Where do you start when you're feeling overwhelmed?
I have a webiste that is approximately 6 yrs old. I used to be able to throw money at Google adwords and people would come to my website. That's not the case anymore and I am paralyzed by not knowing where to start or who to ask for help. Where do I begin with social media, SEO, content, blogging, email addresses, etc.?
First of all I would like to extend a huge congratulations for having a very good business perspective...you've been online for 6 years in a very competitive niche market.
Over the past 6 years I am sure you have accumulated thousands of clients. (I use the term clients instead of "customers"...clients stay...customers come and go.)
With that said, I am sure you have also collected thousands of names and email address. Let's start with those email address you have of your clients.
1.Email Marketing has always been vital online however in today's business it has become the 'lifeline' of business...on and offline. Having a Simple yet very effective Email Strategy is the only way to be truly personable in this digitalised world. I would recommend using your database of clients' emails to reach out in the following way: Find out exactly what you're clients expect from you and your product by using the Survey Funnel Formula.Send out a series of "Survey" style emails to really get to know the who, what, when, where and why your client purchases your reading glasses.
2. Focus on the COPY. Craft your subject line to be personal(include your clients name) and ask them exactly what you want to know. GIVE them a simple perk...ex: 23% off their next purchase, Freee engraved case, etc. Offer a weekly newsletter(with no hard selling, just valuable information that is useful for them) this will keep you and your business in front of your clients. In the emails have a call to action such as: 'Please feel free to share this information with your friends and family'.
3. Do not worry about 'social media'. Of course you want a presence on FB, Twitter and YouTube(I will explain why YouTube in a moment). Instead of focusing on the gazillion social media sites, turn your BLOG into a social hub. Encourage your readers to comment or add their insight on your Blog posts. <--Key to ranking Organically on Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. 25% of your websites 'rank' is weighed on retintion...or how long people are on your site.
4. Why YouTube? We have become a visual(no pun intended;) society. Research VSL'S and you will see why. Again, focus on your Copy. (Send me a message and I would be honored to share the in's and out's on VSL'S)
5. Brand YOU. I am sure you may offer different brands of reading glasses however why should your clients or new prospects buy from YOU?
As I stated earlier, you have received good advice from many individuals here. Just remember to think simple...as you well know things are never easy yet they can be simple. Also, I hope this was of some value to you and you're business. Please feel free to contact me through messaging here at MosaicHub if you have any questions...and honestly, I am not concerned about making money...money does not motivate me, truly helping fellow business owners and people does motivate me.
My Utmost Sincere Gratitude for your time Paul and hoping I may be able to help in some way.
Speak with someone who will help you craft a simple social media strategy. This is going to include some social media, some SEO, some blogging and possible some video.
It is a "proper" combination of these thing that will get you back on the map with your audience.
Well, it is not unusal to be overwhelmed managing a website, along with one's actual day to day business. Websites and the surround social media components require regular feed and care to keep them fresh. Why? The search engine rules, are just like the US Tax Code (...lol..). Under constant change! Best step to take, depending on the nature of your business is to identify the appropriate outsourcing vendor that offers up services and support that compliment your business market segment goals and support needs. But your homework in this beyond vendor selection is the preliminary analysis of the CAPEX and OPEX you are willing to invest towards oursourcing. My require you to adjust the product and services offering pricing structure of the business.
Great question. Online marketing is becoming overwhelming. Just when you thought you got it all figured out, something new comes along and the whole learning cycle starts all over again. You try to get help and everyone is offering you so many solutions instead of actually listening to you.
Here’s what I usually say to people who are in your shoes. Forget about all the tactical things. Forget SEO, social media, and whatever. Step back, take a good look at your business and ask yourself, “How on earth do I make my business more useful?” Once you figured that out, you can start looking at what tactics you really need.
The world is changing. The coin has flipped around. Customers are in control and they want services and products that can fulfilled their emotional and functional needs. If you want someone to just listen to your story, email me. Take-care.
With so many responses, I might possibly redundant.
When my clients reach that point, I first of all suggest they stop, take a step back, and remind themselves as to why they wanted to be in business for themselves, remind themselves of the good things and the possibilities.
Then, although it sounds trite, it is time to step back through all the business fundamentals. Not knowing your business exactly, I would take you through the steps to make sure all the sales/marketing fundamentals are in place - since sometimes the tactical marketing no longer works and we need to figure out the new strategic marketing. That can only be determined by stepping through the fundamentals.
I urge you not to just jump to any new tactic without doing this.
There have been a lot of good advice offered here. Find some you are comfortable with, and reach out to seek assistance.
Our rule in our home is Begin at the Beginning.
When my house burned down.. I faced that same paralysis and said.. I don't know what the beginning is! My mom's advice. Pick something and start. That's the beginning.
For you. Begin with your website. At 6 years old. It isn't a responsive design, and it needs to be now in order to be properly indexed by Google. If you're on Wordpress, pick a great template company that does regular updates on their templates. I use Elegant Themes, but Woo Themes are also excellent.
I love Elegant Themes user forums as well. I learned a lot from them when I first started. Pick one of their responsive designs (Try Divi 2.0). From there, you can tackle one thing at a time. Add SEO All in One, and or SEO Scorer plugins to help you with that part of things. Look up a couple of the essential plugin lists (but don't go crazy). Everything will fall into place from there.
Oh, and another good indicator of what you need to do next, is whatever you find yourself procrastinating on...lol...it's usually the thing(s) you need to do the most.
Paul- It's a great question and one that, honestly, more business owners should be asking. The first think I do when working with clients on website planning for a redesign project is to identify why they need a redesign and what their goals are for the website (is it to provide information, convert traffic to leads, e-commerce, etc), then I'd do an audit of the existing site looking at a variety of factors, including analytics, to identify what's working and what's not.
I actually wrote a post on the subject about the who/what is involved that you might find helpful: http://jgenowmarketing.com/building-website-what-to-know/.
Paul, I understand where you are coming from. The web is the largest market place in the world. Think of it like walking into an endless shopping mall, the key to your business being found is the map or directory. Like it or not that is the google search. I strongly encourage you to find a company to help you navigate these complex and ever changing issues in SOE. but if you can not then I suggest the following.
1) Focus your attention on how google ranks web content. and how the " google bots" find you. Gone are the days of key word rich sites. Google looks much more at how people interact with your site. That means quality content, high traffic volume, quantity of backlinks, quality of back linking sites ect. It all starts and ends with your google web ranking.
2) Be diligent of your web image your. People will find the bad before they will find the good, the solution is to eliminate, mitigate or challenge the bad content.
3) Build an attractive, intuitive website.
To help in your SEO endeavor you might want to consider buying google ads to help get your # hits up. Find a good program to evaluate you website and your competitions. A few years ago I used a program called Market Samir but there are others as well. Just find the one that works best for you.
The key is to first understand (to the best of your ability) how google ranks your site (the variables). Then constantly adjust the variables to keep up with your changing environment.
Take a deep breathe and start looking at one piece at a time. Remember a lot of us have been there, how you get out of this will determine success from here. Gather yourself and formulate a plan, internet marketing has become more and more complex you are not alone.
Hi Paul! So much good advice here. Here's my take on the matter: first, get some altitude and clarity, which can start with a good old night sleep, since the brain tends to find solutions quicker after you've given it some "defrag" time, that means reordering all the bits of information and gaining more space for the re-thinking process. I also strongly recommend meditating, answers that you cannot receive in rush-mode can come to you more easily.
Then grab your usual planning tools, a pen and a planner, or a digital organizing software, like a simple Microsoft Word, Open Office or an online solution, like, say, Mindmeister, and build (or re-draw) a business map. If you've done that in the beginning, you know there is power in having this layout of all the things related to your business/company/product. Write down everything you know. As you do that, things will start to come up, from what needs to be changed, to what can be added to create more value, what type of strategy you need to apply from here on then. It will take you some time, but it will be worth it. After you feel you've completed this map, take some time off, then revisit again. The best solutions will emerge from this process, and you will easily be able to identify which is best for the current situation, and in what order you should take the next steps.
That being said, the social bit will always start with type of brand you are representing. That is what dictates everything else, from the look of the facebook page, to what is the best time period to have your posts show up in your target's news feed, to considering a mobile presence, etc. As these social mediums grow "older", the users tend to gravitate more towards one or the other. You can stagnate on facebook while trending on twitter, your product might be marketable on gentlemint, while gaining little visibility on pinterest, and so on. When you feel like there are segments to which you can't get to, ask for help. There is a lot of free advice on the internet. If you do want more consistent work, then consider hiring someone, maybe figure out an information/products exchange if you can't afford paying them in full. As long as you can both agree on what's fair, I think there are people out there who would like to help you.
Hope these bits are useful. Wishing you all the best!
Hi Paul, I can certainly understand your issue with trusting the right company - sometimes for us who work with small businesses like yours it's the exact opposite - helping you understand why you're making the investment. Make sure if you take the time to rebuild your website that you choose a mobile friendly template or builder to start with. WordPress (use your own hosting and the WordPress software within) makes it a bit simpler if you stick to the basics. Then on social - depending on your service or product - choose one, stick with it. If you would like to, PM me I'll share some affordable options such as brainstorming which might help you make great decisions faster.
This is the era of professional,in a your case you need business consultant, and marketing or promotional strategical consultant ,if you have a unique, good, and healthy idea then must hire these two personalities,according to my experience you will get success.
I'd bet on authenticity and start blogging from that point (just being yourself will attract the right clients for you, no matter what kind of business you have). And of course, I agree with Dorothy about working with a coach who can understand your financial situation.
Overwhelm is usually caused by lack of clarity. I think it would be most helpful, Paul for you to decide if the website is where you really want to concentrate or do you need to rethink your ideal client better and determine where and how to best reach them.
You can start doing many things, like blogging, becoming more visable on social media etc. but maybe the more important question is what are you most comfortable with? Maybe you need to build a list to expand your market.
I always try to get clients to find the clarity first and then marketing becomes second nature. Also remember that websites are just one vehicle, you have other options as you mentioned but you need some direction in knowing which option reaches your ideal client and until you define that, you may be just spinning your wheels.
Even if you know your ideal client, you maybe not be able to reach them as effectively with just web marketing as you did 6 years ago.
One option you may want to consider is that it is extremely cheap to advertise on YouTube and Facebook right now.
I would suggest doing some research by going to YouTube and in their search box type in "setting up Facebook ad" or "setting up YouTube ad" or "driving traffic using YouTube advertising"
You will find several tutorials on how to use those platforms to drive traffic to your site.
You may also want to find open groups on LinkedIn or Facebook that focus on social media marketing and join those groups and start asking questions. People will jump in with all kinds of advice to help you.
It is free, so if money is tight you don't have to hire a coach right away.
autopilot, hubspot, market, pardot are all companies who can help. Are you asking about doing it yourself? Constant Contact is a good tool for email, blogging, etc.
First, from your comments I think focusing on content with the approach of the consumer " whats in it for me" . Its the old saying, "Sell what people want rather than what you make". It will give your website momentum. You clearly have a background in your area of sales and expertise in this arena. I find using this approach, the answers will rise to the top of the list and renew your energy as an entrepreneur. One last thought, we test our site for feed back with third party services. At the end of the day no matter how smart we think we are sometimes we miss the mark and testing with actual users gives us great insight.
Just my .02 cents!
Good luck! Keep the Faith!
I'd talk to a web designer/seo consultant. They can help you update your website and work on the seo with you. They may also be able to point you to a social media consultant.
I suggest you go exercise and meditate and try to break your issues down from the big picture to the smaller picture; as suggested in other recommendations...Sounds like you need to a mission and vision statement on your website and I agree with Doug McQuilken on going to a Score chapter for help. I am a member of Score and we fix things and help entrepreneurs...