Wednesday Woes: First Foot Forward in Online Marketing

I’m in a lot of Facebook groups dedicated to growing your small business in the virtual world or in the real world. One thing I have noticed in common is that everyone in these groups has something to sell. Great. 

But nobody wants to buy. Most post updates go along these lines, “I want to do XY for my business. But I don’t want to pay for it. Can you point me to a free link?” Or the other common update is, “I want a logo designed. I’ll use Fiverr.” 

First, I have nothing against freebies. There are tons of freebies with a lot of value. I also have nothing against Fiverr. They are a variety of sellers there who are doing what we are all doing, trying to pay bills. 

BUT if you’re not willing to buy from others, how do you expect others to buy from you? You want a free logo, free ideas, free templates and free everything so people can pay you your value.  

Using freebies to learn is not an issue but at some point, if your business means something to you, you will have to make an investment. You might not make returns immediately but selling based on what you have learned for free is also not going to bring you high paying clients.

There was a story circulating on Facebook awhile back that went something like this: A man opened a zoo. He charged an entrance fee, nobody came. He reduced the price of the entrance fee, and still, no one came. He stopped charging the entrance fee and everybody in town showed up because it was now free. He then locked the zoo gates, let out the lions and charged people $100 to get out of the zoo and everyone paid. The idea of the story is to caution against free things. Not all free things are necessarily free.

But I don’t have the money to start my business. Then save. $1 a day in savings, gets you $365 dollars a year. There is no rule that you have to start your business within a fixed time. You set the rules.

But I have other commitments. Then prioritise. What is most important to you? Time? Money? Chris Do says it best.

As you take baby steps towards your business, always provide value. Give a preview of your skills so people know what to expect. Who are you? What are you good at? I recently edged away from basic social media marketing to consulting, focus on writing and my printable series. I set up a freebies page which has already had more than 3000 downloads in one month. The day I set my social media marketing guide (January) as a freebie, I got more than 1000 hits on a brand new blog and I reached 1000 subscribers. Have I sold anything from these free downloads? $1,280 worth of consultation, subscriptions, and printables. It’s not a million. But it’s progress.

On that note, I’ll share the most helpful Facebook groups I’ve come across as soon as I can. In the meantime, here’s a hilarious post from Kate Toon on “19 Things NOT to do in a Facebook group.”

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