Posts Tagged ‘small business online presence’

Is Your Small Business Online Presence Your Achilles’ Heel?

Yesterday I received a LinkedIn invite from a second degree connection who said she was a social media and online business consultant. Since her LinkedIn profile summary only shared her experience as a nurse, I clicked on her website link. To my surprise,  I received a message that her blog’s URL had expired 8 days ago. Needless to say I declined her LinkedIn invitation.

small-business-online-presenceToday, any small business (defined by under 20 employees) must have a viable online presence.  The reason is 60% of the buying decision is made online (Source:  Hubspot). If your small business online presence does not reflect what you do or how your solutions (products or services) can help the buyer, then you are potentially losing many new business opportunities.

With so many small businesses with an online presence, your small business truly must Be the Red Jacket in a Sea of gray suits.  You must stand out and be found.

Of course that means you have invested considerable time in your strategic action plan and have WAY SMART goals both for marketing and sales. These goals are based upon your market research.

Unfortunately the challenge for many small businesses is they hire marketing and advertising firms or social media consultants who take their money and provide little to nothing results. Their ignorance has made many others rich.

Then there is the underlying belief in the “quick and easy” way to online small business success. A sustainable small business online presence takes time and happens over a course of several years.  This may be part of the reason some small businesses gravitate to those hyped ads about increase followers, signups overnight.

Yes you can buy a small business online presence through ads offered by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. For some companies they have worked. Yet for many of my small business coaching clients, they have been a profit drain.

Recommendations for a Sustainable Small Business Online Presence

Step #1 – LinkedIn

small-business-online-presenceLinkedIn is the first step for those engaged in B2B sales. Make sure you have:

  • A compelling headline
  • An emotionally engaging summary that tells the rest of the story
  • Skills that support your solutions and experience
  • Recommendations from clients
  • Slideshare files
  • All contact information is current including websites
  • Submit well written and informative articles (content marketing) to LinkedIn pulse

Then engage in groups and post updates at least two to three times per week. Employ an education based marketing approach where you educate your potential clients and do not “pitch” to them.

Step #2 – A Blog 

small-business-online-presence

Your blog is your small business online presence and “de facto” salesperson. Here you can reach thousands of potential clients as well as centers of influence. Again, return to your education based marketing plan and seek to educate and share your experiences. This blog happened because of one of my personal experiences. Remember, people buy from people they know and trust. Let your readers get to know you and begin to trust you.

Step #3 – Build Multiple Communities to Share Your Small Business Online Presence

When you build communities within the social media worlds, you have expanded your influence and reach. These communities have like minded individuals with differences of opinion. What is shared is high business ethics and a commitment to supporting each other.

small-business-online-presenceFor example, one of my communities include over 30 sales consultants, sales coaches and business consultants. One of my tweets can potentially reach over 250,000 Twitter followers. Using an automation tool such as Twitterfeed allows me to post their tweets automatically saving me lots of time.

Now Is the Time to Take Action

Marketing research continues to confirm that having a viable small business online presence is essential to sustainable business growth. With the increase in smart devices, more and more potential customers are viewing your website, blog, online presence through such mobile devices. Do not wait another month or a year to make your small business known through social media and other Internet sites. The longer you wait will only have you further behind the flow of missed sales opportunities.

 

 

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