Today, I came across this very enlightening article entitled “25 Internet Marketing Services for Small Businesses”. Imagine the challenges small business owners face when entering the arena of wanting to grow their business using digital marketing. So many options, how do you select and manage from a library of well over 25 Internet Marketing Services? It’s no wonder the plumbers, bakers and candlestick makers are so overwhelmed they just want to tune it all out and do nothing. A typical response would be “maybe this is not for me” or “I’m not sure what to do so I think I should wait”.
Don’t get me wrong, many of those services, if not all, are outstanding. There are listings for search engine optimization, pay-per-click, web development and design, reputation management, content development and management, linguistic search behavior and let’s not forget social media marketing. In most cases a small business owner could use many of these services to help cost-effectively grow their business. The trick is to determine which ones are right for your business and which ones are unnecessary.
Adding to the conundrum are the digital mediums you can choose to participate in or not. Let’s see, shall we go with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and the list goes on and on. Fundamentally, the solution to the problem was illustrated in a situation I faced at home last week.
While growing up in Brooklyn NY, we rented so I never was mechanically inclined. Now as a proud homeowner I decided to up my mechanical game by purchasing a tool set, tool belt, protective glasses and world class work gloves. For those who don’t know me, I’m a major foodie. I cook, bake, garden and shop at the food store once or twice a day. I even make my own ketchup, mayo and mustard. Therefore, when my sink became stopped up it was a major deal at my house. First, I tried the obvious easy approach and started all out chemical warfare. After three nights, three failed attempts using bleach drain clog destroyer and finishing with a drain care system I ended up with an even more clogged sink. Next, came the tools and several plunger attempts followed by the “SNAKE” which I knew would do the job. Now were going on day five and my drain is still clogged. Down over $50+ and my mood declining daily I go to my last resort which is to call a plumber. My home warranty insurance offered a plumber at an estimated cost of well over $75.00 an hour and an estimated 3 day wait before they could come out.
Finally, my wife suggested that I call a handyman we used previously. This handyman works full-time for a major movie theater company. A major part of his job is to unclog drains. The handyman immediately returned my call and was at my house 30 minutes later. He found the source of our drain problem which was well up inside our drain line. So how does this relate to small businesses growing their businesses using online marketing?
Take the time to determine what you are trying to accomplish. In my case I didn’t need a plumber but I needed to unclog my drain. Many small businesses need to increase demand for their products to grow their business. They may not need a full service marketing agency but someone who is great at inbound marketing or customer acquisition.
Often you can save time and money by skipping old remedies like bleach or using a teenage kid who dabbles in websites… Sometimes you need a system and sometimes your needs are simpler. Recognize that if you are a candle-stick-maker it is probably not a good idea to do your own marketing. If you don’t have a lot of money it is even more important that you don’t waste your time doing something you aren’t good at doing.
Although, there are many great internet marketing services out there, the majority require skills most small businesses do not possess. In the wrong hands these tools are useless or in many instances, harmful. Spend your time doing what you are good at and let an accomplished marketer handle your customer acquisition marketing and selection and management of the necessary tools. In the long run you will save time and money and do a better job of growing your business.