I may find myself ostracized by the entire civilized world and the gazillions who ‘inhabit’ the great World Wide Web, but, I truly believe that: it ain’t all about social media!
I know you’re shocked! But along with Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and the other 34 social media networking sites (http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/40-most-popular-social-networking-sites-world's ) I can confidently state that - IT AIN’T ALL ABOUT THE SOCIAL MEDIA.
As a business owner, no matter how large or small your business, no matter how new or well-established the business, you need to get out there
into the real world and, as the old saying goes, pound the pavement.
Even internet-based, never to see the light of natural sun, businesses – need to reach a wider audience. And that audience is found outside the confines of your 15” laptop screen, 10” tablet screen and 4.7” phone screen.
A potential client may view your name a dozen times online and pass your logo an additional two dozen times, but the reason she/he will call you is because at the moment they need your service, they asked a friend or colleague and that person RECOMMENDED you.
There’s an element of serendipity in this process: the exact sequence of words, the recommendation from someone they trust at the right moment, the human element is what will bring them to your door.
PEOPLE ARE FUNNY
People are funny, they want to show other people they are well-connected, well-educated, up-to-date and “in”. They want to be the “go-to” person who has all the answers. How do these go-to people get to know you and what you do? You have to tell them! These may be folks you have known for years, folks you’ve worked with, lived across the street from, stand in line at the bank, kupat holim and the grocery store. But you must still tell them and everyone you meet what you do!
This is Israel, you're only a stranger for 23 seconds; once you've talked you are considered friends for - 23 years! I’ve had bus drivers hand me their brother-in-law’s plumbing business card (true story), when they heard my son just moved into the area.
Reach out to everyone you know; this is your opportunity to tell them your business story, to hand them your business card and you may even hand them a flier or a brochure. By the way, the best people to practice your business story on are your friends and family. They have to listen to you - they're stuck with you!
PAPER PRINTING ISN’T DEAD – IT’S JUST BECOME MORE SELECTIVE!
I am embarrassed to admit that twice in my life, I prophesied that the world is now officially paperless. The first time was somewhere back in the 90s when it was obviously we were on our way to becoming a paperless society. (Oy!)
The second time came in the not so distant past when it was obvious that all websites, search engines and social media had made the “old fashioned” printed marketing materials obsolete.
Not true! We still love the feel of clasping a shiny crisp brochure or a flier or a business card in our grubby hands. But by the same token, brochures and fliers are just as easily discarded today as they were 10 and 20 years ago; no event or trade show would be complete without finding hundreds of nearly new brochures strewn about the floor. The only difference is that today, without that brochure, a business can, in most cases, be found with a little effort via Google.
Depending on your business and how you interact with your clients, printed marketing materials such as brochures and fliers can either be a must-have (for service-based, find-in-your-mailbox business such as private teachers, cleaners etc.) to nice-to-have (for internet-based service businesses).
In any case, when planning printed materials, keep the following 4 simple points in mind:
1. As customers have immediate access to your “store front” – that is your website - the branding of the printed materials (your color pallet, logo, fonts and graphic design) must match the overall website branding.
2. In many cases, you may want to allow customers to download printed materials, such as your brochures or fliers (in PDF format), directly from your site. This best way to accomplish this is to setup either a login and download permission on your site or an email request button; this way you are able to collect basic details frominterested/perspective clients and get an understanding of how interesting your subject matter may be.
3. As printed materials are an added marketing tool and not your main avenue for disseminating information, you no longer need to weigh down the brochure/flier with unnecessary background information. Keep your printed material content on-point and on-topic. Your website content should be able to round out all the background information you desire (that's what the About Me web page is all about).
4. On the other hand, every piece of marketing material must have all your full contact details INCLUDING your site url.
Marketing is not for sissies, it takes hard work, imagination and more hard work. Use every tool and trick at your disposal! No method is too old fashioned or newfangled to get your business out into the light of day and onto the customer's radar!
Want to know more about building and branding your small business?
Contact me today. Make today the day you and your business work together.
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