Test, Test, Test
Test your hypotheses and test them again and again. That makes for a perfect approach to building your business. The extensive testing will help you figure out exactly what combination of product and marketing will make your online venture a success. Another thing you can do is read related blogs to learn what processes other online businesses are implementing to grow their market outreach.
Customers come to you for a solution and the value you provide to them. So all your marketing efforts should focus on problems you’ll solve for them and how you'll make their lives better. From your social media engagement to email messages and other marketing tactics, it should all be geared towards providing what your clients want or need and informing them as to how it will benefit them. Your consumers will share things of value with others helping you promote your business, in turn leading to more sales.
Mix Traditional and Online Marketing
A rule of thumb - follow your customers to where they hang out. If they’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or YouTube you also have to be seen there. However, that doesn't mean you should ignore traditional opportunities to market. Everyone’s not online. So look at print advertising, publishing articles, public speaking, business cards, etc. that you can use to reach out to people in the real world too.
There is one problem with that, though. You have to find the platforms where people want to learn about your kind of business. For instance, a newspaper may not do because most people want to read only the news. You have to find places where your potential audience gathers looking for your sort of product or service. A more specific example would be if you’re into weight loss products or services it makes more sense to advertise or have your article in a health or fitness magazine than a newspaper because that audience would be actively looking for health solutions.
Repurpose Your Content
Repurposing content lets you take advantage of the content cycle by turning simple content into a more sophisticated form for buyers throughout the varied stages in your marketing journey. You can respond to customer pain points and address objections without having to share the same articles or guest posts everywhere. For example, a how-to article on your website can be turned into a video for YouTube. The benefits of repurposing content are that you can produce more content, get more leverage, increased traction on social media and less pressure to produce more of it.
Connect with Industry and Market Leaders, Especially Influencers
Nurture relationships with people who have a following. Approach others who have their finger on the market pulse and offer value. An interview with them for your website or podcast would be a great approach. Offering to provide content for their website or blog is another. The idea is to put their word out on social media, like retweeting their posts, for instance. Honoring them in that manner may make them do the same for you thereby increasing the chances of them sharing your business with their followers.
Curate Content, Especially from Influencers
Putting up expert content from others that you can share and comment on is one way of increasing your presence as an influencer yourself. There’s a difference between curating and copying someone else’s content. Curating is about commenting on an industry expert’s article or blog and including a link to it. If it’s a blog post, a ping back will tell the owner you’ve shared the link, which can increase their engagement with you. Another way is tagging them in social media when sharing their content, which in turn might make them share yours.
Free Publicity Goes a Long Way
Being mentioned in the media not only promotes your business but gives you some clout as well. However, don’t forget to focus on providing value during your pitch media endeavor. Press releases are a great way to make your presence felt in your local and online media outlets. Another great option is to help a reporter out. They usually have a huge following and they will thank you for another news item.
Hold a Freebie Contest
Offer a contest for a giveaway. Be mindful that you don't give away the bulk of your service or product. At the same time remember you must give away something of value because that’s what will make them want to buy from you. Another way is to use your email list. You can give a free gift in your email, which may act as a lead magnet to build rapport and trust with your market. Do check the laws in your country and state to include disclosures for running your contest legally.
Become the Market Resource for Information
Share the latest trends and resources by referencing or linking to other sites. Google Alerts or a feedreader is a great way to track news and trends from your favorite resources and sharing them with your customers. Not only will it poise you as an industry expert but attract influencers as well.
Always be Authentic and Approachable
Today, because of social media, customers want to know the people they want to do business with. Authenticity of your service and product and the information your share will help build trust among your customers. If they want to know what your business stands for and want to engage with you, they would be more likely to tell others about you. So respond to emails, comments and questions on social media and your blog and do thank the ones who share your information.
Setting up a business takes hard work and a bit of luck. However, if you feel you’re cut out for running your own business don’t spend another year just thinking of starting one. Follow these steps to get started as early as possible. The sooner you start learning about your business and testing data the sooner it’ll take off.