Friday, February 8, 2013

Marketing; internet con't

     I probably got a little carried away yesterday when talking about a web-site for your business and having it done by a professional, but it is something I'm pretty passionate about.  Not for all the same reasons I'm so passionate about business cards, but I feel these are two areas that either get overlooked, taken for granted or we want to cut corners on.

     How much should we spend on marketing?  Maybe I should have covered this in the very first segment on marketing, but I feel you will better understand the cost of marketing now that we've talked about a few of the different ways to market you and your business and I'm sure you've already had a few doubts about what I've mentioned so far.  I'm referring to having your business cards done professionally, having a web-site done professionally and that all cost MONEY! 

You're right; marketing can be very expensive, but it is a necessary evil if you want to generate sales for your business.  You should probably plan on spending about 8% of your gross revenue on marketing.  Another words, if you do  $100,000 in sales for the years, you should be spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $ 8,000 a year in advertising/marketing.  

     The biggest problem with most small business is we have to spend the money on marketing before we get any money from sales and that's why most small business want to cut corners on their marketing from the very get go.  They don't have the up-front money to put into marketing so they start off by trying to do everything for themselves.  There's nothing wrong with that, but you need to understand that sometimes that can give you a very unprofessional look and that can turn a lot of prospective customers away from the start........and most of them will never give you a second chance for a first impression.

     Only you can decide how much time, effort and money you are willing to put into marketing, but all those factors will play into whether you are successful with your marketing or not.    Now with all that being said, I would like to talk a little more about a web-site for your business.

     Yesterday I gave you a number of reasons why you may not want to build a web-site for yourself and spend the money to have a professional do it for you.  I'm afraid I gave you the wrong impression that you should "never" consider doing a web-site for yourself and that's not what I was trying to convey. 

     I just wanted you to understand the difference of doing a web-site yourself and having a web developer help you with a web-site and what to expect as results of each.  If you are only going to use your web-site as a place to direct people yourself to go to get information about your business and maybe use it as a portfolio of some of your work, then doing a web-site yourself may work out fine (and save you some money).  But if you are trying to get people to find you on the internet by simply searching for a product and not knowing you even exist and you would like to generate sales from your site, then you will not have much luck unless you really know what you're doing building a web-site from the inside out!. The inner workings of a site is what makes it work, not just a pretty home page.

     There are a number of different ways on the internet to get your name out there to the general public other then just a web-site.  Using Facebook, Pintrest, Esty, Craigslist, Custom Make,, Merchant Circle, on line yellow pages and a slew of others are all ways for you to market on the internet.  Some are free and some there will be fee's involved if you sell anything, but each and everyone is well worth checking out to see if they could work for you.

     I would like to mention Merchant Circle again because I believe there are a lot of woodworkers that's not familiar with it and it is a great source to link with other business. Merchant Circle is a great way to link with other business all across the country that may be either related to your business or may be trying to target the same customer base.  Through Merchant Circle I'm linked with Real Estate Companies all across the country (almost every state) plus numerous other businesses.  The more links you have the more ways people can be directed to your site.  There's a lot more to Merchant Circle then that, so it's well worth checking out.

     One last thing I would like to comment on concerning  marketing and selling on line.  It's a great way to reach thousands of people but please remember the basic fundamentals when selling, whether on line or in person.  In person, a satisfied customer will usually tell 20 friends about you, but an unsatisfied customer will usually tell 200 people that they are unhappy with you, your product or your service.   With that being said, an unsatisfied customer on the internet can tell "thousands" of people with a simple click of a mouse. 

     There will always be Pros and Cons to marketing and selling on line; as long as you are aware of that you should be fine.  In my next segment, I will be talking about direct selling and the Pros and Cons of that type of marketing.



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