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Six Essential Steps to Drive Sales and Leads with Louise McDonnell

June 12, 2023
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

In this episode of The Recognized Authority, Alastair McDermott chats with award-winning social media trainer and strategist, Louise McDonnell.

Louise outlines a six-step strategy to enhance sales and lead generation, giving us an actionable roadmap to success. 

Alastair and Louise also discuss the importance of planning, website and social media optimization, captivating content creation, audience targeting, and complementing organic reach with paid promotions.

This episode is jam-packed with practical tips that can help you use social media as a tool for business growth.

Show Notes

Guest Bio

Louise McDonnell is an award-winning social media trainer and strategist. She has worked in the digital space since the early 1990s. She is the founder of SellOnSocial.Media, and is a four-times best-selling social media author. Her latest publication, the 2023 Social Media Content Planner is already on the best-selling list on Amazon for worldwide sales.


lead magnet, content, people, social media, ad, paid ads, step, webinar, ideal customer, sales, give, service, clear, benefit, selling, leads, planning, expert, free, running

Louise McDonnell, Alastair McDermott


Alastair McDermott  00:02

Hello, and welcome to The Recognized Authority. I’m your host, Alastair McDermott and today my guest, I’m delighted to say is Louise McDonnell. And Louise is somebody who I have known for years now. We live in the same small corner of the world in the west of Ireland. And Louise is a social media expert, and was a social media expert before there were social media experts. So for quite a long time. I have a copy of one of your books here. “Facebook marketing”, I think was this your first book, please?


Louise McDonnell  00:32

Yeah, it was my first book. I was looking through today trying to find something.


Alastair McDermott  00:36

There you go. And so, Louise, you are an award winning social media trainer, and strategist. And today we’re going to talk about the six essential steps to drive sales and leads, right. Yeah. Awesome, right? Well, as listeners to the show note, I like to get straight into it. So can you tell me what are the six essential steps to drive sales and leads on social?


Louise McDonnell  01:01

So they’re the first set of people, then there’s then there’s a lot of people who are very active on social media spending a lot of time on social media showing up and creating content, but they’re really disappointed with the results that they’re getting. Okay, so that’s the second kind of category people. And the third category category of people are the people who only want to use paid ads. So they only want to show up. Hi, Paula McNicholas only want to show up when they want to, when they want to sell something, and when they have some money to put to it. And so, again, they can be disappointed with the results that they’re getting. So the six steps that I generally outline, when I’m helping people in it, it helps all those different people.


Louise McDonnell  01:01

So if you are category, the first category, we’re used to head in the sand, you’re ignoring social media, maybe your start starting, you’re just not not really sure what to do with it, then you need to start at the first step. And the first step is planning. Okay, so the people who who want to spend as little time as possible getting the best, best possible results, the first thing you need to do is start off with planning. So the planning will, the first thing you need to do is set your goals. So if you’re a coach, if you know if you’re a consultant, and if you want to use social media to drive sales, well, you need to be very clear. First of all, what you want to achieve by using social media. So if you’re just coming to social media and posting this, and that and whatever is happening, and just kind of piecemeal here and there and you’re not too sure, like what it is you want to achieve, or what product what service that you want sales that you want to drive, well, then you’re always going to be a little bit haphazard and directionless.


Louise McDonnell  01:01

Okay, so the step one is planning, it’s setting those goals, okay, being very clear on those goals. And then if you figure out how much the goal is worth to you financially, you can then also afford to allocate some budgets to achieving that goal. So again, it’s a very common thing that people think social media is free, okay? And it’s not if you want to get a return, you have to be prepared to spend money. So that is step one planning. So if you have been ignoring social media, you don’t know where to start. It could be that you just need to start by setting step one setting a plan.


Louise McDonnell  01:01

No problem! So the six essential steps number one, the first step, I suppose the first thing to start off by saying Alistair is that I generally encountered three different categories of problems people are, I don’t know how to pick problems that people encounter when they’re using social media. So you have category A, which are the people who know they should be using social media, but they ignore it. And they know their competitors are using it, but they still ignore us. Maybe they don’t know where to start. Or maybe they went gung ho about it, and they didn’t get the results that they expected. So they stopped in the star.


Alastair McDermott  03:53

Can I ask you, because I know that you do work with lots and lots of different types of businesses and organizations. And you work with E commerce providers, and, you know, government organizations and and but I know that you also do a lot of work with b2b organizations, and people like consultants and experts and speakers and people like that. Can you tell me what is different? Or what what those people need to think about? So people who are in this kind of expertise type of business? How would you think about the planning step in in that context?


Louise McDonnell  04:29

So again, it’s about being very lucky. Sometimes I will come across a lot of consultants and coaches. And, again, back to what I just said, step one, they’re not really clear on what it is that they want to achieve. Is it a one to one is it a group scenario? Is it a program? Is it an online is it in person? What’s the breakdown? How does it work? What did they do last year? How do they want to this year? How does your your breakdown, like it’s been good getting that clarity on what they want to achieve? Which brings me to step two, which is also going to answer your question. And step two, then is it optimizing your website and your social media channels for sales. And regardless of whether you’re selling a product or service, you need to do that. So so many people, their websites are just a bit vague, or their social media channels are just a bit vague, or they’re not differentiating themselves enough. Or maybe they differentiated themselves enough on their website, but they haven’t done it on their social media channels. Because remember, if you start creating amazing social media content and pumping it out there and getting in front of your ideal customer, first thing they’re going to do is check out who you are on social media. And if you’re not clear and consistent on how it is somebody should choose you how you’re different on what you’re selling, well, then you’re going to miss that opportunity. So step two is all about optimization.


Louise McDonnell  05:44

And in my experience, Alastair, I can tell you hand on heart, that the number one reason why social media content and paid ads don’t work is because people don’t do step two enough. There is there sending people to websites or landing pages that that aren’t, are not converting them. Okay? So again, if you’re a coach or a consultant, you’re looking for leads. Okay, so how can you get somebody get their email address, get their phone number, get get a get a, you know, something that you can follow up with? So that is step two, step one and step two. So step one is planning. Step two is optimization. Step three, then is content. Now, do you remember how I said that you have three categories of people, the first ones are ignoring social media, the second people are very busy on social media, but they’re not generating sales. Well, what’s generally happened, if you’re the second category is that you skipped step one and step two. So you’re very busy on social media. But you don’t have a clear goal. And you haven’t optimized your website or your social media channels, what either one or maybe both. And so in that case, you could be really, really active creating content on social media, but it’s just not going anywhere.


Louise McDonnell  06:53

Because you haven’t differentiated yourself, you haven’t, you know, appeal to your ideal customer, and you haven’t given them a clear call to action, and you haven’t come to compels them to do business with you or to reach out to you. Okay, so that’s step two. Step three is content. So I know you’re a content expert. So you know, step three is all about creating content on your social media, whether that’s brand awareness content, or positioning content, or sales content, or lead magnet content, or advocate content. So there’s lots of different types of content. And again, we create content for our social media, we can repurpose it on across our emails, we can repurpose it on our website and our blogs, or podcasts, whatever that may be. Okay, so step three is content. But the content has to link back to the goals and step one, and it has to communicate the core messages that you’ve identified about your business and step two, otherwise, the content, you could be really busy, but not going anywhere with the content. Okay, so that’s step three, and my six step system. Step four, then is all about targeting. Okay, so step four is all about making sure that you’re targeting your ideal customer, so that you know exactly who the ideal customer is. Now, in my experience, Alistair, people are only scratching the surface they haven’t.


Louise McDonnell  08:24

They haven’t just profiled their customer deep enough, you know, so there’s an Oh, it’s generally this age, generally that but you know, if you’re, especially if you’re a coach or consultant, okay, you want to know what the pain points are? What’s the problem that you’re solving? What are the language that your ideal customer is using? What you know, what does life look like for them right now? How does their problems show up? Or, you know, what? What stress? Does it cause them? Okay? And then what how your solution is the solution for them. So that would that would be then step four, step five, that is augmenting your organic reach, which is your non paid for reach with paid reach. Now, many, many people don’t want to use paid ads or think that they shouldn’t use paid ads. But But I say paid ads, right? Because I know ad is paid. But what if I just say ads, people don’t realize, I mean, paid promotions, where you pay Facebook or LinkedIn or TikTok, whoever it is, or Google for the promotion. But you have to reach enough people in order to generate enough leads in order to generation of sales. So here’s an interesting one. And I don’t confuse people with statistics and math, but I just did this analysis at one time. So let’s say you have a social media ad or post that has a click through rate of 2% which would not be unusual, okay, you can get much higher but would not be unusual. And let’s say you have a website you’re driving people to with that you’re getting people to fill out a form or a lead magnet. Let’s say that let’s say the conversion rate on that is also 2%.


Louise McDonnell  09:57

So to get 10 leads you have to reach 25 times wasn’t people. And you’ll never do that organically. Now, if you had increased your AD conversion rate to 3%, and your website or your landing page conversion rate to 3%, well, then you’ll get 25 sales. Or you have to reach and 11,000 people to get 10 sales, something like that. So, so depending on organic reach is just, you just you just, there’s no, you’re just never going to be like, if someone came to me in our agency and said, We want you to use our social media, but we’re never going to use money, we’re never going to spend any money on ads, I really wouldn’t want to take them on. You’re never going to achieve what I could achieve for you, if you let me spend some money on your behalf. Yeah. So you have to reach enough people with the highest click through rate possible drive them to the highest converting website possible to reach it to generate enough leads, and then they still have to convert can’t follow from the leads and convert them.


Alastair McDermott  10:55

So a follow up question then on that, if somebody was starting out with paid ads, and they’re doing their let’s say they’re doing a DIY, and they don’t have a huge budget, let’s say they’re gonna spend, they’re gonna experiment and spend, say, three $400, something like that. If somebody’s gonna do that, like, what should they be doing in terms of liquidity? They’d be driving that traffic, what what kind of offers? Should they optimize for? Should they be sending them to free resources like a lead magnet or something like that? Or should they be sending them to a sales page for their high ticket offer? How do you think about that?


Louise McDonnell  11:29

Yeah, so if you’re selling a service, it’s very unusual that you run an ad for your, for your, whatever the service is, and you’ll get people sign up just doesn’t happen. Yeah, so So again, you want to be thinking more exactly what you said to have like a lead magnet, a free download a free eBook, a free, a free worksheet, a free industry study of free, the results of a survey, a free webinar, you know, whatever that may be. But, you know, if somebody doesn’t know you, if you’re targeting a cold audience, if they don’t know you will, then they need to get to know like, and trust you. And even if they’re watching you for a while on social media, it’ll take you know, depending on what you’re selling, can take a while to warm people up, right? So if you’re gonna run an ad, and you’re gonna spend $400, well, then if you’re sending them to a lead magnet, then you want to, you want to be able to crunch the numbers, you want to be able to look and say, okay, spend $400, what was the click through rate on that ad?


Louise McDonnell  12:25

If the click through rate is one or 2%? Well, you know what, I’d be doing a little bit more work on the ad creative to get that click through rate a little bit higher, then when people click through to the landing page of the lead, or the of the lead magnet, what was the conversion rate on that? If it’s one or 2%? That shocking, you need to get data, otherwise, you’re gonna waste a lot of money driving traffic there that never sign up. So you need to be looking at the numbers crunching the numbers straightaway, click through rate on the AD conversion rate on the landing page. And then then you got to look at all the people who signed up for the lead magnet, then did you send an email sequence their direction? And how many people did you nurture through that funnel? who eventually started to talk to you who eventually gave you money? So so that is, that is kind of what you want to be thinking. And I always say, Alastair, and I don’t know what you how would you think about this, but I will say if you’re using paid ads, that there’s like three benefits, three benefits of running a paid ad.


Louise McDonnell  13:18

Number one, if you run an ad campaign for $400, for that free lead magnet, there’s the direct benefit of the people who signed up to the lead magnet and then eventually signed up for whatever product or service that you’re selling, right? That’s the direct benefit, then what you’ll find is that sometimes you’re running an ad for a lead magnet for a particular service, all of a sudden, you start getting inquiries for other services that you’re offering, because people saw the ad and they go, oh, I need, I need help with that. So you get the indirect benefit that happens all the time. It’s like you’re advertising a and then 10 People won’t be but it’s okay. Because it’s all it’s all business. And then the third benefit of running a paid ad is that you have the future benefit the people who don’t want you now, who but who all of a sudden you’re on their radar, and they will eventually come through in the future. Okay, so. So that’s the benefit of paid ads. Now, again, I have to be really clear that just because you’re spending money doesn’t mean that it’s going to be successful, because I see so many businesses, wasting money on ads, wasting money on ads. But so the biggest reason that people usually apart from having a really poor converting landing page and not optimizing your website, but you also find people who are running the wrong ads. So let’s say that you have a lead magnet that you want people to sign up to, well, you need to be running a conversion ad where you’re tracking how many people are downloading the lead magnets. And oftentimes, people will run a traffic ad or a video view ad. And so the ad you’re asking them to, to drive traffic or video views rather than signups. So you have to be very clear on the objective, what you want to get from the ad. And then you have to ask whatever social media platform that you’re using to help you achieve that ad. And you asked them to do a different type of ad. They’ll go, Okay, we got to lots of traffic, or we got to lots of video views. But you say, but I didn’t want that I actually wanted signups. So running the wrong ad and expecting different results.


Alastair McDermott  15:23

Yeah, it’s, it sounds, it sounds tricky. There’s a lot of little detail in this, there is one benefit, by the way that I would see as well in running ads, which is that you get data. So you’re not just buying the traffic itself. But you’re, you’re buying the information. I think this maybe applies more to search ads than social ads. But I’m sure that there is some of that as well. But you get a lot of information about the people who are clicking or not clicking. And that can feed back then into what else you do in the future. So I think that’s, that’s another potential benefit for that.


Louise McDonnell  15:58

Absolutely. I mean, I’ve just worked working with a consultant who ran a webinar, ma’am. And maybe I think it’s two, two and a half weeks ago around the webinar. And he’s now running the webinar again next week. Okay, so So after the first campaign, now, we have all our benchmark. So now I say, Okay, we’re going to try and improve on every single part of that campaign, from click through rate to sign up rate to show up rate to, you know, saw, you know, people who purchase the product or service the service actually, on the day. So, once you run one campaign, you now have a benchmark.


Alastair McDermott  16:34

Yeah, yeah, that’s an, that’s a really great way to approach particularly when you’re doing something like a webinar, which is like this kind of repeated event, because you’re kind of comparing, like, what like they’re like, so I think that that works. Okay, so So let me just recap so far, step one planning. And so that’s where you’re setting your overall goals and your budget. Step two, optimizing your website, and your profile, whatever social profile, it is for sales, so that you’re actually going to get leads when people arrive and look at this. And so that means that maybe thinking about where you’re sending them to, as well as giving them some sort of free resource, rather, if you’re selling some sort of expert service, which a lot of listeners this will be. And then step three, is, is having some content. So I guess that means like the entire rest of your profile, not just the place that that one post been that you’ve got content everywhere, is that right?


Louise McDonnell  17:30

And consistently, so you need to be showing up every week with content. So like, you need to show up consistently, week in week out, you know, getting your core messages.


Alastair McDermott  17:40

And okay, and I’m gonna come back to that in a moment, then step four, is making sure that you’re targeting your ideal customer. So and that’s something I think that you can do a lot of work with in the planning pre planning stages. I’m a big advocate of interviewing your ideal customer, if you can. So getting on a call with them, and just talking to them about the problem that they have. And it’s, it’s a great way to get information and conduct research, which actually, you can also then turn into other assets, like, for example, a book. So just to give you an example of that, I interviewed, I think, maybe 2530, experts and authorities about the concept of building authority. And so I was able to turn that into an authority maturity model, which is a framework that I’ve created, which I use in my business, and the data from that. It’s also basically, there’s the guts of a book in that, in fact, there’s probably three or four books in that way. I haven’t gone through it all yet. But that was from this research that I did through those calls. And also through surveys that I did get these micro surveys to LinkedIn. And I got over 1000 responses to that. And so I was able to use all of that data, which I can use for content creation. But it’s also incredibly useful, just for understanding your ideal client and what the problems are that they’re facing. Because all of that feeds back into the language that you’re using on that lead magnet on that website. On showing them that you understand their frustrations. So


Louise McDonnell  19:14

even in your ad content. Yeah, your attention, you know,


Alastair McDermott  19:17

absolutely. Okay, so that is, so that’s step four, targeting your ideal customer. Step five, adding in paid ads to increase your reach. And, okay, that brings us to Step six. So what’s step six,


Louise McDonnell  19:30

evaluating? Okay, now I’m racing and you don’t even wait to the campaign that we’re, we’re to evaluate, you’re watching straightaway. So you’re, you’re you’re using that to inform the current campaign, but also future campaigns as well.


Alastair McDermott  19:46

Brilliant. Yeah. Very, very simple. I love it. Okay. So that’s, that’s the overall process. Now, I do want to take a moment because I have to do a shout out to my sponsor. This This show is sponsored by 30 clips daily, which is a service that me and my team have. So it’s for people who are actually struggling to create content. So if you are struggling, you don’t have time to create content, we will help you put out a video every single day on your social media. And so what we do is, we will take your long form content, if you already make videos or podcasts, something like that. And we’ll split it up and create a 62nd video for every day. And if you don’t have something like that, then I will get on a zoom call. And we will record it. And I’ll interview you. So if you are somebody who was actually struggling with creating this content, we’re going to help you do that. So we do a full content strategy at the start, before we get going, and then we give you daily clips to put out on your social media or we can even publish it for you. And so that is authority clips daily. So if that sounds like something that is interesting, check on the links on The Recognized Authority website or in the show notes here. So Louise, I’m all about content as as you hear, because this is something I’m doubling, not just doubling down on tripling down on because I think it’s so important. So we’re doing this live, we’re doing this on multiple channels. And before we started, you asked, Could I pause for a second while you went to just get ready because we were going to do video. Because I switched season one was all audio, I switched to video for season two so that we could repurpose this content just like that. So content is where it’s at. So let’s talk about content. And you had a bunch of different types of interesting content that you mentioned. Can you talk a little bit about advocate content? What does that mean to you?


Louise McDonnell  21:44

So advocate content is where it’s like a third party endorsements in in you in your personal brand. So it’s any third party endorsements at all, whether that be an expert approval. So let’s say that you’re, you know, let’s say you’re a life coach, and let’s say you want you know, let’s say somebody from The Life Coach institution of wherever you got your qualification says, this is the best life coach I’ve ever come across. Like that’s experts approval, you can have celebrity approval, so you might have an somebody which 40,000 followers on it on Instagram, he says, My God, they’re fantastic. And people will believe them. And then of course, you have customer testimonials, which of course are invaluable. So we would regularly feature content, like that type of content, testimonial content across our clients, social media, content strategy. So I also I also have a formula that I use for testimonials. So I will say if you’re gonna get a testimonial from somebody, this is the best formula to use the greatest benefit to them. Okay, the timeframe and the emotions. So if you’re giving me a testimonial, I don’t want to hear Louise is lovely. And she’s very nice. And she answered all my questions. That’s fair enough, brilliant. But if you can say, well, within two months of having worked with release, I increased my website sales or my website leads by 50%. And I increased my business by blah, blah, blah. So what’s the greatest benefit to the client? What is the greatest benefit to them? Because that is going to appeal to other people who match the profile of that of that customer, because they will also want to achieve that. So what’s the greatest benefit the timeframe? And if you can work in the emotion, like you know, I’m so you know, somebody I’m so relieved, or I’m so delighted or you know, something like that, because people respond to emotions? Yeah, absolutely. Other content could be, let’s say you’re featured in a podcast, like this is my advocate content going out right now. Or let’s say that you were featured on a TV show or radio show. And like the benefit of that is that you can use it when it’s fresh and current, but you can also use it for throwback images, you know, for years to come. So I have a photograph of me in Facebook headquarters standing up with a thumbs up sign sort of that I use that at least once a year. But there again, it’s like a sort of an endorsement in your brand. And people will always believe what other people say about you more than what you say to yourself.


Alastair McDermott  24:08

Yeah, and rightly so. Yeah, so okay, that’s that’s a really great type of content to put out there. What what when you were thinking about content? What do you prioritize? If you’re if you’re working with new clients, and they don’t have any content, all content at all? Yes. Where do you start normally?


Louise McDonnell  24:28

So we sit down with our clients who start working with let’s say, somebody in our agency we go honestly go through the six steps so we sit down and we go through the tell us what your goals are, what do you want to achieve? And then tell us how you’re different now tell us really how you’re different No, tell us no, really tell us how you’re different and know tell us and then why did you start? Why did you get into this and and like that process of really pulling out of somebody how they are different from what they’ve said oftentimes they’ve forgotten, forgotten what really makes their service unique and all of that so you Have to do that first before you can do the content. And then what we do is we look at establishing the content pillars. So we look at what type of awareness content that we can generate no awareness content is you’re not selling, you’re not giving advice, it’s not advocate, or in its content would be, you know, it could be just depending on the individual, so has to be authentic. So it could be, let’s say that you’re a Holistic Therapist, it’s maybe a photograph of you walking in the woods or doing what you do, or giving you your thoughts about what whatever’s going on. Or maybe, you know, you’re a person who doesn’t really want to do it’s maybe it’s an inspirational quote, or it’s something that means something to you, or, you know, maybe it’s, you know, we do some lovely awareness content for, you know, let’s say, for hotel, and they feature all their employees, you know, so if you’re selling a service, it’s really good to feature employees, because they are the service, the product, that’s awareness, contents, consideration content is that positioning content, it’s that advice. And that’s where you position yourself in the eyes of the ideal customer, that’s where you talk about their problems and how you can solve them. And that’s consideration content, sales content, then, if you’re selling a service, it’s more than likely a lead magnet rather than the service itself. And then the advocate content is again, talk to you through that.


Alastair McDermott  26:18

Yeah. So let me ask you about lead magnets, because I’m interested in the different approaches. So typically, when I start making a lead magnet, and just for anybody who’s not familiar with that tournaments, that’s, that’s what we call the free content that we give people in order to gather their email address. So you put in your email address in here, and we will give you this free resource of some kind. I always go down the rabbit hole of I start to make the lead magnet, and then I make it more and I make it more and until then I end up with something that’s half a book already. So I always want to have to pull back from that. How do you think about lead magnets? Can you tell me a little bit what like, what makes an ideal lead magnet for you? Can you tell me a little bit of like, what that actually looks? Like? How many pages or what like, is it video? Or how do you do that?


Louise McDonnell  27:03

Yeah, so the it’s actually really hard to put a good lead magnet together. Because, you know, if you’re a coach or consultant, and you’re usually used to helping people, you will want to put too much into it. And if you put too much interest, then people will download the lead magnet, and they’ll go away and they will need you. So you have to be so your lead magnet has to not be too detailed. your lead magnet again, another mistake people make when they’re make creating lead magnets is that it must lead on to whatever you want to sell the person. So you must it must appeal to the person who matches the profile of your ideal customer. Okay, so oftentimes I see people creating lead magnets and like, that’s never going to, it’s never going to bring them the people that they eventually want to sign up. So must be targeted at the right people, it must be the right content, it must be not the not that detail. So you want to be thinking about giving people like an overview of a process that you follow, but not necessarily the detail of the process. So they need to understand what the process is. And like if they want to go and research every one of the steps of the process themselves off with them, they could spend a huge amount of time doing it. But they can save all that time if they go directly back to you to help them implement the process. So it’s, it’s an overview. So in your lead magnet, you want to have the overview of the process, you want to also maybe include some testimonials of people who have followed that process with the formula, the greatest benefit, the timeframe and the emotions. And then you also, you also have want to profile yourself because at the end of the day, people have to get to know like and trust you as an individual if they’re going to use you, you know.


Alastair McDermott  28:48

Yeah. And that’s particularly important where your business is based around you as some sort of expert or consultant because people aren’t buying a bar of chocolate or they’re entering a relationship with you. And so they need a much higher standard of trust. And I think that’s why that’s really important.


Louise McDonnell  29:08

And then the design of the lead magnet is important too, because people are going to make an assumption of the quality of your service based on what it looks like. All of those things. Yeah, it’s not that, you know, you think Oh, yeah, it’s easy. It’s not that easy, and it’s hot and, and to get once you get it right, though, you know, you can scale? Yeah.


Alastair McDermott  29:27

I think one thing that’s really important is to have it in line with that service. You know, whatever the ultimate services that you’re providing, and the benefits come from that. I think that if you work backwards from that. So, in the past, I’ve been guilty of creating lead magnets just because it was something that I could create, rather than saying, Okay, this is the end goal is is to have somebody purchase this service from me. And so to result in an engagement like that, what do like what is the steps that take them to there and working backwards to create the lead angle, I found that to be much more conducive to creating something that actually works.


Louise McDonnell  30:04

Exactly. Yeah. Totally agree.


Alastair McDermott  30:07

Cool. Okay. Well, this is, this is really fascinating stuff. I hope it’s, it’s, it’s useful for you, I want to ask you because I have some questions that I always ask in every every interview, I want to ask you, what is the number one tip that you give somebody who wants to build their personal authority.


Louise McDonnell  30:25

Okay, to build authority, first of all, you need to be very clear on who you’re serving, then you need to create content, which solves their problem. So you need to create that consistently. But then you got to get the balance, right, that you don’t want to give away so much free content that they never need to reach out to you. So it’s about getting that balance, right? positioning yourself, helping your ideal customer giving them enough, but not too much. And not being afraid to actually have lead magnets, run webinars and ask for the business. Sometimes you can be incredibly busy on social media, being fantastic, and people think you’re fantastic. But until you ask them for the business. You know, sometimes you don’t get it, like even just to like if you’re if you’re really active on social media, sometimes you can just like run a lead format and get 10 Amazing leads that will convert.


Alastair McDermott  31:20

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So I think that I probably don’t ask for the sale enough. I think that that’s probably something that a lot of people who are maybe more introverted or not as not as confident, but but a lot of us hold back, we don’t kind of put ourselves out there and make make the a clear call to action or a clear, clear call for a sale. So it’s certainly something I always think about something that I try and work on. Okay, so you know, that I asked, I like to talk about mistakes and failures, because I’ve experienced so many of them over the course of my business. And every single successful person that I’ve talked to in business has had a lot of failures in their backstory. And that’s the part that we don’t get to see when you see somebody’s Instagram. You know, you think everything’s smiley and everything, but you know, it’s, it’s tough, sometimes and people, people, you know, learn from from mistakes. So can you tell us about a mistake or failure that you’ve experienced in business and what you learned from it?


Louise McDonnell  32:27

Actually, a conversation has reminded me of one. So I remember doing a webinar one. And having this having a pitch at the end of it, you know, because you have something to sell at the end of it. But the mistake I made was, I as I say it, I genuinely what drives me as I love helping people. And in the webinar, I just, I gave away too much. And at the end of it, people were like, thank you so much. Thank you so much, goodbye. So I remember doing a webinar, and coming away with zero sales and being really deflated, you know, it’s not even about for me, it’s not even about the, you know, when even without the financial gain, it’d be about the numbers, you know, so I’m having to go away from that and go, Okay, what did I do wrong there. And, and then putting your webinars together, and then the next time changing your tactics, and looking to see what your conversion rate was. And then as also against a one mistake was getting zero conversions, because I use the webinars like a training course might, it just gave me far too much information. At the SEC, then eventually, I’ve kind of refined and refined and refined and refined and I have it down now. And then last year, I got bored. I said, I’m going to change this up. And I went back and I What did I do, I went back to what I do best giving away too much information, and it showed in the numbers. So that would be my mistake. And I have to I have to check myself that I that I don’t do it and and not being afraid. And this is a good bit of advice for people if you have if you have a formula that’s working, don’t be afraid to keep repeating this.


Alastair McDermott  34:05

That’s it. That’s a great point. Yeah. Let me ask you, is there any way that you can? Is there any way that you can quantify how much is okay to give away and how much is not because that’s something I wonder about my like I said about the lead magnets I fight with this myself a bit? How do you know,


Louise McDonnell  34:26

you know, by your conversion rate at the end of our webinar?


Alastair McDermott  34:30

Is there any rule of thumb that you would use about you know, how much of the how contents that you like the How to content because I I know I heard somebody described this as Oh, you tell them what to do, but not how to do it. But by telling them what to do, you’re kind of telling them how to do it. Like I


Louise McDonnell  34:49

know you talk about you give people again an overview, but no detail like no, you because you won’t have time to time in the webinar on how to give too much detail but as a rule of time you should be looking for it. about a six to 12 conversion, percentage conversion rate on your webinar. So if you’re getting in and around that, well, then your content is good. And if it’s not, you need to change it. So at a recent webinar, I like I can get anything from, you know, 19%, or 30% conversion rate on one webinar. So I know I’ve got the balance, right. So again, if you’re doing a webinar or a live webinar, you need to introduce yourself, you need to turn you need to give testimony, but it’s the same as that as a lead magnet, it’s the process, it’s the testimonials, it’s the getting people to, you know, get them to understand you understand their problems, and that you are the solution. So it is so it’s actually very, it, you’re not really given away a huge amount only, maybe an over an overview. But people will still go away from that overview. And if they don’t want to, and this is what I like about it, if they don’t want to fight, which is completely fine. That if you’ve helped them, and you know, and they’re happy to go away with you know, that whatever nugget you took from it, that’s fine, too.


Alastair McDermott  36:03

That’s, that’s a great point. Let me ask, is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you? Or that you would recommend?


Louise McDonnell  36:11

Can I say my own?


Alastair McDermott  36:13

Of course you can.


Louise McDonnell  36:15

I am going to say my own This is my 2023, social media content planner.


Alastair McDermott  36:19

Oh, cool.


Louise McDonnell  36:20

Yeah, so I do one of these every year, so this year, year after ravish. So that’s why we’re gonna wrap it on the front.


Alastair McDermott  36:25



Louise McDonnell  36:26

So this content planner is really, really handy, because there’s a workbook section in it to help you get clear on your message, and to take you through the steps that I’ve just outlined to you. But there’s 400 prompts for specialty. Now we actually use the all time with our clients. So we have our electronic kind of content calendar that we use when we’re planning our content for our for our agency finds. And there’s always like, you’re not, you’re not going to get you know, every day of the month is going to sue but nothing with teachers today, today is the 30th of May. So today is National creativity day.


Alastair McDermott  37:02



Louise McDonnell  37:03

You’re not so there’s going to be, you know, radio hosts, and there’s going to be people on the road looking for articles related to that. So if you if you knew, like, last week, and you were putting out something very cool with the hashtags for national creativity day, it just helps you show up more consistently. So and like tomorrow is national Smile Day. Okay. So again, like there’s some good ones coming up. So the first is global data, the parents again, if you’re parenting experts, you know, so So this form of prompts and there will be recent research those every summer will be asked again shortly to make sure that we have it’s just one place. You can Google them all. But it’s one place where everything’s together. And you can just plan your you can use it. I use it all the time. As you can see my


Alastair McDermott  37:48

Yeah. The well dog eared page.


Louise McDonnell  37:50

Yes. That’s cool. That’s for sale on Amazon. So this


Alastair McDermott  37:53

Okay, cool. That is the “2023 Social Media Content Planner”.


Louise McDonnell  37:59



Alastair McDermott  37:59

From Louise McDonnell. So, Louise, where else can people find you online?


Louise McDonnell  38:03

So my website is So I have an agency where people can outsource their social media and digital marketing requirements. And then I also have an online academy, where and an academy where I offer online training, or I also do corporate training. So if people want bespoke training and done for an organization, I do that too. So you’ll find all the information on sale on social media.


Alastair McDermott  38:29

Awesome. Well, Louise, thank you so much for coming on the show.


Louise McDonnell  38:33

You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.

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