Are You a Local Business That Did Not Have to Use Social Media in the Good Times !!
When the economy was booming I’ll bet that many local businesses did not take their online presence seriously. Some bought a website that they did not understand how to use to its best advantage and as for social media when local business people had lots of business ……..many were certainly not worried about learning this powerful business tool ??
A LITTLE REALTIME STORY- CAN YOU RELATE TO THIS LOCAL BUSINESSMAN
I am writing this post after having a chat a day or two ago with a landscaper that I personally know and who does excellent work. We discussed his website which he bought when the economy was doing very well. He did not understand how to update it …..or upload anything of use to it…….and quite naturally he did not believe he had got either value or business from this website as he just used it as a reference point…..and a bad one at that.It both amazes me and annoys me how many businesses were sold an expensive pup….worthless almost !!
He basically in reality could not update his site with examples of current work for example….achievements and notable projects done….. etc etc. I asked him if he himself liked to see up to date sites when considering doing business online. Answer ” Yes of course “.
Also I asked him if he was aware that undoubtedly….. his competition were promoting themselves online….through a site or social media, or indeed both ………..and how they would stand out ahead of him in these difficult economic times. He Agreed !!.
We had a further chat about how the economy had changed and how it was affecting how he gets business. As this landscaper is very respected, in the past he would have got a lot of work from main contractors and architects. But these companies have been badly affected by the down turn and he agreed he now needs to think creatively…out of the box… to get business.
I then explained I was well aware there was an active Twitter community in his local area. He agreed that his business could be at a big disadvantage by not using social media when his competition are .
I asked would he like to understand how to reach these people with updates of his business expertise and build a network of targeted people.
I explained that he could use Twitter and Facebook, and You Tube with his mobile phone and his customers could also see his updates on their phones. He thought this was great, agreeing that most people always carry their mobile phone when they are out and about.
Then I explained he could schedule tweets and video and examples of his work could be sent automatically from a You Tube account to show people on Twitter examples of his latest great work for example.
We then discussed how people like photos of beautiful flowers . gardens etc. By using photos for example on Facebook it would be a great way to show his expertise and the value he gives his customers. A Facebook page can also be a great marketing tool and if for example people shared a photo of his work it was like someone recommending him in the offline world.
He also agreed that now is a very important time of the year to be promoting his particular business and I explained he could do this along with his offline marketing skills. He was delighted to hear online and offline can often work well together.
What about sharing landscaping advice and tips to generate more interest in his business….I pondered !
The next thing we discussed is how the majority of people that he does with business with and his customers always have their mobile phones , almost attached to them.I explained for instance that Facebook people use the mobile app and have access to Facebook at all times . Many people never leave their home or business without their mobile phone ……..and are thus reachable using Twitter and Facebook.
THE BOTTOM LINE….AS I SEE IT
My landscaper confirmed his interest and his openness towards learning how to use these tools for his local business …and we agreed a training schedule….HAPPY DAYS FOR ME. Then his Real Fear came out ……. he felt he was not a techie person and how could he manage it all when he would be outside doing a landscaping job.In reality this fear was unfounded, because it was obvious to me from conversation…..that he has the necessary basic computer skills…. and is in fact well able to both do it and manage it , and that he only needs training and advice…………… and with training and application…….. comes confidence and steady real progress.Rome wasn’t built-in a day!!
IT WAS ONLY LATER ON REFLECTION THAT IT STRUCK ME HOW COMMON HIS FEARS MIGHT BE WITH MANY OTHER LOCAL BUSINESS PEOPLE LIKE HIM………Fear Prevents Progress Folks…..Our Businesses can get left behind because of it….Some of us were afraid learning how to drive a car…..But we practiced, Many of us took invaluable training …….And We Succeeded !!!