Reading the Online Marketing Obituary Column is a Joke

Death rules the internet

Good thing I own a nice black dress, packets of purse-size Kleenex, and dark glasses. Every time I sneeze, there’s another funeral to attend.

Nothing to do with humans, mind you.

Death rules the internet!

The latest from the obituaries:

  • “Email marketing is dead!”
  • “Guest blogging is dead!”
  • “Video marketing is dead!”
  • “SEO is dead!”
  • “Google Plus is the walking dead!”
  • “Newsletters are dead!”

And then there’s this: “Revive Your Dead Blog”

Can a blog really die? Of course it can’t. You can put your blog out of its misery, if you want, but it won’t just die. Your blog may be suicidal, however, but that’s a whole other Oprah.

I really wish people would stop making these death claims, although they’re sometimes good for a belly laugh — especially if you’re at all savvy when it comes to online marketing methods (and you possess a good sense of humor).

What you’ll usually discover if you click over and catch these posts is the complete opposite of what the title states.

And that pisses me off.

Blog post titles are designed to make a promise to readers — a promise the blog owner is supposed to honor.

If you’re claiming email marketing is dead, then don’t share all the ways you’ve had success with it (along with an affiliate link for the email marketing service you’re using). Pfft!

That’s what’s known as BAD FORM … and the worst kind of blogging etiquette. If you choose to mislead readers, plan on having fewer readers in the future. Or maybe zero readers.

Word gets around fast in the blogosphere — the good stuff and the bad.

Here’s the thing about online marketing strategies:

THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY. Always has been, always will be.

Marketing activities you enjoy most and those that suit your personality, schedule, and budget are the ones you should keep in your marketing toolbox.

  • If you like being in front of the camera, video or Blab-ing is your friend.
  • If writing is your thing, blogging is the way to fly.
  • If you prefer to use your voice, podcasting or public speaking is how to roll.
  • Etc. and so on.

If the marketing methods you’re using are working for you, ignore the death notifications. That kind of nonsense is nothing more than drummed up hype, designed to grab your attention … and sell you something.

I’m not opposed to selling. I’m opposed to deceiving people.

Email marketing, guest posting, podcast interviews, networking, visual marketing, Google hangouts, forums, e-courses, internet T.V., blog tours, virtual book tours, membership sites, ezines, webinars, social media marketing, newsletters

All alive and well.

What have you seen lately in the online marketing obituary column? Are you ever alarmed at the “X is Dead!” claims?

What Do a House Painter, an Author, and a Musician Have In Common?

bucket with holesThese three varied professionals might be on the same bowling league or they might even support the same charities or maybe all three love coffee. 

Who knows? I don’t have a clue. 

I didn’t pry into their personal lives.

But when I was introduced to these creative, hard-working, and highly-skilled gentlemen to give them some tips on promoting their work, it was very clear what they had in common …

“Leaky bucket marketing” – their shared nemesis.

I’ve never seen marketing buckets with so many holes!

The biggest and most apparent hole for the house painter, author, and musician in question?

The gaping hole of online marketing — how to spread their awesomeness around the internet and ways to boost their online visibility and credibility.

A marketing bucket with a really large hole is, obviously, not functional.  It serves no purpose.  Won’t work.

So how do you fix leaky bucket marketing?

First, let me toss a big fat caveat into the bucket (Or you can call it a “brief commercial break”, if you like).

I don’t “teach” online marketing and I don’t “perform” online marketing activities for solopreneurs or small business owners. 

My tent is pitched in the “consulting” camp.

Got a question?  I’ll answer it.  Looking for a resource?  I’ll provide it or I’ll find it.  Need a marketing plan?  I’m your gal.  Don’t know how to use social media?  You’re not alone.  I’ll be your guide.

[End of caveat]

I hope that announcement gave you enough time to run to the kitchen for a tasty snack.

Now back to vanquishing leaky bucket marketing — specifically, repairing a gigantic hole in online marketing.

The following three items are needed to repair the hole:

1.   1.)  Online Marketing Brainstorming Sheet

Your next great marketing strategy may hit when you least expect. Use electronic means or a simple sheet of paper to keep notes of any strategies you want to recall and possibly implement. 

When an idea strikes, write it down!

2   2.) Online Marketing Calendar 

Leave the mystery out!  Create an annual or monthly calendar and fill in specific marketing activities you plan to work on every day. 

Time and Date is a great resource for free calendars. 

Examples of online marketing activities:

  •  Get listed in small business directories
  •  Write article and submit to article banks
  •  Create social bios
  •  Promote with video
  •  Create page at Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook
  •  Post in online forums
  •  Create an online photo album
  •  Write testimonials for other businesses
  •  Create an ideal client/customer board on Pinterest
  •  Start a Google+ hangout
  •  Create free auto-responder e-course
  •  Generate blogger buzz
  •  Get listed in blog directories
  •  Create a Power Point for Slideshare
  •  Get listed in geo-targeted directories
  •  Write and distribute a tip sheet
  •  Write and distribute a viral e-book/manifesto
  •  Present a teleseminar
  •  Add mp3 of teleseminar to your website and/or itunes
  •  Register at Amazon and review books
  •  Support an online cause
  •  Record a podcast
  •  Upload podcast to Sound Cloud
  •  Get listed in niche directories
  •  Start a free internet radio show
  •  Get listed in shopping sites
  •  Build a Squidoo lens
  •  Create your website press room
  •  Create an online newsletter
  •  Get listed in ezine directories
  •  Post comments on blogs in your niche

3   3.)  Online Marketing Plan

No need to create a lengthy complicated document. Use the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) principle to design a plan that’s easy to understand and easy to implement.

Not sure where to begin?  No problem. 

Let’s pretend YOUR nemesis is leaky bucket marketing and you’ve hired me to be your marketing consultant. (Of course, you can’t hire me to fix that leak unless you have a sense of humor and you like to have fun. I won’t work with a stick in the mud.  That’s my rule and I’m sticking to it.) 

As part of your initial consultation …

I’m gifting you your very own Online Marketing Plan Template. (No opt in required)  Rumor has it online marketing consultants are in abundance these days so this is my way of saying “thank you” for choosing me.

Wasn’t that fun?!  We just met and you’re going home with a present … and a marketing bucket with no leaks.

The professional house painter, published author, and accomplished musician I consulted with also went home with special presents. 

I love a happy ending … and a happy client.

Name your nemesis in the comment box and we’ll work together to vanquish it!

Image credit: Tobias Schlitt

This post is part of the awesome Word Carnival. Read more posts on this month’s theme: Vanquish Your Nemesis: A Guide to Conquering Small Biz Evils


Marketing Part 4: I Need A Marketing Plan To Promote My Talent Online. Thing is … I’m Clueless.

Did you catch Part 3?  No?  Then get your fishing pole and go catch I Want To Promote My Talent Via Social Media. Will It Work?

Dear Clueless,

You’re not alone.

Don’t despair.

Just please take my mantra to heart:

“Make a marketing plan or plan to make a marketing mess.”

Creating a marketing plan to promote your talent online does not cause migraines or paralysis. 

Heck, it can be fun! 

And your plan does NOT need to be a lengthy formal document … despite the nasty rumors.

I could go ahead and list all the essentials to include in your marketing plan but instead …

How about I toss you a spiffy Quick and Easy Market Plan AND Market Calendar from my friend and blogger extraordinaire, Michelle Shaeffer?

That should do the trick!

I’ll exit with this little poetic ditty:

To market! To market!

Without a plan

Means back to the drawing board

(Or vision board)

From whence you began

Comment Box Call to Action:

What do you think is the most important component of a marketing plan?  If you haven’t yet created a plan to promote your talent online – what’s holding you back?

Marketing Part 3: I Want To Promote My Talent Via Social Media. Will It Work?

Did you skip Part 2?  Grab that jump rope of yours and skip rope over to I Have Plenty of Talent. If Only I Could Find Customers (or Clients) Online.

Will social media marketing work for you?

You’re not going to like my answer but here goes…

“It all depends.”

Promoting your talent via social media will work … IF you work it.

Let me explain …

Social media marketers are not lazy people. 

They’re tenacious, determined, nose-to-the-grindstone people.

They’ve done their research and plenty of it! 

They’re more than aware of where their target audience is hanging out on the internet.

They’ve chosen a social media channel or two (or maybe three) and they work those sites … DAILY.

Consider this:

Just because Facebook has a billion users doesn’t mean diddly squat if you don’t know how to tap into the right audience there.  

And do you know, for sure, your potential customers or clients are Facebook users?!

Your target market may very well be spending their social media hours on Slideshare or Pinterest or Sound Cloud or You Tube or …??

As far as Twitter goes, it’s pointless to set out to collect tens of thousands of followers (even though some nincompoop will give you that crappy piece of advice). 

That old adage, “There’s power in numbers” does not apply to Twitter.

By the way, my friend and fellow blogger, Martha Giffen, has a great 3-part program called Tweet With Martha if you’d like to become a master at using Twitter for profits.

The bottom line …

I know it sounds like going back to school again, but do your homework if you’re serious about marketing your talent online. 

Do the assignment of figuring out which social media channel or channels you need to work. 

Then turn in your homework every day by consistently showing up in those virtual locations to:

  • Answer questions
  • Ask questions
  • Share resources, tools, articles, ideas, videos, music, images, and tips
  • Offer words of encouragement and inspiration
  • Collaborate with colleagues
  • Host a contest, sweepstake, or giveaway
  • Announce special events of interest to your audience
  • Actively participate in groups or forums
  • Share your latest blog post
  • Make new connections  
  • And have lots of fun

Comment Box Call to Action:

Are you getting good results using social media marketing?  If not, what is your biggest challenge or stumbling block?

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeygottawa/2221152288/

Marketing Part 2: I Have Plenty Of Talent. If Only I Could Find Customers (or Clients) Online.

Did you miss Part 1?  Pedal your bicycle backward till you bump into I Want To Promote My Talent Online. Where Do I Start?

Nothing about marketing your talent online is hard.  NOTHING.

All the marketing tools and resources you could possibly desire are available in ever-increasing abundance and, oh, so easy-peasy to use!

But here’s the Big Fat Caveat (also known as the “catch”):

To become a successful online marketer demands incredible patience, time, and consistent effort

If anyone has the crust to tell you otherwise, my guess is they’re trying to “sell” you a pig in a poke and I’d bet there’s a big dollar sign attached.

There’s no magic wand, spell, or potion … or $97 program that’s going to market your talent for you.  YOU have to do the work.  You’re the CEO of your own talent.  Of course, you could always hire someone if your budget allows.

Let’s tackle today’s marketing issue – finding your target audience (your potential ideal customers or clients) online.

But first …

Get down to the nitty gritty and “define” who these folks are.  I can’t underscore this enough.  Develop a customer/client “profile” so you’re not wasting your precious time marketing to uninterested parties.  Write down every single adjective, fact, and facet of “who” you should be marketing to.  Leave no demographics stones unturned.

Okay, on with the show …

I’m going to use the example of a Real person who’s REALLY talented to demonstrate how to find people online who are most likely interested in what he has to offer.  (You can interject your own talent into these strategies)

His name is Shannon Lee from Leo Red Studios in Glendale, Arizona.  He’s an accomplished musician and musical producer.  Shannon is gearing up to release a brand new album in January, 2013 entitled Groovin’ Down.

Here’s what I suggest Shannon do to connect with potential buyers:

1.)  Engage, engage, engage!  Introduce yourself to like-minded music lovers and fellow musicians. 

Hop up into your friendly search bar and type in keywords like “social networks for music lovers” and initiate some conversations.  No selling, just conversing.  People buy from you after they get to know, like, and trust you.

When I did this search, here’s what I found:

http://www.last.fm/

http://sworly.com/

https://mog.com/

http://www.flowd.com/

http://soundcloud.com

This is just the tip of the relationship-building iceberg.  Also look for music-related groups and forums to join.

2.)   Get interviewed!  Head over to Blog Talk Radio and search for top musicians talk radio podcasts.  Check out some shows that are appealing to you as well appropriate for the kind of music you produce.  Comment on their broadcasts and let the hosts know you’re available for interviews.  Wouldn’t hurt to mention you have a new album coming out (Hint-Hint).

3.)   Create some excitement and anticipation, pique people’s curiosity, and stir up some interest in your upcoming album by creating a video trailer

Upload it to video sharing sites (ones that are also social networking venues where you can make new friends). 

4.)   Search for opportunities on Facebook to spread the word about your album.  For example, click the “Like” button on The Music Page Promotions

Description: “This page is for the bands, musicians, and artists to share their music and info as well as a place for fans to discover new music. Please feel free to post your stuff.”

Look for similar promotional opportunities on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media channels.

5.)   Make your website work for you!  Create a page devoted to your new album and host a giveaway on that page. People love to win things and they’re apt to “share” this kind of fun opportunity with others.  

Give away a copy or copies of your CD by using a totally free platform like Rafflecopter.

Make this a “dual purpose” endeavor.  Set your giveaway up to get more Twitter followers and Facebook fans (more potential music-loving customers).

Although this is a short list, are you seeing a “running theme” in these strategies for finding your target audience online?

Marketing your talent online is all about “people connection” and starting conversations. 

Comment Box Call to Action:

What talent are you marketing online?  And how are you finding potential customers or clients?

Marketing Part 1: I Want to Promote My Talent Online. Where Do I Start?

As I always say …

“Begin at the beginning.” 

(They don’t call me “logical” for nothing)  🙂

But before I dive in, I’m going on the premise you know exactly “who” you’re marketing to. 

You’ve defined your target audience, right? 

What!  Some of you haven’t done that yet?  Uh, oh.  Look for some tips in Part 2 of this series. 

Today let’s stick to the subject of marketing.

Start by determining the online marketing method/s and platforms you ENJOY most. 

Which of the following statements resonate with you?

  • I love being in front of the camera
  • Hanging out on Twitter is really cool.
  • Blogging makes me happy.
  • I’m proud to say I can put together an e-course in no time flat.
  • Article writing is simple and fun.
  • Teleseminars are my comfort zone.
  • Creating a press release is a piece of cake.
  • Podcasting is awesome.
  • LinkedIn groups are the greatest way to network.
  • Making a Squidoo lens is a cinch.
  • I totally enjoy being interviewed.
  • Answering questions on Quora is the perfect opportunity to showcase my expertise.
  • Joint ventures can’t be beat.
  • I can write an e-book effortlessly.
  • Slideshare presentations let my creativeness shine through.
  • I’m hooked on Pinterest.
  • The microphone is my friend.
  • My day isn’t complete without a visit to Facebook.
  • Webinars are my idea of how to have a good time.
  • I’m the Prince/Princess of Power Point presentations.

Look for a “common denominator” in the statements you’ve chosen.  That link is a BIG CLUE that will instantly and clearly reveal where you should be focusing your marketing efforts.

One of these four online marketing methods will be the RIGHT one for you:

1.)  Writing

2.)  Speaking

3.)  Video production

4.)  Social Networking

If you get out of bed every morning feeling totally motivated and eager to work on marketing your talent online, then you’ll know you’re traveling down avenues that will lead to success.  Stick to it!

But if you awaken uninspired to tackle marketing for the day or, worse yet, dreading your online marketing tasks …

STOP doing what you hate and start doing what you love.  Letting your target audience in on your talent shouldn’t be painful.  It should be enjoyable.

Comment Box Call to Action:

Share an online marketing method or platform you’ve tried that didn’t give you the results you were looking for.  Why do you think it didn’t work?