Moving from word of mouth to digital marketing
A reader sent me this question
I am about to “Go Live” with my website and Facebook pages. I am a sole trader, working with teams to challenge the way they operate / lead. In the past, my business was gained by reputation and word of mouth. Now that I am on my own, I believe it is time to have more of an online presence as some of my market will be completing online courses. What is your recommendation for the frequency of writing blogs and posting to Facebook or LinkedIn? Also, should that be to market or to educate my followers?
Word of Mouth marketing
There are many, many businesses whose main marketing activity is recommendation and referral.
This is done with no prompting from the business – it’s passive and costs nothing (expect having a good reputation).
But this is a really limiting marketing method. Any WOM marketing should be proactive and driven by the business – the unprompted referral is the “cherry” on top – an added bonus not a core tactic for a marketer. It’s a vulnerable marketing tool because it’s not within the control of the business.
Digital marketing 101
Starting to move to online marketing is challenging and the questioner is on the right lines with a website and some social media presence. BUT that is not sufficient to ensure success.
Key to digital marketing success requires you first to think carefully about strategy with regard to your audience.
- How can you serve them?
- What will they buy from you (now and in the future)
- How can you create a personal, scalable business that doesn’t just trade hours for dollars?
A couple of specific bits of advice while you plan your content strategy.
- Understand the needs of your customer
- Don’t give everything away for free
- Productise your services so they can be sold en masse [build up to this over time]
- Add on support products / services which serve the industry and underpin your area of expertise
This may sound complex – but it’s important to have a long term strategy of where you want to go with your freelance business before you get down into the detail of what to publish on Facebook this week.
Understand solopreneur marketing
I recommend you sign up to Unemployable.
Their podcast is called 7 Figure Small. This podcast and advisory course (paid) is built for people like you. Solo entrepreneurs who want to build a profitable business while remaining a small enterprise sold mainly online.
This episode published recently, “The Rise of the Personal Enterprise”.
It defines what a personal enterprise is, outlines the forces converging to make now the right time to get started, and describes what your revenue and audience building mindsets should be to get you started off in a way that can you support you now and scale later.