Is yours the only business confused about advertising?

Oh, for the good old days, when advertising was so simple for a small business.

I well remember when all we had to think about was newspaper, radio and television, with maybe the odd trade show or magazine advert thrown in – and most businesses thought that mix was hard enough to work through.

Of course, I’m talking mainstream advertising here. Alternative, specialist advertising like sponsorships, leaflet distribution and personalised bulk mailing were always available if you had the time to spend on them.

But since the Internet changed the World, small business promotion has become even more complicated. A website is a necessity, but that only kicks off the confusion. Where you go to after that?

Do you concentrate on search engine optimisation or pay per click? Facebook or LinkedIn? How about the increasing number of other social media outlets, all of which seem to go through a ‘flavour of the month’ phase before settling down in their rightful position?

Should you still have some old-fashioned advertising in the mix, with judicious use of newspaper, radio or TV adverts? All mentioning your website, of course!
And then there’s webinars, email campaigns and even blogging. How effective are they?

There is no easy answer, because every business is different and plays to a different audience. The trick is to start by identifying your market, find what it takes most notice of, working backwards from there.

You must test the waters with one thing of time, noting what gains you the best results. It can be a long hard process, but keep an eye out for future blogs on this website. I’m sure you’ll find them useful.

Have a great New Year! – Don Eade

A grassroots demo of educational selling

Beach at Yamba

Just one of the beautiful beaches at Yamba. Great place, lovely people and so relaxing!

 

Educational selling. It’s one of these things we all know of, but don’t realise. I had it shown to me twice last week. First in a one hour webinar and secondly by a woman in a cafe.

The one hour webinar show clearly why education-based selling is the most effective on the web. Tell people why, not just how and they will trust you. Trust engenders buying decisions.

Sounds simple, but to do it we must trust ourselves too. Why give away all our hard-earned knowledge? It seems so counter-productive. But in an hour-long (plus another half hour bonus time for Q&A) webinar it was proven without any doubt to me and over 200 others. I know we all signed off convinced that it’s an effective way to go in today’s online economy.

But as they say, there is nothing new under the sun. I had it demonstrated to me off-line – in a cafe down in the lovely NSW seaside town of Yamba – by a woman who I am sure doesn’t get the time to go online because of her cafe duties.

Mid-afternoon on Saturday and my wife and I were deciding where to go for a meal that evening. Plus, at the time, we also want a cold drink. We checked out the on-wall menu in the first cafe we walked into and started to wander out to investigate any other place that was open, when this woman wandered over and asked us if she could help.

“Actually, we’re wondering where we can get a good meal later on”, I said.

“Well,” she said, “you could try that placed diagonally over from us. They serve up really nice meals. I am not sure what time they close though, so check on that.

“Then there’s the seafood place over the road. Great seafood – it’s their specialty and I know they are open the same hours as us. Plus there’s the golf club and the yacht club. You may find it hard to get into the yacht club . . . They have a tonne of members . . .”

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture. After being fully educated on our choices in a very short time, where we were going to get ourselves an afternoon drink was a no-brainer. Plus, she sold us on a mango frappe, saying it was what my wife wanted (using soy milk) and that it was so good I wouldn’t even taste the soy. She told the truth!

On the way out of town the next morning, where did we stop for a farewell mango frappe? Sure thing! At the same cafe. All because she used a form of educational selling, gaining our trust.

Not only did she prove the value of education-based selling, it also confirmed there is nothing new under the sun. Online is not exclusive. If it works in the real world it usually works online as well.

Why is publishing your new website like getting married?

Because you need to think of it not as merely an achievement, but as the beginning of a fantastic journey.

Where will that journey take you? That’s up to you. Accept your website for what it is and it can help you open many doors.

Signing for a website

This couple may look like they are getting set for marriage, but they are actually signing up for a new web site – a commitment of similar importance!

Here are ten vital facts about your new website – not in any particular order of importance.

  1. You must regard it as a tool – nothing more. It has been designed to do a job as efficiently and as effectively as possible, but it is primarily a tool to help you get ahead.
  2. You should be proud of it, because from now on it will be the centre of your business. You’ll soon find that everything revolves around it.
  3. If any prospective client is the slightest bit interested in your pitch, the first question they ask you is “have you got a website?”
  4. Wherever you meet someone who could be interested in what you are selling, you’re now able to pique their interest with just a few words while handing them your business card (providing your website is on it).
  5. Even when nobody is talking business, simply handing over your business card can do the talking for you, without upsetting the non-business ambience.
  6. Don’t be surprised at the numbers who access your website by smartphone. Depending on your product, current statistics show that anywhere between 35% and 85% of interested parties will get their first facts about you via their phone.
  7. You’ll soon wise up to the fact that your clients and prospective buyers couldn’t give a damn about your beautifully designed website. Most of them have only one question, which is, “what’s in it for me?”
  8. Your website can’t work without your cooperation. You must put your URL (your web address) on everything you can. Your business cards are not much use without it. It’s certainly required on your letterheads, your business vehicle(s), in any print advertising you are doing – in fact anywhere and everywhere you can imagine.
  9. If you don’t like talking about yourself, your problems are over. Your website can tell everyone the important facts – your history, your achievements, what you excel at, what you can do for them and why they should buy.
  10. Your website must build trust. Have you ever bought something off somebody you don’t trust? If you have, you are very unusual because for most people that is the most important factor when they are buying.

A final word of warning: don’t make the mistake of thinking that your website will sell your product or service. Your website gives enough information to attract a potential buyer, to build and maintain their interest, but you are the one who makes the sale.