Do you feel lost in the sea of advice about how to promote your business? How do you know that you’re doing the right things to market yourself online?
These were a couple of the questions I asked myself in 2016 when I was thinking about how to take my business to the next level.
Since that time, I have:
- joined two marketing communities
- increased my web traffic by 245%
- achieved my best financial results since starting my business in 2009.
This post is about how two marketing communities have helped me succeed.
Here are a couple of quick messages from the head cheeses of each community:
Now, let’s break down the benefits of being a member of these communities:
Private discussion groups
Each community has its own discussion area for members:
These channels are private and safe spaces for members to discuss marketing issues, share ideas and look for support from the community.
A great way to pick up tips and test ideas without being judged.
An accountability group is like a micro community, where a handful of like-minded business owners regularly get together to keep each other’s plans on track.
I’m a member of the CMA’s Actionlab accountability group. Professional editor Denise Cowle is a fellow Actionlabber:
Accountability groups are the ideal solution to feeling isolated and stuck; they provide a supportive environment to share highs and lows, without judgement.
And knowing you’ll be reporting your progress (or lack of it) at your next meeting is a real motivator!.
Denise has written a post all about how accountability groups can help you stay on track.
You don’t sit on your laurels, because members of your group will help you set goals and hold you accountable if you don’t work towards achieving them.
30-day Facebook Live challenge
A quick way to get over any fear or feelings of awkwardness of being on camera.
90-day blog challenge
Another CMA challenge was to create content consistently during a 90-day period. I took part during the second half of 2017 and it helped me stay on track.
Here are some examples of posts I published during the challenge:
Committing to 13-week challenge like this helps to build consistency, which is one of the characteristics of all successful content creators.
Builds the sense of community and camaraderie, allowing everyone to share thoughts and celebrate wins together.
Each community has a guest-blogging programme, allowing members to share their best wisdom via a public article.
This is great for exposure and can lead to potential customers discovering you.
In most cases, the marketing organisations’ authority and reach on the web will far eclipse your own, so having content published on their site is a really good idea.
A perfect chance to reach new audiences, build authority and earn a high-value backlink to your site.
Regular webinars offer members opportunities to learn via private video sessions.
These can be watched live by members who wish to interact with the presenter or viewed on demand via a private website.
— Col Gray (@pixelscol) February 28, 2017
Learning best practice from the leaders in the field.
In weeks when there isn’t a community webinar, the guys set up open hours so that members can book time with them to discuss their current marketing challenges.
If you follow Andrew and Pete on social media, you see a fun, bouncy duo and you might be forgiven for thinking that they might not have any serious knowledge about marketing.
But these 1-to-1 calls are great and reveal that the guys truly know what they’re talking about.
In fact, these sessions are worth the ATOMIC membership fee on their own.
Chris Marr also encourages CMA members to book 1-to-1 calls with him when they need help. I’ve taken advantage of this less than I might have, but it’s great to know that support is there when I need it.
Moves the conversation beyond theory and into the nitty gritty of specific steps to help your business succeed.
This is a 2-day annual conference in Edinburgh. It’s one of the few opportunities to meet other members of the CMA community in person, and provides encouragement and insight.
A memorable and motivational way to learn from and network with like-minded business owners.
This is Andrew and Pete’s main marketing programme, which is available to ATOMIC members as a video series.
The Content Mavericks book is now available so you don’t have to be a member to find out how the programme works.
A step-by-step approach for building a business that stands out.
I’ve met lots of influencers via these marketing communities, most notably Mark Schaefer.
During that talk, I had a moment of clarity and came up with the strapline for my business: I now market myself as the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter.
— John Espirian (@espirian) June 8, 2017
— John Espirian (@espirian) June 11, 2017
My ATOMIC membership directly led to my introduction to Social Media Examiner, one of the world’s largest social media sites. My guest article there about increasing LinkedIn engagement has had more than 7000 shares.
Without Andrew and Pete’s support, this wouldn’t have happened. Thanks, guys! 👍🏻
These introductions have helped push me forward, giving me the confidence to take part in interviews and podcasts. Check out my appearances on some of my favourite business podcasts.
Access to people and knowledge that would be difficult to encounter as an individual.
ATOMIC has a special members-only podcast called ATOMICAST.
I never knew that is was possible to publish a private, secret podcast that’s still accessible via the Podcasts app on iOS.
Learn on the go, while walking, driving, cooking, you name it.
Let’s wrap up
These are some of the highlights from my time as a member of these two marketing communities.
What do your marketing plans look like this year? Are you going to push your business forward by yourself? Could a marketing community be right for you?
Let me know by leaving a comment below. And if you have any specific questions you’d rather not discuss publicly, feel free to drop me a line at support *at* espirian.co.uk.
I write the words that go on B2B websites: service pages, expert articles, case studies, you name it. I also offer LinkedIn profile critiquing and rewriting.
I'm a former software tester and quality assurance manager, and have been an independent writer since 2009.
Espirian Towers is nestled in a quiet corner of South Wales 🇬🇧
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