Many people out there are looking for a quick start to internet marketing. I understand. Most people in my network are business people, and we are the kind of people who want to get things rolling quickly. You know being online and marketing yourself with blogging, internet marketing and social networking is essential, but you don’t know the best way to go about it, and you have a million questions.
This massive access to information causes what’s called “paralysis by analysis”. In other words, we’re so fixated on learning what we need to do, we fail to act. This is death for business. You need to act, but you don’t want to screw things up. So here is a quick start to internet marketing checklist that will give you what you need to get started. It contains a little philosophy and a few specific actions that will get you off and running. There is a lot of value in knowing you’re starting off on the right foot, so I hope this helps. If you have any questions, let me know by commenting or contact me!
Quick Start to Internet Marketing
- Make the decision that your focus is going to be building a real business…or extending your existing business. Do not allow your sole focus to be making money. If your focus is on building a real business, creating a good reputation and brand and creating value for others, it’s hard to screw things up. It’s when we decide to focus solely on making money that we start doing crappy, spammy things that we will regret later…and that will not do us any good. This is the first step, and it’s easy. Just decide that your focus is going to be on creating value for your customers, not just selling stuff. With that, you have already cleared half the hurdles. Believe it or not, it really is that simple!
- Start a blog. Don’t over think it. Don’t dwell on it for more than five minutes. Pick a platform, and fire it up. If you want my specific advise, I recommend using WordPress, and I recommend having a professional set it up for you. I can do it for you, or you can have any number of other professionals do it for you. WordPress can easily be search engine optimized, and it is highly extensible. Some of the most successful blogs on the internet use WordPress, and for good reason. That said, it’s more important to have a blog than it is to make absolutely certain that every detail is perfect. Your blog will serve as the hub of everything you do to market yourself online. It is your home. You need a place to hang your hat. You need a blog.
- Post to your blog regularly. The more you blog, the more you will learn. The most important thing is to get started. I could write for 10,000 words easily right now about how to do this. And if you want to solve any specific marketing issues sooner rather than later, I recommend using my consulting services to jump start your efforts. That said, this is not rocket science, and if you put in the effort you will learn everything you need to know simply by doing it. You get out what you put in. Again, if you’re focusing on creating value for your customers, your blog will be on target.
- Get on Facebook and Twitter. Are there other social networks? Heck yes there are. Is there value in checking them out and learning about them? Heck yes. But this is a quick start to internet marketing guide, right? So let’s keep it simple. The fact is that Facebook is huge, and Twitter is massively important and an indispensable tool. You can do a lot of damage with just these two. Just as with blogging, use them regularly. An inactive profile is worthless to you. Just like if you leave your house unattended…it will deteriorate over time, this is true for your internet property as well. You have to maintain it for it to grow and remain valuable. Use your social networking profiles for being social and meeting people. Sure, link out to your blog posts and such, but keep the content you produce 99% social. Believe it or not, people know you sell widgets even if you don’t tell em. It’s linked up on your page, see? So they know already. You don’t have to tell them every five minutes. Meet people and concentrate on getting to know and learning from others with similar interests. After doing this for a while, you will start to get these mysterious messages in your inbox. They will be coming from people who have visited your site and are interested in what you’re selling, and you’ll wonder where all this magical activity is coming from. Some of it’s coming from Twitter, believe it or not. And it will have all happened without you having to hard sell anyone. This stuff works really well, if you work it. Let it take time. It’s fun anyway, so why turn it into hard work?
- Let it take some time. Like I mentioned in the previous step, this stuff doesn’t happen instantly. One thing about internet marketing is that people often expect immediate results. I’m not sure why that is. It must come from a misconception about what’s happening. When you give someone a business card at a social event, do you expect them to buy something from you right there on the spot? No. You meet 28 people that night, and 9 of them call you back over the next few weeks. You build it from there. This is how it works. Social networking has become confused with being this new phenomenon, and we think it’s complicated. It’s not. Social networking is people with common interests hanging out, talking. This has been going on for ages. It’s how business is done. And building a business takes time.
- Read and learn. Study what you’re doing. Read other blogs. Look at other websites, especially within the same field as you’re working. Apply the CASE principle of success I’ve described in a previous post. Never stop this. Learning and stealing ideas from your competitors is another age old business principle that is not ever going to go away. Use it to your advantage.
- Don’t quit. Be consistent. As I say so many times, things take time. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Of course I don’t consider this quick start to internet marketing checklist an ultra-comprehensive tool. After all, it’s a quick start checklist! However, I would love your input. Do you have anything you’d add?
In upcoming posts, I will be posting some of my top resources. Articles and tools I’ve used to learn this business. It’s only fair for me to share all my secrets with you, seeing as how everything I’ve learned about internet marketing is online…imagine that 🙂