Updated: Apr 6
Starting a Business - Part 3
Do you want to pull your hair out sometimes? We get it. Trying to keep up with marketing trends and compete for your prospects' attention can be overwhelming. There are so many social platforms, website and funnel makers, email campaigns, and costly advertisement options. Where to even begin?
First, let’s talk a little about strategy, but don’t go running away, yet. Let’s just take a moment and think about the purpose of it all.
What is a business system really?
A business system is a repeatable process that produces a profit.
The 3 main steps to business are:
Buy or create a product or service.
Sell for a profit.
Administrate the buying and selling process.
What is needed to sustain your business? You need a strategy for attracting a steady flow of your ideal prospects, taking them through a sales process, delivering on your promise, and retaining your new and existing customers. Here we want to focus more on attraction and retention.
Think of a funnel. Work to attract prospects into the wide opening of the funnel and keep them interested in being a part of your world. At the top of the funnel, these people are cold and just seeing you for the first time. As the funnel narrows, the prospects get a little warmer. They may convert into subscribers and some then convert into customers/clients.
Foundational Marketing Elements when Starting a Business
Consider these foundational marketing elements that allow you to create a ‘universe’ for your customers to find you, get to know you, and become part of your world.
Learn what platforms your ideal customers are using the most, and who they love on social media. Monitor data from your current customer-base, if available. Then work to find and attract your audience where they are already spending time online. Determine the 1 or 2 platforms you’re likely to find your customers using MOST, and focus your marketing strategy there first, especially if your time is limited. You can also engage with them in groups they already belong to. You can always widen your efforts to other social networks, but don’t skimp on your customer’s main platforms.
Work to give them content that’s aligned with your brand identity and creates VALUE and a desired experience. Always strive to include an element of something they desire, a bit of curiosity, and an interest for more. Work to always include a call to action, even if it’s just asking them to like or share your content.
Having loyal followers that engage with you is more valuable than having a boatload of followers that ignore you. Understanding their wants and needs better equips you to give them more of what they want. Pay attention to their comments and shares to continually develop content that has value to them.
"I have a business Facebook page, do I really need a website?" The answer is a resounding YES. Although you might know a business without a website, it can be very difficult to develop credibility. Let prospects get to know you and earn their trust. Develop a strong online identity with a professionally designed, fully functioning, content-rich website. Having an appealing website is a must-have investment to establish credibility and boost your reputation as an authority.
Website copywriting tips:
Start by getting their attention with a compelling headline. Need a free resource for compelling headline ideas? Simply look in your email inbox. Each subject was written to entice you to open it, you can modify it to fit your business.
Next, you want to get their interest in the first few sentences.
Now, you want to evoke some desire in them by sharing how you could benefit them in their life.
Then give them a call to action. Tell them what to do, don’t make them work or question what they should do.
You want to make it super easy for people to stay connected by an opt-in or subscribe. Offer a free resource in exchange for their email - it can be a pdf, video, or e-book.
Again, it doesn’t have to be too complicated, but the same rules apply. Be consistent with your brand identity, and keep them interested in working with you more.
Other website tips:
Make it as easy as possible for visitors to share your content.
It needs to be mobile-friendly, with at least 3-5 pages. Many single-page sites are viewed by the ‘bots’ as scams. It doesn’t have to be huge, consider a page for home, about, FAQ or case studies, services, blog. (More on blogging later.)
You want some content near the top to make it easier for search engines to see what you’re about. Meaning if you have huge images up top, make sure there is also some relevant text.
Use contact forms for people to contact you, not email addresses.
FAQ and case studies are among the most visited website pages.
Optimize content on your site to align with words real people search for.
Blogs might seem overwhelming, but blogs are the best leverage for search engines. And they don’t have to be overwhelming. Don’t think you have to do it all at once. Blogs allow you to create something bigger incrementally and methodically over time. Ever wanted to create a course or write a book? Start with a blog, see what draws more attention and what falls flat.
Bots crawl a website for new content about every 4-8 weeks. BUT, if you post new content regularly, once you are seen as the authority your posts can move to the top of the organic searches within 72 hours of a new blog post! It takes about 60 blog posts to be seen as an authority, but you shouldn’t attempt to do this all at once. Search engines also consider the age of the posts. Just begin with something you are the authority in... or want to be. Make sure each piece is 300-500 words minimum, and start incrementally creating a new world of unique content. Never ever, ever, ever copy content. You will get pushed to the very bottom of the organic searches. Also, it doesn’t help to repost your old content with a new date. You can always change the content, or update it and link back to the original. For example, if you do a yearly blog - best gifts of 2020, next year, don’t repurpose it. Do a new blog for 2021, and link back to older relevant posts.
Don’t stuff keywords into your blogs. Write the content first as your brand identity would talk to your ideal customers. Then select a keyword. If you choose your keyword first, it will mess you up as you try to write value-add content. Include your keyword in your headline, first sentence, first subhead, and about every 200 words throughout, but always make sure it reads well.
Search engines like social media connections to your website and blogs. In order of search engine “points” - currently the rank goes Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (higher if your business is B2B), and Pinterest. But again, consider where your ideal customers are and your resources for social media before you try to tackle them all.
Customers choose email over other forms of communication. Other than your unique mind, your customer and prospect list is the most valuable asset your business will ever have. Consider that your connections on social media are not yours to keep as is a list of subscribers. Email is super convenient, cost-effective, and most smartphone users check their email more than any other smartphone activity! It allows you to stay on your prospects' minds and creates more customer loyalty.
Whatever channels you use in your marketing, make sure it is focused on the purpose of attracting your ideal customers and engaging them with your brand personality. Remember quality over quantity. Use each of these methods to test what pulls more popularity from the people you are trying to reach. Change out email subjects or headlines, fine-tune what works and use it in the other platforms, and especially for testing before pouring out advertising dollars.
These are our suggestions for taking a rock-solid approach to marketing and setting up a strong foundation for your business. Everything probably seems overwhelming right now but trust us, if you implement these things now you will have much more success and way less stress down the road. Now, continue building your empire and we will be back with more next week!
Check out more posts in this blog series:
Evoke Creative • Helping you, help them.