Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Category: Social media marketing (page 19 of 39)

Your blog and doing it your way!

When it comes to developing this blog, I don’t do a lot.

  • I don’t do guest blogging.  I’ve written just 1 guest blog post; when approached by John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, to help with American Small Business Week.
  • I don’t write a newsletter.  A growing list of thousands of people, already read this blog via email each day.
  • I don’t attend blog conferences.
  • I don’t use auto-responders.
  • I don’t use SEO software.
  • I don’t use landing page software, either.
  • I don’t use special commenting software.  I object to you having to give your details to some Internet start-up, in order for you to leave a comment here.

However, I do a few things too.

  • I show up here regularly and write.
  • I make my own rules.
  • I reply to every comment, where someone directs their comment to me or mentions me.
  • I write useful posts, rather than great posts.  I’d rather be useful, than a smartass!
  • I write independently.
  • I continuously strive to be of as much service to you as possible.

I am not saying that this is the way to develop a successful blog, because IT ISN’T!  It’s just an insight into my approach.

That’s my point!

Be cautious of anyone telling you that their way is the way or that you need to buy their stuff in order to succeed.  Both are factually incorrect.

Here’s a great place to start: Produce useful content and put it where people will see it.

Are you training people to ignore you?

Do you want your marketing to get noticed?  If you just answered yes, this quick tip may help you.

Did you know that if you send too many marketing messages to your prospective clients, you actually become LESS visible to them?  Being too noisy with your marketing, simply trains people to ignore you.  They switch off.

How to be ignored

Some common ways to train people to ignore you, include:

  • Emailing people with your special offers, too often.
  • Pestering people on Facebook with invites, etc.
  • Sending too many self promoting tweets out on Twitter.
  • Hassling people at networking events.

Just as you ignore pushy people like that, so do your prospective clients.  They learn to filter it out.  In short, the moment your marketing is seen as an intrusion, you’ve lost them!

The same is true if you send messages less frequently, but with repetitive content.  People switch off.  If they think they can guess the content of your message, they have no need to click on, read or open it.  Through kindness, they may still follow you on a social network or stay subscribed to your list, but they’re not listening any more.

A balanced approach

The balance is to send valuable information, with appropriate regularity, to people who want to receive it.

Tip: A great guide to follow if you want to gain or retain the attention of your marketplace, is to only send messages that are of such value, that people would miss them if you stopped.

Photo: eofstr

Attract the attention and respect of your marketplace, with this 1 simple idea!

Every time you follow the flock, you become a little more invisible.  Now, if you are trying to avoid being noticed, that’s a very useful tactic.  However, if you are a business owner seeking to attract the attention of your marketplace, it’s not such a wise move.

Fear as your compass

The more of your original self, which you incorporate into your marketing, the more visible you become.  The challenge here, is that it takes a lot of courage to be yourself and express your own opinions.  It’s far easier to do what the sheep do, by saying nothing original and adopting the beliefs and opinions of the rest of the flock.

In my experience, those who express themselves honestly and those who are too fearful to express what they believe, both use fear as their compass.  Where the difference comes, is in the way they navigate with that compass.

  • Those who feel the need to; join the tribes, use the buzz words, offer “me too” opinions, follow the gurus and express only what they believe will not be challenged, use the fear as a control to stop them expressing their unique opinions.
  • Those who lead the tribes, are copied and respected by the gurus and who express our true opinions, use the fear as confirmation to proceed and do work that matters.

In every case, my greatest victories came when I felt the fear and did it anyway:

  • Setting up my business.
  • Resetting my Twitter account to zero in February 2009, when I was one of the top 50 most followed people in the world on Twitter.
  • Deciding to leave London and move to a beautiful village in the countryside, leaving a great, 6 figure marketing business behind me.
  • … You get the picture.

Your compass.  Your choice

If you believe something you want to do or say is right, yet you are worried that people may disagree with you or question you, you have 2 options.  You can either pull back and get in line with the sheep or you can use that fear as a compass, to guide you into your own unique position in the marketplace.

If you lack visibility right now, I strongly suggest you consider the second of those options.  It might just be that turning point you have been searching for!

More engagement and more fun too!

How do you invest your time, when connecting with people online or publishing content?

I ask this, as over the past week, I made a few minor adjustments to the way I spend my time, which I would like to share with you.  The end result has been extremely valuable and a lot of fun too!

Over the past 7 days, I have probably connected with more people, than in any 1 week period since I started using the ‘net back in 1994.

Here’s what I have been doing

What I did, was to adjust the way I invest my time, so that rather than using it primarily to develop content for this site, I spread it more evenly across a few other activities.

So, as well as writing here, I have really enjoyed blogging for my other site; Internet Marketing Jam.   I also connected with more and more great people over on Google+.  In addition, I have been commenting on other people’s blogs a lot more too; something I love to do, but have not had time for in ages.

I will work on improving my spread of activities again next week…. and the week after.

Photo: zoutedrop

How to get your prospective client’s attention

If you want to earn the attention of your marketplace, you need to give them something important to focus on.  Here’s the thing.  They will only focus on what’s important to them, not what’s important to you.

convert traffic, convert readersA lot of marketing tends to do the complete opposite and focus on the provider, rather than the prospective client.  We see lots of broadcasting about how great they are, how great their service is yet very little emphasis placed on solving the specific challenges facing their prospective clients.

That’s the wrong balance.

Earned attention

Broadcasting your special offers will never earn you the attention of your marketplace.  The key word there is earn.  You earn people’s attention by delivering them-focused information – Information that is all about helping them.  My focus here, for example, is to deliver as much useful marketing and business development information to as many small business owners as possible.  I don’t write post after post about me and what I want from MY business.  I know that people come here for answers and ideas, so that’s what I work hard to provide.

By focusing on the needs of my readers, you connect with me and allow me to be a part of their business development.  A subset of you will hire me, without me emailing you with “special offers”.  There’s real magic there.

How can you earn the attention of your marketplace?

Give! Give them as much genuinely useful information and help as you can.  Then give them even more.  Help them solve problems, so they learn to regard (position) you as the go-to person in your industry.  This takes time rather than money; creativity rather than force.  Connect with people.  Educate, don’t sell.

Get this process right and it changes everything.  You start attracting qualified, high quality inquiries from people who already know you are a specialist in your field.  It’s one of the most enjoyable, profitable and professional ways to grow a business.

Reaching out

What do you currently do, which reaches out to your prospective clients and helps them?  What could you be doing to reach them and connect?

Share your experiences or questions with a comment!

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Photo: Nina Matthews Photography

Google+ Not me too!

A lot of people have asked me if I will be writing a review post this weekend, about the new Google+ service.  I managed to get an invite on day 3 of the pre launch and have been very impressed with it.  However, this early on, all anyone can say for certain is that it looks interesting.  You can join me on Google+ here.

But no, I am not going to review Google+

Here’s why!

There are already hundreds of posts written about Google+ saying almost the same thing.  For me to simply add to that noise would be of no value.  I spent 30 minutes this morning, reading 10 posts about Google+.  If you had read any one of those posts, you would have had no need to read the other 9. They all offered a very similar breakdown of all the key features and then the blogger either said it would fly, or flop.  That’s all anyone can say now.  None of the posts I read offered anything original; just comparisons to Facebook etc, lists of features and what’s great and what they think is missing from the product.

Me too posts

I try and avoid writing what are called me too posts.  Me too posts tend to be very similar (hence the name) and I believe that my posts should offer you something original or at least an original view point.  Anything I wrote today would have been me too. That kind of review post is great for news blogs (and Google+ IS big news).  I see little point, however, in me too saying that Google+ rocks or sucks and telling you what the features are, yet with no user data or ‘stats, that’s about as deep as anyone can go, today.  Plus, that post has already been written hundreds of times in the past 24 hours.

Of course, any posts written today will also be inaccurate and outdated extremely quickly, as the Google+ team are rolling out changes very fast right now.  I have already seen one big change in the past 12 hours alone, (which those reviewers all missed.)

Over the coming weeks, as more people are invited to join (it’s mainly geeks and early adopters now), we will start seeing some worthwhile data.  We will also get an idea as to how fast (or slow) Google+ is growing.

I will be talking about Google+ in the near future, but not until opinions can be formed on facts and hard data (rather than guesses and first looks).

If you are using Google+ I’d love you to connect with me here.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Blogging: Seth Godin and I are doing it wrong!

According to just about every blogging expert out there, I’m doing it all wrong.  But that’s fine with me.  Apparently, Seth Godin is doing it all wrong too.  It turns out that when it comes to blogging, Seth and I are as clueless as our heads are hairless.

What I discovered whilst ruining this blog

Although I’m doing it all wrong, here’s what I’ve discovered; whilst building a daily readership of thousands and making a six figure income from this blog:

  • Your blog posts do not need to be lengthy.
  • You don’t need to use video on your blog.
  • You don’t need to offer a “weekly round-up” of your posts every weekend.  It’s perfectly fine to write something original or post nothing at all.
  • You don’t need to review every piece of crap that’s sent to you.
  • You don’t need to be an associated blogger.  It’s fine to be independent; plus you look less like a sheep when you are not part of a flock.
  • Your posts do not need to be Search Engine Optimized every time or even most of the time.
  • You don’t need a complicated commenting policy or special commenting software.  Seth doesn’t even have comments.
  • You don’t need to spend a fortune on blog design.
  • You don’t need to write a newsletter, just because other bloggers do. (In fact, it’s best NOT to do anything, just because other bloggers do.)
  • You don’t need to use SEO software, to help you write your posts.
  • You do not need to use guest bloggers.
  • You don’t need to drop the F bomb or be deliberately confrontational, in order to stand out.
  • You DO need to find out what works for you, based on what you want to achieve; then do it YOUR way.

Tip: It’s probably NOT going to help you, if you follow the pack.  If your current approach to blogging isn’t working, dump it and consider breaking a few rules.

Me?  I’m going to look for more and more rules to break and more ways to do it wrong.

Why?  Because each time I do, something wonderful happens.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

How to kill your business!

A key factor in every failing business I have ever studied, is that the business owner dabbles.

Rather than get the professional help they need, they decide to crush their chances of success, by dabbling with their marketing.

Some common examples include:

  • People dabble with promotional offers: They make unattractive offers, to the wrong people, at the wrong time, using the wrong message and the wrong medium.
  • People dabble with social networking: They set up accounts, usually on too many social networks and then copy what they see other people doing.  They spread themselves too thinly and have no effective strategy.  As a result, they miss all the great opportunities.
  • People dabble with blogging: They set up a blog, with no clear idea of what they want to achieve.  They then fill their blog with “me too” posts (posts that simply repeat what millions of other people are saying) and then quit after a few months, because (it) didn’t work.
  • People dabble with email marketing: They buy a list or add people to a list (without their consent), and email them sales messages.  They waste months angering people with unwanted email, that the recipients never requested, and wonder why it didn’t work.
  • People dabble with advertising: They place the wrong message, in the wrong area of the wrong publication, at the wrong time.  They use the wrong typography, the wrong call to action and then proclaim; “advertising doesn’t work!”
  • People dabble with mail shots: They send a marketing letter, written usually by themselves rather than a copywriter (to save money), to a list they bought or built from contact data they found.  The mixture of amateur copywriting, bad targeting and no compelling reason for the reader to do anything, makes this a total waste of time.

Then there are enlightened small business owners

These business owners decide to build a successful business, so they invest in the professional marketing help they need.  They do the right things correctly and enjoy the rewards.

They have figured out that in the most challenging economy in living memory, the dabblers are simply dabbling their way out of business.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Photo: Jonny2love

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