How Alex Jamieson, Author & Health Coach, Uses Digital Marketing to Build Her Business

Written by Bridget Jamieson

Nearly 18 years ago, Alexandra (Alex) Jamieson was at the forefront of the booming health coaching and consulting business. Jamieson has helped creative and driven women find motivation to live healthier and happier lives through holistic health mentorships. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, she has relied on digital marketing to build and maintain her  brand and business.

How would you describe your business? Who are your clients?

Alex Jamieson: I am a consultant and coach. Almost all my clients are professional women, between the ages of 40-50 years old, and are white and upper-middle class. The coaching has evolved from food and nutrition centric for the first 13 years, and has evolved to a focus on holistic health. Prior to the release of Super Size Me (she co-created and co-starred in the documentary) a friend suggested that I create a website with an email capture. Following the release of the documentary, ten thousand people signed up to learn more from me.

How did your business then evolve?

AJ: At the beginning, I had no social media presence, and I only used email to market my services to people who I captured through my website. I advertised through weekly emails, which focused on relevant topics such as healthy foods, health detoxes, and recipes. I’ve always shared my story and how it’s relevant for people who want to work with me.

How has the evolution of social media in the past decade influenced your business?

AJ: It’s a dance to be honest! I need to stay aligned with who I am, and my values, while staying top of mind for people. Every time a new social platform comes out, I try to be an early adopter because if it takes off, I’ve then positioned myself well. I’ve tried it and done it all. From Pinterest to Snapchat, Periscope to podcasts, Facebook ads to writing articles for other platforms- it takes roughly seven exposures for someone to buy something for me. Roughly 30%-40% of my clients come from digital marketing efforts, and this can be scary. What if one day, one, or multiple platforms shut down? That could be devastating for my business.

How do you personalize content for the different platforms that you use?

AJ: It’s important to acknowledge the different audiences using different platforms, and what type of content the same user wants to see on the various platforms they’re using. For instance, on Instagram, my followers are younger, want to see more personal posts (my cats, art, and political opinions), and I see a correlation between these followers and my podcast listeners. Because the platform is aimed at a millennial audience, they are expecting brands and influencers to be honest, authentic, and real. Whereas with LinkedIn, you won’t see my political opinions, and unfortunately fewer pictures of my cats. Here, I’ve been posting about my most recent book, Getting to Hell Yes, and how it can be used as a sales and customer tool for businesses. On LinkedIn, I’m promoting myself as an executive and leadership coach for women.

Jamieson’s post on Facebook promoting her book
LinkedIn post promoting her book to a professional audience

What tips do you have for small business owners and people marketing their personal brands, in using digital marketing to expand their business?

AJ: Be yourself. Write and post your own content, engage with people, invite followers to engage with you as if posts are important conversations. If you plan to write books, you must have an established brand to get a book deal these days. Publishers expect your audience to buy the book! It helps to be part of a network of other similar businesses with similar platforms. Be giving, generous, and your sector will help support you.

 

See related content on tailoring content to digital marketing channels:

The Necessity of Tailoring a Message for Various Social Media Platforms

 

 

The Necessity of Tailoring a Message for Various Social Media Platforms

How can businesses successfully target online and social media users through digital marketing? It starts with knowing the audience, and how it differs according to what online platform you’re reaching them on.

In our marketing team competition, we noticed a wide variety of engagement levels and responses based on how we presented our content. Below are our discoveries, which provide some insight on how to target users on various platforms.

Twitter & Instagram

The social media meccas for millennials. When posting content to these social media platforms, it’s important to realize that these audiences are looking for relatable posts or products, and not a jargon-laden or cookie cutter advertisement. Influencers on these platforms find success by showing their personality and being real with their followers. When our team posted content on these platforms, it was essential to write captions in a personal tone, add interesting text and visual appeal, and use highly searched hashtags to draw interest from people other than current followers.

We also discovered that specifically, Twitter is a difficult platform to post business related content on. Twitter seems to lend itself to allowing users to showcase their personality (i.e. Wendy’s and Netflix humorous and witty content) rather than promote specific products. Instead, Twitter better serves to deepen connections with users. Leave product and service promotion to LinkedIn and Facebook, where users aren’t looking for the same level of personality to be showcased.

Facebook

With about two billion users, Facebook is a social medial platform that is hard to ignore. While our team’s initial content sparked views solely based on our “inner circles” of friends, moving beyond this group to a more general audience proved more difficult. Additionally, many readers didn’t spend as much time reading business related articles as they did sharing memes. Facebook does have business-related groups and product pages that allow for interaction with users. These groups seem to be an ideal place to post our content, but it was difficult to find success with this strategy, as posts need to be created specifically for different types of groups.

As with Twitter and Instagram, Facebook users look for a personal touch to shine through in posted content. By quickly responding to users who comment on posts, our team could build engagement and nurture additional interactions, which is highly valued on this platform.

LinkedIn

Business related content is best positioned on LinkedIn, as users navigate there to actively seek out useful professional material. LinkedIn’s versatility is evident through the various forms of material that can be posted, from written posts to videos, which are known to significantly increase user engagement and brand awareness. One feature in particular that makes LinkedIn an ideal marketing platform for business content is the Groups feature, a hub that serves as a place to search business related content, post and view jobs, find answers to relevant topics, establish business contacts, and where users can establish themselves as industry experts. This platform serves as a crucial medium for businesses to engage professionals for a variety of purposes, serving as a highly effective marketing tool. On LinkedIn, posts were more successful if they took a professional tone, used hashtags, and mentioned specific companies, as seen below. This drew attention from professionals in the industry, increasing post interactions.

Email Marketing

With the popularity and growth of social media platforms providing access to millions, or in Facebook’s case billions, of users where segmentation and targeting is easier than ever, it’s not hard to forget about email marketing.

While email may not be the shiny new platform or network, it is our opinion if the campaign is well crafted, email remains one of the most effective tools for a wide variety of content. Based on our experience, email marketing works especially well for content with potentially valuable insight or where opportunities are shared. This information can come in many different forms, but common examples are newsletters, offers and promotions, and renewals. Often these messages can feel more personal, as if that letter, offer, or reminder is being shared just with the receiver, and not a larger audience.

More importantly though is having the right permissions, design, and call to action. Once you as a marketer have the necessary permissions you can run A/B tests on your design and call to action to refine your message, and analytics will provide insight into the engagement and quality of the message, making email marketing a still relevant tool for marketers in a social media world.

Final Thoughts

Given the number of platforms and the differences in each, to be successful in the digital media space, marketers must know their audience and consider where and how content will be shared. While many of the social media platforms share users, where we choose to connect with users can change their willingness to engage. For example, an individual that is receptive to a listicle via email, LinkedIn, and Facebook, may not be as interested in the same content on Instagram or Twitter. Furthermore, how the content is shared must also adapt to the platform. Each channel has its limitations and strengths when sharing content. Make sure to play to the strengths of the channel or platform to generate intrigue with your audience. In summary, define the audience you are trying to target, determine where they will be most receptive to the content, and shape that content to the platform being used to reach the audience.

See more content like this:

Charity Miles App Review: Good for Runners, Companies, & the Community

 

Charity Miles App Review: Good for Runners, Companies, & the Community

As a runner and a not-for-profit professional, I thought that the Charity Miles App seemed too good to be true. I quickly realized that it was an innovative platform that lived up to its mission. 

How it Works

By downloading the Charity Miles App, individuals can track their running, walking, or biking activity and convert mileage into donations to their favorite charities. The app allows for individuals to choose from over 40 charities, which will receive $0.25 per mile run or walked, and $0.10 per mile biked. Individuals select their activity type, enable location services for the app to track activity, and start their workout. When finished, it’s as simple as clicking the finish button, which leads to a workout summary which includes mileage, activity time, and the amount donated to charity. Users can even take a photo of their workout, which will generate an image to promote the apps and activity through social media.

The Positives

  1. Easy to use: it only took a couple of minutes to create a user profile and figure out how to log miles.
  2. It’s a win-win-win: everyone benefits- users, who get to contribute to social causes, companies who get high-impact advertising space, and charities, who receive money from every mile logged.

The Negatives

  1. Lack of functionality: The app won’t be replacing your GPS watch anytime soon. Mileage wasn’t incredibly accurate, and I was unable to pause my activity when at a stoplight.
  2. Missed promotional opportunities: If you plan to share your activity mileage via social media, you can only so right after you’ve finished the activity. This removes opportunities for users to advertise the app and it’s sponsors.

An Innovative Digital Marketing Medium for Companies

Charity Miles touts the ability for sponsors to maintain a captive audience due to the structure of the app/sponsor/user setup. By sponsoring the app, companies can advertise their charitable giving through the agreement to donate $X per each mile logged in the app. Companies can expose app users to a variety of sponsored content, including blog posts, product discounts, and free trials. This structure melds corporate giving and advertising, as sponsorships fund the donations.

Will I Continue Using Charity Miles?

In short, yes. The app is easy to use and is a low commitment option in giving to social causes. As long as you can get past the amount of sponsored content (hey, they are donating money on your behalf) I recommend that you try it on your next walk, run, or bike ride too.

 

Check out related content:

The Necessity of Tailoring a Message for Various Social Media Platforms

3 Simple Steps to Boost Business Through Employee Morale

Acquiring and retaining solid employees requires focus on their value to your organization..

More and more businesses recognize the correlation of increased employee morale with a greater sense of productivity, engagement and loyalty. Use these simple tips to transform the landscape of your organization and achieve greater success for your team.

1. Promote a healthy environment through emphasis on work-life balance 

Image result for work life balance

It’s important to provide flexibility that enables fostering a well-balanced personal and work life. Managers can improve their teams’ productivity and performance through encouragement of maintaining strong and healthy relationships. Advocating for employees to leave work on time can benefit both the organization and the individual, as this decreases likelihood of an eventual “burnout”.

2. Foster an atmosphere of inclusion for your employees

Image result for workplace inclusion

Employees need to be recognized to feel valued. Make them part of the big picture through clear and frequent communication of business updates, in addition to providing both group and individual direction. Driving transparency and honesty plays a significant role in increasing creativity and innovation from your team.

3. Identify career opportunities to enhance motivation

Image result for career development

Thoughtful conversations around potential career paths, coupled with relevant training recommendations can decrease likelihood of employees leaving your firm. By focusing on their individual ambitions, you can determine how to better align your staff to the business. Start by finding ways to help them grow in their current role, further developing their sense of drive and increasing their potential for success with your organization.

 

Make sure your next meeting is productive for everyone:

Nine Steps to More Successful Meetings

Nine Steps to More Successful Meetings

Let’s be honest: most of us don’t like meetings. Meetings often feel unproductive and like a waste of everyone’s time, yet we rarely do anything to make our meetings better. Here are nine guidelines you can implement today to make your meetings more valuable.

#1. Do we really need to meet?

If there’s no purpose, there’s no meeting. When we take up people’s time, there should be a specific reason or objective.

#2. Who really needs to be at this meeting?

 If you can’t feed a meeting with two pizzas, it’s too large. -Jeff Bezos

Meetings can become costly and inefficient when there are too many people involved. Every person in the room or on the call should be there to contribute. To fight this, try using the Jeff Bezos’s two pizza rule.

#3. Meetings are not for information sharing.

If there are materials to share, this should be done prior to the meeting. Consider LinkedIn, where they eliminated presentations: “At LinkedIn, we have essentially eliminated the presentation. In lieu of that, we ask that materials that would typically have been presented during a meeting be sent out to participants at least 24 hours in advance so people can familiarize themselves with the content,” said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

#4. Have an agenda and stick to it.

Share an agenda before the meeting so others can be prepared, and keep the group on task. It’s helpful to designate a facilitator to keep the discussion focused and moving forward. Meetings can be hijacked or get offtrack without a strong voice to keep the group on topic. Tip: Use the concept of a parking lot so people feel heard, but the conversation can return to purpose of the meeting. Don’t feel the need to address the parking lot items in the meeting, but instead include them in the notes, or as action items so they can be revisited at the proper time.

#5. Start on time.

Set the expectation that the meeting will start on time even if everyone is not in attendance. Communicate that this is out of respect for everyone’s time and ask that people notify others if they will be late. 

#6. Try keeping the meeting short and don’t be afraid to end early.

A lot can be covered in a short period, and research suggests our attention can be held for about 15-minutes before we tune out.

Related: ever wonder why TED Talks are 18-minutes? The Science Behind TED’s 18-Minute Rule

In addition, your coworkers will leave feeling productive and positive when a meeting finishes early. Remember the goal of the meeting is not to use all of the scheduled time, but to address a specific objective.

parkinson law

#7. No multi-tasking or devices unless necessary for the meeting.

Don’t allow others to waste other people’s time by not giving your full attention to the discussion. Tip: If the meeting includes remote attendees, stick to video conferencing to help reduce the urge to multitask.

#8. Agree to, and distribute, action items or decisions at the conclusion of the meeting.

Always document and share action items or decisions. No matter how good the discussion, in order for it to make a difference it must make it outside the four walls of the meeting.

#9. Don’t feel bad about calling people out on any of the above.

Accountability is critical to lasting success, and people will respect you for keeping them, and others, accountable.

 

So who’s ready for a great meeting?

 

Want to see more content like this?

3 Simple Steps to Boost Business Through Employee Morale