For most businesses starting out – or just realizing they need to do something to bring in business or die, this is a basic list with examples that will help you get started. This article is assuming you have already decided on a product or service that you are going to promote for sale, whether it be yours or you’re promoting someone else’s product/service for a percentage.
There is more than just throwing yourself out there, you have to develop a working plan – one that you can follow, that you can make time for, especially for those of you that are trying to do everything in your business yourself or (hopefully) with a partner. Your best bet is if you can afford to outsource your internet marketing and only pay an expert for the hours required.
What most entrepreneurs forget is that your time is all you have and there is never enough of it – use it wisely if you truly want to succeed in business.
The first task, even before the plan, is to figure out your keywords – what words or phrases would people use in the search engines to find you? This takes sitting down for a few hours and starting your search (start with Google) with the actual product/service you offer, then going to your competitors sites and seeing all the keywords they are using (Tools, View Source, search for “keywords”).
Then you need to take those keywords and see what it takes to get yourself placed in the top three spots on Google ads. Statistics show that most people will only look at the first few listings to decide who they’re going to use. http://www.googlekeywordtool.com is a good place to start for basic information, thenhttp://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner for pricing.
Then on to demographics – your target market. Who is most likely to buy your products or services? Which age range, gender, marital status, income bracket, location or area – there are dozens more. You can sign up for Facebook Ads and Google Adwords and find out for free what kind of categories you can select on. If you are using a Certified Google Adwords Partner, they can get your demographics from their Google Consultant.
Why is this important? The obvious answer is that you don’t want to try to sell anti-wrinkle cream to someone who has the means to get a facelift, but you can’t sell it to someone who doesn’t have an income, either. You’re looking for the right income bracket and most likely a woman between ages 40 and 60, and especially in the sunny south.
It may turn out that you can go global with your product/service – in which case, you know you need to offer your web site in different languages (don’t depend on Google translations to get your message across appropriately).
You can’t sell financial services to someone living paycheck to paycheck, and you can’t sell real estate to someone with bad credit. This is why internet marketing is in this way, much better than just going out networking. If you find someone through targeted internet ads or Social Media posts or articles you publish, first you know they are most likely legitimately looking for your product/service and second, have the means to buy it.
When you’re out networking, you might strike up some great conversations, even make lifelong friends, but the odds are not in your favor that your target market will stand out in a crowd for you to find them.
Even networking groups are not, in my opinion, great options – and that’s why you should always keep track of money output and money income – if the income doesn’t come, don’t keep doing the output. Groups in LinkedIn and on Facebook are much better options, because they are, by nature, targeted.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was “Connect with the Connectors” – if you’re going to include networking as one of your strategies in promoting your business, go right to the top. Find out who the best connectors are and make sure they understand what you’re offering – and learn about what they’re offering in return. You must always help others promote their business if you expect any help from them.
Keep a list of what all the people you know offer, that way when someone does ask for it, you can give them the info – and better yet, give that person a call and let them talk to each other right then and there, even if it’s just to say they’ll get back in touch to set up an appointment. They are less likely to forget to follow up that way.
So, you may have guessed that I keep my “out of office” time to a minimum. I find that the internet is a much more effective use of time. I start my day very early while it’s quiet, to get my business work done, and I even go to the point of not making appointments until after 3pm, so I don’t get interrupted – it’s really hard to come back from an earlier appointment and be able to concentrate on getting anything done.
Now, on to the internet! I’ve already mentioned that finding your keywords is critical to your business, so here’s why.
Too many people have told me that they spent a lot of money on their web site and SEO, but they’re not getting any traffic or sales. Most people don’t even know if they’re getting any traffic.
I’ll explain why that happens and four other areas of internet marketing.
I’ll tell you what works, what doesn’t and why I created 1-Box.
You’ll hear Links are the most important thing – but after paying hundreds of dollars, I found that making links to other sites can hurt you as well as help you. Sites my internet marketing “expert” linked me to got hit in one of the Google updates and it killed my site.
I had to go with a whole new domain name to get rid of the effects of that one.
Then I met a man who sold the most of his product in the U.S., all on the internet, and he told me the secret, which I’ll share with you:
Don’t make links to other sites that you can’t control, create your own.
When you’ve figured out your keywords, buy a domain with each combination of keyword and location, then customize each home pages for each of the domains with the right text/SEO for that domain name.
That doesn’t mean you have that many web sites, just home pages that lead into your web site.You’ll pay a lot less in the long run and you can do as you can afford it.
Search Engine Ranking is the process of getting your web site ranked at the top of the search engines. Statistics prove that people only look at the first few listings for what (keywords) that they are searching for. They find the first one that meets what they want and they call and if satisfactory, they stop right there.
There are many ways to get your site ranked higher – one is length of time you’ve been on the web, which you can’t really help. Others are SEO and Adwords, both of which I’ll cover later.
One of Google’s criteria for ranking includes having your keyword in the domain name, so if you sell widgets in St. Louis, buy widgetsstlouis.com or .net or .us – Google doesn’t care what the extension is. They do care how long you buy it for.
If you sell large skinny widgets or long widgets, buy largeSkinnywidgetsstlouis.com or longwidgetskansascity.com if you sell them there.
As soon as you get your web site(s) set up, you need to submit them to the search engines (SubmitExpress), and especially to Google with a site map. This ensures they will find you faster and start the ranking process.
Ask your web site developer to do this for you – make sure they do it each time they add a page, especially any landing pages for ads, because this is how you’ll track how well your ads are working.
You really should become familiar with how to get around in Google tools – otherwise, you’re taking someone’s word for it and, well, there are a lot of dishonest people out there.
How many of you actually know what SEO is or understand what it’s supposed to accomplish?
Search Engine Optimization is basically putting keywords on your page, in certain HTML tags and on the images. It’s so simple and easy that I’m embarrassed SEO Experts charge so much for it. When we do any marketing program for you, we do it for you for free because if you know your keywords, which you should if you’re in business for yourself, it only takes a few minutes per page to do it.
You’ll hear from people that sell it, that SEO is the most important thing, which can cost a lot and won’t do a thing to help you make any money for a very long time unless you’re driving traffic to your site.
What to look for in an SEO “expert” – and this is very rare, they should run at least a two week analysis on how many visitors your getting before they do the SEO and then show you how their process has improved that statistic. The reason they don’t usually do this is because SEO by itself will not show an increase in visitors any time soon, especially if they don’t do a lot of other things (below) to help your ranking.
So, I must tell you that of all the things I’ve done that works, Adwords (Google Ads) were the most effective. Just about everyone I’ve ever known that tried to do it themselves lost money because they didn’t know they had to create a strategy of what to do when someone clicked on their ad.
They didn’t have the knowledge of sales psychology and how to take advantage of the interest by creating an effective landing page, also called a squeeze page.
They didn’t know what to do if they got them there and, what to do if they didn’t buy the product, how to use up-sells and down-sells.
Also, if you don’t have a database tied in to automatically capture any information (name, email), odds are you’ll never put them into campaigns to follow up with them.
Internet ads are more effective because you’ve now captured someone who has pre-qualified themselves. You didn’t have to go and drag them in – they wanted what you were selling and they clicked on your ad.
By clicking on your ad and going to your web site, they’ve become a visitor and if you get enough visitors, what happens?
YOUR RANK GOES UP.
I would suggest you look for a Google Certified Adwords Partner, which means they work with Google to set up the ads, which means they will be more effective and the ad will work faster. They know your demographics and statistics – they do the work for you.
5) SMM – Social Media Marketing
So now we get to Social Media Marketing, which I must admit, had me stymied for a long time.
I didn’t have time for it, didn’t like doing it and didn’t know what to say, so I would sporadically work on it, but never got any response or made any money from doing it.
Then I started using LinkedIn – you can download your contacts into the 1-Box email database for campaign “touches”. Now they have opened up their Post Article functionality to everyone so I have tried to get one written a week – and you can put a lead-in on LinkedIn, then a link to your blog, so you get more traffic, which helps your rank, etc.
The other great thing about LinkedIn is that you can post to all your groups at once, plus Facebook, Google+ & Twitter. LinkedIn picks certain posts to include in what they call their PULSE, or recommended articles, which they promote. I’ve had 3 hit it, and those always do extremely well.
Statistics say that It takes 7 to 8 touches to associate your name to your product/service, so your prospect knows who to contact when they need you.
Remember, it’s not sell Sell SELL – it’s keep your name out there with a link to your web site or landing page for that campaign.
Then I found out about SocialZing – in 16 minutes I had it hooked up to my social accounts and set up to send automated messages that I selected on the suggested best schedules, but it has so much more.
a) landing and Facebook page development with sign-up forms that go into your database
b) email and text messaging
c) short codes
d) video conferencing
e) that automated message system is patented – you pick from their categories such as Leadership, Interesting Facts, Social Media, many more and they are refreshed every month.
f) Program to get Social Media Marketing Certified
So with these five things you can start your internet marketing and touch campaigns.
What we’ve done with 1-Box is incorporate some of these same features but added complete business functionality as well.
You can import your database and integrate your web site so the forms data goes in automatically, then start using it right away to send out email campaigns to selected categories where we give you a template based on your branding, you can change the responses to a Lead Response category, then put them on a different campaign. You design a campaign (email or text) based on where they are in your sales cycle – we can help you do that.
We set up eCommerce for your web site and record all purchases and options selected automatically into your database where you can view and fulfill. We have some clients that display their products/services but do quotes first, and you can send those right out from 1-Box, as well as invoices.
Everything in 1-Box is access level driven so only the people that should see a particular option can see it.
We provide a Scheduling Calendar that can be color coded for different people or actions due, and you can take appointments on your web site.
We have a Document Repository, or Cloud Storage, built right in so that you can view or attach documents to emails on demand.
We integrate with many other programs – QuickBooks, Google Maps and Calendar, Authorize.net and First Data. Microsoft 365 is coming soon.
With authorize.net, we can set up the Vault where your repeat customers can go in and enter their information securely – you never have to see it or take any responsibility if their credit card information is stolen.
But most importantly, for a few extra bucks a month, we give you tons and tons of helpful information, even help you design your marketing sales cycle, landing pages where they will convert, and teach you how to use the information in 1-Box to streamline your spending by showing you how to analyze and use the information it gathers.
If you reference this post, for $150 (value $350), we’ll give you an hour of our time to help you understand what you need – and if we haven’t given you good information that you can use and generate income from, you’ll get that hour free.
Starting a business is easy, making it profitable without help is very hard – we’d like to be your partner.
Time is Money – we can save you both!
What Dawn is passionate about and speaks on:
– How to Run Your SMB like a Large Corporation
– TIP – the Time Invested Principal
– Why Your Website is Not Working!
(Is it just a poster or is it a big, bright LED sign on the highway?)
– Tracking and Analysis – the Difference Between SUCCESS and FAILURE
– You Need a TECHNOLOGY PARTNER you can TRUST!
– 99% of ALL Websites Make These 3 MISTAKES
– Are YOU One of the 80% That Will Fail?
– Afraid to Jump? Entrepreneurship Takes a Team!
– Two Easy Ways to Exponentially Increase Profits
– Are you Failing at MLM? There is HELP!
– All Social Media is NOT Created Equal!
– Take your Hobby to a Business
– The Big Secret (to Success) is not a Secret at all!
– Gain 50% More Revenue – Update your Database
– Do It Yourself “Touch” Marketing for Entrepreneurs
– 5 Basic Internet Marketing Ideas for Entrepreneurs
– 10 New Tools for your Internet Marketing Arsenal
– SEO vs PPC – What every Entrepreneur should know!
– The Perfect Web Site – Does it Exist?
– The Decision Dilemma of Entrepreneurs
– Security Tips from the Secret Service
– Google and Facebook are the Bait – YOU are the product!