Shannon and I taught at General Assembly this week and had a great class of extremely diverse businesses. We had a whole range of digital startups (videos, roommates, networking, renters), a non-profit matchmaker, a pharma development professional, a nostalgic candy producer, and a wellness specialist.
Best actionable idea to do tomorrow
When we went over what each person decided on as their “best actionable idea” we got back a range of ideas just as diverse as the businesses. There were four people who wanted to focus on content/curation, two for social media and community building, two for Adwords (check out my free online course for SEM) and one each for product videos, referrals, events, partnerships, and demographic analysis.
This confirms my belief that all of the above are useful and powerful tools to market your business and that the exact one you use should be the one you like best!
How I market “Digital Marketing for Everyone”
One of the students asked me during class how I use the digital tools from class to market the class itself. It was a good question and I was stumped – I spend most of my day helping other people market their businesses and hadn’t thought much about what I was doing to market this class. Or how to market the “Digital Marketing for Everyone” book, modeled on the course, that just came out on Amazon.
So thanks Peter for the question and here is what my worksheet looks like.
Target demographic – 20-40 year old creative professionals, many who are starting companies or are running their own business, work on small teams where they have marketing responsibilities, tend to work from co-working spaces like 3rd Ward or General Assembly, and want to learn how to market their business better and attract more customers. There also is a strong interest in the course from students and from marketing professionals at medium and large companies who want to learn new ways of doing their job better.
Email marketing – I send emails to my list to welcome them to class, followup from class, invite students to other events (like a book release party on January 11th at the Muse), and share new blog posts (monthly in a newsletter).
Online conversations – Students decide if they want to buy my course after reading about it on a co-working website or email and reviewing the syllabus at ericmorrow.com/syllabus. There are many communities where people discuss their digital marketing possibilities, like fourhourworkweek.com and LinkedIn.com.
Social – My main social site is a Facebook group, but I also use Twitter and LinkedIn. I post new blog posts (many answering student questions from class), links to articles on digital marketing I find both helpful and well-written, and information about upcoming events.
Events – The main event I have is the class on digital marketing. I also am having a book release party on January 11th. I would also like to partner with different organizations to host private classes for their teams.
Partnerships – I partner with co-working spaces to teach courses for their members. I am also partnering with Catchafire to teach the non-profits that use its services. I want to focus on partnerships to expand the reach of my course. Soon I’ll be teaching the class at ESCP.
Website content – Writing (blog posts), pictures (of class), video (of entire classes for later viewing) and audio (perhaps interviews with businesses who have taken the course).
Curation – The entire course is a curated list of digital marketing activities (albeit not a very funny one!) I want to look into writing lists like “Top 5 Digital Marketing Mistakes” or “3 things your business should not say on Facebook”. I’m finding it harder to do this for myself than for my students!
References – My goal was to create a course I would want to take and a book I would want to read. I want to create awesome content that people want to share. My blog posts are written to be valuable and shareable even if you haven’t taken the course or purchased the book. The book release party will be fun, and hopefully people will want to bring their friends, because there will be great performances from talented acrobats.
Search engine marketing – I have not focused on this much, but I have run Facebook advertising to raise awareness about the course. I would target keywords and websites that focus on digital marketing and customers for small businesses.
Search engine optimization – I write regularly on my blog about digital marketing, which creates content for SEO purposes.
Prizes – Shannon and I are talking about a compelling prize we could give away to attract new students to the class. We will be giving away cool prizes at the book release party.
Preferred customers – My best customers are all of my students who have taken the class! I try to provide extra value to you through this blog and the Facebook group, where I share my digital marketing experiences, tip and links to other interesting content. You’ll get to see how my new courses are shaping up before the general public.
My best actionable “Marketing Idea” is to focus on partnerships with co-working spaces and other interested organizations.
Tying it all together
A digital marketing strategy should try and tie together all of the different elements from above into a coherent whole. Don’t worry about doing that right from the beginning but as you go along, focus on adding onto your strategy. Here’s a link to the conclusion from the book that shows how Tom Goss, an independent musician I follow throughout the book, puts together all the different pieces into a unified digital strategy.