Last week, I listed what it takes for an off-line business to market itself online successfully. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you can here.
There’s profit to be made for the business people who are willing to move outside of what they’ve done before and look into using new tools and doing things differently.
It’s possible to add new revenue to your business from different customers while not adding substantial costs.
So what is the first step to being successful using online marketing?
The first step is commitment from the business owner.
Commitment gets everything started and keeps it going when things aren’t working according to plan.
Commitment makes sure that the e-mails are written and sent, the Facebook posts are done, and the videos are created even if it’s outside regular work hours.
I said I would have an e-mail and blog post out every week, and the only time I could find to get this one done is 6:00 a.m.
This is my fifty-first on-time e-mail in a row. Some have been done easily during regular hours; some have been done late at night; and some, like this one, have been written early in the morning.
The key is that I get them done. When you signed up for my newsletter, I said I would have one for you every week, and I haven’t missed one.
You’ll find the same thing with our Facebook page—click here to check it out, and “like it” while you’re there.
Commitment is what keeps you moving forward when the first or second attempt doesn’t bring in the expected results.
The reason I listed commitment first is that the task of online marketing doesn’t come easily to many people.
It involves learning new skills and tweaking some old ones.
It requires trying new and different activities and then tweaking them.
It requires putting yourself out in front of people in a different way.
The most effective e-mails involve revealing something about you or your business.
This is scary.
If you decide to use e-mail marketing—and I recommend that you do—someone has to write the e-mails, send them out, and respond to any questions or feedback.
If you’re using Facebook as a way to generate business, someone has to be responsible for regularly posting , interacting with other businesses, and responding to comments.
If you’re using video, someone has to write the script and record it.
None of the above takes lots of time, but it does take some time.
Life, both business and personal, can get in the way.
It’s tempting to skip one time. After all, it won’t matter.
You made a commitment to your customers and, more important, to yourself that you’re going to communicate with them regularly.
Keeping your word is a characteristic that your customers look for in you. Are you willing to keep this commitment?
You may say that not enough people are reading or interacting with your content yet. I say yet is the key word. Keep sending your messages out and tweaking them. You will build your audience.
The other reason the owner needs to make a commitment is that it’s going to take extra time, at first, to set up the e-mail system and your Facebook page and to develop a system for getting content into both.
Learning how to record video and how to post it takes time. This is either your time or a staff person’s time.
It’s going to take some encouragement when it’s not going smoothly. What do I need to change? Why are we doing this anyway? No one else is doing it.
Not so. Many others are doing it, but if you’re not on their e-mail list or a fan of their Facebook page, you don’t know that.
Make up your mind to add or expand your online marketing and watch your business grow.
Make the commitment. You’ll be glad you did. Not only will your business grow, but your skills and self-confidence will too.