Online marketing can be quite overwhelming, especially search engine optimization (SEO). Over the last 10 years or so, paper marketing has dwindled and online marketing has become the empire. Now more than ever, it pays to work smarter, not harder, as over 80% of people will research a company or product prior to swiping their card. It’s obvious, now more than ever, that the biggest challenge many small business owners face is knowing where to start when they have no online presence established.
At Big Red SEO, we encourage you to go back to the basics of marketing. Many believe the beginning starts with placing calls at online marketing agencies like us, gathering a list of our services and making a final decision of how to move forward. We’re here to tell you that this should be the last step, not the first!
First Step, Develop a Strategy
Top-performing companies start with a business plan before they ever get to the online marketing phase. While some companies are able to open their doors without a business plan, the longevity of their business more than likely will suffer after the first 12 months. With the statistics of new businesses failing, it makes many entrepreneurs fearful of opening their doors in the first place.
If you know someone who always takes part time jobs to compensate for income while they keep their business running, this is an example of someone who needs to nail down their business plan.
Strategy for a business starts with the basic question, “who is my ideal client or customer?” If you’ve heard the quote “anybody or somebody is nobody,” you’re well ahead of the curve. While we wish our SEO services could help everyone, we know through an in-depth process that someone who knows what search engine optimization is will see the value of the services we have to offer.
We also know that we’ve been able to create a niche in the industry by explaining what we do for a living in easy-to-understand terms, rather than trying to make it sound like there’s a magic recipe to get results. You can also establish the same type of strategy for your company, service, or product.
In short, an ideal client or customer is the person who is already interested in what you have to offer. They’ve more than likely tried a competitor’s product or service or may have heard your reputation through a confident friend or business professional. They’re ready to sign up but just have a few clarification questions on how your business is different than the other industry companies.
Tackle Your Finances — Including Budget
At Big Red SEO, we recommend investing 10 percent or more of your sales in online marketing efforts. For some this seems extreme, especially when they’re first starting out. The reason we suggest making this the minimum is you’ll learn to work smarter, not harder.
Marketing efforts can be creation of a website, Search Engine Optimization, PPC–Google AdWords, content creation, TV and/or radio advertisement or paper marketing (such as the telephone book, coupon booklets, magazines or newspapers).
The biggest challenge is not necessarily finding the marketing venues to spend your budget in–instead, it’s tracking what is working and what’s not. If you’ve established your strategy you’ve established your ideal client. Now you just have to find out where those ideal clients shop, spend their time and determine the avenue to get the most bang for your buck!
Poor or no online marketing efforts can slow down the natural (organic) growth of your company. A few articles back I discussed why you should quit your day job when launching a business. The main reason for this is that you need to invest 100% into your product, service and self to gain the confidence you need to succeed. Many new business owners will dabble in their niche business and never really take the leap of faith to grow the business to its full potential.
If you’ve followed your strategy to perfection, established your budget and spent it wisely, the new business will start to roll in. At some point you will need to add to your team and start to delegate responsibilities to accomplish that next goal.
Opening the doors of your business does not mean that you should immediately increase the size of your business within X amount of time. It truly comes down to you knowing the internal processes of your new business and what needs to be delegated for you to maximize the time you spend in the business. Oftentimes you can outsource several tasks such as accounting, office cleaning, social media management, content creation, or telesales.
At Big Red SEO, we recommend you to grow cautiously. Over 75% of new businesses will fail within the first three years. Arm yourself with the resources you need, prior to needing them. Understand the services you offer, what your clients want and most importantly become the industry leader!
We Want To Help You Grow — Call Us Today (402) 522-6468
If you need some guidance on where to start regarding online marketing feel free to give our expert marketing team a call at (402) 522-6468. We start each conversation with a brief list of questions regarding your company, ideal market and goals. By the end, we’re able to deliver a solid recommendation for creating the perfect online presence.