Marketing your business, yourself or both online is a must if you want reach your clients, customers, fans, etc. EVERYONE markets online, from the big shots to the little shots and everyone in between. Today, just about every niche, industry or market you can identify is SUPER COMPETITIVE.

Now, before you get depressed, let me tell you why you shouldn’t be. It’s fairly simple. Most people haven’t figured out how to market themselves or their businesses effectively online yet. When I say “effective,” I’m talking about achieving ongoing, bankable results. Most businesses are leaving a lot of money on the table because they don’t really understand how online marketing works.

Understand this; marketing isn’t magic. Marketing is about communication. Those who understand direct marketing well have distinct advantages over those who don’t.

Take a closer look at the world today and how businesses are run specifically. People are used to buying lousy products and services that don’t live up to the “hype.” They’re used to getting poor value for their investment. They’d love to believe your “stuff” will be different but experience tells them the odds are against it. Isn’t that true?

Fortunately, there are exceptions. You must be one of the exceptions.

REVERSING THE “RISK”

One of the ways to prove you’re one of the exceptions is by providing “risk reversal” with your offers. This simply means if the person isn’t happy, you’re willing to refund their money.

Another method is to provide samples for a prospective buyer. Groceries stores have done this for years. Instead of purchasing the big package, they provide samples of a new product. If you enjoy the taste, you buy the product. If you don’t, you have zero risk with zero investment and haven’t lost a thing.

Try before you buy. This is possible with some businesses, but not all.

FIND A UNIQUE SELLING POSITION

Another method is to find a unique selling position and promoting. Maybe your product is crafted by Elves in a hidden city deep beneath the arctic? Or maybe not…

Maybe you were trained by an infamous mentor?

Maybe your product is imported from a place known for have the very best of its kind?

You get the idea. Of course, you have the test the different methods to find which one works best for you. Is this easy to do? It’s not as hard as you think. Stand out in the crowd by showing customers you’re different than most others.

TIME & MONEY… WHEN THERE’S NOT A LOT OF EITHER…

One of the problems people commonly face in getting a marketing campaign or message off the ground is time. Most small businesses can’t afford to have an in-house marketing department so they hand the ball off to someone who already has multiple responsibilities on their plate. In other cases, the business owner takes on the responsibility of doing most of the marketing work on top of all the other responsibilities. If you’re already running a business, it can be exhausting adding something as technical as marketing on top of everything else you’re already doing.

HERE’S AN OPTION

If you’re looking to market yourself, your business or anything else, blogging is an option you should seriously consider.

BLOGGING… IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK

Why blogging? Blogging gives you a forum to talk about your business, new products, customer concerns, product information, etc.

The list is endless.

The nice thing about business blogging is, you give your readers the information they need to make a buying decision without the high-pressure tactics commonly used by most amateur marketers and advertisers.

Blogs are conversational in nature. A conversational tone makes it much easier to communicate and connect with your intended audience. This is true, regardless of the topic. Good communication IS effective marketing in a nutshell.

GENERATING FREE TRAFFIC USING FACEBOOK

By attaching your blog link to a Facebook page, you can easily create a steady stream of traffic to your blog without spending a dime. Facebook is an excellent source of free traffic. The more friends you have and the more groups you belong to, the more potential exposure your blog will have.

You don’t have to have an elaborate, Facebook business page. You can if you want to, but you really don’t have to. The nice thing about a personal profile is – regular, everyday conversations take place on people’s Facebook walls. Post comments, engage in conversation, offer humorous tidbits from time to time and you will connect with prospective buyers and customers. Most importantly, you’ll do it naturally without take the artificial approach of bombing anyone’s inbox with offers and invitations.

Offers are fine. Just make sure you’re delivering them to people who are interested in what you’re offering. Blasting people with ads and offers indiscriminately will only turn them off and agitate them. When the time comes that they’re actually interested in the type of products or services you offer… they’ll end up taking their business elsewhere because your marketing approach left a bad taste in their mouth.

BE CAREFUL WHO YOU GET MARKETING ADVICE FROM

Can I let you in on a little secret? Most marketing firms and consultants sell their clients packages they DON’T NEED. If you want to be visible in your marketplace, they’ll gladly take your money to promote you on dozens of “must have” sites and networks. Usually, you will be told, “This site gets X-amount of traffic every month. Your ad will be seen by potentially millions of people.”

Of course, millions of people and businesses are all doing the exact same thing. The results most people achieve are usually watered down at best unless they have a really powerful offer. Think about it, you’re a consumer. How many ads do you avoid clicking on when you’re online?

Using the “personal method” I described above, you can separate yourself from the “noise” and stand out in a crowd much easier. It’s about being memorable. How many ads do you remember – even 24-hrs after you’ve seen them? How about the ads that regularly appear on websites you frequent?

Can you name them? Probably not. I’m not saying the ad method is totally ineffective… I’m simply pointing out there are much better, not to mention more cost effective, methods.

Need more? Contact me at Gulf Coast Internet Publishing’s “Hot Line” today - 941-681-0254.