Apr 14, 2007

But for an Extra $300 I'm Going to Make It Happen Fast and with Little Pain!

Another great post by Seth Godin shows the very small business how to succeed online for as little as $60 per year, with no special skills and just a "couple hours a month."

And if you are already familiar with digital tasks such as:

- loading photos off your camera and into an email
- using a web-based email service
- realizing you can work on a spreadsheet and have a browser open at the same time
- you are a pro at "control-c" and "control-v"

Then yes, a couple hours a month is all you might need.

But the very small have bigger "computer" problems than just not understanding domain names, typography or HTML... many of you just don't even like to turn a computer on. It intimidates you (even though it shouldn't!) And I am sure that as you walk through Seth's tutorial, you're going to get discouraged the minute you click on "Flickr," "Squidoo," and "TypePad." This stuff is just over your head, and it should be because you rarely use the computer or internet. You're too busy installing $10K bathroom upgrades, or making a living grooming dogs, or visiting the members of your congregation, or working directly with the needy in your non-profit, or spending 10 days at sea to bring fresh seafood to market.

This is where I come in. What I can do with you in four hours is WAY more productive than what you could do by yourself in four hours. I could even beat Seth's $60 budget and take it down to $0 by using Blogger instead of Typepad. (But instead we're going to shift that $60 to Google AdWords.)

Within our first hour (you on your computer, me on mine, connected online), Here's what we can get done.

1. Get registered with necessary web accounts:
- site hosting (Blogger)
- email service (If you don't already have an easy to manage business email account)
- search engine advertising (definitely Google AdWords; possibly Yahoo and MSN too.)

2. Plan Your Content: Lay out an exact plan for what you have to say on your site (contact info, hours of operation, map, services, benefits, testimonials, pricing, references, etc.)

3. Determine your photography needs:
People like to see photos, as Seth suggests. We will figure out what kind of photos you could put up (staff, building, happy customers, products, etc.), and how you're going to get the photos (buy a digital camera or pay someone locally to get good photos.)

A day or so later we'll have our next online meeting, we'll take the content you've typed out in an email (see "Your Content" from the first meeting), and we'll post this information and photos to your new website. We'll set up and activate your Google AdWords campaign with specific keywords, such as "Birmingham Plumbers," "Atlanta Restaurants," "West Palm Beach Churches," "Columbia dog groomer," etc. Your business is now online and easy to find in Google!

Over the next four meetings (half-hour meetings), we'll put up new posts, such as "here's a photo of my newest client, FiFi, and her adorable haircut. Mention "FiFi" when you make your reservation this week, and we'll give you 10% off your dog's next haircut."

Or "We are on our way back from estate sales in the northeast, and we have 2 beautiful Queen Anne bedroom suites coming to the showroom."

Or "Mrs. Smith has been a wonderful member of our church for 20 years . Please join us at lunch after church this Sunday to thank her for her service!"

You get the idea. There's no business or organization I can think of who couldn't put some kind of new message up to customers and prospects.

Durning these meetings, I will teach you to monitor the advertising, the number of visits to your site, and how to make new posts.

Every project is unique, and in that first hour we might discover you have a few extra needs than others. For instance, you might be a masseuse who already buys and sells a special line of spa products, so we might as well set up a quick PayPal store for your clients to know they can order without driving in to the spa. Or perhaps I will convince you that it's worth an extra $100 a year to have your own domain name and company email, such as "BirminghamPlumbingCompany.com" and "Bob@BirminghamPlumbingCompany.com."

But in general, yes, for the very small, it is possible to get online in a big way for less than $500. And this was simply not possible a few short years ago.

Call me now! Kirk 404-429-5386!


Peter Cutforth said...

Great model Kirk. Are you getting much business?


Kirk Lancaster said...

Hi Peter. Thanks for the comment; I think it's a pretty good model too, to help the small business get a quick grasp of the modern online services. My business is growing, and I enjoy helping the "do-it-yourselfer" get their business online.