Heather Porter

Heather-Porter1

How did you get into your area of expertise and why do you stay?

I started in online marketing quite by accident.  I was managing large seminars in the personal development industry and retreats for entrepreneurs globally when one of the speakers I worked with approached me to help him reach people online too.  Around 2007, or when Facebook and online marketing started to really take off, I took it upon myself to learn how to build a membership website (quite a change from running events huh!). It was a success with 18,000 members at launch! 

 

Speakers, authors and others who worked in events started approaching me when they heard what I was doing to ask me for help with their online presence too.

 

I have been working in online marketing ever since. The Internet has given small businesses access to the same marketing strategies that massive brands use online, and they often get better result for their budgets!  To me that is exciting and I like breaking down the concepts so more people understand them.  Plus things change so fast it always keeps me on my toes and things are never boring.

What has been the main focus or outcomes of your research/work over the past year?

I have been working on a way for online marketing to be more accessible and easier for small businesses to use without needing to hire a team or spend a lot. I have been testing and developing a new package called “Websites that Work” that is affordable and easy for small businesses to use.  Instead of spending a lot on a new website, and not knowing if it will ever work, or putting all of your efforts into a big marketing campaign only to see it fail, this package is based on small tweaks and iterations each month. You use the website you have and introduce incremental changes and test different marketing campaigns over time. This way budgets can remain small and changes are made based on data instead of assumptions.

How has your field changed in the past 5 years? What new areas are emerging?

We used to be able to put a post up on our Facebook page and get loads of engagement and traffic to our website. Things have gotten more competitive and in order to get good reach on social media, in most cases, you have to pay. As a result of increased competition, and more marketing channels and tools available to us, things have gotten more complex too. It might be easier to do things in some cases, like build your own website on Squarespace, but because there are so many tools and options this can lead to confusion about what is best for individual businesses based on what they want.


With the increase in tools and competition, more and more people call themselves an expert without having a lot of experience and sharing the latest marketing “hack”, which means there is more advice being shared around that is not necessarily accurate or the best for the person on the receiving end.


The main thing I am seeing now is a movement towards simplifying things when it comes to marketing.  Instead of fancy drawn out funnels and automation, I feel like there is a return to talking and listening to your customer in personalised conversations and supplementing that with automation and good systems.

What is the number one way natural medicine practitioners can make a dramatic impact to attract clients?

Video is incredibly powerful. Not only can you teach something in your area of expertise, but you can let people get to know you. And fortunately videos filmed with our phones in most cases outperform highly polished produced videos. And when I say video – try everything – stories, live, IGTV, pre-recorded, webinars, etc. Just remember who you are trying to help, or your niche, and really focus on creating content for them and their problems.

What is your proudest professional achievement and why?

Can I share 2?


The first was building a school in the Huilloc Community in Peru at one of the retreats I used to run for entrepreneurs. We raised the money for the materials and then actually made the bricks from clay and started the build. I knew that this small building and the school supplies we brought would make change in their community for generations to come.

The second was becoming 1 of 9 community trainers for Facebook in Australia and New Zealand, where I get to teach small business owners marketing on behalf of Facebook.  I had to go through an audition process that was quite full on and to be approved felt like a big recognition for the knowledge I have built in social media marketing.

What’s the questions you get asked the most often in your field, and how do you answer it?

I tend to get very specific questions about how much money to spend on social media ads, how to I get better results with my online marketing, or what do I need to do to make my website work better.  The challenge is that there are not simple answers for these questions, and I find that people have been trained to look for shortcuts.  So I go back to the marketing fundamentals by asking them questions to see if they are clear on who their customer is, and to see if they have a good offer that is a no brainer for their target market.  From there I explain the importance of creating content to build trust by providing value first, then asking for the sale later and different ways you can do that.  Ultimately you are building a customer journey, or funnel, and need to understand that first.  If someone is clear on all of that then I can talk about Facebook ads budgets.

Fun Fact for the Readers: Tell us who inspires you / or who your professional idol is and why?

I am inspired by people who are brave enough to be themselves online. I know social media is a big part of what I do, and filters and curating the perfect feed are so sought after.  However, I’m on a mission to show others that less is more when it comes to filters and polish, and what people really want is to connect with the real you.  I think those who are on a mission to help others and are brave enough to show the good and the bad in their journeys are amazing.

Optional: Do you have a motto or quote that drives you?

Yes! If it’s to be it’s up to me.

Heather Porter will present at the upcoming event Reimagine Your Practice Seminar