The 5 Best Places to Look for Online Marketing Help

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“Training Matters! Because a blog post a day, helps keep the IRS away!”

 

The Top Places to Get Online Marketing Help – For a Small Business

Okay, if you’ve just built a website, or your current site isn’t attracting the traffic you had hoped for, you might be wondering where you can go to get some online marketing help.

The first place most people naturally think to go is back to their web designer or developer.

But often this can be a mistake. Not because your web guy or gal doesn’t care about you but because designers and developers are front-end people.

They’re in the business of creating and building your website and then getting it online. They’re simply not trained in online marketing. And frankly most of them believe that marketing is someone else’s problem…hmm…job!

So while they might try and help, often they can only do so much for you.

Of course a lot of small business people start listening to or following pro bloggers or internet affiliate marketers. There is really nothing wrong with this … except that neither one of these groups actually run any local stores!

Because they use a different business model (online only) their advice and training products are not really suited for small brick and mortar companies.

So where can you get common sense web marketing help? Help designed for a local, small business?

5 Places to Get Online Marketing Help for a Small Business

Your Local Chamber Of Commerce

The first place you should check out is your local chamber of commerce. If you don’t know a Chamber of Commerce is a basically a network of…

“Businesses whose goal is to further the interests of those businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community.”

A chamber of commerce can be a small organization with just a handful of local merchants banded together or huge national association serving the whole country like the US Chamber of Commerce or a niche association like the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Most good sized chambers host presentations on online marketing, publicity and other promotional topics of interest. Your best bet is to lookup your local chamber and check out their schedule of training programs.

But what if you’re a member of a chamber of commerce and don’t want to join one?

Well next you should check out…

Your Local Community College

Many small business people overlook the many business and marketing courses available to them through community colleges.

While it’s true most of college courses are centered on traditional methods of marketing and advertising, almost all tech schools and universities now offer continuing education classes.

A con-ed or continuing education course is frequently taught by an industry expert or working professional in a particular field.

This means the courses are not only very affordable but you often get training from people who are actually “practicing what they teach”. Not to mention many professionals use these types of programs to scout out potential prospects.

So you can not only learn some useful information but you might also discover that your instructor can offer you services or products at “student discount” rate!

But what if don’t have the time to attend classes? Then it is time to track down…

Your local SCORE office

According to their website, “The SCORE Association (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth, and success of small businesses nationwide.”

SCORE is a resource partner with the Small Business Administration.
Basically this means SCORE is the SBA’s teaching arm.

You normally can find SCORE offices in larger towns and cities. But with some 320 chapters around the country, there is probably a SCORE office in your area.

SCORE like community colleges uses either retired or working professionals in their training programs. And since this nonprofit is staffed by business-minded people, they often offer classes that are scheduled during more business-friendly time slots than most colleges offer.

Now even if getting to SCORE workshop seems like a hassle, then you can you always…

Read Books

I know common sense right? But for a bunch of business folks, the last time any of them picked up and read a book was when they were in high school or college. And they didn’t like reading books then.

If you have a learning disability or poor eyesight, I can understand why books are not ever going to be your favorite way to learn.

But that being said, since it takes a lot of time and effort to brainstorm, research, outline, write and publish a book – often the best researched and the most well though out information can only be found in books.

Now don’t bother going to your local library…all the best marketing books have long since been stolen off their shelves!

You will have to visit a local bookstore or go online to Amazon to find both the classics and latest marketing tomes. Reading a book is the single most common way for people to educate themselves.

With a book you can skip over the boring bits and only read and study what is important to you and your current situation.

But say you don’t have the time or the inclination to work your way through the 95+ marketing, business and copywriting books, like I did. (Yes, I know book nerd!).

You want to get the information you need and get it done? Well that only leaves…

Learning Online

You can always check out small business marketing blogs like this one. Local business bloggers are often like the folks who teach continuing ed classes. They are practicing professionals in their field.

So what they teach online through their blog posts, is what they actually use to help their personal clients or customers.

Also almost all of these professionals offer a combination of both free and fee training resources like YouTube videos,  live local workshops or digital training guides as ways to get your feet wet.

Plus by signing up to receive the email blasts or newsletters of these experienced professionals you can receive some great marketing tips and loads of actionable information you can put to use in your business.

Advanced training manuals, programs and courses are quick and easy ways for you to learn how to focus your efforts in the right place so you can fix your specific marketing problems and issues.

Some training programs are for sale for a modest fee, while other courses can run up into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The cost of course is in part determined by its format and delivery system. Printable ebooks, checklists and templates are easier to produce and often their price reflects this.

On the other hand, full blown multimedia courses that have a multipart structure and offer digital media components like MP3 audios, videos or phone conference coaching are naturally more expensive.

What you invest in is up to you. But as a small business person you always have to bear in mind that not all marketing processes work well for smaller or local companies.