Welcome to my first solo episode! I wanted to take you behind the scenes of starting a podcast and blog and share the 5 most important things I have learned on this journey so far.
Here are some of the most important numbers I am keeping up with to determine our growth and success:
207 – Selling the Couch email subscribers
1193 – Visitors to the website
3275 – Page Views on the website
2875 – Downloads of the podcast
I’m pleased with the results we have seen since we launched a little over a month ago. But more importantly, I have learned so much since I started this podcast, so I wanted to share my top 5 lessons:
1. Create an Avatar (ideal customer). This is foundational to doing any business online, and will affect every decision you will make.
Mine avatar was Michelle, a therapist who was fed up with working for an employer, and wants to have her own practice. She lies awake resenting the fact that she is not living her life on her own terms.
I now make every business decision with the question, “What would Michelle want?”
Build your practice website geared toward your audience. You really have to identify your audience. It is counter-intuitive but if you build a website for everyone, you actually build a website for no one. You can’t reach everyone, so make sure you gear your website toward your ideal customer.
2. Build an email list. I honestly had reservations about this marketing best practice. I was uncomfortable with it in our area. But think about the platforms that you might be trying to build a business on. Whether it is Twitter, Facebook or another platform, you don’t own your audience. Your business is subject to the whims of that platform. Remember that Facebook has changed from everyone seeing all of your posts, to now running everything through their own “algorithms” to determine if your posts are worthy of being viewed by your followers. With these social platforms controlling your ability to reach your followers, your best way to stay in touch with your audience is through your email list.
The best way to get an email address is to give something of value away. This makes your audience excited about getting your free gift and they are more than willing to give an email address in exchange.
3. Pay attention to your website analytics
Google Analytics – it’s free and easy to see how many people are visiting your website, how long they stay on each page, how they found you, and how they accessed you (what device it was, etc.). It is important to have your website optimized for mobile. Beginning in April 2015, Google has started requiring it. This means you could be penalized in the search rankings if yours is not mobile friendly.
If you want to check to see if your website it mobile friendly, just click the link below and put in your web address. You can know instantly.
Crazy Egg is another program for analytics that I use. It costs about $10 a month, and it really helps you get deeper into your website. It gives you a visual representation of what people are actually doing on your website. For example, if you figure out people are clicking on the upper right part of your website, you probably want to put your best content there. It gives insight into the habits of your customers while they are on the website, and you can’t get that information in a spreadsheet.
4. Make visual components for every aspect of your content. Visual images are the most shared of social content today, so it is important to give your audience something to share.
Canva is free software that is very user-friendly and easy to use. I use it to create my show graphics and those tend to be some of the most shared content for my podcast.
It is important to put social sharing buttons on or near the graphics you create. I use Monarch from Elegant themes with floating social buttons on every page.
Social sharing is important because it is good from a search engine standpoint. If your content is worthy of being shared, then the search engines view your website as an authority and it will get a higher ranking in search results.
5. Building your business online takes time. There is no instant success. Understand you are in it for the long game, and if you are providing value in the right way, you will see slow but steady growth.
I completely underestimated the amount of time it takes to do all the components of my business in the right way. Focus on one thing and get really good at it. As soon as possible, put systems in place to get the work done. It takes planning to do this, but at least you know what you should be doing when. You are less distracted this way, and you aren’t scattered and getting nothing done. As Author Michael Gerber puts it, the key is to work on your business and not in your business. And putting systems in place is a great way to do this.
Links and Resources Mentioned:
Elegant Themes (Monarch Social Sharing Plugin)
THANKS FOR LISTENING!
I hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes look at my podcast!
I would be grateful if you could:
- Share this episode using the social media buttons on this page.
- Please Subscribe and leave an honest Rating and Review for the Selling the Couch podcast on iTunes.
My dream is that this podcast reaches every new, current, and aspiring mental health private practitioner, and subscriptions and 5 star ratings and positive reviews help to make that dream a reality.
Until next time!