One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that the way I use and interact with the web is different from a lot of other people. On the scale of users, I definitely fall on the more sophisticated end. This should come as no suprise considering my business and livelihood revolve around having a good understanding of how social media, Google, and the web at large work. However, the mistake I made for a long time was assuming that other people used the web the same way I did. I assumed that most users had a high level of sophistication because I did.
The truth is that there is a large segment of people who don’t realize that there isn’t an actual butler returning an answer to their question when they perform a search on Ask Jeeves (remember him?). The point is that you can’t assume everyone uses and understands the web the same as you.
When You Assume You Make An…….
The problem I had when I made that assumption was that I was only seeing things through my own lens. I would strive for what I thought was “perfection” with an article, a blog or website design, a font used in a header, etc. This impeded my ability to get my projects and marketing completed in a timely and effecient manner. Let me tell you, half-completed, marketing projects, that you don’t promote, will not bring in a lot of new business.
Don’t get me wrong, you want to be proud of the work that you produce and put on the web for others to see. You want your marketing to be focused and effective. That being said, stop thinking everyone will respond to your firm’s marketing the same way you would. Don’t think if you like the colors or wording, so will the public at large. Stop kidding yourself that if you would fill out the form, so will everyone else. The mistake of believing everyone views your marketing like you do is easy to make but it’s also easy to correct.
Produce, Promote, Measure, Repeat
There are a few important things to remember with your web marketing:
- Stop trying to acheive marketing perfection
- Your web presence is a dynamic, evolving thing. It’s not a “project that gets completed”
- The market will tell you what works and what doesn’t (you don’t get to decide)
- The beauty of the web is your ability to measure the response to your marketing
Produce: One of the most important things you can do is continue to produce. This includes producing new ideas for marketing, new articles for your blog, new relationships, new connections, etc. Once you stop producing, your marketing will suffer.
Promote: Next you want to make sure that you are properly promoting and nurturing what you produce. Simply writing a blog post, putting up a website, or making a connection on LinkedIn will not get it done.
Measure: Measuring the results of your marketing efforts is the key. Once you begin measuring, you can stop guessing. No longer are you simply looking at marketing efforts through your lens of what you like and dislike. Now you are letting your customers tell you what they like and dislike. You can test copy on your website, blog colors and designs, ideas for blog posts, questions on a form, placement of a phone number, etc. Measure how many people call you, how many fill out the form, how many comments or trackbacks a post gets, how many new clients a marketing effort yields. Measuring these numbers is much better indicator of marketing success or failure than simply relying on your gut.
Repeat: Once you have found some marketing avenues that work, repeat them. Continue to produce for the avenues that bring in new business, ditch the ones that don’t, and then test out new ideas to discover additional avenues for success.
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