To earn your first million in sales, says Patel, work backwards and put a number on what it takes in monthly revenue to get to a million your first year — meaning how many units, subscriptions or services must be sold. Create benchmarks to reach. Even if you don’t reach them, you have a blueprint.
One way to reach your goal is to figure out which marketing avenues to leverage. Given the wealth of social-media possibilities, start with one or two social-media outlets where you know your audience is. In general, for new products the best channels are Facebook and Pinterest, says Widmer. For expertise and services, try LinkedIn.
Also, two effective and free marketing strategies are blogging on your own site and guest blogging on complementary sites. This strategy helps build content and a digital footprint for your brand, says Widmer. For guidance on what hot topics to blog about, Buzzsumo, a free web service, allows you to input any domain or topic and get a list of the 10 most popular related posts at the moment. It can also inform you of what popular sites to hit up for guest blogging.
Should you guest blog, use the opportunity to lead users back to your site and capture emails, says Widmer. One way to do so is to use a “call to action” — where you offer the reader something of value, such as a free how-to eBook or a must-have checklist — that the user can get or download by going back to your website and providing an email address.
Some other marketing tools? The free KingSumo app allows you to capture email subscribers through giveaways; Facebook Ads start at $1; and the e-newsletter tool MailChimp has a free option and is drag-and-drop easy.