The Digital Marketing Order of Operations

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I had a consulting call this morning with a woman named Kim.

Kim does bookkeeping for small businesses to help them stay on top things when tax season comes around. She also teaches students and older folks how to keep their finances straight. 

Kim doesn’t have a website, she doesn’t have a professional email, and she doesn’t run any ads.

But her business is doing fine. 

I asked her how she gets clients, and what the acquisition process looks like for her. She says its mostly word of mouth, and that a lot of her clients come as a result of the education she does for young and old people. Even though she doesn’t have what most would say are essential digital assets, she still gets clients. Why? Because people trust her. 

I see people spend a lot of money on packaging their work before they build trust with their clients. They spend time and money building a website and running ads, and then wonder why no one emails them. Meanwhile, Kim has been crushing it without a website. 

Education creates trust and trust creates clients. 

I was excited I didn’t have to convince Kim that education content was important. She already knew it! We got to brainstorm some cost effective ways that she could turn more heads toward the trust she was already fostering. Next, she’ll probably create a few more helpful resources for her bookkeeping clients, and then build a simple website. 

This got me thinking about the digital marketing order of operations for service-based businesses. Check out my take below:

  1. Create a helpful resource (here’s an example of one I created for a CPA).

  2. Send it to everyone you know.

  3. Post about it on social media and connect with people (repeat steps 1-3 until you get hired a few times).

  4. Build a simple website to host your resources and offer your services

  5. Run ads to drive traffic to your website (only if its working). 

I’m definitely guilty of focusing on packaging instead of building trust. When I first started freelancing, I burned through three websites and three logos in six months. It didn’t make a difference. Since then I’ve been able to step back and learn that even amazing packaging doesn’t go very far without trust. 

Educate your audience and build trust. The rest will fall in line. 

I hope this was helpful for you, please share it with a friend who you think will find it valuable. 

Joshua Reese