I was searching for a career change a few years ago and landed on a website that seemed quite successful, with a blog offering marketing coaching. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I contacted the company, did some trial coaching and signed up for their mentoring program.
The website was built on WordPress and most of the coaching modules were recorded videos, taking time out of an already busy schedule. I distinctly remember the first time I tried watching one of these coaching videos. My schedule was already packed and I wondered how I would find the time to watch and study these videos. Little did I know that I would come to rely on them heavily as a form of self-education, especially after I started my own online marketing coaching business.
Since then, I’ve continued my educations via trial and error, reading, and learning from both seasoned marketers and the incredible amount of content created by online marketers themselves. I’ve picked up a lot of great tips along the way and I wanted to share some of them with you, my fellow entrepreneur, coach, and online marketer.
1. Build Your Own Coaching Library.
With the rise of influencer marketing and the popularity of content creators network (CCN) platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and more, online marketers are able to build an incredible library of content, which they can access from any device.
The question is, what are you going to do with all this content? Instead of consuming it passively, like reading an eBook or listening to a podcast, you can build a library of your own, filled with the content that you find most valuable. You can also create curated playlists or download individual modules to follow along with, as and when you have time.
This is especially beneficial if you’re looking to develop a new skill or learn from the pros. If you know exactly which resources you need to learn a certain skill, you can create a library of that skill, filled with information about what you need to learn to be able to successfully master it. This is the epitome of being an active learner.
2. Measurement Is Everything.
When it comes to marketing and sales, measurement is everything. This holds true whether you’re measuring the success of your Facebook ads or setting up automated email campaigns.
With the former, you can measure the reach, demographics and engagement of your target audience. This allows you to determine what worked and what you can do to improve your chances of gaining more traction with your audience.
With the latter, you can measure the success of your automated email marketing campaign by looking at metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. This allows you to see exactly how many people opened your email, clicked on a link, or took some action (e.g. made a purchase or signed up for a trial offer or affiliate program).
Ultimately, you want to put in place a strategy that allows you to track the success of your online marketing efforts and determine what works and what you need to change to improve your results. Without measurable results, it’s really difficult to determine if you’re headed in the right direction or need to make a U-turn.
3. Focus on Being Unique.
Being unique is the best way to go. If there is already someone out there doing something similar to what you’re doing, chances are you’ll stand out, even if it’s just by a little.
It’s always better to be different, as long as you’re not hurting anyone along the way. If your product is unique and solves a problem that no one else is solving, you can bet that you’ll stand out in the crowd and gain some traction with your audience.
Look at Airbnb versus hotel. While both provide you with a place to stay, the former is essentially a network where you can find strangers who are willing to rent out a room in their home, allowing you to save money on hotel rooms and enjoy someone’s company, while traveling. The latter is a place where you’ll find people who are looking to rent a private room, for the night, and you are the lucky person who got the honor of renting it.
In today’s digital world, being unique, specifically when referring to your messaging and content, can mean completely rethinking the way you approach marketing. You can use all the tools available to you to be different, including:
- Adjusting your website’s layout to match your message (e.g. using larger fonts for an authoritative feel or smaller fonts for an inviting feel).
- Adding quirky design elements like cartoons or other imagery that will make your audience smile (think McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, or Peppa Pig’s outfits).
- Recurring messages throughout your content (e.g. using the word “save” or “cheap” a lot in order to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry).
- Offering multiple options for customers (e.g. hotels can offer, aside from a traditional single room, additional sleeping arrangements like bunk beds or double rooms).
- Telling a unique story that will make your audience connect with you (e.g. if you run a hotel, you can share the memorable experiences that your guests have while staying there).
Being unique doesn’t mean that you have to do everything alone. You can use online marketplaces like Etsy, where you can find customers who want to rent or buy your products, or Shopify, where you can set up a store in minutes and start selling your products, to name just a few.
You can also look into starting your own blog, with a healthy dose of affiliate marketing (making money online through affiliate marketing). To help you get started, here are a few tools that I recommend:
- Blogger – the simplest way to start a blog. Free. (You can also use WordPress or Medium if you’re looking for a more robust platform.)
- Wix – for building your site quickly and easily. (You can also use SquareSpace or Shopify to build your store if you’re looking for a more robust option.)
- Shopify – for setting up your online shop and taking care of sales and shipping. ($9 per month plus $2.95 per month for each additional product you want to sell.)
- Etsy – for finding customers who want to buy your products.
If you’re just getting started or looking for an easy way to make a few extra bucks, then Etsy is somewhere you should consider checking out. You can find a variety of products that you can sell, from jewelry and clothing to artwork and invitations.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to use Etsy to make money online. You can use a variety of platforms to sell your products, including shop-botted websites, as well as online marketplaces like Amazon, or Alibaba, if you’re looking to sell your products internationally.
4. Create compelling content.
Without compelling content, no one will want to read your blog post or watch your video. If you want to be able to draw in your target audience, you’ll need to create content that is worthy of their time.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a professional writer to produce compelling content. There are plenty of easy-to-follow guides online that can help you develop the skills you need to become a successful content creator. For example, you can use the 10 step approach to video content creation, developed by HubSpot, which will help you develop compelling video content for your business.
Or you can use the Copywriting for Online Marketers course from the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM), which will help you develop the skills you need to become a compelling copywriter for online marketing.
If you’re looking to create specific content for YouTube or other video platforms, there are plenty of courses out there to help you build a following and be considered one of the “big dogs” of YouTube, alongside the creators, marketers, and celebrities, who have millions of subscribers.
5. Distribute your content widely.
When I first launched my marketing coaching business, I did everything myself. From creating the content, to posting it to social media, to sending out weekly emails, and more.
While there are many platforms out there, like YouTube, where you can find audiences who want to hear from you, getting your content out there to as many eyeballs as possible can help you gain credibility and make more sales.