How to Market Your Business in Less than 15 Minutes a Day

I realize that not every business owner can afford to hire a full-time marketing person or spend a lot of time marketing themselves so I’ve created this guide that shows you how to spend the next two weeks taking small, bite-size steps towards marketing your business online.

Day 0: Sign up for Instagram and fill out your profile with a short description and add your URL and picture. Post your first picture with relevant keywords as hashtags. Click on each of the hashtags you just added to your image and begin liking and commenting.

Day 1: Take photos of your product or service. Take some as standalone images (just the product/service with a cutaway background) and in context (show it being used in some form or against a relevant background).

Day 2: Post one the images you took on day 1 to Instagram. Add some hashtags. Click on the hashtags and like/comment on other people’s posts.

Day 3: Create a blog post about how to do something with your product or how it solves a need or problem your potential customer might have.

Day 4: Create an ad campaign on Bing Ads or Google Adwords to point back to the blog post, which points back to the product/service on your website.

Day 5: Post more of the pictures from Day 1 on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. You are now out of pictures and need to take more.

Day 6: Take more pictures of your product or service being used. Be sure to include people’s faces, not just objects. People love to see people.

Day 7: Go shopping for some props to use in the future when you’re taking more pictures or arrange someone to be in your pictures as a model.

Day 8: Begin posting pictures from Day 6 and 7.

Day 9: Research 10 relevant people to contact and store in a spreadsheet.

Day 10: For each contact on your list, sign up for their email list, follow them on social media, comment on their blog or reply on social.

Day 11: Choose one contact from the list to contact. Mention how you’re subscribed to their list and follow them on social. Ask them if they’d be interested in covering your product or service on their blog.

Day 12: Review the success or failure from Day 11 and make adjustments. Choose another contact to reach out to.

Day 13: Repeat Day 12 until all 10 people from Day 9’s spreadsheet have been contacted.

How I Use Instagram for Marketing

Here’s a rough rule for using Instagram to market your product or business: 1x100x10. Post at least 1 picture, like 100 pictures, and comment on at least 10 of them – every single day.

When adding captions to your own photo, use at least 1 relevant #hashtag, but 3 or more is better. The more hashtags you have, the more chance you have of being interacted with. This is because Instagram can only search hashtags, not text.

How to find pictures to like?

Know your keywords and use them to search for hashtags. Once you find a hashtag, click the ‘3 dash’ icon and scroll through liking rapid-fire. When you see a post you want to comment on, stop to comment.

Comments aren’t just for talking to the original poster. They are also a great way to interact with other commenters – especially on a post that already has over 100 likes.

You can add hashtags to comments on other people’s posts, but I haven’t seen this add that hashtag to Instagram’s hashtag search database. Only the original poster’s hashtags get added.

How often should I post?

Post at least once a day. Don’t always cross-promote on other social media channels – except for Tumblr – it’s cool because there is very little cross-over on that network.

To cross promote to a Facebook page you manage, first add your personal Facebook account and then go back and change the setting to a page. You can do this in settings.

You can only post from a mobile device and posts can’t be scheduled so you’ll need to get into a routine of doing it everyday.

I do it either while I’m laying in bed in the morning, laying in bed at night, or while I’m doing something else. Want to follow me on Instagram?

Launch Sequences for New Products Using Email Marketing and Live Events

“Launch sequences” is a marketing term for the process of building anticipation and a sense of urgency to buy a new product rather than simply ‘announcing the product’ once.

Imagine you’ve just created a new product and you’re getting ready to let the world know about it. Instead of adding it to your website and sending out an email, you could:

  1. Start posting on social that there is a big announcement coming
  2. Have those interested in the big announcement sign-up to an email list
  3. Plan to have a webinar or Google Hangout event on launch day
  4. Send out the email letting them know of the launch event
  5. Have the event explaining the new product and give them a coupon that only works that day

Email service providers like Infusionsoft have “landing pages” that can be created specifically for creating an opt-in page for this purpose, but you can also make your own using WordPress and Mailchimp or use a service like LeadPages.

The key is to create a sequence that builds up anticipation to the announcement, drip out more information about the product over time, and then give a time-sensitive offer to close the deal. This gives you more time to convince and convert visitors into customers.

What is the One Weird Trick to Increase Online Sales?

If you already have an audience (i.e. a large following on social media and/or an email list), but you’re struggling to increase online sales, consider taking your online marketing to the next level with Google Hangouts on Air with this one weird trick.

What are Google Hangouts on Air?

A “Google Hangout” is like a GotoMeeting: it’s a live video stream of either a camera, a computer screen, or a mix of both. A Google Hangout “On Air” is public and is automatically recorded and saved as a YouTube video on your channel.

Why do a live event like a Google Hangout?

  • to build anticipation
  • personalize the brand
  • get the community involved
  • get more email addresses
  • sell more product
  • answer people’s questions
  • create evergreen content.

How will a Google Hangout on Air do that?

  • Anticipation: an email/social media post will be sent out letting people know a new live event is coming and to look for a special invite soon.
  • Personalize: the person/people on the broadcast will set the tone for the brand, add a face to the bottle, and help humanize the marketing.
  • Community: attendees will be able to ask questions, feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, and win prizes for coming.
  • Email Signups: in order to get invited to this very special live event, you have to give us your email address. Invite your friends! Free prizes!
  • Sell Product: at the end of the event, there will be a special offer good only for the attendees of this very special live event. Stay tuned!

What would the person say/do on a Hangout?

Teach something, Share something, Give something, Ask for something:

  • Teach: show how a product we sell solves a problem the audience has.
  • Share: give insight into something behind the scenes or upcoming that this audience is hearing before anyone else. Make them feel special.
  • Give: do the giveaway(s) for the night via a drawing or by answering a question.
  • Ask: ask the audience to buy a product for a very special price, good that day only, and only for that audience.

How would the Hangout work?

It’s simply a matter of sharing out a link to join the Hangout and then presenting via your web cam and/or sharing your screen. The important parts are a) showing a face and b) being authentic. If you want to get more advanced later, you can add external cameras and microphones.

How often should we do Hangouts?

At least once a month, if not once a week. Eventually they could be automated (recorded), but in the beginning they would all be live.

Optional community building tips:

1. Give your audience a name. Ex. Justin Bieber followers are called “Beliebers” and Lady Gaga calls her fans “LittleMonsters”.
2. Incentivize the audience to invite more people into the community.

Where do I go to Learn to be a Blogger?

How to Get Started Blogging

I was recently asked, “Where do I go to learn to be a blogger?” Here’s my response:

Blogging in it’s simplest form is just “writing” on a blog, but since you mentioned getting paid, what you’re really asking is “how can I make money by blogging?”

There are several ways to do this and even more teachers who have already written about this topic and are more than willing to share with you, but these are my thoughts.

How to Write Content that Attracts New Blog Visitors

I like to use the STAIR method, which is just an acronym for: State the problem, list your Tools, create an Algorithm, Implement a solution, and Revise the solution.

Problem: You don’t know how to make money online by blogging (let’s disregard for a second that there are other ways to make money, online and off).

Tools: WordPress for the blogging platform; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+ for social networking; Mailchimp for email marketing; Photoshop.

Algorithm: Determine what questions people have about a topic, write the answers to those questions, repurpose the content, and then monetize the blog.

Implementation: First determine who your audience is, figure out what questions they have, choose one question, and then write a blog post answering that question.

Revisions: Once you’ve written a few blog posts, use Photoshop to create images about those blog posts and then post the blog posts on social media.

Over time, if you’re writing valuable content that people like and you’re capturing email addresses from visitors, you’ll be able to build up a audience you can monetize.

How to Monetize Your Content and Your Audience

Once you have an audience, you can do things like:

  • Write an ebook
  • Create an online course
  • Start a mastermind group
  • Throw a conference
  • Create and sell physical products

There are other ways to make money from visitors:

  • Ads by Google Adsense
  • Affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates or Clickbank
  • Asking for money and providing a “Donate” button
  • Direct sale of ads to brands
  • Getting paid to write about a company or product

I’ve written previously about how to make money from blogging in Blogging for Profit. But blogging for money is not necessarily the best way to make money (online or off). It should be done as a “twofer”.

Other Possible Reasons to Blog

  • To become a better writer
  • To get thoughts out of your head
  • To journal or leave a legacy
  • To share what you’re working on
  • To attract attention to yourself

No matter what the other reason, to blog as a business is probably not the best way to make money. Here are 5 reasons why blogging is not the best way to make money online or off.

Reasons Not to Blog for Money

  • It can take a long time to get visitors
  • You don’t always know what people want to read
  • It may be hard for you to convert visitors to click ads or buy products
  • You might write something you later regret or that could be used against you in court or by an employer
  • You could show everyone that you don’t know as much as you thought you did.