Truth is, starting a business can be one of the hardest things we ever do in our lives. Sure, it’s also one of the most rewarding, but it’s capital H-A-R-D on many levels.
Especially if you’re focusing on building an online-based business, because there’s no one way to do it to ensure your success.
There’s no blueprint, formula or roadmap to help you create a viable income and grow a business you’re proud of.
So many times, the advice we get is contradictory. One person says “All you need is to do Facebook ads.” while another says “You shouldn’t have to ever rely on Facebook ads.” It’s enough to make you pull your hair out – I mean, what’s a smart cookie business owner to do on the way to figuring out what’s what?
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of simplicity. Of keeping things intentional and thoughtfully simple so that you’re not focusing on the 80% of busywork that generates very little results.
Which is why if you find yourself confused, overwhelmed or ready to desperately shell out a boatload of money to have someone else run your biz for you or give you a magical solution…it’s time for you to make things simpler too.
Starting with your marketing and getting back to the basics of what you REALLY need to run an online business. No matter what stage of business you’re in (more on those stages right here), there are certain building blocks you need in place so you have a foundation that sets you up for stable, lasting success.
I’m going to warn you, if you’re looking for something glitzy, you’ll want to move on. The basics I’m going to recommend are just that – basics. No smoke, mirrors or confetti cannons here.
Here are the three simple marketing strategies you need to have in place for marketing an online-based business:
Have you heard those online urban myths about people with just a landing page that build an empire. Me too. And I say they’re a myth because while it may be possible, it’s highly improbable.
If you’re checking something out, where’s the first place you go? Yes, the website. And what if that website is only one page or a total hot mess? You get turned off and look for other options.
That’s exactly why you need a website that’s professional, clear and shares you and what you have to offer. And while a “pretty” website is a nice to have, start where you are. It’s far better to test your services/products and overall messages before you invest in a totally pro website.
Your website should be easy to navigate and make it simple to do business with you. Think about things from the perspective of your customer who will be visiting the site. Get in their shoes and plan your site from there. (More on websites in this blog post which talks about places you need to nail on any site.)
You’ve got a website, which is amazing, but how do you keep people coming back to your site and build the know-like-trust factor that means people will actually do business with you?
It starts with value added content, and the best place to deliver that is on your blog. When I say blog, it may be a traditional written blog post, it may be a podcast you post to your site with show notes or even a video blog – it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you’re regularly producing content that helps you connect and convert people already following you, and to attract new people.
Think about it this way – when was the last time you went from something you found on social media to buying immediately? Pretty much never, right? The same goes with people who find you – they need to be provided with value through this content to educate them, assess your leadership and credibility and to get to know you.
Without a blog, you’re missing out on a critical opportunity to create a real connection and share your voice. And while relying on social or other platforms to do that for you – a blog is something you own. It can’t go the way of MySpace or anything else that falls out of favor.
Speaking of which..let’s talk about email marketing.
#3. Email Marketing
As someone who works with email marketing every day, I get a lot of questions about whether or not someone really needs to focus on email marketing.
The answer for most businesses is yes – yes, you do. And if you’re skipping over email marketing or letting communication with your list slide, you’re missing a golden opportunity.
Your email list has your most loyal and interested supporters, and if you don’t have a list (or actually communicate with those people), you’ve got no way to nurture them, or even keep them up to date without them having to remember you and then go to your website or social media profiles.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not something I’m going to remember to do every day. But when someone shows up in my inbox with valuable information that I want, I pay attention. I head to their blog, I check out their offering and most importantly, that person or company is top of mind.
Your audience is the same. They’re busy and literally have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. You need a way to get a second of their time amid all that noise, and an email is your best shot.
Nailing these three simple marketing strategies will make a significant difference to your business in the long-run, as you’ll have a solid, successful foundation on which to build any other tactics on. Start simply and strategically to master the basics before you run off after the next hot thing.