Getting website traffic to your blog or company website is one of the toughest things for a bootstrapping entrepreneur to do. So tough that many seemingly honest entrepreneurs stoop to very low borderline levels of integrity just for the sake of getting traffic to their website. Why is this?
So you think word-of-mouth is free? So did I until yesterday. That’s when I came across a tweet that got my brain juices flowing.
The tweet was on the topic of what marketing professionals call earned media. Earned media is more or less pitted as the antithesis to paid media, thus it is often used synonymously with free media.
For those not familiar with this marketing jargon, types of earned media include press coverage and word-of-mouth. Earned media also represents the idea of something going viral. The term paid media typically just means advertising.
When I woke up this morning, I noticed a really good comment on one of our blog post. It was so good that it inspired me to write this post today. The comment was from intercultural executive coach, Anne Egros. Anne blogs over at zestnzen.wordpress.com. She made a thoughtful comment suggesting that going viral is about connecting emotionally with an audience on our post 10 things entrepreneurs should do everyday to help word-of-mouth go viral.
As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, staying on top of the latest advertising trends is a must. It’s a must because in today’s society, people see over 5,000 ads per day. There is just no way the average person can pay attention to more than 1 or 2 of them. As a result, big corporations spend big dollars researching how to get consumers to pay attention. There is no reason why entrepreneurs can’t take advantage of this research.
Over the years, I have found that the difference between a day of progress and a day of stagnation is separated by whether or not there was a written to-do checklist to follow. So now that I have declared that the only goal that matters for a bootstrapping entrepreneur is to create a viral referral loop, there must be a daily checklist with the things to do that will incrementally progress you to this goal. Both you and I know that without this checklist, the dream of going viral is nothing but a pipe dream.
One of our main goals at Nichevertising is to educate bootstrapping entrepreneurs on the critical importance of achieving a viral referral loop in their customer acquisition process. We define the viral referral loop as the ability to get your best customers to provide at least 3 referrals every month / quarter/ year (whatever fits your business), and then get at least 50% of those referrals to do the same.
The reason why we feel so strongly about the importance of educating entrepreneurs on achieving this goal is for three reasons:
One of the first things you learn when you start on your entrepreneurial journey is that goal setting is critical. The first goals for many of us is to clean out our cubical and hand in our resignation. Achieving this goal is truly akin to getting a 1000 pound gorilla off your back. I know because I am coming up on the one year anniversary of doing this exact thing. But once you have done this, what’s next? What’s the next big goal you should work towards?
Every bootstrapping entrepreneur knows that they need to spend more time on their advertising strategy, but for one reason or another don’t. I belive the reason for this is that it is often expensive and time consuming to figure out the ins and outs of all the various ways you can advertise your business to drive new customer traffic in the door. Everything from pay per click (PPC) ads, banner ads, social media marketing, yellow pages, radio and television is offered up by pushy sales reps trying to convince you that their solution will provide a ROI. I say ignore all of this and focus on this: YOUR BEST CURRENT CUSTOMERS!!!
One of the things you will see me repeat over and over again in this blog is that getting an advertising campaign to go viral is both an art and a science, and therefore requires both left brain and right brain thinking.
We all know you can’t condense the “art” of making something go viral into a nice neat formula. However, there is a simple formula that explains the “science” of going viral.
Today’s bootstrapping entrepreneur knows that the holy grail of marketing on a tight budget is to get one of your advertising campaigns to go viral. How lucky would it be for you to get the very first ad you publish for you new venture to go viral within 30 days of launch driving millions of visitors to your website? But is it really luck? Well there are two schools of thought on this.