Marketing!! Well, that’s not the only thing but marketing is super important. There are a few necessary steps to take when creating a successful business/blog/website, whatever. I’ll share the top points with you, but I want to stress the importance of marketing. Here are the basics:
Come up with a great idea
I know so easy, right? But seriously, this is the foundation of success. Think Apple, Google, PayPal, Amazon. These aren’t brand new concepts; people have stored information since the beginning of time (hieroglyphs?) Digitalizing information storage is a brand new [great] idea that Apple developed and marketed. This is an inspiring story about Apple’s marketing that literally exploded their business. Collecting research has always existed, through history books and encyclopedias, then Google changed the world when they launched an Internet library that was accessible from anywhere, to anyone, in the world. These are just a couple of examples to show you that great ideas aren’t brand new ideas. They’re just reinvented strategies, making life easier for millions of people.
Identify your audience
This is an important step. You don’t want to market fishing nets to bankers. I mean you may find some fishermen in there, but taking your idea down to a fish pier will produce a better ROI, I promise. So once you’ve come up with a great idea, make sure you know who it serves and who will benefit the most, then focus on that group.
“if I asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses.”
Develop a marketing strategy
Ok, you have your idea and you know your audience; this is the most important step. You need to market your idea to your audience. Henry Ford said, “if I asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses.” He was brilliant right? He invented the assembly line, he’s totally brilliant. You have to show and tell your audience that what you’ve come up with is exactly what they need, and you have to do it in the right way. The way you do this is with a solid marketing strategy. I recommend Leah Kalamakis’ Master Marketing Plan. She’s the founder of The Freelance to Freedom Project and her marketing plan is phenomenal. She’s totally inspiring and has a Facebook group for writers, full of supportive people and awesome information. Get all of that here, in her Freelance to Freedom Project Membership School.
Evaluate the results
Your idea is great, your audience has been targeted and your marketing plan implemented, so how’s it going? You may not strike gold on your first try. In fact, most people don’t. You have to evaluate your results and determine if there is a better audience for your product or a more impactful way to market it. Make sure you’re giving your strategies sufficient time to be effective but don’t get discouraged if you aren’t seeing the amount of traffic you want or having the impact you expect.
“Be an expert, people like experts.”
Adjust your marketing strategy as needed
After you’ve evaluated your idea, your audience, and your marketing strategy, determine if something needs tweaking. Maybe it’s the idea? Could it be better; maybe more focused? Is it too broad which translates to too vague? Narrowing down an idea is always a good thing. Being a jack of all trades and master of none, means you’re not an expert. Be an expert, people like experts. These steps are fairly basic but every once in a while, even the most successful people have to check-in and see what/where they can alter, change or improve. Steps 1 and 2 are the foundation on which you’ll grow but 3 to 5 are focused on the most important aspect of success; marketing. Develop, evaluate, adjust. Your idea and your audience will be static for the most part but your marketing plan will always be evolving. If you start to feel like your idea is drowning, don’t throw in the towel on it and try to come up with a new idea. Just take a look at your marketing and see what can be done there first. Check back for more updates on my favorite bloggers and marketing tools or follow my blog and get updates sent right to your inbox.