A Beginners Guide to Online Marketing

When you think of online marketing, you may feel overwhelmed, wondering where to start. I definitely get it. Even as an online marketer, I find myself getting overwhelmed at times with all the new tools and techniques that come out every day.

The thing we must remember is that we are communicating with real people. This may seem obvious, but it is easy to get caught up in the tools or techniques or numbers and totally lose sight of who we are marketing to.

So, as a part of every marketing effort, you must take a moment to picture each individual on the receiving end, put yourself in their shoes, and treat them how you would want to be treated. This is the golden rule of marketing.

The Marketing Faux Pa

It seems that most businesses only use marketing to get the word out about their products or services. Yes, the whole point of marketing is to make sales and grow a business, but the art of relationship building has been forgotten.

This is like the guy you meet for the very first time and all he is interested in is telling you about his business. He doesn’t even take the time to find out who you are or what you do. I cannot think of one person who isn’t annoyed by this type of encounter.

So, why do we think this will work well in our marketing efforts? We ask people to follow us on Facebook, join an email list, and then continually ask them to buy our products or services. There is a better way.

The secret sauce to effective online marketing is building rapport by giving stuff away.

The first goal of online marketing should be to build a relationship with your prospective customer. This can be challenging, considering you do not meet them face to face, but it is more simple than you think.

The first order of business is to create something of value and give it away. Don’t use your product that is not selling, or something that seems like it has value but really doesn’t. Instead, create something that you could sell, but give it away instead.

After you have done this, you do it again…and again. Then, you ask them to buy something. And, whether they purchase or not, you send them something of value for free again…and again. The goal is to provide value more often than you try to make a sale.

How does this work?

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to sell to a friend or family member? This is because you already have a relationship with them and they trust you. When you use marketing as a means to build relationships, it makes the selling process almost effortless.

This is the foundation of online marketing. Now that your eyes have been opened to this new way of thinking, it is time to start putting this technique into practice.

Action Steps

  1. Brainstorm something of value that you could give away. This should be something that your customer base would find helpful. It could be an eBook, a guide, a sample, or anything in-between.
  2. Start developing this giveaway and make it really, really good.