In today’s highly-digitized world the right words can do wonders in boosting your business. In this episode, VIP Digital Content founder, Melanie Herschorn, joins Juliet Clark to talk about the significant benefits of digital content in business and how entrepreneurs can be empowered through digital marketing. A digital content creator and coach, Melanie helps female entrepreneurs with their digital marketing challenges, allowing them more time to focus on what they do best. In this episode, she shares some important bits of her expertise in creating digital content. Listen to this conversation and pick up lessons that will guide you in your own bid to stand out amidst the digital noise.
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How To Boost Your Business Using Digital Content With Melanie Herschorn
We have another great guest. I know I always say that, but you have to tune in for this one. I’m going to tell you why. I want to remind you before we get started to go over and take the Promote, Profit, Publish quiz, you can find that at PromoteProfitPublishQuiz.com and go over and subscribe to our YouTube channel, where you can see our guest who looks just like Angie Harmon. Our guest is Melanie Herschorn. She is a Digital Content Creator and a Coach on a mission to empower female entrepreneurs by helping them conquer their digital marketing challenges and giving them more time to focus on what they do best.
We’re going to talk a little about why she is going to give you guys time because she said it’s a challenging year. Through her company, VIP Digital Content, Melanie helps her clients attract their ideal clients, nurture leads and position themselves as an authority in their field. She has an extensive knowledge about starting a business from scratch, curating the best digital content for any niche. She has the writing skills necessary to help businesses grow. It truly takes a village to do this.
She knows this because she’s a former small business owner herself, but I think she owns a business now. She’s still a small business owner. She has worked in print, radio and as a TV journalist and as a PR specialist in Hollywood. Melanie has won numerous journalism awards and received her Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Southern California. She also loves to provide marketing tips in her private Facebook group, VIP Digital Marketing Tips. Welcome, Melanie.
I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for having me on.
I didn’t know you went to USC, right down the street from where I used to live. I lived in Manhattan beach, so it was way better.
I went there. That was a long time ago already, but now I’m living in Phoenix and it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from LA.
You’ve had a bit of a challenging year, which I think actually helped you help more women and because of COVID-19, you have been homeschooling at the same time.
Yes, I have. It has been challenging because I was not put on this earth to teach children. Adults, yes. Children, no.
I don’t know if you did this, but when I took my kids to day care for the first time and they just cried and then you feel so bad. You call it and they quit crying the minute you walked out the door. I imagined that everybody else thinks your children are so wonderful. They’re so well behaved at other people’s houses and in your own house, they’re just awful sometimes. I can’t even imagine homeschooling my kids.
You throw the computer into the whole mix and it just makes it even more complicated because kids don’t want to sit in front of a screen for hours on end while somebody talks at them.
If it’s a video game, if there’s a way to gamify it, they’d probably be into it. “Hit the spacebar every time the teacher says yes.” Let’s jump into some digital marketing. COVID hit and now all of a sudden being online, marketing online, all of that is more important than ever. What changes have you seen since all of this came into being?
It started with all of a sudden, everybody was an online coach and I thought, “We’re going to have to separate the wheat from the chaff and I feel that at this point, those who are still online have content that is providing value.” The shifts have been anybody who wasn’t online or they were thinking about it. They realized, “This is it. This is all I have because people are not going to come into my brick and mortar,” whatever at this point.
It seems like all of a sudden, everybody became a digital expert, whether they had a good platform or not. The other side of that is all of the people who came in and said, “I don’t have one Can you get me one up in 30 days?” They’re not realizing that there are trial and error. There’s all this going on. Did you experience that as well?
For myself, I was already online, so that was a plus. I had an influx of clients who all of a sudden realized that they needed digital content and that they didn’t have the bandwidth to it themselves or they didn’t even want to try, but they that they needed it. Of course, things get weeded out and you can see where some people have longevity and others, it wasn’t going to happen for them even in COVID times.
Someone came in last week and was she’s branding herself as a speaker and it was interesting because I was like, “Where are you going to speak? What stages do you have booked?” She said, “My psychology business is not doing that well, so now I’m going to be a speaker.” What do you think of that career move?
If you want to go in on virtual summits every single day, then that would be a great way to build up your portfolio of speaking. I would say if you have a business, then see if you can move that business itself online. I remember talking to a therapist once and it’s a convoluted story, but the therapist was by a family member and the family member was coming in from out of town. I wanted the family member to see that therapist, would the therapist be able to do Zoom? This was pre-COVID when this was not something that everybody was doing. The therapist said to me, “I don’t do online.” I thought, “That’s too bad because you’re missing out on all these people that could be serviced by you, but don’t happen to live in your city.” Now I bet she’s online because when you have a business, if you can move it online, you absolutely should.
I think there are a lot of people who are going to find that online is going to eliminate a lot of overhead because you can get rid of your offices. You can get rid of the phone line, you can use your cell phone. The biggest thing I see are the people who are like the therapists, and we don’t have to talk just about therapists, but people in general who were doing live workshops. Now they’re in this space were, “How am I going to get clients and how am I going to do that workshop online in an engaging way?” There’s a lot going on in that sense that wasn’t going before.
All the clients are online. It’s a question of creating content that’s going to attract them to you and what it is that you offer.
Talk a little bit about that. Why content? When I mentioned it, people have so much resistance. It’s too hard. It takes too much time. Every excuse you can see in the book.
It is time-consuming, especially if it’s not your zone of genius and you’re an engineer and you’re trying to bang out ten blog posts. It’s not your zone of genius. You’re building things and not writing things necessarily. I think that content truly is the first touch point when somebody is researching and they come across you and your company. If you have something online that is some form of content, whether it’s what you’re posting on Instagram, it’s your LinkedIn page, it’s a blog post that you wrote, or an article that you published on Medium or whatever, that’s the foray into getting to know you. If you don’t have content, then how are people going to find you? You’re not there, so to speak.
Now I’m out there and I’m creating content. I need a funnel because people are opening emails again. Email marketing is becoming more of a thing. It went out of vogue for quite a while there. Talk about why that’s more important than ever and doing it, not just sales pitches.
I’ll start from the beginning here. Email is more important than ever because if you want your subscribers to see something instantaneously, then you need to put it in an email and send it to them. If you post it on Instagram, they may see it and then three days later, they may never see it at all based on the algorithm. Also, if you do not have email subscribers and you only rely on the people who follow you on social media, you have no way of reaching them if and when that social media goes bye-bye
Periscope is gone now, officially. I read that. I remember several years ago being on Periscope and thinking, “I’m broadcasting to people. This is so weird.” Now I go live on Facebook almost daily. Back in those days in 2013, 2014, 2015, whenever that was, things changed. Email addresses don’t change that often. You know if you have a flash sale and you send an email out, whoever’s going to open that email is going to know about it right away. That’s why your subject line is the most important part of your email.
We were recording this in December 2020. By the time it records, hopefully, it’ll change a little bit. We’re seeing so much censorship on social media. Many people are jumping off. I know I jumped off before the 2020 election. I was off Facebook. I was done with it, even though I had a huge following. There’s an important lesson in there about transitioning your people from social media into your email list. Do you remember MySpace. One of my friends had at a glossy, great magazine and over 300,000 clicks a month, but she never had a CTA. She had sponsors. She was making money from sponsorship. When Facebook became the new MySpace and everybody jumped off, she had no way to bring those people over to Facebook with her. There’s a good reason right there why you need that email list and why you need to nurture it as well. You need to transition those people off of social media and into your list because nobody can take your list.
I’ll give you another example I have a friend who is an influencer, and she’s got hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, but maybe a fraction of that in terms of emails. If the algorithm doesn’t go your way or Instagram shuts down your account, then you’re not going to have another way to reach these people. That is why, and I could say this all day and all night long, having a freebie, an opt-in, a quiz, something that gets people to something of value that you have to give them for free in exchange for their email address, that is your meal ticket right there.
I know you mentioned the headline or the title of the email already, but what else makes an effective email?Create content from the would-be client's point of view, not from the point of view of the person who's trying to sell. Click To Tweet
A call to action. I can take you through the whole thing, but ideally, you want to have a very good subject line that entices somebody to open it, and then telling a story in an email is always a great idea because stories are how humans learn we remember and things resonate with us. You want to hit those pain points. You want to offer a solution, and then you always want a call to action. You never want to say, “Okay, thank you, bye.” That is not going to help you. You always want to be leading people to do the next thing, whether it’s to join your Facebook community or to hop on a discovery call with you. I always want to lead people to the next thing.
Owning a publishing company. I have to tell you, when we run bestseller campaigns and different kinds of campaigns for people, but the book people are always like, “What do you mean what’s next? They’re going to buy my book.” That book is not going to allow you to retire to the island next to Richard Branson, but your programs and services will. There’s the really important part of that CTA is what’s next always on every email.
Your book is your leverage. You can think of your email as that as well.
What do you see out there that people do? What are the big mistakes people make on those emails?
First of all, let’s talk about mistakes. It’s okay to make a mistake. Often, we get paralyzed by the fear of creating an email that people are going to judge us on that, so we don’t do it at all. Let me first say it’s better to make a mistake than not to send an email at all. How often do you get an, “Oops, we sent the wrong link,” email from a company or, “Oops, our whole site was down. Oops, you got invited to something that you’re not invited to?” That’s okay. It happens and everybody understands. The mistakes in emails are not having a call to action or having a pretty terrible call to action like Click Here, and nobody’s going to click. In your call to action, you want to promise them the success that they’re going to have by taking the action. For example, if it’s joining my Facebook Group, come and be part of a community of like-minded women business owners. That’s what they’re going to get.
That also means that your messaging better be pretty clear when you put together these calls to action because what I see is a lot is muddled messages.
It starts with knowing exactly who your ideal client is because if you are speaking to everybody in the world, you are speaking to nobody. I’ve had calls with people where I’ve said, “Who’s your ideal client?” They said, “Everyone with skin.” I said, “That’s not possible because are you are selling a product to a 90-year-old man or a 4-year-old girl. They don’t have the same issues. Who are you selling this to?” Your messaging is everything.
That brings us to the conversion piece of this. In one of my books, people brought me a website and she said, “I want a website like this.” I took a look at the three pages. I said, “I can guarantee you there’s no conversion going on here. None whatsoever. She’s not selling a thing on this website.” It all has to have the conversion element. Can you explain that to our audience as well? You can’t just have an opt-in and a free something, even though I want you to talk about the benefit of a free something. It’s the conversion that matters on this.
A conversion doesn’t mean dollars necessarily. Whatever the conversion is, its people are taking action. They’re taking a step and they’re joining your community in some way, shape, or form. Whether that’s they’re on your email list, they follow you on Instagram, wherever you’re the most active. To make sure that your message is telling them what they’re going to get, you always want to be clear, concise and not confusing because a confused mind says no.
That’s a good point though because from a neuromarketing standpoint, I can always tell when you have created your landing page, and so can everybody else there and they might not know why. From a neuromarketing standpoint, they’re looking at color, message proportion. Your mind is taking on so much at one time. When it walks away, it’s not necessarily always your topic. Sometimes it’s the aesthetics of what’s being put in front of them, which goes right back to conversion. That’s why you need professionals like Melanie to help you with all of this. When you go to somebody’s landing page, can you tell when they did it themselves?
Even I’ve had clients where they said, “The landing page is done.” I look at it and I’m like, “How is it going?” It’s not anybody’s fault necessarily. It’s that sometimes when you’re close to the product or the service or the situation, you can’t see the forest for the trees and you can’t be objective and write about it that’s objective. That’s what writers are there for. That’s what we do. We create content knowing that we have to write it from the point of view of the would-be client or customer, not from the point of view of the person who’s trying to sell the item or service.
Let’s talk about that for a minute. Guru marketing’s over. Would you agree with that?
Define guru marketing for me.
Guru marketing, it’s all about the person. It’s all about the influencer. We saw a lot of it a couple of years ago. It was like six figures in six months and, “Look at my beautiful house and look at my beautiful wife,” and all that instant gratification stuff. I think for the most part, that’s over.
I’m still seeing it through. I was wondering if that’s what you meant. You’re not seeing as many like men splayed out on Ferrari pictures as you were before or women in the Maldives as you were before. You’re not, but I think that’s a sign of the times because nobody’s doing anything in COVID at this point. I still think there are the names. That name recognition still has a cloud, I do believe.
I think there has become this realization though that some of the gurus had big names but didn’t provide great services. They were great marketers, but not so many great services. I think we’re seeing a real shift now to the, “How can I help you?” mode instead of the, “All about me, I’m so awesome,” mode.It's okay to make a mistake, but never forget the lesson. Click To Tweet
I could never ascribe to that anyway. I don’t know. On the Enneagram thing, I’m like a 3, 2, which I don’t know how that goes together, but it means that I like to be the center of attention, but I also like to serve. I could never make it about me because it’s about the writing. It’s about the message. I think all business owners should think about that whenever they sit down to create any message for their business. Remember that it’s not about you. It’s about the person buying it from you and how you and your product or your service are going to benefit their lives.
I think what Melanie told you was the results you get because I always have to tell people nobody cares about your process. Nobody cares if you sprinkle flowers on them while you’re doing it. It’s whether they’re going to get results or not. There are good points on that. Where can we find you if we want to find more about what you do and do you have anything coming up soon that you can share?
I always have things coming up. I also have this fantastic content quiz where you can figure out your content is working for you. That’s at MyContentQuiz.com. I also do a ton of stuff in my Facebook group, which you can get to by going to VIPDigital.live/community.
Thank you for sharing some of these tips and why we need content because I think a lot of people are struggling without it.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, Juliet.
- YouTube – Superbrand Publishing
- VIP Digital Content
About Melanie Herschorn
Melanie Herschorn is a digital content creator and coach on a mission: to empower female entrepreneurs by helping them conquer their digital marketing challenges and giving them more time to focus on what they do best. Through her company, VIP Digital Content, Melanie helps her clients attract their ideal clients, nurture leads, and position themselves as an authority in their field.
She has extensive knowledge about starting a business from scratch, curating the best digital content for any niche, and she has the writing skills necessary to help businesses grow. A former small business owner herself, Melanie understands the entrepreneurial journey and that it truly takes a village. She has also worked as a print, radio, and TV journalist and as a PR specialist in Hollywood.
Melanie has won numerous journalism awards and received her Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California. She also loves to provide marketing tips in her private Facebook group VIP Digital Marketing Tips.
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