We’re in an age where we’re told that it’s super easy to do your online marketing yourself — so, why wouldn’t you? What required a small ad agency twenty years ago can be done in a few hours spread across a few weekends, right? You started… I’m sure of it. At least you looked at some YouTube vids on how to build your website before you felt overwhelmed, right? You may have even started your website… only to get stuck in a template that won’t do what you want it to do, and you can’t find Technical Support or a Knowledge Base for help. You may have started with Facebook, but aren’t sure what to post. Or maybe you have been posting, but now you want to create an ad of an incredible offer that you’ve come up with, but you’ve gotten lost in the geek-speak of Facebook ads (don’t get me started…). There are endless roadblocks along the way of putting your online presence together. Don’t feel stupid — it’s impossible for you to not get frustrated by the endless programs that you’ll need to conceive the art and content… then to build it. Then navigate your website hosts and control panel, social media platforms, not to mention the websites of the various tools that you have used, looking for tutorials and answers that all seem outdated. The result. Most of us get completely overwhelmed and give up on our dreams.

The trick is knowing what you can do, what you should do and when you should ask for help

You’re not going to make any money by giving up. You’re not going to quit your the job that you hate by giving up. And you’re never going to find your freedom and realize your dreams by giving up. You need to know yourself and your strength and weaknesses first and foremost. Some people are good at creating websites. Some are good with social media. Some are good with creating good content. RARELY is someone good at all three. Getting help and getting UNSTUCK when you need it most gets you back on the road to making money. Let’s take a look at the three main areas of online marketing where you’ve likely gotten stuck and propose how to get UNSTUCK!

I’ve been stuck creating my website

Probably no other aspect of online marketing has gotten as much misinformation as website development in recent years. Simply because you don’t have to be a programmer anymore to create one doesn’t mean that it’s easy to create a GOOD one. It is easy to create a BAD one, though. But, it takes a decent amount of knowledge to create one that:

  • Google will like
  • Your prospects will like
  • Is easy enough to maintain that you’ll actually maintain it.

What you should do:

Use a WordPress.org website (as opposed to a blog on WordPress.com). This will mean that you have to purchase hosting each year, but it’s imperative that you own your presence and content outright. WordPress also will provide you with the best Content Management System (CMS) available on a steady platform that is sure to be here for years to come. Website hosting: I recommend SiteGround hosting for it’s speed, reliability, price and most importantly – great tech support. Most people will only need the 3.95/month StartUp version.

When to get help:

Honestly, if you’re truly moving forward with your dream project, at any point that you get really stuck, you should look for professional assistance. If you’re just dabbling, then dabble away, but if you’re pursuing your passion, don’t let the website stop you. If you know exactly what you want in a website, or if you’ve gotten to a certain point creating it, but don’t know what to do next, then perhaps get on Fiverr.com or Upwork.com and hire someone to bail you out — though I will warn you if you really don’t know what you’re doing, it’s likely that you’ll hire someone that knows just a little more than you do, and could do more harm than good. But… they’re really cheap!

Common pitfalls:

Messing up your mobile-responsiveness. This happens by making changes to code (likely CSS) in desktop mode, but not addressing how it affects views on mobile devices — this is a serious one… at least to Google rankings and the 50% plus that will view your website on mobile. Equally problematic — Not backing up the site regularly. So many people waste mega hours of work with one experiment gone awry or a robo-hack. I use UpdraftPlus, but the free version that is perfectly fine for the average user.

 

I’m stuck creating/maintaining my social media presence

With over 60 forms of social media identified today (I’m sure there are also hundreds more not on the radar currently), it’s important that you identify and prioritize which are most important to you.

Social media is a time suck!

There. I said it. But, they’re still incredibly important to get our message out there. They work – plain and simple. And not just with the big boys such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat. I’ve listened to many entrepreneurs garnering lists organically from lesser utilized social media like Pinterest simply because they have so little competition there.

What you should do:

  1. Download my freebie right here, “Social Media Marketing | Which is right for me?”. It’s an easy-to-read 4 page break down of the top seven social media. I list their demographics (thoroughly broken down between sexes and age groups), and what each platform is best utilized for.  This is a no-brainer to help you figure out where you should concentrate your precious time in the coming year. Choose 3 platforms that you feel benefits you most.
  2. Download the free version of Buffer or HootSuite. Set up your 3 platforms and
  3. Proceed to the Content section.

 

"Which Social Media Channels are Right For Me?" by Barry Edwards, Edwardscom.net

“Social Media Marketing: Which is Right For Me?” Detailed demographics and best uses of the top seven social media channels.

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When to get help:

I don’t feel that social media is so complicated that the common person can’t handle it (until it comes to paid advertising). But, most people will find that they’ll consistently fall short of their intentions simply because of the amount of time and mental bandwidth it takes to create, curate and post quality content. For this reason, you need to assess if you’ll receive a good return by outsourcing this portion of your marketing to take it off your hands, so you can simply go make the money.

Common pitfalls:

  • Not identifying your audience and proper platforms to reach them.
  • Posting shoddy content. Not posting any content.
  • Not getting organized with an auto-poster and content marketing plan.

 

I know I can create great content, but… I haven’t. I have to admit I’m stuck

This headline speaks to about 80% of people in a small business that should be the ones responsible for their content development. This includes owners, office managers, marketing personnel and so on. This person(s) intend to embrace content building each year and then fizzle out – whether it be blog posts, videos, podcasts or simply Facebook Lives.

What you should do:

  • Identify your Target Persona (or Customer Avatar) thoroughly, and make sure you and whoever else is on your content development team identifies with this person thoroughly – otherwise, your “voice” will be all over the place.
  • I strongly suggest working with a professional to develop a content plan that makes the greatest use of this valuable resource. I mean repurpose your content into blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns, eBooks and Lead Magnets.
  • Commit to a schedule and stick to it consistently.
  • If you have a team, make sure all duties are thoroughly defined and accountability meetings are set.

When to get help:

  • As stated above, I believe that your annual content marketing plan should be defined with a professional and it’s probably best to have quarterly reviews to keep people accountable and on track.
  • Many companies will find it profitable to outsource their social media posting.
  • Most root content needs to be developed in house, but it’s often beneficial to work with a professional that can help define the outline and then review and edit it into eBooks, blog posts, etc.

Common pitfalls:

  • Not identifying your audience personas so that you feel as though you’re communicating directly to that person.
  • Not identifying SPECIFIC responsibilities to the Content Calendar and then having consistent accountability meetings.
  • Not outsourcing the content marketing plan as you know there’s no damn way you can do it yourself. Finally… simply not having complete buy-in into the importance of this marketing and one’s own ability to execute it. This will require assistance and training from a professional until it is a proven in house tactic.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Final Thoughts…

I’ve generalized online marketing efforts into these three main areas: web development, social media marketing and content development simply because I consistently find each of these to have consistent stumbling blocks that stop people in their tracks.

More often that not, we simply need to take a step back and ask ourselves, “If I pay a professional to get us back on track here, how long would it take to make back this money?”

You’ll probably find that you would have already made that money back if you got on it when you got stuck.


 Article by Barry Edwards of EdwardsCom.net– helping businesses become more profitable online.Also see my sister site, Over 50 Starting Over – a DIY resource for the not-so-technically inclined that want to create their own lead generating online presence. 

Over 50 Starting Over marketing tips for the middle aged entrepreneur

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