10. Change/Add content
One of the biggest failures of an effective website is not changing or adding content. Google needs to see a ‘live’ site; it shouldn’t appear abandoned or neglected. Most business owners work to get their site perfect, but this is a flawed logic.
9. Expand on your best service/product
You know what you do well or what sells the best, now determine out of your top three services or products which one is the most profitable: Welcome to your next website. Isolating and expanding on that one item will greatly increase your ranking and will position your company to be well known for it.
8. Tap your untapped customers
I’ve consulted so many business owners and they actually feel guilty asking a customer who’s ALREADY said yes once into asking them to say yes again! Or they have the attitude they sold them everything they can and they have ‘tapped them out’. This couldn’t be more wrong. You have two roads to explore on this topic: 1) Create/find a premium product/service that greatly exceeds your existing items, and 2) incentivize your clients to refer other clients. Social networking, such as Facebook, is perfect for both of these ideas since you can educate on the benefits of the better item and create incentives, like having referral contests or giving away free products or services.
7. Explore online sales channels
This might be the hardest hurdle when I meet with business owners. It’s as if I asked them to sell their children, a total look of horror comes across their face! They say, ‘I don’t know anything about that.’ Or, ‘How do I control it.’ Or ‘We have to educate our customer before they buy, that won’t work.’ ‘Blah blah Excuse, Excuse’. Remember, any sale can happen on the internet! You just have to be open to different ideas, different methods, different packaging, but it can happen and multiply your business exponentially. If you have 10 sales people, you can grow your channels to over 100 with just a little effort. Then we’re looking at a different problem… Uh oh, I’m making TOO much money!!!
Corporate Partnerships, Expert Bloggers, Local Celebrities, High Traffic Websites, Affiliate Programs, Referral Programs, Symbiotic Sales Channels, there are many ways for any type of business; you just have to explore it.
6. Start being the expert you are!
Some like him, some don’t, but there are a lot of truths in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Tipping Point and one fact that has stuck with me is the story of The Beatles and how they went to Amsterdam to get some gigs and well before they were ‘The Beatles’. They played on stage 8-12 hours a day and over their time ‘practicing in Amsterdam’ logged over 10,000 hours together as a band. You just can’t substitute ‘practice’. Malcolm went on to cite how other professionals exceeded this 10,000 hour threshold which put them into the ‘expert’ category of their profession. Have you practiced your profession enough? If you are over the magical 10,000 hours, then consider yourself an expert and start teaching your customers, your staff, your prospects that you know what you’re doing! You’ll be surprised that you actually do.
5. It’s all about your Portfolio
Another difficult topic for business owners is bragging. This is one area you might have to swallow your fear, pride, what have you, and ask a few of your co-workers, a friend/customer, or even your spouse to help you brag about your business and about your ‘expert’ qualities. Then you need to post it on your site and in your social media on a consistent basis. This will show others how you do business, and why people buy from you. People inherently attract to success and it’s your job to show you’re successful.
4. Have you Googled your company?
I know, I know, why is something so negative so high on the list? As you may unfortunately have learned, the Internet has a perfect (albeit flawed) memory and anyone can post anything. You need to know what is being said about your company and about you, the business owner. There are ways to counteract negative comments: Hit them HEAD ON!!! Whether it’s Yelp, Facebook, or a Blog, you are also allowed your free speech and can rectify the problem either directly with the unsatisfied customer or post your rebuttal that you ‘did this and that to ensure it would never happen again’ or give a discount/coupon for their troubles. The bottom line is to respond and try to fix and/or apologize, it’s simply good business and it’s surprising how many businesses, especially doctors and lawyers, do not handle this correctly.
3. Facebook is for fun 😉
As we all say, if you’re not having fun, might as well go home. Do you honestly think people want to work or ‘get an offer’ or ‘insert boring corporate tactic here’ when they log into FB? Now I get it, some of you have no idea how to make your business fun. “But Joe!, I sell Port-a-Potties!!!” or worse “But Joe!, I sell Insurance!!!” No matter what you do or what your sell there is always a punch line. Remember to lighten up because your customers will always remember a laugh.
2. Put your best deals in eMail
Again, thank you Google for controlling our email; sort of. We still get the offers because, frankly, we WANT offers, we want a good deal. But these days, you better bring your ‘A’ game. Everyone has something to offer and now it has become one giant sea of 10% off. If you keep that up my business owner friend and you’ll get an unsubscribe faster than a Tea Partier yelling at Republican Debate. You know what you can discount and you know what can turn a prospect into ‘trying you out’. Pick your spots, less is more, then go for it… even if it hurts a little.
1. No, you can’t do it all
It’s important this day in age to have a trustworthy company at your side, partnering with you in your internet marketing efforts. This is the formula for great success. VRoooom Web has been able to catapult new and existing business of all sizes into the world wide web; expanding their presence, driving traffic, and producing results.
You can also have one on one meetings with ALL your employees, find out their interest on the web and PUT THEM IN CHARGE OF IT! That college part-time assistant in accounting just might be a Facebook expert (actually I bet she is), that guy back in shipping just might like to write a few articles about the business WITH HIS NAME AS THE AUTHOR! You have untapped resources right in front of you; explore those. Create incentives, help build resumes, enable pride at your company. Then, when all else fails, ask your spouse what to do. They’ll tell you to call 706-576-4702
About the Author: Joe Wagenti co-founded VRoooom Technology way back in 1999 and has acted as the director of operations ever since. Logging over 10,000 hours in each discipline of VRoooom: Web Design, Application Development, Marketing, and Hosting, he feels he can finally come out of his shell and talk about these topics a little. Joe is also available for consulting and parties. For more info on VRoooom or Joe, call Angela Wagenti at 706-576-4702 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.