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Why Internet Marketing Is The Best Way To Build High Trust For A Low Budget – guest post by Cathy Presland
 
I know, the words “internet marketing” and “trust” in the same sentence sound incongruous don’t they? You probably have that image of big red headlines and lots of yellow highlighting – and I KNOW this isn’t the image you want to create for your business.
 
And all those emails – they’re just spam right?
 
Well the ones you the ones you don’t want to get are. But what about the ones you do sign up to like the children’s clothing companies that you get special offers from? Or amazon? Or any of the ones you DO actually open?
 
The challenge for many women entrepreneurs – and especially if we are in any business to business service, and particularly anything related to marketing – is that it is a very noisy space and some of that noise is very loud!
 
The reality is that online marketing is just a way of reaching more people than we can possibly meet in person. And those emails are a way of keeping in touch with people who WANT to hear from us.
 
So if you are totally new to internet marketing, and you want my BEST tip to get started in a way that isn’t in the slightest spammy or sleazy, then here it is.
 
A way of marketing that is really straightforward, plays to your strengths, let’s people get to know you in an authentic way, AND comes with a price tag of or close to zero dollars.
 
It’s Just Talking
 
I bet you have some kind of offline networking in your marketing mix at the moment? Whether that’s a Chamber Of Commerce, a women’s group, even a local community event or exhibition?
 
Great. It’s usually the best way for business to get started – especially service businesses. What better way to talk to a group of targeted leads than getting them all in a room together?
 
Now imagine if, instead of ten or twenty people or even fifty people in a room, you could talk to hundreds of targeted leads. Or you could talk to a room of twenty but in just ten minutes – without the need to leave your desk and take two hours out of your day?
 
Well, this is basically the idea behind promoting your business online. You do just the same kinds of things you do offline – but the reach is so much greater.
 
And you’re using the technology of your computer rather than the face to face marketing you’re doing right now.
 
How To Get Started
 
The BEST way to get started if you’ve never done ANY kind of online marketing is to start with the online equivalent of the networking meeting – and that’s a forum.
 
But an online forum isn’t confined to a radius that you can drive to.
 
And it’s set up so that the timing suits YOU not the organisers of the meeting. I know what it’s like trying to juggle the breakfast meetings with the school bus or the early evening meetings with the children’s after-school activities.
 
Re-frame online marketing
 
So if you’re not online already then try to re-frame internet marketing as something that you do already – just that you’re going to do it online rather than in person.
 
You’re meeting people, getting to know them and then introducing them to your business so that they can recommend you or buy from you. The only difference is you don’t meet them physically. And I can assure you that I have friendships with colleagues online that feel as real to me as my ‘real’ friends.
 
Meet, Know, Like, Trust – And Then Buy!
 
So with this shift of perception, let’s dig in to the practicalities of where to start. And how to create that “meet, know, like, trust, buy” factor online.
 
The first step is to meet. And if you’re new and even a little nervous the absolute best first step is to visit a forum. You’re probably in some already? If not then find some. Ask around. Look to your industry association. A mum’s groups. Run a search on ning, or for a facebook group or on http://groups.google.com
 
The second step is to know. Join in the conversation. I can’t emphasise this strongly enough. You need to post, ask questions, reply to requests for help. Not only does this all help with getting links to your own site (advice for another day) but it helps you get know, and get known as an authority on your topic.
 
Build liking and trust. Stay in touch.
 
You know when people turn up to just one meeting, you’re much less likely to recommend them – you don’t know or trust them yet. So keep going back to the conversation. And better still, stay in touch with email marketing. Just a snippet of advice or a tip you can send out to continue to build trust when you’re not meeting people face to face on a regular basis.
 
Be aware though, that there are many more tyre-kickers and researchers online than you’ll see at your in-person meetings. People will come and go from your email marketing lists so stay consistent, give it time.
 
And the buying part? Someone in my mastermind group used a great phrase recently. He said he was being out-marketed by someone who was less of an expert than him. And I bet you’ve seen it too – people who make offers while you sit there and think, “hey, I can do that at least as well as or better than that person!” Well, it’s the same online. You need to make offers. Ask for the purchase, the recommendation or the referral.
 
So, give it a go, dive in and see who you can talk to online today and lose some of your trepidation about internet marketing!
 
 
Cathy Presland teaches women entrepreneurs to grow their business doing what they love for financial freedom and time freedom. She specialises in helping women get known and create a sustainable income online. You can find out more about her at http://cathypresland.com/ and also connect on twitter at http://twitter.com/cathypresland

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