How much should a custom Sales Funnel project cost?

Eventually, you find yourself talking about cost.

If you’re a sales funnel builder and expert strategist, as I am, you’ve been asked how much your services cost thousands of times.

And you end up having to make some decisions:

  • What services exactly am I providing for this potential client?
  • How many hours do I think will this take my team and I to complete?
  • How much is the completion of this funnel project worth to the client, from a business perspective? How much return on investment is he/she able to gain from this funnel?
  • Does the client have money? Is the client clear on where he/she wants to take their business?
  • Should I charge hourly, by project or a retainer?
  • Is this a one off funnel project or, is there potential for a long term partnership with this client?
  • How busy am I or is my team? Do I need to take on this project? Do I even want it? How passionate am I about it?

Asking yourself these questions to begin with are very important. Also, how you are going to answer these is important. Evaluating the client from the beginning is crucial.

Why? Because every interaction I am going to have with the client in the future will help me learn more about them and the project at hand. Therefore, it will affect what the cost for the funnel project will be.

Of course, it’s also important to say that cost often times depend on market on location to where you’re based out of.

For the purpose of giving you as much behind-the-scenes information as I can, I’m talking to an American audience in U.S. dollars.

Please take those numbers and prices with a grain of salt, depending on where you live and what the economy and market demand is like in your country.

How much should a custom Sales Funnel project cost?

My team and I have built sales and marketing funnels, or been a part of funnel projects — all on Clickfunnels or BuilderAll — that have ranged in cost from under $1,000 to over $25,000, for complete funnels.

So in short: it depends.

This is why I can not provide you with an exact estimate of the cost or say, “This is what you should charge!”. Because, it varies a LOT.

The thing is, most people’s budget is on average 2-3 times smaller than their wishes or expectations. So if I give you an exact estimate, it’s highly unlikely both of you will be happy once it’s all said and done.

A proper estimate costs money

Let’s talk about the first thing I think a lot of marketing agencies or funnel builders miss out on when quoting for a sales funnel project:

It’s the estimate.

Creating a cost estimate of a funnel project takes time. A lot more time actually than 90% of prospects anticipate. That is, if you’re doing it right and you know what you’re doing.

You might wonder what all is needed to quote someone for a proper funnel project after the initial call with the prospect.

Here’s a quick list:

  • Market research.
  • Funnel hacking of competitors to see a potential marketing angle we could take for your project.
  • Existing social media landscape analysis.
  • Overall existing and potential traffic analysis.
  • Target audience research and analysis.
  • Coming up with ideas for testing potential marketing hooks.
  • Taking inventory if the client has all the assets needed to proceed and create a proper funnel or, if there would be any hold ups (like i.e. there’s a need for creating a teaser video, etc.).
  • Deciding on a funnel type.
  • Etc.

Most funnel builders and/or agencies spend hours and hours to put together a proper proposal for a client.

IF they are not yet charging for creating a price estimate and a proposal for the prospective clients, they are not only leaving money on the table but are not serving their clients at the highest levels.

Prices for such cost estimates from what I’ve seen can range from: $250 up to $5,500.

It’s up to the service provider if he discounts the client the price of the proposal once the client decides to continue working with the service provider.

Who is the funnel consultant?

If you are a funnel consultant of any type that is reading this right now, there are certainly a few common price ranges I can establish for you.

I’ll try my best to be specific with this post but because there are SO many different types of funnel projects you could be working on (like an eCommerce funnel, Book funnel, Digital Course Product sales funnel, B2B Lead Generation funnel, etc.), this is really, really hard.

Well, let’s start by segmenting based on WHO you are working with.

Basically, working with a freelancer will normally be cheaper than working with a marketing agency.

Agencies have more overhead, more padding built in, are more worried about cash flow, and generally just tend to be a bit more on the expensive side.

If you work with an agency, the risk of them falling off the map is generally a little lower, but they probably move a little slower too because they are typically working on numerous projects at once.

Furthermore and when you work with bigger and more established agencies, you’ll have to deal with changing contacts as the project progresses (from sales to design to development to maintenance, etc.).

If you work with a single freelancer, your risks are a bit higher that they might disappear someday.

This means that you want to vet them more carefully and this will be more important than if you decide to work with an agency (big or small).

But freelancers also tend to move much more quickly and don’t juggle as many projects at once. Often times, they even choose to work on one project at a time and that is totally okay if the freelancer knows what he/she is doing and just prefers to work this way.

Additionally, you have the benefit of working with (typically) one person that knows everything about your project the entire time, and you don’t feel like you’re constantly getting bounced around contacts which can happen in some agencies.

Again, for agencies this is totally normal and the most effective way for them to transform a project from conception to completion.

All in all, it is totally possible to have a great relationship with a freelancer or with an agency.

I think it typically depends on the client’s mentality and requirements as to determining which route is better.

In general, freelancers are great for jobs that fit the following criteria:

  • The job is small enough for one person to handle the entire thing (note, most funnel projects fit this category!)
  • The timeline is tight, and you want them to start quickly
  • Communication channels don’t have to be too formal
  • Big contractor agreements don’t have to be signed and the contractor doesn’t need insurance or other common big-business requirements

In general, agencies are better for the following criteria:

  • You don’t want to risk your consultant disappearing
  • You’re okay with a project structure you don’t define (most agencies have established processes you need to be following)
  • You’re okay with a multi-month project (I’d say most agency projects last between 2-6 months)
  • You don’t mind waiting until you can be fit into their schedule to start (often 30-90 days… but great freelancers often have significant backlogs too – so again, it depends)
  • You want a dedicated project manager (some freelancers are phone-call averse, so if you don’t mind that – great!)
  • Your project will require multiple full-time folks working simultaneously, either due to deadlines or huge project scope

Freelancer rates vs Agency rates

First of all, for the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that the funnel project stays in house with the agencies (and is not going to be outsourced or sub-contracted to a third party) and the freelancer is working on the project him-/her-self.

Next, I won’t get into hourly versus project billing and retainers yet.

Most of the time and even if they don’t charge hourly, both the freelancer and the agency has to estimate the amount of hours it will take them to complete the project.

That’s just common business sense because you have to have a feel for how much man power needs to be allocated to create the desired results.

Finally, I’m utilizing these hourly rates as if it’s for billable work and known costs. So, if the rate is $100 per hour and the funel strategy + design will take 50 hours and the development + implementation will take 50 hours and you build in 25 hours for project management, it would be 125 hours and the project would cost $12,500.

Profits, overhead, and everything else are “built in” to the internal hourly rate — just like if someone were billing the client hourly for the work.

Freelancer rates

  • Beginner freelancer: $25-$40 per hour
  • Intermediate freelancer: $40-75 per hour
  • Good, experienced freelancer: $75 – $125 per hour
  • Excellent, in demand freelancer: $125 – $175 per hour
  • Specialist, best in industry: $175 – $400 per hour

Agency rates

  • Small market general agency: $50 – $75 per hour
  • Medium market general agency: $75 – $115 per hour
  • Medium market reputable agency: $115 – $150 per hour
  • Medium market high end agency: $150 – $175 per hour
  • Medium market best in industry agency: $175 – $225 per hour
  • Large market reputable agency: $150 – $175 per hour
  • Large market high end agency: $175 – $250 per hour
  • Large market best in industry agency: $200 – $275 per hour

When I say “best in industry”, I’m referring to an agency that’s made a name for itself in regard to something specific — maybe high-end Clickfunnels websites, or they are famous for doing certain types of funnels for certain industries/markets/target audiences extremely well. It depends.

When I talk market size, I mean the difference between working in big towns or small cities (small market), cities that are thriving but not huge are medium market, or the type of city that’s got pro sports teams and 1 million+ people which would be a large market.

Not listed, but notable, are the mega-markets like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco types. I’m sure you can pay as much as you desire for services in such places!

Also, these are all guesses.

Please, please, please don’t take these guesses as offense if you think I’m totally off. I’m purely trying to paint a picture of the landscape for you, as best as I see and have experienced it of my 5.5 years of running a marketing agency in this industry :).

You see, I talk to a lot of people. I read a ton – offline and online. I interview a ton of experts on my podcast. I go to numerous conferences throughout the year.

Therefore, I think I have a decent take on the market and how it has been developing these past 5.5 years. And I think, this is a practical range to work with, especially if you feel totally lost on this topic (I hope not anymore!).

Consultants break their own rules all the time

Freelancers and agencies though break their own rules all the time. It’s just part of the game.

For example, say you’re contacted by a big brand and your absolute dream client. In order to have a competitive edge and bid out all the other competitors, a consultant can end up lowering his/her rates by a third (or even more).

Also when working with referrals, the numbers get changed at times and don’t add up anymore to what I’ve previously listed.

Consultants may also charge less if a client continues to work with them over and over again on new funnel projects. Or, they will offer a special pricing if you sign a monthly retainer with them for up to six months or even a year. Naturally, this varies by consultant.

Who is the client?

The client is always a huge factor in price. In short, if I estimate that a client is going to be difficult (based off of our past conversations and communication) and I still decide to take on the client because I believe in his project so much, it can affect the ‘client multiplication effect’ I put on the overall project cost. The same is true the other way round.

What is a ‘client multiplication effect’?

Well, I’m so glad you asked!

Over a number of years now, my team and I started to pick up on certain client qualities that end up well,… costing money.

Here is only a short list of some things that can get expensive:

  • The client doesn’t have one point of contact (instead, multiple people always have to be looped into communication and are needed to make one decision)
  • The client has to get some form of committee or industry approval (think non-profit organizations and the financial industry)
  • The client contact isn’t decisive, or doesn’t seem capable to play the “consultant advocate” role well internally
  • The client has a lot of red tape for decision making
  • The client’s payment schedules are really bad (as in, I might not get paid for work I’ve done for weeks or even months and hence, everything is put on hold!)
  • The client contact is prone to huge, essay-long email threads over small issues with a project
  • The client contact wants daily or frequent phone calls or hour-long meetings
  • The client doesn’t have a clear business plan, constantly changes who he wants to be targeting in the first place and will require a lot of advising and hand-holding along the way

As you can tell, all of these are client-related issues and people or organizational matters. They have little to do with the actual project itself.

Let’s say the work for a project will be around $15,000. I usually add up the estimated ‘client multiplication effect’ by looking at these and similar qualities that could end up getting costly from a project management perspective and apply them to the overall cost.

In a $15,000 project, it’s not uncommon for $3,000 of that to be actual project management costs.

If I decide there are enough concerns to warrant 50% higher project management costs, the project gets a $2,500, or 12.5%, increase in overall project cost.

Looking for client qualities that trigger higher costs is vital as a consultant!

And for potential clients out there and reading this right now: keep in mind that your qualities (organizational and behavioral) affect your consultant’s price and potentially, even his/her performance.

Costs ranges for different types of funnels

There are many types of funnels for various industries (I’ve actually never even heard of an industry where it wouldn’t be beneficial to use a funnel as part of their marketing), and each has their own potential costs associated.

The many different types of funnels

I tend to rank sites in complexity like this:

  • Email opt in funnel: A funnel that has the purpose of building someone’s email list online. Typically, we have an opt in page where something of value is offered for free in exchange for an email address. Then, there is a subsequent thank you page with a possible up-sell or other follow up page.
  • Webinar or online presentation funnel: This is a funnel often used across industries and the primary purpose is to sell a higher-ticket item or, to pre-prep and pre-qualify people and get them on a call with you.
  • Online sales funnel: This can be used to sell digital products of any kind. It’s usually full of up-sells, down-sells, etc. Regardless of, if you’re ‘funneling’ people down to a membership site or to a core offer with up-sells, the difficulty level for such a project is around the same.
  • B2B lead generation funnel: B2b lead generation requires a bunch of things to be integrated with a few funnel sites. Typically, there are bots involved to optimize the lead generation and more.
  • eCommerce funnel: These types of funnels usually require a bunch of outside integrations plus configurations, as well as custom coding due to order counts, etc. There are also a bunch of up-sells and down-sells involved.
  • Podcaster funnel: This is a funnel that is mainly designed for existing podcasters to accelerate your podcast’s success, extend your reach and monetize on your audience.
  • A whole funnel network: Take any one of the previous funnels and think of creating an entire online network with any number of those. This project is the most extensive and time-consuming one.

The hours it takes to build these different types of funnels can vary tremendously; it depends on the consultant’s experience, whether they’ve done similar work before in a particular or related niche, how many “gotchas” appear in the project, how particular the client is about any given funnel step, etc.

However and in my opinion, there are a few key concepts about pricing.

Pricing concepts

Generally, I try to estimate and evaluate the following before I can wrap my head around how much it’s going to cost and how long it will take before we see results.

  • Does the client have an engaged social media following? How does it look like and how engaged/big is it?
  • Does the client have a big paid advertisement budget or rather not?
  • If the client has an existing website, how many unique views a month on his/her website are there?
  • Has the client proven the HOOK of his product he/she is planning on selling?
  • Does the client have an attractive character for his brand and a relatable, engaging brand story that we can use for marketing?
  • Is the client’s product OFFER strong enough or, will we have to work on it?
  • Has the client sold online before and if so, how many unites on a regular daily/weekly and monthly basis?
  • Has the client used a funnel before or, is this his/her first one?

There are a few more identification factors but these are pretty much the most important ones. In case I forgot any, be sure to leave a comment down below.

Now, why is getting this information important?

Well, the client can have a big advertisement budget and an active, engaged social media following plus he/she could have sold online the product before (so it’s a ‘proven sell’). As a result, we will be able to see conversions and a return on investment really quickly with any funnel we’d built for such a client.

If the client has no active social media following, a very small paid advertisement budget and has just launched a brand-new product that has no social proof yet, it is going to take any funnel consultant much longer to get you conversions, in essence.

I hope I was able to illustrate with these two extremes what a funnel consultant is able to do for you and where he/she might be struggling.

Creating and implementing a funnel for a business is not a magical wand swish. It is rather an amplification of how well a business is currently doing and a helping system to take it to the next level.

Let’s Talk Pricing Content

With Clickfunnels (or pretty much any other funnel building software), for example, you can add as many funnel pages as you want. The more funnel pages a marketing strategy might require, the more complex the new project will be. However, again, ‘more pages’ do not mean ‘more effective’ (in terms of ROI).

A funnel with, for example, 3 pages can be way more effective than a funnel with 12 pages. Again, it depends on the client, market and the overall strategy your funnel consultant comes up with.

Now, before sending out a proposal (or understanding the one from your funnel consultant) there are typically a lot of individual factors that you want to take into consideration with:

  • Has the funnel strategy be done before-hand or will it be created as part of the project?
  • How many integrations are needed (think email marketing softwares, etc.)?
  • What software will be used to implement the funnel?
  • Are there any particular specifications or wishes in regards to the design?
  • If copy is included in the funnel project proposal or, will the copy for the funnel pages be provided by the client?
  • If paid advertisement (in the form of Facebook Ads, Youtube Ads, etc.) will be covered as well and in what shape or form? We’re talking how many campaigns, re-targeting campaigns, audience research, you name it.
  • If organic social media marketing is included or, done by the client or, another freelancer?
  • Are emails included or not?

These are just some quick thoughts on content of a funnel proposal. There are more, but this is a great starting point.

Side note: Digital assets of any kind are typically always provided by the client.

Custom design vs a pre-built theme

You may have noticed I have not once brought up the question of whether the funnel is built using custom design or with a pre-built distributed software theme (regardless of funnel software you choose to use).

Honestly, funnels cost money for many reasons far beyond the base styles.

In my 5.5 years of being in this business, I can honestly say that the effectiveness in terms of R.O.I. of a funnel has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that a template was used or the funnel was custom built.

If a funnel consultant knows what he/she is doing, they know that focusing on things like nailing the marketing message, the flow of the offers and offer value itself – are things (among many others) that are way more important than answering the question if a pre-built theme should be used or the funnel should be custom designed.

Pricing remains hard

Are you confused yet? Good.

Pricing is tough. Really. Tough.

People write books on this subject and teach courses about it for different industries and consultants to no end. I’ve written over 3,000 words thus far and I’m not even sure if I’ve done it any justice at all. But bear with me.

Custom funnel prices

Okay, so after all of this information, how much is it really?

Hopefully now you realize it could be… anything.

People are not kidding when they say $1,000 or even $1,000,000 (or more!). Yes, I’ve honestly heard and seen it all!

However, in the interest of being helpful, I think here are some “ballparks” to consider:

Can you get a custom funnel for under $1,000? Yes, but be very careful and know your risk of getting something imperfect is really high.

If you work with a good freelancer who understands funnel marketing, I think ~70% of custom funnels for average folks and average businesses will cost between $3,000 and $15,000.

If you work with a good agency in a medium market, I think ~70% of custom funnels for average folks and average businesses will cost between $8,000 and $75,000.

This difference from freelancers is because larger companies and ‘bigger entrepreneurs’ will naturally gear toward agencies and agencies will be less likely to take on smaller projects if they can take on the bigger ones instead.

That said, some agencies love the small jobs, because they get really good over time at doing quality work for a very particular niche in less time than the competition.

If you work with say the best in business freelancer for doing specific funnels in a specific niche and that’s what he/she is sought after, you’ll probably spend between $10,000 and $105,000+. The freelancer you work with will probably utilize a team of other subcontractors in this scenario, because it’s rare for someone to truly deliver all the things you need running solo. And that freelancer will know exactly what is needed.

If you work with a best in business agency to build something special (regardless of funnel type), you’ll probably spend between $15,000 and $500,000+. Most agencies will self-perform the work, and often times you can expect them to be available for retainer contracts, hosting / maintenance agreements, and other long-term relationship style services included in such a proposal.

It’s also worth noting that in large projects, it’s very common to break them into multiple projects and phase them.

This is very typical with seven-figure clients, and in these scenarios it’s not uncommon for some agencies to have multi-million dollar per year clients, whether billed by project, profit share or retainer, or a combination of all.


Please note: I wrote this post for three audiences:

  1. Clients looking to hire a funnel consultant, and not knowing what to consider when comparing costs.
  2. Funnel consultants that are still trying to wrap their head around pricing.
  3. Me, because my team and I have been building funnels for years, and we’re honestly not even close to having it down.

I hope this has helped you and I apologize if it offended you in any shape or form.

If you have more to add, I’d love to hear more about it in the comments down below.


P.S.

If you are a funnel consultant (or aspiring one) and you’ve loved this article and want to dive even deeper into the concept of pricing, sales and more, check out the Funnel Pro Academy. All the info you could possibly want or need is inside this membership site.

For more info, click here: https://funnelproacademy.com

9 Juicy Key Takeaways From Funnel Hacking Live 2019

This year’s funnel hacking live has proven to be a true rollercoaster of emotions for myself and the team.

Scared. Excited. Overwhelmed. Empowered. Energized. Tired. Jet-lagged. Sad. Happy. Fun. Thoughtful. And more.

These are only a few of the words I’d use to describe the conference.

For some reason, I’ve felt more anxiety towards this year’s Funnel Hacking Live than the previous one before.

You see, every time the day for such a conference comes around that you attend on a regular basis, you think about ALL the things you haven’t done *yet*.

The things you told yourself last year you’d have accomplished by now.

In short, you focus pretty much on ‘lack’. Instead on focusing on all the stuff you did do.

Well, at least that’s the case for me. Can you relate :)?

Anyway, as soon as the conference started though and by the second day, I was in full-on conference empowerment mode.

I absolutely adored meeting a few of my Funnel Pro Academy students as well as past and current clients. Plus, I got to meet some people I truly respected and looked up to in the industry and some awesome new peeps as well.

The networking is what made this conference truly a success!

But if you’re reading this right now, I’m taking it that you’re curious because you might have not had the chance to attend this year.

{Side note: If that’s the case, I want to see you there next year <3! It’s such an experience and a true adventure!}

So, without further ado, here are a few of the juiciest takeaways my team and I were able to take away from the Funnel Pro Academy sessions and workshops:

Number 1: Troubleshoot.

If your funnel ain’t working, it’s almost always due to one of these three thing: Hook, Story, Offer.

If you nail the hook, tell a more engaging story or create a killer offer, your audience won’t have another choice than to buy from you!

Remember: The hook is what grabs the attention, the story helps to connect on an emotional level and the offer is where the value is communicated and sold.

With Viral Sensation & The Queen Of Social Media <3, Rachel Pedersen.

Number 2: Funnel Hacking.

This term can be so confusing for newbies to the digital marketing and funnel world.

But during Funnel Hacking Live, the man himself – Russell Brunson – defined ‘funnel hacking’ in the best way I’ve personally ever heard it:

Funnel Hacking is all about identifying patterns of success!

In essence, all you want to be doing is identify patterns in your niche and industry of what’s already working. Cool :)?

With the awesome founders of MarketingMinds & fellow Austrians #austriansrule ;).

Number 3: Language & Stories Sell.

Always focus on simplifying your marketing language that you use to communicate offers with your audience.

People don’t understand ‘smart’ lingo but simple and to the point – wins every day :).

Not only that, you want to package your marketing message into a story. Always. Why? Because STORIES SELL! Since the beginning of time, people have communicated by telling each other stories.

Stories are the thing that will make us feel emotion and connect with each other – more so than any other form of communication out there.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a great copy that tells a story, regardless of your email newsletters, social media posts, videos for your landing page, your sales page copy and more – I’ve got the solution for you.

It’s a cool, secret software I use myself to craft a ton of copy I use as an online business owner on a daily basis. You can learn more about it HERE.

Learn how to write compelling copy, 
fast and easy with this secret software.
With Yesim Saydan from Turkey and the founder of Your Social Media Expert.

Number 4: Voice.

As you work on finding your voice in the online space, your people will find you. Powerful, isn’t it?

You just have to go out and work on finding your voice and you do this by creating content.

With George Bryant, New York Times Bestseller and founder of Civilized Cavemen.

Number 5: Funnel Growth.

You don’t need to have your entire value ladder figured out. Heck! Even people who have plenty of working funnels and have been in this industry for years don’t know their value ladder 100%.

The ideal approach you want to take here is to GROW WITH YOUR CUSTOMER.

LISTEN TO THEM. AND AFTER YOU’VE DONE THAT, CREATE OFFERS & PROGRAMS THAT WILL ALLOW THEM TO STEP UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

That’s it!

Part of the Funnel Hacking Live ‘German Connection’ this year (Jan Kutchera, Thorsten Bastian from BastaMedia, Fabian Isele – Affiliate Marketer Extraordinaire) plus, with our Australian bossbabe – Aly Swan :).

Number 6: Stories Sell.

We’ve all got some stuff that happened in our lives that we aren’t proud of. A strong message this year at Funnel Hacking Live was to turn your mess into your message.

How so?

When you allow yourself to open up and go deep, get vulnerable while showing your audience how you’ve learned from this experience – this is one of THE most powerful stories you can tell to get people to know, like and trust you.

With my brother, the Network Marketing Genius in Europe and founder of BuildYourLegacy.

Number 7: Customer Relationships.

Want to know the 2 major reasons why your customers stop buying from you? Yes? I thought so :).

Here they are:

(1) You offend them.

(2) You stop selling them or stop making them offers in any shape or form.

With Connie Pak, Director of Marketing at Futurproof Marketing.

Number 8: Social Media Challenge Rules.

Whenever you want to run a challenge, these are a few rules to stick to to make sure your challenge is going to be a success:

(1) Topic of the challenge should be simple and believable.

(2) Get your challenge participants results fast.

(3) Timing for the challenge should not exceed 30 days.

(4) The optimal price point for a challenge offer is around $37 to $97.

With Rachel S. Lee, Affiliate Marketer & Dream-car Winner at Rachel S. Lee.

Number 9: Mindset.

Some of my absolute favorite sayings from this conference have been:

“You can always make up in leverage what you lack in ability.”

“We don’t believe what we say we believe, we only believe what we do.”

And, “Wealth has a need for speed.”

I hope you liked this digestible summary of some of my main takeaways from Funnel Hacking Live :). If you did, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to this blog and/or comment.

The Funnel Pro Academy is going to open again for a limited time soon! Don’t miss out on joining this world-class community of funnel pros. The content inside the membership site is for experienced funnel builders, marketing agency owners & freelancers or, those who still dream of becoming their own boss ;).

For more information, check out our site here:

https://funnelproacademy.com/waitlist

THE 10 best conference shoes to wear for female entrepreneurs and professionals

Okay ladybosses, girlbosses, bossbabes and female entrepreneurs en large!

I’m kind of a conference-going veteran. In all honesty, I think I must have been to like 17 conferences this past year alone and can’t even remember to how many I’ve already been this past decade. In short, it’s been a LOT.

Summits, events expos, conferences of ALL sizes and more all around the world.

The one thing I repeatedly keep wondering about though is the shoe choice of some of the female conference goers.

You see, most of the time I can tell which ladies are used to conferences and ‘mean business’ and which ones are ‘conference virgins’ or, there for possible other reasons.

If you mean business and you want to get a LOT done – for goodness sake girl, WEAR COMFY SHOES!!!

Trust me, I know what it feels like to try and prospect a potential client or speak on stage all the while feeling like your front five toes are killing you and all you can think of really is, “I need to get out of these shoes *cry*!”

Each step hurts and towards the end of the day, your toes resemble a bloody battlefield – or, almost. 

Believe me girl, I’ve been there and it ain’t fun.

So, after attending the Affiliate Summit West this past week in the buzzing city that is Las Vegas, I decided to write this quick post on some of THE best conference shoes for us ladies that I’ve found you can wear without having to worry about a thing. AND… while still looking like a true rockstar ;).

This way you can focus on what it is that you do best and rock it throughout the entire conference <3.

So, here we go with our countdown:

Le Sneakers.

Growing up in Europe, I was actually not a fan of the idea of wearing sneakers to any type of professional event. 

My mother – who has helped me birth my sense of fashion – always instilled in my the idea of wearing high heels to professional events!

My mother grew up in the seventies and even though America has seen a huge wave of women fighting for their equality and people in general fighting against their government and norms that have barricaded their day-to-day freedom thus far,…

People in Europe (and especially women in my view) have held on to cultural traditions to still feel some form of control over what had happened only a couple of decades prior in the aftermath of World War 2. 

Regardless, sneakers are going to be one of your BEST friends during any type of conference and are still my go-to shoes far and beyond.

And in case you really don’t like typical sporty-looking pairs, here are some of my favorites that I totally love because they not only look cool and professional but are oh-so-good for ya toes:

ADIDAS

GOLDEN GOOSE

GUCCI

VALENTINO

JOHNSTON & MURHPY

VEJA

PUMA

Le Flat Boots.

Depending on what time of the year your conference is, sneakers work but sometimes, boots might be better if say the conference is during harsh Winter months. 

So, here is a list of my favorite boots and/or booties that I’ve worn to conferences and that have proven to not only be super comfortable but also look professional.

SAM EDELMAN

RAG & BONE

SUDINI ALETTA

And that’s it for my suggestions :)!

Now, you could also wear ballet flats which some of my girlfriends really love wearing to conferences. However and since I personally never wear ballet flats, I have no specific recommendations for you. 

If you have any, do drop a comment down below and let us know! 

Finally, I would refrain from wearing flip flops or open-toe shoes of any kind even though, I have seen those around? Why? Because personally, to me they are not very professional. 

So, keep your toes in the shoes for the conference (especially, since conference rooms can get really cold at times and you don’t want those tiny suckers to get cold) and let them out later when you get to the room or, hit up the pool or Spa for some much needed relaxation. 

If you’ve enjoyed this post be sure to subscribe and I talk to you soon <3. 

Let’s do this!

~ Cornelia Pauline

The Secret Key To Winning At Any Online Marketing Strategy

So, here’s a thought…Let’s say you’ve spent months learning about funnels and online marketing strategies.

You read all the books. 
You consumed all the videos.
You listened to all the podcasts. 
You’ve done all the work.

And… you continue to do so.

But, your funnel STILL is not converting.
The sales are not coming in. 
Your product or service offering is not getting picked up. 
Your revenue is not increasing.

And, in fact, you’re even going into the negative with your investment because you’re spending too much on… well, whatever. You know.

So, where’s the hiccup?
What is happening?
Why ain’t your funnel converting?

I have this theory…
The issue lies within your BELIEF – or lack thereof.

Deep down. 
Yep, really, really, really deep down at times.

You do not believe in your product and that it can bring people the results you promise you can bring them. 
You do not believe in your service offering and that you actually have the experience and expertise to make a difference for your client.
Above all, you do not believe in yourself.

And to hit the nail on the head: 
You do not believe – if you’re really honest with yourself – that you deserve to make a nice income with your funnel(s) and create a rich life for you and your family.

If this resonates with you right now, there are 2 ways to work through this:

(1) Your product/service offering actually does suck and you need to go back to the drawing board and make it as great as it can be.

This way, you will automatically believe in it and the ‘sales’ and ‘selling’ part of things is not going to be an issue anymore.

Now, how can you go about improving your offering?

I recommend you go back to ‘the essentials’.

If you have customers and clients, talk to them and make sure you record the conversations (asking them before you do though, of course). You want to find out where they are still stuck.

What is slowing them down still?

Where did you not truly address their challenges and pain points they came to you in the first place for? Sometimes this could mean creating only a couple of additional lessons for your digital product – or, getting rid of some because they are confusing to your students.

If none of your students – that HAS gone through your course or program – has gotten results yet by now, you need to truly rethink the entire course that you have created.

If you are a service provider and you feel like your clients are continuously not one hundred percent happy with your services, you need to work on honing your craft further, darling <3.

This is the time to do it. You are only going to end up having lots of sleepless nights if you keep trying to sell your services of which you know, you can not one hundred percent deliver.

Surely, there are cases where it is your client’s responsibility why things aren’t working out for them. But if you see a pattern and really nobody is happy or is referring you or tagging your name on social media, this is a sign from the universe to take it slow and work on your craft.

Deal?

Okay, next one…

(2) Your self-worth needs some much needed l-o-v-e 😉.

Now if this is the underlying reason why you are not getting any sales, you can solve by doing mindset work!

What does mindset work look like?

Well, it’s pretty much like if you’d be exercising. You need to be doing it on a consistent and daily basis (and yes, if you really have to, you can skip Sundays but I would not suggest you do that at the beginning).

Some form of mindset work can involve one – if not all – of the following such as:

Journaling, reading books in and around mindset topics, taking a positive program, hiring a mindset coach, getting into and practicing mediation, etc.

By the way and because I know you’re going to ask me, here is a list of my FAVORITE mindset books that were a true game changer for me:

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

Find out what type of mindset work resonates with you the most and brings about the desired changes.

And don’t forget, in order to see real change happening in your life, you need to be doing this consistently. Sooner rather than later, you will see your believe system change.

And if you’re still reading this, yes you my dear…

You. 
Are. 
Enough.

.

Let’s do this!

~ Cornelia Pauline

P.s. You might also enjoy this article: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/08/08/4-big-milestones-to-reach-1-million-in-sales-with-your-business-online/

4 Big Milestones To Reach $1 Million In Sales With Your Business Online

Many of you might be wondering what the road map to success looks like when planning for the future of your online business to reach the one million dollars in sales mark.

Though, what are the main 4 steps that you should be focusing on as your business develops to make sure to reach your goal?

To really have an online business that is sustainable, consistently growing, and partly automated, you have to put in the work—and part of that is knowing WHAT milestones to expect.

There are four big steps, especially in terms of what you are offering in your business, and these steps are what I’m sharing with you today.

1.  Focus on one core product.

As an entrepreneur starting out, you need to first establish two things: what are you selling? And who are you selling it to?

Ideally, you want to have a core product in the price range of $100-$300. This will generate good revenue when you start selling.

However, if you have an e-commerce shop, it works a little different number-wise. Regardless, you want to focus hard on making that one product work, selling it, almost on autopilot, until the market wants it and wants to buy it from you.

2. Implement backend offer.

If you are focusing on that core product, and really pushing it out to your niche audience, you should hit your $1 million milestone in a matter of months to a year.

Once you reach $1 million in revenue, then you can focus on your backend offer, usually something a little higher priced. This will allow you to really double down on business and get those conversion rates to a place where you can feel good about them.

3. Reach more audiences.

If you answered those two questions at the beginning, then you should have a good idea of who your niche audience is. And if you have been focusing on your core product and backend offer, you have enough freedom in your business to find different audience segments.

Get creative.

Who else can you help with your core product?

How can you pivot your message (or your core product) to meet new audiences?

4. Scale, scale, scale.

By this point, your core product is well-received with testimonial proof, helping people, and generating revenue.

You have your backend offer in place, and you’re finding ways to continuously bring people in with different tripwire products.

FREE Video Training Alert: If you're struggling with any of this and especially your funnel because it just isn't converting the way you want it to, check out my free video training on the '10 Simple Ways To Fix Your Funnel That Doesn't Convert': {https://funnelproacademy.com/funnelmagic}.

Now, it’s time to scale up as much possible. This is when you invest money into paid advertising so that more people find your business. And this is where you should really blow up!

Hopefully, if you’ve followed these milestones, and put the work and building blocks in place, you’ll find success in your business online.

P.s. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/12/03/can-realistically-make-100k-online-12-months/

This one design hack has saved me 10 hours a week minimum (seriously)!

Disclaimer: This content may contain affiliate links which may result in me being financially compensated for purchases site visitors make through said links.

{This post on simplifying your online design needs is the first in a new weekly 5-part post series we’re launching on this blog: A Small Business’s Survival Guide.}

This solution that I’m going to reveal to you today was first revealed to me by my talented friend and savvy business owner, Corie Clark.

Let’s dive straight into it, shall we?

Are you tired of spending hours on Canva creating your ads and blog graphics?

Are you ready to take your designs to the next level?

You’re SO going to love the life saver I’m sharing with you today.

The time spent creating logos and finding the right designer can be such a waste.

Then, if you end up with a design that you’re not happy with, it can be super discouraging.

So, what if you had access to unlimited designs with as many revisions as you need with a team available to support you through the entire process? And on top of that 100% satisfaction guaranteed?

Design Pickle is the answer!

Design Pickle is a month-to-month subscription design service perfect for any small business owner, entrepreneur or freelancer.

For one fair flat monthly price, you can get unlimited designs, revisions, and for just about all of your graphic design needs. Whether it’s banners, flyers, brochures or social media ads, this service does it all!

What I Love About Design Pickle

With Design Pickle, you can trust that you’re getting quality work from professional designers. The company holds their designers to a certain standard and puts each one through an application process to ensure that you get only the best.

The process is seamless from start to finish.

Once you complete the application, letting them know what type of design you need, the file type needed, and what style you’re looking for, Design Pickle assigns a pre-qualified designer to your case.

You are going to start a relationship with this designer or two (depending on how many requests you submit at a time). The more you are communicating with this designer, the more the designer will get a feel for your esthetics and the faster you two are going to produce great results in the future.

The photos the qualified designers from this software use are all free stock images from Unsplash, Pixabay, etc. You can, however, also opt in for a Getty Image upgrade so you can be confident that your images are yours to use.

When it comes to commissioning any design work, communication is definitely key. The communication process with your designer on Design Pickle is truly super breeze.

It all takes place right on the site, with all of your files and messages kept in one safe cloud location.

It takes me on average about 2-5 minutes to submit 1 request.

Just to give you an idea what I’ve submitted requests for already, here’s a list of a few things:

  • Ebook designs
  • Case study designs
  • Report designs
  • Blueprint designs
  • Social media banners
  • Facebook ad designs
  • Unique sales funnel background images my team and I want to use
  • Pinterest Pin designs
  • Youtube thumbnail designs
  • And so, so much more :).

And the best part is that you can usually expect to receive your design in just 24-48 hours!

It’s so quick and dependable, and as an entrepreneur and small business owner, that is always the best thing to have.

If you should run into any problems, the team at Design Pickle will reliably get back to you in less than an hour! This in particular blew me away because I have been using a lot of other softwares where the customer support could really use some improvement. You probably know what I mean. Like when you sit on a problem that you need to get fixed for days and it’s still there even after a week *nightmare*.

Design Pickle is a perfect tool for any small business owner, freelancer or entrepreneur because it also saves you TIME.

And as a small business owner myself, I know just how vital it is to allocate my time wisely to create the best possible results.

This software will save you these 10 hours or more a week that you probably spend looking for that perfect designer on Fiverr or Upwork, or that you spend tinkering around on various designs using Canva.

We’ve found that having a team on your side like Design Pickle is priceless for any small business, freelancer and/or entrepreneur. Not only that, their monthly one-time service charge is SO ridiculously underpriced for the service they are offering, it’s a no-brainer.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level… Why? Because you have so much extra time available now and you’re ready to up your design game because the designers at Design Pickle do such a great job and are so talented, try it out. They offer a 30-day, no questions asked money back guarantee.

For a special offer from Design Pickle, click here: http://share.designpickle.com/solution

P.s.  On this blog, we only recommend products, softwares and apps that my team and I personally swear by and actively use. You might also enjoy:

How a little plugin extension increased our purchase conversion rates by 32%.

The Dirty Truth About VidCon 2018 – A Review

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is only the experience that one person had from the event, a professional digital marketer and entrepreneur in case you’re curious ;).

It’s my unique viewpoint and you might have attended VidCon before and had a different experience. If so, feel free to leave a comment down below and give my audience some tips on what would make your experience different.

I would sum up this year’s VidCon 2018 as like a second-rate ComicCon event.

This review comes from someone that has attended VidCon under the Creator’s Track.

Regardless and to build my opinion about the conference, I’ve talked to people that attended the event under the Community as well as Industry Track.

The main question would probably be:

Will I be back?

Not very likely.

The conference had the feel of a celebrity showcase.

Throughout the 3-day event, my team and I ran into hordes of children with their parents, teenagers as well as beginning Youtubers.

Their main motivation was to meet their favorite ‘stars’ while learning a bit about the industry and video marketing.

For 95% of sessions that my team and I attended, we not only had to wait in line for them but there was no guarantee at times that we would get in unless we appeared more than 30-40 minutes before a session started.

There was no guarantee, no head count or anything like that that guaranteed that we would get in to the more popular sessions we really wanted to attend like, for example, the one with Casey Neistat.

And yes, we had paid for our tickets ourselves and were not sponsored by anyone.

Furthermore, the sessions that we did attend from the Community & Creator’s Track were so basic that we’ve found ourselves leaving early about 70% of the time.

If you know the basics about video content production, video editing softwares and video editing in general, how to use YouTube, how to market your videos, etc. the Creators Track was pretty pointless.

My team and I have gained almost no new information.

The new information and key takeaways we did gain, came during the Question and Answer sessions after each presentation/workshop thanks to the smart questions that some of the audience members asked.

Well, if you are new to creating videos or are still in the beginning phases, than attending VidCon under the Creators Track would have been helpful.

Otherwise, the Industry Track from everything my team and I have heard would have been the way to go.

In retrospect though, you would be better off skipping pretty much almost all the sessions and network with people.

VidCon advertised itself as the biggest online video conference in the world.

It did not feel like a professional event.

It felt more of a community-driven, party event that consisted of different cliques of influencers, professionals and creators taking the chance to meet up with each other.

My team and I had high expectation for the biggest online video conference in the world that were definitely not met.

The quality content and insider tips we expected to take away from the sessions and workshops was not delivered.

I’m positive that this was not the responsibility of the presenters themselves.

The difficulty we noticed that the presenters had to deal with was the vast difference in experience that the audience often times showed which became clear during the Question & Answer sessions.

The presenters we did see worked hard on the sessions but there was no real focus in what audience they spoke to.

Was there some guidance lacking by the event organization committee of this year’s VidCon?

All in all, the entire event felt unfocused.

You never knew who you ran into.

I started up a lot of conversations with adults lounging around the conference area.

A majority of them were accompanying their children or teenagers and had no interest in video marketing themselves.

There were people from all walks of life.

It seems like the only track that was focused was the Industry Track. Just as a note in case you’re thinking of attending next year.

VidCon as a whole displayed an utter lack of understanding its true target audience.

They tried to accommodate anybody and everybody that was remotely interested in Youtube and making videos.

If the conference would split itself up into different events throughout the year, with a more narrow focus of what each conference was about and who should attend and would speak, the general experience of VidCon would be better.

In conclusion, I’ve never been so confused before while and after attending a conference.

It’s a shame because there’s so much more potential VidCon has and could utilize, especially when thinking back to John and Hank Green’s original intentions with this conference.

Most people I’ve talked to that have been attending VidCon for years, admitted that since VidCon was acquired by ViaCom this year the conference has a commercial feeling to it that wasn’t there before.

Final reminder: If you are a digital marketer and digital content creator like me, the Industry Track would have been the way to go.

Would it have been worth the price?

I’m not sure.

I’ll let you know in case any of my team members or myself decide to go next year.

Will we? As of now, it’s very unlikely.

For the investment and for the set up that VidCon displayed this year, there are better global conferences you could attend around video marketing.

Did you attend VidCon?

If so, how was your experience and which track did you attend under? Leave a comment down below.

P.s. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/03/30/funnel-hacking-live-2018-27-key-takeaways/

How The Right Home Office Can Save Your Business?

When I first transitioned from having a corporate job to working from home in my jammies, I had no idea what I was in for.

Full disclosure, I’ve actually never worked in my PJs before.

Why?

Because I can’t get into the right, fiery mindset to crush it on any given day, if I wear my jammies.

Regardless, of how cute they are :).

The most important realization that I had was that it did not work for me to do work while lounging around in my bed, or from my living room coach, or from the kitchen table, etc.

Not only that, since my dogs and my husband were around and had no idea in terms of what my work schedule was like, there were constant interruptions.

And interruptions are no good.

They distract you from what you set out to do and then, you have to re-invest the energy to get back into ‘the zone‘.

However, I was SO incandescently happy to be finally able to work from home – to have set myself free of the corporate world – that I did not think about things like setting up a ‘home office’.

Side Note: You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/03/10/how-i-went-from-boring-corporate-job-to-blissful-boss-in-less-than-1-year/

Heck, the word ‘office’ itself scared me for like a year after I had quit my corporate job.

Though, what happened?

I lost my routine – any routine, to be precise.

And regardless of how unsexy that word might sound to you, routine is THE most important thing you can ever incorporate into your entrepreneurial/freelancer lifestyle.

Believe me, if you had known me years ago, you’d know how crazy that is of me to be writing right now.

I hated routine.

I was the kind of gal who got anxiety and the occasional panic attacks only to have to attend high school. Not because I didn’t have any friends or was teased or anything like that. I had my lovely, close friends and was known as a pretty cool, goofy kinda girl.

I just did not like the fact that I had to adhere to doing the same thing, day in, day out.

What I did not understand until just fairly recently is that having the RIGHT routine truly sets you free.

It’s the discipline within the routine that will help you move mountains in your professional and personal life.

Now, why a home office?

I say that one of the most important things you can do after quitting your nine-to-five or other type of job is to have a designated home office area in your home.

Somewhere, where you can go in the morning after completing your morning routine (whatever you decide that to be).

Over these past 8 months, I not only have a designated home office in our loft here in Southern California but, I also decided to sign up for an office at WeWork.

And guess what?

My productivity level has spiked up so much than before when I had no real place to work from.

Not only that, I learned that any successful entrepreneur had a designated office in his/her home. From Sara Blakely to Elon Musk, from Chiara Ferragni to Amy Porterfield and so on.

If you want to build up a successful, serious business (and you i.e. don’t want to freelance forever), you are going to reach that point where you’re going to take this seriously.

Now in this blog post, I also wanted to share with you a few of my favorite things that I have placed or put around throughout my home office :).

These are suggestions that will help you become even more productive.

But totally feel free to find and choose your own favorite Home Office items.

The CEO Chair

I love having a colorful chair, a red one in particular. Red is such a power color for me and even though, I never tend to wearing red when it comes to my fashion (except for the occasional blazer), I absolutely love this chair. Makes me feel like a CEO. You can get it here.

My BossLady Mug

I’m a total coffee addict :).

I guess that comes naturally from growing up in Vienna, Austria.

And to get in the right mindset in the morning already, I love to use this LadyBoss mug. It really helps me set my intentions correctly.

You can get yours here.

Good Lighting

Sometimes, you’ve got to work late nights in your business.

I find it important to have warm and good lighting around me and this is by far my favorite table lamp. Get your own here.

A Tripod 

The tripod is particularly important to record Facebook Live or Youtube videos from.

I’ve tested many different ones and this one is the sturdiest and one that works the best with both my Samsung Galaxy 8 and iPhone ;).

A Library of my favorite motivational and business books

A lot of members of my tribe absolutely love my bookshelf background that I usually like to use when recording videos or doing Facebook Lives.

It doesn’t only make for a cool background but it also adds such a feeling of homeyness that in my opinion, you can only attain through adding a bookshelf ot your room such as this one. Get it here.

For more inspirational design ideas regarding your perfect Home Office, check out my Pinterest Board ideas.

Also, if for whatever reason you would like to right away join a co-working space because you maybe live in a studio apartment or have children, etc. I definitely recommend scheduling a tour at your local WeWork location.

Note: WeWork is not affiliated with this recommendation. I just generally like them.

What are your favorite home office items? Drop a comment in the comments section down below ;).

How to supercharge your organic growth on Instagram in 2018?

Instagram Marketing Interview with Rachel & Ruben: GAMINtraveler

How to supercharge your organic growth on Instagram in 2018?

Cornelia: Thanks for joining us today. I know you guys are in the Philippines right now and it’s late there, so I appreciate you talking with us.

Now, I know you have close to 130,000 engaged followers on your Instagram account @gamintraveler. Can you tell us when that started?

GAMINtraveler: We started in March of 2016. We took a course and studied Instagram.

At the time, we were doing both, a blog and Instagram, but then we started liking taking pictures and telling a story with Instagram, and with only 10k followers, we started getting endorsements with companies, so it encouraged us to use Instagram more than the blog.

Cornelia: That’s every influencers dream! You’re not only doing it for the travel industry, but you also do it for your clients. What are some industries that you have worked with?

GAMINtraveler: We started working on Instagram to supplement our travel writing. Then we started working with clients such as personal coaches, small businesses, e-commerce brands. It’s a mix of personal brands, depending on the strategy of the business.

Cornelia: In your opinion, is Instagram over-saturated? And why do you think it’s so important for personal brands to build a tribe on Instagram?

GAMINtraveler: Instagram is one of THE fastest growing channels right now.

Compared to Facebook, it is still very possible to grow quickly in 2018. We are hoping that it will continue. We know that it will eventually move to paid advertising, but for now, there are still many strategies to build your brand organically.

I think the oversaturation is a common worry for everyone, but there are always new users. And there are so many new features like stories. And the platform will only continue to grow.

Cornelia: Speaking of stories, a lot of people are confused how to utilize it. What is the benefit to using stories?

GAMINtraveler: There are many benefits to using stories, especially for business.

Now, on Instagram stories, you can add hashtags and locations, which is very simple and helpful. You can show a day in your life and get even more active in your social media. Now with the swipe up, it’s a great way to incorporate links and generate leads!

There is a little limitation with the swipe up feature. You need to have at least 10k followers to be able to use this function. However, one of our favorite features in stories is the poll. It’s a great way to get to know who is watching your stories by asking them questions and getting feedback.

For example, if you’re a personal health coach, you inspire by sharing your morning routine, so it’s a great chance to hold a poll and ask: are you a coffee person or a tea person?

People LOVE to engage in polls because it only takes them a second to answer, as opposed to writing a full message. So, from there, you have an idea on how to start a conversation.

Cornelia: I really like that. You can do free market research because it’s engaging. And you don’t have to have 10k followers to use that.

Let’s talk about daily engagement. What is a good number on how many times per day you should post? And do you have any tips on what you should post?

GAMINtraveler: The short answer – At least once per day.

But if you’re just starting out, posting a lot of content every day will help you to get more likes and engagement.

Right now, Instagram isn’t exactly chronological.

They use an algorithm that makes it so the people whose posts you actively like and comment on will appear higher and more immediate on your feed.

So, if you’re just building your following, posting frequently will give you better a chance of getting more engagement.

Cornelia: Is there such a thing as too much?

GAMINtraveler: In the beginning, 5-7 times a day is good. You want to cover many time zones and just be out there.

When we started, we would check the popular hashtags in our field for people who had posted in the last few minutes. We would comment and engage with these posts so that the people, who we know are active on the app, would come check out who we are.

It can sound like a lot of work, but like any organic marketing, it’s exponential. You have to put the work in in the beginning.

Cornelia: Can you use stock images or do you have to use your own images?

GAMINtraveler: The first thing you should do is decide on what kind of account you want to have, whether it’s personal or business.

If you’re a blogger, you’ll want to focus more on your personal photos, like a fitness blogger might focus on selfies, and a travel blogger might focus on landscapes.

Decide in the beginning what focus you will have on your account.

What worked for us is that we were very sincere. The caption is a good place to play around.

Cornelia: Should posts in your story be separate from your feed?

GAMINtraveler: Definitely.

In the feed, your photos are usually more highly rated. Most people take a little more time on these images, and in stories, you can be a little more raw.

Stories is a playful side.

They’re a chance to show your personality, and in time, you’ll learn what your viewers want to see.

Cornelia: I’ve noticed the great thing about stories is that when I post something like what I’m reading, people can respond by messaging me on more of a personal level because they feel like they know me.

Whereas your feed is more like a business card. Is it okay to cross-post to Facebook or Twitter?

GAMINtraveler: I think the only challenge is that the hashtag is part of the platform.

If you automatically post on Facebook, all of the hashtags will appear, and it might be a little weird. Sometimes we just go into Facebook and edit those hashtags out after it posts.

You also have to be aware of what voice you use in each of your social media accounts so that you can stick with that.

Cornelia: What about the stories? Would it be redundant to post your Instagram stories to Facebook?

GAMINtraveler: Well, you probably have a different audience on Facebook than you have on Instagram. So, you might have to cater your content to your audience.

Cornelia: That’s a good point. Your audience on each platform comes for a different purpose and from a different place.

Speaking of hashtags, how many are allowed? And how many would you recommend?

GAMINtraveler: You’re allowed 30 hashtags on Instagram. We recommend 27-28 and try to change most of them reflecting whatever picture you post. We usually use a specific 7 or 8 hashtags every time.

And you should put the hashtag in the post. For a while, people were hiding them in the comment section, but that doesn’t seem to be working anymore, so it’s best to just put them in the post.

Cornelia: Is it true that Instagram will shadow ban you if you use too many hashtags too much?

GAMINtraveler: We have heard of this happening to accounts that we were watching, so it’s important to change up your hashtags every time. If you post the same hashtags every time, it makes you look more like a bot than a real person.

We always keep in mind that we don’t know 100% what Instagram is trying to do with the platform. So, there’s not strict rules and it’s not like if you’re shadow banned, you’ll be banned forever. Just try to stick to the rules and change your hashtags up.

Cornelia: I know hashtags are a really important way to not only categorize your posts, but also to be found by new followers. Do you have any practice tips for using hashtags?

GAMINtraveler: When posting, if you use very broad hashtags, it will be hard to gain exposure because you will be so far down the list of posts in that collection. But if you find a good combination of niche and broad hashtags, you will have better chances of being found.

Cornelia: How often do you mix up your hashtags?

GAMINtraveler: About every two weeks. We have a set of 6-7 hashtags that we rotate to make sure that we are hitting our target audience.

Cornelia: Are engagement groups still working?

GAMINtraveler: Yes, they are still working if you engage when posting.

For us, networking is at the heart of our strategy. For example, if you’re in travel and you have a group of fellow travel bloggers and travel accounts, you can all post at the same time and engage with each other to gain each other’s followers.

Cornelia: Can you share how to put together an engagement group?

GAMINtraveler: One of the biggest strategies is to network with big accounts, and what we noticed is that once you posted a new picture, when you get engagement in the first half hour, the more engagement you get, and when you get engagement with accounts with high following, then your accounts get more exposure. It can become viral content.

Start hitting people in the DM’s. Send them an awesome first message like,

Hey, I’m a traveler and I’m trying to build engagement group for accounts for people with 50k follower,” and then you can add yourself as the organizer. People don’t want to be organizers, so it’s up to you start it.

Cornelia: How important is it to be original and not just reuse content from other accounts?

GAMINtraveler: For us, we do a mix.

If you’re a new Instagram user and you don’t have a lot of content, there are many feature pages out there that you can repost. Whatever you do, be intentional and give credit to the right people.

To be honest, in the business accounts we grow, reposting is a big part of the strategy. If you see an account that is growing well, and they’re posting a certain type of content, you just need to copy that style. Repurpose that content. Usually, there’s just a trend.

Cornelia: Do you have to reply to every comment?

GAMINtraveler: The faster you can reply, the better. If you reply in the first fifteen minutes, it makes the post stronger and more active.

Something that travel bloggers have been doing is posting in their stories that they will be posting and the people who comment within the first ten minutes will get a shout out. It’s a great way to promote engagement.

If you comment back quickly, your posts get stronger in the algorithm.

Cornelia: Do you use any tools or apps in your IG strategy?

GAMINtraveler: We do. Schedulers are a very important part of our work. If you can schedule out a few days or weeks in advance, it’s more efficient. Trying to post in the moment every day can be difficult. This way you can schedule a lot at once, and it helps with staying consistent.

Command for Instagram is an app that allows you to see the most popular posts in someone’s account. We would use this research in our field for repurposing content. Recently, I think it’s limited to the last two months, but it’s still useful.

Regram is good for reposting very quickly.

Cornelia: When is the best time to change from a personal account to a business account?

GAMINtraveler: With the new changes in Instagram, right now. So many of the 3rd party tools will be limited to show results. You have to be a business account.

If you want to use your insights, you’ll have to be a business account. And you’ll never know when engagement will be good, so it’s best to take advantage of those tools now.

Cornelia: How do you find top accounts?

GAMINtraveler: Start with hashtags.

The Instagram algorithm continues to grow smarter, and if you start interacting with travel content. In your search, you’ll start seeing all of the viral and trending content in your category.

Cornelia: How important is geotagging?

GAMINtraveler: If you’re posting in travel, it can help with getting reposted and find new followers. For example, if you know in advance you know you’ll be posting about Bali, we will do advanced research and know the top posts in Bali and we will tag them in our posts.

In the stories, we will put the location and hashtag in every story. Even if you’re not there, you can be featured in that town. People in that location can find you easier.

Cornelia: Do you have particular tips or strategies for service-based businesses?

GAMINtraveler: You want to think about the target audience. People will gravitate toward motivational content, but that can become saturated, so if you know the type of people you want to attract, research what kind of content they like.

People can get overwhelmed by focusing too much aesthetics, and while that is important, it’s more important to focus on what is trending in your category. Test a lot in the beginning and if something stops working, use the archive feature so that you keep your insights, but the post is no longer visible in your account.

Cornelia: Any last tips and advice?

GAMINtraveler: Do your research and really look at the growing, popular accounts in your niche.

See what the trends are and follow them. If you want to network with people, check the people who are commenting in the first ten minutes. Reach out to them and in time, you’ll be able to build your own engagement groups. They will likely to be inside your circle.

In the beginning there will be a lot of testing, but you’ll have to find the balance between what works for you and what people are connecting with. Focus on your audience. Find your voice.

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If you’ve enjoyed this article, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to this blog to be the first one to get notified of new, awesome posts coming to you weekly ;).

Also, you can get in touch with Rachel and Ruben from GAMINtraveler here: Website – http://www.gamintraveler.com/; Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/gamintraveler/

Finally, if you have a growing Instagram following and you’d like to learn how to optimize it for lead generation and really monetize your following, download our case study of how a client of ours made over $23,000 in just 7 days by utilizing her Instagram following: https://funnelgal.com/freecasestudy

P.s. You might also enjoy reading:

How to use social media and blog posts effectively for online lead generation?

How to get your online business GDPR ready?

Or, in other words, making GDPR sexy again

Last week, my entrepreneur friend Jodi Hoffman and I hopped on a Facebook Live Interview and talked about EVERYTHING GDPR.

When I first heard about this term a few months ago, I was so confused.

GDPR or, General Data Protection Regulation?

I was also confused what this would mean for my business.

As a result, we decided to shed some light on this inside my Facebook Groups Community, Social Media Funnel Hacks, as well because I knew that I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way.

Here is the interview and all the things that we talked about.

Enjoy!

Cornelia: Jodi, thanks for being here!

Can share your story with us and why you’re so passionate about this?

Jodi: Of course!

I’m Jodi Daniels.

I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, and I spent a nineteen-year corporate career across four big multi-national companies.

Most recently, I was senior vice president at Bank of America as their digital privacy expert. I left last summer to go out on my own and join the online entrepreneur world where I started my own privacy consulting business.

Since then, I have been knee-deep in GDPR. I feel like I eat, breathe, sleep all things GDPR. I’m getting companies from one person to huge multinational companies ready for GDPR.

Why am I passionate? Because I see so much opportunity, and there’s so much confusion that I really help bring everything I’m doing in my everyday world to the mass online audience.

Cornelia: How about we start with the basics?

GDPR might be completely new to someone. How would you explain it in one to three words?

Jodi: GDPR is all about protecting the EU residents’ personal data.

In a conference a couple weeks ago, I heard from the original drafter of the GDPR, and she said that GDPR is all about giving back the rights to and EU resident over their digital data.

Cornelia: I’m curious. What conference was that?

Jodi: The Global Privacy Summit.

3,500 privacy professionals from around the world congregate in Washington D.C. every year to talk about the latest that is happening in privacy, and as you can imagine, it was GDPR, GDPR, and more GDPR.

Cornelia: So many Europeans are very freaked out about it because it does have an effect on your business—if you’re not becoming GDPR compliant.

Jodi: It really does.

I think it’s important to talk about who this affects.

We define it as protecting an EU resident’s personal data, but what if I’m in the US?

Why should I be focused on GDPR?

And that’s because any company around the world that’s processing that data or targeting that person has to comply.

If I have a website and I use my Facebook pixel set to global, and I lure you to set up for my freebie, I just embarked on GDPR world.

Cornelia: Can you tell us more when it comes to online businesses and what the next best step someone has to do right now to prepare for GDPR?

Jodi: Great question.

The first things that you need to know is what kind of data you have and how you are using it. You can’t write a privacy policy if you don’t know those basics.

And to do that, you have to know the definition of personal data because under GDPR, it’s a little different.

It’s not what a lot of people think: name, email, address, financial information.

It’s also online identifiers.

It’s the Facebook pixel, Google analytics pixel, or any other pixel in cookies that you have on your site like IP address.

All of that is included in the definition of personal data.

Based on that, figure out what you are collecting and who you are using it with, such as an email service provider, an agency, vendors, etc.

Once you have that inventory, then you have to work on communicating what it is you’re doing to the person you have coming to your sites and services.

And that’s where the privacy notice comes in.

A privacy notice is a legal document.

It’s the document that is your communication to the user of what you’re collecting, how you’re using the data, who you’re sharing it with, how you’re protecting it, and how long you’re keeping it for.

GDPR has a number of very specific requirements you’re supposed to have in it.

And other companies have requirements too, such as Facebook and Google.

So, you have to get your privacy notice in order, and you can’t do that until you know what it is you have.

Cornelia: We’ve talked about segmenting your list so you can have a list for your European citizens and have a list for the rest of the world.

Is this something that is recommended right now?

Jodi: The other important part of GDPR is how you use the data.

You can’t just collect it and use it however you want.

You have to have what they call a legal basis to use it. One of the very common ones online is consent to be emailed.

The way we’ve been collecting consent is going to change under GDPR.

The email service providers are getting ready to help everyone to be able to do this from a technological standpoint.  But we have to do our jobs as the users to know how to use these tools.

Everyone is getting geared up to update the tools.

And what that means is— if I have a user from the US, I fall under the US laws, which means I can consent to anything, and I have to be able to let you opt out.

Under GDPR, I also have to let you opt out but you have to opt in.

And the opt in has to meet a bunch specific rules, and one of the very first rules is— it has to be specific, and I can’t have a prechecked box.

So, I can’t just give you my freebie and poof you’re automatically on my list.

As for the segmenting lists, the email service providers are starting to help you figure that out, depending on where your subscribers are from.

And it really depends on your business.

If you think you can separate your global customers like that, you can, but it’s just a lot to think about.

It’s a matter of how sophisticated your business is and how easy or not easy you want to make it.

I think it will be interesting to see how this will influence other areas.

If people get used to the GDPR way, will everyone get used to it and sort of come up stream with it, even if you don’t have to?

Cornelia: The opt-in checkbox is necessary?

Jodi: It’s absolutely necessary!

That’s what the emails service providers are working on.

You have to have that opt-in box.

The email service providers are giving you the tools, but you have to make sure you have the right language in place.

You have to have your privacy notice there, making sure it’s updated properly.

The other thing I think is important to know is that consent is not forever.

If five years from now, I have not opened anything from you, I should not be on your list.

Cornelia: About that consent, we get so many emails anymore that we forget what we signed up for and it usually goes straight into the spam folder.

So, I see this is as a good thing, like tidying out your closet.

Jodi: I agree! I think a lot of people talk about having a really big list, but other people are more into quality lists that are small but convert well and have high engagement.

It’s not always about quantity.

Cornelia: I couldn’t agree more.

Do you have templates with the correct verbiage?

Jodi: Yeah, I have some checklists that you can get from my GDPR Secret Weapon Compliance Kit right here.

I also have a Facebook group, called GDPR 101, where we talk a lot about this.

Cornelia: Can you give us some background on why this whole GDPR thing came about?

Jodi: It’s really interesting.

There’s actually a pre-existing privacy directive in place called the Data Protection Directive from 1995.

But times have changed a little bit as the digital era came around.

They realized that after 20 plus years it was time to update how personal data is being used.

I think a significant amount came from the digital world with advertising, tracking, and everything around email (stalking or not stalking, depending on who you ask).

As I mentioned, the original drafter is all about GDPR giving people back their rights to their digital data.

There are 28 different states in the EU, and they all had their different versions of the Data Protection Directive. And now there is one GDPR.

Each state can enforce it a little different.

And that was one big part, to try and level the playing field.

Fundamentally, if you take away all of the crazy rules and check-boxes, it’s about protecting the rights and freedom of an EU resident.

And this really goes back to WWI and WWII.

Some of those sensitive information areas of data, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. could have some really negative impacts if people were profiled according to that information.

So, they’re trying to protect that privacy as a fundamental right.

When someone signs up for a freebie, it doesn’t always mean they want thirty more emails from your business.

And from a business prospective, it’s different than if you look at it from that person’s perspective; it helps to see what GDPR is all about.

Cornelia: It is really important to put yourself into the shoes of your customers.

There’s a human being behind every email you send, so just a little bit of sensitivity is really important.

Jodi: Exactly.

There’s a person behind that cookie, and that’s why they added that line about personal identifiers.

If you really use all of the technology and tools available, you can tell who “cookie 123” is, and that’s where GDPR is going.

Cornelia: Are there any loopholes?

Jodi: I’m sure there are some loopholes that are going to get figured out.

A lot of this is going to be in how you interpret it.

So, I mentioned you have to have a lawful basis.

The one part where I think you might find some is in “legitimate interest.”

It’s about how a business has to market to get business.

So, a company will say, “I can do all sorts of things to get business,” while the GDPR is saying, “no, that’s not quite what we had in mind.”

That’s where a lot of the gray areas are.

Cornelia: When someone opts in for our freebie, we automatically send them our newsletters, right?

Jodi: You have to add the verbiage so that they understand this.

You have, “Sign up for my freebie,” on your website, and you need that opt-in checkbox there.

It can’t be the way it used to be.

Just like in Facebook groups.

You can’t be asking for people’s email addresses to join groups because you need proof of that consent.

Consent is very complicated.

There are multiple pieces and it’s more than just this one simple form.

One of the pieces is that you can’t condition.

So, the freebie has value and you shouldn’t have to get the marketing to get the freebie.

Cornelia: What about existing subscribers?

Jodi: It applies retroactively. 

If you have met GDPR requirements with your existing list, then you’re okay. Keep emailing.

If you haven’t, then people are doing some re-permission campaigns.

But be careful with that.

Do not email people who have opted-out.

Big companies have gotten in trouble with that. GDPR is in effect now but will be enforced on May 25.

Cornelia: What would be some of the verbiage for that?

Jodi: You can say, “Hey, you’ve been a member, and we’re working on our compliance in GDPR, and we still want you to be part of our community. If you do want to be part of our community, click here.”

You have to get that consent.

They need to take some type of action.

But you have to be careful not to put conditions on that consent or you’re back in the same circle.

It’s a great relationship builder.

Yes, people are likely not to click and your list will get smaller, but the people who do click will be loyal followers who have found values in what you’re doing.

Cornelia: Thank you for sharing that.

It’s a great point.

You have to be careful with compliance partners.

Jodi: If you collect with an email service provider, you’re responsible as a business that who you are working is GDPR compliant.

If the vendor doesn’t figure it out, then you can’t use them.

Cornelia: When you have to confirm an opt-in, you have to click a link, and a lot of people don’t like to do that.

Jodi: The part of getting consent is on you as a business.

And people like the double opt-in because it confirms that it’s from the right person.

GDPR does not require the double opt-in, though Germany does.

It’s an industry best practice and it serves a great purpose because the burden of proof is on you.

Cornelia: Do you have a list of providers who have that double opt-in?

Jodi: All of the main ones that I can think of do: MailChimp, Convertkit, etc.

There’s one other part of GDPR that we haven’t touched on, and it’s called individual rights.

You’ve heard me say that GDPR is about the individual’s right to control their digital footprint, and a part of that is the right to be forgotten and the right to port data.

If I ask you to delete my data, that means to actually delete, not just unsubscribe or opt-out. Delete.

The idea for porting is more for e-commerce or a community where you have machine imported data.

That idea is that your data is yours and you should be able to have it, like a medical record or a Netflix movie record.

The opt-outs become a gray area for people who ask if they can market to people who have opted out on another platform, such as Facebook ad targeting.

Some people will say that opting out of an email doesn’t mean they have opted out on Facebook, while others will say that opting out is opting out, period.

I would say not to do that, that people who opt out don’t want to hear from you and that you should move on.

Cornelia: Have there been any talks about how strong the enforcement is going to be?

Jodi: I think you’ll find May 28, some well-known brands will be in the news again and made an example.

It’s a real law, and people need to take it seriously.

Cornelia: This was very helpful and easy to understand, so thank you!

Jodi: Don’t forget you can get a GDPR checklist from my GDPR Secret Weapon Compliancy Kit.

Also, be sure to check out the GDPR workshop if you’re in for some more in-depth knowledge. It helps businesses become compliant with GDPR without all of the confusing legal jargon. It’s very step-by-step. Limited spots available for that one and you can sign up here: https://corneliapauline–redcloveradvisors.thrivecart.com/gdpr-secret-weapon-workshop/

P.s. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/09/17-hats-review-powerful-business-app-small-businesses-like/