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Today I am coaching Kim Fischer who is the CEO and founder of 13 Emeralds marketing agency where she helps businesses grow and scale by utilising SEO and SEM strategies. Kim's challenge is with finding the middle ground in her audience—between those who are looking for 1:1 agency services and those who are just there for the free advice. So today we're focusing on understanding your audience's priorities and how to meet them where they are at.
In this episode we chat about:
– How the content you're sharing may be holding your audience back.
– The disadvantage of “how to” content and the overwhelm this can create.
– Why understanding whether your client is “problem aware” or “solution aware” will help you to directly address the barriers (and gaps) to entry.
– The ongoing importance of creating and promoting the “framework” in the 60-90 days leading to cart open.
– How befriending the potential evolution of AI technology will help you to meet it (and capitalise on it) head on.
Today I am coaching one of my Launch Magic alumni from a few years ago on how to get her online course in front of more of the right people. So what she's been finding is that people either want to pay her to do it for them, or they want to go and figure it out and Google it, and YouTube it, and do it all for free.
So today we are workshopping how she can get these right people in and how she can use her free content to strategically nurture the right people who might already be in her audience, and she just doesn't realise it yet. This is a super valuable lesson for anybody who is launching a course or even a service.
“I'm Kim. I run 13 Emeralds Marketing, which is an SEO agency turned SEM agency. We've started offering paid ads as well, so that's kind of shifted a little bit probably since the last time we spoke.
So the kind of problem that I'm having is that when I go to Launch, a course or a program or something, I either get this huge influx of people who want my agency work, which of course is great. Not complaining about that. It's always nice to have those people come in, but obviously, they're not the audience for a course or a membership or anything kind of like that.
Or I get the people who are like, I just want the free info, whether that's my freebie, or they're going to go to YouTube or Google and try and figure it out themselves. So I'm struggling to find those people in the middle who are ready to learn in a course or membership kind of capacity and that's where the issue tends to lie.”
So the way that I'm seeing it, it's not that you have a group of audience who want done-for-you and a group of your audience who want the free stuff, it's that you have a group of your audience that understands why it's a priority, and you have a group of your audience that doesn't understand why it's a priority yet and I'm guessing there are a bunch of people who see it as a priority, but maybe they don't have the budget to work with you in that agency capacity and now you are, I guess, come back to the Magician's Gap, which is to show them how it is totally possible to DIY. And the reason why it seems really hard is that Google and YouTube and all of the other free content they're consuming are making it really hard.
You need to educate them with your content. I think there's going to be something there in the content that isn't quite hitting the mark. It's not showing the people who don't prioritise it, it's not showing them why they need to prioritise it enough to actually spend money on it. And it's not showing the people who can't afford to get you to do it for them. It's not showing them that it's easy.
You mentioned before that you were sharing quite a bit of how-to in your free content, and that was the point where the agency people realised, oh, this is hard and I want to come in, I want you to do it for me.
What kind of content are you sharing there? Like what are the topics?
“Last year I was doing the topics. It was like how to conduct some basic keyword research or small things like how to optimise your images and how to install schema markup into the backend of your website, which always sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. And smaller things like that, like easy how-tos and not big picture strategy, how-tos. But it's been difficult to convey big-picture strategy in little tiny posts.”
Give me an example of something that you've had to learn recently, something new that you've learned.
“Something I've had to learn recently was my customer experience or client experience in setting up systems in a more customized way because all of our packages are basically custom now and so figuring out that has been very difficult and very overwhelming but I think we've got it.”
Imagine that I was teaching you how to do that, or imagine you were consuming my free content and you haven't signed up for a course. I've got a course on how to set all of that up and you haven't bought my course, but you're consuming my free content.
And in my free content, one day I might share how to set up this system. Then the next day I might set up what is a customer journey. Then the next piece of content might be how to set up another system and meanwhile, you've got all of these different little how-tos.
But you can't actually see the bigger picture and that feels a little bit overwhelming, right? Because you're like, oh, there's this, there's this, this, this. But I don't know what I need to piece together to actually get to that end result that I want.
And that's one of the reasons why I don't love how-to content. Because we can teach little bits of it, but somebody can do the keyword research and now they're like, cool, what do I do with that? Because they don't know where it fits. They don't know where it belongs with the overall process to get the end result that they want, which is more traffic.
Okay, so think about it like this, right? Your ideal client for this offer is probably either somebody who already understands why SEO is a great idea for their business. They just can't afford to engage your agency, or they're somebody who doesn't understand why SEO is a good fit yet.
So it's one of those two people.
If it's the people who already understand why they need it, content about the benefits of SEO is going to fall flat because they already understand why they need it but there are some things that are holding them back from actually doing it: wanting to learn how to do it themselves and buying your course to learn to do it themselves.
And I'm guessing one of those things is SEO is way too technical, I can't do it. A great piece of content to overcome that would be saying, look, if you've got like a case study, for example, if somebody who was really not techy, and they figured it out, they learned how to do it using your course, it might be an overview of, Hey, this is a roadmap of all of the tech stuff involved in SEO, and you can go and figure all of these things out. You can go and Google them all and piece them all together, or we walk you through it step by step in the course.
For the people who aren't prioritising SEO, maybe a side-by-side comparison of traffic to a client's website from SEO, from Google versus Instagram, or sales from Google versus Instagram. So really showing them, Hey, this is going to give you a much better return on your time than showing up on reels like you think you need to.
But the other thing that I was thinking was with your existing content, were you saying you're trying to tell them how SEO works? Do they need to know how SEO works to be ready to buy a course about SEO? Or do they just need to understand a few key reasons why it's going to impact them more than social media?
“Definitely the latter. They definitely don't need to know how it all works to be able to learn how to do it. I guess that would be a lot of what you would learn in the course would be how it all works and how it all fits together and all the pieces to the puzzle.”
And do they need to know how to do their own keyword research before they buy the course?
“No, definitely be something. We would be teaching them along the way. I think that was me trying to show them how easy it was to do it rather than getting the testimonials or the feedback from people who don’t know what they were doing before, seeing how easy it was in the future once they've like completed a course or something like that.”
Let's think about your audience on a bit of a continuum, right? There are those who are problem aware. They're the people who are think, I'm not getting enough eyeballs on my business and I'm not selling enough, and ah, how do I fix that? And those are the people who don't prioritise SEO enough.
Then you've got the next lot of people who are the ones who are solution aware. They're thinking, SEO is what is going to deliver more traffic to my website, which is going to help me to make more sales.
Both of those groups of people are going to need different content to get them to the point where they are ready to buy. The people who are problem aware are going to need a bit of education on SEO and the solution is SEO.
People who are solution aware are going to need a little bit of educating on, Hey, it's easy, you can do it. It can be really affordable. Once you learn how to do it, now you've got a skill that you can keep applying over and over and over again in your business to generate traffic in the long term rather than spending this time recording and editing a reel and it just falls flat after a week.
Sometimes it's really difficult to put ourselves in the shoes of our clients or our audience who are not the experts. But a really great way to simplify things and to make it seem really achievable is using frameworks.
So I would be sharing in that 60 to 90 days before doors open, I would be sharing content for those problems and solution-aware people, but I would also still be sharing a little bit about your framework.
So I would think about like, what is this framework that is underpinning the entire course and how can you refer back to the framework? Give it a name, give it like Kim's Five Steps Signature SEO System, something like that. And you'd be talking about maybe keyword research and talking about how keyword research is the very first step because it uncovers what your ideal clients are looking for so that you can get in front of the people who are actually searching for what you have.
Not just interrupting them while they're scrolling through their social media feed, and this is the first step in the framework because blah, blah, blah, right? So we are always linking the concept back to this framework.
And then at some stage, somebody's going to be like, cool, I want to learn how to actually apply this framework to my own business and they can work with you to do the framework, to apply the framework for them in their business, or they can learn about your framework through the course, they've got those two parts.
And then during Cart open, you'll be also talking about the framework and sharing, I know this is really techy for you, and I know it can feel really scary. And you're like, yeah, Kim, it's really easy for me to do, but it's actually, it can be easy for you to do as well. And I've put together all of these templates, cheat sheets, et cetera to make it as simple as possible.
“How do I convince people that SEO is still going to be a strategy you're going to need in the future? How future-proof does it need to be with a strategy that's going to be changing here in the next few years?”
Let's start with the second question, right, because you are going to update your course if you need to. If suddenly we're no longer searching for things, but we're having little conversations with robots to find the answer to something, there's still going to be a way that you need to optimise your website so that this little piece of AI can find the content on your website. So, you're going to constantly need to update it and that's okay.
But then to answer your second question. As a person who is an expert in SEO, you know why it's going to be around. You know why it's never going to go away, and how, and you can share that as a great piece of thought leadership content of, Hey, this is why I don't believe SEO is going to go away, and these are some potential realities.
Or it might be that Google completely resets and deletes all of the AI-written content, and it's really important for you to have human-written, good-quality SEO content, or you know, whatever the third option might look like, right? So you're presenting these different realities of what it might look like but actually, in all of those realities, SEO is still very important.
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