The online business landscape is incredible today.
In 2023, we have so many options.
Whether you love to write, speak, or make videos, there’s a way for you to get your message out to market your business.
For some reason, I have not seen web designers take full advantage of the opportunities available here. As a whole, we are still stuck in the early 2000s ideas of marketing where networking groups and unplanned word of mouth reign supreme.
Now, hear me — there’s nothing wrong with either of those.
Networking groups can be a fantastic source of income.
So can word of mouth.
And of course, there’s no arguing with the cost of such marketing avenues, especially the latter, which is essentially free as long as you do a good job.
But online platforms are free, too!
And they offer a wealth of opportunities if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty learning how they work.
So if I was starting my business today, how would I market online? I’m about to tell you.
Fair warning, though: It’s probably all stuff you’ve heard before. Maybe you just need to hear it from me, explained in the way I’m explaining it.
Bottom line: If you’re reading this thinking “Yeah, yeah, I know should do that”…then ask yourself, “Why haven’t I?”
First, I would decide on some form of free offer.
In today’s age of marketing, it’s all about upfront value.
People are interested in what they can get from you. They want a taste. They need to feel secure in their decision even before spending money. You can push against this, or you can realize it’s the name of the game and be a star player.
Whatever niche you’re in, create something you can give them for free that speaks exactly to their needs.
This is not the time to be generic. Be specific. Very specific.
Once you have this free offer, it forms the foundation of everything you do.
You’re going to use this free offer to build your distribution channel — aka, your email list.
Second, I would nurture an email list.
It doesn’t matter how many coats of lipstick one puts on the advice. And trust me, I’ve heard it put many ways and coated with every sugary delight in the book.
You. Must. Have. An. Email. List.
Read it again. And again. And again.
Your list is your distribution channel.
Your list is chock full of people who’ve raised their hands to let you know that they have the problem you solve.
Without this, every marketing message is like spraying and praying on Call of Duty. You just frantically hit buttons praying that you’re going to hit a target and you miss every time.
When you have a free offer that solves a specific problem for a specific kind of customer, and email them every single day in relation to that problem, you are “doing marketing” in its purest form.
Oh, you read that right. Every day. At least most days.
If you’re offering value and solving specific problems for people, they will want to hear from you.
And when they’re done hearing from you, they will leave.
It’s that simple, really. And you shouldn’t ever be offended. To everything there is a season.
Ok – so you’ve got a free offer to get them on the list, and you’re emailing them every day, ideally telling stories, giving value, and building the relationship.
Next — and this is going to sound like it should have been at the front of the list, but trust me, this is the right order – you’re going to start a broadcast.
And go with me here, I’m going to be very specific about this.
Third and finally, you should start a YouTube channel.
I know, I know.
This advice might be difficult to swallow.
Yes it’s true, there are a lot of options. You don’t have to start a YouTube channel.
If you like to write, YouTube is probably not the place for you. I understand all of that.
But the fact remains: There is arguably no greater or more powerful discovery tool in existence today than YouTube.
When it comes to getting in front of the perfect audience for you, frankly, YouTube is an absolute juggernaut.
You can be a legit nobody today and have hundreds of subscribers on YouTube within weeks of consistent effort. And the better you get, the more the platform rewards you.
You should carve out a niche for yourself on YouTube and become a sought after expert. Then use that expertise to build an email list. Then use that email list to fish for new projects.
Here’s what the schedule would look like:
- Ideally, 1-3 YouTube videos per week
- Daily emails promoting discovery calls, special offers, etc.
- Create new free offers every 3 months or so to keep things fresh
- Optionally, consider a sales webinar each month to push leads over the edge
That could be the entire marketing plan for the next decade or more of your business. Seriously.
Now you might ask a very logical question here: “Steve, is this what you’re doing?”
Great question! Yes and no.
Yes, it’s what I’m doing in Subscription Web Design. And it’s working.
No, it’s not what I’m doing in my agency — yet.
But it is exactly what I plan to do as soon as my rebranding project is complete. And I plan to show my work and keep you updated on how it’s going, what I’m learning, and how you can use it in your own business, too.
So it’s what I would do if I was starting today AND it’s what I am going to do in the coming weeks.
You can use these tools in your business and create repeatable, predictable revenue without having to wonder where the next chunk of money is going to come from.
And if you’d like to talk about this kind of stuff live with us, these are exactly the kind of conversations we have in our member calls.
We can design the specific plan for your business and hold you accountable to make sure you’re executing.
Here’s where to join us: