In the past few years there have been many discussions about if conventional marketing is dead. Well, is it, and if so is this a good thing or bad? I know that when I see an ad it really means little to the decision I am going to make. Ads have become more entertainment to me and when it comes time to make a decision on a purchase, yeah I may research a company that I have seen an ad for; though, most of the time I see an ad for a local business I think - wow they must not be doing well.
This is because I find that the good companies are well represented on the internet with reviews and people eager to talk about their good experiences. Most of the good small businesses I know do more business than they can handle just from word of mouth. I feel like I will see a company that I have heard of for years and known to be good start showing ads. Next thing, they are closing their doors.
The thing is that most people don't trust ads any more. We know how much companies have researched customers and collected are personal data. Let's be honest, no one wants to do business with a company that treats their customers like a number. Everyone wants respect and to know they matter. Who can do these things better than a local small business. So what do you do to grow your new small business?
The best way to meet new customers is the web. I can't tell you how many times I have had a client that when asked if they have a Facebook or Twitter account they say, "Oh, that doesn't work for the type of business I do." Well, that just is not true. By posting things about your daily work and teaching your customers what it is that you do, you build rapport. You might say, "Well, if I teach them about what I do, they won't need me" and maybe that will be true for some; though, usually it is easy enough to go online and watch a few videos and learn how to do almost anything.
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Let's face it; anyone can do whatever they put their mind to. The thing is that they have their own work to do and just don't have the time or willingness to put in that time. For me, I would much rather deal with an educated customer; it makes my work that much easier. They know what they want and have an idea of what to expect. This means that when I do a good job they realize the value of the service I am offering. Also, if you are keeping up on your Facebook or Twitter, you can answer questions for those who are trying to do it themselves; by responding to these questions other people see how you take care of the people that may not be paying customers and that says a lot more about a business owner than how they handle a paying customer.
Plus, who knows - the people asking questions may get to a point where it is more efficient to pay you to do what you do best. The point is - do good business and your business will be good, do bad business and you will spend tons of money trying to get new customers. When, if you would have just treated the customer you had like the good educated people they are, they will be your customer for life.
Let's face it; doing good business can do more for your business than any ad. We all benefit from a good business, the customer gets the service they want and expect and the small business makes the money they need to grow.