Don’t Forget Where Your Bread Is Buttered…Online

cbheadshot-300x300In a recent blog post, Chris Brogan shared his observation that there are three primary camps most people fall into when it comes to social media marketing. They:

1.) Love it, but it’s not exactly working for their business
2.) Use it, but grudgingly and without much hope of seeing a result
3.) Think about using it, but just don’t feel a big push

Part of this, I believe, is that most of us are diving in without much of a plan. We see others blogging, tweeting, liking, pinning, etc. and figure if we sign up for everything, something good might happen. There isn’t much point in spending time online unless it could impact your bottom line (directly or indirectly). And in truth, it probably won’t if you have not laid out a strategy.

I recently signed up for one of Chris’s online courses, Mastering the Digital Channel (affiliate link), to help me with my own social media strategy. While to date I am only halfway through the 8-week course, it has already proven to be tremendously valuable. If you fall into any of the three camps listed above, I highly recommend checking it out (whether for you, or someone on your marketing team).

One of the things I love about learning from Chris is that he primarily focuses on traditional online platforms, such as your website and email newsletter. So far in the course, his only mention of Facebook has been to say that he doesn’t use it much.

Here are a few ideas I have picked up that you may want to consider:

Welcome to My Office. Feel Free to Leave.

If a prospect walks into your office, would you suggest that she go someplace else? Of course not – but that’s what a lot of us are doing online.

Think of your primary website as your online office. If your home page features your social media links, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter prominently, you’re essentially inviting your visitors to click off and go somewhere other than your primary site. If you think about it, why would you want to do that?

I hadn’t thought of it this way before, but now I’m making some changes. If you’re like me, no one is buying (or thinking about buying) from you on these “outposts,” as Brogan calls them. So if you have links on the home page of your primary website, and those links take people away from your site (and away from a potential sale), you may want to reconsider them.

Make Email a Top Priority

Check out these stats for Chris:

  • 230K Twitter followers
  • 200K blog readers
  • 110K people following him on Google+
  • 29K subscribers to his email newsletter

He gets 10X (by volume, not by %) the results via his email subscribers when he offers something for sale. His list is 10% the size of his subscribers, but produces more than 10x the responsiveness and action (i.e. sales).

Before you worry about making Twitter or LinkedIn work for your business, I highly recommend starting an email newsletter, or improving the one you have (which this course helps also with).

Mobile Is Not About Having an App

Before you rule out the significance of being mobile-friendly, do me a favor and find out where your traffic is coming from. For most businesses, 30-60% of site visitors are using a smart phone or tablet.

You may not need a cool new app, but you should at least make sure your website does what it needs to do if people are accessing it from their phones. If your site smooshes everything up to be tiny and fit the screen, it’s not mobile responsive – and it will turn off potential clients.

Chris Brogan’s course covers many more strategies, and of course goes into much more detail, but I wanted to put it on your radar and share some of what I have already learned. You can learn more and register here.

In the meantime, what online strategies are you focused on right now?



  1. by Steve Dorfman on July 18, 2013 at 8:07 am

    This is all great advice that’s easy to understand AND implement, Derek. You’ve done an awesome job of curating content that could otherwise sound like a foreign language to some. Thanks for sharing.

  2. by Derek Coburn on July 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Thanks so much for the kind words, Steve! I’m glad you liked it.

  3. by Adam Dukes on October 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Great post, Derek! I heard your interview on the Bright Ideas podcast (re-listening to it this evening). I am helping market a networking group in Vegas so you offered some great tips on the interview, thank you!

    regarding this post, I am a big fan of Mr. Brogan and I too, do not have links to the social sites on my site for those very reasons. I blogged about it a few months ago, but did not explain it in the clarity you/Chris did. The whole “Welcome to My Office. Feel Free to Leave.” makes sense.

  4. by Derek Coburn on October 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks so much, Adam! I obviously need to do a better job of taking my own advice. 🙂 Almost done writing the book and then things will return to normal. 🙂 Look forward to getting to know you!

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