When I write posts I always have in mind that I’m writing for people that, more than entrepreneurs, are following their passion and somehow working on a life’s project, putting their work out there. I also assume that I’m able to provide a little help with advice on something that is not their expertise, for example, I think that a life coach, an artist or a web designer should focus on enriching his/her career and that there is little time to learn about other aspects of the business like marketing or accounting. I’m hoping to provide a little value to those people.
Now, talking about how to market your business, I think it should be pretty clear by now that there is no other tool with such potential as the internet. Having a website or a blog is not even a discussion anymore, but that is just the first step. I have said before that you can’t just throw a website out there, you need to promote it.
One of the books I read recently is “Change The Way You See Everything”. Following the whole concept of Asset-Based Thinking, I found this quote which I have made a principle of how I conduct my marketing efforts. The funny thing is that it no longer feels like an effort…
“You always have something of value to add. Always. Identify your assets, never doubt them, put them out there for the right people to see and watch what happens.“
So this is a list of 5 things I recommend you consider using around your site or blog to promote your work outside. Your site will always be the final destination for your visitor, but these tools allow you to come out and play:
You can consider Tumblelogs to be in the middle of blogging and microblogging. The beauty of this platform is that you can share different media formats like text, quotes, audio files, photos or video while in microblogging you can only post a link to the actual file making it a 2-step process.
Also, platforms like Tumblr and Posterous are known for making the whole process very simple, so posting a YouTube video for example is as easy as just posting text. My suggestion is that you use this platform to add and share other people’s content that you wouldn’t post on your blog and sharing other resources that are relevant to your followers. It is a way of adding value to what you’re already creating as original content.
While I prefer Tumblr, I have to admit that Posterous has a much easier process for posting by using email, you can send a link to a video or attach a bunch of pictures in an email and Posterous will turn it into a post. Here is my Tumblr and my Posterous if want to take a look at them.
You might be more familiar with the concept of Microblogging because of Twitter‘s popularity. Text posts of a max of 140 characters are a great way to share your content and drive some traffic to your site. If you are a Twitter rookie or your thinking of giving it a try, there are things you should know, especially regarding etiquette. A great place to start is my post “Best ‘How To Use Twitter’ Resources For The Overwhelmed Beginner” where you’ll find all kinds of resources.
Besides Facebook, Twitter is probably the place where you’ll get the most exposure and if I have to give one advice to go on to a good start, it will be to really interact with others, or it will feel like your performing a monologue at an empty stadium… Seriously. Here’s my Twitter if you care to exchange tweets with me.
3. Social Bookmarking
That famous quote from Field Of Dreams “If you build it, they will come” will not do the trick here. Social Bookmarking sites such as Digg, Mixx or StumbleUpon are great traffic generators but you need to do your share of work. Now, if you are working on your passion and building your life’s work whatever that is, wouldn’t you want people to see it? If you don’t hustle promoting your work, your site or blog will feel like… exactly, an empty stadium.
Social bookmarking is not just a way of throwing a backlink out there and hoping that people will follow it, did you notice the word “Social” on social bookmarking? Yes, you can also build a community of friends just as if you were on Facebook, as a matter of fact, sites like Digg can connect to your Facebook profile as a seamless sharing tool. You can join me on Digg too by the way.
4. Social Networking
No, of course I’m not going to explain social networking, but I will say that If you are not using this platform to promote your work, business, project or whatever you are working on, then you are wasting the number one marketing tool out there. It is important to mention a couple of things:
- You don’t need to be on every single network to increase your visibility, you will only be successful at one or two of them and the rest will become a royal waste of time and energy…
- Understand your target market, MySpace and Linkedin are not hangouts for the same crowds.
- If you really think Facebook is only to connect to your ant on the other side of the planet, you need to take another look at it.
5. Other Media
Other media such as video or photography are proven tools to engage your visitor, they make your site or blog more attractive and give the end-user an alternative to text. Believe me, a word count of 1,500 in front of you feels like forever after a long day of work…
But what I’m suggesting is that you centralize these content formats in alternative properties, in other words, if you post a lot of your own photography, consider having a Flickr account that you can link to your site. If you produce video, start a Vimeo or a YouTube channel.
Just to be crystal clear on this one, I’m not saying you should not post your videos on your blog, but have an alternative channel where your visitor can get them all at once, of course linking back to your site… Here’s an example of what I did with my Mini-Tutorials, you can watch them here on my blog or you can go visit my Vimeo Channel and get all the juice in one place.
So what I’m saying is…
Find simple ways to spread your awesomeness around. Create a web marketing portfolio with these tools, just remember that that’s all they are… tools.
The product is the king, and that my friend, is YOU.
If you are using other social media tools, share them with us…