Zara Altair’s Midweek Zap invited Jason Wiser, our On Track Tips host and owner of Wiser Sites, to talk about marketing strategy. With Zara’s audience involved to the hilt, the show was plenty of fun and absolutely LITTERED with pithy Wiserisms.
Here’s a fire hose perspective on how the discussion progressed:
How important is it to have a marketing strategy?
The bottom line is this: Your marketing strategy is but a subset of your business strategy. Marketing is not ALL of your business; it is but a part of your business.
Many times, entrepreneurs dash out of the gate and begin marketing before they have decided exactly what they are selling. Get your products and services in line, then worry about marketing. That is generally the best approach.
That said, beware of generalities
If you seek advice from a business and/or marketing consultant, and that adviser begins asserting you HAVE to be on Twitter or Facebook, that you HAVE to start blogging … or anything else … BEFORE determining exactly what your business IS … then you should run, not walk, to the nearest exit.
Every case is different. You are unique.
If, for instance, you are an independent (indy) author, then it may make sense for you to build an audience even before your book is finished.
If, on the other hand, you want to sell a WordPress plugin, you should have the product ready and sent to your beta testers before you start beating the bushes for buyers.
(Whichever route you take, be sure you have systems in place to handle the orders.)
A business strategy should ALWAYS BEGIN with your particular business and objectives.Every case is different. You are unique.Click To Tweet
Three types of people in business
Good strategy also depends on your end desire.
Some people are content to work with a company as an employee. Others want to become freelancers, but do not want to build beyond themselves. Some people, though, want to build a company and employ others.
Whichever choice best suits you, however, there is one thing in common to all. It is the secret to success in all business endeavors … this little three-letter word: Why?
Get in the habit of questioning your decisions, then keep asking “Why?” until you gain insight and are firm in that decision.
Perhaps you are active in social media, for instance, and you are spending several hours each day reading and posting. You are meeting new friends, and your follower or Circle count is growing steadily … but WHY are you doing that?
If you can’t come up with a REASON for what you are doing, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it at all. OR, perhaps you should identify and begin to leverage your reason into a tactic that gets you closer to your goals.
There isn’t anything wrong with selling something
In today’s economy, the web is a currency all of its own. It’s not that online friendships are reduced to dollars, but they are an asset that can be leveraged into business pursuits.
Face it … your time online should help improve your offline life. Don’t be afraid to sell something. If you have children, they need to be fed. If the hours you spend online end up creating something that benefits your audience and your family … great! If not … not so great.
Remember: You don’t HAVE to do ANYTHING. Always ask WHY… if the answer is sufficient, then do it. If it isn’t, then don’t.
What about an exit strategy?
Exit strategies look forward. They ask, “Where do you want your present course of action to get you in, let’s say, five years?”
As with any business strategy, the answer will vary.
- Someone who is still punching a time clock may have an exit strategy of launching a business.
- Someone who is freelancing may have an exit strategy of hiring employees and scaling that business.
- And someone who has bootstrapped an entrepreneurial venture may be looking forward to selling the business after it has proven itself successful.
Another good thing to ask yourself is, “What can I do that will generate residual income over time? What can I replicate that will deliver value beyond myself and my limited time?”
Wiser Sites was founded because Jason Wiser asked himself that very question. Now, he has developed services he can offer to those who have come to like, know, and trust him via social media.
For instance, Wiser Sites now offers a premium private web hosting company (premium service, but competitive prices) and a WordPress monitoring service.
(For more information about either, please use our Contact Form. WiserSites delivers premium level services at standard pricing for a select group of customers. We are very careful about who hosts a site on our servers.)
Subscription products and services, like those, make excellent exit strategies. They can allow you to keep the business, but not have to spend most of your time working in it.
One way to move forward rapidly is to avoid wasting time going too deeply with things other than your primary talent. All you really need to know about most topics is how to hire the right person for that job.
You may need a PHP expert, but you don’t need to BE a PHP expert. You only need know how to find one who can do the work you need accomplished.If you can’t come up with a REASON for what you are doing, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it at all.Click To Tweet
Consider the Social Warfare plugin
Another example of scaling is the Social Warfare plugin. Jason and his team put in a ton of hours on the conception and build of the a tool for improving the process whereby your visitors can share your content with others.
They wanted a solution that would:
- Pull minimum resources – be fast to load
- Allow the blogger or owner to write the message to be shared
- Be quick and simple to set up
- Be visually appealing
- Help boost social sharing provide positive SEO
On the front-end, the work was intense.
The launch was intense.
The back-end work is intense.
At some point, though, most of that work will be finished. Like the launching of a spaceship into orbit, the project will someday break free of the atmospheric drag and enter a place where it can continue to function, but without all that effort.Your time online should help improve your offline life. Don’t be afraid to sell something. Click To Tweet
The secret of success in business
Do your math. Where does your work scale adequately? Where is the self-sustaining critical mass?
Once you find that, and once you have answered all the whys, you are well on the way to a business strategy that makes sense – one that will provide ample rewards for your focused and faithful work.
Always ask … “WHY?”
And NEVER let anyone tell you what you HAVE to do.