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!
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.
- Purchase a domain name at GoDaddy (affiliate link)
- Get some hosting at Hostgator (affiliate link)
- Install WordPress manually (advised); or through a one-click installation (not advised but OK)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
- My Twitter button now recommends you follow me if you don’t already (this really increases your Twitter followers)
- With a bit of extra code I can now track Tweets, Facebook Likes and more with Google Analytics
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.
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.