Internet Marketing…The Opportunity for Small Business

On Friday the 22nd of February I had the pleasure of presenting two sessions at the American Express/Score Small Business coaching day. The event was held at the Phoenix Hyatt and represented the best that American Express and Score has to offer with multiple sessions all day. Both organizations have played a pivotal role in helping me grow my business.  The coaching and support that I have received from my Counselor Chet Ross provided me with business knowledge that I as a small business could never have afforded.

I was humbled by the warm response I received from the participants and the wonderful feedback I was given about the value of those two short presentations. Since then I have thought about this in depth.  What I learned from this experience is how little knowledge most small businesses have about online marketing and the opportunity it presents to them. Many small businesses are overwhelmed by the very thought of internet marketing and see it as out of their reach.

One of the issues I tried to emphasize to this group is that Internet marketing is not special its marketing. By using another medium (and a very poweful one at that) the small business owner can tap into one of the most effective forms of marketing available. Small business owners are usually very good at marketing themselves. They work hard at it and attend many networkinig events and lead generating groups. Small business owners can leverage the web and there is still a huge opportunity to gain traction while the 100 pound gorilla’s are still only spending 6% of their add dollars online.

One of the issues facing the small business is trying to find relevant information relating to them. And the first step is to build a search enigne friendly web site that is set up for users and targetted towards conversions.  On Friday almost every web site we looked at had not been designed this way.

When it comes to SEO the problem gets even worse and small business are easy prey in an industry not known for its ethics. I wrote the first series of articles on this subject in 2005, and guess what – 3 years later the debate is still raging. I plan on writing an in depth article on this subject after the SMX West conference next week.

So how does a small business get started with Internet marketing?. When I finish collating the questions and feedback from the SCORE event I will publish the best list of resources and send the feedback directly to SCORE to market back to the participants. Watch this space!!…

Written by Fionn

I am the CEO of Elixir Interactive a search and social media company based in Scottsdale Arizona. Our company specializes in organic Search and SEO for universal search. We are a market leader in the field of Online Reputation Management where we leverage our in- depth knowledge of of search and social media to manage brands and reputations online.


5 comments to “Internet Marketing…The Opportunity for Small Business”
  1. Fionn,

    Unless a small business is brand new, I would think they would use the Internet as another outlet for their existing marketing and brand. As you wisely pointed out, the key is optimizing their website. They have other Web 2.0 options such as creating and contributing to blogs, social/business networking sites, (anything from MySpace to LinkedIn to even Flickr) writing product/ service reviews for sites (Amazon and the like) as well as contributing articles to ezines.

    As you pointed out, small business owners are extremely good at promoting their own interest. They are also the best expert to evangelize on their particular product/ service. They are the perfect people to educate, entice and convert potential customers.

    I look forward to seeing your report on the feedback you receive next week.

  2. Hi Fionn,

    I had the privilege of being in the audience of your presentation on Friday at the Hyatt – for the Score Small Business conference. Your presentation made the whole day worth while – I only wish I could have been one of the random people you had chosen to view their website – I would have loved your input – I stood in line to speak with you and just ended up listening to all your comments to to other’s questions. I just want to say how inspiring you are – not only are you an intelligent and well-spoken woman you are creative and generous business person – You truly give back ten fold. I am sure you have an assistant to go through your hundreds of emails but I hope they pass on the positive input of my comments! Thank you for your time

    Tanya Gagnon
    Miss Details Design

  3. Stumbled upon your blog. Good insights. I believe that once business owners can over come the intimidation factor that current internet trends have, there will be a higher level of acceptance to internet advertising. The problem for most business owners is that, now that they have decided to brand via the internet, what’s the first step. It can be overwhelming. So overwhelming that they have just decided to not try all together. Simplistic approach to the internet and to social media outlines is gold.

  4. I believe it ‘s that feeling of being overwhelmed that causes so many small business to make bad decsions when it comes to hiring agencies and SEO’s. They are more vunerable than the big companies and more likely to get fleeced by the snake oil SEO’s companies offering the dream of top Google rankings. When they see that e-mail solictiation offering top rankings and onliine success they fall for it simply because they do not know any difference.

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