Kathleen Celmins is the CEO and co-founder of Amplified NOW, a video-first content marketing agency. She sat down to talk with Alison Reeves, a blogger, and coach who has been working in digital marketing since 2011. She helps bloggers and influencers become entrepreneurs.
Alison works with a variety of people, but most fall into the blogger or influencer category. The people she works with have done many different things, but they enjoy content creation and want to make money doing it.
They are also people who tend to like to figure things out on their own, and they usually have multiple passions. Having more than one thing they love can make it harder for her clients to focus and pull all of their hobbies together to create an income. This is where Alison comes in.
Alison helps entrepreneurs figure out what to sell and holds them accountable for sticking with a process.
Her signature program is called the Monetization Accelerator Program, a 6-month coaching program for existing bloggers and influencers ready to accelerate their income by creating and selling their courses, services, coaching, or products.
When she began the program, she primarily worked with people who weren’t making any money off their blog, but as time has gone on, she has helped more people who are already making thousands of dollars a month from their blog but can’t seem to increase their income.
Regardless of how much income they start the program making, Alison has noticed that they all struggle with the same things. The program helps them master their messaging, attract leads, increase traffic, and master sales.
Six months later, some of her clients earn money for the first time from their blog after years of posting. Others increase their income by thousands of dollars a month.
Alison’s Entrepreneurial Journey
During her career, Alison has worked for many successful people and corporations. After a while, she began to wonder why she wasn’t taking her skills and building a business herself. She started by getting into affiliate advertising and had some success but found it to be unpredictable.
Before long, she discovered that creating her own offer and testing it out with organic traffic allowed her to scale and grow her income more efficiently and reliably.
When she started her coaching business in 2017, she worked with real estate agents. She began by hiring an expensive, professional marketing company to build a webinar funnel for her. She purchased a lot of ads in the hope that they would lead to a sales call.
For Alison, this experience was painful and emotional. Recently, her husband had been laid off, and she needed to bring in money more than ever.
She didn’t know if the offer would sell because she had never sold it before. She now found that she was spending thousands of dollars on ads without any guarantee that they would pay off. She hoped her ads would get her to the next step of a sales call, which she had never done before.
In 2017, she ended up spending about $15,000 to make $7,000, which was disheartening. She didn’t give up, though.
Her next step was to hire a business coach. This coach taught her about organic launching and growth. The idea was that when launching a new product or idea, you show up on social media and get the conversation started.
Alison took this advice, made it her own, and began focusing on what she calls “social selling.”
Her formula for success begins with starting with the right offer and audience and then doing what she calls “curating organically.”
Curating organically is different than than the approach a lot of people take to social media and blogging. Alison finds that most people throw their ideas out onto their blog or social media and then wait to see what happens.
Instead, Alison believes in being willing to make connections intentionally on the front end.
This process is unique and is what helps the bloggers that she works with to be so successful. In the short term, they use Pinterest for quick wins, search engine optimization (SEO) for long wins, and social selling for immediate wins.
Purely organic sales begin with starting the conversation intentionally. The exact way this works depends on what platform you are on, but the bottom line is that you’re not waiting for people to interact with you or waiting for their clicks to come. Instead, you find the right environment, show up there, and add value.
This method is not the same as selling to people in their DMs or cold messaging people. It’s really about starting a conversation with the right people in the right place.
The biggest compliment Alison gets from clients is that she didn’t make them feel like they were a sales prospect or that she pushed a sales page. They felt like she was authentic and had their best interest at heart.
Showing up with conviction and from a place of expertise looks a lot different than showing up to make a sale or reach a specific number goal. While this is a process that everyone can follow, it isn’t easy. Organic curation is vulnerable. You have to be open, show up consistently and be willing to start conversations. If you are eager to do this, it works every single time.
How to Monetize Your Blog
If you’re new to blogging and wondering how to get started monetizing it, Alison’s advice is to keep your blog to three topics and start with what you’re going to sell.
Just as you would never open a corner store without knowing what you were going to sell, you shouldn’t start a blog before knowing what you want to offer. This can be hard when you haven’t found your direction or have never sold anything before, but starting with this in mind will lead you to the right place.
Her other piece of advice is to be consistent! Alison believes that consistency always breeds skill. Even if you are terrible at the beginning, don’t quit! Keep going, and eventually, you’ll see results. Celebrate every win along the way.
Doing these things is how you become an entrepreneur instead of a hobbyist.
Doing Marketing Differently
When it comes to thinking of marketing differently, Alison says the most important thing you have to do is believe that the process can work. She says it doesn’t matter how big your audience is; you can still make money.
Alison has found that if someone doesn’t see income from blogging, it is a problem with one or more of these four things: messaging, email list, traffic, or sales. To address these issues, she offers a free masterclass that teaches a 4-step framework for a money-making blog. If that sounds right for you, you can sign up for her next class here.
Learn more about Alison, you can find her on her website: Alison Reeves Co.
We’d love to hear how you and your business are doing marketing differently! Get in touch with us and be featured on the blog.