Don’t Be Fooled Into Thinking You Need To Spend Big Bucks To Be Noticed And Generate Sales Online.
There is a popular saying in the world of digital marketing…
“The money is in the list”
Many people believe this, using the rationale that if you get as many names onto your email database, send them offers regularly and you will generate lots of sales.
In the early days a business would say something as simple as ‘join our newsletter’.
And then the selling would begin.
Often to the disappointment of the person thinking they were signing up for newsletter updates only to be bombarded with sales messages not only by the company providing the newsletter but many of the strategic partners who were passed on your details without your permission.
The prospect would then unsubscribe…
Adamant they would have nothing further to do with that business.
My thoughts on the ‘money being in the list’?
Well, firstly I believe that the money is in the relationship you nurture with your list – over time.
And secondly (primarily)…
Focus on building an audience first and your email list will grow with it.
Notice with the word ‘audience’, I did not say build up your number of Facebook fans, Twitter and Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers or LinkedIn connections.
You see when you build an audience online you gain something far more significant…
Reach and Visibility.
And when you are able to reach a wide audience, you will be surprised how small your email list can be, yet you will still sell.
So what’s the difference between list building and audience building through your online visibility?
In a nutshell, when you focus on building your audience, you are publishing information on platforms that do not require the person watching, reading, listening or attending to participate.
You’re not asking them to share, like, comment, retweet or sign up…
But you are publishing on platforms that potentially can put your profile in front of some very large numbers of people for free. And when that happens you have an audience that may never interact with you, but could still buy from you.
They will know where to go to find you…
They will remember you as an authority…
And best of all, they will come to the conclusion that it is time to do business with you when the time is right for them, and not you.
There are a number of strategies I outline in my role as an online visibility coach, and in this article I wanted to share two very effective ways you can build an audience online, while also providing tremendous value.
Both strategies are FREE and will do far more for you than sending countless emails to people already subscribed to a number of email lists, who mentally switch off when they see ‘more’ emails.
The two strategies are as an Expert Blogger and through what I call ‘Personal Media Outreach’.
Apply these two audience building blueprints and see your online visibility skyrocket.
While it is always a bonus to be a guest blogger for others, you don’t need to wait to be asked.
Great platforms to demonstrate expertise and authority include LinkedIn, Quora and Medium.
The LinkedIn publishing platform provides you with the opportunity to publish articles that you can distribute as you build your online visibility.
Is there an article in the news, do you have a great case study or is something just on your mind? Linkedin publishing is an excellent, optimised, easy-to-use place for you to raising your profile and build your credibility.
Medium is a platform that requires the readers who want access to unlimited articles, pay a low, monthly subscription.
The significance of this?
Only serious readers and those in search of quality information sign up…
Unconfirmed reports say that Medium has between 200,000 – 400,000 paid subscribers to go with its 100 million active readers.
All you need to do is provide great value writing on your topic of choice, and let Medium take care of the rest.
Best of all?
You can write on Medium for free…
And your information will be put in front of millions of interested readers, giving you a qualified audience without you needing to be ‘pushy’ or even ask for an email address.
Quora is another great place to gain online visibility for free.
Think ‘Google meets Wikipedia’ with Quora, as you are on a platform that revolves around answers to very specific questions, and solutions to problems articulated by a potential target audience.
As with LinkedIn and Medium, make sure your profile is complete relative to your areas of expertise.
Then, go and find the most appropriate questions to answer, in a genuine spirit of giving.
The more helpful you are on Quora, the more of an audience you will build, and inevitably, they will go to your website or blog to learn more about you.
So now we have established you as an Expert Blogger, let’s move on to my next online visibility strategy.
Personal Media Outreach
There’s that saying: “People only do business with you once they know, like and trust you.”
I think it is even more straightforward than that…
People do business with people.
Sometimes the thing that makes a difference on whether someone will actually give you their business, is whether they feel some kind of connection with you.
And the only way a connection can be made, is if you let them know who you are.
In this age of digital technology, we are all publishers.
You are your very own media company, and in addition to writing on the platforms I mentioned, you can build a great audience podcasting or guest speaking at workshops and conferences.
If you like things to be a little less formal, use your phone or webcam to speak on video.
Don’t worry about fancy equipment or special effects – just be you…
What are some of the things you can discuss on video, or as a guest speaker at a networking event?
I have a long list of ideas that I use when coaching clients, and here are 3…
Topic #1 – Your Beliefs Relative to The Work You Do
Thomas J Watson, the founder of IBM said it best:
“To be great, a company needs a religion.”
Mr. Watson was not referring to a company’s particular system of faith and worship, but rather the core values and beliefs relative to your work and marketplace.
In my “7 Deadly Sins of Link Building” article, and throughout all my own talks and marketing, I make it very clear that business owners do not have to ‘pay to play’.
Being resourceful and very strategic is my religion…
I see my role as a helper for businesses willing to work hard on the right things, highlighting any time I can, that it’s not ok to spend fortunes on paid traffic.
Other practitioners may be all about paid traffic, paid content and advertising …
And that’s ok!
But on all the platforms I discussed, you can bet my message remains consistent, as I look to bond with like-minded business owners, while at the same time moving away from those who do not ‘vibe’ with my business message/strategy to build an online profile without spending money.
Topic #2 – Your Own (Personal) Story
Here’s the deal…
If you don’t take the time to think about and then publish:
> Who you are
> What you do
> Who you help
Together with the results, the relief, the transformation your help will provide, you run the risk of becoming something none of us want to be in the eyes of a potential client…
And that is a commodity.
A provider of products, services and programs no different from anything else out there.
Now, you may offer something similar to another company – which is ok.
MB Digital Media is not the only digital media company in the world, or even Amsterdam…
But there is only one me!
And if you read my story you get to understand who I am, what I do, and why I do what I do…
If I give a keynote speech, present at a workshop or am interviewed on a podcast, I go into more detail than you see on the MB Digital Media website.
But sharing your story in a strategic way, really gives you an opportunity to bond with your audience before an offer is ever presented, or a sale is made.
If for example you are a Life Coach who has struggled in the past with your own mental health, there is a way to share your experiences through story, that can resonate with your target audience.
And don’t ever confuse the need to be ‘personal’ with not remaining ‘private’…
Social Media and the internet really can be your open book if you let it. Personally I made the choice to keep the private side of my life private.
But everyone is different and helping you find your own ‘personal vs private’ balance is something we would strategically work on during a Visibility Coaching session.
Topic #3 – Current News
This is probably the journalist in me speaking, but there is always something to report on!
Set up a Google alert so you are notified every time there is breaking news relative to your industry.
Or instead of watching that video on social media that has gone viral, spend 10 – 15 minutes on industry blogs and then via video, audio or LinkedIn, give your own perspective on the news.
The great thing about reporting?
You gain a loyal and attentive audience as they very much view you as their ‘industry eyes and ears’.
Online visibility – How To Build An Online Audience That Buys From You – Final Thoughts
Motivational Speaker and Life Coach Tony Robbins likes to say, “it’s not about your resources, it’s about your resourcefulness.”
I like that…
Resources refer to the stock or supply we have of something – in this case the amount of cash we have in order to grow and market our business.
Resourcefulness on the other hand is the ability to overcome any potential money stumbling blocks by thinking outside the box.
Yes there is a trade-off you make when you use the online visibility strategies I have shared with you. It’s called work, and you will need to do a lot of it!
But there is a big difference between working hard at something versus doing work that is actually hard.
Introducing who you are, what you value and how you can help someone could never be classified as hard work, but you do need to be very strategic.
I would be more than happy to discuss ways that you and I could work together in creating the kind of strategic online visibility that grows your audience and brings you more clients.
Feel free to contact me for your no-obligation visibility strategy call, and we can go from there.