With a plethora of free marketing platforms available entrepreneurs are readily taking a do-it-yourself approach toward marketing. Here are some tips to help your D.I.Y. efforts go smoothly.
Advancements in technology have made marketing a DIY affair for many small business owners. Now more than ever, ordinary people can be publishers using popular blogging software like WordPress and Tumbler, email software like Constant Contact and social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. These tools have become primary methods for promoting a business, supplanting more expensive marketing approaches like advertising in print or on the radio or TV. Today, with the primary marketing tools accessible to all people, it pays for small business owners to adopt a proactive attitude toward managing their own marketing. Fully utilizing these tools can often be daunting for many business owners—particularly people for whom technology entered onto the scene in their adult lives. For many, the concept of being able to update their own websites seems farfetched, requiring greater skill than they have. The truth is, anyone can learn to use these tools, all that’s necessary is a can-do attitude and a healthy outlook on learning.
Follow these tips to aid you in your journey toward self sufficiency in the marketing realm.
Make friends with Google: As a business owner and marketer in today’s world, Google is your BFF. Don’t know how to add a new page to your WordPress site? Google it. Read several of the results so that you can get a consensus. Gone are the days of needing an expert to solve your technology and marketing problems. As long as you know how to Google you have the answer you need at your finger tips. This fact represents something of a paradigm shift. In the old way, there were experts who had information that you typically had to pay for to access. Today, all sorts of people openly share their experiences online in forums and blogs. The question here isn’t whether you should Google the answer, it’s how to Google. Get the most out of the popular search engine by following some of these advanced Search tips.
Don’t call until you search: RTFM may be rude, but in sensibility, it is probably the first commandment of technology. Standing for read the ** manual, RTFM is a rude albeit common sentiment found online. While it’s not recommended as a way of treating people, it does represent a certain level of responsibility that is expected in the online world these days. Let go of the idea that someone out there will hand the answers to you. That’s how it worked in the ‘90s. Don’t call your friend who knows a lot about technology until after you have researched the solution yourself. It’s simply the appropriate way conduct yourself in the online world. Similarly, let go of the idea of customer support. Have you ever tried to get on the horn with Facebook to ask them how you should go about running ads? It doesn’t happen. With the plethora of free platforms, customer service is becoming passé. Adapt. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll experience the freedom and power of being able to D.I.Y.
Don’t make it mean anything about you: This tip can really be extended to the rest of your life as well, but we’ll keep it focused on your use of technology as it relates to marketing your business. The thing is you will bump up against issues, problems, times when you do not know how to do what you need to do. There’s a chance you’ll feel yourself tighten up, become frustrated and aggravated, overwhelmed by the task ahead of you—we’ve all been there. When that happens you have a couple of choices. You can a) make it mean that there’s something about you that is leaving you unable to complete the task i.e. you’re too old, not technical enough, dyslexic—these are all actual reasons I’ve heard from small business owners bumping up against technology woes. Or you can b) slow down, take a deep breath and realize that all it means is that you have something to learn. There’s some piece of information that you don’t have. Once you do have it, you will be able to move through whatever it is you’re doing. To get that information, see points one and two.
Remember as you go on with D.I.Y. digital marketing activities, be confident. Most of the information you need is there online for you to read and apply. Even the experts are self taught—you can do it too. Succeeding online is less about technical prowess, and more about attitude and a willingness to learn new things. The fact is, the digital landscape rapidly changes–even the experts need to constantly update their knowledge and teach themselves new techniques as they go along.