If you are building an online product or service, there are countless tools to improve you metrics. Whether it’s increasing landing page conversion rates, or tweaking metrics further down the funnel, there is a tool for everything. After spending the past week listening to countless podcast offering marketing advice, I began to feel overwhelmed.

Imagine you are a small business beginning your digital marketing efforts. Where would you start? Here are some areas where tools are offered:

  • Google advertising
  • Facebook ads
  • Twitter ads
  • Blogging
  • Newsletters
  • Website design and inbound optimization
  • Outbound sales
  • Customer retention
  • The list goes on… Within each of these verticals there are countless vendors offering tools to help you with your sales an marketing process. Each one claims to have tools that will give you a competitive advantage, some most definitely can. However you can wind up spending all day, every day, optimizing your marketing efforts.

As I’ve listened to many of the podcasters over the past week, I’ve noticed a pattern: some of the best marketing optimization experts end actually do spend all day focusing on marketing. In other words, they become massive marketing machines without having a major back-end to their business. This is like only doing upper-body workout every day for a year. At the end of the year you have a strong upper body but have chicken legs! For the businesses, they end up with a small customer base but a ton of awareness.

I’ve been there (yes, both with the chicken legs and the marketing machine). Building a business is the equivalent of a high-wire balancing act. You need to build a product or service and then spread the word. Where do you start? From my own experience, the best thing to do is to pick one and just start. There’s no way you can blog, write a newsletter, make outbound sales calls, monitor your existing customers, tweet, Facebook, and optimize your website design at the same time. It’s impossible.

Even the largest corporations have challenges accomplishing this, so how should smaller businesses be expected to do it? You can’t, but you can start trying and that’s all that matters. Personally, I’m continuing my own journey of exploring the world of digital marketing. In fact, I’ll be announcing an event next week on this exact subject. If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for the list to get the details.

How do you manage the overwhelming quantity of marketing tools and advice out there?