If you are like most small business owners, your days are filled with managing many aspects of your business. Operations. Customer service. Human Resources. Accounting and financial management. Marketing. It’s a lot.
Online marketing can be especially time-consuming and frustrating because the Web is evolving so rapidly. And yet, it offers so much opportunity for many businesses.
I firmly believe that most businesses need a team of Web professionals that they can call on for technical expertise and advice. Who should you have on your team?
A Graphic Designer/Branding Specialist: Good, consistent branding has always been important, but I think online it is even more important. In the past, many small businesses, especially local ones, got by with no more than a printed business card and maybe some professional signage. But, if you are going to have a successful online presence, your brand needs to be more fully developed.
A Web Developer: This is a person with technical expertise in building websites. The level of technical expertise needed depends upon what you need your website to do. If, like most small businesses, you simply want to use your website to introduce your company to potential customers and provide you with some leads, there are many web developers who can do this. If, on the other hand, you plan to have a large catalog of items for sale, or your website needs to have many interactive elements to demonstrate products or display information, you will need someone with a higher level of skill and expertise. Make sure that you hire a web developer that has experience with both content management systems and non-content-management sites. That will give you the most options as Web technology evolves.
An Internet Marketing Consultant: Don’t wait to engage a marketing consultant until after you have established your brand and launched your website. An Internet marketing consultant can offer advice on brand and website development that can help you avoid costly mistakes. And, it is always more effective and less costly to build search engine optimization into a new site than to try to optimize an existing site for better search ranking. An Internet marketing consultant can also help you with online advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, etc. An Internet marketing consultant should be an ongoing source of advice and ideas for your business.
If you are interested in improving or expanding your online presence or marketing, give me a call. I can help you build a great team of Web professionals. I can recommend excellent graphic designers with great brand portfolios. And, I have also worked with several top-notch web developers. I do not take referral fees from the professionals that I recommend, and I don’t “mark-up” the cost of their services.
As an Internet marketing consultant, this is just one of the ways that I can make myself valuable to small and medium size businesses. After you have launched your new website (featuring a great new brand image), I can continue to help you stay on top of new online opportunities, so that you continue to grow and remain competitive online.