Starting your own business can be so much fun!
Marketing that business? Hmmm…not so much.
But if you want to let your talents shine, make a difference in the world and grow your business to its full potential, there are no two ways around it.
You NEED to get your head around marketing.
Now, I know that like many other entrepreneurs, the word ‘marketing’ might leave you feeling ‘icky’. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can use marketing with love and show the world that you’re here to solve problems and make the world a better place.
You CAN help address your customers’ pain points, answer their questions, give them a real sense of empowerment and change their lives for the better. I’d love to show you how.
Here are seven ick-free marketing tips that can help you start marketing your business online today.
#1. Start blogging
By far, one of the easiest ways to start marketing your business is to add a blog to your website and fill it with interesting, thought-provoking, useful content.
When you do this, you won’t just be attracting potential customers, helping website visitors solve their problems and generally adding a ton of value.
You’ll have the opportunity to showcase your passion and philosophy with the entire world and showcase that you are a trustworthy expert in your field.
You’ll also make a big difference to people’s lives (yes, even if you’re just selling bars of raw chocolate or hoping to sell your artwork online) as you help them find solutions for their problems.
Let’s not forget that blogging and content creation also helps Google and other search engines to find you and place you higher in the search results (rankings) so you can reach an even wider audience.
Although it can sometimes take time to learn exactly what your audience is looking for and to grow your business, creating content like this helps to establish a firm foundation for your online business.
Perhaps you could even turn it into a source of revenue of its own?
2. Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO helps you to drive more visitors to your website and turn those into paying customers.
When you use the SEO tricks of the trade, you can help Google find you more easily and, again get higher in those search rankings.
There’s a lot of highly technical and often confusing work involved with SEO, so it’s usually a good idea to hire a professional who can help you tick the boxes and help your business to grow organically.
#3. Master email marketing
Although social media marketing seems to have stolen the limelight over the past few years, email marketing remains one of the best ways to make more sales.
When you create a mailing list and stay in regular content with your audience, you’ll be able to share what is going on with your business. You’ll keep them in the loop and start to build that sense of community that is so vital to have in this ultra-competitive online market.
If and when you do decide to share information about your special events, workshops, product sales, or other special offers, you’ll already have an engaged audience who are keen to take advantage of whatever you have to offer.
Beware of going for the jugular too early on or sending through too many promo emails where you try and sell them your latest offering. No one likes a pushy salesman!
You can get started by adding an email signup form to your website. Visit Mailchimp or another similar provider, sign up for a free account and get started.
To encourage sign-ups, consider if you could offer a free eBook, online tutorial, webinar or another freebie in exchange for that email. I’d advise you to add as much value as you can here.
Don’t just try to rush off a quick blog post or create anything- show them that you’re an expert in your field and offer serious value. Make it awesome.
If you’d like more help, Nathalie Lussier’s 30 Day Email Marketing Challenge is an excellent way to get started.
#4: Create video tutorials
With every year that goes by, customers expect to see more visuals online. They want Instagram-quality images and pro-standard videos filling their social media feeds and websites.
That’s why approximately 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, according to marketing experts Hubspot.
And for great reason too. Science says that people love to hear voices and see images.
It’s what encourages trust. What builds those all-important relationships with your customers. It’s what demonstrates that you are an authority in your field and therefore gives your business that push in the right direction.
So wherever possible, seek out opportunities to record videos for your business.
Although quality makes a huge difference, you don’t have to use fancy equipment when you first get started. Just use the camera on your smartphone, use free video editing software to get it viewer-ready and you can hit that upload button.
#5. Use social media marketing
Every business in the 21st century needs to have a social media presence. It’s a non-negotiable.
Even if you absolutely hate social or you haven’t got a clue what you’re doing, make it your mission to create at least one social media account for your business and post content.
This is what people use these days to assess the quality of a business and the services or products they offer. If you’re not at the party then you’re unlikely to be noticed, so do make that effort.
It can be tricky to get right in the beginning, but keep posting regularly and over time you will see your engagement and website traffic begin to grow.
Again, there are numerous books, YouTube videos and online courses that can help you get started. The “Social Media Marketing for Dummies” book is a good choice. Of course, if you’re serious about growing your business, it’s a good idea to hire a professional.
6. Get yourself listed
Do you remember those days when you had to grab a hefty book like the Yellow Pages if you wanted to find a business?
Want a taxi company? Yellow Pages. Want a B&B? Yellow Pages. A mechanic to fix your car? Yep, that’s it.
Now, even though those days are gone, we still have the same kind of business directories online. You can get your business listed in them for free AND it can help improve your chances of both Google and new customers finding their way to your virtual door.
Make sure you fill in all the details and add the extra verification if offered. It all helps.
#7. Join an online community
Networking and community are key when it comes to marketing your business both online and offline. For that reason, it’s an excellent idea to find a community online that is related to your business and get involved.
Actively contribute to the discussions, make friends, help answer questions and become a key part of the group. Try not to talk about your business too much or else you might look like you’re posting spam. Instead, mention your business where relevant and focus on building community.
Although this might not directly bring you customers in the short term, you’ll often find that you get word-of-mouth recommendations and referral from other group members that can lead to exciting opportunities for you.
Marketing your business online can be easier than you think and much more ethical too.
Follow these tips I’ve shared here today and you can start building a sustainable income from your business today.
Charlotte is a big fan of ethical marketing and uses her skills to create compelling content for all kinds of businesses.