The Ultimate Guide To Marketing Your Talents and Skills Online
Are you looking to build a digital business from your talents and skills? Here’s a 3-part strategy on how to get started marketing your talents and skills online.
The internet looks like the easiest place to make your first million dollars, right?
Chances are you haven’t yet.
So you’re still involved with the usual hustle…
You start a blog hoping to make a lot of money.
After reading a ton of blog posts on marketing and strategy, you put together a strategy for your business. After all, the authority figures told you to do that.
And that’s a good thing.
Two months down the line, you’re blogging away. You’re super enthusiastic about the future and can’t wait to get there.
Tap Tap Tap you punch away on your keyboard with the smile of a millionaire on your face.
Then you open your email and something catches your eye…
It’s another authority figure who promises to show you a secret tactic that’ll help you get what you want.
It’s shiny. It’s awesome. And from your judgement, it could work.
But the tactics are entirely different from what you’ve been doing for the past couple of months.
“There’s no harm in trying this too right? You can always do it alongside what you’re already doing.”
A few weeks later, you read another blog post showing you a new strategy.
After several months of trying all these new tips and tactics, you thrash your hands in the air and scream, “Nothing is working!”
The truth is it’s not your fault. You just failed to realize one thing:
The Importance Of Sticking To A Long-term Strategy
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Even if you have not started yet, the good thing is you’re reading this post. That puts you ahead of the pack. And if you have? You’re not alone.
With content marketing, even in its simplest form, you can build the digital business you want.
But Building A Strategy Is Pretty Hard
Or is it?
When marketing your talents and skills online, to build the digital business you want, there are three main parts you can’t ignore:
- Attracting the visitors
- Acquiring the potential customers and
- Engaging your audience
To really get those results we all want, we’ve got to be above average in all three. We’ll get to the definitions in a bit.
If your Attraction is good, but you have poor Acquisition, you’ll have a ton of traffic, but no business.
If Attraction and Acquisition are on point but Engagement is terrible, you’re like a miner who has a pot of gold and doesn’t know what to do with it.
And if attraction is terrible?
You cease to exist. Period!
A Basic Strategy To Marketing Your Talents and Skills Online
The good thing about this is you can build on it with whatever tactics you learn along the way.
I’ll divide this guide into three parts, and also show you how to implement each.
1. Attract Those Visitors
Attraction is the bread and butter of every digital business. It’s the traffic you need. And for your business to thrive, people have to know what you do.
However, it’s now getting harder to get people’s attention.
But if you get this right, you can make a random internet user to subscribe to your blog, fill your service request form, like your Facebook page, check out your product, link back to your blog post or even type your name into Google.
Sounds nice. But how do you get that traffic you need?
A. Reach out to Influencers
For people who create content, this has been the rave lately. But influencer outreach only works if you have something quality to give in return.
This could be a quality blog post that you want them to link to or share, a new product you want them to promote for you, or just a reason to connect.
This is because influencers take their time seriously. And if your influencers are people who could actually become potential customers, you need to know your game.
Reaching out to influencers starts from here:
- Build your influencer list. The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience by Quicksprout.
Then once you’ve gotten that list, you need to send them your outreach emails. How to do that is also mentioned in the post above.
- As I said, influencers are pretty busy, so one email won’t do the trick. The secret is in the follow-up: Top 13 Lessons On Writing Follow-Up Email by NinjaOutreach.
After spending a ton of hours creating my previous post on content outsourcing, I spent another 5 hours reaching out to influencers about it.
I didn’t realize the power of this until I got a client request from one of those influencers:
I just sat frozen in my chair staring at the email because I couldn’t really explain what just happened. He didn’t have to go through the whole sales funnel before becoming a client. Cool, right?
But this shows that conversion can happen at any of these three stages. You can start getting the customers and partners you want even before they fill your order form.
B. Build Your Presence On Social Media
I’m not a fan of social media. But Craig Dewe was able to get clients from his Facebook efforts.
Josh Turner has been able to grow a business from being active on LinkedIn.
So my “erkiness” for it doesn’t justify anything.
- So the first step is to choose the right social networks: How to Choose the Right Social Network for Your Business by Buffer.
- After discovering what social network you should be on, you gotta get those followers or fans or whatever you want to call them: The Social Media Advertising Beginner’s Guide for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by Buffer.
- But running ads isn’t the only way to attract people on social, or is it? How to Get More Followers, Fans, and Likes to Increase Your Social Reach by Hubspot.
To remain consistent, which is actually a key to success, you’ll need the following:
- A social media strategy. How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy From Scratch by Buffer.
- A social media calendar. How to Schedule Social Media Content for Next Week, Next Month, and Next Year by Buffer.
Why do you need all that? Because you need people to come to your network, and actually like what you’re doing. That’s the only reason they’ll join you.
Then if you have a website, and are looking to move your fans over there, this should help:
- Discover how to convert your fans to readers. A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Conversion with Social Media by Kissmetrics.
C. Build Authority With Guest Blogging
The number of ultimate guides to guest blogging shows that it’s a tactic that works.
But it can be daunting. And exhausting. And arrghh!
And it’s even worse when your guest posts get rejected. That’s if your pitch was accepted in the first place.
So here’s where to start from:
- Build a list of guest blog sites. How to Find the Best Places to Guest Blog by Quicksprout.
Once you have your list, do this next:
- Craft the perfect guest post pitch. The Perfect Pitch Email to Get Your Guest Post Accepted by Be A Freelance Blogger.
- Wow the host blogger. Write a guest post that doesn’t get rejected. 10 Reasons Why Your Guest Post Pitches Got Rejected by Make A Living Writing.
If you successfully get a post on an authority site, how do you make their readers yours? A lot of people miss it here. But here’s what to do:
- Craft the perfect byline. Why? Because this is what will convert the readers on the guest blog to your own email subscribers. Check this out: How to Get 1,800 Email Signups from One Guest Post by SumoMe (I was personally wowed by this post).
With all these steps, your attraction strategy has taken off.
Now let’s go to the most important part…
2. Acquire Those Potential Customers
If your acquisition is poor, you’ll have no business.
Acquisition is what allows you to convert those visitors you attracted into either new customers, subscribers or regular readers.
And unlike attraction, it’s actually getting easier to acquire them. You just need the right things in place. And the right tools.
NOTE: If you’re just getting started online, you have to start with acquisition first, before attraction.
Do the basic things first. Then tweak along the way.
So let’s start from the most obvious:
D. Design A Website That Rocks!
Don’t get this point twisted…I’m not referring to a design that doesn’t take functionality into consideration.
With my background in content, I can say that good design isn’t really about the multitude of colours or design elements. But how it helps pass your message across.
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If visitors only spend time looking at your design and not your Calls to Action, you’re not getting any business. Even if you offer design services, they have to eventually see the button that says, “Hire my services”.
So, you want them to do both.
- There are a few factors you need to consider before designing (or redesigning) your website: 24 Things to Consider When Designing and Developing a Website by Social Media Today
- Before I take on any web design project, there’s one question I always ask clients, “What’s your goal?” And I outlined why here: The Only 4 Results Your Service Must Deliver To Clients
But that’s only the beginning.
The world is going upwardly mobile. For this reason, your website has to also look good on mobile. Besides, Google ranks your site higher when it is mobile responsive.
The truth is you don’t have to pay extra for this. You just have to use themes that make this possible.
- Get themes like the Genesis framework by StudioPress: Review- Why StudioPress Themes Are The Best For Lead Generation.
And when all is said and done, don’t spend forever trying to make your website better. You need to move on.
- Finally complete your website. That’s why Pamela had to write this post: How to Know When Your Web Design Is Done by Copyblogger.
E. Don’t Forget Your Landing Pages
A landing page is as the name implies — a page your visitors land on when they visit your site.
Some people rely on the homepage for this, which for most sites, is the primary landing page.
- For this reason, you also need to ensure that your homepage is designed to convert: How to Design a Home Page That Converts by ConversionXL.
Asides this, if you used Guest blogging in your attraction strategy and in your perfect byline, you want people to hire you immediately, that means you ought to create a Hire me page that converts.
- Here’s how to create that Hire Me page: Get More Clients! 7 Quick Steps to Create a Hire Me Page that Converts by Writers In Charge.
What if you want to get subscribers before making them customers? Then you need dedicated landing pages that actually convert.
- Focus on the right elements for your landing page: The 5 Essential Elements of a Winning Landing Page by Unbounce.
If you prefer to use third party software to create these landing pages, then you could consider using LeadPages.
- Asides design, your landing page copy has to be persuasive enough. Here’s how to do that: 3 Resources that Will Help You Craft Smarter Landing Pages by Copyblogger.
If you get your landing page right, you could get these results:
- 10 Landing Page Case Studies to Help you Optimize your Own by Wishpond.
- 4 Simple Changes that Boosted Conversions by 1250% [Case Study] by Unbounce.
- How we made $1 million for Moz (formerly SEOmoz) — using landing page optimization and email marketing by Conversion Rate Experts.
F. Convert Leads With Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is an item created for the purpose of attracting people to sign up to your list.
This item used is the magnet. And this can come in form of a free downloadable ebook, an email e-course or content upgrades strategically created for specific blog posts.
But your lead magnet has to be something your visitors want. It’s what boosts conversion.
- The first question to ask is, “what kind of lead magnet should I create?” It’s pretty hard to answer though. But this should help you out: How to Create a Lead Magnet by Amy Porterfield.
- And Jon Morrow provides a nice set of different types of lead magnets to choose from, just in case you’re short of ideas: 9 Irresistible Incentives That’ll Grow Your Email List Like Crazy by Serious Blogger.
Now that your lead magnet is created (I hope), you have to host it somewhere and use a few tools to ensure that only subscribers get them.
How? Use email marketing tools.
I use Aweber. Then there’s Mailchimp, Infusionsoft and other email tools. What they do is help you keep a record of your website subscribers and deliver exclusive content to them.
- Once you’ve done all this creation, you need to place them in the right places on your website. Or else, they’ll be hidden from the rest of the world: 4 Must-Have Website Elements That Generate Leads Online.
Whatever you do, don’t mess with the Acquisition stage. This is one part of the whole strategy that you never stop tweaking.
But boy oh boy, it’s a ton of work. Yeesh!
3. Engage Those Subscribers
This is the longest part of the whole long-term strategy. Why? There’s no break from doing this.
Once your business reaches a particular level online, your attraction tends to automate itself. People will share your content, link to your site and toot your horn without you probing them.
You also have the opportunity to take a break from tweaking your acquisition strategy, especially when you’ve discovered what works for your business. You can decide to do split tests every two months.
But engagement? Quitting is like driving a knife through your heart.
Your business just….dies!
You can’t stop engagement. You only have to get better at it.
So let’s start from the basics.
There’s the question of where you engage your audience. Should it be on your website, on social media or in your pool? Some people prefer to house all their content on social media and leave the website as a beautifully designed graveyard.
That’s called digital sharecropping (which is a crime actually) and see how Copyblogger puts it:
Now that we’ve sorted that, what should be your number one engagement tactic?
G. Grow Your Audience With Blog Posts
And not just any blog post. Entertaining ones. Not so easy in my opinion.
Blog posts help you attract new visitors, as well as engage the audience you already have. This is why I love Brian’s formula for an engaging content:
Entertainment = Fascination + Meaning
Your post has to offer the two above, or else people won’t stay till the end of the show.
According to a study by BuzzSumo, long form posts (like list posts) above 2000 words perform better than the short ones.
If you dislike writing, don’t fret…there are different kinds of blog posts.
- Publish content that suits you: 12 Types of Blog Posts to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog by Social Media Examiner.
- Rafal Tomal, the Lead Designer for Rainmaker Digital, published an interesting post on how you can create content for your blog, even if you’re not the writing type: A Simple Content Marketing Strategy for Creative Folks by Copyblogger.
But that’s not all. How do you know your blog post will get you the results you want? After all, you hope that once the reader goes through the whole thing, he’ll enter your funnel by subscribing to your site or reaching out via your services page.
Well the truth is you may not be able to predict the results, but you can make a pretty wild guess if you laid the foundation right.
- So here’s your tip: The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post: The Data on Headlines, Length, Images and More by Buffer.
The idea is to create blog posts that sell your expertise and also increase your leads.
H. Build an inner circle with your email newsletters
Asides directing traffic to your services page, your email list helps you take that relationship further.
With the right calls to action, and by sending emails your list want to read, you stand a better chance of getting more clients.
After all, as a marketing method, email marketing is 40 times better than social media.
- If you already have your email marketing tools in place, get to work with this: 5 Ways to Get More People to Read Your Emails by Vertical Response.
A lot of readers regard their emails as private space. And to have access to that space, you don’t want to bombard them with tons of emails. So frequency is very important. Some don’t mind lots of emails, and some do.
- With this, how do you know which kind of list you have? Email Marketing: The Cold Hard Truth About Frequency by Crazy Egg.
- You also want to ensure that you’re looking at the right things when trying to measure your efforts: 6 Simple Email Marketing Metrics You Can Use to Get Better Results by Campaign Monitor.
I. Take it a step further with memberships and marketing automation
There’s an effect you get when you login into an area exclusive to you. It’s like logging in to Facebook or Twitter.
Well, Copyblogger realized that this was probably a much better way to engage their audience. So they set up a membership area.
The result was a 400% increase in subscriptions. This allows them serve specific content to specific people.
If you already sell training products meant for only a segment of your audience, chances are you don’t want your free members to have access to the same resources, right?
Sure. That’s a no brainer.
But you also want to ensure that the experience your premium members have with your business is…well…premium. And the last thing you want to do is manually activate this premium membership for them one by one.
What happens when you have 100 new buyers today?
For clients who already have products to offer, or want to deliver different kinds of content to their different member groups, I always recommend the Rainmaker Platform.
The good thing about the platform is that it includes Attraction, Acquisition and Engagement tools that just puts everything on autopilot…well almost.
Ready To Build Your Digital Business?
Nothing happens until you take action on this strategy.
If you think this is a lot of work, the truth is you’re right.
Or if you’re probably confused about where to start, note that the process for implementation is different, depending on what level you are in your online business.
For example, if you’re yet to even have a website or any online presence, follow this order:
2–1–3 (Acquisition — Attraction — Engagement)
Get your acquisition stage right first. But don’t spend too long there or nothing will happen. The magic is in the attraction.
So move on to attracting that fresh set of visitors. With your website elements in place, and a few extra tweaks as you attract, you’ll acquire them smoothly and get the engagement part rolling.
Sounds easy, eh?
But here’s the takeaway: stick to one strategy. Check your results and let the figures tell you whether to change or to continue with it.
Don’t go after the next shiny tactic. What I’ve shared here are tactics even the biggest authorities have tested and trusted. You can see the proof from all the resources linked to.
What’s stopping you from marketing your talents and skills online? Please share in the comments.
Originally published at RATHERSURE.