A Cautionary Marketing Tale
Our SBDC small business marketing case studies continues with,
“I can’t start marketing; my website isn’t done yet.”
Pleiades Publishing Services produced its first client-funded website in 1994. As wonderful as we thought that website was, and even knowing that our “First Paying Website Client” got his “First Client” directly from that site, we realize that “MARKETING AS WE KNOW IT, did not start the day DARPA-Net went commercial. Companies managed to get their message to their client base BTWWW (Before The World Wide Web”
Marketing a business online wasn’t a common practice until the turn of the last century. Pre-millennium (late 90’s) businesses managed to successfully market their products and services, with old-school media.
When did we all buy into the notion that having the PERFECT, Search, Engine Optimized website is a rigid requirement for a successful business launch?
This does not mean I think a company website is superfluous. I’m passionate about the advantages a great Internet Marketing economic model…and don’t even get me started about what WordPress can do for your business model; however, if you don’t have a fully functional business site yet, do not go into marketing fetal position and wait for delivery. There are some marketing steps you can take today. Go do them.
Yes Virginia, eventually you do need a really outstanding website
The more I’ve studied the Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on The Internet, the more I have become convinced that the company website(s) must be developed with passive sales in mind. Professional service providers need to think differently about their business and look to developing information products that will give them residual and passive income streams. But I digress that is an another day(s) blog topic.
Once you have worked with your business customers over a period of time, and had a few real sales conversations, you’ll have a better idea about what potential clients want to know and what motivates them to use your products or services. With that information and insight, you’ll compose a much better website.
Until your business website is up and active use email to give your prospects additional information about you and your business. Convert your existing company marketing literature to PDF- files (Adobe’s Portable Document Format) and attach them to your email correspondence.
Baby Steps and Back to Basics
Powerfully written, beautifully designed brochures, eye-catching Ads, sales letters, and websites are all valuable, powerful and informative sales tools; but, please don’t let your business marketing be put on hold because you haven’t yet found, or approved, the ‘perfect words’ or images. In the process of marketing your goods and services, actions really are much more important than the perfect words.
With the exception of the Internet Marketing economic model, basic business marketing hasn’t fundamentally changed over this past decade. Most business is about personal contact. This is especially true for professional service providers.
In the beginning was the Word — word of mouth — clients come from pre-existing personal connections — folks the business owner knows, or the friends and colleagues these personal acquaintances. There’s no need for an initial web presence to bring clients such as these, to the business.
I’m a very capable marketing technician. I’ve been trained to know what to do, and why, to what probable result. Over the years, as both a content developer for Pleiades’ clients and as a SBDC counselor, I’ve had lots of practice and plenty of lessons learned. Joe Vitale, however is a “Guru Status”, marketing maven. He knows all of the above and executes with panache. Any marketing book by Joe is a good business investment.
As a retired SBDC counselor, I know where to find business-related information — both online and IRL. In this case my marketing source Is years and years as a business counselor and mentor. For individual business support with any aspect of your business contact the nearest SBA-sponsored Small Business Development Center.