Most business owners become overwhelmed with the amount of information and confused by the many choices and possibilities
So you have a website, email address, and you’re getting your newsletter out there (well, at least a little bit). You’ve been to seminars, bought information about how to promote your site, and you’re ready to implement.
You decide to start creating keywords for search engines. Then, someone tells you to do pay per click, ezine advertising, write articles, participate in discussion forums, start a blog, update your newsletter, write a sales letter, write a better headline, automate your mailing list, do joint ventures…Ack! This online marketing stuff is hard! Getting clients is the single most important thing you must do to grow your business. Having an Internet Strategy for marketing your products or services online can be the most powerful key to the business wealth kingdom – IF you do it right.
When choosing an internet strategy for the first time, most business owners become overwhelmed with the amount of information and confused by the many choices and possibilities to extend their business online. They do a little bit of work in one area, with little to no success, and then move on to the next, and the next, and so on, never achieving the results they want. Or worse, they ignore marketing completely and hope for the best – but the best never comes.
You DO NOT have to fall into that trap.
Have you ever found yourself in these situations?
• You can’t decide where to begin.
• You don’t know what to do.
• You aren’t sure how to put the pieces together.
• You have trouble staying motivated.
In order to set a solid foundation to create marketing results that work, the key is having a clearly defined strategy. What’s a strategy? In simple terms, a strategy is the direction you want to take. It forms the guidelines that help you decide what to do, when to do it and why it’s important.
Tactics, on the other hand, are the specific activities that you take after you’ve chosen a strategy. For example, say you decide to get more clients by participating in personal networking events. That’s a strategy – a direction. Choosing which events you want to attend, going to the event and handing out your business cards is a tactic.
Often, business owners are so busy trying to implement the latest and greatest tactic that they’ve heard or learned about, that they lose sight of where that tactic fits in helping them grow their business. This can result in increased overwhelm, frustration with unfamiliar technology, impatience with outsourcing and in the end, NO RESULTS. In order to avoid the no results trap, I’m going to share with you some simple methods for helping you choose the right strategies and tactics for you.
1. Ask yourself “What Do You Want”?
I call these the four words that will move you forward. Most people will say “more sales”, which of course, is the ultimate result of your marketing efforts. Before you dive into the specifics of any marketing campaign, you must know first exactly what you want to accomplish with your efforts. There are 3 major results you will receive with your marketing:
1. Visibility – Visibility is getting your company or product name out there to your marketing. One of the best ways to get visibility is simply to advertise. You can advertise in online or offline publications that are read by your target market – the people who will want to buy your company’s product.
2. Credibility – To get credibility, one must get an endorsement by another person or company. This result is most useful for
independent service professionals who need to be known as an expert to get clients. Credibility can be easily produced through
writing articles, speaking or press releases.
3. One-To-One Connection– Once you have prospects or customers, you will want to keep them up to date and informed of your products and services. This can be done in the form of a simple thank note, or in a more broad sense through the use of technology such as newsletters. One-on-one connection builds and maintains relationships with your prospects so when they are ready to buy, they come to you.
Choose your results first.
2. Pick your strategies
Now that you know the results you want, you can go about choosing a strategy that will get you to those results. When choosing an Internet Marketing Strategy, there are basically six strategies you can implement, all which have multiple tactics. Not all
strategies are necessarily online. As a matter of fact, our studies have shown that a combination of one and off-line strategies is most effective.
Here are the six strategies for an Internet Marketing Plan:
1. Direct Communication: Making personal contact with prospects and customers
2. Social/Online Networking: Creating a pool of contacts to share ideas and referrals
3. Writing & Publicity: Becoming an expert in a subject matter
4. Speaking: Leading a group in a particular subject matter
5. Coopetition: Cooperative competition with other businesses
6. Advertising: Placing ads in popular media
Here are the results you will get when you choose a particular strategy
• Direct Communication – Connection
• Social/Online Networking – Connection/Visibility
• Writing & Publicity – Credibility/Visibility
• Speaking – Credibility/Visibility
• Coopetition – Visibility
• Advertising – Visibility
3. Choose your tactics
Once you’ve chosen a strategy to achieve a particular end result, NOW you can start thinking about tactics. Doesn’t this feel great? No more wondering “should I do pay per click, search engine optimization or send out a newsletter?” Here are a few examples of the tactics you might choose for each strategy:
Tactics for Direction Communication – Personalized Email, Newsletters, Lunch, In-person Appointments.
Tactics for Social/Online Networking –Newsgroups, B2B Networking Groups, Attending Seminars, Trade or Association Meetings
Tactics for Writing & Publicity – Articles, Editorials, Columns, Press Releases Tactics for Speaking – Teleclasses, Live Presentations, Be a Host
Tactics for Coopetition – Joint Ventures, Affiliate Programs
Tactics for Advertising – Ezines, Banner Ads, Pay Per Click, Google Adwords, Google Adsense
Would you go on a roadtrip without a plan? Of couse not!
You would start with a clearly defined route so you knew that you would get to where you want to go with the greatest success possible. Sadly, that is not how most people work on the Internet. By choosing your end result first, and the specific strategies and tactics you need to achieve that result, you now can have a fast-paced marketing cycle working for you day and night. Attracting those customers and making sales. Now we’re talking marketing success!
Stephanie Frank, in demand behavior expert and Best Selling Author of The Accidental Millionaire, helps people intentionally master their lives so they can enjoy more of everything – time, money, laughter and love. Stephanie has helped thousands of individuals and organizations around the world be more efficient, productive and streamlined so they can get more of what they want, faster than ever. She has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company Magazine, SelfGrowth.com, Fox News and hundreds of other media outlets. For a FREE digital copy of The Accidental Millionaire, visit