Aaron’s answers: How do I market my business online?

The Question:

AaronHoos_BusinessWriterandStrategist_Guru588207I was asked a great question through the private message boards on Guru.com. After briefly outlining his 3 new businesses, an entrepreneur asked: “I have never done much online but am interested in the effectiveness of blogging, press releases, etc.. If i am just beginning each of these businesses, what would you recommend for my ‘plan” to success?”

Aaron’s Answer:
At a very basic level, you’ll want a 3 step approach for each of your businesses; and you’ll find that it’s not that different than a really simple sales process:

1. Get the attention of cold contacts. You can do this through search engine optimization, articles, Twitter, and elsewhere (depending on the specifics of your target market). You might consider investing a little in Google AdWords or some other form of marketing, but that depends on your budget. The point of this step is to draw them into your “sphere” and turn them into warm contacts…

2. Build a relationship with warm contacts. Now that you have all these people listening to you, you need to give them something valuable. Again, it depends on the specifics of your target niche, but typically I’ll create some combination of the following for clients: blogs, whitepapers/reports, and ezines. The goal is to ultimately turn these warm contacts into customers…

3. Sell to your customers. There are a number things you can do — some of which I can help you with. This might include presentation material, “inner” website content (that doesn’t appear in search engines), and more. You might even consider broadening your offerings to include ebooks, webinars, and other products that you can either sell or you can use as positioning material to help you sell your services.

It’s hard for me to give you much more specifics than that with the little bit of information I have. I would say that the specifics depend on:
* Your target market
* Your business area (i.e., where do you do business?)
* Your budget
* … and a few other things.

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