The online marketing arena is becoming very competitive and making sales online is becoming more difficult. This, I envisage will continue on the upward trend as more people enter the sphere. That is not to say that the future of online marketing is bleak or even declining but it is a statement of reality that should sound as a clarion call to all those that are determined to remain relevant in this ever growing field.
As a rookie myself and being one that has worked and is working with many rookies in this area, I believe I have some advice that can help you to ease the initial frustration of making your first sale and moving forward from there on to a smooth sailing experience.
Though this article may be helpful to everyone but it is especially for those that are already getting discouraged or struggling with their online marketing tools (and efforts) and those that are at a loss of where to even start. Here are some of the nuggets I believe should be helpful to you:
1. Establish and maintain online presence: The best place to start your online marketing success story is to establish an online presence. All the social media marketing platforms such as facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are very useful in this regards. However, if you are very serious about establishing and maintaining an online fortress it is better to have a responsive and dynamic website, above all.
2. Every meeting is a business meeting: I have learned (with regrets) that every opportunity wasted is an opportunity lost forever. Every meeting, whether it is religious, alumni association reunions or get together, chance meeting in the bus or on the flight, corporate meetings e.t.c, you are looking at an opportunity to market. Note very carefully, your best customer may be that stranger that is sitting right next to you on a flight or in an eatery down town. Don’t miss the opportunity to market and to get people’s contact details.
3. Every platform is a business platform: It may be facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or even whatsapp, whatever platform you find yourself on is a business platform. Don’t miss the opportunity to say something interesting about what you do. Find creative and interesting ways of bringing your business into your posts and discussions. Use your business flyers and logo often on your social media display pictures. This is the maxim of one of my friends and business mentor and I have found it to be very true and result yielding.
4. Make friends and keep them: Whether you like it or not your friends are your best assets when it comes to your online marketing efforts. They are your first set of potential clients and not just that, they are your sales force and customer service team. Friends help to spread the news of what you are doing without requesting for payments. So, make good friends and try as much as possible to keep them.
5. Reach out, don’t spam: According to Wikipedia, spamming is the use of messaging systems to send an unsolicited message (spam) to large numbers of recipients for the purpose of commercial advertising, for the purpose of non-commercial proselytizing, or for any prohibited purpose (especially the fraudulent purpose of phishing). In this light, reaching out to few people with the right intentions is not spamming. I think the watch word in this operation is politeness. When you reach out politely to people, even those that have never directly engaged with you. They may be obliged to return your gesture and end up being customers.
6. Be consistent: If there is any point worth considering above all others in this article then it is this one. It is very common to find people that are absent on the show when their presence is mostly required. When it comes to online marketing, consistency can be the game changer. Somebody just needs to see another post from you to make up their mind. Keep doing what you know how to do, don’t give up, don’t lose air, just keep on keeping on. You will be so surprised that when the orders start rolling in, it would be a deluge.
7. Appeal to people: You are not a celebrity so don’t expect special treatment. Appeal to people to like your page and follow you on your social media. Every celebrity started out being unknown. You are not the first to appeal or even beg for followership. What is the essence of a good content that people are not seeing? People need to see it before they start sharing it. So ask for follows and likes till you become known.
8. Be patient: Patience is the crowning virtue of a successful online marketer. I have heard people complain, that people are not following them and liking their post and pages on social media. When I ask; ‘how long they have been posting’, its usually less than a month and I am like ‘why are we like this?’. Online marketing is not ponzi or a get rich quick scheme. You need to work hard and wait for it in order to get good results.
Tunde is the founder of Webend Online Marketing Services, a Nigerian based online marketing agency with a global outlook. You can reach him on +2349014501924. Visit webendonline.com.ng for more on how you can be served.