By 9pm my hair was still tied up from 14 hours earlier when I schlepped myself out of bed..
But by this point it had less of an effortlessly messy-sexy-cute thing going on, and more one of a lifeless Pomeranian.
I had been sitting in the same chair for hours on end, only getting up for the most essential of basic human needs: bathroom and coffee breaks.
Yup. There wasn’t any time to play around – I had 11 ideas swirling around in my head about how I needed to market my business online, and even though my butt went numb an hour and a half earlier, I was determined to get everything done NOW.
I had to just figure out how to make it all happen.
Well, by 9pm it all came crashing down.
My boyfriend came home from work to find piles of note-scribbled paper, notebooks, pens, 2 laptops, cords, and chargers strewn across the living room floor, and buried in the middle of it all was Pomeranian-head little me, in my sweatpants – ugly-crying.
If you don’t know, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
Not pretty. Not endearing.
Big mouthed, squinty-eyed, red-faced, crying.
I hit my wall. I was so overwhelmed trying to figure out how to do everything to market my business online, and felt like I had to make it all work at once.
And as you might be able to tell by now, trying to do 11 things at once doesn’t work.
God bless my boyfriend. He helped me see I had to just take things one step at a time, and make a plan to knock them out one by one.
It was a hard lesson for me to learn when I was starting out in my business, but it was actually a huge turning point. I made a conscious decision to quit over-complicating things for myself, the same way I had been doing for my clients, and I had to start practicing what I preached.
Maybe you’ve got a ton of ideas swirling around your head and you’re overwhelmed with where to even start when it comes to marketing your business online.
Or maybe you’re tired of trying to figure it all out yourself. You end up second-guessing yourself and running in circles only to get nothing done.
Welp, I made something I wish I had back then, and it’ll save you from marketing meltdowns (and save your loved ones from the horrors my boyfriend had to endure…)
It’s my Online Marketing Strategizer: 7 stress-free steps to a doable marketing strategy.
(#bizhack: if you ever struggle to name something, just make up a word and use it)
It’s a tool to help you map out your online marketing strategies into easy-to-do steps, so you know exactly what you have to do to get where you want to be in your business, and goes right along with this post.
1. Your Goals
KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING
Having business goals in place can seem simple enough, or even cheesy to some people. But the reality is, you have to know where you want to end up to know where you should be going!
So when it comes to your goals, don’t just write down something like, „Get more clients.“ Make it super specific. Assign your goals with number values and time frames.
For example, „5 new clients at $1,200 each by the end of August 2017“, or „grow my email list by 200 subscribers in the next 3 months.“
That way you can work backwards and break things down to figure out what it takes to one new client, or 50 new email list subscribers. Once you can do it in smaller chunks, you can replicate your process to achieve the bigger goal. Makes sense, right? 🙂
When it comes to marketing your business online, what’s working well right now?
What kinds of things are giving you the best returns on your time and energy?
Maybe you’ve started to use Facebook more and more and have gained a following fairly easily, and people are engaging with your business page daily, or each time you post.
Or maybe you’ve created an awesome opt-in freebie and put it up on your website, and now you’re growing your email list automatically.
Take a look at the things that are working best for your business right now, and see how you can dive even deeper, and expand that marketing strategy to make work even harder for your business.
What’s Not Working?
Ever come home with new clothes from a great shopping trip and all you want to do is wear everything you just bought? Then maybe you know what happens when you take one look at that dreadful closet that somehow survived the pre-shopping trip era: you want to burn it down.
You wonder how you ever managed to wear all these hideous things. Ugh. NO. They are so NOT your cool, new, edgier style you adopted as of an hour and a half ago.
I’m kidding, (sorta) but you get the idea.
Now that you know what marketing efforts are really working well for your business, you’ll probably know exactly what you need to cut right now.
Maybe you’re spending way too much time planning Instagram posts and doing research to grow your following, but you realize that you’re actually not getting a lot of clicks to your website from there. Knowing this can help you spend more time doing things with a bigger return on your time and energy, and maybe even the things you love doing more anyway.
WHO IS IT FOR?
A huge factor when it comes to marketing your business online is knowing who it is you’re marketing to. You’ve got to know who you want to target and why, otherwise your marketing message is just going to be lost in the sea of sad online marketing attempts – a mysterious place where so many go, but so few come back from. (Ya like that one?)
So start by describing your audience/clients.
What Do They Do, and What Type of People are They?
I’m quietly protesting the phrase, “Ideal Client” and I’m not going to tell you to visualize what they ate for breakfast and what kind of wild animal they resonate with most.
Hey, there’s a lot of weird advice out there. It can get weird.
Instead, just know the relevant pieces of what you need to know when it comes to targeting those people in your marketing. I like to start with your current audience/clients, because you can attract more of the same people who will want to work with you.
If you’re not sure how to describe them, here are a few questions to help:
- Are they male, female, married, single?
- Where do they live?
- What’s their age range?
- What do they do for work or business?
- What kind of industry?
What Problems Do You Help Them Overcome, or Solve?
Here’s where we start to dive in with your marketing message. We’ll come back to this more in a couple steps to nail down your message.
List out the reasons why your clients come to you for help.
What issues or problems do they need your help with?
When you take these answers and weave them into your marketing, you’ll connect with your audience on a deeper level and hit on those emotional hot buttons.
Why do you want to hit on emotional hot buttons, you ask?
Well, the simple answer is that people want to move away from their pain and frustrations, and they go online to search for answers and solutions.
So if you can articulate a problem or frustration they’re currently experiencing, you’ll catch their attention, and spark intrigue.
Which brings me to the next part of this equation:
What Solution(s) Do You Offer to Fix Their Problem(s)?
When you can articulate their pain and your audience feels like you “get” them, they’ll connect you with having the perfect solution to that issue.
If you haven’t already, start thinking about what you want to offer people – what you want to ultimately sell. Why?
Well, if you’re going to be marketing a free offer initially, like a strategy session, a consultation, a freebie, or even a quote – no matter what it is, it should always tie in with what you’ll be selling later on, whether that’s a service, digital products like a course, whatever it may be.
Your initial offer should be the starting point of their value-filled journey with you that ends with your paid offer, which is why I’m a big fan of starting at the end, and working backward.
Alright, so now we’ll expand on this and dive deep.
WHAT WILL YOU OFFER?
What Do You Want People to Buy?
What do you ultimately want people to buy that will help them with the problems they’re having?
Is it a service/product you already offer to clients, or will it be a new service, product, course, etc.?
For example, if your goal on page 1 is to get 5 new clients, your offer could be a signature package or a new type of service.
What’s the First Step?
What’s the first step people need to take on their path to ultimately buy from you?
Here are some ways people can become leads and/or buy from you:
(yes, I want you to pick one)
- Subscribe to your email list/newsletter
- Download an opt-in or freebie
- Inquire about your services
- Book a consultation or discovery call
- Buying digital products(e-books, courses, etc.)
- Buy physical products or goods
Pull in Prospects
Like I mentioned earlier, a great way to capture leads is to offer something of high value for free.
What can you offer your audience that could help them with the current problems they’re facing?
You can use this on your website, or give it to your current email list.
It can can be anything from a checklist, e-book, guide, etc., to an audio recording or training.
WHAT’S YOUR MESSAGE?
What Makes You Different?
What makes you and your business truly unique?
Try not to include things like best customer service or price.
Instead, think about some things you do better/differently than others in your industry that benefits your clients.
Or you can think about what you stand against. I could go on hour-long rants about the things I see people pulling online find that drive me crazy, so it’s easier for me to know what makes me unique when I can cut out the things I’m not about.
Make it Matter
Why is this relevant and useful to your potential clients/target audience?
If you make your message about you and your business, it won’t have the same effect for your readers.
But if you position your value through your marketing message by making it about your audience, you’ll pull them into your brand’s purpose and create connection.
Marketing Message Formula
Here’s an easy way to craft your marketing message.
„If you’re [insert problem], then this[offer] will [insert desires]”
Problems & Frustrations
What are they currently experiencing that they want to get away from?
+ Your Valuable Offering
(Free or Paid)
+ Desires & Promise
What they want to have, or where they
want to be, that connects with the big promise/result of your offer.
WHAT’S THE APPROACH?
Now that we’ve got the key pieces in place we can start to map out a killer marketing strategy to get your business and your offer seen online.
Because after all, we can map out the most brilliant marketing strategy in place, but it’ll fall flat on its pretty lil‘ face if it never gets in front of the right people.
This is when the magic really happens!
When you know exactly who you’re speaking to and get your message out there in front of those people, your marketing starts to do the heavy lifting for you.
You’ve nailed your message and created an amazing offer, and the people who need it most are not only seeing it, but they’re engaging with you and taking action.
Whether your offer is a free download, a consultation, or service, you’ll see your audience begin to expand, your email list start to grow (with the right kind of subscribers) by the dozens, and your sales start to climb like never before.
Let’s find your people.
Where Does Your Audience Hang Out Online?
Which platforms do they use regularly?
Are they using social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)?
Are they on forums like Quora or Reddit?
What websites do they visit regularly?
Once you know where your audience is hanging out, you can go straight to them and show up where they need you most.
Choose Your Channels
Knowing where your future raving fans and customers are hanging out online is crucial, and now we’re going to devise a plan for you to actually wind up there.
What marketing channels will you use to connect with, and get in front of your audience?
Social media marketing (Facebook ads,social media posts, etc.)
Content marketing (blog posts, videos, etc.)
Email marketing (opt-in, nurture relationship,sales emails)
Start with one main strategy you will use from your answers above.
For example, if you chose content marketing, then blogging would be a main strategy.
Don’t get overwhelmed and think you need to do everything at the same time.
That’s when you end up on the floor ugly-crying in yo’ sweats.
WHAT STEPS DO YOU NEED TO TAKE TO MAKE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY A SUCCESS?
After you’ve picked a strategy, break it down into tactics, or the steps needed to achieve your main strategy.
It sounds hard, but I actually think it’s kind of fun because it gives me so much clarity by seeing exactly what I need to do to make my marketing strategies successful, and ultimately my goals a reality. (#nerdalert)
Next we’ll take it even further and build out our tactics into the specific actions needed for each one.
Now you’ll build out your tactics into the specific actions you’ll take for each one like I showed you above.
The great thing about breaking your whole strategy down like this is that you can see exactly what needs to be done for each tactic, so you’ll know what’s working and/or what needs to be improved to get the results you want.
Not only that, but having everything documented like this can serve double-duty as a system in your business for the future! So if you want to replicate the same campaign, you’ll know exactly what to do, and you can delegate the action steps for someone else to work on!
Don’t you love when you can work smarter in your business? 🙂
The Big Idea
Even if you’re just starting out marketing your business online and have only done a little bit here and there…
Even if you usually get totally overwhelmed and think yourself in circles when it comes to figuring out what’s best for your business…
and even if you thought marketing your business online would be too complicated for you to figure out..
I hope you know now that you can absolutely hit those big business goals!
Just by breaking things down into bite-size pieces, everything becomes doable and more realistic.
Instead of sitting in piles of papers, wailing in our sweats, we’ve got a workable plan that we can knock out piece by piece, taking the right actions to reach our big goals.
That’s what it’s all about – knowing what you need to do to get where you want to be.
It really is that simple.
And you can absolutely do it!
PS: In order to stay up to date just like my Facebook page The Doan’s blog.