Zero-cost word-of-mouth marketing is the gold standard of brand ambassadorship and the one thing that will surely build your business, customer base, and client book.
The best way to build online reviews for your business is by designing a superb product or service that delights your customers and clients while delivering an exceptional experience from beginning to completion of a purchase. Restaurants know this via Yelp and Open Table. Businesses are starting to pay attention to Glass Door. However, consultants, freelancers, and hired guns also need reviews.
It doesn’t matter what you do or what you offer. If you’re a nutritionist or personal trainer, or maybe a fashion apparel designer or corporate wellness director. Perhaps you’re a physician, attorney, life coach or yet another creative director, you want to work for five-star ratings.
As I transitioned from marketing and PR agency owner to online business consultant and strategist, I knew that one of the fastest ways to bring in new business was to focus on my current clients’ absolute happiness.
I knew that when they shared their happiness with other people who didn’t know me, I was creating a built-in lead generator for future clients while minimizing my cost per client acquisition spend. What does that mean? Well, this has been going on since the dawn of time, but so many free agents don’t remember to make recommendations and referrals a priority. You see, my reviews on LinkedIn, Upwork, Angel list, Clarity, Thumbtack and my website help convince and convert those that are on the fence about working with me. They help to get the client to sign the agreement and start the project.
Whether you own a healthy fast food cafe, or you’re a veterinarian looking to build your thought leadership position, great reviews will let everyone know what to expect from you.
So how do you get reviewed? Well if you are pivoting your career like I did or you’re just starting out, you want to create profiles on above-mentioned platforms, like Linkedin. Then you want to find clients and you can do that on platforms like Upwork. Then you want to deliver the goods in an impressive way. Some platforms will prompt a client to give you a review. Others, like LinkedIn, require you to request a recommendation. How?
I continue to work diligently for great reviews and recommend you do too. Need help creating your online presence? Let’s connect about what you’re up to @madelinemariejohnson on Instagram.
It takes boatloads of courage to act on your gut and it takes an even bigger heroic dose of bravery to say f-ck no to everything else. The path is dark and full of the dreaded unknown, yet you proceed any way. Sure, from time-to-time you’re tempted by a false sense of security, of a “job” and an actual paycheck and all the glittery shiny things it can buy.
But this is not the way of the creative warrior, the emerging designer.
No. You hold out.
You just keep building. You just keep creating. You just keep going. You do anything to make it happen.
You hold the standard. Your standard.
This is what bootstrapping a business feels like and what it means to only say hell yes to what you really want.
I’ve been closely involved in the behind the scenes development of fashion brand Orseund Iris for the past two and half years and I am so immensely proud of Alana Johnson, one of my four remarkable bad ass daughters.
I’ve worked with many big brands but nothing compares to the rapid growth I’ve witnessed with the power of social media.
10 Celebrity-Approved Contemporary Labels That Made It Big in 2017
Alana Johnson’s New York–based label, Orseund Iris, was launched several seasons ago, but 2017 was the year it really took off, making the rounds on social media and the street style circuit alike. What began as a collection-based brand that soon developed into a non-seasonal model, it has become a celebrity-approved go-to for reworked classics. Its claim to fame is the corset, which gave way to the three-dimensional bra tops that are every bit as much a hit; whatever the case, both have molded the famous curves of models such as Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski.
Here are three super important tips for new fashion designers to follow –
1. Build your social media following every single damn day. Your business will only be as big and beautiful as the number of people who find you.
2. Press won’t come until you build your own gorgeous content and start confidently shining your own light. So take those snaps, share those stories and connect with your favorites on Instagram and Facebook first.
3. Wear your own designs before you finalize the details., before you cut that first pattern and before you grade. We know you’re inspired by what’s out there, but what make’s it an original – your design – is the very touches you add that no one else can.
Forge on brave one and hold the standard.
xo Madeline Johnson
What to Do When You Hate to Sell
So many business owners tell me how they hate to “sell”. They don’t like to push their products or services on people because they can’t stand it when they are sold to by other companies. They delete email campaigns, block brands on their social media accounts and get really weirded out about retargeted ads appearing out of nowhere while they are surfing online. I know, it’s spooky. I get it, I don’t like pushy sales campaigns either, but I also think many business owners need a shift in their perspective. If you have a great product, you shouldn’t be selling at all. You should be building a community with your website, blog, video and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. You should be creating valuable videos, posts and downloadable tools that help future customers. Create and share like a thought leader about the problem your product solves and always give them a call-to-action.
Social Media Marketing Isn’t Difficult, But It Is Time-Consuming
So many brands want to create social media posts on the fly or worse yet, farm out the work to a freelancer who doesn’t understand their market. The truth is, without proper planning, research or quality visuals, you aren’t going to attract any attention at all. Posting thoughtless or copy cat content can also lead to breaking trust with potential customers and clients. If clients only spent more time being thoughtful about what they want to post and really answered their audience and their community’s burning questions. If they only put themselves in their customer’s shoes. Think like your customers and clients and then give them solutions and broadcast it out to your social media content.
Even The Best Content Won’t Be Seen Without a Sizable Community
On the other hand, many clients have fantastic content, but they haven’t bothered to build a following on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat or Pinterest. They are wasting all that work on a community of zero. The way to get followers is to follow, to comment, to like and engage with the audience you want to attract.
I often get asked by associates, friends and new clients about what I am currently working on these days. Lately, I am in the midst of helping a number of businesses navigate their way through digital marketing & web-based sales.
I have a digital marketing consulting gig, which includes web and email campaigns for Glaxo Smith Kline. I am working with Roy Heitzer, Head of Multichannel Marketing in the Nordics: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Norway and his team.
I am also creating a full marketing plan (including editorial content for articles, video and blog posts as well as strategy for social media and special events) for Nuvo Suites.
On the side, I am writing articles about healthy and natural living for Green Scene Gal, a new blog dedicated to helping women who long for a more natural way of life that is free of synthetic chemicals, GMOs, pesticides and artificial hormones.
I just published this article to help warn new moms and dads about arsenic levels found in baby food.
In the meantime, I am also developing a B2B Drip campaign for the fitness franchise Get in Shape for Women. See attached for email one of the five email campaign.
On a day-to-day, I strategize and assist Alana Johnson, designer and founder of Orseund Iris with her made in NY fashion label. This includes strategizing and optimizing the business for growth which continues to build a following with 98% of online sales coming from Instagram and fashion influencers
For those startups looking to build their vanity metrics with media interviews, I also have an online course www.ThePRPlaybook.com for entrepreneurs in health, fitness and wellness. This is targeted to brands like PEbyDesign.com who I have helped from the ground up.
This list of market building business tips about how to stay on course while you design epic products and services for the world was originally created for my daughter who is a hard-working, bad-ass fashion designer. Like every child ever born, she asks for advice daily and then ignores a lot of it. SO THAT IS WHY THERE IS SO MUCH EMOTION BEHIND THIS POST. All of these tips apply to anyone making anything. They work and they are important and today is a SPECIAL DAY because she is FINALLY heeding more of this advice. Amen.
Sure she’s nervous, as any startup who has achieved a bit of success would be. You might be nervous too – the big question – how do I sustain the success? Especially in the finicky world of Insta-fashion. Here, I humbly give you YOUR GUIDING STRATEGY FOR STAYING & GROWING SUCCESSFULLY.
WAKE UP, DESIGN, REPEAT
Design EVERY SINGLE DAMN DAY. Do not let a morning go by without designing. That means you don’t answer emails or texts or schedule meetings unto 1 pm every day. Why? Because the life of your authentic brand depends on you DESIGNING. Designing can mean sketching, shopping vintage, eating something delicious, going to an inspiring store, museum, listening to music – WHATEVER MAKES YOUR CREATIVE MINDFLOW BABY. The only reason you are in business is that you designed epicness in the first place. There is a lot of stuff people can buy out there, they are choosing to drop their bank on yours. KEEP THOSE CUSTOMERS HAPPY.
DEVELOP SYSTEMS FOR REPETITIVE STUFF.
What is a system? A set of rules that a baby monkey can do. They just learn the system (written or video instructions) and they do it.
Develop a system for responding to customers emails including templates for their frequently asked questions.
Develop a system for making sizing 1,000% CLEAR for all customers. Put it on the website.
Develop a system for ordering office stuff – like your favorite drinks, food, printer ink. Yes. make a list for the intern or assistand – where to go, when to reorder, how to pay for it. Make it so YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO TELL HIM OR HER WHAT TO DO.
Develop a system for packing items for shipment – include the surprise and delight gift – write it down or video it for the new interns. Then make them watch it. Show them PRECISELY HOW YOU LIKE IT DONE.
If you are complaining that an intern or assistant isn’t doing something the way you like it, it is YOUR FAULT. You didn’t set up the easy-to-learn systems.
TAKE PRE-ORDERS ON ALL NEW DESIGNS
The best rule of business is to MARKET BEFORE YOU MANUFACTURER. This is done by the best, most SUCCESSFUL companies. Create the demand BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY MAKE THE style. How?? Start sharing the backstory of design on your Instagram and Pinterest (YES PINTEREST) accounts. Show your customers the inside scoop. Tease them and then create a link to a page where they can GIVE YOU THEIR MONEY. Let them know they are going to be the FIRST TO HAVE IT. How exciting is that?? And give them a little something special for supporting you in the meantime. Make the “landing page” really JAZZY, sexy & FUN. Show the super special parts of designing, what inspired you. What is a LANDING PAGE? It is a special page on your website that you LINK TO THE BIO in your Instagram account every time you POST about that one design to INSTAGRAM. Don’t wait for the customer to SAVE your post. Make it EASY FOR THEM TO SHOP THE LINE. Stop with this I DON’T WANT TO BE TOO “PUSHY” CRAP. THERE IS PUSHY AND THEN There IS MAKING IT SIMPLE & EASY. DO THE LATTER.
SAVE SOME MONEY FOR GOD’S SAKE
Stop f-ing WASTING YOUR MONEY on stupidly expensive food. That $6.00 matcha drink isn’t good for you. Don’t buy into it. What is good for you is PEACE OF MIND THAT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT ISN’T NEGATIVE. Lack of money is the most stressful thing that can happen to you. You can lose your lover, break a leg, create something stupid that people will laugh at, but if you don’t have dough in the oven, life will SUCK. Make it a habit. Open up a BUSINESS SAVINGS ACCOUNT TOMORROW. Do it after you finish designing. Move $500 over IMMEDIATELY and then add reminders to your calendar to drop $500 in every month. DO THIS NOW. More if you can. Save, save, save. We are going to INVEST that money too, so your money can make baby money. GROW THAT ACCOUNT BABY.
LET THOSE DAMN HATERS HATE
It’s their job. That is what they do. Haters are going to HATE. It’s GREAT to have haters. Why? Because you are actually doing something that get’s noticed. Hater’s don’t hate on something that isn’t getting any attention. Why? BECAUSE HATERS DON’T DO ANYTHING BUT HATE. That is how they get their ATTENTION. MORE MONEY, MORE HATERS. That’s okay. Hell, some brands actually pay to have more HATERS. It’s called Facebook and Instagram ADVERTISING.
CHILL YOUR ROLL. TAKE A BREAK.
Every day make sure you do something ridiculously extravagant and/or luxurious. GO AHEAD WASTE SOME TIME. Whatever that means to you. A pedicure, a bike ride, a hello fresh meal with your partner. This business building thing is NOT A RACE. It is YOUR LIFE and you need to enjoy YOUR LIFE. So make some time every day to do something fun that you enjoy. DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT. Just do it. Just like you design, you also take time to RELAX every day.
IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY – MY ASS
Anytime you can call out some creep ass KNOCK OFF cheater brand copying your original designs DO IT. Make them feel like what they are GREEDY, UNORIGINAL A-HOLES. That’s right. Call them out. Call them out in public in a CLEVER AND FUN WAY. Like you care but you don’t care. Unless they are HUGE creepy conglomerate – a dinosaur – looking to stay relevant. Then EMAIL CALL & SCREAM at the CEO & Founder and their BOARD OF DIRECTORS. Remember, however, when YOU are INSPIRED by something to REDESIGN IT and make it your VERY OWN. Best thing to do really is KNOCK OFF YOUR OWN DESIGNS and start a second business in the weird ass bowels of eBay. LOL. P.S. Don’t spend too much time on this and try to design something so ahead of the curve that the market has to catch up. One step ahead baby.
MOST PEOPLE ARE CLUELESS ABOUT HOW FAST THE WORLD IS CHANGING
So, don’t listen to MOST anyone, except maybe people like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil and maybe me because I have made it my business to stay RELEVANT, ahead of the CURVE and on top of my game. I AM FASCINATED WITH CHANGE AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO. NO JOKE. Every business is being disrupted by technology. This includes INSTAGRAM. You have to start emailing & MEETING with your customers and clients. WHY? Because Instagram may become the old people’s party and then how you gonna find them customers? SnapChat?
But doesn’t everyone hate email? Hello, people DON’T CHANGE THEIR EMAILS. Some still hang on to their freaking yahoo and aol accounts. Emails are a tighter connection. Better YET get the cell phones of your VIP customers and take them to DINNER. Just, whatever you do, DON’T BE BORING. Create an email you WISH SOMEONE WOULD SEND YOU.
GROW UP WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS OR KEEP ATTRACTING THE YOUNG GUNS
Yeah, your 25-year-old Insta-hottie is going to have a baby and all of a sudden that cropped off the shoulder number isn’t going hide her love handles and/or mother belt. Oh, am I “body shaming”? Read the HATERS note above. This is reality. Have a plan as to how you will keep moving forward with your biggest fans now or the babies coming down the pike.
EVERYONE IS GOING TO WANT A BIG BITE OF YOU. CHOOSE YOUR PACK WISELY
Why? Cause your haute, hot, HOT right now. Yup. Especially the has-beens and the wannabes. Be DISCERNING. Be choosy. Be SUPER SELECTIVE about who you chill with. Why? Because if you hang with the reckless and wild, you will become reckless and wilder. If you chill with the sorry asses, you, in turn, will be a sadder one. EVERY dedicated entrepreneur experiences a bit of FOMO at times. There should be a LONELY HEARTS CLUB MEETUP for those building something big. Get out, dance, laugh and then get back to work. That BULL SHIT ABOUT WORKING HARD & PLAYING HARD is for drunks and trust fund IDIOTS without a purpose. Balance your work and play and stay away from the MDMA. Seriously, it’s not worth the emotional roller coaster ride. Get HIGH ON LIFE.
SELECT WHO YOU WANT TO DO BUSINESS & SCREW THE 15 MINS OF FAME
Stop getting so flattered every time someone wants to COLLAB or PARTNER WITH YOU. You are WORKING YOUR ASS OFF and deserve to be noticed. Say NO to anyone not willing to collaborate with respect or who brings their headaches to the table. You have enough of your own problems to solve. If it’s not a HELL YEAH immediately than it’s a F NO. If you have to THINK about whether you want to sleep with someone, then it’s A F NO and collaborating is a lot like sleeping with someone. Create a list TODAY of the discerning people or businesses you want to align yourself with. SAY NO to anyone else who reaches out. Say it nicely. Always be kind. Kind always works.
You WON’T MISS OUT. Andy Warhol was WRONG and RIDICULOUS about that 15 minutes of FAME. Not true. Most people remain anonymous their whole lives. You may never be famous. Who cares? It’s better to BE GREAT.
KNOW WHAT SUCCESS MEANS TO YOU
Stop measuring your success by other people’s stupid ideas of success. SUCCESS IS SIMPLY DOING WHAT YOU LOVE. Life is short. Everything else is BS.
IT ALWAYS TAKES LONGER THAN YOU THINK.
Whether it’s sex with an ex or a check-up at the dentist or building your first prototype or sample. So STOP with the anxiousness. IT WILL TAKE YEARS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS. Even Google, the FASTEST growing business in the history of the world took 15 years to become a GIANT. SO SLOW THE HELL DOWN.
Note to reader: I have included examples of digital press kits and timely news angles in this article that you can download. They may be helpful for you as you build out your stories to share with top tier media and influencers.
Examples from the Front Lines of Digital Marketing
One of the reasons I continue working with startups and emerging entrepreneurs is because it keeps my ear to the ground and in touch with the true pain points and biggest challenges that many new brands struggle with when it comes to marketing and promoting their products and services. The obstacles they face become my opportunity to help.
Case Study #1 – The More They Burn, The Better They Learn
Matt Gardner is a physical education teacher and health and wellness professional speaker from Novato, California. Championing kids to be more active and healthy on a daily basis, Matt has created PEbyDesign,, a program to help elementary school teachers get their students moving in the classroom for at least 60 minutes a day (a requirement from most states and the federal government).
I have been helping Matt build his side hustle, working with him on everything from his website user experience to building his own authentic voice while creating his digital press kit and all of his social media platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Right now I am conducting one-hour consulting calls with Matt and screen sharing video web chats with him to help him build out his social media strategy.
Case Study #2 – The Best Place For a Financial Wellness Check up
The best place to start your financial future and an empowering tool for financial wellness, I have helped R.J. Irving, a former Morgan Stanley advisor launch this SaaS platform to help Millennials understand how much to allocate to their 401K savings, health plans, and rainy day, emergency accounts. I created his digital marketing decks and press kit and scheduled and executed his strategy for Twitter and LinkedIn.
A sample of marketing collateral and digital press releases in a downloadable PDF file here Melius General Presentation-2.
Case Study #3 – Celebrating The Millennial Home Buyers Journey
Hearth & Beam’s creator Kyle Rothschild hired me to write his digital press kit, timely news stories, and social media strategy. Hearth & Beam was created to document and share everything that makes a house a true home.
Hearth & Beam’s downloadable digital press kit here. A writing example of a creator profile Kyle Rothschild, HearthandBeam.com,
An example of FAQ’s for the media and influencers here HearthandBeam.com Media FAQs
My fact sheet writing sample here Hearth and Beam Fact Sheet
And timely and newsworthy story angles here HearthandBeam.com News Stories
Case Study # 3 – Artisanal Gourmet & Organic Condiments
Brown Dog Fancy is the purveyor of artisanal gourmet mustard. Made from organic ingredients and sold online and in stores, I helped the owners of this condiment brand with their marketing collateral, digital press kits and social media strategy for #HowIFancy
Here are examples of a healthy food digital press release that I wrote for Brown Dog Fancy to share their story Brown Dog Fancy Story
Here, timely, news angles and ideas for reporters and influencers Brown Dog Fancy Story Suggestions
Day-to-Day Marketing Success happens when you are creating articles, social media posts, and inspiring & enlightening “content” that is linked to remarkable products and services. This includes the ongoing creation of engaging information that people are willing to read, watch and share as they begin to refer your brand to friends and family.
In the Beginning, You are Building Trust & Giving them a Taste of What You Offer
These initial website visitors that you attract are so grateful and inspired by your willingness to help them through their daily struggles. Your initial marketing lures them in with free guides, downloads, helpful “how to” videos, uplifting social media posts, etc. Eventually as they begin to trust the consistent value that you are giving them for free they become more and more willing to buy your products and services, as they hand over their hard earned money to you.
Welcome to the World of Publishing
Your company should aim to be the ultimate guide, guru and media publisher of everything in health, fitness, nutrition and wellness. The number one source of information on each healthy therapy or treatment you offer – from yoga to meditation to personal training, whatever it is you do, give up your best advice and recommendations, for free. Everything you write, share on social media and offer to potential customers must be better than anything else written or filmed on the web. You must become the go to source for information about your speciality and beat out the
Experimenting is Everything
Smart marketers and businesses experiment as they grow and they also monitor and measure what works and what doesn’t. A part of day-to-day marketing is taking notice of your most popular social media posts, product promotions, blog articles and videos. Oh, and your competition’s as well. Smart marketers also dig deep to find out more about their first customers. Where do they live? What else are they reading? Where do they shop? They play close attention to those that are visiting the site often, commenting on YouTube videos and clicking their way to the cart.
Day-to-day marketing involves A/B Testing of website offers (testing one promotion against another), Buy one, Get one Free, 20% off first time sessions, $30.00 for referring a friend. Smart marketers try different promotions and use promotional codes to monitor their success and/or failure.
Some Daily Marketing Rules for Success
Build a 30-day Stock Pile of Great Blog & Social Media Content before You Hit Publish
- Create, write and video at least one full month of content before you begin posting. This will be thirty days of blog articles, thirty days of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube posts. If you have one month of content you won’t get behind because each day you will be creating new content for the future.
You Will Be Marketing Every Single Day
- Plan on publishing existing articles and writing articles for the future every single day. Not all articles need to be written, some can be posts of beautiful photos with a few lines of copy. Others will be 15 second videos. The most important thing is that they are very helpful to your readers, viewers and visitors.
Create the Article and Video First & Then Posts for All Social Media
- You will start with an idea for an article, write that article, maybe script it for a short video too and then you will create a version of it for a Facebook Post, a separate Instagram Post, 3-4 Tweets, a Pinterest board, a Google + post, a LinkedIn Pulse article, maybe a different version of the article on Medium and a YouTube video. You will take that one idea and turn it into different useful updates for all social media channels and each channel should be understood to have a different context and a unique type of user.
Engage with Others by Commenting, Liking, Retweeting, Reposting & Sharing Their Content
- Engage with your competitors’ readers, viewers and those that follow your competition, especially influencers so they can begin to become familiar with your brand. You don’t simply push out content, you must connect with your like minded tribe. On Instagram, search through hashtags and top users; on Facebook & LinkedIn look to groups; Repin and comment on Pinterest. Spend as much time as you do creating a post as you do reading and commenting on influencers and enthusiasts content.
What will we write about? What blog article content will be best for Health, Fitness, Wellness & Nutrition Professionals? How and where will we get this information?
The best content topics will be those articles and videos that answer the most frequently asked questions that people ask therapists and health professionals and the questions that they place into Google and Bing search engines.
This information needs to be gathered from a variety of places. How? and from Where exactly?
1. Survey the Practitioners
Survey all vetted trainers, therapists and professionals especially those that you follow or know in person. Make it easy on yourself and use a survey tool like SurveyMonkey.com
A list of questions
What are the most frequently asked questions from new clients and patients?
What are their biggest mental and physical health problems?
What treatments, trends and therapies are they most skeptical of?
2. Copy & Improve Your Competitor’s Content
Research and Monitor the type of content that your competition is sharing with the world. They have an advantage – sites like Mind Body Green & Greatest.com have years of users and data under their belt. They know to write and create video content that their audience wants. Copy their content ideas but make your articles more detailed, more instructive, more valuable to your audience. Yes, you want to steal content ideas.
3. Stay on Top of Trends in the Holistic Health & Natural Market Place
Read and Review trend reports from various media including traditional health media like Women’s Health, Prevention and even Mother Jones. Do more research, find as many lists of trending topics in health and wellness and write about each individual trend. What’s trending right now in 2017? Personalized nutrition, Ketogenic diets, Rope wall yoga, Animal Flow, Barre & Cardio Fusion, Women-only clubs, Mushrooms as the new superfood to name a few things. Google search your way to the top trends in health and fitness and plan to create your own trend report for 2018.
4. Actively Network & Record Conversations
Listen to Viewers, Readers and Those Customers You Meet in Person
Attend trade shows, workshops and events, keep your ears to the ground, listen to what people are asking, what they are talking about. Jot down questions in Evernote or your notebook. This will also make for amazing blog article content.
5. Review Your Online Offerings
Review all of your offerings – this includes in person and by appointment video sessions, courses, retreats, etc and write and script a video about the benefits of these offerings. Write about them in detail. Interview people (testimonials) who have benefited from these services.
Make sure that each blog article ends with a Call-to-Action without selling to hard.
A few Call-to-Action ideas –
- Book a session now
- Download Today
- Sign up for our email newsletter
- Schedule a webinar
- Listen to a Guided meditation
- Get a Free Workout Session
6. Publish Great Content Daily using Specific Keywords and Hashtags
Obviously the hashtags will change as you post about different treatment and fitness modalities or healthy recipes. Gather and write about all of the information you learn. This will allow you to create individual blog articles and a content strategy that will –
- Build your organic search engine optimization for your website
- Create a level of trust between you and your potential audience
- Help convert website visitors into valued customers
Stay Organized and Create a Daily Content Calendar
You can use a word document, Excel, Numbers on Mac. Anything to keep you organized. One post per day, posted to your blog and then shared with everyone on each social media channel in a different way. Mix it up. One day about meditation, the next about massage therapy, then a favorite new roller work out, Energy Healing, test all of the different healing and health therapies you have and develop blog posts about them, using the formula above, to find out what people care about the most. Look at your stats, see what they like, comment on and read the most.
Your calendar should be in tune with everyone’s schedule. Most look at social media more deeply during the evening from 8-10 pm. This is what data shows for Facebook. Twitter is for news updates all day long. As you watch your Instagram stats you will see when you have the highest amount of engagement and likes.
How else can you stay organized? Well, you can stick to a consistent theme, so your customers and followers know what they can expect from you. Here is an example of a weekly themed calendar.
Lift up your audience and get them ready for the week. Empowering blog articles and videos will inspire your readers to help themselves heal their mind, body and spirt.
Articles (and social media) will guide readers and viewers through personal transformations using nutrition, fitness, mindfulness and empowering messages. Posts will clarify and answer questions for your audience – How does hypnotherapy help transform my weight? How does acupuncture bring on mental clarity while reducing stress? Will Reiki help me sleep better? How will personalized nutrition make me healthier? Educate & inspire them.
Sharing of ancient wisdom of modalities like Energy Healing, Shamans, Ayurveda. Quotes from masters, unknown secrets to healing. Everything and anything to educate the public about how to stay healthy, wealthy and wise.
One of the most popular days on Facebook, thoughtful posts can dive deeper into how we heal ourselves, how we live and how much thoughtful attention we should pay to our well-being.
It’s the end of the work week. Keep Friday articles “lighter” and social media in line with getting ready for the weekend. Focus on “how to relax” “how to get the most out of your weekend” how to create an at home retreat”. Post about courses you offer that customers can take over the weekend. Maybe you are starting your business in NYC or possibly the North east coast. You may want to post about healing places to go, healthy & wellness events or new classes to take.
Oh the weekends, when most are either hung over or ready to rock the gym.Weekend workouts, personal fitness and training, meal prep for the week.This is when people have more time for themselves to work out.
Focus on those therapies that can help heal the spirit. Meditation that soothes the soul. How to create an Ayurvedic spa day. A post about how Energy Healing soothes the spirits. Poems by great writers. Keep your content soulful and real, so it resonates emotionally with your followers.
If you have particular questions about how you should begin marketing your business, please feel free to reach out. Send me a Tweet @MarketCouncil or email me at email@example.com. I would love to connect.
It was during a back-to-back deskside media tour here in NYC smack in the middle of an epic snowstorm, as we rushed to appointments with top tier publishers of magazines like People, Elle, Fitness, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health magazines that Ottmar, one of my all-time favorite clients, told me “I think you should start figuring out how to make money while you sleep.” He claimed that was the smartest advice he ever got from his father.
It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Sure, just make some money while you sleep, you know, sell something on line or invest in the right stocks and bonds or braver yet, try to run more than one business at a time. Hah! fancy me, a serial entrepreneur.
Before you even start thinking about starting a new business, your own company or a second brand, understand that there are some right (read: smart) and wrong ways to expand your entrepreneurial profile.
I was interviewed for the May issue of Inc. Magazine about how to start up and manage more than one business at a time. I learned an awful lot about what not to do and finally figured out how to grow faster and easier. If you are running off on your second venture take a moment to read some wise advice here, Just Because Elon Musk Is Doing It All, It Doesn’t Mean That You Should Too.
The takeaway – do what you know, expand on your strengths and don’t try to make money in an industry that you know nothing about.
Okay, here we have my contribution to a healthy set of rules to follow with a go get ’em 😎 strategy for freelancers navigating the new gig economy. Maybe you were laid off, looking for a new job, searching fo a way to make extra coin or you are having a hard time figuring out how to do so. These rules encompass what I have learned so far from helping others build their dreams.
It’s not all about making money. How boring. Set out to meet and work with interesting people. Network like hell, join Meetups, free workshops, seminars and lectures on Eventbrite. Strike up conversations. Don’t be shy, ask interesting questions. Take the focus off you. That will make you less self-conscious.
In the beginning, say yes to everything, thank you, Derek Sivers, so you can say hell yeah to what you really want later. Do it. The small, the tedious, the boring, the ridiculous, the uncool. Unless it’s really illegal or something that could hurt someone, say yes to every project you get.
Now work for five-star reviews. Client not 100% happy with the job you did? Need to put in another weekend to respond to their requests and questions and remake that thing you created for them? Do it. Do anything you can to score a five-star review on your profile from a satisfied human being. Be of service and do it well.
Give away your best ideas for free. All of them. Seriously. All of that research you did to help you become better at what you do. What you learned from the courses you paid for and all the takeaway lessons from the hours spent fine-tuning your skills. Write it, film it, document it and give it away. Gracias James Altucher.
Slow down. Don’t rush. Create quality. Approach everything, every project, whether it is personal or professional with a grateful mindset. From doing your laundry in between UserTesting gigs to getting out for a mind-clearing bike ride between blog posts. How you do anything is how you do everything. Focus. Train. Practice. (Tim Ferriss)
Don’t be rigid. Be flexible. Flexible about everything. How much you get paid, how long a project will take, who you choose to work with, your relationships and what you learn. Think like Bruce Lee. Be water, my friend. Be water.
Do not try to be a thought leader, expert, guru or God forbid, an influencer. Aim to be helpful and valuable instead. That’s it. Oh, and be yourself. Comb your hair first. Sometimes I forget to do that.
All advice starts with “Be true to yourself”. Do what you’re passionate about. That’s hard to figure out. How about starting with being frank and honest. But do it in a kind way. Don’t be snarky and condescending, but be real. That is how you begin to remain true to yourself.
Take some time each day to feel your feelings. Don’t just work like a beast. For God sake, be vulnerable. Don’t hold that shit in. Being vulnerable will help you attract better clients and build stronger relationships with people. People like honest people. So, learn who you are and what you stand for. Self-awareness makes for an improved portfolio and body of work. I think Gary Vee agrees.
When you land that project, take a moment to ask yourself – How can I do this in a better way? Reexamine your approach to projects. Learn how to be more productive, more efficient and more creative.
Expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then bring those ideas into your realm. Steal ideas from the best. Blatantly rip them off, don’t forget to put your spin on it too.
Choose yourself, start hustling today, because honestly no one except your mom and dad or family you actually get along with really care. The idea of security and safety in a job in 2017 and beyond is a false narrative.
There are just a handful of old skills you can bring to the new economy. So everything that got you through your last job, well yeah, no. You need to build an arsenal of talents. Carry over the timeless and true but plan on learning something new every single day.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the money. If you are nervous and don’t feel quite confident about your value, ask for a little at first. Don’t worry, you will get tired of making peanuts for a living and competing with half the world that lives on $2.00 or less a day. Work, learn, build, upgrade. Repeat. Then ask for more.
Sign up for all the new bank-disrupting ways to get paid. Stripe, Square, Shopify, PayPal, Venmo, ACH, Wire transfer. Hell, take cash when you can.
You are only as good as your last gig. Seriously. A review or case study older than a month is old news. Keep on working, building, creating, repeating. Share projects you are proud of on your website and social media. (Omit names and specifics when you have signed an NDA)
Hello there, I am Madeline Johnson, a marketing and media strategist based in NYC, specializing in health and wellness. I love working with people who are creating products and services to help us look and feel our best. I also strive to be 1% better each day. That’s it, I take baby steps because it’s hard and I suck at a lot of things, but I do it anyway. It seems sinful not to. My quest to make sense of it all Undisputed Origin.
Oh and I have a course for you. It’s only two hours long and it will help you understand how to be a better interview guest, collaborator, and freelancer, while scoring media and influencer coverage for your new company. It’s called The PR Playbook. If you are just starting out and on a budget, hit me up @marketcouncil on Twitter or @madelinemariejohnson on Instagram for a free promo code. I know what it’s like in the beginning.
Note: This case study is a summary of a very successful three year public relations and media outreach campaign that I single-handedly created and executed, landing media and influencer mentions in US Weekly, Elle, Shape, Fitness, Allure, W, Health, Prevention and many, many more. It is packed with story ideas, pitches and ways to reach out to the media and influencers for press coverage for your new brand. While I love working with health, wellness, fitness and nutrition brands, these tips are for anyone trying to connect with the media and build their market. If you are looking to build press and influencer connections like a pro, you should probably check out my course The PR Playbook.com as well.
Why Vanity Metrics Matter
Everyone knows that influencers can actually sell through your product, bring real return on investment to your conversion funnel and actually have you making some money off your new business, but you tell me, how do you plan on paying for all that sponsored media? You need a balance of both blogger and persuasive top tier mentions and connections to convince and convert.
Same Problem, New Solution
I digitized these press clips and organized them into case studies with helpful tips for you to demonstrate that the news cycle in health, wellness, fitness and nutrition is a continual loop of how to look and feel our best. What is old again, is new again.
How to Pitch Like a PR Pro
It is not enough to tell the world you have built something brand new. You MUST share the problem you solve and why your product is the ultimate solution. In order to do this consistently like I did, with press in every media outlet imaginable – from Brides to Marie Claire; Town & Country to Oprah and Travel & Leisure to Vogue, you have to be very, very creative. No blogger, vlogger or journalist in their right mind wants a mass blanket pitch.
One of my first clients in beauty was a complex collection of skincare products (read: over 125 SKUs) from a brand called Yon-Ka Paris.
The challenge: Accumulate international brand awareness and celebrity cult-like status for an obscure, botanically-based skin care line created by two eccentric sisters living in the countryside of France without heat, electric or plumbing.
- Create an influencer & celebrity worthy experience while delivering five-star results at a world premiere event, like the Cannes Film Festival.
2. Don’t just focus on the masses. Branch out and persistently and consistently land press coverage in specialty (niche) media like I did here with bridal and new moms.
3. Pitch story angles around each individual product for additional reviews and inclusion in specific problem/solution stories.
4. Build upon product coverage and reviews by promoting spa and retail partners to build a clip book of the best of spa and wellness experiences in top tier media outlets, like Allure, Vogue and W.
5. Stay on top of all consumer trends and connect the brand to everything that is “hot”, on newsworthy, while climbing the charts – always sharing with media outlets in a timely fashion.
6. Create a charticle and/or listicle with products that offer solutions for every health and beauty challenge under the sun.
7. Never miss an opportunity to let the world know that your product is coveted by insiders “in the know”. Yon-Ka featured here in The NY Times.
8. Research, uncover and reveal blogger, vlogger, model, celebrity and influencer hacks, secrets & ways to look and feel their best. Then share it with those who want to look and feel like a star.
9. Highlight and tout exotic ingredients, or even every day house hold items and edibles like grapefruit as the next super food, miracle cure and foundation of youth, while sharing the benefits backed by science.
10. Show everyone short cuts to reduce stress while recreating an at-home mindful spa & wellness experience.
More ways to create story ideas around your products and brand . . .
- People can never have enough ways to eliminate the signs of anxiety and exhaustion.
- Help followers, customers & prospects pack for travel and another season and reason of self-care.
- Vet products, curate collections and share other complimentary brands in your story.
- Offer up new survival tips and products for every day annoying, yet common problems, like dark under eye circles.
- Collaborate with all-stars, including your strategic partners, retailers and professionals for added press coverage.
- Reposition your products for a new market – like men’s skin care.
- Position your more expensive, luxury product as an investment.
- Make sure your products are in good company and in the hands of professionals – and share their know-how with the world.
- Niche markets like “pregnancy” may have a shorter customer lifetime value, but they are open to product suggestions and recommendations. Especially when positioning your product as safe and effective for everyone.
- You’ll build more trust when you sound believable, so keep it really real. Don’t just make up your CEO’s quotes. Let them speak from the heart. Be believable.
- Popularize a certain part of the body and zone in on care for that one particular area.
- Promote soothing, safe, natural ingredients – like botanicals for specific skin conditions.
- Take an age old problem, and propose a new way to deal and heal it.
- Sampling sizes always work to give customers the opportunity to try before they buy.
- Does your product have an exceptional color? texture? Share the beauty of what’s inside the bottle.
- Understand your customer persona. What is her personality type? Naturalist? Futurist? or maybe just pure Becky. It doesn’t matter, just be sure to pitch to the media he/she reads, views, likes and shares.
- Go local – Connect with city guides in areas of dominant influence.
- Even in an age of influencers by the dozen, stars and celebrities still have pull.
- Plan an amazing product giveaway for your audience, fans and followers.
- Plan a splurge vs steal story – and include products at every price point.
- Help people get ready to reveal more for a new season – summer slim down and beach beauty prep.
- Have experts speak on your behalf. They need the publicity just as much as you do.
- Promote your product by lifestyle – cross over with fashion and accessories. Create the ultimate beach guide.
- Notice an ingredient trend before an influencer does? – help them select products for a round up .
- Have you opened a new retail account? Launched in a new online store? Tweet and share the news.
- Even if you are not pitching a story or new product it is important that influencers know what you are up to – so they can include you in their upcoming stories. Stay in touch with your VIPs.
- What happens when you have a fierce sales team, a loyal customer base and a winning marketing team – it’s a recipe for magic – it’s explosive.Work together.
- Show people how to relax, de-stress and unwind during distracting times.
- Help people transform themselves. Read: A complete vegan makeover.
- Are your products in a new hot destination spot? Promote it.
- Added tip: Make customization as simple as possible. As a matter of fact. Make everything as simple as possible.
- Take one ingredient – like geranium – and promote the hell out of it.
- Get people out of a bind – like when they over tan or burn their skin .
- Keep it exclusive and promote win its aka “contests” to attract new audiences.
- Promote B2B and B2C – which also helps boost employee morale.
- Promote experts from within your company to speak about their skill set.
- Seed out your products to celebrities.
- Offer tips on how to choose the best products in a category – like self-tanners.
- Go niche – pitch to smaller media and combine products with partners for the ultimate story mention.
- Pimp out celebrity users when they are launching a new movie or track. They need the publicity now more than ever.
- Reveal confessions.
- Ask your followers what their favorites are and report on that.
- Enter awards for your brand and promote the honors.
- Focus on problematic issues, like sensitive skin.
Want more ways to build your brand with media coverage? Check out my on line video course, ThePRPlaybook.com a short cut to learning how to pitch the press like a pro.