There are two sides to every business – the business you started, and publishing. You started your business to fill a particular need in a given niche, or marketplace; to provide service where one did not exist. This is your passion! It is what gets you up in the morning, and on occasion keeps you up late at night, and you are good at it! Guess what? Someone else, or some other organization feels the same way. Why should potential customers, and clients visit your physical location (…or website), and purchase the product, or service from you instead of the another provider? What possible reason would they have for “trusting” that you will do a better job than your competition? Here are a few of what many consider to be the seemingly “easy” or “traditional” route.
- Create flyers
- Take out ads in local papers, magazines, directories, or value bulk mailers
- Run an ad or two on local radio
- Ads on local cable
- Build a website to list products, times, locations, contact information, and about pages
- Run Google AdWords, Bing, or Facebook ad campaigns
In a world where everyone is doing the same thing because that’s what’s expected, how do you differentiate yourself? This is where the second side of your business comes into play. Running ads, and building a website to let the world know about your business, products and services is a great first step, but thinking, and utilizing your website as a publishing platform instead of a digitized print ad is the move that can take you into another stratosphere.
There are two ways to reach people online. Pay continuously for ads, or develop helpful, relevant content that search engines can provide to those seeking answers. The later can take more time upfront, but can also pay off in several forms:
- Less ad spend
- Free search traffic due to improved site content
- Longer time on site
- Better conversions
- Improved reputation via social proof
- Improved industry authority
- Better brand recognition
I can hear the questions already, because I’ve asked myself the same, as well as answered them for many clients, “Where will I find the time?”, “What would I say?”, “I hate writing!”, “Nobody’s listening in my industry.” As the old saying goes, “You won’t know until you try.” Content can, and should be provided in different formats. So, don’t worry so much about writing. You can record it in an audio format. Some questions from customers may best answered via video, which can be converted to text or a separate audio file as well.
Ask yourself how many customers am I providing to my competition, or exposing to substandard service providers because I am unwilling to invest a little “sweat equity” in helping them find answers that I know I can provide. Growing up in East Texas, I was always told that when you point a finger someone else at least three are pointing back at you (…you’ll get it on the drive home. It took me a while to get it back then…).
You will hear more from me about developing your publishing platform, and how you can integrate it to your print advertisement, radio/podcasting, and even television efforts in order to validate effectiveness. It’s time to do reach more by sharing versus spending. If you have questions, send them over. We will find the answers. Join my email list to have the next part of the conversation delivered directly to your inbox.