We’ve all been there. Working incredibly hard. Setting up a business. Refining our gut-wrenchingly important USP. 

But who cares? 

Well, no one does. Not unless you make them. 

The most incredibly exciting/terrifying moment is when you realise that setting up your own business is just the beginning. Now you have to make people sit up, and take notice. 

But how? 

In one word: Marketing. In two words: Content Marketing. In four words: Freaking Brilliant Content Marketing. 

Content Marketing as an idea has been around a long time, but as a term, it’s quite new. Well, perhaps not that new in business terms. But not everyone is familiar with it. 

It basically means providing people with a solution they didn’t know existed, to a problem they’re worried they might be stuck with for good. This hinges on your ability to “frame” your service in a way that marks it out as both essential, and completely unique. And fabulous. 

Who is your ideal client? (And don’t say “people who want to buy”…) 

Who IS your ideal client? How old are they? What are their interests, their priorities? How do THEY want to be seen? 

The more you can picture them in your mind, and empathise with them as an individual, the more sharply focused your marketing will become. 

Think goals. Think targets. 

Set yourself specific challenges, and reward yourself for completing them. Keep track of where you are compared to your goals. 

Are you diabolically motivated to succeed? Because somewhere out there someone else, in competition with you, most definitely is. 

Break down exactly what it is that drives you. Identify that. Be crystal clear. Then remind yourself of it every freaking day. Just before you write your to do list is a perfect moment to do so. 

Find out more about branding, marketing, and the most effective ways to connect with your client base at: tomlynam.org. 

Research shows 90% of online businesses will fail in their first 120 days. That’s pretty shocking. And a bit depressing too. 

But we won’t let that stop us trying anyway! 

Why do they fail? 

Well, there are two things that are the cornerstones of online business success. Your internet ranking, and your direct marketing. 

Have you worked out a watertight marketing strategy? Is it working?  

How could it be improved? 

What about SEO? How often are you adding new content to your website?  

What are you doing at the weekend? Lol! 

We all need to take a break sometimes. Have a go at scheduling what you need to improve, identify what problems are currently plaguing your business – and seek to rectify them. 

The most important thing you can do for your business survival is market yourself effectively. This ought to be targeted at specific clients, based on research.  

There should also be a focus on raising your profile online for longer term wins. (Social Networking, SEO etc) 

The marketing choices you make need to be sustainable and manageable, according to your schedule and routine. Try writing a To Do List in the morning. 

Make time for the things that matter to you. You won’t be disappointed with the result. 

Juicy Goal-Setting 

Try setting yourself some goals. Not just general ones, or “in five years I’d like to…” but concrete, numbers-oriented, juicy goals with specific deadlines.  

“I want to increase my website traffic by 300% in two months”. 

Don’t overreach! Personally, I find setting a goal I feel is just slightly over-optimistic works for me. I know if I actually achieve it it’ll be great, but it also motivates me to get off my posterior and see how far I can get with it. 

The kinds of goals you should set should relate to the areas that you know need work. Typical examples could be: Website Traffic, New Clients, LinkedIn Network etc. It’s also worth drawing up a list of big clients, your personal Hitlist, to help keep you sharp and focused in the long term. 

How do you approach clients?  

There are quite a few ways of doing this. It’s all too easy to make the mistake of focussing too hard on “general” networking! We’ve all done it.  

Sure. A healthy, robust professional network makes your framework for success more likely, but it’s not a certainty. 

Actively seek out the people you want to work with, and for. Carefully and sensitively reach out to them, in different ways, (email, LinkedIn, Twitter) regularly and over time. 

Don’t be a nuisance! But make sure you’re present and that they see you. 

Thanks for reading. 

Find out more about branding, marketing, and the most effective ways to connect with your client base at: tomlynam.co.uk.