Heather Blackmon is an endurance coach and marketing consultant with over 14 years of experience in the digital space. Her goal is to help everyday athletes reach their goals in running and triathlon, while giving them the energy and confidence to fully live life. She offers a 30 Day Marketing Academy to help endurance coaches learn the marketing strategies and tactics to grow their businesses – helping to impact the lives of even more athletes.
My main focus is working with runners and triathletes and help them to reach their goals faster and with less injuries. Related to that I also love working with other endurance coaches, other coaches who are in the similar space and help them to build a marketing plan to grow their business.
Why is it so important to find your avatar?
If you think about having a conversation with someone at a cocktail party, if you have a generic discussion and you don’t pay attention to who you are talking to that conversations isn’t going to go so well. They’re gonna lose interest because they are not really interested in you as a person. On the other hand, if you understand that person that you are talking to at the cocktail party, you know that they have kids and they enjoy hanging out with their friends in the mountains on the weekends or whatever it is and you get really specific about who you are talking to, the conversation goes really well because you care about them and you have a connection. I think that’s a really good way to think about identifying who you talk to so that you can be specific in those communications and your marketing materials. Don’t be generic cause if you are speaking to everyone you are definitely not speaking to anyone.
How do you think we can really figure out who our avatar is?
One thing I like to recommend is to think about who you enjoy working with most. Everyone has a group that they love working with. In my space, whether that is a brand new runner and you really love helping someone discover running for the first time or maybe you are looking at someone who has done a couple of races and now their looking to get faster. Or someone who really likes working with elites, or someone who’s just in the cusp of going into that elite category. There’s someone you really click with and that you both enjoy working with and you actually do a great job helping them to get better. I think it’s looking at those talents and where you find enjoyment and then you can start and narrow it down. If you’re really early in the process and you don’t even know that yet, I think it is a little bit of a trial-and-error type of situation where maybe you try who you think you’d like to work with and then you can narrow it down from there.
Can you explain what a lead magnet is and why you absolutely need one?
A lead magnet is basically something that you’re bartering for or giving to that person visiting your website in exchange for their email address. Now you can follow up with them in the future. Technically, it’s something of value that someone else is going to want to get from you and those can take a million different shapes and forms. Most commonly it’s a PDF download that you are offering or a video series, something that is available for someone to get instantly online. It answers a basic need.
How do you figure out exactly what you should have as your lead magnet?
I’m gonna touch this in 2 different ways. If you’re somebody who has an established website and has some good history behind it, I think a great place to start is to go look at what your most popular topics on your website are today. (As long as it aligns with what you’re offering.)
If you’re brand new, this is something you don’t really have and you’re gonna go back to that avatar that you’ve created, that ideal customer. Brainstorm all the different things that they’re interested in and understand what their major problems are. From there you can actually create something from scratch and probably test a couple of different items to understand what really resonates with that audience.
How would you say people with physical products create different lead magnets vs. digital products?
A lot of people maybe would do apparel for example. Maybe I was selling triathlon running shirts, one of the things I can giveaway then, Top 5 ways to customize your shirt to make sure that people cheer you along the course or something of just interest that’s related to that product.
It’s just looking for a related item to that physical product that makes them want to buy because there’s something that makes it more exciting.
Why should we even giveaway things for free?
Think about the fact that when you are creating a business, you’re building a relationship with this customer. The very first time that you meet someone if you immediately say, ‘Give me money’ it’s probably not going to be a pleasant conversation. But when you’re giving something away of value at the beginning you’re starting to build a relationship. You’re building trust, you’re helping to build your expertise in that area and show them that you’ve got something they could actually learn from or that they could use in their life. Now, you’ve courted them for a little bit, you’ve built that relationship for a period of time. Now, when you say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this great item that I think you’re really going to enjoy whether it’s a physical or that digital product, they understand who you are and how that might help them in a much more trustworthy way than that initial meeting might be.
How do we figure out where to put the different incentives?
I like to try things in many different places and then see what works. Honestly I’m always going to offer things in multiple places because every person who visits your website is likely gonna go through a slightly different flow. You want to be able to cater the experience to them. One I believed that works the best is if you’re reading a post about a certain topic having an incentive specifically related to that topic, in my experience, works the best. Otherwise, pop-ups are great. It is a great way to get in front of your audience fast and I’ve never actually seen that it’s hurt the performance of a website that I’ve used that on.
What do you think entrepreneurs should be focusing on if they’re working on growing their brand?
The best tip I can give someone is to be consistent. If you’ve decided that you are going to do something, do it consistently every time show up in the same way so people start to recognize what you are doing and where they can find you.
What has been the biggest game changer in your business?
For me, I think it’s really been partnering with other companies in my niche. You don’t have to go it alone . Look for those partnerships that make sense for you. I think it’s a great way for you to grow.
Do you have a tip for the listeners on how they can start to figure out what partnerships would work for them?
Look for partnerships where you’re reading.
What would you say your favorite social media platform is for entrepreneurs building a business?
Instagram. It’s been a great place for me to be seen and then find my audience and be able to build that ongoing relationship where they can see what I do not just in my normal business but also kind of peek into behind the scenes and my day-to-day life. Periscope is another great platform for me. I think it’s a great way to connect with people face to face. They’re able to see me and really interact on that live broadcasting platform which is a great way to build that relationship even quicker.
Tell us your favorite business book.
Will it Fly by Pat Flynn*. I just started but it’s going to be a winner. At the very beginning of really starting to grow and launch my business the other one that I still go back to is Entrepreneur Roller Coaster* and I think that was a great introduction to just what to expect.
What is your number 1 piece of advice to just get started?
Just start. Don’t wait until it’s perfect. Get what you’re thinking of out there and test the market.
What is your number 1 piece of advice for entrepreneurs to take their brand to the next level?
I think just really building that brand, understanding how you want to come across, taking that time to understand, ‘Do you want to have a brand that is recognized as exciting or stable? Do you want to be seen as somebody who’s really intelligent or really creative?’ Make sure that comes across in everything that you say and everything that you create.
What is your biggest marketing and lead generation pet peeve and how can we fix it?
I am always very frustrated in those situations where you see somebody over promising something and then when you take that leap and you sign up for it, you see that it’s kind of a big let down and they really under deliver.
What’s your secret online tool?
Thrive Leads has definitely seen something I am completely obsessed with since I started using it.
What is one thing you do in your day that contributes to your success?
Share one thing that you want our listeners to know about you that you think they don’t know.
One thing I think a lot of people don’t realize is I actually started my career in IT. I was a web developer at a school and I really fell into digital marketing.
Where can we find you?
- FITaspire.com Get Heather’s Freebie: Top 5 Marketing Tips for Coaches here!
- Twitter: @FITaspire
- Instagram: @FITaspire
- Periscope: @FITaspire
Other things to checkout:
Find me on social media and let me know what you think!