5 Easy Ingredients of a Successful Online Marketing Formula

Image credit: Zsuzsanna Kilian

I avoid in-person events as much as possible. It’s not because I’m an introvert. It’s not because I look hideous. (Although we should know better than to let our looks get in the way of meetings.) It’s because I’m deaf. Most people understand me when I speak. It’s the other side — the more important part– of the conversation that’s a problem for me: Listening.

It’s true that the average lipreader catches only one-third of what people say. Try reading every third word in this post or another and see how much you understand. I can usually fill in the gaps, but not always.

“My name is [mumble]” is a biggie. I might ask the person to repeat once, but no more. In a book club meeting, someone mentioned that reading the book and seeing the movie version was not a good movie. I asked for the name of the book. Missed it. Repeated once and missed it again. Gave up.

While this sounds innocent and no big deal, it is. People judge you when you don’t catch things because it makes a person look obtuse or not smart. With digital marketing, I don’t miss a single thing and I catch every name and title. What you see of me online is all me without the barriers or presumptions. Writers can do more than just publish content to market themselves. These work well and take up whatever time you put into it.

1. Create a web site with a personal URL

It’s easier and cheaper than ever to build and update a web site. Using blogging applications like WordPress and Tumblr work well. They also have a lot of free and low-price templates available. A customized design adds a personal touch to your brand, but sometimes people don’t have the funds available right away.

You can work it out so the only cost you incur is the yearly fee to buy your own URL. writer.blogspot.com hurts the professionalism. You have a lot of options for creating a web site using a blog app. Whether you should blog or not is a different discussion.

2. Set up social media profiles

The web site and blog is your home on the Internet. Social media sites give you a meeting place. Many, many social media sites exist. Forget that. Don’t let it faze you. Pick two or three and completely fill your profile on those sites. Currently, the biggies are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. That can and will change. Remember MySpace was hot?

I have a page that receives updates from my blog and Twitter account, but I don’t visit it. I’ll set up accounts on other social media sites, but only on a “come across it” basis. Usually, I get an invite from a colleague and join up then. I fill in the profile as much as I can.

3. Join conversations

It doesn’t matter where. I go to blogs and leave comments, participate in scheduled Twitter chats, respond to people’s Facebook messages and reply and retweet tweets. Some people love to talk in forums.

Notice this says “join conversations,” not “give soliloquies.” People who talk to no one in particular or don’t acknowledge other people’s existence are not listening or becoming a part of the community. The only folks who can get away with this are celebrities.

4. Do the guest thing

Invite and ask. Invite others to be a guest in your blog or community, and ask if you can do the same for others. You’re reaching two new audiences: the other person’s audience and the other person.

The other person has a following and will ask people to check out the guest post in your community. Most guest posts come with a byline, which means link juice for your site and getting your name out there.

5. Link to your site and accounts

On your web site, link to your Twitter and other IDs. In your email signature, link to your web site and important IDs. Make sure everything points everywhere else. Do you have an email newsletter? Put your links there, too. This covers all your bases. Those who prefer email updates, RSS feeds and social media IDs.

These five I do on an almost daily basis. It works because I have a comfortable workload. You can do much more with online marketing, but other online marketing tools take more time. Some people do videos. Some do podcasts. Some do webinars. Some do email newsletters.

Doing a video or podcast requires thinking about the goals, writing the script, recording, and editing before you can publish. With social media, you have control over how much time you spend.

What online marketing tools work well for you?

8 thoughts on “5 Easy Ingredients of a Successful Online Marketing Formula”

  1. Hi, Meryl!
    Thanks for laying all this out so clearly. The Internet certainly has been a real boon to networking for all of us–though I imagine it has been especially so for you as a deaf person.
    Blogs, forums, social media, and other websites make it so easy to carry on conversations, stay connected, promote our brand, and access accurate information. It’s hard to imagine how we ever got along without them!
    Take care!
    Jeanne

  2. @George, you’re right that blogging is better with the social media aspect.
    @Jeanne, I can’t imagine life without electronic conversations because I started back in high school in pre-Internet days… instead of Internet, we had BBSes.
    @Pamela, thanks for reading.

  3. One thing I love about the Internet is the way it expands our reach all the way across the globe, allowing us to connect with people we will likely never meet. I’m sure that’s one Internet feature that beats the heck out of BBSes–as wonderful as they may have been at the time! 😉

  4. You got that right, @Jeanne. I have clients around the world. That would never happen with a BBS unless you’re using global services like Prodigy and AOL.

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