The end of summer is the perfect time to plan ahead for your fall marketing. If your marketing machine is working at capacity, that’s great! However, most of us (even marketers!) can benefit from taking a step back once in a while to see what’s new and figure out what’s missing from the mix.
Marketing yourself or your business online is critical. It’s the first place people go to learn more about you. Make sure that you’re easy to find and that the information is up-to-date. Here are three things you should think about.
Register for a Google My Business page:
When people search for your name or your business, your listing will appear at the very time of a search on a phone and on the right-hand side of the page on a computer, containing photos you’ve uploaded, your hours, contact information and reviews. Register here. You’ll need a Google account for this but once you’re verified (they’ll mail you a postcard to make sure you’re real) you’ll be able to collect reviews from your happy clients. It’s an easy way to build credibility and keep your information up-to-date.
Email really is the last channel we have to reach everyone we know. It’s a great tool for nurturing relationships with existing clients to help generate repeat business and referrals.
Your plan should include:
Software: If you’re serious about email marketing, you can’t use a personal email program. Constant Contact and MailChimp are both viable options. Your CRM may offer email marketing, but it’s not my first choice because they don’t usually have the functionality of software that’s designed for email marketing, nor do they look as good.
If you’re already sending email marketing (great!) it’s worth revisiting your contact list to make sure it’s complete. Make sure your recent clients are there.
If you’re just getting started, get your contact list together. You can start with people you already know such as friends, family and office colleagues if you like. Anybody you’ve done business with in the past two years can be added to a list, although it’s best practice to ask them if you can add them. (Pro tip – don’t just ask if you can add them to your email list, tell them you send out a great monthly newsletter with local information and ask if they would like to receive it).
You also need to collect email addresses moving forward. Right now, it’s all going to be virtual so make sure your website has a popup, you’ve included a link in your email signature and it’s one of the links on your LinkedIn.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn offer a lot of value, but only if you’re going to be posting good content consistently. Before people pick up the phone, they’re going to check you out online. The more robust your presence is, the more credible you will seem.
At the very least, update your profile on LinkedIn. When people Google your name, it’s one of the first things that comes up and it’s your way of controlling the conversation.
The two best things you can do to ensure social media success are to understand what success looks like – and to have a plan.
Social media should help you boost awareness and start conversations. Two key indicators of success are that the number of followers you have is increasing and that people are engaging (liking, commenting or sharing).
When: Your plan should include a calendar to help you know when you’re going to post.
What: Spend some time online to figure out which sites are posting content that you think your audience is interested in.
Where: Different social channels attract different people. Figure out where your potential clients are likely to be.
How: Consider using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite and a news aggregator like Feedly to help you save time.
I realize these are broad overviews, but it should give you something to think about. If you would like to go deeper into any of these topics, please get in touch. I also offer free webinars about email marketing and social media. If you would like to know more, let’s talk!