Five Minute Marketing Tasks to Improve Your Business Now!

You know those little marketing tasks that we keep meaning to do are always pushed to the back of the day’s agenda? Sometimes alas, they never get done!

clocks

I have a challenge for you: perform one of these five minute tasks now. If you hit a road block, leave a comment here and I’ll help you. These little marketing tasks (some for beginners; others for “experts”) only take a few minutes to finish and just seem more complicated than they are.

Set up WordPress

If you don’t yet have a self-hosted WordPress site: Shame on you, you should! (Only joking!) But seriously, the world’s most effective way to market your business can be set up in 5 minutes.

The above is the best piece of online business advice – no exaggeration! This may take slightly longer than 5 minutes if you’re doing a manual install for the first time. :)

If you already have a self-hosted WordPress website: then set up a WordPress.com site! You can use this WordPress.com site as a “feeder site” to provide links for your main sites. WordPress.com is great for experimenting. Plus you can test out new features before they’re rolled out to the WordPress.org platform!

Set up your Gravatar

One of the most important features of increasing awareness of your business online is having a universally recognised “face” to the business. So, no matter where you are, be it YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, blog comments, etc., always have the same smiling, happy profile pic accompanying your output.

I would rather use a face than a logo. People are more likely to recognise a face than remember a name so this is very useful to your brand. Go to Gravatar and set up your profile. In five minutes most of your blog comments will have the same image next to them.

YouTube

If you don’t have a YouTube account: Set one up. Try to get a username that is the same as your website domain or brand name as possible. This will take you less than 5 minutes.

youtube channel

If you do have a YouTube account: Customize your YouTube channel. Make use of the links in the sidebar (add as many as possible – you can even link to different pages in the same site!) Make sure there is a link back to your site on the first line of the descriptions of the videos.

Twitter

If you don’t have a Twitter account: Set one up. Try to get a username that is the same as your website domain or brand name as possible (yes, I copied that from the above paragraph, glad you’re paying attention!) For God’s sake, at least change the profile photo from that boring default egg image. Write a decent description with a link to your site.

twitter profile

If you do have a Twitter account: Customize your Twitter profile with a background image that is in keeping with your brand and shows your web address and other important information.

Facebook

If you don’t have a Facebook account: You are the last person in the world not to have one. Set one up.

If you don’t have a Facebook page: You must get a Facebook page for your brand, website or business. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/ and Create Page. Follow the directions in this video (3 minutes 10 seconds – even less than our 5 minute rule!)

The above video also shows you how to put a Like Box on your WordPress website’s sidebar. This will slowly increase your fan base as the weeks go by and then if you regularly, manually post to your Facebook page you’ll see a steady stream of engaged traffic coming to your site from Facebook.

If you do have a Facebook page(s): Then ready them for the timeline changes and the end of this month (March 2012). Pat Flynn gives a complete Facebook page guide to show you want to do and Louise Myers tells us how to create custom tab images for the Facebook timeline. Just 5 minutes, honest!

Google+

OMG, is it me, or does Google+ seem so boring nowadays? Pinterest is piquing our interest but Google+ is Google so we’ve got to go along with it. I can guarantee that each of these five minute marketing tasks will help your business but, I’ve got to be honest, I haven’t seen any benefit from Google+ at all! I was very positive about it initially but recently I haven’t been feeling it.

If you don’t have a Google+ account: Get one.

If you don’t have a Google+ Page: You can set up a Google+ Page and add a Google+ badge to the sidebar – similar to the Like Box for Facebook. Again, I haven’t seen any benefit in doing this so far but, this is Google, so if you have good social signals from their network is probably going to be beneficial.

Set up Google Authorship

This is more important than Google+: Sort out your Google Authorship.

face in google serps

This does take a bit of doing, but once you have set this up correctly (and it is just about possible to do it in 5 minutes), your face will appear in the Google search results. The benefits of this are obvious, it’ll draw people’s eye to your link in the search results meaning more traffic. It’ll also mean further recognition of your brand.

General Social Media

The whole point of these five minute tasks is to work effectively so you save time instead of wasting time on tasks that have little benefit. Unfortunately the rise of social media has made business owners prone to doing just that.

We all know you need to engage with Twitter, Google+, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for these sites to become effective tools. But we simply don’t have the time to do this.

But, even if you don’t have hours to spend on Facebook, at least make it easy for others to share your pages on social media. Do you have your social media buttons in the best places to enable sharing? Spend five minutes looking at this. Move them around or change the plugin you use and see if you get a different response.

Advanced social media

With the help of Melbourne Designer Andrew Keir, I have recently changed my Tweet, Like, Google+, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon buttons from plugin to hard code. This has meant I’ve been able to do two things:

Only do the above if you’re happy adding code to your theme but it only takes five minutes and the results are awesome!

Google Webmaster Tools

You must add all your sites on Google Webmaster Tools. All you have to do is prove you have access to the site by uploading a file to the site’s root.

You’ll get the following from Google Webmaster Tools:

  • Search Query Impressions vs. Clicks will show you your average position for a search term and how many impressions vs. clicks you get. So you can work out which terms are more relevant to your audience so that greater work on these terms will result in more targeted traffic.
  • Incoming Links to Your Site will show you which sites link to you the most.
  • The Keywords section will tell you what Google thinks your site is about.
  • The Malware section will hopefully tell you that your site is virus-free, if not, do something about it now!
  • The Crawl Errors section is very useful as it will show up any broken links on your site which you can fix to improve user experience.
  • Be sure to notify Google of your Sitemap here as you can see how many pages in the sitemap are indexed (hopefully most of them).
  • And more!

It’s always worth spending five minutes in Google Webmaster Tools, keeping an eye on your site’s performance and its SEO footprint.

Mailing list

Lastly, you’re not really doing marketing properly if you haven’t got a mailing list. And I know a lot of you procrastinate terribly with this all-important task.

But it is possible to set up a MailChimp mailing list and sign up form in five minutes. Alternatively you can set up an Aweber list and sign up form with an incentive.

What you can do

There should be some tasks above for beginner online business-owners as well as those who’ve been at it for years. Pick one task and complete it in five minutes! I would love to hear which task you picked and how you got on.

Did you enjoy the article? If so, please share!

Download my 2 free e-books and 2 free MP3s on running an online business & getting clients

Plus a list of my 12 favorite resources for online business

two free books and two free mp3s and a list of favorite online tools

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks Rob for the shoutout and the terrific tips – I’ll have to pick one to tackle today! You always bring us the best info – love your site.

  2. Caitlin Foster says

    Appropo of the comments between Michael and yourself, not everyone is at the point of having a working website which needs to be marketed in this way; I don’t. I’m still in the extremely early stages of setting up my website and have a lot of content I’ve written over the past nine years which needs to be sorted, edited, then posted to the website and then ancillary articles to write which support that content. It’s a huge job. I do this work alone as I can’t afford to hire a contractor or outsource.

    I don’t expect my website to be ready to launch any time soon, yet that’s fine with me; I’m determined just to keep plugging away at it quietly behind-the-scenes without anyone knowing I’m doing it. When it’s time to launch, I’ll make it public.

    So I have a dilemma. I have a Google+ profile so have the capability to create a YouTube channel. However, I have nothing to post there because I’m ‘head down, bum up’ creating content; I don’t WANT anyone to be able to ‘see’ me and I equally don’t want to communicate with anyone because I’m not ready yet.

    Should I set up a YouTube account now “to get a username that is the same as your website domain or brand name as possible”? I’m concerned someone else might get the username I need to establish brand awareness when I launch finally.

    Or should I wait for quite a few months until I’m ready to launch, then set up the YouTube account and hope in the meantime no-one else grabs the username which matches my website domain? My website domain name is a really good one; it tells people interested in my competitive niche exactly what the site will provide them and can be reduced to an easily-remembered acronym; it is precisely the sort of username others in my niche would also like to have.

    What do you think is the best thing to do? Can a YouTube account be hidden so it does not show up in searches until I’m ready for it to be viewed by my target audience out there in CyberLand? It would be helpful to establish it now in five minutes, then hide, then activate when it suits MY timeframe, not YouTube’s.

    I need to know because otherwise I’d have a profile with nothing to post to it. NOT because I’m dumb (at least, I hope not) but because I’ve nothing to say as I’m still in development mode.

  3. Caitlin Foster says

    My comments/questions above also apply to Twitter and Facebook. What do you think? Your advice and opinion – and that of your knowledgeable people, of course – will be greatly appreciated.

    • says

      Good point, Caitlin.

      Firstly, if you don’t have the time or inclination to post things up to a Facebook page, Google+ page, Twitter account or YouTube channel then there is little or no point to creating a profile.

      However, as you say, if you have a brand name that is the same as your domain name it does make sense to set these profiles up in order to protect it. But, you must eventually start posting material up to these profiles as inactive profiles will get shut down after a while.

      Yes, keeping all these profiles going may seem a daunting prospect to start with. But, to be honest, it really doesn’t take much out of my week. With Twitter, it’s one click once I’ve read an article I like and – bang – it appears in my Twitter stream (and I always tweet out my own articles!) With Google+ and Facebook pages I make sure I manually post up my own articles plus a few other interesting things in the week. YouTube is more time consuming and if you haven’t made any videos yet you may want to leave that for a future date.

      Everything starts and ends with your site. Concentrate on getting quality, original content there as that will always be your priority. When, eventually, you feel like setting up Facebook pages, Google+ pages and Twitter accounts, go for it! But only spend 5 minutes doing it, and if it takes more time than that come back here and I’ll see if I can help. :)