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EPISODE 079: (AMA) I ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ON MESSENGER BOTS, RUNNING MY ONLINE BUSINESS, PODCASTING, AND MORE

Welcome to the final episode for 2019. I cannot believe it is already the end of the year!

Today’s episode is an AMA show, which stands for Ask-Me-Anything. I sent out an email to my email list and I said “ask me anything about business or my life etc”, and I’ve compiled the list and I’m going to be answering them in this year end wrap up episode.

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"One thing that has really helped me to manage all the things that I need to do for my business is trying to automate as much as I can and have a system and a calendar that I follow strictly."

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Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • “What do you do when you’re stressed out from work and your brain is fried, the emails and text messages will not stop?”
  • “How do you manage to do it all, with your podcast, YouTube, agency work, business development and fulfilment? Do you have a team? I am a solopreneur and need advice on how to get it all done.”
  • “I hear a lot about podcasting but I have no idea whatsoever about it. As a writer, I have a gut feeling that it is important for me to learn how to make use of it. Please help and advise.”
  • “Given the big changes coming in March, does it still make sense to grow a list of subscribers and why? I don't see a way to leverage the bot subscribers since we almost cannot engage them anymore after the first flow is over.”
  • “If you sold car liquid products in the 15 dollar to 20 dollar price point, what platform would you use so more customers can see your products and website?”
  • “How you manage your content creation strategy between podcasting & YouTube? I know we can repurpose content, but it's like the chicken or the egg type of thing where which comes first for you?”
  •  "What's your equipment set up for your podcast?”

Resources Discussed In This Episode:

Full Transcript

Hey guys, it’s Chrystabelle here, welcome to the final episode for 2019. I cannot believe it is already the end of the year. I’m recording this episode right before Christmas, and winter is here and I’m having a flu so I apologize if my voice sounds a little odd.

Today’s episode is an AMA show, which stands for Ask-Me-Anything. I sent out an email to my email list and I said “ask me anything about business or my life etc”, and I’ve compiled the list and I’m going to be answering them in this year end wrap up episode.

But before I answer the AMA questions, about one year ago, I started this podcast with the idea and the passion to help online business owners, inspiring them with stories of successful online business owners and strategies that will help grow businesses, and today we are officially at episode number 79. 

If you’ve been tuning in since the beginning, thank you very much for your support over the past year, this show is nothing without you guys. If you’re tuning in for the first time, big welcome to the show - I’m your host Chrystabelle, besides hosting this podcast and running Hack Your Online Business, I’m also the founder of Chrys Media, which is my Messenger marketing agency. 

If you have not already subscribed to the show, I’ll love it if you could support the show by going into iTunes, hit the subscribe button and leave a rating and review. This not only gives me valuable feedback on what you think about the show, but it also helps me with Apple’s algorithm. 

Alright, now let’s look at the first question. The first question is, “What do you do when you’re stressed out from work and your brain is fried, the emails and text messages will not stop?”

That’s a great question and something that I struggled with especially in the earlier years of becoming an entrepreneur. And I see the problem of getting so stressed out from work as a sign that your online business needs a better system in place, and even a shift in your mindset as well. I spent many years, almost a decade, working in advertising and for those of you who know anything about the advertising industry, you know that it’s an industry that glorifies long hours. 

And so when I left to start my own business, I brought along with me the unnecessary bad habits of working long hours and getting really stressed out about getting my first few customers. 

And it doesn’t help that I’m a Capricorn so I’m naturally hardworking and can easily obsess over work. So what ended up happening was I would find myself getting burnt out.

Over the last year, I’ve really made an effort to work on managing stress and preventing overworking. I no longer subscribe to the “hustle till you drop” mentality that I used to think was necessary in order to build my online business. And these are the things that I’ve changed or implemented over the past year:

The first one is, when I start feeling like I’m getting stressed out from work, I take that as a signal that I am neglecting my mental and physical health, and I’m not setting the right boundaries. Learning to set boundaries has been a game-changer for me, and when I say I set boundaries, I mean I don’t do client work at night, I rarely work on the weekends, my clients know to respect my boundaries. 

Two, I started to outsource some of my work load. If you want to grow your online business, you have to learn how to delegate and outsource the things that don’t require your genius. When you start to outsource your work load, naturally the stress level decreases because now you’re not one person doing everything.

Three, I’m a big believer in R&R time, which is rest and relax time. For me personally, I’m a huge traveler so I travel every couple of months to re-energize myself. If I’m going to speak at a conference, I’ll extend my stay and give myself a holiday. This year alone, I traveled to Cancun, to Texas, to Europe for summer vacation, I was in Singapore just a few weeks ago. And because we all run online businesses, there really shouldn’t be an excuse to not being able to take time off, especially if you’ve got the automations in place and you’re outsourcing the things that don’t need you.

And for me this is key: versus thinking about what to do when you’re feeling stressed from work and your brain is fried, I prefer to take a preventive measure and make sure I don’t get to that point of being so stressed out from work.

The second question is from Anjuli, “How do you manage to do it all, with your podcast, YouTube, agency work, business development and fulfillment? Do you have a team? I am a solopreneur and need advice on how to get it all done.”

Thanks for question Anjuli. For the most part of my business, I am pretty much running the business on my own with the occasional help of a VA. One thing that I’ve personally struggled with is letting go of control and trusting others to deliver a good job or even a better job that if I were to do it, and it’s one of the goals for 2020 that I have set for my business to outsource more work and to automate more tasks. 

One thing that has really helped me to manage all the things that I need to do for my business - my weekly podcast and YouTube content, my social media marketing, servicing the agency clients, getting new agency clients, emailing my list, etc - is trying to automate as much as I can and have a system and a calendar that I follow strictly. 

Let’s talk about the automation part first. Automation makes your job so much easier because you now get to automate repetitive tasks. For example, social media. I have my social media marketing pretty much automated using a tool called SocialPost. I used to use HootSuite and Buffer but I’ve been experimenting with this new tool. Instead of posting manually a couple of times a day on different platforms, you can automate this to help you save time. Another thing that I automate is my email marketing - I have the email welcome sequence all set up for different entry points and that takes another load of work off my plate because I just have to set it up once.

Besides automation, the way I run my business is very much based on systems and having a plan. So for example, I try to record a month’s worth of YouTube videos, which is 4 videos, one day of each month instead of recording them separately. I try to batch interview guests for this podcast so that I have several months free after a month or two of intensive recording.

The practice of batching your work helps you to streamline your business so that you can plan your days better. Wednesdays for me are Hack Your Online Business podcast interview days or me getting interviewed on other podcasts. I generally try to schedule all types of interviews for Wednesdays. On Mondays, I’m focused on PR opportunities - so I’ll be pitching to podcasts, conferences, you name it. 

The key thing to realize here as we’re talking about how to get it all done is to be consistent, automate as much as you can, have a plan so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, and when you can, outsource as much as possible.

Now the third question is “I hear a lot about podcasting but I have no idea whatsoever about it. As a writer, I have a gut feeling that it is important for me to learn how to make use of it. Please help and advise.”

So one of the main reasons why I started this podcast was to build my authority in the online business and marketing space, as well as to attract new leads and build that know, like, and trust factor.

The reason why podcasting is so great for building your authority and generating new leads is because it is a very intimate platform. Hearing my voice creates a stronger connection between us as compared to you reading my blog article. 

At the same time, it’s also a great way to prove you’re an expert in your field which in turn builds your authority and trust with potential customers. You did not state what kind of writer you are, but let’s imagine you’re a copywriter and you have a podcast on copywriting. You’re creating content about how to write great copy and everything related to copywriting. Wouldn’t that help build your authority in the copywriting industry because people are finding out about you, what you do and what you know, and you’re building this trust between you and that listener who might one day become a potential client.

I want you to also think about how podcasting can allow you to reach your target audience at hard to reach time. Maybe they’re in their car driving to work. They vacuuming the apartment. They’re washing the dishes. They’re out for a run. These are everyday occurrences that take up a lot of time when your target audience isn’t able to search the web, read blog articles or watch a YouTube video. Podcasting allows your audience to multitask and fit it into their busy lives, which means they give you new opportunities to reach your target market and generate leads.

The next question is about Facebook Messenger marketing. The question is, “Given the big changes coming in March, does it still make sense to grow a list of subscribers and why? I don't see a way to leverage the bot subscribers since we almost cannot engage them anymore after the first flow is over.”

So for those of you who don’t know much about Facebook Messenger marketing, Facebook currently allows you to send one extra message after the first 24 hours of engagement by a subscriber. Now Facebook has announced that in March 4th, it was supposed to be January 15th but they’ve pushed back the date, on March 4th they will be removing that one extra message.

Now back to your question if it still make sense to grow a list of Messenger subscribers and why, my answer is still yes. What is important to know is that your focus needs to be omni-channel, which includes Messenger bot marketing (both paid and non-paid messages) as well as using other channels such as SMS and email marketing. As you grow your Messenger subscriber list, you can re-engage them via SMS and email, creating a very effective omni-channel multiple touchpoint marketing strategy.

A lot of people have been freaking out about this announcement and claiming that messenger marketing is dead. But when you have a marketing strategy that is omnichannel and you utilize email marketing and/or SMS marketing, social media marketing, all it takes is one "outside of Facebook" touch for them to click on a link that send them back to the messenger bot and that restarts the 24hr engagement window. Once that 24 hour window opens, you can now start to engage and convert that lead.

And we must remember why Messenger marketing is even effective in the first place - you are reaching your target audience in a channel that many are using all the time and they have the app installed on their phones that they have with them pretty much the whole day. Messenger marketing as a marketing channel is so much more intimate and it can help you increase conversion by simply scaling your engagement.

What I’ve noticed is that many of the people who are worried about the death of Messenger marketing because of the change in the rules are the ones who have been using the broadcast messages to message their subscribers outside of Facebook’s current Terms & Conditions. Whether realising it or not, they have been spamming their subscribers through the broadcast messages. 

So this change that’s coming up - yes, it will affect many people who have been using their non-promotional messages to send out messages or using the follow up message to send out messages, but honestly I myself hardly ever send out any broadcast messages for my own Messenger bot or for my clients’ Messenger bots. It does affect some of the follow-up sequences that we have created, so what I’ve been doing is to call it out in the initial message that they need to click on a button etc in order to receive the next message.

And so I think what is important to realize here as well is that the quality of your list is way more important versus the quantity of your list. So you want to regularly trim your list, send out a message and in that message also say if they don’t engage with your message within a week, they would be automatically unsubscribed. Especially with the shift towards needing to utilize paid messages and SMS messages, why waste money on people who aren't even engaged?

Ok, next question. “If you sold car liquid products in the 15 dollar to 20 dollar price point, what platform would you use so more customers can see your products and website?” 

Ok great question. My first question is, who are your target audience? You need to know who your target audience are and where they hang out and what type of content they consume, before you can decide which marketing platform is best for your business. There are endless possibilities of places where you have a presence. So for example, for social media, if you are targeting a male in his 30s, lives in Wisconsin, drives a Toyota, you can run Facebook ads targeting exactly that target audience who has shown interest in car related products, you can have a presence on Instagram, you can create a YouTube channel on car maintenance tips and tie in your car liquid products.

I would also look into partnerships with brands and businesses that have access to your target audience but are non-competing. So for example, can you find a local mechanic or an auto-repair store or a chain of auto-repair stores? Can you partner or sponsor a Facebook Group that’s about car maintenance, could be a local Facebook group if your business is local? Could you find an event that’s related to cars that you can partner up with or sponsor?

Ok, next question. “How you manage your content creation strategy between podcasting & YouTube? I know we can repurpose content, but it's like the chicken or the egg type of thing where which comes first for you?”

So I actually create two different types of content for my podcast and my YouTube channel. For my podcast, they have been mostly interviews with other successful online business owners, so they hasn’t been much of a repurposing of content for YouTube. That said, I do sometimes extract the audio from a particular YouTube video that I’ve created and use it for the podcast, only when the YouTube video is related to online business or marketing.

My suggestion for you is if you have a solo-type of podcast where you’re not interviewing people, then I would do the YouTube video first but use a good mic, then extract the audio from the video and use it for your podcast.

Ok next question is from Maiko. “I came across your podcast somewhat randomly & started to follow you on Twitter. I love that you are an Asian woman taking over the topic of online marketing. My question is, what's your equipment set up for your podcast?”

Well first off, thank you so much for your support Maiko! I appreciate the kind words. My podcast is set up really simple. The most important equipment for a podcast is the mic, really, so I use the ATR 2100 mic that costs less than $100 on Amazon. It has a filter and I use a mic arm stand that attaches to the table. I use Zoom for recording interviews and audacity for solo episodes like this one. Audacity is a free audio recording tool that is also used to edit the podcast episodes. 

And that’s it. Don’t let the equipment stop you from creating content. The most important thing is to consistently put out content. I live in Mexico City right now and it is noisy AF even though I’ve tried to soundproof the room as much as I can, and that could have been an excuse for me to avoid podcasting. But I know that this podcast is going to help someone out there with their online business, so don’t let the equipment or the environment stop you.

Alright, last question! “What are the top marketing trends for 2020?” Love this question! The first marketing trend that I see is going to be even bigger in 2020 is voice search. According to ComScore, voice search is going to account for over 50% of the search queries in 2020. And it’s not really a new trend, everyone has been talking about voice search for years. But we’re starting to see more brands optimizing for voice search as a great way to get your brand out more on Alexa or Echo or Google Home.

The second trend that is going to continue in 2020 is Messenger chat bots. As the owner of a Messenger marketing agency, I’m seeing that Messenger chat bots are really helping businesses overcome a falling open and click through rate on email. I’m not saying that email marketing is dead, but what I’m saying is we will have to do in 2020 is to leverage more communication channels.

If you want to learn more about Messenger marketing for your business, I have a free masterclass training that you can sign up for on my agency website, ChrysMedia.com. If you’re ready to work with me, you can also book a free strategy call on the homepage. You’ll need to answer a few questions and on the call, we’ll determine if we are a right fit for each other.

In addition to chatbots, you’ll also see more people leveraging tools that allow push notifications on websites like Pushcrew.

Another trend that I’m seeing for 2020 is personalized marketing. Marketing is going to become a game of personalization, where your message tries to fit every single one of your visitors. A good example here is Amazon. When you go to Amazon, they know your shopping and browsing patterns so they show you what they think you want to see in order to boost their conversions.

So in 2020, your business should try to personalize each and every single experience both online and offline. It could be having a quiz on your homepage that then qualifies the visitor based on the quiz result and you can now segment them and personalize any offer or message according to that result. 

That’s it for today’s episode. I hope you enjoy the last 2 days of 2019 - I’ll be off celebrating at home, taking time off to reflect on this year and what I’ve achieved both personally and in the business.

Now I’ll like to invite you to join my brand new Hack Your Online Business Mastermind program that is now open! I’m super excited about this and it’s a mastermind created specifically for online entrepreneurs looking for more ways to hack your online business in 2020.

I want you to start getting the business support and accountability that you’ve been searching for. Besides getting access to me, you’ll also be supported by other online entrepreneurs - which quite honestly is the best part about the mastermind because you get to learn from each other’s experience.

To find out more about the Hack Your Online Business Mastermind program and see if it’s right for you, go to hackyouronlinebusiness.com/mastermind

Thanks For Listening, My Friend!

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