5 Steps to Create a Custom MailChimp Automated Email

Automated email campaigns are a feature that is available regardless of what plan you have. This is an amazing tool that can help you with a variety of marketing and administration tasks.

You can check out the preset “Automation Emails” or you can create your own.

The steps below are for custom automated emails…great for a series of emails that you can send out to a specific list or will trigger as you add names.

For example if you have a 5 day training series, you can create a custom email series to drip out to clients.

Step One
Sign in and select “Create Campaign”.

Step Two
Select “Create an Email”.

Step Three
At this step you can select one of the preset emails for a variety of marketing or admin purposes…but to really dial it in, click on “Custom”.

Step Four
Name your campaign and click on “BeginStep Five
Now you can begin to create your custom email series. You can edit your trigger (aka…when it will send the emails and how between time lapses), edit the workflow and design each email that you add as part of the series (I would suggest creating a template for the email series first and then you can easily use that for each added email).

Mail Chimp_Custom Email_Step 5

Click HERE to download a one sheet

Well there you have it. Hope this was helpful and allows you to create some options to streamline your marketing and save you some time.

Please contact us if you have any questions or leave a comment with some feedback!

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5 Ways to Finish Strong & Kick Ass in the New Year

How is it already the end of the year?

I think that thought every time the beginning of December rolls around. Well this year is not different, but this time I do not have that twinge of panic. Why? Because I have decided this year to incorporate some SMART planning into place.

What is SMART planning? Well check out see for yourself below.

(1) Specific
Be specific in your planning. The more specific you are the better you can map out the steps to accomplish your goals. This means that you need to be very clear on what you want and how you are going to get it. We often think by being general in our planning that it is more attainable, but it then become difficult to make the next thing happen.

 

(2) Measurable
When you can measure your progress, you will know what still needs to happen or where you might need to tweak things to improve your success. This applies to planning, marketing, social engagement and even your process in how you do what you do. There are tons of ways to measure…so many that it can make your head spin. So take it a step at a time to implement these so you can be sure you have the right fit. Here are some ideas:

HootSuite (Social Media)
Google Analytics (Social Media; Website)
Basecamp (Business Tasks & Goals)
Tello (Workflow)
Streak (CRM, Workflow, Business Tasks)

(3) Achievable
It is so important to be to achieve the goals that you set. So you need to then figure out what that means to you. When you begin, jot down anything and everything…don’t limit yourself. Then go back over it, refine it and set time tables that will be…(see #4)

(4) Realistic
Be realistic. It is easy to get excited and make all sorts of plans, but logic has to step in and help guide the way.

(5) Timely
As  you finalize your goals and plan ask yourself…is this a good use of my time and useful in moving me forward in my business? Kinds of seems common sense, but excitement for a certain project can cloud judgement…So let some time pass before you make the call on how timely things are.

So there you have it! These 5 ways of planning and handling my business has made a world of difference to helping me feel like I have my head screwed and the I can kick ass the New Year.

DIY Video | Your Basic Tool Box

This is a basic starter list (click image or here to download) that will help you on your way to creating your own professional streaming, LIVE or training videos for social media. Message us in the form below if you are interested in our full DIY Video Coaching program.

Happy Filming!!!!


DIY Tool Kit List

 

Click HERE to Download

 

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What I Learned In Theater Class | Part 1

As an actor you study life in order to authentically portray it on stage or in front of the camera. You use sociology, a bit of psychology and observation in order to develop a character that can tell a story…with and without words.

You Can Say So Much Without Uttering A Word

You don’t have to hang around me long to know that I am a bit dramatic..in a good way. I enjoy stepping on stage or in front of the camera as a form of creative expression. I also enjoy using theatrics and what I have learned as I have continued to develop this craft in other areas of my life.

As an actor you study life in order to authentically portray it on stage or in front of the camera. You use sociology, a bit of psychology and observation in order to develop a character that can tell a story…with and without words.

We are no different in real life! We tell stories without uttering a word and it is important to be aware of this. When we speak, we should also be dialed into what our bodies are saying.

I teach a workshop specifically on this topic and here are some of the main areas we cover.

Body Stance
Point of Energy
Eye Focus
Hand Positioning and Gestures

Although these are just a few elements of how we use body language, they are key to beginning to understand how you can polish and manage the messages you are saying.

Claim Your Business | Top 5 Local Listings You Should Grab

As a small business, free marketing is always a welcomed resource. Claiming the local listings for your business is one of these free marketing tools out there…but the #key here is to make certain you are optimizing this opportunity and spending time on the listings that will give you the most value for your time and efforts.

As a small business, free marketing is always a welcomed resource. Claiming the local listings for your business is one of these free marketing tools out there…but the #key here is to make certain you are optimizing this opportunity and spending time on the listings that will give you the most value for your time and efforts.

What is a local listing?

Think of this as tapping into the “yellow pages”

Of course there are paid marketing packages that each of these will offer and there are also services you can sign up for that will set these up for you and manage them (Yext). If you have the marketing budget and want to try these things out, my suggestion is that you try them out one at a time and make certain you have some time dedicated to testing/tracking these services so you know what the return is on those hard earned dollars.

Yelp

Great for services based businesses. If you are not familiar with Yelp already this is a community platform that allows consumers to leave feedback, rate their experience and reviews. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.

Yahoo Small Biz

This is one of the top sites that pulls up when consumers are searching for local services and business. This listing is a must so you can have control over the information that potential clients are seeing about your biz. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.

YP

This is how Yellow Pages came into the digital age. This is similar to the Yahoo listing, another way to take control over the information that is provided to the digital community. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.

Google+

In order to fully use the free tools that Google+ have available, you will need to create a Google+ profile for your business and then also set up the Business Page that is then tied to your Google+ page (of course this is also tied to your YouTube and personal profile. You will need to verify your address by having Google send you a postcard to the physical address associated with your business. This postcard will have a verification code that will unlock you ability to fully optimize your listing.

Bing

This is tied to Microsoft, so you will need to set up an specific login with Microsoft to then login to this platform. Bing is a leader in digital marketing and is used as a primary browser landing page for many. In addition to their free listing there are opportunities to advertise, which if you have some extra cash flow and time to test is a good place to put some marketing dollars. You will need to verify your location via phone number through either a call or text code.

Why Should I Care About Branding?

Basically if you have a product or service you will want to have something that the community will identify with in order to create trust, recognition and ultimately a client, customer, supporter or donor.

What is branding anyway? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:

branding

noun  brand·ing \ˈbran-diŋ\
Definition:  the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand
First Known Use: 1913

Basically if you have a product or service you will want to have something that the community will identify with in order to create trust, recognition and ultimately a client, customer, supporter or donor.

If you are not sure what your brand is or if you have a brand that is helping you move forward successfully, then you will want to take time to identify what that is. How do you want the community to identify with your company or organization?

While there is not a single fix-all solution to formulating a brand, here are a few things to consider as you examine your current branding or begin to move towards a new one all together:

  • What is your Unique Selling or Service Proposition)? [USP click here to learn more]
  • What problem does your product or services solve?
  • What is your tagline
  • What colors represent best what you do? [yes a bit ethereal, but color does matter! Look for a post soon on this]
  • What are your core values, vision and mission for your company?

NEED HELP? Feel free to reach out by emailing silverkeysmedia @ yahoo.com or fill out the form below if you have questions or if you want to schedule a strategy session to get your story on track.

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Five Steps to Create a Solid USP

 

What is a USP?

A USP is a single sentence or phrase that captures your Unique Selling Proposition. It takes a bit of work to get to this piece of your marketing plan, but it VITAL to understanding the problem your business/organization is solving and what sets you apart from others in your community. A USP gives you a clear identity, lets you target your market and will help you with putting together a solid story. Successful USPs can be used as a company tagline and should be incorporated into all of your marketing activities.

Stand out in a crowd
What makes your company or organization unique

 

Step 1: Find Your Target?

You need to know who you are targeting. In this first step you need to be a specific and intentional in your wording.. For example, if you are a business coach with an expertise in fundraising, you may identify your target client as non-profits or community based organizations.

Step 2: What is Your Problem?

This is so IMPORTANT! Take some time and think from your prospective clients’ perspective. What problem or challenge do they face that your business can solve?

Step 3: Identify the Benefits

What are 3-5 of the biggest benefits a client gets from choosing to work with your company?What sets you apart from your competition? These benefits should explain why your services would be valuable to your prospective clients and what would compel them to choose you.

Step 4: Define Your Promise

A HUGE part of a USP is what you will promise to your clients, what are you going to do to solve their problems. This are active words.

Step 5: Put it all together

Now take all of the information you have written down and put it all together into one paragraph. There should be some recurring ideas and thoughts, so you’ll want to start merging statements and rewriting in a way that flows and makes sense.You want your final USP to be as specific and simple as possible.

Here are a few links to some great USP examples:

https://fizzle.co/sparkline/10-examples-of-killer-unique-selling-propositions-on-the-web

http://sales.about.com/od/leadgeneration/tp/Unique-Selling-Proposition-Examples.htm

http://imimpact.com/unique-selling-proposition-examples/

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What Story Are You Telling?

Regardless of your industry, your business or organization has a story. What story are you currently telling? Is this the story I want to tell? Why is this important?

Story Book

Regardless of your industry, your business or organization has a story. This story is made up of the personal impression you have made (or those who work for/with you), copy on your website, your printed materials, your logo, your tag line and your overall digital presence.

It can even run as deep as what you do publicly outside of work. The big set of questions are: What story are you currently telling? Is this the story I want to tell? Why is this important?

This could be a very long post if I covered everything, so I am only going to highlight some action items to address the three questions mentioned above. This will help you get started with the process of unlocking your story.

story

What story are you currently telling?
To find this out you will want to schedule a couple blocks of time to evaluate what you currently have online and in print. Basically in technical terms you will create a digital audit. Compile this however it makes sense (word doc, excel, cloud doc, etc…). Here a few things to look for:

  • Is the description of your biz or what you do consistent in language on your website, social platforms, print media and local listings?
  • Does your logo and images represent what your company does, what services or product you provide and seem interesting?
  • Do all elements look polished and professional?

Is this the story I want to tell?
Not that you have done some homework take a look at all that is out there. What story is it telling? What message is it communicating to potential clients?

If you can see through the eyes of your target audience, this will allow you to see if you are hitting your mark or if you have blind spots in how you are presenting you, your business/org and what you are offering. If need be find a few trusted people and ask them to give you honest feedback.

Why is this important?
The reason all this matters is because this is what potential clients, customers or donors are seeing. This is what is forming their instant impression of you and will either attract or repel. If your messaging is inconsistent, messy and does not have cohesion, that is what viewers will take away as a subconscious impression of how you do business.

NEED HELP? Feel free to reach out by emailing silverkeysmedia @ yahoo.com or fill out the form below if you have questions or if you want to schedule a strategy session to get your story on track.

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”1″ /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”1″ /][contact-field label=”Comment” type=”textarea” required=”1″ /][/contact-form]

Product Video | Corporate Commercial

You can tell the story of your product, services and company with a simple video. Make sure to keep it short and sweet. Here is a great sample of using intentional words and striking images to create a visual message.

 

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Marketing Yourself While Being Realistic

As a small business owner you wear many hats. You do the work, manage the books, pull the trigger on your marketing….it can be a lot. One of the first things have my clients do is to tell me what they are doing for their marketing and then we talk about what makes them happy…and what is purely a chore.

Marketing your business is different for everyone and there is no magic formula. The key to figuring it all out is to look at what is realistic for you. What? Realistic…what does that mean? Well that means you need to access the time you have, what you enjoy doing and what you can leverage to others. This may mean you need to pay someone to pick up the tasks you do not like or do not have time for, but by taking the time to think it through you can make an educated decision.

Marketing Yourself

Here are a few tips that will help you along the way to make this assessment:

  • Social Media: Do you like social media, know how to use it and have at least 2 hrs a week to manage it? Keep in mind, you do not have to be on every social profile, choose what fits your business and ability to use.
  • Email Marketing: Do you have a way to capture customer contact information? Do you have content that you can send regularly (bi-monthly or monthly)? Do you have the ability to pay for a management system?
  • Digital Ads: Do you know how to do basic design? Do you understand Google Ads, Facebook Ads or any other ad platform? Do you have at least 45 minutes a day to check in and manage ads (this can be less on one and more on another)?
  • Blogging: Do you like to write? Do you have the unique content needed to maintain regular blogging? Do you have at least an hour a week to manage this?

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What Story Are You Telling Without Saying A Word?

You don’t have to hang around me long to know that I am a bit dramatic. I have been acting, dancing and performing since I was 4 years old. My mother put me in dance and acting to increase my confidence. Both of these crafts focus on how you present yourself and how to communicate with out words…to tell a story with out even saying anything.

These skills translate to everyday life. I think all too often we float through and are note aware of what we say with our body, our eyes and the energy we focus from ourselves. This blog post is an overview of a few key non-verbal elements (there are many more) to be in tuned to. I will be offering a workshop & webinar soon that I will to help give more application.

What are you saying with out speaking a word?

Body Energy
We all have energy that flows from our body, but it is how we channel this energy that tells the story. When you are in a situation at work, at home, under stress…what energy is flowing from you. It is a different way to look at things, but awareness of this can help you turn a situation around or elevate the mood of things.

Stance
How you simply stand gives a lot away about how you are feeling and the confidence you have.  A tight, closed down or twisted stance sends a message that you there is insecurity and that you are not as open. A wider stance communicates that you are rooted and thus signals confidence. The most strength lies in the “Power Pose” (think superman or wonder woman) to take charge of a situation (for yourself and to give those around you the cue that you are in charge).

Bubbles
We all have a bubble…some have the need for lots of space and others are very comfortable when someone gets into their bubble. I am a notorious hugger…which I am very aware of being very intentional. But just like the three little bears, there is a way to approach the “bubble” that is just right for a professional setting when you are networking or just meeting people. When you are a step to close while you are speaking this is a signal of control and dominance. When you are just a bit out of reach (to far away) you communicate that you are either insecure or uninterested. To find a distance that is just right will signals confidence and that you are sure of yourself, but takes into consideration the other person.

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Content is King: Create Your Own Meme

Part of this fun journey of blogging for 29 days is to provide some quick tips on how to create unique content to tell your story.

Original content is so important to have in your social media and digital marketing. Do you like those images with text…or better known as meme? You can easily create these with your own photos in a very simple way. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to creating fun, inspirational and informative content for your business.

Meme
Sample Seasonal Meme from Original Photography

First…Identify your Screen Capture Tool

PC = Snipping Tool

  • Locate Snipping Tool in Accessories (Start Menu Search) and Open
  • A communication window will appear
  • Click on arrow next to choose the type of snip you want. Rectangular Snip is best for memes
  • Once you have the item you would like to capture prepared, click “new”
  • Drag cursor over area you want to capture
  • Save as the image format you want

Mac = Command (⌘)-Shift-4

  • Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4. You’ll see that your cursor changes to a crosshair pointer
  • Move the crosshair pointer to where you want to start the screenshot
  • Drag to select an area. To adjust the area, hold Shift, Option, or the Space bar while you drag
  • When you’ve selected the area you want, release your mouse or trackpad button. Or to cancel, press Escape (esc)
  •  Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop

Second…Create Meme in a Word Doc

  • Open Word Doc
  • Go to Insert tab and select Picture…this will allow you to import the image
  • With image selected go to Format and click Wrap Text and select In Front of Text
  • Click on Insert tab and select Text Box…this will give you the option of which text box you want to use
  • Double click on Text Box content and then type the quote you want on your image
  • Make certain that Text Box is still selected and click on Home tab. Highlight the text you just added and format using all the Font formatting tools
  • Make certain that Text Box is still selected and click Format tab. This is where you will select Shape Fill (none) and Shape Outline (none)
  • With box selected drag the Text Box to where you want it on the image.
  • Use screen capture tool to capture and save as either a png or jpg

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Check…Check…Double Check | Quality Control in Your Marketing

Recently I received a letter in the mail from my health care provider. Well after a moment of reading and then re-reading this I laughed out loud so obnoxiously that everyone in the house wondered what the heck I was reading. Really? “Insert disease/condition”….well someone did not get their caffeine in before they hit print and sent this on its merry way. And excuse me, I have a few pounds to lose, but I am not pre-diabetic. After my initial shock, I was delighted to get this and knew right away that it would be a great sample of how in any and all marketing you must check…check…double check your work. Sure we are human, however quality control is so very important and a mistake like this can be costly. How you say? Well my health care provider had to send a letter out after this as a follow-up with an apology and an updated message. So double the postage $$ was spent on this “Research Study Opportunity”.

Ooops Quality Control

So what can we learn from this?

1 – Be certain to check your work yourself and whenever possible have another set of eyes take a look. I am a notorious miss-speller (yes that is not spelled correctly on purpose), so I try to always have extra help in that area.

2 – Quality control is important! It can cost you cold hard cash and possibly some credibility…or the embarrassment when you have to go back to fix things.

3 – To put your best foot forward make certain you are clear-headed and give yourself some time to work on, edit, step away and then come back for a final go over before you send things out into world.

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