The beauty of this medium for small business marketing is that it allows our potential customers to search for, and find our products and services in their own time, day or night.
Our challenge is to get our online messages in front of them in response to their search – whenever and however they choose to search. However not all the searching is done online.
Customers could be searching through a search engine, checking their emails, opening an envelope, social networking (online or offline), reading a bumper sticker or consulting their favourite fridge-magnets on the freezer door.
Although people like to search online, they also like to know that we the business owners actually exist in the physical world, and that we are honest, decent people.
So there are endless ways to circulate your online presence (URL). Invariably that journey takes us offline back into the brick and mortar world, where many of us started. Believe me the good old business card is not likely to be superseded any time soon.
Back online though, there are some incredible tools used in the online marketing process. But if I look past the bells and whistles, the essence of internet marketing comes down to a few home truths:
- A marketable site
- Good content
- Appropriate keywords
- Traffic building
- Sales conversion
- Quality products and services
I have found that the best marketing tool that I have ever had is me. I have tried to make my site look professional but at the same time reflect the ‘down-to-earth-but-know-my-stuff’ image I want to project.
More people respond to my videos than to anything I write. That’s because I am putting myself out there. People are getting to know this ‘old dog’ business coach with an unusual mix of business and aikido, who just wants to put the decency back in business.
My small business marketing philosophy is this – to build a fan base of people who relate to my messages. The money will just look after itself. It doesn’t matter what service you provide or what product you sell, people always want to buy from someone they know and trust.
Because my business is all about communication, inspiration and education, I chose a blog as my internet platform. It doesn’t just hang there in cyberspace doing nothing like static web sites do. I use it to broadcast words, pictures and videos. I use it to promote myself. Everything else that needs to happen just flows from there!
If there is one internet marketing lesson that I have learned, it is this – anonymity and invisibility will get you nowhere. People are interested in products but ultimately they buy from real people.
Until next time!