I sent a friend an email about his business. I thought I'd share the contents, since it applies to virtually any business with a door, hours, a phone, or a retail storefront. If you own a business, you neglect the internet at your peril. Your competitors are online, or will be as soon as someone convinces them to do so. Your customers are definitely online. Most people are! And, many of us use smart phones. If I can type in a few key words and find your competitor's business listing, with feedback, ratings, customer experiences independently offered providing evidence your competitor does a good job or offers a good product, why would I go dig up a musty old phonebook or waste money calling directory assistance? Answer: I wouldn't, unless we were really good friends and I felt like I owed it to you. And, if that were the case, why would you make me work so hard to call you?
I googled "The Rental Place Cullman, AL" and found nothing useful. I mean not so much as a business listing, which are free by the way. I also googled "Equipment Rental Cullman, AL" and nothing. I finally scrolled down to find your business name in an old phone book listing online and found you. But, that was much more effort than most would put into an otherwise simple search.
[By the way, I should tell you, when I called it just rang. Voicemail can be your friend. If someone calls you, it wouldn't be a bad thing if they received a message, perhaps telling them about your cool website with listings of equipment you rented.]
If I type in any of the following, your business listing should be prominent. It would help immensely if you had an active, useful website. There may be other ways to find your business. Listing the equipment you rent, for example, would be a good idea. If I typed in "rent concrete cutter cullman, al" I should be able to find your business, preferably a business listing, some feedback, and a web page that tells me about the equipment you rent, and your policies, prices, etc. would just be gravy.
But, at a bare minimum:
- The Rental Place Cullman, AL
- equipment rental cullman al
Listing your business in Google's free online business listing is simple. You could do it yourself, or get a professional to do it for you. It just so happens we do this for our clients, as well as teach them how to maximize their success using these free tools.
Tekany.com/contact (if you're lazy and just want help right now)
You don't have a Google Places listing, but do have a business listed phone number (in old fashioned phone books). So, setting up a new Google Places listing is simple and fast. We can do it for you today. Or, you can do it yourself (it's not rocket science).
As soon as you get a Google Places listing, you should encourage anyone you know with an internet connection (that's pretty much everyone between the ages of 5 and 90) to go online and rate your business. More ratings, more feedback = more trust from potential customers.
Google is no longer a search monopoly. More than 800 million people worldwide (and growing) use Facebook, and Facebook users increasingly use their Facebook experience to pick products and services. So, just list yourself and your business in Facebook. That too is free and reasonably simple.
You'll need the following to properly maximize your Facebook exposure:
- Facebook personal account (you can't do anything without a Facebook personal account)
- Facebook business listing (where you link your business to an address and marketplace)
- Facebook page (where you make a page you can update occasionally to notify people and have them follow your updates)
Chances are good that many, if not most, of your customers are already on Facebook. For them, encourage them to follow your page and occasionally post pictures and updates, include photos of new products and people, announce services, schedule changes, anything that you think a potential customer may want to know. This can be very effective, and doesn't take much time. Plan to invest upwards of 10-20 minutes a week making sure your Facebook page is interesting. If you really want to engage prospective customers, plan to spend 10-20 minutes a day on all your social media campaigns and make sure you are actually engaging and answering questions through these social media outlets.
Obviously, we offer training and support in this area as well.
There's more. But, this is just a taste of how you could bring more customers, more consistently, into your business.
Watch for updates:
- Tekany on the web, our official website [You're here already, but feel free to share with your friends!]
- Tekany on Facebook
- Tekany on Twitter
- Tekany on Google Plus
Keep in touch,
Jason A. Nunnelley