shaking hands | marketing is working

Your Marketing Is Working When Your Prospects Are Strangers

Something interesting is happening this year. I’m starting to hear from an increasing number of prospective clients who are perfect strangers. They weren’t referred to me, and we’ve never met in person or online. This is how I know my marketing is working.


It’s taken a while to get here, by the way. Twelve plus years, in fact.


Like many small business owners, I grew my marketing agency by building a solid network of fantastic people who know me, like me and are confident in my ability to deliver kick-ass copywriting. Business has been rolling in through word-of-mouth ever since.


But word-of-mouth marketing isn’t enough. As a marketer, reaching entirely new audiences who don’t know me is basically the Holy Grail of marketing. I’m pretty stoked to have finally gotten here.


My marketing is working and finding its way to strangers because…


I’ve done my best to be consistent and get my name out on numerous channels with great reputations and reach.


Could I have done more? Probably. There are lots of opportunities I did not pursue due to questionable ROI. Here’s what I did to become so much more visible online:


I’ve blogged consistently for years


I started blogging in 2010, took a brief break in 2012 and committed to writing a weekly post in 2013. If you do the math, I’ve published upwards of 400 blog posts on my site.


The more pages you have on your site, the more search engines (ahem, Google) know about you. As long as you follow Google’s search engine optimization rules, the better chance you’ll have to pop up in search results.


I’ve actively posted on social media


So, search engines know about me, but what about humans? Well, that’s why I use social media.


I gave up on Facebook marketing a long time ago, and I’ve never used Instagram for marketing my business. Twitter used to be great, but I’m struggling to get back into it. It’s just so noisy, and I don’t have the patience to sift through all the crap.


As a B2B business owner, LinkedIn is the social media equivalent of that one restaurant where everyone goes to see and be seen. Strangers have even started sharing my posts, a total Holy Grail moment for me.


I’ve guest blogged on occasion


When the opportunity is right, I guest blog. First, my assistant vets the site to make sure it’s reputable. Then I ask if I’ll get a backlink to my own site (typically in my bio). Yes, and yes? Off to the races.


Backlinks from trusted websites tells Google that I’m also trustworthy. Again, this helps goose my search ranking, thus making it easier for strangers to find me online.


Do I search out these opportunities? I don’t. It’s just never been part of my marketing strategy.


I’ve had a byline at two prominent websites


Two of my earliest clients were Groupon and Network Solutions.


For five years, I wrote a couple of blog posts each month for Groupon’s Merchant Services site, which was created to support the small business owners who offered deals on the platform. (I lost the gig when Groupon let all of their consultants and freelancers go in a cost-cutting measure. Yes, I was bummed.)


I wrote blog posts for Network Solutions (and then after they were purchased) for more than six years. For most of that time, I wrote weekly blog posts. It was a lot of fun. I don’t remember why I lost that gig; I think they changed their content marketing strategy.


Anyway, having a byline on two prominent websites – plus backlinks from those sites – definitely helped boost my visibility. I’ve been building on that boost ever since.


Want your marketing to work better for you?


Commit to blogging and actively using social media. Once you have those two activities down, look for guest blogging and/or podcasting opportunities.


Need help writing those blog posts and using social media? That’s what we’re here for. Give us a shout today!


Image by Haut Risque via Unsplash

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