Some of you might be familiar with the option to open yourself up for mentoring on LinkedIn. I have mine set to ‘on’ as a way of contributing to people who are genuinely seeking insight in a specific area. Recently, the most frequently asked question I am getting on LinkedIn is this – how do I make a career pivot to online marketing?
Considering that this is a daily occurrence, I wanted to take a few moments and share my tips on making this pivot and how to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of the digital space.
1.Give Yourself Time to Research
Recently, I shared with one mentee that I researched digital marketing for over three years before I started my agency. Prior to that, and during this time, I had experienced a certain degree of success marketing nutritional products in the network marketing space. Prior to that, I had been the number one sales manager for the largest health club chain in the world.
Yes, I had experience in selling both online and face-to-face, however understanding people’s buying habits online and what it takes to set-up infrastructure such as building websites, landing pages, using a CRM, building funnels, and setting up shopping carts, was not exactly foreign territory, however I had been out of that space since the 90’s. I had a lot of catching up to do.
I started with a vision to have my own agency long before I had my own agency. I had revenue flowing in so I wasn’t desperate which gave me ample time to learn the ‘how to’ of building a digital marketing company.
Even if your goal is to sell a course or a product online, give yourself time to research what is working well for people and what isn’t. Also, know if there is a demand for what you want to offer. You can poll people on social media and ask them if they would buy something like what you want to create. The biggest mistake I see people make is that they do not take enough time to research the space they want to be in and wind up making costly mistakes.
2.Seek Out The Best Infrastructure and Understand It
In online marketing, like anything, there are a variety of platforms to choose and with those platforms come a wide degree of expertise. I looked at who was doing things well, who was training from a place of true understanding, and who wasn’t simply about hype. I went to seminars and did virtual training with different companies and people before I choose who to partner with. I became certified on all of our platforms.
In our case it was Infusionsoft for our CRM, Digital Marketer for our online marketing, PlusThis for our add-ons, and Skipio and Skipio Reviews for direct ‘personalized’ texting and reviews integration.
3. Plan and Execute in Phases
Where many online marketers fail is that they dive in, become overwhelmed, then get exhausted, and lose their business. I suggest planning in phases. Here are some sample phases that have worked well for me:
Phase One – Discovery – research, read, go to seminars, learn.
Phase Two – Small Test – test your concept with a limited investment.
Phase Three – Improved Larger Test – refine your concept and do a larger test.
Phase Four – Full Implementation – after two tests, you are ready for a full launch.
Phase Five – Review and Scale – when you are profitable, it is time to scale.
Phase Six – Innovate – you should now have funds and you can create your own tech and programs.
Phase Seven – Sell (Optional) – at this point you hopefully have built something so attractive that you can either sell it or attract investors.
It is a good idea to have specific markers for each phase. These markers include client acquisition, revenue, and in our case – client health score. I will not move to the next phase until we have solidly anchored ourselves in a current phase. The result – for 6 months in a row our agency has been the number one partner in the world for Infusionsoft. We are running super lean but we are profitable.
4.Network, Network, Network
In the last six months, I have been a networking machine. Lunches, meetings, events – if something is happening in online marketing, I want to be there. Thankfully, my agency is based in Phoenix where there are endless networking opportunities.
I look at networking as a sport. I want to show up energized, looking good, and being on point when asked, ‘what do you do?’ My goal with networking is to find out what people are doing that is working, build strategic partnerships for potential JV’s – joint ventures, look for clients, and keep my pulse on innovation.
If you are considering starting your own online business, actual networking is going to be critical. We teach our clients to use our mobile handshake technology – essentially snapping a photo of a business card, triggering an automated follow-up sequence, and adding a minimum of 5-10 actual leads per event. Online networking is fabulous, and I do network on LinkedIn, however getting out there and getting an actual pulse for your business is essential.
5.Be Prepared To Wear Many Hats
According to Lead Pages, 47% of small business owners handle their own marketing efforts. What this means is that in the beginning you will likely be handling your social media, content creation, advertising, building funnels, split-testing, accounting, and virtually everything. At my agency, we teach our clients how to do all of this so that they can save money, become more efficient, and be able to ask the right questions when they are able to afford to hire some of these services out.
It is going to be messy and that is the bottom line however at the end of the day, being able to create a scalable online business that provides recurring revenue is an incredibly satisfying process, one that I wish you the best of luck with.
Lastly, if you, or someone you know, is looking to learn how to scale an online business, build your own infrastructure, and learn from people who are actually succeeding, my agency is taking new clients by application.
Pricing begins as low as $99/month which includes training, your CRM system, workshops, and a free coaching session with a certified expert. To find out more, or to apply, go to www.automatemybusiness.agency today. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .