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The Future of Internet Marketing—5 Trends to Watch

The Future of Internet Marketing—5 Trends to Watch

Internet marketing has taken a beating these past couple of years. Strategies that used to work aren’t working so well anymore.

In my opinion, I think what we’re seeing is the end of the using “new” as the primary marketing strategy.

BUT just because we aren’t relying solely on “new” doesn’t mean Internet marketing is dead. Not by a long shot.

What it DOES mean, however, is that we need to get smarter about our Internet marketing strategies.

Gone are the days where we could just throw something up and expect to get results. The internet is way too crowded for that to work anymore. So, we need to be more strategic about how we spend our marketing time and budget. (And, quite honestly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.)

With that, let’s jump into the five big Internet marketing trends to watch:

Trend 1. Content is still king. Everything I see still shows that consistently creating solid, high-quality content is one of the best ways to market yourself and your business.

The key here is the content needs to be high quality AND consistent.

Yes, years ago you could post a few times a year to a blog and get some traction. That’s no longer the case.

Taking the time to create solid content your ideal prospects are excited to consume AND doing it consistently is how you build momentum in your business.

Now, that said, when I say “creating content,” I’m not just talking about writing blog posts. Podcasts are still hot (and, in fact, are growing—you may seriously want to consider a podcast if you aren’t doing one) and videos are also still hot (although there’s been some shifts and softening in YouTube, a subject for another day, but using videos in your marketing is still a winning strategy).

If you’re a designer, infographics are also still hot, as are photos and other graphics.

People are still interested, and are still seeking, content. But, they’re definitely more particular about the content they’re consuming, so it’s smart to take a little extra time to make sure what you’re putting out there is as strong as you can make it.

(And, if you can be entertaining while providing content, that’s even better. Along with looking for content, people are also looking to be entertained. Combing the two is always a win-win.)

Trend 2. Content alone isn’t enough—you have to market it. As anyone who has a blog already knows, just because you have one, doesn’t mean people will come.

You still need to have a consistent strategy to market that content.

Posting on social networking platforms is a must. You may also want to consider paying for exposure via Facebook ads or other forms of pay-per-click (more on this later). Setting up your blog for SEO or organic traffic is also not a bad idea (although keep in mind this is most definitely a long-term strategy. SEO used to be a lot easier than it is today, which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, only that you should be aware it’s a long game).

You can also look into using other platforms such as Medium to help increase your reach. (But, I would caution you to still have your own blog and website and web presence rather than build everything on an outside platform you don’t control. Playing in other people’s sandboxes is well and good until they take their toys and go home, leaving you stuck and vulnerable.)

Trend 3. Relationships are still queen. People want to do business with people. They want to connect with people.

In other words, they want to connect with YOU.

So, why not give them what they want?

Be accessible. Give your ideal clients a way to connect with you on Facebook or other social networking platforms. Respond to their comments. Answer their questions.

And, show your personality in your marketing. Share your stories, your passion, your vulnerabilities. Let your ideal clients see you as a person … a person they like and want to hang out with.

They’re far more likely to buy your products and services if they feel connected to you.

Trend 4. Pay to play is here to stay. Having a small advertising budget, whether it’s Facebook ads or some other type of online ads, is a smart idea.

Yes, I know on one hand, it sucks. Years ago, you didn’t need an advertising budget to break through the online clutter. On the other hand, the fact that it is more difficult to market yourself without an advertising budget means only more serious and professional business owners and entrepreneurs are rising to the top. The scammers and people who are less ethical about their marketing are less likely to invest in advertising, which means they won’t be grabbing all the oxygen, which leaves more space for the more ethical and love-based marketer.

Trend 5. Simple trumps complex. I don’t believe that successfully marketing yourself needs to be all that complex. In fact, focusing on only one main marketing strategy, such as a podcast or videos, can go a long way.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when it seemed complex was the way to go. Complex funnels, complex product launches. The more complicated the better.

But, quite honestly, I feel like all the complexity was doing was hiding what prospects really wanted—good, solid content. A connection with the business owner. And, as a bonus, maybe even some entertainment.

If you simplify and just focus on those key foundational pieces, you may be shocked at how far it can take your business.

In addition to keeping it simple, I do believe the more you love your marketing, the more successful you’ll be at it. You can never go wrong the more you surround yourself with regular activities you love to do.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can fall in love with your Internet marketing strategies, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

3 Hard Truths About Building Your Online Influence

3 Hard Truths About Building Your Online Influence

There’s no better way to grow your business online than by growing your influence.

When you’ve built a strong online influence, it likely looks like you have a large online community who follows you. For instance, maybe you have a big email list or lots of Facebook followers or a popular blog or podcast or Youtube channel. (Or a combination of the above.)

And, of course when you have that, it’s so much easier to build a successful, profitable business.

But, having online influence is more than just collecting followers on the various social networks. It also means people are actually reading your words and listening to your message.

And, when that happens, it’s truly magic. Because then you’re in a position to share your gifts and message in a much bigger way.

And when you want to make a big difference in the world, who wouldn’t want to have an influence?

The problem, of course, is how … how do you do it? How do you grow your online influence (especially if you’re just starting out), and do it in a way that’s authentic and doesn’t feel slimy, or like you’re twisting people’s arms? (In other words, how can you do it in a love-based way?)

Well, while it’s not particularly complicated or difficult to develop and grow your online influence, it DOES take some work. And you also need to accept a few hard truths. Let’s take a look at three of them:

1. It’s an inside job. Learning the latest, hot new way to attract followers on whatever platform you’re focusing on isn’t actually going to build your influence.

If you want to inspire people to make positive changes in their life, then you need to be very clear on who YOU are—what your expertise is, what your business is about, who you serve, etc.

This inner work can be tough—I get it. But, the clearer you are, the more people will be able to decide if you’re someone they want to listen to, and become a part of your community.

The less clear you are, the more likely people will ignore you—not because they aren’t interested in what you have to say, but because they’re too busy to try and figure out if you’re someone they want to pay attention to.

2. Be authentic. People are savvy. They can sense if you’re walking your walk, or if you’re just telling people to do one thing while you do something else.

And, there’s nothing that has less influence than a hypocrite.

The more you and your business are in alignment with your message, the more influence you’re going to have.

At the bare minimum, it’s important to reflect what you offer in your business. So, if you’re in the health industry, make sure your health habits mirror what you teach. If you teach marketing, make sure your own marketing is in order.

But, you may want to look deeper. Are you someone who pays your team and other contractors on time? Do you believe in investing in yourself (since you’re asking others to invest in themselves through you)?

It may not seem like this would move the needle much, but it really does. If you believe in Law of Attraction, you know that the more you have your own act together, the more the Universe will deliver to you. But, even if you don’t, if affects how YOU are showing up. If you’re out of integrity, it likely will show up in YOUR energy, which people will sense even if they never say anything or are even completely aware of it. And that will affect how people see you, and their willingness to be in your community.

3. It’s going to take time. Ah, this one is tough. Building online influence isn’t going to happen overnight. It might not even happen in six months. Or a year.

People need time—time to get to know you. To see if they like what you’re about. To see if they resonate with your message. To see if they resonate with YOU.

To make things worse, all of this happens on THEIR time, not yours. You need to land some clients because you need money for next month? Tough. No one is going to be compelled to follow you (much less buy your products and programs) because you need the money.

There is no question this is a long-tailed marketing strategy, which by definition means it’s going to take time … BUT once it happens, it will start to take on a life of its own.

If you want to dig deeper into marketing your business, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book—you can get it here.

 

3 Keys to Creating More Freedom in Your Business

3 Keys to Creating More Freedom in Your Business

Raise your hand if you started your business because you wanted freedom.

Maybe it’s time freedom, or money freedom, or freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want—to live your life the way you choose.

Now, raise your hand if what you ended up with is the exact opposite of freedom.

Maybe you feel like your business has taken over your life. You never have time for anything BUT working in your business.

If any of this sounds familiar, I want you to know you’re not alone. Desiring some level of freedom is one of the most common reasons people start businesses. And, getting sucked into your business to the point of feeling like all you do is work, work, work, is also very common.

So, what to do? How do you fix it?

Well, before we get into the solution, let’s dig into the problem a bit more.

For a lot of entrepreneurs, especially creative, spiritual entrepreneurs, the last thing you want is to schedule your time. Maybe you even come from corporate, where your life was controlled by calendars and appointments and meetings, and argh!

You’re your own boss! If you don’t want to write that blog post Wednesday morning than, by God, you don’t have to!

Besides, you should be inspired to write your blog posts, right? So, doesn’t it make sense to keep your calendar open to write that blog post when inspiration strikes? And, in fact, doesn’t it make sense to do that for everything in your business? Simply leave your calendar open and do only what you feel like doing and what you’re inspired to do?

The problem is—well, there are a few problems with that strategy.

First, if you’re waiting for inspiration to write that blog post, you’re likely going to be waiting a long time.

Which means, you won’t be marketing your business on a regular basis. And if you don’t market your business on a regular basis, your cash flow and income will suffer. Which means you’re suddenly going to be in the “oh sh*t” cycle of marketing, as you rush around frantically to generate prospects and clients and buyers.

But, it gets even worse. If your schedule is all “loosey goosey,” driven by what you “feel” like doing in the moment or what you’re “inspired” to do, you run the risk of leaving everything to the last minute. And, that means late nights, lots of stress, etc.

So, what’s the alternative? Scheduling every last second of your day? Just the thought of that sends shivers up your spine, right? What a depressing and discouraging way to run a business.

To start, no, you don’t have to follow some strict discouraging and depressing time- management system. In fact, today I’m going to share three keys to setting up your day, so you’re able to get things done with grace and ease, as well as honoring your creativity.

Key #1. Structure gives you freedom. The way around scheduling every minute and “loosey goosey inspiration strikes” is to structure your day.

This can look a lot of different ways, but one of the most successful I’ve seen is to batch your time.

So, maybe Monday is your administration day—the day you meet with your team, review, organize your office, maybe even plan out the rest of your week.

Tuesday and Thursday are call days, so you batch all your client calls on those days.

Wednesday is creative day, so maybe that’s the day you leave open for writing blog posts, creating programs, and all that creative type work.

And maybe Friday is catch up day—a day where you can catch up on anything you need to. So, maybe you catch up with your writing or your calls.

See how this works? You have a structure and you have tasks that need to get done, but you have the time and the spaciousness to play in the moment.

Now, for this to work, you need the next two keys:

Key #2. Setting boundaries. Now, it’s true: emergencies can and will happen, and there are days where you’ll just need to drop everything and deal with something.

But, most of the time, the things that are distracting you aren’t true emergencies.

This is when setting good boundaries will help you stay on track.

Keep calls on calls day, and don’t let them start migrating to your creative days. Do your creative work on creative days, and don’t let yourself get distracted or sucked into some sort of drama.

(Worried about inspiration not showing up on Wednesday? If you actually set aside a day to be creative, and YOU show up on those days to be creative, it’s remarkable how your muse will also show up to support you.)

While, yes, you’ve given yourself a structure and space to “play” in the moment, you still need to actually get the work done. So, allow the structure to actually support you.

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? So why aren’t we all doing it?

Because we need the third key …

Key #3. Doing the inner work. If you find yourself struggling to focus and not procrastinate on the things you know you need to be doing, it’s likely you have one or more blocks getting in the way.

Mindset blocks happen when your subconscious is not on board with the direction you want to go. So, if for instance, you have some blocks around growing your business or making more money, every time you sit down to work on marketing, you find yourself screwing around on Facebook or watching videos like that cute one of the elephant playing with the birds (love that one).

And suddenly, the day is gone and you haven’t done any marketing for your business.

That’s why it’s essential to stay on top of your inner game, and keep working through those blocks, because they WILL pop up.

My suggestion to stay on track is to have a morning practice (such as meditation or journaling or praying or visualization or some sort of physical activity … or a combination of those things). Over time, you’ll rewire your brain so the block is no longer an issue.

If it’s a big block, you may want to consider some deeper work—I cover a lot of deeper mindset exercises in my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book, or you can work with a coach.

If you’d like more on how productivity and getting more done, make sure you keep an eye out for my brand new “Love-Based Goals” book, coming December 2017. Plus, you may want check out my “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back.”

[Video] Flip It! Is Email Marketing Dead?

[Video] Flip It! Is Email Marketing Dead?

If you have an online business or you’re looking to start an online business, you’ve likely been taught to build an email list — which is a list of emails belonging to your ideal clients — and market to them by sending out emails.

And, that’s a very solid business strategy. Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective way of marketing your business.

The problem is, it certainly seems like it’s a lot less effective than it once was. The number of people opening and clicking on emails seems to be going down all the time. And, while it used to be you could send an email out to your list and make some sales, now you may only hear crickets.

If that’s happened to you, it can feel really discouraging.

So, what gives? Is email marketing dead?

Take a moment to watch and decide for yourself.

 

(Wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Copy books: Love-Based Copywriting Method and Love-Based Copywriting System, both available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other online retailers.