Growing your reach is a term that is bandied around a lot on the Internet. It means extending the influence and market share of your website. I’ve been helping clients grow their reach for years, and here are a few of the things I’ve learned along the way.
Growing your reach takes a lot of work and usually can’t be done during your 9 to 5 day. Like most people, I guess you already have enough on your plate and you may only be able to allocate small blocks of time to do your marketing and upskilling. Ultimately growing your presence online will have to take place in the evenings and into the wee small hours.
There’s no off-the-shelf solution to this. If there was a checklist of things that you could religiously follow then we would all be rich by going through it step by step and ticking the boxes.
All I can say is that from my own experience, when you focus your attention on the items below (and others of course) the results do come.
Internet Marketing – Content is Number One
I rattle on about content all the time but it’s the reason people will come to your site or social media sites. Your audience’s dream content may be a 3,000 word article on ocean current fluctuations or simply a 30 second Snapchat of rabbits running up a wet slide. You just need to create it and make it in the best possible way so that it appeals to them.
This is often where people stop in their tracks – creating excellent content is hard work. They say “I don’t know how to do X” or “I’ve never done Y”. This is where those long hours come into play. You can choose to learn how to do it and then do it yourself, pay someone else to do it or do a mix of both. Either way, it takes time in learning, planning, and execution.
A great example of content that I regularly read and share is Buffer’s excellent article about where to find free images. I look at it about once a week share it regularly as it is just what I need.
Internet Marketing – Metrics and Goals
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Set yourself goals. 10 more visitors a day to your blog. 20 more Twitter followers per week. 10 Facebook likes on that post. 5 signups to your email newsletter (sign up to mine for more fascinating information…)
Imagine you work for someone who has done your yearly performance appraisal and they set you with a set of monthly goals (as most companies do). You would go into the office and sit down every morning with these goals in your mind.
You need to define what success IS for you. Is it selling that new ebook, is it actually getting 5 likes on your Instagram (I doubt it), or is it selling 10 prints of your latest painting?
However, you define success you need to focus on tasks that will make that success happen, and don’t waste time on anything else.
A simple piece of paper or a Google Sheet will suffice for this to start with, and it needn’t be long just something to have as a target.
Lots of content, lots of times.
Your first creations (whether ocean current information or those amazing bunny videos) may be poor and make you want to give up. But don’t. Keep going.
Review, improve, get people you trust to give you feedback. Then implement those changes. Learn more about currents and bunny running patterns. Do it 0.01% better than the guy ahead of you.
Establishing Your Presence Online
As I have written before, your audience may be in different spaces. Snapchat for rabbits or forums on oceans for that literary masterpiece. So you need to become the guy or gal who can do it the best. When you are creating and improving and doing what people are interested in, your audience (however small) will love you for it and tell others.
The Hard Work of Internet Marketing
A lot of the work in increasing your reach is drudgery. Writing, editing, following, researching, and failing a lot. Nobody liked the ocean current blog post. So you need to revisit it, get better images, add graphs and data. Until you get it right.
Expertise – Pay for It
Despite what I said above you may not be a natural writer, or a graphic designer or be able to capture those nasty bunnies with your phone as they are moving too fast. So it does make sense to hire experts.
There are lots of experts out there who can do in an hour what may take you a week. You may find them through your own contacts or through online forums like UpWork and PeoplePerHour. Hire carefully though here, as like anywhere you need to filter out the good from the bad.
People also talk about Fiverr, but I would advise you if you are looking to get someone for ongoing work then slowly build a working relationship with someone on those forums until you are happy with their quality of work and turnaround (it takes time to do this too!)
The Secret Formula and Tool
The Internet is awash with articles on methods and useful tools that with a few clicks will in 6 months (or days) start the flood of dollars into your account. Usually, you pay them the dollars to find out. Guess how they make their money feeding off of your hopes.
So growth takes time, effort, and determination to not give up. Start today.