Here’s a scenario many entrepreneurial web-based business women face:
You have an amazing idea for a web-based business. You have an awesome website built. You have setup all your social media accounts for that business. You are ready...but the customers are not coming as expected.
You wanna make money honey? Then you gotta get buzzing.
Bees don’t make honey passively, neither will you!
While you have a great starting foundation, websites and social media are only tools to support you, there is more work to be done! It is time to get smart with your marketing and invest in the future of your organization. Here is how:
Market Yourself / Your Business
Marketing is about maximizing relationships and building connections. Take a good look at your website and ask yourself if your website communicates who you are, what you do, and why you are worth supporting. When consumers visit your website they need to 1) know, 2) like, and 3) trust before they buy. Use your website to clearly communicate why you are worth working with and/or why your service/product is valuable to them and make it easy for people to take action (contact you, buy, sign up for your email…)
There are tools that can help you along the way such as a blog, social media, online ads, paid search and it is how you use the tools (ahem, and that means actually using them period for some!) that will make them most valuable to branding, building and boosting your business. Think about your marketing budget as “investing” in your business, not “spending”, because your marketing collateral will work for you for a long time and help sustain your business (unlike print ads, direct mail or TV/radio that “die” when you stop doing them).
You also need to get out from behind your computer. Go to networking events, connect with people who can help you, make sure you make marketing a priority! You have to ask for business…it’s a process. Not something you turn on and off!
Be An Educator
As a business owner, it is import to build trust and credibility. A lot of times people hear “marketing” and get all wigged out. I know, I used to be one of those people. I found when I re-trained my brain to “teach” (as in helping people understand why they needed my services or my client’s services) the real marketing magic happened. One of the best ways to do this is to create educational materials. Content is not just king, it’s the whole kingdom! Offer tips on your blog, downloadable PDFs on your website or through email marketing, and share helpful tips in your social media posts. Shoot, give talks on your topic or sign up for HelpAReporter.com and get journalist queries and educate journalists to get your name in the news! Building an arsenal of educational content notches up your credibility from being an expert to being an authority.
Tap into the power of your personality to position yourself as the expert you are. For example, I asked my colleagues at our marketing agency (Web Marketing Therapy) to write their own bios because everyone is so unique. In fact, some of our clients have picked who they want to work with simply based on which bio appealed to them the most. Oh, and there was that one time Inc. Magazine featured our about page in an article (cool, huh?!) Being authentic and sharing your personality makes you stand out. The older I get, the more comfortable I get being “ME” and the more I am myself, the more clients I attract that are perfectly aligned with my value and values!
Tap Free Web Marketing Tools
Get your business “on the map” by listing it in Google Business, Yelp, online Yellow Pages, and even your local city or county’s popular website directories (most offer free basic listings). Build buzz and content by keeping your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts updated. The bonus to the social media posts are that they are free – and fun – to do (don’t forget to use your personality)!
Re-Purpose Your Marketing Collateral
Recycling is great for the planet but it is also AWESOME for your marketing! Re-sharing is caring! Your content can be shared, and shared again. Re-purpose your content as social media posts, in newsletters and on your blog (this post actually came from a speech I wrote!). One of my favorite tips is to remove the date stamp on my blog (ask your web person to do this for you if you don’t know how) so people don’t know that I’m sharing “old” news. Of course I only share it if it is still relevant, even if I had written it a year ago.
All of these strategies are proven. We use them for our marketing agency client work and love teaching these tips in seminars and with our female entrepreneur clients via Wild Web Women. The best part of your marketing efforts is that as your marketing momentum picks up, you will realize that you’ve built yourself a community within your current and prospective customers. And that is what marketing is all about – building relationships – and the rest will follow.