It’s official. You’ve arrived. You are now a very proud business owner: self employed, self reliant, and ready to fulfill your dream of being your own boss and answering to no-one. It’s called living the dream, and you’ve finally made it!
Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. Maybe it was just a pipe dream at first: a “Someday, I want to…” conversation with a college friend during a mate night cramming session, an idea that popped into your head while you were half asleep, or a fanciful plan scribbled on a coffee house napkin and stashed away in a drawer to lie dormant.
Somewhere along the way, this nebulous something you “always wanted to do” got a little nudge. Maybe your parents encouraged you, or a friend, or a mentor saw this spark in you and fanned it gently. Whatever the nudge was, you got motivated, got off your rear end, threw yourself into learning everything there was to know about your dream job – and now, finally, you are actually DOING what you ALWAYS wanted to do with your life.
Well, some of the time you are. The rest of the time you are tangled up in the actual logistics of what it means to run a business – paperwork, supply ordering, accepting deliveries, paperwork, hiring employees, firing employees, more paperwork, payroll, bookkeeping, taxes (oh gods! The taxes!) and piles of yet more paperwork.
Then there’s marketing. Getting people to let you do what you LOVE to do, and getting them to pay you for it. Because this isn’t small town Americana any more; you can’t just hang out your shingle in a one horse town and have everyone in a hundred mile radius beating a path to your door. It’s a dog eat dog world, baby, and you’re the newest, littlest puppy on the playground.
There are three steps to marketing. First, you have to get people in the door. Then, you have to get them to come back. Finally, you have to get them to send others to you. For most businesses, a one time sale isn’t going to cut it any more. You have to hook the fish, reel it in, and keep reeling. The value of each customer should be measure in terms of how much you can sell them in their lifetime, not in one visit.
That’s OK, you’re probably thinking. How hard can it be? I’ll buy some ads. Heck, I’ll hire an ad agency. No sweat. Right?
Wrong. Advertising has changed over the past ten – even five – years. Those handy books with the yellow pages that used to be every consumer’s go-to have become obsolete, and your children’s children will never recognize the phrase “Let your fingers do the walking”.
Those days are gone, Today, it’s all about online marketing and SEO. Unless you are already an SEO expert, you are probably wondering what the acronym even means. That’s all right. That’s why this blog exists! Let it become your go-to when you have a question about internet marketing, and how to succeed online.