Having to market your business, whether online or offline, is the bane of existence for most business owners. Too many times you get pulled in multiple directions, trying this and trying that, with no real plan or schedule in mind. Mired down by the details, marketing is often pushed to the side when the demands become too great and your client load becomes too heavy. It’s only when you need to replace income with new clients that marketing again becomes a focus for your business.
The best way to market your business is to do that continuously. Having a schedule and plan in place helps, as does being able to automate a number of your marketing tasks so that they occur automatically for you.
Here are the 5 most effective marketing tasks to automate in your online business:
1. Social Networking. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, oh my! Who can keep up with all of this? It’s easy to get lost in the world of social networking. However, taking a few minutes to link some systems together and then pre-writing content to be uploaded and distributed over time makes it look like you’re engaged in social networking more than you actually are. Connect your blog and ezine to your social networks so that anytime you publish a post or an issue of your ezine, your followers and friends are notified. Create a list of useful tips that can be pre-scheduled to all of your social networks over a period of time. Set up your Twitter account to send one of several warm and inviting direct mail messages to all that follow you on Twitter. Remember, though, that you’ll also need to spend at least 15 minutes a day personally networking, as automation can’t take care of everything for you.
2. Social Bookmarking. Social bookmarking is defined as a method for people to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Whole communities develop on places like Digg and StumbleUpon, where visitors avidly search for the latest and greatest info on their areas of interest. With 100+ social bookmarking sites in existence, social bookmarking could easily take up most of your day. However, there are several free and fee-based services that dramatically decrease the amount of time you have to devote to social bookmarking. Once these systems are set up, social bookmarking becomes much easier.
3. Marketing Planning. It’s tough to find the time to create a marketing plan for your business with all the other hats you have to wear as a business owner. Then, once you figure out a plan, you have to outline all of the implementation steps and set up and implementation plan. Now there is marketing software that will let you set your income goals for the year and then design a marketing plan to support those goals, as well as a step-by-step implementation plan, including all the tasks that must be completed, along with their completion dates.
4. Article Publishing. You’ve probably heard that writing and publishing your articles on a variety of article banks is a great way to generate traffic to your site. In fact, this is the primary traffic generation strategy I’ve used for years for my business. However, there are thousands of article directories out there, so how do you decide which ones to use? You can manually submit to the 10 with the highest traffic rankings, but that will still consume a couple of hours of your time. To get the most bang from your article publishing buck, seek out article submitter software. What used to take several hours can be reduced to 20 minutes or so when you get your system in place.
5. Stay-in-touch Emails. One of the most common complaints I hear from people who search for info online is that they get emails from people from whom they never requested info. A more likely scenario is that they requested a freebie from a business, and the business did a poor job of keeping in touch with that prospect. When the prospect hears from the business two months later, for example, she has already forgotten the business, as too much time has passed without any communication. Sequential autoresponders provide the perfect opportunity for you to automatically stay in touch with prospects for as long as a year after your initial contact with them. Once you set up a sequential set of automatic followup messages, you can reach out and touch your prospects with very little effort on your part. Best of all, you remain top-of-mind with them.
The more you can automate, the more you can accomplish, and the more clients and sales you can attract. Take a look at automating these marketing processes and see how your business grows.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.