Free November Marketing Calendar is Here!

Struggling to figure out what to write about as the temperature drops and the days draw shorter? As we near Thanksgiving, the focus shifts to the holidays, but you can write only so many turkey, family and holiday themed posts before you get bored.

And so do your readers.

I created a November Marketing Calendar to help you figure out what to write about and let you know what’s hot and highly searchable this month. In addition to “Thanksgiving” posts, gift guides, “Movember” and party planning are all top search terms; fulfill one or more of these to attract attention to your blog.
Click Here for Free November Marketing Calendar

Other highlights this month include Cyber Monday, which is rapidly catching up to Black Friday in revenues for sellers. This month also includes Veteran’s Day, a chance to recognize those who serve the nation and Giving Tuesday, an ideal time for Non-Profits to shine.

As always, if you need help with content or social media, I’m here for you!

Let’s chat soon!

Samantha

Ready to Grow your Business in a Hurry? These Growth Hacking Techniques Can Help!

When you’ve covered all the basics for your launch and are ready to focus on building your audience and attracting prospects, growth hacking can help. By focusing solely on growth, you can propel your brand forward in a surprisingly short period of time and ensure you rapidly reach your forecasted goals.

What is Growth Hacking, Anyway?

Growth hacking is a form of hyper-focused marketing that provides rapid results for a company or brand. By focusing all efforts solely on growth, the growth hacker can achieve swift results. When your brand is in a constant state of growth, you’re scaling rapidly, adding followers in massive numbers and everything you do – every tactic, strategy, effort and piece of content has one goal, growing your business.

Does growth hacking replace traditional marketing?

No. Growth hacking is a facet of marketing and refers to a specific approach with one singular goal in mind. Growth hacking methods can be employed at any time, but are often used during startup, product launches, rebranding or when a company needs rapid growth to survive. During this time, automated traditional marketing methods may continue, but all other resources are focused on one common goal – -intense growth.

But, hackers, though – aren’t they the bad guys?

“Hacker” has a few different meanings:

  • The guy that hacks your cable and steals your HBO – not cool.
  • The group that phishes your business and holds your data for ransom – really not cool
  • Someone who is clever and inventive and uses any available resources to achieve a goal, even if they deploy those assets in unusual ways – very cool.

A growth hacker uses any and all available resources to focus on building a following and brand; innovation, problem-solving, creativity and original ideas are the hallmarks of this type of hacker and the type of entrepreneur that is primed for rapid success.

What do I need to become a growth hacker?

Successful growth hackers share some essential characteristics – creativity, curiosity and amazing focus are at the heart of all we do. According to TechCrunch, most successful growth hackers have insatiable curiosity about how stuff works, how other brands succeeded and what makes a brand successful.

Be curious, be creative, be adventurous and take risks – and your business will grow.

 Growth Hacking Strategies for your Own Brand or Business

Growth hacking needs three primary points of information to be successful:

    • You need to know who your customer is. Who will buy your product? Is a luxury for them or a necessity?
    • You need to know where they are. Geographically, physically and online, where are they? If you want them to find, follow and purchase from you, your efforts need to be targeted and tailored to match not only their needs but positioned properly as well.
    • What content resonates with them? Do they want a steady stream of visuals – video, infographics, images and more, or do they want whitepapers, case studies and technical details? Do they need to be informed, educated, entertained or engaged? Does humor resonate with them or is it a waste of time to incorporate clever memes, word play and outright funny content?

Once you know who you are aiming for, these techniques will help you streamline your efforts and make the most of your budget.

Effective Growth Hacking Techniques (That Don’t Cost Much)

No matter how fantastic your products, services and content are, it won’t do your business much good unless you can grow your audience. Organic growth takes time, but turning to some key growth hacking strategies can help you speed things up and see the fast-paced growth you need for your brand. Your competitors are likely using some of these methods to supercharge their growth right now; the best way to catch up – or gain an edge – is to focus on a few growth hacking strategies designed to help you grow in a hurry.

 
Optimize your site:

It isn’t fun, glamorous or anything exciting – but if your site isn’t ready, you won’t get the growth you want. SEO, branding and your user experience all need to be 100% ready for visitors before you start any growth hacking efforts. Even your loading speed matters; a delay of a single second can make the difference between a new conversion and a bounced visit, according to Kissmetrics.

Make users wait too long for your pages to load and they may not stick around!

Ideally, pages should load in two seconds or less; any longer and you could be driving precious traffic away from your site.

Provide Social Proof

You need social proof – and a lot of it – when you want to grow. Any available spot should showcase user content, real testimonials, review streams and more. People need to see others using, interacting with and winning with y our brand to be willing to give you a try. Seeing others who love your brand, and who have successfully interacted with you reassures your new customers and subscribers and helps you grow your brand in a hurry.


Customer statistics, from the number of visitors you have to your Twitter followers and even email subscribers, can all showcase how much people love your brand and provide visitors with real proof of just how effective you are.

Onboarding Matters

What happens when someone makes a purchase or joins your list? Do you have an automated email campaign ready to welcome them, and are you focused on winning their business permanently?

Your New User Experience (NUX) will have a direct impact on the quality of these new arrivals and how well you grow your brand. A new user will need more guidance and help; having a process in place that welcomes them, walks them through and lets them know what to expect will help you make the most of this time period.

Viral Growth Loops

Anything with “viral” in the name is good news for marketers, and this method simply uses your existing happy customers to grow your brand. If each of your customers shares what you do with one other prospect, you could double your list. The key here is offering them something worthy of a share. It either needs to be content that is so funny, amazing or relevant that they can’t resist – or it needs to be a promo that benefits both users.


Hit on a viral growth loop with your customers and you’ll see rapid, extreme growth seemingly overnight. Determining what your customer responds to can help you craft a compelling offer or piece they’ll want to share again and again, and lead to the growth you are craving.

 

Guest Post on Other Sites

 

Position your brand as an authority by guest posting. You won’t get paid, but a well-crafted piece of content could land on a high-ranking site and generate plenty of traffic for your own website. Choose your topics and partners with care and guest posting can drive traffic to help you grow today and position you as an expert in your field. This type of branding and awareness can help you for years to come.

Create an Amazing Opt-in Offer

What happens when people do visit your site? Unless you have a way to capture their emails, they could bounce away before you can connect with them. Creating an irresistible offer for your email opt-in can help encourage these visitors to hand over their own contact details before leaving – allowing you to direct them into your sales funnel and making it possible for you to follow up.

Your opt-in needs to be relevant to what you do and valuable enough to get your visitors to sign up for it. Taking the time to create a piece that visitors want can help you grow your email list – which in turn will help you grow your business.

Employ Email Marketing


Inexpensive and effective email marketing makes it easy to connect with your subscribers and ensure they are aware of your offerings, products and services. An automated welcome email is a good start; you can also email your newsletter, relevant industry information and other things that would be of interest. Simple automation tools can help you connect and spread the word about your brand in a variety of ways.

Simply focusing your efforts on growth can yield surprising results in a short amount of time. When all your efforts are focused on one thing – growing your brand – you’ll be able to add followers in a variety of ways. From optimizing your site to creating compelling content, these techniques will help you make the most of your brand and your growth hacking efforts.

There are many ways to gauge and measure your success when it comes to your growth hacking efforts. Knowing the action, you want users to take, being able to state with precision where you are now and then measuring the outcome can give you the best idea of how well your efforts are performing.

Working from Home: Striking the Right Balance Between Work and Family

I get asked this one a lot — balancing a successful writing business with four kids and a life isn’t easy, but if you don’t carve out some time for things you enjoy, you’ll go crazy. Striking the right balance between work, self and home can keep you from becoming a frazzled, stressed out mess. If you’re a freelancer (or want to be one), then the quality of your work will also improve when you are not trying to cram too many things into an already packed schedule.

Finding a Balance between Work and Family

Anyone who works needs to find a balance between the professional commitments and family life – but it can be much more difficult to do so if you work from home. When you have an office to go to, you automatically have a built in “start” and “stop” time. When your office is your dining room, you can find yourself wandering in there to do “just one thing” multiple times per day and night. How do you strike the right balance between working at home and family time? These tips will help:

Schedule dedicated work hours: Believe it or not, setting firm work hours each day will actually help you spend more time with the family. How? When you can work uninterrupted, you can work quickly and efficiently. Every interruption, even “Where are my socks?” or “I can’t find my book” will disrupt your train of thought and actually prolong the amount of time you spend working – or trying to work.

This became far easier when my youngest started pre-school; until then I had to rely on sitters and working odd hours to get stuff done. Training the family really helps you focus on work — and then leave that work behind when you are done.

Your missing sock is not an emergency.

My kids are used to hearing “Is anyone actively bleeding or on fire?” If not, then don’t interrupt!

Leave the office behind: When you’ve completed your tasks for the day or the hours you planned on working, close the door on your office, even if it is only figuratively. Don’t check your email, leave the laptop closed and resist the impulse to return one last phone call. You’ll be able to dedicate all of your attention to the family and not stress about what you might still need to do.

This one really helps, particularly if you have a home office. When you can get away from the physical place you work it is easier to focus on real life. Once that workplace collides with home, it is a lot more difficult. If you wouldn’t drive back to the office to work on something, don’t do it from home outside of your chosen hours, either.

Grab an extra hour: You can’t add an extra hour into the day –sorry, we each just get 24, and you have to sleep sometime—but you can add a work hour when everyone else is sleeping. If you’re an early bird, get up one hour before anyone else, and get to work. Night owl? Schedule some tasks for after the kids go to bed, and enjoy dinner and bedtime together.

I seriously hate mornings, but since I need to drive the kids to school anyway, getting up an hour earlier did wonders for my schedule and life balance. If you have not yet read The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM), I strongly recommend it. It turned this night owl into a morning person for sure! (Well, the ideas in the book and lots and lots of coffee).

 

Outsource: Consider hiring someone else to do tasks for you. You can outsource professional tasks or home tasks. From a weekly cleaning service to virtual assistant (VA) services, web design or even social media support, outsourcing some tasks can help you build your business without overbooking your time. Right now I am using outsourcing for my VA. professional editing and  Pinterest management and am desperately in search of an awesome cleaning service.

Balancing work and family when you work at home isn’t easy, but it can be done – and when you figure out what works for you, the whole family will be happier.

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links to products or books I love and recommend!