Are you a person or business that has tried multiple things like radio shows, coupon books, newspaper ads and more in hopes of gaining more awareness for your business and received very little or nothing in return? If you are a small business or even a medium sized business, your ROI (return on investment) is extremely important in today's economy - every dollar counts.
There are endless different small businesses just like mine, always offering great services just as I do, however, are there things that one can do that will help their business that doesn't cost money? Absolutely! If you are on the computer anyways, why not spend some of that time helping your business, FOR FREE. The following are some links and tools that can help your business, and I highly suggest:
Linked in - The world's largest professional network with more than 433 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe. What I like about this site is that when you create a profile, it is more like an online resume and yellow pages listing all in one, for your business. While it may be a little time consuming, it is easily worth it to take the time and fill up your profile with as much information about your business as possible. Connecting with other businesses and business people can easily help spread the word about your business and can bring you more business - take a look at my page, Click Here.
Manta - This is a site that is very similar to Linked in. I have used Manta for a very long time, and I have found that utilizing the free platform for your business really boosts up your internet awareness on search engines. While just like every other site, they will offer you extra boosting services, but, we have never indulged in the extra services, and still found that they put me up on the Google search pages. If you take a look at my page by Clicking Here, you will see, and notice once you have filled in all information, that the Manta page is just like a full, one page website that can showcase not only everything that you do, but also your hours, contact information, detailed services or products, and more. Manta is in my list of top three things to do immediately when starting a business.
Yahoo - I know that most people that saw the word "Yahoo" immediately thought, "I already have an email address.". That is great, and you do not have to get rid of your existing email, we just suggest that you create another email through Yahoo, similar to your business name as much as possible, and here's why: Once you create your Yahoo email address, and even if you never plan on using it, but would still be good to open it and look in it at least once per month - being that you have a Yahoo email account, you can now register your business in Yahoo Small Business Directory. This is a great way to add all of your information to the Yahoo Directory. Remember, just because you may be noticed in Google does not necessarily mean that other search engines automatically have that same information. While this tool so to speak may be a little more complicated than Linked in or Manta, it is still very useful. Click Here for a better description and instructions.
Facebook, Facebook, Facebook! - This is THEE Leader when it comes to small businesses, period. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people that have a personal account, but still do not have a business account, or, they have a business account, but may not know some extra things that will help. I will try to go through some helpful tips. First, once you have your business page set up, make sure that your cover photo, a.k.a. your header is displaying your information correctly. Facebook recently changed the way the business page is displayed to the public. It used to be displayed where the profile picture of the business page was covering the bottom left side of your header. Now, it is off to the far top-left of the page on a computer or underneath the header on a smart phone, displaying the entire header picture. With this new change, comes the ability to have your information show complete and clear right in the center of the cover photo - ON ALL DEVICES - if you design it right. Remember, the header is the first thing that people see when they go to your page, so if the whole purpose of your business page is to attract potential customers, and have them contact you as quick as possible, then you should have all of your information in that header in the center. Take a look at mine just to give you an idea, and feel free to look at mine on your phone or computer, and you will see that I designed it to universally look good - Click Here.
Some other tips for Facebook would be to change the background of your header at least once a week, but keep your logo and information the same. Join local groups in your area that allow small business advertising, place ads in them, and make sure to add your Facebook web address. And the biggest thing I see, is that some believe that posting cute stories of cats, dogs, or food, with links will actually help their page. Actually what this does, in my opinion, is distract the reader from your page, and the link actually takes them away from your page, and makes their mind completely change their initial thoughts and intents. I don't want to help the reader who came to my page looking for graphics to suddenly get distracted by a great looking cake that can easily be made if they go shopping - which they may decide to go shopping immediately, and we are suddenly put in the back of their mind or completely forgotten (enter sad face here).
Finally, and we know this is a lot of reading, but hopefully well worth it, join and set up other social media sites, even if you would rarely use them. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.....The more streams that you set up with as much of your business information as possible, the more internet awareness you will have, and all it takes is a little time and No Money you have to spend. There are more tips coming soon, in a different blog, so check back soon. Have any thoughts, comments, ideas or tips that we forgot? Post your comments.