In this episode, I share 3 rookie mistakes I made in online marketing, and why I’m getting back to basics with social media.  And I share with you one of my most exciting projects yet, creating my own online course.  And I need your help!  What are your most burning questions in social media?  Post your question at

065 Lessons Learned in Online Marketing and Why I'm Getting Back to Online Marketing

In this episode, I share 3 rookie mistakes I made in online marketing, and why I’m getting back to basics with social media.

Rookie Mistake #1 Know Your List

Know Your e-mail list - Online Marketing-Vickie-Siculiano

Don’t just take it for granted that just because you have somebody’s email that everybody that gets your email is going to be able to consume that content in the same way.

When I first started my online marketing it was in the early 90s when e-mail marketing was really the new way to communicate with your customers.  It was a time when people were wondering if direay

ct mail was just the be all end all and if it was just the way that it needed to be.  It was fading and there was a real way to get into people’s inboxes. I’m bit with that.  Don’t spam, especially me.

The truth is you never know.  You never really know if someone’s going to open up your email.  You never even know if someone’s going to get that e-mail delivered to them in their inbox, whether their inbox is full or their host is blocking your provider’s ISP.  Especially Constant Contact.  That happened with them a lot.  And it happens with a lot of email providers.  Email might not necessarily go through.

Email marketing doesn’t mean that just because you have somebody’s email, they’re going to be getting all of your communication.  Now I learned that also it’s very very important to segment your list.  This is a rookie mistake that I learned early on.  When I was actually still a vocalist.  I was actually a jazz vocalist for about 7 years.  I’ll tell you more about that little story.  I really loved connecting with audiences – live audiences.  Filling the seats and really getting in there.

I wanted to put out a survey.  I had taken some new headshots for my website.  Some new photos that I wanted to use and I posted them up on this page.  I had this landing page on my website, and it was just specifically for that.  I had 6 headshots across the page and I wanted people to vote on which was their favorite one so I could get a better idea of which one to use.  I sent out this email to my entire list.  I believe it was about 200 people on that list, of emails I had collected over time at shows, people that I had come to know.

These were all people that I had known of course who gave me permission to communicate with them via email.  I emailed everybody, right?  And I got this email back from this man who was blind.  He was on my list, and of course he could certainly hear me and become a fan that way, but he did not have the use of his eyesight.  So when I sent that email out I got a response back very quickly from him that said that he appreciated my email to him but he didn’t think that I would appreciate the vote from a blind man.  I got his point.  It wasn’t a nasty email to me in any way.  Don’t think that I had made this mistake that he was catching me and he really wanted me to feel bad.  It wasn’t his intention in any way.

But it was really a lesson to me to know your list.  It might be kind of hard to siphon through your list, to kind of look for people who are handicapped or disabled in anyway ay but it’s very important to know your list before you’re sending it out.  If you want somebody to listen to somebody make sure that there’s no one in there that’s hearing impaired.  Or if you’ve taken steps to make sure that that content is handicapped accessible for the hearing impaired.  I do that for my YouTube videos, I always include closed captioning for all my videos so that people who don’t have the use of their ears and they can enjoy the content that I create.

So that was my rookie mistake number 1, always make sure you know who is on your list in online marketing.  Don’t just take it for granted that just because you have somebody’s email that everybody that gets your email is going to be able to consume that content in the same way.  Or even that they’re going to get your email.

Rookie Mistake #2 Find Your Posting Sweet Spot


Too much of a good thing is not good in social media. Find the sweet spot.

Here is my rookie mistake #2 that I made.  It was a mistake that I made early on and I was very fortunate that the person that taught me this lesson was one person in social media on a fan page that I was managing for that online single serve coffee retailer.  It was a very competitive space.  The only thing that you can compete on is really price because it’s retail.  It’s not your own product.  There’s no added benefit to buying from you as opposed to somebody else so it was this social media that really connected people with the company and got them to want to make a purchase from them as opposed to another vendor online.

There were a couple of competitors in that space.  When I first started out there I was addicted to the feedback from that social media platform, which was Facebook.  And I used to take a lot of photos behind the scenes showing what was going on in the warehouse, when a big shipment would come in and the people, some parties that we had.  Showing the different single serve coffee machines that we had, and there are quite a few different single serve coffee machines, and I’m addicted.

I was crazy in love with posting these photos that I took and some images that I found.  And I found that the audience for coffee, coffee fans, are really addicted to coffee and they just love to connect with other people who are, as well.  I was really addicted to posting on that page.  It wasn’t work for me.  It was so much fun getting that feedback.

I had this 9-5 job.  It wasn’t far away in another town over.  Until one day I got a post on the wall that this person appreciated the content that I was sharing, but I was jamming up their feed.  They loved it, but it was just too much.  If I continued to post that much content, I would say maybe once an hour, they gave me a recommendation for how many times I should post, maybe two or three times a day.  Now everybody’s business page has to post that much for it to be successful.  It really depends on your business, what other businesses in your industry are doing.  What other people in your space are doing.  It’s really individual.

This one particular person recommended 2-3 times a day.  So I started to look at the fan pages of some other single serve coffee retailer and they didn’t even post 2-3x a day.  So I said even if I post once a day, or twice a day I’m ok.  It was one of the best pieces I had gotten from a fan.  Because they loved the type of content that I was creating, it wasn’t that people were complaining about the type of content I was posting.  They didn’t like my posts, or my photos weren’t interesting.  I was posting status updates that engaged them in interesting and relevant conversation, it was just that it was too much.  Too much of a good thing is not good in social media.

This was my rookie mistake #2, posting too much.  Always make your social media posts count.

Rookie Mistake #3 Repurpose


But it’s very important for you to repurpose your content so you don’t burn out.

Then this last rookie mistake that I’m going to share with you is one that took me a little bit of time and learn how to create a system for it.  When I started to post on these multiple platforms, I started to create a ton more content.  It wasn’t like I had this huge marketing department behind me, creating that social media fodder.

That content of branded content I had, from a marketing department, I would get some photos of product that was branded that I needed to post.  But the actual content itself, a lot of these smaller companies.  If I wasn’t an industry expert, particularly in this last venture that I had at a tradeshow exhibit company.

I really didn’t know much about the trade show exhibit space.  But I learned as I went on how much people loved in the trade show industry.  If they were involved and networking and going out and meeting people.  It was a big big industry and it wasn’t something that I was involved in, or even all that interested in, so it was something that I had to learn about to be able to create this content.

One thing that I learned was that I was always trying to create new stuff.  Particularly if you’re sharing stuff about an industry that you’re not particularly knowledgeable about, you’re going to end up spinning your wheels trying to create new stuff all the time.  I would burn out fast, I would just put it off and do the stuff, the fun stuff that I loved.

Then I started to realize that I could repurpose my own content.  I was talking about if you’re creating content for an industry that you’re not particularly familiar with.

Maybe you’re a consultant for another company and you don’t know anything about their product or their service.  But if you’re sharing your own content about a particular passion that you’re familiar with and passionate about, like social media like me.  It’s easy for me to sit down in front of the microphone, my Blue Yeti, put my pop filter up, and just start recording and talking to you like you’re in the room with me.  This is easy easy breezy for me, talking about my past mistakes and stuff.

But it’s very important for you to repurpose your content so you don’t burn out.  Now it could become a photo that you create that becomes a blogpost, a video, a pdf download, a graphic.  You name it, whatever it is.  You find content, or you create it, repurpose it, and if you’re finding it from somebody else.  You give the credit where credit’s due.  Always repurpose your content.  I didn’t and that was my rookie mistake number three.


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