Ryan Hanley wrote an article in regards to marketing, reach and focus and I think that it highlights one of the biggest problems that businesses get into when they are trying to expand their business into online avenues.
Hard, because marketers and businesses are not only trying to reach their audience, they are the audience themselves. Let me explain.
When you are in the middle of it, you hardly know that what you are really doing is giving yourself more work.
Every new social media invention ; every how to article on SEO and ranking ; and every single thing that is supposed to make life easier on you, may in fact be simply dragging you deeper into a cyber time-suck.
You gotta get skinny first.
What I mean by this is when you are first starting out, you want your prospective customers to find you….
- ..so you build a website. And you experience some success from it.
- ..someone tells you need to update your website regularly. So you attach a blog to it. The next thing you know, you are blogging 3 times a week.
- …someone tells you you absolutely need social media. So you grab a twitter account, a facebook page, a tumblr blog, etc. Now, you spending time figuring that out. And then there is that “Klout” thing to obsess over…
- …you need links. So you learn how to build links. Suddenly you are spending time building links weekly.
- …you need to build a list. So you sign up to Mailchimp, GetResponse, Aweber, etc. and learn how to do this as well. Now, you are having to allocate time to generate content for your emails.
And then you wake up one day and realize that you aren’t really focusing on your “business” but are instead consumed with busy work that everyone else has told you that you need.
Meanwhile…the reality is that you don’t need any of this.
3 Things You Absolutely Need for a successful Online business
- Products that you sell.
- A platform to sell them on.
- Targeted traffic.
Here’s an example.
You are in the diet / weight loss niche.
You build a capture page (platform) that offers your prospective customers a 10 part video series on how to “go paleo” in exchange for their email address. After the 10 part series, you sell a book you have written (product to sell).
You send them offers first as an affiliate (and later as the actual product owner) of great products that the niche would be interested in. You spend your days, building offers via story lines and interesting things (instead of tweeting, trying to generate content for a blog, etc.) You broker deals with other vendors and marketers that are in your field.
You find syndicated newsletters and pay (yeah, money makes the world go round) to advertise in their newsletter, either through straight up advertising or through article marketing.
…which in turn, get sent back to your capture page where people sign up. (targeted traffic)
You see there? No talk of social media. No talk about google search. It’s just you, your product and finding places where your audience is.
Now does this mean that you shouldn’t blog, use social media, or make a compete in organic search? Of course not. They are just other avenues to explore. And you may want to use a couple of them coming out the gate. And they may be your primary way to generate traffic in the first place (a couple of my musician clients use Facebook in conjunction with their website exclusively.)
The point is, the more stuff you add, the more work you add. And sometimes, it isn’t adding enough to your bottom line to do it.
What do you think? How are you making your business leaner and more productive?
image attribution- http://www.flickr.com/photos/estherase/33196139/
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