You know the old saying about throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks? I've never understood why you would throw it in the first place, or what you do with it afterwards, yet some very smart professionals are using this as their content marketing strategy.
They've got a Facebook page, they Twitter for hours, they post on their blog (but not often enough), they're collecting subscribers with a form on their website (but they haven't actually sent out a newsletter just yet.)
You know what else I see people doing? They follow certain people on the Web they admire, take their teleseminars, but never act on the very advice they've paid too much money to listen to. After a year they get burned out and disenchanted with their gurus, find new ones, and start throwing spaghetti against the wall again.
I don't mean to be negative, and I really do feel bad when I see this happen. Probably because I've done it myself. I know what it feels like to know you "should" be doing something for your marketing but you never get around to it.
For myself, having lived with my quirks for a few decades, I know what gets me into action and what can trigger procrastination. I don't know what works for you, but you need to figure out what will get you over your humps. For me, having a clear plan and a schedule works.
Stop waiting to know everything you need to know. It won't happen. They keep changing the way online marketing works all the time. Just get into action. Get rid of the spaghetti. Here's how to create a plan you can follow, just answer these questions.
- What problem do I solve?
- Who needs to know what I know?
- Where do these people go online to find information or to be entertained?
- How can I connect my knowledge/experience/expertise with the hopes, fears, desires and objectives of my target market? (via Jonathan Kranz)
- How can I best "package" what I know? How will I brand myself?
- What domain name is available that coordinates with my brand?
- What's the best blogging platform for me, considering my computer skills?
- What are other people in this field writing about? How can I fit in, and stand out?
- What cornerstone content piece will I offer for free, to build a list?
- What keyword phrases do I want to focus on and be known for?
- Which social networking sites do I want to create a solid base with?
- What are my goals, and how will I know I'm on track? What are the measures of success?
- Which content marketing pieces will I use primarily? Secondarily?
- What is my editorial calendar and schedule like?
If you've already started your business and have an online presence, make sure you can answer these questions clearly. Writing them down will solidify your clarity.
A good content marketing plan will help you know if you're on track, what's working, what needs to be revised. Some of what you do will seem like "trial and error," but at least you'll be into action. You can revise while you move forward.
Hope this helps. I know for myself, just writing these questions down have helped me clarify for my own marketing plan. Let me know where you struggle with this, and what's stopping you from moving forward with your own content marketing plan.