You want consistent sales, right? We all do. 

But in order to have consistent sales, YOU have to be consistent in your marketing – especially with building your warm audience.

You do this by consistently creating Value Content every week.

And let me tell you… it’s a huge mistake to NEGLECT your content strategy (even worse if you rely solely on “organic” visibility).

Because that’s what’s working behind-the-scenes to make you money! No, you might not see direct results immediately… but remember, you’re playing a long game here. 

We tell clients that 5-10 percent of any ads budget should go to building the warm audience bucket (yes, I am talking about ad spend here).

Because digital marketing is about building a following of people who Know-Like-Trust you. And that requires PROMOTING thoughtful, intentional content on the regular. 

You want to build a warm audience of people who will buy from you later, right? 

Prioritizing consistent content will launch you into the life+business you dream about.

Because honestly, that’s how your favorite entrepreneur success stories started! The biggest influencers on our roster have been building their warm audiences for 10+ years… in exactly this way.

Listen in to this episode for more about how to build your warm audience + why it’s vital to making money, plus… 

  • The content strategy we use at Hirsh Marketing 
  • How we promote free content to regularly build our audience 
  • And why creating 1 quality piece of content to repurpose is likely your best option… 

Have a question you’d like me to answer on the podcast? Head over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) to ask your Q on our most recent post!

If you’re ready for help strategizing + implementing Facebook + Instagram ads this year, go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply! We only accept clients who we know we can help – so you won’t waste your time if we’re not the right fit. 

Listen to episode 129, “The Rule of One in Marketing,” for more about why I recommend focusing on just 1 high-quality piece of value content (v multiple).

Key Points: 

[2:44] 5-10 percent of you budget should go to building your warm audience

[5:00] It’s a big mistake NOT to prioritize consistent value content

[7:32] Promote that free content with ads! That’s what builds your warm traffic.

[9:59] Digital marketing is about building a following, and that requires your time

[11:22] Nothing can take away an audience of true believers!

[12:33] Can you make “building a warm audience” your PRIORITY? Because that’s what will make you money

[14:00] Remember the “rule of one”

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Episode Transcripts:

Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. Happy new year everyone! I am super excited for 2020. I think it’s going to be an amazing year for our business, and I’m having a baby, lots of things, and our clients. I’m just super excited for a new year, and 2020. So yay!

Emily Hirsh: Today I’m diving into the massive mistake in not constantly building your warm audience. And, if you’ve listened to my podcast at all, or listened or read any of my content, you know I’m a huge proponent of the long game, and of building your audience, and strategically using your audience, and how crucial that is in your marketing. And I want to go into this a little bit deeper just because… I’ve been looking a lot at my own marketing, our own internal marketing, and really scaling it. Our IGNITE course funnel has now turned evergreen, and so we’ve got this… We’re like a client. I treat myself like a client. I have an ads manager on the team who runs my ads, and I’m running it just like our clients, which is really cool, because I’m able to experience everything as a client, too. And I do give very critical feedback if I see any room for improvement.

Emily Hirsh: But it’s also made me start looking at my audience. And we’ve been pulling a lot of data and just looking at like, “What’s the average time someone sits on my list before they purchase? And what’s the average time from a sales call to purchasing” All of that, those numbers. Or just like, what are people doing, what’s the actions that they’re taking… so that we can better understand that for our customer journey. And I’ve also just kind of noticed this overall theme of the difference between people who are constantly building their warm audience and are not. And, I really believe that five to 10% of your ad spend should just always, like no questions asked, go into strategically building your audience. Because if you don’t, [if] you don’t do it for a while, and then you go to promote something, and it doesn’t work how you want it to…

Emily Hirsh: And let me give you an example. So I actually have a friend, who, they basically paused their marketing for a year because… They’re just my friend, so just somebody in Austin who I’m friends with. And I was having this conversation with them, and I had to tell them, “It’s going to take you a little while to catch up from not doing any marketing or audience building for the last year. You haven’t grown your warm audience, and so you’re still trying to base everything off of this one audience that you created. And that’s only going to work so long.” And, of course, it probably grows organically a little bit, but not intentionally growing their warm audience, and being consistent with it… [that’s the problem].

Emily Hirsh: So they basically stopped marketing for a year, to focus on their delivery. They needed to rebuild their marketing team, just like a lot [of things]. And they had issues with their retention. And so, they were like, “We’re going to stop ads, we’re going to stop this, and like focus on that.” And it took a lot longer than they thought it would take, basically. And so then it’s been a year.

Emily Hirsh: And they restarted up some funnels… I gave them some feedback, and they restarted up some funnels, and initially launched it to warm traffic, and it did really well to the warm traffic for a week. They were like, “Yes, it’s working! We’re getting good applications,” and all of this stuff. And I said, “That’s awesome. And that means the funnel is good for warm traffic, but you need to be prepared that it’s going to spike up and go down, because your warm traffic is going to saturate. It’s going to expire. You only have so much warm traffic, and you haven’t been building it. And so, it’s going to take you a couple of months, probably, to really catch up. I mean… it depends how much you spend, but it’s going to take you some time to catch up and get to that place where you have constant new warm traffic coming in, to that customer journey.”

Emily Hirsh: And so I think it’s a big mistake to not prioritize this and not prioritize content, because every single time I come back to my own marketing, to our clients’ marketing, to friends who I’m talking to and just having a conversation about their marketing… the people who have consistency, because that’s what we all want with our sales and our marketing, right? We all want consistent weekly sales. We don’t want to have those ups and downs where one month it’s really good and then the next month it’s half that. And we’re like, “What is going on?” We don’t want that. And so, in order to have consistency, you have to be consistent in your marketing, and especially with building your warm audience.

Emily Hirsh: So what does that look like in terms of actually implementing the strategy? It means, I want you to choose at least one way that you’re going to connect with people through free content. And so, that could be a podcast. It could be videos that you’re doing. It could be a basic lead magnet. Those are not as good, because there’s not a lot of connection when someone just downloads a PDF. But it could be. I’ve seen those work for some people. [It] depends, if you’re really good at writing and doing a massive PDF report, that could work. It could be, obviously, video, if I didn’t say that. Blogs, yes, I kind of throw that in there. But only if writing is really your thing. And there’s very few people I know who, really, writing is their thing.

Emily Hirsh: So, choose at least one. And I’m a fan of the “Rule of One” [listen to episode 129, “The Rule of One in Marketing,” for more about this]. So let’s make one really good. For us, it’s my podcast. And so, everything is surrounded around my podcast. And you can be really strategic with it. So, I use my podcast in so much of our email nurture. I will take my podcast and have our copywriters turn it into emails, because the podcast is the one place where I show up, Emily Hirsh, share strategies, share insider secrets. It’s my voice, it’s my opinion, it’s my take on marketing. And my team just kind of repurposes that in several ways, and it’s how I still show up and represent so much of the company with my voice. But it’s also our number one way that we’re building trust with people, and we’re building relationships with people who want to become potential clients.

Emily Hirsh: And so choose one medium and way that you’re going to connect with your audience, and do this with, and then really, consistently focus on that. And put ad spend behind it. So we run traffic to strategic podcast episodes, targeting our audience, every single week. I never stop it. Even if I’m not promoting anything else for that week, we’re still running traffic to our podcast. And what that does is, it builds up the constant audience of people who are listening to my podcast. I’m watching, “Are the downloads going up every week?” That’s very important to me. And that’s feeding everything else, because I’m building this audience.

Emily Hirsh: And so, when I went to go look at the data, it was so interesting for me to see that, first of all, over 50% of the clients who signed, in the last six months, [on to] our roster had been on my list and following me for over six months. That was really telling. And of course, it’s probably going to be like, a percentage. It’s never going to be 100%. But the thing is, if you are not constantly building your warm audience and building that trust, you’re missing out on that long game, if that makes sense. So every month that you say like, “Oh well, I don’t see the direct ROI of marketing my podcast or marketing my videos, because it’s too hard for me to see the immediate result from it.”

Emily Hirsh: And I think that’s why people struggle with this. But it’s like, it doesn’t cost that much. I think we spend $100 a week marketing my podcast, not a lot. We get like $0.50 landing page views to my podcast page. It’s really awesome. And we get a lot of downloads from it. And so, we’re not spending a ton. Five to 10% of your ad spend budget is what you should spend. And we’re being consistent with it, because if you don’t, then you get in that conversation I had with them where I said, “You’re going to launch a new funnel. It’s going to work for a week or two. You’re going to see this spike. You’re going to be like, ‘Yes, this is awesome. It’s converting, it’s working.’ And then it’s going to drop, because your warm audience has not being built for a year, and you have to make up for that now, because you haven’t been doing that.”

Emily Hirsh: And so, I think it’s a massive mistake to not constantly and consistently be building your warm audience. And again, when I look at our business, clients, friends, people in masterminds…. the people who are doing really well are prioritizing this. And the CEOs who are growing very amazing, fast-growing, successful companies are making it so that their time can get put into this content creation, that can then be leveraged from their team. Digital marketing is about this. This is how you build an audience, you build a tribe, you build trust. Your people believe in your brand and what you sell them, and you want to be… The reason why we have constant referrals, and… I could shut off all of our marketing, and we would still get five to 10 new client applications a week, and I would be doing nothing. Because of the brand name, and because of the consistency of content that we’ve put out for years, that becomes a snowball effect. And so, don’t ever stop doing that. I think it’s a big mistake.

Emily Hirsh: And I think people do make this mistake a lot, because, one, it’s not easy to make content. It takes time. And so if you’re a CEO who’s buried in the day-to-day of your business and you don’t make any time for yourself to make the content, especially if you’re the face of the brand, then you’re going to struggle with it. And then, two, I think people have a really hard time seeing the direct immediate result from it. And so, they just think like, “Well, I may as well put all my budget into my lead gen, because at least I could see like my cost per lead.” And it’s true, but especially if you’re selling higher ticket [offers], you need to build that warm audience. And that is the long game that you’re playing, year over year is, what is this loyal audience that I’m building? So that whatever I launch… because I can’t say this enough. Nothing can take away an audience of true believers from you. Facebook could crash tomorrow, you could lose your email list even. And, if you build an audience of people who believe in your brand, trust your brand, trust the products and the services that you put out, you will always have a business, because you can launch something new… I mean, obviously, as long as it’s for that audience… and they’ll buy it, because they trust you, because they want you.

Emily Hirsh: When I look at some of our really big influencer clients that we work with, I’m just amazed. It’s fun. It’s so fun. They put something out there, and it just sells like crazy, because they have these audiences who love them and trust them and believe in them, and let’s be honest, have also seen results from what they put out, because they have a good reputation, and so they’ve gotten results from their products, and they’re either coming back or buying or they’ve heard good things. But it’s so much easier for them to market than it is for somebody new, because they’ve put in years and years of work, effort, time, money, energy into growing their audience and into building that audience of people who trust their brand, believe in their brand, believe in their products. And selling becomes so easy.

Emily Hirsh: So if you shift your focus to that, if you shift your focus to, “building my warm audience, building trust with that audience,” and making that your priority of asking yourself that question, “How do I do that? And how do I do that consistently in my marketing?” from just like, “How do I sell? How do I make money?” … the byproduct is, you will sell and make money. Because selling to make money becomes so easy when you have an audience of people who are like, “Yeah, of course I’ll buy that thing. I trust you. I love you.” And that is the experience that these influencers that you look at, and you want to be at that level, like that is, at the end of the day, what they’re doing. They’ve built an audience of amazing followers who will buy anything they literally put out, and it sells [like] crazy. And then the byproduct is amazing ROI and all of these things.

Emily Hirsh: And so, if you want that, alter your focus a little bit to be about that warm audience. And the key, and I’ve said this word many times in this podcast, though, is consistency. You can’t do this for a week out of the month and then not do it for two months. You have to do it week over week, and you have to put time, energy, and money… ad spend! Ad spend actually into it to grow your warm audience. It doesn’t work to just do it organically. It will be so slow. You will go a year… Organically, you’ll get what you could in a week with paid ads, in a year. Like honestly, because of the way it’s set up. So, that is my thoughts on warm audience. And I want you, it’s great timing, going into 2020 and looking at your content creation and looking at being strategic…

Emily Hirsh: And the last thing I’ll say with that is, I also see a lot of times people think like, “Okay, well, I want to grow my warm audience. I want to make sure I prioritize content creation. So I’m going to do everything. I’m going to do a blog, I’m going to do a podcast, I’m going to do a video every week, and I’m just going to spread myself way too thin.” And it’s kind of like when you set a health goal, and you do really well for like a week or two, and then you just drop off, because you set yourself up for failure, and [there was] no way that you could do it.

Emily Hirsh: Don’t do that. Choose one thing that you can do really, really well. Build the process and a team around it so they can support you… All I do is record this podcast and upload it. That’s all I do. And then my team does everything else with it, and repurposes it in ways that you guys don’t even realize. Like if you look at everything we do, our nurture sequence, our sales team is using my podcast to train them, because it’s my voice. So all I have to do is show up, record the podcast, and then we’ve built process and everything around using it. So don’t set yourself up [for] failure, saying like, “Okay, I’ve got to build my warm audience, so I’m going to just do everything.” Because, for some reason, entrepreneurs think, “We should do everything. It’s all or nothing!” And that won’t work. Be really strategic with one method of content, and I believe it will work a lot better.

Emily Hirsh: Put some paid ad spend behind it. And put a lot of effort into the value that you bring [to] that content. I put a lot into this podcast and sharing value, and not making it salesy or teasing people or fluffy. You can tell, these episodes are short, to the point. That’s what I want for my audience. And so I’ve thought a lot about it, and I put a lot of effort and energy into it. And like I said, we promote it every week. So look at your 2020 calendar. Figure out how you’re going to do this this year. And every single week, every single month of this year, I want you consistently building your warm audience. And I bet you, if you do that for the entire year of 2020, you will have the best year in your business growth. I guarantee it, because I know, over and over again, that people who do this see results! And the people who stick around, and are consistent about it, and believe in it, and are able to put almost like their heart behind it… Sometimes I see influencers and they’re like… they obviously care about the money. We’re all business owners. But they also have like this alternate motive, which is to connect with their audience. And if you can get there, it’s so powerful.

Emily Hirsh: Thanks so much for listening, you guys. If you’re looking for help with your marketing strategy, your marketing implementation, paid Facebook and Instagram ads this year, I’d love for you to chat with my team. You can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with Team Hirsh, go through our application process. We only accept people who we really believe are a fit to work with us, so you don’t have to waste your time getting through it if we feel like your business is not ready. So at least go to HelpMyStrategy.com, try it out, go through our application. And I will talk to you all next time.

ith your brand. Then, you probably want…. maybe you have another form of outreach, maybe you do speaking or you go in masterminds and you do networking or something. You have little different ways that you’re kind of growing your business, growing your brand, and ultimately making sales.

Speaker 1: But, a huge one is that correlation between customer experience and your delivery and your retention rate, and sales and marketing. Sometimes people have a hard time seeing those numbers, because […] it is hard to track exactly like, “Okay, if I fix this thing in my delivery, how’s it going to make me more money?” but it does. It always pays off to better your delivery and your product, and […] way too many people in this industry don’t care about their delivery, but also don’t make the time to care about it. So it’s not necessarily …

Speaker 1: Again, I don’t believe a lot of people are doing it intentionally, but I believe a lot of people don’t outsource their marketing and sales to the point where they can fix their delivery. This is true, because how many times have we bought a course, or signed up for a program, or bought a service, and it was disappointing? And we’re like, “Man, they had really good marketing that sold me, and then the delivery was not good. Now I’m not going to be, one, a customer again for them, but also, two, I am not going to recommend them.” And that’s super damaging. You don’t want that in your brand. You want to make sure that you are constantly bettering your delivery so that that never happens to you.

Speaker 1: The second piece to this… so that’s retention, your delivery. So looking at 2020, “How do we improve our delivery? How do we improve our customer experience, so that we can have better retention, so we can get […] referrals, that word of mouth… and just grow in that way, and give people that really good experience that they know they signed up for, based on my good marketing?” Right?

Speaker 1: The second thing is nurturing. So, the other piece is that, I think entrepreneurs are really impatient with their results. So a lot of times, again, especially in the course industry or the coaching industry, you want your funnel to be, “Sign up for my webinar,” they booked their call or they bought… and they did it within five days! And you want it to be really fast. I’ve been having this conversation a lot, because I have a new, amazing salesperson helping me in our company, and she’s all about that fast close. She’s like, “If they don’t close within X amount of time, they most likely won’t close.” And while I agree with her, I also know that there’s that percentage of people who will.

Speaker 1: There’s different types of people out there. There are those quick start people who are going to make decisions fast or have the money to invest. They’re going to pay today, they’re going to pay tomorrow. They will be those fast buyers to get you those fast results. But then, there’s going to be those people who, they might take six months, they might take a year, before they’re ready to work with your business and to buy your service, or they’ve built enough trust, or they’ve seen enough results, and then they buy. And you don’t want to lose all of those people. 

Speaker 1: It’s really interesting […] Because of this new sales person, I was like, “You’re making me really curious. I want to see what our average sales cycle is.” So, I wanted to see what’s the average time from when someone has a call and then pays to become a client? Then, I also wanted to see, and then how long had those people been on my list or in my world before signing up? And it’s a mix. Like I said, there’s people who find me from an ad, go to book a call, and then sign up. But then, there’s people who have literally been following me for two years and just hired us.

Speaker 1: […] I was at an event a couple months ago, and this guy, he has a… I think it’s an $8 or $9 million business, very successful. He said, “Our average customer sales cycle,” I think he said, “is 18 months.” I was like, “Wow. That’s a long time.” So, ours came out to be 20 days, so it’s fast! That’s the average. I did have some people, though, that it was like a year they waited […] They talked to me a year ago, then they came back, and they signed on. That’s kind of rare, but I do think within a month… There’s obviously some people who literally sign up that day or the next day after talking to us, and then there are some people who take two or three weeks.

Speaker 1: Now, while you always want to close that gap, obviously… but also you have to keep in mind, those people who aren’t going to be necessarily ready to make the decision today, but they might in a year from now. And if you have the patience for that, and you’re willing to scoop up all of that opportunity as well as those quick start [opportunities], you will make so much more money. And I think not enough people are patient enough for that. The reason it’s hard, too, is because most of you listening to this are like me. We’re self-funded. We don’t have capital. We have to make money fast. We can’t be waiting 18 months to make a sale for everybody. That’s just not doable, because we don’t have investments, and we are doing this all on our own and putting money back into her own business. So, I totally get that. But, you’re actually losing money if you don’t focus in on the nurturing.

Speaker 1: So what you need to look at here, and looking at 2020 and your goals is, “How am I going to nurture my audience?” So for me […] After I talked to that guy, I was inspired to go like, “What does my nurture sequence look like, so that I’m consistently…” with this email list that I build, I’m consistently like, “Nurture, nurture, nurture,” and then have something, like a way for them to book a call, and then do it again, and like a process behind that. When I built out the marketing playbook, which I talked about in episode 135 of the podcast… You should totally listen to it if you haven’t, because it’s so good, about what I built out for our marketing department.

Speaker 1: But, I made a process for that. How do we nurture our regular leads? Because they’re sitting on my list. I already paid, probably, in some way to get them on there. Of course, some are organic. But, I paid to get them on here somehow. Now, I want to make sure I capitalize on an opportunity that if they’re ready in six months to book a call and buy, I’m staying top of mind. So, I wrote a plan of our nurture series, “Our nurture sequence looks like this.” And it’s not automated. This is our week-by-week nurture. It’s like, we do podcasts, and then we’re going to throw in different calls-to-actions that are very strategic times, every quarter, every month, different ones. So, that’s one way.

Speaker 1: Then also, building it into your funnel is another way. That’s not as automated, because that’s like, “What do I do with my list that I’ve built?” The automated piece is the people coming into your funnel. So, does your email sequence stop after a webinar, and you have that initial sales pitch? And then does it just stop and they go on your regular email list? Or what happens there? What we do, and what we recommend for all of our clients is, we build in a 90-day nurture sequence that has intentional nurture emails [listen to episode 37, “How to get 15-25% more sales from your webinar,” for more about this]. So, it’s like, talking about what they didn’t buy, talking about student success stories. There’s value in them, but it’s still seeding what you do and building that trust. Then, it actually has flash sales in it, so they have another opportunity to buy twice within the 90 days.

Speaker 1: You’ll be so surprised, that snowball effect that happens with that is really powerful, because you’ve got that percentage of people who are going to sit on there, and they might not buy initially, but they might buy in 90 days from now. Then, they go on your main list, and you continue to nurture them. So, you have to continue to make offers to your main list in a strategic way, so you can capitalize on those people. Paying attention to this will really pay off, because you’re going to build that following of really loyal followers and people who care about, trust your brand, and believe in your brand, and then will buy from you when it makes sense for them. You just have to make sure you’re, one, strategically nurturing, and then, two, strategically pitching to them.

Speaker 1: I don’t want to say “pitching,” because it’s kind of a gross word, but giving them how they can sign up with you or what they need to do to take action. Because if you just nurture, and you send out a regular newsletter email… nobody uses newsletters anymore, but I would call it that. [For example], our podcast email, it goes out regularly to our list. If you just do that, then people aren’t going to remember like, “Oh I need to book a call,” or like, “Oh they offer this service.” You still have to be strategic with actually “pitching.” I don’t want it to sound like that, because, I don’t know […] I don’t like that connotation, because you’re not hard [selling] these people, but you’re giving them the way that they can sign up with you, the way you can help them more, so that the right people will sign up with you and will do that, if that makes sense.

Speaker 1: So, to summarize right here: don’t ignore your nurturing and your retention. Do not just focus on your front-end sales and marketing. It will work for a while. It will probably continue to work, but it will be like a leaky bucket, because you’re going to be losing money that’s really like, you’ve already paid to get those leads. You’ve already paid to get those customers. Those are, for retention, those are the best… the customers who already paid you, and love you, and believed in you enough to pay you. Keep them, because they’ve made it to the end! So if you have poor retention, everything’s going to feel harder.

Speaker 1: So, pay attention to your nurturing, pay attention to your retention, and include that in your planning for next year. A lot of us just focus on the new launch we’re going to do, the new marketing plan or funnel we’re going to build, or whatever it is. But also pay attention to this, because you might have low-hanging fruit that you can make a lot of money with by focusing on, and you’re missing out because you’re not, kind of like, directing your attention to that way.

Speaker 1: So, I hope this podcast gave you guys some ideas. If you’re looking at partnering with a marketing team and you want done-for-you marketing support and Facebook and Instagram ads, Hirsh Marketing is the best out there. My team is incredible. We have amazing strategies, amazing intel. And you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with us.