How I Use Internet Marketing to Grow My Business
Why do I tweet?
Twitter is my most effective social medial platform. I created my business account, @scrumdan, mostly as a marketing platform. As a self-employed individual, Twitter, since it is relatively free, is a great way to promote my business. I have had my own business on and off for over twenty years and this latest business, which I started in 2010 is my most successful. This is due in large part due to the fact that the cost to build it, market it and maintain it is so affordable. In order to market my first consulting business in 1996, I ran a newspaper ad in the Boston Globe. It was so difficult! You had to have a registered corporation, a business bank account and get approval from the newspaper on the validity of the product before it could even be listed. It took me months before I could run my first ad. Times have truly changed and the cost to compete with large companies is so much more reasonable now. There are so many ways that the cost of entry for a new business is so much more affordable now but I will just focus on internet marketing in this article.
How did I get so many Twitter followers?
First of all, I use an automated tool to continuously loop tweets and introduce new tweets to keep people engaged. I started with one tweet and have added to them over the years. I not only promote my own products and services, I promote articles that I write and I also promote articles of other Agile and Project Management authors. I am able to promote those other authors because they all maintain blogs that publish an RSS Feed. This allows me to grab snippets and links to their articles as well. My goal for this twitter account is to be a single source for Agile articles and ideas as well as a place to promote my products to a specific audience. The second part to a successful Twitter marketing approach is growing and keeping followers. There is a Twitter phenomenon of “following back.” If you follow someone, there is a good chance they will follow you back. I follow people who follow leaders in my industry, and they in turn, follow me back. The simplest approach to getting and keeping followers is to also follow everyone who follows you. It is a guaranteed way to grow, and I also use this automated approach to unfollow those people who stopped following me.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram….
Back in 2011, I collaborated on an Internet Marketing book, The SEO Manifesto. I researched and learned what social media platforms at that time were better suited for marketing different types of products. Simply put:
- I found that Facebook worked great for location based services or for very specific products but not so much for business services. I don’t think you will find IBM spending money advertising on Facebook.
- Instagram is great if you have products or services that are easily marketed with images.
- I use LinkedIn to promote articles more than to promote products. I find that most people that follow me are in similar businesses so it’s like selling ice to Eskimos. My main use of LinkedIn is for potential clients to research me, see my resume and read my approach to managing projects.
- I found Twitter to be one of the best places to market if you wanted to present a lot of information with a link.
It was and is a pretty simple process of elimination. Social media platforms constantly come and go, so depending upon your product or service you need to diligently monitor the marketplace for the platform that is right for you. Bottom line, if you are willing to do the research and perform some trial and error, there is a social media platform out there for your marketing needs.
What about Paid Advertising?
I wish I could say that I generate all of my business using free marketing techniques, but that’s not true. I pay for Google Adwords. That is my largest marketing expense. Some of my services are available locally and others are available nationwide and my online products are available internationally. Adwords allows me to target geographies using very specific keywords. Adwords can be a complex approach and a potential money pit. Through experience I have learned to start a new ad with a very limited budget and only a few specific keywords and grow from there.
Internet marketing is both an art and a science. I learned most of what I know while researching and writing The SEO Manifesto. Some of the content is now out of date, but the overall project management approach is still valuable if you are looking for a step-by-step way to develop an internet marketing approach.