Internet Marketing for Small Business – The Vital Truth

As a small business owner it’s our natural tendency to approach everything with a hint of skepticism. There are so many ‘next big things’ that it’s oftentimes difficult to distinguish between a passing trend and a legitimate evergreen marketing strategy for a small business.

Skepticism or no, I’m willing to bet that by now you’ve started seriously eyeing Internet marketing for small business as a viable addition to your advertising repertoire; you’re starting to realize that this is something worth jumping on.

Let’s face it – Your competitors are doing it, so you should do it too lest you unknowingly give up a foothold in your niche.

Wait Just a Minute – What is Internet Marketing, Exactly?

Before we go any further I think it’s worth taking some time to clarify exactly what we’re referring to when we say ‘Internet Marketing’. If you’ve done any research at all on the topic of small business online marketing, you’ve probably seen a wide array of terms thrown about. It can be very confusing to learn anything at all about Internet marketing with a seemingly endless amount of ideas out there… How are you supposed to know what’s what? Well, below I’d like to briefly go over a few of the most common terms and methods that you should concern yourself with:

#1. Small Business Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Small business search engine optimization refers to getting your business’ virtual property listed on the first page of search engine results (most commonly in Google) for a select group of keyword phrases. Whether it’s a Google Places page, a YouTube video, a Facebook page or even your own website, the goal is to position yourself so that local searchers see YOU before your competition.It sounds complicated, but that’s why we’re here. The results of a successful SEO campaign can be enormous.

#2. Small Business Email Marketing / List Building

Small business email marketing is without a doubt one of the most powerful forms of lead generation out there. Imagine having the power to reach your loyal customers any time day or night with your newest and greatest promotions? Imagine being able to send your customers coupons, newsletters and other interesting content so that you’re constantly in contact with them, remotely building your brand in their mind’s eye? I’m sure with a little imagination you can start to see the possibilities… Email marketing is one of the most viable long-term marketing strategies for small business owners to consider. Your customers aren’t going to stop using email anytime soon, and the ability to stay in frequent contact with a customer even if they’re not visiting your actual place of business is too good to pass up. If you take nothing else away from this article, at least learn more about small business email marketing.

#3. Social Media Marketing for Local Businesses

This is the newest and greatest trend in the world of Internet Marketing for small businesses. Facebook alone has over 800 Million users worldwide, and most users spend a minimum of 6 hours per month on this website. As Facebook grows it’s an increasing amount of time YOU could be using to further your business. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are going to be some of the greatest marketing mediums of 2012 because they give you the ability to keep up with interested customers on a daily basis through websites that they’re spending lots of time on anyways. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?

#4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising for Direct Marketing

The next time you’re searching for something in Google I want you to pay attention to the right side of the screen. You should notice a few small ads that are separate from the search results. These are actually paid advertisements from Google’s AdWords program, and they’re a crucial aspect of small business online marketing.

The pay per click advertising (PPC) works is a simple 3 step process:
• Write a small ad for your business
• Pick keywords or locales to target
• Pay per click for traffic directly to your business’ website

Pretty easy, right?

This is a great way to start off your Internet marketing campaign because with Pay Per Click you get exactly the results you pay for. Want to give 100 new customers the chance to fall in love with your business? Pay for 100 clicks to your website… Done. I’m sure you can see the value in this kind of cost-per-lead advertising. Through proper lead generation and analytics you can have yourself quite a profitable campaign that runs virtually on autopilot.

And hey, want to really explode your customer base? Why not use PPC advertising to drive targeted traffic to your email newsletter so you can stay in contact with your new potential customers?

Why Internet Marketing for Small Businesses is a Good Investment

What holds back most small business online marketing campaigns that the business owners fail at marketing automation.

We’ve all learned this lesson: When you try to do everything yourself you inevitably fall behind in the areas you’re best at, and don’t get far enough in the areas you’re good at. The result is that your business slows down, and you don’t see as much revenue as you should / could. If time is money, then you can’t afford to spend an increasing amount of time on something that someone else could be doing faster.

That’s why when approaching Internet marketing for small business I recommend enlisting the assistance of a trained professional.

Time and time again we’ve seen a much greater ROI when the business owner focuses on running an outstanding business, while the Internet marketers do what they do best – Capture the interest of potential customers. Whether you decide to pursue small business search engine optimization to bolster the rankings of your website or social media marketing to get the word out through Facebook / Twitter, you can rest assured that you’ll see better results from someone who’s done it before.

Internet marketing for small business doesn’t have to be time consuming, and it’s certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, an Internet Marketing campaign can be relatively cheap when compared with other marketing strategies for small businesses! As a small business owner you’d be giving up a lot if you limited yourself to offline marketing only, so I urge you to consider the techniques and methods outlined in this article. I’m sure you can find an Internet Marketing company or service provider who would be more than willing to help you with these internet marketing services so you can start finding new potential customers on autopilot. What are you waiting for?

Why Using Corporate Marketing Can Kill Your Small Business

So you’ve put your ads in the Yellow Pages and you’ve taken out advertising in the local press. It’s cost you a nice chunk of change.

And yet the phone still isn’t ringing.

There are a lot of good reasons why that could be, but one of the main reasons is getting sucked into the idea that the type of advertising used by big business is the best sort, and perhaps the only sort you should use.

But this is a fallacy, and most of the companies that use the TV ads with their catchy nonsensical jingles and glossy magazine ads with pouting models are successful because they’ve built a brand over decades. In most cases they’re successful even though their advertising is useless, and they could probably stop advertising tomorrow without any effect on their business.

But when you run a small business, you really can’t afford to take chances and wait years for a branding campaign to (hopefully) take effect. Using the glossy big business type of marketing is likely to leave you penniless and holding a one way ticket to a bankruptcy hearing.

The reason is simple: branding type marketing is all about image and, for the people who create it, the overpaid creative types in the big advertising agencies, winning advertising awards. And the marketing executives who work for the big companies get paid whether the marketing brings in any new business or not. If the marketing campaign won an award, it must be good, right?

But as a small business owner you’re in a completely different type of situation. If your marketing doesn’t bring home the bacon, you go hungry. An advertising executive working for a big company doesn’t have to worry about the power bills, the shop rent, the staff costs. The small business owner sees these (often substantial) costs go out of his bank account week-by-week and month-by-month, and he’s the only one responsible for making sure there’s money coming in to cover things.

What The Small Business Owner Needs To Do

The most important thing about marketing is that it can be measured, so you can see right down to the last penny how much it’s costing and how much it’s bringing in return. The way to do this is to forget about “branding” and “image” and use direct response marketing techniques that have been proven to get a response.

Every single part of your marketing, every ad you run or letter you send, should have a strong call to action. And then you should measure exactly how many sales leads a particular ad, sales letter or email brought it, and try to improve on it.

Don’t Trust The Ad Salesmen

The tragedy is that some of the people selling marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses have also swallowed the hype about branding. These people persuade small business owners to run ridiculous campaigns that makes the business look good but often doesn’t bring in a penny in revenue. These types of “marketing consultants” often think they’re doing the right thing, and when the marketing fails they feel blameless. But it’s the small business owner who feels the pain, not the consultant.

The advertising salesman from your local paper is often no better, and neither is the rep from the Yellow Pages. Don’t listen to them and be seduced by a pretty ad that makes you look good. In the end the only thing that matters are sales leads and profits, and to get that you need to use good old-fashioned direct response marketing that uses tested methods for bringing in the sales.

Small Business Tips: Thirteen Secrets Revealed

Is your small business falling into a dangerous trap? Follow these small business tips and learn from those who have already made some costly mistakes so you don’t have to!

Small Business Tips:

1. Lead with revenue, not expenses. Don’t spend before you earn. That also means not purchasing every shiny object.

— Hold your purchases accountable for what you planned for them. That means use of the class or product you just bought!

— Hold your expenses accountable for producing promised results. Take action!

2. Be your own guru. All good training is useful. Get a business mentor that can help you. But, stop looking for a know-it-all guru and get going on your 6-month grand goals. This is a huge part in empowering yourself. Knowledge = confidence; Ignorance = fear.

3. Realize this is the new normal. This is the new normal market. Successful marketing today takes dedication, insight, authenticity and action.

4. Follow through and follow up. Any successful business person will tell you that their #1 source of business is repeats and referrals from past clients and centers of influence. If you don’t call them, they will forget about you and your offers of expertise.

5. Live in the present. Make money with your business of the moment instead of focusing on what used to be or might be – be present in the here and now.

6. Don’t be a seminar junkie and a no-action flunkie. You must do both to succeed! It’s not enough to just read about, study, and learn what to do for your marketing and life vision. You also have to take action and DO what you learn, so get out of analysis paralysis and get into action. Get out of your office and network!

7. Know your market stats. How many visitors come to your site each month? How many emails are being opened, or links clicked? What are your clients talking about? These are all essential pieces of information for your strategies and tactics follow through.

8. Understand urgency. Don’t take too long to act on responding to questions and comments. Call leads and prospects back immediately and communicate regularly with existing clients.

9. Think like a business owner. Being debt-free IS free. Know your business and personal overhead and make sure you have a business plan. Know how many clients you need to contact in order to close and achieve your goals.

10. Focus on new lead generation daily. Establish minimum standards for the number of contacts you will make per day and become a well-rounded lead generation machine.

— Will you make 20 calls a day?

— What is your plan to attract a larger list?

— How do you stay in contact?

— How will you earn sales from your relationship building with your client base?

11. It’s not a numbers business, it’s a people-helping business. Our truest purpose is to be of service to others. Focus on what you’re here to give and the income will follow.

12. Don’t be phone-phobic. The answer to growing your business may be: “pick up the phone.” Cold calling and warm calling just take practice on a daily basis.

13. Write out your Passion and Vision. What is your plan/goals to get your life’s dream business and lifestyle?

Only you can make these secret tips work for you – they are only secret, if they are hidden in your business.

I have read that action breeds confidence and courage!

6 Ways To Get Quality Business Leads From Your Local Community

How can you continually find quality business sales leads and business appointments for your business when a large, international brand suddenly shows up in your locality? With so many large brands opening up everywhere, small local businesses might feel threatened for their market share, but they shouldn’t be. They can maximize on their existing assets and not only keep their existing clients or customers, but also generate more qualified b2b sales leads for their business. As a small, local business, here’s what you have to do to keep your and effectively increase your market share:

Promote the fact that you’ve been in business longer than your competitor. This means that you know your customers and clients better than the newcomer, and will be better able to provide for their needs and wants. Simply showing that you have been a delivering quality service for years shows how reliable you are to your clients and potential business leads. It’s also a good way of tapping into the emotional side of your market.

Actively market your products and services as well. When you hire professional telemarketers to market your products, make sure they promote your brand in their spiel, and nothing else. No backstabbing or naysaying quips that are sure to put off your b2b sales leads. Hiring a reliable telemarketing company will provide you with these well-trained, professional telemarketers and help you construct that perfect pitch for your local business.

To ensure successful b2b appointment setting campaigns, make sure your lead generation campaigns deliver already qualified leads. When you’re from the same community, asking around about people would let you know immediately if they can benefit from your products or not. Being outgoing is sure to result in quality b2b appointments.

Hire people from the local community. It’s not a secret that people like to support their own, and there are usually a lot of skilled people even in medium-sized cities. Also, this shows that you are helping your local community by providing jobs and improving the life of families. The more developed a community is, the opportunities there are for small businesses to grow because the jobs they create attract young people and families into settling in the community.

Give back to the community directly by supporting local causes. As a local yourself, you would be informed about the local government’s activities. Because you don’t have to go through corporate red tape to support local events, you can do so right away. Furthermore, as you’re a native, government officials and the local community will not hesitate to accept your support. Doing so will further endear your brand not only to your target business leads, but also to everyone else. When you decide to expand your business outside of your chosen niche, finding more qualified business leads won’t be as difficult anymore.

You won’t be able to fight the big guys all by yourself, so make sure that your employees are well compensated for their services. When your own people are happy, you can expect that your contented employees won’t hesitate to go the extra mile for your b2b leads. The result, of course, would be equally happy business sales leads. Additionally, you can look forward to a lot of qualified business leads for your business to business company when your employees are generously paid.