Effective Tips to Generate Local Attention for Small Business

With countless companies starting and shutting down it can be difficult to learn useful tips that can effectively generate attention for small business. Starting a company can be hard enough as it is so you will want to gain as much exposure as possible to avoid wasting your money and efforts. Whether you have been a business owner for many years or are just beginning your venture now, knowing as much as possible will help you increase exposure for small business.

Make Good Use of Social Media

If you have any intentions at all for expanding your company and find new leads for small business then it is pertinent that you make good use of the social media options available. There are many different platforms that offer various levels of exposure. For example, having a company page for your fans on Facebook is a great way for customers to leave feedback and also spread the good word about their experiences.

The best part is that many social networking sites offer free accounts which mean free exposure. To effectively generate attention for small business you will need to put your company name and information out on the internet where potential customers can find you. According to various research reports, business owners agree that social media has allowed them to efficiently generate leads for small business without the high costs traditionally involved with advertising.

Look for Experts to Generate Leads

Having more leads for small business is another area of extreme importance. It can be futile to improve your products and services if no one will know about it. Your efforts should be consistently focused on the best ways to generate attention for small business. For many business owners, finding relevant leads can be the most trying part. If you are stuck in a rut and have no ideas about where to begin then consider finding an expert for guidance.

Marketing experts know how important leads for small business are for success and have the inside knowledge about how the internet works. If you are busy doing countless other things for your business then you will not likely have enough time to focus on increasing your leads. There can be a significant difference if you take advantage of tools like email list building or forums related to your industry. Hiring a professional may seem like an additional expense on top of many others but this small investment result in added exposure for small business.

Learn about Outsourcing Benefits

Since online marketing and lead generation can be quite a time drain in general, outsourcing such tasks can be a great way to get the job done well. Especially if you have no prior background or experience on how to generate attention for small business, you can profit from consulting with an expert for help. Social media for example, is a popular and effective way to advertise but many small business owners are not internet savvy and simply do not have the time.

Outsourcing has become much more popular over the years for two simple reasons. If you are the owner of a company then your time is likely more valuable than that which you would pay to someone else. While you are doing important duties for your business, find someone to outsource to so they can handle work that is time-consuming or challenging. Another beneficial reason to outsource your marketing needs is because professionals have the complete know-how on how to increase exposure for small business.

Evaluate Your Business’ Image

Whenever you are taking steps and action to generate attention for small business, be sure that you are in tune with what image is being presented. Although most business owners do not have much spare time, this evaluation is necessary to guarantee that the right message is being expressed on either your company’s website or social media page. If you do not check what exposure for small business you are paying for then you could end up doing more damage than good.

Another reason why you should review what image your company represents is that you will want your marketing strategy to change as your products, services, and progress improves. It is reasonable that many small business pages do not look as professional as corporations but as your business expands, you will need to upgrade how you present your company. Overall, you want to make sure that if you generate attention for small business, it should be in sync with the image you want.

For Small Business, Marketing Or Lead Generation – Which is Better?

THERE BOTH THE SAME I HEAR YOU SAY!

Making the mistake of thinking they are the same thing can be a costly experience. Let’s break it down to the two separate areas and lets see if we can find some differences.

1. Marketing: Usually something you have to pay for that is never guaranteed to get a return on your money.

2. Lead generation: Free or cheap methods to promote your business that may take nothing more than your time and the willingness to think out side the square!

I’m surprised at the amount of small business owners I have met who pay for marketing purely for marketing sake. What I mean is, they know they have to put the word out there about their business so they take a regular spot in the local newspaper or tv guide, come up with new sales pitches week after week and then sit back and pray that customers will come flocking in.

Don’t get me wrong this can be a very effective method as a way to brand yourself, keep your business name in people’s heads until they are ready to buy and occasionally stimulate new business, but the main problem I find is that when you ask the small business owner how much return are they getting on their marketing expenses, and they usually wouldn’t have a clue! They are spending money on marketing that they really don’t know if it is working or not!

Lets look at marketing types. Flyers, business cards, websites, newspaper ads, tv ads etc. These and any other marketing types ONLY become lead generators if someone is compelled to pick up the phone and call you, email you, or hop in their car and drive to your business to purchase your product or service!

Until this occurs then it is purely marketing! If it is not driving customers to purchase or enter your follow on marketing system (you do have a follow on marketing system dont you?) then it is “money generating” for someone else but not lead generating for you.

Business cards are a great example of a marketing tool that usually isn’t a lead generation tool. Someone asks you what you do you hand them your business card that has you pretty logo on it, your name with six different titles under it to look impressive and your contact details. They may be impressed with your logo or how many titles you have to your name and look you up, but in most cases the card will go in their back pocket, probably through the wash later that day never to be seen again!

You need to point out to the potential new customer that if they or someone they know, are interested in your product or service then on the back of the card are the details of how they can get something “special” if they call, email etc. You have to drive that customer to take action and generate that lead! In most small businesses the greatest lead generator is a satisfied customer that is more than happy to tell anyone and everyone about their experience with your business.

Most small businesses have sales systems, external marketing strategies, but very few have referral systems or strategies. Spending a little money on a referral program or reward system for customers that refer business is money much better spent. The customer takes ownership of your business if they are getting something in return, and the business they refer comes pre-sold on your products or services, much easier to get the sale!

The point is make sure no matter what form of marketing, advertising or lead generation campaigns you do, you have to come up with some way of getting the potential customer to take action. Every person that calls, emails or drops in to your business. Ask them how they heard about you so you can at least measure if your marketing budget is going to good use. It may surprise you to see the results!

4 Reasons Why Twitter Is a Waste of Time for Small Business Owners

We’ve all heard the hype: “you NEED to be Facebooking, Twittering, blogging and YouTubing if your business is going to survive in the next five years.”

But spare a thought for the humble small business owner, generally a one or two person operation, maybe up to five… time poor, money poor (GFC?) and with little computer education let alone a working knowledge of the internet and social media.

But with all the so-called ‘Social Media Gurus’ out there whose advice do you follow (even if you do have the time to invest in learning)…?

For many small business owners Social Media is the bane of their existence, a necessary evil they HAVE TO DO… just because everyone else is doing it. Yet, if they’re going to take time out of their busy schedule to ‘do’ Social Media how on earth are they going to make money from it, how are they going to get a return on their investment?

Social Media is full of wishy-washy slogans like ‘enter the conversation’, ‘meet customers on their terms’ and ‘let customers tell you what they want from your business’. How is a small business owner to make sense of any of this, let alone make money for their business?

Twitter is a much talked about Social Media website yet it could be the undoing of many small business owners that dare to spend their days ‘tweeting’, re-tweeting, following and hash tagging.

Here are 4 reasons why Twitter is a waste of time for small businesses owners:

1. Time – tweeting takes time, and what small business owner do you know that isn’t time poor? If you had a few hours spare each week to tweet, there are better ways to spend it.

2. Money – we’re all in business to make money, yet when it comes to social media a select few seem to know how to do it. We hear how Dell Computers made $4million on Twitter last year. Is Dell a small business? No. They have a huge team whose sole responsibility is to perfect their social media. But how is a time-poor small business owner going to make money from Twitter? They could hire someone but at what hourly cost? They have to make that back and more to make it even worthwhile.

3. Lead Generation Strategy – for a small business to run smoothly they must have one or more lead generation strategies. And when it comes to Social Media the same SHOULD hold true. Yet the majority of small business owners use social media randomly – a tweet here, a post there – but where’s the system? To make it work you need a strategy. Twitter is a place for you to build you ‘expert’ status. Credibility which leads to expert status takes time and what small business owner has unmetered time?

4. Customisation – Twitter allows you 140 characters per ‘tweet’. Sure, you can customise the picture on your profile, but who cares? Twitter allows zero customisation to give your business profile an edge, nor does it offer opportunity to capture business leads.

For small business owners who want a return on their Social Media investment they need a tool that can help them do that. They need a system in place to get the results they’re looking for and it needs to run on auto-pilot the majority of the time. If Twitter can’t offer this, what Social Media Site can?

The answer is Facebook. Facebook ticks all the boxes that Twitter doesn’t. With Facebook, Small Business owners can:

– invest little time, but with the RIGHT knowledge, can gain a financial return on the time they invest

– Invest little money aside from an upfront setup cost (assuming they hire an expert to set it up for them)

– Systemise a lead capture procedure that brings in qualified leads right to their email inbox

– Customise – as of March 10, 2011 Facebook offers customisation for anyone to insert a ‘mini-website’ within their Facebook Page which gives them full control over the content they place on their Facebook Page.