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

  • oh wow this is called great mind. Melanie Kissell you are amazing Webmaster ! I never come close to think what’s Common in House Painter, an Author, and a Musician & thanks for making understand to your website audience about common thing 🙂

  • Very Nice article. Though these are basic things that everyone is supposed to know and follow but its these that we so often miss or neglect and that’s what, i suppose, differentiates a good blogger from a great one! Thank you for this lovely piece of information.

  • Good point on what to do when an idea strikes! Far too many time have I had a fantastic idea, only to not write it down and then totally forget it. Nowadays, I try to note it down on my phone…

    • Hi Mike

      Great way to put your phone to use — capturing your ideas!

  • Leaky Bucket Marketing. Mel you have coined a fantastically evocative term common to many small business folk I meet. Very often they are busy punching more holes in the bucket even while it is pouring all their good juice out onto an infertile concrete floor. Your suggestions are a great way for them to start cementing up the holes and keep their marketing bucket intact. Great post,!

    • Hey Sandy — thanks so much for the visit and for your endless positivity and praise! 🙂

      I love this …
      ” Very often they are busy punching more holes in the bucket even while it is pouring all their good juice out onto an infertile concrete floor.” Perfect! That says it ALL.

  • YES, Melanie – I LOVE that you focused on the whole schedule/strategy partnership. Revolutionary, life-changing things happen when you take a month-long perspective – and the world darn near flips upside down for you when you look at a year out at a time!

    • Hey Annie!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your perspective. I’m getting a vision of you turning cartwheels and doing back flips as you look a year out on your biz! 😉
      Weeeeeeeeeee!! LOL!

  • Melanie, thanks for sharing your online marketing plan template. What a great resource for planning an outline strategy and conquering leaky bucket marketing. And I so love the fact that you’ve identified your (non) ideal client — no stick in the mud clients wanted here. 🙂

    • Although I’d prefer to deny it, Clare …
      Life is pretty darn short. So I see no reason anyone should have to work with cranky unpleasant souls. I won’t allow those types of people into my private inner circle or my biz-related circles. In other words, “Wendy Whiners” need not apply! 😉

      Thanks for dropping in! REALLY enjoyed your post on “burnout”. Great stuff!

  • Melanie I love the leaky bucket analogy. The list you’ve given is wonderful, and sure to keep all of us busy plugging those holes for some time. The template is great. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks a heap and a bundle, Nicole! I appreciate the visit and I LOVED reading about “Debbie the Steampunk Chicken” over at The Numbers Whisperer. 😉

  • Melanie, I loved the ideal client pinterest board so much I stopped in the middle of reading and made one! It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed; the calendar is a fantastic idea!

    Graeat stuff! Thanks.

    • Ooh, la, la Ashley! Good for you!

      Now don’t forget to come back and post the link to your “ideal client” Pinterest board, okay? Would love to share it with my readers. 🙂

      Thanks a bunch for dropping in and for your kind words.

  • What a wonderful and great resource and reminder for everyone!

    • Thanks a heap, Laura! I know you’re super swamped this week so I truly appreciate the visit. 🙂

  • Melanie, you can add photographer, massage therapist, web designer, tour guide…. into your list! I love your nemesis. And the antidote is exactly what you offered at the end (no opt in? What??) – a PLAN. It’s easy to leak ideas and opportunities if you’re winging it without a foundation. You know, I have an editorial calendar for what I’m going to write next, but I never really thought about making up a calendar of what marketing things I’m going to tackle on any given day. So thank you for this very big “duh” moment but that’s brilliant. I work well with rules so making the “you will plan your ecourse today” rule would definitely work for me. Love it!

    • Oh, Carol Lynn, I want to give your remarks a great big hug. Thank you! 🙂

      You and I will probably bump into each other one of these days in the hallways of the “rules” arena. I work best with rules. Always have. Always will. I’ve said it a million times but I’m an A,B,C, 1,2,3 kind of gal. Rules and steps to follow put me at peace.

      ” … winging it without a foundation” is definitely NOT my style.

  • You may not “officially teach” this stuff, but um — you just did, girlfriend! Great list of ideas on how to approach some of the online stuff. It’s definitely a bit overwhelming for the newbie to know where to start. Having an overall marketing strategy/plan in place (not just for online) certainly helps you get off on the right footing. Knowing where your ideal clients “hang out” is crucial to making sure you don’t waste time doing things that they’ll never see. Leaky buckets be gone!

    • ” Knowing where your ideal clients “hang out” is crucial to making sure you don’t waste time doing things that they’ll never see.” A really good point that sizzles, Tea! 😉

      We need to bring this point to a boiling point!

      There’s no way in hell (pardon my French) anyone is going to get their desired results via social media channels UNLESS they’re on the RIGHT channels. Thank goodness for Google “Trends” and “Alerts” and the other ways and means we have of researching our target market. Amazon is oftentimes a great place to start.

      Thank you for joining the conversation. 🙂

  • Wow, Melanie – love the syndrome list and the detailed advice on how to solve it – implement any of those tips and your marketing will get an immediate boost. Great job!

    • Many thanks for swinging by, Sharon, and for your gracious kudos! 🙂

  • What a great list and a freebie! Your clients are so lucky to have you, Melanie, and I’m so glad you don’t have to work with sticks in the mud. 🙂

    • Thanks for dropping in, Tammy. Always a joy to see your warm smile. 🙂

      I see no reason anyone should EVER have to work with “sticks in the mud”. They zap your energy and suck the happy right out of your heart.