For a self-employed person or a small business owner, the job of marketing can seem like an overwhelming task. If you are a good writer, accountant or personal trainer, you got into that business to do the things that you love – not to become a social media and advertising expert. Trying to find clients using online marketing is a necessary evil and a distraction from the job that you really want to do.
The good news is that once you get over the initial learning curve, online marketing is a question of “little and often”, and if you make a few small things a part of your day to day routine you will be able to grow your business without letting online marketing take over your life. Here are a few things that you should focus on if you want to find clients using online marketing:
1 – Targeted Directory Submissions
Believe it or not, directories do still have a use. Search for directories that are relevant to your niche (be that local listings pages, fitness focused websites, or small-business service provider websites) and submit yourself to them. Once every few months, check again to see if any new websites have launched.
2 – Claim Your Social Media Profiles
Sign up to the major social media websites using your brand name. Add your logo and some details about yourself. Even if you choose not to use all of these profiles, claiming them will stop someone else from passing themselves off as your company.
3 – Post on The Most High Value Sites
Pick a few sites that you feel comfortable with using, and that are frequented by the type of customer you are trying to attract, and start posting. Useful sites include LinkedIn (for professional networking) and Quora (a more high-quality version of Yahoo answers). Monitor Twiter and Facebook for a while and see where most of your customers spend their time, and start using one of those. You don’t have to live on social media, but posting once or twice a day will help to raise your profile a lot.
4 – Try Paid Advertising
Depending on the response you get, you may want to try some paid advertising. Facebook makes it relatively easy to manage ad campaigns so you don’t go over budget, and offers simple ways to target people based on their interests. Avoid Google Adwords at first unless you are willing to put some time into learning the system. If you find that consumers respond well to your ads, it may be worth hiring someone to manage campaigns for you, because getting the best return on your ad spend, and increasing your conversion rate with Google’s AdWords is something that takes time, testing, and a good knowledge of how the Quality Score algorithm works. An expert will help you put together good ad copy and choose good keywords far more quickly and efficiently than you would be able to do so yourself.