Years ago I had the opportunity to hear Tim Sanders, the former Chief Solutions Officer for Yahoo, speak. At that time he had just released his book “Love is the Killer App.” Tim had a profound effect on how I saw my business and how I decided to grow my business. One of the pearls of wisdom I connected to as a young twenty-something entrepreneur was his advice to read everything and open your mind on how to apply it to business. I have found reading articles and books to be a great source of creativity for me. The web has allowed many of us to open our minds to new ideas by reading articles, communicating on Facebook and watching YouTube videos.
Jumping To Conclusions
Running a business, especially a small business, is not an easy task. As a business owner there are times when a headline or an article can get you thinking. Thinking is good. What isn’t good is jumping to conclusions based on one article. If you read something you agree with, or even disagree with, you should investigate it further, especially when it comes to your website, search engines and social media.
Every time I give a seminar on eMarketing and I move into the section on Search Engine Marketing I have at least one person say, “Don’t most people click on the natural side of Google rather than the ads?” The research shows 70% of all people click on organic listings – true, but when you’re just starting out and you don’t have the time to invest in SEO wouldn’t you like to reach that other 30%? I know I’d rather have instant interest in my services and begin generating revenue while I work on gaining the position on the natural side of Google. Maybe I am just being pragmatic, but 30% is better than 0% right out of the gate. My other favorite comment is the audience member who says, “Social media doesn’t work; that’s why GM stopped advertising on Facebook.” Do not be swayed by one headline or one article… dig a little deeper.
Consider The Source & Motive
When you’re reading articles or books, attending seminars or watching videos, you need to consider the person and the place the information is coming from. I once went to a seminar that talked about how “branding” was a dirty word for small businesses because branding is about spending money on recognition and not on generating sales. Do you agree? The motive of the company giving this advice was to get businesses to buy into a new sales system.
When it comes to the business of web design, development and marketing you need to look at the advice you’re getting and ask an important question: where does this person’s advice come from? Designers see things one way, technical staff another and marketers a different way. Which way is right for you and your business? What do you need from a web team or advisor?
My position is that your website is a marketing tool. Your web design and development must meet your customers’ needs and your business goals. The marketing on your website needs to be part of the discussion as well as the strategies for driving traffic.
I have a motive, and my goal is to educate small businesses to understand that not all web freelancers and firms are created equal. Not all strategies work for all small businesses. Looking at the big picture is an important part of any business and should be applied to your website and online marketing approaches.
As I recall the lesson I learned from Tim Sanders to read and educate myself as much as possible and to open up my mind to new ideas, the point that I believe was implied by Tim, and the point that I am making today, is that opening up our minds is an important part of business growth; however, as we educate ourselves we need to remember where the information is coming from and to dig a bit deeper before we buy into any idea for growing our businesses.