Here Peter Hanley looks at online business marketing courses that suit both new and existing players hoping for a chance of success in their business.
How far has online marketing come?
It was only yesterday that we had the best print media to help us grab customers. Yellow pages, local papers, magazines, maybe some radio and TV.
How things have changed.
We now have;
- Web page and SEO
- Social media
- Online directories
- Video with Youtube.
So how can you learn all this without going into a fast decline and keep up with the pace?
Take a learning course that teaches you something and costs you little.
We know you want to learn all this and do it quickly but the amount of content is just so large.
It is like a University course on Steroids and once you learn it then you still have to put it into practice.
The Internet is also filled with money-grabbing scammers that take your time and money but deliver little.
I have seen enough in my time to break your back and bend your wallet so you will only want to give up because it's too hard.
Many of us search endlessly for the ultimate answer only to be left alone in the park achieving so little.
It is a common tale on the Internet and I hear it also often. What is your choice?
Small steps to learning the internet
This is the most important information I can give you to have a slim chance of success.
When we say the Internet we say the IT World which is a very big place with so many small portions that make up the whole.
When I started my internet life I wanted to learn how to build my own webpage. It was not easy 10 years ago and very expensive to get someone to do it for me.
I found out about SEO, so a whole new journey of learning to get noticed with Keywords and positioning.
Your WebPage is the most important part of the journey. It is your business, your salesperson as well as communicating all the pieces people want to know about you and did not call.
Webpages are built with different programmes and the largest free builder is WordPress.
This is really easy and the best training is discussed here by my blog.
Social media should drive traffic to you!
The aim of social media has been to drive traffic to your website or location so a sale can be made.
let's face it you are in this to make money and not run a Variety show on Facebook.
Most businesses will have a media that suits the industry they are in and it may vary in the third choice.
So what are the first and second choices?
Every business person should have a LinkedIn page. The page should have a great Bio and nice current picture and everything about your business in detail.
Trust me, people look at LinkedIn for all sorts of reasons and it may be clients, bankers, investors or someone making you an offer. Where better to learn than LinkedIn Training
Do the free stuff, set up your page and move on. If perhaps you later want to market through LinkedIn you can always go back. Connect with your friends by messaging them.
Facebook for business is a must-have tool of the trade.
When you are setting up a Business page you must, first of all, have a personal page. Hey, I don't make the rules although you can have as many pages as you want but don't go ballistic.
The important thing with any media is to keep it up to date. This sounds easy but let me tell you it is not. It slips away from the best of us.
However, all you can do is schedule a message ahead of time so you can do a week or fortnight in front and forget it.
I hear you yelling so what do I post and that is the easy bit. Groans from the audience what is so easy you ask.
It is not for selling your wares, it is for entertaining and amusing and moving them in a direction.
A local dress shop does three posts a day on fashion.
The hairdresser on the latest hairstyles for the day's customers
Mechanics on you-beaut machines.
The carpet stores on an installation done
The pet shop on the pet of the day or week
With a call to move on to your business.
That's the easy bit. Now you have advertising and re-targeting which is way more complicated and needs a bit of learning. I pulled this snippet from the training at Wealthy affiliate that has a video telling it all. My friend Lynn has done it all so it is well worth a sneak peek for free of course.
What other social media works well with business?
The new winner is Instagram. This is working really well in some places and getting great results.
in a recent blog on this site, I discussed why you should look at this
Instagram for business is a winner
Retail, wholesale online this can work for you.
Other Social Media
Twitter is great for some, certainly sports stars and movie/ music entertainers But what about Donald Trump he is a master at it because every tweet gets into the media for free exposure.
Yes, I follow some tweets in news and current affairs so if you think you have something to say TWITTER. Training via Twitter here
Now for something different, a lot of businesses are starting to do client contact with Messenger, it is free and you can certainly add pictures.
More importantly, it can be done from your website by the staff and not just on a private mobile phone. It will have an application in some sectors.
the best place to learn is with the owner Facebook for messenger
Now to email marketing
Just like Facebook the rumour, this does not work is not true. It may even be better than before if it is done properly with due concern for the receiver.
Facebook is used by me every day so I understand the results are still there.
You need a List of course and you are not allowed to spam>
You need a good headline and introduction and then the body.
That is not all. You need an autoresponder that will automatically send emails to you once you load all your messages
Plus Newsletters should be used by every business every month.
This is a pretty big subject and I have blogged extensively on my site about emails
Where you can learn about the structure.
At Wealthy Affiliate, they have a free training block on emails
that will take you step by step.
Another one I like is Ryan Deiss at Digital marketing .com
Ryan is the best in the business but it will come at a small cost so you should do this third on the list.
Where to go with this is straight from my blog about
You won't find this in many places but it can make a big difference to your business. The top three directories will have millions of searches and the top 10 even more.
Most of these are free and although they may not send a lot of traffic it all counts in the total.
This is a must-do for any fixed business no matter what the niche.
Video and YouTube
I am not sure if you realise that this is also a must-do.
People use YouTube as a search venue nearly as much as Google and my friend has a lot of traffic.
Certainly, there is a lot of trash but also a lot of real situations.
In addition, it will help your SEO by adding to your time on site.
I have a free ebook to start your journey available from my friends at Noble Samurai, the best place to start your learning curve.
SMS for business
This is often forgotten as a business tool and it can be used in many ways.
It can be a one-off message.
Or a group message
Perhaps a broadcast message.
I wrote a blog on the details at SMS for business
which should give you some sound ideas.
Other marketing tools for an online business marketing course.
There is a bundle of hardware tools like banners and signs, car wraps waving flags etc that can be used.
Never forget that good old customer service is a number one contender and phone skills are also near the top of the list.
I touched on my list of the top social media tools but there are many others.
Udemi for business is a book emporium with reading on any subject and the rates are generally reasonable.
Not to forget Amazon off course where the library is huge on appropriate books.
Keep your training free
Do not get caught in the elaborate high priced courses until you have a very good understanding of the product. Do your research and you will find you have very little to spend.
The internet is a scammers paradise waiting to take your money so hang on to the lifeboat and keep the cards to yourself.