In the 1900s, when a new business wanted to make a big splash, they might have pulled a marketing stunt. Did you know that the Tour de France started as a marketing stunt? Newspaper publisher Henri Desrange created it to promote a new auto magazine L’Auto. The goal was to drum up publicity for the magazine with a bicycle race & boost its circulation. The race, although embroiled in scandal even in that first year, was a resounding success – circulation grew six-fold during the race.
Today, what’s the web equivalent of boosting circulation for your content? Growing your traffic, your viewership & your subscriber list. If you run a creative business (or any business for that matter) online, you know how important it is to get people to come to your site.
Our guest this week, Mimika Cooney, has run multiple creative businesses online.
She is an award winning photographer, a TV host, an author, a speaker, an entrepreneur & a coach. She is the creator and host of her own web show MimikaTV where she interviews creative entrepreneurs and photographers on how they built their businesses. She also coaches people in business, marketing & photography at CaptureSchool.com.
When Mimika started MimikaTV, she was barely doing an episode a month, with less traffic. Recently, she completed 50 episodes & was selected to the iTunes New & Noteworthy list!
I invited Mimika to tell us about what prompted her to create a web show that helps other creatives + the strategies she adopted to drive traffic to her website and increase viewership.
Mimika’s 8 Strategies to Grow Traffic
When she started MimikaTV, Mimika was doing an interview a month.
“Once a month wasn’t enough. I like to measure things by how many people are engaged, how many comments I’m getting, how many people are singing up to my email list.
Doing a show weekly and being consistent, definitely helped with that. It got more people talking about the show & more guests sharing it.”
#2 Having a “Hit List”
A few weeks into launching, Mimika decided that she needed to somehow make a big splash and get the right kind of guests on her show. She decided to take advantage of an upcoming photography convention.
“Every year the photography industry has a large event in Las Vegas. I’d always gone as a student. But this time, I left my camera at home. I made a “Hit List” – a list of 20 names who I wanted to introduce myself to, create a connection with and invite to be guests on MimikaTV. My room mate at the event asked me “Aren’t you here to learn photography?” And I said, “No! I’ve come to meet people.”
For me it was a huge thing to be away from home. I have 3 kids. Plus the cost of the trip. It was a huge leap of faith. But for me it was important to get in front of people. I wanted to ask people who were respected in the field to be on the show. A lot of people I met there became guests on MimikaTV.”
#3 Get guests with solid audiences (not just the big names)
One advantage of having guests on your show is the benefit of getting their audiences.
“When you first start off, you tend to go after the big names – the people who are more popular, with bigger numbers & audiences. But the funny thing is – I got the greatest engagement for guests who maybe didn’t have a huge audience, but their audience was far more engaged.
I recall an interview I did with Davina Fear. In her interview, we dug deep into the emotional side of business & how to overcome fear. A lot of my audience is women. First, the content hit home with a lot of them. Second, she was the first guest to actually blog about the interview. She wrote a blog post and linked back to my site. She didn’t just embed the interview on her page, instead she pushed traffic to my website. It was far more effective than a share or tweet.”
#4 Benefiting from the clout of others (but give first)
Mimika tells the story of how she got 300 new subscribers in 2 weeks!
“One of the guests I interviewed, Geoffrey Shaw, was organizing a photography summit online. He approached several different speakers who were good at what they do. Each of us was to pre-record a 30-minute session on a specific topic. It was a 3-day event and it was free to anyone who registered.
Because of the clout of all the speakers pushing eyeballs to this one landing page, we were all able to gain viewership. I noticed a significant jump in my email sign ups – I got 300 new subscribers in 2 weeks. Also, the whole idea was to give people free content – they could go to my webpage and download my free marketing e-book.
Also, the summit was a huge win for me – it validated that I was someone worth listening to, to be among names like Michael Port who was on the speaker list.
#5 Going on other people’s shows
“I spent some time researching who else had podcasts & webshows, where I could get interviewed. Whoever was interested in interviewing me, I did it. It gave me a chance to share my story. I did about 10 shows. It helped to get links back to my site & build my credibility.
Also, it’s important to have a Press page on your website, where you can share where you’ve been featured.”
#6 It’s all about systems
Mimika has created systems that allow her to be consistent with her posting (even when her kids are home in summer!)
“When my kids are home, it makes it difficult to get work done. I had a strategy where in May & early June, I literally crammed in interviews in a 6-week period, so that it would get me through 3 months of summer. I think there was a day in which I did 4 interviews. All my MimikaTV shows for the summer were pre-recorded.”
“Another thing I realized is that editing takes a ton of time. I got on to this company called Videopixie – where freelance video editors do the work for you. Thomas from Videopixie was super supportive & sponsored about 10 of my shows. In order to get the content out more consistently, I knew I had to delegate something – for me, video editing had to go.”
#7 All roads lead to one place – your website
Mimika shares her weekly posts on multiple platforms – her blog, MimikaTV, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook & Twitter.
“I want to use all my social channels to push people to my website. That’s where I want people to stay. I get a ton of traffic from Facebook. My next focus is Instagram because now you can do 15-second clips. I have all this content & I’m always thinking about how I can re-purpose it.”
#8 A strategy she adopted from her photography business – getting real people to share in your message
“For me, its about – how can I get real people to share my content?
When I was building my photography business locally, my strategy was – how can I get local people to share in my message? I’ve transferred that strategy to my online business. I still include SEO in my strategy, but I don’t want to be beholden to it. My number one priority is my email list. Once I have people’s emails, then I can communicate with them directly, no matter what. Think of that as your home base.”
Photo Credits: Mimika Cooney
Origin story of the Tour de France got from this neat History.com article.