Just a few months after celebrating the 9th anniversary of Express Writers, two weeks ago I had a wonderful opportunity to be a special guest on AgoraPulse Social Pulse Weekly, hosted by the lovely Jennifer Watson.
It was such a great talk! ? And very relevant to our times, with a keep-it-real chat about business during the pandemic.
Jennifer did her homework ahead of time, and came with an incredible list of questions, including:
- Tell us about your nine years running Express Writers and how you got to be where you are today!
- How has your business pivoted during Covid-19, and what have customers come to you most for?
- What are your top takeaways regarding building a brand that lasts despite the pandemic?
- Share your P.A.S.T.O.R. formula with us and how you write high-converting content!
- What’s the difference between effective content marketing vs. content strategy and your recipe for success?
- What are your top productivity tools?
- Tell us about your new book, Skip the Degree, Save the Tuition: Your A-Z Pathway to Teach Yourself a Money-Making Online Skillset!
We had plenty of time to share some personal stories and valuable insights about creating brilliant content.
Here’s a recap of the event. Enjoy!
AgoraPulse Live Show: A Recap of My Guest Talk for #SocialPulseWeekly (Video)
First: Replacing College + Potential Career I Didn’t Like with a Self-Built Career I Love
Of course, we had to start with how it all began.
I started out in college trying to earn a degree I didn’t like. But one morning, I asked myself:
What do I love doing? How can I make a career out of it?
So I decided to pursue what I loved doing! That’s how my entrepreneurship road started.
That’s what I did with Express Writers, and I’m proud of it.
But it hasn’t been a cakewalk keeping our heads up during the Covid-19 crisis. We’ve had a dip of more than 30% in our income during the lockdown, but thankfully, we’ve still managed to stay on top of our game.
We’re also taking in new clients at the moment. Find out how to get the best content marketing copy from my expert writers.
But, there are other positive things, too. The traffic on my website increased because people are seeking my guidance and want to learn what I know. Digital skillsets are hotter than ever — and those who teach them, seriously in demand! ? My Academy went up 3x in activity and course seats sold over the lockdown.
Remote work is hotter than ever. For example, the “work from home” keyword spiked from around 300k searches per month to almost 2 million searches!
Incredible, isn’t it?
People’s working styles and preferences are changing, and that isn’t the only massive change with the Covid-19 crisis.Over the pandemic, the keyword work from home spiked from around 300k searches per month to almost 2 million searches/month. More about business during pandemic times: @JuliaEMcCoy via @agorapulse #SocialPulseWeekly show Click To Tweet
How to Build a Brand That Can Survive Anything (Including a Pandemic)
Although this topic had been on my mind for a long time, I finally published it during the lockdown.
It’s about how you can build a brand organically and survive all the ups and downs you may encounter. The main message is thinking long-term is always worth it in the end. Sure, sometimes you need to focus on things you’re doing today or tomorrow. But it’s crucial to plan ahead and think long-term as much as possible.
On the AgoraPulse show, I recapped the five key points from this blog:
1. Get Down to Work.
Yes, this may sound silly because it’s so simple – but it’s the first thing you have to do.
Sit down and do the hard work.
Because this is the part of the success that other people often don’t see. They only see who you are now. But you know how much hard work was necessary to get here.
And keep working even if you don’t see results right away. Some business ideas or endeavors, like writing a book, may take a few years before they bring you money. Think long-term.
2. Be Consistent.
No matter what your industry is, make sure you show up.
Be there for your audience and your customers. Work on brand new, high-value content every day and keep putting it out.
Post on your social media accounts. Create videos and podcasts. Write blogs. Hold live interviews.
Your audience will appreciate the commitment!Show up. Be there for your audience and your customers. Work on brand new, high-value content every day and keep putting it out. @JuliaEMcCoy via @agorapulse #SocialPulseWeekly Click To Tweet
3. Put Your Customers First.
Did you know that 73% of potential buyers will walk away if they’re not happy with the first interaction they have with you?
It’s true! So no matter what you do, you need to have your customers and clients in mind.
So, greet your customers. Chat with them. They’re humans! They want to know there’s a human behind your brand as well.
4. Make Integrity Your Core Value.
I love the word integrity. For me, it means you’re honest and transparent with your customers.
When something goes wrong, remember that honesty always wins.
People will appreciate you telling the truth. They’ll know they can trust you and your brand.
5. Keep Your Promises.
It’s critical to do what you say you’ll do.
Keeping your promises is what helps you keep your reputation. And we all know reputation means a lot for brands.
So if you’ve promised something, make sure you deliver.
Breaking Down the P.A.S.T.O.R. Formula
I learned this formula from Ray Edwards, the author of How to Write Copy that Sells.
And it’s one of those that always work, especially if you’re writing a landing page.
So, here’s what it stands for:
P – Person, problem, or pain
A – Amplify
S – Story or solution
T – Transformation and testimony
O – Offer
R – Response
So, when you start writing, you address your target audience and the problem or pain bothering them.
Then, it’s time to amplify the pain point – make your readers relate!
Next, tell a great story that will lead them to a solution. Make sure you tell your real story – show your audience who you really are.
Then, talk about the results your readers will achieve if they buy your product or service. Describe the transformation they’ll see and add a testimony that’ll prove it.
After proving your point, you’re selling the product or service – you’re offering it to the reader. And don’t be afraid to do it! Tell them how they can achieve the same result from your story.
In the end, ask them if they’re ready to do it. It’s good to end with a question because it’ll drive action from the reader.
What’s in a Good Content Strategy?
Valuable content is vital for a successful marketing strategy.
When you’re putting together a campaign, everything revolves around your content. What are you going to put out for your audience?
And the strategy is all the planning related to that content – how and when you’re going to present it.
That’s why SEO is so essential.
You can’t just create remarkable content – you need to optimize it for your readers to find it!
What you need to do is:
1. Find the right keyword
2. Create content around that keyword
3. Optimize that keyword and
4. Offer value, so you outperform the competition.
You can download my free actionable cheat sheet to learn more about SEO keyword usage.
My Favorite Tools That Make You More Productive
When you work from home, you have the freedom to optimize your home office, which is awesome!
In this interview, I talked about a couple of things that can help you set up an ergonomic home office and increase your productivity.
After a tricep strain I had last year, I decided to make some changes. The flat keyboard was causing me wrist pain, so I did extensive research on what could work better. After all, mega-typers like me need more hand and arm support!
The keyboard I use is made for Apple computers. The mouse is connected via Bluetooth, which makes it super convenient and easy to set up.
New Book Coming 2021: Skip the Degree, Save the Tuition
During the interview, I also had a chance to recap my new book, called Skip the Degree, Save the Tuition.
Do you think it’s possible to build a career based on your skills, escaping the college debt?
Well, I’ve got good news! It is.
And not only is it possible, but it also might be the simplest way to earn an income online.
Investing in a profitable skill may lead to success faster than traditional higher education. This way, you can enter the market without wasting your money and time.
You can start by identifying a problem troubling your target market. Is it a problem you’d enjoy solving? That may be your chance to make money in the digital era.
I don’t want to encourage my daughter to learn methods that may not be relevant in the world where she’s growing up. I want her to know her options and be able to mobilize her skillset when needed.
Do you also want to be a life-long learner and acquire relevant skills that can help you make money online?
Then this book will definitely be an enjoyable read for you.
Be Afraid… But Do It Anyway!
As you can see, there are a lot of useful tips about content creation I shared in this interview!
But one of the main messages I wanted to get across is that if you’re going to do what you love, you should start today.
Are you afraid? Well, that’s completely normal! And it shouldn’t stop you from doing it anyway.
Now is the time to get to work. You won’t accomplish anything if you don’t try.
I was afraid once, but I took that leap of faith.
As one of my watchers said – if you’re not going to cheer for yourself, why would others do it?