by Connie Ragen Green
The calendar may say 2017, but are you doing business as if it were still 1999? What I mean by this is that it may be time to add an online component to what you are doing in your brick and mortar business. Allow me to explain further what I mean and bring you fully into the new millennium.
Marketing for small businesses is something I’ve done since the summer of 2007. I was new to online marketing at the time and offered to help a family member with his handyman business. He was still paying for a small print advertisement in the local newspaper, as well as for ads in a couple of local magazines. This was a costly proposition and he was just starting out. He confided in me that it sometimes took two full weeks before he was in profit each month. We agreed that I would help him out for the first month at no charge to see what would happen.
First, I set up a simple site for him using the WordPress platform. The domain I used was the name of his business so that prospective clients could find him more easily. This worked extremely well. I also wrote short articles on this new site about his business, using the words anyone might type into Google if they were looking for a handyman in Santa Clarita to do specific tasks for them. Within two months he pulled his ads and began getting as many assignments as he needed from what I had set up for him.
Now, I do not mean to say that print advertising is not valuable and worthwhile. If anything, it is quite the opposite. Your ads let people know you are legitimately in business and reach those for whom the internet is not a medium they trust to inform them and to find reliable and trustworthy services. Choose the publications you know and trust, and continue to advertise there. But adding the online component is crucial for long-term success in any business.
The second part of this marketing strategy is to begin building a database of customers, clients, and prospects. This will become a valuable asset to your business over time. The idea here is to stay in touch with the people you serve so that you can open up the lines of communication more easily. Email them regularly and let them know what is happening in your industry. And use this as an opportunity to offer a discount coupon or other seasonal special.
The third and final component to small business marketing online is to offer something related to your business that can be delivered digitally. This can be a monthly audio recording that is available as a podcast on iTunes, a short book where you explain in great detail what you offer in your business, or even a physical product that could be available on Amazon and delivered by them. These components will serve to connect you with more prospects and to set you apart as someone who is at the top of their field or industry.
Setting up and maintaining a WordPress website costs about $100 each year. Setting up and maintaining a digital database is about $200 a year. Having these as a part of your business is priceless. Contact me personally using the information below if you’d like to discuss this further for your business so that you can leverage the power of the internet to come into the new millennium.
Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. “Doing What It Takes: The Online Entrepreneur’s Playbook” is her fourteenth book and has just been released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.
Questions? Email Connie at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to put “Home Business Question” in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.