Thursday, May 7, 2009

Caught in the Web

I am surprised how few new business owners have funds aside for marketing. Just last week I met with someone starting a business, and I explained how I could send out a press release, start a Facebook page and generally position him so his customers could find him. "I don't have any money for that," he told me. "We just paid to set up a web site."

It was clear he thought that by putting a site up on the Internet, customers would come flocking to his business. So he didn't budget a penny for marketing.

Now a web site is a great way to showcase your business. I have one myself, But I don't expect people to find my site unless I tell them about it. As soon as the site wqent up, I sent an email to all my family members, friends and business acquaintances. Then I sent a Tweet to all my Twitter followers, let all my Facebook friends know about it and posted it on LinkedIn.

I've already received a business inquiry from someone who saw the site on LinkedIn.

Mr. New Business Owner is just sitting and waiting for customers. His business is ripe for creative marketing - he also runs a charity that could be used to publicized his business. I recommended that he hire me to write a press release about a charity event he is planning that would mention his business. He would get two plugs for the price of one. "I don't have any money," was his response. "But I have a web site."

I've never even mentioned advertising to the guy.

He is very sincere, and I'm sure that there is a demand for his services -- walking dogs and babysitting pets in your home. But he is caught in the illusion that if you build a web site, they will come. And if they don't know you're up there, they won't.

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