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How to Market Your Business Online

A simplified view of marketing online for beginners

Let’s begin with some explanation of each hexagon in the graphic above.

Your Home Base – Your Website

First, you need a website to become your home base. This is wholly owned by you. The one asset you have complete control over. This is your online property. Think of it as your house on line. You want to welcome as many people to your house (aka website) as possible. More specifically, you want a certain ideal type of person to come to your house. That is your ideal target customer.

Your Ideal Audience

Defining your ideal customer is your next step. Without a clear picture of who you serve and how you help them, all your marketing efforts will fail to connect with them. So, get ultra-clear on your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA).

Also related to your ICA is your customer’s journey. You need to map out their buying journey and understand what they need at every step of the journey to become a paid customer. This will influence what content you create.

Your Content Strategy

The content you create must be specific to what your customers need at the whatever stage they happen to be in on their buying journey. It must speak to the audience in a way that makes them feel heard and understood, as this will build trust. Your content should provide inform, influence, and entertain, if possible.

Your Offers

What offers can you make to your audience? An offer is like serving your audience tasty morsels that cause them to want more. What small problems can you solve for your audience before they buy something from you? What valuable items can you curve out of your product or service to offer in exchange for an email address?

Your Visibility

Where does your ideal audience hang out online? Are they on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, SnapChat, ManyChat, etc? Wherever they are, you should be too. When you are starting out, its wise to pick one platform to focus on. Only after you’ve got that one down, do you attempt to add another platform.  These social platforms are like gatherings or venues on the internet.

Your Campaigns

Using campaigns to build your email list is the best way to secure and grow your business going forward. No matter how large a following on a social platform, your true success comes from moving those followers to your email list. Campaigns are one such way to do that.

Your Traffic

If your website is like your home on the internet, then traffic is like the roads or highways that bring people to your house. There are two types of traffic: organic or free and paid. There are many ways to gain organic traffic without spending a lot of money. It usually takes a little longer, but saves you some money in the early days. While paid ads, when done properly can increase your traffic exponentially overnight.

What Do You Start with First?

The #1 priority you need to focus on is building your email list. This can be done with or without a website. 

What do I mean without a website?

You can create an opt-in page to entice someone to provide their email address in exchange for a valuable piece of content.  This requires only a single page, which doesn’t have to be part of a larger website.

The #2 priority is creating your content, for without content you have nothing to entice people to join your email list.

However, the caveat is you can’t create content without know who you’re creating it for. So, you also need to define your Ideal Customer here.

The #3 priority is your website. Everyone searches the internet to research prior to making a purchase decision, so having a website is essential.

If you don’t have a website, you won’t show up in the search results and you’ll be essentially INVISIBLE to your audience.

The #4 priority are your offers. You need strategic thinking around what you decide to offer for free versus paid. It’s best to look at the big picture before throwing offers out there. Make sure the offer makes sense in the larger plan.

Keep in mind you are building out an entire marketing ecosystem here.  It takes time to put all these pieces together, so give yourself some grace.  Just focus on one area at a time. As you implement and hone one area, you move to the next.

I highly recommend you don’t attack everything at once, unless you want to have a nervous breakdown or you have a very talented team who can help you.

Remember it’s a process. You’ll be learning along the way and that’s okay.

Your Next Step is…

  • Define Your Ideal Customer. You can watch a training I did in another program that discusses how to get started building your ideal customer avatar here:

You can download the worksheet here.

  • Create Your Freebie Offer. To help you do just that, schedule a complimentary 90-minute Consultation, where you and I will discuss your business, products or services and brainstorm valuable content ideas for your freebie offer. Book your session now.
  • Setup Your Email Provider. There are many email providers out there.  I recommend ConvertKit because they offer a free account up to 1,000 email subscribers and pay as you go unlimited emails after that.  Also, you can create forms, landing pages, and emails all in the same tool. Sweet!

To gain an overall view of marketing online, you might like this a quick read called The Woman Entrepreneur: A Definitive Guide for Marketing to Create the Wealth You’re Worth.

Are you stuck in indecision over how to market your business online?

Do you struggle with wanting to do things “right”?

Or do you need to have everything “perfect” before you take action?

If you do, you’re not alone!

I want to let you in on a little secret…shh, don’t tell anyone…ready?

There is no right or perfect way to do marketing.

Did you hear that?

You don’t have to do everything perfectly for your marketing to work.  In fact, imperfect marketing is better than no marketing at all.

I’m going to say that again…

Imperfect marketing is better than no marketing at all.

Isn’t that a relief?

Well, ok, sure you could be a jerk about marketing by spamming and that would be wrong.

But you’d never do that.

With good intentions, you can’t go wrong.

If you know your product/service can actually help your customers, you’re ready serving them.

And serving is better than selling, any day!

Look at this way, if your product/service could solve a major problem for your customers and you didn’t market it, you would actually be doing your customers a disservice.

Imagine the pain and suffering your customers are dealing with all because they haven’t found your solution yet.

You have the power to solve their problem.

All you have to do is market your business online, so your ideal customers can find you.

Where do you start?

That depends on what’s easier for you.

Are you a thinker, who likes to write things down? Blogging might be a good place to start.

Do words flow easily from your mouth? Perhaps hosting a podcast would be great for you.

Are you animated when you share a story to your friend? If so, all you need to do is tell stories about how you help people with your busines in a video.

Pick one method and get going. Your audience is waiting.

Just in case you need another nudge.

Take me for example.

I’m a thinker and a writer. Words flow better on paper than they do coming from my mouth.  Words on a page was where I felt most comfortable.  Besides, I was deathly afraid of getting in front of a camera!

One time, my church asked me to share a testimony on video. Oh, we tried to shoot it. But I was too nervous, uncomfortable, and camera shy! It came out terribly and they didn’t use it after all.

Fast forward to 2020.

Video is really picking up in the marketing realm. Everyone seems to watch videos.  And one day, it hits me. My friend, Carol, is always so supportive whenever I share anything with her. She’s friendly and smiles, nodded, and really pays attention when I speak with her.

What if I pretended I was talking to Carol, when I shoot a video talking about my business?

That’s what I did!

What a difference it made. I was no longer nervous or uncomfortable because I told myself I was just talking to Carol.

Starting in January 2020, before covid-19 turned our world upside down, I made a daily video to practice using my voice.

If you’ve followed my videos for any length of time, you’d know I do them imperfectly all the time.

Know what I found? It was a whole lot easier than writing out a blog post! And people seemed like it.

Why?

Because it encourages them. Seeing what I do (and how imperfectly I do it) gives them the mental “OK” to get started with their marketing too.

It attracts people to me I wouldn’t normally come in contact with. That’s a great thing!

It also allows people to get to know me, the real me, not some made up stuffy or formal brand persona.

You want that too. You don’t want your followers feeling like you’re beyond reach in your ivory tower, sitting at your throne.

Be real, who would connect with that anyway?

What’s holding you back from putting yourself and your business out there online?

Need help?

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