When thinking about how to market your business, the options can seem almost endless. Between the constant wave of information about when and how to post to social media, blogging, automated marketing, providing excellent customer service, plus the many other facets to go into building a strong brand, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
So where do you start? What should you do?
Don’t get discouraged, becoming a proficient marketer can easily be broken into smaller, more manageable steps.
Marketing your business is much like starting any new habit. It requires intent, purpose, and discipline.
I once heard a great phrase about staying motivated to working out:
Put your workout clothes on and then decide if you are going to work out or not. Don’t make a decision until you’re dressed and see what happens.
Just Drive To The Gym
Just like when you commit (or re-commit) to bettering yourself through physical exercise, starting your marketing (or re-starting your marketing) begins with a number of small steps which result in big gains.
Recently, I assigned two new clients a very simple homework project: write a blog.
This is equivalent to just driving to the gym. I told them that I do not need them to sign up for a lifelong membership, nor do I expect them to work out, what I really want them to do is get up and take the first step.
A blog is the epicenter for any well-grounded marketing plan. When getting started, don’t overthink what needs to be included. We can focus on how many links you should have, how long it should be, or even the exact title later. More importantly is just getting started.
We will always polish, refine, and improve over time. But, if you get wrapped up in the details, you will lose sight of the end goal and likely become discouraged.
Just drive to the gym (just write something).
It’s About The Story
The core of blogging is to simply tell a story. Think about your recent interaction with the customer. Write it down.
Blogging really is a simple concept. Share experiences, share stories, share connections, and share knowledge.
Brands who embrace quality storytelling, will excel in relational marketing. That is, true connections with customers and potential customers, which quickly results in them becoming brand advocates.
The Hardest Part Is Over
Congratulations! You have finished the hardest part.
I’m not kidding, look over what you have accomplished. You started and you have something to show for it. Just like going to the gym, you can enjoy the rush of endorphins, or the “runner’s high”, that comes with completing something.
Overnight Success … in 30, 60, or 90 Days
We live in a culture of instant gratification. The problem comes when we, as marketers/business owners/entrepreneurs/designers/artists accomplish something (like publishing our blog), we expect instant results. I promise you, you will be disappointed the first time you publish your blog and barely see a blip in new visitors to your website.
In fact, early on, even regularly blogging, will be slow to produce results. Why? Because search engines like Google heavily reward consistently published, quality content. Such rewards are reserved for those who have shown the dedication to publish regularly, even in the early, dry times.
Earlier, I said not to worry about the little details, at first. The most important part of any content creation (i.e. blogging) is the actual creation part. Now that you have your rough draft, go back and apply some of blogging’s best practices.
Give yourself a couple of bonus points if you included a strong introduction, a strong call to action at the end, bullet points, an idea of the exact customer you were writing to, and real-life examples.
Other Blogging Best Practices Include:
- Use headings, bullet points, lists, and block quotes
- Write posts in varying lengths (Short posts are about 500 words and long posts can be 2500+ words)
- Use images that support your post and are shareable on social platforms
- Create a conversation (Use words like “You” and “I”)
- Include guest authors, staff members, and partners
- Always have a conclusion to summarize your post
- Build a community around your readers
- Pick an easy-to-read font and size
- Always include a Call-to-Action
- Collect email addresses
- Show your personality
- Be consistent
Keeping Yourself Accountable
I strongly encourage you to find someone that will keep you accountable of your blogging. It is easy to put it off or find other tasks to keep you busy. In the end, this does not help you. Each blog post that you publish is ultimately an entry point for a potential customer; the longer you delay, the fewer “doors” that customer has to walk through.
Whether it is a teammate, co-working, spouse, mentor, or marketing department, find someone who will help you stay on track and keep you focused on your original goal.
Effect of Blogging
Some may argue the actual value and benefit to blogging. Earlier, I mentioned my two new clients and their start to publishing blogs on their sites. Here is the benefit they have seen:
And I don’t think I need to point out when the blog was posted:
Blogging is an excellent way to drive new visitors to your website and keep your existing customers coming back. But getting started is very difficult and the pay off is delayed. By starting now, you can get a drop on your competition and use time to your advantage. Commit to just writing something, then go polish it using our best practices for blogging. Finally, hold yourself accountable until you see the results that are quite possible.
If you would like help, or need help keeping yourself accountable, I would love to help. Drop me a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss your goals.