Wise Marketing Secrets Interview Series #150: Megan Jerrard

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Founder of Mappingmegan.com, Onlinegroupsuccess.com and Solofemaletravelers.club, Meg is an online content creator and digital marketing specialist, passionate about travel, storytelling, entrepreneurship and nurturing online communities.

Meg’s passion for online communities began in 2013, with the creation of Facebook Group ‘We Travel We Blog’ (now an exclusive 1,600 member community).

She has since gone onto found 12 Facebook Groups across varying niches (it’s an addiction!) and is an expert in leveraging online communities to meet digital marketing goals.

A professional content creator, Meg’s travel writing has been widely published and acknowledged by publications such as National Geographic, the New York Times, Forbes, and British Airways High Life.

How did you start out as a marketer?

I started out as a content creator, and then in the process of monetizing my travel blog, marketing is a field I naturally fell into (it became clear pretty quickly that marketing was going to be an essential part of the job if I wanted people to read what I was writing!).

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So I started in the industry by marketing my own content, and while this is still at the heart of what I do, over the years I’ve established a separate client list for freelance work as a direct result of partnerships which have come through my blog.

Looking back what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?

Making sure the client has a clearly defined set of goals.

Many clients come to me knowing they want to market their brand, services, content, or product, but very few have a clearly defined set of goals, and you can’t measure the success of a campaign, or the delivery of results without knowing what you want to achieve at the end.

How did you get your first client back then, and what kind of service did you do for them?

Offering content based advertising (ie sponsored posts) is one of the ways I monetize my blog.

My first marketing campaign came after a successful content partnership, where they further engaged my services to place similar content pieces across other blogs.

What do you find most rewarding about what you do?

I love that I’m taking an active role in getting the message out, and spreading awareness about brands I believe in, are passionate about, and love.

When you can pair a brand with a loyal audience and sell honestly to the right people, it’s like being a matchmaker of sorts!

And I love watching people fall in love with the products and services I believe in.

We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing how else can someone earn online, and what is your advise?

I’m personally a freelancer, and most self employed content creators are (especially if you define freelance work as working for yourself as opposed to working for a company), though freelancing isn’t the only way to make money online.

The opportunities for making money are only limited by your imagination today; you can blog and collect money from affiliate networks and display ads, you can sell your own products, you can sell merchandise, you can create a subscription service, you can publish a book.

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Or, you can work for a company who gives you the flexibility of working remotely.

Especially now that the pandemic has pushed companies to embrace a work from home culture, there’s a lot more flexibility on offer when you’re working for a company.

If you were given the chance to build your career all over again what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?

No because the learning curve I experienced was necessary to be where I am today. I learned a lot through trial and error, and you can’t fast track experience.

How is your typical work day structured?

Depending on how I’m feeling I may or may not be wearing pajamas for the majority of my work day! I usually start by clearing my social media notifications and responding to comments on the blog.

One of the most important things is engaging with my audience, so I make sure I reply to comments, tweets, and messages at the very start of each day.

Then I jump over to attack my inbox, and my tasks for the day will be based around what’s there.

That may mean composing a sponsored post for publication later that day, sending responses to queries for guest posts or advertising requests, liaising with clients about press trips, or if my inbox is empty, reaching out to advertisers to drum up new business for the month.

Tasks which filter in from day to day include things like researching for future articles, mapping out our editorial schedule for the month, scheduling social media posts, editing photos and video, and being active within Facebook forums where bloggers interact and help each other out with support, tips and advice.

Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?

When I started – this is exactly what anybody starting a blog with the idea to make money should expect.

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You have to build a foundation, a reputation, and an audience before anyone will be willing to invest in advertising on your platforms, and this takes time – it was a full year before I started making money from my blog, and that initial 12 months required a full time commitment.

This doesn’t just go for those starting a blog though, this is the same with anything, even if you’re establishing yourself as a freelancer you’ll have to put significant time and effort into positioning yourself within the industry for the best chance of long term success. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Can you tell us about a past situation where you had to juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines?

All the time as a freelancer! In this case front loading is important, aka not leaving tasks to the last minute, and completing work as far in advance as you can so that you (a) know how long it’s going to take to do a job properly and can then adjust your timing accordingly (b) produce results which aren’t rushed and obviously done at the last minute.

It’s important to be up front and honest with clients about a realistic timeframe, and once you’ve agreed on a timeframe do your upmost to meet it.

Deadlines are important in business and meeting them proves that you’re reliable.

If you have to work overnight and work 16 hours in a day to meet competing deadlines, you do what you have to do to get it done.

What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?

Facebook Groups are an exciting new trend within digital marketing at the moment, and a space where I can see most advertisers moving – to building loyal communities around their products or services.

With my business partner Mar we currently admin 12 engaged online communities, and have recently launched a resource called Online Group Success (www.onlinegroupsuccess.com/) for teaching brands how to grow, market, and monetize these assets.

What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?

Listen to podcasts, subscribe to newsletters, and remain active within Facebook Groups within the industry.

Can you tell us about a project you’re most proud of from your past work history?

Having traveled to Antarctica to produce and market content on behalf of an adventure travel brand was a pretty spectacular project!

What advice would you share with other Marketer’s who want to become more productive?

Front-load your work, and develop a routine which works for you.

Everyone will be different, so try different things, and combine what makes you productive into a killer routine. I.e. I know I have a clear head in the mornings, so I use this time to get my biggest and most challenging tasks done.

By 2 pm I’ll have a head fog, so I take a break at this time to do some yoga or go for a walk.

I also listen to meditative music in the background of my office which I’ve found helps me focus and concentrate.

Try everything and customize what you do for you.

If there’s one Marketing Guru you’d recommend who and why. 

I personally love Amy Lyn Andrews – while her primary niche is teaching people how to make money through blogging, her newsletter (called ‘Useletter’) is always full of the latest marketing tips, great strategies, and she communicates in a friendly, non spammy, plain English way which is very easy to understand.


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