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How To Use the Internet
To Build Your Local Business
by Bill Thomas Jr

website-essentialsWe hear so much today about the global reach of the internet and how the internet allows a small business to have a world wide reach for very little money.  Here we will discuss how to use the internet to build a national business or even a global business.

But what about using the internet to build a local business?  Suppose you’re a realtor, or you’re selling a service, or you have a traditional brick-and-mortar retail store.  You can’t exactly ship or download a house, or auto body repair or a haircut or roof repair, or plumbing.  What about these kinds of businesses?  Businesses who operate in a local area and depend on local customers?  Can the internet be used to build these kinds of businesses? You bet.

Many of The Mindset Principles Apply
To All Marketing Situations

In fact in many ways, the internet is even more effective for helping you build a local business. Why is that?  Well, because the big question people have when they order something online is – is this business real?  Am I going to get what I’m paying for?  And where is this business located anyway?  These are some of the questions that your customers are going to have if they’re dealing with you online. 

But, if you are a local business with local customers, you don’t have that problem.  People know who you are. They know where you are.  They know how to find you.  You’re part of the community.  That’s a big advantage of being local.  You don’t have as much trouble building trust with your customers because your customers can just come by your store if they’re not happy with what they’ve bought from you -- and you can use the internet to promote your business pretty much the same way that you use the internet to promote a national or worldwide business.

The Number One Goal of Your Website Should Be . . .

No matter what your business is on the internet, your number one goal is to first drive targeted traffic to your site, then capture the names and email addresses of your visitorsYou can then follow up with information and offers that you know your visitors, your leads, are interested in. Your first job in marketing, almost always, is to collect leads -- and that goes for both your offline marketing, and your online marketing.

Remember the "Rule of Seven?"  That's right, it takes the average consumer seven exposures before she buys -- so make sure you capture the name and email address their first visit, so you can make sure they can get the next six visits automatically (by way of your autoresponder) and purchase from you. 

The Two Mistakes Most Businesses
Make With Their Online Marketing

The number one mistake is that business owners try to make their website about them instead of about their customers. They put their picture on the site, pictures of their families, tell you how great they are . . . nobody cares!  You, and your credentials, are supporting material.  They’re not the main act here.   The main focus of your website should be on your prospect.  On your visitor.  You need to have a website that is useful to your prospect who is interested in information that solves their problem.  So what you want on your site is lots of useful information that is specifically on that topic. 

The other mistake is they try to make their website too broad, thinking that this will increase their market, increase the number of their potential customers.  But that’s really not what you want to do. 

What you want to do is narrow your focus.  This by the way is true with all marketing, but its even more true on the internet, which is target marketing or niche marketing on steroids.  Remember, to be a good marketer, you really have to be an amateur psychologist. You have to get inside the heads of your prospects and your customers.  You have to put yourself in their shoes.  You need to think how I would look for what I’m selling if I were them and not me.  How would I go about looking for my product or service if I were them?  You must use your marketers mindset. 

The next step -- why be different? . . . [unique selling proposition]

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