You know I’m not sure if business people know the difference between online prospecting and online marketing. These two distinctions are very important to see because of the world we live in. When people talk about Social Media Marketing or Online Marketing they usually talk in very broad terms. Let me help you distinguish these two.
Prospecting: I come from a strong real estate background and when a real estate agent starts their business they typically start by prospecting. These are activities that are free or low cost to do and require a lot of time by the person doing them but will give you immediate returns. For example, an agent knocks on 100 doors and sets 1 meeting. That took a lot of time, effort, was free to do and got an immediate return.
Marketing: Now when the agent starts building their business they now have more money than time, however they still need to consistently grow their business and pipeline. So what do they do? They start hiring companies such as myself to create online content and ads that require little to no time from them, it costs money to do and the results are passive. Back in the day this looked like postcards, billboards and bus signs (which people still do to this day).
So now that you have the context let me give you some simple and general examples of prospecting and marketing online:
- Craigslist Hunts: In some fields your potential clients might be posting their needs for your services on Craigslist which you can start replying and bidding for.
- Yelp or YP.com (B2B): Look for businesses in your area and start contacting them if they need your services.
- Twitter and Instagram search: Basically any platform with a hashtag culture you can search for people that are talking about services your provide and you can start up a conversation, then message them to see if they need anything.
- Facebook friending: This takes some skill but add 5 to 15 people a day that have the same mutual friends and build a relationship with them while you post things about our services that they will see on their feed.
- Posting content: Be the authority in your sphere and post some kind of content (written, audio or video) about your field and establish yourself as the authority in your field. What do you think this blog is about? I’m providing content for you that can help and position me as the go-to for you when it comes to online marketing.
- Facebook and Instagram Ads: You can figure this out or hire a company (like mine) that creates and monitors social media ads for your business.
- Google Ad words: Still not one of my favorites but it still has a place for some industries.
- Guest Posts or Blogs: You can pay other people with a similar target audiences as yours and have a piece of content that involves your business and goes out to their audience.
I didn’t put as many online marketing ideas because they are always being fed to you and online prospecting isn’t. So know that “getting business” online works, and that prospecting and marketing online are two different things that work equally as well. These two forms of marketing are meant for different stages of your business. So know what stage you are in and start accordingly. I have a feeling once you know this you can make better decisions when it comes to growing your business on this little tiny small thing we call the internet.