Category: Marketing

When it comes to creating content, I see soooo many entrepreneurs fall into this time trap.


If you're coming up with new content every single time...hate to tell you this, but you're wasting your valuable time.


Here's a secret for you...creating consistent content that is irresistible to your dream clients shouldn't be a time suck!

content time hack


I'm so excited to share with you a super simple system that'll make it easy for you to:

  • have no end of content - all at your finger tips
  • show up consistently without it taking over your whole life
  • add value for your dream customers without wasting your valuable time

Thinking this sounds too good to be true? That it must be some weird thing that costs a lot of money? Think again!


All you need is a content bank.


What the heck is a content bank?


A content bank is a database of prewritten/pre-used content that you just keep recycling. The truth is: unless your content is tied to a specific date or trend, it never "goes bad." And repetition is good: firstly, a lot of your audience won't see it the first time around; secondly, with all the content we consume, no one remembers seeing it before or minds seeing it again.


When you are planning your content for the week / 2 weeks / month (whatever the time period you plan for), pull content from your bank. Any new content you create, make sure to add it to the bank to be used again at a later time/date.


Each week, about 75% of my content is recycled from my bank, and 25% is new (which keeps it super fresh and allows me to keep building up my bank).


I keep my bank organized by content themes so that it's easy to find things and so that I can easily keep my content varied and relevant for my audience.



Marketing is full of buzzwords and all of the shiny new things. It’s all fun and games and awesome ROI if you know what it all means, but if you don’t it’s really just a recipe for overwhelm. We’re going to tackle one of the BIGGEST marketing buzzwords and demystify it: Google Ads – or, Search Engine Marketing.


When a business talks to me about Digital Marketing, they 99% of the time ask about Google Ads. But, when they’re asking, they more often than not…in fact maybe never…actually know what that even is.


Google Ads ARE a very powerful tool for digital marketing. In fact, they have one of the highest conversion rates. So, let’s talk about them and demystify what they are and how to use them effectively.


What exactly is Google Ads?

First things first…Google Ads is actually a whole bunch of things. It’s Display marketing, remarketing, and Search Engine Marketing. Today we’re going to talk about Search Engine Marketing, since that’s normally what people mean when they ask about Google Ads.


Calling it Google Ads is like calling tissues Kleenex, so we are going to call it by its actual name: Search Engine Marketing – often shortened into SEM because BUZZWORDS!!!!


Search Engine Marketing is the PAID placement of text-based ads that are initiated by words and phrases people are searching for on search engines. They are pay-per-click, which means that you only PAY if someone clicks on them.


What’s amazing about them is that, like SEO, only prospects that are ACTIVELY searching for something will come across them. That means that you are reaching people who are already interested in what you are offering.


SEM tends to have one of the lowest costs per conversion among paid tactics. This means that as far as getting your prospect to complete an action – whether a sale or contact or signup – it is one of the most effective and least expensive.


You can do SEM on Yahoo, Bing, or Google. Google is the main one and dominates as the search engine of choice for users. Within Google SEM, you can choose to appear on their search partners, which would give you a bit more reach.  We often focus on JUST Google when we are doing SEM campaigns – particularly when we have a more limited budget.


How to use Google Ads effectively

SEM is not the easiest tactic to use. It requires a LOT of management in order to be effective and a comfort in looking regularly at data and statistics. There are a few parts to SEM:

Keyword selection

You need to choose the right keywords for your business and your customer. Think in terms of how prospects and customers actually search for what your service or product is. Think about what language they would use.

You also need to ensure that you are not being too general or people who are not looking for you will see your ad, which can lead to wasted spend or a poor ranking of your ads.

Bid management

For any chosen keyword, there will be a number of brands and companies competing to have their ad shown and to have their ad shown FIRST. You need to decide on how much you want to bid on a keyword.



A well written ad is essential to get users to click on it AND to get the SEM platform to rank you higher. You will want different ads for different groups of keywords so that you can include those keywords in your ad to be more effective.


Landing pages

Search Engines are all about the end user. They want to make sure that wherever they send a user, that person has a GREAT experience and it was just what they were looking for. Think of it as when you refer a friend to a business or restaurant. You want to have faith in your recommendation!

When a search engine sends someone to a page, if that person has a GREAT user experience, then the Search Engine will rank that page higher and want to send more people there. If they have a bad experience, the opposite happens.

You want to make sure your landing page for an ad has the right keywords on it and is relevant to what the searched keyword and the ad are about.

Testing, measuring, and tweaking

A BIG part of SEM is data and analytics. You need to be on top of always checking your keywords, your ads, and what happens when a user lands on your page to tweak and optimize your campaign.

Make sure you have a measure for conversion – whether that is a purchase made online or a contact made with you to complete a purchase offline. This data can be pulled INTO SEM platforms and can help you hone and tweak your campaign to be more effective. This is also an essential part of measuring your ROI.


What can I expect Google Ads to cost me?

A benchmark cost per click – or per visit to your website from an ad – is $1. It can be more or less depending on the popularity of your keyword. A MINIMUM amount to spend per day is $10. A better amount to start with is $20 per day.


If you choose to hire someone to set up and manage your campaign for you, the cost would start at $200-$300 for set up and $300 per month for management. Some agencies charge upward of $1000 per month for management.


While this definitely can feel high, remember that when used effectively, SEM can have one of the lowest conversion cost since it’s targeting people who are warm leads and already searching for something that you are selling. Because of the cost, I recommend using SEM for targeted and shorter-term campaigns rather than year-round.


A big BIG mistake I see when it comes to branding, is businesses thinking that once they have a logo they are all set. But, in truth, branding is so much more than a logo. In fact, a logo is the last piece of the branding puzzle, and with a strong brand, many businesses could get by without one.



A brand is your business’s personality. It is who your business IS. How others – including your potential customers and customers themselves – see you and relate to you. A brand is something that shows up in everything you do – from your packaging to your website to your tone of “voice” in emails and social media to the types of visuals and photos you use. A brand is all encompassing.


And, importantly, your business’s brand – its personality – isn’t always YOUR personality. It can often be a challenge for an entrepreneur – especially when they ARE the whole business – to separate themselves from their business brand.


A common mistake entrepreneurs make is to assume their tone, their favourite colours, and their personal style choices and to give those to their brand.


A better way to look at it is that your business brand may – and likely does – have ELEMENTS of YOU. Elements that are suited for what you want to put forward for your business and what you want the world to see. Also, elements that are suited for the type of business you run and the customer you want.


Let’s look at some of the building blocks of building a killer brand.

One: Think of your Audience

While your brand is a reflection of YOUR business personality and self, it also needs to be one that speaks to your AUDIENCE. After all, your audience is who you want to speak to! Your audience is who you want to build a relationship with, evoke feelings in, and who you want to be engaged with your brand. When selecting images, think about ones that would appeal to your audience. What would grab their attention? What would they find meaningful and interesting?


Two: Brand colours

Your colour palette is a key part of expressing your brand’s personality to your audience.


Colours offer a lot of opportunity for customization but also the potential to be used incorrectly. Mistakes often made include using too many colours, using colour combinations that don’t go together, or using colours that don’t fit your brand.


We often have the temptation to use colours we like without much thought as to whether they are the right colours for our business or brand. The RIGHT colours are key in sending the right message about your business to your audience. Beyond what looks GOOD and NOT GOOD together, different colours and fonts say different things about your brand.


From a colour palette standpoint, ask yourself what your colour choice is saying about your brand, and whether that is what you want to be saying.


Three: Selecting the right fonts

Much like your colours, your font choice will say a lot about your brand. When choosing fonts, it is helpful to ask yourself if your fonts will appeal to your audience and whether they’re a good fit for your brand and business.


Because there are SO MANY fonts out there, finding the right one can be more challenging than finding the right colours. Understanding the traits or personality you want your brand to put forward will help you pick the right fonts. Is your brand modern or traditional? Is it bold and loud or gentle and harmonious? These are questions to ask when thinking about what font would best express your brand.


Four: Consistency

Branding is all about consistency. Once you have an established what your brand looks like and what its personality is, you want to make sure you stick to it. When you design content for social media, flyers for your business, and even your website, use the colour palette and fonts to guide the design. When writing for your blog or website or social media, make sure the voice reflects your brand’s voice. When put together, all your business collateral – or marketing pieces – will help to establish and show your brand to the world.


I want to tell you a quick story. A story that could really be a modern day business fable actually…

It is the story of the business owner who builds a website – spending a ton of time doing it themselves or money to pay an expert to do it for them.


And they launch this beautiful website into the world and….nothing happens.

They wait and wait and wait

And …crickets.

No one goes to the site. And they have no idea why and they wonder whether websites are even needed nowadays.




Get your website found on google with SEO

First thing – yes you DO need a website. Your website is pretty much the only place you have total 100% control over how your brand is shown to your audience in the digital world.  Social media is incredibly important as well. But it’s a different channel with a different use and does not readily or intuitively communicate your full brand and business message in one easy way.


With a website, you can showcase your elevator pitch, who you are, what your services are, and your portfolio all in one place that is designed to do just that.


So yes, you need a website.


But your website also needs an audience.


The mistake so many business owners make is believing that if they build it, their dream clients will come.


But it’s not like a café or store that you might walk by and think “hey that looks like it’s for me!” and walk in.  It lives in a digital suburb no one is driving to unless they are trying to get there.


If you want your dream audience to come visit you at your website, you have to tell them about it and get found by them by hanging out where they hang out.


There are a few ways to do this, and they work best in combination.


The first few ones are all related to something you have probably heard of. You might even have said it out loud, but you may still not be 100% on what those letters mean. I’m talking SEO. Search Engine Optimization.


A site that is optimized for search engines, will show up in the search results of google, yahoo, etc. when someone types in the right keywords.


So, if you are looking to attract customers looking to buy high end shoes, you want your website to show up on search engines when people are SEARCHING for high end shoes. A website that does this has great SEO.


There are ways to set up your website so it shows up in search results. First, feel reassured that no BRAND NEW website is going to rank high on search engines RIGHT AWAY. Let that take some pressure off.


Think about it this way: when you refer a café or store or restaurant to a friend, you don’t do it lightly. You first make sure that you’ve checked it out, that you know they are solid and that your friend is going to have a good experience.


Search engines act the same way. They want to make sure they are sending their users somewhere GOOD. Somewhere that meets their needs. Somewhere where high end shoe buyers are going to find high end shoes.


Establishing that relationship with a search engine takes time. Building that credibility takes time. But there are some things you can do to build that credibility faster and to get search engines to take notice! We’re going to talk about five ways to do this.


My 5 tips for getting your website found on Google

Size matters

But in this case bigger isn’t better. It’s worst. So much worst.


Large image files on your website take a long time to load. It may only be 3-5 seconds, but in the digital world that is EONS. Between slow load times and a pull on data for mobile devices, search engines don’t like those large websites. It’s important to make sure all your images and files are optimized for web. This is a bit of a line to walk now as people also have larger screens and you don’t want grainy images showing up for them. There are online tools to help you test you site speed; the best call is to play with image sizes and speed and try to find a balance.


Name your images

If you’re uploading photos and images with filenames like IMG001.jpg you are MISSING OUT BABE!


Search engines don’t see images. They see file names and alt text (or the text that loads in place of an image when it doesn’t load or when someone is using an accessibility device to view your site).


Put keywords in your file names and use descriptive alt text – not just for the SEO but because, really, it is a much better experience for those who are using accessibility devices.


Instead of IMG001.jpg how about highendredheels.jpg!


Hierarchy! Aka OUTLINE!

Think about all the times you scan text – whether an email, an article, a website. We allll do it! YES you want people to read every last word, but most people are first looking for relevance or something to catch their eye before they dive in and commit time to reading.


Also, breaking up your website like this makes it MORE READABLE – less just one solid block of text. Search engines like this, too.


For these people you want a bit of an outline on your web pages with some hierarchy – meaning that the more important, the closer to a headline something is, the larger it is.


There are even headline TAGS to use in your website – all the way from H1 for the biggest and more important headline to H5 for the sub sub sub sub headings.


Change it up

If you build one or two pages on your website and forget it, search engines are not going to notice you or find your site particularly engaging for its users.


More content means more places for keywords to live.

More content also means more for a reader to see.

Regularly adding content means that you regularly have new and interesting things for people to see.


Now all these things are easy to accomplish if you have a blog or if you have an online store. But if you don’t have a blog and you don’t feel a blog is right for your audience or is a tactic you want to spend time on, then that’s ok too. You can achieve a good amount of relevant content with key web pages – your about page, services page, home page, and key landing pages. You might find you have tools or new freebies to add as you build and promote your business, and those can all live on your website and help give you a boost with search engines.


Tell people about your website

A lot of business owners launch a website, post once about it on social media and then…that’s it! Tell people regularly about it. Whether it’s showcasing new products and linking to your site, sharing new blog posts, adding it to your email signature, reminding people in your email marketing about it, and so on.


The more people go to your website and check it out, the more search engines are going to know people like going to your website. Plus, search engines aside, this is a great way to get your site in front of your dream clients!


Building a website is exciting, a bit exhausting, and a really fantastic step for your business. Once it’s out there in the world, you want to make sure that all your dream clients are seeing it, visiting it, and finding it often. So, make sure to get in front of your dream clients where they are already and especially when they are looking for what it is that you are offering. Don’t be discouraged if immediately you don’t have a ton of people coming by. Like any and all of your marketing, it is something that requires ongoing work to help it shine.


I've created a free SEO checklist that has steps you can take while writing your blog posts and after it's published to improve their chances of getting seen and drawing your ideal customers to your site.

free download blog checklist for seo


There is so much out there telling us entrepreneurs to build our business online and find our Dream Customer online. And that is a great idea that works for some people. But – BUT – growing a strong brand and customer base locally in your community can be a great move for your business.


As a marketing and design company, we wanted to work with clients who didn’t want to do the same old thing – place some ads and hope their message got across. We believed in engaging audiences and in providing experiences that provoked conversation and dialogue and moved people to action. So, we began to hold events that did just that. Our brand and business became known for those events, and clients would seek us out to achieve the same results for their projects.


When we launched SMRT WOMEN, we wanted help female entrepreneurs build the skills, support, and connections they need for them and their business to thrive - whatever stage that business is at. We again turned to events as a way to do this and build this community. While SMRT WOMEN is now also online, the events are still an important and super fun part of it!


Events are a great marketing tool because they provide an EXPERIENCE for your audience – something really tangible to engage with. They aren’t to replace your other marketing tactics, but to act in concert with them to round out your strategy.


My top four tips to ensure that your event is a success.

Because if you’re going to do an event, you want to do it right!


Set a goal for your event

Understand what you’re trying to achieve with your event and why you are hosting it. This is SO IMPORTANT. A lot of people have events without a clear goal, which makes it hard to plan it but also really hard to know if it was a success.


Know who your event is for

You event is not for everyone. It’s not for your Facebook Friends (seriously, stop inviting all your Facebook friends to all your events – that’s a topic for another time). Your event is for your audience. Maybe a particular segment of your audience. Get really clear on this. It will help you plan the EXPERIENCE part of your event – so that is really creates an awesome experience for your audience – and it is also a big part of marketing your event effectively.


Create an experience

Ok so I’ve mentioned an experience a couple of times – what the heck am I talking about, right?


When you’re thinking about your event, think about it as more than just the specific skills or thing you are sharing. The amazing thing about a live event is the potential to have many touch points and different things that collectively make the event memorable and that communicate your brand to your audience.


Let me tell you about one event that SMRT POP UPS did with the Yukon Transportation Museum. A blues band was coming up and there was going to be live music. That’s pretty cool in and of itself as it was a pretty cool band. Layer of an awesome unconventional space – the museum, it’s already gone from a live show to an experience. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a dance party in a museum?


But we knew we could make it even more memorable for people. So, we brought in some blues dancers to do a mini lesson before the music started so people could dance blues to the blues. And we had a scavenger hunt and a photo booth with period costumes. And then there was a pop-up donut shop for a food vendor and a specialty cocktail courtesy of the awesome Yukon Brewing.


Promote your event

Now that your awesome event is all planned and the stage is set to create a memorable brand experience for your Dream Customer, don’t forget to tell them about it! Your event needs a marketing plan – use numbers 1-3 (goals, audience, and experience features) to create an event elevator pitch and content.


  • Create a consistent look for all your marketing outputs for the event – it should look like your brand but all the pieces should also clearly be connected and about this event.
  • Promote it consistently and pepper it in with your other awesome brand content.
  • Download my free event marketing workflow to get your audience out to your event!


So, there you have it – the why, what, and how of using events to build your brand and your business. Online is awesome, but there is something so wonderful about reaching your local audiences in person. And it’s something that will stand out for them as well. It gives you and your brand a chance to shine in a real and tangible way.


event marketing checklist download buton


Instagram is all the rage these days. With many great features and super high engagement, brands are finding this platform a great way to reach and connect with audiences.


In episode 6 of the SMRT Women podcast, we sat down with Kym Rempel of Anto Yukon, a Yukon-based bath and body company, to talk about using Instagram to launch and grow your brand. Made of all natural ingredients, Anto products are produced from a passion for the natural world and travel. Kym launched two years ago and has used Instagram to create connections with wholesalers all across the country. She also runs two local shops (on in Whitehorse and one in Carcross) where she sells her products and fabulous goods from the Yukon and beyond.

Ep 6 Rock Instagram to Grow Your Biz

Instagram Success Takeaways

Do the research

There are many different ways to use Instagram successfully to build your brand and sell. Any winning strategy is based on audience research. Different audiences respond to different content and different stories. The ideal strategy is a match between how you naturally express yourself and connect and what your audience is looking for. Instagram can be a great tool for this research. Check out competitors, check out people you would love to see follow you and engage with their content. What do their feeds look like? What stories are they telling?


Forget shiny object syndrome - do what works and stick to it

As mentioned above - there are many ways to win over your Instagram audience. It can be easy to get distracted trying different things. Research your strategy - choose a few key things to focus on and stick to it with consistency before you go randomly following shiny objects.


Tell a story

Whether you are selling a product or service you must tell a story. Give your audience a reason to click to read more, to get excited, to comment and engage.


Engagement matters more than followers

Are you caught up in how many followers you have? Worried you haven’t hit the 1K, 5K, 10K mark? Followers are not what matters - engagement is. It doesn’t matter how big your following is, what matters if the people who follow you are engaged and buying. So focus on your engagement stats and ultimately your SALES.

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The power of audience targeting

The ability for refined and niche targeting is a huge part of what makes Facebook Ads so powerful and what can help to stretch a small budget a long way.


One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is trying to reach everyone instead of focusing on a specific target audience.


The thing is, when you try to talk to everyone, you’re effectively talking to no one. Plus, you’re wasting your money. Why try to sell to people who will never be your customer? Or to people who you don’t want to be your customer.


With Facebook Ads, you can find your customers and serve ads just to them. This is really quite possibly single handily the most powerful part of Facebook Ads. You can create highly defined and custom audiences in Facebook Ads so that you can manage who is seeing what ads and when.

women at computer facebook ad targeting


There is really no end to the targeting you can do in Facebook Ads.


We are going to share three of our favourite super powerful targeting strategies to use with Facebook Ads.

1. Location Targeting

If you have an event or workshop you are trying to promote, or if you want to build up your local customer base, location targeting is a great tool to use. To take this targeting feature one step further, you can select three criteria for the location of your audience:

  • Your audience lives in the location you are targeting;
  • Your audience is visiting the location you are targeting; or
  • Your audience was recently in the location you are targeting.

The default setting for location targeting is all three. But, if you are a business whose dream customers are tourists to your city or town, then you may only want your ads to be shown to tourists. And if you're running a workshop and trying to build your brand in your community, then you may only want to target residents rather than spending money to get your ads in front of people who won't be around for very long.


2. Life Events Targeting

If you are selling products or services for new parents, for weddings, or to help people celebrate a key milestone in life, then you definitely want to take advantage of the life event targeting feature in Facebook Ads. You can build audiences of people who are at a key milestone and show them ads that tell them why your business is the perfect fit to help them celebrate and rock that life event.


3. Interest Targeting

When we talk marketing, we often talk about three kinds of audiences: those who buy your product or service already, those who never would, and those who don't yet but could be easily sold to. The thing is, don't waste your time or money selling to people who will never be your customer. Frankly, even if you could sell to them, you wouldn't really want to because they aren't your dream customer!

Interest targeting let's us put our money and effort into only getting ads in front of people who will buy or who are likely to buy by building audiences that have interests that our brand and business caters to. If you are a wellness business, target those who are interested in health and wellness. If you are a travel company, target those who like to travel. And so on.


Using these targeting features to create audiences that really align with your Dream Customer will help you serve the right ads to the right people so that you can crush your marketing and business goals.



free facebook ads class


This vid is all about one of our FAVOURITE tools when it comes to rocking your content marketing. It's going to help you pump out superstar social media content that's on point and on brand every. single. time.


One of the biggest challenges our small business clients talk to us about is struggling to create content for their blogs, newsletters, and social media channels. It can be incredibly difficult to consistently create content, let alone create quality content that connects with your audience.


In this video, Selene shares a tool that is a serious game changer when it comes to keeping your content flowing, on brand, and on point with your audience. It’s a tool that we use for all of our social media clients. It’s called a content calendar.


Watch the video to learn more about content calendars: what they are, WHY they are so AWESOME, and how to use them to rock YOUR content.


Oh and then download our FREE content calendar template so you can do your own after this mini tutorial.


Download Your Free Content Calendar Template Now

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