Questions People Ask about Small Business Marketing

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1. What is most important web site, e-mail, blog, or social networking?  The debate rages on.  Some people say, “All you need is a web site” but I disagree.  Times have changed and the millions of web sites are in competition.  It is not enough to put up a web site and expect people to go find it.  Neither will just being on FaceBook be sufficient for most businesses.  Some people just don’t see FaceBook as a way to do business (same true for Twitter).  I think we need a web presence-web site, blog, social networking and e-mail marketing with e-mail marketing as the “centerpiece” that drives people to your other places.

2. How do I get more prospects?  More and more we are seeing marketing move to permission based rather than interuption.  Interuption marketing is a cold call when you are working out an accouting issue in your office, a boring repetitive commerical just before the weather on the 11:00 news (how do the car dealers afford all those TV ads?–I thought sales were down) or running to the mail box in the rain to find it full of direct mail ads you toss into recycling.  Permission based is what it sounds like and asks before a name is added to a contact list.  Small businesses are finding less is more–better to have a couple hundred people who know, like and trust you than e-mailing thousands who don’t know you from Adam (which is called spam). Meet people either face-to-face or online as ask if they would like to be added to your list.  Only way to build an audience and solicit their business.

3. What are the most economic ways to build a contact list?  With an e-mail marketing tool like Constant Contact, you can send messages as often as you want with plans as inexpensive as 500 addresses for $15.  Find groups that have viable prospects like people in industries allied to yours so you can pass along prospects compatible to their client profiles. It is no longer good enought to network, network with the right people. Hate going to meet and greet events? Try meeting someone and helping them find prospects in the room.  At the least you will leave with one new friend–the person you tried to help.

4. Content–how do I find good content and how often do I pass it along?  Be a link between the needs your clients have and the up to date information they need to know from your industry.  Find out what keeps your clients up at night and become the “go to” person for it.  As far as often, what is the “shelf” life of the information.  For a restaurant, it might be daily.  For information that doesn’t change all that oten it may be monthly.  In a survey by Marketing Sherpa, marketing directors said they didn’t try to come up with new information but reformated data to help their suspects, prospects, customers, and clients.  Good point!  Don’t bore people, enlightent them.

5. What are QR Codes and how can they help me?  Bar codes have been around for many years on products we use everyday. QR Codes are a way to use the same technology to send prospects to your web site or blog.  Use them on any printed material, especially when you want to reach the 20 something crowd.  They are the most smart phone savy. Older people are catching on as well and adding the scanner ap to their phones.  Call me and I’ll help you set your code up.

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