Does your path toward breaking out of your mold include you stepping into creating a business that is in alignment with what feels right for you? Do you have an idea of what you want to do, yet struggle to get in front of the right people? Maybe you are like I was, and you know you want to start a business, but you have no idea what your thing is or who your people are. In this post I will share best marketing strategies for getting in front of your people, even if you don’t know who they are or what your “thing” is yet.
First, I will start by saying that my road over the past 3 years has been awkward and windy (done in pure Queerdo style!). I mean, I daydreamed about writing and starting a business that spoke to my soul, but I had no idea what I would write about or who I would want to help.
Since I was so in love with the idea of writing, I did a good deal of research and eventually decided to try blogging. I was doing pretty well up to a point, and then I saw this pretty lady ranting about email list building and how I just HAD to do it. Next thing I knew, I was armpits-deep in learning how to put together online telesummits. I found this pretty fun, so I enrolled in an intense marketing program. I learned a ton of great strategies, but still had no clue what I was doing. And when I say it was intense, I mean intense. After that program ended, I still had no business, and no clue who my “people” were. I was just playing with marketing.
Since there were so many spiritual folks in the marketing program I was in, they were kind enough to let me know that my biggest issue was that I needed to learn to trust and develop my spiritual leadership. Many tried to rope me into a leadership program that I DID NOT feel comfortable enrolling in. However, having interviewed a kick-ass marketing guru & angel intuitive, I ended up enrolling in a program designed to help me strengthen my spiritual leadership. In addition to this amazing experience, I also enrolled in a life coach training program with a world-renowned life coach and business expert. Still, I struggled to find the best marketing strategies for me.
The whole experience has been like earning a degree in marketing strategies.
So now I’m walking around with all this marketing know-how and I’ll be honest…I have fallen in love with it.
So without further ado, here are a list of marketing strategies that I have had time to really play with. I am writing this with the intention of helping you get in front of your people, even if you don’t know who they are yet.
NOTE: These are not in order of what works best. The fact is, what works really well for one person might not work for someone else. As I learned from the Angel Alchemy Academy with Corin Grillo (which I highly recommend), you just need to do what feels right for you. Don’t let your brain get in the way. When it comes to this sort of thing (where there is a good deal of chance and choice involved), you really need to go with what FEELS good (in your body).
Here’s the cheat sheet:
- If you think about one of these marketing strategies and it makes you feel butterflies in your stomach, like you’re about to dive straight into a pool of beautiful crystal-clear water, this is GOOD.
- If you feel like someone punched you in the stomach & you feel like you’re about to dive into a pool full of vomit, DON’T DO IT.
Let’s move on.
The best marketing strategies for you…
Below is a list of some of the marketing strategies that I have tried. Use the “cheat sheet” above to feel into them and see what you might want to try out. I am including a description of the strategy, my experience with it, a “learning curve” score, and indicators that it might be for you. Just to let you know…I will not mention the name of programs I don’t recommend. I will, however, suggest programs that I have heard good things about.
I will also preface this to say that this is, by no means, a comprehensive list of marketing strategies. These are only strategies that I have tried.
The World of Online Events
Online events are excellent ways to broadcast what you’ve got to the world. One of the most important bits of building an online business (and you’ll hear this over and over if you stay in the online biz marketing space for any length of time…or any marketing setting, for that matter), is that you need to develop your know, like, and trust factor. The online world is FILLED with SO MUCH STUFF, and the only way you’re really going to make it is if you’re:
- Providing value. People aren’t going to stick around unless they feel they are getting something GOOD. Time is precious. Value the time of others, and they will value you.
- Keeping it real. People KNOW when they’re being sold to, and they hate it. In this article, Generational Marketing: How to Target Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers, the younger your target audience, the more developed their BS meter. Just a note: if you check out that article, notice where your “dream” audience hangs out and focus on those channels. And if you plan on focusing on the super down-to-earth Gen Z kids, check out this one: How to Reach Generation Z With These 5 Marketing Strategies.
- Have a message worth sharing with the world. Once you find that message, stick with it. Finding the message, I know, is the tricky part. If this is true for you, hang in there and check out the piece about blogging below.
If you haven’t checked the “yes” box for all 3 of those points above, it’s not necessarily time for you to throw in the towel. You may just need to do a little diving prior to planning an online event. Below are 3 different types of online events you may want to try out: telesummits, challenges, and webinars.
Telesummits/Online Interview Series/Masterclass
The way these work: A host interviews a handful of online influencers about a particular topic prior to the launch of the event. In return for the exposure, each of the influencers sends a message to their email list (there is usually a list size requirement) to let them know that they will be interviewed for this series. The audience then signs up to watch/listen to the online series using a landing page. That landing page is connected to the host’s email marketing system. It also sends the email addresses that are collected straight to the host’s email marketing system. The host then prepares emails to go out every day after the launch of the summit. This puts the host in the position as an expert. After the series is over, the host then nurtures their email list and makes sales offers to work with them.
My Experience: This was one of the first online marketing strategies that I played with. I think the thing I really liked about it was how intense it was. There is something about my personality that craves intensity (I think it may be all of the Aries in my astro chart, for those of you who are “woo” inclined!). I really enjoyed the challenge of it all. Once one task was completed, it was time to move on to another. I was able to see instant results. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I had NO clue what I would be selling at the back-end of the summit, I simply ended up with this sweet list of people, along with knowing that I put together this really cool production (the theatrical teen in me loves the spotlight). I also met tons of influencers, and some of them are my friends ’til this day!
The Goal: The goal of telesummits is to grow your email list so that you can then market to the people on that list. It is by far one of the quickest ways to get in front of a LOT of people if you are first starting out and make some good cashola.
Learning Curve: This one is pretty intense. I mean, once you get on the giant hamster wheel of a telesummit, there really is no backing down. It just keeps getting more and more intense all the way until the summit is over.
This might be one of the best marketing strategies for you if…You have a tendency to start projects but not finish them, yet you’re also a people pleaser and you would hate to let the speakers and your new baby audience down. This is one of those strategies you HAVE to follow through with since it would SUCK to send out a message to everyone involved to let them know that you’re just not feeling’ it anymore. If you love the idea of connecting with high profile influencers, having a juicy project to sink your teeth into, and you don’t mind either hiring a VA or taking care of the technical bits yourself. This is an incredibly exciting strategy.
Where to learn more… I took Shanda Sumpter’s List Power. Not sure how much the program goes for now (she’s been hiking up the prices of her products for some time now). It really was a great program. However, you might find this Telesummit Training Resource Guide helpful if you don’t feel like shelling out upwards of over $1000 to learn how to do telesummits.
Online Challenges (3-7 Days)
The way these work: If the host has access to a handful of folks that might be interested in their work, they promote an online “Challenge” with their audience, and request that their audience share the word. A challenge can also be promoted with a Facebook or other Social Media ad. If the host has access to an email list, even better. The challenge can take place either live or on its own. Audience members receive an email from the hosts’ email marketing system (MailChimp, AWeber, Active Campaign, etc.) for each day of the challenge. Throughout the duration of the challenge, the host leads the audience through an experience designed to teach them something. This is typically a tremendous value for the audience. It positions the host as the expert and primes the audience to purchase a product on the back-end.
My Experience: Just like with the telesummit, I had nothing to sell since I didn’t know what I wanted to sell! Although I learned the strategy, I just really didn’t love it as much as telesummits. The cool thing about challenges is that they are AMAZING lead magnets for websites, and you can add a lot of folks to your email list this way. My favorite example of this is on Corin Grillo’s page. Her 7 Day Miracle Challenge is MASSIVELY popular and sends folks to her email list all the time. If you want an example of how a challenge is run, this is an excellent example.
The Goal: 1. To attract more subscribers (tribe members) to your email list. 2. To help a new audience get to know you so that you can make an offer at the end.
Learning Curve: The learning curve for challenges is not as steep as for telesummits, but there still are a handful of skills you will need to learn prior to launching your first challenge.
This might be one of the best marketing strategies for you if…the idea of hosting a live challenge and connecting with new tribe members right away is exciting for you (of course this is for the live version). Also, if you are looking for a “set it and forget it” way of warming up people that are new to your work, this is a great way to do that.
Where to learn more… I learned a LOT from Corin Grillo just by her example on her website. Here is an excellent article with more details: The Complete 5-Day Launch Challenge Strategy.
The way these work: Similar to the telesummits and challenges, with a webinar a host promotes an online event that will take place either via social media or email list. At the end of the promo period (~3-5 days), they then host the webinar using a live platform such a Facebook Live or Zoom. During this time the host interacts with the participants with the intent of making an offer on the back-end. You can choose to have people sign up so that you can grow your email list, should you choose to. An effective workflow for sales following a teleseries often goes like this:
Online teleseries ==> Challenge ==> Webinar ==> Make offer
Of course it isn’t necessary to do any of these steps. It simply is one way to warm up a list and make an offer. Of course you can also choose to do just one of these and then make an offer. Shoot, you can make an offer after every single one of these. The important thing is that you make an offer. Why? Because if folks are hanging out this long to listen to you, they very likely are dying to know what you’ll produce for them if they pay you.
My Experience: The teacher in me doesn’t mind doing webinars at all. Living in Japan, I found it incredibly difficult to find a time that would work for my audience, which is largely based in the US. Therefore, webinars don’t really work for me. I have recorded past webinars and I “repurposed” the content (used the information over again) in emails, blog posts, and posted them on YouTube.
The Goal: 1. To teach the audience about tools/a strategy/inform them about something they NEED. 2. Make an offer.
Learning Curve: This is probably the simplest of the online events. You can do it on Facebook Live or using Zoom. Much simpler.
This might be one of the best marketing strategies for you if…the idea of hosting a live challenge and connecting with new tribe members right away is exciting for you. Webinars are GREAT for lead generation (email list building) as well. If you love teaching others, webinars can be fun.
Where to learn more… For this, check out this article: How Do Webinars Work? A Beginner’s Guide to Webinar Marketing.
Social Media Marketing
The way it works: If you choose to use Facebook as a marketing platform (a place to market your goods), you then would need to create a Facebook Business page. It’s through this that you can then create ads and check analytics (basically how your content and ads are doing…which can be pretty addicting to check!). This page can be used to announce business events, deliver content (like on Facebook Live), share blog posts, etc. If you are looking for more engagement from your audience, you would then create a Facebook Group where events, content, much more audience interaction takes place. A Facebook group is much more interactive than a business page. Marketers commonly create Facebook groups wen they are looking for engagement for events such as with a challenge (see above). Groups are great for audience interaction and building a community. Facebook ads can be created to attract audience members for a Facebook group or online event that has been ongoing and active.
My Experience: I have a Facebook Page that has steadily been growing for the past few years. If I was more active on it, I know that it would grow much faster. I have also used Facebook Groups with great success during my telesummits. They really are effective for connecting with audience members and helping to create that know, like, and trust factor. I have also participated in a number of classes that used Facebook groups as a way to connect. Facebook ads are really effective, particularly when you play around with targeting the right people. I actually have made some sales that way!
The Goal: The goal of a Facebook Page is to let people know about your business and what they can expect from you. Facebook Groups are for connecting with your audience, running online events, and are a place for interaction for a class/ongoing connection. Facebook ads advertising to attract people to your services & online events. Use targeting to maximize your investment.
Learning Curve: If you are familiar with Facebook already, the learning curve won’t be as steep as if you’re a complete beginner. I suggest taking each piece and learning about them, one at a time. Create a business page, then if what you offer lends itself to a group, try it out! As my blogging mentor says, “On the Internet, everything is editable!”
This might be one of the best marketing strategies for you if… 1. Your people are on Facebook already. 2. You are already familiar with Facebook. 3. You would like a place to connect with your audience easily. 4. You enjoy having a live forum to interact with your audience. 5. You enjoy going “Live” on video and plan to be relatively consistent with it. 6. You want to be more accessible to your audience.
Where to learn more… There are a slew of free online resources designed to show you how to succeed at using Facebook for business. Christina Jandali runs a Grow Your Facebook Group Challenge all around effectively building a Facebook group. Get on her list to get notified the next time her challenge will go live. Also, Facebook offers free courses for all things Facebook, and it is called Facebook Blueprint.
The way it works: If you have a blog or a landing page for a lead magnet (a freebie to exchange for email addresses) you would like to advertise, Pinterest can be a rather effective way to go. Create a Pinterest image, come up with an engaging description, and provide the link to the page the website that you want your audience to find. Pin it to a board or two, and hope that people will find it, save it, and click on it to opt in to your offering.
My Experience: I am relatively new to effectively using Pinterest as a marketing strategy, but I am extremely pleased so far. I have seen my analytics grow, and one of my pins even went mini-viral! It’s just so fun!
The Goal: I feel that Pinterest + People (as a sweet match made in heaven) is where I have experienced the greatest sense of human/online symbotic relationship. Pinterest needs new content, and small business owners need exposure to reach a greater audience base. It’s two-fold. And kinda sweet.
Learning Curve: If you can find a good course on Pinterest strategy, the learning curve isn’t too steep. It’s actually kinda fun!
This might be one of the best marketing strategies for you if…1. Your audience is on Pinterest. 2. You don’t mind a little light graphic design (I use Canva to make my pins). 3. You have a landing page or a website you want to direct your people to. NOTE: If you plan on doing live events and marketing to folks for those live events, Pinterest won’t work for you. It’s a longer game, and people will only get grouchy if they’re led to a link that no longer exists because your event is long gone. You want to make sure you have a freebie that will get your folks on your email list so then you can tell them about your future live events.
Where to learn more… If you’re looking for an excellent Pinterest strategy, I highly suggest Jennifer Maker’s The Pinterest Launch Plan. It’s what I’m working through at the moment. It’s at a low price point (which is awesome), and it’s super comprehensive.
YouTube and Podcasting
The way it works: I am, by no means, an expert on YouTube or Podcasting. I will share what limited information I have received. With both YouTube and Podcasting, you are able to position yourself as an expert by sharing your content via video and audio format. For both you need to keep your content consistent if you plan on gaining any sort of momentum. For YouTube you want to post 3 times per week, and when it comes to podcasting, you just want to make sure that people know when to expect an episode or they’ll be concerned that something happened to you. They just get that used to seeing your face and hearing your voice. Monetizing is possible with affiliate products or if you have your own product that you are promoting. I know that these both (but especially YouTube) are excellent ways to get your audience to fall absolutely head over heels in love with you.
My Experience: Again, this is very minimal. I have a YouTube channel, but I only really use it to keep videos for landing pages and such. I am choosing to focus my time on blogging. I will eventually take a deeper look at this when I feel my business really needs it.
The Goal: To share your message with your tribe via video or audio.
Learning Curve: Again, I can’t speak to how much of a learning curve this would take. However, if it speaks to you, I will be providing links to resources below. To draw more and more viewers for YouTube, you need to learn a little bit about SEO, so there will be a bit to learn in that regard.
This might be one of the best marketing strategies for you if…1. You don’t mind the idea of getting your face/voice out there. 2. You are excited to create content on a consistent basis. 3. You plan on focusing mostly on this. YouTube channels and podcasts work well together since you can record the audio of a YouTube video and then put it up on your podcast. Back-end bits do take quite a bit of time, so this is a consideration. If I wasn’t blogging, I would spend more energy on this. As a beginning business owner, you want to focus your efforts on ONE content outlet at a time. Therefore, if you’re choosing YouTube, it’s going to be YouTube. That’s it. Otherwise your business just won’t see growth.
Where to learn more…I have heard AMAZING things about Jennifer Maker’s YouTube Takeoff Quick-Start Course. For podcasting, I have heard that courses aren’t really necessary. Rather, you likely just want to invest in a good microphone like THIS ONE (for your Smartphone) or THIS ONE for your computer. There are a number of free tutorials that can help, such as this: How to Start a Podcast.
Other Social Media Platforms – Instagram and Twitter – Just a note
I have played around with these but can’t say much about them since my audience just isn’t there. I have heard that Twitter can be effective in directing traffic to your goods, but after playing around with it and getting no results, I can’t say I saw any reason to continue on that path.
I know that Instagram has tremendous potential, and Instagram TV is HOT right now. I just haven’t given it much attention. If your audience consists of folks that are on Instagram, by all means, go for it! Here are a few resources that I have heard are pretty good: Beat the Algorithm and Hillary Rushford has a Free Instagram Class (that, if you like it, leads to a more detailed course that I’ve heard great things about).
The way it works: Blogging is a marketing strategy where you create written content (it can also be video content) and host it up on your website. Once the content gets created, you (as the blogger) would then promote blog/vlog posts using one of the social media platforms above to attract readers. You would then place lead magnets (like printables or free trainings) on the site that encourage the readers to exchange their email address for a free product. Once these readers are added to your email list, you then nurture them, give them what they are looking for, and create products that they crave.
My Experience: I told a little bit about my experience in the opening, but I LOVE blogging. I really enjoy creating written content for others. I also really love the fact that my readers have access to ALL my content whenever they want it. I feel it serves them a lot better. Since I was a total newbie to the blogosphere back in 2016, I felt I needed to take a course. After doing my research and finding a number of posts referring to this one program, along with these crazy income reports, I enrolled in the Elite Blog Academy.
To be honest…When I first saw everything that was involved with EBA, I got overwhelmed. I thought I was going to have to attract people to read my blog right away, which was why I decided to learn how to do telesummits. See, I’m a SUPER stubborn person with shiny object syndrome. Had someone said, “HEY…you are going to learn ALL OF THE THINGS you need to know in order to create your own business from your blog…JUST STICK WITH IT!”, I would be a lot farther than I am today! That being said, I am LOVING blogging. I get to focus on what I love to write about. I don’t feel as much under pressure as I did when I was focusing on the other methods. I am also a mega introvert that still has a burning desire to help others, so it really works for me for that reason as well.
In addition, I had NO idea what I wanted to focus on for my business for the first 2 years. Blogging allowed me the space to explore this…to dive deep into myself through writing (which, if you’ve read this post about How Writing Helped Me Heal, you already know that this creative modality is sooo important to my own healing process).
The Goal: Yes, creating content that impacts the lives of other people is one of the main goals of blogging. But at the end of the day, blogging is also a marketing tactic that is incredibly effective at getting you in front of your people with your message. As readers (subscribers) are added to your list, you then nurture them and create products that they need.
Learning Curve: It is true that you can start a blog with really no knowledge of blogging. However, if your intention is to eventually bring in an income from your writing efforts as a blogger, this takes a lot more skill since blogging isn’t just writing posts and putting them on the internet. This is yet another reason why I would suggest enrolling in a comprehensive program that will help you refine your message, grow your audience, monetize your platform, and build your business. I found that EBA has all of these bases covered. I honestly can’t say enough about it!
This might be one of the best marketing strategies for you if…1. You aren’t too sure what your thing is or who your people are. Blogging helps you refine your message through deep introspection. 2. You are an introvert and the idea of creating written content is way more appealing than creating video content (even though you totally CAN use video for a blog). 3. You like the idea of having all of your content available for all of your “people” to have access to, at any time. 4. You’re looking to grow a MASSIVE email list. I thought telesummits brought lots of folks in, but I was so very wrong. Blogging attracts way more folks.
Programs you might want to check out…There are a few resources that I have used and highly recommend. First, check out the Problogger 7-Day Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog. This resource is free and insanely helpful for getting you started. Next (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again), do check out Elite Blog Academy. The program is excellent (it’s like blogging university), it is super affordable (compared to the tens of thousands that I’ve spent on all of the other marketing training I’ve done), and they continue to update the class. I started it back in December of 2016. I pressed the giant “pause” button on it for a few years. I then came back to it and found that all of the content had been updated, and that there was a huge community waiting there for me with open arms. So check it out!
The Power of the Email Marketing
The next thing I really want to talk about is that every single one of the above marketing strategies have in common is that, ultimately, you’re going to want o be building your email list. This is insanely important. Let me explain why.
Email lists are very much unlike “likes” or “follows”. Sure, your content may be seen on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram, and you may have a gazillion followers. However er, social media sites operate on algorithms. It is now common knowledge in the online marketing space that those algorithms change. Once they change, it doesn’t matter what great content you have or how many followers you’ve got. If your content or strategy isn’t something that works for the algorithm, you’re out of luck…and you end up losing out on business. Not only that, but if you are not converting followers into email subscribers, your entire business is at the mercy of whatever social media platform you are using. This, by far, is one of the best marketing strategies out there.
If that platform dies overnight, so do your followers.
Yikes. I know.
However, imagine for a moment if you woke up one morning and all social media was gone. Thankfully, you could breathe a huge sigh of relief. You now why? You still have their email addresses. Yes! You still have a way to contact your people, and in this hypothetical strange world with no social media, they’re going to need to hear from you!
I know that many don’t believe that this is the case, but marketing to an email list that is already interested in your message is so much more effective than shooting in the dark and hoping that some social media following will bring in some income.
Instead, build up your email list. Talk to them and love on them. Give them what they are asking for, and they will want to eventually pay you for it.
I truly hope that, should that curious part of you that wants to explore your entrepreneurial side decide to peek out, you found all of this information about the best marketing strategies that might work for you, helpful. One thing that I feel is extremely important to point out is that deciding to embark upon a baby biz journey is an incredibly exciting one. It can also be a crazy expensive one. I want to stress the importance of checking in with what is RIGHT and TRUE for you. Don’t go investing in any course that sounds fun and shiny.
In other words, don’t be me! ????
Go inward. Ask your body what really feels right. If you need help with that, please check out How To Use Your Body’s Wisdom to Find Your Truth. Because I don’t know about you, but my brain LOVES shiny objects! It is when I check in with my body that I really “hear” what is true for me.
Was this post helpful for you? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Also, I would love to answer any questions you have. Feel free to post a comment below or visit the Facebook Group and I will answer it for ya!