With these tips you can get more accomplished and grow your online business faster without spending a fortune.
Mind you, some may seem a tad too simple. But years of trial and error have taught me these methods work pretty well.
1. Have a Plan. So many new online marketers simply start working on something without knowing where they’re going or what they hope to achieve. Which is why Internet Marketers tend to hop from one thing to the next and have trouble settling with one project.
But if you simply take the time to write out your plan of action (what you’re going to do and how you’ll do it) in a step-by-step fashion, then you’ll have a guide you can follow easily. It’ll save you lots of time and money in the long run, and make things much easier.
2. Narrow Your Niche. One of the biggest mistakes online marketer’s make is trying to make everyone their customer. By targeting a niche, it makes it easier for you to find your customers and easier for them to say yes to your offers.
One example I like to use is the IM niche. If you’re marketing to ALL online marketers, you’ve got a HUGE niche with a lot of competition. But if you focus on for instance, teaching your local butchers how to market their businesses online, you’ve now got a tightly focused niche. Rule of thumb: The more focused the niche, the more you can charge for your products and services. Paradoxically your click through and conversion rates will be higher; thus you can earn more with fewer customers.
3. Fine Tune Your Slogan. S0 you’ve picked a great name for your business but what about your slogan? This is the sentence or sentence fragment found on your header, and it’s also what you tell people when they ask what you do. (And they will). Mine for instance on my blog cookwith kim is ‘Cooking on a shoestring’ It needs to be short, clear and compelling. “Teaching a butcher how to optimize their online efforts resulting in a more diversified clientele and enhanced revenue” is NOT a good slogan. “We help local butchers get more shoppers through the door” is much better. It’s clear, it’s direct, the benefit is unmistakable, and it’s how people naturally speak.
4. Reach Out. Find the movers and shakers in your niche and reach out to them. Blog about them, buy their products, get on their mailing lists, and yes, email them. The more people you know in your niche, the better. You can ask them questions, become their affiliate, and eventually ask them to promote your products, but you have to build a relationship with them first.
5. Network at Live Events. Working online isolates us so much we forget there are real live PEOPLE out there who want to meet us. That’s why it’s good to go to as many live events as you can afford, not just for the training that might be offered, but for the networking opportunities.
Take a stack of your cards and try to meet as many people as possible. Get their cards, or write down their info if they don’t have a card. One note of caution… Don’t try to sell anybody on anything at these events. Your job here is to make contacts, setting up JV’s and so on. You’d be amazed at the partnerships I know of personally that have come out of networking events.
6. Follow-up. You know all those business cards you collected at the event? Follow up with each one within seven days to continue building the relationship. Follow up by phone or email, or both. Remind them of your conversation and pick up where you left off.
7. Use Both Sides Of Your Business Card. You’re at events, handing them out anyway – why not use BOTH sides of the card? On the second side you can add a testimonial, a link to a free report, and invitation for a free consultation, etc. Leaving one side of your business card blank is like leaving real estate unused.
8. Crank Up Your Signature. Use your email signature to promote your business. Name and contact info are a great start, but you need more. For example, add a link to your web page with an offer for a really decent freebie. And use the offer in your sig line on forums, too, where it’s allowed.
9. Use your vehicle as a billboard. If it’s appropriate to your business, get inexpensive vinyl signs for your vehicle’s doors and rear to bring in new customers. Or if it’s in your budget, spring for full coverage eye catching auto graphics
10. Focus On Your List. To be honest this part this should be titled: Become Obsessive About Building Your List With The Highest Quality (Best Targeted) Prospects Possible. Your first priority in list building should be QUALITY, not quantity. That said, don’t miss a chance to add to your list if the prospects are a good fit for your business.
11. Work Your List. Send them great info on a very regular basis so you become the “go-to expert” in their eyes. Once they know you and trust what you say, you can recommend anything and get a great conversion, so be sure to only recommend the very best products they will truly benefit from.
12. Create fun promotions around silly holidays. While most every business is trying to leverage major holidays into sales and events, you can stand totally apart from the crowd (and avoid the competition on the big holidays) by focusing on the lesser known holidays. For example, Opposite Day, National Hugging Day and Do a Grouch a Favor Day. First, you need to find the holidays: Either Google something like, “strange holidays” or “weird holidays” or even “crazy holidays.”
13. Hold contests. You might give away your new digital product or anything else your prospects might like, in exchange for whatever you choose. It could be a new sign up to your mailing list, a suggestion for a new product, the answer to a trivia question (not found on the Internet), etc. If your prize is big enough and awesome enough, ask your readers to forward your contest to others in exchange for extra entries, and it could go viral, providing you with hundreds or even thousands of new prospects. It could help you get your name out there to lots of other people..
14. Volunteer Your Services. If you provide a service such as building websites or writing sales copy, volunteer to do it for a non-profit and grab yourself some great publicity in the process.
15. Stage a launch. New product? New website? New service? Create a launch to turn it into a real event that gets people talking.
16. Take a Stand. If you want customers to feel strongly about you and your products, you should take a strong stand they can relate to. Many marketers are afraid to do this because they don’t want to upset anyone. The problem is, when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. Guaranteed no matter what your niche might be, there are positions and opinions you hold you can share with your readers.
Taking a stand will bond you to the readers who agree with you. Those who don’t agree will also want to take a position, and in so doing they bring attention to you. Think Rush Limbaugh – his fans are devoted and his enemies provide him with tons of free publicity. However, you should always remain 100% professional.
There are lots of ways to promote your business without spending a fortune. An open mind and a little creativity go a long way towards reaching out towards others, thereby getting all that business to come to you.
I’ll talk about the rest of they ways you can online market on a shoestring next week..