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!!…