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Profiting from Small Business Internet Marketing

Posted by Mary Ruth on 4/27/11 11:19 AM

Internet conundrum for small businesses

The transition to internet marketing involves serious learning curves for businesses. Whether large, small, or teeny-tiny, businesses are increasingly aware that an internet presence is necessary. But the process of building up and maximizing your internet assets takes patience and commitment.

The tools themselves are new, of course: programs, screens, mouses; keywords, search engines, hashtags. Confidence in working with a variety of software comes only with long practice. Adjusting productively to maintaining a global perspective while filtering information intelligently is a refined cyber skill.

So what are best practices for your business when it comes to the internet? How can you most efficiently access powerful solutions for your specific case?

The answers to that question are so diverse that you'd be hard pressed to find one strategy that's been repeated twice.

Then what's the small business owner to do? You have a full plate, and taking on complexity such as the internet involves is not a possibility.

Well, of course, you outsource. In the old days, you might have spent a healthy chunk every week for newspaper ads. Now you have to budget for time online on your behalf.

You should know, however, that once you have contracted with your agent or agency to administer your online activities, your own part in the process has only just begun.

Personal responsibility

The internet is an enormous boon to knowledge, data, education, communications, social relations, and business. It also extracts a price from us for this unfathomable advance in civilization. It demands our time, as we participate and contribute. It requires that we learn to think in new ways about our business, our customers, our goals. It brings us face to face with our markets, without middlemen for protection.

So how does it work once you decide to get on board? To what, exactly, are you making a commitment? You secure the help of a professional, you make a plan, you and the pro execute the plan, and the pro provides progress reports. Simple, right?

But what's that middle part about, the one that says, 'you and the pro execute the plan?'

You wanted to wash your hands of it; you expected to take a holiday while your agent does the work. That can happen, certainly, if you carefully prepare for it. But internet marketing can't thrive unless you - as the soul of the business - are integrally involved.

That's the major learning curve that the internet presents to businesses. No longer can we hand off PR, publicity, or marketing to a different department on another floor. With the internet, these functions become part of everyone's job description

The payoff

This is all very well, but you seriously wonder how you can juggle everything else and internet activities, too.

But here's the pot o' gold, here's the way cool part, here's the reason why we do all this.

In partnership with your internet agent (or agency), you devise a custom process for creating content, a platform, a plan that is built around sharing.

What does that mean? You (the business owner/driver) share your passion, knowledge, experience, and resources through whatever process works well for you in harmony with your marketing professional. This may involve regular phone conversations, emailed interviews, lists of links and thoughts … The possibilities for modes of communication are nearly endless.

The marketing pro then takes that raw material and turns it into business assets online.

What do I mean by 'business assets online?' Your online business assets include any content from you that is uploaded anywhere online. Your updates are assets because they contribute to your search engine credibility. Being trusted by search engines is how status is gained in cyberspace.

The thing that's new to business leaders is the requirement to stay constantly in touch with your market. But sharing in this constant way will heighten your perceptions, your enthusiasm, your influence, as well as your success

You can work out a process that lets you concentrate on doing right by your world, whatever that means to you; while resting assured that your messages will be accurately and advantageously distributed by your agent (agency).

If you carefully craft a system of communications with your internet administrator, the activity of regularly relaying expressions from You and Your Business to the'Net will become a source of joy and inspiration in your life.

With a little help from your friendly internet marketing advisor, you just might get both rich and happy!

Topics: inbound marketing, book review, social media, internet marketing strategy, small business internet marketing, internet marketing optimization