Business Owners Resource Network

July 7, 2009

Twitter and the Bottom Line for a Service Business

Filed under: 1,Online Social Media,SEO,Small Business Growth,Web Site Development — smallbizexperts @ 5:28 am

twitterHey folks, cynical Sam here. Still looking for a answer to a question that has yet to yield a simple answer.

Q. Can I use Twitter or any online social media to improve the bottom line of my “Local Service” business?

A. So far as I can discern, no one has positive proof that I can.

What is happening, is every social media consulting company in the world (and there’s thousands of them now) are blaring at the top of their lungs how you have to be using Twitter and all the other social media tools that are out there, otherwise you’re going to be left in the business dust. And not only should you be using those tools, but because it’s so insanely complicated, you should be paying them to help you use all these social networking tools.

Now this is fine, because there’s a lot of consultants out there who know what they they’re doing in these tools. But here’s the kicker, they are all touting sucesses for non-service based businesses.

Where are the positive ROI success stories and examples for: plumbers, doctors, HR consultants, lawyers, liquor store owners, chiropractors, Web developers, graphic artists, jewelry sales reps, life insurance reps, day spas, stained glass restorers, auto body repair shops, carpet cleaners, dog walkers, foundation repairers, driveway sealers, gutter cleaners and the thousands of other home based and small service businesses?

I propose that those success stories don’t exist because service based industries have yet to figure out how to monetize social networking to their benefit, AND may never come up with a way.

So my questions to the world are these….

Are you a LOCAL home based or small service business? If yes! Are you using social networking and has it increased your bottom line? How much time are you spending on it per week? How can other LOCAL service based businesses repeat your example?

Time is money, and if you’re Twittering, Linked-Ining(sp?), FaceBooking, MySpacing, Plaxoing and the dozens of other social networking tools out there. If you’re using these, please provide some positive local service based business examples of how this social networking explosion has helped your business. How did you do it?

Thanks,

Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, LLC. www.kcwebspecialists.com
Experts in how business gets done on the Internet (913) 908.5642

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April 20, 2009

Small Business Don’t Twitter Your Time Away

Filed under: Online Social Media,SEO,Web Site Development — smallbizexperts @ 3:48 pm

twitterHere a Twitter,
There a Twitter,
Everywhere a Twitter, Twitter. 

Twitter “comments” seems to be everywhere don’t they?

So before I actually talk about what Twitter is, maybe the first step is to consider how did you actually hear about Twitter.

Did you see it on the news mentioned about Twittering a huge event like a presidential election campaign, CNN current news, the last holes at the Master’s Golf Tournament, the finish line at the Tour de’ France, etc. Or, maybe you heard it from some company knocking at your door wanting to sell you online social media services because your business is going to get left in the dust if you don’t buy their services?  Or maybe you heard it from your kids or that relative/friend out looking for a job because they were just laid off. Finally, you might have heard people say, “What the heck is Twitter?”

With the all above thoughts in mind now ask yourself this…………..

Have your heard your customers ask you “Why aren’t you using Twitter because “I” your customer want you to be using it?

Folks, are your customers asking you to start using Twitter?

At it’s foundation, Twitter is a Web tool used to have online conversations about something happening right here, right now. Whether it’s Twittering about a news event, or maybe some store that made a gaff of some kind in their policy. The more hype, drama, and excitement the event has the better. Did you know Twitter comments, or Tweets, are limited to 140 characters at a time. So it truly is a quick flurry of words being thrown around between people saying, Wow check this out. Once the excitement is over, the conversation thread basically dies and people move on to the next exciting thing they seem to have time to check out.

So now, as a business owner, ask yourself a couple questions if you’re considering Twitter.

1.      Is my target market population, my core customer base, are they using Twitter?

2.      Do I have something going on in my business, right here, right now that I can use to market to those currently on Twitter. Something that is going to generate excitement, buzz or drama in a way that the word spreads to all Twitter users for the briefest span of time in a way that I can capitalize on somehow for my business.

Ultimately, Twitter takes time and a thorough, thorough marketing plan to have any hope of being a success tool for a small business. Don’t waste your precious time on Twitter if you don’t have it as an integral part of your overall marketing plan.

Someone please share with us how you are using Twitter to consistently grow your small business? There are so few success stories out there on Google.

Thanks,

Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, LLC. www.kcwebspecialists.com
Experts in how business gets done on the Internet (913) 908.5642

 

April 8, 2009

How Can A Blog Make Your Company Money?

Filed under: SEO,Small Business Growth,Web Site Development — smallbizexperts @ 2:49 am

blog_logoA blog can your increase your business in one or a combination of primarily three ways.

1. You get a huge following to your blog and people wonder about who the author is and what they do. Their curiosity leads them to click on your “About Us” page on the blog. From there, if you do it right, they click the link to your main Web site and decide to do business with you.

2. Google rewards a company’s Web site in its search results, in big part, based on how large a presence a company has on the Internet. By posting often in your blog, and getting people to link to your blog, you are systematically increasing your company’s Internet presence. The larger you are on the Internet the higher Google will rank you.

3. Get a really popular blog going and people will pay you to put their advertisements on your blog pages.

Tips – – Blog often, blog short posts, blog in relation to your key words, ADVERTISE your blog link anywhere and everywhere you can.

Can you please share with us other ways you use your blog to make money?

Thanks, Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, LLC. http://www.kcwebspecialists.com Experts in how business gets done on the Internet (913) 908.5642

March 16, 2009

Social Media? Argggggggggghhhhh!!!

Filed under: Marketing,SEO,Small Business Growth,Web Site Development — smallbizexperts @ 4:57 am

social_networking_sitesSmall business owners who are the only employee of a business. My advice is that you ignore social networking trends. YOU DON”T HAVE TIME FOR IT.  Pick one, learn it well and use just that one.

Twitter, Face Book, MySpace, Blogs, Linked-In, Plaxo, Flickr, – – “Jaiku” (get ready for this one folks, it’s owned by Google and in Beta)–,  Bebo, Geni, Plurk, and on and on and on and on. Go to this wikipedia site for a list of about 150 different social networking sites out there. Some hot, some not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites

Twitter is really hot today, MySpace is so yesterday, what’s Plaxo? Isn’t Linked-In overcrowded??? Heaven help us when Jaiku hits the scene in full force. Could be bye-bye Linked-In. Who knows!

As a small business owner do you need to know and be using all of these social networking sites? The answer is resoundng NO! If you have a staff and can assign someone to each tool, then go for it. If you try to cover them all yourself you’ll be in over your head in less than a week and frustrated by them all.  If you do have staff make sure what’s being put out their runs a very tight common company message. If you’re a Christian company and you assign one of the temps to manage your MySpace page, hmmmm, better watch it close.

Social networking for business benefit only works if you have time to…..

devot to them
form relationships online
participate in discussions
lend expertise to a topic
stay on top of what’s hot and what’s not every day or week.

Most business owners don’t have time to do this. So don’t even try. At a high level, learn what the common ones are, then pick one that best gets your company message out there and get good at it! Only that one!!!

Which one do you belong to, if any, and how has it helped your business?

Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, LLC. www.kcwebspecialists.com
Experts in how business gets done on the Internet (913) 908.5642

March 8, 2009

Simple Money Saving Ideas On Your Web Site

Filed under: SEO,Web Site Development — smallbizexperts @ 4:47 am

formSimple, simple advice for anyone giving forms, sales literature or other printed materials to their existing clients. Save money by directing them to your Web site to get the materials. Put all your stuff out their as forms for them to download and print off. This gives the impression of convenience and great customer service. Which it does! But it also saves you those recurring printing costs. Every dollar counts. Why hand out literature that just ends up in the trash or recycle bin. Put the content on your Web site for them to read and enjoy as many times as needed.

Please share with comments your Web site cost saving methods.

Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, LLC. www.kcwebspecialists.com
Experts in how business gets done on the Internet (913) 908.5642

Simple, simple advice for anyone giving forms, sales literature or other printed materials to their existing clients. Save money by directing them to your Web site to get the materials. Put all your stuff out their as forms for them to download and print off. This gives the impression of convenience and great customer service. Which it does! But it also saves you those recurring printing costs. Every dollar counts. Why hand out literature that just ends up in the trash or recycle bin. Put the content on your Web site for them to read and enjoy as many times as needed.

Please share with comments your Web site cost saving methods.

Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, LLC. www.kcwebspecialists.com
Experts in how business gets done on the Internet (913) 908.5642

March 2, 2009

eCommerce Sites are Not Your Typical Web Sites

Filed under: SEO,Small Business Growth,Web Site Development — smallbizexperts @ 2:19 am

online_shoppingSo you want to sell products online. There’s a huge difference between a shopping cart Web site and a static brochure style Web site. I could go on and on about the technical differences between the two types of sites, but I wanted to make this a relatively short post. :-)   If you plan to have a shopping cart Web site the most important suggestion I could provide is that you brush up on your project management skills. Selling one or two products online is not so bad. Selling a 100+ SKU’s is a challenging task. Challenging in that it tests your organizational ability. You have to describe, price, photograph, weigh, ship, tax, return policy and provide customer service on each and every product that you sell. Are you prepared to do that? Have you ever done that? If not, start small with just a few products and get all the bugs, processes and kinks worked out before going big time.

What type of skills do you feel it takes to run a successful shopping cart Web site? Do you have any great war stories or advice to provide our readers?

Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, LLC, www.kcwebspecialists.com
Experts in how business gets done on the Internet

February 8, 2009

Change, Change, Change

Filed under: SEO,Small Business Growth,Web Site Development — smallbizexperts @ 4:25 pm

changeDo you want to show up higher in Google and Yahoo? To do so there’s a myriad of things you need to do, none of which is as important as maintaining fresh content on your Web site. Search engines reward those who provide fresh content on their sites. Going with the theme of writing first for the customer, then for search engines, you should be changing the content on your Web site at least once a month.

But it’s not just change to change. Make sure your change contains the keywords you’re hoping to show up for in Google. For example, I have a chiroprator client in Overland Park, Kansas, named Jason Huffman. We change his health tip of the month so it includes his key words. Here’s last months health tip. “Are the recent layoffs from major companies in Overland Park Kansas stressing you out? As a Chiropractor in your neighborhood I can provide the relief you need.”

Next month we’ll talk about lower back pain, and how by using all the walking trails in Overland Park Kansas at least three times a week, etc…

Change often and change in relation to your sites key words. When was the last time you changed the content on your Web site? If you are changing your site, is it helping your rankings? Please provide in comment form your success stories.

Chris Nastav, KC Web Specialists, LLC. www.kcwebspecialists.com
Experts in how business gets done on the Internet (913) 908.5642

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