10 small biz digital marketing mistakes – and how to avoid them with Louisa Dahl (NEWBIE)

10 small biz digital marketing mistakes – and how to avoid them with Louisa Dahl (NEWBIE)

Tool free SEO for the budget conscious

 

When it comes to running your own business we have to wear so many different berets.

We have to be accountants, project managers, salespeople, and digital marketers.

And it’s a tough gig.

So often I see small business owners struggling to master digital marketing, not sure where to put their attention. Not sure what is going to move the needle.

Floundering, wasting money, getting ripped off, missing the basics.

So today I’m chatting with Louisa Dahl from Interactive Minds about Digital Marketing and we’re going to share the top mistake we see every day and how to avoid them.

 

Tune in to learn:

  • Why metrics matter
  • Why you need to know your peeps
  • How a lack of business confidence could be affecting your digital marketing
  • Why knowing your numbers is vital
  • Why relationships count
  • How to understand yourself and your brand
  • How to market yourself without arrogance

 

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And big thanks to ClementKC from Australia for their lovely review.

 

About Louisa

 

Louisa Dahl, Founder, and CEO at Interactive Minds

Louisa Dahl is a marketing and business professional with over 20 year’s experience. Specializing in digital marketing, Louisa has worked with brands, agencies, and startups to generate results online.

Through her company Interactive Minds, Louisa runs events, delivers training through her membership, and has a marketing mastermind program all of which help marketers to keep their skills and knowledge fresh and do their best work.

She also has a podcast called The Interactive Minds podcast, in which she interviews marketers about their recipes for success.

 

Connect with Louisa

 

Useful resources

 

Transcript

Kate Toon:

When it comes to running your own business, we have to wear so many different business berets. We have to be accountants, project managers, salespeople, and digital marketers, and it’s a tough gig. So often, I see small business owners struggling to master digital marketing. Not sure where to put their attention, not sure what is going to move the needle, floundering, wasting money, getting ripped off and missing the basics. So today, I’m chatting with Louisa Dahl from Interactive Minds about digital marketing, and we’re going to share the top mistakes we see every day and how to avoid them.

Kate Toon:

Hello. My name is Kate Toon. I’m the head chef of the Recipe for SEO Success, an online learning hub for all things related to search engine optimization and digital marketing, and today I’m talking with the wonderful Louisa Dahl. Hello, Louisa Dahl.

Louisa Dahl:

Hello. Thanks for having me.

Kate Toon:

It’s exciting. We did back to back podcasts today. Look at us batching. I’m on your mind, and I’m about to be on yours.

Louisa Dahl:

Very exciting.

Kate Toon:

I know. We’re so organised.

Louisa Dahl:

We are. We got there eventually.

Kate Toon:

We did. We’ve been planning this for a while, but we did another podcast last week. You were on the Kate Toon Podcast last week. You’re all over my podcast, Louisa. I don’t know what you’ve been doing. I will awkwardly read out your bio now as you sit and look at me. For those of you who don’t know who Louisa Dahl is, she is the founder and CEO at Interactive Minds. She is a marketing and business professional with over 20 years experience specialising in digital marketing. Louisa has worked with brands, agencies, and startups to generate results online.

Kate Toon:

Through her company Interactive Mind, Louisa runs events, delivers training through her membership and has a marketing mastermind programme, all of which help marketers to keep their skills and knowledge fresh and do their best work, and she has a podcast called the Interactive Minds podcast in which she interviews marketers about their recipes for success, she’s nicking my line there.

Louisa Dahl:

I have.

Kate Toon:

She also has naturally curly hair that was previously straightened for 20 years. I love your curly hair.

Louisa Dahl:

Thank you. That’s my interesting fact today.

Kate Toon:

That’s the best you’ve got. I hate when someone says “Tell me something interesting about yourself” and suddenly you’re like “There is nothing interesting about me.”

Louisa Dahl:

“I have nothing.”

Kate Toon:

I can play the recorder with my nose.

Louisa Dahl:

That’s a talent.

Kate Toon:

It’s absolutely a talent. Not something I wheel out very often, but there’s a lot of, I was going to use the word synergies then but I won’t because it will make people gag. There’s a lot of similarities between what you do and I do, I mean very similar. We both run an event which we’re not running this year for obvious reasons, we’ve got memberships, podcasts, groups, and we teach the same thing, digital marketing. I think you come at it more from, I would say, maybe I’m speaking generally, as a traditional marketing point of view, whereas I’m a bit more of a picky copywriter kind of person. Is that accurate-tish thing?

Louisa Dahl:

Yeah. I think we probably have slightly different specialties in our own skillsets that have helped us to come at it from different angles.

Kate Toon:

It’s great and I love collaborating with other brilliant digital minds. What we’re going to do today, that’s assuming and I got to sound like I was saying, I had a brilliant digital mind [inaudible 00:03:13] but there we go. Anyway, what we’re going to do today on this podcast it’s a bit of ping pong. We’re going to take it in turns to give you digital marketing mistakes. We’re going to start with Louisa. So Louisa, what is your number one digital marketing mistake that you see businesses making every day?

Louisa Dahl:

Happy to be kicking this off. Something that I’m really passionate about and that I’m seeing out there quite a bit is that marketers aren’t having clear KPIs or key performance indicators that they’re working to, and this is something that I’ve walked into organisations of all sizes, and by all means, I’m not trying to broad brush here, I think some marketers are really across this, but I think even if you are, it’s something to really keep an eye on on an ongoing basis and review. I have walked into some of the biggest organisations in Brisbane for example, where I live, and they’ve said, “Oh, we’re not really good at KPIs,” and I’ve gone “How do you perform? How do you know that you’re achieving anything if you don’t have a clear KPI?” I’ve got a couple of key tips here, if that’s okay. I’ll take you through them.

Louisa Dahl:

First of all, your KPIs really need to be there to help you to know what you’re prioritising and focusing on for the next period. So whether your employer gives them to you and says “Here’s what you’ve got to do” or whether you set them for yourself, it doesn’t matter, but you need to have them and have a clear focus for what you’re trying to achieve over the next period. I would recommend that maybe you start them as quarterly KPIs, definitely longer term ones if possible too, and agree with them, with your manager or whoever else you’re involved with. Aligning them with other people in the organisation is really important so that you’re all on the same page, you all know what you’re working towards, and even if it’s just you yourself working, it gives you some accountability to what you’re trying to achieve.

Louisa Dahl:

In terms of what your KPIs should be, obviously it’s going to be different for every organisation, but it might be a sales number, it could be a revenue number, it might be a customer number or subscriber number that you’re aiming for, might be that you’re trying to change your cost per acquisition or your engagement level. It doesn’t really matter what it is but it needs to be a significant number that’s important to the business.

Kate Toon:

You’ve got me straight away, louisa. I have no KPIs whatsoever. Never have had, never even thought about it, because I often find that they’ve become a bit of a stick to beat myself with. For a business like mine, I guess I could be going “I want to get this many listeners to the podcast” or I want this many people to sign up to the course, but I just don’t think that way. For somebody like me who’s not, because obviously, to set KPIs, the first thing you have to do is kind of benchmark where you’re at, understand your figures, and if you asked me what my engagement figures were or how many people listened to the podcast or anything like that, I have no idea. I don’t look at it. I don’t care. The only figure I look at, and this is maybe not a good thing, the only figure I look at is the financials, and if the financials are good, I’m like nothing else really matters, but I’m just saying.

Louisa Dahl:

I totally agree with that too, Kate, and look, I think that’s why I was saying that the figure might be different for every person. I think as a business owner, it makes so much sense to look at the financials, whereas if you’re a copywriter, it might be more about engagement, so you’ve got to pick a KPI that’s relevant to your specific role, and it’s interesting you say you don’t have KPIs because I know though that you do set limits, for example, for how many people you take on your course, and then if you sell out, you have effectively hit a KPI.

Kate Toon:

Maybe I’ve got without knowing it. I’ve got some personal KPIs at the moment. I’m all about measuring how many glasses of water I have and how much sleep I get. They’re important KPIs too, people.

Louisa Dahl:

Yeah, definitely.

Kate Toon:

I like it and I think it’s something that, the way that I approach my business is very kind of like, I guess not erratic, but it’s not very business planning. I don’t often feel like a grownup marketer, but as time is going on, I’m getting more grownups and maybe [inaudible 00:07:04] Maybe you could help me with that one thing. My number two mistake, number two is not understanding your audience, and I know this is kind of wheeled out a lot and sounds a bit sort of hackneyed and cliched, but what I mean by that is so often, people break down audiences by demographics. This is Clive. Clive Is 47, he drives a Land Rover, he lives here, he has 1.7 children and a dog called Bernard, and it’s like brilliant, we know how much Clive earns, you know what car he drives, but do we know what keeps Clive up in the middle of the night? When Clive wakes up at 3:00 AM in the morning, what is Clive of worrying about? What are his pain points?

Kate Toon:

I’ve got two little acronyms that I use to work out my audience, and one is BDF which is beliefs, desires and fears. So what are Clive’s preconceived beliefs, what are his dark has desires, the ones that he can talk about, and what is he frightened of, what is he scared of? If you apply those to your business, it works really, really well. Someone coming to the Recipe for SEO Success, preconceived belief, SEO is too technical, SEO changes all the time, SEO is boring as bat shit, and all those things are true. No, they’re not. So I can break down those beliefs and that’s going to help me understand him. Deepest desire is that I will improve their ranking, but not their ranking really, that’s what they think they want but what they really want is they want more traffic and conversions.

Kate Toon:

Then their fears are that it’s all going to be too much for them, they’re not going to get it, they’re going to get ripped off. So if I can understand that, I can really change my marketing to answer those pain points, and it will be more relevant and drive more conversion because I’m actually speaking directly to my audience, not to everybody, I’m not being vanilla. I like to call it the “Clive Google factor.” That’s my other acronym, CGF. What does Clive type into Google? He’s probably not typing in “SEO course.” He’s probably typing in “Why is my website not showing up on Google? Why have I been blogging for two years but no one’s coming to my site?” He’s typing in problems, he’s right at the top of the funnel. Again, that’s going to change the content that I put out there, the questions that I answer. So that’s my number two, not understanding your audience. Over to you, Louisa, what’s your number three?

Louisa Dahl:

Number three. I’ve got not knowing the numbers of the business, and this does go on a little bit from the KPI one.

Kate Toon:

These are all my worms. These are all the things that I don’t do.

Louisa Dahl:

This one really, and again, it depends on the size of the business that you’re in, but I think it’s something that even as a small business owner, it’s something I’m guilty of as well. When I say knowing the numbers that can depend on your role, it might be understanding the basic things around how much revenue are you making, what’s your profit and loss, how much are you spending versus how much are you getting back and actually being really intimate with those numbers, knowing what your costs of goods sold are and the profit. I think really, no matter what role you’re in, you need to have some idea of what you’re contributing to, which lets you know, how much you can spend from a marketing basis as well. It just gives context to your spend.

Kate Toon:

I think it’s so, so important because often I’ll say to people, “What does it cost you to actually have a business? How much do you have to earn before you actually earn anything?” and people have no idea, yet these are often the same people who are going off and just paying for expensive masterminds and buying $3,000 courses and splashing the credit card at Kikki K and it’s like, “No, you actually can’t afford to do those things yet. You actually don’t even own enough yet to pay yourself a salary or pay your GST and not be in a panic every month.” One thing that I found really helpful with knowing my numbers was implementing Profit First, which is the popular book by Mike somebody. I can’t remember his second name, something like “Zaplebapbop,” but anyway, you can Google Profit First, and that was life changing for me, a simple envelope system that really made me look at my expenses.

Kate Toon:

Also, with your expenses thing, one really important thing is to look at all these subscriptions that you get and go “Really, which ones of these do I need?” Do you find that with people you work with?

Louisa Dahl:

Yup.

Kate Toon:

That seems crazy when you actually know them.

Louisa Dahl:

They add up so quickly, don’t they? Then you go like, “Hang on, what am I paying for? Actually, I can use this one to do those two things and get rid of this one,” but that all takes time and mucking around as well but it’s really important to stay on top of something I think everyone can probably do better at, especially if you’re in a bit more of a creative or strategic role day to day.

Kate Toon:

I see so many even larger businesses where they’re all about the revenue and then you actually look at what they’re actually taking out [inaudible 00:11:38] and it’s very low. That margin is really poor, so really important thing to understand. My next mistake, mistake number four is trying to be everywhere. Now I think it might be Pat Flynn who says you have to be everywhere, like you have to be on all the platforms, and I think you do. It is helpful to have a presence on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, possibly Pinterest, that’s what I’m kind of like, I’m even on TikTok and YouTube, obviously, but it’s really hard to be everywhere and to be everywhere well, if that makes sense. I’m a big fan, especially if you’re starting out, of just doing one platform well. Really thinking about where your audience is, not where you enjoy spending time.

Kate Toon:

I have a lot of business owners who love Instagram because it’s so pretty and blah, blah, blah, and then I say to them, “How many actual direct sales can you attribute to Instagram? Look at your Google analytics. How much traffic are you getting from Instagram to your site? Isn’t it just a fun place to hang out because it’s pretty? Unfortunately for you, you probably need to be on LinkedIn, because that’s where people actually have money to spend them on a bike.” So doing one platform while getting one place spinning and then getting another place spinning, but also, it’s relatively easy these days to cross purpose content. Yes, you tailor it to the character count or whatever, but I’m not a huge believer that there’s a majorly different way of speaking on Instagram as there is to LinkedIn.

Kate Toon:

If you get your branding right and it’s true to you and your tone of voice is good, you should pretty much be able to turn up everywhere and be the same. Maybe you don’t post pictures of your dog in a hat on LinkedIn, but maybe you do, because when I do that, it goes down brilliantly. What’s your thoughts on that, on my point number four at trying to be everywhere?

Louisa Dahl:

I completely agree. I think that there’s so many things we can do and we really have to prioritise because otherwise we’re just distracted. It’s better to get one channel working really well and then adding more rather than trying to do everything at once and spreading yourself too thin and not getting any cut through.

Kate Toon:

It comes back to almost like knowing your numbers again and your KPIs and your measurement, because again, lots of people, myself included, we put all the stuff out there but we very rarely stop and go “Which of these is actually working? Which channel is working? Oh look, I put a lot of effort into Instagram this month. Has it made a difference?” We just keep doing the same thing without stopping and assessing what’s working, so that’s super important. Feeds into your number five mistake, which I think is similar but not the same.

Louisa Dahl:

Yeah, that’s right. Number five is trying to do it all, and that definitely includes channels but it goes beyond that as well because I think too often we go “Hey, there’s all these things that I want to do. I want to build a new website, I want to get some funnels up, I want to create some lead magnets, I want to do some campaigns, I’ve got to create a course” or whatever it might be, and we’re not prioritising those in an effective way to allow us to do them properly. This one is really about how are you prioritising what’s on your plate. There’s a few techniques I use that I’d like to recommend. The first one is the 80/20 rule. This 80/20 rule is really important and there’s actually a book called 80/20 Sales and Marketing which I found really interesting.

Louisa Dahl:

If you think of it in this context, 20% of your efforts brings in 80% of the value, or 20% of your customers bring in 80% of your revenue. This rule can be applied to almost anything in your business, so what 20% of your actions is bringing in 80% of your customers and how can you focus on that 20% rather than trying to do everything. The other one that I really like to take people through and think about is prioritisation activity, and it’s about saying “Okay, what are all the projects that I’ve got on my plate at the moment?” A lot of people have a lot of projects, too many to actually do properly, and how can we prioritise them? It’s about something called the “Three big rocks.” It’s about finding out what are the big things that you should be focusing on right now, picking three initially. You can have smaller stuff that fills in the gaps around these big rocks, but then getting those three done before you take on another big rock.

Louisa Dahl:

You can Google both of those things and find out more about them, but there’s some really interesting ways to prioritise your time and make sure that you’re giving those projects the time and effort they deserve before you spread yourself too thin in a way as well.

Kate Toon:

I remember from your presentation at a conference that you have something in your book about this. It’s kind of like a grid for things in it I think?

Louisa Dahl:

Yeah, that’s right. So there’s like high value, low value. There’s heaps of different ways to prioritise and that three big rocks, there is a sequence of things that comes up to saying “These are my big three,” so that’s about how, what is it? I think it’s the importance. You’re testing my memory here, Kate. I’m trying to remember what’s on that grid, but yeah, there’s a way of prioritising how important they are and how urgent they are, and if they’re not important and urgent, then probably they’re not one of your big three rocks.

Kate Toon:

I’ll pop a link to your book in the notes for the episode so people can check them out because I remember taking a photograph of that and thinking, “Oh yes, that’s brilliant,” and then obviously ignoring it and I have about 72 ginormous boulders, but I’m chipping away at them. The next mistake that I’ve got, and again, these sound a little bit cliche, but the thing is we know all of these things but a lot of us aren’t doing this, so I do think they bear repeating, and my number six is not being yourself. I know that, again, it sounds very cheesy, the Oscar Wilde quote and all that everyone else has taken, but whether you’re a personal brand or not, if you are running a business, and most of the people I think listening to this podcast are either solopreneurs or entrepreneurs, if you’re not, I apologise, but even if you’re within a business entity, that business entity has a personality, it has brand values, it has a tone of voice, and if you’re running your own thing, the closer that is to you as a human, the better.

Kate Toon:

You have to embrace the things about you that are good and the things about you that are bad and make them part of your brand because it just makes everything so much easier. Whatever you write, wherever you go, whoever you meet, you can be yourself, flaws and all. I’ve got some templates in the SEO shop. If you want to go and grab them, they are all around deciding what brand values are, what your tone of voice is going to be. You don’t have to pick hundreds of things, maybe three or four words that kind of sum you up, and then I’m going to test Louisa in a minute and ask her what her four words are, so she’s just got, but I’ve thought about mine quite a lot and I think that mine would be that I’m very honest, almost to the point of being brutal sometimes, but that is who I am.

Kate Toon:

I think I’m quite generous, and again, that’s not always a positive thing. I think I’m creative and I think that I am, enthusiastic is not the word and nor is it efficient, but I get a lot done, like I’m a doer, and I think those are… They come out wherever I am. The honesty thing is not always received well but it is who I am and I do, big believer that marketing is as much about repelling people that is attracting. I’m not for everybody, and that’s a good thing and I think that’s important for brands to really identify what makes them you and then go forward with that even if it makes you a little bit divisive, because it’s better to be divisive than be vanilla. Louisa, what was your four words to describe you and your brand?

Louisa Dahl:

Thanks for putting me on the spot there, Kate, I have quickly thought about this on the fly. I think that I am very loyal. I like to think of myself as being helpful, and also approachable, and I’m an organiser.

Kate Toon:

Yes, you are. I’d say organiser is good. You’re quite professional as well, like you come across quite professional, and I would say that’s not something I come across as.

Louisa Dahl:

It’s actually really interesting you mentioned that because I’ve come very much from a corporate background and I guess a lot of our audience is in the corporate space as well, so I am actually ongoingly working on myself on being more myself and being more transparent in that way in this audience, which I think is something that for the last 10 years hasn’t been how it’s been done.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. It takes time. I come from the wacky ducky creative side of things. It’s much more acceptable to be a bit odd, and even when we went and presented a corporate, presenting a concept to Telstra, they wheel in the creatives, almost like the clowns on the trolley to kind of entertain corporates and then we’re wheeled back out again, so it’s very different, but we appeal to different markets and that’s obviously part of it as well. Again, these are segwaying so beautifully. We didn’t plan it as well but-

Louisa Dahl:

No, we didn’t.

Kate Toon:

Part of being myself is being what? Is being confident.

Louisa Dahl:

Number seven, lacking confidence in your approach. This is something that I think we all have. Being truly honest, we all lack a bit of confidence, and in marketing, there are no right answers. Everyone has to figure out their own path depending on the business and the clients and all the other things going on, so I see a lot of marketers not having confidence in the decisions they’re making, and some of these decisions in corporate, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollar decisions they’re making on software or implementation, and how can anyone be expected to make that confidently? There’s a few things you can do. The thing that I found to be most effective is actually to have deep conversations with other like-minded marketers.

Louisa Dahl:

I have a mastermind group, as we talked about, and I find that really helpful in confidence and building confidence for everyone because they get to have honest conversations about what’s going on for them, they hear about what’s going on for others, they go, “Oh cool. I’m learning from you but I also have a bit more confidence in my approach because I can see that it fits and I can see that it makes sense.” That’s really the number one thing that I’ve seen to help people feel not alone in their decision making process. Once you have that confidence, then it helps with your prioritisation, it feeds into all these other areas that we’ve also spoken about, and it’s something that is kind of trickier. I speak to a lot of marketers who go, “I just don’t know, how can I get that confidence?” I don’t know, Kate, are there any other ways you have seen people get that confidence to make these big decisions?

Kate Toon:

It leads very well into my mistake number eight, which I’ll bring up in a minute, but yes. I have a group called the Digital Master Chefs and that is where, it’s kind of a behind closed doors place where you can ask the dumb questions that you wouldn’t want to ask on a public forum with 20,000 people in because you’re [inaudible 00:21:57] out there as an expert, but we know digital marketing is vast. Even SEO as one part of that is vast. There’s no way that I can know the answer to every question. The collective knowledge of the group is always going to be bigger than my own. So having that safe space where you can go “Does everyone else do it like this?” Nine times out of 10, the answer is a yes.

Kate Toon:

It’s very rare that someone goes “No, what you’re doing is terribly wrong and I would never think of it,” but it’s just we all have those little pockets of doubt and an imposter syndrome and they can really cripple you from taking action and also just waste a lot of time and emotional energy. So go out somewhere like your group or my group where you can go and just go “Hey, just a minute. Does everyone do that?” “Yeah, brilliant.” “Okay. I thought I was right. Thank you very much. I can pack up.” Groups like that have been really the foundation of my business. Even when I started copywriting years ago, I started a Google Plus group, whatever it was called then, it’s gone now, and I invited 20 copywriters off Twitter that I didn’t know to come and join us as a group and they joined and these are now, Belinda was one of them and now we have a podcast together. Other people have gone on to start courses, be speakers, but in those early years, I have no idea what I was doing.

Kate Toon:

I was so grateful for that group which is why I’m a big believer in groups now as we know. I totally agree with you. A little plug for me now. The Digital Master Chefs group will be opening for the last time in the next week or so, so look out for that, go and signup for the waitlist. I think the next mistake is a really funny one as well because my next big mistake is buying courses for affirmation. Now what I mean, like you have courses, I have courses. We run events, we teach digital marketing, so obviously I very much have a vested interest in people continuing to buy courses, but I want people to buy them for the right reason. I’m hugely about the completion rate.

Kate Toon:

I’ve got about 70% completion rate on the recipe course within the first year which is pretty high. [inaudible 00:23:56] but it’s actually pretty high because I think so many people go out and spend money on a course because they feel like once I do that course, they’re going to be an expert. But the thing is it’s never-ending, because once you’ve done that course, then you need the next course, and then your knowledge is slightly out of date so you need the next course and the next course, and I know some digital marketers, some of whom are good friends of mine who have bought everything, who have bought every masterclass, every course to try and bolster this confidence.

Kate Toon:

The truth is that I think that most people, unless you’re like literally straight out of college, 21, never done anything, we have a lot of knowledge within us, and if we just spent the time talking about what we already know, I think we have at least a couple of years worth of content before we need to fill up the well again, the creative world. I’m guilty of this too. I’ve never bought a course. I recently bought a course last week and as soon as I press the buy button, I bought it out of imposter syndrome and FOMO, as soon as I press the button, I was like “I shouldn’t have bought this.” So I immediately asked for a refund. I got my refund, it was great. I am 12 years in, I have memberships and courses, whatever, all of which are doing well. I just had a brief moment, a brief wobble, and it made me buy a course that I didn’t need. Do you see people doing this as well?

Louisa Dahl:

Yeah, definitely. I think it’s a go to when you’ve got a question maybe, or you feel that you don’t have the skills in some areas, so I think validating whether that’s a real thing or not is important. Having said that, I’ve bought some courses which I’ve got heaps of value out of in the last few years, so I’m a big kind of continual learner, but I do think it’s, it’s checking in before you hit that purchase button and making sure this is actually what you want to get out of it, and having some kind of specific outcome probably.

Kate Toon:

That’s the thing I was going to say, like identifying. The thing that I was going to buy, I knew 90% of what I needed, I needed a 10% gap filled. What I should’ve done first was trying to fill that gap, fill that git? Fill that gap with what’s already out there by asking opinions from my peers, by talking to my own mastermind groups who are very, very smart, by reading some blogs, by reading some books before I went and splashed $3,000 on a course 90% of which I didn’t need. Identifying the knowledge gap and not buying a gigantic plastic cast where all you actually need is a tiny bandaid maybe. That’s a terrible analogy.

Louisa Dahl:

No. Totally works.

Kate Toon:

[inaudible 00:26:27] beautifully into your next thing which is-

Louisa Dahl:

It does, doesn’t it all right?

Kate Toon:

We’re good.

Louisa Dahl:

It’s like we planned this but we didn’t really get this though, did we? Now number nine. This is a bit of a catch all but I’ve got a lot to say in this topic. It’s about not taking the time to develop and market yourself. This does lean on from what we were talking about in terms of courses and skill improvement so the questions I have around this is how are you keeping up to date with your skillset. As we know, marketing is continually changing, so it is really important that we do spend some time making sure we’re up to date that may or may not be buying a course. That may be reading, it might be talking to people, it might be going to events and learning, but there’s got to be some kind of commitment I feel to keeping your skills fresh in this area or you’re going to become obsolete in your knowledge.

Louisa Dahl:

The second one is how are you telling people about what you’re achieving? I’m a big one for sharing wins. I think that’s really important. When we hit those KPIs, how are we sharing that? How are we taking that as an achievement? This leads into how are we building our reputation as marketers. So if you are not self employed, if you are looking for your next job, this is really important to get right so that you have something to show on what you’ve achieved for your next employer, and I think it’s always a good time to be working on your career in this industry and to be working on your knowledge and skills. That’s something that I see some marketers spend a lot of time and effort on improving themselves but maybe not enough then on marketing themselves, sharing their knowledge, positioning themselves as thought leaders, and some I suppose don’t do any of it, so I think there’s there’s room for improvement here.

Kate Toon:

I totally agree and I think it comes from, especially in Australia and the UK, possibly less so in America, although that’s a sweeping generalisation, this feeling that we can’t talk about the fact that we’re good, we can’t show off, this tall poppy syndrome in the UK that like if you’re doing well and people are like “Look at her doing well. Who does she think she is?” and it’s that fear that if we toot our own horn, people are going to think that we’re whatever we are, but I think it’s just the balance to it. Obviously, everything being a win is not great. You have to show your highs and lows. I respect my peers who actually do share the lows. Not cultured brand story, pretty picture lows, but actual general lows and failures. I really, really respect that because it shows that they’re in the arena. I really agree, but I think it’s hard. If someone’s listening to this thinking “Yes, I am really good at this. I don’t really know how to put that out there without sounding like a bit of an arrogant sod,” how would the people do that?

Louisa Dahl:

There’s a couple of things to do. First of all, sharing your wins might not be with the whole world. It might be with your team, with your manager, with who you’re working with, so that’s an important one. In that case, something that we did internally was have, what we do internally is have a weekly meeting and part of that is share your wins from the last week. It’s just kind of building it into your process so that you’re talking about wins and celebrating those on an ongoing basis. That’s one way to do it, but if you do want to share it a bit more broadly, write a blog article. Get on a podcast and share how you did something and why that worked.

Louisa Dahl:

Talking to other people, speaking at events is a good way to share like a case study type of scenario, or it could just be saying on LinkedIn or on whatever your social media channel of choices and putting something there without sounding too up yourself in that way, but I think there’s ways to do it that you can let people know that you’re actually doing some great work and be proud of it too.

Kate Toon:

I agree. In my memberships, I’ve got two different ones and we do share wins each week, but I really encourage people to share the learning with the win. “I got on this podcast and it went really, really well,” then also a little bit of a learning after. “How I did this was I sent off a thing and I pushed myself and then I followed up,” and so that therefore you’re sharing your success but also passing on the goodness to someone else as well.

Louisa Dahl:

Exactly.

Kate Toon:

Softening the arrogant below, if that makes sense.

Louisa Dahl:

Yeah, and that’s why kind of that case study context is sometimes a good way to do it as well. I just wanted to say on this point that I had a bit of a moment in my career, probably about when I wrote my book which was a couple of years ago, that I was doing all this hard work, I was putting in all the hours and the time and working really hard and creating these strategies for lots of different brands and implementing them and getting the wins, but I wasn’t really doing anything to leverage that work in my career. I wasn’t telling anyone about it, I wasn’t tracking anything in a way that was useful, I wasn’t being able to reuse any of my work, so I think having this, my book is called the Deliberate Digital Marketer because I think having a deliberate approach to your career and all these different areas of your career is really important so that you can leverage all that hard work you’re putting in and not have to reinvent the wheel every time.

Kate Toon:

People want to work with good people, and if you’re a good person, why deny them the opportunity of working with you?

Louisa Dahl:

That’s it.

Kate Toon:

This does lead nicely into my number 10 mistake, and then we’ll do a bit of a wrap up, because I’ve got a point to make about the whole episode, but I think for me, one of the most powerful things in my business has been building relationships. This podcast is an example of it. We met many years ago I think at We Are podcast, and since then, I don’t know, we sort of been aware of each other and then more recently met again at James Norquay’s Digital Marketing Conference in Sydney and since then, we’ve done podcasts, we’ve had chats offline or maybe going to work on some events together, and yet so many people, they would look at us and go we’re competitors, and why on earth would you want to be working with Louisa when she does exactly what you do and she’s got a membership?

Kate Toon:

I just think one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that building relationships is really important. Often, it’s actually building relationships with people who do exactly what you do, because they’re the only people who really get it and understand. I’m not going to get all woo woo because I’m not a woo woo person. It does take a bit of a self belief, a bit of confidence that you are enough and that you can stand shoulder to shoulder with someone and be happy that they picked the other class or that they pick you, and that there’s enough people out there, the abundant attitude, which can be hard sometimes especially at times like this when things are a bit of a struggle, but just trying to build relationships, not just be in your borough for fearing the world, fearing your competitors, terrified that someone’s going to nip at your heels and take your piece of the pie.

Kate Toon:

It’s very difficult to do from an ego point of view but it’s so good for your digital marketing, because just the relationships, in simple terms, the backlinks, the awareness, the reaching into your audience and into my audience, I just think it’s the way to go. What’s what’s been your experience of that?

Louisa Dahl:

I think relationships are so important. Whether it’s people that meet at a conference or people that meet online or how you spend the time connecting, it’s actually a big segment of my book is how can marketers build relationships to help them in their current role and in their future roles, and a bunch of ways that you can do that. Some of the best input I’ve got from my business has been through relationships with other business owners because it’s been really helpful, and then I’ve taken that to leverage or to help other marketers to leverage other marketers, because I’ve seen the benefit that can happen from these deep conversations and an understanding of what’s working for each other. I would definitely encourage everyone if you’re not surrounded by peers that you can talk to, to spend the time and effort on getting to that point. The other day, this time of the world is particularly crazy.

Louisa Dahl:

I’m homeschooling three children, which is awesome, and I haven’t spent as much time on my business lately in this type of area as I used to, so I went “Oh, I don’t feel like I’ve connected that much lately,” I’m feeling a bit poor in my relationship bucket and I went and connected with some people on LinkedIn, and I commented on stuff and I got involved in conversations, and it was amazing. Just from 15, 20 minutes of getting involved, it resulted in a couple of phone calls and reconnecting with people I haven’t spoken to in years, and that actually fuels me a lot. Those relationships and those conversations are really important.

Kate Toon:

I agree, and I don’t think it has to be some contrived kind of strategy, I think it should be kind of organic and natural. You shouldn’t be like “Right here, 10 people I want to be friends with. Let me try.” You shouldn’t be out there trying to fluff people into being friends with you. I’ve just done 30 podcasts in pretty much 30 days talking to 30 different people in my business. It’s literally been like imagine having a coaching programme with 30 different entrepreneurs. The ideas that spark, the self reflection. Just hearing about new tools like the, what’s the one I’m looking at the other day? I think it’s SpeakPipe or something, and now I’m looking at another tool called Figma. All these new tools and applications, new approaches to doing things, a little bit of kind of affirmation that talking to one person who runs their business this way.

Kate Toon:

For example, one person is very into building their business to sell it, and I’d never wanted to do that. I don’t ever plan to sell my business, I’ll just close it, but I always felt like “Oh, I’m failing in some way because I’m not building it to sell it.” Then I talked to three other business owners who were building not to sell. They’re just building… Getting these different opinions, it’s refreshing because our well does run dry. It’s hard to continually motivate yourself whether you’re working for someone or working for yourself, so getting some goodness from other people in whatever way you can I think is brilliant thing to do.

Kate Toon:

I’m just going to recap the 10 tips really quickly. We had not having vague KPIs, key performance indicators, not understanding your audience. Number three, not knowing the numbers of your business. Number four, trying to be everywhere. Number five, trying to do it all and not prioritising. Number six, not being yourself. Number seven, lacking confidence in your digital marketing approach. Number eight, buying courses and training affirmation. Number nine, not taking the time to develop and market yourself, and number 10, not building relationships.

Kate Toon:

Now I’m guessing that some people will be going “I thought you were going to talk about how to improve open rates and why my engagement on Instagram isn’t as good and how to build a Facebook group?” But I think those are all tactics. They’re not the big strategy, they’re not the deep work that you need to do. Yeah, sure, those are the things that come second, but if you don’t get these 10 core things right, if you don’t build that confidence in yourself and understand your numbers and understand your strategy and your business, no amount of Instagram fiddling and hashtag choices is going to make a bit of difference. Is that your opinion as well?

Louisa Dahl:

Totally, that is 100% my approach, and I wrote a book around this, as we’ve said. Not specifically these 10 but around how marketers can show up, how they can step up and how they can stand out, and to me, that is just as if not more important than getting those tactics right because there’s a bunch of information on those tactics and they’re changing all the time. If you don’t have the plan behind it, all right, then what’s the point?

Kate Toon:

It’s as you said, it’s that deliberate marketing, the fundamentals, getting the fundamentals right, and they will shift as well. The fundamentals in my business are very different to what they were five years ago, 10 years ago, and sometimes you need to readdress them which is a process I’m going through at the moment. Louisa, that was amazing. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Louisa Dahl:

Thanks for having me.

Kate Toon:

I’ll include links to all your bits and bobs, but just to summarise, if people want to find out more about you, where should they head to?

Louisa Dahl:

Check out interactiveminds.com. We also have a free Facebook group of the same name and our podcast is also Interactive Minds. Come along and check us out.

Kate Toon:

Thanks very much. That’s the end of this week’s show, if you have questions about it or if you have questions about digital marketing, head to the I Love SEO group on Facebook. I like to end the show with a shout out to one of my lovely listeners, and today it’s from Clement Casey from Australia, and he or she says “So many informative podcasts can become dry and boring. Thank you for keeping the show fun. It’s easier to learn when you’re laughing too. Great that your personality shines through the same in the podcast as you do on stage in person.” Thank you. For some reason, I want all Northern man laughing.

Kate Toon:

Thanks to Louisa and thanks to you for listening. If you like the show, please don’t forget to leave a five star rating and review on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you heard the podcast. You can help others find the show and learn more about the lovely world of search engine optimization and to get a shout out on the show. As I said, you can head to the recipeforseosuccess.com where you can learn more about Louisa Dahl, check out links to her various bits and bobs and some of the useful links and books that she mentioned. Finally, if you haven’t checked out already, go and listen to the Kate Toon show. It’s my personal podcast about living life as a misfit entrepreneur, my tips and advice on how to be a happier and more successful business owner. Tune in on your favourite podcast app. Until next time, happy digital marketing.

 

 

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