Marie Forleo introduction


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Marie Forleo: Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching Marie TV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. And this is Q and A Tuesday, but it’s a very special Q and A Tuesday. You know why? Bam! I’ve got a guest here, and my guest is one of my very close friends and someone who is just so smarty pants. You’re going to love him, Mr. Derek Halpern.

Derek Halpern: Hey.

Marie Forleo: Hey.

Derek Halpern: Thanks for having me.

Marie Forleo: Ah, you’re welcome. So Derek is the founder of an incredible site,, and he is known for his insanely practical advice, that’s also backed up by psychological research. In addition to his blog, which is read by tens of thousands of people every month, he’s also got an incredible podcast on iTunes and his own show called Social Triggers TV. So he is a busy guy. So once again, I’m so pumped for you to be here because we’re going to do a question that we get asked a lot and I’m going to read it out loud right now. And then Derek is going to tap that A to that Q, which is kind of naughty, but y’all know what I mean.

Marie Forleo: All right. So here’s the question. Today’s question comes from Nirvana and she writes, “Hi Marie, first of all, you rock. Your upbeat attitude is contagious and you actually make me excited about marketing”. Woohoo! “Here’s my question. For someone who is just starting an online business, in my case health coaching for young busy women, what are some key action steps I should take to generate traffic to my website? I’m not a fan of blogging, but if you tell me I have to do it, I will oblige. Thank you so much Marie”. So, that’s Nirvana’s question. And again, Nirvana is asking, and I know you’re going to answer that, but we get so many people that write in, about how do I generate more traffic to my website? So what do you think, you got some A’s for us?

Derek Halpern: So I’d imagine a lot of those people also don’t want to blog that much. So good news is, a lot of people when they start thinking about a blog, they think they have to work for their blog, as opposed to letting their blog work for them. They think they have to slave over writing content, day in and day out. But when you’re first getting started building traffic, you don’t really have to do that.

Marie Forleo: Really?

Derek Halpern: Yeah, all have to do is maybe write one or two articles a month, and then promote the heck out of those articles. That’s all you got to do. And then people will start thinking like, what do you mean promote the heck out of these articles? Wouldn’t people get sick of those same articles?

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: But when you’re first getting started, you publish an article, it’ll get like say a hundred readers. And what if that article is applicable to 1 million readers?

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: Why should those other 999, I’m bad at math-

Marie Forleo: Yeah, no I get it.

Derek Halpern: -people miss out on that article?

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: So that’s the first tip, is to just write less, promote more, and then you won’t get stressed out about blogging.

Marie Forleo: I think that’s so interesting. And I really, really appreciate you saying that. Because I know for me, when I first started out, I certainly fell into that trap. I wanted to write a lot, and even though I consider myself a writer, it was a really kind of heavy thing to do. And I love that framework of thinking about, you created this amazing piece of content, let’s get it out to as big of an audience as possible. So it’s more about quality rather than quantity, is what I hear you saying?

Derek Halpern: Yeah, and a lot of people will think, well, is it too late to do that? Because there’s too many blogs out there. And I just launched my site, social triggers, and in about 13 months using that same exact strategy, I was able to attract 27,000 subscribers by updating an average of 2.5 times per month.

Marie Forleo: That’s why I love you, ’cause your smarty pants and you get it done. Okay, so that was an awesome tip. What else can we do to generate traffic when we’re first starting out?

Derek Halpern: So, the next tip is before you build an audience, you need to know who you want sitting in the chairs.

Marie Forleo: Ooh, that was a good one.

Derek Halpern: And a lot of people don’t really understand that. And to really nail that home, I wanted to share a quick story.

Marie Forleo: Yeah.

Derek Halpern: So a few months ago, I decided I wanted more massage therapists to read my site, social triggers. I figured they needed tips about email marketing. So what did I do? I wrote a story about a massage therapist, hooked it into email marketing, and then I decided that I wanted to find more massage therapists to read my site. What did I do? I found massage business communities. I reached out to the people who were in control of those communities. And I said, hey, I’ve got this great article that I believe your people would love, what do you think? It turns out that I went viral in the massage business communities. I got a ton of traffic. I had an email from the editor in chief of a huge massage magazine, and I actually got offered a free massage in like 42 States.

Marie Forleo: That’s amazing.

Derek Halpern: Yeah.

Marie Forleo: So you’re going to be a very relaxed guy, in addition to having lots of business.

Derek Halpern: Unfortunately I didn’t bookmark those, so. But, let’s take this back to health coaching.

Marie Forleo: Yeah.

Derek Halpern: So a lot of people, when they want to build their blog, they’ll think, all right, I’m a health coach. Let me find other health coaches that blog also, and I’ll try to get featured on their site.

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: But that’s kind of lazy and a little bit dumb, because that health coach is competition.

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: Why would they want to feature someone who’s competing with them? So instead, you want to reach out to people who you want sitting in your chairs, right? So in the health coach example, you’d want to reach out to mommy bloggers or daddy bloggers, or maybe even a fashion blogger. And what do you want to tell them? You want to say, hey, let’s say you’re reaching out to a fashion blogger. You could say, well, I love that dress, here’s how to fit into that dress before the summer.

Marie Forleo: Awesome.

Derek Halpern: Now you connected health to fashion. Fashion people will love it. They’re going to want to feature you, because it’s not competition. You’re helping their readers buy that dress that they just promoted. And you’re going to be able to benefit.

Marie Forleo: Another extra smart tip. You are just full of them, Derek. All right, I love that one. Do we have anything else? Because you gave people, I mean, if they followed these two tips alone, their traffic would skyrocket, but I know you, you always got something else.

Derek Halpern: This is my favorite tip and I tell everyone to do this tip, and it’s so simple. People are always shocked that it works. When I get a presentation at a conference, I had people come up to me after the presentation, they’re like, Derek, I can’t believe I never thought of that before.

Marie Forleo: Love stuff like that.

Derek Halpern: So this tip is what I call the drafting technique. Now, before I tell you what that is, let me just give you a little backstory. In racing, like NASCAR racing or bicycle racing, you’ll find that the person in first place is often trailed by the person second place. Like, they’re right on top of each other. You think, oh my God, what if he hits a bump? He’s going to crash.

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: So they’re so close, why do they do that? Well, turns out the person in first place is breaking air friction. And that air friction creates a slip stream, which means the person in second place can slip in behind that person, and maintain the same speed while spending less energy and less fuel, right?

Derek Halpern: Now, what does this have to do with getting traffic, right? So what you do is, instead of finding someone who has never talked about what you’d like to be featured for, like find a blogger that has never talked about that before, what you want to do is you want to reach out to someone who has a history of covering what you want to be known for. So let’s say you’re a health coach again.

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: And let’s say you want to be featured on a fashion blog. Find a fashion blog that has given weight loss advice in the past, and reach out to them again with a followup. And what you’re doing is, you’re taking advantage of what I call the link slip stream. They already have a history of linking it. There’s no friction linking to weight loss advice.

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: And now you have the ability to get featured for the same thing.

Marie Forleo: So incredibly smart. And I remember watching a particular presentation about PR and it was similar advice, and I thought it was again, so wise. If someone covers a particular kind of story, it doesn’t mean that, oh, they’re done with that. It actually means, oh, they’re more likely to cover that again, which is good news for people like you and I.

Derek Halpern: Yes, exactly.

Marie Forleo: Really, really smart.

Derek Halpern: And I’ve got a bonus tip actually. About eight years ago, John Stone went on his journey from flab to fit and he documented every step of the way on his website, John Stone Fitness actually. And he took a picture of himself without his shirt on when he was a really flabby guy, and he documented what he ate, his workouts, and he took a daily picture. And after about three months, as he started losing weight, as he started getting fit, he started to blow up in the bodybuilding community. Why? Well, because people like to watch and join in on other people who are going on journeys. And the reason why they like to do that, is because it makes them feel like they’re going on their own journey. So even though John Stone was getting fit, they felt like they wanted to get fit. It was inspirational for them. So they wanted to also join in and also get fit just like him.

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: And to really think about that, you could think back to Forrest Gump, when he started running across America. And as he started running, as he started going, made it halfway or whatever.

Marie Forleo: Yeah.

Derek Halpern: And then people started joining in with that trail that he was running on. Then more people joined in and more people joined, and before you know it, he’s got an army of people following him as he’s running across America.

Marie Forleo: Right.

Derek Halpern: The same can done online. Now you might think, well, aren’t these weight loss stories a little bit overdone? Not really, because people always need that inspiration to keep losing weight. So in the health coach situation, let’s say you’re already extremely fit. So you can’t go on that journey yourself. You can take one of your clients on that journey. You could even offer one of your clients, free health coaching in exchange for ongoing feedback and progress, that you can then publish on your site. So it’s a way to re-enact that in today’s times.

Marie Forleo: Love it. Derek, you are so incredibly smart. I just want to say this. Derek has given me advice on my business and every time you give me a little piece of feedback and we implement it, it always works and we always make more money, and we always reach more people. So I really, really appreciate your insight and thank you for A-ing the heck out of Nirvana’s Q.

Derek Halpern: Thank you for having me, it was fun.

Marie Forleo: Now, Derek and I would love to hear from you. So you got a little choice on this one. There’s two challenges. Pick whichever one you want. The first one, if you want more traffic to your website, you’ve got to go out there. Take a look at a blogger who has an audience that you want to reach and send a simple email. It’ll take you two seconds. Go send an email to that blogger right now, then come back and let us know that you did it by leaving a comment below. The other option is this. You might have some ideas that you want to share with us about traffic generation. Ideas, tips, strategies that you use, that have worked.

Marie Forleo: As always, all the action is happening back at So go there and leave a comment now. If you liked this video, subscribe and share it with your friends. And if you want even more great resources to have a business and life you love, plus some personal insights from me that I only share in email, get your butt over to and sign up for email updates, you’re going to love them. Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams. The world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you next time on Marie TV.

Marie Forleo: B-School is coming up, want in? For more info and free training, go to Do you know Gangnam Style?

Derek Halpern: No, I just know there’s a dance to it.

Marie Forleo: Oh, I’ll teach you.

Derek Halpern: I kept trying not to smile, my face was like totally-

Marie Forleo: No, I know.

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