Conquer Instagram Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide

Instagram marketing has transformed from a photo-sharing app to a powerful social media platform. Boasting over 1 billion monthly users, 60% of whom are daily active, Instagram offers a goldmine for audience growth and brand awareness. In fact, a whopping 83% of users discover new products and services through Instagram.

Ready to get your brand in front of this highly engaged audience? Instagram marketing is easier than you think! Here’s a roadmap to get you started:

Building Your Instagram Business Presence:

  • Business or Creator Account: Unlock a treasure trove of benefits by switching to a Business or Creator account. These accounts grant access to valuable insights, analytics, advertising capabilities, and special profile features like contact information. See more about the benefits of an Instagram Business account straight from the source (Instagram’s website)!
  • Profile Optimization: Craft a profile that makes you discoverable in searches and informs users about your business. Here’s what to optimize:
    • Profile Picture: Use a clear and recognizable image representing your brand.
    • Username & Name: Make them easy to search for.
    • Category: Select the category that best describes your business.
    • Bio: Write an engaging and informative bio (up to 150 characters) that captures your brand essence.
    • Contact Information: Include your website and contact details.
  • Hashtag Mastery: Hashtags are key to categorizing your content and reaching a wider audience. While you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, focus on choosing relevant ones to ensure users can find your business.

Exploring Instagram Post Formats:

Instagram offers a variety of content formats to engage your audience:

  • Grid Posts: These photo and video squares appear on your profile. Captions can be up to 2,200 characters, but keep in mind that only the first two lines are visible before a “Read More” prompt. Hook viewers with those first lines!
  • Stories: Post photos or videos that disappear after 24 hours (unless added to Highlights). Stories are perfect for behind-the-scenes glimpses, casual updates, and frequent interactions.
  • IGTV: For longer-form content, utilize IGTV, allowing vertical video uploads. These videos can also be shared on your grid and stories.
  • Reels: Capitalize on short-form video engagement with Reels, 15-30 second vertical video clips that can be shared on stories. Reels are a fantastic way to grab your audience’s attention.

Content is King (and Queen):

Now that you’ve mastered the post formats, it’s time to create a compelling content calendar:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Content: Offer followers a glimpse into your company culture and daily operations.
  • Motivational Content: Share inspirational quotes that resonate with your brand and audience. Consider adding your branding to quote graphics for a unique touch.
  • Tutorial Content: Craft tutorials and how-to guides to solve specific customer problems. Tutorials are a fantastic way to target potential customers who are actively seeking solutions.
  • Video Content: Leverage the power of video across formats – Stories, grid posts, Reels, and IGTV. (Learn more about why video is so important to your marketing!)
  • User-Generated Content (UGC): Showcase content created by your followers (with permission!). UGC fosters follower relationships, boosts engagement, and effortlessly fills your content calendar.
  • Case Studies & Testimonials: Real-life stories showcasing the value of your products or services through customer testimonials build trust and demonstrate your understanding of customer needs.
  • Storytelling Content: Connect with your audience on a deeper level by weaving your brand’s story. Remember, every story should have a lesson or takeaway for your viewers.

By strategically incorporating these content types, you’ll achieve multiple goals: expand your reach, connect with customers, and effectively communicate your brand story.

The Human Touch of Instagram Marketing:

Ultimately, Instagram marketing allows you to showcase your company’s personality through visuals. With a strategic approach, you can leverage the power of Instagram marketing to expand your reach, connect with your target audience, and build a thriving brand.

Learning to Blog for Business Owners

You may think that learning to blog isn’t important to your business. You’re a coach or you sell things you make, why should you blog? The internet has an insatiable appetite for information. Billions of searches are conducted every single day looking for everything from how to bake an apple pie to why zebras have stripes. For anyone who conducts business online, these searches represent a steady flow of potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer.

You can use a blog to present yourself as an expert in your field or as the authority in finding the best deals on clothes – whatever your niche is, a blog can help get more eyes on your website. A blog is an easy, cost-effective method of being found by the exact people who most need, want, and are willing to pay for your services. But only if you have a good strategy in place first.

Know Your Keywords

These are the search terms your ideal client is using to find answers to their questions. When you know what your keywords are, you can easily create blog posts that will:

  • Attract the right visitors to your site
  • Position you as the expert in your niche
  • Make it easy for your ideal client to find—and get to know—you and your services

Write for People

Keywords are great for SEO and making search engines like your blogs. And while it’s important to know and use keywords in your blog posts, it’s even more important that you write your content with people in mind. Your blog should be engaging, informational, and even entertaining, but above all else, it must be readable. When learning to blog and choosing what to write remember this: if you wouldn’t read it, neither will anyone else.

Be Consistent

Content marketing—and blogging, by extension—is very much a numbers game. The more content you produce, the greater your results will be. That means setting—and sticking to—a content production schedule is a must. For most websites, a weekly schedule is both attainable and sufficient to build a steady stream of traffic. If that seems daunting, start with something easier like monthly or bi-monthly. One important lesson to learn when learning to blog is that there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Make a production schedule that works for you and make it something that you KNOW you can stick to.

Keep Long-Term Goals in Mind

Blogging is not a fast business-growth strategy but it is excellent for long-term sustainability. Those posts you write this month will continue to work for you many years from now, bringing in more and more traffic and potential clients. Evergreen content, or content that will last for a long time to come, is one of the best investments you can make in your business. Learning to blog also means learning to re-blog. Once your production schedule has been up and running for a few months, set aside some time to review your past blog articles and see if there’s anything you can reuse. You can also go back to old articles and check if there are any natural places to drop in some links to more recent blog posts to increase internal links.

Use Good SEO Practices

Aside from keywords, great bloggers know there are many techniques you can use to bring in more readers, including:

  • External links to relevant sites from within your blog
  • Internal links to other, related content on your site
  • Use of graphics and headlines to break up long text passages
  • Compelling meta descriptions
  • Good HTML practices such as ALT tags

Get the Word Out

Each new blog post is an opportunity to be seen, so take the time to share your content socially, and encourage your readers to do the same. Share your post on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and anywhere else your ideal client is likely to see it.

You can also join social media groups for topics related to your industry and periodically share relevant content from your blog. Just make sure this doesn’t go against the group’s policies and remember to always add value – the goal of this is to promote your website and your business, not annoy group admins.

Mix It Up

Not every post has to be a 3,000-word article. Include other types of content as well, such as:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Curated content
  • Short opinion pieces
  • Audio

Have Fun with It

Above all else, the most important thing to remember when learning to blog is to have some fun. Inject your personality into your blog. Not only will you more easily attract your ideal client but you’ll enjoy blogging a lot more if you use your authentic voice. And the more you enjoy it, the more likely you will remain consistent as well.

How to Start a Podcast for Your Business

As of 2021 41% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month and that figure is changing rapidly. Podcast episodes are easy for people to search, access, and listen to. Listeners can find most podcasts for free on different platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Castbox. With the podcast industry evolving, these platforms make it easier and easier for listeners to access your podcasts.

As a business, podcasts offer an easy barrier to entry, little-to-no marketing cost, and access to a wide audience. The form of podcasts, today’s modern-day radio, allows people to listen to your content as they go about their day, from doing daily chores to traveling, or even exercising.

It’s relatively simple to start a podcast and reach a brand-new market and it’s a great way to expand your business’s marketing reach!

What you need to start a podcast:

  1. Equipment & location. You will need a computer or smartphone, a microphone, and a quiet place to record your podcasts.

    • Computer or smartphone. To start a podcast you will need a device to store the recording before uploading it to the podcasting platform. You don’t need anything special. As long as it can access the internet and has the ability to have a microphone.
    • Microphone. Good-quality microphones are fairly inexpensive and can be purchased on Amazon or at your local electronics store. Do a little research in advance to find out what type of microphone will work best with your computer/smartphone and your needs. We don’t recommend using the built-in microphone on your smartphone, they usually result in lower-quality audio.
    • Decide on a location to record the podcast. It needs to be very quiet and ideally comfortable. A quiet bedroom would work, however, a sound-proofed room or a sound-proofed closet would work best. Keep in mind that every sound will be translated to the podcast, including typing on a keyboard and the sound of computer fans.
  2. Recording, editing & hosting. How you are going to record and edit your podcast, and how it will be hosted?

    • Recording and editing. There are a lot of software options available for recording and editing audio, but if you’re just starting out with a small budget, you can use a web-based service like that provides free recording and editing. Be sure to compare the features and cost of any software/service to ensure it will work for your needs. When you first start a podcast it might be better to go with a service and then switch to your own editing software later.
    • Hosting. A host for your podcast is simply the place where the file is stored online so it can be broadcast to your subscribers. There are multiple hosting options available. also provides hosting for your podcast and we highly recommend it! (We aren’t getting any commission for saying that – we just really like them!)
  3. Brainstorm content theme. What’s the overarching theme or concept that will guide your podcast episodes? People search for podcasts related to certain themes, topics, or ideas.

    • What theme or idea will every podcast episode relate back to? Think about something that you’re familiar with or passionate about that relates back to your business. Even topics you don’t know a lot about are fair game, as long as they tie into your business or industry.
    • For format will your episodes take? Will they be conversational interviews, solo shows, or tell a story?
    • What types of content will you produce? Do you want your podcast to be helpful and informative, inspirational, practical, or conversational?
  4. Set a publishing schedule. How often will you publish podcast episodes?

    • When you first start a podcast it’s a good idea to spread out your episodes to give yourself time to record each one.
    • You might also want to create podcast “seasons” where after you publish a certain number of episodes, your podcast takes a scheduled break.
  5. Create a podcast marketing plan. How will you market each episode after it’s published?

    • Use these ideas to promote episodes and help with content exposure, SEO, and authority-building:
      • Repurpose the clips from podcast episodes into Instagram reels, Twitter audio, or YouTube videos.
      • Highlights, takeaways, and timestamps from your podcast can be typed into “show notes” to be published on your blog or website for SEO purposes. In your show notes, you can include links or resources mentioned in the podcast.
      • Create graphic images of inspirational or informative quotations from the episode and circulate them on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. (Steady Radiance Design can help with creating your podcast graphics!)
      • Interview other companies, businesses, or influencers in your industry and ask them to promote the episode when it’s live.
      • Add keywords and search terms to your podcast titles and descriptions so that people can find them when looking up a topic.

Final Thoughts

The podcast industry is growing rapidly, and it isn’t stopping. Platforms like Castbox are evolving with the industry, and now is the perfect time to start a podcast and reach a new audience. Overall, publishing podcasts builds brand awareness with listeners. By listening to your episodes, they learn more about you and your company over time.

Anatomy of a Landing Page: How to Improve Your Conversion Rates with Three Simple Changes

Your readers have short attention spans. I’m sure that’s no big surprise to you. In fact, you probably browse the Internet at lightspeed too, scanning titles and subheads, skipping to the bottoms of landing pages, and fast-forwarding through videos just so you can get to the next thing. The same is true for your readers, and if you want to capture their attention long enough to entice them to opt-in to your mailing list, then you have to keep that in mind.

A Tip From Newspaper Publishers

Have you ever noticed that everything you need to know about a news story is in the first paragraph? Journalists are trained to answer all the questions—who, what, where, when, why, and how—in the first few sentences, just in case the story gets cut off when the paper goes to print.

In today’s online world, where column inches no longer matter, this type of story formatting isn’t quite so critical anymore, but it’s still a useful tip to use when you’re writing an opt-in page.

Think about it: If your readers are skimmers (as most of us are) then making sure you include the most important information right at the top of the page is going to greatly improve your conversion rates.

For landing pages, that means putting the biggest benefits in your subject line and following it up with two or three sentences that build on your headline. That’s it. Keep it short, sweet, and benefit-driven, and you’ll have greater success than you would with longer content.

Graphics Matter

Whether your opt-in incentive is an eBook, a video, or even a simple checklist, having a graphic representation of your offer is an important component of your landing page.

Typically, you’ll need to create a visual representation of your offer, and the more interesting the visual, the more likely you are to get your readers to opt-in. You can easily outsource the design of the graphic (we can help with that), but whether you make it or self or outsource it, it’s a good idea to follow these simple guidelines:

  • Bold fonts and short titles will make your graphic more readable.
  • Use high-contrast colors for more visibility.
  • Be true to your brand. Stick with colors and fonts your readers expect.

Crafting a Compelling Call to Action

While it seems as if you can expect readers to know what to do when they land on your opt-in page, it’s just not true. You have to invite them to take the next step. Give them specific instructions and you’ll have higher conversion rates than if you just leave it to chance.

Your call to action should tell a reader exactly what to do, like this:

  • Click here to download
  • Enter your name and email for instant access

Watch the text on your form buttons, too. After all, “Subscribe” or “Sign Up” doesn’t exactly make you feel excited, does it? Consider using a phrase that matches your call to action instead, such as:

  • Get the Checklist!
  • Send Me My Free Video!

Final Thoughts

Take a look at your existing landing pages. Do they follow these strategies? If not, consider making some changes to your copy, your images, and your calls to action, then watch your results. You’ll more than likely see a boost in conversion rates if you do.

New Facebook Layout Being Tested on Some Users – Here’s Where They Moved Everything

In March 2022, Facebook launched a new layout for a small subset of desktop users. While there doesn’t seem to be any change to the mobile layout, this is still a huge change. The new Facebook layout seems to be compulsory for those “selected” to receive it and Facebook doesn’t seem to be offering much in the way of support for it. Everything needed to navigate the site has been moved and some are finding it very hard to use. There hasn’t been any official word from Facebook regarding the new layout – or even that they’re testing it – but there are enough users who were “voluntold” to be Beta Testers that there can be no other conclusion.

Although no one here at Steady Radiance Design has had the change forced on us, we were able to get access to an updated account so we can show you exactly what’s changed and how to navigate this new Facebook layout. Check out the video below, or if you prefer to read through the differences, we’ve written out our full comparison, complete with screenshots below the video.

For the purposes of this description, we’re going to call the current/standard layout the “old” layout and the new Facebook layout the “new” layout. Don’t read anything into that though, we have no idea if this “new” layout is here to stay or not!

Top Navigation

The biggest change with the new Facebook layout is that all the navigation options across the top of the page have been moved to a menu on the left. Here’s a side-by-side comparison showing where the old navigation options are in the new layout. You can see just by the number of markers we had to use that they really did move everything.


Accessing Your Profile

One of the more confusing changes is the way you access your profile. On the old layout, you simply had to click your profile picture to view your profile. Although the location of your profile picture has changed once or twice, we’ve all been taught that clicking your profile picture – no matter where you see it – takes you to your profile. Not anymore! Depending on where your profile picture is on the page will determine what it does in the new Facebook layout.

In the new layout, if you’re on your home page (a.k.a. your Newsfeed, which you access by either clicking the Facebook logo or the “home” button), you can access your profile by clicking on your profile picture at the top of the page, just to the right of the Facebook logo or by clicking your profile picture next to the “What’s on your mind…” box where you can start a new post.

If you’re on any other page – such as a Group or another friend’s profile – the only way to access your profile is by clicking on your profile picture at the bottom left of the screen, then clicking your name/profile picture on the flyout menu that opens.


Group Pages

The last significant change in the new Facebook layout is the navigation on Group pages. A lot of people use groups as a main source of sharing/receiving information, so this change has caused quite a stir, especially among Group page admins who suddenly “lost” some options they use frequently. Here’s where you can find the navigation options and tabs in the new layout.


Final Thoughts

If you have the new Facebook layout and you’re having difficulties finding anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Planning a Live Event: Understanding Your Audience

The first rule of creating products, a new service offering, or planning a live event is to understand your audience. This is true no matter what business or market you are in. Note that a prerequisite of understanding your audience is to first identify your audience. If you haven’t done that yet, take a look at our list of ways to identify your target market.

You must be connected with the pulse of your audience to know in advance whether or not they can afford your event, want and need what you offer, and can take advantage of the opportunity. Learning about your audience will also help you overcome many objections such as cost, subject matter, location, and time.

Know Your Audience’s Budget

If you know your audience well, you’ll know what type of disposable income they have. This allows you to plan and price your event accordingly. Look at your audience’s average income and how much they usually spend on the product/service/topic you intend to promote at your event. Once you know what they can afford, you can create a realistic budget for your event based on your audience’s ability to pay.

Know The Topics They Care About

Knowing your audience will help you pick just the right topic and theme for your live, in-person event. Remember, you need to make them want to leave their home to listen to your subject matter. One easy way to start this process is to identify the pain points of your target audience then identify how your product/service helps to alleviate or eliminate those pains.

Know The People They’d Want to Meet

When planning a live event, think about the other influential people in your industry that might help to make your event more appealing to potential attendees. Who might your audience be interested in meeting in person? It’s important for you to know who these people are so that you can invite them to attend as keynote speakers or JV partners for the event.

BONUS TIP: even if you can’t get other influential people to attend your event, you can take a peek into their events to see what makes them popular and see if you can mimic it.

Know What Locations They’ll Love

Understanding who your audience is also helps you know what locations they’d love to visit. Even though in most cases people don’t see much of the area they’re in when they attend an event, the location still matters. Will it be too cold, too hot, too exotic, too costly? Only knowing your audience well can help you determine which is best. You can start with any information gathered by analyzing your competitor’s events to see what worked – or didn’t work – about the locations where they were held.

Know The Right Timing

The other concern that knowing your audience can help clarify when planning a live event is the time factor. When an event should be held – which time of year, which days of the week, or over a weekend – can all be answered by a thorough understanding of your audience. Look at your audience’s travel habits and when they’re most likely to be open to attending an event. For example, parents of school-aged children might be less inclined to attend a corporate event during Spring Break.

Final Thoughts

Knowing your audience will help you overcome any objections they may have to attending a live event. Use your knowledge to create a live event that they’d want to attend, can afford to attend, and are able to attend. To learn more about your audience, it’s important that you go where they go (online and off), survey them, and listen to what they have to say.

You can study your audience via social media, free in-person meetups, and webinars. Leave no stone unturned to learn more about your audience so that you can put on a live event that is both profitable and fun for all involved, including yourself.

Crucial Considerations When Deciding to Expand Your Business

Guest post by Gloria Martinez of

It is a very proud moment when you, as a business owner realize that you have grown to such an extent that you can now expand your business and make larger profits. However, although this is an exciting time, there are still plenty of adjustments and changes you will need to make to create a smooth transition. Here at Steady Radiance Design, we help businesses shine by creating awesome graphics and branding strategies, so we know a thing or two about how to help a company succeed. With that in mind, we have some considerations that you’ll want to make as you think about branching out.

Research the Market

Before you open a new office in another state or add a new product or service to your lineup, you will want to do your research to determine if expanding will bring you the profits that you desire. You’ll want to conduct market research to see if there are enough potential customers in the new area to justify building or renting out a new location. If you are thinking about adding a new service, you should survey people in your target demographic and determine if they will be interested in what you are selling.

This must be the first step. Before you even think about spending a large sum of money on your expansion, you need to understand what you are getting into and if it is worth the effort.

Can You Make Your New Service a Reality?

If you have researched the new location or market and you find that your new product will be a success, your next step will be to determine if you have the staff and personnel available to produce this new product. You’ll need to investigate the new area and determine if there are promising candidates that can work for your company and help bring your idea to life.

Even if you have the people, you will need to create a roadmap that all your employees can follow to produce your idea. Here is a template to generate a product roadmap. With this template, you can assign team members to specific projects and give them set titles and responsibilities that they will need to accomplish. As you go along, you can cross items off of the list, so you know where you stand. This type of roadmap is a great way to manage short and long-term goals so you can meet your deadlines and ensure that you have products available to sell.

Consider Your Cash Flow

You will also want to consider if you have the funds necessary to go all-in onto expand your business. Think about if you can use your existing profits or if you will need to reach out to investors for extra cash. Whichever way you go, you will want to take it one step at a time, so you don’t run out of money too quickly. After each period of expansion, take some time to look at how you are performing. Are you making enough now to continue to the next level, or should you wait a bit longer? Don’t rush when it comes to finances.

Are You Ready to Market Your New Product or Service?

Now that you have a product, you will want to ensure that you have the money and the tools to properly market to your audience. You can start small as you slowly introduce your product, but over time you will want to increase your efforts. It is a good idea to bring in some professionals during this time to produce your marketing efforts. Here at Steady Radiance Design, we provide many of these services, including producing print materials like brochures and catalogs as well as digital offerings, including website development, video production, and SEO that will help new customers find you and your new products.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many considerations that you will need to make before you jump in and expand your business, but if you work strategically, you can achieve your goals. If you would like to know more about the services provided by Steady Radiance Design, then contact us at the form here.


Image by Unsplash

How to Identify Your Target Audience

Each and every business owner in the world has one regardless of size or industry – a target audience. You may not know what your business’s target audience is, but you have one – you just need to identify it. The term “target audience” means the specific group of people most likely to want to buy your product or service. The basic criteria for your target audience are things like income, interests, age, gender, location, etc. You can use information about your target audience to market specifically to that group of people, therefore increasing the likelihood that your marketing and advertising will be successful.

There are numerous ways to identify your target audience, and we have compiled a list here of the most common ways to help get you on your way.

Analyze Your Current Customer Base

Look at everyone who already buys your product or service and try to identify what they have in common. Where do they live, how much do they make, what interests do they have? Using surveys and doing quick polls on social media is a great way to learn this information.

Conduct Market Research

Do a Google search for market research for your industry to identify the holes in service that your product/service can fill. Find out what common problems consumers in your industry face and identify ways that your product/service can solve them. This process of identifying your audience’s pain points can be invaluable to your business and can help you identify new ways your business can thrive.

Define Who Your Target Audience Isn’t

There may be certain consumers who are close to the demographic you’re looking for but who will not take the final step of purchasing or participating in your product/service. Use some of your market research to help determine who in your target demographic is least likely to do what you’d like them to do, then make sure your marketing and advertising do not target them. For example, your target demographic might be women, but let’s say that women between the ages of 30 and 40 typically don’t buy your product/service. Knowing that you can remove that age group from your target audience and increase the likelihood that your marketing and advertising dollars will reach those most likely to purchase.

Make a List of Your Product’s/Service’s Benefits (not features!)

This is a sort of reverse way of utilizing the pain points identified in your market research. This can help you determine why a consumer would want to purchase your product/service and from there, you can identify the type of consumer that would want to purchase your product/service. For example, if you are a coach, a feature of your coaching class might be that it’s a self-study course, but why should consumers care about that? What benefit is a self-study course to a consumer? Perhaps they need to study on an unusual timetable or maybe they prefer to work on their own rather than in a group.

Think of benefits as the “why should I care” part of a feature. Look at the features your product/service provides, determine why a consumer should care about them (the benefits), then you can find the pain points that are solved with those benefits. Check out this article to learn more about the difference between features and benefits and how you can apply that information in your business.

Use Online Customer Feedback

Once you’ve identified your product’s/service’s benefits (see #4 above) then you can go to online forums and see who is asking questions or is interested in those topics. You can start with popular forums like Quora or Reddit. This can help you to identify the age group, gender, industry, interests, etc. of your target audience and “get a hand on the pulse” of the consumers you’d like to market to. Following the coaching example used above, you could search Reddit for “how to learn [whatever you teach] while working full time”.

Research Your Competitors

If you’re in an industry that has long-term or well-known competitors, it’s a good bet that they already know their (your) audience well. Researching their marketing and response can be a great way to identify your target audience. Look at their website, social media platforms, and reviews of their products/services. Look for the type of people who typically like their posts or give positive reviews, and what types of content get the most response. You can also look at what isn’t working for them and try to identify ways that you can improve on it.

Find Your Niche

Especially if you’re just starting out or if you have a limited budget, it’s important to make your marketing dollars work as effectively as possible. To that end, it can be beneficial to really narrow down your target audience to a small niche group of consumers. Identify the group that has the highest potential to purchase your product/service and only market to them. Doing this can help you to build brand loyalty and develop your company as an expert in your industry.

Final Thoughts

Following these steps is a great start to honing in on your target audience so you can develop your brand messaging and perfect your marketing strategy. Doing this will help to build a solid foundation for your brand going forward.

No List? No Problem! Building a List with Paid Ads

We’ve been told (and told and told) for years that “the money is in the list” and that “your mailing list is your biggest business asset.” But if your list numbers are hovering in the low four-figures, or fewer, with no sign of growth on the horizon, such advice can seem a bit unhelpful. (If you don’t have a list at all, check out this Mailing List 101 to know where to start!) The fact is, building a list is a catch 22: you can’t get sign-ups without traffic and it’s difficult to find traffic when you have no list. You can go in circles for months trying to figure out how to build your list, or you can do it an easier way!

Paid Ads Make Building a List Easy

By strategically placing ads in front of your target audience, you can drive tons of traffic to your opt-in offers and enjoy conversion rates of two or three percent or more. Even better, with some tweaking and split testing of your offers, you can carefully refine your ads and copy so that you’re attracting your exact ideal client and filling your list with buyers who are ready to take action, rather than freebie seekers.

All you need to run paid ads to your opt-in pages is:

  • A compelling offer, such as a video training series or live webinar
  • Copy to grab the attention of your target audience

Best Ad Placements

Once you have your components in place, the only question remaining is where to run your ads. You have dozens of choices, from Twitter to Google to YouTube to solo email spots.

The key to successfully building a list is to first determine where your market is most likely to be hanging out. If they’re on LinkedIn, then running ads on Twitter will be a waste of time. Keep in mind the cost as well. Ads on Facebook are generally less expensive and less competitive than a Google Adwords placement.

Start Small, Then Refine

Once you’ve decided where to place your ads, it’s time to set your budget and begin running a small set of ads. Consider setting a small daily budget, such as $10 or $20 at the beginning, so you can get a feel for how your ads will perform. Watch the traffic, track your conversions, and create split tests of your landing page and ad sets to determine which performs the best. You can refine the audience you’re targeting based on the stats you receive. For example, if you find that men between the ages of 20 and 30 are clicking but not opting in, you might want to remove them from your audience.

At least at first, it’s best to avoid running ads for paid products. Conversions for a free offer will far outshine those to a paid product, especially if your program is expensive. After all, those who are clicking on an ad most likely do not know you at all, so it takes a much bigger leap of faith to offer up a credit card number than it will to provide an email address.

Ad Copy Blunders to Avoid

Have you ever clicked on an ad because you saw an adorable pair of sandals that you just had to have, only to land on a page full of sneakers, with not a sandal in sight? It’s frustrating, to say the least, and that kind of ad-to-landing-page mismatch will kill your conversions.

Your ad copy is making a promise to the reader. If your landing page doesn’t fulfill that promise, your readers will click away, and you’ll have wasted the money you spent to get them there. Before running any ads, be sure your ad headline, image, and copy all match the message on the landing page; use these Sales Page Copy tips to get started.

Final Thoughts

Paid advertising was once a tool used only by big companies or marketers with a lot of money to spare, but today they’re more cost-effective than ever, and technology makes them easy to create and monitor. If you haven’t yet tried your hand at this useful traffic generation method for building your list, it’s time to do some experimenting. You might just find your list numbers – and sales – growing.

Mailing List 101

Your ready to start building your mailing list, or utilizing your existing list, but where do you start? The question that’s on everyone’s mind when they start thinking about mailing lists is usually: “Which service should I use?” You’ve probably wondered yourself, and maybe even spent a few hours (or days, or weeks) researching your options.


This is not the question you should be asking (yet), and it’s exactly why so many entrepreneurs get stuck in the planning stage of list building.

The First Step In List Building

Before you need to think about tools, you must ask yourself this: “How can I best serve my market?”

Whether you’re target market are coaching business owners, new moms, bloggers, or youth pastors, they have a need that only you can fulfill. And when you discover what that need is, you’ll have two valuable pieces of information:

  1. What incentive will be a true no-brainer for your ideal client to opt-in to your list?
  2. How can you use your mailing list to provide the best value for those who join your list?

Don’t over-think these questions, though. Your opt-in incentive can be as simple as a resource guide or a short how-to video that answers a common question. You don’t have to go overboard with dozens of downloads and a 100-page eBook. Rather than providing value, these massive downloads are more likely to overwhelm your reader than encourage them to learn more. If you need help building your opt-in incentive, reach out to us here at Steady Radiance Design – we can help!

And when it comes to providing value to your list members, keep three things in mind:

  1. Regular communication is a must (consider an auto-responder series if you’re not good with scheduling email updates).
  2. Marketing should always be second to information—too much selling will cause your opt-out rates to soar.
  3. It’s your responsibility as a thought leader in your market to distill and provide the information, tools and products your audience needs.

Step Two in List Building

Now that you’ve established how you can serve your market, ask yourself: “What is my list-building goal?”

How will you be using your list? Will you:

  • Send a weekly or monthly newsletter?
  • Create an auto-responder series that delivers content on a pre-determined schedule?
  • Use affiliate links as an income generator?
  • Promote your own services and products?

The answers to these questions will help you determine not only the right tool for your list-building needs, but will also determine the path for your ongoing mailing list content, promotions, and growth.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve answered those two questions, you’re ready to research and decide on a mailing service. Make sure whatever service you choose fits into your brand, goals for serving your market, and goals for using your list. Happy mailing!


Image from Pixabay.