When you first launch your business, it can be difficult to determine what types of marketing to focus on. There are so many options!
There are a ton of different ways to promote your business online. How do you determine which one to start with? I am going to demystify marketing by giving you the step-by-step list I use with my clients!
Order Matters For All Types of Marketing
A lot of my students ask me, “what do I post on social?” or “how do I grow my email list?” And my answer always seems to come back to the order of what you should be doing and when you should be doing it.
Typically, my response to those types of questions are going to be pinpointing logistics like “well…do you have a website yet?” or “what’s your lead magnet?”
Basically, — if you don’t create your business elements in the correct order, you may have trouble gaining momentum or retaining traffic because they all build on each other.
It makes it less confusing and a lot easier if you focus on your marketing efforts in a specific order because it means you’ll start with a solid foundation and have fewer questions as you move through the phases.
There’s a cacophony of noise out there telling us we should be doing X, Y, Z right now. I know it can be hard to focus when you’ve got information overwhelm and disparate voices all around you. This confusion makes it hard to start a project and stick to it because you’re already worried about the next project. I can think of times when I got caught up in a project and then got sidetracked by an emerging trend. After pouring hours of effort in, I wasn’t done with either project!
Determine an order for your marketing efforts and stick to it. Build your business by executing your marketing efforts in an order that makes sense, instead of trying to do everything at once or getting sidetracked by shiny object syndrome. Your brand will be better for it and your sanity is worth it!
My Recommended Marketing Plan
I have a particular order that I recommend my students get everything set up in.
Do you HAVE to do things this way? Of course not! But this is the order that has made the most sense for me and, time and time again, I see that when people do it this way, they can maximize their marketing efforts.
Here’s the order that I recommend doing things in:
- Lead magnet
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Email marketing
The reason that I recommend placing your types of marketing in this order is because it just makes the most sense.
Some People Start with Social
This is my recommended plan for marketing, but some people disagree. Or they just have no idea where to start and end up beginning in a totally different spot.
A LOT of people start with social media first. And that’s totally fine!
It allows you to get your toes in the water and see if you even like this whole “online business” or “freelancing” thing before you go ahead and invest in building a website or starting an email list. Social media can be free or very low cost and reach a wide audience, so it can be a low point of entry for new business owners and freelancers.
But if you do start with social, you may then find yourself having questions about where to go next. Since you’re doing it “out of order,” the next step isn’t as clear.
That’s why I recommend to do it in this order specifically. But don’t worry! If you started with social, I’ll share my tips for “what next?” later on in this post.
First, I’m going to go through how I suggest doing it:
Once you have committed to the order of your marketing plan (and I highly recommend you use my order 😉) and decide the goal is to get people on your email list, let’s reverse-engineer to get to a robust email list.
I like to reverse-engineer my business plans so that I am goal-focused and not forgetting anything. It’s a really helpful way to look at things! So remember — in this post, I’m going through my list in opposite order because I’m reverse-engineering it.
As a reminder, the correct order is:
- Lead magnet
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Email marketing
If your main goal is to get more clients and build your audience, a really powerful way to do that is email marketing.
Email marketing (I recommend using ActiveCampaign) is really the end game for achieving this goal because, most of the time, email is going to be the last communication they have with you before someone purchases. Not always, but a LOT of times.
It is a crucial component and usually the very last touchpoint before the sale. So email marketing comes last on the list. At the very end of your marketing efforts, you make a sale, and right before that comes email marketing.
So the next question is “How do I get people on my email list?” And the answer to that is traffic.
By driving traffic to your site and converting those viewers, you can grow your email list. Social media (especially Pinterest!) is a great way to bring traffic to your site and grow your list.
You can also layer in things like paid ads and SEO, but those are more advanced and take time to learn and get right, so those are some types of marketing I wouldn’t introduce until AFTER you have these basics set up.
So if the next step is to use social media to your website to grow your list, you’re probably wondering: “How do I get traffic from social?”
Related: How to Get Traffic to Your Website Using Pinterest
Lead Magnet + Blog Posts
The answer is your blog posts and lead magnet! Those pieces of content are going to entice people and get them to click over from social media and land on your website.
I have these two pieces together because they kind of go hand-in-hand. But I would highly recommend creating your lead magnet first and THEN your blog posts.
Your lead magnet is your main piece of content that’s going to convert people onto your list. So you need to create something amazing! It’s the star of the show. And then once you have an amazing lead magnet, you can start writing blog posts that naturally lead into promoting that lead magnet.
You want to use your blog posts to convince people that they need this lead magnet, and then promote the lead magnet right inside of them. This is one way you can use different types of marketing in tandem for maximum success!
Related: How to Create a Client–Attracting Lead Magnet
When you reverse-engineer your marketing strategy starting from growing your email marketing list, you end with your website.
Email marketing → Social media → Blog Posts → Lead Magnet → Website
So your website is last (or first on the list of to-dos). You need to have a website in order to have blog posts, create a landing page for your lead magnet, and offer your services.
A website is definitely #1 and should be first on the list!
A Note for Those of You Who Started on Social Media
While this is my recommended list to create your marketing elements in, I mentioned earlier in this post that a lot of people don’t start off in that order.
Most people start on social media first. If that’s you and you don’t know what to do next, here’s what I would recommend: keep being active on social media, but kind of put it on the back burner for a bit.
In the meantime, start working on your website and building up all of the other elements in my recommended list. Do those pieces in order — create your website, your lead magnet, and blog posts.
Then, eventually, you’ll have all of this content that you can start posting on the social channels you already have going. From there, you can move to the next step of building your email list.
Whether you start with a website based on my recommendation or you’ve already started on social media and need to work on the other pieces, following this strategy is ideal for efficiently maximizing your marketing efforts and minimizing downtime while you try to figure out what’s next.
Building each piece of your marketing system in logical order helps you create a solid foundation. This allows you to drive traffic to your website, gather emails for your marketing list, and ultimately convert customers!