My Marketing Tactics in the First Year of Business
At the time of this blog post being published, it’s August 2017 and it has officially been 11 months since I started my online marketing agency business!
Coming up on my 1 year anniversary (August 26th, to be exact), I’ll be spending the next few weeks celebrating my first year in business through writing about it here on the blog.
This week, I’m outlining the ebb and flow of my own marketing tactics over the past 11 months, exactly how my paying clients were referred to me, and even the referral stats on those that inquired but did not become paying clients.
Marketing in the First Year of Business
I began marketing JAM through my own personal network. I posted on my personal Facebook Page that I had quit my job and started a business, which yielded a considerable amount of traffic on my website in the first week or so.
With that splash, I was able to start a few personal conversations within my network about this jump out of corporate and into entrepreneurship. Those first few conversations yielded my very first paying client.
I also wrote content from the start – 1 blog post a week. And yes, even when literally no one was reading what I wrote, I still published every single Thursday.
In this first month, I thought that Facebook and LinkedIn would give me the best bang for my “buck.” “Buck” meaning TIME because I had no actual bucks yet.
I also spent some time on Twitter, experimenting the traffic I might get by engaging there.
And if you’re wondering… no, I didn’t try Instagram in the early days. At the time, my ideal client was a bit more “corporate” than Instagram.
Spoiler Alert: BOY HAS THAT CHANGED.
I attended my local chapter’s Rising Tide Society meeting and PRAISE THE LORD was introduced to the world of CREATIVE entrepreneurship. Small businesses making a living off their creativity, in short.
At the time, I was intrigued. I noticed that I enjoyed answering the questions that came from this group. Their problems were unique and I saw the opportunity to serve this niche hard. Still, at this time, I was simply intrigued and not yet hooked on the creative entrepreneur world. That would come later.
November – December 2016
I spent most of my time taking care of my very first few clients. But in the in-between times, I started my JAM Marketing Group Instagram account and regularly tuned into one specific Facebook Group. Within the group, I found that I could lend a helping hand to members that had questions specific to marketing. The members were truly “my kind of people” so it simply felt great to be able to help them out.
Also during this time, I offered to teach a 2-part series on marketing strategy to my local RTS chapter. I was a brand new member, but to my surprise, my pitch was accepted!
January – February 2017
I led my 2-part marketing strategy training series at my local RTS chapter meetings, both trainings going over really well with the crew.
This is when I finally leaned into the calling that these creative entrepreneurs were “my people” and I could serve them really well if I offered to.
I also got featured in that Facebook Group I had been spending time in, which greatly boosted my influence within that circle of people whom I began identifying as my new “ideal client.” I genuinely liked spending time with these people online and knew that I could answer their marketing-related questions, so it felt natural and smart to gear my services to help them, as opposed to the more corporate type of client.
Additionally, local word of mouth began to spread at this time. I still don’t know what spurred this uptick in word of mouth, but it yielded three new clients, which I could only be happy about.
I maintained my strategy throughout March, leaning into the more creative side of things and on-boarding 3 new clients at the same time.
I finally started to find my way on Instagram and continued to lean heavily into the creative space.
I began to find my professional voice within the unique little niche I was carving – somewhere between creative, inspiring, and lets-get-sh*t-done. And while I have no data to prove this, I felt like April 2017 was a real turning point for my brand.
This turning point coincided with the decision to launch an entirely separate brand – Marketing in Yoga Pants – another facet to my life that just feels so right.
I maintained my strategy, while also jumping on the brand new BETA version of the Rising Tide Society/Honeybook Community platform.
I maintained strategy and direction amidst the launch of my new brand/podcast/community, Marketing in Yoga Pants.
Plus, I learned more about Pinterest through this free course from Summer Tanheuser and did a 30-day free trial of Tailwind to see if I could boost my blog traffic with it.
I’ve allowed most of my marketing energy to go into the Marketing in Yoga Pants brand because I find that through that, JAM only becomes a stronger, more legitimized brand.
I complete the following marketing efforts regularly to market JAM:
- Publish 1 blog post / week
- Email blog post to the JAM email list 1x / week
- Share blog post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn 1x / week
- Publish an article on LinkedIn 1x / week
- Post to Facebook 2-3x / week
- Post to Instagram 4-5x / week (although the last 2 weeks I’ve backed off to re-evaluate my plan there)
- Post to LinkedIn 3-4x / week, sharing both JAM and MIYP things
- Spend time in Facebook Groups 7 days / week
- Engage with people on Instagram 7 days / week
- Have virtual coffee dates with complementary service providers 2-3x / week
- Publish 1-2 podcast episodes per week (not as part of the JAM brand, but still highly complementary to JAM)
Now, for the real juicy stuff…
How I’ve Gotten My Paying Clients in My First Year of Business
1 Client – personal word of mouth
2 Client – family
3 Client – Facebook Page
4 Client – LinkedIn
5 Client – Facebook Group
6 Client – Word of mouth from someone following my Facebook Page
7 Client – Word of mouth from someone that knows me personally
8 Client – Word of mouth from someone that knows me personally
9 Client – Facebook Group
10 Client – RTS Honeybook Community
11 Client – Word of mouth from former client
12 Client – Word of mouth through Facebook Group
13 Client – LinkedIn
14 Client – Word of mouth through Facebook Group
And the Referral Sources for All Other Inquiries (AKA People That Scheduled a JAM Session But Didn’t Become a Paying Client)
7 Facebook Group
4 Personal Contacts
2 Word of Mouth
1 Client Referral
1 RTS/Honeybook Community
So there you have it, folks. My last 11 months of marketing ebb and flow and where my clients and inquiries actually came from.
At the end of this month, I’ll give you the full rundown of what I’ve learned from this ebb and flow and where I’m setting my marketing strategy sights for my SECOND year in business. Stay tuned!
And next week, I’m showing you the web tools I’ve used to keep this business afloat! It’ll be a mix of paid investments, free apps, and real scrappy, rigged together ways of doing business because in your first year, that’s just the way it goes!