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Three Things You Need to Know About Content Marketing Online for Small Business

For years and years I worked in a small business that relied on organic search traffic to drive people to our email, phones and physical locations. Organic search was our only online marketing activity for the better part of 4 years and then we added a few directories like Qwest and GTE Superpages. Content marketing online wasn’t even something we considered but it turns out that we were doing it without knowing what great results would come down the road.

We loaded up content week after week and month after month. It was tedious work, but we had a good webmaster and I fed him alot of information, pictures and graphics. 

At our peak we had over 250 pages of content and this made the difference when our buyers were searching for items that we offered. We dominated certain categories and it was all based on the content that we had on our website.

The thing is in today’s online environment you have sooo many options when it comes to marketing. From directories and pay-per-click ads to Local search and the magic bullet website. The list is so long that your head spins and wallet can get empty really fast.

Small business is tough enough as it is and online marketing can make it even tougher, especially when your phone is ringing every day with people who want your money and magic bullets by the dozen.

You’ve heard it all just like I have.

content marketing online
“Target Market with Content Marketing Online”

And this is why content marketing online could be what separates you from your competition. Plus you can target market much better and increase sales, which could make for a more profitable month or year!

Here are Three Things that You Need to Know about Content Marketing Online for Small Business:

  1. It pays to have a Content Blueprint just like you have a business and/or marketing plan. No blueprint – lots of confusion and headaches. A clear, well put together blueprint is like a good roadmap that leads you to your destination.
  1. Quality Content Creation can be easy or it can be really hard. Easy is better and sometimes this needs to be handled by someone other than yourself. Either way you want to make sure that there’s quality in what you create. Content, Content, Content. Quality original content that connects you with your buying market online.
  1. Good Content Distribution can make the difference of sales or no sales. The better the distribution of your content to your target audience, the more buyers will be attracted to you. Not rocket science. Be where your target market hangs out.

So if you are tired of spinning your wheels with ads and marketing that doesn’t seem to convert into sales…

Test content marketing online this next year and make sure to work from a blueprint.

Make sense? Good – get to work and create quality original content.

Doesn’t make sense? Need some help with some or all of it? Check out Techsmith and contact the peeps over at SBM and let ‘em know that the ClickandMortarblog.com publisher sent you. They’ll take care of your content marketing woes in a jiffy.

So now it’s time to get busy and put all of this content stuff together so you can see the benefits in your small business. 

Stay in touch and be sure to stay tuned for more on this hot topic of content marketing online.

Dave Krygier

 PS – Keep us posted so we know how your content marketing online is coming together.

Web 2.0 Marketing – Your High Speed Connection

Back in the early days of the web it seemed that life was so  much simpler. There was dial up, one email account, simple search, AOL, Compuserve, Netscape and Yahoo. The search engines didn’t seem to change much and our business cruised along at a steady pace for 6 years. Was there more beneath the surface? Probably, but I didn’t care to participate and this was life as we knew it, so looking back I really enjoyed the ride. I learned a lot, made mistakes, and grew our business to the point of selling it in 2001.

Long gone is the day of only NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and a few other local or independent stations on a black and white TV set. This is what I relate to with the early days of the web, HTML 1.0 and really ugly static pages.

Today’s world wide web or Web 2.0 is a much more complicated world.There’s a long list of channels and technology that seem to change and grow on a weekly basis. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg, Yelp, Urbanspoon, Trip Advisor, Hundreds of Directories, Amazon, AOL, WordPress, Blogs, Forums, Tablets, Pads, High speed connections and the list just keeps on going.

So the big question is how do we continue to connect with our prospects, subscribers and customers with so many channels available to us? Well to start with I believe that you need to know your PSC more intimately than ever before. In order to connect and communicate you need to know the following:

  • What they like and don’t like?
  • Where they hang out?
  • How they like to be communicated to?
  • Why should they listen to and connect with you?
  • When they like to connect?
  • Who they already hang with?

Web 2.0 Marketing allows us to reach out and connect more so than ever before. All you need to do is take the time to search for the channels that your target market is attached to and reach out so the individuals know you’re there.

For some it’s still through organic search, others it’s paid search marketing, and yet for others it’s using social channels like Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest.

But you need to focus and pinpoint which channels you are going to work on and in. This is a key to web 2.0 marketing and your ability to connect with people on a level that we have only sort of known in the real world of live networking.

My opinion is this…never has there been a time when one could create a niche and have sales within days and more new connections than ever before. Yes – when you know where the buyers are and what they want to buy…

All you need is the product, service or information they hunger for and a way to deliver it to them as fast as possible.

And by the way, there’s still one ancient channel that all users of the web still use at some point – Ye ole’ electronic mail. Yes, email is still alive believe it or not. But I’ll leave this subject and it’s long list of topics for another day and time.

Until then, do your research, dig deep and start connecting versus throwing mud up on the wall. And leave that old, antiquated outdated analog technology on the history shelf so you have something to talk about with the relatives at Thanksgiving.

To Your Web 2.0 Success,

Dave Krygier



The Ever Changing Dex

I‘ll never forget the time I was at a tradeshow in 1996 or 1997 and ran across the USWest “yellow pages” directory folks.  I approached them about the Internet and they all looked at me like I was talking jibberish.

For those of you who don’t know who USWest is, it’s now Dexone or Dex or Dex something without the phone companies attached.

Over the years they’ve morphed and changed from one of the Baby Bells to a separate phone company with a yellow page division; to also include a cellular company – US West Cellular. This is an altogether separate story seeing that USWest Cellular changed its name to Airtouch and then some time later to Qwest.

Qwestdex was the brand that I remember when it took Qwest and added this Dex character to their name. A little later Dexonline came around and Dexknows was brought into the picture and today it’s Dex One, I think.

The only reason I say, I think, is because I see different variations of Dex and get confused.

As you can see this once Baby Bell has not only changed operationally over the years but also in the front end as their identity has gone from pretty obvious (yellow pages) to offering a large list of services, just like everyone else.

So why even bring up the past of this aging behemoth? Because it was this directory company that first approached me about online listings in 1999 and was charging $19.95 per listing, per category.

You see, I was utilizing SEO since 1995 and doing great with our business (Secrets of the Tiny Store) but was looking for additional ways to get the word out and focus more on local business. During that year I also approached DoubleClick about banner ads and searched for other directories to see what we could do about gaining exposure in our local community. Google was still very new and in the early stages of growth.

Now back to Dex…

Dex, or what was USWest at the time, had proven to be the leader for us when it came to local yellow pages. I had diligently surveyed, tracked and tested our advertising and marketing which showed them as the leader when it came to the offline yellow books.

They had a proven track record offline but when it came to online, there was no proof or easy way to track unless we did it manually, with phone numbers or relied on their tracking system.

The real problem was that their $19.95 charge was per month, per listing and when you added up our listings, it was a good chunk of change. When you compare the listings to my previous four years of SEO and there was no comparison when it came to return on investment and results.

Today, it seems that they have not changed the pricing and even added a few hoops for us small biz folk to jump through. Claiming my free listing they automatically put me in an auto-responder and had a sales rep emailing and calling.

Not that I asked for any of the above, it was just their process and way of doing business. And was the ‘rep’ flexible or even open to helping me? No, all he wanted to do was sell another package and yet here I sit still not sure about my free listing.

The funny thing about ‘Dex’ is that in my recent research for clients and prospects, I barely found them on any of the page one listings on Google or Yahoo. Yet I saw Yelp, Merchant Circle, Kudzu, Yellowpages.com, Superpages and a handful of other directories and citation sites. Dex was there in some cases, but not as visible as the other guys.

Yet here he(it or they) is again asking for my $19.95 per month, per listing, per category. 13 years later and history is repeating itself.

So, my loyal reader, when it comes to growing your small business, do business with people and companies that can help you plus will add value.  And always be on the look out for the marketing that supplies the best results and ROI. Because in the end your bottom line is what counts, not what the other guys think.

To your small business success,

Dave Krygier

Offline to Online Marketing

In today’s post I’m diving into the topic of what I call Combination Marketing. So if you are involved in a small business that has been using traditional media and you desire to jump online and combine the two, this might be just what you need.

Combo Marketing is a mix of using online and offline marketing methods to attract and reach your target market.

If this is new to you then let me give you a brief example:

Let’s say you own and operate a small restaurant that currently uses direct mail but also has a simple website with menu, about us and contact info.

You would simply start using your website and a social media site like Facebook to get started. Once you are ready to go you would place specific response mechanisms on your direct mail pieces that direct people to your website or Facebook.

Once the searcher clicks and takes action, you end up with a new reservation, a take out order, an inquiry, a new subscriber or a phone call.

This is a simple explanation and one of many roads that you can take, but it gives you the basic idea of offline to online marketing.

But even though combo marketing allows you the small business owner to possibly get more traction and results faster, you still need to pick your battles and focus, especially if you are on a limited or restricted budget.

Here are a few of many different strategies that you might consider using when implementing offline to online marketing:

Strategy #1
One of the strategies I like is to use a Dedicated URL that is short and relates to your business, products or services. URLs have become so inexpensive that for as little as $10 a year (and sometimes less), you can test a URL to see if it pulls and has any weight. This simple test will show you if it pays to expand and put more money behind the URL.

I also recommend that you combine this URL with one offline channel at a time, like a direct response postcard or classified ad.

If you want to take it a step further and dig down one more level, create a separate landing page for each and every ad or promotion that you create.  This allows you to create and track individual pages to see which ones are performing and which ones aren’t.

Strategy #2
The second strategy is what I refer to as the ‘Mobilizer Campaign’ and it’s whole purpose is to drive traffic and leads through a mobile website. The idea being that mobile users will search and arrive at your mobile site that directs them to specific pages that you have created for them to see and take action. These pages are response driven and need to have incentives and reasons for the searcher to click and take action.

For more information about these and other offline to online marketing strategies, along with the ‘BITS Program’, contact The SmallBiz Mechanic and get started today.

Dave Krygier


Increase Sales to Your Website

When I hear the term increase sales to my website this always brings to mind the response  if we can help you increase sales to your website, can you really handle the sales and back end service?

Increasing sales to your website really means that you have to increase the targeted traffic to your site or social media sites, and then convert that traffic through a sales funnel or sales page, if you only have one product. 

In my previous post, Increase Sales the Soft Sell Way, I mentioned the methods that we have used for many, many years. This is the method we used at The Tiny Store and I still use to this day.

Here are three ways that you can soft sell your way to success and increase sales to your website using web-based tools:

1. Create & Place Lead Generating Magnets and bring new leads and prospects your way. These magnets are designed to attract people who have a real interest in what you have to offer. A magnet can be a dedicated web page, an article, a pay per click ad, a classified ad or even a video. The idea is to create powerful, focused, lead generating magnets and then place them in areas where your target market hangs out. This is a great way to increase qualified traffic which in turn should bring you more leads and sales, if you have a product funnel in place.

2. Use Capture Mechanisms – which could be an email auto-responder, standard email, the phone or combination of the above. If you are socially savvy then utilize social media sites to connect, captivate and capture leads. The key here is to be available and willing to communicate when the prospect raises his or her hand and says I’m ready! The more leads you capture – the higher chances you have for converting them into new customers which = sales and $$$ in your bank account.

3. Study Direct Response Strategies & Tactics – If you are going to increase sales to your website you need to know the basics about direct response marketing. So read, learn, study and then apply the basics to your small business. If applied properly these strategies and tactics can help you increase sales to your website and whatever business you are in. Note: always use best practices when it comes to sales and marketing. Leave the short cuts and phony baloney to the amateurs and those that don’t want a long-term business.

Increasing sales is one thing, but taking care of customers is altogether a whole other story. When it comes down to it, you need to be able to handle the sales, service the customers and grow the relationships so you can continue to increase sales with what’s called the backend.

As I have stated in so many different articles, posts, tele-calls and products; increasing sales comes from bringing in new customers, taking care of them and also marketing to existing customers. 

How to increase sales in small business is not difficult. Online or offline all you need to do is find the need, fill it and then continue to build on the relationships that you create. 

Now go increase the sales in your small business and if the times comes that you need a little assistance, contact The SmallBiz Mechanic and maybe he can help you work out the kinks.

Increase Sales – The Soft Sell Way

In part one How to Increase Sales in small business I wrote about the existing customer side of the increasing sales equation. In this post I want to cover how you can increase sales using what I call the soft sell way.

This soft sell process is one that I started implementing many, many years ago, prior to the world wide web. You see, I was never really interested in sales per say, but it seemed that no matter what I did in small business, I always ended up being in sales and thrust into the biz dev role. So the soft selling process evolved over the years and I really believe that it contributed to my ability to increase sales and develop new business.

The thing is, there are many different ways that you can increase sales including hard driving tactics that many businesses still use today and maybe you’ll even see results and maybe you won’t.

It’s a sad state of affairs to see so many small businesses with no clue as to how they can drive more traffic and increase sales. They think they need to reinvent the wheel with some new ‘salesy’ tactic that will bring droves of prospects through the door, yet they continue to struggle and fail not knowing what to do next.

How did I increase sales using this so called soft sell approach? I simply worked hard and studied from the greats like Dale Carnegie, Frank Bettger and Og Mandino. I also attended live seminars and trainings and then I implemented, tweaked and adjusted over the years.

Notice I wrote implemented, which means action was taken and the information put to good use in my various businesses. If you study and learn but do not put the information to good use, then it’s wasted time and money.

One other thing to mention here – I still research, study and learn as much as I can about the topics that have to do with sales and marketing. I am continually in the hunt and keeping my eyes and ears open for anything that can help further my business and my client’s businesses.

Let’s get down to it:

The bottom line is that you have to sell something in order to have sales revenue come your way. Whether you are selling on the internet or selling offline, you are still selling.

To increase sales in your small business you don’t need to be pushy. A matter of fact, pushy will usually get you less sales and more un-subscribes, if you use email.

Think about it – do you like sales people who are pushy and over the top or the
sales person who takes the offer off the table or even let’s you make the decision when the time is right?

Maybe you’ve been subscribed to some marketer’s email lists that are all about sell, sell, sell and not a lot of content? Maybe you’ve been approached too many times by salespeople who are pushy, overly talkative or just plain rude?

You see most people will put up a wall and turn the opposite direction when these kind of salespeople enter their world. It’s a turn off and they feel kind of dirty.

By the way – what I’m writing about here also applies to online marketing and list building. Because the sales/persuasion tactics you use to attract people to your squeeze and landing pages directly reflect on you even though you’re not there in person.

Here’s my suggestion to you; instead of the hard sell, sell, sell – you take the soft sell approach, throw out the bait and then let the person warm up to you. This keeps them in your world until he or she decides to purchase, stay around or just plain exit at their leisure.

This way you have a higher retention rate and in the long-run you maintain credibility and close more business.

This is the way we did it at The TIny Store and how I still work with clients at SmallBiz Mechanix.

To your small business success,

Dave Krygier

Business Ethics & Online Marketing

When it comes to Business ethics & online marketing there seems to be a big disconnect for some people and I’ve been seeing this for well over two years.

Recently I received an email from an online marketer that I have followed for the last couple of years. This email was his message to us, his subscribers, about business ethics. This message lead to his blog where he went on and on about business ethics and how he had marketed offers that were supposed to have limited time frames to order, but in actuality there were no limited times. And he readily admitted that he had done this.

I was a bit surprised by this email and the blog post that dug into the topic, but I took a tact  that I normally don’t take. I replied to him through email to let him know that there are no business ethics. There are only ethics.

I first heard the saying from John Maxwell when he said, “there are no business ethics, just plain ethics…”

You are either ethical or you are not. It’s pretty simple, wouldn’t you agree? Well, I never heard back from this marketer and hence I unsubscribed from his list. He broke my #3 rule about being available and when marketers do this or break any of my other rules – I just don’t put up with it, no matter how much I have enjoyed their past information and offers.

Ethics and integrity go side by side, and in online as well as off line marketing we as business people need to hold a high standard, versus taking short cuts and not being truthful.

For those online marketers who utilize email marketing, you need to stay connected with your clients and subscribers, along with being real and adding value whenever you can.

If you are building a list of subscribers – Build up the trust and never break it.

Build relationships and be available.

Be ethical in all that you do and go the extra mile both on and offline.

Dave Krygier



Start Your Own Business Online – Part II

Part one of this series, Start Your Own Business Online, was primarily focused on the very basics of e-commerce, affiliate and email marketing. In part two I am going to share three additional ways that you could be working online in your own business.

To start a small business is an undertaking that more and more people are choosing and the online arena seems to be where they are going. To start your own business online could mean flexibility and the ability to work from home or in some cases just about any place that has an Internet connection.

But just because you start a business online doesn’t mean that you will make any money or  be able to succeed. It takes time, effort and money, just like any other offline business and you need to work at it. The traffic and revenue doesn’t just come your way overnight.

Let me emphasize that the ‘takes money’ part means that you will have to pay for online access and services like domain registration, hosting, tech support, training and software.

The whole idea of free is not going to build your business.

Yes there are some great reports, videos, audios and startup trainings out there and I even have some that I offer my subscribers. Remember, you are building a business, not a hobby.

So if you are really serious about starting in business online, here are three additional ways that might interest you:

1. Information products, otherwise known as digital products can be a great way to go if you already have expertise in a particular subject or business. This is one of the best ways for people with offline expertise to market themselves online and develop a digital enterprise. If you already have a specialty in the offline world then you might be able to convert whatever it is you do to the online world. The actual digital product(s) may be an audio, video or written document converted into a PDF for download or viewing online. So if this sounds like an online business that might work for you, check out the The List Building Guide for more information about how to develop an info marketing business.

2. Coaching and Consulting are two ways that you can work online, especially if you are transitioning to the web or desire a platform that allows for flexibility. As I mentioned in the previous option coaching can also be combined with information products. Consulting on the other hand can be more hands on where you actually do the work for the person or company.

3. CPA Marketing which stands for ‘cost per action’ is one of the least publicized methods of online marketing. This method of the affiliate family basically pays you for the actions that people take. It’s a very intense arena and takes a lot of know how and connections if you are going to venture here and make a go of it.

Whichever online business you choose to go with, make sure to do your research and ask the important questions, so you make quality decisions and start in business on the right foot.

Also, make sure to check out my previous post, Start Your Own Business Online and remember…to start a business is one thing – making it profitable and succeeding is a whole other story.

Dave Krygier

Reality & Gut Checks

Today is one of those days that I’m going to step away from the norm and talk turkey about business and marketing online. It’s not my usual post and some might even call it a bit of a rant.

Here goes…

Do you get tired of the cheesy pitches and phony baloney
classless marketing? I know I sure do and I see this kind
of stuff all the time.

It’s the marketing that reminds of the spa or car salesperson
who will do anything to close the transaction, including
altering the truth. It’s the marketing that just makes me turn
away and shake my head.

In several of my previous posts I mentioned being real.
It’s actually my Rule #1. But being real is what seems to
be missing in many online marketers’ campaigns and websites.

It’s like they threw out the morals and scruples with the trash
and just don’t give a you know what.

Well you know what…be real. Tell your story. Tell it like it is.
Your subscribers and customers (or clients) will respect you
and you’ll sleep better at night.

Now if you happen to be reading this and your online business
doesn’t have to do anything with building a list of subscribers,
then you already know or should already know that it takes
money to make money online.

That’s Reality. You have to market, even if it’s not through ppc, banners
classifieds, and what is referred to as paid advertising.

Oh and for the crowd that is into natural organic search and content marketing…
Your time is worth something so don’t give me the line that SEO and blogging are free and you don’t pay anything for either. Because I got news for you! You are either paying someone to do it for you or you are doing it yourself and take the time to do the work.

If you consider the work that you do is free, because there’s not any cashola changing hands, then I think you need a GUT CHECK! Because your time is worth something! It’s not free!

I see the word FREE everywhere. Lots of searches for FREE this and FREE that. Get this for FREE, that for FREE, etc…

I mean – you work at a job or business offline where free is a rare commodity these days, but when it comes to online – it’s gotta be free?

The new person asks, “Where do I find free traffic, free advice, free ads
and free websites?” It’s like they’re at the Internet food bank!

Let me put it to you this way:

You are building a business online and that means you need to
work and you will need to pay the price.

That price is different for everyone, but everyone pays it.

Now the work may only be one to two hours a day part-time or it may
be more than that. Either way – you need to do the work.

So go build your business and be real, so you can stay in the land of the self-employed.