Simply having a great product isn’t enough.
You also need to figure out how to get the attention of your dream customers.
Today we are going to look at five powerful online business marketing ideas that can help you do that.
Ready to explode your revenue?
Here’s What You Need To Do Before You Start Marketing Your Online Business
Okay, so before you start promoting your online business, you need to understand this:
In general, people don’t buy products the first time they hear about them, they need to learn more about the company before they feel confident enough to make the purchase.
Now, this seems obvious when you think about your own online shopping behavior, but it’s easy to forget when you are the one doing the selling.
In fact, the #1 mistake that entrepreneurs make when marketing their products online is going for the sale right away by driving traffic to the sales page.
But that’s like asking someone to marry you on the first date. It doesn’t matter how compatible you are. They are going to say “No” because they don’t know you. So don’t do it!
Our co-founder, Russel Brunson, has come up with a better way to sell online. It’s called the Value Ladder sales funnel.
Here’s how it looks like:
There are four stages:
- Bait. You offer the potential customer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address.
- Frontend. You offer the potential customer your least expensive and least valuable product.
- Middle. You offer the customer a more expensive and more valuable product.
- Backend. You offer the customer your most expensive and most valuable product.
Why does the Value Ladder sales funnel work so well?
Because it allows you to build trust with that person by:
- Continuing to provide free value.
- Offering progressively more paid value.
Here’s how Russel explains it:
So before you start marketing your online business, make sure that you have a Value Ladder sales funnel in place.
Note that you don’t need to have the entire product line ready to do that. You can start with a lead magnet and a frontend product, then build out the rest of the funnel later.
Then, start promoting your lead magnet, not your actual product.
What you want is to get people into your sales funnel by persuading them to give you their email addresses. Once you have their contact details, then you can pitch them your product.
(By the way, Russel can walk you through building your first sales funnel step-by-step. For FREE. More info at the end of this article).
Marketing Idea #1: Paid Advertising
Once your sales funnel is all set up, you need to test it to see if works.
In other words, you need to start driving traffic to your lead magnet landing page.
The fastest way to get traffic is paid advertising. You pay the advertising platform to show your ads to your dream customers, then sit back and observe what happens. Is your sales working?
This also allows you to identify the weak spots in it:
- People don’t click on your ads? Either your lead magnet isn’t valuable enough or you have failed to convey its value in your ads.
- People click through to the landing page, but don’t give you their email addresses? Either your lead magnet isn’t valuable enough or you have failed to convey its value through your landing page copy.
- People give you their email addresses, but don’t buy your frontend product? Either your lead magnet isn’t valuable enough, or the frontend product isn’t valuable enough, or you have failed to convey its value in your sales emails and its sales page.
Identifying and fixing issues like that can help you 2x, 5x, or even 10x your sales funnel profits.
Here’s how Russel explains it:
And don’t be afraid to spend money to make money.
Entrepreneurs who are just starting out often shy away from paid advertising because they don’t want to pay for ads. But you need to know that there’s no such thing as “free traffic”. You are either paying for traffic with money or you are paying for it with your time.
And the issue with the so-called “free” online marketing channels is that it takes a long time to see the results.
You might end up spending 6-12 months on building organic traffic just to realize that your sales funnel is broken. Or, even worse, that there’s no demand for your product.
It’s certainly better to spend a few hundred bucks on ads to test your sales funnel before you invest a ton of time in driving traffic to it via the “free” online marketing channels.
Social media marketing is all about building an engaged social media following, then promoting your lead magnet to your followers.
Choose the Right Platform
There are so many social media platforms out there that it can be difficult to know which one you should start with.
We recommend that you pick one of these options:
With 2.7 billion active users, it is the largest social network in the world.
Facebook may not be in vogue with Gen Z, but it can be a great place to reach Millennials and Gen X.
With 1.2 billion active users, it’s not as large as Facebook, but it’s arguably more glamorous.
It’s where the beautiful, the rich, and the famous go to show off their enviable lifestyles… And where the rest of us go to stalk them.
Moreover, this social network is also the natural habitat of social media influencers, so users expect to see sponsored posts.
Instagram is popular with both Gen Z and millennials, so if you are targeting young(ish) people, it might be the right social media platform for your business.
With “just” 396 million active users, Twitter might seem small compared to behemoths like Facebook and Instagram.
But don’t be fooled by its size. It is the place to discuss current events.
Plus, there are active health and fitness, entrepreneurship, and software development communities, among others.
So if you are selling products related to these niches, you might want to consider focusing on this platform.
Build a Social Media Following
Okay, so now that you have chosen a platform, how do you build a following on it?
Create a Content Schedule
You might be excited about social media marketing now, but the odds are that enthusiasm is going to wear off in the not-so-distant future.
That’s why you want to:
- Create a content schedule (e.g. 3 posts per day, 7 days per week).
- Commit to that schedule.
Keep in mind that what matters the most when it comes to social media marketing is consistently publishing valuable content over an extended period of time.
So stick to your content schedule no matter what!
Block Out Time for Content Creation
You might have heard the saying:
“If it’s not in your calendar, it doesn’t exist”.
What that means is that if you say that you are going to do something, but you don’t put it in your calendar, the odds of you actually doing it are low.
So make sure to block out time:
- Each week for creating and scheduling content.
- Each day for replying to comments.
This will help you stay on track with your social media marketing strategy.
Provide Value in Each and Every Post
It’s important to remember that people don’t follow you because they want to get bombarded with endless sales pitches.
They follow you because they hope that your content will add value to their lives.
That’s why you need to keep the bar high in terms of content quality and provide value in each and every post.
Use Software to Schedule Your Social Media Posts
It’s best to write all posts for the week in one go and then schedule them to be published according to your content plan.
There are many software solutions that can help you with that. Buffer is probably the most popular one.
You might also want to check out MeetEdgar which is similar to Buffer but is more hands-off (it has features such as a content library, auto-filled queue, etc.).
Interact With Your Followers
Your followers aren’t just numbers on the screen, they are real people who want to be acknowledged when they comment on your posts.
When you are just starting out, you should aim to reply to all social media comments.
It may not be possible to keep this up forever, but you should continue interacting with your followers under each post as your social media following grows.
We have 159k followers on Instagram at the moment, but we still do our best to reply to comments, especially to questions about sales funnels.
Promote Your Lead Magnet
You want to drive traffic to your lead magnet landing page by promoting it to your social media followers.
On our Instagram bio, we have a link to a page that features a collection of links to our various lead magnet landing pages.
One of our lead magnets is Russel’s book “Traffic Secrets”
We promote it in our posts by sharing a relevant image + encouraging people to click the link in our bio:
Once they click that link, they are taken to this page:
From there, they can click through to the “Traffic Secrets” landing page and get the book for free:
Marketing Idea #3: Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular.
In fact, this industry is projected to grow from $9.7 billion in 2020 to $13.8 billion in 2021, which is a 42% increase in just one year!
That isn’t surprising given that 90% of marketing professionals surveyed by Influencer Marketing Hub believe that influencer marketing is effective.
You might want to consider this marketing channel for promoting your online business.
Which Platform Should You Choose?
We typically associate influencer marketing with Instagram, which is indeed the leading platform for it.
However, the other top five platforms are:
Think about which one of these platforms is:
- The most popular among your dream customers.
- The most appropriate for promoting your business.
If you are targeting Gen X, then they are probably hanging out on Facebook, but it might make more sense to promote your lead magnet on LinkedIn if your product is related to professional development.
Choose the Right Influencers
Once you have picked the platform, it’s time to partner up with influencers.
Here are three questions that you should ask:
- Are their followers your dream customers? There’s not much point in paying someone for a shoutout if their followers are not your target audience.
- How many followers do they have? The larger their following, the more people will see the shoutout. That being said, don’t dismiss micro-influencers (<50k followers). They are more affordable and tend to have engaged audiences.
- Is this person stable? Keep in mind that paying an influencer to give you a shoutout means creating a connection between their brand and your brand.
You should do your research to make sure this association won’t damage your reputation.
Red flags include emotional instability, erratic behavior, constant e-drama, unnecessary edginess, controversial opinions (unless your brand has the same stance on the issue), etc.
In short: you want to work with people who are stable and therefore unlikely to do anything crazy in the future.
How Much Should You Pay For a Shoutout?
You might be surprised to learn that only 32.4% of marketing professionals actually spend money on influencer shoutouts. How is that possible?
The most common type of influencer payment is free products. That’s what you should start the negotiation with. Only offer monetary payment if they reject the free stuff.
Once you see that a particular influencer can drive traffic to your lead magnet landing page, then you can offer them money for further collaboration.
Keep in mind that even if someone would be happy to continue working with you in exchange for free samples, they will likely appreciate financial compensation. Even influencers have bills to pay!
This approach is more conducive to developing long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships than just expecting them to work in exchange for free products forever.
Okay, so if you want to offer financial compensation, how much should you pay for a shoutout?
It primarily depends on the influencer’s audience size.
Here’s how the influencer hierarchy looks like:
- Nano-influencers. 1k-10k followers.
- Micro-influencers. 10k-50k followers.
- Mid-tier influencers. 50k – 500k followers.
- Macro influencers. 500k-1M followers.
- Mega influencers. 1M+ followers.
Influencer Marketing Hub have published a helpful breakdown of influencer rates:
- Nano-influencers: $10–$100 per post.
- Micro-influencers: $100–$500 per post.
- Mid-tier influencers: $500–$5,000 per post.
- Macro-influencers: $5,000–$10,000 per post.
- Mega-influencers: $10,000+ per post.
- Celebrities: Varies, but $1+ million isn’t unheard of.
You can use their Instagram influencer sponsored post calculator to estimate the cost per shoutout of a particular influencer.
- Nano-influencers: $5–$25 per post
- Micro-influencers: $25–$125 per post
- Mid-tier influencers: $125–$1,250 per post
- Macro-influencers: $1,250–$2,500 per post
- Mega-influencers: $2,500+ per post
You can use their TikTok earnings per post calculator to estimate the cost per shoutout of a particular influencer.
Marketing Idea #4: YouTube
It’s probably safe to say that no matter who your dream customers are, they are watching YouTube. So why not tap into its massive user base to grow your online business?
Create a Professional Channel Page
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your channel page looks professional.
Your channel art is the first thing that potential customers will notice when they go to your YouTube channel page.
- Look professional.
- Convey what you are all about.
- Convey the “vibe” of your brand.
Take a look at the channel art of social media expert Vanessa Lau:
As you can see, this channel banner:
- Looks professional.
- Conveys what Vanessa is all about.
- Convey’s Vanessa’s casual, laid-back “vibe”
Also, note how she uses channel art to draw attention to her lead magnet link. You should do the same!
Your channel trailer is likely to be the first video that potential customers will check out when they visit your channel page.
It doesn’t have to literally be a trailer featuring highlights from various videos, it can simply be a regular video that:
- Grabs the potential customer’s attention.
- Establishes you as an expert in your niche.
- Is representative of the content that they can expect from you.
Here’s Vanessa Lau’s channel trailer:
In this video, she explains how she went from quitting her corporate job to working as a barista for a minimum wage to becoming a millionaire… In less than 2 years!
And now you want to hear what she has to say, don’t you?
Your channel’s “About” section is your opportunity to:
- Establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
- Explain what people can expect from your YouTube channel.
- Promote your lead magnet.
Here’s Vanessa Lau’s “About” section:
Target Popular Keywords
The #1 way to get views on YouTube is this:
Make sure that each video targets a popular keyword that your dream customers are searching for.
Here’s how you can find those keywords:
- Type in a generic search term related to your niche into YouTube’s search bar.
- Look at the search suggestions.
These are the popular keywords that people are actively searching for!
Say you have a product related to the carnivore diet.
When you type in “carnivore diet” into the search bar, you will see search suggestions that might look something like this:
These are the keywords that you want to target.
As your YouTube channel grows, you can start publishing videos that don’t target a specific keyword but provide value to your existing subscribers nevertheless.
However, you want to wait until you have built up a substantial subscriber base, say, 100k subscribers.
Make Your Video Thumbnails Stand Out
You need to remember that YouTube is an attention economy.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that your video thumbnails:
- Stand out from other video thumbnails.
- Are immediately recognizable as your video thumbnails.
That way, when a subscriber sees a video of yours pop up on their subscription feed, video recommendations, or homepage, they will be more likely to click on it.
Take a look at Vanessa Lau’s video thumbnails:
See how they all have a similar look?
This makes it easy for Vanessa’s subscribers to recognize her videos.
You can use Design Pickle to get professionally designed, branded YouTube thumbnails like that at an affordable price ($499/month for unlimited graphic design requests with a 1-2 day turnaround).
Alternatively, you can hire someone on Fiverr to create video thumbnails for you.
Promote Your Lead Magnet!
The purpose of having a YouTube channel is to drive traffic to your lead magnet landing page.
So make sure that you are proactively promoting your lead magnet:
- Add a link to your channel homepage and use channel art to drive attention to it.
- Add a link to your video descriptions.
- Mention your lead magnet in your videos.
You can also take this to the next level by creating several lead magnets, then promoting the most relevant one in each video.
Marketing Idea #5: Webinars
The webinar funnel is one of the most effective sales funnels.
In fact, webinars were the primary marketing channel that Russel used to take ClickFunnels from zero to $10 million in annual revenue in just one year.
Here’s how it works this funnel works:
- You prepare a free webinar.
- You create a landing page for that webinar.
- You drive traffic to that landing page.
- You provide a ton of free value during the webinar.
- You pitch your product at the end of the webinar.
Note that you can partner up with people who already have substantial audiences, then split the webinar revenue with them.
Here are three tips that will help you get the most out of webinar marketing:
Provide a Ton of Free Value
We have already mentioned this, but it’s worth reiterating.
A webinar is supposed to be a web seminar (hence the name) on a specific topic that offers a solution to a problem that your dream customers are struggling with.
It’s important to make sure that the presentation is valuable in and of itself so that someone who has decided not to buy your product would still walk away from it having learned something valuable.
Use This Script to Transition Into Your Sales Pitch
Transitioning from the free presentation into your sales pitch can feel awkward… And awkwardness doesn’t inspire confidence in potential customers!
That’s why you should use this proven script:
“So now I’d like to offer you guys something that I’m really excited about. It’s something that I think is going to change tons of lives and businesses for the better. But I don’t want to do it without your permission. If you guys want to learn more about [PRODUCT/SERVICE] then just type “Yes” in the chat bar.”
And if no one types “Yes”?
“Okay. Well I don’t want to take up too much of your time. But I really think this is going to be a game-changer for you. Is it okay if I just spend 10 minutes showing you this offer I put together?”
But what if people still aren’t interested?
That is extremely unlikely because someone who has made it all the way to the end of your webinar will probably be willing to hear out what you have to say.
However, should you ever find yourself in front of an audience of webinar attendees who have zero interest in learning about your product, you can explain that your presentation is over.
Then say that you are going to stay on for 10 more minutes to introduce your offer, but that those who aren’t interested in it should feel free to leave. Thank them for their time. Then go into your pitch.
Have a Clear Call to Action
You need to tell webinar attendees what you want them to do next.
Sign up for a free trial? Buy your product? Schedule a consultation?
Make sure that you end your webinar with a clear call to action.
Keep in mind that just because someone isn’t interested in buying your product right now doesn’t mean that they will never be interested:
- Maybe they can’t afford it at the moment.
- Maybe they don’t have the need for it right now.
- Maybe they don’t trust you enough yet.
…but all that might change in the future!
That’s why you should continue nurturing that relationship by regularly providing free value via email.
Then, when they are ready to invest in a solution to that problem, your product will be the first one that will come to their mind.
Want Russell To Teach You How To Build a Sales Funnel?
These five marketing ideas can help you get the attention of your dream customers. But what then?
You need a system for converting site visitors into leads, leads into paying customers, and paying customers into repeat customers.
In other words…
You need a sales funnel.
But building a sales funnel from scratch can seem like a daunting task.
That’s why we have created our 5 Day Challenge where Russel walks you through it step-by-step.
You will learn how to:
- Generate unlimited leads.
- Create your first lead magnet.
- Build your first sales funnel.
- Create a simple 6-email follow-up sequence.
- And launch your funnel!
…in just five days.
So don’t hesitate.