Speaking as a woman who knows, it’s pretty common to have a million things on your plate. Women tend to take the weight of the world on their shoulders. I know I do!
Add to that trying to build a new business up and your days can seem pretty daunting.
- Where do you start?
- How do you find clients?
- How do you increase sales?
- How do you create a great brand?
- And how do you do all of the above on a relatively tiny budget?
- Is it even possible?
Of course it is!
And it’s being done primarily online (with a little help from social media) on a daily basis. It does take persistence though.
In this day and age, online marketing has become the future. Businesses like Phorm web company know this. Numerous businesses the world over are moving into the online space and taking it over.
However, it’s no longer enough for a business to slap up a pretty website and call it a day. Your business needs a marketing and branding strategy in place to effectively assess what’s working and what isn’t.
Oh and FYI- to market a business online, you still actually have to interact with people.
Throwing up a nice website while making no effort to interact with site visitors (aka potential clients) is kind of like creating business cards and handing them out to kids in kindergarten.
They will ooh and ah and think the cards look neat, but at the end of the day… they won’t have a clue what to do with them.
Before you know it your swanky biz cards are just little pieces of cardboard perfect for coloring pretty pictures on and using as “play money”.
Take Advantage of Social Media Platforms
People today are curious. With the world at their fingertips, it takes nothing for them to hop onto Google to research a new product or service and decide if it’s a fit for them.
Folks want to know who they are doing business with.
- Who are they buying from?
- What kind of person or company are they?
- What are their business principles and values?
- Do they operate with integrity?
- Are they great with customer service?
People love to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Social media sites allow potential clients to get to know the force behind the brand.
Getting active on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter allows visitors to get a tiny glimpse of the real you and allows them to sit back and observe the way you interact with current customers.
But just creating social profiles without putting much thought into it won’t do you any favors.
You should focus your efforts around being useful and/or helpful to your people. Curate content that will inspire them or make them smile.
Sharing useful info, the occasional image that offers a glimpse into your life, sharing things that communicate your core values and beliefs… those are things that resonate with your audience.
You must create interaction and conversation to really have an impact on people, drive brand awareness of your business, and foster trust.
If for no other reason than “all the cool kids are doing it.”
Seriously though, blogging is a great way to put yourself out into the public eye a bit and build some credibility within your industry. Some very talented folks even use blogging to create a bit of “celebrity” for themselves and/or their businesses.
Even businesses who don’t own a blog themselves are using blogging effectively to grow their business and create brand awareness.
They guest blog on high profile blogs with already established audiences, share some of their expertise and experiences with like-minded industry professionals, and it usually winds up a win-win for all involved.
Remain as Consistent as Possible
You don’t have to be perfect to use tools like social media and blogging successfully. Persistence and consistence are much better goals to strive for.
Sure you want your efforts to be well-received and rewarded, but waiting until they are perfect means you’re just getting in your own way. It’s much more useful to make a somewhat imperfect effort on a regular, consistent basis. You then become a resource that people know they can count on and you’re on your way to establishing that all important trust factor.
Staying persistent and consistent in your social networking and interactions will yield results. Maybe they won’t be immediately measureable results all the time, but they are results nonetheless.
And they are results that you wouldn’t otherwise have if you wasted your time waiting to be perfect.
Once again though, you still have to actually interact with people.
Online marketing doesn’t mean you can just skip the marketing part. It makes meeting other people a lot more accessible and less nerve-wracking than face-to-face meetings, but it still requires effort.
Luckily the basic formula is pretty simple.
Network, answer questions, participate. Easy peasy.
Over to You
Do you feel like interacting on social media sites or industry blogs is a productive way to spend your marketing and branding time quota?
Does it pay off for you?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And as always, please share this post if it was useful to you.