My website is growing each day; however, it just isn't growing fast enough. I know I can make a living off of my website, however, the growth is very slow paced. By the time I get enough revenue to sustain my cost of living I'll be retired by then.
I'm a big fan of Shark Tank, and it just kills me how these businesses go on the show with $50K in sales, and as soon as the show airs and they do an update on previous businesses they all have huge jumps in sales and some are even doing $1M+ in sales. Or other businesses on Shark Tank that have approached businesses like Costco to feature their product but have been turned down over and over. However, as soon as one of the sharks makes a call to Costco they take in the product and not only that sell out of the product.
It's so frustrating that you can have a very good product, but if you don't have the network connections, media attention, or be at the right place at the right time your product never makes any real impact in growth and then slowly just ends up in the dead pool!
How can I trigger some real rapid growth to my website? Do I just have to hope and wish I come across an opportunity to get some media attention by being in the right place at the right time?
I'm a young guy and startup entrepreneur. Recently I got myself into Inc., Fast Company, HuffPost, Entrepreneur.com, and Forbes. I essentially found writers/contributors who write about topics similar to my website/product. Then, I find them on linkedin, twitter, or find their email and reach out to them with a personal message and a call to action.
There are a ton of options for you, including hiring a PR firm to help you, but I wouldn't recommend doing that. There are plenty of ways that you can get yourself into large publications or find others ways to get yourself social proof. I'll also make a few introductions for you, if I can.
If you want, request a call with me and walk me through your website and I'll give you actionable steps you can take to get in publications. I cal also tell you how to begin creating shareable content that will help you grow. I created BIZFIT2015 (google it and you can see what I've created). I'll refund your $$ if you don't think I helped much. No questions asked. I'll also give you email support/coaching for free to help you out along the way.
I love your question!
I'm a snarky int'l business adviser and entrepreneur, so first my bull-shit free snarky comment:
You can complain all you want but this is what makes our country great - is called capitalism. You hate it because you don't fully understand it and you are not benefiting from it.
The shark-tank effect is due to the show's and the shark's own brand power. Thousands, even possibly millions watch the show every week religiously and is hosted by already branded individuals. Business, regardless of the environment, is about people. So yes, when a branded well known individual makes a call to Costco you bet your butt that someone will be impressed about it and take the call and want to please. You know the rest.
Is about strategy right, marketing just to the right mix of people (your demographic) and providing them with leverage to make educated decisions while getting a good value for something. You said it best! - Is all about being at the right place at the right time.
So how do you get there at the right time?
Well, do your homework. Right now you are working hard but not smart. You don't have a branded likeness so you have to stick to the marketing that every other non branded person or company does - traditional & digital marketing. Do this by doing your homework and finding out where your ideal demographic is, what they talk about, for how long, what they dislike, what motivates them... (this is called creating a persona) ...Then approaching them in just the right ways, I wrote an answer regarding just how find these individuals and how to kind of approach this, here: https://clarity.fm/questions/2542/what-is-the-best-marketing-tool-to-boost-our-documentary-crowdfunding-campaign/8559
Create landing pages (A/B testing) to find out what speaks best to them and what converts user the most. Once you have this figure out then implement heavily that theme through multiple platforms and networks to 'rapidly' generate users & buyers not just browsers.
What you are looking for is growth hacking.
I do however hope that you feel comfortable enough to give this a try but I would be happy to help you out. If you would like some help, I am for hire. You can google Humberto Valle Unthink and find out more about me or also visit my web page www.Unthink.Me
Best of luck and please do keep us posted! We'd be eternally intrigued!
Your frustration is common. We work with start-ups, small and large businesses every day and they all feel this way at one time or another. Chin up. There is lots you can do DIY style to help increase traffic to your site.
Media is divided in three pillars: owned, earned and paid.
Paid media is traditional advertising (billboards, digital ads, etc.) Earned media is a PR firm's speciality we work to pitch your story to the press and get you into major newspapers, on TV, radio, online in a variety of outlets. If you can get yourself earned editorial media it's technically 'free' as you don't pay for the coverage. Owned media is all the channels you control -namely social media.
If you are strapped for budget you should be focusing on owned and earned media. Let's start with owned.
Make sure you are on all the relevant channels for your target audience. Here are some guidelines for how much you should be updating your various owned channels.
Blog - 3 -5 times a week
Twitter - 8-12 updates a day
Facebook -2 times a day
Instagram - once a day at least
Of course there are hundreds of other channels you could be using (LinkedIn, reddit, Snapchat, Google+ etc...)
This will just give you a sense. The trick here is that the content you upload to your owned channels needs to be truly awesome. Stuff that is shareable and stuff that speaks directly to your customer base. Across all the channels you will have CTAs (calls to action) that help your readers/consumers/customers find you, buy the product, get to your website. However the content you post should NOT be spammy and directly selling to them. It should inform them or entertain them and always provide value.
Let's talk a little about earned media. Anyone can do it definitely and you don't need to hire a PR firm however you do need these things:
-a solid list of relevant media contacts
-TIME - hours and hours to craft your pitch and send personalized notes to each of the journalists
-a newsworthy story to pitch them
-a thick skin
-excellent copy writing skills
Many people have successfully scored their own press. Sign up for things like HARO and you're off to a good start. However many entrepreneurs do hire PR firms because they simply don't have the time or know-how to get the job done well. You are usually busy running your own business and that is your area expertise so it's nice to have a PR professional work on helping market your business.
How to bring traffic to your website in a world so saturated with content is a rabbit hole of conversation that I enjoy going down with business owners. There are so many moving parts to it and it's not simply a matter of getting yourself in Forbes, or NY Times (though that certainly helps!)
What I've mentioned is only the tip of the iceberg.
Hope some of this helps and I'm happy to talk about it further should you want to chat. Every project has it's own unique needs and story to tell so thats where you need to start. What makes you/your business so special? Answer that honestly and you'll have the start of a strategy.