Whether you own your own business or are a salesperson responsible for generating your own sales, marketing is a major part of your business life. In a world flooded with marketing messages where each marketer is trying to scream louder than the next, finding effective ways to get the word out to your target market is becoming increasingly difficult.
Author Patrick Schwerdtfeger offers some sound advice and gives some solid help to those in need of finding strategies to compete in a highly competitive marketing world in Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed: Leverage Resources, Establish Online Credibility, and Crush Your Competition (Wiley & Sons: 2011).
As the title indicates, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed focuses on utilizing online resources and social media to find and reach quality prospects. Schwerdtfeger contends that by learning to effectively use online marketing you can successfully compete with your competition-even the largest competitors-on a shoestring.
The book is a quick, easy read as it is broken into 79 chapters, each just two or three pages long.
Naturally, such short chapters means that there is far more breadth than depth to the book. That, however, doesn't mean the book has little value as a serious resource for those seeking to learn how to increase their marketing effectiveness. And although perfect as a beginner's guide to internet marketing, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed is likely to have some very useful tips for even highly experienced social media marketers.
Schwerdtfeger's book is laid out in logical order-starting with a section to help you define your business model. Chapters cover the basics such as developing your value proposition and elevator pitch to creating an e-mail list and writing your business plan.
All of these basics are in preparation for getting into the real marketing meat of the book. Within 30 pages Schwerdtfeger has you researching keywords and writing positioning statements, understanding the strategy and content development of a website, including how to create content to build trust, increase your mailing list, and even drive revenue.
From there the book goes into developing a blog, optimizing your blog and website to drive traffic, understanding analytic data, and using shopping carts.
Schwerdtfeger than covers a large number of web resources that will help get your word out and bring in traffic such as blog directories, blog carnivals, and interacting with other bloggers.
Using email and articles, as well as forums and groups to market are covered in a number of chapters leading up to a discussion of four of the most critical social media platforms for the online marketer such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. Schwerdtfeger dedicates multiple chapters to each of these four platforms, giving even the novice a good foundation for making them work effectively in their marketing plan.
For the serious seller or business owner who wants to maximize the potential of the web, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed will not be the only resource they'll need. But it is an extremely helpful place to start, as it covers a great amount of territory in only slightly more than 200 pages-and it concentrates on providing actionable guidance, not just introducing concepts.