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Different offerings, the same basic stuff

To venture out and start something new can be exiting or very scary.
I do not like change because I have experienced it so many times in my life.

Most people know me as a Video Producer. Suddenly, I sell website hosting. The question is, is it so different?

No. The reason why I can say this with certainty is that I have always done list cleaning on the side for one of the best direct mail agencies around. Furthermore, we have built a successful computer repair business in between everything.

Three completely different businesses with only one difference in marketing them. The one is a local business, the other 2 not.

One platform or medium that I could not ignore was digital. It does not matter where your clients come from, you need to use it. This was the biggest opportunity in my lifetime. Suddenly, the small guy could compete in terms of marketing.

From my experience, on a low or no budget, digital marketing work best for those delivering a local service. You can outgun the big businesses if you do the basics right. Not local, you just need to do a bit more.

As long as you keep in mind it is not about us, it’s all about the client.

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An industry broken? Can a website help your business?

Much are written about the death of websites. If you look at the response you get if you try to interact with companies from their websites one must agree that at least 99% are dead.

I have been a small business owner most of my life and I do know that the internet is not dying, and websites still have a huge role to play in the lives of small businesses.

This I know simply because we are running websites that daily attracts visitors and bring in business for their owners.

My opinion is that a lot of small business owners fell for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and a lot of (not all) web design companies and freelancers have milked them for years now. The result is that there are millions of websites out there that is sitting around doing nothing for their owners. The owners have become discouraged to a point where they will not even listen to the best advise they can get.

The result, an industry, broken by unscrupulous people to make fast buck.

The question I ask every time for myself because I need an answer as much as every other small business owner. Is it still worth it?

Yes, it is.

            It gives you a chance against the big companies.

Now more than ever people are using the internet to find products and services before they go and buy.

            There are still a ton of searches for specialized services.

            People still value personal service by someone who really cares.

People still recognize good service and will acknowledge it on public platforms. Trust in you and your business are created by these people.

If a website went into a downward spiral or never were in any spiral, can it be revived?

Again, yes and the sadness about it is that a lot of owners have given up hope and keep on paying the unscrupulous people instead of just killing it off and use it for e-mails.

The right thing to do will be to get some honest advice on you site and make the most out of it.

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It’s not about us

When I look at websites there is one link that is just about always there.

About us and just about never what is offered to the client. It is as if everyone is shouting out, look how clever am I. It is more than ok if someone else say so and there are places where they can, independently from your website, total strangers will believe them.

So, it is about us, just in the right places where you build credibility and a reputation. It spares us the embarrassment to brag about ourselves. This is very close to a personal referral and sometimes better.

I rarely see websites that really tell visitors the benefits the products have for them. I personally have struggled with this one until I started with product videos. You do not have to say a word. The product sells itself, or not.

It is still difficult with a lot of products and services, but every small business owner should make the effort to define the benefits of their products or services and display it as prominent as possible.