2-3 years ago (forever, in internet time), it was enough to have a few pages about your company. If you had a web site at all, the novelty of it might send you some leads.
Marketing, for one thing. People aren’t interested in hearing about you (or me). That’s right, I said it. People are interested in what they’re interested in. What the internet, specifically the web, has done, is to cut out most of the traditional middle man opportunities. People have direct access to an unthinkable vast database of pretty much whatever they’re interested in. We either pitch to that, or we’re pitching to the wind. Web sites that go on and on about my company, myself, my favorite color, are too narcissistic for a web 2.0 marketing environment. They won’t just fade away, they’ll plummet in terms of rankings, leads, and attention. Sure, one can pull off a temporary boost with a gimmick or two tucked behind the code, but Google is getting smarter, and it’s web crawlers are reading your site just like a human would, moreso every day, and reacting to the irrelevant content and the fancy tricks just as much as to the content.
The other thing that’s changed is that no one gives a hoot about static web sites anymore. Again, yes, I said it. No one cares about our 5-page treatise that never changes. If we want static data, we’ll get it on an mp3 and listen to it in the car, or from a keychain-sized pocket device. The words, “I won’t blog. I just won’t.” are the death knell of small business sites that intend to have any effect these days. It’s all about dynamic content. And not cut and paste content that’s ripped off from elsewhere – besides sending your google rank plummeting, it’ll just bore your prospects off to your competitors. What people want, whether we like it or not, wish it away or not, is something that’s going to take work from the site owner – those actually involved in the business operations: visitors want original, relevant, frequently-updated content. Google wants the same thing.
So don’t spend 16 hours this weekend hanging flyers, at 1% rate of return. Spend 5min/day, every day, keeping your blog current. A little dab’ll do ya, as they say. It really just takes 5minutes. This post is 10minutes, and already you’re probably getting bored, right? So to sum it up. It’s not the amount of work that matters, or that you and I really care about. It’s the kind of work. If we’re still basically using yesterday’s marketing techniques, face it – we’re old. And the only cure isn’t more cowbell – it’s to update our technique. Get a new hair cut from the barber, buy a different kind of shirt than you normally wear, eat something you never have, and think outside the box that is your web site, your marketing plan, and any self-imposed limits on your business growth. If we want traffic from outside the box, leads from outside the lines, qualified visitors from beyond the “about us” page, then business owners have to change the way they work, when it comes to their marketing. We’ll have to settle for spending less money than interest, less time than focus, and we’ll have to learn a new thing.
Now if that isn’t motivation enough to get started, leave a comment here, and I’ll try harder. You and I are like our businesses: if we’re not growing, we’re dying.
Oh, and one last thing. Yeah, I know I was born with a circuit board in my mouth. But that’s no excuse. If you can read this, and you write a reasonably comprehensible e-mail, you’ve got the basic tools you need to market your business for years to come. You and I may not have gone to school for this. Marketing can be fun, frankly, once we get past the curmudgeonly resistance that comes with the onset of years. So take a pill from me – contact me if you want some help kicking it off – meanwhile, it’s your 5minutes to think about your business growth. How are you spending it today?