Online Marketing For Small Businesses That Works
So your website is finally online… AND there is total silence. Why isn’t Oprah calling? Why is your business not full of coaching clients? How long are you supposed to wait?
Before you jump to the conclusion that online marketing doesn’t work and miss out on a huge opportunity to grow your business, let me share with you the missing pieces in your online marketing puzzle nobody is talking about.
So, Ana, How Effective Is Online Marketing… Really?
The first thing to remember is that…
“Marketing is the clear communication of value to attract awesome clients ready to invest in working with you and who will refer you to more awesome clients. The Internet is just the medium you use to spread your marketing message” – Ana Rosenberg.
So what does it mean to you? It means that as a service-based business, you need to learn how this medium and have a smart strategy to make it work for your service-based business.
The good news is that marketing your coaching/training/consulting business online is one of the smartest decisions you can make… AND it really works with the right strategic plan.
The Biggest Problem In Internet Marketing
For you as the owner of a business based on your expertise, one of the biggest problems in Internet Marketing is to have the wrong expectations.
People rarely visit your website and buy your services. It just doesn’t work like that.
So what can you realistically expect?
You can expect your visitor to leave and never come back if you don’t offer them immediate value in exchange for their email address.
Yap. Website visitors have less than 3 seconds to decide whether they are going to hit the “back” button. Even if they decide to stay, once they leave they might never find their way back to your website.
You can also expect to build a relationship with that visitor via email that ends up in them hiring you when they are ready.
HOT TIP – Don’t list your coaching/training/consulting services with a buy now button. The main purpose of your website is to offer value to your visitor, engage them and get their email address so that you can follow up with them, add even more value. Once they are ready to hire a coach, you will be the expert that is already in their inbox and who they have a relationship with.
The Single Most Powerful Online Marketing Strategy For Small Businesses
Learn how to use email effectively. Yes, email is also an online tool.
Let me translate this strategy for you: once you get your website visitor’s email address, you will need to follow up with them.
How? With your newsletter or ezine (electronic magazine).
There are countless benefits for you and for your clients to have a newsletter:
- It helps you build a relationship with your clients based on trust.
- It allows you to truly help your clients and add immediate value.
- It positions you as an expert and establishes your credibility.
- It grows your client base and your profit.
- It leverages your time by allowing you to follow up without having to spend face-to-face, one-on-one time with all your website visitors.
- It keeps you top of mind (you are the expert in their inbox every week/month).
- It gives you the opportunity to give, even to people who truly cannot afford your services.
- It earns you the right to promote your services and programs because you have contributed first.
- It is relatively inexpensive - (you need an Autoresponder, a domain name and hosting to get you started).
HOT TIP – You don’t need to have your website totally ready to start publishing your newsletter or ezine. The only thing you need (while you are getting your website ready) is one page (aka landing page) for your web visitors to land, where you offer a valuable free gift in exchange for their email address.
3 Powerful Internet Marketing Tips For Small Businesses That Send Newsletters
TIP #1 – Have a clear profile of your reader. (For awesome questions that will make writing your newsletter more effective and useful for your readers, see this blog post).
TIP #2 – Your newsletter needs to add value. It cannot be only promotions.
TIP #3 – Decide how often you are going to send your newsletter and take this commitment seriously.
Your Newsletter Essentials
I’m going to share with you the essentials so that you can start planning and sending your newsletter today:
STEP 1 – Get your newsletter “avatar” so that you know who you are writing to
Write always to one person. Remember that your newsletter is read by a single person at a time. (Refer to Tip #1 for more how to info on how to do this).
STEP 2 – Decide your newsletter format
Are you going to have an HTML newsletter with graphics, a header, logo, etc OR is it going to be just text?
There are pros and cons to both. Just decide.
I have decided that my newsletter is text only. Why? Because I write my newsletter the same way I write to a friend.
STEP 3 – Name your newsletter
Mine is called “Have It All Marketing” because I’m the creator of the Have It All Marketing System to help service-based professionals, especially coaches, trainers, authors, speakers and consultants, build a profitable, sustainable business to be proud fast without having to compromise their values or integrity. (I truly believe that you can have it all in business and in life).
HOT TIP – Remember to include the name of your newsletter or simply the word “newsletter” in the headline of your email.
STEP 4 – Decide on the frequency
Decide how often you’re going to send your ezine and stick to it. Be realistic and consistent.
STEP 5 – Create an editorial calendar
Don’t worry, it sounds complicated but it is not. It just a plan on what to write about in each issue.
The best way to create an editorial plan is to know FIRST what products, programs and services you are planning to offer during the year and THEN to plan the free content related to the topic of the program you are offering.
HOT TIP – Reverse engineer the process. Decide what you are going to offer first and then write your article based on that topic. That way, your article will flow seamlessly into your paid offer without you feeling weird about it.
Another way of looking at this is: in one article in your newsletter you cannot solve all your reader’s problems. You can get them started with useful information they can implement immediately and you can offer them your paid services if they need more.
STEP 6 – Decide on your newsletter sections
You can include several sections and use them consistently in every issue.
I personally only include a personal note and the beginning of the featured article with a link to my blog to read more. At the bottom I like to have a short bio and a link to my free gift, in case they forward the newsletter to somebody that needs the info so that they can sign up for my list.
The structure of my newsletter looks something like this:
BEGINNING OF THE FEATURE ARTICLE
LINK TO THE BLOG TO READ MORE
CALL TO ACTION
SHORT BIO WITH LINK TO MY FREE GIFT
STEP 7 – Write & Invite
You don’t need to make it complicated. Actually, you should really be very excited about writing your newsletter. And here’s why…
Your reader already gave you their email address because they expect to hear from you AND you have the opportunity to transform their lives, to inspire them, to motivate them, to engage them, to entertain them AND to make money doing what you love.
Yes, to make money. Don’t forget to include an invitation to your free sessions or to your paid programs and services. Some of your readers really need more of you and they will welcome the opportunity to get your support.
This is a simple way of getting your newsletter done fast: you have already written your blog post. Read it and decide on the content of your personal note and any other section you want to include and you are done!
Most of the work is done in the planning phase so that writing the actual newsletter is a breeze... And the good news is that you only need to do the planning once.
STEP 8 – Promote your newsletter
Social media, for instance, is the perfect place to promote your free offerings, including your newsletter. Make sure that people know about it.
STEP 9 – Differentiate Your Newsletter From Solo Emails
Your newsletter might contain several links (a link to your blog, a link to a page with a promotion, a link to a free gift, etc) so your promotions might be buried and not easily found. What’s the solution?
Send separate emails when you are running a promotion. Solo emails have one purpose and one purpose only: to invite your reader to free events or paid programs and services.
HOT TIP – Master the balance of free content and promotions. You don’t want to send emails every day pitching your stuff AND you also need to remember that the times of the year when you’re running promotions, you will need to send several emails because people don’t open and read all your emails, no matter how much they love you.
NEXT STEP – Schedule time to plan your newsletter TODAY and let me know about it so that I can be among your first subscribers!
To your online marketing success,