- a blog
- social media
- a website with a free offer
- an email newsletter (ezine)
You may have all of these ingredients, but unless you have two binding elements, your recipe won’t come together. What are they?
You need to fully inject your delightful uniqueness into the process, and if you want reliable results, you’ll want to be active on your blog and social media, and delivering your ezine regularly, all driving traffic to your free giveaway.
Let’s dig in a little deeper into the each of the first 4 parts of your marketing strategy, and then we’ll get to the glue that binds those together.
Part 1 – Your Blog
A website is just an online brochure unless you have a blog. The search engines won’t bring traffic to your site unless you inject new, relevant, useful content on a regular basis.
You’ll want an up-to-date website that utilizes the full size of the screen your audience is using be that a smart phone, tablet, or desktop. You’ll want current professional images of yourself that invite your audience to learn more about you and how you can help them.
Showcase your expertise in regular blog posts, as often as you can. Once every two weeks is the minimum, in my opinion. With each blog post, have the post be a standalone page that includes your picture, a short bio, and an invitation to take action, such as learning more via a free offer.
You don’t have to write the blog posts yourself — you can have a VA assist you — but consider being the one coming up with the topic idea and bullet points relevant to your ideal client. Be sure to inject your voice into the piece.
You’ll want to select an eye-catching image to complement the post with an image size that’s easily sharable on social media (I use 600 x 314 pixels). Use SEO keywords with your post and image both.
Part 2 – Social Media
You don’t have to be everywhere in social media. Choose the platforms that resonate with you, a place where you are comfortable interacting and sharing. Aspire to share from 5 times per week up to 2-3 times a day depending on how large your audience is (bigger audience = more shares).
Provide a variety of posts such as:
- Relevant blog posts your audience can learn from
- Inspirational images or quotes
- Engaging questions to get your fans and followers involved
- Your blog posts (okay to share more than once)
- Promotional posts, which include your free offer (we’ll get to that)
- A bit of personal information, behind the scenes aspects of your life
Here, you’re VA can save you hours of time by curating this content, selecting engaging images to accompany it, and schedule it using free or low-cost tools (Hootsuite, Buffer, Facebook scheduling).
What’s the ROI on social media? You can check out my SlideShare here. Even if your social media doesn’t lead directly to a sale, it showcases your expertise (by sharing those blog posts you created), creates a relationship with your audience, and it elevates your brand so people know what you do and how you do it.
Remember to be an integral part of your social media. Be the one to “heart” tweets, retweet, and thank your followers– just a few minutes a day. Be the one who likes Facebook posts, thanks your fans and comments back including you fan’s name. These small actions make lasting impressions.
(Just for fun, this is the Adobe Spark video that I created in 15 minutes to drive traffic to this blog post.)
Part 3: Your Free Offer
Do you have an irresistible free offer on your website in order to grow your list? If not, you really want that. Just think, you can give people an excellent sample of your expertise, personality, and have them be grateful for what you’ve given them. In exchange, you get their email address — a fair trade.
What form might your free offer take? Here are a few ideas:
- An instructional video or video series
- A how-to email series
- A cheat sheet
- An ebook
- Chapters of a book, or an entire book
- An assessment or quiz with results
- A webinar
Nowadays, people are a tad resistant to give up their email address. (Check out my blog post about what it takes to get an email address.) Don’t be deterred, though, because there’s a super easy solution to this challenge. Make your free offer so valuable, so easy to understand, and just the answer to your potential clients’ problems that they will be eager to sign up!
Part 4: Your Email Newsletter (Ezine)
The best way to actually make sales with potential customers is via your email marketing. With each email to your community, you’re enhancing your brand and providing them with valuable content to nourish the relationship. If you provide what they truly need to advance their business, they’ll prefer to buy from someone they “know” — you!
You want your list to welcome your ezine in their email box because it provides information that they really need, such as how to do something. Entice them to your blog and website for the full scoop.
Use your ezine to promote your free trainings, such as your webinars. Then, on your webinar you can have a short commercial to your paid product, service, or more robust training, for example.
Let your contact list know that they’re special! For example, if you have a new product coming out, give them a special discount not available anywhere else.
Part 5: You
Now you have the parts to your marketing system: blog, social media, free offer, and ezine in place. The first “binding element,” as I call it, is YOU. You want your voice to be coming through everywhere because that’s your brand. That’s what attracted people to you and your business in the first place. I urge you to instill your voice in your blog, be present for the personal aspects of your social media, and bring your uniqueness to your ezine and free offer. Your clients will see it and feel it. There are many others offering the same services, but there is only one YOU.
Part 6: Consistency
The second binding ingredient is consistency, and without it, your community will forget you.
I have a favorite marketing quote, and I knew it the second that I laid eyes on it that it was brilliant. I was reading C.J. Hayden’s “Get Clients Now” (a timeless book, by the way), and on page 107 of my 2007 edition, it reads:
“Thought for the day: Jay Conrad Levinson, author of Guerrilla Marketing series, often says the following when asked about his work: ‘I hate to admit this, but mediocre marketing with commitment works better than brilliant marketing without commitment.’”
Being consistent with all of this can be challenging. Ask yourself, how are you consistent with anything?
For me, first I have to truly believe that what I’m doing is important, and secondly, I need to schedule it in and make it a habit. By placing something on my calendar and giving it a realistic time slot, the task is more likely to get done.
What works for you? Do you agree that marketing throughout the year is vital for your business success?
If you find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day, then consider hiring a VA to help you:
- get that blog post written and posted
- select that perfect image
- curate & create social media shares
- be consistent with your promotions
- write, format, and schedule your ezine
- create a marketing calendar for you to stay on track
Being consistent reinforces your brand with your audiences. It builds trust around your expertise and demonstrates that you’ll be there to help them in a reliable way.
How about you? Are you consistent with your blog, social media, and ezine? Do you currently work on your own or with a VA? If you need some help with that, you can reach out to me here. :-)
Kristy Schnabel of It’s Virtually Done is a social media & online marketing strategist who helps entrepreneurs with quick & easy social media strategies to boost their business. She’s been profitable online for 11+ years and relishes helping others master new technologies. When she’s not online, you can find her swimming miles for her next open water swim vacation, hiking in the forest with her dog, Aubrey, or walking at the Oregon Coast with her husband Larry.