Sure, I built a six-figure business in six weeks. Earned six figures in six months of my second year and am on track to continue to earn multiple six figures in my third year in business but boy oh boy did I screw something up.
When it came to my content and my websites, I screwed up royally by separating out my sites and diluting my web traffic.
Why This is a Big Mistake
As you build your business as an entrepreneur, it’s important to consider your long-term diversification of monetization strategy. For me, a big piece of that strategy is books and speaking gigs. I’m already speaking internationally and my first book is going to be available on Amazon as of March 15-ish, but my long-term goals require that I create as large of an audience as possible (which I am ROCKING!) to leverage for these long-term goals.
Followers are a business goal. They will never, as I have shared with thousands at this point in my career, translate to 1 to 1 sales or clients, but they will help you with brand recognition, indirect sales and word of mouth sales. And, for anyone with aspirations of TED talks, book tours and hit podcasts/web series, audience development is key to getting investors interested.
Web traffic is also a big piece of this pie. We spend so much time talking about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that we often forget the big piece our website plays in our brand recognition.
For newbie entrepreneurs, a landing page is a great place to start — no matter how “new” your brand and business is, collecting emails is the most important thing you can do… while growing one or more social platforms.
I often recommend that the email list + Instagram are the two top priorities for any new business or brand — that allows you to give users a sense of your style as well as send them to your site to start increasing your traffic AND collect valuable user data to be used in the future.
Don’t Make the Mistake — Keep it All Under One Roof with Redirects
Having multiple URLs per brand is key to brand success. And there’s nothing wrong with it as long as all traffic leads to the same place. Working with an online business manager (like me!) who has an understanding of the key elements needed when it comes to creating a larger community and succeeding in ALL of your goals is one of the best ways to avoid this mistake.
Best of All? I make ALL of my clients keep their content compact!
And so, in conclusion in this true confession, I must say that it is more important than ever to take your own advice, even when you know — strategically — why you’re separating your brands, take the advice I should have taken from myself — keep it all under one digital roof and be happier in the long run.
PS: I’m re-launching my website this April! Click here to sign-up and be the first to know when it’s live!!
Brand trust — in everything from e-commerce brands to brick and mortar stores to editorial brands — is gone. Consumers — that is people who buy, click, visit, read and share — are more skeptical than ever. This is a problem ALL brands, businesses and individuals who share content on the many digital platforms face — and yet, it seems like we’re doing nothing to combat it. There are many, many things that can be done but the most important thing YOU can do? Be transparent with your audience every step of the way.
Editorial brands like The New York Times have spent decades refining their reputation. Television news brands, like CNN, ABC, NBC, etc. have done the same. And now? Now we have a generation of consumers — in all age groups and all phases of life — who are skeptical of everything they see, read, share and hear.
Where does that leave us?
These digital tools — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more — are platforms meant to bring communities together. Like the meeting houses, bonfires and great halls, these platforms have become a place to buy, trade, sell and share.
And as trust in the information presented decreases?
Well, it stands that trust in brands trying to sell in the same arena would also decrease.
And you don’t have to take my word for it — Buzz Sumo recently analyzed over 880 million (yes, with an m) Facebook posts from brands and publishers and engagement is down by 20% — regardless of spending which, for many of these individual entities, increased dramatically over the same period.
As an individual, you may have noticed a downward trend too — and that makes sense because as the algorithm struggles to learn new ways of verifying real vs fake content, individuals and business pages, it puts a clamp on all information.
Organic reach still exists — if you have the right content strategy in place, you should be able to see an increase in reach with a few well-placed tweaks — but it is not the same as it was.
So what are online entrepreneurs to do?
Transparency is your friend
Sharing your success stories, case studies and launch stories is bread and butter of digital brand marketing when it comes to online personalities. The true key here? Is to break it down! Tell your audience how much you spent on Facebook ads, how much you spent with affiliates, where you placed your content and how much time you spent training your audience to be primed for purchase. Share your missteps (because nothing is truly a failure) as lessons learned to move forward.
Be the expert, own your space
Experts are a dime a dozen — but YOU have a unique spin for YOUR zones of genius and excellence. YOU get to decide what content you share and how your audience consumes it. And you get to shine in the darkness of unreliable content (otherwise known as fake news) by providing statistics, data and verified sources. You are a content creator 5% (or less) of the time and a content curator 95% of the time — curate wisely.
Own your missteps — see them as an opportunity
The New York Times prints corrections… every, single news organization in the world prints corrections. Humans are not infallible — we are HUMANS. It’s called Human Error for a reason and the best way to combat the problem of unreliable content on today’s oversaturated content platforms? Think like an editorial team — decide how, when and where you’ll acknowledge your corrections and make it public. Make sure that you’re owning these answers consistently in your messaging. Using a response grid (like the one I offer for free, here) is a great way to stay on top of this day-to-day and across a distributed team.
It was a Monday. A hot Monday in the second week of August. It was the summer of my dreams, the summer where I finally said “yes” to being fully, completely and totally me. The summer where I declared my independence for all the right reasons instead of for someone else or something else.
I’ve been building digital communities, managing content strategy, partnerships and influencer marketing, creating live video series and managing social media brands for a decade. And, if you think about digital marketing from a 360 point-of-view, I’ve been doing that since 2005. Building websites, tinkering with Google Ad words and figuring out the workaround, the “Vix” for any tech issue has been something I’ve been doing since High School. And I have loved it wholeheartedly.
I often say my true professional career began 5 years ago — sure, I was managing digital brands at Time Inc. before that, long before that (before I even had a degree) but five years ago, I managed the strategy for a national digital brand on a whole new scale. I was the Digital Producer at LIVE with Kelly and my whole life changed — I went from playing small to believing “this or better,” I went from having multiple side hustles to have one, all-consuming full-time hustle and trying to keep my personal brand stable through the shift. I moved to Manhattan, fell in love with SoulCycle, found a new community and fell in love with myself.
I found myself, the person I was meant to be, the truest version of myself, five years ago.
And in the five years since, my practice has continued — I have worked on becoming a true digital marketing expert, on truly understanding what it takes to get a community to not only engage but convert AND tell their friends. I’ve worked with celebrities (Meredith Vieira, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan, Michael Gelman), with life coaches and authors (Hal Rubenstein, Christine Hassler) with non-profits associated with the United Nations (the Education Commission) and with entrepreneurs running every type of business you can imagine — from construction companies to jewelry designers, from stylists to YouTube stars and everyone in between.
I believe you cannot be what you do not see and I strive to use my personal practice as a way to show women – and men! – of all ages that a new chapter is possible. That your story continues no matter what obstacles you face.
That you are extraordinary.
You are the smartest person in every room — but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning! You can be anything you want to be, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other expects worth partnering with. Life is long and you cannot even imagine what’s coming your way.
Your job? Be open to possibility, trust your gut and continue the practice every. damn. day.
To continue to be more transparent about when, where, how, why and with whom I do the things I do (that have let me generate massive results for myself and clients), I’ve created a series of 10 videos on the 10 lessons I learned in Year 2 of being a badass fempreneur.
I hope these lessons inspire YOU to take the leap in whatever that looks like for YOUR life and YOUR zone of genius. And if you need a bit of help defining that? Take my six days to a successful side hustle challenge — it’s free and it’s the perfect way to dip your toes into the sea of possibilities that surround your life story. Sometimes, you have to jump off the life raft and immerse yourself in this sea — for in the lazy river of life, opportunities are only available to those who seize them.
And if you want to get these types of tips delivered straight to your inbox, sign-up for my newsletter (it’s free!).
If you don’t want to watch now, the ten lessons are:
Find the work around — the rAframe
Smart is sexy and you are always one of the smartest people in the room….
But that doesn’t mean you’re done – Never. Stop. Learning.
Cheap Ain’t Cute, Honey — making the right investments in your dreams
Surround yourself with multi-passionate people, for in diversity, we find strength
And the support strength of the right group is an asset, not a liability
CMS. Chief Marketing Strategist, also, a Content Management System.
WordPress is a CMS, Squarespace is a CMS… these are the tools used to house content online and deliver it to your audience.
And I serve that exact function for Brands, Entrepreneurs and Influencers.
I take your secret sauce and turn it into a business and brand that converts into dollars in your bank account and a fully booked calendar.
Content is King, Video is Queen and I help my clients (at all levels) determine the best way to leverage the free tools on social platforms, combined with their current available assets, to create a brand that is attractive to their ideal client.
The best part? You don’t have to be an online business to use digital tools to advance your business! Having a deep understanding of digital tools can help you negotiate a raise, find new job opportunities and build a network that helps you design a career that you are proud of.
From free workshops in my Facebook Group (http://facebook.com/groups/vixyourlife), to group courses and coaching (http://creativixmedia.com/pricing) to 1:1 sessions and brand management, I handle every aspect of marketing your brand, business, coaching practice and side hustle online AND I’ve assembled the perfect team to help me do it when the project calls for all hands on deck!