Need Help With Your Solo Startup: Simple Inbound Marketing Strategy That Grows With You
The world of inbound marketing is more of an ecosystem that you have to navigate and this is how personal brands and small business can finally get success and not get lost along the way.
(Help wanted: Medium is an large interactive community and I am asking for comments to help make this post better. I think this could be a good freebie for me in the future. Good, bad, ugly, please give constructive criticism. I appreciate your help. And yes, there is a few dreaded affiliate links.)
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” — Sun Tsu
Everyone knows by now that you needs a general marketing strategy. Gotta get the word out. But where do you start if you’re new or starting, business or personal brand?
Focus on inbound marketing tactics that drive traffic and leads.
Fact: Small business spend about 2 hours a day on social media and SEO on average.
First step is to determine your goals for your business or brand. This strategy is targeted for goals of traffic and leads. That’s why it’s called inbound marketing. (Sounds like a good goal to me!)
Inbound marketing, it’s not a one trick pony. It’s an ecosystem that you navigate in order to create a foundation for your business or brand.
Like most goals for your business, you need a plan to get there in order to stay on track accomplish the end results you’re after!
So, next you’ll want to do a quick audit of your online presence. If you have none, this should go pretty quick. Create any new social accounts you need.
You shouldn’t be developing too many social networks at single time but you should try to lock up your consistent handle for each. (example: if your biz is ‘Unicorn Uniforms’, you’ll want all your social networks to be that same username)
The goal is simple. For the most part, the goal is to provide value and gain leads.
Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue. — Andrew Davis
My inbound strategy at a glance:
Goals ⤑ Post and curate on social media ⤑ Offer simple freebie through mailchimp optin (Leverage sniply) ⤑ Start a website for more landing pages ⤑ Build out simple website ⤑ Get to SEO’ing & beyond!
Start with social media
Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage. — Amy Jo Martin
Large, small or solo, social media is a great place to start because it’s free and the people are already there.
Provide value where people are. Interact with them and begin to build a following. (This could take a minute but don’t buy any followers. It’s just not worth it)
Curate top articles and resources. Whether you created something or wrote an article, share it. Also, if someone else did but it will help your readers, share it. They will appreciate it.
BUT when you share content, use Snipy first! Sniply is like bitly in the fashion that you can track and redirect people but where it is really powerful is the ability to display a classy popup with your freebie or message choice. Yes, directly on their website!
- It doesn’t work with every site but it’s extremely easy to set up and see that blue ‘click here’ button at the bottom overlaying the someone else’s website? Yeah, Powerful! Want to see what it looks like in action, Test it for yourself.
Imagine sending someone to an awesome post perfect for the reader and your optin is sitting there patiently, respectfully, waiting for them to give you their email address! (You probably need Sniply today.)
And don’t forget to humble brag every once in a while too! People want updates from a real person. Equally, be vulnerable occasionally.
Next up, website time
“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” — Lindon Leader
At first, you’ll just need landing pages so you can use a landing page plugin or you can use Leadpages. Either way the idea is to capture email.
Note: Many might argue thats as long as you’re collecting emails you don’t really ever need a website (especially, if you’re already on Medium).
On the landing page, there will need to be an opt-in for your freebie offer. For the optin, use something like mailchimp (perfect for just getting started, cause they’re free) and then for the freebie, consider a checklist or video or something like any of these.
- Personally, I would recommend video. It’s debatably the easiest content to create if you keep it pretty raw with basically no editing and nothing flashy. Just speak 3–10 minutes about your secret or tips.
“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.” — Paul Cookson
Then, level up your website to 3 pages or so. Home page (treat it like a ‘start here’ page), 1 ultimate guide on a single page, and a simple contact page. And every page will have an optin for your freebie.
Few keys about websites to remember are the branding (think color and font type) and be sure to include videos (increases the time visitors stay on your page).
The SEO foundation
“Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.” — Jill Whalen
Now that you have a simple website in place you can start investing into that digital assest. There is 2 main focus points with seo: on-page and off-page.
For on-page, you want videos for low bounce rate, the title and alt tag of an image to reflect the purpose of your page (or section the image is in) and linking to other pages in you site (that will become more important when/if you really start blogging on your website). You can even get royalty-free images from sites like Unsplash.
Next, would be off-page and my recommendation would be to start with local citation and directories (but not necessarily the $5 ones).
Social signals (visitors coming from your site from a social network) is now key for seo. Works out great for us because we started with social media! Every time you create something, add it your social networks, especially Pinterest.
These social signals reminds search engines that your site is still alive.
As I mentioned, inbound marketing is not a one-trick pony. It’s not just a do-it-once and then it’s done-forever thing.
It’s a series of steps through a journey that you build on in order to create a valuable digital asset that you own and control.
With that said, this is ongoing. You’ll want to watch competition, make your list of “ism’s” and regularly use the language from your fans and followers. (We’ll touch more on these at a later time.
The journey doesn’t ever end though it can become easier.
Final sum-it-up quick tips before we end:
- Always be real
- Be consistent
- Leverage optins
- Give away your best nuggets
- It’s not a one trick pony
Call To Action
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work” — Peter Drucker
Get in the game. You have the path, so get going on this inbound marketing strategy. But who will do the hard work?
You have 3 options:
- Do-it-yourself ~ up to 12 hours a week of each work
- Hire an employee ~up to $3k a month
- Let me help ~ only $299 a month to start
Seems like a lot, but I can help!
30 seconds about me
Husband and father with a passion for helping small business. I have been dating my wife for 5 years and have 2 boys (3 years old and 3 weeks old). I’ve tried to do a number of things to supplement income for my family and this seems to have stuck!
Full transparency, I am looking for my first 10 clients and would love to get you started with this inbound marketing strategy.
I only offer 1 thing. It’s a path and this journey starts at $299 a month then builds as you progress through the steps at your own pace.
Clap, comment, then contact me today to see if we are a good fit for each other! Email me at email@example.com with the subject, “Get me started!”