Creating visibility for your business online can seem like a daunting task. There are many different options to choose from and you’ll likely find yourself in “analysis paralysis” if you try them all at one.
That said you simply can’t ignore having an effective strategy for marketing your business online. It is quite simply one of the most reliable and affordable ways to let the world know “Here I am! Here’s how I can help you.” Even if you primarily do business in person with people in your local area, I guarantee you your prospects are looking for you online. So you want to make it easy for them to find you and to say yes to what you have to offer.
There are dozens of strategies you could try, but the smart, simple and profitable way to tackle online marketing to narrow your focus to just a few key techniques. In our efforts to help as many solo service professionals as possible, we have found that online marketing works extremely well. In fact 25% of our clients over the past 18 months have connected with us as a result of finding us on the Internet. Following are three of the online marketing methods that have worked particularly well for us:
- Email marketing – Building an email marketing list and regularly sending actionable tips will help you build a strong relationship with your ideal prospects and keep you “top of mind” when they are ready to buy the solutions you offer. In order to build your list, you’ll need a compelling FR.EE offer on your website that you give in exchange for a visitor’s name and email addresses. Consider a pdf report, audio training or kit that specifically addresses a problem your target market is facing. Once they’ve subscribed to your list, deliver a short series of targeted, solution focused emails (via autoresponder) AND a regular content-filled email newsletter so you can share your expertise and position yourself as a problem solver.
- Podcasting – Your audience is just as busy as you are! Sometimes it’s easier for them to listen to your content than read it. That’s why podcasting is such a great option for marketing your solutions online. A podcast is simply an audio file you listen to a web page. To create your own podcast, you’ll record a short three to five minute audio and distribute it across the web. Your listeners can subscribe to your channel and be updated each time you post a new episode. Of course, as is the case with all of the content you create, you’ll want to focus on helpful, actionable information is easy for your listeners to implement.
- Video marketing – Video is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the online experience, so you should definitely be using it to market your business. Video marketing can be as simple as speaking directly into the camera and delivering content that is helpful to your audience. You can also create training videos from PowerPoint presentations, where you combine your podcast and a few slides or by recording screen shots from your computer. There are plenty of opportunities to distribute your videos, from your own website to popular video sharing sites like YouTube.com.
The best part about these three techniques is that you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” to create content for your emails, podcast and videos. For example, you can take the article from your email newsletter and record it as an audio (now you have a podcast), as well as turn it into a video. You get three unique pieces of content from one source!
Online marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you focus on simple strategies that work. These three methods are time tested and proven to help solo service professionals just like you increase your visibility, get more clients and see bigger prof.its.
Check out the examples we’ve included in this article and stay tuned for our next three articles where I’ll share more “how to” instruction on how you can implement these strategies into your marketing mix.
In the meantime, comment below and share your experiences with online marketing. What has worked for you in the past? What challenges have you faced? Which of these three methods are you going to try in the future? I look forward to hearing from you.