Local Business in an Online World.

Brian Tucker ~ President of SimplySell – a next-generation marketing and sales improvement firm – discusses challenges many small and mid-size business owners face with insightful ways to get get the phone ringing fast.

Contact Brian for speaking engagements or immediate sales and marketing help today.     Do it!»

Good evening everybody, before I get started I just want to say one thing. I want to thank you for having me and I’ve probably given this presentation a million times, but one thing about it, there’s nothing like giving it in front of a bunch of people that already know you – especially those that have had a couple of cocktails.

I’m going to go through this, I know we have a limited amount of time and I may go a little bit fast so if you feel like I’m going too fast or you have questions, come and hit me at the end and I’ll be more than happy to answer them for you.

Like I said, some of you know me, some of you don’t. I’m going to try to run this from my clicker here and hopefully it will work, again my name is Brian Tucker, I live here in Shelbyville.

Some of my friends don’t even really know what I do so I’m going to give you a little background on that. I’m the guy you see driving around town in the middle of day and you say “Doesn’t that guy have a job? What does he do?”

I work with large corporations, bigger businesses and I help them improve their marketing, improve their sales processes, do corporate restructuring with their sales and marketing and that consumes a lot of my time during the day.

But essentially my motto is I help them attract more business, win sales easier and try to grow without the pain that most companies face and a lot of the companies that I work with are 10, 15, 20, 50 years old and they have a lot of the same problems that even new businesses have.

You’ll be amazed at even some of the mature companies that you go to, because of the change and the size, a lot of the silly things that you see that go on every day that are very obvious that could be fixed, but are very complicated because they’ve been doing things that way for so long it’s hard to change.

This gives you a little bit of a perspective of some of the clients that I help, these are some of the larger ones, high technology companies I really do a lot of business with because I do have a technology background but I have been doing sales and marketing consulting for a long time.

What I found was over about the last three years, smaller businesses and smaller business owners suffer from a lot of the same problems that a lot of these businesses struggle with, but they struggle with it on a much more smaller and a much more complex level but they really don’t have anybody that they can go to.

They don’t have anybody that they can call, it’s kind of a niche thing, a lot of businesses say “Hey I’m just a one man person but I want to grow my business, I spend too much time working in my business not on my business trying to grow my business, I need help.”

What I have done over the last couple of years is taken a lot of the strategies that I use with the larger businesses, and I’ve actually created some programs and some systems that smaller businesses can use to their advantage, much like the larger businesses do to grow.

So that’s some of the things that I’m going to talk to you about today, that’s going to be local marketing in an online world.

Let’s face it, more and more everything is starting to move online and for a lot of smaller business owners, local business owners, especially those in smaller communities – it’s difficult to grasp working and getting your business online because you’re so used to doing things traditionally in smaller towns, and all of that is changing.

We’re going to go through a little bit of that, today what I’m going to talk about is how and why marketing is changing for local businesses. What I mean by local businesses is business owners just like you, this is happening everywhere across the world and it’s a big problem.

A lot of these are big problems that business owners are struggling with, that they’re facing right now and they’re not really sure what to do, they don’t have the capability, they’re not sure where to go. I’m going to talk a little bit about where marketing for local businesses is heading, five years, ten years in the future.

How you can potentially start future proofing your local business right now, and I’m going to give you a six step plan quickly of things that you can do over the weekend, and by Monday have some of these things done and up and running for your business that will absolutely help you right out of the gate.

First thing I just want to set the stage with is one of the things that I run in to a lot with business owners, they don’t really understand what marketing is, they’re used to hearing the word advertising and traditionally in smaller local businesses, mid-sized businesses, there’s this mindset about advertising.

An ad salesman comes to you and sell you some advertising, you buy the advertising, you put a newspaper ad and you go a radio ad, you do a television ad and you hope the phone calls and that you convert it in to a sale.

Advertising as you’ll see on the right is just one small subset of marketing. Marketing is a full process and a full strategy that businesses use to grow what their business is long term.

To kind of put it into perspective, advertising if you look at this wheel right here, it starts at the top with marketing and works its way around.

Advertising is really in this step right here, what happens is a lot of smaller businesses start here and don’t really have a strategy, they haven’t put a tactical plan together, they really don’t have a marketing plan and they just kind of take chances and say “Well I’ll try this, maybe that will work. Maybe I’ll try this type of advertising and that will work”.

I had a client that called me yesterday and he said “Brian, I’ve tried everything. Radio, TV, newspaper, billboards – I can’t get anything to work. I’m really not sure what I’m doing.”. He’s just trying everything that he possibly can.

Well, this is a type of person that doesn’t know there’s actually a strategy and there’s actually a system behind that, that you can put together long term that will help you strategically grow your business.

With that in mind I want to put things in to perspective, so when I talk about how things are changing for businesses, how things are moving. Some of you may be old enough to remember when the telephone was fairly new, some of you may remember it as a kid.

To put it in perspective, it took 75 years for the telephone to reach 50 million people. You look at the radio, you look at television, it came along, technology progressed much faster.

Then we started to get in to the early days of the internet and as you can see, it took about four years for the World Wide Web to catch on and hit 50 million people. Now, as you go down the scale what you’ll see is Facebook hit 50 million in three and a half years, and then we get in to things like apps that come out for your iPhone or iPod, these things can hit 50 million users in less than two or three weeks.

Things are really moving fast, it’s difficult to keep up when you’re working but one of the things that I always keep as a motto is change is the only constant that you’re going to run in to in life.

It’s going to happen, things are going to change, some of us have a hard time embracing change, some of us don’t deal with change well and that’s okay.

But as business owners what we have to understand is we have to deal with change, because if we don’t change constantly with the times we’re going to be in big trouble.

As I said when we were kids when we needed information we went to this thing called the encyclopedia, we’d sit down and look it up, it would take a lot of time.

What has changed is nowadays we Google it, if we’re looking for some information or we’re looking for something, we jump on the internet and look it up.

Somebody is coming to Shelbyville and they’re looking for places to eat in Shelbyville, they’re going to type it in to Google and they’re going to see things like the Longbranch, Yen Ching, they’re going to click on that, they’re going to go to it and check it out.

This is not only for people who may be looking for things, maybe I just want the telephone number to call them up tonight because I want to make an order and I can’t remember what the phone number is.

You used to call directory assistance, now you just click on your phone, search it in and boom you hit it and you’re going.

So information has evolved and so the way I look at it is, if change is the only constant, we cannot as business owners continue to focus on past success. If we continue to focus on what has worked in the past, with all of the things that are changing we’re going to have a problem.

We must never say never and I like to say as a business owner or somebody who is always wanting to take the next step, we cannot play were the puck is at.

People that are successful almost in anything whether it be sports, business, whatever it is – they play where the puck is going to be.

That’s where you really need to be and so you have to prepare yourself to succeed, you have to know where that puck is going to. I’m going to walk you through a few things here that are going to show you were things are headed so you can have a better idea.

Now I’m going to have a reality check with you here, some of you may be familiar with this, but the bottom line is most people haven’t picked up a phonebook in five years.

When was the last time anybody in here used a phonebook? (One audience member says today). Wow that’s not most people, some of your customers have never used one and as we go through this I’m going to show you that, your customers tomorrow never will.

While the phonebook does still work for certain things, you guys know as well as I do that’s changing every day, that’s just one thing that makes it difficult for business owners especially in smaller towns is, they used to rely on putting a phonebook advert in.

If you were at the top of the phonebook or had the biggest ad in there, then you were going to get the most calls and it doesn’t quite work like that anymore.

The next piece I’m going to show you may be a little bit controversial, it may raise the hair up on some people’s necks.

But the fact of the matter is local media is being replaced every day, faster and faster. Newspaper is being taken over by social media like Facebook and Twitter.

You guys that are on Facebook, some of you may not be on but you know as well as I do, you can get information of the things that are going on around town whether they be events, gossip or whatever faster on Facebook than the local newspaper.

Even situations with obituaries, we used to go to the newspaper and read the obituaries, that used to be a high advertising spot in the newspaper.

You can get the information for that on Facebook faster than it will ever make it to the newspaper, and you’ll have all the information that you need.

Radio still is prevalent, radio is probably one of the most prevalent marketing pieces that there are out there, but the younger generation is replacing this with things like iTunes Radio and Pandora.

They’re downloading and streaming this stuff on their phone, XM Radio has no commercials, they’re able to listen to it, they’re able to pay subscriptions and that’s a problem for local business owners as that starts to go away.

The local radio advertising that you used to depend on is starting to fade and it doesn’t have the listening audience that it used to.

The same thing with TV, it’s being replaced with things like YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, streaming, even DVR is slowly becoming obsolete which was the hottest thing just a couple of years ago.

My kids scream at me when the internet is not working and they can’t get their kids shows off the computer that’s hooked to the television in the living room. I’m not kidding you it’s awful, I get “DAD! What’s up with the internet? What are you doing up there?”.

The fact is as you can see, advertising options are changing for local business owners and this is just a little graph that I like to put up here.

This reflects ad spending for small local businesses year 2012 versus year 2013, what you’ll see here is with the exception of a small sliver in cable TV and a small one in cinema and movies.

All of them have declined year over year with the only one that is growing is online, it is the fastest growing medium, marketing your business or any product or service that you have online right now is the fastest growing medium.

The bottom line is the internet is where we go to find things, 97% of internet users look for local stuff online. I even do it myself, even if I know what’s going on in town and I know where to go, sometimes I’ll go on there and I’ll look for a telephone number or whatever it is and I’ll get information.

It’s there, Facebook. You used to go to the classified section, now you go on Facebook and people are selling their stuff. Shelby County Re-gifting, come take these clothes out of my house or whatever it is.

All of this stuff is now online, local services and products. While there are close to a billion PCs in people’s houses worldwide right now, times are changing.

But some great things about this and these are just some short bullets that you can check out, you may or may not know these. But 90% of all online commercial searches result in a purchase, 82% of people that search on the internet follow up by email, phone call or voice mail to buy.

These are pretty interesting numbers. 88% Of consumers who search for a local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours, I can tell you right now there is no more qualified buyer than an internet searcher – you will not find one.

They are educated, they know what they’re looking for, they know what they want, they typically want it right now, they’ve already made their buying decision, they’re researching or trying to find out who has what they want, where it’s at, how much it costs and they’re going to come buy.

They’ve usually got their credit card out at that point, mobile search locally has increased 500% year over year. I was kind of slow to the iPhone, I was a BlackBerry guy, I said you’d never be able to pry this thing out of my cold dead hands.

I never thought even in my business that mobile would take over as fast as it did. It’s come out of nowhere and I’m going to show you some information here that’s kind of mind-blowing, as far as how fast it has grown and how crazy it is and how much power it has.

The reality is that the majority of small business owners don’t even have a website. Of the ones that do, they usually don’t keep up, they’re frustrated with it, they don’t get any traffic from it, they don’t get any buyers on it. How many people in here have a website?

How many people have updated it within the last year? How many updated it within the last six months? Okay that’s good. 6% Of those businesses that have them are mobile compatible, who in here has a website that is mobile compatible that they know 100% will pull up on their phone and work perfectly.

That’s about right, here’s why I’m getting to this. Remember in the good old days when your wife used to tell you I don’t know why you have a map and the guy would say I’ll just drive, eventually I’ll pull over at a gas station and we’ll get there.

This is how it used to work. In fact I don’t even think I’ve seen a map like that in a long time to be honest with you. But now we can ask for directions on our phone, it’s coming to the point where they’re just this in your car. You can push a button and say take me to X, Y and Z and you’re there.

Shelbyville is very unique in the fact that we have the lake and we have tourists. They come here, they look for things, they’re looking for things to do and places to go, places to eat, services to buy, products to shop for, etcetera.

Some of these things that I’m going to point out to you, are much more important to a community like Shelbyville whereas a community that doesn’t have quite as much tourism as we do. You’ve got all these people coming down coming from St. Louis of Chicago, they’re coming from the larger cities and they’re looking for stuff to do on their computers before they leave, and on their cellphones when they get here.

One in five of the searches that they do are local, when they’re here it’s probably more. Even when it comes to buying or business customers look online, I always tell a business to say if they’re going to put information online and try to sell their products or services, they should think in a 60 mile radius.

If I own a heating and air conditioning business and I want to grow my business, why would I only list it online for Shelbyville?

Why wouldn’t I try to get it online for Mattoon and Charleston, Decatur, Effingham, because people are online, they’re looking and if your business is positioned there they will potentially find you, they will call you, they will shop, they will get prices, they know what they want to buy.

They’re just looking for somebody to sell it to them. So I always say think in a 60 mile radius.

Now here are five ways, some people say “I’m a local business, I don’t use the internet, I don’t see any use for it I’ve been doing it this way forever.”

Here are five of the clearest and most concise ways that I know that businesses can grow online, a local business can grow online doing online marketing. The first one is just flat out increasing their local search visibility to consumers and to tourists.

If you don’t have your information online in some shape or form, even if it’s a basic website, even if it’s a one page website it doesn’t matter. As long as you’ve got your information on there, if somebody is searching for you and they can’t find you – you do not exist.

It’s just like looking in the phonebook, your listing is not there so how would they ever know to call you?

You can position yourself next to a similar customer of any size anywhere. If I own again a heating and air conditioning business in Shelbyville and there’s a big competitor in Decatur that’s way bigger than me, I can position my business right next to them online, people go and they search, they find that competitor, they call them, the competitor doesn’t call them back for a week because they don’t have good service, they call me and I respond in the same day.

The next thing you know I’m doing an estimate and here we go we’re dealing. You can expand your local products and services footprint, so basically you can sell more of what you do in more places, you can actually sell different types and diversify what your products and services are.

You can do that by also taking your stuff and selling it online, I just picked up a customer in Champaign that resells other brands of shoes.

They’re basically drop shipping other brands of shoes. If you’re selling a certain type of product and you think “Hey this product might be complimentary to mine and I don’t carry it right now.”

You could potentially sell that online to customers and never touch anything, sell it directly and just be a broker of it. There’s a lot of different things, you’ve got to innovate locally and expand.

Again I’m going to get in to some more stuff here, I’m going to talk a little bit about mobile.

But you remember in the old days again when long distance used to be walking all the way down the end of the hallway, and hiding in the closet with the cooler to talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend.

We all know that we have progressed from this and in the mid-90s, this new great thing came along called a cellphone that really started to get popular.

I like to show this picture and put it in to perspective, because at about that time, these were some of the technology devices that were being used.

We had a Sony Walkman and Nintendo was hot there, we did things kind of manually, we had a recipe book on the counter. Today all of these things are right here and then some, these things are becoming obsolete by the minute.

Handheld cameras are going away because the cameras on your phones have become so popular and powerful that you don’t even need it.

In fact we’ve become so dependent on our phones that, some of us can’t even go an hour without checking our cellphone let alone minutes.

It’s crazy, how do you feel when you can’t find your phone or you leave the house and you don’t have your phone? “Oh my gosh what am I going to do, I feel like I don’t have any clothes on.”

It’s crazy. The fact is it takes 26 hours to report a wallet stolen but only 68 minutes to report a lost phone. Now we haven’t even got warmed up yet, it’s going to get better.

72% Of all mobile phone users keep their device less than 5’ from them at all times. How many people in here sleep with their phone? Be honest, anybody else?

How many people put it on a nightstand? How many people put it under their pillow?

How many people put it right here? I do, you can see this, 52% of people are on their phone while they’re in bed. They’re down time, they’re not doing anything.

They’re doing it in church, they’re sneaking, it’s crazy. Soon there’s going to be more mobile devices on this planet than we’re going to have people to use them.

There are more mobile devices than tooth brushes, there’s more mobile phones than TVs. I think you guy’s kind of get the hint, here this kind of shows you how it’s changing right now.

This is about April or May of 2014, this is mobile usage right here and this is traditional desktop usage that we use in our house.

As you can see mobile has surpassed it, more people are using mobile devices to access the internet than they do a computer at home.

The good thing about this is it takes 90 minutes, more than 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email. It takes 90 seconds or less to respond to a text message on your mobile device.

70% Of all mobile searches result in an action within one hour, I’d say it’s probably less. You find it, you click it, you call it, you’ve got it, yes I’ll be right over. The same thing, call Ace “Hey, have you got that pipe part I’m looking for?”, “Yes I do.”

So I don’t have to make nine trips back and forth to Ace like I do every time I try to fix a plumbing leak. Mobile coupons get ten times the redemption rate of any traditional coupon, this is pretty powerful stuff.

But then if you even break it down further what you’ll see is, this is actually smartphone usage, and you can see it’s kind of going and doing its thing.

This is tablet usage like iPads, Android devices, it’s going to surpass even the mobile phone itself. In fact pretty soon desktop computers are going to be pretty much obsolete.

We look for things on the go, I don’t want to repeat what’s on the slide here, but I think it’s pretty obvious that we are very connected to these devices.

Anybody have this problem at home? Or maybe this problem with their kids? This guy right here he’s plugged in on the front porch. These kids are going to school, they’re talking about what’s going to go on in their day, sometimes somebody is babysitting, and lastly here’s some of my kids right here.

I tell you I’ve seen this picture several hundred times, today for the first time I’m not very attentive sometimes, but for the first time what I noticed is, what’s this lady doing in the back here? I wonder if he’s texting her.

The fact is when you combine mobile and social there’s so much opportunity there, it’s just basically untapped. One in seven people are on Facebook, people are on Facebook all the time and of those people that are on Facebook, 77% of them do it from a mobile device.

Mobile has increased 40% year over year, they’re 200x more active on a mobile device than they are when sitting at home on their computer.

It’s constant, and I’ll tell you I was late to Facebook, I was probably two years late to Facebook. I’m kind of a late adopter with certain things, I was with my Blackberry, I was with going to Facebook.

When I got on Facebook and I started to see the potential for local business owners and for business in general with the social aspect of it, and it’s not just Facebook it’s mixing the different types of social media together – I said “Aha! This is it right here, there’s a massive amount of opportunity there.”

One of the things that you’ll probably hear is that Facebook is on the decline, it depends on how you look at it. Facebook has cut their local business pages down to about 1% visibility with your friends.

If you have 1,000 friends on your Facebook business page and you post something, only 1% of them are going to see it. However, if you advertise with them which is dirt cheap, you can push that up to 70-80% of your friends and other people who are not friends of you seeing that advertising.

It’s just ridiculously cheap, you couldn’t touch any other kind of advertising for as cheap as this is and it works big time. I’m going to show you some examples of that as we go.

Video, YouTube. I talked to you about how that has taken over, more video has been uploaded to YouTube in the last 60 days than the three major US networks created in 60 years, it’s constantly new stuff, did anybody see the video yesterday about the boy that got attacked by the dog and the cat chased it off?

I told my wife “You’ve got to see this.” She said “I don’t want to see the kid get bitten.” And said “You’ve got to see this.”

That thing has had a couple of million views just overnight, it’s crazy how fast this stuff goes. The thing is with video, if you use that for local business advertising, a video converts six times higher than any picture that you will ever give to any customer.

I always say a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. If you have something in video, think about it. A lot of successful business owners advertise on TV, they do a lot of advertisement. Champaign, Decatur, Springfield, Saint Louis, wherever they do it.

Take that same principle and apply it and get it on a search engine, get it ranked up there. People are searching for you, they’re searching for your type of service and they find your video, they’re six times more likely to click on that and pick up the phone and call you than anybody else on the page.

Facebook, I talked about it dwindling off. These are your customers of tomorrow, by 2020 half of the workforce is going to be millennial’s, people born between 1980 and 2000.

These are the things that they’re focused on right now, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine which is a little thing you can string these short little videos together that roll and roll.

Pinterest which is basically like a picture version of Facebook, a lot of females use it, they like to share pictures of weddings and flowers and things that they do in their house, their yard and all that stuff.

These things are exploding at a rate that is just going to blow Facebook completely out of the water. One in three of these millennial’s watch online video more than they watch TV like my daughters.

This kind of gives you a better idea and the fact of the matter is, is that businesses that can be found online are growing faster. You guys Google? Here’s just some quick numbers for you.

The first three listings of Google get 80% of the clicks, if you’re not in the top three on Google the chances are people aren’t going to click on you. In fact, of these bottom positions you will get more clicks if you are on page two in the number one position, than if you were in here.

Because what happens is people go and look at the first three, they click to go to the second page, they see number one click that and go to it. I’ve seen it, I’ve done the testing on it it’s crazy.

Like I said video clicks are six times more active, six times more likely to convert to any web page. Google loves videos because Google owns YouTube, they favor, they love video, they want to see it in their search engine rankings.

I call this the Dr. You syndrome, does anybody in here ever get like a back pain or maybe they’re having an anxiety attack? Got a headache or some strange thing?

Maybe they want to know how to do some work in their yard, do you guys go on Google and try to figure out how to do it?

Or maybe you go on YouTube?

I call this the Dr. You syndrome, “Man I’ve got a pain in my back and I don’t know what it is, I better go online and look at it, I hope I’m not having a heart attack.”

That’s exactly how search works when people are buying, they’re going to go online, they’re going to get educated, they’re going to go to YouTube, they’re going to go to Google, Facebook, wherever they’re going to go.

They’re going to figure out what it is, how does it work, is it important, do I need it, which one do I want and then where can I get it?

Then they’re ready to go. All you have to do is be there to catch them, the problem is what most businesses don’t understand, is the sales process is dying, the buyer process is in. In the old days you used to have a force of sales people, you’d go out and sell stuff, you’d beat on them, sell them stuff.

That’s not the way that it works anymore. The way it works now is customers get online, they’ve got an idea of what they want to get, they get online and search, they self-educate themselves, they research, they figure out what it is they want, they boil it down and compare the products between each other, they decide what it is they want, they make a decision that they’re going to buy it and then they purchase it.

They buy it for the most competitive price or the person that’s nearby that’s going to give the best service. If you think like a buyer and how searchers are working now, you’re going to sell like a rock star.

Now this is a part that not a lot of people talk about but this is huge – online reputation management.

This has become so huge in about the last year. If you go out and you look for your business online, how many people can tell me that they know that they have at least three good stars about their business?

How many have no clue, have never looked? People make decisions based on how you are ranked and what your status is online. If I go online and I’m going to book a hotel in Saint Louis, I go on and start going through Orbitz.com, I’m not going to click on anything less than three stars.

I’ll start at four and I’ll work my way down till I can find something I like.

I’m not going to click on one and go to it, I’m not even going to look at one. There’s a lot of businesses out there that just don’t even have a clue as to how this works and how damaging this can be to your business.

This is the same client, I met with them, they wanted me to redo their marketing, wanted me to help them with their website, wanted me to help them with their branding, get more people in to the store. No problem, except for this.

Your customers are going to go here, what’s the very first thing they can see? I don’t know if some of you can see what that word says right there, but that’s what they see when they go. You know what they do? They go to Body & Soul, they’re going somewhere else, they’re going to Foot Locker.

There’s your first problem right there.

The second problem is your website links to your Amazon store, how can I buy shoes locally if I don’t even know where your store is at? I click on it and it takes me to Amazon.

These are just some basic things, they didn’t even know these reviews were there, they had no clue, had never even looked and they were flawed. You’ve got to fix it. We’re going through a huge process right now to get them schooled, not only with their customers but to change the way they’re operating their business.

To make sure the customers leave satisfied and make sure that none of their sales people get them upset and all of these things, because if you’ve got ten reviews online and eight of them are one star the chances are they’re not going to come to your business.

Online marketing seven benefits, this is if I had to boil it down. You could basically have all of the information about your products and services on your website, even if it’s a one pager, that is your number one selling tool.

You can put as much information about what you do on there as you possibly can, so that people can get educated and you have to do less selling. Demographics are hyper-targeted, you can go on Facebook and you can advertise to an 18-24 year old in Herrick, that’s single, that’s only interested in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You can literally do that. There might be only two people there but you can target to that level, it’s crazy what you can get down to.

Everything that you do online is measurable, every click is measurable. It’s all real-time measurable, you can see it as it’s happening, I can literally pull up a computer screen for you right now and show a website where people are clicking on it and going to pages.

It’s real stuff. It’s less intrusive on your customers, there’s no hard sales process, they get the majority of the information they need, they call you up and you fill in the blanks then you sell.

Attention grabbing, you can get as crazy as you want online, you’re not restricted to typical marketing campaigns and the things that you might want to do on TV.

There’s really no bounds on the internet, you can say and do basically whatever you want to. You can get pretty creative and test things much more cost effectively than you could on TV, where you’re taking stabs in the dark.

You can change this immediately if you see that it’s not working within a day, it doesn’t cost you anything to change it.

You get a lot of long term exposure and the pricing is very clear and of course the price far less, but as I said, BlackBerry guy I had to get with the times because the fact of the matter is when it comes to any business right now, pioneers are going to live and the settlers are not going to make it.

You’ve got to be ready to go, you’ve got to be prepared for change and as you can see I’ve got the picture of the BlackBerry up there. Nine months ago BlackBerry was hot, where’s it at now? It can change as fast as that.

What I’m going to do now is walk you through some simple things, six steps that you can do over the weekend that will get you rolling in the right direction, and get you headed where you want to go.

The first one is embracing technology. If you do not have a smartphone yet go get one, all of your customers probably have one, they’re free.

You can go buy a tablet for $0.50 a day, you can buy them for less, sometimes you can get them for free if you get them in a giveaway or you grab it from your kid that has an old one in the drawer.

One of the things I’m doing with some of my customers right now, I just did this out at the winery with Tina and Louie. We took a tablet, we put it on the bar, we put on a guest book, people come in there and get themselves a wine, while they’re standing at the counter waiting on their wine they put their name in.

They put in one thing that they like about the winery and maybe one thing they can do better, they get about 100 people on their email list a week. That’s a lot of people.

When you’ve got that email list you can send marketing to them, you can send them notifications and say “Hey here’s what’s going on this weekend, we’re having a blues festival out there.”, you can let them know at the push of a button everything that is going on.

This is just one of many ways that you can use to kind of get your business going in the right direction with technology.

Explore internet marketing, Google advertising, Facebook Advertising, PayPal, taking PayPal credit, taking payments with your phone.

There’s lots of different things that you can do, some people don’t like this and they’re scared of it, it makes them nervous but this is just a couple of things right out of the gate that you can look at to make buying easier on your customers so that it’s effortless, so there’s no friction in your sales process and it’s just a smooth transaction for them.

Get your business online, if you have a website that looks like this or you’re advertising on a website that looks like this – stop, fix it immediately.

This is doing more damage for your business and I see businesses with websites worse than this every day. They come to your thing, they click it, see it and they don’t like it.

I’ve got customers that we’ve just done nothing simple but swapped out their website and put a professional looking website on, sometimes customers just go there, they spot check, they look to see if the website is half way decent, they say yes it looks good I’m going to pick up and give them a call.

It looks better than 80% of the others ones I clicked on that looked like this. It’s just basic stuff, this is not anything that’s overly elaborate but these are just the things that are obvious.

How many people in here have ever claimed an online listing or filled an online listing form out for their business, anybody? Google, Yahoo! And Bing, all three have a free place where you can go either list your business if it doesn’t exist yet, or you can claim a listing that already exists.

All you have to do is go create an account, you go to Google Places, you go to Yahoo! Local and you go to Bing Local and create an account. You search for your business in their section, it will come up and if it comes up it will probably give you an option just to verify your number on the phone.

These are free and when you’ve claimed these, your business will come up right here in these listings.

You don’t have to have anything, you can point it to your Facebook page, you can point it to anything you want to.

It has your business name, it has all this and when they click and come in here it will show them your telephone number, your hours of operation, you can have some pictures in there, you can do all this stuff for free – it doesn’t cost you a penny.

It’s a big deal, but most business owners as you can see don’t know about this, it’s probably one of the best kept secrets on there.

You can optimize these, put all kinds of stuff on there. If you don’t have a website you can even use these as long as you get something out there, so when people are looking for you they can find you.

Get social. If you don’t have a Facebook page, make one for your business. If you don’t have time to manage it, hire a high school kid, a friend, somebody and get pictures on there and get engaged with local people and build your business.

Take pictures, if I sell something to somebody, if I’m Bill and I sell a car to somebody, take a picture with that customer and put it up there. “Hey, I just sold Bobby Joe this new car, come see us up here.”.

Put your website address on there, click on it if you want more information or put your telephone number. People will call you, I’m telling you.

They’re sitting on Facebook doing nothing, they’re sneaking at work or they’re doing whatever they do, they see that and they go “Oh you know what I’ve got a friend that needs that, let me call him right now.”.

I see it all the time, it’s crazy. Post on it twice a week, don’t just put it out there and let it sit. You’ve got to keep it fresh, you’ve got to keep your information up to date.

There’s a few things that you should know when you post on Facebook, always give a call to action. Don’t just post something out there that’s boring, give them a call to action. “I sold John a new car, telephone number, bla bla bla. Come on in today we’ve got free wheel changes till Friday.”, or whatever it is.

Give them some kind of call to action, something time sensitive that makes them want to pick up the phone and call you.

Get mobile. If your customers can’t find you, you don’t exist. When you claim these free listings they will come up in the mobile search, whether they’re searching for restaurants in Shelbyville Illinois, if they’re coming down and visiting Lake Shelbyville.

Or maybe somebody is in Shelbyville and they just type in eye doctor, it will come up, it’s all based upon where your phone is and where your location is.

Your information will come up. I’m going to show you some results of just a couple of clients, this is one client that I just did some work for. This is a person that relied traditionally on phonebook, an attorney my age.

Frustrated beating her head against the wall, she calls me up one day and says “I’ve got to do something, the phone is not ringing.”, “Okay well I can tell you why, but that’s neither here nor there.”. One simple thing, she changed from phonebook to online and what we did was some very simple things.

We created a couple of articles and we created a ten part video series talking about the top ten mistakes people make in a divorce, this is a divorce attorney by the way.

Her web traffic grew three times in one month from 80 to 240 visitors, she had 47 new clients in less than 60 days and the average client starts at $15,000. Now you do the math on that, that’s a life changing experience for that solo business owner.

This is a local business that started in October 2012, I’m not going to tell you the name of this business but you might be able to figure it out.

When they started their business the first month they were open, they had 585 visitors to their website right here in Shelbyville, that’s a lot of traffic for Shelbyville.

One year later with just some basic things, Facebook, Google and a couple of YouTube videos. Simple stuff doing it every day or twice a week, that site grew to 2,300 visitors a month.

This business averages 24,000 visitors a year to its website which is the equivalent of 24,000 people knocking on the front door of their business. At least looking in the window of their shop, they may not come in, they may not engage but they’re at least at the front door looking in the window of the shop.

Half of those visitors in that month so this is the month, 300 of those visitors came from searching on Google. Half of those visitors came from Facebook and half of the visitors that came from Facebook came on their mobile device.

This is real business, real stuff right here in Shelbyville and this is why. They do things like this, they create videos and commercials then put them on YouTube.

If somebody is looking for a wedding venue in Sullivan there may not be one there, but there’s one nearby in Shelbyville and guess what? Here’s some information on it, I click on it and maybe it’s not too far away so I might go take a look at it.

Maybe they’re looking for some rental chairs and we know there’s a rental chair business over there, but they’re not in business anymore.

So I just go type in because I can’t remember what the name of it is, well there’s all the information that I need right there. Why don’t I click them, they’re just over in Shelbyville.

These are the type of strategies that you can use in your business, and I’m sure all of you as business owners know how your customers think.

If you can take that and position yourself in the places your customers will look for you, you will have that kind of success. I see it every day and the phone starts ringing, it’s an awesome feeling.

This is the website that we put up 19 months ago, the community website for Shelbyville, ShelbyvilleIllinois.net, I’m sure some of you have been to it. This gives you another view of how people view Shelbyville and how people are looking for Shelbyville.

In 19 months there has been 32,000 visitors to that website, this is not clicks, this is not hits, this is individual unique people that have come and have found that website.

33% Of those people have found that from searching on Google, and I can tell you they’re looking for things like Shelbyville Illinois, things to do in Shelbyville, Shelbyville Illinois shopping, restaurants in Shelbyville, bars in Shelbyville, you name it – they’re searching for it.

They find this, they come to the site and they get what they want. Now when we originally put this site up we listed several businesses on there that were tourism related, right now we’re going through a process and actually listing all of the chamber members on to this site, that are not currently listed on there and adding them to the site so that people can find them.

25% Of the visitors that came to the site are mobile users which means, they’re looking for something in Shelbyville on their phone.

With that in closing as I said earlier, we cannot focus on past success, never say never there has been so many times that it’s never going to work but it works, and you’ve got to play where the puck is going to be.

I always say if your business isn’t growing it’s dying, that’s the fact. Why would you want to be in business if your business isn’t growing? You want to continue to grow and do it, any questions from anybody?

I know I went fast but I don’t want anybody to fall asleep because everybody ate, everybody looks thirsty.

Audience: [44:05]

Brian: People are searching online, if they can’t find your business they won’t call you, that’s a simple fact. I have two or three smaller businesses in Shelbyville that you would think this would never work for, they probably get about 35-40 visitors a month to their website.

I can see when it happens, Monday when their stuff is broken, it has been the weekend, they’ve called and nobody has answered, the first thing they do is they call in Monday morning because they want X, Y and Z repaired. Every business has their patterns and everybody is different.

In closing, if anybody would like this I will give you the opportunity to send me an email or I’ll give you my card at the end. I’ll send you a very basic checklist that you can go through from a business perspective, that will give you some ideas on things that you can do for your marketing.

I will also email you a copy of my book that talks all about marketing, the different types of marketing, how internet marketing can help your business. I’ll email that to you, it’s very easy, you can probably sit down and read it in an hour it’s nothing crazy. Any other questions? Thanks guys, I appreciate it.