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Thread: Digital Marketing Business

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    Digital Marketing Business

    Hi,

    My name is Juan-Pierre and I am a digital marketer start-up or in the process of becoming a start-up.

    I have researched digital marketing for a few years and I have noticed that in SA it is THE best online business to start. I have all the necessary know how, but I just cannot seem to get it off the ground. I have a hosting package and a domain, but it is laying dormant now for quite some time....with me paying every month! Although, I did experiment with it not so long ago trying to sell a product and it worked rather well driving traffic to my site, but had to delete all the content on my website as the product's services was discontinued.

    I want to connect with other freelance online marketers in SA who have walked the journey and made a success out of it. I have noticed that there are not many online entreperneurs in SA (local websites on the net proves it) as in other parts of the world. For a while now I have been learning a great deal from Neil Patel and a few others. But where are the internet entrepreneurs in SA?

    I have had so many trials and errors with my website that I decided to only launch it again once I have all my ducks in a row and know exactly what I am doing.

    I have started this thread simply to connect with the experts....if there are any on this forum. So, are there any internet entrepreneurs on this forum???

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    I am not an expert and I do not have an online shop, but I understand a bit of the essence of marketing and getting your product out there. Think about the following questions when assessing your business:
    How do you attract business? What is it that you are selling? What makes your business/product unique? What differentiates you from the crowd? How easy is it to do business with you/your website? Is it fast or frustrating? What is the customer experiencing?
    Maybe I can share something from the marketing guru Peter Drucker; "Because the purpose of a business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two - and only two basic functions; marketing and innovation.
    Marketing and innovation produce results;all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business."
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Juan-Pierre (14-Jun-19)

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    Firstly... iam clueless when it comes to marketing ...even though i have owned and run an electrical business almost 30 years and have had 2 other small business which i have run for about 10 years ...I have no idea when it comes to marketing.

    From my experience i have learnt that i am very good at what i do which keeps me turning over month to month ...however being one of those people who believe if you want something done right...do it yourself ...which brings a whole lot of challenges...i have learnt that no matter how good i am at what i do ...unless i crack open my shell and start looking into creating a team of people to assist ...i will never grow...there is a good chance i will still be around in the next 20 years but only because i am as stubborn as fock and prepared to get my hands dirty.

    i have been talking to a lot of other self minded people who work for themselves and realised that it is a common and severe problem...one which causes highs and lows in return in investment (our most valued asset ...our time.)

    With the knowledge i have now ...if i were 30 years younger i would be targeting all the small business in SA ...something which should be growing out of proportion due to the current state of affairs and high unemployment.

    People have offered me capital to help grow...however without the correct team which would include marketing assistance capable of selling ice to eskimos without expecting to become a millionare over night...it would just get me into a bigger financial burden ...its a waste of time for me get more capital to grow something that has limited growth potential...i could go to the bank and get R100 000 in the form of a credit card debit which standard bank have offered me (bad idea)...what will that help me if i cant get my product out to the right customers.

    I will give you an example of one of my small operations.

    I start a facebook page and get 168 likes...1 month later 158 product are sold...and not one complaint about quality or service...what doesn that tell me...i am good at what i do ...and it is not marketing...because i saturate the market place with the product in the small platform...so i find another platform to sell ...for 2 weeks i work day and night trying to keep up with manufacturing of the product...i dont hear one complaint about quality or service...however i saturate the platform and the product sales comes to a stand still...once again...because i have experience with what happens i dont over manufacture...but instead just keep a few product for the odd sales to the late buyers...everyone is happy.

    so what is wrong with my products...if it is not the quality or service...yip you hit the nail on the head ...marketing.

    i believe this is a huge problem in SA ...there are hundreds of small businesses out there with the same problem...marketing...we dont know how to sell our products or services....and no it doesnt help flogging a dead horse...renewing or updating the ads on the same platform unless you sell water or a consumable product.

    so what is the solution...finding a person who knows how to get products and services out there to the " right customers" ...for example it doesnt help trying to sell a powerful impact drill to a womens club...maybe a guy with his shirt operating the machine... but not the machine...you get the idea.

    Get this right and i believe you would have you hands full beyond your wildest dreams...become an agent for a pile of small businesses ...focus on your strengths marketing what we are strong at and you will never look back...if i were 30 years younger knowing what i know now...this is what i would study for and focus on.

    what makes this even easier than it was back in my day is the technology available to "spread the word" and target the right customers.

  5. Thank given for this post:

    Blurock (10-Jun-19), Juan-Pierre (14-Jun-19)

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Marketing is not a once-off thing. You cannot create an ad or website and flog it for the next 20 years.
    Marketing requires research. @Ian, you were correct to say (in another post) that you have to pitch to the right audience.
    Define that audience and then find ways to get your message and product to them.
    Also do research about your competitors - what are they doing and how?

    The second part of marketing is innovation - you have to reinvent yourself and your message all the time to remain fresh and interesting to the audience. Have you made any changes to your facebook page and updated material? Can you add a video or interesting content? Word-of mouth is the best marketing. Do you have any endorsements from your existing customers? Have you run special campaigns to boost sales?
    Fathers day, mothers day, earth day, tree day, valentines etc were not started by the United Nations, they were all started by retailers to boost sales.
    Marketing is a full time occupation, but so is being a business owner; 24/7/365. As the owner, you are the no 1 marketer!
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Juan-Pierre (14-Jun-19)

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    I really appreciate all the answers to my post. Wow, great insight and advice guys....thank you so much!

    Ians, I believe that you touched on a sore point when you said, "i believe this is a huge problem in SA ...there are hundreds of small businesses out there with the same problem...marketing...we dont know how to sell our products or services...." I have since recently researched this extensively and small businesses just do not have the marketing know-how and to add, digtal marketing know-how.....since that is the in-thing in our digital age. Out of the 51% of internet penetration in SA, almost 48% actively access the internet via a mobile device (according to Hootsuite, We are social). I just wonder how many of them own a small to medium business and have never even considered to learn the ins and outs of marketing their products and services online.

    My biggest problem in my attempts in getting my start-up off the ground is time....!! I do have a full-time job and getting paid a market related salary, but taking care of a family as well, time is a major factor. But I just cannot shake this passion and drive I have for digital marketing. Yes, it is about setting up a business that generates a solid revenue, but if I was just after a quick buck (like many others out there), I think I would have been up and running a long time ago. I am just very passionate about helping others succeed and have had the privelige in doing so many times in my life. However, I do have so much clarity on which direction I would like to go with marketing and I think you guys just added to that.

    Ians, you just confirmed something I have been focusing on since recently, "Get this right and i believe you would have you hands full beyond your wildest dreams...become an agent for a pile of small businesses ...focus on your strengths marketing what we are strong at and you will never look back"

    I am presently formulating a strategy as well as products and services for small businesses.....any advice here?

    Wow! Awesome stuff guys, really appreciate your insights.

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    Great insights there Blurock....thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post

    what makes this even easier than it was back in my day is the technology available to "spread the word" and target the right customers.
    So how do you "spread the word" other than with a website or social media?
    We are not all electronic guru's and some of our more mature friends may be terrified by social media. Getting to know people and getting people to know you and your business is very important. Join you local chamber of commerce. Don't be shy to introduce yourself and participate in discussions and forums. Ask for referrals.
    Another way to get accolades is to enter competitions. Find out what is available for your business, e.g exporter of the year. There are different categories for small and large business, newcomers and established businesses. In KZN this is sponsored by the Durban Chamber and Transnet. Finalists are introduced by a short video of their business. Apart from a lovely trophy, there is also media exposure in the Mercury and a radio interview.
    The response is amazing and gives you credibility to promote your business with confidence.
    Join industry bodies and feature in newsletters or magazine articles. You'll be amazed how this will help you with referrals for future business.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Thanks Blurock, once again you gave very insightful comments in your post. Will most definitely look into it.....

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    really great information

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