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Small Business

 

What Can A Small Business Marketing Consultant Do To Help You Grow Your Business?

Think back to the time you started your business. Chances are it was because you enjoyed being in a particular industry – you had a passion about your product or service, and wanted to share it with the world. But did you ever stop and say to yourself, “I can’t wait to market this business”? Probably not.

Small business marketing consultant

Copyright 2006 Vision Business Concepts Inc

Think back to the time you started your business. Chances are it was because you enjoyed being in a particular industry – you had a passion about your product or service, and wanted to share it with the world. But did you ever stop and say to yourself, “I can’t wait to market this business”? Probably not. That unfortunately is why many of today’s small businesses fail. The owners try everything they can think of to save their business, yet they miss out on the one opportunity that can turn their business into true success: hiring a small business marketing consultant.

A small business marketing consultant specializes in learning the top ways to market a business; creates strategies that will help businesses double, even triple their current profits; and teaches the most effective methods for increasing the bottom line of any business.

In today’s business world, there are two types of small business marketing consultants:

* Traditional small business marketing consultants
* Online small business marketing consultants

A traditional small business marketing consultant can help you create a marketing strategy using traditional tools. They understand how to advertise your business. They understand the importance of branding. They can help you write copy, and create dynamic promotional pieces. In short, they understand how to marketing your business well in the traditional environment.

But if someone has been in the marketing field for a number of years, and understands traditional marketing venues well, what they may not be good at is making the transition to the online world. And there is a world of difference between traditional and online marketing.

An online small business marketing consultant understands the same strategies used in traditional marketing. They understand advertising. They understand branding. They understand the importance for creating dynamic promotional pieces. But from there is where the differences begin.

An online small business marketing consultant realizes that you sell differently online than you do off. It takes different strategies, different copy, and different promotional materials to succeed online. Not only should a consultant provide you with traditional methods, but they should make sure these methods feed the online world as well.

For example, a postcard sent out direct mail has always been a successful tool. But if you send out that postcard asking for the reader to take one action step – heading to a website to sign up for a free report – you success rate for that postcard will improve dramatically.

While this technique may seem simple, there are many techniques just like this that can bridge the traditional and online world together, and make your business stronger and more profitable. It’s all in what you know – and whom you ask to help make it a possibility.

 

Self Promotion, Small Business Marketing, and Your Core Values

Find out why choosing the path of authentic self promotion and marketing your small business effectively will challenge you to evolve continually as a person and as a professional.

self promotion, small business, small business marketing, core values, business practices

The core premise of authentic self promotion is that showing up, serving, and thriving are interrelated. Promotion, or putting yourself forward, is part of showing up and is essential to having a successful business. Having a successful business is essential to being and sustaining an offer of service. In other words, you cannot serve if you do not take care of business.

Authenticity is the cornerstone of effective, sustainable self promotion because being authentic draws on a renewable resource, i.e., your core values and strengths. Put it all together, and you have authentic promotion.

Authentic self promotion is grounded in the conviction that you have something of unique value to offer the world and that you are willing to discover how to embody that offer, to show up and serve, and to thrive in the process.

Authentic self promotion reconciles values of service and integrity with the tools and practices of effective small business marketing. Authentic promotion of your small business rejects the easy dismissal of marketing and sales as shallow, manipulative, and inauthentic. Instead, authentic self promotion claims that marketing and sales are vehicles for creating enduring relationships and delivering substantial value. If you choose the path of authentic self promotion, you will learn that marketing your small business effectively will challenge you to evolve continually as a person and as a professional.

Authenticity is intimately involved with creativity, evolution, and change. It is closely allied with the notion of authorship, thus of owning and being accountable for one's actions. Authenticity acknowledges that we are always creating or writing our life stories. Expressed in business, such authenticity will step up to the challenge of making strong, clear, valid offers to prospects who are likely to benefit from those offers.

When we do business in an authentic fashion, we understand that we will be affected and even changed by the processes of doing business. Authenticity is dynamic. When you extend yourself authentically in the world, you expect an authentic response -- one that may touch you deeply and influence your future decisions. There are risks, then, in authenticity.

Egocentric business practices, on the other hand, declare, "I don't need to answer to anyone. I have no intention of being changed or affected by you as we do business together. Either you like me or you don't. You'll either find me or you won't."

Often this egocentricity is masked by a pseudo-authenticity, one that pretends to stand for immutable values and unassailable principles but that is really a declaration of self-absorption, "My way or the highway." A better test for authenticity is whether or not we are willing to be affected by our transactions. The authentic expression of our deepest values and most closely held principles will always open us to the risk and blessings of new possibilities.

Authentic marketing and self promotion says, "I'm here to connect with you. I expect that we will both be changed in the course of our relationship. I am willing to discover you and myself in new ways as we do business. Come on down, let's see what we can create together."

I propose that the very real excesses and evils of some business practices can be countered in a powerful way by independent professionals and artists who use their businesses as a vehicle for showing up, serving, and thriving. It's about more than making a living. Though, unless you do make a living, you will not be able to express your gifts to the fullest.

Authentic self promotion is about trying on business and marketing practices and adapting them to fit your values, your resources, and your unique gifts. It's about having enough integrity and courage to welcome the inevitable breakdowns as occasions for learning and platforms for future success. In order to be truly authentic -- in other words, to authenticate our values and our standards -- we must act in the world. We must show up to serve, and we must stop pretending that commerce is something the bad guys do. In this way, we will shine a light on unfamiliar or inadequate practices for the sake of devising better practices.

 

Getting noticed on the Internet - Digital Marketing for Small Business

In the online world it is very important for small and new businesses to market their sites for the much required growth and expansion. This article deals exactly with this issue and throws light on the ways by which small businesses can effectively market themselves via digital means.

Internet, Marketing, Business, Noticed, Small Business, Advertising, Digital

The Internet has grown from a small network of academics needing a way to trade research into a world-spanning, ubiquitous marketplace and repository for nearly every possible kind of information and knowledge. How does a small business avoid being washed away in the constant tide of buying, selling and marketers hawking every conceivable item (and some difficult to conceive...)?

The Internet provides advantages for both customer and proprietor in that one can search for exactly what is desired, without the bother of endless phone calls, driving to malls, or poring over mail-order catalogs. A quick keyword or 3, and hundreds of results vie for attention on the screen. Making sure your company is one of those results near the top is a combination of factors: specificity in product offerings, Search Engine Optimization of web content and linking to and from related topics and sites.

The only way to get noticed on the Internet is to have a listing or presence, whether a dedicated website, ads on relevant sites, or by word-of-mouth. Oftentimes ads on online journals, informative sites, or e-zines (online magazines) are cheaper than space in a print publication, as well as being available to a wider audience than a dedicated website may be. Rates are often available for daily, weekly, or monthly terms, increasing flexibility and allowing a tight budget more leeway. Word-of-mouth advertising can be very cheap, but the returns may be difficult to quantify. Sponsoring web shows such as podcasts or webcasts can be a great and cheap way to gain word-of-mouth exposure. Many times, a podcaster will be so thrilled to gain sponsorship that rates can be negotiated for very little, but make sure to approach a podcaster that has a show related somehow to your business. Don't overlook resources like Google's Adwords either, as they can be slightly pricier than similar options like banner ads, but they are shown to be far more effective than pop-ups, banners, or pay-per-click ads due to their specific targeting.

When a potential customer decides to look up a product that you sell, is he or she going to find your site or listing? Being specific in the terms used on your site or listing is key, as keywords are what drive the search engines like Google and Yahoo. If your company sells shoes, it's not enough to put the word "shoes" on your site--it has to be anticipatory to the searches that potential customers are doing. Most customers have an idea of what they are looking for when doing a search, so instead of "shoes," a customer will search for "imported Italian leather shoes." Specific focusing of terminology and product listings are involved in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as SEO is driven by specific keywords and their repetition or location on a page. If the term "Italian Leather Shoes" is used 15 times on a website, it will pop up higher on the rating listings than one with the same words, but only as a page heading or title. It would be easy to go overboard on this if it were the only criteria, but it is only one of many different methods search engines use to list websites by relevance. Our article on Search Engine Optimization, located here, is a great reference to optimizing your site for maximum Search Engine Performance.

With a clear idea of where you want to go with Internet marketing, it can be a valuable tool to expand your business into the digital realm, but be careful not to go overboard, as all marketing eventually crosses into the zone of limited return. Customers are looking for what they want--it's up to you to make sure they run into you, and the only way they will is for you to make sure your business is at the places they are going to go.

© 2005, Wholesale Pages UK. All rights reserved.




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