Call to action
This book is aimed at helping you as a business owner get the most out of your sales marketing and networking and will help you decide when and where to use social media.
It’s based on interviews with lots of businesses like yours – some that are bumping along the bottom and others who are real pioneers in the art of making a little money go a long way and turn their marketing activity into real leads that come with less effort than doing it long-hand. If you want to check it out first you can read it online here
This is real marketing – based on what real people do backed up with our own experiences of running several businesses – usually employing around 10 or so – since 1981.
Since 2005 nearly 2000 companies have completed one of our questionnaires and we’ve held over 60 in-depth interviews with early adopters who have good stories to tell.
Some have really innovative projects for collaborative working or social networking sites. Others apply web 2.0 principles to quite ordinary businesses such as Independent Financial Advisors, Solicitors or Technical Authoring businesses.
This book distils their experiences into an approach that you practically use.
Marketing for a small business is largely about Lead Generation. You choose a product or service that appeals to a large enough customer base and construct a story and look and feel to appeal emotionally to the customers you want to attract.
Then you have to tell it face to face, in writing and on line as many times as it takes to get the business you need.
You need a shrewd idea of what your business model actually is – and how much activity you need to make it happen. Then monitor it to keep it on track.
And above all you need to be clear how much of your activity should be face to face and how much should be using the new media of the internet. That’s what this book is about.
The book at a glance
I want to help you get the most from promoting your business so this book is divided in two parts – Theory and Practice.
In the theory section we’re going to cover issues like how networks operate and how you can analyse and extend the networks you already belong to achieve more leverage in the market place.
We’re going to look at the dynamics of markets and how psychological forces drive them and we’re going to consider how you can develop a story that connects your own ways of looking at the world, your needs and values with those of your customers.
We’re going to consider how many times you need to tell you story and where this should occur. We outline the principles of building a sales pyramid and helps you thing through how many enquiries you are going to need to get the sales you need.
This will depend on what sort of business you have and will help you answer the critical question of how much time should you be spending on line and how much should you use face to face selling and networking.
We’ll review the tools that you have available to you and we’ll discuss these in the light of what other companies like yourself have done. We carried out a research project in which nearly 800 small businesses in Europe, Asia and the US told us what marketing techniques they used.
So the discussion will be informed by that and by our own experiences of running a variety of businesses in our own company. These range from online sales of plants and gardening equipment to Market Research and business consultancy.
In the practical section of the book, we’ll look at the online tools available to you.
We’ll review the various social networking sites like Facebook, Ecademy and Linked-in and cover how you can use tools like twitter, you-tube and Slideshare to develop your position as an expert in your field so that you have a top-class set of scenery to back up the face to face activity that is likely to for the backbone of how you get enquiries and referrals.
We’ll tell you how to identify the relevant keywords that are used to tag items and drive traffic, how to write things once and have them appear in the information streams your customers use and how to work with the way people think and behave to gain information and recommend and advocate the people they value.