October 11, 2011

The 6 secrets to getting ahead of your Tacoma or Seattle Business Competition

Every business has competitors and yours is no exception. Let’s say for example – you have a nice little ice cream shop and your biggest competition is just around the corner. So how do you sell more ice cream than them?

The **secret** is to add online marketing. And tell people about it!

Here’s how you add that marketing if you’re a smart ice cream shop online marketer:

You have a website because people search online for types of ice creams shops, where they’re located, and if there are any coupons or specials available. Really!

You get a Facebook fan page set up and offer a shot at a contest or a coupon, etc if they “Like” your page and spread the word to their friends.

You get on Twitter and gather followers who are waiting for you to tweet about Twitter Only specials and other sweet tweet deals.

You tell people they can tweet, email, or fill out an online order form with your bulk ice cream orders or special ice cream cake orders so you can have it all ready and waiting for them when they come in.

You ask for interaction on your website in order to build community. What’s your favorite flavor? Have a poll to determine people’s favorite flavor of the month. What flavors would you like to see us offer? Tell me what your favorite creation of mix-ins would be? You collect email addresses with a special form on your site and market to these people who are interested in your ice cream shop and your brand of ice cream.

Do you think your competition is doing this? Probably not – they’re using the same excuses you are (too busy, don’t know how, costs too much).

That’s why it’s a great way to get ahead… way ahead. Frankly, even if they are doing some or all of these steps you can still get ahead of them – you do MORE of it.

Here’s a final BIG TIP to get your Tacoma or Seattle business ahead of your competition – DO THE MOBILE VERSIONS OF ALL THE ABOVE!

October 10, 2011

Are Online Marketing Terms Geek-Speak For Your Tacoma or Seattle business?

Congratulations on having a website, but did you know there is much more you can do with your website right now to help bring in new customers, make current customers happy, grow your Tacoma or Seattle business, and have it do many of the online tasks for you?

I’ve got a few online marketing terms to run by you. If you’ve not used the services of an online consultant before, then these terms might sound like Geek-speak to you…don’t worry – you’re about to get the 2 minute plain english version!

SEO – This stands for search engine optimization. Optimizing your website for the search engines, like Google, means the difference between a trickle of traffic or a lot of traffic.

monetize – Is your website designed to make you money by selling your products and services? Chances are, you haven’t monetized it properly or you’re lacking in the different ways to make money (monetize) your site.

email marketing – This is what you do to actively market your products online; it’s in addition to just showing your website to the world. Collecting email addresses from people means you can send them periodic emails on new products, sales, etc. to bring them back to your site and purchase from you or into your physical place of business.

autoresponder – An autoresponder is the vehicle by which you send your emails. You don’t have to set up time-consuming individual emails and put in each email address. The autoresponder does it all.

shopping carts – If you’re selling product or some services, you need shopping cart software on your site. Not all are the same so pick one that has all the features you need and it will make your life easier.

It seem like it’s a whole different world, but it isn’t. These are just online versions of your actual physical business. We can walk you through this confusing maze as it’s our specialty. You can contact us to talk about your Tacoma or Seattle business needs by calling us or use the ‘Contact Us’ page on the website.

October 9, 2011

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Have A Website For Your Tacoma or Seattle Business… Is This You?

We work with and respect many small Tacoma and Seattle businesses; the people behind them are intelligent, creative, hard working, and focused! But we worry when we see them working harder than they have to on every aspect of their business.

They’re wearing all the hats and making things happen as best they can, yet they haven’t begun marketing online with a website. Having their own website could really take a load off their shoulders plus give them a whole new world of customers.

Why don’t they have a website? These are the 3 reasons we’ve come across…

1. They don’t know what to do.
They’ve been in business long enough to know there’s always a steep learning curve with something new – the technical details, the marketing details, the necessary insider info.
- Very true. A real amateurish-looking, poorly laid out website can do more harm than good. A website should be more than one page filled with ads. Building a website is something that can be learned and some aspects of it are easy, but it takes time. Which leads to objection #2.

2. They don’t have the time to mess with it.
They don’t have time to learn what to do, time to get it going, time to keep it going.
- Agreed. That’s why there are companies like ours that specialize in setting up your website and even keeping it updated if you want.

3. They (think they) can’t afford it.
Their business is just starting off or they’re not in the position to afford “luxuries” like a website.
- OMG! A website is a necessity today and we would argue it’s better to get it up as soon as possible so it can help bring in clients. People like to check your company out online, it gives them more of a sense of who you are, and they like to buy online. A website means customers are global, not just local, and that should tell you your chance to profit from your website can far outweigh the cost of getting a website designed and “put up”.

This all may sound a little ‘blunt’ but adding the online component to your Tacoma or Seattle business is critically important and we would be happy to work out a plan that gets you a well-designed website on your budget.

October 7, 2011

Does Social Media Actually Benefit Your Tacoma or Seattle Business?

Good grief, not another thing you have to learn about and try to figure out when you’ve already got so much going on with your Tacoma or Seattle business?!

Yes, social media really is something you should give heavy consideration to using because social media can be really good for your business. The good news is that a LITTLE goes a LONG WAY.

Here are just 7 of the reasons why:

1. You can give instant killer support. Turn your occasional unhappy customers into raving fans by dealing with them directly, quickly, and in a satisfactory manner.

2. It offers ways to get your name out there and keep your name out there. Don’t get forgotten or left behind; offer discounts or limited-time offers or whatever works for your particular company. It’s all about branding.

3. Social media also offers you a chance to show a bit of the face behind the brand. This means a lot to people.

4. It’s another way to be found – you might not be found on the first page of a Google search if you’re a little guy competing against the big guys, but you can be seen when you use social media.

5. Social media gives you targeted traffic. The ones who stick around are the ones interested in your product and company.

6. Consider social media as another, less expensive way to advertise/market!

7. It allows your customers a chance to communicate with you using their preferred method. Conversations are real and valuable.

If you need help setting up a Twitter, Facebook fan page, or another social site’s profile or want to know the social media do’s and don’ts, We can help. Please contact us with your needs and let’s get your Tacoma or Seattle business benefiting from social media as soon as possible!