What is a business? A business is simply seeing a need and filling it. Having a solution for a problem.
If you sell something or provide a service for something that people need, and are willing to pay for it, you have a business.
That's it in a nutshell. When you boil down what we do, we find a need and we fill it.
How do you grow your business? Well, people need to know about your solution! You have to express that you understand their problem and clearly explain the solution. But this is complicated, isn't it? Sometimes it's hard to relate to the people we are selling to. Sometimes we don't like to promote ourselves. And sometimes we are so busy providing the solution, we actually don't have time to promote at all!
Here's where systems come in. You have to have stable, dependable systems to promote the solution to the problem that your people are facing. You can use your website, email, Facebook, direct mail, word of mouth, etc. But you can't decide to promote your business only when business is slow. Honestly, your marketing and advertising needs to be a system in itself! Do you have a repeatable process that is a checklist that you complete every single week?
If you don't have enough people seeking the solution that you offer, then focus on your marketing. Focus on improving your messaging. Make sure you are speaking to the need that your customer already knows they have. They have pain--and you have the solution. Simply put, that is marketing and advertising.
Need some help with your marketing? Let's talk! Book a call here:
Websites are like cars. There are outer, visible parts that you can see, and there are vital parts “under the hood” that aren’t seen, but are vitally important.
SEO is the “engine” of your website and allows potential clients to find you online! If your SEO isn’t properly hooked up, your website will fall to page 2, 5, or 8 of Google and the people who are searching for you won’t find you.
It’s not enough to have a beautiful website if no one can find you! You need to make sure that your website is “Google friendly” and that’s why you need SEO.
Now, unfortunately, the essential elements of SEO are always changing. Fortunately for you, we have made it our mission to stay informed so your company gets exactly what Google wants, so your site is ranked higher and your potential clients find you!
What is SEO?
SEO is simply the ability for Google (or other search engines) to find your website. Remember that your clients won’t be searching for your company’s name (because they don’t know you yet!). Instead they will be searching for what you do.
For example, if you own a bakery, they will be searching for “cupcakes” or “cakes.” If you’re a dentist, they will be searching for “dentist” and the name of several towns near you.
SEO is not something you fix and forget about. Google is constantly changing the rules of the game (so scammers can’t ruin it for all of us) so we have to continually be staying on top of what is expected and what is best practice. If you’re not super techy or if you’re just a really busy business owner, this can feel like a huge burden to add to your already full To Do list. However, it is really essential that every single month you take the time to check on your website’s rankings. You can do this by googling your key words and the cities that you draw from. Make sure your rankings are improving or holding strong and not dropping.
If you just don’t have time for this, we can help. You can choose monthly hosting support and we will check on your website’s rankings and send you a full color report each month, so you know how your site is performing. You can breathe a sigh of relief because we’ll take care of it. But we’ll keep you informed, too. Most SEO firms take your money every month, but you have no clue what they are doing or how your site is doing. We’ll make sure you know exactly what’s happening.
You need to get found on Google so you can make a difference in the world. People are searching for you--can they find you?
When I started my first company (teaching piano lessons), my mom hung up a flyer in the school break room where she taught. I got my first 2 students from that flyer. I made copies and rode around the neighborhood on my bike, tucking them between mailboxes, but that was exhausting work and I quit after about a dozen houses. (Ok, so I may have paid my brother to put out a couple dozen more.) I got 2 new students from that hot summer afternoon. After a couple years, I had the brilliant idea to try putting out a sign in my yard that said: “Piano Lessons” and I got another student to sign up.
It was slow growing and it was frustrating. I had no blueprint on how to gain new students and I felt like a tiny raindrop in a sea of advertisers.
The only training I had in advertising was from what I saw around me: TV commercials and billboards and magazine ads. I knew I couldn't afford those. But I had NO IDEA what else to do.
However, my instincts were actually correct with those flyers and yard signs, though I did not know it at the time: Relationship and Layering.
I was able to gain students from the first flyer my mom hung in her school break room because people knew and trusted her. They felt they could trust her daughter. Word of mouth was my primary source of growth for nearly 10 years because people trust their friends’ opinions.
A simple sign in my yard DID yield results because people trust their neighbors. (Our friendly front porch and beautiful flowers probably helped, too!)
The first focus of growing your business should be focused on relationships. People can sense when you truly care about them and their needs. From your first interaction, you are beginning to build your relationship with your customer. This relationship continues to grow and build with every interaction and every communication. You don’t need to ACT like you are a big business. You need to be a small business that cares. You need to have excellence in all that you do, but also be open and friendly and kind.
Layering is the result of using many different venues to get your message to your audience. You layer your results by gaining a few customers from each layer and by simple addition, you grow!
Here's how to layer with the tools you already have:
By having multiple layers of your message in various venues, you will begin to the see the results add up!
Here’s a little secret: You won’t grow your business by obsessing about your “brand.” If you spend all your time making business cards that match your website that match your letterhead, I guarantee this won't help you get new business. Focus instead on building relationships and finding as many venues to advertise in as possible. Focus on communication and showing people that you care.
Coke, Pepsi, Disney and Apple have instant brand recognition. You don’t have millions of dollars to spend on obsessing about your brand like they do. So don't try to copy them.
Instead, work on building relationships. When people like you, they trust you. When they trust you, they will buy from you. Make a list of 5 ways you will build your relationships with your customers. For more help, request a free call with us!
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!