Taking Your On line Business Into The Off Line World

Last night, I was watching Gerry Harvey, multi Millionaire owner of Australia’s largest retail chain of furniture and whitegoods, Harvey Norman. A year ago he and other retailers were crying to the government that on line business were going to shut them down! Well, now he has a slightly different point of view.

The idea was that the GST (goods and services tax of 10%) paid by Australians for every item they purchase from Australia didn’t apply to small sales from overseas. The world was going to fall in! Well, it didn’t and retailers are still selling nearly all of the goods sold.

My Harvey now admits that on line sales are very small compared to retail sales, something that should be music to the ears of internet marketers. We don’t want Walmarts moving in on the internet and ruining it for everyone just yet! As long as our sales are insignificant compared to large businesses they will leave us alone.

This Got Me Thinking

We all know that the internet is potentially the most amazing thing to happen to the industrialised world. Now we can connect with people through all sorts of electronic devices only limited by our imagination. These days you can sit on the toilet and plan your next meal! The power of technology can be frightening, or of great benefit used wisely.

I consider myself fortunate to have been involved with this for many years, and to have learned a large number of skills in getting noticed on line. I have been so good at it that recently I had to change hosting companies because of too much activity on my websites! Worse still, government regulators are now watching me, again because I am too easily found.

Why not take those skills and use them to give small business an unfair advantage over the big guys? Well, that is exactly what I am doing now.

The Off Line World

I learnt all about Local Search SEO and Marketing. Many of the ideas I knew before, but I now have an enhanced concept, one that will see business appear on line more quickly than before. I checked out some businesses I know, and was appalled and excited by their websites and internet presence. To put it clearly, most small business websites are pretty ordinary, not geared for SEO, and when I talk to them, I get tales of customers not being able to find them on line! Check it out and you will see I tell the truth here.

For retailers, and service businesses, having on line shopping carts and direct sales pages may not be the best use of internet space. This is because the internet is king of one thing – information!

How I Market Traditional Business Using The Internet

In my internet marketing activities, my purpose with all I do is to get people to a sales funnel, and then entice them to buy. This has worked well for me over the years, and I have hardly met any of my thousands of customers and associates. I capture people searching for information, and then educate them to the point they see me as an expert in the field. Then we move to sales.

For businesses with premises, marketing is about bringing people in the front door! If they are any good at their business, they know how to part people from their hard earned cash. They just need more qualified people to talk to face to face! So how can we use Internet Marketing to enhance small business?

  1. Education. With a blog, supplemented by email lists, and Facebook and Twitter feeds, you can tell your customers about new things happening in your business, special offers, and educate them why you do what you do and how you are different from your competitors. By using a certain style, people get to know you. They can tell their friends to go to your website to find out more about you, giving many more referrals.
  2. Promotion. The trouble with advertising is that in most cases you only have limited space for your message. Most people will not be motivated enough by your $300 display ad to call you, unless they are in dire need of the service and don’t know anyone else to call! Better to drive them to a website where they can learn how great you are before they call. Your website can have videos, pictures and articles, explaining everything a potential customer wants to know before they buy.
  3. Social Proof. By having people leave positive comments about you on the internet. Those searching read from others how great you are. This motivates them to take action and call.

There are many ways to assist those off line businesses using the internet. With android phones, tablets, and a host of new devices appearing, the yellow pages are being discarded in place of google. Those who are not visible over the next few years will lose heaps of business to competitors who are!

Comments

  1. Hey John,

    This is HUGE and glossed over by too many of us. We’ve fallen into this trap that ‘Attraction Marketing’ is the solution and that people will be lined up to shove money under our door.

    There’s a market down the street from me. Probably one of the most expensive, not outrageous, but more than the competition. Yet they are jammed all the time with rabidly loyal customers…because they have a big staff and great customer interaction.

    It makes all the difference…people buy from people.
    Tom Bradley recently posted..Network Marketing Success Requires True ImmersionMy Profile

  2. John,
    this is a great topic and one I have been coaching countless people. I have been with all our community small business and churches. This is a simple process if done right and not to pitch ads of the business.

    They have a lifetime list of their customers and new ones daily. The have a process of gathering profile information which is only used to communicate to each person. We provide a way to reduce cost and increase awareness with what is going on which the company provides services to support the public.

    We are not talking about product sales that is something for affiliate marketing;. We are talking about brick and mortar places. Hair Salons, Dental Offices, Insurance Agents and Investment Firms. I support all of them with a reduce way to keep their current clients and bring in more new ones. Every time a person needs a cleaning for their teeth, our clients just press a button online. Every time someone is late with their insurance monthly a push of a button. It just get better with the online support we provide for all service small businesses.

    Now, we are moving in how to help senior active living facilities which is a untapped market. Its about loving to provide a better less expensive way to communicate and provide excellent customer service.

    I love from the old days when I went door to door and got to build a lifetime relationship. I still do and continue the same ethics online. You just have to know what tools fit your support services., Its all about making people feel needed and showing them how much they are loved and respected.,

    John, your an amazing coach in our industry. I do look forward in hearing more on this topic.
    William Earl Amis Jr III recently posted..Open Your Eyes To The Vast OpportunityMy Profile

  3. We live in a time when more people than not will “Google it” when they are looking for products and services, even locally. The huge potential for helping local businesses get found online has spawned a lot of courses and of course hype about getting into the business of doing this. It’s great but you have to be prepared and stand out as a professional among all the amateur “fast buck” seekers contacting local businesses with various plans and schemes they have been taught.
    Eldon Beard recently posted..How People Make Money From HomeMy Profile

  4. Teaching brick and mortar businesses how to use the internet to enhance their bottom line profits, is a relatively new and very dynamic aspect of internet marketing, John.

    Even though a business is “offline” does not mean that it can survive by ignoring “online” marketing strategies. You’ve outlined the process sufficiently that the need for leveraging the power of the internet is clearly an important place to pioneer for just about any brick and mortar business or profession.
    David Merrill recently posted..Static HTML: iframe tabs | Update Facebook TimelinesMy Profile

  5. John…
    Great article. Your comments about social proof, education and promotion are very important aspects of any business no matter whether online or offline. What you say makes sense and gives me insight into taking my online business offline. Does this sound like “not having all of your eggs in one basket”?
    Martin Casper recently posted..Five Simple Strategies to Create Your Personal Traffic MagnetMy Profile

    • John Gaydon says:

      Thanks Martin,

      Like everything else new, it takes time to get established. What I find is that most website builders and SEO experts aren’t very good or willing to work too hard!

  6. Hello John

    Very true the internet is king of one thing – information! Today’s Consumer desires to be educated and pointed to an expert in the field. A traditional business using what you share instead of a shopping cart will experience greater rewards. Those who are not visible over the next few years will lose heaps of business to competitors who are! is something that every offline business needs to comprehend.

    Thanks

    Perry A Davis Jr
    Music City
    Perry Davis recently posted..What is the next big thing in network marketing?My Profile

  7. Hi John,

    You make it sound so simple… I am still learning so this helps me understand some more things I need to get working on. Thanks!

    • John Gaydon says:

      Hi Holly, it is not necessarily simple, unless you have the skills! Success in the real world is all about Social Networking with real people!

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