21: The Four Elements Every Website Needs with Denise Alvarez
Websites are your business’ digital storefront. Many times they are the first impression a potential customer has of your business. They are the place where you can create the brand look and feel that sets you apart from your competition. They are also incredibly important to being found on search engines (the modern day Yellow Pages!). All in all, websites offer the opportunity for you to reach your business marketing potential. Whether you’ve been in business a few weeks or have been established for decades, you can build the website of your dreams if you keep focused on a few key elements.
In this episode, Kim and Cara visit with website expert Denise Alvarez of Stormlily Marketing about four (yes, there’s a bonus to the BIG 3!) must haves to make your website dreams a reality!
Our Big 3 Takeaways
Use Customer-Centered Wording
Have Clear and Compelling Call to Action
Feature Captivating Pictures
Have a Way to Collect Leads
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Denise Alvarez is a horse girl who also loves marketing. So, she married her two passions! Through her business Stormlily Marketing, Denise serves horse business owners so they can turn their website visitors into their customers. Through her monthly membership and her How to Market Your Horse Business Podcast, she is simplifying marketing for equine entrepreneurs so they can build a business they love. She gets they would rather be out in the barn than at the computer. That’s why she takes care of their website and email marketing—so they can be outside doing more of what they love!
Website Checklist: 4 MUST-HAVES
Choosing the Perfect Marketing Image https://thebusinessanimal.com/2021/03/03-choosing-the-perfect-marketing-image/
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Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.
Open the Transcript
Hey there business animals. It’s Kim. And I just wanted to share with you today our big three takeaways from this particular episode. Now, I can’t wait for you to listen to this, we interviewed Denise Alvarez of Stormlily Marketing. And Denise is going to share information about how to really make your website a compelling place for your customers, and also a great place to do business. So she’s going to share with you these big four takeaways, and we’re normally three but we have a bonus this week. First of all, I want you to listen as she talks about how to create customer centric wording on your website, how to make it so that your customers really feel like they’ve come to the exact right place when they show up on your website’s doorstep. Second, she’s going to talk about how to create calls to action, that turn those customers into people who become long term customers loyal customers for your business. And it’s really important to how you word those so that you’re not over salesy. And I think we have a couple of laughs during this section about some people who sometimes get a little overzealous in how they get people to do business with them from their website. So I think you’ll enjoy that. The third point that she makes is pictures. And I’m sure that by now, if you’ve listened to this podcast in the past, you know, both Kara and I have a lot to say about this subject. And we mostly remained quiet, but we gave a few points that we think you’ll find interesting. And then finally, that bonus tip is one that’s so important. And that is being able to collect leads from your website, and then follow up with those leads. And you all know how I feel about that. That that’s one of the most important pieces of your business. Right. So without further ado, we’re going to get talking to Denise Alvarez and I think you’re really gonna enjoy the episode.
Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. Saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts Kim Beer and Cara Taylor Swift
Kimberly Beer 2:22
Hey there business animals. This is Kim with Be More Business
Cara Taylor Swift 2:26
and this is Cara with Fast Horse Photography. Good morning. Today we have a special guest with us that we’re super excited about we have Denise Alvarez of Stormlily Marketing. Welcome to Denise.
Denise Alvarez 2:37
Hello! thank you so much for having me. I’m grateful to be here.
Cara Taylor Swift 2:40
We are so excited to have you. I’m going to tell you guys a little bit about Denise. Denise Alvarez is a horse girl who loves marketing. She went ahead and married her two passions through her business. Stormlily Marketing Denise serves horse business owners so they can turn their website visitors into their customers through her monthly membership. And her how to market your horse business podcast. She is simplifying marketing for equine entrepreneurs so they can build a business they love she gets they would rather be in the barn than at the computer wouldn’t we all. That’s why she takes care of their website and email marketing so they can be outside doing what they love. Welcome again. Denise. We’re so happy to have you here.
Denise Alvarez 3:17
Yes. Thank you so much. I’m really glad to be here and excited to meet your audience.
Cara Taylor Swift 3:21
Yeah, right back at you. So what I think we’d love to do is have you start by telling us just a little bit about how you got started in a business serving equine professionals.
Denise Alvarez 3:30
Yeah, absolutely. So I started my career in marketing, generally speaking and nonprofit and ended up the past four years, probably, I have been handling marketing and social media in launches for a Bible study Teacher and Author. And so through that, I have also had the opportunity to learn so much from other online entrepreneurs and be educated in that way. And so at the same time, like you said, I’ve always been a horse girl, right? And so as I was sharing with you and Kim before we got on, I also, ever since I was in high school, you can ask my high school friends, what did Denise want to do, and it was be a CEO, like, I didn’t really talk about the industry. boss lady, I just loved leadership organizing operations, I didn’t really know exactly, I couldn’t name it, it was just like, I’m gonna be a CEO. Well, the cool thing is the past few years, I decided to I wanted to start my own business. And so I realized this year that I technically am a CEO. So now I do get to have my own business and and be in charge of my schedule and all the things that your listeners get to experience as well as they’re the CEO of their own business also. So at the same time, I grew up with horses, I’ve always loved them, but I definitely had a season of my life where I wasn’t around them as much and and then I had a season where I kind of needed to be around them more. I’m sure we’ve all had those times where your soul just kind of needs that time and needs a little bit of healing to take place and horses are a beautiful tool for that. And so in that process, I realized I love being with horses, but I’m not a horse trainer by trade I didn’t I’m not in a season of life to go for an apprentice program for three months. I have kiddos. So I tried to figure out how can I marry those two things together. And so I decided to take my experience and skills and marketing and my love for horses and serve horse business owners. And so that’s what I’ve been doing. And I really, really am loving it.
Cara Taylor Swift 5:20
I love that I know personally, I talked about on the show before that horses came first. So it was horses first, photography second, and then being able to marry your two passions. I mean, it’s, we couldn’t ask for a better way to spend our day. And like you’re not a horse trader by trade, but it is our horse trainer by trade. But it’s amazing to be able to make your schedule and to define how you spend your day in a way that does still allow you to be outside in the barn spending time with horses, which makes what you’re going to talk about today. Super exciting, right? Exactly,
Denise Alvarez 5:50
because that’s the thing, so many horse business owners, it’s a business, right, they start oftentimes, they started as a hobby, and then it’s kind of a business as a byproduct, essentially. And so there are many ways you can talk about that, from operations to finances, but one of the things I focus on is helping them do that as a business in terms of marketing. So realize that you can have a way to make new connections to get new customers to educate your customers. And that can be done with the beauty of online. If we do it right, you can still be out doing what you love to do. And you can still have your website be working for you while you’re outside working.
Kimberly Beer 6:27
Absolutely, absolutely. I always tell people that their website is their home base. It’s the place where their customers can go when they’re wanting to learn something about their business or investigating and researching. And it’s also a place people go when they want to contact you or want more information or want more connection. So to me websites are incredibly important in terms of digital marketing, yes, but in terms of an overall marketing program, they’re absolutely essential. But how do you feel about that? Denise? Where do you think websites fit in the 2021 marketing plan for most businesses, and especially equine or animal based businesses?
Denise Alvarez 7:09
Sure, that’s a great question. And one of the ways that I get that question is often Well, I have a Facebook page, I have an Instagram account, do I really need a website? If I have those things? And enough? Yeah, exactly. And, you know, to be honest, for some of those people, like if their end goal is just to have what they have at that moment, right? Like, if they’re not looking to do more, if they’re not looking to grow, and they’re not thinking about six months down the road, when the algorithm changes, and they don’t have that same reach, and they don’t have that same engagement, then sure at that moment, if that’s working for you, but if you’re going to think long term, if you’re going to even think six months down the road, then you’re renting that space is what I intend to say. So you’re renting space on Facebook, and Instagram and the other platforms, and we should, it’s a great marketing tool. I’m not saying not to use it. But what I say is you own your website, right, so you have control over how it looks, you have control over the messaging, you have control over that customer journey, when they actually do get there. And so then when they get to your website, like you said, they can learn more about you, they can figure out if they’re a fit for you. Like if you’re a specific discipline, if you’re a specific breed if you’re a specific animal, because I know you serve not just horse business owners. So your website is a place to take them deeper on that customer journey. So often say, social media is like your front porch. And it’s a great place to connect and meet people. But then your website is the living room, right, you’re going to bring them in and actually build that relationship. If you have a website,
Cara Taylor Swift 8:37
I would say that for some people, the website can be the absolute first impression too like, that’s the first time they’re coming across you if they’re searching for you on Google or somewhere online. So it’s really essential that that first impression is you’re getting the right message out there.
Kimberly Beer 8:51
Yeah, it is an important place to build that relationship. And also, as Cara said, Google is is important searching is important but also beyond that. We still do a lot of analog marketing and websites are on your business card. When you hand out we’re getting ready to go to event we’re going to be handing out business cards like crazy and people are going to be coming to our website as a first introduction pass to that that business card or postcard that they pick up at the event and it’s really important that that be a consistent experience with them meeting you and a consistent experience with them with what they found other places for you on online and your business card or postcard or whatever it is they happen to pick up. So I think you’re spot on Denise and I love the fact of how you put that you know your your social media, maybe the front porch but the living room or your sales floor or your your conference room. It’s it’s a lot of things your website can become a lot of things to a business.
Denise Alvarez 9:54
Yep, absolutely. Yeah. Those are all great points. Yes, Google. You could go really deep with those things too. When you get it too, but the thing that you said about consistency, I think is really key too, I don’t know how many websites you guys go on. But I go on a lot to just learn a little bit more about businesses see how they’re doing them. And so often, you’ll see this world class trainer to be honest. And then you go to their website, and you can tell it was built in like 99. You know, like it, it hasn’t been touched. And it’s not consistent with their brand, because they’re doing really great things and world class things. But if I were to just happen upon them on Google, and not be involved in the industry, and I’m looking for somebody, because I want to invest in a horse, or I want to invest in a trainer, I wouldn’t get the picture that that’s a world class trainer from their website. So consistency, that’s a very good point.
Kimberly Beer 10:39
Yeah. And, and I see that a lot too, especially in the horse industry, a lot of people built websites with like GoDaddy tonight, or something that was like Home on the Range, it was 100 years ago. There are a lot of them done in that and they are so not mobile friendly. And when you pull it up on your phone, it’s this wonky design, or it’s type so teensy, tiny and see that you can’t read it. And and even if you are a world class trainer, and somebody just saw you in the show pen, just blow it out of the water, and they go, Oh my gosh, I want to have that person, train my horse, and then they go to your website. If they literally cannot navigate your website enough to find your phone number, they may not come to you, they may not complete that transaction. So hiring a professional website designer and having a website is key, in my opinion.
Cara Taylor Swift 11:37
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Kimberly Beer 12:23
Denise, that brings us to our next topic, because you’ve done a really amazing job at coming up with some things that people need to really consider ahead of time in creating their website so that they make sure that that website dream becomes a reality as your checklist is. And guys, here’s our special gift for you. Denise has gifted us the ability to download her Four Must Haves to Make Your Equine Website Dream a Reality Checklist. So that checklist will be available in our show notes. If you want to click on it, you’ll be able to go to her website at Stormlily Marketing and be able to get that this checklist that we’re going to talk about. So Denise, do you want to talk to us a little bit about what your first must have is for a good website for equine people. anyone for that matter? Right?
Denise Alvarez 13:14
Yes, this is a key for all. And what I’ll say is when we talk about a great website, so like you said, you mentioned some things mobile is important. Of course visual is important. When I say great website and my content, what I mean is it’s going to help you turn your website visitors to your customers, because if you can have all the traffic in the world, but if you’re not taking them on a customer journey with you in some way, if you’re not speaking to them in some way, then it’s just a beautiful piece of art, right. So when we say great website, it is actually helping you to build the business of your dreams and that you love to do. And I’ll also say one quick thing. And that is each of these elements can actually be if needed on a one page website. So a lot of people starting out, get a little bit overwhelmed or maybe not sure that they’re ready to invest in a five or 10 page website and don’t have the content for that. And what I would say is that each of the elements that we’re going to talk about, they can actually all fit on a one page website. And I can share with you guys a link to put on your show notes as well. I put together a sample one page website for people to see. So they can see how each of these elements can work into place. So no matter where you’re at in your business, it’s possible
Cara Taylor Swift 14:18
dow would be awesome. Yeah, I think a lot of folks that are maybe new to the animal based business industry, their equine industry that that would be nice for them to have that option. If they’re feeling a little overwhelmed with taking the next step to going from having strictly a social media to a website. I love that. We’ll definitely take that and share that with the audience.
Denise Alvarez 14:36
Perfect. Yep, I’ll make sure to share that.
Kimberly Beer 14:38
And I just want to reiterate what I want everyone to listen really carefully to what Denise said. I’m going to say it in a different way. That’s a whole lot more direct. Your website doesn’t have to be complicated to be good.
Cara Taylor Swift 14:49
Oh, come on.
Kimberly Beer 14:51
You have to have 100 pages and a blog that’s updated as twice a day or you know, it doesn’t have have to be this big, large complex project organism for you to get your foot in the water and be successful with it and grow with it, you can start with a really beautiful one page website. So thank you for that Denise. And now without further ado, I’m gonna let you go ahead and talk.
Denise Alvarez 15:21
Now I really are, yeah, I really will give you those. Okay, so our first key for your great website is customer centered wording. So when your website visitors get to your website, you think as you’re writing content and sending it to your person or doing it yourself, you think I need to tell them all about me, right? I need to write everything about me. And while that’s true, what your website visitors want to know, is what are you going to do for them? What does that actually look like? How are you going to solve their problem? How are you going to make them feel better? How are you going to help their horse? How are you going to help their dog, their cat, whatever it might be. So wording is when marketing world we call it copy. So customer centered copy or wording is just all the text on your website, everywhere you go, you want to evaluate that and see if you’re talking to your audience as an even at times when you are talking about yourself, I want you to see if you can word it in a way that benefits them. So I have a couple examples. One in particular, I love Stacey Westfall, his website. And on her opener of her page, she says many people feel doubt when training their own horse. I teach people how to understand, enjoy and successfully train their own horses. Brilliant copy, because she’s starting out using wording that is talking to that person. So if I get on that website, and I’m having these problems, I want to enjoy this process of training my own horse, but I’m not. I’m feeling doubtful that I know, okay, Stacy’s for me, I’m going to keep reading. But on the other hand, of course, if, if that’s not where I’m at, if I feel really confident, I’ve been doing this for years, I’m looking to go a little bit more advanced in a certain discipline, then I know that’s not for me. So it’s very customer centered, it’s speaking right to them, and lets them know if this is for them. Because our websites are not created just to be promotional pieces. They’re really there to help you connect with your potential customers and to be that dividing line so that if they’re a fit, they keep going. If they’re not a fit, then they move on. And that way you’re really working with the people that are best fit for you.
Cara Taylor Swift 17:22
What a great example.
Kimberly Beer 17:23
It is a great example. Denise, do you have any tips for people who, when you immediately when you say writing or wording or something like that, they immediately go, Oh, my gosh, I’m a terrible writer. Do you have any tips for those folks? might be able to help them with this particular piece of the puzzle?
Denise Alvarez 17:44
Yeah, sure. I have a couple. So one is be okay was an ugly first draft, do not think that you’re going to write it and be done with it. And a lot of people do that. And you can tell like they’re, it’s so hard for them that they just are like, Okay, I’m done, and walk away. But even the best people that write great copy, they go back and edit. So go back at 24 hours later or two days later, read it again, and just edit and when you’re editing it, ask yourself, you know, is it clear, and then a really practical one is to shorten your sentences. So so often our sentences are really long run ons. And when someone’s trying to read that on your website, it’s hard.
Cara Taylor Swift 18:21
story of my life.
Kimberly Beer 18:22
Denise Alvarez 18:24
Yeah. So a very practical thing to do is just go in and shorten your sentences and be a little bit more compact like you did for me Kim be direct in your in your conversations. And then the other one is to see if you use the word “you” at all, because using the word view, is a really good way to just connect and speak directly to that person. So if you can write some sentences and you’re using the word view, then you know you’re talking directly to that customer and not in third person about yourself and not in third person, about that customer making a conversation between you and that person.
Kimberly Beer 18:57
Those are great tips, great tips. And I am personally I love words, and I love adjectives, and I love adverbs. And I always feel like I’m like knocking off my children when I go back and edit my work because I’m like, Oh, I love you word so much. But I also have learned over multiple years and a degree in creative writing that short and simple is often the best way to make your point. Oh, yeah. So that’s great. Thank you for that one. So what’s our next tip? I’m excited to learn.
Denise Alvarez 19:33
Yes. So the next key for your website is going to be have a clear and compelling call to action. Now, when I say this on my podcast, I always say okay, don’t worry, call to action. You’re like what the heck, that’s a marketing term. That’s not my language. So call to action is really just telling them what you want them to do. So being very specific on the next steps that they should take and that journey with you. So when they land on your website, think about it. What do you want them to do? Do you want them To schedule a free consultation, do you want them to get a free sample? Do you want them to sign up for your email? Do you want them to get your freebie, like this checklist that I shared with you all is one of the freebies I have on my website. So let’s get your free checklist. But you want to guide them in the process. You don’t want them to just land on your website and have to discover for themselves what they should do next, have a button. You see this all the time on websites, because they work have a button that tells them exactly what you want them to do. Get started with your horse and training. Schedule your first lesson. Be very specific and tell them what that next step should be.
Kimberly Beer 20:37
And I know people go all the time, well, they came to my website for a reason, shouldn’t they know what they should do next? That’s not always the case, right? It’s not always really clear to people where to start? When you’re the business owner? Do you prefer to have an exploratory call with people before you start working with them? Can they purchase things right off of your site? You have to help them understand? What is it that you do? How do you do business here?
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Denise, can you give us a few examples. I know you gave us a couple in there a few more examples of what a call to action might look like on a website for maybe a horse trainer.
Denise Alvarez 21:53
Sure. Before I forget this one, I’ll say you mentioned ecommerce. So there’s a lot of those out there too, that are specifically pets and horses. And you might land there and they just assume that you’re going to be shopping but you want to have a shop now button. You want to tell them okay, I want you to start shopping, you know shop sale items, whatever it is for a horse trainer, it might be inquire about placing your horse in training, maybe you have a breeding program, and you have a button that says see if your mare is a fit for our stallion, you know, something like that. I’m just thinking about that next step, don’t make it the step where it’s like pay now. Right? It’s the next step in the journey. Not necessarily don’t scare them away with expecting them to pull out their credit card right away. Right?
Cara Taylor Swift 22:34
That is such a good point, because you’re kind of fostering the relationship still at that point.
Denise Alvarez 22:38
Cara Taylor Swift 22:39
Kind of nurturing it, you’re kind of fostering it. You’re not just like your credit card. So I love that. And I do think a lot of people make that mistake I probably have on my website like shop now. You know, sitting there in the shopping cart. That is such a good point.
Kimberly Beer 22:54
Yeah, I love that come to my website here. Give me your credit card number immediately.
Denise Alvarez 22:58
Yeah. Right, exactly. And for some people, if you’ve nurtured that relationship, maybe they’re ready. But for many of your website visitors, they need to be taken on that journey a little bit more.
Kimberly Beer 23:09
Absolutely. And calls to action are relatively easy to figure out. It’s just what do you think would be the next best step for that person to take? And that’s your call to action? Okay, Denise, that’s awesome. So we have make your wording and your content customer centric, make sure you’re looking at that give people a clear, compelling call to action. What’s our next key?
Denise Alvarez 23:33
The next one you guys will love because you’re photographers, so it is to use captivating pictures. It is so important. It is so important. You know, we all know that saying picture’s worth 1000 words, because it really does speak volumes. Just that horse trainer, we just talked about the World class trainer that has a website from 1999. His pictures probably don’t look that great, right. And I can tell you, I’ve been on lots of websites where people will take a show picture, for example. So they’ve won these show ribbons in somebody took it on their phone, and then somebody emailed to somebody and then they even took a screenshot I’ve literally received a screenshot of a photo to put as the main picture in it. It does not look captivating. And I know you’re so proud of that winning, but it is not going to do what you hope it’ll do. So it really and you guys could speak on your own, I’m sure about what is a captivating image. And I think here that’s even one of the things you said you’ve talked about. So I won’t dial down into all the elements of what a captivating picture is. But really just again, think of it through the eyes of your customer. So when your potential customer when they land on your website, what do you want to communicate? What kind of quality Do you want to communicate because your pictures really are a definition of that quality that you’re communicating to them. The other thing I would say is I’ve also seen many websites that have really pretty pictures, but their placement of them is so haphazard and odd and so back to what Kim was saying earlier, having somebody design it for you, it really is a benefit. Like, if you don’t have an eye for that I get DIY and starting out, totally get it and you have to do what you have to do. But when you can get somebody to help you that has a little bit of a better eye for design, and they can make your pictures that you may be paid, you may be paid a professional photographer, you maybe have really good photos, but then on your website, they’re not looking so good, you know.
Cara Taylor Swift 25:24
And I mean, doesn’t mean you have to have someone create your website, but people do website audits all the time and give feedback on it. And something as simple as you know, balancing the page so that it’s aesthetically pleasing when someone comes there can make a big difference, I think and you know, going back to the comments you made about the photos and the trainer in the old, you know, your images not only have to be quality, but they should tell the message, they should tell your story that you want to portray. And when you’re using really old dated images or poor quality images, I mean, to me, all of that represents your business. And even things as simple as you’re using a super dated image where you’re wearing clothing that nobody wears today. And you know, the horses are in tack that nobody uses anymore. I mean, those even those things, send a message about, you know, who you are and your business. So you’re spot on with that I could talk about that all day long, I won’t, but I could.
Kimberly Beer 26:17
and I could go on and on about it as well, in 1999, we were still shooting film, and scanning it and putting it on websites. And I remember that and it was okay at the time those photos look out of focus and fuzzy for the most part because of how they were scanned and how film generally gets to a digital format. And if you’re still using pictures from that, and they’re not on your history page showing how wonderful it was that you’ve been a professional horse trainer for 20 plus years. Yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s not, it’s not that you shouldn’t have photos from 1999, if you were showing back then. But you should be aware that the quality is different in digital images. And it’s a subtle thing on people’s brains, right? They don’t consciously think oh, that person has fuzzy images, what they think is they’re not as professional, they’re not as up to date, things aren’t as crisp and clear. And so they don’t consciously go, Oh, I didn’t hire that person. Because they have bad photography or a poor website design, what they do is they go, Oh, this other person’s place just looks so much more beautiful, and their horses are more healthy. And look at how shiny that horses code is and how happy the person is because their face is all in focus. So it’s all of these little subtle cues that that people don’t even consciously pick up on is consumers that make them create the choices that they do when they choose who they want to work with. And so it’s really important for those of you who want to know, we did an episode earlier in the podcast on how to choose good images, and how to work with a professional photographer. And so go back and listen to that episode, if this is something that you want to add more. And for those of you who are pushing back going, I can’t afford a professional photographer, or the show photos are expensive. Stop and think about it for a moment, if you’re a professional equestrian, and you’re maybe a horse trainer wanting to get more people into your business, you know, spending the money for that professional photo and the rights to use it. One, it supports another entrepreneur who is trying to feed their family and get along down the road just like you are and that fosters a really lovely universal principle of getting more back. But besides that, it’s not that expensive in the scheme of things. If you make one customer off of that photo, it’s worth it in 1000 other ways. So definitely consider it humans are visual, we gather most of our information through our eyes. And it’s just really important that those images be nice. And I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Denise Alvarez 29:01
I knew it. I’m sorry. I said I won’t even have to go into the nitty gritty on this one because this is really yeah, you can’t get us going too much on photography, we get concerned.
Kimberly Beer 29:16
Cara, do you have anything else to add to that subject?
Cara Taylor Swift 29:18
No, I will put a link in the show notes to that episode. And make sure that folks have access to it. So
Kimberly Beer 29:26
yeah, I think it’s a great place to go back and look. Okay, now normally we are the big three girls, but we have a bonus tip from Denise today. And so Denise, what is that fourth key that’s on your checklist.
Denise Alvarez 29:39
So the fourth one is to collect leads on your website. Now again, I will define leads is a marketing term, it really just means potential customers, right? But it’s a little bit more than potential customer. It’s a potential customer that you have contact for. So you could have 1000s of people land on your website that are potential customers. They’re not necessarily a lead Because you don’t have any way to follow up with them. But if you have a way on your website to collect those, and the way that I coach people to do it is through email marketing. So a very simple way is like we talked about the checklist that I have on my website. So when somebody signs up for that, when you all go to the show notes of this podcast episode, and you’re going to sign up for that checklist, I’m going to ask you for your name and your email address. And then I’m going to be able to let you know on a regular basis, when I have a new podcast episode that’s coming out, I’m going to serve you with value. So I’m not looking to sell I’m looking to serve. And that’s what I coach people to do as well. So as you are collecting email addresses as you’re collecting leads, and with the end goal of having some sort of email marketing platform that you can stay in touch with them, you can email even bi weekly and say, these are the upcoming shows that I’m going to be at or we have an opening or we have clinics coming up or I have a training day coming up that you can come to whatever it might be, then you can serve them in that way. And then yes they’ll, eventually become your customers when you’re ready to sell as well. So I always coach people don’t just have a box that says sign up for your email newsletter, instead provide something of value for free that you can put together. And that is going to help you to actually collect those leads. And you can use that the cool thing about that is it’s not just gonna hang it on your website, you can talk about that wherever you go. You can talk about it in your social media, you can invite people and in person, like you said, at events at clinics, use a question that you get all the time, take your answer to that question and turn it into some people like to do video, turn it into a video answer. And when they sign up for your emails, then you email back a link where they can watch the video of you answering that common question. Or maybe it’s a downloadable PDF, whatever it might be something that’s valuable that your audience will actually want to get from you. And will allow you to continue that journey like we have talked about continue that conversation continue to build that relationship in the long term. So collecting leads as that one
Cara Taylor Swift 31:59
Denise can you talk a little bit about why it’s so important to not come at it from the perspective of you’re there to sell something, instead, you’re offering value, because we’ve talked a little bit about that here. But I would love to hear your perspective on that,
Denise Alvarez 32:14
really, it comes down to building that know, like and trust factor, right. So when you buy from somebody, it’s because you either know them, you like them, or you trust for some reason you trust that what they have said is going to happen, what they’ve said they will provide, you will actually get what they’ve promised. So by serving and building up that know like and trust factor, you’re letting them know you are trustworthy, you’re letting them know you’re an authority in that space. And so for example, I have a client. So one of the things that I do is manage email marketing for different horse businesses. So I help them get the content ready, schedule it out different levels, depending on what they need. So one particular client, she does workshops and retreats. So every week, she has a valuable email that serving but at the bottom of that she also says join me at these upcoming workshops and retreats, and she has been able to fill those up by doing that. So it does not mean that you can never put your information out there doesn’t mean you can never promote but you definitely if you just sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. If somebody is not ready to buy at that moment, and you’re not doing anything else for them. When it comes to email marketing, they’re just gonna delete or unsubscribe. And then in six months when they’re ready, you’re not the one that’s top of mind. Right. So that’s one of the main main reasons I say, serve serve before you sell.
Cara Taylor Swift 33:31
I think that’s one of my biggest complaints about email marketing is and Kim knows I have lots of complaints about email marketing. But the biggest issue I have with it is that my inbox is just jam packed of junk. And if it’s not somebody that’s giving me something that is useful, that’s helpful that’s teaching me something or that is putting out content that I’m interested in. I’m unsubscribing I’m ignoring it. And we know how the algorithm feels about unopened emails now. I mean, it’s just not happening. So you know, the last thing that I would want to do as a business owner is to put more noise out there or to like you said, be selling, selling, selling so they get so tired of hearing from you. So thank you for sharing that. And I just wanted to hear your take on it. And I appreciate that.
Denise Alvarez 34:14
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great question. Because you’re right, I have a lot of people that will say that to they’ll say, Well, I get so many emails, I can’t imagine how email marketing is effective? Well, it depends on how you approach it. Yeah. And if you’re not serving and all you’re doing is selling then it may not be effective for you. So you definitely have to have the right mindset going into it.
Kimberly Beer 34:30
Yeah. And you have to collect the right people into your list the people that you’re sending emails to should be interested in hearing from you. They should be the people that the checklist is appropriate for or the video is the perfect fit for and then they’re excited to get your emails to me and I I’m the opposite of Cara. I am a huge advocate for email marketing. I spend a lot of time trying to convince her that it is an amazing opportunity for everyone, but it’s important and It does work when you’re on the receiving end of emails that are valuable to you, as the consumer. And from the consumers perspective, if you ask them, there’s been multiple surveys done. And in typical consumers will say that email is their preferred method of communication. It’s the way they want to hear from brands, it’s the way that they want to be communicated to probably much more so than any other fashion. But it’s up to the business owner to make sure that they do it one, respectfully, and two, in a way that always remains valuable to the person on the other end, and still leads them back to your business. So it’s a nice fine dance that you have to walk to be able to get it done perfectly. But I wholeheartedly I love this particular point that you made Denise about collecting leads off of a website, because I think then when you can look back over the last six months or a year for your website, and you see how many people have downloaded whatever or signed up for your list from the website, that you can really get a very firm return on the investment that it took for you to write, collect the images and, and put together that website and how much it does work for you. Because digital marketing works as a whole. And we don’t always understand exactly what was the trigger that finally tripped the sale. But when we can go back and look at how many people visited the site, and we can look at how many people use that lead collection form, then we have a really good idea of exactly how impactful our website can be. And if it’s not being impactful, then it’s time to reach out to a professional like Denise or myself or someone else who can help you be able to do that. And speaking of that, Denise, would you please give us some good information on how the folks that are listening can get in touch with you if they want to learn more about what it is that you have to offer?
Denise Alvarez 36:59
Sure, yes, I’d love to. So yep, my website is Stormlilymarketing.com, and it’s literally Lily, like the normal Lilly Li l y. And then I’m on Instagram at the same. And on Facebook. I also happen to have two Facebook pages because I took over the How to Market Your Horse Business Facebook page, which is already in existence. And so that connects with my podcast as well. So I love to connect there. And then of course, if you go get that checklist, storm elite comm slash checklist, or straight at your all’s show notes page, then they can get connected that way as well. And if you have questions about what I’ve talked about here, then reach out I love to visit with you all and answer your questions too.
Cara Taylor Swift 37:37
Awesome. Thank you so much, Denise. It’s been great having you here today. And I think I told you at the beginning of the show is that I’m not the most website savvy person. So I was taking notes. And I’m going to go back through my website now with like a fine tooth comb and see what I can do to just kind of up my game a little bit. So thank you so much. Oh, good.
Denise Alvarez 37:56
I’m excited. You’re so welcome. Thank you, ladies for having me. And thank you for all you do on your podcast. I know you were faithfully putting out great content. So I appreciate that.
Kimberly Beer 38:04
Thank you. Thank you. Alright, that’s it for today.
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