Marketing Strategies Brilliant Entrepreneurs Use to Grow Their Businesses
Do you ever have those days where you can't help but just dream about what life will look like once you've met all of your business goals?
You know, the daydream where you're wandering down little cobblestone streets with nowhere to be and beautiful sights in every direction?
I'm not going to lie, this is me most days.
If I had it my way, we would travel slowly for 3 to 4 months every year, finding little furnished apartments in each city along the way where we could settle in and really get to know the area. We'd drink delicious wine and break local breads. We'd adventure through mountains and castles and forests before retreating to the nearest sunny beach for a little R&R.
And while to some extent this is a daydream I find myself thinking of often, it is also a realistic possibility for online entrepreneurs like you and me.
And that's why today I'm going to give you a few strategies that brilliant entrepreneurs use to build their online businesses, become financially independent, and then do whatever the heck they want. Ready?
Brilliant Entrepreneurs Think of Their Business As An Empire, Not Just A Blog
This is really the essence of what people mean when they say to “think big” in the online business world. Really successful and smart entrepreneurs think of their online business as an empire built around their blog, but not limited to their blog.
Of course, if you are happy to make a part-time income by writing, blogging can get you there.
But when you have a unique and impactful message you want to share, and a purpose that goes beyond just yourself, that's when you know you need to start building an empire.
So what does that look like?
An online empire usually includes a variety of ways of connecting with people. In time, you might add a YouTube series or podcast to your business. Then later you might write a book or two. Maybe after that you will take on some speaking engagements or make a few TV appearances.
Some entrepreneurs even host live events where they can connect with their followers face to face! These are all things that take a lot of time and work, and it isn't an easy process. I'm certainly not there yet!
This slow but steady building of influence is one strategy brilliant entrepreneurs use to build hugely profitable businesses and to make a difference in the world using that influence.
Brilliant Entrepreneurs Leverage Other People's Audiences
Brilliant entrepreneurs know that there are a few shortcuts that can help them grow their businesses much faster than the average blogger. One of those ways is to leverage other people's audiences.
One way they do this?
They trade value for social exposure with their followers. For example, many smart online entrepreneurs will give away valuable products and information in exchange for the recipient sharing it on their social networks.
Smart Bribe, created by Bryan Harris, is one feature that allows you to give something away in exchange for the recipient tweeting it to their Twitter followers. Genius!
Another crazy smart company that leverages social media this way? Ipsy. A few months back I signed up for an Ipsy subscription after seeing tons of Facebook reviews on it floating around.
The marketing hack I discovered? Ipsy gives their customers points each time they review an Ipsy product publicly on their Facebook profile. These points can then be redeemed for free makeup and skin care products in their next Ipsy glam bag.
Can you even imagine? That's thousands or even tens of thousands of women sharing their thoughts about Ipsy makeup in front of all of their friends and family every single month. I'm not sure if I've ever even heard of a better marketing strategy than that.
Another way brilliant entrepreneurs leverage other people's audiences?
They get media exposure.
While many bloggers are content to simply continue blogging and pinning on Pinterest in hopes of gaining traffic, the smart ones pull out the big guns.
Selena Soo is a marketing and publicity expert who specializes in making connections with influential people to help her clients build their businesses. She's one of the smartest women I've come across in her industry, so I’m excited to share her suggestions for aspiring empire creators with you!
In order to get to the top of media and publicity (which usually looks something like being on Oprah!), Selena frames the process as a series of steps where one leads to the next.
First, she recommends that entrepreneurs begin by guest blogging and getting media exposure on sites that look for guest writers. These are media companies such as Business Insider, Forbes, Mindbodygreen and the like.
Once you have built up a solid portfolio of guest writing work, her next tip is to start doing guest interviews on podcasts. Podcasts are becoming incredibly popular these days, and they have a ton of potential to grow your business.
Being able to show that you have been featured in major publications definitely gives you some credibility points when pitching a podcaster for an interview.
Once you've done well on the podcasting front and have a dozen or two interviews under your belt, Selena says the next natural step is to move towards TV and print. If you've ever wanted to publish a book traditionally, for example, you'll find that publishers accept people who already have a substantial base of followers and credibility to help push the book forward.
TV producers look for similar things. When you can show that you have a thriving blog with popular social media accounts, you've written for plenty of major publications and have been interviewed widely across popular podcasts, being offered a book deal or landing a segment on a TV show is a natural next step.
So if you've ever wondered how those people end up on places like The Daily Show or Oprah, here you have it. It’s not just luck, and they didn't appear out of thin air. Brilliant entrepreneurs work their way up the media and publicity ladder towards bigger and better opportunities on a consistent basis.
Brilliant Entrepreneurs Latch Onto the Tailwind of Current Events to Increase Their Exposure
Brilliant entrepreneurs know that there are opportunities to be had if only you look for them.
Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin airways, had long been in competition with the mega giant airline British Airways. With only a few planes in his airline, he truly had a David versus Goliath situation trying to compete with BA.
Then in 2016, British Airways sponsored the erection of the London Eye, but soon ran into technical issues with the entire world watching.
Not one to pass up an opportunity for free press, Branson quickly hired a blimp with the words, “BA can't get it up!” emblazoned across its side. As the blimp flew past the failed London Eye, camera crews from around the world broadcasted it live.
Both hilarious and well-timed, Virgin airways benefited from tons of free media publicity that day.
Brilliant Entrepreneurs Use the "Be Everywhere" Strategy to Gain Recognition
We can all credit Pat Flynn for coming up with this smart business strategy! In one of my favorite posts written by Pat, he explains how he felt like he came across one entrepreneur everywhere he looked.
The “be everywhere” strategy doesn't mean that you should suddenly sign up for tons of different platforms and then inevitably leave them bare.
No, this is a much longer process for entrepreneurs. Most likely, it starts with social media. I always recommend that people start with just one social media account and get really good at it before moving on to a second one. Then after you've fully-fledged out the second one, you might move on to a third.
I'm sure you can see how this might be a long process in your business, but trust me, it's much better than trying to do everything all at once and being good at none of it. With each platform you master, you open up opportunities for other areas of your business. That's why it's so important to take the time to do things well the first time around.
So where should you be?
Here's a list to get you started. And keep in mind, not everyone should be on all of these platforms. Some businesses are better suited for Instagram than Facebook and vice versa. Make sure you take a good look at your business model and determine where your time is best spent.
Other blogs (guest posting and commenting)
After these, you can also work towards being in more noteworthy places when you write your own book or are invited on a TV show or start doing guest interviews on popular podcasts.
This strategy is certainly more a marathon than a sprint. I look at it as a years-long process that will take my business slowly but surely from the little one woman show it was in the beginning, to something much bigger and more influential down the road.
Question: Which marketing strategy do you plan to you use to grow your business? Let me know in the comments below!
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