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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Online Marketers
Success is normally a result of consistent positive effort. Success for your small business will require consistent online marketing effort. In his bestselling book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey introduced a framework for achieving consistency on a personal level. It so happens that you can apply this framework to your online marketing effort. Here’s a run-down of Covey’s seven habits and how you can use them to guide your initiatives.
Strategy is good, but action is what takes you to where you need to go. Inertia – the tendency of objects at rest to stay at rest, and for moving objects to stay on the move – can make it tough for you to get started. But there is no other way; you must act now. And then inertia carries you forward as well, once you are on the move.
So go back to your action plans, take stock of where you need to go and GO!
Begin with the End in Mind
Set your goals and be clear and specific about them. Do you want to increase traffic to your site? Do you want more conversions? Do you want more people to be aware of your brand? When do you want the results to show? 30 days? 60 days? In a year? Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound goals help you keep your eye on the prize and define the actions you need to take to attain them.
Put First Things First
Being proactive and setting specific goals to aim for can backfire on you if you do not prioritize your needs and actions. It is important to distinguish between what is urgent and what is important, and then strike a delicate balance between these two. Otherwise you can end up perpetually putting out fires (the “urgent”) while ignoring opportunities to build production capacity (the “important”). On the other hand, it may also be possible to keep your focus on building capacity while urgent “fires” rage all around you and threaten to burn your business down.
How can all your stakeholders (or at least as many of them as possible) benefit from doing business with you? It’s easy to identify what your “wins” are – increased traffic, fresh new leads, increased conversions, etc. But what “wins” are you willing to grant your customers if they patronize your business?
Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
When it seems you are bogged down somewhere in your marketing efforts, the keys to getting unstuck are often right in front of you. What do you know about your target prospects? Are you aware of their needs and wants? Do you know what questions they have and the answers they seek? Do you listen enough to your prospects and customers and does this ability to tune in to their requirements give you a decisive business advantage?
“Synergy” works so that an entire system produces more for you than it should if you add up its component parts. Speaking in online marketing terms, you can synergize by harmonizing your various online channels. For example, you could streamline the “optics” of your social media accounts so that they all communicate a single branding message. This way prospects who reach you get the same message regardless of which specific social media channel they touch. Another example would be to create an email campaign that elaborates on important information in one of your blog posts, so that the concepts are reinforced in the prospect’s mind and its benefits are communicated using concrete examples.
Sharpen the Saw
Covey explains this as continuous learning and application, and this includes learning what works and what doesn’t. Be attuned with your online marketing data and analytics and learn how to tell which patterns of online behavior work for you and which ones do not. If something works, how do you make it better? How do you apply what works to other areas of your business? If something does not work, what can you do to improve on it?