Now that you’ve defined your Marketing Map, it’s time for the real work – doing it. I’ll be honest – in the early days of this business, that was the hardest part. I had presences all around the web: a blog, a profile on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and more. Unfortunately, all of those profiles had one thing in common – very inconsistent usage.
The truth is that an inconsistent presence is worse than no presence at all. That’s why I encourage all small business owners to start small. Focus on one social media site, and grow from there. When you have mastered one platform, move on to others. Today I’ll discuss three primary marketing outlets, and how to be consistent on each one.
Home Base: Your Blog and Website
You want your website to be the best part of your online presence. The reason for that is all the other sharing you do is designed to bring people onto your site! Your website should give a clear explanation of what you do and why it benefits your customers or clients. A clear About Page and Services or Hire Me page is essential.
Another very important part of your website is your blog. Some businesses have blogs that are off-site, but I strongly recommend against that. You want folks who discover your content to already be on the site that describes your offerings, rather than having to go to a whole different domain to find your products and services.
If any business owner is feeling pressed for time, I always advise they start with their home base. If they simply blog regularly and share their posts on Facebook or other social media, they’ve got a great start.
Spreading Your Message: Social Media
Speaking of social media, don’t feel like you have to do it all right away. That’s what I did in my business, and it was an abject failure. I felt that because I was a marketing writer, I had to be present everywhere to prove that I understood marketing. That only proved I DIDN’T understand it at all! If I had, I would have known that I needed to take one step at a time.
As a new business owner, once your blog and website are up and going, take a small step into one social media site. You should choose one that your customers are active on, of course, but also one that you feel very comfortable on. A good first step is often Facebook, since many people already have personal profiles there and are comfortable using the platform. My personal favorite is Twitter, because I love how you can connect with and build relationships with influencers directly without middle-men in the way.
Once you have a social media presence successfully established, review your time, staff, and budget to see if you can feasibly start another one. Remember that they should all stay consistent, so don’t spread yourself too thin. Automated posting tools like Buffer and Hootsuite can do a lot to reduce the time it takes, but you also want to be present on the platform live for at least part of each week.
The Personal Touch: Email Marketing
Once you’ve started building relationships, you’ll want to translate that into an email list. You can do that most effectively by offer a freebie on your website in return for an email address. The resource must be free, and must offer actual value, in order to be an effective lead generation tool.
Once you have email addresses, you want to implement a personalized email marketing strategy. You’ll need to segment your list into groups so that you can offer relevant messages. Any company who doesn’t offer relevant email will find their list shrinking quickly as people unsubscribe or ignore emails. You can use groups based on demographics, which free resources was downloaded, and more.
Once you have groups – I love using the tags available in Infusionsoft – you’ll want to set up an automated email sequence to keep in touch with each group. You can use a recent purchase as a trigger, deliver a newsletter, or start a sequence for people you met at an event. These emails should be highly personalized, and should come from a person, not a company.
Once you have these three elements of your marketing map in place, you’ll be well on your way to realizing your goals. By creating and maintaining a solid home base, spreading your message through social media, and offering a personal touch through email marketing, you’ll engage followers and turn leads into sales.
To your success!
Which of these three – website, social, or email – are you currently stuck on? Share in the comments!