Growing a Business Using SEO and Facebook Ads
 

Today, I am joined on the podcast by photographer, Coley Klaers. In the past six months she’s gone from being invisible on Google searches to ranking first for top keywords in her area.

Growing a Business Using SEO and Facebook Ads

Join me as we talk about her journey and how she’s using Facebook Ads and SEO to book more clients.

More about Coley Klaers: My love of photography began years ago as a middle schooler. I'd do sessions for people for a little extra spending money but never believed you could make an actual career of it. After teaching high school math, physics and photography for 4 years and giving birth to our daughter, I decided to go for it! Now a year and a half into it, it looks like I've got the beginnings of a successful business doing what I love!

Website: http://coleykphotography.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coleykphotography/


 
The Best Platform for Creatives
 

Today we are chatting all about the best platform for creatives, Showit. I want to, first off, starting with my journey to Showit and why I love it so much just personally before we get into the benefits behind the platform and what you can expect whenever you do a sign up for Showit. So going back, my first website was built with WordPress and then whenever I signed up for my first WordPress website, I went into the back end and I was just like, holy cow, what did I just get myself into? And so after a lot of studying and becoming just a student of WordPress, basically, I had my first website up and running on the Genius framework. And let me tell you, WordPress is such a headache. So a lot of the times I'd want to go in there and I'd want to update my portfolio or just one thing on my website and four hours later, five other things had broken, my portfolio still wasn't updated and I had a headache.

The Best Platform for Creatives

So that's kind of my relationship with WordPress and what made me start going and looking at other options such as Squarespace and Wix. And honestly, I kind of ran into Showit on accident. I had never heard of them before. And whenever I started looking for, whenever I started looking for a website, I ran in to Showit and I was just completely in awe of the platform. I had always had this idea in my head of if I could just visually put together a website and not have to know how to code things and not have to be stuck with the template and kind of modules within a tablet, then I could just create the most amazing websites ever. So whenever I found Showit, I was like, this is exactly what I was looking for.

So, I have designed client websites on WordPress. I designed clients websites on Squarespace and Weebly, but nothing compares to Showit. And that's from a design point and from a user standpoint. So from user experience to the capability Showit is honestly the best platform for creatives in my opinion. And so I'm going to tell you 10 reasons why I think that and hopefully it'll help you make a decision or you're thinking about switching it will make that help you make that decision a little bit easier as well.

So one of the reasons why I was hesitant to move away from WordPress, even though it was a headache, is because I am no fool to think that another platform is going to have the robust SEO features as WordPress does. They have so many plugins that you can play with and just everything that will help you get found in the search rankings. So that was one of the reasons why I was so hesitant to move away from WordPress. So whenever I found Showit, I wanted to know about their SEO capabilities. And really the only reason why I was blogging and I still blog is to get found in those searches for keywords, and also the to keep my website relevant within the Google ranking.

So number one reason why I absolutely loved Showit is because the blog integrates with WordPress. So even though you would design your blog template through Showit, whenever you go to blog, it is still through WordPress. Hopefully that makes sense. If you've never blogged with WordPress and you might be scratching your head right now, but you design through Showit, like your template is through Showit and you blogs through WordPress so you don't lose any of those SEO features.

And I will tell you though, before whenever I had my website strictly on WordPress, I was probably like the fifth or sixth page for a lot of top keywords. And I would say probably about six months or less after switching to Showit, I was showing up on the first pages for a lot of significant keywords for my business. So the second reason why I love Showit for my clients is because you don't need to know code. A lot of my clients whenever I was building their websites on WordPress, I would get emails afterwards saying, hey, how do I do this? How do I do this? What about this? Because a lot of the things you need to know how to code or it just takes a lot of back end work and with Showit that's not the case. Majority of the time, whenever I get done with the client's website, I always give them a 60 minutes tutorial on how to update and change things on their website. That gets recorded and sent to them.

I think in the past year I've gotten one or two emails from clients asking how they change or do something. A lot of times it has to do with them just clearing the cache within their website provider like Chrome because the changes were made, they just can't see it until that happens. So you don't need to know a lick of code. It's absolutely insane what you can do inside of Showit without knowing any code.

Back to what I was saying, with WordPress, so a lot of times I'd want to update my portfolio and ended up taking hours and it left me with a headache. Now with the Showit I can update my portfolio in less than five minutes. Like within five clicks of a mouse my portfolio is updated, it's clean, I don't have a headache. It's just absolutely insane.

So if you're a Squarespace user, then you probably already know this and may be annoyed by this. You have to make changes to your desktop site and it will simultaneously changed the mobile website. So if you change up the menu or the way that you kind of order things, that's how it automatically gets placed into the mobile website. With Showit you can design your desktop website completely separate from your mobile website.

So any and every part of my website I optimize for either desktop or mobile. So for the desktop I usually use horizontal images because horizontal images that look better on your desktop. And then on the mobile version, I'll use a completely different image that is a vertical because vertical images work better on mobile. So you no longer have to think about both desktop and mobile at the same time whenever you're designing because you can design them completely independent of one another, which helps your bounce rate and your conversion rate because you're designing for how that person is viewing your website. '


If you are having trouble with your own website, maybe you're just not converting website visitors into paying clients and you don't understand why that is then go to my website. I created this free guide. It's different reasons why your website might not be converting, how to figure it out, and what the fix is. And you can grab that by going to carrylovedesigns.com/education.

So grab that guide to kind of help diagnose why your website may not be converting website visitors into clients so you can start on your journey from zero to five leads per week. That's my goal for you.


Now another reason why I absolutely love Showit is how you can embed Shopify into your website and still make it look like a beautiful shop. So once again, a lot of times it's Shopify, it's very limited on the design side unless you know code or you're going to pay somebody to do it. With Showit, once again it you can design your shop within Showit and then embed your products using Shopify and then they check out and they go through the whole process on your Showit website and they still get a beautiful customer experience.

So that's another reason why I am a fan of Showit is because I'm actually, I'm planning on launching a template shop in 2019 and I'm going to use Shopify integrated with my Showit website. So you can have a beautiful Shopify shop on a Showit website and then have that stunning user experience.

Now this is a big one. Number six is big because I've had clients come to me with issues from WordPress or third party plugins and they try to get ahold of their customer service, and they don't know who to email. They don't hear back. It's in a completely different time zone, so if your website crashes like at 10:00 in the morning, it's already 8:00 at night there, so you have to wait like 12 hours to get anything fixed. With Showit their customers or is unbeatable.

You can chat with them while you're designing your website at any point. They have a little chat box down in the right hand corner, but they also have an emergency email which they're really good at getting back in touch with. So if it's like the weekend or at night and you realize that something's wrong with your website and it's crashed and it's just not working, then you can email their emergency email address and then they'll help you get back up and running. So I just couldn't be more pleased with Showit's customer service all the way around, just the way that they communicate and get back to you and their willingness to help, that's a big one.

Now, number seven is also another big one. So a lot of times my clients are hesitant about switching platforms because they're like, I don't know how to migrate stuff. I have all these old blog posts, I don't know how to switch platforms. Showit takes care of that at no additional costs. And I use this with every single one of my clients' websites. So Showit will do it fast and free. So if you are on say Squarespace and you have your old blogs and everything and now you're switching over to Showit and you're going to have a WordPress blog, they're going to migrate all of those old blog posts and everything over to their server within like 48 hours. And all you do is you fill out a form, you give them like your domain host login information and they take care of all of that for you. So once again, that's a lot of reasons why people are hesitant about switching and Showit makes that fast and free and without headaches.

Now if you've ever, this has happened to me. I've gone to a WordPress template shop and I find a template that I really like him like, oh, this one's awesome and I pay for it. I upload it to my WordPress website, and then the template looks nothing like I thought it was going to because they added in all of these plugins, they coded it like it just looks completely flat, like not my expectations at all. Well unlike that Showit offers top notch free templates and it's what you see is what you get. So whenever you're going through their template shop and you may be afraid or hesitant in that, you're going to upload this template and it's going to look completely different., that's definitely not the case. They have tons of beautiful free templates that do not lack in creativity and do not look run of the mill and they're absolutely free. So you can always go to Showit.co and checkout all of their design templates, and you're just going to be surprised by the level of creativity and how high end they look for zero to 250 bucks.

So number nine is Showit's customization, which we kind of talked about a little bit throughout this whole show, unlike, I'll use Squarespace for an example. It's kind of a template builder, but you're stuck within the modules and if you kind of want to move stuff out of these modules, then you have to add code to rearrange things, which that might not be the best way to explain it, but Showit is literally a drag and drop template. Like if you pick an image, you can drag that image anywhere you want on the website. It's unlike any other inner interface I've ever seen for any other platform. You can easily change and customize the website and make it unique to you and your business.

And that's why industry leaders like Jasmine Star, Jenna Kutcher, Katelyn James, they all have websites on the Showit platform. So if they're using it, you got to know that it's probably pretty good because I will tell you all of their websites like banging.

Now this is the last one and it's kind of a little bit, it's a different feature and I really enjoy it. So Showit allows you to create sub domains off from your main website, what they call plus sits. Plus sites can be used for a variety of purposes including custom websites for your clients, custom websites for maybe workshops that you're teaching, or maybe you don't want your pricing to be alive on your website. So if somebody fills out your form, you can send them to this plus site with all of your packages and pricing. There's just a lot of various offerings that can be done with plus sites and they're super simple to set up. You just go in there like create a plus site and you can create a plus site using your current branding and it's just very easy to set up and has so many different functionalities that you can use it for.

Now, most importantly Showit allows you to easily keep your website updated and make changes as your business grows. A lot of the times clients come to me frustrated because they haven't updated their website in years because they don't know how. And so you can design and launch your Showit website and completely keep it updated. So if you have not heard of, Showit, go check it out. I honestly 100% think that it's the best platform for creatives because of how simple is an easy it is to us.

 
September Business Review
 

It’s time for me to check-in, tell you what went well and what didn’t go as planned in September.

September Biz Review

I started checking in and recording these episodes last month as a way to keep myself accountable and show up in a different way for my audience.

If you've been around for a while or just tuning in the first time -- thanks for being here. I know there are literally a thousand different podcasts to choose from and I am thankful you are here. If you could, please take a second hit the ‘subscribe button’ then leave a review of the show I would LOVE to hear from you and see who’s tuning in each week.

I’ve been keeping track on analytics and growth in my business for close to a year now but just started recently publishing them live.

I don’t know about you but I love diving into the numbers and data as a true way to see what’s working and what’s not working.

So, some big things that went down in September:

  • I finished my first full month of hosting the Brand Gathering Membership for creatives who feel overwhelmed and stuck in a rut with their business and want to grow their income using brand strategy and social media.

  • I had my highest revenue month EVER in business for the second month in a row.

  • Lastly, I celebrated my birthday by channeling my inner-Sherlock Holmes and participating in a Dinner Detective party.

As much as I absolutely love my 1:1 clients, I want to diversify my income and start replying more so on recurring income through my monthly membership.

Before August 100% of my income was from design clients. This month 2% of my income was made through the Brand Gathering, which may seem small but it’s a HUGE win for me.

To see progress is exciting and makes me want to achieve the transition from 1:1 to recurring even more.

Since this was my first full month hosting the membership, I noticed something I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to running a membership and that’s the churn rate. Churn means the numbers of members that cancel or don’t renew their membership.

The Churn Rate for my first month was 35%. Which in all actuality HORRIBLE, but I am giving myself grace since it’s my first month and I think my messaging needs some finessing. From what I read (because I am experiencing a learning curve too) your monthly churn rate should be less than 5%.

As I said, I think one of the problems was messaging starting out. That’s a hard one to nail from the get-go. I am getting member feedback about what they like best so we can focus on that in marketing. And understanding what they don’t enjoy so we can cut down on fluff and focus on more content that creates results for members.

I’ve found within my brand + website design clients, I really enjoy creating a relationship with those I love working with and creating monthly retainers with them. Nearly 50% of my remaining income comes from retainer clients. For me, it’s easier to plan my income when I know month-to-month what to expect. Plus, I hate the chase for clients.

You get booked 3 months ahead, you rest for a month, then it’s back to hustling for clients. I was tired of that cycle so retainer clients were my way to move away from that chase.

If there is something you hate about the way you run your business, brainstorm a way to change it. That’s the beauty of running your own business -- you can make changes as you go.

Alright, moving on into the analytics. There were a few weird things that took place in September when it comes to my analytics.

  1. My Instagram growth and engagement plummeted for seemingly no reason. Month after month I was seeing 5-6% growth within my Instagram. Keeping with the same scheduler and not really making any big changes I only saw a 1.5% growth in my Instagram. I also noticed it during the month. I was averaging 12 comments per photo and last month I was averaging 8 comments. I am continuing with the same strategy this month and I will compare this month’s to see if it’s a trend or just a fluke for the month.

  2. I blogged 3 times during the month of September and saw a MAJOR decrease in website traffic. Nearly a 50% decrease in visitors. The only thing I can think of is I wasn’t promoting the posts as heavily as normal but that’s something I want to keep an eye on.

Using Meghan Maydel’s new activity tracker inside Airtable, I was able to see exactly how many clients I reached out to this month as well as how many potential clients we were in regular contact with this month. So, during the month of Sept., I reached out and pitched my services to 105 people. We were in regular contact with 224 potential clients. Which lead to 2 new clients and projects booked for the remainder of 2018 and 5 new members inside the Brand Gathering Membership.

This is my first month, using her Ultimate Incredible Marketing Tracker so I am excited to see how October goes. I will link to Meghan Maydel’s Tracker using Airtable in the show notes if you’re interested in that.

Looking forward to October, I am running my first small promotion for TBG, which just wrapped up as I am recording this. I was offering a free 13-day trial to the membership. I will cover those numbers in next month’s biz review.

For October, I am focusing on Facebook and using Live Videos to bring content to my audience.
I am also focusing on creating funnels to my membership using email marketing. I am 3 new funnels running as of Friday and I am excited to see if they bring in any new members to the membership and tweaking those in the remaining months of 2018.


Lastly, I have 2 remaining Brand + Website spots I would like to fill for 2018 before raising my prices next year. So I am testing out Facebook Lead Generation ads using the workshop Samantha Grant did for TBG. If you’re interested in that, you can join the membership for less than $20 by using the promo code PODCAST at thebrandgathering.com

To plan each month and reflect on the prior month, I use Powersheets and they have helped my set and achieve so many goals in the last 6 months of using them. The 2019 collection is being released Oct 24th and I am so excited to get my hands and start planning out 2019!

If we’re not Instagram friends, come find me at Carrylove Designs, say hello and tell me how you’re planning out each month!

 
How To Use Stock Photos and Manage Multiple Brands
 

Running an Online business requires a visual presence. Elle Drouin of the Styled Stock Society is joining us today to talk about how service-based businesses can use stock photography to enhance their online presence, tell a story and create more content. Join us as Elle shares how she successfully manages multiple brands and spends her time on each one.

How To Use Stock Photos and Manage Multiple Brands

with Elle Drouin of Styled Stock Society

Elle Drouin is the founder of wonderfelle MEDIA, a NYC-based content marketing agency. After graduating from The George Washington University with a dual concentration in international business and finance, Elle started her career as a high net worth financial advisor at UBS Financial Services in Washington, DC. She went on to work as the Director of Marketing & Digital Strategy for an e-commerce startup in New York before launching her own business in 2015.

As a multifaceted entrepreneur, Elle provides digital marketing consulting and content creation services to women-owned brands. She is the founder of the Styled Stock Society, a stock photography membership for female entrepreneurs and is also the creative director and voice behind @mochiandthecity - a popular Instagram account featuring the adventures of Mochi, Elle’s 4 year old dog. With over 100,000 engaged followers, Elle has shot advertising campaigns and collaborated with brands like American Express, Disney, Google, and The Ritz-Carlton. Elle and Mochi have been featured on The Today Show, CNBC, Bravo TV, and Entrepreneur and number of other media outlets.

When Elle isn't busy styling, shooting, and creating content for brands both small and large, you can find her binge-watching Bravo TV, hoarding pretty office supplies, or eating her way through Brooklyn with her husband Zach.

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Facebook

Styled Stock Society

 
 
Getting Started with Facebook Ads Without Using an Opt-in
 

Facebook Ads can be confusing and seem like a daunting task. Today I am joined by Samantha Grant, a Facebook Ads Strategist + Coach for photographers, wedding professionals, and creative business owners.

Getting Started with Facebook Ads Without Using an Opt-in

Samantha focuses on helping creatives learn how to get leads who love them consistently using Facebook Ads - without having to create funnels or offering discounts. Tune in as we uncover the biggest Facebook Ad myths, best practices and which ads to run at what time.

Link Mentioned in Episode:

Booked Up for Photographers + Wedding Pros Facebook Group 

Instagram

The Brand Gathering Monthly Membership

 
August Business Review
 

Last month I started a new series where I talk about my business goals, analytics, and overall business strategy. Think about it as my business diary being published. In today's episode, I am sharing with you my wins, challenges, and goals for August and September.

August Business Review

Join The Brand Gathering Monthly Membership at http://thebrandgathering.com/. Use the promo code PODCAST for 25% off your first month.

 
How Facebook is Different than Instagram
 

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to speak on a branding panel for the Rising Tide Society’s local Tuesday’s Together chapter. During the course of the night, we were asked a lot of questions about social media; FB and IG to be specific. I wanted to take an episode to really highlight some of the key differences between Facebook and Instagram.

So often I see biz owners treating FB and IG the same then they get frustrated and quit using one or the other when they don’t see results. Facebook and Instagram are two different social media platforms and should be treated differently.

How Facebook is Different than Instagram

The first thing I have to stress to you in what NOT to do is set up auto-posting from Instagram to Facebook. If you have a business account for Instagram (which I hope you do) I would highly recommend turning off the auto-post feature if you have it on so when you post to IG it doesn’t automatically take that post and slap it on your FB page.

Why am I recommending you do this? For one, if you tagged other accounts in your IG post when it posts to Facebook those accounts will not be tagged. Secondly, if you used 30 hashtags on your original post in IG then those will show up FB, which aren’t helpful in Facebook. It makes the post look messy inside FB.

We all know Facebook now owns Instagram and FB is really key on posting in the moment. If you have an IG post automatically going to FB then it more than likely won’t perform as well.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way. Let’s move on to some of the tactics to use in Instagram that won’t work on Facebook.

I briefly touched on this earlier -- hashtags aren’t really helpful when you post to Facebook. But what is helpful is tagging. Whether that’s other business owners pages, people, etc. Facebook is really pushing engagement and community on its platform so your post 9 times out of 10 will perform better than tagging others.

It’ also helpful to tag others because usually when you do those people will then comment on your FB Post. Any engagement with your post is helpful to get it pushed out to more people.

One of the biggest differences between FB and Instagram is whose on the platform. I was chatting with a client the other day and she said her 15-year-old son said FB wasn’t cool. It’s what old people use. I thought this was hilarious seeing that I am in my 20’s and use the platform but it also validated my thought.

Different people are spending more time on FB then those that are hanging out on IG. This will be completely up to your business and you figuring it out -- are your ideal clients on FB? Do they spend more time on Instagram?

If you are a brick and mortar store than I would highly suggest spending time on your Facebook page, optimizing it and building your reviews there.

Okay, since we now know different people are on FB versus Instagram this means your optimal posting times may be different on each platform.

I know for my own audience they spend more time on Instagram during the day and then Facebook is more active at night like in 7-10 PM range.

If you don’t have an IG for a Business account then get one, like yesterday. And before you ask yourself “Won’t I see a drop in my engagement if I switch?” The answer is no. I go into more details on this in the Instagram Engagement episode posted August 21st.

The analytics on your IG Business Account is worth it. I can see what days and times my audience is most active and schedule around that.

Facebook Pages offers something similar where you can see when your audience is most active. Inside my monthly membership, The Brand Gathering, I have a mini-course on how to find your optimal posting times for FB. You can join the membership at thebrandgathering.com if you want access to that.

You will also realize different content does better on each platform. On my Instagram, pictures of me, as well as my work, always do amazing. On Facebook, videos perform the best. I’ve tried uploading a few video clips to my IG feed and each one of them bombed.

It takes some testing but you’ll start to see patterns emerging of what works best for each platform.

One thing I have to warn you about whether you’re reviving your FB Page or IG Account is that you won’t see results overnight. I am having my Memberships Gatherers plan out 30 FB Page posts this month and challenging them to go Live 4 times this month.

Whether it’s Instagram or Facebook, Live video outperforms most everything else. If you’re reviving your social media account you want to be very active and producing a lot of content on that platform. The algorithm can’t push posts out to your audience if you aren’t producing anything new.

So to bring this to a close; here are fast tips for each platform starting with Facebook:

  • Try tagging business and people in posts to get more engagement and organic reach.

  • Find the optimal times to post for Facebook and schedule posts out in advance. Try different types of content ranging from posts with images, videos, Live video, links to blog posts, etc. Track how well each type of post is performing using the page analytics.

  • Try changing your FB Page Icon to a picture of your face rather than your logo

  • Keep your FB Cover fresh. You can use it to highlight different deals or events happening

  • And finally, don’t use hashtags on FB posts.

Now for Instagram:

  • Switch an IG Business Profile and use the analytics to find optimal posting times for your audience

  • Use all 30 Instagram Hashtags thoughtfully. We had Erin from Pinicky Palm on way back in the day like the 1 or 2nd episode. Go listen to that episode for tons on Instagram hashtag knowledge (link in show notes)

  • Try using Instagram Stories to show behind-the-scenes of your business

  • And once again, don’t have auto-post to FB turned on.

I hope this episode helps you understand the differences between FB and IG so you can master them both and get more potential clients eyes on your work and booking more clients!


 
Behind-the-Scenes of Creating a Monthly Membership
 

In this episode because today I am taking you behind-the-scenes of creating a monthly membership. I am going to take you step-by-step and let you in how certain decisions were made. My hope is this will help you navigate how to plan and create new services yourself whether it’s a monthly membership yourself, a group coaching program, new service offering, etc.

Behind-the-Scenes of Creating a Monthly Membership

Today is a huge day here at CLD because my monthly membership is FINALLY here after months of hard work.

Up until this point, I’ve been very open-and-honest about starting a monthly membership (you can listen to about transitioning my business to hear more about that) but I’ve kept the name of the membership a secret. Until now. 

Drum roll please...

The Brand Gathering! I will get more into the specifics of how that name came to be later in this episode because today I am taking you behind-the-scenes of creating a monthly membership. I am going to take you step-by-step and let you in how certain decisions were made. My hope is this will help you navigate how to plan and create new services yourself whether it’s a monthly membership yourself, a group coaching program, new service offering, etc.

Okay -- so let’s dive in -- Currently, I am a member of 3 different memberships. I’ve been a part of 2 more in the past but decided to leave those.

So, this is how the membership came to be....

When I realized I really enjoyed memberships, how low-cost they are and filled with good content and a helpful community I was hooked. I’ve been trying to decide for a while now how to help biz owners who couldn’t afford a 3000+ service. I see a lot of creatives who have so much potential but not the finances. A monthly membership sounded perfect.

The first thing I did after deciding on creating a monthly membership was decided what the membership would cover. I geek out over marketing, branding, website strategy and systems -- basically everything to do with running a PROFITABLE business. What lights me up is helping others see their potential and make more money doing what they absolutely love.

A lot of business owners I know seem to be overwhelmed by all the things they think they NEED to be doing as a biz owner. They end up getting paralysis and not taking action on anything.

I was like ‘Okay -- I am going to help them take one aspect of their business each month. We will spend a full-month covering that topic, polishing up and mastering that part of their business then next month we will move on to the next.’ The main value of this membership that lead every decision was the fact that I don’t want to add more crap to your to-do list. I want to spend time on things that will actually move the needle in your business.

After deciding that, the next thing I did was create a list of everything I did and didn’t like about the other memberships I have been a part of. For example, I like getting a lot of FaceTime with the membership leader. Obviously, there the expert and I like to ask questions and get personalized advice from them. So, I knew I wanted a membership where I was heavily involved.

I was a part of a membership in the past where they released content throughout the month, jsut whenever. There wasn’t a set schedule. I like when content comes out of a certain date so I can plan, prepare and get excited! The Brand Gathering will have an action plan (I am calling a brand manual) that will be delivered to members on the 1st of every month.

After I wrote down a long list of thing I like and didn’t like. The next thing I did was take it to my people. I created of survery of things I wanted to know and get their opinion on.

What people felt they were struggling with so I was covering content that would be of value to them

What they would be willing to pay for a membership of sorts

What they would be most excited about inside the membership

For example, I really enjoy hot seats, which is basically a coaching session with one person where everyone tunes in and takes the advice and applies it to their own biz. I originally planned to one each month. I found others weren’t as excited about hot seats so I went from planning one of doing one each month to each quarter so I could focus on other things like Mini-courses, which most were excited about.

Alright -- so taking all this information into account, reviewing surveys and talking to people in my community and mentors. I decided what was going to be included in the monthly membership:

  • Monthly action plans (The first Monday of every month, you’ll receive a curated blueprint with actionable, concrete steps to help grow your business, strengthen your brand, and sign more clients.)

  • Monthly mini-trainings (Topic-specific, bite-sized courses will be posted monthly giving members a quick overview on a new piece of tech, a new tactic, or a fun facet of branding and social media to try out every month.)

  • Guest-Expert Trainings (We’re bringing in the best, more influential experts we know to provide exclusive, behind-the-scenes insights on how to create thriving and revenue-generating businesses in way that is easy to understand and implement.)

  • Exclusive FB Community (All members will receive access to our exclusive Brand Gathering Facebook group where they can collaborate, network, and get on-demand help from other creatives. )

  • Office Hours (specific days where they will be a zoom hangout and people can come and go to ask questions specific to their biz)

  • Quarterly Hot Seats (This is where we take a deep dive into your brand identity and overall strategy to help you identify the key areas where you need to focus on in order to get results that matter.)

You may have thought I did this earlier but up until this point, the monthly membership didn’t have a name. My first thought was to call it The Brand-Aid but after researching the domain wasn’t available. So, I went to the drawing board. I wrote down words and started looking up synonyms. Long story short, I landed on The Brand Gathering and it couldn’t be more perfect. I go into further detail about why the name means so much to me in the First Issue of The Brand Manual.

Now, that we officially have a name, The Brand Gathering, we’ve mapped out what the membership includes, who it’s for… it was time to research platforms. How was TBG going to come to life.

Going back to the core value of not putting more crap on your to-do list, I wanted to keep TBG simple. That meant easy-to-navigate and understand what was going on within the membership.

I am loyal to Showit so I really wanted to keep the membership on their platform. So I first looked into Memberpress, Membernouse. Plug-ins for WP. As always when dealing with WP, they seemed overly complicated for both the designer and the user.

I remembered hearing on Amy Porterfield's podcast about Memberspace for SS so I decided to check it out. After options like Gumroad and Podia fell through. I wanted a membership area and those options didn’t allow for what I was imagining in my head.

I wanted the website to have a login and host everything in one place. Memberspace was easy to add, it was easy to design everything in and I could make it easy for members to navigate. It checked all the boxed so I decided to use Memberspace on a SS website.

After that, finally I was ready to start working on the first month’s content. I bought a huge easel sketch pad and started plotting down ideas using information from the surveys I had originally taken.

Honestly, I’ve been so excited about TBG and how it’ll help biz owns this whole process took about 3-4 months.

The last thing I did was decide how to launch and promote it. I decided on a one-week real big push. I planned ahead of time so this podcast episode, emails to my list, social media posts, YouTube videos, IGTV videos all are promoting TBG.

I created good, better, best goals which I am revealing in a new Monthly Biz Review blog series I am launching tomorrow (link in show notes)

My goal is to have 30 members before Sept. 1 so anyone who signs up before Sept 1st gets $10 off their first month of membership. Making it just $10 to join. You can use the code ‘Podcast’ to get receive $10 off. Go to thebrandgathering.com to enter the promo code.

Hopefully, this behind-the-scenes look will help you launch your new service in a more streamlined process. I hope to see you inside TBG! Until next time!


 
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Get More Engagement and Grow Relationships on Instagram

To grab my free guide to craft your perfect Instagram bio go to www.carrylovedesigns.com/instagram

 
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I am in the middle of a business transition from taking on 1-on-1 design clients to launching a monthly membership. I am taking you behind the scenes into why I am making this transition, what the process looks like, and what to come inside the monthly membership.

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Join me as a give you a peek behind the curtain into what it's really like transitioning your business.