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Small scale businesses are easier to set up compared to the middle or large scale businesses that require more time, feasibility reports, ad...
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Luckily, their intention isn't always backed up by their actions and therein resides an opportunity for you, in both good times and bad.
Put simply, you want a bigger slice of the market pie and that extra slice can only come from your competitors. But it won't come without deliberate action on your part.
That said, it's often the little things in business (and life) that make the difference... and here is a very well known example with which you'd be familiar.
So you come up against a prospective customer who is very quick to use the "no thanks we are happy with our present supplier" routine?
With this, most dispirited, disinterested, disorganized salespeople trudge on to their next prospect - having left a sales opportunity behind.
Don't do this. Here are three simple questions to get that prospect thinking:
(1) "When was the last time you did a thorough market comparison of the things you buy?"
Of course, it will be ages ago and this gives you the opportunity to then say "May I be your preferred second supplier? I will submit quotes & information just like your main supplier. At the very least, we will keep them honest and sharp. What have you got to lose?"
Please, don't ever undervalue the significance of them officially appointing you as their preferred second supplier - for at some time in the future, their main supplier will stuff up and you want to be there ready to step in.
Note: that phrase "what have you got to lose?" is pure magic! Use it because it works! You want them to be thinking "yeah, this doesn't cost me anything at all."
(2) "Have you ever given anyone else a chance to prove themselves during all those years of dealing with your current supplier?" Again, you then move towards getting yourself appointed as the preferred second supplier just waiting to swoop when the main supplier stuffs up. After all, what have they got to lose by appointing you as the preferred second supplier?
And finally, here's a great question to discover the hot points.
(3) "What would cause you to choose a new supplier?"
Hey, why not ask your present sales people how they handle the "no thanks we are happy with our present supplier" objection? I'm betting you will be underwhelmed by their answer/s.
Can you use these three questions in your business and do you have others that work for you? Let me know.
In a lengthy career, business author, educator & Speaker Damien Parker, wrote/sold in excess of 30 business programs/manuals which grossed over $50 million as well as writing & publishing Positive Business, Australia's largest & longest running paid subscription newsletter for small/medium business people (280+ monthly issues). Give or take, he also addressed approximately 130,000 business people, so he knows their issues intimately. As a coach, consultant & mentor to this sector, he focuses on providing practical solutions as well as systems, checklists, templates & work guides to ensure the all important implementation phase is successfully undertaken.
Social media marketing
These days, one of the most effective tools to reach out to as many niche markets as possible is through social media sites. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social channels that can create viral content and spread news and events fast. Posting something viral online that is willingly shared by users and reaches across countries can be considered successful marketing.
Email is probably the most basic reason why people log on to the internet, thus making it a very important platform for online marketing. Sending enticing invitations and advertisements via email can be a good way to acquire new clients. However, with the growing number of spam emails, the challenge these days is to make the email content as legitimate as possible so that people will actually open the mail and read it.
This involves acquiring customer data, email and other pertinent customer information that may be relevant to sales. Generating leads can be done by tracking RSS feeds or answering questions in LinkedIn and Quora. This is basically a way for companies to find their market and tap their niche.
Search engine optimization or Search engine marketing is utilizing the power of major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo in order to create an online presence for one's product or website.
Any business will not be successful without proper monitoring of where they currently stand in the market. Thus, with the help of services like Google Analytics, website traffic, conversions and sales can easily be monitored.
This involves taking care of your landing page by creating a Google AdWords account, sending traffic to the landing page, and also other kinds of advertisements.
Creating relevant content to share with other people that are related to your blog or website is one of the ways to build a good reputation online. The better the reputation, the more followers and clients one can gain. This can be achieved through content marketing. This is usually done by writing ebooks, writing articles and submitting it to article directories, guest posting, building relationships online, creating infographics, and using social media services to spread these relevant content.
There are other factors involved with internet marketing and for many people, it seems that the learning never ends. The online media is a battlefield that constantly changes that's why it is important to always keep abreast of what's trending online. Once you have decided to pursue internet marketing, be ready to spend hours in front of the computer, constantly monitoring status and organizing information such as account logins and passwords. Try to find online gurus and learn from them.
When you start in internet marketing, you need to have the correct mindset. You need to learn some new skills and implement them. You can make a lot of money as an internet marketer, but you need some tools. The easiest way to begin is definitely affiliate marketing. I am proud to show you different skills that will help you.
Attn: Beginners And Newcomers- Copy This $250/day System For FREE http://startwebmarketingbusiness.org
Website and Home Page Content-
When we talk about websites, the first thing to consider is that there is no one way to design a website that works. To further my example, Google's website has about as simplistic a home page as you will find on the Internet and yet, it is the top ranked website in the World. Therefore, the belief that your website home page needs to look like a catalog with every from soup to nuts listed on that first page to drive traffic is not true. On the other hand, the home page on Yahoo, the number 4 ranked website (according to Alexa) has about as much information as any business should ever want to present on one page. Therefore, the answer to what your website's home page should like look is somewhere between Google and Yahoo. Additionally, as you think about your website you need to account for the new 4G phones, smart phones and other high-speed mobile devices that are now being introduced across America. These mobile devices will help increase the number of daily searches due to inexpensive Internet access through near broadband quality speed that will also drive e-Commerce solutions for small businesses as well since consumers will be connect virtually 24/7 like they are with cell phones now.
By now, nearly everyone in business has been contacted by one or more firms professing to have the answer as to the type of website design that will work best on the Internet. The only problem is that most of the Companies calling you don't have a successful website themselves, so how do they know what will work for your business? Furthermore, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firms typically only provide some of the services that you will need to be successful on the Internet. Unfortunately, modifying your website and organizing and/or incorporating a few keywords on your site will not likely result in generating lots of traffic for your website and/or becoming profitable. If traffic alone were the key to success then why not just hire some high school kid to stand at a busy intersection during commute times with a sign that says "CALL MY BUSINESS NOW.COM.?" While that will have some value, it certainly won't generate enough traffic to keep you in business long term. Therefore, you need much more than just traffic. You will need the right kind of traffic and you also need that traffic to turn into paying customers.
This is the one topic that will likely make or break your small business whether you have a marketing campaign on the Internet and/or promote your business offline. Many small business owners know what they have to sell and even have some idea of who will buy from them. However, very few business owners know which products or services have the most profit potential and/or how to develop them and this is why most small businesses eventually fail within 5 years. This article would be of little use to you if we did not use some real examples. Therefore, as part of this series, we will offer at least one Customer Case Study as an example to demonstrate that these strategies have been proven and why you might consider applying them to your business too.
Mr. Metro Plumber (named changed) is a 30 year-old family owned business with over $5 Million in annual sales. The Company employs over 20 FT people and is located in one of the top 10 US metro markets. He did traditional advertising with Yellow Pages, Newspapers, Coupons, Radio, Cable TV, had a well designed website and used a local SEO firm, but was not happy with the results. When we met Mr. Metro Plumber, he told us that he had all the business he could handle and that his company was well known throughout the area. However, as we got to talking he complained about how some of his technicians were driving over an hour one-way to call on customers for $65 service calls. It seems that Mr. Metro Plumber was caught up in the "low price" game to get into people's homes. While this might be a good strategy for a new business with limited overhead, it is not the best strategy for an established 30 year-old Company.
During our meeting, I mentioned that I had noticed that Mr. Metro Plumber had a small showroom on the first floor that showcased Bathroom and Kitchen Fixtures. I then asked him if that was something new to his business and he said that the showroom was 3 years old and was used for customers interested in remodeling. I then asked him what those jobs were worth and he told me that they ranged from $5,000 for small Bathroom Remodeling Jobs to over $100,000 for custom Kitchens. I then asked him how many of his customers were using his services for Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling and he said very few. By now, you probably know where this is going, but let's continue anyway.
I asked Mr. Metro Plumber, if he had ever considered focusing more of his efforts on marketing remodeling jobs instead of the common everyday plumbing service calls, which he clearly had established with regular customers over the course of 30 years in business. I then pointed out that if he was successful in securing just one job per month (at an agreed average of $15,000 per job) per technician that his revenue would increase by at least 20% in the first year and that his overall profit would nearly double. More importantly, Mr. Metro Plumber would not need to spend one cent more in marketing than he already was spending. All he had to do was change the way he promoted his business and then redistribute how some of his marketing dollars were used.
Now this article is not intended to go into the specifics of what we did for Mr. Metro Plumber, but it is designed to show you how you need to rethink how you too can increase business by identifying profitable niches within your business and then develop ways to drive "qualified" traffic to your business that can translate into paying customers. However, we will give you some ideas of where to look. The first thing to consider is that a 30 year old business should have a good repeat customer base to work with that they can market to. Additionally, the messages delivered in any kind of advertising should include promoting profitable niches. As it applies to the Internet, you need to decide how best to attract customers to drive traffic to your website and then how you can convert them into paying customers. There are dozens of ways this can be achieved and no one way will work for all businesses.
Below are some of the ways to reach your customers via Internet Marketing:
As you begin to develop and/or expand your presence on the Internet for your business consider this: Google, the other major search engines, local and/or other sources can be effective marketing tools, but until you first understand how you can make money through developing successful and profitable niches for your business, neither Google, an SEO firm or anyone else will be able to help you make money on the Internet. Think Steve Martin in the old 1979 Movie "The Jerk." Just because he was listed in the White Pages of a Telephone Directory didn't make him somebody, it just made him another face in the crowd. To rise above the crowd you will need more than just a website. Therefore, implementing several Internet based solutions over the next 12-24 months will be critical to the long term success for virtually every small and local business in America.
Internet Marketing by LocalNet360
� Copyright LocalNet360 All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Rudy Camp holds a BSBA in Business Administration with a Minor in Marketing. He spent 25 years in the Telecom and multimedia Yellow Pages Publishing Industry in sales, training, management and Senior Officer Capacities including having served as CEO of a multi-state Directory Publisher with over 30,000 customers. He is the founder/CEO of LocalNet360 and the company currently serves local and national clients with Internet Marketing solutions. Additionally, Mr. Camp participates as part of an independent consulting team that assists investors and business groups with business plan development including historical and projected financial data, research and analysis and other services used in venture capital and private equity funding transactions.
Tip #1: Create Quality Content With Plenty of Keywords.
Search engines and customers use keywords and phrases to find your website. Make sure you use plenty of the words you would like to be found for in the text of your website. Website designers and owners should create plenty of pages that display all of the content necessary to tell a search engine to show you as an expert for your keywords.
Take the time to look at your competitors' websites and try and have at least as many pages as they do, if not more. One last important tip for local search is to take every opportunity to put your location in your text. This helps for Google Local rankings, and the value of your Alexa ranking means you can charge advertisers higher fees for placing banners on your blog.
Tip #2: Update Content Often With Local Information.
Take every opportunity to add new pages to your site which discuss local topics and events. Search engines will see that you are discussing local events with local keywords and move up your ranking as a local expert. Participate in local events and get your company name on charity and community websites with links back to your websites. These types of links are invaluable and can only be acquired through hard work and giving back to your community.
Tip #3: Use Available Resources - Some Recommendations and Examples Provided
One of the best tools we have found to help promote websites locally is the Google Business Tools suite. This amazing resource center allows website designers and managers analyze, manage, advertise, and invest in a websites online presence.Google has put most of their main business tools together in one location for easy use and understanding.
Check the relevant website design resources out, read about them, and sign up for the ones that apply to you: Google Website Optimizer, Google AdWords, Google Apps, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Base, Google Local Business Center and Amazon's Alexa Internet Business Suite.
Tip #4: Pay Per Click - Monitor Closely and Spend Wisely
If you can set up and optimize your pay per click campaign it can be very successful and sometimes the results are amazing. That being said, we have witnessed many different cases where Pay Per Click advertising has burned through an entire budget in a couple of days. This can happen if you don't take the time to read through the entire process before making your section. Use Local words in your PPC campaign to save money by competing locally instead of globally.Remember, spending money to make money is necessary, but spend wisely.
Tip #5: Local Search Engines: Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local
This is an obvious and easy way to increase your local exposure. We have all use Alexa search tool that has given results with a map and indicator dots on related business locations. If you would like to come up for these types of local searches,carefully submit for these specialized location based results. The search engines will often request some sort of verification through call back or traditional mail and pin verification.
Tip #6: Yelp!
Take the time to list yourself on Yelp and register your business. Make sure that you spend the time on these postings that you would for any piece of marketing material for your business. Yelp!, or websites like it, is sometimes the only chance to give an impression you will have with a customer.Be careful. These types of listings are double edged swords. If you don't maintain a high standard of service and quality, this will also be the location that customers will go to vent about their frustrations. These listings will also count as a quality inbound link for search and is useful to increase your search ranking.
Tip #7: Chambers of Commerce
You should become members with at least one local chamber of commerce. This is a great way to establish credibility and become a member of your local business community. Once you have this membership, make sure that your listing on the chamber website is a direct link to your website. Chambers of commerce are considered to be local experts, and their link to you is a valuable one.
Tip #8: CitySearch
CitySearch is very similar to Yelp in that it is a popular local search engine. Make sure that you spend some quality time explaining yourself and your business. You should also make sure to check back and monitor your reviews often.
Tip #9: Press Release Services, Face book, and Twitter
Social Media and local publicity can be very important for local results. Make sure to use locations and city information in your profile descriptions. Search engines will look at social media websites, and if you do a good job of mentioning local search words with your search engine keywords, you will begin to see additional results in the social media results sections of search engines. Press releases can be the most important local marketing item a business can employ.
Implemented wisely, a well optimized press release or social media blast can bring you first-page visibility for your keywords very quickly. Sometimes, you can take over more than one spot on the first page of Google. These same items used in their traditional roles of simple media notifications will get you nothing in terms of search results, make sure your marketing and PR companies know what they are doing. It could be hurting you. Your Alexa rank will tumble down and enhance your profile, even as your page rank climbs.
Taran Alexander regularly contributes to the website Pinstorus, helping it through search engine optimization. Local marketing, alexa ranking tips and more are an essential part of any promotional program.