Introduction to Small Business Internet Marketing

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Introduction to Small Business Internet Marketing

This course is intended to get a new entrepreneur up to speed on all the types and techniques they’ll need to know about internet marketing for their business.

Why Promote Your Business

Seems like a stupid question, I know.

For anyone starting a small business, or just in the planning stages, the most important tip I can give, is do whatever it takes to get that first $20 in your pocket. Find the quickest path to making that first sale and get there.

The inability to take action is the number one reason most people never make it, or never even start their business. They get so caught up in the details that they don’t make any money, or worse, give up before even starting.

If you just focus on the tasks that make you money, however little it might be, you’ll quickly learn if you have what it takes to make the business successful.

Which, in a roundabout way, brings me back to marketing. It was your taking action that brought in those first sales, but at some point you’ll hit a wall where you just can’t work any more hours, you can’t greet any more customers or make any more sales calls. You’ve reached the limit of what one person can do in a day.

Marketing begins to become of ever increasing importance once you’ve realized there is only so much of you to go around. To grow your reach, short of cloning yourself, you’ll need to get the word out, and internet marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to do so. Plus, you can actually track your results to see what your money is getting you.

Traditional Small Business Marketing

For lots of people, especially those that didn’t grow up online, internet marketing can seem pretty confusing and maybe a little foreign. So to help make things a little easier, we’ll start off by going over how a startup would have marketed itself in the 1980’s and then relate it to how we do it today. You’ll see that many of the techniques are the same, just the methods are a little different. And by different I mean better.

So how would you market a new business back in the day?

  • Magazine advertisements
  • Newspaper press releases and advertisements
  • Television commercials
  • Direct mail
  • Phone book ads and listings
  • Word of mouth
  • Brochures and collateral material
  • Packaging and signage
  • Billboards
  • Cold calls and walk-ins
  • Catalogs
  • Did I miss any?

As you can see there where a lot of ways of promoting your business back then.

Now for Internet Marketing

Most if not all of these marketing techniques listed above still exist today and many are still effective. But some have really lost their luster and just cannot compete with their internet equivalents.

The main areas of internet marketing we will be focusing on are:

Where to Begin

Where would a startup in the 1980’s have begun? Well first, they would probably have told friends and family to get the word out. But people who didn’t already know them needed to be able to look them up so they would have gotten their business listed in the phone book, and printed out some business cards to pass around.

A cheap way to get started, and still all good tactics today, but we can do even better today.

With Facebook, email and other social media, you can let your friends and family know at one time that you’ve started a business. No need to talk to each one individually. You don’t have to wait for the next phone book to come out, with Google, you can list your business the same day you created it.

You can build a website and create Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts for free or at very low costs to promote your business.

Of course when there are low or no barriers to entry, as is the case with the internet, the competition gets fierce. You are a tiny fish in a huge ocean. Before you swim with the big boys you need to start a foundation to build from. Which is where we’ll begin, with Local search.

Local Search

If your business doesn’t exist solely online, if it has a physical location, local search is where you want to get started.

If you notice teenagers today, they always have their nose buried in their smartphones. It may seem rude to you or me but i will become the norm as time goes on. If they need to find a phone number, an address or really any kind of information, they don’t look for a street map, or a phone book or a dictionary, all the information is available right there in front of them.

If I was new to an area or was traveling and broke a tooth, I’d go looking for a dentist. Luckily, I only have to go as far as my pocket. Type the word “dentist” and Google is kind enough to show me the name, number and location of the closest dentists in my area. Plus a map showing me where they are located.

If you have a business with a physical location you have to be found with local search. It is the new phone book. You have to get in it.

Begin the Local Search Course

A Website - Your Foundation

For any business that wants to have a presence online, your website will be the center of it. For a new business you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money. My Building a WordPress Website course can be done in a day and you only have to pay for hosting and the domain registration.

This course doesn’t go into how to build a website but rather why it is so important and how to leverage it to increase your exposure online.

Leveraging Your Website. If you don’t currently have a website and are looking for a designer or firm to do the work here is a good article going over the best ways to make that important decision. Choosing a Web Design Firm or Freelancer