One of the best things about online marketing is that it’s mostly free – but it does take time and effort.  It’s not just about posting lots of tweets on Twitter or posting all your latest status updates on Facebook and LinkedIn, there’s more to it than that.

Number 1You need a strategy – what are you aiming to achieve?  If you don’t know then a lot of random activity is just likely to end in frustration.  Remember that online marketing isn’t a quick fix; a few posts won’t bring customer flooding to your door, but a long term approach will make a difference to the people who find and use your business.

Number 2You need to know where your target market is looking online.  It’s no good being really active on Facebook if your potential customers are all active on Linked In.

  • Explore a number of social media platforms and find out where your potential clients hang out.
  • Look at people who have a similar customer base and blog regularly, could you guest blog for them (and vice versa)?
  • What publications do your target audience read online – could you get articles into those?
  • What would tempt potential customers to join your list?

Number 3It’s important to deliver information of value to your audience.  Share your knowledge, tips and advice to develop an awareness of your expertise.  However, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; create a bank of useful and valuable information and then recycle it over a period of time – you’ve got to work smart!

Number 4Use your selected social media to promote your services or products, but remember that you need to be subtle; create curiosity and people will want to know more.  Create links for each post to a relevant page on your website so you make it easy for people to find out more.

Number 5Get into the habit of writing weekly.

  • Blog regularly to keep your website updated with fresh and relevant content.
  • Offer to blog on other people’s sites with original content and ask them to write something relevant to your readers on your site.
  • Find places where your knowledge will add value, online publications and offline publications that have an online version, article marketing sites, open blogs where you can post items.

Number 6Put together a number of blogs around one subject area and create an ebook, give it a catchy title and offer it as a download in return for people giving you their name and email address.  This will build your list of interested people.

Number 7Last, but not least, create a system and put time aside to follow it.  It need only take 15-20 minutes a day to get quite a lot done, that’s just a couple of hours a week – and most people can find the time to slot that amount of time into their daily schedule.  Consistency is the key to success!

Success is in your hands.  Marketing takes time and effort, it’s not a quick fix, but if you persist over time you’ll start to see real results.