You have worked yourself into a state of near exhaustion just to keep your local company afloat and your head above water.
Yet one of the biggest reasons that too many small businesses have failed is NOT because their services were rotten or because that their products stank not even that the economy was bad – but because they had crappy marketing!
Anyone can have a great company but if no knows about it, especially in a business slowdown, things can do downhill fast. Too many small business people just don’t understand know how to effectively promote their local company when things are in a recession.
Now this is often not the fault of the owners. After all, most people start up their business during an economic upswing – after all very few people quit their day jobs during recessions!
At first things are going great – until they are not. And what once worked when it comes to advertising and promotion quits working and the phone stops ringing and the post man is the only one darkening your front door!
So what happens is desperate people turn to traditional advertising…
But as we all know, most city newspapers have shrunk so much that most barely has enough pages in each edition to cover the bottom of a birdcage. Plus the ‘exposure’ your newspaper ad gets nowadays is worth about much as what comes of that bird, too!
The story is not better when it comes to all the regional and trade magazines you used in the past. Too many print magazines have lost their readerships and have cut back on their circulation or simply closed down altogether.
And late-night cable TV commercials are too expensive and they just don’t capture the audience you are looking for.
If you are facing this problem, here’s what to do… start business blogging!
That’s what other smart small business owners are doing. In fact, many consider business blogging their marketing ‘secret weapon’.
Okay, you might have been hearing that “blogging” is one of the best ways to promote a small business online. But while you do emails and Facebook, you aren’t that tech-savvy and all this talk about “blogging” is just plain confusing.
Yet if you have ever wondered why so many small business folks are getting on the blogging bandwagon, then you should check out the following reasons why blogging works.
You Can Make a Business Blog Into a 24-7 Customer Support Machine
If you have something for sale, business blogging can help you sell more of it. This is because a blog allows you or your staff to quickly engage people interested in doing business with you.
People can leave feedback or question about a product or service in the “comments” section on a blog site. And within minutes, you can respond!
Think back about all the times someone was in your store or office and just needed a simple question answered before they pulled out their credit card?
Blogs also allow you to quickly post and update FAQs lists (Frequently Asked Questions) so people can find the answers they want 24-7.
You Can Use a Business Blog to Increase Product Visibility without Being Pushy
Study after study, has shown that while people enjoy the act of buying something new, they dislike intensely the process of being “sold’ anything. Even the best of salespeople have trouble presenting an unexpected offer without coming off as being ‘pushy’ or ‘just trying to make their quota’.
Blogs are different. On a blog you can create “web-only” special offers, product videos, recommend related products or services even install pop-up boxes (within reason) all to increase people’s awareness of what you have to sell.
Business blogs are like ‘digital salesmen’ who are always ready to showcase your best stuff – without being offensive or too aggressive. After all most people won’t stop reading your blog because your setup a pop-up to open if they click on a featured item.
You Can Use Business Blogs To Educate And Inform – Not Just To Promote a Brand or Sell Stuff
Yes, I know this seems counter-intuitive especially after the points, I made above. But if your blog is setup to primarily educate and inform, people will generally cut you some slack, when you try and sell them something.
The reason why is reciprocity. We humans are hardwired for cooperation – you help me and I am duty bound to help you. Favor for favor.
So when you help someone by teaching them about your industry (as well as the right ways to use your products or services) they might feel they owe you a favor and out of a sense of gratitude, are more willing to listen to what you recommend.
The same thing occurs if you keep people informed about happenings in your field. In today’s world no one can stay on top of the ins-and-outs of every industry. By helping people solve their problems by sharing timely information; you automatically let them know you are on their side.
You Need to Accept that Building a Blog Requires Hard Work, Skillful Marketing & Time
Okay, let’s face some hard truths here. Unlike all the internet marketing gurus tell you, blogging is NOT a quick or easy solution to any of your marketing problems. Don’t get me wrong, business blogging works.
I have written hundreds of blog posts for small business owners. And I have watched their companies not only survive but thrive during some the toughest business years, they have ever seen.
I have visited their stores and watched other local business people in the same building, with similar situations; quietly fade away – never to open their doors again.
All the while, my clients through their hard work and vigorous business blogging have experienced record sales. BUT these accomplishments didn’t come overnight.
So you have to have patience and be persistent. Okay, this might seem obvious, but I meet business folks all the time who tell me they have tried the “internet and it ain’t no good” for their _____________ (fill-in the blank for business type).
When I ask some questions, it seems they wrote a handful of blog posts (on Blogger.com) and then rushed over to Facebook and Twitter, to share the news with their 20 “fans” and “followers”.
Not going to work, folks.
Blogging for business is like anything else, you have to become so good that they (the search engines) can’t ignore you.
And by good I mean, both QUALITY and VOLUME matter!
You just can’t crank out a few posts or videos and expect miracles. It takes a certain amount of time and effort to reach a tipping point.
Not as much as you might think. I have seen results in as little as 6 months. But if you want more visitors, more leads, more sales or more clients – then you need to create MORE content (articles, videos, podcasts or whatever you have).
You Can’t Expect Immediate Returns From Your Business Blogging
By now this seems a bit obvious, right? But all too often small business people get caught up in the ADD of the online marketing world. They start an online marketing project, try it for a few weeks and then drop it.
You see the real “secret” to marketing online is volume. Internet business owner, Jeff Herring said it best…“The greater your article volume; the greater all your other numbers will be!”
You don’t have to a genius to publish on good business blog – you just have to focus and be consistent when it comes to creating good work and sharing it with others, online.
Basically business blogging is a numbers game, but like any game, you can’t win if you not participating!
Now that you understand a bit more about what to expect from a business blog, you start deciding whether or not blogging is the right thing for you and your business.
If you have any questions about blogging or online business marketing, I invite you to contact me > Get Online with a Blog