It’s a big milestone. In 2013 I started a whole new business. For 10 years I’d produced dinner programs and conferences for print buyers, but writing is what I love doing the most.
When I started my new business, I built a new site, sent out a news release, and shared my news in an email with select colleagues as well as with my email subscribers. Then I just started publishing online more regularly and with purpose.
How did my blogging client (and every other new client) find me? From reading something I’d published on the web.
I don’t place ads anywhere, and I don’t send promotional direct mail. There’s no “MargieDana.com sales force” knocking on doors or cold calling. I have never cold called. It’s not my style, and I’m not a fan.
In 1999 I started my enewsletter, because it was cheaper than printing and mailing. Besides, I wanted to grow my list quickly and organically, and email (back then) was a great way to do this.
Then the term “blogging” was born, and with it, so many sites and channels for us solo proprietors to use for sharing content. Now we don’t have to depend 100% on email marketing, or direct mail, or even our web site, to develop an audience and therefore, our business.
You’ve heard this so many times before, from so many marketing experts: you can’t rely on one or two channels to develop new business.
For most small businesses, your web site sits there, acting as a good-looking repository for all sorts of interesting content and facts about your company. It’s the mother ship. It’s where people land when they’re considering contacting you to talk business.
But what gets them to your site is what’s important. Enter the value and the significance of inbound marketing.
By sharing your expertise and your ideas online, your audience will grow. As long as you provide value to your market, you’ll establish a voice in your field. The key? Do it regularly and do it with a passion.
This picture shows a tweet that caught my eye recently. I had to share it. I sent it to a few clients who have yet to dip their toes in the inbound marketing ocean. It’s a picture of a slide from a presentation given by best-selling author and inbound marketing expert David Meerman Scott at Inbound Marketing 2014:
“You are what you publish on the web. If you’re not publishing, you’re nothing.”
Every one of us who’s running a business has expertise in what we do. Share your expertise on the web in blog posts or videos or pictures or presentations. If you’re that good, and if you publish regularly enough and in the right places, new business will find you.
And lest you get discouraged, just know that it’s never too late to jump on this bus.
© 2014 Margie Dana