My friends, would you please welcome to The Point, a friend, amazing writer, and the 8th wonder of the web…
Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing.
Is your online marketing going swimmingly?
Do you know exactly what to do to grow your business further?
Or do you sometimes despair when you think about all the opportunities you don’t have time for?
So many opportunities exist to market ourselves online.
And there’s so little time.
How do you keep sane when every guru says something different? And every expert tells you to try something new?
Below follow 5 common beliefs that might be sabotaging your success. Avoiding these pitfalls will help you stay on track, avoid dead end roads, and save your energy to have more fun.
Delusion #1. You need to be popular
Testosterone is available in abundance online.
“I have a bigger list than you.”
“I hit the 10k web visitors last month.”
“But I have more Klout.”
I possess quite a competitive spirit; and I’ve played the numbers’ game, too.
But last weekend I realized how foolish I am.
To make a living online you don’t need 10 thousand subscribers. You don’t need 10 thousand Twitter followers. And you certainly don’t need 10 thousand likes.
The quantity of relationships doesn’t matter.
Online and offline networking works the same. Would you like to hand out one hundred business cards at a networking event? Or would you rather have three good conversations with potential clients?
Focus on your business needs. Resist the temptation to join the competition for bigger and better numbers. As a small business you only need a few real fans and a few good clients.
Delusion #2. You need a unique blog topic
Before I started Enchanting Marketing I was umming and ahhing about my blog topic.
As a marketer I had learned, that each company needs a unique positioning. But how could I find a topic so unique that nobody had written about it yet?
I racked my brain. Probably for more than a year.
As I couldn’t decide on my own blog topic, I started with guest posting. That’s how I came to realize you don’t need a unique topic. All you need to stand out is your unique voice.
You can safely assume that each topic is already discussed on several blogs. You can safely assume that everything has been said already.
But we’ve not heard it yet in your words, in your voice, from you.
Don’t waste time trying to find a unique topic like I tried. Choose one of the most popular blog topics, because you can be sure there’s an audience waiting for you.
Delusion #3. Other bloggers are your competitors
Marketers analyze the competition; and then they look for a way to beat competitors with more features, higher specifications, a more entertaining story, or a lower price.
The blogging world doesn’t work like this.
Enchanting Marketing, for instance, covers similar topics to Copyblogger.
But how could my blog posts be better than Copyblogger? Or how could I beat them by publishing more than they do?
I don’t need to compete with Copyblogger. I can even piggyback on their popularity by guest posting on their site. They’re not competitors. They’re helping me to build my audience.
Bloggers have no competition. Seriously. Just be you.
Delusion #4. You need to be an expert, ninja, or guru
I was no copywriting expert when I started Enchanting Marketing.
But I was willing to learn and to listen. So while you asked questions, I went looking for answers. I kept reading, and reading, and reading.
You don’t need to be an expert to start a blog. You need a passion for your topic; an eagerness to dig deeper to learn more and more; and a willingness to generously share your knowledge.
You build your authority by consistently turning up and sharing valuable advice. Not by claiming to be an expert.
Delusion #5. You need to be a talented writer
At school I wasn’t particularly good at writing essays.
I was fine with grammar, but I didn’t “get” creative writing. It was one of my worst subjects.
Do I have writing talent? I don’t know. My high school teacher would certainly say no.
But Geoffrey Colvin suggests that talent is overrated. Sheer hard work gets you further than simply relying on talent.
By learning how to apply writing techniques everyone can become a better writer. You might not become the next Haruki Murakami, but you can certainly learn how to write enchanting blog posts and win more clients with your blog. Study writing techniques, analyze popular blogs, and practice your writing.
How to sabotage your online marketing
To market our businesses online we have to fight hard to grab and keep attention. Our audience is distracted.
But we have to battle even harder to beat our own distractions.
Check out Twitter while writing a blog post. Answer emails while drawing an illustration. Or even worse: trying to learn how to use Google+ and Adwords and Vine before we’ve mastered our core marketing activities.
Trying to do more is the easiest way to sabotage our online marketing success.
Let’s do less. And do it better.
Henneke Duistermaat is Managing Director at Enchanting Marketing. She’s on a mission to make faceless companies charming, and dull products exciting. Henneke knows how to run a business and has 15 years’ experience in sales and marketing. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.