Blowing Money When ROI Is Questionable Is a Big Mistake
Many small business owners get a recommended solution for their online marketing that sounds something like this,
Let’s work on a lead generation program that takes several months to setup. Then let’s watch what happens closely, do some fine tuning, and see how we can get you leads in 6 to 12 months.
That’s not the way the salesperson explains it, but that’s pretty much what they’re offering. Even if the firm is legit and knows how to do this kind of work, do you as a business owner want to spend a good chunk of money on a solution that takes a while and isn’t guaranteed to work?
There are rare cases where this is a good idea. For example, if you’re a plumber that can deliver on phone calls from people with a broken pipe on the weekend. There are agencies that specialize in getting plumbers on page of a Google search for a search phrase like “emergency plumbing services near me.” That is a good deal.
But most of our businesses, and this is true for most service providers, don’t have an option like that. There aren’t obvious Google search terms that a potential customer types in that connects them to you so you get their business.
So what’s a business owner to do. You see your competitors making inroads into your business. You’ve been doing what you’ve been doing for years and now you see a slump in sales. You suspect it’s because people are searching on Google and connecting with service providers that have figured out the online marketing game. They’re using social media to take business away from you.
Online marketing, and this includes the use of social media, is not a mystery. There are ways to use it that follow proven processes a business owner can understand. They aren’t so complex your head spins. They are based on things we learned from direct marketing which over the years has worked extremely well.
At a high level, it goes something like this:
- You find an audience or a list of people that have an identifiable interest in the topic where you are the expert.
- You establish yourself as an authority on that topic.
- You reach out to that audience using the available mediums so they connect with you, your message and they request your services.
Think of plastic surgery clinics. They can target:
- Women that recently had a baby.
- Women that are divorced and are looking to improve some aspect of their bodies.
- Older women concerned about bags under their eyes or saggy boobs.
They can start a blog, a YouTube channel, an Instagram account or a Facebook page that establishes them as the knowledgeable expert in the field. You build up a following. Then you offer a call to action that gets people to contact you to learn more about how you can work with them.
In just about every industry, there’s an opportunity to target someone who’s interested in what you do, explain to them why you are the person they should call and then provide specific instructions on how they should reach out to you.
In part 2 of this series, I’ll elaborate on ways you can jump into the online marketing wagon and generate leads for your small business.