The SWAT Team Approach
I was speaking to a new business owner recently, when he began telling me the pure frustration he was having with how to successfully market his business. The harder he researched the “right” thing to do, the further he went down the path of confusion.
He thought he could get the answer by meeting with a lot of different marketing agencies, which would educate him on everything he needed to know and do in order to make his business a success. That didn’t work; in fact, the more “experts” he met, the more confused he became. Eventually, he just threw his hands up and went for what was “comfortable” to him – Yellow Pages and a few local newspapers. After all, it worked 10 years ago in his last business, why wouldn’t it work now?
This is a very common pitfall, and it’s called “Paralysis through Analysis.” The best example of this comes from a friend of mine who was a member of the San Diego SWAT team. He explained when rookie SWAT team members begin training, one of the first “real world” exercises they perform is to have the rookies enter a house with multiple targets to see how they react.
The excited rookies enter the home and immediately get barraged with paint balls from every direction – upstairs, downstairs, left and right, basically all around them. With so many targets, most rookies just freeze and do nothing. Their training would later teach them that they have to start somewhere; acquire one target, address it, take it out, and move on to the next one.
This same mantra can be applied when it comes to marketing your business online. When you start researching Internet marketing, you find web design, social media, blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, graphic design, Facebook ads, Google, Bing, video production, cost of customer acquisition, and the list goes on! Before you know it, you are totally overwhelmed, and you end up freezing and not doing anything to help grow your business online.
My recommendation for any business owner who is confused about how to market their business would be to start small. Pick one of the facets of Internet marketing that interests you, and start there.
An easy one to try on your own is social media. Start doing daily Facebook promotions by telling every person that walks through your door that if they like your Facebook page they will get 5 percent off of their purchase today. Customers can “like” the page while they are checking out, and now you have another follower that you can market to. Then every few days, post what new products you are featuring, new sales, hot inventory, whatever you like to keep people engaged in your business.
You Don’t Have to Be an Expert
This next sentence will free many business owners from years of bondage while running their business. You DON’T have to be an expert in Internet marketing to be successful at it. Ask your friends who own successful businesses who they use to help them with their digital marketing. Next, Google a few different marketing companies, meet with them and choose the one with the best reputation and that you trust the most.
Remember You Get What You Pay For
If someone is offering you a $1,000 website, don’t plan to buy a vacation home in Hawaii, thinking that this is going to make you rich. Could you buy a $5,000 car and expect it to have the same performance as a $100,000 car? There is no such thing as a magic pill for Internet marketing. You simply have to tackle one aspect of it at a time, measure and track your success or failure, tweak and make adjustments, and move on to the next piece of the puzzle.
Focus and Finish
The key to successfully marketing your business is DOING SOMETHING. You have to start somewhere. An elephant cannot be eaten in one bite; it must be done in many small bites and eventually the job will be complete. Don’t get paralyzed by all of the information that is out there in the world; focus on one aspect, do something and finish strong. If you follow this mantra, I promise both you and your business will be much better off.
Scott Brazdo is the CEO and co-founder of Black Tie Digital Marketing, BlackTieDigital.com