There are a lot of ways to promote your business online. About twice as many as there were ten years ago. More choices are a good thing, right? Not really. The more choices people have, the less inclined they are to follow any single one through to its ultimate conclusion. It’s sort of like digging for buried treasure but giving up after digging about a foot and a half into the ground. True treasures aren’t buried a foot beneath the surface… they’re buried much deeper. Of course, most people move on from one thing to the next in the blink of an eye when they’re not making the progress they’d like to be making these days.
Countless numbers of people believe they have to market their business on every type of social media site possible. They have multiple pages on Facebook (personal pages, fan pages, group pages, etc.), profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and others. They also have pages on Squidoo, Tumblr, Hubpages, etc. The list seems to get longer every day.
The most successful companies, however, major on one or two while “minoring” or outright ignoring the others. In other words, if they’re rocking it with LinkedIn, they put even more energy behind it squeezing every bit of profit generating substance out of it as possible.
A friend of mine has over 20,000 Twitter followers. They market products to these followers every single month. On Facebook, they’re not doing well at all. They also run a company blog they’ve used to build a fairly large mailing list. Here’s where they missed it. Instead of putting even more energy behind the blog and Twitter, they started focusing more energy on Facebook. Why? Because like everyone else, they feel like they’re missing out if they’re not “everywhere.”
There’s a secret most newbie’s to Internet marketing don’t realize. In the offline world, there are so many ways, methods and avenues of marketing – it boggles the mind. And yet, 80% – 90% of all the revenue made by successful companies (as well as individuals) comes from only 1 or 2 methods.
Only one or two!
In 13-years of Internet marketing, blogging and email marketing have been the most profitable methods for me. Those are my personal top two methods. Paid advertising accounts for my 20%.
After testing Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn… I personally found Facebook to be much more profitable for my particular business type. That being said, I don’t even bother using fan pages or groups. I just post my blog entries to personal profile wall and the process works great. eMail marketing, however, is still far and away the most effective method for me and I’ve been using it since 1997. Here’s a link if you’d like to know more – (http://www.worldresponders.com).
If you enjoy being social and talking/typing with people, Facebook would be a good fit for your personal online marketing style. If you think most people are losers and can’t stand large crowds… you’d be better off concentrating your energy in other areas. That’s not to say you can’t use social media… but you’re not going to thrive there the way a more social, personality type would.
Writers seem to do especially well using newsletters, blogs and emails. If you’re not a writer but still want to take advantage of all the above, you can outsource your work to ghostwriters.
Ghostwriter fees can vary greatly as does their ability to write on various topics. If you’re already knowledgeable about the topic, you may as well give it a shot yourself and see how you do. You may be surprised by the results!
If you have a little bit of money and want fast results, nothing will get your products and services seen faster than paid advertising. For a few hundred bucks a month, you can put together a decent Google Adwords campaign. You can then track the effectiveness of the ads and make the adjustments as necessary.
A successful online publicity and marketing campaign isn’t a complex series of equations and formulas understood by an elite 5%. It does take time, energy and adjustments, however, before it really takes root. Shortening the time, however, is really the result of focusing your energy on developing your first “connection” with your market. One person I know spends 90% of his time building his mailing list through “Yahoo Answers.” All he does is ask and answer questions within his specific niche and people, thousands of them, follow his link in his signature back to his website.
Imagine that, building a mailing list of thousands of people by only doing one thing – participating on Yahoo Answers. He barely touches any of the other social media sites. He spends about 3 hours a day on Yahoo answers. That’s it.
Another person I know has built 50% of business through Craig’s list.
I’m sure you’ve heard of eBay? Some people invest 90% of their marketing energy there and it pays of BIG for them.
Before you jump in, though, realize this… none of these people are “dabbling” with their efforts. These people are firmly entrenched in what they’re doing.
When I consult with clients, I try to get a quick feel for the person I’m dealing with. Are they serious or just dreaming? Are they willing to commit to a course of action or will they panic if things do turn their way immediately? Once I know they’re serious, and believe me… the percentage isn’t as large as you’d think, then we can begin to develop a plan that revolves around their strength’s. There isn’t a once size fits all strategy. And some plans take longer than others.
Developing your own style of marketing and generating publicity for your business on and offline is one of the most valuable skills you could ever acquire. That’s because products may come and go, but the ability to sell a lot of them will always ensure that you and your family will never have to wonder where the next paycheck is coming from. In the new economy, you’ll have the skills to sell anything you set your mind or attention to.
It all comes down to learning how to drown out the noise that surrounds the latest news, gadgets and software applications and focus upon building something that will last your lifetime. That’s an online presence that sells.
So forget about all the hype and what everyone else seems to be doing. Do what’s best for you, and build your own online “empire” in the process.
*(Artwork – By Lori Frary – www.FraryGallery.com. Art Sarasota)
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