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Growing Your Business with Marketing, Week 6: Expressing your expertise

Posted by Colleen Wainwright on

This is Week Six of a 52-week project/experiment in DIY marketing. Armed with nothing but a copy of the 2009 Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar and my bare wits, I'm applying the skills you need to grow a business in real time, day by day, and reporting on them week by week. You can follow along here every Monday; check in with my companion blog, A Virgo's Guide to Marketing, for additional links and information.

This week: Sharing knowledge wisely

This week is all about generating helpful stuff to share with people who come to your site—specifically, a page of links and resources that will be of use to your market.

I already collect and point people to information in many ways—via delicious bookmarks, a StumbleUpon blog, and a trio of resources in each issue of my monthly newsletter (which you can sign up for here). I also have a page of links to blogs I like on my main site, communicatrix-dot-com, and helpful blogs and tools for fellow marketers broken down by category in the sidebar of the Virgo Guide to Marketing (a.k.a. the standalone blog that accompanies this project.)

In fact, I'm in so many places pointing out so much stuff, one of the first things I did with the relaunch of my site was to create a big "aggregator" page with all the places I live outside of communicatrix, and what I offer in each space.

So while I can and will keep refining the pages I use to point people toward The Good Stuff, I thought a better exercise for me this week might be to corral and update some of my own information more neatly—namely, my newsletter page.

How my newsletter page got all messed up

For those of you who are new to the blog, I had a brief, previous incarnation as a graphic designer. In fact, I still do a smidgen of design now for some remaining clients, but as I've turned my focus toward consulting and speaking and writing, I've let my old design portfolio site molder away.

Worse, while I created a duplicate "round-up" page, I never moved the newsletter archives themselves to current HQ, a.k.a. communicatrix-dot-com. There were a few reasons, but it boiled down to time and technical difficulty—WordPress does not make it easy to embed HTML inside its pages, and it took help from a skilled dev friend and a great plugin to finally make it happen. And as long as I couldn't get the pages loaded onto the right site, I just let the task slide…until I was a dreadful five months behind in getting the issues up: not a great look for any potential subscribers dropping by to see what the last few issues look like; for all they knew, I'd not published any since August of 2008!

I'm happy to say that as of last night, I'm current, and the last five of the issues are up on the mother ship. I'll set up a recurring task to upload the previous month's newsletter once the fresh one is published, and until they're all up there, I'll load one more (or two, if I'm feeling ambitious) onto the new site.

How are you customizing the calendar?

This is just my way of making the calendar work for me. You might need to go ahead and do it by the book; if you don't have a list of resources on your site, I'd at least think about it. One of the things I'm learning about how people get hired (or how they sell stuff) is the whole funnel thing: a free page of resources shows you know your stuff, gives people an idea of the kinds of things you find valuable, and, in a way, lets them work with you on the most fundamental, no-strings-attached level.

Besides, it's good karma!

Some other ways I used the calendar as a guideline, not gospel:

No networking!

Well, not strictly true. I did a webinar for 100 of my closet alumni last Monday, so I "met" a bunch of new people. (Check out two of my new favorite people, a kickass lawyer in Silicon Valley and a real live Santa Claus! We talked social media shop for two full hours, we had us so much fun!) I could have gone to a bona fide networking event, too, but I've doubled up for weeks now, due to circumstances and opportunity, and I needed a break.

I didn't schedule this week's event, either…because I'd already done it!

Five cold calls, not ten

Frankly, that's still all I can muster. I'm pleased with my progress: even though I'm leaving voicemails, I'm much more comfortable doing it; this week, I even used cold calling to procrastinate on some other tasks (namely, writing this post—I'm kind of written out, to tell you the truth.)

I have to keep telling myself it's not about doing it perfectly, but about DOING it. Which I am. Which you are, right?

Dealing with life

Friends contact me with their own marketing problems they need help with. A stranger knocks off my side-view mirror and I have to deal with it (although happily, I didn't have to pay for it.) A weird potential job opportunity pops up and I need to take time from my regular schedule to check it out.

I confess to a feeling of disappointment with myself when I do things imperfectly. And yet, as I said in my own recent newsletter—which, happily, I can now link to—it's critical to remember that perfect is the enemy of the good.

I didn't get as much done this week as I'd have liked. (I'll probably never get as much done in most weeks as I'd like.) But as Ilise says, the important thing is to do something anyway. And if you don't do it, not to beat yourself up over it, but to get back on track the next day.

Where are you in your odyssey? What kinds of things are hanging you up?

And—be honest!—is there a particular task you're avoiding altogether? What could you do to get the tiniest piece of it done?

  • More in: How to Get the Most from ______, Marketing Plan in Action, Posts by Colleen, Web Marketing

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