How Brand Benefits Define your Position

Do your benefits attract the right customer?

Choosing the right lead benefits for your brand messaging dictates which customers you will attract. And a pair of hospital system giants in the San Francisco Bay Area exactly prove this point.

Why this is even more amazing: healthcare advertising is the WORST. Most of it talks about the exact same things and offers no real differentiated position for customers. In my advertising days, we used to joke that, with any hospital billboard or TV spot, you could just swap out a logo and it would be the exact same one as any other hospital in the country.

Here in SF, UCSF and Dignity Health are two separate hospital systems.

UCSF has gone big with promoting their commitment to advanced technologies and treatments. To their doctors’ experience and the medical breakthroughs that they are a part of every day. 

Their tagline: Redefining possible.Their ads and billboards, as this campaign video suggests, focus on technology and offer hope based on what science can do for medicine’s toughest challenges. They have created a brand that showcases them as leaders in medical advancement. If you want cutting-edge treatments for complex problems, go here.

This is one of my favorite ads, for UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Dignity Health differentiates itself based on the human experience. Their ads focus on how extraordinary acts of kindness create miracles every day. They have created a brand that if you want to be treated as a human, and not just a medical test subject, go here. Their tagline: Hello Humankindness.

You MUST watch some of these ads (get ready for all the feels!):

How far would you go for someone?
Kids playing hockey
We can face anything together
Is there a hero is all of us?

Both work as complements in the market, because they both claim a different space.

Obviously sick people care about getting well. But some people care more about the science and technology aspects. Others care more about their experience being treated as human beings.

Clearly, patients want both. But these different brand strategies each claim a separate space based on the main motivator (or buying driver, if you can call it that in healthcare) of their target audience. 

If your primary concern is getting cutting-edge treatment to achieve the impossible, and you care maybe a little bit less about how nice your doctor is (not that UCSF’s doctors are not nice, but if that is not your primary motivation), UCSF will appeal more. I think of data-driven thinkers, those comfortable with risk, those early adopters who want the latest science and technology.

If your primary concern is the patient experience, and you value that above all else to help you get well, Dignity Health will appeal more. This could be someone who had a traumatic experience at another hospital, or someone who knows they really need their hand held. Doesn’t mean Dignity Health’s quality of medical care is not also excellent, it just means they are more attractive to someone who cares more about kindness, respect and well….dignity.

Neither position is wrong or right. But each brand position is super clear on who they are talking to.  And that is why they both work.

Honda and Porsche both sell cars but they sell to very different drivers with very different motivations and needs.

Your brand must claim its space in a crowded market as well. And you do that through the brand benefits you choose to lead with. (TWEET THIS!)

Who is your brand talking to? What benefits do you lead with? Are you taking a position that people can clearly understand or can any company just slap their logo on your website and no one would be the wiser.

3 Ways to Give Your Marketing More Charisma

Ready to jazz up your marketing?!

You know that killer accessory you have? The one you feel in love at first sight with at a random boutique years ago? You wear it with everything to give your outfit a pop. It makes a statement.

People take notice.

The great thing is, you can add this piece to simple sweater and jeans and like magic, you’ve added some pizazz to your look.

Your marketing and messaging needs to be the statement piece for your business.

Yes, you can describe exactly what you do and give people the price list before sending them off to the Contact button……zzzzzzzzzz….I’m already bored.

Or you can spice things up and add some charisma!

Charisma means “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.”

You want your work to attract the right people.

You want your work to charm them and inspire devotion so they become loyal customers and raving fans.

So launch a charm offensive! If you want to attract customers and generate revenue, your marketing needs some charisma. (TWEET THIS!)

But with all my talk of making sure you have a clear, consistent message, how do you do that?

Here are 3 tips for how to add more charisma to your marketing:

  1. Be human. I’ve said this one many times before. You have a unique way of talking and your marketing messaging needs to connect with people on a human level. Write like you talk. Ditch the jargon. Explain things in a way that intrigues them, lures them in or speaks exactly their language.  You can still tell someone you are a “financial planner” but talk about creating a happy, healthy, wealthy life on all fronts, not just financial. Or that smart financial planning now means realizing your dreams later. This is much more interesting than, “We’ll help you decide the best places to invest.” You can still tell a prospect that your software will help them manage their recruiting and talent management with integrated data and access to API’s, but you can also talk about helping companies and talented workers make a lasting love connection or that your software takes the hassle out of keeping track of all your candidates so you don’t even have to think about and no one falls through the cracks.

Being human in your marketing does not make you look unprofessional. In fact, let’s put that to bed right now. Professional does not have to equate to boring, stiff, jargon, robotic. It means competence, confidence and accountability. You can be all those things and still speak like a human.

  • Find rich, luscious, delicious words: You get my point. Expand your vocabulary and stop using every adjective you’ve ever heard your competitors use before.  Consult and find better words for what you’re trying to say. It’s like adding exotic spices to your spice rack! Instead of “flexible” how about “We roll with the punches.” Instead of “effective” how about “compelling, potent or powerful”? Instead of “help” how about, “advise, nourish, encourage”? Choose words that rev up the senses: words people can see, hear, taste. Use these words in your brand marketing to create mental imagery for people that excites them.

If you feel like jazzy writing is not your strong suit, that’s okay, Hire a gifted copywriter to help you add more charisma at precisely the right points in the process. For as much writing as I do, I’ve even done this for my own marketing (because sometimes you just can’t see it for yourself) and it’s made a WORLD of difference.

  • Leverage the power of video: What better way to connect your business to millions across the globe than through the power of video? More than words on a page, video helps you make a human connection (there’s that humanity again!) and enables people to see the real you or people behind your corporate logo. You Tube is the second largest search engine. Let people typing in how to do something find YOU there explaining it to them! Jazz up your static website with a welcome video or customers raving about you in video testimonials. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Your iPhone is one of the best cameras on the market. Just start. I’ve been trying to do more of this myself over on my YouTube channel (subscribe now if you’re not already!)

The key takeaway is that like anything else in life, you have to be interesting if you want to capture attention. And “charisma” is subjective. What might seem charismatic to software developers might not be to ad agency creative directors. Know your audience and you will find the best ways to lure them with your charms!

How to Become a Better Connector

How to Become a Better Connector

It’s time to go beyond networking and start connecting. Being a good connector reaps endless benefits for your business and life. Knowing the right people gets you jobs faster, scores you more clients, boosts your visibility, increases your acumen and skills, and shapes your ideas. It is also great for your health and enjoyment in your career.

But how do you become a good connector if you think you’re terrible at it? And if you already feel pretty good about your connecting ability, how can you uplevel for even more influence and impact?

Today’s I’m interviewing leadership speaker, connection creator, and author Michelle Tillis Lederman on this very topic. She just wrote The Connectors Advantage: 7 Mindsets to Grow Your Influence and Impact

Whether you are horrible at making connections, or you want to further build your skills and uplevel your connection-making status so you can get to success faster, enjoy this video, power-packed with useful tips.

YouTube video

Highlights include:

* How to be a good connector even if you think you suck at it (5:50)
* What level connector are you and how you can level up (7:50)
* Difference between a connector and a thought leader (10:50)
* Take Michelle’s Connector Challenge! (12:59)
* Two mindsets necessary to be a good connector and keep your boundaries (17:30)
* How to use underutilized time to nurture connections (23:03)
* Action tip to become a better connector: Eat that frog! (28:00)
* How to be a more inclusive connector and get out of your bubble (29:34)

“Connecting is not nature over nurture. Anyone can become a good connector and find success.” – Michelle Tillis Lederman (TWEET THIS!)

Learn more about Michelle on her website, follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Download your free connection gift pack.
Learn more about The Connectors Advantage and enjoy great book bonuses.

How to Build a Sales Funnel

How to Build a Sales Funnel - man proposing

“Hi, nice to meet you! You’ve never heard of me before but please click this button/take my business card and spend over $1000 on my products or services.”

The underappreciated skill of marketing is to take a customer on journey. One where they get to know you, assess your approach/values, evaluate how you can solve their needs and compare you against the alternatives. This sales cycle can happen in 5 minutes (rarely, unless you are chewing gum at the checkout line: a low-risk, low investment impulse purchase) or more likely, if you sell high-value goods or services, anywhere from one to six months. For some enterprise software firms with deals worth more than $500,000, this could take even longer.

I know, I wish it could be easier, believe me. You write a clever social media post, create a slick sales page or run one compelling ad and…BAM! New buyer.

Please stop proposing on the first date! Prospects need time to learn about you, know, like and trust you before they are going to invest their money and time. (TWEET THIS!)

Most of you don’t sell $5 items, but more expensive products or professional services.

When was the last time you parted with more than $100 when you met a brand for the first time?

To take a prospects on the journey, you need to build a marketing funnel. Or as I like to call it, do some good ole’ fashioned wooing and create a courtship plan.

Here are 5 ways to build a sales funnel so prospects can get to know, like and trust you before they buy:

  1. Offer a safe, no risk way for them to get to know what you are all about: an easily digestible free guide, white paper, or short video. This should be packed with value and not immediately lead to a hard sell, as they are still getting to know you. You are welcoming them to your world, so make them feel comfortable. Dating analogy: Don’t talk about how many kids you want or ask someone to meet you parents on the first date.
  2. Make each call to action or next step crystal clear: While the next call to action from #1 should not necessarily be BUY NOW, what other step should they take in the journey to get closer to a purchase? Perhaps ask them to invest some more time at a webinar or an event. Or ask them to sign up for your email list so you can deliver valuable content on a consistent basis and prove your expertise. Dating analogy: Plan some fun dates and keep things breezy and casual for a while…but make your intentions known that you are serious about building a long-term relationship.
  3. Offer multiple touch points: Building an automated follow-up funnel and getting them on your regular emails is great, but make sure you also have air cover (also known as brand marketing!) Are you posting regularly to social media? Are you doing a few ads every now and then so you stay top of mind? Are you booking speaking engagements or media? Combining your lead funnel “ground game” with the “air cover” of brand is a winning combination for prospects to start getting more comfortable. Dating analogy: Know any friends who can talk you up to your new crush? Or how about sending some flowers, an article you think they might like, or a “thinking of you” text so you stay top of mind between dates.
  4. Follow-up: Don’t leave people hanging. I can’t tell you how many vendors I wanted to spend money with, but I got busy and they never followed up. If you had a conversation or they attended a webinar and asked a lot of questions, be sure to promptly follow up and ask what they thought, what specific challenges they face, why they attended your training or downloaded your guide. You can automate this with emails or if you have strong analytics and can segment out the really interested folks, reach out directly with a personal email or call. Dating analogy: If you say you’re going to call the next day after your date, CALL!
  5. Make it easy for them to buy: When you get to the purchase phase, tell them what to do to seal the deal. Offer options. Ask for the sale (gracefully). Clients want to be led and they need to know what to do to say yes. Make sure your directives are clear: What button to press, where to click, what the contract process looks like. Dating analogy: When we are ready to commit to someone, what do we do? We pop the question: Will you marry me, or will you move in with me? Don’t assume they know that’s what you want!

For more advice on this topic, you may enjoy these past articles:

How to do content marketing right (3-part series)
The Art of Seduction: How to Woo Your Audience with Great Content
How to Build a Sales Process and Close More Deals
4  Tips for How to Sell Without Selling Your Soul

And did you know? Sales funnels that effectively use video marketing can greatly increase your customer conversion. Check out this article on How to use videos in a sales funnel for high conversion from Studiotale, to know more about employing videos in your sales funnel.

Traffic or Referrals?

Heavy city traffic - Do you invest in traffic or referrals?

When it comes to the primary method for attracting new clients or customers, small businesses and entrepreneurs fall into two camps:

  1. They rely on website traffic.
  2. They rely on referrals.

Neither strategy is right or wrong. You just need to be clear on what is your strategy so you can invest your time and money into the right activities.

Online shops, of course, rely on website traffic. They need as many of the right people knowing about and coming to their site as possible to make their sales. But this strategy also benefits coaches or consultants with online courses or speakers and authors needing to build a platform. These are the folks you also see investing heavily in social media ads. (Sidenote: while I was never someone who bought from online or social media ads, I have to admit that Instagram ads finally got me. I regularly buy from brands I’ve never heard of before after seeing just one compelling video ad!)

Certain consultants and B2B marketers, however, rely more upon referrals. I’m one of those people. People may not buy such high-touch, high-priced offerings from their site, so they double-down on referral efforts. This includes actively reaching out to their networks or existing fan base, consistently asking for client testimonials and spending their time providing compelling content for those audiences to constantly stay top of mine.

You must understand your primary sales lead channel in order to invest in the right marketing. (TWEET THIS!)

Some resources for you:

If you’re focused on driving online traffic, I highly recommend you check out Devani Freeman for Facebook and Instagram presence-building and campaigns. Amy Landino for video marketing strategy to build a YouTube presence and drive traffic, or Diamond and Branch Digital Marketing for all things SEO, digital content strategy and more traffic driving.

Articles you may love:
How to make Facebook and Instagram ads work for your business
5un-ignorable reasons why your business needs a blog
How to do SEO in 5 minutes (really)

The 5 best ways to drive traffic to your website If you’re focused on referrals, I highly recommend you check out relationship and networking and connection expert Michelle Tillis Lederman (she has a new book coming out soon called THE CONNECTOR’S ADVANTAGE – so good!) and LinkedIn guru Sandy Jones-Kaminski of Bella Domain. I also highly recommend Leah Neaderthal’s course SIGNED to help you create a lead generation process and really work your referral base (If you’re interested in an intro to Leah AND a special discount code for this course, contact me!)

Articles you may love:
6 ways to spread the word about your business
Top 5 networking tips from a pro
How to attract quality clients and customers
25 ways to ask for a referral without looking desperate

3 Ways to Leverage Your Contacts for Leads

3 Ways to Leverage Your Contacts - photo of person drawing social media circles on chalkboard

You may think you don’t have enough reach, a big enough email list or enough leads.

But you are actually sitting on a goldmine. And you might be ignoring it.

Recently, I learned the importance of clearly reaching out and communicating your work to people you know. Yes, just took me more than 11 years in business to learn how to be proactive on this! #latebloomer

All of us have networks of former colleagues or clients. All of us have some quantity of people on our email lists, be that 100 or 10,000. All of us are connected to people through social media, especially LinkedIn. You might think some of them can’t help you get more clients and customers, but they can.

This is your lead and referral base. Time to start nurturing it!

Here are 3 ways to leverage your existing network, client base or email list for more leads and revenue opportunities.

  1. Reach Out: This year, I’ve committed to reaching out to 5 contacts. Just a short, sweet note of connection. These could be folks from my corporate life, colleagues I’ve met at business networking events, former clients. People who may or may not need my services right now – but may know someone who does. I’m letting them know what is going on with me and inviting them to coffee or a Zoom call so we can connect and help each other. This is not just about you being selfish: Reconnecting with your network is a great way for you practice generosity and see how you might be of service to them. Remind them that you exist and you may just unlock new business or yourself…or for them.
  2. Tag Emails and Posts with a CTA: This is a technique that works so well for sales coach Leah Neaderthal of Smart Gets Paid. You may have noticed in recent emails or social media posts, I’ll occasionally mention “3 ways I can help” and remind fans about my 90-minute Brand Booster sessions, free private Facebook community they can join for entrepreneurial advice (MOMENTUM for Savvy Entrepreneurs) or DIY digital course for marketing success, MOMENTUM Pro. This has helped kick start folks into action. We are all busy. No one remembers everything you do, so it’s on you to continually remind them! As my good friend and colleague conversion copywriter Betsy Talbot always says, “You have to tell your clients how to buy from you!”
  3. Love Your List: I don’t care how big your email list is. You need to love on them! Quality beats quantity any day.  These are your biggest fans, so make them feel special. Offer exclusive content, provide free trainings, heck, send them an inspiring playlist! Not sure how to love on them? Grab some templates and ideas from CLIENT LOVE, so you can love the fans you’ve got and attract even more. When you love your existing tribe rather than always striving to “collect” new subscribers to clients, you turn them into brand evangelists!

People are busy. They forget about you or what you do. They don’t keep up with every new launch, rebrand or product you have to offer.

Don’t waste your existing network, fans or client base: Remind them you are there and how you can help.

Proactive generosity and connection will always bring you success. (TWEET THIS!)

How to build a sales process and close more deals with Leah Neaderthal

build a sales process and close more deals with Leah Neaderthal

If you’re a coach, consultant or service provider of any kind, you may falsely believe that you have to accept a life of feast or famine. I mean, you never know when or if your next client will land on your doorstep, right? How can you possibly PLAN to reach your revenue number each quarter?

Easy. Create a sales process and build a sales pipeline for a consistent flow of new clients who pay you what you’re worth.


Today I’m interviewing sales coach Leah Neaderthal.  Leah is the founder of Smart Gets Paid and a business coach for women (but guys, you’ll want to tune in, too, if you want to close more deals).  I adore her so much, I can’t sand it.

Her signature course, SIGNED, teaches you how to build a repeatable sales process, get paid what they’re worth, negotiate better and close more deals (I’ve taken the course and it’s been a game-changer…more on how you can get a special discount below!)

Grab a pen and take notes. Seriously. That is, if you want to book more clients at higher rates. If you don’t, you can go binge watch Game of Thrones.

But…if you want to build a healthy sales pipeline so you can stop worrying about revenue, have better sales conversations, and book more of the right clients (so you make more money. not do more work), please click below to watch the interview!

YouTube video

Highlights include:

* What holds people back in business, especially women (2:26)
* 2 reasons why talented, smart people struggle with making sales (6:22)
* Top myths holding you back from closing more deals and getting paid more (9:36)
* What is a sales process and why do you absolutely need one (12:30)
* Why you must “lead the client” because they don’t know how to buy from you (13:30)
* What she says to those who say they don’t “need” a sales process – so good! (15:55)
* How to manage your sales pipeline and why you need “pipeline coverage” (17:34)
* No active deals currently in your pipeline? Here’s where to start! (20:04)
* How to get paid what you’re worth and protect your price in the sales process (26:41)
* How value-based pricing creates a better client relationship (29:10)
* How to protect your price during tense negotiations  (31:40)
* The single best antidote to protecting your price (36:36)
* The 2 crucial tools you need to effectively manage your sales process (38:05)

Don’t fear sales. Not everyone is born being good at it, but it can be learned. As Leah says so well,

“If your work creates value and people can benefit from it, it’s your responsibility to share it” (TWEET THIS!)

Learn more about Leah on her websiteor connect with her on LinkedIn

PS: Want to learn more about SIGNED to close more deals with better clients?

Just contact me, and I’ll introduce you two. Leah doesn’t accept everyone into the course, so jump on a call with her to discuss your goals and see if it’s the right fit for you.  


After taking SIGNED, I used Leah’s techniques and templates to craft a strong proposal and boldly DOUBLE my engagement price by adding more value without adding more work. The client agreed without blinking an eye. Scouts honor. – Me!

How to Build a Marketing Plan with Elizabeth Case

End Your Marketing Overwhelm

Love running your own business, but overwhelmed by marketing and sales? There are so many options out there, it can be dizzying, even for a marketer like me.

But rest easy, friend. You’re about to get your whole world in order!

Today I’m interviewing marketing consultant Elizabeth Case of Yellow Dog Consulting. Elizabeth has been a long time sales and marketing pro and her firm helps small business owners manage their marketing and get more business.

Specifically, Elizabeth, “works with small business owners who love what they do, but the sales and marketing part of their job sucks their will to live.”

If this sounds like you, get ready to learn how to avoid overwhelm, how to build a realistic marketing plan, and which systems to put in place to make it all easier with marketing consultant.

Grab a pen and take notes. This is straight talk, and solid action.

If you want to get a better handle on your marketing plan and business development efforts for a steady stream of clients, please click below to watch the video interview!

YouTube video

Highlights include:

* The mistakes you’re making that cause overwhelm (3:30)

* Why Elizabeth runs a successful business –and refuses to join Facebook. And why that hasn’t hurt her success one bit (5:54)

* Why you absolutely need to have an email newsletter (7:20)

* The go-to systems and processes you need in place, especially if you’re time or budget-strapped (11:49)

* Why a good follow-up system is VITAL to your success – and how to build one (13:09)

* What should be in your marketing plan to make it effective and realistic + the 3 most important things you need to make your marketing work (17:27)

* Her most important gem of wisdom for business success (25:40)

There is a lot of marketing you can do, but you don’t have to do it ALL. (TWEET THIS!)

Got questions or feedback on this post? Would love to know!

Learn more about Elizabeth on her website, follow her on Twitter or Instagram and grab her free monthly marketing calendar to help you get organized.

If you like this topic, here are some other articles you may enjoy:

How to create a simple marketing plan
5 tips to end social media overwhelm for your business
6 simple marketing time savers

A Tale of Two Customer Experiences


Empathy is the secret to happy customers

Customer experience is now a defining competitive edge.

In fact, this article states that customer experience is one of the top disruptive trends in business this year.

So let me ask you: Which customer experience would you rather have?

  • One where the customer service rep responds promptly, empathizes with your issue, and offers you options to solve your problem, even if it may not be the original solution you’d had in mind?
  • Or one where the customer service rep blames their lack of responsiveness on the company being too successful to manage all their new business, implying it’s somehow your fault for being impatient?

These were two such experiences I had recently. The first with, of all companies, a cable company. The second, with what is supposed the be a new darling of online retailing.

What made the difference? EMPATHY.

Empathy is not just a feel good trait. It’s an essential brand advantage that impacts sales and customer experience. Especially when dealing with an upset customer or client. (TWEET THIS!)

The bad customer service rep (for lack of a better term) blamed me for the initial problem, acted like she didn’t care at all that I was now in a bind, and haughtily said to me, “Well, I can’t help do anything about it” to which, when I prompted, “Well can you ASK someone who CAN do something,” she replied with indifference, “”Sure, I guess I’ll ask if something can be done, but I don’t think so.” Yep. She never asked.

The good customer service rep immediately empathized with my frustration and shock over a huge increase in my monthly bill (“Wow! I would totally feel the same way if I’d opened up a bill and saw that increase too! Let’s see what’s going on here.”)

The bad customer service rep had canned email responses that were supposed to “show empathy” – except when you get the same phrase in every single email, it’s clear it’s from a script (“We never want our customers to have that kind of experience.”) Well, clearly you do if you do nothing to fix the process.

The good customer service rep had no script. She looked at my account and customized a solution on the fly. (“Let me check something real quick. I think I can move your plan to another one we now have available so you’re paying the same price you were before.”)

Google has seen the business benefits of empathy. Company research projects have revealed that its most innovative ideas, productive teams and high-performers rank empathy high as a crucial factor to success.  Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella cites empathy as the most important catalyst for innovation.

How do we build empathy into the customer experience?

  • Implement the right processes: Empower customer service reps to do what it takes to solve the issue and not tie their hands with onerous “permission getting.” Allow for fast resolutions and creative problem solving.
  • Hire right: Emotional intelligence is crucial. Don’t just staff a body. Be sure you are screening and hiring people who have shown empathy in past roles. Ask them how they collaborate, problem solve or handle angry customers. Role play scenarios in the interview and see how they respond.
  • Scale for success: Your success is no excuse for a poor experience. Don’t blame “too many customers” on the reason you don’t have enough reps or logistical support to solve problems. Don’t blame your email system for not getting customer complaints. That’s on you.
  • Acknowledge feelings: While it’s tempting to not want to legally “take blame” for something that went wrong, you can still be human and say you are sorry the customer is having such a bad experience. Acknowledging their angry or hurt feelings by relating to them from a similar experience you have had can go a long way to easing the pain.

It’s not enough to have a great product. The bad customer service experience company has a great product and it’s killing me that I just don’t want to give them any more of my money.

Image Credit: Photo by Jared Sluyter on Unsplash

5 Tools That Run My Business

5 Tools That Run My Business

While I might be a branding expert with years of experience in consulting and marketing, when I started out in 2008, I was not an expert at running a business. I cobbled together my operations and processes over the years.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about running a business and working for myself. And that includes slowly finding many of the tools I use to run my business on a daily basis.

If you’re wondering what tools, software or apps might help your business run just a bit more smoothly, let me share my 5y favorite go-to’s with you. Full disclosure: A few of the links below are affiliate links, so if you decide to buy, we both win. You can trust me: I personally use everything on this list, almost on a daily basis!

Landing Pages:

LeadPages has changed my life. Yes, I used to build pages off my website and add a clunky little button and have to manage and maintain it, etc. I finally broke down a few years ago and quite simply, I can’t imagine being it. Landing pages are a breeze. Especially since the best performing landing pages are simple and uncluttered. You can add your branding and make them your own. A must if you want to build your email list and quickly and easily get new subscribers with different campaigns. I also use their Campaigns functionality, which operates as a shopping cart and integrates with Stripe (see Payment Processors below)

Email Marketing:

You’d better not be sending marketing emails from your personal email list and BCC’ing everyone – you’ll end up on a spam blacklist! Get thee to an email marketing platform immediately. While MailChimp is free for simple uses for under 2000 subs, I pay for Aweber now and have for several years. I need more list flexibility than MailChimp provides. Their service is the best. I can ask them anything and immediately get help. Truthfully, I’ve had some issues with more complex tasks and being able to route different funnels to the same list, but they are adding functionality all the time.

Social Media Posting:

I use Buffer to schedule my social media posts in advance. I’d like to say I was uber efficient and plan way ahead with a fully stocked queue at all time, but alas. I’m working on it. But when I do think ahead, I can easily schedule posts for Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. They also offer Instagram. I don’t recommend using them for Facebook, as the Facebook algorithm dings you when you schedule with 3rd party apps (use Facebook’s native schedule for that). But Buffer is great if you plan in advance, want to set up promoting a colleague’s campaign, or even for when you are on vacation. I like to spend about 10-15 minutes stocking up my queue each week. But remember to still get on social media live every now and then to interact. It’s SOCIAL, people. Don’t just phone it in all the time!

Social Media Drip Campaigns:

I think I discovered Missing Lettr from another person’s blog post about productivity tools! Missing Lettr hooks up to your blog and when you publish a new post, it automatically sets up a year-long drip campaign. You can approve and edit all of the campaign posts, but once you do, BAM! You re-promote your content for an entire year without thinking about it. And it let’s you do some cool things, like create speech bubble images, which I kind of love. A huge promotional time-saver.

Payment Processing:

I use a few tools for this. PayPal is my standard for both taking and sending payments. It’s what I started out with. And you can set up subscription payments with them as well. But…I’ve started using Stripe for digital products because there is better integration for some marketing funnels I put together. Since I’m less familiar with it, I haven’t quite figured it out as easily as PayPal…but my VA knows, so that’s all that matters!  And when I sell books onsite at an event, I use Square on my iPad or phone.

Email marketing? Landing pages? Social Media sharing? Check out @redslice’s 5 go-to tech tools that run her consulting and online business!  (TWEET THIS!)

Photo Credit: Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash