September 27, 2010
I want to preface this list by saying that I am in no way bashing on ad companies, web-designers, and especially “the small business owners!”
I made this list because I was a self inflicted victim the below marketing “mishaps” and it almost cost me everything. I simply created this list so you don’t have to learn the hard way!
So let’s get started!
1. Not Being Involved With Your Marketing Efforts.
As a small business owner you should not completely outsource you marketing. You should learn immediately effective marketing strategies for your business. Do not think that an ad, graphic design, or web-design company has the answers. They can and will create beautiful ads and sites for you, often based on your vision, but you probably don’t have the budget for branding, and that sadly is what you just paid for.
2. Creating Print Ads Without Any Marketing Power.
Do not create postcards, flyers, or brochures without a strong offer and a call to action. You must give the “reader” some reason to take action, immediately. Add a deadline, add a free gift, give them a powerful reason for them to pick up the phone, stop by your storefront, or visit your site.
3. Not Keeping Stats On Mailings or Other Marketing Campaigns.
One of the most important lessons in marketing is knowing your numbers. You must have in place some sort of tracking device set up to know how many “mailers” sent to what list produced how many conversions. Whether you set up an independent phone number, lead page, or tracking “word” printed on the postcard, you can never build a great campaign, if you don’t know your numbers.
4. Not Having A Follow Up Campaign in Place.
Before you send out anything, make sure you have some sort of follow up campaign in place. Think about it this way. You have a small captivated audience, wanting to learn more about you and your business, and there is nothing but the chirping of crickets.
5. Sending Your Message Out ONLY Once To The Same List.
Never think that you can “touch” a list just once with your offer and expect great results. Oftentimes. you will be more successful sending the SAME “offer” out to the SAME list MULTIPLE times vs sending ONE offer just ONCE to multiple people or businesses.
6. Not Actively Capturing or Following Up With Leads
You must in everything that you do, always try to CAPTURE and FOLLOW UP with leads. Do this every morning before anything else. Say to yourself, “Who has my money in their pocket?” Pick up the phone, make a few calls, get something started. Believe me, I know that for many small business owners running the whole show can get hectic, but don’t be confused, everything else can wait. Today, and everyday you must do everything you can to actively make sales.
7. Not Keeping Up With Current Clients.
This is the bad one! If your business does not have a plan to keep up with your clients, then drop everything now and get it started! There are a couple of sayings about this but my personal favorite is, “It takes years to win a customer and only seconds to lose one.” and I’ll just throw this one in too, “It is 10 times easier to sell to a current client then to find a new one.” and oh yeah, how could I forget the “Golden Grail” of marketing? The most important asset in YOUR business is YOUR list.
8. Putting All Your Eggs Into One Basket
Never stop trying to learn new ways to market your business. Become familiar with the marketing triangle: the right message to the right market in the right media. If you want to learn more about this, then I recommend reading all of Dan Kennedy’s Books.
9. Time Management Must Involve Marketing and Most Importantly Implementation
You must set aside time EVERY day to educate yourself, create, and implement. I used to say that your business is nothing without marketing, but since then I have added that it is nothing without implementation.
10. Failure to Realize the Significance of Social Media Marketing Strategies.
I used to spend a lot of time explaining why Video, Facebook, YouTube, and the other social media platforms are important. I really don’t do that anymore, though. Trying to optimize my time management, and really, there’s enough information out there already.
I started with this list of ten, and wow, as much as I hate to admit it, I could probably write a book. HMMMMmmmmm
Anyway, I encourage you to take just one part of this list run with it. Don’t try to cover all bases immediately. I have yet to meet the person or business, including myself, that follows to a tee all the above. It is a good list to get you going in the right direction, and once you hit 10 just give me a call.
September 17, 2010
I wanted to share some information that I think is very valuable, because after five successful consultations regarding search engine optimization and website design, I realized that many business owners may not know the right questions to ask before they create or revise their business web-site.
First off, I know that most web-design companies do an amazing job at creating beautiful sites. They may also add in functionality regarding search engine optimization strategies. So, what I am really trying to say is that this article is not in any attempt to bash these web-desgin companies because they do in fact create your site based on your vision.
When web-design first became a reality, some of the most effective sites were those that were visually perfect. The web image was the sales pitch, added with some pretty words and walaa!
The problem with this formula today though is that with all the other pretty web sites out there, how can your business compete?
The answer is so simple, you may get mad at yourself, but I promise you that I learned this lesson the hard and expensive way.
The answer is marketing. Yes that’s it, marketing, internet style, but using the same old tried and true ways of capturing leads and getting customers to your door to buy your stuff.
Think about it this way. If you send out mailers or postcards they should contain a a great offer, possibly a free something, a call to action, and a deadline. All these components drive the prospect into buying mode. If you mail your postcards to your list once, don’t get discouraged with a small reply. With direct mail, it has been proven that you must touch this list at least a few times. Someone once told me that seven touches was the magic number, but the point it, your mailing campaign is rarely successful if it is sent only once.
So you may be asking, how does this apply to web-design and how can a small businesses compete with the corporate giants with massive marketing and advertising budgets.
Your site should emulate your most successful marketing campaign. You should have a great offer, and give away free stuff, not junk, great free information, you should have some sort of call to action, and create deadlines on your offers. Above all, you must have an opt in box where your web-visitor can enter their information. Then on the tail end, an internet style marketing campaign, to retouch this visitor with future information and offers. This is how you build a great list to add to your current client list, and in any business the most valuable asset is your list.
There are many ways today to affordably and effectively add all of these components to your site. If you are building a new site, I would recommend using the word-press platform as Google likes it and it had the built in blogs. Google and other search engines look for new content so thats where blogs help. I would also recommend you use social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube and perhaps most importantly Video.