Do you think that blogging is a marketing ploy? Feel slimy about using online marketing for your business? Let me convince you why you should reconsider.
Why Online Marketing can be Scammy
I have a lot of discussions with business owners throughout my day. Every so often, I’ll talk to a business owner who is hesitant about expanding their online presence with blogging and social media. In fact, one business owner was completely convinced that online marketing was a scam and just not worth his time and money.
I mean, really, who can blame him? We all suffer through thousands of spammy messages online every day. Online marketing can really seem like a waste of money when you have limited funds to invest for your business.
Let’s put this in perspective using some old-school business tactics most people see as very useful.
Old-School Networking versus Cold Calling
I’m a member of my local chamber here in Arkansas. Every once in a while, I’ll receive a phone call from another member. Pretty normal tactic for businesses. Networking is something pretty much every business owner does and most experts advocate you should do it regularly.
I recently met with a woman who works with a national chain of payroll services. She called me up, we met for coffee, and she got to know me as a person and about my business. She was a friendly woman who clearly cared about getting to know me, even though I explained before we even met that I’m a solo entrepreneur without payroll needs.
Even still, she talked with me about what she does and asked about my business goals.
When we parted, she handed me a folder with a few payroll forms every business must complete to start paying employees in case I know someone else who needed help. She also grabbed a few business cards for my boyfriend, who is an attorney here in Arkansas and helps small businesses.
A few days later, I got a call from another payroll company. He didn’t ask to meet me but just asked if I needed payroll services. I don’t—right now at least—and thanked him for his call but politely declined to speak with him further about what he offers.
Can you see the difference in these two approaches?
Good Online Marketing is Great Networking
Your online marketing won’t work if you’re simply calling up people and trying to sell them your services. If you develop a relationship with your leads before they need you and establish trust for referrals, you’re well on your way.
The truth is, I am going to need payroll eventually if my business keeps growing at the rate it is now. When I need payroll or know someone who does, I’m going immediately call up the woman who took the time to get to know me who already demonstrated she’s a great payroll resource who cares about my business.
Cold calling rarely works.
Your online presence should act as a sales person who really cares about people and what matters to them. Online marketing is an opportunity creator that establishes your authority in your niche. On top of it all, valuable content means better SEO. Which means more clicks!
That’s where blogging fits in. Consistent and valuable content that acts as your networking sales person and creates a relationship with your audience is the best thing you can do for your business online.
A bad online marketing plan only sells, tries to attract attention by yelling, and doesn’t contribute anything meaningful. For SEO, bad marketing can really backfire and create negative long term effects for your business.
Is online marketing and blogging a ploy for sales? It can be—but that means it’s not going to work.
Have great intentions behind your website for your audience and you’ll see results.