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TMWstudio offers a series of informative essays on small business communications, written by TMWstaff.
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If You Build It (right), They Will Come

CREATING AN EFFECTIVE ON-LINE PRESENCE

Let's face it, there's no point in wasting time and money building a web site or FaceBook page if you aren't going to make use of it. These days a static site - one that jsu sits there with the same information year after year - is a dying breed. Online marketing should be a part of an overall DYNAMIC marketing strategy* - one that you breathe life into on a regular basis.  The more alive your marketing efforts are, the more your attention will be paid to your business.

*a marketing strategy might include ...
[ branding ] volunteering  [trade shows]
local tv/radio ads [ training ] flyers
[ social networking ] business cards
[ pricing ] product development [ surveys ]
[ youTube videos ] follow-up

Step One: Gather your content

Spread blank sheets of paper on a large table. Jot down the types of things people should know about your business. Go beyond the standard fare.  Don't just list your product or service.  Write down what it can do ...  How can it help make the buyer's life easier / more enjoyable? How does it differ from similar products or services?  (Answers to these questions will give you the keywords you need for effective SEO)

Then, think of what can you do to enhance your online offering ( add value ) - [e-coupons] - trouble-shooting & maintenance FAQs - DIY YouTube videos

Step Two: Decide on your best primary vehicle

These days you have so many options : traditional or responsive web site, regular email flyers, text messaging, Facebook page, LinkedIn, twitter account, google plus ... the list goes on and on.  So how do you choose?  Well, that very much depends on your type of business and your resources.

Here are some examples.

Eldon has a well-established plumbing service.   For the most part he trouble-shoots in residential homes. Typically, he might interact with a customer once or twice in a ten year period. (He's very good).  These days, many new customers will look for a plumber online using a simple    keyword search.  Eldon's best chance at being found is with a website that ranks high with search engines.  So, Eldon's site includes a series of FAQs and simple how-to demonstrations.  He also posts customer comments, and links to an unbiased review site.

Merrell is a motorcycle mechanic with his own shop.  He is a pretty gregarious guy and participates in a lot of local events. While he maintains a simple web site, his primary online vehicle is a Facebook page where he keeps in touch with fellow enthusiasts - keeping him top-of-mind when the need arises.  Merrell also posts seasonal reminders for safety and maintenance issues, which he repeats on his responsive web site. Since the website is easy to read with any device, people can check in at home or on-the-go.

Della works with glass and metal to create unique pieces of wearable art.  While she sells through an established online service, she maintains a gallery-type web site, her primary vehicle, to show off past creations and post buyer comments.  She also uses Facebook to keep in touch with her fans - posting new styles + craft fair dates and linking to other artists.

Kris runs a local coffee shop that has become a second home to many locals.  In fact, it's become quite the well-spring for social activities - like cycling tours and impromptu frisbee tosses.  Much of that was due to the establishment of a Twitter account for the shop.  Kris' secondary online marketing vehicle is a Facebook page that features a daily muffin creation.

Step Three: Build your base

Whichever vehicle you decide to start with, keep it simple ... build your foundation well.  Your online tool should house all the basics - product or service description and contact info - and provide the structure for additions - seasonal maintenance FAQs, recently completed jobs and client comments.

Step Four: Launch with Hooplah

Once you're ready, invite people in!  You might send [e-coupons] , mail flyers, announce from personal Facebook, leave [eye-catching business cards] around

Step Five: Keep it Alive

Add updates regularly - at least once per quarter.

 


Need help ... ?

With more than 20 years experience creating customized communications products for small to medium-sized enterprises, tmwstudio is able to offer clients with smaller ventures the benefits of big-business tools without the big-business cost.

We tailor-make administrative, communication, marketing and human resource tools to help you run your micro-business smoothly and professionally.

Have a look through our offerings ... then give us a call to see how we can help you and your small business thrive!

email gordo
KINGSTON ON

 

MicroBiz Muzings from TMWstudio

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