As a business owner there are numerous ways to increase your sales and better market yourself and your abilities. Your website might be amazing but nobody will find it unless you work out a proper online marketing plan.
The quickest and most profitable way to get your idea out there, into the big wide world and reach a whole new audience is through online marketing.
This lecture is going to provide lots of strategies to promote your business, get more clients and drive traffic to your website.
Every business owner wants more clients. While there are many ways to attract more customers, keeping existing ones is equally important.
In case you don't have any products and just want to get started with an online business, I suggest you study this lecture.
Use the links below to navigate this long post easily:
As mentioned in the previous lecture, before you start marketing your business, you need to think about who your audience is. There are lots of different ways to promote your business but depending on your audience you need to choose the right methods.
If you have a product for retired people, it's unlikely you'll find too many of them on social networking sites.
You should always know precisely who you are trying to reach in order not to waste any time or money. It starts with understanding who they are and why they would be coming to your site in the first place.
Of course, ultimately you need to solve the problem that they have and provide the products that they're looking for.
The quickest way to attract new customers and to keep existing customers is to be engaging.
When you engage with people, you bring them closer to you and show them why they need to return when they are ready to buy again. Engaging with your audience allows you to earn their trust.
The more contact you have with potential clients, the more successful your business will become.
If you want more clients, you have to work to gain their attention. Without this, it doesn't matter how cool your product is.
You can achieve this by making connections with them, finding out what they need and desire. When it comes to marketing, it's more about relationships than advertising campaigns with tricky messages.
Offering your clients value is one of the best ways to engage with them and it's the perfect way to start off any relationship because it creates trust. The more genuine you are with your visitors, the more they will think of you as an honest resource they can trust.
You can also create a genuine relationship with your visitors by interacting with them. You might ask questions in your blog posts and respond to comments.
The same strategy can be applied to your Youtube videos.
It might also mean surveying your audience via social media or e-mails.
Always try to take an "under promise and over deliver" approach. It means that you're offering a certain amount of value and then delivering more. For example:
Tell your customers they will get their product in 3-4 working days and then make sure it gets there in 2.
Or offer an unannounced bonus along with your paid products.
I'm sure they'll be impressed. Giving away gifts is always a good idea.
Likewise, you might reward your customers by offering them a discount or an extra incentive for buying again. When your customers feel like they've won, that's a good reason to come back and visit again.
You should also be transparent and vulnerable. Transparency in business means honesty and the fact that you have nothing to hide.
For example, it means that there are no tricks or hidden costs when you're trying to sell something or give it away for free.
Mean what you say and say what you mean. Showing your vulnerability is a sign of strength and courage. It suitably illustrates that while you have the solution to the problem, the reason behind that is the fact that you suffered from the same thing in the past.
If you are vulnerable and transparent, you will gain respect, trust, and credibility.
Since the beginning of time all humans want to belong somewhere. It can be:
If you have a product that will make people feel as though they belong, then you have a winning marketing foundation.
That's why directing your leads into a Facebook group or Slack channel where you can engage with them is a highly effective strategy. Similarly, you could also create your own membership site.
If you create a community where people care about the same goal, it develops a sense of belonging, trust and real connections.
Creating an entirely personal brand is a good strategy as it helps to build credence and puts a face behind your name.
This way, you make yourself more memorable and personal by letting people meet the personality behind the company.
If you run a website or blog, you might use your name and photo for your blog posts or you might even appear in videos. Remember, your brand includes everything that distinguishes you from others and what you do online:
Let's say, you're offering business coaching services or writing a blog and you happen to be very successful in business, then you can use this to your advantage to promote your products and to show that it works.
Some people use their own name as their domain name and use themselves to promote their products.
So building your business around your own name is a viable option.
Content marketing is also an essential part of your online presence. What is it about, you may ask?
It simply means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract visitors to your website and then converting them into customers at a later date.
Furthermore, your site shouldn't be the only place where you create content and drive traffic to. Content can also appear via:
Now, you can see that an effective content marketing strategy has a mix of written material, images, videos, infographics, ebooks and audio, too.
The type of content you create should be closely related to what you want to sell. Basically, you’re educating your audience to know and trust you enough so that they do business with you. In other words, you build a community around your brand first.
So, what can you achieve with an effective content marketing strategy? You can
Obviously, you have to create exceptional content that people are interested in. If your content is boring, no one is going to read it and share it with others.
Keep in mind your visitors will judge your expertise, knowledge and honesty based on your content.
You need to ensure that every time visitors meet your material they are impressed and they feel that they got something they wouldn't have been able to get elsewhere. When interacting with your content, they should feel as though you are not selling something but teaching something new they can benefit from.
You should also focus on giving value and creating awareness about your brand rather than promoting your offers. As a result, sales will happen naturally.
Keep an eye on your competition and see what they're doing wrong. Do make sure you do it better. You might need to do a really thorough research and go more in-depth.
The more articles, videos you create, the higher the chance that people will find, read and like your creation.
Talk about yourself from time to time and mention your website or company name so that people remember your brand. This way, you reinforce the association with your brand in your content.
What does great content mean? To understand it better, analyze and look at the following illustration closely:
An effective way to use content marketing is to create blog posts that offer value and then to share links to those posts on social media, forums and other related sites.
Longer posts with at least 2000 words tend to get more shares and engagement than shorter pieces.
Using visuals and bullet points makes your content digestible, which means more shares to you.
Additionally, if you can’t publish content on a regular basis, it will be difficult to get your visitors to come back.
The headline is one of the most important part of your content. Make it compelling to increase curiosity. With a boring headline, most people will abandon your site.
Video content is the most captivating material
today. It usually converts better and builds a stronger emotional connection. That's why more and more brands and companies use video marketing as part of their content marketing strategy.
By converting written content into videos, you might gain a different type of audience on platforms like Youtube.
Of course, you do have to know how to create such a video that people are going to want to watch and you also need to know how to target keywords within YouTube to make sure enough people get to see it.
An e-book is another interesting
content type you should pay much attention to.
For example, a nicely formatted downloadable e-book is also an effective and popular lead generation tool.
Here's an example:
Convert and merge some of your blog posts into an ebook, then offer it to your prospects through an opt-in form in exchange for their email addresses. This way you might offer a paid product on the thank you page.
Additionally, don't forget to place links and your brand name in your book to drive traffic back to your website.
E-books can be distributed freely or you could charge for them and make an extra income from them.
An Infographic is a storytelling tool and a visual representation of data. The key is to tell your story visually and break down complex information into an easily digestible form.
Look at the following picture to see how to create one in 4 steps:
Designing high-quality infographics is not easy but there are some time-saver professional tools out there to help you, like Piktochart, Canva or Snappa.
To market your business through infographics, Pinterest is the best visual social platform you should definitely take advantage of.
Similarly to an infographic, a presentation is another method to tell your story in a digestible way.
Engage your audience as they go through your slides, give value, and promote your business.
I can definitely recommend you to convert blog posts into valuable presentations and upload them to platforms like Slideshare.
Now just a few words about webinars. A webinar is a live video conference with real-time conversations. Used effectively, it allows you to build a massive audience quickly.
Teach something new, provide some useful "how-to" content and make an offer at the end.
Most people make the mistake of only hosting webinars to present and promote their products. You don't want to do that. Give people something really valuable, they can't get elsewhere and they'll be impressed. Once trust is earned, you may offer your product.
The most popular webinar platforms out there are GoToWebinar, Webinarjam and Zoom. However, Youtube also allows you to host a webinar for free.
A landing page is a standalone page a visitor can arrive at from different kinds of advertisements. It might also function as the entry point for a sales funnel and it's distinct from your main website designed for only one purpose:
getting a visitor to take some kind of action like a sale or signup.
It means that your landing page shouldn’t have navigation menus to other pages. This way, you limit the options available to your visitors so that they can only focus on the one thing you want them to do.
I'm sure you can see now that creating high quality and valuable content takes a lot of time, effort and research. Fortunately, repurposing existing content into many different other formats is relatively easy compared to creating a new one.
It will be a huge time saver for you. Hence it's a fantastic idea to give your content a new life.
This way, you will be able to reach a much broader audience in other places.
Let's say you post a link to your article one day on Facebook and a week later you introduce the same thing in a video or infographic format.
How cool is that? Your brand will be more appealing.
So what are your options? You might want to convert content into:
Once you have a stable business and it generates enough cash for you, it's time to outsource all the time-consuming tasks. One person can't do it all alone.
At the same time you need to maintain or outperform the quality you previously achieved.
Here's some extra guidance for you:
What can you outsource?
This way, you can focus on more valuable tasks like creating your next product.
The next thing to do with your brand online is to make sure that you are everywhere.
This essentially means that you should be on every social media platform and related site out there.
This way, you ensure that your potential customers are encountering your brand at every opportunity.
Some marketers say, instead of being everywhere, you should master one social media platform first, then move on to the next one. I don't think this is the best way to do it. Posting something valuable once a day and engaging with people is not a whole day's activity.
In addition, when you just got started, you can't expect real and fast results by being active on only one platform. Furthermore, you don't have a team either to create unique content for each platform. So I suggest you promote the same content on all the social media platforms to reach a much larger audience.
Make sure to have accounts on:
Using the same username across all of these platforms and featuring your brand consistently is essential.
This means that your profile and cover image are the same on every account because you want to create a consistent experience everywhere so that people know what to expect when they see you.
Without marketing no one will buy your products or services. This is where you need to start thinking about how you are going to introduce people to your website. There are some terrific methods out there to get people flooding to your site. Some of them cost money while others are free. You should employ as many techniques as you can.
First of all, make all of your social media profiles as complete as you can and put detailed information about your brand in the description. When you post something useful, people will often look at your description to see who you are. If a link to your website is there, then you will be able to get traffic via your social media profiles.
Of course, some platforms require other data formats, so converting your written material into videos, infographics, presentations, checklists and reports is a good strategy.
Remember, when it comes to social media it’s about engaging them, offering them friendly advice, solving their problems and it's not always about your products. Learn how to use these platforms to your advantage and get people interested in your content.
You need to make sure you share your content the right way so that you get the highest increase in traffic. Don't be spammy. If you provide value, people will click on your links.
Creating a sharing schedule is also useful and helps you keep organized.
This way, you’ll know exactly which platforms to post on and when. There are several external online tools to schedule posts in advance for different social media sites.
Forum and email signatures are equally important.
Every time you send an email to someone you get a free advertisement. Regarding forums, every post you make can have a link to your website that can generate traffic for you all the time.
Let’s discuss the social platforms in more detail.
As a business owner it’s important to know that Facebook is a simple and genius way to market yourself.
You might create a Facebook page for your products and a personal page for yourself. You need to make sure they are up to date and you keep posting there regularly.
Most people visit their own Facebook profile three or more times per day. So it allows you to blog without actually blogging and drive traffic to your website.
The second thing to consider is Facebook advertising. It’s incredibly effective if you know how to use it properly.
Everyone uses Facebook these days, so you shouldn't miss out on this opportunity.
Twitter is another social media platform you need to have to get your message out there.
It also allows you to promote your website and get some pretty fast results. It differs from Facebook due to the limited number of characters to write on your tweet.
Engage with others, build up your followers and always provide value. Twitter has its own advertising program as well.
LinkedIn is a social platform for professional networking.
It allows you to tell the world about your business in a professional way. Start networking with people, get connections and expand your business.
SlideShare is a site that allows you to present any content visually through presentations, infographics, documents and videos. You can even embed them into websites.
Google+ is a social network operated by Google. It has lots of features and allows you to collaborate with others, share your updates and promote your business.
Join communities related to your business or create one. If you use it the right way, it can be a productive part of your digital marketing strategy.
Marketing on Youtube is also a must today because it's the most popular video-sharing website.
Youtube is the second most visited website in the world with millions of users.
Create your channel, upload some videos and start driving traffic back to your site. Using this platform is one of the best ways to promote your products through videos.
Pinterest is a visual platform using images and videos. People visit the site to get ideas for their businesses, interests, places to go and so on.
Create boards, showcase your products, services and direct your visitors to your website.
Instagram is a photo sharing website designed specifically for mobile devices. Millions of photos and videos are shared on Instagram every day.
Tell stories, share beautiful moments, get lots of followers and convert them to customers.
Quora is a question and answer site that allows you to connect with people.
Its format is quite simple: People ask questions and you post answers. Quora has content on every single topic you could think of.
If you post detailed and useful answers with relevant links back to your site, you can receive a significant boost in traffic. So it's a great place to use your expertise, become an authority in your industry and increase your website traffic.
The best thing is that the questions and answers are indexed by the search engines so all those posts can generate you steady traffic to your website for a year or more.
Reddit is another powerful discussion platform with thousands of communities.
If you deliver the right content, you can generate a massive amount of traffic to your website. It has a vast amount of subreddits, so you need to find the right ones where your audience hangs out.
Once you got it, build your reputation by answering questions and responding to comments in popular threads. Focus on adding value and remember don't be spammy.
Mix, previously called StumbleUpon is another social sharing site which can also be used as a traffic generator.
Create an impressive profile, share your content and build up your followers.
Tumblr is a social site and blogging platform where you can create and customize your own blog as a subdomain. By using themes you can quickly build up a unique appearance for your blog and profile.
Share posts, images, videos and engage with others.
I recommend you to add Tumblr to your marketing efforts because it's also quite powerful to find new prospects for your business.
This was just a brief description of each social site and forum you can take advantage of. Apart from these, there are others but these were the most common ones.
Of course, you might try out paid advertising methods, though all of these sites allow you to market your business for free.
The best way is if you find someone who is already looking for your product, or find complaining people looking for help. Using the social sites mentioned before is a relatively easy way to do this.
For example, If you create a product that is similar to MailChimp, you could search something like "MailChimp is complicated."
You can comment on those posts or reach out to them directly about your product.
Attracting unsatisfied customers to your business is one of the most efficient options. Run through your existing contacts who are in your industry and send them a message.
By finding an audience similar to what you are trying to build, you can leverage other people's platforms.
Cold emails can also be a good choice to reach out to people. It’s quite easy to find the email addresses of your potential customers, but be careful, focus on building relationships first.
Email is one of the quickest methods to get your message to all of your contacts.
It's also one of the tools to get people to visit your website or buy from you. That's why email marketing is still so efficient today.
Obviously, before sending out a sales pitch, establishing relationships through emails is always a priority you should take note of.
Of course, the first step is to build an email list.
An email list is a database of email addresses used for marketing purposes.
If you have the right list and have the right products, you can use that list over and over again to make sales. By placing a sign-up form on a page, you want to collect email addresses in exchange for valuable information you give to your subscribers.
Autoresponders work by sending an instant response when someone signs up for your email list so that you can immediately deliver your free offer. Besides, you also want to send out regular emails on a schedule with an autoresponder.
There are several ways you can get people to sign up for your email list. Whatever it is you're giving away it has to be something really valuable.
Post your lead magnet on social media sites, put a link on business cards, forums, and email signatures, run contests and place an opt-in form on the sidebar of your blog posts.
It's not so difficult to build an email list if you find the right people that are actually interested in the content and the products that you offer and they have a little bit of trust in your brand.
Furthermore, if you provide them with a solution each time, they might buy from you over and over again.
If you want to get more info about email marketing, check out this blog post.
To maximize your profit most efficiently, you need to have a sales funnel.
Basically, a sales funnel is simply the process consisting of a series of web pages that someone goes through to buy a product from you.
It means you start with an advert or a blog post which leads to a lead magnet, then a tripwire, then a core offer, then an upsell, downsell, and so on. This way, each time a visitor clicks on the next link or follows you to the next step, he is becoming more and more likely to buy from you.
If you've ever signed up for an email list before, that was most likely
a sales funnel. It needs to be carefully planned because it includes a series of different marketing strategies.
If you want to know more about it, make sure to read my lecture about sales funnels.
Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what kind of methods to use to create your whole online presence and start generating traffic to your website.
Make sure to spend time building trust with your visitors. That's the key to success. Depending on the type of your business, I recommend you to try and use as many strategies as you can.
If you implement them well, you'll be able to attract visitors and turn them into loyal customers.
This lecture was a brief overview of how to market your business online. In the next lectures we'll go into each of these in more detail.
What kind of strategies did you try that worked best for you? Do you think I missed something? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Furthermore, should you want to talk to me in private just connect with me on Facebook.
Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.
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