Weekly Q&A | April 25, 2018

How would you make a home environment more calming?

There are two things that are completely affordable and will totally transform your home environment, making it more calming and easy to live in.

1. Minimize + Declutter

Getting rid of stuff is totally FREE and will totally make your space more calm. Clutter distracts the mind and makes it difficult to relax in a space. When everything has a use and a place, it's easier to clean your home, organize your things, and rest knowing everything is actually being used.

The Kon Mari method of decluttering (read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) is an excellent resource for learning how to properly declutter your home.

2. Paint

Paint is generally a cheap way to instantly change the vibe of your space ($40-70/room). If you're wanting your room to be more calming, I suggest using color that evoke that feeling. For me, those tend to be greens, blues, and grays that are usually less saturated. Saturated colors are more pure versions of each color, and they become less saturated as they get closer to white, grey, or black. So think about a vibrant green - like a leaf on a tree or a blade of grass. A less saturated green (one that looks almost more grey or white) could be sage. Same with pink – blush pink is less saturated than hot pink.

So choose less saturated greens and blues to help calm your space down. Psychologically, these colors help promote peace and calm, whereas warmer color like yellow promote energy in a space. Be sure your colors aren't working against the feeling you want to create!

 

What books would you recommend for people who want to learn about business and marketing?

Building a Storybrand - Donald Miller | All about connecting your brand with your audience through story

Crushing It - Gary Vaynerchuk | Social media management + motivation

Rework - Jason Fried | Basically a business education in a book - super easy read

All Marketers Tell Stories - Seth Godin | Great ideas on marketing your business as a whole

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie | Relationships + connections (can easily be used for business)

The Four Hour Workweek - Tim Ferriss | Efficiency in your work and delegation

Start with Why - Simon Sinek | People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it

 

How can I increase conversions?

1. Clarity

Answer every possible question before it's asked! You don't want your customer to have any hesitation before they place an order with you, so ensuring there is no room for doubt is essential to increasing your conversions.

2. Show everything in context

This goes hand-in-hand with answering questions and clarity – make sure your products are presented in the context in which they'll be used. For example, I know many people who buy my fonts are designers and bloggers, so I try to present each font in such a way that designers and bloggers can envision how they can use it in their own designs.

3. Create effective funnels

If your goal is to convert, it's essential to be sure you're leading your audience somewhere. So if, for example, your goal is to sell product, you need to make sure every page on your site leads them to purchase something – put product on your homepage, integrate them into your blog posts, etc. Same with growing your email list – be sure that anywhere a person lands on your site encourages them to sign up for your list.

From there, you can lead them to their next sale through email sequences and retargeting. For example, I created an automated email sequence when people sign up for my free branding course. The first email gives them access to the course, the next few emails show them ways to use what they've learned, and the last few emails lead them to a soft pitch of my Design Masterclass. Ideally, this email sequence will lead to conversions because my email list is a warm audience (meaning they're already somewhat interested).

Retargeting is advertising to people who have signed up for your list or visited your site. Facebook has a great method of doing this using their Pixel (more on the Facebook Pixel here).

4. Open loops

Donald Miller talks about this idea of opening story loops that the audience needs to close. For example, every good movie opens a loop that you as the viewer need to watch until that loop closes. Will Harry & Sally ever get together? Will Simba find out what Scar did? Will Marlin ever find Nemo?

These loops get opened up within the first bit of watching a movie so that it draws you, the viewer, into the story. You have to find out how the loop closes!

You can do the same thing in business. By opening a loop with a question (like, "Are you making these 5 business mistakes?"), you're drawing your audience into an open loop that they're going to want to close. It's why "Click-bait" headlines are so effective - they open up your curiosity to the point of needing to click and figure out how the loop closes.

 

Making social media more effective

I've noticed that one of the best ways to make your social media more effective is to:

1. Have a plan

When you know what product, course, blog post, etc. you plan to make available, it's easier to take your audience with you (#2). So create a plan for your content – what products do you have ready to release, what courses are you working on, what lead magnet or freebie or any other offering are you planning to release? Write it down, create a plan, and then...

2. Take your audience with you

Leading your audience into your next big release is such a great way to make your socials more effective. If your audience is getting used to seeing you post more about marketing and consulting, they'll be ready when a few weeks or months later you offer consulting sessions or a marketing course. When you prepare them for the next thing you're offering, they're much more likely to be interested and respond.

 

Business Strategy + Competing

If you're in the business world, you gotta compete – whether it's with other people in the marketplace or competing for your audience's attention, you need to be ready to compete.

With competition, I believe it is best to start with figuring out what your competitive advantage is. Your competitive advantage is something that you offer that other competitors don't, or that you can do better than they can. And it can be used to build customer loyalty, so that people know to come to you first.

There are a few strategies you can use for your strategy – these are the main ones:

1. Low-cost provider strategy

This is the strategy you'll see Walmart, Sams Club, Costco, etc. use – be the low price that can't be beat. The catch is oftentimes to make sure your quality is somewhat decent as well. Because your offerings are so low cost, it's not super critical to have top-notch quality. This is a good strategy if your goal is volume over quality, which will also affect your audience quite a bit.

2. Broad differentiation strategy

This is a great strategy for differentiating your brand across an entire industry, and usually requires that you have a larger audience. Southwest Airlines did a great job at this with their customer service – by making their customer service so much more awesome than other airlines, they've changed what a large group of people desire in an airline and have won them over. 

3. Focused low-cost strategy

This is similar to low-cost provider strategy but on a much smaller, more focused scale. With this strategy, you're going after a niche or even a segment of a bigger audience, aiming to be the low-cost provider of this niche, but not necessarily the whole market. So, for example, this may be aiming to offer the cheapest photography books among photographers, even though your portrait rates are the same as other competitors. 

4. Focused differentiation strategy

This strategy is similar to broad differentiation strategy, except it hones in on a much smaller and specific audience. So this strategy would be like a designer having similar offerings as other designers in the market, but also giving each client a one-on-one consulting session with each branding project. It emphasizes a special something that sets you apart from your competition, but is only needed by a focused portion of your larger audience.

5. Best-cost provider strategy

This strategy is all about providing the best value for the best price. This is the strategy I use most often – I want my customers to feel like they're getting an awesome product for a great price. Sometimes I'll throw in extra design elements or logo templates to increase the overall perceived value of each product; basically, it's about giving them as much value as you can for a price that also makes sense.

 


That's all I got!

Thank you guys SO much for tuning in to the Live Q&A! Please comment, email, or DM any questions you have for the next one and I'll be sure to answer them!

Much love,
Jen Wagner