If you want any sort of effective online marketing for 2008, you need a plan – here’s your swot list.
When I started my business, everything I read, everyone I spoke to and my own logic told me that I needed to write a business plan. But I always struggled to write one.
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I never knew why until five years on, when I could look back with a bit of perspective. Sure, the time was always hard to find, although I would eventually find it and just start writing. I realise now that the real problem was because I didn’t really understand how a business worked nor how it grew; I lacked experience. I honestly didn’t know what to plan for.
After all my experiences with building and continuing to grow Freestyle Media, I feel I could easily write a business plan for a new business. I could probably estimate expenses and predict revenues quite easily. I have learnt that I won’t be able to predict to one decimal place, since business is dynamic and things change. I have learnt that businesses grow slowly to be sustainable and they tend to grow at the speed of the experience the people running it have.
Throughout my journeys the way in which I learnt what to plan for in the business was through asking other people who had already been down the path. I also hired more experienced people to guide me and give me insights as to what to consider.
Is your 2008 online marketing plan, like your business plan, tough to write? Do you feel you need some more experience? Online marketing experience is rare to find, although easily learnt.
4 tips to quickly build your online marketing experience
- Read voraciously – Consume books, videos, DVDs, articles and whitepapers to fuel your hunger for knowledge. Normally, you will take out three or four things from each piece of material. Most of it is usually crammed with filler or things you already knew. Read it quickly and skip over areas that you feel are not valuable. Because you have so much information to read, try and be conscious of how fast you are reading and attempt to speed it up.
- Test your new knowledge – Create experiments and little websites, emails, buy small amounts of paid search engine marketing or tinker with a current website. Your experience will grow in the mistakes and wins that you get from these and your real experiments. Copy a competitor’s tinkerings and create a similar experiment to learn from what they have done.
- Talk to other people – Other people in other niches will have brilliant ways of solving problems that you experience right now. Sometimes they can illuminate a long way down a knowledge path. For example, how do they use analytics and what program have they put in place to manage and maintain it.
- Go to events – The difficultly with just reading is that it’s one-way learning; it’s not two-way, where you can ask questions and immediately solve that little problem in your mind. After you read things on your own you tend to build up a series of learnings but also a whole new lot other questions. If you can solve those then and there on the spot,that is when you get speed learning.
Fred Schebesta’s company Freestyle Media is an established innovative online marketing agency specialising in building search engine friendly corporate websites and running online marketing campaigns.
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