I Can’t Keep This Hidden Any Longer

I can't keep this business side of myself hidden any longer - I need to share it with you!

I realized the other day that I am truly half Earth Mama and half Businesswoman. 

I talk and show pics, videos, etc of my food/art/outdoors/love/gardening side, but almost never talk about my business side.

I’m inviting you into my business side.

I love being in business. I love seeing people take part in the marketplace, and bring their values with them, especially when the intent is to serve. I love learning more, always strengthening my skills and understanding. 

I really especially love helping women grow their businesses so they can support their families and communities. That really motivates me.

If you’re a personal friend, you may know about the salsa company I started (and closed, sadly), but you probably don’t know about the rest of it. 

Right now as life and the economy are going through these massive shifts, I realize I can’t keep this part of my life hidden any more. 

You may be a friend of mine that needs to look for a new gig. Or needs/wants to use this down time to build something for the future. I can’t in good conscience keep this to myself, knowing a friend might benefit.

Half Creative, Half Business ~ Where the creative part of me overlaps with the business part of me, that's where I love to live! I invite you to join me there.

Again, I never really talk about this stuff, because most of my friends are of the same Earth Mama school of thought, and maybe don’t really appreciate or value marketing skills. 

But I have become fairly good at marketing. I love finding a great product, and introducing it to others. That’s how I think of it. 

I’ve promoted a Vermont mom-and-son team making homemade high-end dog treats to benefit developmental growth among teens, a high school friend’s home business of fabulous emoji wall decals, and US-made temporary tattoos that are completely safe for the skin… and even my own sweet potato salsas. I’ve never once in my life marketed anything I didn’t feel great about, and I never will.

But now what I work on are going to be almost entirely online business opportunities, along with some physical products. 

I know that idea scares some people, but what I’ve seen is this: for a small manufacturer or specialty producer, there is no marketplace in the world like the internet. Never before in history has it been possible to reach so many people who want what you have. 

And when small producers make more money (especially, the research shows, when those makers are women), the world benefits. 

Marketing is how I change the world. It’s what I can do, my small contribution to making the world better, because I use it only for good.

And despite the fact that I love downtown businesses, and of course continue to support and love them as much as I’m able and allowed to right now, there is no denying that buying remotely, learning remotely, and sharing info remotely is an essential part of our lives now, and will only be more so day by day.

Most of what I’ve found in that world – the world of internet sales and marketing – makes me feel sick. At the light end, a lot just isn’t skillfully done, and at the dark end, it’s manipulative, cheating, scamming, scheming liars. I’ve left online groups feeling like… well, like I stayed too long at the frat party and where’s my friend. 

So, it took time to find my people. The ones who have ethics, who don’t cheat anyone, who want people to be successful, who don’t care about being in the boys’ club (who in fact don’t get invited, cuz they call out other guys’ sleazy behavior). 

The best part is, they’re also the best.

The absolute, world-class, best of the best at what they do.

It’s this tag-team of two guys. I’ve been following this one guy for almost ten years. He doesn’t really like people, he’s not slick. He’s kind of a wonderful nerdy hermit who can find the way to communicate anything to anyone. His laugh is like if a donkey had a baby with a camel. I think he’s probably on the autism spectrum, actually, and even though he doesn’t know what to call it, he knows this about himself, too. I think that is his superpower. He creates with insights like I’ve never seen. Truly, he’s a wonder. His style isn’t my style, but I constantly learn from him because he really knows this stuff. 

And I’m part of his tribe now, because everyone knows he’s the best in the world, so he gets opportunities I could  never lasso on my own. I want to leverage what he can get ahold of, for the people I know. 

Because my friends are the kind of people I want to see running successful internet businesses. My friends have ethics, know how to care, know right from wrong, want to make the world a better place. And, like these two guys, y’all are really smart and capable, strong and resilient, intellectually curious and driven to do a great job at whatever you undertake. 

 

 

Half Creative & Half Businesswoman - I need both! I invite you to the party

So. 

If this isn’t for you, that’s cool. I know you, and you’re probably already doing something that’s amazing in ten different ways. Go get ’em!

If this sounds like it might be useful to you, let’s talk. Will you comment here, or email me? [Lisa@ZSeekers.com] 

I’d like to know what you want, what’s not working, what you need right now, what you’re hoping for in your life. Maybe what I’m exploring next can help. 

Love to all of you,

Lisa

Which of These 4 “Entrepreneur Types” Are You?

Which of these 4 “Entrepreneur Types” are you?

Take this quiz to find out now:

1. You have products you want people to know about.  Really great products, and if only people knew how great they are, they’d surely buy them!

2. You offer a service, something that’s valuable, beneficial, really worthwhile. And if only people knew and could understand, you just know it can help them.

3. Or you teach a course, or offer a membership, or coaching, or a training, where you can offer truly transformational change to people. You just know, from experience, that you can make a real difference in people’s lives. But how do you get them to try it?

4. You want to be one of the above people, but aren’t sure what direction to even go in. What do people really need, and how can you feel confident about what to start offering? Then, how will you find the people who want it?

Ooo! Ooo! I just thought of a number 5. You’re a marketing director for a business you love and respect, and are just itching to let more people know about it.

 

Got your number? 

Your Quiz Results: Depending on your number, you are a:

1 – Ready Retailer

2 – Heroic Helper

3 – Caring Coach

4 – Confused & Curious

5 – Willing Worker

 

Now, whichever number you are, you’re ready to hear more about what that means about you, aren’t you?

And can you imagine, if your customer took a quiz like this, and was then primed to hear more about themselves, how much easier it would be for you to offer them the exact right solution? 

***

I think the reason you may struggle when trying to “sell things” is because we tend to do it all backwards.

We design what we want to make, then we try to find the people who want and need it. 

We know what we want to say in our “marketing”, our “sales pitch”… and we say it, scream it, wish we could grab people by the shoulders and “convince them” 

But no one’s listening.

They’re busy, they have lives, they’re doing other things. They’re thinking about themselves all day, not sitting around waiting to find out what you’re up to so they can run right out to use your thing.

Quizzes ~ or Assessments ~ are the best way I’ve seen to turn your approach on its head, to give you insider information about where your exact right customers are, and build from there.

 

Why?

Because humans love to think about ourselves, and a good quiz is entirely that.

Because taking a quiz about ourselves lights up all the feel-good hormones, so we actually do it.

Because it’s fun. Things that feel good + are about “me” = that’s what we do.

 

Your customers don’t randomly go on the websites of local businesses and see if you’ve written up something interesting. 

No one is scrolling through all their 1000’s of old emails, looking for more information about your thoughts.

They don’t stop everything they’re doing and think about you, and decide to investigate your solar installations, or skin care company, or real estate agency, or car dealership, or jewelry shop, or insurance agency, or pest extermination, or financial consultancy.

They know they could do those things. If they wanted. Maybe. Someday. If they ever have time.

But they don’t.

And they won’t.

Because they’re busy, and worried about their kids and their bank account, and thinking about the repair coming up on the car, and hoping their business holds, and hoping their teens are telling the truth about the thing… 

 

Until…

Until they see a quiz that grabs their attention.

There’s a switch that goes off.

 

It’s a chance to think about “what type I am” or “what killer mistake I’m making” or “what my score is” in an area they care about.

Now, they’re gripped. It looks fun, and easy. And most important, it’s about ME ME ME ME ME.

 

This is one of the most important things we can learn in business.

NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.

 

The only thing, and I hope you hear this – the ONLY thing people care about is their own life. Their safety. Their kids. Their jobs. Their homes, transportation, bank account, health, and their sense of themselves as a good person. 

(I’m not cynical. It’s just a truth, and it’s okay. We do many good things for others, and it’s driven by the need to feel good about ourselves as a person who contributes to the good of the world. It’s a great thing to need!)

The minute you understand this, deep down, is the minute you can start to build a business that actually serves people. You can’t need them to care about what you’re doing. You need to build your business ENTIRELY on caring what THEY’RE doing.

 

So, I recommend this.

Come to this workshop.

Ryan Levesque, who pretty much invented this methodology, will explain the concept to you.

And it will make you want to change your whole approach to marketing.

If this is the only message you ever really get from me, it’s enough.

Because this is the one truth at the foundation of any business.

 

It’s not about you.

It’s about them.

 

Now, let’s design all our outreach, communications, and marketing, to reflect that. 

 

Lisa

Z Seekers

PS: This is only available til Thursday. So please, register here and a couple of steps later I’ll see you on the training.

Kate Ahl’s Pinterest Updates from Side Hustle Show

Updates to Pinterest in 2021 according to Kate Ahl at SimplePinMedia.com on Nick Loper's Side Hustle Show

Pinterest is always changing and updating. Kate Ahl from SimplePinMedia.com showed up with Nick Loper on Side Hustle Show recently, and highlighted these important updates for Pinterest. 

She covered three main topic areas: video, stories, and shop integration, plus some bonus tips. 

Follow and be inspired by Nick here. 

 

Video Pins

* Short, “poppy” videos are everything now. Less than 1:30, for example a showcase of products, especially if the response will be, “Ohh, what a great idea!” In 2020, video views increased by 800%. Make short snippets like a teaser, to get people to go to your website.

* Go vertical. 2:3 formats are working. Try a static image on the bottom of the pin, with a video moving on the top ~ and this trick allows you to leverage that horizontal video footage you already made.

* To save video creation time, now there are a lot of apps to make video easily on the phone. One example is Jumprope.

* Opening slide can be a Did you know… question with a surprising/obscure open and a attention-grabbing 2nd point. Keep it a quick intense video to grab them to your website.

* Always have a call to action at the end – P users are trained to click on the image, but on a video that will stop the play. So be sure to have a CTA at the end of the video like, “Go to XYZ.com to learn more” in case they can’t see how to click on the link at the title. 

* Video is the way Pinterest is moving to trying to keep people on the app rather than moving off so much.

* As always, when first pinning an image/video, always make sure to first pin to the most relevant board.

* And when pinning video, Kate suggests pinning it from inside the P app, because the scheduling tools aren’t always grabbing the right title screen.

* DIY and food videos are doing really well on P, because people want to see how it’s done in a short-form video. She also shows short PDF’s they offer. Tutorials are going to hold people for longer than other topics, so some niches will perform better.

* P will boost your first few videos more than your future videos.

* Podcast snippets can work great, though P doesn’t autoplay sound. 

* Kate is of the opinion that video is still so new, there’s plenty of room to grow here. 

 

Story Pins

* The differences between P stories and IG stories? P users don’t really care about your life. So your story must be engaging to the viewer.  It’s not about US ~ it’s about THEM. Plus, the P story pins don’t disappear the way IG stories do, making all the effort much more worthwhile.

* The title card needs to pique curiosity, the slides need to keep it, and the end needs the CTA aiming for your website. Kate highly recommends asking people what to search for (example: “Z Seekers and elderberry vs aronia”, and this can really increase Google love as people click on you after that search).

* One of her most popular static pins was How to Clean Up Your P Board, so they repurposed it into a story pin, getting 400 saves. So she recommends taking your top performing static pins and recreating them into story pins, to build on the popularity the subject already has. Borrow that performing keyword to benefit your new video pin.

* “People aren’t naturally gravitating toward story pins or video pins, because they don’t know they’re there.” People start seeing them after they click on one.

* On mobile, P adds a different last slide in a story pin, so always check the mobile version of your story pin.

* Kate recommends <10 pins a day, even <5 / day now. So, with a new major content piece, she recommends repurposing it into 3-4 story pins, and a video pin, and “one amazing” static pin, rather than 20 static pins, because only the first static pin counts as “fresh content”, not the following 19.

* For seasonal posts, go back to them before that holiday to refresh them. Create a new story pin for your most popular older posts.

 

Keywords

* P has a trends tool with seasonality leads: Trends.Pinterest.com is a reasonable equivalent to keywords on Google. Also, take the link at bottom to 2021 predictions.

* P does read the words on pins, so be sure the text on the pin follows the text in the title.

 

Profiles

* People are seeing more people in Google Analytics coming to a website from the P profile page, which is totally new. So go to your profile and make sure it’s up to date!

* You can make a short video for the profile page as a high level overview of the business, with a CTA for taking next step.

 

Analytics

* Kate uses her analytics to learn: Where are the outbound clicks, how long are they on the page, and how will we reinvolve with them?

* Nick points out that his best performing outbound-click pins aren’t necessarily the most attractive pins, ones he’s most proud of.

* Kate’s monthly analysis, using the “Pins created in the last 30 days” button – Before clicking it, she sees what their most dependable, ugly, older pins are that are sending the most traffic over time – then figures out a way to add an affiliate link or other income generator to that post.  Then she clicks on the 30 days box, to see how the newer pins are performing. Then write another related piece of content about those topics. Her how-to’s tend to do best, so they often create connected content. Nick had some list-style posts that did well, so he can make story pins out of those.

* IT’S ALL ABOUT CURIOSITY on the part of the viewer.

* Use arrows, use boxes in pins, and teaser text that really intrigues people. “Get the guide”, “Shop now”, “Read more”, “Learn more”, “Peek inside”, “Register now” for example.

* Faces are fine, depending on the niche, esp fashion – people want to see the whole outfit. So use faces where it makes sense to deliver the info. But ~ they’re looking for something they can save for the end of their day, and your life isn’t it.  So in your story, don’t make it about your face.

* Tailwind: new integration with Create, so you can make the pin inside T. Also, Canva Pro has a scheduling tool integrated now. Planaly and Later also schedule for both P & IG.  She uses Canva and Tailwind and hasn’t seen a difference in manual or T pinning, but is investigating the question of: If putting out a bunch of pins isn’t as important now, is a scheduling tool still necessary?  She thinks it may not be, but feels that she wouldn’t do P if she had to pin the existing material out into the future manually.

 

Shop Integration

* P going big into shipping integration. 

* In 2021, P is going to do a lot with shopping integration by having product sellers add a tag to the website. Start paying attention to this now if you’re selling things, and expect it to increase over the next 6 months or so.

* If you’re sending people to a cart, Conversion Insight will be very helpful. 

* Verified merchant program has uploaded catalog thru P, with Shopify, then you get the blue check. Means all the inventory refreshes every day without you manually updating pin pricing. Some people having trouble getting approved: need a privacy/shipping/return policy in place, some vague reasons it hasn’t gone through. P does not want to be a checkout service ~ they will keep sending people to your website. Search “verified merchant program” for steps. Kate warns, just know it has been really bumpy at the beginning.

 

Promoted Pins

* Kate says make sure you can measure results if you’re going to start with promoted pins. Look at what types of products other people are promoting. She doesn’t recommend promoted pins just for general traffic, but does use it to get people into an ecosystem, then presents a low-ticket offer right away, so they can measure results.

 

Kate’s #1 Tip

Compare only to your own business, not other people’s. Don’t get distracted. Keep your head down and serve people the best you can.

 

I took a look at Kate’s website, and was particularly moved by her pin portfolio. See what inspires you here. Her agency offers done-for-you services at various levels.

I also appreciate how Side Hustle’s Pinterest account has a clear design feel. My pins are nowhere near as themed, so there’s an example for you of very different styles.