Dear Diary, what’s up with this whole marketing?

Mentee to Mentor’ is a series of articles featuring budding digital marketers who’ve learnt the practical aspects of online marketing under my mentorship. As part of their internship experience, they came across exciting challenges that they had to solve. And they learnt some valuable lessons that they’re sharing with you here.

Seventh up in the series is Iza Drogoś who joined first ProLingua Global as a digital marketing intern and learnt about practical side of how to market a niche language training business. Then, she also decided to join the organising and marketing team of Language Professionals’ Networking Event to learn more about event planning and event marketing.

I asked Iza to reflect on what she’s learnt as part of the internship and share some of her insights with us here, as I felt she developed a very fresh perspective on marketing that many of us can benefit from reading.

Over to Iza now:

If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, there is no point in marketing it.

Marketing can be a piece of art. It comes in different shapes, forms and colours. It can have various faces and go through unexpected channels. The final effect aims to be surprising and compelling for a client, but believe me, what comes out is very often surprising for the creator too. Where creativity takes you, can’t be controlled.

I’ve had the pleasure to work as a digital marketing intern under the wings of Gabriella Ferenczi for the last 5 months. I’ve had an opportunity to discover the nitty-gritty of modern online marketing while being a part of ProLingua Global’s and Language Professionals’ Networking Event’s team. 

During my internship, I was able to discover various ways in which marketing can appear.

Before I put on a hat of a digital marketer, the first thing that occurred in my mind when I heard the word “marketing” was ugh. Pushy. Whenever the subject of marketing was brought up in a conversation, I immediately used to have the vision of all the ads of the things I’ll never buy popping up on my screen. Nightmare.

What Gabriella taught me, is that actually, you don’t have to be aggressive to successfully mark your online presence and attract clients. The secret is finding not only what works best for you and your business, but also what feels right. It’s about being ethical.

There are plenty of online marketing strategies to choose from. It’s easy to start losing your breath while swimming in the sea of advice from online experts on which one to go for. Now, I want to present some that we, at ProLingua Global and LPNE have used and which have worked for us. Grab a cocktail with a small paper palm, lay comfortably on your floating unicorn, and dive in to get inspired (I really like this sea metaphor). 😊

Content marketing

Building long-term relationships. Without an unnecessary introduction, that’s what content marketing is all about. Once you’ve established what your long-term and short-term goals are, who your customers are, and why they would want to buy your product/service, you should focus on demonstrating to them your offer. Take a moment to ponder: how can I convince them to trust me enough to make the purchase? 

They most certainly don’t want to be bombarded with adverts screaming “BUY this, BUY that, BUY from me”, at least not all the time. You have to show them that you really care about your relationship and then make the effort to nourish it. 

This part can be done by offering your prospects something valuable not in exchange for money. Write an article, prepare an infographic, share a short video, ask in a poll about a matter that you know is close to their hearts. 

It costs you time and creativity, of course. But, believe me, your clients like the feeling of being taken care of. Once you show them: “Hey, look, that’s something coming from me I think you’d like, enjoy!”, they’ll see you not only as a seller but as a real person behind the business. Preparing your own content marketing strategy is the very first step to building a loyal group of customers.

Social Media marketing

Uf, here’s a tricky one. The thing with social media is that yes, plenty of your potential clients hang out there but no, you can’t control that they would notice what you want them to notice.

Let me explain. 

Your website is your place in the online universe. You can pick what people will see there, point them in what you want them to do, basically you can adjust this tiny piece of the Internet to work exactly as you want it to. 

That’s not the case with social media. Without investing in social media adverts, there’s really little you can do to organically reach great audiences.

So, is it even worth a bother?

It sure is! 

Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter make it soooo easy to interact with your clients and prospects. The contact is immediate and unbothered. There, you can share your original content, get into conversations and raise awareness of your business.

Being on social media also adds credibility to your business. One of the first moves a client does before deciding on a purchase is typing a name of a company into Google’s and Facebook’s search engines. 

The wider the online presence of your business, the better its image. Keeping this in mind, the way I see it, social media are worth giving them a try 😉

Email marketing

If I’m being honest, at first I didn’t believe in the idea of email marketing. If you are on social media and you have your own website, do you need to be present in people’s inboxes too? And who’s checking their emails these days anyways?

Boy, was I wrong. The thing is, everyone is checking their inboxes. Some even several times a day. The reason I didn’t realise it earlier, is because I was ignorant enough to believe that people give e v e r y o n e the honor to appear in their private internet space. 

So how to convince your prospects that you deserve being invited there?

The easiest option is to prepare something in exchange for their email address. It can be an infographic, video series, whatever that will be exclusively provided to your subscribers and only to them.

If you still have some doubts about email marketing, as I did, the important thing to remember is that even if people don’t announce everywhere that they’ve just subscribed to someone’s newsletter, it doesn’t mean that they don’t do it. Just because email marketing isn’t visible at the first glimpse of an eye, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. 

Giving a marketer an email address is closely associated with trust. From the day of the subscription up until some undefined point in the future, the customer grants you the privilege to seize a piece of their email space. 

A smart move would be to take advantage of this opportunity without abusing the hospitality of the host. 

Push vs Pull marketing

To wrap up, a quick comparison. 

Apart from choosing which channels you’d like to use to mark the presence of your business, you have to decide on the manner of marketing. 

Push marketing is about bringing your product/service to your audience. In other words, the clients are not looking for you, you are looking for them. It’s a short-term strategy that is usually associated with spending some money on advertisement first. If you’re looking to make sales quickly, you’re most likely to achieve this goal by choosing push marketing.

Pull marketing on the other hand involves optimising your content in a way that will support the organically driven traffic. That is to say, it means letting your clients come to you. The target here is people actively searching for the product/service you offer. Your job is to make sure that they are able to find you. Pull marketing consists of, among others, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and being present on social media. It’s a strategy definitely worth spending time and effort on, as it brings long-term results. 

Of course, two of the abovementioned methods can be combined.

Apart from knowledge, it takes passion to be a marketer. Not all your campaigns will be successful. Not always will you want to work with the clients who come to you. Not always will your head be full of ideas. And that’s totally fine! You don’t have to be a superhero to achieve your goals. 

I would say, the must-have of marketing is consistency, patience and determination. Connecting them with passion, you’ll defeat every marketing crisis. Ripping or, actually, in this case, seeing the fruits of your work making an impact is one of the most rewarding experiences. 

My advice? Nothing groundbreaking: learn from your mistakes and those of others, be open to criticism and don’t ever stop expanding your knowledge. Take your time to experiment and go with what works best. In no time, you’ll see your business thriving. ❤

About the Author:

Iza Drogoś is a Business and Administration and Spanish Philology student at University of Wrocław. She was a part of ProLingua Global’s and Language Professionals’ Networking Event’s teams where she learnt the nitty-gritty of modern online marketing and event planning.

Iza’s passionate about languages, travelling and writing and strongly believes that the combination of these three will form her future career. She has an impressive collection of postcards, photos and bingewatched TV series.

Reach out to her via LinkedIn.

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