Here's what we know, so far:
- Adhering to the "don't trade your time for money" adage will keep you from money.
- The trick is to position yourself in such a way that you're trading your time for a lot more money.
Leg 3: building a marketing engine
You know the movie Field of Dreams?
Where the Universe whispers, "if you build it, they will come," and the main character builds it, and they do, in fact come?
Some creators think that we're still living in that movie. So they create digital products and services that change lives.
And they just... let them sit, gathering dust on their digital shelves!
"If you build it, they will come" only worked in that one movie.
Here's where I see a lot of people get derailed. And it's not their fault. Do a quick search about what you need to have, marketing-wise, to be successful online and try to stay positive.
This article from Entrepreneur says if you want to have a successful online business, you need to be technical, have a better-than-average knowledge of SEO, create a ton of content, expertise, and also be really good at paid advertising.
The only part of that I agree with is the expertise, which we've covered already.
To build a marketing engine, you need these five things:
A lead-generating opt-in
A sales page
An email strategy
These are the foundational pieces.
The non negotiables.
Having them in place doesn't automatically ensure success, but not having them pretty much ensures failure.
Your website can (and should!) be simple.
You can put together your opt-in over the course of a week.
Your sales page can come together by following a template.
And calls-to-action are a simple way to get people to do what you want.
Start your engine.
Build or update your website.
But do not fall into the "I must spend a used car amount of money and at this project should take at least six months" trap that fancy web designers make you think you need.
Because no matter how much time and money you put into your website today, you're just going to have to do it again in two years.
Plus, your website's job is not to sit there and look pretty.
Your website is supposed to do work for you. It's supposed to yes, make you look good, but more than that, it's supposed to:
- Build trust
- Build authority
- Make the wrong people bounce
- Make the right people believe they're in the right place and, having established that belief, give up their email address in exchange for something that solves a problem that hurts them deeply
- Convince those people to take action, to join your list, to book a call, to do what you want them to do
- And give those people (still talking about the people from step 4!) tools that will help them spread the word about what you do.
Expertise. Positioning. And a marketing engine.
Is that really it? Really all it takes to be successful online?
Not to oversimplify things, but yes.
And what's more?
Marketing engines all share the same structure. The only differentiator is the special sauce you bring to the table.
Don't believe me?
Think about houses. Strip away all the differences (square footage, finishes, location, location, location!) and what are you left with?
A foundation. Walls. Windows. Doors.
Houses have more similarities than they do differences.
Of course, walking through a huge mansion in Beverly Hills will make you feel differently than wandering through a tiny house in the country.
But the analogy is apt.
And the internet, the great equalizer, allows you to build something grand on a tiny house budget.
So build your foundation, then make sure you use the best differentiator: you.
I suppose in this analogy you're the teal trim. The granite counters. The heated floors. The state-of-the-art on-site movie theater. The museum-quality art hanging on the walls.
You're the one-of-a-kind combination of awesomeness that makes you stand out from the crowd.
And the less headspace you have to dedicate to the foundation, the more time you have to highlight what sets you apart.
Kathleen "can actually drive the kind of car that the stock image at the top depicts" Celmins