This post is a guest post by Muzammil Bashir
If you are an entrepreneur, starting a business online, then there’s no two ways about it; you will have to learn how to market your business online, and you will have to do it well. Unfortunately, to a newcomer there is a lot to learn.
You might think your passion is for books, watches, craft suppliers or whatever – but as soon as you start your business, half of your life is going to be spent doing marketing…
Pick a strategy or two
The first thing to say about internet marketing is that it is a massive area, you can’t do all of it, so don’t bother trying. If you try to cover everything right away you will fail at the whole lot. Here is a simple way to start putting together a marketing plan though:
1: Email marketing
every online business should do this, no ifs no buts. This is the most underutilised weapon online. From day one you should be learning how to set up a mailing list and sign up with an email marketing provider. As soon as you get your first few customers you should start sending emails and building relationships.
2: SEO / PPC
SEO generally provides a better ROI (for most businesses) but takes longer to kick in and requires a bigger investment up front. PPC such as Adwords is quick to set up, but it is easy to lose a load of money. I suggest you pick either SEO or PPC and learn to do it well. Don’t attempt to do both at once, not at first anyway.
3: Social media
whether to use social media or not depends on you and your business. If you are selling B2B, or if you product is pretty dull, social media might not make a ton of sense. If you are already a Twitter pro, or if you are selling fashionable and interesting products, then maybe you should try social media. Again, just pick one channel at first, don’t try to do everything at once.
4: eBay / Google Base / Amazon
these are both great ways to get your products in front of potential customers. Pick at first and work on it. If you are selling products at a heavy discount, eBay will probably work well for you. If not, consider Google base or Amazon.
Set aside the time
Once you have picked your marketing channels, you will need to learn how to use them, or hire a company that does. If you can afford the outlay, it is well worth getting in the pros, but doing it yourself can work if you are dedicated.
When you first start up you will have a hundred different tasks to do each day, it is really important that you set aside some time to concentrate on marketing though, as ultimately this is how your business will grow.
My name is Muzammil Bashir. I’m working with the Senior Editor of Net Effekt – A leading email marketing reseller.