Let’s face it, there are a lot of internet based businesses that have little to do with internet marketing, though they use the internet to market.
Businesses that used to be solidly ‘bricks and mortar’ but have recently morphed to ‘internet’ businesses.
My own business is a typical example. Ten years ago I dreamed that I’d be able to acquire clients in locations far away, but those days, most ‘long distance’ business was conducted by phone with the occasional trip necessary to solidify the relationship face to face.
The internet was being used, but more as a ‘bill board’ than as an interactive means of doing business – at least by most traditional type businesses. At that time a web site was something you either had to learn html in order to be able to attempt buiding it, or you had to hire someone who had that knowledge to do it for you.
I had my husband build my first site and it was very pretty. I didn’t make too many changes because each change meant a major re-coding, uploading, troubleshooting misery fest. I remember seeing the look of horror on my husband’s face when he showed me my site uploaded and I said, “That’s great! But do you think you could change the way that nav bar looks? Could we curve it?” He did, but it took a long time. He was not a programmer, but learned the basics out of necessity.
E-Commerce was for the ‘big boys’ – way out of my league budget wise, and in fact, I wasn’t sure I could actually ‘sell’ over the internet anyway.
How things have changed. Now, the vast majority of my clients are far away from where I am. I’ve never seen most of them face to face, though I know them well voice to voice. I consult, I teach, I coach and I sell – all over the internet. I conduct conference calls and teleseminars – all over the internet. It’s wonderful.
What’s more wonderful is that I can target my services and products accurately with multiple web ‘real estate’ ALL BY MYSELF! I don’t need a programmer or fancy software or anything except some time and some willingness to work methodically.
With the advent of blogging and all the ancillary technologies, communicating well and looking good (or reasonably good) has never been simpler.
Perhaps I need to qualify that. I use the word ‘simpler’ because, if I want, I don’t need to get anyone else involved in the process and be dependent on their schedule. I can get the ball rolling myself.
When I say ‘simple’ I don’t mean easier. Easy is when you have a project and you get someone else to fathom out how to do it for you and then let them actually do it. Of course, that’s always an attractive, and sometimes more sensible option when you weigh up cost benefits.
However at this point, I’m choosing to do much of what I do myself. The reason is two fold. I kind of enjoy it and I want to know what’s possible and what’s not so that when I do hand things over to someone else, I know the limitations and possibilities first hand. That way it’s easier for me to know what strategies to recommend to my clients.
Almost all of my clients have similar constraints: time and money. So strategies that use maximum leverage on minimum budgets are really key. Anything too difficult or too costly will simply not get implemented. And, as my object is to ensure that my clients get results, it’s important that what I suggest gets implemented.
Basic aspects of getting an internet presence up and running, such as setting up a self-hosted blog, are relatively easy depending on your host. Some have tools that provide a wizard that sets the whole thing up for you.
Setting up the blog itself is one thing – getting the optimization, traffic driving and monitoring capability set up is quite another. Again, the hosting company you choose has a lot to do with how painless the experience will be at set-up and at those times when things don’t seem to be working quite right or when you need to install a particularly useful plugin that is a bit out of the ordinary.
For the past little while, I’ve been researching opt in boxes and auto-responders to assess the best value and best capabilities in list building and launching of information products. If you’ve visited this blog lately, you’ll no doubt have seen some of what I’ve tested.
I’ve discovered that there are quite a few options ranging from free to serious financial investment… I’ve also discovered that the capabilities are all over the show. My task is to identify the type of capabilities that will really impact my client’s businesses through seeing how they impact my own. Part of my research focuses on the customer service and support these options provide.
This is something which is crucial when you begin using the internet to market. So far, I’ve been delighted with the customer service on one product I’ve installed and I look forward to telling you more about this soon – as soon as I’ve finalized which auto-responder I want to use for this tool.
Without excellent customer service and capability, you could spend a lot of time, effort and eventually money on building your target prospect and customer list only to be left high and dry when some glitch suddenly appears. Such as your list disappearing or your messages not being delivered.
The reason I’m telling you about this is to forewarn you. Over the next few weeks I’ll be discussing more of what my research uncovers and soon I’ll be making available an in-depth report “Blogging for the non-tech business”. By non-tech I mean specifically non-internet-tech business.
This report will help you identify and set up what you need to leverage the power of the internet to increase your profitability in your existing business. It will help you identify whether it would be better for you to get help or do it yourself by laying out an honest ‘non-tech’ review of how easy or difficult these processes are, as well as how long they’ve taken me as a typical ‘non-tech’ business.
So, stay tuned. Subscribe on the sidebar to the right so that you receive updates automatically.