How To Stay Motivated with Your Blog

In this weeks Facebook Live, I discuss how to stay motivated when you aren't seeing blog growth, and give you 3 simple steps you can apply immediately that will help your blog traffic and social media engagement increase. Make sure to join us weekly on Thursday's at 12pmPT for a new "Q&A Thursday", where I answers YOUR questions, straight from the survey

How do you overcome growth plateaus? What have you found that works well, and what have you fund that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better. I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

How to Negotiate Rates + The Most Important Questions to Ask

Getting one of your first paid collaboration opportunities as an influencer is one of the most exciting moments as an influencer. After all, blogging and influencer marketing is a business, so a paid opportunity is the equivalent to a sales rep landing their first account or a business owner selling their first product. It is what signifies your brand as a business. It brings credibility and income. 

Not only is a paid collaboration lucrative for your business, but it is also that boost of confidence and morale needed to continue your growth.

Once you have confirmed a paid collaboration, its time to start negotiating. You have already developed a sense of trust and loyalty with the brand. They know you are here to genuinely support and serve them. They know you are professional and, therefore, a credible influencer.  But, there are a few steps you should take to make sure that you are compensated fairly, as well as staying competitive in your market.

Step 1 in Negotiation Strategy is to Gather the Asks

You want to make sure you have everything that brand is asking you to do, and you have it in writing.

Step 2 Ask the brand What’s Your Budget?

That way, you can run numbers based on their budget. If the don’t give you a budget, then give them a range amount based on what their asks. Keep in mind the time it will take to complete this project, as well as outsourcing materials like photography, to cushion your budget a bit.

Step 3 Present / Counter the Offer

Use the worksheet below that shares the 7 must ask negotiation questions you need answered for a successful paid collaboration. You want to make sure all asks are laid out and everything is in writing.

Now, sometimes an offer is already presented to you, along with a compensation amount. In this case, you still want to make sure that you gather important information and ask the right questions so you know if this will be a good fit for your brand in the long term. You still have a right to counter their offer even if they have already put a number on the table. If their number is firm with no wiggle room in the budget, then perhaps you can adjust some of the collaboration specifications so both parties feel confident in the agreement.

How do you field the negotiation landscape? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I answer your survey questions each week during my Q&A Thursdays on Facebook, so I can’t wait to connect with you there!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

How to negotiate your rates? 7 questions that you need to ask by Julie Solomon - Social Media, Branding and Blogging Specialist.

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How to Monetize While Staying True to Your Brand + The Best Affiliate Companies to Align With

Had a blast chatting with you on Facebook LIVE today! If you weren't able to catch it live, you can watch the replay below. Make sure to join us next week, and every Thursday at 12pmPT for a new "Q&A Thursday", where I answers YOUR questions, straight from the survey

We talked specifically about the 3 steps needed to monetize more effectively, for more on that + the free worksheet CLICK HERE. 

How do you monetize on social media? What have you found that works well, and what have you fund that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better and answer your questions on a future Q&A Thursday! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

Learn how to monetize your blog while staying true to your brand. Watch my video and find the answers to all your questions. By Julie Solomon

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

How to Land Brand Deals and Gain More Followers With Your Bio & Elevator Pitch

Let’s imagine for a moment that your name is Allison and you work for a well-known lifestyle company. You are looking for a fantastic lifestyle influencer that aligns with your company’s messaging and mission to PAY for a collaboration. As the brand representative, you know you have an amazing product, brand, and a fabulous budget. You can’t wait to find the perfect influencer to work with, and you are excited to grow this relationship.

how_to_land_brand_deals

So you (Allison) start to scroll through Instagram looking for that ideal influencer. You know she is out there, as Instagram is the #1 place where influencers live.  But minutes pass, and before you know it, it’s been 45 minutes and you haven’t found a single influencer that is a good match for your super FAB and BANKABLE campaign.

Why?

For 1 very specific reason that happens more than you probably realize...

Because her Instagram bio looks something like this:

“New Wifey, mama to fur baby, lover of chocolate, Dallas babe, blogger at Southern Sass w/ Class. www.southernsasswithclass.com”

OR

“California Girl, Wanderluster, Love Beauty and Beach Vibes. #Goals jasminesmith@glitzlife.com“

OR

“Food, travel, little design inspo from my abode, blogger, wifey and mama of 2. Chicago, www.petalsandlace.com”

OR (heaven forbid)

It’s completely blank or just has a website link on it (gasp!) ;)

So what the fake Instagram bio’s I created are telling us is, maybe, some vague adjectives that describe who they are, and sometime a thrown in location. Perhaps they have a blog? I am guessing by the name of their email or website they have a blog, but don’t know for sure. And then they add something else about their life that really has nothing to do with them as an influencer.

So far, to be perfectly honest, these imaginary people have only talked about themselves in a way that gives me, Allison, 0 direction as to who they are influencers, who their audience is, what they do and WHY they are a great person to align with. 

Sometimes the bio’s get repetitive, like in the first example. She tells us she’s a blogger at Southern Sass w/ Class twice, as it clearly states that in her URL. We know she’s a blogger, but we have no idea what she blogs about or WHY we should check it out, nor is there a call to action.

Here we have so many wasted characters and nothing that tells me (Allison from the amazing lifestyle company) why I should invest in her.

Think about it, if you were a brand or potential new follower, would you care to learn more about or follow these imaginary people from above? Would you want to collaborate with them?

Perhaps these examples are making you a wince a little because they look like your bio? Now, don’t start to crawl in a hole. We have all been there, and that is why we are here now, to change it so it works FOR you.

How do you do this? With your elevator pitch!

Your elevator pitch is your introduction to the world.

It’s how you awaken the magic and connect people to your world and what it is you offer. It tells the audience what’s in it for them; what they are getting if they collaborate with you.

I have an elevator pitch equation containing 4 steps that will help you stand out and attract brands.

It is: 

WHO I AM + WHAT I OFFER + HOW IT SERVES OTHERS + WHY IT MATTERS. 

Who I Am is a clear-cut description of exactly who you are as an influencer or brand. This is where your education, experience, inspiration, location and background are highlighted.

What I Offer tells the story of the solution you provide, specifically, what is the audience getting from you.

How It Serves Others solves their problem. The only way you will ever be an effective influencer is if you, in fact, influence people to make a change – the best way to do this is to be their solution provider.

Why It’s Important is basically what’s in it for them, what is the audience getting out of engaging. Free gift or tidbits you can offer here are great.

Let’s take the first example that I gave you from above and tweak it so it works in her favor. Here’s how I rewrote it:

Helping fellow wifey’s create a blissful & delicious first year of marriage. Nashville, Chocolate, and Fur Babies are home. Contact@SouthernSassWithClass.com FREE Wife Recipes Made Easy cookbook: Bit.ly/wiferecipes

So here we have Who she is, What she is offering and Why it’s important – a wife who covers topics pertaining to the first year of marriage. Now, it might not be her 1st year of marriage, but the audience she is engaging will either be engaged or newly married. This keeps her audience specific, while at the same time always growing. 

Being specific here is so important because, if you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody. What new wife doesn’t want tips on how to create a blissful and delicious first year of marriage, right!

She also adds some additional information about who she is including her location, some favorites and a contact email that also tells her blog name, so we don’t have to repeat that later.

Then the most important piece - we have the how it serves others with the free cookbook. She has already started a relationship with you by hooking you in with free swag that is helping you create a happier home!

To give you one more example, let’s take a look at my elevator pitch.

•    WHO I AM: Marketing and Branding Expert, New York Times Best-Selling Publicist

•    WHAT I OFFER: Strategies for Bloggers, Influencers, and Creators

•    HOW IT SERVES OTHERS: It Teaches Influencers Important Tools And Principles to Level Up      their Business

•    WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: It Helps Grow Their Brand And Income.

This turns into: I am a branding and marketing expert and New York times best-selling publicist who teaches strategies to influencers, bloggers and creators to level up their business and grow their brand and income. TAKES 9:00 SECONDS TO SAY

And here it is in my Instagram bio:

julie_solomon_instagram_bio

 

It’s important to make sure your bio and profile picture are the same on all social media platforms. Not only are you staying cohesive and streamlined that way, but it allows for people who read your bio and see your picture on each platform to start remembering your brand.

Take some time to consider your elevator pitch, and how it translates in your bio and in your emails. Use the elevator pitch worksheet I’ve included in this post to streamline your bio and elevator effectively.  Download it below!

Keep it mind that your elevator pitch can and will change as you grow, so don’t be afraid to change it up. I do this frequently throughout the year depending on what I may be promoting at the time. But the pitch elevator equation stays the same. Promise me that you will start taking action today, because a year from now you’ll wish you’d started today.

How do you use your bio to attract business growth and followers? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left.

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better. I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

Learn How To Write The Best Elevator Pitch and Bio to Land Brand Deals and Gain More Followers by Julie Solomon Publicist, Brand and Social Media Expert.

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How to Grow Blog Traffic Using Trigger Words

"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world." -John Keating

We've heard it many times - words are powerful. Words can trigger an audience to think and feel in a way that immediately initiates action. Words in your content and social media posts are no different. 

Using words that connect with your audience has the power to increase engagement, and transform a blog post into a highly optimized and searched piece of content.

Whether you’re writing an email newsletter, social media post, blog copy, a press release or and even visual content – you need to integrate the right words. I call these TRIGGER WORDS.

Trigger words have the power to transform your business more than anything else. Why?

Because words mold perception.

Example: I am an expert in branding, marketing, and PR because I simply say that I am and I started writing copy that reflected this statement. I also have 10+ years of experience to back up what I talk and write about. But it’s my own perception in my writing that allows others to perceive the same thing.

Trigger words, together with other elements on your page, have the power to transform your blog into a defining brand. The right words are a paramount part of your content strategy and should be the driving force in how you connect to your ideal reader.

When you are able to attract and connect, you are able to grow. Start using trigger words in your copy and content, and you may be surprised in how much your engagement and traffic grows!

So, how do you figure out your trigger words? Here are the steps I used to cultivate mine:

1)   Close Your Eyes.

2)   Think about words that your family and closest friends would use to describe you. These can be adjectives or other words that describe elements of your personality. 

3)   Think about words that your business colleagues would use to describe you. Words that define our performance, your enthusiasm, your passion. 

4)   Think about words that excite you, make you happy, challenge you.

5)   Think about words you see other people use that connect with you and draw you in to want to follow them. These are words that are triggering you, so equally important to note. 

Here are some of my trigger words.

Celebrate, expansion, inspire, awaken, expertise, renew, outgoing, joy, attract, convert, imagine, commitment, conversation, platform, listen, feedback, growth, monetization, powerful, customize, perform, connect, share, yes, more, proven, brilliance…

I have about 50 or so words on a sheet of paper that I keep on my desk at all times. These words help me stay in line with my beliefs, my passions, my goals, and my brand.

You will probably notice that a lot of these are used in many of my blog and social posts. That is not by accident. ;) 

For your own Trigger Words worksheet, sign up below. Use this worksheet as a way to collect your trigger words. Print it out and leave it somewhere that is readily seen when you are creating new content. Feel free to add or omit as the year goes on!

How do you use words to attract your tribe? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

Using words that connect with your audience has the power to increase engagement, and transform a blog post into a highly optimized and searched piece of content. Julie Solomon - Blogging Expert

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on InstagramFacebookPinterest, Twitter.

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Social Media Editorial Calendar Template + How to Create

I have read repeatedly the secret all highly successful people have in common is an efficient workload routine that works for them. This does not refer to a generic to do list, but more planning out your day in a way the is optimal for long term consistency, productivity and growth. 

How_To_Create_An_Editorial_Calendar

It hasn't always been so easy for me to plan out my day, even though I have always been a "To Do List" woman. I LOVE making lists, there is something so exhilarating about checking items off. But without realizing it, I used to let other things that popped up take precedence over priorities that mattered more to my long term growth.

What I soon came to realize is that a planned routine, in writing, was my saving grace, it was my sense of professional grounding that was vital for my growth.

Then, I had a new idea (actually a very common recommendation that I finally listened to, ha!). How about if I just planned my day out, literally almost to the hour?

Imagine that you have already reached the most important goals of the day before its even lunch, is this even possible?

Once I started implementing a daily plan of action, I started realizing how much time I ACTUALLY had to create more, as well as how much of my time was wasted on distractions and energy depletions. I also started saying NO to so much, which was really a life saver

I soon discovered that every morning, for example, I need about an hour for myself. I needed this time to be able to do things that for just for me, before I started interacting with the rest of the world. That included my phone, computer, emails...even before interacting with my husband and child. I knew I needed to rise and have this time before they woke up and needed my time and energy. 

I also discovered if I planned out my day, item by item with a specific timeframe, I got so much done! Granted, some things end up taking more or less time (my timeframe is only an estimate) but having it in writing made me accountable and organized. Plus, if I forget or need a reminder, all I do is look at my calendar. 

The secret boils down to this -- consistency: every day is the same process, the same flow, no matter if the schedule is different. Every "priority" is scheduled by level of importance, as well as how long it will take to complete. 

Here is an example of how I plan a day:

6:30-7:30 - me time. This is EARLY (for me) and took a while for me to accomplish. But, it truly is the foundation of the rest of my day. Get up/ready for a workout. Walk the dog, pray, affirmations. Make hot water with lemon/ breakfast. Take a quick scroll of my inbox / ASANA and flag anything pressing I need to return or approve in the AM. All other emails can wait. Then, phone is off until 10am. 

7:30 - wake my 3 year old son, Camden, up. Breakfast and green juice is made. Enjoy some time with him. 

8:00-9:45 - workout + drive time 

10-10:45 - Back home, rinse off, phone/computer on.

10:45-11:00 pm - Overlook initial flagged emails, respond to any that are super pressing, leave the other emails for later.  

11-1pm - Time to create!!! I pitch clients, negotiate brand deals, write blog posts / create content, respond to blog / social media related posts and comments. 

1-2pm- take any off site meetings/or on site conference calls I may have or do research for upcoming posts, courses or clients. 

2-3pm- return emails or calls for the day (I do this later in the day so I am not distracted throughout my day. I always flag calls and emails and only take those that are immediate during the day. The rest wait until this time.)

3-4pm - Some days I pick Camden up from school at the time, or start to plan social posts for later in the evening, get content posted, plan out next day. Wrap up for the day!  

4-5pm - cushion an hour for anything pressing. 

I used to work until 7pm or later sometimes! Now, you can see how much actually gets done if you stick to a plan. It's so nice to have a clear cut START and END time of my day, ESPECIALLY since I work from home! 

Here are some tips: write out on a sheet of paper your top 5 priorities, then schedule based on importance (what must get done ASAP and so on). Add an estimated amount of time each will take. Try to refrain from checking your phone throughout the day. If needed, schedule out 15 minutes to check social media or emails, but make sure you end when that time is over. It's amazing how much time we "waste" going down the social media rabbit hole! 

Another perk I learned from this schedule was formulating an editorial calendar for my blog posts. This way I know weeks, if not months, in advance of what's to come, what I need to promote/post and what accomplishments are needed from myself and my team in order to grow successfully. No more missing deadlines. No more forgetting to post. It's all on my Google calendar every single day, itemized and prioritized. This also helps you when planning out content OR when you promote old content.

Tip: Pull your most popular posts from Google Analytics repurpose them by promoting them once a month on social media! 

For an example social media editorial calendar template for bloggers, sign up below. This is just an example that shows you how to plan out promotional content, but feel free to change or add what works best for you! 

How do you prioritize your workload? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

Get my tips on how to create an editorial calendar, the free template you can instant download is going to be really helpful! Get it now by Julie Solomon

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

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How to Grow Your Social Media Following

Something that I see online A LOT when it comes to social media and marketing is "How to Get More Followers". This is also one of the top questions (along with how to make money on social media) that I see come up A LOT in my survey. So, obviously how to grow your following is something that is really important to influencers. 

grow_your_social_media_following

I kind of get annoyed with the whole "one size fits all/ this is all you have to do to grow your following" because I don't believe that the following number is the answer to real long-term growth and profitability on social media. Now, of course, if you are an influencer you need to have more followers...and I want this for all of us. But, I want to make sure it's the RIGHT followers. 

A following number DOES NOT matter as much as attracting the right kind of follower.

Who cares if you have 500,000 followers when only 10 of them are genuinely excited, engaged and supporting what you are influencing online? I would rather have 50 followers who were true supporters of my tribe and will always drink my social media kool-aid over half a million who are out to lunch 99% of the time. Can I get an amen?

The more you can focus down on your ideal follower, the more you will be able to attract these followers. This is what you need to do in order to grow your social media following, the right way. 

Why? The answer is simple. ENGAGEMENT. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have become so insanely saturated (1 billion people active on Facebook; around 700 million active on Instagram) that it's almost impossible to be seen if you don't have a super engaged following. Hello, algorithm! Therefore, if you have 1,000 and get 100 likes and 20 comments vs someone who has 10,000 followers that gets 100 likes and 20 comments. The account with the smaller following is what the social media platforms will promote more since that accounts engagement rate is higher. 

Therefore, you must cultivate followers who are authentic, engaged, and with you for the long haul, which leads to more profitability. 

So, how do you do this? With...

Consistency, Visual Messaging, and Creating a Conversation that Serves 

If you are not consistent with the branding/content you put out, if you're visual are all over the place (meaning, they do not create a streamlined, 360 view of your brand), you only write posts that are one sided, only about you and do not create a 2 way conversation...your social media efforts will fall flat and you will not grow long term. Period. 

I do not mean to come off harsh, but I want to be crystal clear with you on the importance of these 3 points. These are so incredibly vital to the long term growth of your social media platforms. It may not happen overnight, nor should it if you're really growing the right way, but you should start to see a consistent incline of growth if you hit these 3 points correctly.

For tips on how to do this, download the worksheet below, which gives you consistent steps at growing your ideal following on social media. 

What are ways you grow your following on social media? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

Alt How To Grow Your Social Media Following - By Julie Solomon - Brand & Blogger Consultant

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How to Make Money on Instagram

howtomakemoneyoninstagram

I recently asked to my social media community “What is the #1 issue/challenge as a social media influencer that you are facing”, and the most common answer was MONETIZING.

We all want more income, especially when so many of us are devoting more and more time into blogs, social media accounts, and influencer marketing.  I get it. 

But, in order to get what we want, we must change what we’re currently doing to make room for new ways of attracting what we want.  So what does this look like?  Let’s chat about three ways to make this happen:

You have to network, engage and then convert.

Network

A super simple way to network on social media is letting your bio do it for you…at least in the beginning. Use your bio as your connector, your “wingman”, your virtual assistant that introduces you to potential new followers and collaborators. Your bio needs to answer the question “What do I gain from following you?” What’s in it for potential new followers if they join your tribe? Why do they want to hit the follow button and become a potential customer or client? What are you going to help them with? What problem are you solving or service are you offering? How are you going to make their lives better or more purposeful? If you’re a product-based business, followers expect to be “sold” more. Whereas, if you are an individual, its best to come across natural and conversational.

If you want to learn how to "sell" in your bio, and create an elevator pitch that helps you grow your following and income, make sure to check out this post and download the free worksheet

You want to make sure you always tell a story instead of selling to your followers like an online catalog every time they come to your feed. Creating a story, sharing information, tidbits of wisdom, vulnerable moments --- these are all ways in which we connect and relate with one another.

When you are creating and sharing a service, like educational tips or fashion/lifestyle tips (yes…fashion and lifestyle blogs should be just as much of a service as they are a sale) we want to learn from you and be inspired by you, and then that makes us hungry for more content – which will lead to networking over to your blog and other platforms.

Engage

We want to use our captions to sell creatively, without sounding like a billboard ad. Instead of “Loving my new shirt, it is half off and comes in 3 colors” turn that into “I was feeling like my closet was a getting a little too drab and dark. Anyone ever feel this way? Perhaps its seasonal depression, lol, which is why I was happy to find this shirt came in 3 colors and didn’t break my bank!”

That way you are selling subtly while still creating a community and conversation. 

Make sure to download the worksheet below for a step-by-step guide to writing captions that convert.

If you are someone who is selling a lot on your social media, meaning, every post you upload has an affiliate link attached or a sales call to action, you want to make sure that you are giving twice as much. I like to think of it like this – for every time to “ask” your followers to buy something of yours, you want to make sure you are giving 3x of regular content with no sales strings attached.

You want to Give, and Give, and GIVE…THEN ask.

The same goes with making sure that every post isn’t a paid collaboration. This may sound counter productive when you are trying to make money from your social media accounts. But, constantly selling someone lessens the authenticity of your engagement. Engagement is the ability to hold the attention of an individual or to attract the individual to participate in some sort of activity. The activity you are trying to attract is not your sales, but your trust and loyalty.  This is what builds a tribe, this is what builds a movement, this is what builds a long term career as an influencer, this is what sets you apart from the massively saturated market of influencers, this is what turns $50,000 a year influencer careers into $300,000 a year careers. If you want to make long term, real profits in this business, you have to engage in a way that builds trust and loyalty, which in turn turns to profits and makes your social media account truly unique, not better, then everyone else. If your captions always look like a catalog sales page, then you’ll lose your audience and your chance to grow.

Convert

You always want to make sure your URL is going to some kind of opt-in (some place where they are going to give you their email), a sale, a direct link to buy something OR another place you are selling something  (another platform, podcast, YouTube channel etc).

PRO Tip: If you’re not sending them to an opt-in, then you should use this conversion opportunity to give them something for free. (Remember, we have to give, give, give).

This could be a free worksheet (like the one below), or some kind of “freebie” coupon or discount code, or free link to a webinar --which eventually leads to sales. The big ticket here is that you are building your newsletter list with the opt-ins, which is going to allow for your to grow your consumer base to blast to when it's time to sell something in the future. 

Download the worksheet below for 2 easy steps to network on social media, as well as step by step guide to engage your captions, so they covert for you!   

How do you monetize on social media? What have you found that works well, and what have you fund that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I am opening the doors to my free masterclass this Saturday, Feb 18 at 12pmPT. If you're ready to implement fantastic strategies to landing brand deals and pitching businesses, media outlets and collaborators, make sure to check it out HERE. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

How To Make Money On Instagram And A Free Worksheet by Julie Solomon Publicist

DOWNLOAD MY TIPS ON HOW TO MONETIZE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

How to Sell Yourself on Social Media

There was a time in my life that I would wake up in the morning, roll over, grab my phone, and immediately check Instagram. It finally occurred to me that, before even taking in my first deep breath of the day, I was checking a social media platform to see how many people liked me, how many people followed me, or if people liked me as much or as fast as they liked other people. I needed validation that what I put out in the social media space mattered.

The sad reality is that most of the time, it would make me feel anxious, frustrated and defeated. As a digital marketer, publicist and blogger, I knew metrics and social proof mattered. I knew that stats and feedback were important to my overall growth.  

But what I started making up and telling myself was that if I wasn’t getting the same, if not more, followers, likes and engagement every day as the day before, I wasn’t good at my job, I wasn’t performing like I ought to be, I was losing. 

I mean, what a pretty pathetic way to start a day! 

Perhaps you’ve been down this road as well? I wanted to share this with you to show how this can affect how you see yourself, therefore, how you sell yourself on social media.  

I quickly realized that the more and more I consumed, the less and less I truly created from an authentic space. I started to focus more on my purpose and service, focusing less on my own insecurities and issues with social media admiration and unhealthy obsessions with social media metrics.   

As passionate as I am about social media and how much it can bless our business and creativity, I know it’s easy to become addicted to the affirmations, follows, and likes.  

What I realized is how sick this morning routine had become. I needed to start creating something BEFORE I consumed anything on social media. 

I also started overlooking the following/liking stats altogether. The less of a focus I gave it, the more I realized how little is really mattered in my overall growth and profitability. 

I quickly realized that we all seem to fall within a sweet spot range of social engagement. All and all – we have a good idea of what our “range” is. 

Embracing my range as a target mark for growth instead of beating myself up for not hitting a specific number alleviated so much stress, and actually helped me come from a place of service with my social media, which led to a better relationships with brands, my audience, and that naturally helped me “sell” myself better. My business continues to grow now more than ever because I stopped putting so much weight in the total amount of followers, likes or comments I receive on a daily basis. 

As human beings we all love affirmations. We love to be told that we matter, to know our voice is heard and that we are liked and seen as talented. 

But the truth is:

You don’t have to be the best or biggest influencer in the world to still have an extremely successful career as an influencer. 

If you want a simple strategy on how to start selling yourself today, the right way, then subscribe below. The free worksheet will be sent straight to your inbox. 

Also, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Is selling yourself the right way something you struggle with? Do you find yourself obsessing over stats and popularity instead of building a foundation of real authentic connection? Let us know your thoughts! 

For tips on how to do this, download the worksheet below, which gives you consistent steps how to sell yourself on Social Media

What are ways you sell yourself on social media? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

How To Sell Yourself On Social Media - By Julie Solomon, Brand and Blogging Expert.

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How to Sell Yourself, the Right Way

How To Become an Influencer

One question I get a lot from students, or during my master class is “How big of a following/audience do I need before I’m considered an influencer”.

When it comes to measuring the threshold of “influencer” rank, you will find some differencing opinions.  But, the most important takeaway when determining your influencer status is how consistently and intentionally your followers connect with you, not how many followers you have.

For example, I’ve seen influencers with considerably smaller followings outperform influencers with a much larger following. Why?

It all comes down to this commonality; influencers who consistently outperform also consistently engage, interact, and create value for their followers. They care less about being popular, and focus more on cultivating a tribe that supports an environment for long-term connection and influencing.

As a result, when these influencers align with a brand, and that brand collaborates in hopes to promote a product or service, they have an astounding response from their followers, and a successful campaign, which leads to sales and income growth.  

If you’re struggling to create a strong influence, click the link below for a tipsheet that will help you clear out the confusion and get on the right track!

For tips on how to do this, download the worksheet below, which gives you consistent steps on how to become an influencer.

What are ways you grow your following on social media? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

Free Download

How to Become An Influencer

How To Become An Influencer? By Julie Solomon

Featured: Podcast Interview with The Laptop Lifestyle

As an entrepreneur, there are few things worse than letting fear keep us from succeeding. Fear and failure have always been a choice that, in the past, has kept me "thinking small" when I should have taken action. It kept me rejecting opportunities for growth when I should have embraced them with eagerness and gratitude. It kept me in a state of comparison instead of a thriving place of creative individuality. There are still days that I even fear success, as strange as that sounds, and have to be extremely mindful to not become self sabotaging of my own brilliance. Fear stems from our pain of not feeling enough, understood, heard, or accepted.

podcast_interview_follow_fear

But the WORST thing we can do as creatives, influencers and entrepreneurs is to believe what we make up in our heads and tell ourselves. Instead, I believe in letting fear be the compass on where should be going and who we should be serving --- and my business is the driving force. 

Today I’m honored to talk openly about the lessons I learned about following your fear and how to pursue your passion with confidence and clarity on The Laptop Lifestyle podcast.  Let’s have a chat –> BELOW! 

RECENT PODCAST INTERVIEWS: Interview with RADIANT Podcast

Following Your Fears by Julie Solomon

FEATURED: Podcast Interview with Radiant Magazine

Happy Holidays everyone! I love this time of year for many reasons, one of which is the time to download and enjoy the holidays. But with this comes a ton of prep work to allow for the decompress. We have been behind the scenes over the past month gearing up for a slew of fantastic new launches for you in the new year. I've also been chatting with some lovely people, like Kelsey from Radiant Magazine.

In this podcast with Radiant, I share the first and most vital step to make any positive change in your brand, following your fear, and crafting the perfect pitch. You can listen to this interview here. 

3 Social Media Tools that Expand Engagement

Social_Media_Tools_Engagement

Engagement

When it comes to engagement, there are tools that you can start implementing today that will help grow your social media and blog platform. Especially during the holidays, we see an influx on people searching and shopping online, so it is important that we pay attention to how we can attract the most engaged audience possible. It's not always about gaining the MOST followers or clicks, but more importantly the RIGHT followers and clicks. After all, that is what leads to long term engagement and income growth. Today, I am sharing with you 3 strategies that will help you expand your reach and, most importantly - an authentically engaged audience starting today! We are exploring the world of archetypes, promotion and how to follow a simple system -- so if you want to join us in engagement expansion, click below!

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3 Social Media Tools to Expand Engagement

For tips on how to do this, download the worksheet below, which gives you consistent steps at growing your ideal following on social media. 

What are ways you grow your following on social media? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left. 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

The Next Masterclass

Also -- as of today we have officially opened the doors to the next FREE masterclass happening in January - so head over and save your spot now!

What's stopping you from growing your blog and brand in 2017? Reply to this post in the comments below and let me know. But please do me a favor. Be specific! If it's something vague like, “How do I start a blog?” then I won’t be able to serve you as best as I want to!

2016 is coming to an end. Did you grow your blog and brand like you had hoped this year? Like, really… Did you? If not, Pitch It Perfect can set you up for a better 2017. So, what are you waiting for?

3 Social Media Tools That Increase Engagement by Julie Solomon

How to Increase Blog Traffic

Question: Have you ever felt stuck in a growth rut when it come to your blog traffic?

Wondering how to get your social media followers over to your blog? These 2 questions used to play over and over again in my mind! When I first started my blog in 2013, I knew nothing about having a successful blog traffic. 

I used to think that you could just start a blog and readers would magically find you through social media or Google search results – easy right – but I quickly learned how off that was!

Granted, that statement is true, but SO MUCH more goes in to truly and consistently increasing blog traffic. 

For the first 2 years, my blog strategy consisted almost daily content and then promotion of that content on my socials. I didn’t focus on establishing a niche since I was trying to create content consistently and just trying to build a following.

But writing posts multiple times a week actually made it really difficult to increase my blog traffic.

Once I started implementing the right strategies, my blog traffic grew 67.12% in just 4 months in monthly page views! Additionally, my newsletter subscription grew 80.74% in those same 4 months. 

These results didn’t happen overnight. It does take a genuine effort, and targeted strategy to grow your blog traffic. 

If you work smarter (instead of just harder), you too can achieve these results.

In the comments below, I would love to know what questions, issues, OR successes you have when it comes to increasing your blog traffic. I will be doing a round up of answers in an upcoming post and will be highlighting some of your comments! 

I would LOVE to know what questions, problems or struggles you may have when it comes to pitching, branding, blogging and growing your following. Please share your thoughts in this quick survey that will help me get to know you better! I am excited to connect with you and learn more about your story and brand!

This is my way of serving your needs as an influencer and entrepreneur, so you can get to know me better.

I’m hoping you’ll do the same! Please, introduce yourself on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or in a comment below.

Here are 5 simple, action based steps I used to increase my blog traffic:

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5 Tips to Increase Blog Traffic

Once I started implementing the right strategies, my blog traffic grew 67.12% in just 4 months in monthly page views! Additionally, my newsletter subscription grew 80.74% in those same 4 months.

3 Most Common Influencer Mistakes, and How to Fix Them!

When it comes to blogging, I have made my fair share of mistakes. 

Navigating the world of blogging, branding and influencer marketing can be quite the crazy ride at times. Some of my blogger friends and I like to call the world of blogging, "The Wild West".

There are no rules, no playbook, no black and white, no union to protect us, no one size fits all.

It's a permeable space that is ever changing, ever growing, and ever confusing its most valued participants (YOU!). Some of the "biggest" and most engaged bloggers I know are literally stumped on a daily basis when it comes to engagement (why did "this" photo do better than "that" photo), platforms (well if I post X on Facebook will that translate as well as if I posted X on Instagram?), and overall awareness of how and when to best influence their loyal following. 

And they are not alone - I feel this way, and I have a feeling you may too! 

We spend so much time trying to impact and affect the social media world around us that we sometimes find ourselves in a constant state of information scarcity that never ends.

Influence literally means to "inflow" -- but how can we consistently inflow when the very platforms we use are constantly changing? 

This made me start thinking long and hard about the mistakes that bloggers like myself are so quick to make. I believe there are some "mistakes" that are here today, but gone tomorrow - meaning, they tend to change along with the platforms and quickly become obsolete (ex: Two years ago people would always stress about which photos filter was the best on Instagram. Nowadays, there are fantastic apps that solve all of our photo editing needs for us. The mistake organically and technologically resolved itself).  

However, there are some mistakes that don't fix themselves so easily. They are constant, common, and as important as the daily influence we attempt to create as bloggers.  In order to inflow, we have to be able to identify these mistakes clearly so we can take action to resolve.

If you want to see the five most common blogger mistakes, and how to fix them- click below!  

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3 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make and How To Fix Them

It's Time To Serve My Blogger Babes Even More...

****Masterclass has closed, CLICK HERE for course information! 

So I have to admit, I’ve held off a lonnnnng time on this one. Longer than I probably should’ve. Longer than was probably fair to you. But after nearly 3 years of testing and perfecting my work as a blogger and branding & publicity expert, I’m finally ready to step up and show you:

Here’s why I believe this FREE MASTERCLASS, taking place Saturday, October 22 at 11am PST/ 2pm EST, will be well worth your wait:

If you’ve been in the influencer space for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that brand deals and influencer collaborations are big business.

You’ve been told over and over again that it’s a quickly-growing 100+ billion dollar industry.

And you’ve been pitched training after training, worksheet after video course, each promising to "unlock the secret" to profitable blogging, and teach you how you can build your own blog and generate a ton of money in brand collaborations and engagement.

But if you’ve paid realllllllly close attention, then you’ve probably also realized that the big breakthrough success stories that those experts keep promising are actually quite rare.

And that most of the bloggers that DO generate 6 or 7 figures *on demand* aren’t the ones built by budding influencers like us…but are simply re-brands of long-cemented blockbusters from industry and affiliated vets like Aimee Song, Sincerely Jules, Chiara Ferragni, etc.

So clearly there’s a disconnect. And for influencers like us who’ve been sold the dream (yet sold short on the implementation and results)...

I’m determined to help you solve it. 

And after 3 years of researching, testing, and strategizing my own blog, using my brand management and publicity expertise, not only did I PINPOINT a few key reasons why most bloggers stagnate. But I also reverse-engineered the biggest lessons learned from some my own successful blog and brand campaigns (that have served over 50 brands while generating over $250K in revenue), and channeled those hard-fought lessons into a brand new FREE MASTERCLASS that will guide you through:

  • The 2 Must-Haves Brands Look for in Influencers
  • How to (EFFECTIVELY) Negotiate a Brand Deal to Make Thousands of Dollars, TODAY
  • How to Generate Your Rates and What You Must Include in Your Rate Sheet
  • Exactly How To Formulate a Killer Elevator Pitch
  • 3 Monetizing Essentials to Include in your Press Kit
  • Two Super Simple Techniques You Should ALWAYS Do in a Negotiation
  • The One Fail Proof Secret to Getting an Email Response FAST  
  • The 3 Key Ingredients of a 6 or 7-Figure Blog Career that creates leverage, expands your ripple of impact, and generates steady and predictable income for years!      

So if you’ve been burnt before or have just feel really lost in your blogging game for a while now, or you’ve been waiting on the sidelines for a comprehensive, step-by-step guidance to drop into your inbox. Then I invite you to join me for this FREE MASTERCLASS.

Click here to grab your spot. 

Whether you’re a blogger, etsy shop owner, speaker, freelancer or influencer of ANY kind, owning your own online business is a game changer that can have a dramatic effect on your income and engagement.

It’s the biggest key to leveraging your efforts and stepping out of the time-for-money trap that so many influencers get stuck in (and rarely escape.)

And if you’ve waited for the right time to take that very first step, then I can’t wait to reward your patience with the training that will set you and your brand up in an amazing new direction.

Look forward to seeing you in the FREE Masterclass.

XOX

 

Why I Rebranded My Blog (and then Tripled My Engagement)

***Disclaimer – If you are a blogger who uses affiliate sites like RewardStyle/ LiketoKNOW.it and ShopStyle as the main source of monetizing your blog and growing your income, I strongly encourage you to read this with an open mind and open heart. My experience and opinions of affiliate sites are that of my own, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the business model affiliates set out to accomplish, and the jobs they create. 

rebrand-your-blog

Three years ago, I decided to start a website that would unknowingly change the course and purpose of my career. 

What I didn’t anticipate three years ago is that the website I started would, unwittingly, become a case study that would change the trajectory of the way I looked at my brand and the business of blogging.

I had no idea that my relationship with blogging would start as a desire to connect with like minded mothers - then shift into a horribly addicted rat race of affiliate marketing  - and evolve into something I am so proud of – something meaningful and truly serves the needs of my readers.

In the fall 2013, I was living in Los Angeles and was a brand new first-time mom.  I was the most stressed I had probably ever been in my life.

I was measly earning $1,500-$2,000/month in PR, due to my maternity leave, all while doing the important and terrifying work of figuring out who the heck I was as a new mom and wife.

At the encouragement of my husband and my friend, I started a lifestyle blog with a motherhood focus called Julie Solomon.net – A Publicist’s Spin on Motherhood - in hopes of connecting with other moms that were going through the same chapter of life. My goal was to bridge the gap between information and parenting in a way that made it more efficient and easy for any mom to understand, as well as building a community to share motherhood advice and experiences. 

The more I wrote, the more of a community I started to grow online and in my new city.  

I started doing work I was proud of, contributing to sites like Modern Mom and Mom.me, became a Popsugar Select Mom Blogger and was attending blogger events and meeting fantastic women along the way. It was great to connect with these mothers, but as the months went on and the fear of not “making money” on my blog set in.

About 6-9 months into blogging, I found out about the affiliate site RewardStyle through some blogger friends. All of my other “fashion blogger” friends were racking in thousands a month off of affiliate links and perfectly curated #OOTD photos on Instagram. I thought to myself “Well, I know I set out to share tips and tricks on Motherhood – but if I can start monetizing this way – I’ll give it a shot!”

I immediately applied to their “invite only” list and anxiously waited another 3 months for acceptance (while consciously not realizing what the “need” of being accepted into this exclusive affiliate group was doing to my blogger psyche and causing a major blow to my confidence). Is my blog good enough? Do I have enough followers?  Will they like my content? – These were all questions going through my head as the months went on waiting for the approval.

I finally got accepted and started changing my content to focus more on style and outfits - doing the same thing every other blogger that I followed on social media was doing.

I immediately jumped on the LiketoKNOW.it bandwagon (an email service that RewardStyle owns, that enables publishers/bloggers to earn money off of Instagram posts) that set forth a tidal wave of affiliate dependence.

I would spend countless hours a week ordering clothes from Nordstrom, prepping hair and make up, hiring photographers, returning clothes to Nordstrom, researching blog ideas, updating my instagram, comparing myself to other bloggers, stalking the LiketoKNOW.it instagram feed in hopes they would repost that “perfect gram worthy” photo I had spent hours producing, all while posting other products in hopes a major brand would regram me (as that was what I was told would grow my engagement).

I remember going out shopping with friends and checking my LiketoKNOW.it app to see if the cute shirt I wanted to purchase at the boutique was part f their affiliate program. If not, well then of course I couldn’t buy it.

Week in and week out, this vicious cycle became my new life as a blogger. 

I was spending 60+ hours a week constantly curating new content and posting LiketoKNOW.it photos on my Instagram at least 3 times a day. The affiliate checks started rolling in, little by little, which made me believe that I had found the answer to monetizing my blog! I thought I had FINALLLY nailed my branding, nailed my purpose, was being true to whom I was as a blogger and what I was set out to serve. I could finally justify all of the hours spent on my blog because I was finally making money from my blog!

Or was I?

Now mind you, at the time I was still working full time as a publicist, and making a solid living doing so. I am college educated, have a wealth of experience and knowledge under my belt, and typically follow my intuition, which typically leads me to profitable business advice.

But, unbeknownst to me --- I had drank a MASSIVE glass of the RewardStyle / LiketoKNOW.it Kool-Aid, and started down one of the most destructive business paths of my entire career. Not to mention, it was one of the most unconfident periods of my life.

During this destructive year, I may have started making money via affiliate links, but the authenticity of my blog and my voice disappeared.  The focus became LiketoKNOW.it, and my instagram consisted of a few short sentences that went a little something like this:

"this is what I wore, affiliate link, this is where I bought it from, affiliate link,  this is on sale, affiliate link, isn’t my kid cute, affiliate link, OMG I woke up like this, affiliate link, did you see VSCO came out with an update, affiliate link, I went out to dinner with girlfriends, affiliate link - if I can link to said girlfriends clothes or jewelry, then I’ll see you with another affiliate link-laden post tomorrow!"

There were no (real) authentic explanations about why I loved the pieces I bought/received gifted/ordered off Nordstrom with every intention to return, no real takeaways, solutions to issues that mattered, real connection with this beautiful community that was right at my fingertips to learn and grow from…it just all got so manufactured and boring. 

My audience became super narrowed and bored as well.

They only wanted to see me in clothes and it was the only way I got any sort of engagement on social media.

My newsletter subscription started declining, I was constantly promoting affiliate links more then my own blog links, and most importantly, the traffic on my blog became almost non-existent!

I was, unknowingly, training my audience to LOVE LiketoKnow.it, not the content I was curating. My new brand made them believe that they only needed to follow and like my photos ONLY if there was a LiketoKNOW.it hyperlink attached to the post. I became so unconscious to the lack of connecting that was taking place between my readers and myself.

Why would ANYONE want to go to my blog when they could just Like the photo to Know everything about my content?

I spent all of my time promoting LiketoKNOW.it that I had no time left to properly brand my own blog, passions and creativity.

In 2014, my newsletter went completely stagnant the last 3 months of the year. I was consistently making anywhere from $500-$2,000 a month from LiketoKnow.it,  and another $2-$4000 on brand deals I was negotiating for myself. LiketoKNOW.it ended their 2014 year with $10 million in sales and 75 million emails in their database. 

I point this out because it was here that I started to notice how much bloggers like myself were doing FOR the growth of these affiliate companies, and how little (in the grand scheme of things) we were gaining in return. We serve so much of the needs and growth of these affiliate companies, but how much these companies serving ours? Of course you have your outliers in the world of affiliate influencing, but I was not one of them - the damage to my brand was being done and I had to make a change.

I want to preface the next bit by saying this – I am not blaming RewardStyle / LiketoKNOW.it or any affiliate company for my lack of growth during that time. When it comes to those companies, I did and STILL DO work with them for time to time, so I am not biting the hand that feeds here.

But, what I realized in my own blog process is that we bloggers have the divine right to work with affiliates in a way that is fair and healthy, and doesn’t enable them as our sole source of income, inspiration and growth.

There has to be a strategy in place in your want to truly sustain a business and brand overtime –

We have to use affiliate links just as much, or as little, as they use us..  

All of this realization into 2015 led me to rebranding in 2016. I needed to get back to what my true passions were, and why I originally sought out to blog in the first place – to connect, consciously.

Their came a time when I knew I needed to stop hiding if I really wanted to grow a connected community of people online.  Community isn’t built on hiding that we are or living in the shadow of someone else’s brand/business . It’s about revealing ourselves together, knowing that people will be there to cheer you on, even after you’ve shared your most vulnerable parts. And if I wanted to preach that, I needed to practice it, too.

I decided to turn to a part of my brand that had always allowed for healthy growth in experience and consistent income - Publicity, Consultingand Digital Marketing.

My career as a publicist has always been about helping and inspiring people to find that creative magic within, that inspires courage and determination to truly let their brand and business shine. I am a New York Times Best-Selling publicist and have managed and worked with dozens of best-selling author’s who have collectively sold over 100 million books worldwide. I have also worked with bloggers and entrepreneurs, landing them hundreds of thousands in brand deals.

I started thinking that perhaps bloggers rely so much on affiliates because they may not have the proper connections, tools or know-how to monetize their blog themselves. I saw that I was consistently making more money off of the brand deals I was negotiating for myself instead of the affiliate links I was using. I knew this is where I could help those bloggers out there that were just like me.

My blog is now about how I can best serve – through publicity, blogger brand management and digital marketing.

I changed my blog name to Julie Solomon.net – A Publicist’s Spin on Blogging in 2016, and it is now the destination for creative millennial’s and bloggers to create their brand & grow their business and income.

From this re-brand, I also created a new YouTube series called be Connected. Each week I share actionable wisdom, solution based how to's and in depth interviews with some of today's top millennial influencers to help viewers create, perform and share connectively. 

One month into my re-brand, I had doubled my newsletter subscription and grown my website traffic by 52%.

What followers I used to gain in a month on Instagram I was now gaining in a week. During that month, I also I made $10,000 in consulting other bloggers how to rebrand themselves, and made one blogger very happy when I negotiated a $365,000 brand deal for her! I also made $317.00 off of affiliate links that month, lol.  (don’t quick my day job…I know!) I lay out these numbers because I want you to see that growing an income from blogging cam be done without the need of affiliate marketing.  If I can do it, so can you!

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing – as going through that led me to what my true blogging purpose is now – to change the business of blogging by giving bloggers the tools and techniques to truly think and feel for themselves and their brand, so they never have to use an affiliate site to monetize their blog ever again!

I do this through a program I run mentioned above, which is a one-on-one brand strategy consulting course for bloggers to help them connect their brand to their ideal audience through networking, pitching and social media, so they can authentically grow their business and income. I also offer a ton of free tips through this blog ‘s newsletter, and these media lists and pitching tools, which has been so much fun and super fulfilling. (email me if you want more info on that!)

As bloggers, WE are the creators, WE are curators, WE are the creatives, WE are the influencers.

The business of blogging should be about true connection, real growth -- about bloggers accepting affiliates into our world if and when it makes sense – not the other way around.

As I look back on what became this case study of rebranding – I think about what got me so off course… was it the “vulnerability hangover” each time I shared something about myself on my blog? Did I just put too much stress on my creativity to be this massive income source? Was I not ready to be seen and truly serve?

As the amazing author Lysa TerKeurst says,

“You can be true to yourself, but which version are you really being true too?”

It was much easier to create images for LiketoKnow.it and hide behind their brand while getting some short-term financial fix, instead of really allowing for my own brand to shine and grow overtime. I know we bloggers have to put food on the table – but I hope that my story cans how that affiliates aren’t the only way to make a living blogging.

My sincere hope is that in me deciding to stop hiding behind something else…a small part of you will feel encouraged enough to stop hiding, too.

I have since made a pact with myself and blogging moving forward and that is this:

Dear Blogging,

I will never ask you to support me financially ever again. I will support the both of us. I now know that having a relationship with you is not contingent on monetization.

I will no longer murder my creativity or blogging by insisting I am not not truly creative or truly a blogger unless my blogging pays the bills and my photos and content are deemed worthy by an affiliate company. My blogging “paying the bills” will ebb and flow, it might or might not.... but I will no longer go into bitterness, depression, comparison, rejection, shame and resentment when it comes to blogging. I will be childlike in the pursuit of blogging, but I will not be childish.

So – there you have it! My beautifully broken story of blogging and why I had to rebrand to get back to the real truth – to serve in my own uniquely creative way.

No matter where you are right now — whether you’re the anxious newbie who doesn’t believe in his or her gifts, or the confident creator I strive to be now — I see you. And I’m genuinely glad you’re here.

If you are a blogger who may be feeling the same way and would like recourses on how to get out of the blogger rut or affiliate cycle so you can take back your brand, I encourage you to shoot me an email, as well as check out these resources from my newsletter, where you’ll get instant access to strategic tools and refreshing ideas that will help you connect and grow you brand, and you’ll get exclusive content, and personal updates from me that I ONLY share through email. 

Stay focused, brand with intention and remember to always show up create perform and share connectively. Let your brand and business shine through that creative magic that only you can share! 

 

 

How to Stay Organized and Grow Your Income

So many entrepreneurs, business owners and blogger think that to get ahead, they have to keep saying "yes" - to networking, events, meetings etc.

But the year I said "no" to almost everything was one of my most productive and profitable years in my blog and business!

In this video, I show you why it's so important to take back your calendar and learn to say no. I'll also give you some tools and tips for staying focused on the most important parts of your business as well as exactly what I do to keep my schedule, planner and calendar super organized! These tips will help grow your business and income dramatically. 

 So, I pitch this over to you –in the comments below, tell me this

Are you someone who has a hard time saying no? If so, how do you best deal with it?

Or

Are you someone that started saying no, and noticed a positive impact in your brand and business? If so, tell us how you did it!

As always, the best conversations and connections that happen after the episode below, so go spark your discussion and leave a comment now

Did you like this video and want more of them? If so, subscribe to the channel and I would be ever so grateful if you shared this with your tribe

If you want even more insights to create, perform and share your brand and grow your income, then our email list to become a Conscious Connector, where you’ll get instant access to powerful training tools that will help you connect and grow your brand, and you’ll get exclusive content, special giveaways and personal updates from me that I ONLY share via email

Stay focused, brand with intention and remember to always show up to create, perform and share connectively.

Thank you so much for watching, and I’ll catch you next time on be Connected.

When is it Time to Hire a Publicist?

One of the most exciting things about starting a blog, brand or business is seeing your creativity and work on the pages of a magazine. There’s nothing quite as magical and gratifying for an entrepreneur as receiving national media attention about something you spent a tremendous amount of time, energy, money and passion bringing to life. BUT... many bloggers and brands make the mistake of hiring a publicist too soon, which ends up causing frustration among both parties (not to mention burning through thousands in monthly retainer fees).

If you are a brand or blogger thinking about hiring PR support, it’s important to first make a distinction between PR and publicity. 

Public relations expertise can be valuable at every step of brand management. A clear understanding of media trends and building a strong brand foundation with your audience is crucial, and very much make up a lot of a full-service PR agency. However, if you are primarily seeking press coverage and event attendance and not the overall management, you are looking to hire just one aspect of PR.

If you are only looking for media coverage, publicity is the last step of your process. 

Starting a successful blog/ brand is a business. I know this myself first hand because not only am I a publicist who owns a PR agency, but I am also a blogger who has turned my blog into a profitable business. I totally understand both sides of the coin, which is truly unique in the PR world and is why I am so passionate about sharing my knowledge with all of you! :)

And just like any business, you need to have a well-laid out strategic plan in place before you ever spend one dollar (if you follow me on my Instagram you know I say this all....the....time!) Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case when it comes to bloggers, both new and seasoned.

Several months ago, an enthusiastic and talented blogger with a strong social media platform and beautiful branded content approached me for PR. I was assured that she had everything in place and was ready to rock.

However, once I started presenting her with media and event opportunities, she wasn’t able to come through. Not long after she sent me her information to formulate the press kit and I started to firm up some interest in my pitching, she wasn't able to comply with deadlines and confirmations, as her schedule was all over the place.

We started missing out on solid opportunities and potential brand deals. 

When editors called to see what her schedule looked like for to meet for lunches and start building the "relationship", we had nothing to offer. And when brands asked for something "tangible" to be sent, we couldn’t because she didn't have anything to show for other than her past campaigns and social media page; which unfortunately isn't enough to gauge media interest. 

I did encourage my client to try and clear her schedule (and to stop saying YES to everything that came her way) to allow for these opportunities to reveal themselves, but I quickly learned she did not, in fact, have the infrastructure of a good business plan to back up my outreach. I felt awful for her, but knew that both parties were very clear on the strategy that was needed for a successful campaign, and her brand just wasn't able to follow through at that time.

These days, when any blogger or entrepreneur reaches out so me for media/ event outreach, I always make sure they have the following list of items in place. 

Free Download

8 Must Haves Before Hiring a Publicist

In short, enthusiasm in business is awesome. It’s why we do this. Your passion is what got you here and it will oftentimes be the element that drives your success. But when it comes to publicity, misplaced enthusiasm can work against you. Before you bring on a publicist, make sure you have the infrastructure behind it to support the campaign you’re about to embark upon. Remember, you have to have something tangible for a publicist to work with, and just "having a blog" or "a strong following" is not enough to make an impact. If that is what you have in the drivers seat, you will just be wasting your hard earned money. And wasting your income is somethingI would never want to see happen. 

Ultimately, being your OWN publicist is what matters the most. No one knows your blog or brand better than you, no matter how fancy the PR firm may seem or how A-List the publicist may be. You've been savvy enough to get to this point in your brand, and you are definitely worthy of truly shining. It's just about truly understanding your brand, message and audience. Once you know how to (really) tap in to that -- you will be a PR dream :)  

The Power of Following Your Fear to Success

Everyone tells you to always follow your heart, your dreams etc. But what if you can actually have more success by following your fear? In this episode of be Connected, I dig in to the idea of how fear based thoughts can turn into successful actions; and how listening to your fear can actually be your arrow to your biggest success of your brand and business! 

I also love using my YouTube channel to connect influencers and entrepreneurs with useful tips about publicity, branding, blogging and social media – all things I’m truly passionate about.

Watch this episode and let me know what you think in the comments below!