It’s almost as if business owners are afraid to promote their businesses.
You look for all of the “simple” ways to advertise, probably paying WAY too much I imagine, then sit back and complain every time you turn the news on and see yet another small business closing its doors.
Some of the main complaints I am hearing from potential clients…
“Man, I wish I could figure out how to get more customers to my business.”
“Fuck, sales are down for yet another month.”
“If only I had seen this (the recession) coming, then I could have prepared for it.”
Blah, blah, blah…whine, moan, complain.
What’s really sad, one of the answers to your business growth dilemma is right in front of you, you’re just so snowed by “whoa is me” crap to see it…and probably too uncomfortable to actually use it.
Come to think of it, maybe I should just stop writing this post.
Nah, I’m not that much of an asshole. 😉
One of the promotion secrets actually has nothing to do with the direct selling of products (most of you are probably going to click off this post right now, too bad for you)…in fact, it’s not about selling at all…
It’s about the brand of you (or your business).
Are you using social media at all? Have you tried, but failed, and think that social media is a fad?
If you’re not using social media to some extent to promote your online business, or an offline business that might extend that presence to the web…you’re missing the boat big time.
There’s more leverage than can possibly be imagined in social networking, social marketing, Web 2.0…whatever you want to label it.
Your mindset just has to be adjusted to think about social marketing the right way…that’s all.
It’s not about direct selling…in fact, if you sell directly via social media, and haven’t earned the right to…your results will suffer or be non-existent. It’s the most common mistake made by 90% of marketers and business owners using Web 2.0 stuff.
So what’s the correct mindset?
First, you cannot have a hidden agenda. When using the social media, your objectives have to be both transparent and pure. You have to be genuine to yourself, and the results you want to obtain.
Then, you need to imagine the online social media like a giant seminar. You don’t walk up to someone at a seminar and immediately begin to pitch them something, do you?
Then why the fuck would you do that when social marketing?
As with all people-oriented business building strategies…relationships are the key. Relationships and people first, profits and money are a benchmark for success only (not, scratch that, never the objective).
So…when using social media…you need to develop the branding mentality. I equate this with creating a magnet that will attract your following of loyal customers to you. While creating that magnet will not result in direct sales immediately for the most part…over time you will create a “snowball effect” where more and more sales result from people referring other people to your business, and buying into your business.
And that my friends, is really the secret to business overall. It’s a people oriented arena (especially with the level playing field of Web 2.0). If you forget your people, you can forget your profits.
A prime example of this on the large company scale…is the automobile “Big 3” …which don’t seem so big now, do they? 🙂 They forgot about their people…instead opting for direct sales and forgetting to cultivate relationships with their customers. It’s not about the “mechanical things” like customer surveys any more Toto.
Does your business follow the example of the Big 3 Automakers?
If it does, and you don’t change, save yourself the stress and money invested…and just close the doors now.
Do you want to make a change?
Good. Blueprint time!
Create a video blog, and on a weekly basis, create a video post for your market to enjoy (entertainment is a BIG reason people surf the web). Once you start to develop a positive following of people, and not before, start to introduce your sites and business to that following (gently).
To submit your videos to other sites…you can use http://www.tubemogul.com
To look for a video cam and tripod to create your videos (along with a microphone) … look into Amazon.com.
And a good site to submit to as well, http://www.viddler.com .
One more thing you’ll need is Camtasia video editing software.
Brand yourself with your weekly content…make it interesting. The best example I can find of this (aside from what I will be doing later this year) is Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV.
Think about giving tips in a weekly format, or useful news for your audience. Over a pretty short period of time, sales will start to increase naturally…without much more effort. Heck, you might even be called to interview or show up on Oprah.
I understand that there are more ideas on this subject, and I will cover them in later posts…but get creative…I am sure you can do it 🙂