You just launched your new business, and you can’t wait to get out there and promote it! You’ve read about all the success that people are having with social media, guest blogging, email marketing, and creating strategic partnerships to accelerate their growth. And you’re ready to do the same!
You start scoping out individuals to partner with, sites that you want to submit guest posts to, and people who you want to align with. As fast as your fingers can type, you start contacting people via email, you start sending out tweets, and friending people on Facebook.
And then you wait and wait, and wait.
Your emails go unanswered. Your tweets are ignored. And your Facebook friend requests have not been accepted.
Where did you go wrong?
To keep your best intentions from turning sour, follow these simple guidelines for avoiding these online marketing mistakes.
1. Build the Relationship First.
Relationships take time to build and cultivate, so why would you think it’s appropriate to ask someone to partner with you when you haven’t even been on a first date yet? Yes, relationships need to start somewhere, but start off small and slowly and see where it goes. A good way to start is by following a person on their open social media accounts, like Twitter, Pinterest, a Facebook Business Page, or Instagram. Like their posts and leave genuine comments.
If you're trying to connect with them on their personal Facebook profile or on LinkedIn, send a personal note about why you'd like to connect. If they have a blog you can leave a well-thought comment. Little by little you will build the relationship and eventually, you can connect via email. The point is, you need to treat online relationships the same way you handle real life encounters. Anonymity does not mean you get to throw out the rules of social etiquette. Just remember to always treat people that way to want to be treated in return.
2. Read the Fine Print.
If you’re going to make a proposition or apply for a position, make sure that you have read all of the submission guidelines and rules, and that your information is complete. You don’t want to waste the individual’s time by sending a request or proposition, and then realize that it’s not the right fit. Doing this makes you look unprofessional and may keep you from working with this individual in the future. Take your time, learn more about the person or company, and when you have all of your ducks in a row, and then submit your request. Your thoroughness will be appreciated.
3. Follow Anti-SPAM Rules.
Nobody likes SPAM, so don’t put yourself in this category by pestering people for votes, automatically signing up individuals for your newsletter, or by making repeated requests. These acts will undoubtedly get you blocked and blacklisted by individuals. If you want votes, friends, or subscribers – go back to building relationships and offering points of value and the rest will follow.
4. Don’t Ask for Something for Nothing.
You would never walk into a store, and ask them to give you a product for free, so why do you expect people online to waive their fees? Doing this shows a lack of respect and value for what the individual is offering and is a sure way to leave a bad impression. Don’t believe me – read these posts by women who have been asked to work for free.
Another easy way to burn a bridge is to scoff at someone's rates. If you receive a quote and it's outside your budget, politely explain that you would love to work together, but right now the rate is outside of your budget. You never know, they may negotiate a lower rate if you act kindly and professionally.
5. Be Clear and Concise.
Have you ever received an email, and been left wondering what the point of the communication was? Make sure that your communication is clear and concise. Start with a clear and descriptive subject line and then reread the body of your email for clarity. If you’re not sure your message is conveying what you need it to, have someone else proofread it before you send it.
Emails that are unclear will often end up in the trash because the reader has no clue as to its purpose. You also want to watch your usage of exclamation marks. With email it is often difficult to judge a person’s tone and repeatedly using exclamation marks can make it seem like you’re yelling. Same goes for using all CAPS.
6. Follow Through.
Your proposal was accepted – hooray for you! Now, it is imperative now that you follow through on your promise, and that you meet your deadline. You only have ONE opportunity to make a good first impression, so don’t waste it. And always make sure that what you send is your best work. Don't over promise, instead, send a realistic goal and then over deliver!
By following these simple guidelines, you can keep from making these common marketing mistakes and really launch your business to success.
What guidelines and tips do you have for creating business success? What marketing mistakes have you encountered?
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Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she's been able to figure out how to find a career path that you're truly passionate about. Holly's had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.