1) Social Media is Magic
“This really works, and if you don’t believe me, look at what the big companies are doing.” Um, you’re not a big company. You don’t have their budget. You didn’t write a 300-page business card of a book, full of bad advice to help you sell seminars to big corporations with more money than sense. Their advice doesn’t apply to you.
2) Email Lists – Buy, Rent, Spam, Win
Just like junk mail but you don’t have to buy stamps. I focus on being easy to find, not knocking on doors and screaming “buy my stuff.” If somebody needs an editor, they’ll look for one. If they don’t, all the emails in the world won’t turn them into customers. So not only is it annoying to send and annoying to receive, but it doesn’t work. Don’t buy lists, don’t harvest, don’t do mass emailing.
3) Search Engines… Yeah, that’s the ticket
If you know what terms your ideal customer would look for, use those terms in your content. But write your content for humans first. Always be useful. Always be helpful. Ask yourself, “Would I do this if there were no search engines?” If the answer is “no,” then don’t do it. That’s how you make yourself findable by search engines, not by keyword density and SEO voodoo from pseudo-experts who are just guessing anyway. One algorithm update and they freak out because they’re not adding value, just gaming a system. Not only is that a bad way for you to actually connect with potential customers you can actually help, but it doesn’t work. Let Google punish you one time and you’ll regret every slurp of the snake oil, because that’s worse than paying for something you never receive. That’s paying money to actively screw yourself over.
4) Blogging – Write any damn thing and they will come
If you have something to say, say it. If you’re trying to meet a posting quota, don’t bother. Quotas and schedules are artificial, there’s already too much content in the world, and the way to solve that is not to create more useless content. This is why the good stuff that you and I write is so hard to find. Why do you read the blogs that you read? Your readers will read your blog for the same reason. Quality, not quantity, meaning you have my permission to blog monthly instead of daily if you want. Yearly might not be frequent enough.
5) You Must Do This To Succeed
Whatever it is, no you must not. If you know why it would be good for you to do it, then do it. But if the only reason you have is that some internet guru said so… You know your business better than he does, and now I question his credibility because he insisted that we must do something. Don’t believe him unless he makes sense. For you.
If that doesn’t work, well, what does?
1) Your Website
Ten years from now, all your favorite social media sites will be gone. Your website and your email address won’t be. How many Twitter followers do I have? Over 75,000. How many visit my website? Maybe twenty. So I’m a loser. Are you?
2) Help People Find You
That’s the biggest challenge, isn’t it? But again, big ad budgets aren’t the answer. You’ll just spend money, which will make somebody happy, but it won’t be you. The way to help people find you is to be targeted, focused, and above all helpful. Feel free to use any tactic you’ve heard about, but blend them into your own strategy. My strategy involves minimal self-promotion, and just enough blogging and social media to stay “top of mind.” Since my name happens to be my USP, that’s enough. Anyone can find me without trying very hard. That’s what works for me, but I have no idea what works for you. You’ll just have to figure that one out for yourself.
3) Know Your Customer
This is the beginning of all that works. Know your ideal customer. Know his interests, know his problems, know what he’s looking for, know where he’ll go to find it. Keep that in front of your mind as you decide what to try, what to write, where to spend. If it’s a tactic that would never convince you to buy, it probably won’t convince him or her to buy either. To succeed, you need to build relationships and solve problems. This leads to satisfied customers, steady income, and the joy of making the world a better place.