Creating a marketing list, a list of email contacts, is essential for any business. It is a cornerstone of any marketing strategy. You may have the most amazing contents, products, services or offers, but if no one is looking at them, no one is buying them! In creating and expanding your marketing list you have a readily available audience. These are customers who have already shown interest in your brand.
With social media platforms you get a lot of change. Algorithms are constantly changing (read here to get around Instagram’s latest algorithm change), and this means what used to work for you no longer does. Overnight your sales drop. The recent issues with Facebook highlight this, and now many are choosing to abandon the platform in the wake of the scandal. This is no good if you completely rely on this one platform for income.
Using email to contact your customers is a positive way to reach out to them personally, and it is not subject to any rules and requirements. For example it’s very difficult to actually get your post seen on Facebook and Instagram these days. With email you know it’s definitely being delivered directly to your customer. In addition people can see a post, and think they will come back to it, but forget or lose it. That’s it, your advertisement has disappeared. In an inbox it doesn’t disappear, it remains there until they take some action.
There are many ways to collect data. You can even go and ask people for it! The simplest way is to integrate a form into your website, and possibly even use a pop up to ask people to sign up. Learn how to create your own website here – even beginners can do this! This way you have their data, data they’ve been willing to give.
It helps if you can entice them with a hook or an offer of some description. Give them a reason to join your marketing list. People want value and this is the key to the collection of data.
Once you have your marketing list you can pitch your product or services to them. There are many ways to do this with different services and you could even do it manually from your inbox. I really like Mailchimp. It is free up to 2000 subscribers so ticks the box cost wise. I found it a little complicated to learn how use, but this is partly down to the sheer number of campaign types it offers. There is nothing Mailchimp doesn’t do! It integrates perfectly into WordPress.
You can send promotional material to your marketing list that is automated, professional and slick. You can also use it for pop-up boxes and subscription forms and so much more. It’s worth having a good explore of to find out how it could fit your business. You can personal everything in the campaigns and I love the automated feature. For anyone with the dream of a passive income or remote working automation is a godsend.
Sign people up in the right way and then continue giving them information and promotions offering value, and your marketing list is a key strategy to grow your business overnight.
Why should anyone set up a website? If you are intending to start your own business having a corner of the web is imperative. It will cement your business as a trustworthy brand. Creating a website is the modern-day equivalent of a physical shop. Customers will believe in your brand purely from having the website and having quality content. To many, however, who may not have set up a website, this may seem a daunting prospect. You must set up a website to compliment any marketing strategy, it’s absolutely critical to drive traffic to your site and create strategies for future marketing.
Now you have the reasons for having a website, how do you go about getting yourself one?
I recommend your first step will be to visit www.one.com. Here you can see if the domain you want is available. “Domain” is the site you want to own. For example, www.thefemaleentrepreneurhub.com is the domain of this site. There is a box at the top which says “search domain here”. This is where you will type in your business name. For example “Carolsdogwalking”. The list will drop down and give you options. You can select from .co.uk or .com for example. I highly recommend selecting .com if possible. It tends to indicate a business that is more official or a leader. It ranks higher among consumers than say .net.
There are many domain providers, check what you are paying for and if there is a design feature included, otherwise you will end up having to design from scratch which can mean needing to purchase software.
This will take you to an order page. Don’t worry too much about adding extras at this point unless you know exactly what you want. All these extras will be available still after your purchase and you may have more of an idea what you need then. Hint – they also give you offers occasionally so it can be worth holding out unless you really need a service.
You will notice you have a discount applied. As an affiliate, I get paid for you using this service, but you also benefit with a £5 GBP discount! I can assure you I only use one.com for all my various websites. I use them for a few reasons.
All of this is only £4.80 for 12 months! I fail to see why anyone wouldn’t recommend them to be honest! There are other that are recommended such as Bluehost. To be honest I haven’t used them so I can’t comment on them, however I’m told they are good. I had to choose price as I had minimal funds to start my businesses and that’s where one.com won out.
If you complete the check out process, you will receive an email to confirm your email address. Once this is done you will get a second email to set up a password, then a third to confirm the process is finished.
You have now set up your website congratulations!
Now you have your domain – for example www.carolsdogwalking.com you need a site. What if you know nothing about website design? Well you can employ a company such as The Search Marketing Shop who can design a professional SEO (search engine optimised) enhanced website for you, which is good for having a sleek-looking site from the get go. However if you have no money for this you may need to design it yourself. Luckily this is relatively easy with two different methods on one.com
You now have two options. You can use the inbuilt Website Builder on one.com or you can use 1 click WordPress installation, both found in the control panel. Both will give you templates to choose from, both give you the freedom to design your own. I have used both, but at the moment I prefer the 1 click WordPress installation as I think you can create a much slicker site far easier. I personally like the Orfeo theme on WordPress, but there are literally hundreds of free themes to choose from. WordPress can feel complicated at first, but it’s well worth having a play with for good results.
Many other providers also integrate WordPress.
If this all feels too much and your budget allows for it, as I said earlier you can have this stage done for you by someone like The Search Marketing Shop, who will design a website for you and help you manage it. They are also experts at getting you to page one of Google which will help drive business your way.
I recommend setting up official email addresses to go with your website.
If you are a one.com user, go to the control panel and you will see mail administration. Here you can set up email addresses such as “firstname.lastname@example.org”. This looks far more professional than email@example.com. This will increase customer trust in your brand. You should set this email up on your mobile phone in an app as well so you get emails directly to your mobile phone. There are tutorials in the one.com help files to assist you with all of this, or your provider should explain how to do it.
It is worthwhile installing the SSL certificate once you have set up your website. If using one.com, you can login into the control panel and scroll right to the bottom where there is an SSL box. If you accept this, your site will be labelled as secure. This means you get the padlock in the address bar and your site becomes https instead of http. Don’t worry if this means nothing to you, it just means that customer’s browsers will be happier opening your page as it’s labelled as secure. Some people have settings on their browsers which won’t open sites without SSL certificates. If this were the case people would not open your site, leading to loss of business.
You should now have a completed website! You can attach the web address to your emails and social media to start promoting it. It’s also well worth signing up for a free Google analytics account to monitor the traffic and stats in relation to your website.
I’ve learnt what I’ve needed about social media from the ground up. From marketing different businesses, both local and online, I’ve had to very quickly become adept at navigating Instagram, and what I would say is that in terms of online businesses I’ve found Instagram to be the easiest and most successful social media platform to market on. Maybe others have had a different experience, but I definitely depend on Instagram predominantly. Facebook I find better for local businesses.
When ever I hear about changes and new social media algorithms it fills me with dread.
You may have heard there’s going to be some huge changes coming to Facebook, but it’s difficult to find out what’s happening in the Instagram world. When researching this yourself, please bear in mind Instagram releases updates periodically, we’re not anticipating one huge big change where your feed will be null and void over night. However nobody knows what the changes will be other than those in the know at Instagram!
You will note Instagram quote the following in regards to changes made;
“we found that people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way”
This is the focus for Instagram;
Work on this as a solid foundation then when changes occur it shouldn’t affect you too much.
SO WHAT KEY THINGS SHOULD YOU BE DOING TO BUILD YOUR INSTAGRAM?
I am a busy mum with a few businesses, it’s difficult to wait around and create this engagement on Instagram so I have taken a few measures;
I use a scheduling app to schedule my posts. I personally use Tailwind although others are available. I use this for both Pinterest pins and Instagram posts. I like it because I can bulk upload, store sets of tags and manage it through my PC and phone via the app. It also analyses your account and works out the best times to post. You do get a free trial to see if it’s for you. I tend to do a week’s worth of posts in one hit.
I also use an app to add followers. I struggled to find one on I Phone but I have one on my android phone. I refuse to do the spammy generic comments as I hate those! But I would imagine they would help if you don’t mind doing them.
I turn of most instagram notifications as they get a bit annoying, but I do leave on the comment one so when I get a comment through I reply back instantly, like I say even if it’s just the spam/generic ones.
These are just some basic tips that you can implement straight away. These should stand you in good stead regardless of changes implemented. The key is genuine posting with engagement.
I wish you luck with your Instagram marketing strategy and I love to hear from you! What’s worked for you? Will you be implementing any of these changes? Are you worried about the impact on your account?