Stop your online marketing right now.
Tell me the truth: have you signed up to SEO, PPC, or social media services in the last few years, paid a couple of grand per month for visibility, and found that you were seeing slow uptake but no ROI?
You and maybe one hundred thousand other small businesses.
Yes, you, small business owner.
The problem with marketing today versus marketing in 2006 is volume. There’s volume everywhere. There are more websites today than there were 7 years ago. There are more SEO savvy folks, so you’re vying for eyes you may never get without investing a fortune. There are more social media marketing experts in the world than there may be doctors these days. Yeah, that’s a bit of a stretch, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Get a Twitter account, amass 50,000 followers by buying them through cheap online marketplaces, RSS port a bunch of popular marketing blogs to give off the appearance of knowledge, and you look like a guru.
Except you’re not a guru.
Yet you’re going to do the same thing to a client who is paying $5,000/month for you.
But they don’t want that. They want money. They want sales. They want conversions.
Does this sound familiar?
More and more businesses these days hop on the “omg, I can get start a business and Google/social media will help me right away!” Not exactly. SEO is a lengthy process that truly takes significant time and money that small businesses often can’t afford to lose since they need results fast or else that $4,000 they’re paying is going to waste — and even if they do rank #1, what next? What if they don’t get the sales they need to justify that huge expense?
Here’s another truth: those marketing firms that do this level of work also charge $150-250 an hour. That $2,500 you’re paying for a full month is less than one single workweek for them and likely managed by a junior employee, not the person who sold you the service to begin with. Who cares if you’re a small struggling business trying to get a foothold in the online space so you don’t have to take out a new mortgage on your house simply so that you can keep paying your employees? You don’t get a break. I don’t get a break either when conveying this to the US folks I have had to outsource much of my work to. It’s why I got out. I’m sorry to offend my industry colleagues, but it feels disgusting and dirty.
When you ask yourself how you’ve been able to hang on so far and how you’re getting new clients, what are you seeing? I’m betting for most of you, it’s all through word of mouth or referrals. Someone has tried you. Someone loves you. Someone wants their friend or family member to try you out too.
Customer service marketing is absolutely paramount. There’s no question that giving a customer the royal treatment will help boost your visibility. Give someone exactly what they want, make them feel happy, and they’ll tell everyone about you. Or if not everyone, they’ll tell the people who care.
I just moved to a new neighborhood and I’ve gone with every single recommendation for service providers given to me by my neighbors. Every single person who has stepped foot in my door has come through word of mouth. They trusted the service provider, so I know I will too.
If you service the online space and much of your support is based on email communications, Real Time Email can thrust you into a realm of visibility never previously considered possible.
Wouldn’t you like to see for yourself?
Image via Bigstock with a few edits done by yours truly.