Microbusiness internet marketing checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]

Small business, specifically microbusiness, is a growing strength in the US employment market. More ‘non-employer’ jobs are being started now than ever, and more revenue can be had in these industries. How can internet marketing really send them over the moon? And, when they are big enough, put them over the Death Star?

I'm going to show you how to perform microbusiness internet marketing

Ok, I have a confession…

I’m a nerd.

I know, I know…the internet marketing, comprehension and tactical movement on a computer and my grasp of the internet weren’t giveaways enough, right?

And, when it comes to the tauntaun riding on Hoth, moving submerged X-Wings on Dagobah or just a good ol’ fashioned firefight in the night sky, nothing makes me go nuts more than Star Wars.

Well, nothing except maybe internet marketing.

Today, I want to look at a part of our business playing field that controls about 88% of all business-types and sizes in the United States – microbusinesses. Not just the business type, but also how internet marketing can be used within these industries.

Before we get into particulars, you might just want a checklist. Well, here you go!

Microbusiness internet marketing checklist
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Let me ask you something…

Is your value when you spend money on your business worth more than the cost?

As every small business and microbusiness knows, every dollar counts. However, there is one area that business owners can use that should always, always have a positive ROI that scales.

What really is microbusiness internet marketing?

Microbusiness, also known as micro-enterprise, are small business made up of 5 or less employees. In most microbusinesses, the employee count numbers only the owner. This is why these types of business are most referred to as “non-employer” businesses.

Marketing for microbusinesses can occasionally feel unneeded due to the perception of the costs involved. As said before, we all know that for small business, every single dollar counts.

How is internet marketing for microbusiness the right choice with your marketing budgets and spends?

  • 1 – Spending is scalable, no matter the size of the business
  • 2 – Most methods of microbusiness internet marketing are cost-effective
  • 3 – Internet marketing can connect deeper at times
  • 4 – Results can be as effective as traditional marketing

As you can see, using internet marketing’s scalable, cost-effective methods can let you concentrate on your business.

“But my business is simply a XYZ, and I won’t need marketing!”

This is a big misconception. The largest problem with this myth, especially, is that it is usually business owners who are telling themselves this.

What microbusinesses are booming in the U.S. using online marketing?

  • Dog Walker
  • Repair Shops
  • Beauty Salons
  • Plumber
  • Single Lawyer Practice (various types)
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Pet Sitter
  • Electronic Repair
  • Handyman
  • Small Engine Repair
  • Lawn Care and Maintenance
  • House Cleaning
  • Pool Cleaning / Maintenance
  • Moving Service
  • Electrician
  • Consultants

These are only a few of the various microbusiness industries that can utilize internet marketing to grow their brand, and their revenue. This list is also a small segment of the different microbusinesses that exist in the U.S., and even locally to myself in the western Pennsylvania area.

Is your business type on the list? Are you in an industry where you only considered a sign on your truck or word of mouth advertising?

If so, then read on.

Social media is the NEW word-of-mouth

I think you and I can agree than nothing creates more authority than someone getting a “word of mouth” recommendation for a business. However, what if we could tie in images, videos and conversations to this activity? What if that word of mouth wasn’t just going to stay local, but could be shared, in less than a second, with the world?

Social media marketing is the new word of mouth

This can be the power of social media.

Using social media marketing, you can grow your brand name and online presence in a really organic way. This means that when you put out great content about your brand, you will get shares, likes and conversations started.

What should you share on social media?

Start with written information. This content can be updates, “micro-blogging”, updates and links, as well as links and summaries back to your website. You can share images of before/after work, you and your team, as well as the regions and cities that you work and live in. Finally, share as much video as possible; video is the biggest connection that you can make to your audience.

The question of “how often should I post on social media platform X, Y or Z” always pops up in conversation. In all truth, if you can post 80+ times a day on each main social media platform, then you will be good! Can’t do that? Then stick to this rule:

Post on social media when it needs said, read or put to bed.

Conversations are key here. And creating brand awareness and authority on social media is the new word of mouth.

Your website is your foundation, house and driveway!

Don’t have a website? That is fine…if it were still 2002.

No matter the size of your brand, and your revenue numbers, or employee count, you NEED a website for a few reasons. The first of which makes a lot of sense, but it escapes many business owners.

Your website is a foundation, so that people can find you

And that is?

So that people can find you!

“But, Jim, people are not using search engines to find my business.”

That might not be true now. While the argument can be made to not upgrade a site, or even have a website, because people are not finding you that way, having that website means that they will. Let me explain a bit better…

Joe owns a mold removal service. He reminds me that none of his customers found him online. Therefor he doesn’t need a website. And why haven’t they found his website, or traces of him online? Because he has no website!

If however, he builds a website things change. He hires a designer and an internet marketing consultant who customizes his website to his brand. The consultant also creates quality content and does marketing on the content and the site. Joe could see an increase of new customers that he never knew existed.

The value of a website will only ever appear to your business after you build the website.

Think that the $99 website is a deal?

A quick word about using the $99 website offers that I am sure that you see all over the place. Everything from Craigslist, to eBay, to Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and even on various message boards and email marketing…it all clogs up most small business owners’ minds with the idea that $99 websites are ‘okay’.

Well, they aren’t.

Sure, for less than $100 you will have a fully operable website, with most administration actions taken care of. However, you also have to deal with something else – you can’t do much after that with it. Meaning, most of these packages require up-sells for things like shopping cart integration, email/newsletter integration and even additional page and article creation.

Add into this the branding that these companies do (automatically puts their own link in the footer of your webpages) and it’s a recipe for a big, fat “no” from me.

Video marketing can be cheap…if…

Video marketing is a growing medium for content creation and content marketing. Websites have been using video to illustrate key content points for years. And now, social media is using native video for more interaction with users.

What makes video marketing so much better than full articles on your products or services? How can video marketing be used in a cost-effective manner to really have impact?

Both of these questions have the exact same answer.

Video marketing puts a human face on a brand, in a hands-on way of delivering content.

If video marketing is that effective, why isn’t everyone doing it? Why isn’t everyone using video to expand their brand’s message and their own voice?

For the same reason that you might have believed marketing, in general, for your brand was not worth it…the cost. The misconception with video marketing is that it is incredibly expensive, time consuming and extremely problematic.

Well, let’s straighten the pitch, and unbend that learning curve right now!

Quick-start guide to video creation and video marketing

The cheapest and fastest method to get started with video creation is via your cellphone or screen capture. Both have different methods of explanation.

Cellphone cameras have become increasing better at their resolution and sizing. Where once, you could lucky to get a 240X160 shot that was grainy, streaky and muffled, you can now record crystal clear HD videos.

Get on camera with your that phone. Walk customers through a question, a how to, a situation…and give a resolution to their issues. This style of free content proves authority and gives constant free value that they will appreciate and respond to.

You can also use a screen capture program like CamStudio (free) and Google Drive to walk through a presentation. This can be a how to, can show specific points of an offering or article, and can even just be a thank you for a signup or optin.

Optimize your YouTube videos

The best place to upload video and start your marketing efforts is, of course, on YouTube. Login to the website, and click on the Upload button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Now comes the marketing part. To get the most out of organic search, YouTube search and the matching the video to the content, you need to optimize everything that there is about the video’s meta info.

  • Use a solid title, that explains everything
  • Use a very nice description (don’t keyword stuff, but don’t be afraid to go link-happy)
  • Use tags for added search and context benefits
  • Use locations to target closer users
  • Use annotations for website visits, important info and other CTAs
  • Use a good image thumbnail for your video

These simple things can extend your video’s content value and really drive more views. Also, be sure to use this video as an embed in your website.

One more note on video. I eluded to the term “native video” for social media platforms. Don’t hesitate in uploading this video to Facebook and Twitter for additional traffic and marketing for your content.

Content can mean more than ‘just writing’

I’m going to give you a tip that will save you thousands and thousands of dollars. Your perception of content will change forever and you will be able to see years of content ahead of you for your brand.

Ready?

Content can mean more than “just writing”.

I know I repeated the heading, but it’s true. Content doesn’t have to be a written article, a byline, a headline or a list of items.

Website content creation and content marketing is more than writing

Content can be simply images. You know all those quote cards that make you think, those memes that make you laugh, and even those article images that explain before you even read on word? Yep, all images, and they all let you digest that content quicker than words.

Video does the same thing but even quicker. Think about a book…how long does it take to read usually? For a normal person, 500 words might take a few days, a week…however long. For a movie, though, it would take 1 and a half hours, maybe 2 hours, right? Video is consumed faster than written words.

Content doesn’t have to be only visual. Audio content can allow you produce content without writing thousands of words. And if you want a great example of this, think about podcasting. I could listen to hundreds of podcasts of week. How about you?

Slide presentations, eBooks, white papers, webinars, live streaming and even hashtags can provide content that are not written-out and text-based.

What new version of content can you use to target new clients, help current customers and strengthen your brand today?

And remember, as you build content, you can do something called re-purposing content. This means that you have one solid piece of content (we’ll say an article or a blog post). Now, you make an image that represents all of the information in the article. You can also create a video about that article. You can create a presentation, provide a downloadable report, white paper or eBook on it, create a podcast concerning it, as well as infographics and more.

In other words, with solid pieces of content, you can create 8, 9 or 10 or more other pieces of content…all from this one.

Content repurposing and content marketing can yield benefits

The reason why this works?

Because you have solid content to start!

The platform and type of content won’t matter if it’s terrible or unoriginal. However, if it is solid, in-depth and new/current, whatever content type gets the most traction will work!

Show Google that you are really you

Google knows who you are. You know who you are. So it stands to reason that your being you is enough for Google to associate your brand, to your website, to you as the owner…right?

Are you kidding me?

Google wants you to prove this. They want you to go as far as getting manual confirmation of this (via snail mail and a postcard).

Because of this, and when you do it, citations and review sites provide a huge amount of strength when it comes to small businesses in search engines for regions and areas.

Google wants you to claim business listings and citations

Here’s another billion dollar tip…

Go out today and build the foundational citations to gain momentum in local search.

For most citation or review websites, you need to claim your listing. This means that you tell that source that you are that business. You then verify that you are you, and they display that listing as you.

Sounds a little tongue-tying, but citations and reviews sites mean that you are verified as the business. You get verified with them, then you are verified with the public. As your reviews build, and as your citation sources build, your standing with Google will as well.

Build citations – because you are you, right?

What are the best citation sources?

The answer to the above question depends on two things…where you are and what your industry is.

For instance, when you build local citations in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, those sources are different than if you are building your local SEO in Buffalo New York.

Just to show you the differences, Pittsburgh local SEO citation sources are:

  • Yelp
  • Citysearch
  • Superpages
  • Yellow Pages
  • Post-Gazette
  • Facebook Local
  • Yahoo Local
  • Manta
  • Service Magic
  • Angie’s List

Buffalo local SEO citations are a bit different. While the foundation sources are the same, newspapers and organizations are altered.

  • Yellow Pages
  • Superpages
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo Local
  • Citysearch
  • Facebook Local
  • Manta
  • Service Magic
  • Dex Knows
  • Better Business Bureau

Industries will usually yield different citation sources as well. To give you an example let’s look at chiropractors and plumbers.

Chiropractor local citation sources
  • Yelp
  • Yellow Pages
  • Facebook Local
  • Yahoo Local
  • Youtube
  • Dex Knows
  • Superpages
  • Manta
  • Chirodirectory
  • 123 Chiropractors
Plumber local citation sources
  • Service Magic
  • Superpages
  • Yellow Pages
  • eLocal Plumbers
  • Yelp
  • BBB
  • YouTube
  • RotoRooter
  • Yahoo Local
  • Dex Knows

These lists are in order, by the way.

As you can see, the most used are different by region and by industry. While some, like Yelp, Yellow Pages and Superpages are considered foundation citation sources, others are more specific for your business’s need.

I’ve only shown about 30 different sources. In all truth, just in the United States, there are thousands of them. By building citations, verifying your brand and getting reviews on those sites, Google places you higher and higher in local search.

And, the best part? Most citation sources are completely and totally free!

From microbusiness into a powerhouse!

Today, I’ve shown you how internet marketing for microbusiness can be beneficial and give results.

The truth is that every business, from a major 10,000 employee corporation, down to a nail technician, electrician or dog groomer can make use of internet marketing to grow their business. IF done correctly, the money that you put in will be returned, and you will see your business revenue grow over time.

And then who knows? Maybe your brand simply needs sound marketing methods to take that next step.

Are you worried about going it alone? Then contact me to schedule a free business consultation to discuss your brand and how you can use marketing to drive more business to you.

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Microbusiness internet marketing checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]
Article Name
Microbusiness internet marketing checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]
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Just because you own and operate a microbusiness doesn't mean you don't need internet marketing. With online marketing, your brand can be bigger than Star Wars!
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