Do you value your time and your money? If you're in business, I hope so. So much so, in fact, that I hope you'll take the time to answer these 3 simple-yet-not-so-simple questions.
To save optimal time and money, these questions should be answered BEFORE you start any internet marketing effort for your site. But better late than never, so if you see you don't have quick answers, take some time to save yourself some time.
Why are these questions so critical? It'll become clear by the end of this post.
1. Why are you in business/why do you have a website?
Simple? Maybe. Maybe it's "to make money."
But dig a little deeper, even on the "to make money." How much do you want to make? Why do you want to make that much?
What is "success" for your site and why do you want it - what will it give you on a personal level?
Some possibilities - explore them, think of others - write down your reason why you want your site to succeed:
- the flexibility to travel/paint/write/eat out when I want to
- the ability to support my family on my own and let my spouse pursue a dream without being held back by financial concerns
- the satisfaction of knowing I've changed people's lives
Okay, now that you have that down... question number 2:
2. Who is the customer/client/site visitor who would be most likely to help you directly achieve your answer to question 1?
Close your eyes. Picture this: your site is a success - your wildest dreams have come true.
Let yourself smile.
Now see in your vision of success... who are you working with? Who's sending you the emails raving about your products, services or your site content?
Two elements need to compose this image:
- They have the ability to be the client or visitor who helps you achieve question 1 (financially, psychologically, etc.)
- They have the desire to be that client or visitor (what you offer really appeals to them)
Yes, you can probably come up with lots of images. Pick one. Just one. The best, the ideal. (You can always do this exercise again later.)
Okay, good going! You know why you even want to market your site in the first place; you know who you most want to market it to; now comes time for number three...
3. What does your ideal marketee from question 2 really want to hear?
You think your site is amazing. It probably is amazing - for some visitor. But is it your ideal visitor? If someone who meets the description from answer 2 stumbles upon your site - are you 100% sure that they will be blown away by what you have there?
You're not 100%? Almost? Probably? Not quite?
If you're not, before investing time into marketing your site - make sure it will speak to the people who end up coming.
Otherwise, you're likely to fall into one of the following traps:
- You put your message out there in all possible ways (SEO, social media, PPC), but because you don't know exactly what your ideal visitor wants to hear - they don't pay attention to your message and don't come to your site.
- You get lots of visitors to your site, but they leave without converting (and don't come back), because what was on your site didn't grab them immediately and say, "I'm for you!"
That's a lot of wasted time and money - that could be avoided. Just take the time to ask yourself these questions - and develop a plan.
You don't have to do it all out of your own head. You want to know what your ideal visitor wants to see on your site? Find some who fit the bill and ask them. Most will be happy to be asked their opinion and will freely share with you what they want.
Most potential clients I speak to can't answer these three questions - and yet they're coming to me to "do their internet marketing." They want to start getting people to their site - right NOW.
Don't be one of them. Take some time. Don't market your site until you know why you're marketing it, who is going to best help you achieve that, and what that person really wants to hear and see.
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Aviva Blumstein believes that to actually attract customers online, you don't have to market more - you have to market smarter. She teaches practical, hands-on workshops to business owners in which they build and implement effective marketing plans custom-designed for their businesses at her company, Speciphilia. Aviva recently put together a free interactive presentation for creating your own marketing plan called "The 5 W's of Attracting Customers Online."