Marketing Tips for the Solopreneur

I hope you’re had a wonderful summer. I’ve had quite the busy one myself and can’t believe it’s just about over. But it’s TIFF next week, my favourite time of year, so I’m quite excited.
This month we’ve got helpful articles and videos covering content marketing, social media marketing and SEO.
First, there’s a helpful, albeit brief, guide to creating content your potential clients and customers will actually want to read and share.
Then, we have a video on the perils of using social media as the only way to drive traffic to your website.
Finally, our second video is a little more for an expert audience: solving common SEO conundrums.
Enjoy!

 

This brief guide lays out a fairly straightforward way you can create content that past and future clients/customers will enjoy and share. The steps are

  1. Create buyer personas
  2. Finding your audiences pain points (including free ways of doing so)
  3. Creating a list of proven topic ideas
  4. Use the “CURVE” method to write your content (see the guide)

All of these are easier said than done, but the article gives some hints on how to do these things and a quick googling of any of the topics will find you many more articles on how to do these things. (Also, googling is basically how you accomplish step 3.)
Read the article. Just click on the X to ignore the signup box.

 

This video has some bad news. “Link building” – the process of getting other sites to link to you, thereby improving your position in search engine results – probably cannot be accomplished through social media. Social media is valuable; it’s valuable to share your content, products and services with people who won’t find it with the search engine, and it’s particularly important to building relationships and trust with your potential clients or customers. What this videos says is that what social media cannot do is elevate your search engine ranking in and of itself.
Watch the video.

 

Another Whiteboard Friday video – yes, I know, I share a lot of them, but it’s because they’re really good!
This one is more for experts. It examines 5 frustrating SEO experiences and how to possibly overcome them. Here are the five:

  1. Following SEO best practices doesn’t improve your ranking
  2. Your competition appears to be doing better than you through bad links
  3. I have no idea why my ranking goes up or down
  4. I can’t accurately quantify, predict or control my SEO
  5. Google is biased to big brands.

The content is definitely for people who know what they are doing when it comes to SEO. But if you do, this video is edifying.
Watch the video.

Ask me a question any time at riley.haas@gmail.com or on skype at riley.haas

Subscribe to my mailing list to get helpful tips and articles about digital marketing

* indicates required



When Word of Mouth is No Longer Enough

You’ve been relying on your friends and your happy clients to spread the word about your business. But what happens when your word-of-mouth referrals dry up?

I suspect this is the fear of every small business owner who relies on referrals. Fortunately, the internet has made it possible for us to get clients another way, without relying too heavily on referrals and without paying for expensive advertising in print, on billboards or on TV or radio.

Internet marketing – or digital marketing – allows the small business owner to both better target their marketing efforts and to handle these efforts ourselves, if we’re willing to spend the time.

There are four main types of digital marketing:

  • Content Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertizing (PPC)
  • Search Engine Optimization (the infamous SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing

No matter which methods you choose, all of these methods are cheaper than conventional media advertizing and all can be handled by you, the owner, if you are willing to commit the time to learning how. When done properly, they will also provide you with leads on a far more consistent basis than word of mouth referrals.

 

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is basically the use of “content” – blogs, videos, podcasts, reviews, and other internet content – in lieu of traditional advertizing. This blog post is an example of content marketing – I give you some information for free in the hope that you will not only like the information but come to trust me as an expert and a person you can trust.

 

Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC is the most famous kind of digital marketing – it includes both the ads you see when you use Google or Bing, and the banner ads you often see on websites. Think of PPC as the ability to have an online billboard, but have that billboard shown only to people who are looking for words related to your services, and this billboard doesn’t stay in one place. Also, you only pay for the billboard if people look at it.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the basic, ground-floor building block of digital marketing but the industry is jargon-obsessed and so understanding what it is and why you do it can be hard to figure out. The short version is that SEO is all about compliance of your website with the best practices dictated by Google (and Bing, to a lesser extent). That’s all it is. It isn’t a secret sauce for huge traffic and leads. It can be done well and poorly and the effects of either aren’t always apparent. But it is necessary in the long run so that you will get “organic” (i.e. unpaid) search engine traffic to your site. There are both technical and non-technical aspects to SEO, and the technical stuff will require a developer.

 

Social Media Marketing

The trendiest form of digital marketing is also the most misunderstood (well, outside of SEO) and most time-consuming. You should engage in social media marketing only if your product or service can fit into one or more social networks and you can spend the time to perform it consistently. If you can’t do both of those things, there is no point whatsoever.

 

I will be covering all of these topics in more detail in the future but know that you do not have to rely on referrals. You can become a master of some or all of these marketing techniques which can support your referral marketing efforts going forward.

Email me any time at riley dot haas at gmail dot com or find me on skype at riley dot haas.

 

Subscribe to my mailing list to get helpful tips and articles about digital marketing

* indicates required