Outdated Attitudes About Digital Marketing
Update: It seems like more small, creative business owners are aware of the importance of having an “online presence.”
There are also some deeply-rooted mindsets that can keep many healers, coaches, and small business owners feeling stuck and maybe a little left behind, and probably more than a little overwhelmed.
Here’s 5 common misconceptions about online/digital marketing that it’s time to toss:
1. It’s a weird, tech-y thing that only young people can truly understand, with their constant instagramming.. (as weird as this sounds in writing or voicing out loud, I think this attitude still exists. Try getting a job in this industry as a 53-year old woman and see what I mean!)
The truth is..
Unless you are running a historically successful bar in a remote or rural area with a solid customer base of seniors and “regulars” who either have no computers or dial-up modems at best, (and that’s not a BAD thing at all!) this mindset isn’t going to be good for your business.
Here’s why I’m calling BS on this persistent myth:
First of all, many of us “middle aged” or “older” folks were the first to use the internet. Many of us also started playing with building websites.. because it was a new and novel thing. We witnessed the evolution of the internet. That’s over 20 years of experience for some of us. So the first obstacle is the idea that anyone over 35 is going to suck at anything having to do with using technology.
Secondly, “younger” people aren’t always always just “goofing off” when they are on their gadgets. They are making connections and reservations and taking pictures and writing and reading and sharing and getting things done, as well. Of course, we all get distracted and need to be mindful of that. I think we can learn a lot from them, just as us older generations can teach them.
I know that many are starting to understand on an intellectual level, how work is done in this “new era,” but there are still some lingering subconscious beliefs that simply being online = wasted time.
Thirdly, there is nothing inherently mystical or weird about being online. Indeed, there has been a bit of an “anti-technology” backlash in the past few years. I get that many prefer face-to-face contact with other humans, but:
Consider that many of the wonderful human encounters across the country or even the world may have been made possible via technology. And that goes for building your business as well.
And lastly.. but not “leastly”.. in today’s business climate, the borders between friends, acquaintances, contacts, business associates, and clients or customers are more fluid than they used to be. This is a new concept for those used to the “old school” ways of marketing and doing business. However, it’s still important to honor boundaries between work and private life, of course.
2. “It’s irrelevant to my business. I’ve been going to networking meetings, listing in local tourism directories, and relying on my patients for word-of-mouth referrals for years and I don’t need to go online.”
Reality check: It’s almost 2020, and this mindset needs to be shelved permanently. It’s amazing that I still run into this mindset, but I do.
Sure, if you are lucky enough to have a healing practice that you started 20 years ago in an area that isn’t saturated with more and more new acupuncturists or chiropractors.. and you are ready to retire, this makes sense. But nowadays, in order to stand out from the crowd, you need to have MUCH more than a generic practice that serves “everyone.”
Relying solely on referrals is going to be a long, difficult road. To be perfectly honest, relying even on online reviews such as Yelp, like many small service-based businesses did even 5 to 10 years ago, isn’t going to cut it. I cringed when I heard established practitioners back in acupuncture school advise new graduates that any kind of online marketing is unnecessary.
Likewise, if you are in the tourism industry, it’s also a not a great idea to put ALL your eggs in the “b”.com or “TA“basket.” You want to have some control over your own property that you poured your heart and soul into, especially if you don’t want to rely on the “high season revolving door” which can get exhausting and lead to major burnout.
If you have an online business, obviously you need to be noticed online!
3. It’s the 4 s’s: Slimy, Shady, and Sketchy and Spammy. This is one mindset that seems damn persistent.
Despite how times have changed, to some, it still sounds like a shady scheme about “working from home” or some kind of MLM pyramid thing that people get “duped into.”
At best, it’s about “shameless self-promotion” or wasting hours on social media.
Let me repeat: Online marketing is nothing more and nothing less than making yourself known online.
HOW you do that us up to you.. you can make it super valuable or as shady and spammy as you want. If you are creating high-quality, useful, and relevant content that actually makes people’s lives better, you are engaging in the classic form of digital/content marketing. Which is about as UN-slimy as you can get.
You can also engage online in such a way that it doesn’t take over your life.
4. It’s really hard. Like rocket-science hard. To be fair, it CAN get complex, and yes, it Does take some work. There IS a learning curve, but it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
You could blame all the confusion on some of the marketing gurus and web developers who tend to make things MUCH harder than they need to be either by giving you TOO much information or.. holding BACK information. Rather than worry about them or why they do what they do, I have found that it’s better to learn some basics, get the ball rolling, and get out there and learn as you go.
Seriously. It’s like learning a language. You want to have some good resources to rely on, but in the end, it’s a thing you gotta DO and PRACTICE.. and be willing to adapt, change, evolve, and even screw up.
5. It’s overwhelming. There’s just too much to do. So why even start? There is some truth to this. Digital marketing can be overwhelming, but it’s also necessary, whether you do it yourself or hire someone or plan in “stages” or “modules” like you would undertake any large project, like building a house.
When you first start out, it doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. In fact, it may be better to keep things simple at first. Learn something new every day, but make sure that you don’t get distracted with too much “noise.” I have a lot more to say on this topic, but I’ll save it for later!
Want to start learning the “Lingo?” Check out the Glossary Page for general terms.. and some that may be specific to your industry!
Want to demystify digital marketing and finally get your website done? I’m also offering 1:1 and group coaching plans, which are actually quite affordable and in may cases can be the next logical step. Having someone to show you the ropes rather than struggle, procrastinate, or waste hours with less-than-satisfactory results can really deflate even the best mindsets, not to mention end up costing more in the long run.
I also firmly believe in making the process fun, even for the most right-brained creative entrepreneur.
For a free 30 min consultation, click the burgundy (Merlot, if you prefer) button below!