How to Market Your Business On-Line

For Busy Business People Who Don't Have A Lot of Time

 

Article by: Dr. Kevin Nunley

"I'm at a loss on how we can properly market our business
on the Net," Karen explained. "We've established an
impressive marketing presence in print media and I don't
want our home page to look shabby or sit there with no
response."

Karen's words sound familiar to many entrepreneurs. By
now just about everyone knows that a website alone will not
draw many visitors. Your on-line presence must be
promoted tirelessly. Free classifieds are everywhere. They
also take hours each day to place.

Posting to newsgroups can be profitable, but it's important
to know the group. Willy-nilly posting of commercial
messages can get you into trouble fast with the on-line
community.

The same goes for broadcasting hoards of unsolicited email
messages. Rather than finding lots of interested prospects,
you may well find your mailbox jammed with hateful replies
and a suspension notice from your provider.

What's a busy small business person with limited resources
to do? Thankfully, there are several very effective on-line
marketing methods that are relatively easy and quick. Here
are three of my favorites, all well regarded by people who
do lots of on-line marketing.

Promote Off-Line.
Include your URL in all the printed and broadcast
advertising you do. Don't just add your website address in
tiny print at the bottom, as some businesses do. Spread it
across the page so it can't be missed. Tell the reader or
listener WHY they should check out your on-
line presence. Give them a benefit for finding your page.
Supply them with helpful information or a discount that they
can't find out about any other way. Hand out a one-sheet
about your website. Include your URL on your telephone
hold message.

Use the public's current interest in exploring the Net.
Whereas many people won't read your brochure or analyze
your newspaper ad, many will enthusiastically click through
your web site. Use the opportunity to expose more people
to lots of details about your company, services, and
products.

Build an Email List of Your Customers.
While a great many people hate unsolicited email, it's
perfectly OK to send email notices about your products or
services to people who have shown an interest in your
company or bought from you in the past.

Recently, when I called a self-publisher to order a book, he
asked me my email address along with my credit card
information. At first I thought he might want it just for
notification of delivery purposes. But a week later I started
receiving his email newsletter providing me with helpful tips
and information on his latest publications. I find the
newsletter helpful and am more likely to remember him and
buy from him in the future.

Email newsletters are very simple affairs. Simply write a
letter to your customers providing them with helpful tips.
Include information on your products and services.
Remember that letters are still regarded as personal forms of
communication. Make your newsletter's tone
conversational, friendly, and informal.

Electronic mail is the marketing tool of the very near future.
We haven't gotten all the bugs sorted out of it and many
people do get irritated at receiving mail they aren't
interested in. BUT, email is cheap, conserves natural
resources, and doesn't pollute the environment. That's a
combination of strengths that will ultimately overcome all
challenges in a very, very big way.

Write Articles.
Finally, write articles for one or more of the thousands of
new on-line publications. The Net is about information.
People come to their computers to learn something. Use
what you know about your business to be the expert that
many people are looking for.

It doesn't matter what your area of expertise is--baseball,
auto repair, tax law, growing beautiful flowers--there are
hundreds of thousands of potential customers on-line
interested in learning more.

"But I'm no writer!" I hear you exclaim. You don't have to
be. As veteran on-line freelance writer Gary Christensen
says, "Look at it as writing a page of instructions." If you
can write a page of instructions on how to do something,
you can be a published expert. (Ask me for Gary's list of
ezines looking for articles.)

If you still don't feel comfortable putting your wisdom down
on paper, call your local college English or Journalism
department and ask for a capable student to "ghost" write it
for you. Take a cue from the many celebrities and famous
business executives who write books with the help of a
professional author.

Before you get discouraged over the difficulty of getting the
word out about your business on-line, consider adding these
three marketing options to your promotional arsenal. There
are more than a few entrepreneurs doing very well by using
nothing more than one or two of these smart and efficient
techniques.

 

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Kevin's articles on marketing and business appear each week on Prodigy, Staples.com, DEMC, Home Business Magazine, Money & Profits, Opportunity World, and 100 others!

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses and organizations. Read all his money-saving marketing tips at:

Website:
DrNunley.com
Email:
kevin@drnunley.com
Phone:
(801) 253-4536

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