120 Ways To Get Readers To Your Local Business Blog. Juice It Up!

Give your blog juice

Given the explosion of blogs and bloggers, you probably think you’re going to get lost in a churning sea of information.  That’s entirely possible.  But, there are some things you can to do pull your blog into the boat and save yourself from drowning or  getting lost at sea.

Why should you blog?  For local businesses it’s a surprisingly good way of adding “juice” to your website.  Google’s algorithm (the formula for delivering results) is constantly on the hunt for three things: 1) relevance, 2) freshness, and 3) connection.  When you blog, you do all of those, making it far more likely that your business will turn up in the highly coveted organic results.  Remember, Google wants  be the go-to search engine so they give you results that really match your query.  Then, the look for websites that are tended to.  A blog shows that you tend your website without you constantly having to update your other pages.  As far as connections go, the algorithm looks for social media connections and links.  Comments go along ways to.  See if you can solicit comments from some of your fans and remember to post your blog to your Facebook Fan Page.

In this infographic, that’s intended for new local business blogs, there’s great advice for both new and experienced bloggers to get discovered by Google.  Of course, Google isn’t the only search engine but it’s used by 70% – 80% of all users.  So it’s the 800-lb gorilla in the room.  It cannot be ignored.  Appealing to Google is the best way to juice up your blog.

 

120 Marketing Tactics for New Blogs

Infographic by Digital Philippines

Perfection Kills Marketing

 

business teamwork - business men making a puzzle

I’m as much a diehard practitioner of perfection as anyone.  I’ve got undone projects galore.  I’m always on the lookout for salvation, the perfect to-do list, a faster way to do organize papers, the most perfect, perfect marketing method, etc.  It’s EXHAUSTING.

Then, I read this from Mike Brooks’ article on Yahoo!Small Business’ website and I was freed.

slenderly Money loves speed

I love this statement. Coined by a long time friend of mine, I use it often.

What this means is that procrastination due to a desire for perfection is the enemy of action. And action is what breeds results.

Most people are so hung up on wanting to make whatever they are doing – a website, a blog post, a marketing piece – perfect that they never launch anything. Or it takes 10 times as long.

Mr. Brooks is right on.  Frequently, I tell my clients to just start marketing.  I will meet you where you are.  It’s time to do that for myself.  And, it’s time to take your local business’ marketing and just start executing.

If you have some things in place: products and/or services, know who your target or ideal clients are,  a vivid vision of your business and what you want to do.  You will also need to know what the results of your marketing might look like.

Then, get going.  Choose 3-5 marketing methods and attack them.

  • Offline Advertising
  • Online Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Telemarketing
  • Relationship marketing
  • Structured networking groups
  • Community marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Events
  • Passive marketing
  • Direct mail

Treat your marketing like a lab.  Experiment. Review. Retool.  Implement changes.  Start getting sales.

 

 

 

So What? How To Create Arousing Networking Introductions

 

Getthewordoutphotosmall

Arousing Curiosity

Well, the idea of an elevator pitch does seem cheesy these days. I guess you would say they’re networking introductions and conversation starters.  An elevator pitch may seem even out dated. But, it doesn’t remove the overwhelming need for you to have something to say about your business when asked.

Introductions and conversations starters require a couple of sassy statements about your business that you can use when you introduce your business orally at a networking event or on the phone or for in writing everywhere else, can help turn heads, pique interest and get a conversation rolling.

After all, the most important thing you have to do with your marketing is arouse curiosity. It’s unlikely a sale is going to come from it straight away when you are selling a service product. Service products require more time for trust building and customer education. So, just be interesting enough to start building trust.

Bad Intros Made Good

Here are statements about products that have been made to me by people introducing their business.

If you know anyone buying or selling a home, I can help them.

I work with people on their health.

I show people how to get X% return on their investments.

My client’s have investment portfolios that I help manage.

I practice law.  I’m a real estate attorney.  I am an estate planning attorney.

Before you wonder if it’s you I’m calling out, the answer is yes.  But, I’m being a little generic to protect the innocent.

Let me pick these apart as a group. Most of these are statements about what they do as a technician and not the benefit to their clients. These professions are also practiced by millions of people nationwide. These folks often wonder why “no one” wants their business card or approaches them at a meeting.

What I propose is that  instead of being generic, clever or trying to hide your true profession, introduce yourself in a way that provokes a statement akin to “tell me more.”

Here’s my idea for these intros:

http://onpointengineering.co.uk/product-category/used-machinery/waterjet-machines-used-machinery/ Realtor –
I work with first time home buyers who have less than 10% down. I hold their hand through the pre-qualification process and work as hard as I can to get them in their home in 90 days or less.

cytotec generic Wellness/Weight Loss/Nutrition Network Marketers –
My clients have reached an age or a point in their lives where their worried about the next 20, 30, 40 years. In a 60-minute sessions with them, we quickly identify their most pressing health concerns and I help match them with the right resources whether it’s my products or not.

Seroquel effects Investment Professionals –
Most of my clients want to have freedom to make choices about ditching their roommates, traveling or getting out of a crappy job. I show 20 and 30 year-olds how to make money for themselves for as little as $25 a week.

OR – Most of the folks I work with have neglected their 401K from their last job and they don’t even know that they don’t have to roll it into stocks and bonds to make it pay a return. A lot of my clients are nervous about the volatility of the stock market. I show them alternatives.

Law Professionals –
In a perfect world, everyone would call a lawyer before there’s a disagreement. The reality is that by the time most folks need me, it’s an unhappy time for them. So, I work with them on the legal problem their having and determine the least traumatic course to resolve it.

How To Construct A Good Intro For Yourself

  • What problems do you solve? Be specific in mentioning your profession.
  • When someone comes to you with a problem, what’s their state of mind?
  • What’s unique about your approach or your product or how you deliver your service or your viewpoint of your profession?
  • What can you help them do smarter, faster, easier, newer, seamlessly, ahead of the competition?

Three Formats for Introductions:

Before and After Story:    Before the worked with me, they were_______________.  Together we did__________________.  As a result (this happened)___________________.

Typical Problem:  Typically, I work with target market (young professionals, married homeowners, small business owners) who are (having this problem) and

Reconsider how you are presenting yourself. Be confident. Invoke curiosity. And, lastly, think of others. It takes the pressure off of you. When you are focused on other people’s problems,  you can’t help but succeed.

Create Your Small Business Blogging Plan in 30 Seconds or Less

 

Plan Your Blog Now

I’ve been trying to plot out my blogging plan for ages.  I have articles and ebooks on 100 Ways to Create Blog Content, Guest Posting for Success, etc.  Blah, blah, blah.  Once again, I’m always drinking from the firehose and stumbling around looking for direction.  It’s pretty maddening sometimes.

Then, today, the heavens opened and I found the BEAUTIFUL infographic below.  Aaah, the angels sang and the sky wept.  Maybe it was me, shedding a tear of joy!  It’s a really, really cool plan/formula to create a blogging calendar.  And, it leaves no mystery to how to do it.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with this amazing system from LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog.

Marketing planning, no matter the size of your business, just gets tedious sometimes.  Creating plans with seemingly far away goals can overwhelm you.  Instead, if you are a local business owner, challenged with getting clients from the internet, see if this works for you.  Based on the idea of a well-balanced diet, LinkedIn neatly breaks down the steps to creating a small business blogging plan.

No longer be overwhelmed with tips and tricks on blogging.  Go tackle it.  I know I’m gonna give it a whirl!

The Blogging Food Groups: A Well-Balanced Diet of Content [INFOGRAPHIC] from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Super Bowl 2014: Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different

Super Bowl 2014: Don’t Be Afraid To Be Different

 

Image courtesy of Fanexperiences.com

Image courtesy of Fanexperiences.com

 

Super Bowl 2014 ended on a high for Seattle and a low for Denver.  Peyton Manning is a class act and Seahawks long-suffering fans ended their championship drought.

Some advertisers also ended the day in agony.  Others danced for joy.   They all ran big budget commercials throughout the game that could make or break them.  Smart business owners know it’s risky anytime you’re marketing your business.  Controversy is not favored when you’re answering to shareholders.  But, controversy makes you go viral and that’s every marketer’s dream or nightmare.

If you run a small business, what does Super Bowl 48 have to do with anything?  After all, all those commercials were created with well-paid creative minds and resources.  Let me see if I can translate.

Here’s how I see it.  The unifying theme around most of the Superbowl commercial advertisers is that they weren’t afraid to be different.  They had a viewpoint and a voice.  They knew their audience and worked to reach them.  They were funny, sentimental, irreverent, odd and some were just plain weird. Weird may not be for everyone but, being funny, sentimental or a bit irreverent will make you stand out and be memorable.

Clear winners among the 88 aired commercials were Bud Light’s Hidden Camera, T-Mobile’s Tebow No-Contract, and Budweiser Puppy Love (with the Clydesdale mafia).

Sentimental
Puppy Love was a pure sentiment.  It got lots of attention pre-game.  Chevrolet’s promotion of World Cancer Day was wonderfully touching.  In your local marketing, it’s okay to reveal your personal side, talk about your family as long as you keep it short, it’s not too revealing and has a point to it.  Revealing sentiment humanizes you.  Makes you relatable.

Chevy’s ad for World Cancer Day was very touching.  I nearly cried.

Puppy Love

World Cancer Day Chevy

 

Funny/Irreverent
Bud Light’s creative team seemed like they’ve relocated to the Southwestern desert and experimented with peyote.  The whole Up For Whatever part 1 and 2 were fun.  I laugh everytime I watch Arnold Schwarzenegger in that crazy wig.  Of, course the former governor’s extra-marital exploits make him unpopular with some and his running of California touches off a whole nother legion of haters.  Didn’t stop the Budweiser crew from making a lighthearted, hilarious commercial.  Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself from time to time.

Up For Whatever – Part 1

Up For Whatever – Part 2

Tim Tebow – hated and loved by many.  An excellent ballplayer with no NFL contract.  Let’s make fun of it.

Time Tebow No Contract

Weird
Don’t be these guys. Audi’s mashed-up Doberman/Chihuahua dog was really weird, perpetuating Doberman’s undeserved reputation for being unnecessarily aggressive.  The creators stretched their concept to match their message.  Tag line: “Some combinations do work really.”  Very forced and, at times, the mashed up dog is just disturbing.

Doberhuahua Audi Commercial

 

I could go on and on evaluating all these commercials.  Just don’t have the time right now.  Don’t be afraid to be different and let people know.  In local small business, the entire business relies on you.  Let the REAL you shine through!

Let me know what commercials you liked and hated.

 

Offline Marketing Still Gets Customers

Offline Marketing Still Gets Customers

Shortest way to customers?  Face to face marketing.  Read how:

Shockingly,  the solution for finding new customers quickly these days ISN’T social media.   Customers for local businesses are staring them in the face…literally.  The people who’ll become your client are usually standing across from you at a networking event, are sitting next to you at a BNI meeting, are the customers of someone you know.

I know, I know.  I get plenty of  business owners asking me questions over social media.  Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest are invaluable tools in getting your message out.  They’re white-hot in terms of publicity and attention.

But, white-hot media doesn’t make it a great choice I caution local business owners that it’s requires planning and investing time. While the Internet is an invaluable marketing tool, sometimes you need to get customers faster than waiting for someone to like your Facebook page and interact with you.  Gathering followers and likes on Twitter and Facebook can be done rapidly.  Turning them into paying customers is a different proposition.

The highlights the value of “old-fashioned marketing” in their article 13 Traditional Marketing Strategies You Can’t Afford To Ignore, and FIVE of 13 tips cited face to face events to meet potential customers.

Here’s a couple of tips:

On-Site Activities

“When it comes to traditional marketing, I still invest in on-site marketing activities such as events and sponsorships. On-site marketing is not only a great way to make a lasting connection with your target market, but also provides the opportunity to capture great content such as photos and videos which are perfect to release via your social media channels.”

Kevin Tighe II | Co-founder and CEO, WeBRAND

Local Events Pay Off

“Yes, events IRL (in real life) are beneficial for the customer to jumpstart a relationship with the company and to get hands on with the product. This will encourage the customer to spread word of mouth which is the most influential and valuable part of marketing because it is means more if someone else has something to say from their personal experience and familiarity with the product.”

Lane Sutton | Social Media Coach, Social Media from a Teen

Networking in Person

“I don’t budget much for most traditional marketing, but I’m always willing to pay to attend an event or a conference. In-person networking always pays out a major return on my investment.”

Thursday Bram | Consultant, Hyper Modern Consulting

I get it.  Spending a couple of hours working on social media seems more efficient than going out and talking to people.  It’s time consuming developing relationships.  You can’t easily measure the results like you can when you get a new like or follower.  I know.

Yet, all that body language, all those things we see and experience in the presence of others just can’t short cut the marketing process like a live person can.   You’re just going to have to suck it up and get out there, cupcake.

Over the last 2 years, I’ve knuckled down and gone to lots of networking, some times when I wanted to stay home and empty my DVR contents.  I’ve attended conference to better my skills and resources.  All this while I spend time writing this blog, developing my Twitter and Facebook accounts and postings.  Over and over, when I staked my claim in local marketing expertise and got clear about my market, it just got easier and easier to meet people.  My enthusiasm jumped.  It’s really, really starting to pay off in new business and referrals.  All of this coming from developing relationships in person.

Here’s a short list of face to face marketing activities:

  • Structured networking like BNI and Le Tip
  • Informal networking at Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, community events
  • Business showcase or local expo
  • Seminars and conferences you attend
  • Seminars and talks you give

9 Face to Face Marketing Tips

  1. Find the Time Vampires and stay away from them. You never know when you meet people where it will lead but, it’s okay to do a gut-check and not take a business card or make a commitment to follow up.
  2. If you attend an event you didn’t create, be respectful of the event producer by introducing yourself, not hogging the platform.
  3. Create a little goal for yourself at each event: Collect 3 great contacts, introduce 2 people to each other, find someone you can refer.
  4. Respect people in a trade show booth.  They paid to be there.  You don’t get to take advantage of their largesse by running around and advertising to them.  Look for strategic relationships at showcase events. Mnimize the time you spend in their booth. Commit to follow up.
  5. Don’t let others influence your opinion of an event or group.  What’s good for your friend, might not work for you and vice versa.  Look for groups that fit you.
  6. Structured networking can seem daunting but having goals and objectives help keep everyone accountable.
  7. Raising your profile by creating your own events takes work.  Consider partnering with someone or getting professional help.  Don’t let your fear stop you, though.
  8. If you don’t want to create your own events, find out where you be on a panel or speak at someone else’s events.
  9. Lastly, do your face to face with an open heart.  Give to get.  Remember that it’s an imperfect human you’re dealing with.  They may need a little gentleness from you.

Traditional marketing isn’t done.  And, face to face isn’t done either.  Reading body language, listening to tone, seeing what’s in front of you.  Humans will never be done with in-person contact.  We’re smart and smarter than a compute (except for calculating huge equations.)  In a technological world, I say it’s more crucial than ever to keep pursuing interpersonal relationships to push your sales higher.