Where did you learn your marketing? School or streets? TV or Web? Have you studied copywriters (many of whom were schooled to write direct marketing sales letters)? Or maybe you read some books like the classics from Claude Hopkins, David Olgivy?
I know some Internet peeps who, by copying Web gurus, and with luck and being in the right place at the right time with the right tools, wrote compelling content with irrestistable offers, and made a bundle.
But most of us, even if we've read the books and studied marketing in college, have to figure much of it out for ourselves as it applies to our niche business on the Internet. This means finding out what others are doing, and learning which Web tools are appropriate and effective.
It boils down to this:
- It doesn't matter what size your business is (solo entrepreneur, small, mid-size, or large corporation)
- It doesn't matter if you have a marketing budget or what size it is
- It doesn't matter if you are your own marketing department, or you have someone in it, or a whole group of dedicated professionals do your marketing for you
You must do Internet marketing to get found, get leads, get sales, and get profitable. The problem lies in the fact that some of us don't like writing or marketing, and we don't spend sufficient time doing it or learning to do it right. What's right is what works.
All marketing involves writing. Content. Copywriting. The quality of your writing will drive the results of your content marketing. So, what are you gonna do about this?
Where You Gonna Go?
It's all about connecting with people, isn't it? You can't connect without words. And where you gonna go to publish good words that attract the right people to your business? TV? Billboards? Newspapers? I don't think so…. the Web, of course.
Who You Gonna Call?
Wouldn't it be nice if you could get a freelancer to write your content for you, you know, one of those overseas writers who charge $5/hour? Well, good luck.
Unless you've got a budget to hire a journalist (and there are some good ones out there who'd be happy, I'm sure) or use content matching services like Joe Pulizzi's Junta42 Service, you're going to have to write for your business.
You Are Your Own Best Writer and Marketer
Which means you're going to have to learn how to blog, how to use Twitter, etc. Which means you're going to have to be smart about where you use your time, energy and money for all these marketing tasks.
Which Marketing School is Best?
I've talked before about my own learning path as I transitioned from journalist to psychologist, to newsletter writer, and how I had to learn how to market my business using the Internet back in 1999.
I didn't have a clue. My idea of marketing was printing up a tri-fold brochure, going to a Chamber of Commerce meeting, an industry trade show and taking out a Yellow Pages ad.
The problem was there weren't any members of my targeted audience hanging out in those places. Nor were they coming to my website, which was an online version of the brochures I spent $8,000 printing up.
Here are the various schools of marketing I've subscribed to along the way:
- Throw money at the problem (example above)
- Speak, meet and greet (all those networking breakfasts and rubber chicken lunches)
- Print and mail (ouch, that was expensive!)
I've written previously about my various marketing philosophies:
- The Spaghetti Method: what sticks
- SMTM: Show me the money
- KISS: Keep it simple, sweetie
- ASP: Attract, Sell and Profit
"Attract, Sell and Profit" Marketing
By far, using the Internet to attract the right people to you is the most effective marketing tool. And blogging is the best strategy. If you haven't downloaded and read Content Marketing with Blogs, do so now. It's got the 4 keys to getting results with your blog.
I say this because blogging and social media tools are really effective ways to attract the right people.
Who are the 'right people?' Those are the people who have problems, the very problems that you solve.
Which gives me an idea for a series of 3 blog posts, one each for Attract, Sell and Profit. It's in the tag line of this blog, and I can't believe I haven't written more about each of these points.
There's a lot that goes into each one of these concepts:
Attract: This concept could be called "birds of a feather" marketing, because it's all about defining and targeting the 'right' people, finding them, and cultivating quality relationships with them.
Sell: All about getting readers to take action, from the point of feeling good and thinking about something, all the way to handing over money in exchange for high perceived value. This is "call to action" marketing.
Profit: This is about saving time, money and energy. You can't run a profitable business without using the right tools at the right prices. How do you keep more of the money clients give to you?
Oh, I'm curious. What's been your most expensive marketing tactic? Which has paid off the best for you? For me, it's been blogging. That's my major source of clients. You?