Apart from some early mistakes where I attempted to advertise my coaching business, I have only ever marketed my business online. This is mostly all I know and it does seem relatively inexpensive to me in terms of the money you have to spend. You need a good website, yes, you do. And you need a blog on that website.
You need to invite people to opt in to your list while visiting your website, giving you permission to market to them until they’ve heard enough from you and are ready to buy or until they have ascertained you are not a good match for them and they unsubscribe. That’s where your newsletter comes in; where you write to them regularly, keeping them warm and engaged with lots of great information which they can use whether or not they buy anything from you.
And then you want to be blogging three times a week and making good use of social media. Again, make your focus outwards to your potential clients, write to your ideal client.
These online marketing activities are relatively low cost and can be kept that way but they may be very expensive in your time, which isn’t free but seems that way to you when you are starting out in business.
There are other things you can do on a blog if you don’t like the written word, you can blog via video if you have a webcam and know how to do that or decide to learn, or via audio if you prefer the spoken word. And you can send people links to your audio and video content in your newsletter and on your social media channels.
If I were starting out now and I didn’t have any money at all in my budget, I could do a great deal using Facebook as my website. For business owners who sell sessions of their skills, and are not geographically restricted, the World Wide Web is our marketplace. That’s nearly seven billion men, women and children and only a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage of those will keep you in business.
That’s all you need; that’s how easy this is.
And an awful lot of them are on Facebook at last count, about a billion at least. So have a snoop around Facebook and see how easy it is to make friends and start conversations and relationships and showcase your expertise. That costs nothing at all and can act as your website until such time as you choose to make that investment.
But before you start any of that, think about these things:
- Who actually buys your services?
- Are they primarily men/women/in a particular job role or facing a particular issue?
- How did your existing customers hear about you and where do they hang out, on and offline?
- Are you UK based, or could you offer a global service online?
- What are the sorts of challenges your customers face – the headaches they come to you with?
- What problems can you resolve for them and what are the advantages of working with you?
That gives you some idea what you can be writing and blogging and talking about in your social media and on Facebook. Don’t come right out with it first, get a picture of that ideal client in your mind, the one who needs your product or service and write and speak to them, educate them, showcase your expertise and how you can help. But specifically make it all about them, not about you. Seek first to form relationships and share what you know for the benefit of your market.
In time – and it doesn’t happen overnight – they will want to pay you to do something for them, make them better, solve their problems, ease their pain.