What do all these questions have in common?
- If I start a business, how will I market it?
- If I write a book, who will publish it?
- If I win the lottery, how will I protect my winnings?
They’ve all got the cart before the horse! You don’t need to spend money and effort on marketing until you have something to sell. You don’t need a publisher until you’ve written the book, and you don’t need to worry about what to do with those lottery winnings until you’ve won.
Yes, it pays to give thought to these things. It is smart to decide if there is a market for what you intend to sell, but I see most people letting these questions immobilize them.
In working with start-up entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed many of them obsess over marketing and how they will get customers before they are ready to do so. They are so stumped by how they’ll get customers, that many never get started.
Others get in such a big hurry to acquire customers that they don’t prepare to receive them. I’ve been in online marketing and advertising since 1994, and the biggest mistake I see people make is paying for advertising and marketing without having a clear way for people to get on their lists or purchase from them. I actually turn down Facebook ad management clients if they do not have those things in place.
Imagine a store running advertisements when they have no products on the shelves. Seems silly, but people do it all the time online. I can’t tell you how many people who consider themselves coaches and consultants and they have no email follow up system and no buy buttons on their web sites.
As one of my colleagues, Laura West said,
I see a lot of people falling in love with marketing strategies without having a product, program, membership or a list. I’ve heard stories of people being on huge shows like Dr. Phil or Oprah as an expert…and no mechanisms in place to capture people on their list. Wasted opportunity!”
Online Marketing Strategy
Here are the steps in the right order:
- Research the market you’d like to serve. Is the market big enough for what you intend to offer? Are they reachable? Do you know what their most pressing problems are? Do you know what they need and what they’re willing to pay for?
- Acquire or create products and services that serve that market and meet their most pressing needs.
- Create the systems (web site/ecommerce, product funnel, marketing funnel) that guide people through purchasing your products and services.
- Do the actual marketing and advertising to drive people to your marketing funnel.
If you’d like help researching your market and creating the best virtual products and services for them, please join me in my next How to Create Information Products FAST training. I even show you how to create your sales pages and buy buttons in this training.
If you have your product or service but don’t have your systems in place, join me for my next Momentum Mastermind focusing on Creating Your Online Business Systems.