Best practices to navigate from a traditional grassroots marketing approach to a digital marketing approach in a solo-preneur world.
If you haven’t noticed by now, if the success of your business relies on your ability to sit in front of someone over a cup of coffee -it’s time to change your approach. This pandemic has cast a light over solo-preneurs weak spots, digital marketing.
We get it. Digital marketing can seem overwhelming. For most solo-preneurs all they see is time & resources that they don’t have, because digital marketing is a game that never ends.
As we look ahead at the trends in this industry (finance, etc.) & knowing that we cannot al-ways rely on that face-to-face interaction, digital marketing becomes your lifeline.
Read below to see what small steps you can be taking today.
- Get clear what your brand standards are. The Do’s and the Don’ts.
- Being able to effectively communicate within the brand on behalf of the brand is your top priority.If you don’t, you run the risk of misrepresenting the company as a whole and potentially confusing your target audience.
- If your company doesn’t have a brand guideline this is a great time and opportunity to develop one or outsource. Not having a guideline is like telling someone to make a complex meal without giving them the recipe. It’s a disaster.
- Remember, a brand is NOT a logo. A brand is the accumulation of how your audience feels about you. It’s important to be intentional& remain consistent.
Each social platform that exists tailors itself to a unique audience and has a specific purpose that you have to navigate. You can’t approach each plat-form the same across the board. Get intentional about which platforms make the most sense to you based off of your goals & target audience and craft your content appropriately.
- Research what others are doing in your industry. What is working & what is not? This will help give you a competitive edge when deciding what content to produce.
- Invest in a program that allows you to batch content and schedule far in advance. It saves you time & a headache, allowing you to create your content weeks & months in advance.
- Create templates (in appropriate dimensions) for ease of use and a consistent look.
- Be real. You are speaking to other humans with real fears, needs, and desires. Interact in the way that you would like to be interacted with. Do a gut check if it feels icky, then it’s probably icky to everyone else.
- Create a strategy (year, quarterly, monthly, weekly road map) which allows you to craft your content intentionally. Remember, you are in control of the conversation. Each post takes your audience on a specific and unique experience of your brand.
- Stay consistent. A lot of people create such an in-depth plan right off the bat that will only set them up for failure. Start simple and grow. 2-3 solid & con-sistent posts a week is 1000% better than 4-7 inconsistent and jumbled posts week-over-week.
- Re-post content from an outside source that doesn’t fit your brand standards & represent your values.
- Post the same content on all platforms. LinkedIn (B2B) vs Instagram (B2C).
- Infrequent posts- commit to something and do it well. Consistency builds trust (messaging & timeliness)
- Be overly sales focused and pushy. The pressure is real and for every 1 person you convert into a sale you lose 100 more.
- Only focus on products/sales/yourself. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about the individuals you serve. Focus on what your brand stands for, it’s impact in others lives & the community. Your brand is a living & breathing entity and you should interact with it as such.
- Beat yourself up. Marketing is your side job to what you really want to bring to the world. Yes, grassroots does work and you should continue to develop your strategy in that realm. However, the work you pour into the digital space will snowball and stay with you indefinitely. We all started somewhere, what’s important is that you just -start.
Communication is at the heart of all that we do. When you are interacting in person it is much easier to read body language and tailor your messaging to that individual. In the digital world, we don’t have that ability.
Even though we are able to reach a larger audience all at once, consider narrowing in on who you want to communicate with.
Since everyone needs to be communicated with differently, tailoring your messaging to a specific audience (#niche) you will be able to make a bigger impact that can result in a faster ROI.
Tone of voice- Writing text IN ALL CAPS makes the reader feel as if you are yelling at them. Using excessive exclamation points confuses the reader. If all of the co-tent is exciting and important how will they ever focus on that you feel is important?
Demographics-How you interact with someone at age 25 is very different than how you interact with someone in their 50’s. Speak to the pain points of the group that you are directing your messaging at. If you don’t know their pain points, now is a good time to do some field research. If your article or post is discussing the trouble of parenthood and you are interacting with someone who is 20, you will miss the opportunity to connect and make them feel like this brand is for them. Remember, it’s not about you...it’s about everyone else.
Strategic Partnerships- Strength in numbers is real. Build relationships with other organizations, business owners, and influencers who enhance & relate to you brand stance & values. Your platform is not just for you and your agenda. By using it to promote others allows you to back up your brand values to the public, support others, and expand your visibility (you get to benefit from being seen by their network as well). Strategic partnerships make the world go round and can be your biggest weapon when communicating and engaging with your audience.
Social media helps you to establish your brand and maintain your digital relationships with your desired audience. However, social media will never drive traffic to your website like Google does.
When your business is new and/or you have a small presence via social, you need to cre-ate as small as a path to your website as possible.
We’re not saying give up hope on building a social media following, we’re just saying not to rely on it to be your primary sales tool in those early days.
With social media you’re building a community you’re having conversations. It’s about connection, not sales.
Increasing your SEO (search possibilities) can be done in many ways. Ways in which you can focus on now to make a big impact are as follows:
- Make sure each page on your website has appropriate search terms embedded in the page.
- Use appropriate hashtags in each post/video/blog to increase the likelihood of being found.
- Investing time in creating blogs, articles, and videos will help beef up your SEO.
- Create a budget that allows you to run paid ads & bid on ad words.