Using The Internet To Grow Your Business

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This is part one of a seven part course titled Internet Marketing For Small Business. The remaining parts of this course will be published over the coming weeks.

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As an independent professional, a self employed freelancer or a small business owner one of the most challenging tasks is marketing. You know how to do what it is you do really well, you know you can offer value to people, you just don’t know how to locate people (prospects) and convince them to use your services or products (become customers).

One of the most powerful techniques in marketing is to step into the shoes of your ideal client and brainstorm how they would find your business. This helps you to refine who exactly your target market are and what would be the best marketing methods to communicate your message to them.

I bet right now if you used this technique on your business one of the first things you would think of is the yellow pages. Most people automatically go to the yellow pages because that’s how people find businesses. Coaches, counsellors, plumbers, bookkeepers, financial advisors, consultants – any need can be met by ‘letting your fingers do the walking’.

The Internet Search Revolution

The Internet is fundamentally changing how people find things. The physical Yellow Pages, the big yellow book, is becoming superseded by web search. People use websites like Google, Yahoo! and MSN Search to find answers, buy products, and locate professional service providers. Not to be left behind, the Yellow Pages have reacted to the shift and have worked hard to make a web version of their directory available. It’s quite clear that the future is online and you can’t risk being left behind.

Thankfully it’s early days and most small business are reacting slowly or badly, either not bothering to have a web presence at all or not thinking things through. It’s very common for a small business to slap a poorly conceived website online, hoping that somehow people will find it and become new clients. This is an opportunity for individuals that take their time and use smart tactics to create a purposeful website focusing on a specific niche.

I would hazard a claim that for many small businesses, including yours, the web could become the only marketing tool needed to acquire more clients than ever before – more clients than you can handle on your own.

Why am I so confident? Because right now I use the web to generate all my business and I know of many others that do the same. For example, my mother is a counsellor and she uses the Internet to get nearly 100% of her new clients. She focuses on the Brisbane, Australia marketplace and faces almost no online competition. Hence whenever anyone searches for a Brisbane counsellor her website is in the first page of search results. I could tell you a similar story about a bookkeeper and a mortgage broker that both dominate a geographic demographic and face little competition online.

It’s Not Too Late To Get Into Online Marketing

There is no good excuse for not initiating some form of online marketing. Even simply having a website listing your contact details is a start and should be leveraged using other marketing methods, such as including your web address on business cards, letter heads and brochures. The real power comes when you use the web as a marketing process to help generate a constant stream of eager clients just dying to purchase from you. While this is not a straight forward process the principles behind it are quite easy to follow and merely draw from the skills you already have.

The important thing to understand is that right now is the best time to start building an online marketing system. As mentioned already, many online markets are not crowded and it is easy to find a niche you can dominate. I guarantee there are people out there searching the web for what you offer.

The Internet rewards people who maintain a web presence for a long time with regular updates. This means that over time as competitors come into your marketplace you can remain the leader because you have first mover advantage. You established your website first and enjoy the constant flow of traffic that comes from having a long standing web presence.

Let’s Make Things Easy

If all this sounds a little confusing and abstract don’t worry, I’ll be explaining all the main principles to make the Internet work for you as a marketing tool. This is the first article in a seven part series aimed to teach independent professionals and small business owners the process of establishing a website that sells and how to build a client base using just online marketing.

Stay tuned for part two of this series discussing the critical change of thinking you must become aware of in order to build a successful website for your business.

About Yaro

Yaro Starak is an Internet business and blogging expert. He runs the successful Internet business blog - http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com and teaches about how to make money from blogging at http://www.blogmastermind.com.

You can contact Yaro at - http://ReplytoYaro.com

Comments

  1. Well, I have only just stumpled into your website and I must admit I’ve taken a liking for the feel of it – Yaro, you put that spice of life in this ever so faceless and humanless internet world.

    keep up the good work

  2. I am very pleased to find a site with answers to my underlying questions without sounding like an advertisement for some program you are really trying to promote. I am an entrepenuer searching for guidance in the somewhat chaotic realm of the internet. I have so many ideas it is hard to focus on the steps I need to take to accomplish my goals…the internet does not make it easy, since many sites are very distracting in regards to content. I find it easy to read your articles because they give only what you intend to give…advice for small businesses and that is a relief for someone who needs just that.

  3. Hi Lynne – that’s what I aim for – simple explanations regarding how to run a business online. I find if I just type it out how I would explain it to someone in person it usually comes across fairly clear and simple. Glad you liked it 🙂

  4. I would hazard a claim that for many small businesses, including yours, the web could become the only marketing tool needed to acquire more clients than ever before more clients than you can handle on your own.

  5. I don know but why i don find such informative and profitable blogs so often,I suspect blogging world is becoming so small that we cant find such lucrative blogs like this one.

  6. Internet-marketing is the key to any kind of business these days and especially if you are into online money making, you have to be ten times more sure of what you are doing.The blogger has come out with useful tips and it would be pretty useful if he focuses on specific online businesses such as online money making,online shopping etc.Please post more articles of this nature.

  7. Once again you suppy us with a wealth of information Yaro.

    Every day I read this blog I increase my knowledge.

    Keep up the great work.

    Ian

  8. Lynne Clements says

    Hi – I’ve just found your website via Naomi Simson’s Red Balloon Days site, and this was a link from there. I agree using the internet is the key for advertising – however I’ve just gone live with my new business site nd it’s a new concept – so here’s a good challenge – how do you get people to look up your site when you’re trying to promote a totally new idea/concept. I’m operating a homeware hire business, I think new to market….. so do you have any tips on this marketing angle?
    Thanks, Lynne

  9. Having a website is definitely a great mrketing tool for businesses. I recently heard on interview of a bookkeeper using a minisite to market her business. She revealed that her business has increased because of this online exposure….

    Definitely looking forward to part two of this series of building a successful website.

  10. Hi Yaro, Yes, I agree with you, marketing is challenging task and you article is very useful information and thank your for sharing.

  11. Internet marketing, online marketing its the need for small business owners today because of the competitive market and you cover every and any aspect of internet marketing for small business. I am in waiting for more updates thanks for the great information.

  12. I depend on the internet for my business. My whole family has small business all getting sales from the internet