Marketing – What’s Your Point?
It goes without saying that the most successful web writers market themselves. But that word — marketing — means different things to different people.
Let’s take one completely fictional web writer, for example. We’ll call her Emily. Emily gets to her desk early in the morning and immediately digs into her project work. She occasionally takes a break to post something to social media or to read an industry blog where she might leave a comment. She posts to her blog once a week — usually. And on a good day, she’ll send out an email or two to potential clients.
On the other hand, we have Melissa, also completely fictional. Melissa has a web-writing site with a prominent email sign-up offering a four-page quick report on eight social media strategies that chiropractors can use to connect with their local prospects. She has an editorial calendar planned out for her blog and posts there twice a week, letting her list subscribers know when there’s something new to read. She also writes at least two guest columns a month for blogs and trade publications that target chiropractors, and invites readers of those contributions to visit her blog. She connects with chiropractors and their clients through Twitter and LinkedIn, sharing valuable information and entertaining-but-relevant anecdotes about marketing in the industry. Her blog is linked in her profile, making it easy for her followers to visit her. Her message is consistent — she helps chiropractors get booked solid.
Which of the two do you think is more successful? I hope it’s obvious that Melissa’s marketing will make a much bigger impact in attracting the clients she’s after.
Can you see the difference between the two?
The first thing you might notice is that Melissa is targeting a niche, and that’s important. But Emily could be targeting a niche, too, and Melissa would still be more successful. The reason is that Melissa’s marketing all has a well-defined purpose and a well-defined message. She has a clear goal in mind for each marketing step she takes and that goal is not simply to market herself.
For Emily, marketing is the goal. It’s something she knows she supposed to do, and so she does it. For Melissa, marketing is a means to a well-defined end.
Putting a sense of purpose behind your marketing makes all the difference in the world when it comes to how successful your marketing is.
Three Ways to Give Your Marketing Purpose
Choose Your Niche: The first way to give your marketing purpose is to choose your niche. Having a well-defined audience that you want to work with and that you reach out to consistently will automatically begin to hone your marketing message and narrow the channels you use to market yourself. When choosing your niche, consider your past experiences, your existing knowledge base, your areas of highest interest, and the size of the potential market. You want to work in an area that interests you and that also has the clients in numbers and size big enough to support you.
Defining your niche is a significant step toward giving your marketing purpose, but by itself, it’s not enough.
Define Your Message: What do you want prospects to remember about you? Think carefully about this. Write out every impression you would like to make on a prospect and then trim it and trim it some more until you’ve distilled your marketing message down to the most important, most memorable sentence possible. Then consider that message in everything you do — are your blog posts, social media updates, email messages, and other points of marketing supporting that message?
Set Clear Goals: Spending an hour a day on marketing is a strategy, not a goal. It may be part of how you accomplish a marketing goal, but it is not a goal in itself. When it comes to goals, focus on results, especially growth. New visitors to your website … new followers on social media … new names on your email list … new clients on your roster … these are the types of goals you should be setting.
Once you’ve set clear goals for your marketing efforts, define how you’ll get there. Do you want to grow your blog traffic by 10 percent each month, for example? To do that, you’ll need to post consistently, do good SEO for each post, and promote each post (and your blog in general) to your target audience. Define how you’ll do those things and then track your results. If your results fall short of your goals for more than three months running, then it’s time to change your approach.
Marketing with a purpose will change the way you view your marketing. Instead of a frustrating experience that leaves you feeling like you’re spinning your wheels, you’ll gain true traction that will move your business forward. And when that happens, marketing becomes fun.
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