You can't be in business online unless you have a way to start conversations with people. After all, very few people immediately land on our sales pages & click "buy now" even though they've never heard of us before (no matter how much we wish they would). Which is why it's great to give them a low-risk reason to engage with you so you can begin to have that conversation.
Enter the freebie.
There are so many different kinds of freebies you could give away. Free designs, wallpapers, checklists, guides, ebooks, workbooks, challenges, quizzes, surveys, assessments, summits, mediations, audios, etc.
How many have YOU opted-in to? Which were your favourite? Which did you actually get the most value from? Which do you think you'd be excited to offer your audience?
Each one has a different level of set-up required, some require launching & running live, like challenges & summits. And each one has different advantages/ disadvantages & levels of engagement.
Only you know what will work best for your biz, your life & your audience. Don't let anyone preach you into doing something that makes you feel super uncomfortable.
But I've been making freebie funnels quite a bit lately because I had this idea for starting a Free Gifts page on my website where I could add a couple of new items/ month and eventually we'd end up with a library of beautiful and useful things for you. :)
So, the topic of funnels came up with one of my mastermind groups. I did an impromptu, unscripted tech tutorial. And I walked them through the big picture of a funnel & how you turn it into a conversation. That's what I want to share with all of you today.
I often feel this big pull between being an explorer & creative on one side & an entrepreneur on the other.
I want to honour the natural rhythms of creativity that ebb & flow like the tides sometimes bursting forth in huge waves of inspiration that I couldn’t hold back or slow down if I tried. They lead me down interesting tangents & paths where I stumble upon my own private cave of wonders. And sometimes my creativity asks the most difficult thing of all - for me to slow down & be patient, to rest & trust that this time of hibernation in preparation for the next wave of inspiration & all the energy it will take to birth that. Slowing down is hard, as I recently mentioned in another article.
But as much as I desperately want to honour this creative mad genius & the wild and whirling ride that sometimes accompanies it…I also feel the pull of being an entrepreneur. A CEO, a business woman. Who just happens to depend on her creativity for a living. So I also have this need to be consistent & constantly produce for myself & my clients. And sometimes these two sides seem inescapably at odds.
Why is it that when we sit down to write we put SO MUCH PRESSURE on ourselves to get it perfect from the first burst of inspiration? The first word to erupt from beneath the tip of our pen?
hate formulas. I'm not trying to build a cookie-cutter brand. And neither are you.
I understand why we use formulas. Especially when you're first starting out. They're quick. You don't have to know WHY it works. Or HOW it works to apply it. You can just slap it up there (like everybody else) and walk away.
I use formulas when I'm not interested enough in a topic to understand how it really works (think high school math class). And I use formulas when I lack the confidence to be creative on my own.
Copywriting is FULL of formulas.
Especially headlines. I have a swipe file full of hundreds of headline formulas - that I NEVER use. Seriously, I downloaded it one day in a fit of insecurity that my headlines & hooks weren't performing well enough & I should CLEARLY be using the same formulas as everyone else on the planet!
Except I never did.
But don't worry I've got you covered. I've put all my best tips & tricks into a FREE PDF so you can learn to write creative compelling headlines and hooks yourself.
I'm feeling the need to sloooooow down. Funny, because winter is more than half way through but my body + soul have been whispering the last few weeks that it's time to hibernate.
Actually, the image that kept coming up for me was a cocoon. It's time to slow way down & just cocoon for a while.
Which sounds blissful, doesn't it?
The only problem being that I seem to have created this go-go-go-full-steam-ahead lifestyle. I've been crazy busy trying to "implement". Trying to do all the things it takes to have/create/run a successful business. Which has left me feeling less focused than ever, more stretched, spread too thin, trying to be everywhere at once - and guess what? Mostly failing. Mostly not getting any of the results that I crave.
But slowing down feels scary.
I love this phrase, don’t you? It hints that you have perspectives, secrets, wisdom hidden within you waiting to come out. Once you uncover your courage & unlock your voice. And because it’s yours... it’s unique.
Something only you have to offer.
Whether you’re in convo with your best girlfriends or writing for your website or sharing a Facebook Live - speaking your truth is soooo important.
So often we grow up & lose our voice along the way. We lose touch with what it is we really want to say. Need to share. Our truths become buried beneath layers of fear.
I am obsessed with brand positioning statements. I learned just how beautiful and genius these things could be a few weeks ago from Ash Ambirge. And it was love at first look-at-the-possibilities-bursting-in-this-paragraph kind of glee.
Since then I've written one for myself (of course) and used it to refresh the About section of my Facebook page. I've played with and tweaked and refined these statements into Homepages for clients. I wrote one for a course (course positioning statement?) and wove it into a sales page for another client. And I've even taken the idea and refined and polished it into an ideal client statement for myself...as sort of a tribe positioning statement.
I told you I was obsessed.
It's a fantastic idea and I'm running amok with it. Deconstructing it. Adding to it, mucking about and playing with all the little bits and pieces like a kid with a new puzzle. Creative evolution for the win! And it gives me such massive clarity around the themes I should be working with in the writing. Yay!!
So much fun!
Competition is an illusion. It doesn't matter if hundreds of people are selling basically the same thing you are.
Want to know why?
Because people will choose where they buy something based on how buying from that brand (or from that person or from that store) makes them feel. And whether buying from that brand reinforces their identity (aka the story they're telling themselves in their head's about who they are or why they aspire to be).
Launching is terrifying.
Whether it's launching your freebie opt-in, launching a 5-day challenge to build your tribe or launching the signature program you've been creating for months. It's one of the scariest things we do as entrepreneurs on a regular basis.
It's also something that's definitely on my list of things to learn to do better this year. ;)
Why is it fear factor 9657?
Because every time we launch our ego jumps out of our chest and says, "What if no one buys?" "What if all you hear is crickets?"
Which feels like a confirmation of everything that doubt-ridden little voice in our heads has ever had to say about us...being good enough to get paid, being worthy of attention, being a true professional or creative, ever having a chance at pulling off this "entrepreneurship" thing.
The voice that whispers success ain't for you dear, you're never going to make it the way those other did. Better pack up now. Take what's left of your pride and go back to the safety of a regular j.o.b.
At least you gave it a shot.
DO YOU HAVE THAT VOICE?
There are approximately 7 billion people on the planet. Odds are someone, somewhere has had the same, brilliant brainwave that has just occurred to you for the first time. Odds are someone, somewhere does something similar to what you're doing.
Yet we crave originality.
Some marketers talk about being 1st to market with a new product, a new prototype, or a new patent as if anything less isn't worthy of their time and attention.
Hell, even when we KNOW you're competing in established markets with products or services that can be found elsewhere marketers & copywriters among them *guilty* will ask you...
What makes you unique?
What makes you different?
What makes you stand out from everyone else who does what you do or offers what you offer?
Which puts ALL THE PRESSURE on us to be original. To somehow be so creative or different or colour so far outside the damn lines it becomes unrecognisable.
I've been there. I've put that creative pressure on myself. I've so desperate wanted to do something "different" (whatever that looks like) - that I've allowed myself to get completely stuck. Frozen. Immobilised by imperfection, creative insecurity and lack of originality.