients’ pain points and doing your utmost to solve their problems? Are you really meeting their needs?

Of course, your clients are only one side of your business. The people you employ, contract or collaborate with to do the work are just as important. Are you considering your own people’s needs too? Do they feel valued and respected? Are they motivated? Are they happy?

Product

It stands to reason that you need a great product in order to successfully market it. This means a product or service that is in demand and that people value and care about.

Sure, some businesses might have awesome marketing campaigns but if their product isn’t up to scratch, it simply won’t stand the test of time.

Similarly, a business might have a truly great product, but without the right marketing it simply won’t sell. It needs to be marketed in the right way, to the right audience, to get the best results.

Process

Process is the key to any successful business. You must have simple, clear and repeatable processes in order to successfully deliver your product or service.

In order to establish your processes, you need to think through every scenario of your business. What’s the first touch point for your clients? How can they contact you? What happens next? What systems do you need in place to manage orders or bookings? Do you need a CRM (customer relationship management software)? Who will manage this? Do you need a follow-up or keep-in-touch process? What happens in the event of a cancellation or refund? What other scenarios might occur?

Processes are very important for your people: so your team knows what they need to do and when; and your clients know what you’re doing and why.

A large number of complaints and conflicts within business are due to mismanaged expectations. Having clear processes in your business helps to set people’s expectations at every level – which is crucial for your success.

An optimised website

You may already be aware of the importance of the 3 Ps in business. You may already have good people, a great product and clear processes. But what about your website? It could be letting you down.

Does your website have:

  • A clear call to action on each page?
  • A simple, well-organised structure?
  • A user friendly interface with easy-to-find pages?
  • A super fast loading speed, even for pages with lots of images?

If you answered no to any of these questions, the chances are your website could be letting you down. The good news is that we can help! Our packages are exactly what you need to ensure your website is fully optimised and set up in just the right way for you to start growing your business with content marketing.

As well as conducting in-depth research to find out who your audience is, what content they want and how to keep them coming back for more, in our SEO package, we can also fine-tune your website with all this essential geeky stuff:

  • Review site structure & reorganise pages
  • Carry out website content audit
  • Implement SEO recommendations
  • Review page goals and calls to action
  • Re-categorise existing blog posts
  • Set up MailChimp account, email list and branded email template
  • Set up analytics
  • Install essential WordPress plugins
  • Optimise performance

Book a free consultation

Successful content marketing takes time and patience. In order to stand a chance of growing your business, it’s essential that you have these 4 ingredients in place.

Once you have your great people, awesome product and smooth processes in place, you’re ready to make sure your website is set up just right.

Why not book a free consultation today and find out how we can help you get the results you need from your website and marketing.

Book a free consultation


Content Kitchen 5: How does Brexit affect my content marketing?

Brought to you on the first Friday of each month, Content Kitchen is a series of videos in which our co-founder Guy answers your content marketing questions. Why Content Kitchen? Because they’re recorded in Guy’s kitchen of course!

How does Brexit affect my content marketing?

This month we focus on the topic on everyone’s lips right now – Brexit. Whichever way you voted in the EU referendum, one thing’s for certain – emotions are running high. This was probably the biggest political decision of our generation so far and the UK is now in turmoil.

So how does it affect your business? In this month’s Content Kitchen video, Guy suggests the top 3 things you should be doing with your content marketing in the aftermath of the referendum.

If we have one message for you in these times of uncertainty, it’s this:

Keep calm and carry on content marketing

What next?

In the video Guy suggests the key areas to focus on for your content marketing. For more information, check out our blog posts on these topics below:

What is evergreen content and why should you create it?

Why you should give away content to grow your business

An introduction to Lead Magnets: how to use your WordPress blog to grow your email list


How to ride the content marketing wave to grow your business

If you want to grow your business, you need content marketing. Sounds simple, right? Well it is. You just need to know where to start. Oh, and you need the right board, the right skills and the right weather conditions too! Let me explain…

Content marketing is like surfing. It takes time and patience to catch the right wave. If you put in the effort and wait for the swell to build, you’ll be enjoying the perfect ride time and time again.

But first things first, what do we actually mean by content marketing?

What is content marketing?

To put it simply, content marketing is a way of promoting your business via regular content you publish on your website, email campaigns and social media.

In today’s fast-paced society, internet speeds are increasing, new social media networks are popping up wherever you look, our attention spans are getting shorter, and information is coming at us from so many different sources, it can be a challenge to keep up with it all. Everything’s getting faster, bigger, louder and we expect more, more, more.

Traditional marketing methods simply don’t cut it anymore. Most businesses are becoming aware that they need to do things differently, think smarter and act quicker to stand out.

And that’s where content marketing comes in. According to the Content Marketing Institute:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Content marketing is an ongoing process that’s all about communicating with your customers and potential customers without directly selling to them. The main aim is to educate and inform, although a little entertainment goes a long way too! If your readers feel educated by your content, they’ll start to trust you and you’ll begin to instil a sense of authority and expertise in your industry. Many of your readers will then reward you with their loyalty by becoming regular customers.

How does content marketing work?

Content marketing is a potent combination of multiple disciplines, including:

  • business strategy
  • sales
  • lead generation
  • marketing
  • web design
  • blogging
  • copywriting
  • SEO (search engine optimisation)
  • email marketing
  • video
  • social media
  • analytics

Each one of these disciplines can take years to learn and master. But don’t get disheartened – you don’t need to do everything at once!

To begin with, you need a decent website. And by decent we mean a simple site that clearly explains what you offer, why it’s of benefit and how people can buy it. We’d suggest using WordPress for this, as it has built-in themes allowing you to set up a basic site fairly easily. It’s also the world’s most popular content management system!

Then you need to start publishing regular content and the best way to do this is via a blog. Again, enter WordPress which – hey presto – already has a blogging platform built in! For tips on blog writing, check out our 7 steps to writing a great blog post.

Of course, there’s no point publishing regular content if no-one’s reading it, so the final basic step is to send your content out into the world. You can do this via a combination of email marketing and social media.

Why do I need to create regular content?

Publishing high quality, regular content is the key to content marketing.

It needs to be high quality so that your readers feel educated and remain attentive. Remember that information overload we mentioned earlier? The trick to being heard amidst the cacophony of your competitors is to publish content that provides meaning and value to your audience. They’ll only be interested if they think you have something worth saying. And your readers are fickle. If you publish a bad blog just once, the chances are first-time visitors won’t bother coming back for more.

It’s important that your content is published regularly, like clockwork. We’re bombarded with reminders, notifications, popups and email newsletters, and it’s the ones that consistently repeat their message that tend to get through. You must have experienced this yourself. Out of sight, out of mind, right? So, consistency is the key.

Another great reason to be publishing regular content is because search engines love it! The more you change the content on your website, the more search engines will reward you by increasing your rankings. Google loves organic SEO, which means the more relevant keywords and phrases you can naturally incorporate into your content, the better.

Of course, there’s some content on your site that doesn’t need to keep changing. In fact, ‘evergreen’ content is just as valuable. This is content that’s non-time-specific and actually increases in value over time, through being repeatedly referenced, linked to and shared. Examples of evergreen content include: FAQs, testimonials, case studies, how-to guides, beginners’ guides, etc. For more tips on evergreen content, read our article What is evergreen content and why should you create it?

How do I get started with content marketing?

OK, so at a basic level you know you need a website, a blog, some social media accounts and email marketing software. But, as you probably guessed, there’s a bit more to it than that!

Firstly, you need to do the groundwork. Content marketing simply won’t work without a solid foundation in place. And this means ensuring your website is set up right, as well as doing your research.

Website setup

Before you start creating content you’ll need to:

  1. Organise your site architecture. The pages of your website need to be laid out in a clear and simple way so your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for. Or, to put it another way, they find the pages you want them to find, which keeps them coming back and eventually buying from you.
  2. Add calls to action. Does every page of your site have a firm goal and clear call to action that you want your visitors to take? A call to action could be to visit another page, to sign up to your blog, to contact you or to buy now.
  3. Optimise your site’s performance. Does your website run as fast as it should? If you have large images, videos, or complicated themes, plugins or code, they could be slowing your site down. This can cause visitors to leave your site, meaning your content doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
  4. Carry out an SEO audit. Are all the pages and posts on your site search engine friendly? It’s important each page has the right information so your site is more likely to be found in a Google search. An SEO audit helps you take stock of where you are and where you want to get to.
  5. Set up analytics. It’s crucial to install a measuring tool on your website, such as Google Analytics. If you already have Google Analytics then this will tell you how your content and site generally are performing, so you can make informed decisions about what to do next.

Research

Nailed the setup, and think you’re ready for content marketing? Think again… In order to create awesome content that grows your audience and becomes more valuable to your business over time, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Competitor analysis. Do you know who your competitors are? What are they doing to grow their business? Is it working? Researching your competition is important for helping you understand your customers and differentiate yourself in your industry.
  2. Audience research. Knowing your target audience is essential in helping you understand what content you should be creating. A combination of feedback, surveys, and creating customer profiles can all help with this process.
  3. Keyword research. In order to improve your search rankings you need to know what search terms people are actually looking for. There’s no point optimising your site to be found for the term ‘Purple glass jewellery’ if no-one’s actually searching for that phrase!
  4. Topic research. Once you know your audience and keyword focus, you can start researching your topics. What’s trending in your industry right now? What problems are people facing? What topics would your audience find most interesting and valuable?
  5. Content schedule. Now that you’ve done all your research you can start putting together a content schedule. How often will you publish your content? What are your topics? Which categories do they come under? And how will you share your content?

If this all sounds like a lot of work, don’t panic! Our SEO Package does all the hard work for you. We’ll make sure your website is set up just right, then carry out all the research for you, to give you a solid foundation from which to launch your content marketing.

Once your foundation is in place, you can sign up to one of our monthly content marketing packages. All you do is supply the content; we take care of everything else. Our packages are designed to dissolve your marketing headaches so you can get back to doing what you’re good at.

As an added bonus, you can download our free Content Schedule when you sign up to our blog. It’s the perfect way to get organised with your content marketing. Simply complete the form at the bottom of this page.

How long does content marketing take?

As we said earlier, content marketing takes time and patience. You have to wait for the swell of the wave to build slowly.

We know how frustrating it feels to put all that work in, to be publishing regular content and sending it out into the world week after week after week. You might not see any tangible results for 3, 6 or even 9 months.

But trust us – don’t give up! As long as you’ve done your research and you’re sending the right content to the right audience, you will eventually start to see some traction.

Experience shows that it takes at least 9-12 months to really see good results from your content marketing efforts. That might seem like a long time, but we promise the rewards will be worth it. The visits to your website will start to increase, you’ll be growing your email list, your readers will start turning into leads, and your leads will eventually turn into customers.

With a bit of fixing here, a little research there, plenty of consistency and a lot of patience, you’ll be riding the swell of that content marketing wave with confidence while watching your business grow.

Our top tips for content marketing

Check out our top tips for riding the content marketing wave:

  • Write your own content – no-one knows your business and customers like you do.
  • Focus on fixing your website first, before tackling email marketing and social media.
  • Check out our guides on How to write killer headlines for your blog and How to write email subject lines that get results.
  • Start your email marketing by sending out an engagement campaign to your email list, however small this is.
  • Create a lead magnet to engage your audience and start growing your email list. Check out our Introduction to lead magnets guide.
  • Remember: social media isn’t just about sharing your own content; you need to engage with others too, so discuss, comment and ask questions.
  • Don’t quit before the miracle happens. It takes time. Be patient. Remember: traction builds slowly like the swell of a wave!

If you’d like to find out more about our packages, simply Book a Free Consultation and we can start dissolving your marketing headaches today.


Why you should give away content to grow your business

Did you know that businesses like Apple and Google are built on free software?

Apple’s operating system OSX is built on Unix – created by telecoms giant AT&T who were prevented from selling the software due to anti-monopoly laws.

Google uses a custom version of Linux – essentially an open source clone of Unix. Unix is often used as the operating system of internet web servers. I could go on and on with lots of super geeky examples of open source software that makes the internet a better place, most of which you wouldn’t have heard about unless you were a bit of an internet nerd.

How about some examples of businesses that you have heard of that have used free software as an essential part of their business model?

Software businesses

Software businesses have long-since adopted what has become known as a freemium business model. This means that they give away software in order to gain users. Why? Because the more people using your software the better. Just ask Bill Gates!

Skype

Skype is a free internet phone and video service with 74 million users (so I’m guessing you’ve heard of them).

If you haven’t: You can download the Skype software for free and make video and voice calls for free to other people who also have Skype installed anywhere in the world. Wow!

Out of their 74 million users only 8.1 million are monthly paying customers. That means that only 9% pay for Skype. Microsoft bought Skype back in 2011 for a whacking $8.5 billion – 4 times what Skype was worth at the time.

Dropbox

Dropbox started back in 2007 and is a cloud storage service. Their software enables users to store and access their files from any device that has their software installed. Their free account only allows 2GB of storage (not much), so Dropbox rather cleverly offered their members free space in exchange for new customer referrals who signed up to their service. This was a great viral marketing strategy to grow their customer base. They now have over 400 million users with around 150,000 paying customers.

But why should I give away my content?

That’s all fine and good for software companies, but what if you run a consultancy or service business? It can seem counter intuitive to give away valuable content, especially if what you sell is your expert knowledge in a specific field. Wouldn’t giving away knowledge undermine your business and help your competition? All great questions!

Demonstrate your knowledge with confidence

There’s nothing like generosity as an expression of confidence. Giving away some high value and insightful tool or resource builds loyalty with your audience and strikes fear in the heart of your competitors… Who knows, they may even go one better than you and give away something even more valuable that you can then download and share with your customers.

Sharing is good karma

If people find your content useful and it’s freely available, they’re more likely to share this via email and social media across their own networks.

What do you want in return?

Very simply: Email list building. We’re giving away useful content in exchange for an email address and permission to send that person useful and relevant emails. We do this because, as a digital business, part of your content strategy is to build a loyal audience who you can engage with, learn from and occasionally convert into paying customers.

Remember that digital marketing is not a replacement for business development! In a service business you should always aim to build relationships in person or via video.

What do we give away?

Here at Wildheart Media we give away a lot. One example is our free website content audit worksheet for anyone planning a website redesign. This is not some nicely designed checklist with fancy graphics (although we do love fancy graphics!) Our website content audit worksheet is a detailed and thorough colour coded spreadsheet that we use with our own clients when we get them set up with our content marketing packages. We’re currently on version 4 of this spreadsheet and we keep refining it.

Why are we giving something so valuable away? Very simply we want businesses to succeed, not just our customers. Redesigning a website is a lot of work and the more a client understands this process the better the results will be. We’re also not a web design agency, we’re a content marketing agency. So this doesn’t feel like a conflict of interest to us.

How can you get started?

Read our blog post on how to use lead magnets on your WordPress website – it’s a great primer on the topic.