If you run a business coaching service, it is your job to coach new and struggling business owners to make the right choices. You are just like a football coach. You give your clients plays and encourage them to run the plays properly. One aspect of business that you should cover is marketing, namely internet marketing. Even storefront businesses can benefit from internet marketing. Many just do not know why they should invest time and money into the effort or how to get started. It is your job to give them ideas.
In terms of internet marketing, there are many options. Internet marketing presents a lot of opportunities, both large and small. All businesses can and should utilize the internet. As previously stated, some just don’t know how to. So, create a game plan for your clients or their advertising department to follow. What could that plan include?
1. Blogging. Many individuals make the mistake of believing blogs are for personal use only. They are not. Blogs can also be used as successful internet marketing tools. Blogs rely on content, so your client or one of their employees will need to do this task, but it should only take less than 30 minutes a day. They can write content related to the products or services they sell. For example, someone running a dog grooming business can write articles on anything pet related, including care and health. That blog can and should lead back to their business website.
2. Hosting contests. People love free stuff and contests give them the chance to win. It is, however, important to proceed with caution. If your client posts a contest on their website, they will get those who fill out the entry form a leave. Use a blog and have a monthly newsletter or RSS feed available. Instruct your client to allow for an extra entry for anyone who subscribes to these. They receive daily or weekly updates, always reminding them about the business and the products or services offered.
3. Online business directories. In terms of internet marketing, one of the first places business owners should head to is online business directories, but most make it their last stop. Fewer Americans turn to their phone books to find a business. They perform standard internet searches and use online business directories, such as the one offered under the “Local,” heading at Yahoo.com. If your client is not listed in these directories, encourage them to do so and right away. The process should only take a few minutes.
4. Online message boards. For most business owners, online message boards are nothing but a waste of time. They don’t want to see their employees socializing online while on the clock. Yes, this is good, but encourage your client to see the marketing aspect. For example, companies who sell pet-related products and services should participate in discussions on pet related forums. Include a link back to the company website in all allowable signatures and profiles. When posting, the name and link will show. Pet owners are this company’s targeted market. They aren’t waiting for the customers to come to them. Instead, they are going directly to the source.
5. Banner and link exchanges. Online networking is just as important as internet marketing. There are many connections to be made online and these connections can lead to increased advertising. To get started, encourage your client to network with those in related fields. They can set up link and banner exchanges. For example, if your client sells pet products, coach them through finding pet services, such as dog grooming or dog sitting. Instruct them to contact the owner of the website and offer a banner or link exchange. In these aspects, both companies benefit and advertising is free.
As you can see, there are many ways to market a business online. Your job is to coach your clients through the process. Carefully monitor each step and offer feedback.
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