From massive campaigns for international luxury brands to hands-on strategizing with small, local businesses, Julia Lovallo Chaykin makes digital marketing accessible and, most importantly, FUN.
Welcome to the latest installment of “I’m a Business, Woman,” a series of conversations with cool, entrepreneurial women I love who are doing cool shit. Today’s conversation is with Julia Lovallo Chaykin, a digital marketing maven I met several years ago when I took her class on SEO and then, so impressed by her awesomeness, decided I had to make her my friend. Fast-forward to present day and Julia and I now belong to a small group of women-identifying business owners we call “Working Title Collective.” We serve as an advisory board and accountability group for each other and because of this, I’ve gotten to know Julia and her business intimately and I continue to be utterly impressed by the work she does and the passion she brings to her clients’ businesses. I’m excited to share this conversation with all of you so you can get to know her too… Maybe after you read this, you’ll join my Julia Appreciation Society? Let me know—I’ll see if I can add you to the waitlist.
Hi, Julia Lovallo!
Hi! Thanks so much for having me as part of your “I’m A Business, Woman” series!
I’m a creative marketing consultant working with companies to help create and execute effective marketing strategies that grow their business. This is done through work in areas such as email marketing, social media campaigns, content strategy, search engine optimization, paid media, e-comm marketing and more.
I work on a “freelance” basis for myself and my clients, and I have been doing so since 2013. Before that, I have held marketing positions at leading global companies. At the moment, I’m working with Billion Dollar Boy, an influencer agency, managing campaigns for such brands as Coach, Lab Series, The White Company and more. The state and the market for influencer marketing is rapidly growing and it’s been exciting being a part of it with this cool company!
Since one of your areas of expertise is search engine optimization, let’s do it. Let’s talk SEO.
Most business owners know it’s something they need, but many don’t really understand what it is. One of the things I’ve long admired about you is how accessible you can make complex information.
So: Can you break it down for us? What is it? Why is it important?
First and foremost, if you have a website (and all business owners do) it must be optimized to be found in searches. It’s as simple as that. However, the more “tricky” part is the how and where this gets done. You can’t just create a website and then expect people to come to it. The phrase “if you build it they will come” is not applicable here! Both the back-end (the code and non-consumer facing) and the front-end (the content the consumer sees) has the ability to be tweaked so that when someone is sitting down to search for whatever it is your site is essentially there to do (sell t-shirts, get someone to hire you, etc.) does it job.
What are some relatively easy steps entrepreneurs can take right now to help boost their SEO?
If you only have five minutes a day to dedicate to SEO, here is what is most important and effective:
1. Make sure that you have meta descriptions in place for each and every one of your sites pages.
Meta descriptions are crawled by search engines AND are what appears when a search is performed. This text is what instantly grabs people’s attention and drives clicks, so make sure it’s concise (160 characters or less) and to the point.
2. Have content and text on your pages.
I can’t tell you how many times I see sites that are just images without text on it. This is not helping your ability to be found in search because there isn’t much on the pages! Be sure that there is text that explains your site or service in as many places as possible.
3. If there are images, there should be alt tags.
Alt tags are essential as they tell browsers what your image is of, and these are crawled. Be sure that if there is an image, there is a tag. Tags should be concise and describe in detail what the image is of. This text only appears in the backend.
4. Pay attention to the analytics.
Monitor your sites analytics (whether that be in your site hosts native dashboard or through Google Analytics (preferred)) on a regular basis. Check to see what your visitors are spending their time on. Look at which post was more popular than others. Find out how people are coming to your site. Use these findings to better inform your content and site edits for the future to set your site up for even greater success.
And what are some relatively easy steps entrepreneurs can take on social media to help gain traction and attract their ideal customers/audience?
My belief on social media is that as entrepreneurs and businesses, we need to have things to share and something to say on a constant basis. So, with that said, building up an image bank is key. This can be done relatively simply through quick pics on our iPhones or through great stock photography resources (see below).
Daily posts are also ideal. Being consistent and constantly top of mind to your audience will help to gain traffic everyday. In your posts, especially when getting started, it is okay to leave a second comment (mainly in Instagram) with up to 10 hashtags that are relevant to your business and post (such as #nyphotographer or #brooklynblogger) to gain awareness.
On Facebook, having a call to action is best as Facebook allows for direct click-throughs to specific pages. Therefore, when posting be sure to have the post link to a page on your own site. Don’t be afraid to be self promotional! That is the point of all of this, isn’t it?!
You have recently launched your brand new website (yay!) and with it, digital marketing services tailored for small businesses. Everyone should definitely check out your website, but can you give us an overview of what you’re offering and who it’s for?
The new website was a long time coming! Let me tell you, as business owners, it’s hard to find the time to carve out to work on your own pages and strategies when you are busy with those of your clients. It might have taken some time, but I feel that the new site is more reflective of what I do as a consultant. One of the new services I’m offering is a package solely for small business (1-5 people) in which I work with you to set up a strategic marketing plan. We take into account the current state of the business and any marketing efforts thus far, and create a road map for getting you ahead of the game immediately. I’m passionate about working with small businesses and using what I know from working with “the big guys” and applying that to anyone.
You have worked with huge brands on social media and digital marketing campaigns. Can you tell us a little bit more about that work and how it informs the services you provide to smaller businesses?
I have worked very intimately and very deeply on huge campaigns for global brands on such things as influencer marketing, e-comm growth, content strategy and more. From this work, I know what things work, and what don’t. By working with several brands, I’ve started to see major trends that I can then apply to other companies and businesses. Those really can be of any size, because if something works, then it works!
Where should people “follow” you and how can they get in touch with you?
BONUS! Julia Lovallo made a list of some of her favorite digital marketing resources just for us!
Stock photography sites:
Email Marketing Design:
- Email Newsletter Design Trends
- Really Good EMail Examples
- Pinterest (Email Examples)
- My Pin Board of Emails
- How I created 118 original blog post ideas in one day
- Step-By-Step Guide to Installing Google Analytics on your Site
- How to Make Your Business More Beautiful
Stay tuned for the Yoast for WordPress SEO guide Julia and I are collaborating on as a Mind Your Business partner post, coming later this month!