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October 23, 2013

Hey small business owner! Time to get serious about marketing.

behind_8-ballAn independent research consultant (in business for 15+ years) reached out to me recently to learn about what we do.  In preparing for our call, I did a little homework on her firm.  Here’s what I found:

  • A YAHOO email address
  • An old, unattractive, homemade website
  • Website text that is all internally focused
  • No resources (articles, blog, etc.) available for website visitors
  • An incomplete LinkedIn profile… no image, generic LinkedIn address, etc.
  • No LinkedIn company profile
  • No listing/membership in key association – QRCA
  • No Twitter account that I could find

Here’s my point.  Regardless of your feelings toward marketing and your ability/desire to invest in it, you MUST at least cover the fundamentals to build a foundation for some level of success.  Not doing so puts your firm immediately behind the 8-ball.  Here are 5 action items to embrace to get started

  1. Stop using generic email… spend a few bucks a month and get one that’s tied to your company domain.
  2. Get some professional help with website design.  With low-cost/no-cost website tools… you get exactly what you pay for.
  3. When you write (or present), don’t just write about what you do, write about how you can help prospects; think features – benefits – advantages.
  4. Provide resources (blog posts, articles, etc.) that can genuinely help your prospects… and in doing so, prove your knowledge and position your firm.
  5. Take advantage of social media – LinkedIn at least.  Complete your profiles (personal and company), update often, participate in group conversations, connect like crazy, etc., etc.

The days of just “hanging out your shingle” and having new clients knock on your door are long gone.  It’s a connected, competitive world and without doing at least a few basic things in a strong, professional way (and yes, you’re going to have to spend a little money), you’ll never have the chance to really break out and grow your business.

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