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Static billboards, annoying telemarketing phone calls, and door-to-door sales are slowly being laid to rest with the rise of digital marketing.

Digital marketing experts are now strategizing the most frictionless Facebook sales funnels, using nonverbal communication cues in brand photography to inspire user call to actions, and producing high definition videos for product launch campaigns. These are only a few of the strategies and terminologies you’ll hear as you begin to immerse yourself in the world of digital marketing.

Before you run into the digital marketing party room with your bright and shining enthusiasm, you need to know that it’s one of the most crowded parties in modern day business.

Luckily, there’s a few smart folks who got into this party on the ground floor to study, test, and share the best practices in digital marketing. (Several of them are our uber-successful clients!) They’ve been spending countless hours and years learning about website visitor behavior, user experience design, sales psychology, and marketing funnel strategies to promote and grow their Internet-based businesses.

If you were an aspiring NBA player as a kid, you most likely studied your favorite players to imitate their every move on and off the court. You either did that because your coach told you to or you took it upon yourself because you knew that’s how you become the best.

The same principle applies to digital marketing. If you want to be on the cutting edge, you’ve got to study the masters.

In this article, we’ll highlight 6 key digital marketing skills Thought Leaders need to either master or hire experts to perform with excellence: copywriting, photography, social media, design, content marketing, and video.

You’ll Be Lost in the Wilderness without Captivating Copy

Do you know what makes people tick? Better yet, do you know what makes your audience click? Captivating copy hooks in your audience and inspires a desired behavior such as joining your email list or signing up to join your mastermind.

There’s too much boring copy on the Internet these days but you can stand out amongst the crowd if you know how to write copy that resonates with your audience.

Derek Halpern is a digital marketing aficionado and copywriting king. He uses psychological triggers and human behavior principles to drive more traffic, more subscribers, and more customers to his website, blog articles, and online courses. Not only does Derek use these principles in his own business, he teaches these principles to thousands of readers worldwide on his blog SocialTriggers.com.

Let’s dive into an example that demonstrates Derek’s mastery of resonant copywriting:


“How to Get Your First 5,000 Subscribers.” There are several nuances in this short sentence that you may have never considered when it comes to analyzing website copy. You may want to get out a notebook and jot down your own observations.

  1. This copy speaks to a specific audience: New website owners who want to increase traffic to their website and increase their email list so that they can have people to sell products and services to. Derek didn’t even have to use all of those words, but he did have to know his avatar or brand persona before he wrote his copy.You might be thinking how can you speak to your audience without explicitly calling them out. The way to do that is by understanding your audience’s hopes, fears, and dreams. You have to know what keeps your audience awake in the middle of the night. When you understand your audience better than they know themselves, writing resonant copy is going to be a cinch.
  2. This copy is specific and results oriented! Derek isn’t overwhelming his audience or promising a grandiose outcome. He’s offering a tangible result of 5,000 new subscribers if you follow the steps in his ebook.

Think about a few practical, immediate solutions you can offer your audience. What are some results they can get immediately if they follow your advice, guidance or formula for success? Make sure to include these results-orientated promises in your copy.

Aside from clean, grammar-free and articulate copy, you’ll want to experiment using copy that uses the power of social proof, scarcity, call to actions, instant gratification, and storytelling. All of these copy principles can be applied to your blog posts, website copy, social media ads, autoresponder emails, sales pages, banner ads, webinar invitations, opt-in windows, etc.

It’s Time to Get Camera Ready with Jaw Dropping Photography

There’s nothing like picking up an issue of National Geographic to scan through the high-quality photographs of animals, landscapes, and cultures. It’s captivating, intriguing, and engaging. It keeps your eyes glued to the page and makes you curious about the messages being communicated.

The same behavior translates to digital photography online.

Resonant photography has the power to leverage instant rapport, credibility, trust, and likeability with your audience. It allows people to know what you and your brand look like.

Whether you’re a thought leader or an e-commerce website that sells chocolate, you’ll want to show what your brand is all about with authentic, high-quality photography.

Look at an example from our client, Ory Shihor, who shows students how to ace their piano audition in order to get into the music school of their dreams:

Ory Shihor Image

Does this masthead image create a reaction for you? Let’s dissect the psychology behind this…

  1. This photograph shouts high quality. The image is clear, crisp and colorful. You can tell this photo was taken using a professional camera by a photographer who knows a thing or two about lifestyle modeling and photo shoots.
  2. The photo captures Ory’s character and personality. It’s warm, friendly and inviting. He uses expressive body language and nonverbal communication to his advantage by leaning into the camera with a smile and showing his audience that he’s interested in them by placing a hand under his chin. These subtle cues make all the difference in photos.

In addition to these insights, there are plenty of things to keep in mind when it comes to your brand and website photography. Here’s a short list of photography guidelines to follow before your next photo shoot:

  • Do invest in a professional photographer who knows how to capture you and your brand on camera. Be specific in your photography requirements and be sure your photographer knows what type of images you want such as lifestyle, headshots, product images, etc. Here are 30 Ideas for the perfect photo shoot from body language expert Vanessa Van Edwards at The Science of People.
  • Practice your poses in front of a mirror. Even if you don’t like to be in front of the camera, you can take a few minutes to practice your smile or power pose before you’re called to jump in front of the camera.
  • Don’t be cheap with your photography. There’s nothing worse than seeing low-resolution images that don’t show off your professionalism. personality, and credibility. Even if you aren’t a million-dollar online brand yet, your photos help you fake it til’ you make it.

Don’t miss this critical component of your online brand. If you want more inspiration of masters to follow when it comes to high quality, professional photography, check out Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte, or our clients Brendon Burchard and Mo Faul.

Jump Ahead on Social Media Before Grandma Knows More Than You Do

Most people think that teenagers are the only folks on social media these days. That thinking is warped! In fact, social media is now one of the most utilized marketing methods for corporations and small businesses alike.

The general population also likes to think that social media is a job that a monkey can perform…it’s just a bunch of tweets, snaps, and pins to post everywhere, right? That thinking is also warped!

Having social media savvy requires equal components of strategy, creativity and the ability to take action. It also requires that you stay up to date on the latest trends because the landscape is constantly changing.

That’s why we now have incredible experts like Amy Porterfield to show us the way.

Before venturing out on her own, Amy worked with Tony Robbin’s team as his primary social media strategist. Amy co-authored Facebook Marketing for Dummies with our very own Phyllis Khare, and now she’s considered one of the leading experts in the field of social media.

She has a popular podcast and course training platform where she teaches students about how to produce webinars and drive more traffic using social media.

Amy Porterfield

If you look closely at the image above, you’ll notice that Amy has more than 216,700 likes. Clearly, she knows a thing or two about social media.

In our investigation of Amy, we noticed a few strategies that make her a master of digital marketing and worthy of following:

  1. You can’t find a social media platform that she isn’t leveraging and yet none of her profiles are half-baked strategies or “maybe we should be on this platform.” She is highly intentional and consistent about  creating, sharing, and promoting posts on all of the prominent social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google Plus.
  2. She uses the power of retargeting in all of her advertising campaigns. Retargeting is when you see advertisements from a singular brand that follow you around the internet. To do this, Amy uses a pixel on all of her landing pages. When you land on a landing page and don’t respond to her call to action, the pixel triggers an application called AdRoll to deploy advertisements everywhere you go on the Internet. This way Amy will stay top of mind in your browser and you’ll be more likely to respond to her call to action at a later date.
  3. Amy leverages her real life social network inside her online social network. This means she networks with people in real life (face-to-face) to collaborate on projects, partnerships and affiliate relationships that she’s able to leverage in her social networks.For example, Amy has a popular podcast where she’ll mention other industry leaders and marketing experts that she’s learned from and studied with herself. She offers her podcast episodes for free on her blog at AmyPorterfield.com and then she creates social media posts that guide her fans back to her blog to listen to the podcast. Not only will the social media posts get shared and promoted within Amy’s network, but they’re usually shared and promoted by the industry leaders and experts that Amy mentions in her podcast episodes.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the current social media applications, tools and methods, but it can be manageable when you have a strategy in place that’s in line with your business goals and a talented, dedicated community manager to implement the strategy. This is something we map out in-depth on a customized basis for our Sales & Marketing Playbook clients.

Nothing Tastes Sweeter Than a Delectable Slice of Memorable Design

Businesses that incorporate design into their strategic fabric and decision making will experience 4x growth in revenue. Conversely, businesses that don’t invest in design will see business fall by 2x.

Implementing design into your business is more important than running to the latest marketing guru’s seminar to get a bunch of inspiration and positive affirmations. Design is way more important than may you think it is.

Quoting the research that we present to our clients at Peaceful Media, “businesses that incorporate design into their strategic fabric and decision making will experience 4x growth in revenue. Conversely, businesses that don’t invest in design will see business fall by 2x.”

If that statistic from the Danish Design Center didn’t make you go run to hire a designer immediately, you’re missing out on critical opportunities in your business growth.

Take our client Euphemeral Designs as an example:

Euphemeral Designs Image

Euphemeral Designs is a high-end boutique that communicates sophistication and class in an environment that can easily be mistaken as cheap. Once they implemented simple custom typography design into their brand, customers never asked questions like, “why is this so expensive.”

Quality, thoughtful design can alleviate subconscious “what is the true value of this?” roadblocks and frequently asked questions from prospective customers because it establishes your credibility and professionalism without your prospect doing any mental work. No reading. No questions. Design has a unique superpower to demonstrate that you and your brand are a class act.

For those of you that are newer to design, you’ll note that design is applied throughout your entire digital brand including your typography, color schemes, styles, graphics, and website layout. Read about our popular moodboard brand identity design process to get a better sense of what it takes to get a custom website with classy designs at a fraction of the cost.

If Content is King, Content Marketing is the Kingdom

Ask any content marketing master, and they’ll share that they give 98% of their best content away for free. Do you know why they do that? It creates a loyal audience to help them attract more fans, subscribers, and sales.

In content marketing, you have two key performance indicators: traffic and conversion.

Traffic is the number of users engaging with your free content online. Your free content includes your blog posts, podcasts, webinars, slideshares, newsletters, case studies, Quora Q&A, infographics, etc.

Conversion is the action that a user takes to go from role to another, such as prospect to customer or viewer to subscriber.

As you become a content marketing machine, you’ll be able to repurpose your content in many different formats and mediums.

Content Types

Before you get too overwhelmed with all of your options to create remarkable content, take a moment to acknowledge that you don’t have to do it all.

In fact, the masters of digital marketing usually pick 1-3 content modalities to use in their content marketing strategy.

Let’s examine a digital marketing master who’s killing it in the world of content marketing. His name is Lewis Howes:

Lewis Howes Image

Lewis was a professional football player until he was sidelined with a career-ending injury. He was forced to consider other ways to utilize his strengths and talents.

While he lived on his sister’s couch for a while after his football career, he sought out mentors to teach him about digital marketing and business development. As he immersed himself in the field, he decided that podcasting would be his primary modality to share free, valuable content with the world in order to drive more traffic and conversion to his premium programs.

Lewis’ podcast “The School of Greatness” is now a top rated podcast on iTunes where he interviews some of the most successful and influential people on the face of the planet, including Elizabeth Gilbert, Tay Diggs, and Marianne Williamson. He’s leveraged the material from his podcast to create a New York Times Bestselling book and a premium online training course where he trains aspiring entrepreneurs how to launch a business doing what they love.

As you might imagine, Lewis doesn’t live on his sister’s couch anymore.

If you’re just getting started in the world of content marketing, we recommend you spend some time studying strategies that will work best for you and your business. Here are two resources that you’ll want to study inside and out:

The secret ingredient to master any content marketing plan can be summed up in one word: consistency. If you want to become a master like Lewis Howes, you’ll need to be consistent with creating and publishing free, valuable content that people want to have.

Pick one modality to create content (writing, video, or speaking), pick the method for delivering your content (such as blogging, YouTube videos, or podcasting) and stick to your plan for no less than one year.

Always have a call to action at the end of all of your content assets so that your fans can keep in touch with you and your business. In the spirit of creating a call to action, your CTA is to pick one content modality to produce and share with your friends by the end of this week. Block out two hours on your calendar to complete this task before you finish reading this article.

Lights, Camera, Action… Video is the Key to More Visibility, Trust, and Connection

Gone are the days where your only option to consume information is to attend a live seminar or a traditional educational institution. Now you can become an instant guru by teaching eager students all over the world using the power of video.

Video allows you to create high-value marketing collateral, training courses, and so much more.

Most importantly, video makes you even more visible to your audience online and establishes instant trust and connection when executed ethically and authentically.

Chase Jarvis is a master at video in the world of digital marketing. Chase is the founder of the fastest growing start-up CreativeLive, a free and pay-per-view training platform for creatives and entrepreneurs.

Chase originally created the platform to teach fellow photographers the tricks and trades of the business and how to create amazing photographs. Now CreativeLive serves thousands of students worldwide and teaches topics ranging from Youtube Marketing to The Power of Body Language. The courses are filmed in front of a live studio audience and recorded for students to purchase after the course streams for free during production.

The quality of CreativeLive’s videos is tremendous with high definition cameras, sound, design, and programming. When you watch a course on CreativeLive, you feel like you’re actually in the studio audience yourself.

Creative Live Image
Even if you’re not Oprah, MarieTV, or CreativeLive status just yet, you have the capability to create high-quality video assets to share on the Internet.

You know how Apple creates their remarkably beautiful commercials? You have the ability to do the same right from your living room or home office.

Here’s a short list of five items and accessories you need to start creating professional videos:

  • A microphone
  • A video camera
  • An umbrella lighting kit
  • An editing application such as iMovie, Final Cut Pro or Camtasia
  • An outline or script of what you’ll say

As you continue to create videos and generate revenue in your business, you can always invest more in creating higher quality video assets for your business.

Key Takeaway: Aspire to Be the Tortoise Before You Become the Hare

To become the next Derek Halpern, Amy Porterfield or Lewis Howes, you must remember three key takeaways:

  1. First, you don’t have to run the fastest in order to win the race but you do have to get started. If you want to become a digital marketing master, pick one area that you want to master and stick to it.
  2. Second, always provide value and promote your work. If you google any of the digital marketing masters mentioned in this article, you’ll notice that they offer tremendous value for free before you ever land on a sales page for one of their premium products or services.
  3. Third, embrace the role of being a student. Seek out mentors who have done what you want to do, attend classes and seek out mentors who’ll guide you on your journey.

If you continue to take action and embrace these mindsets over the next few years with consistency and persistence, there’s no doubt that you too can become a master in the field of digital marketing with your knowledge and expertise.

Do you have a favorite digital marketing master that wasn’t mentioned in this article? Let us know in the comments below and share with us why you believe they’re a master that other folks should follow.