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How to successfully market online 5 April 2007

The internet offers a relatively easy and inexpensive – often free – way to market your products and services. It also provides a perfect medium to trial or test certain marketing strategies that would otherwise cost you dearly in your ‘marketing dollar’ offline.

Here are 3 steps to online marketing success:

1. The first is an obvious one. Have a website – now, I often get asked just how important having a web presence is, especially if you happen to be a solopreneur…

I think it’s vital for ALL businesses to have a website. Okay, not quite a requisite for doing business; after all, people have been doing business for centuries without the web. But it certainly makes sense to have some kind of web presence in order to get or remain competitive in today’s fierce marketplace.

Plus, in this digital information age, more and people are doing business on the web. Marketing experts predict that the number of online consumers will grow by about 50% in the near future.

So I suppose the real question is, can you afford to be left behind (or perceived to be an dinosaur, out of touch with the times)?

Even a simple website will do. Just something that allows your potential customers, business partners, investors and employees to find out more about you quickly and easily. Of course, it helps if your 11-year-old nephew didn’t do it!

2. Next, you’ll want to make sure you offer something of value at no cost on your website, in addition to it providing the who, why, what, where, etc. So, if you are an architect, you might want to provide sample house-layout plans, or you could offer a ‘how-to’ guide on designing green ‘eco’ houses. If you sell herbs, you could offer some tasty recipes using your products. That kind of thing.

The idea here is to provide information that interests your target audience – the very people you wish to attract to buy your products or services. By providing valuable free content you attract more of the right kind of people to your website, and, more importantly, you establish yourself as a credible expert in your chosen field.

3. The third step is to create an ezine. You could, of course, start a blog, but that’s a whole other article. 😉

An ezine is essentially a free online newsletter (it doesn’t have to be free, of course, but I highly recommend that you offer one that is free, however short). Ideally, you’ll be posting your ezine at least once per month, and providing more valuable free content that would appeal to your readership. In my newsletter, Communiqué for Success, I offer a variety of information – including tidbits, how-to articles, resources, tips, and more. You can see the current version here: http://www.mediaminister.co.uk/marketing_cfs_newsletters.htm

People sign up to my ezine mainly directly via the sign-up box that is on my website. Otherwise, people will post an issue on to friends or colleagues, who will also sign up.

The real beauty of your ezine list is here you have people who are qualified – that is, they are interested in what you do or offer – and don’t mind hearing about new products or deals, and so on. That’s part of the deal. You’re offering them free content in return for them occasionally getting a promo email from you, besides the tips, etc.

You know, you could send out a separate email or include an ad in your own ezine that essentially says, “Hey! I’ve just launched a new service. If you want to try it out at a specially reduced price, just click here, or email or call me…”

For more on online marketing, visit:

http://smallbizmarketing.110mb.com/

Newsletters that Build Customer Relations And Fill Your Inbox with Orders, http://www.mediaminister.co.uk/products.htm#Newsletters

Using Online Marketing to Your Advantage, http://www.mediaminister.co.uk/products.htm#Online

Website Copywriting Secrets that Convert Web Readers into Buyers, http://www.mediaminister.co.uk/products.htm#Webcopy

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

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4 Responses to “How to successfully market online”

  1. I agree – for those people who just need a basic website http://www.citymax.com is an easy online builder with tools like shopping carts, autoresponders & easy to use templates for around $20 a month. It’s perfect for the do-it-yourselfers that don’t need to worry about SEO or complex flash stuff.

  2. Hi

    Thanks for your comment.

    CityMax sounds good – very similar to what 1&1 offers, which I think starts at $3.99 per month, but don’t quote me on that!

    Of course, there is always the option of setting up a blog using WordPress – some people can do very well in business just using a blog these days. Or so I’m told.

    My 5p (inflation!)? Do both a website and a blog – you need to try to reach as many of your target audience in as many different ways as needed.

    Cheers!

  3. th1market Says:

    Great info and I do like your blog there’s a lot of good info here in wordpress

    and for more free tips and info for your business and for home based business opportunity’s

    please visit http://th1market.wordpress.com/
    and please leave a comment tell me what you think
    even though its in the early stage
    I will visit here again.
    thanks
    tony Harvey
    http://www.th1market.com

  4. Aw, thanks, Tony.

    Be sure to bookmark my new blog (this one has moved):

    http://blog.mediaminister.co.uk/

    Will endeavour to get over to yours and leave my thoughts very soon.


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