I had coffee last week with a longtime friend, and he asked me which online marketing tools have worked (and which haven’t) in building The Solopreneur Life over the past year. It’s a good question, and below is a high-level view of how I rank the return on investment for the tools I’ve used.
TheSolopreneurLife.com Web site. It goes without saying that an effective Web site is the foundation for nearly every business. The Solopreneur Life is no exception; all the other marketing tools flow from the strength of the Web site.
The blog at TheSolopreneurLife.com. It extends reach, establishes authority, and initiates new connections.
Facebook fan page. In February I began putting effort into Facebook. Even before that, though, Facebook was the number-one social-media traffic driver for my site, which is amazing with how little time I put into it. Facebook is excellent for establishing connections and for the sharing and gathering of information.
Twitter is my best tool for initiating connections. It also drives traffic and can be used to research what’s happening in my target market.
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Comments on posts at other sites. (A word of caution: my sample size is small for comments.) I rarely comment on blogs, typically because someone else has already made the point I was going to make. But I have developed several important relationships from the little time I’ve spent making comments. Also, I can attribute a nice amount of Web traffic to my comments.
Meaningful participation on message boards initiates connection, establishes authority, extends reach, and is a tool for sharing and gathering information. The key with message boards is to select ones that will be the best for helping you achieve your goals.
Not For Me
Linked In could be an effective tool for me, but there are only so many hours in the day, and last month I needed to cut my participation at one of The Big Three. I cut Linked In because it’s the number-three platform for my target market (Facebook and Twitter are tied for first). And to me, Linked In feels like I’m walking into a job interview; I can do without that. 😉
Google AdWords has flopped for me. I have put a lot of effort into Google AdWords, but the ROI has been very low.
Facebook Ads is something I haven’t been using for very long, but I am happy with the number of Facebook “likes” vs. dollars spent. I also get more information about my target market from Facebook Ads, compared to any other tool.
BlogTalkRadio. If I had written this article three weeks ago, I would have said BTR is an indispensible tool: my ratings were strong, it’s a nice vehicle for sharing information, and it’s a way to initiate connection with both listeners and guests. Today, however, BTR might be of very little value. What happened? BTR’s methods and accuracy for measuring listenership are in question, and BTR says that past ratings were wrong for some programs. As a result, I don’t know where I stand with my ratings.