Growing up, my family struggled with money. When we had it, we spent it – when we didn’t have it, we spent it. It was a pattern that I took with me into adulthood. But, after Justin and I married, we decided we were going to do it differently. Together, we discovered strategies for personal finance success – the hard way.
Because of that, I had a deep desire to share what I knew with others and wanted to make a little money doing so. So, as all business owners do, I knew I had something to offer and I wanted to make money by offering it.
I also knew the way to do that was online. But I felt stuck.
The feeling of being stuck
Why did I feel stuck? Why do we all feel stuck? What are the things we worry about when it comes to successful online marketing?
- Would I be able to handle all the tech?
- Could I write and engage with an audience consistently?
- Would I even HAVE an audience?
- What about the programs I needed to make it all work – would I choose the right ones?
- Would I “break” my site?
- Could I get it all done?
In addition to all of those questions spinning in my head – there were those anxious feelings building up.
- What if people laughed at my stuff?
- What if I put myself out there and someone disagreed?
- Would I share the wrong thing at the wrong time or miss the opportunity to share the right thing at the right time?
- Would I be in over my head?
These seemed unique to me, but they are all things that business owners think at one point in time or another.
A Breaking Point
And then one day, my boss asked me what my goals were for the future. I took a good long look at myself and my life and wondered, “do I even have goals?”
The answer was very clearly: no. And I didn’t like that.
Because the truth is that I did have something I wanted: I wanted to share what I knew about personal finance to improve the financial lives of other people and myself.
At that moment, I decided I was going to stop spinning in mental confusion and emotional anxiety. I decided I was going to start taking action and figure this out.
And figure it out, I did.
5 Steps to Successful Online Marketing
With the decision made, it didn’t take me very long to realize that there are only five steps to a successful online marketing effort. It feels so confusing and horrible and complicated when you are just getting started, but there are really only five things to do.
Step 1: Know Your Offer
I had to decide who I was talking to. For me, it was writing mainly to moms of families that didn’t know the basics of managing their family finances.
The other thing you have to know is what are you talking about and how it helps them. For example, I was talking about basic practices to put a budget in place. My readers didn’t care about the state taxation on municipal bonds – they could barely pay their bills.
So, I knew that I was going to be talking about the basics because they needed to know the basics. If I got too complex, I’d lose my audience.
Step 2: Create Visibility & Trust
The next thing I realized is that once you know who you are talking to, what you are saying, how you help them you have to show up for them. You have to write the stuff and you have to put it out there so others can see it.
So, what did I have to do?
- I had to sit down and write the blog posts. I had to learn to do that.
- I had to get a domain and website. This was scary for me because it was $300 and that was a lot of money for us at the time.
- I had to create a logo and pick branding colors.
- I had to decide which social media platforms I was going to show up on.
- I had to learn search engine optimization (how to get found on Google) and implement it.
All of this felt scary and overwhelming because it was like walking through a swampy fog of technology and what felt like big scary decisions. But I got through this part and I learned how to sort out and understand all of it.
Because of it…I had my visibility and trust with my audience. They could see what I was doing and that I was showing up to serve them.
Step 3: Invite Engagement
So…I built it and then I realized that you can build it but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to come. I had to take it a step further. I had to invite them to come see what I was doing.
I went on Facebook and I found groups of moms that I could engage with. I started sharing small bits of my knowledge and building relationships. Over time, these people wanted to hear more about what I had to offer. I created my email list so I could easily send them information.
And then, I realized that they wanted special things. They wanted fancy templates for their household budget. Things like that. So, I set up landing pages and funnels so that they could get those items.
Then, once that traffic was coming to my site, I had to have an onboarding process for the people that wanted to pay me. In my case, the people who paid me were advertisers. So, I had to create an easy way for them to interface and pay me.
Step 4: Seek Opportunities for Publicity
So, there I am making money – it’s working! At that point, my mission shifted to spreading the word even further. I would reach out and ask people for testimonials. Where can you put those? Facebook, Google, your own site – there are all kinds of places you can put them.
I also got off the couch, left my house, went to where people are so that I could meet more people that would be interested in what I was doing. As a result of this, plus continued engagement in my online groups, I was invited to do guest appearances on other people’s blogs and podcasts and that expanded my reach even further.
Because of this, there was never any advertising necessary to advertise my business.
Step 5: Level Up Your Brand
As with any business, I started to feel growing pains.
- My website was starting to get cluttered. It needed to be reworked.
- Some freebies were popular, but others weren’t and needed to be eliminated.
- My audience was starting to ask for more extensive resources, so I added a shop to my site so I could sell a physical planner and other digital downloads.
Like any stage of a business this was both fun and challenging. I recognized the need for change but sometimes it can be hard to let go of the past and the things that have worked previously. By doing so, though – I got even deeper into serving my audience through a better understanding of what they wanted and needed.
The result: great returns for the investment I made into the blog, SEO, and all of my social media marketing.
The Process Works
What I’ve realized, having gone through this successful online marketing process is that when you follow these five steps, you are building a business YOU LOVE that MAKES A DIFFERENCE and brings in CONSISTENT REVENUE.
I felt good about myself because I set a goal that I achieved.
I was no longer a person who WANTED to serve others. I became the person who DID serve others.
And – I think that’s the essence of entrepreneurship – it’s the journey that we are all on. And it feels good to take the journey and see the results.
Will You Find Success?
At Sarah Brumley Marketing – this process is exactly what we do for our clients. And we do it by offering two options – done for you services and a training program. Our DFY services is us doing the work of these five successful online marketing steps for you. Our training course is us teaching you to do these five steps for yourself.
Are you ready to make a bigger impact this year and into the future? If so, it’s time to level up your marketing. Schedule a consultation today to discuss the best option to help you get recognized, create engagement and get more clients.