by Shelene Taylor
Here are nine inexpensive marketing ideas specifically for your website and online presence that will help you spread awareness of your business and help with your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). Although you may have seen these before, the key is to do them! So this is a reminder of what is available to you to help shine the spotlight on your business.
If you don’t already have a business blog, start one. Blogging is a great way to gain rapport with customers, keep people updated on your business and send people to your business. It’s time consuming to start up, so be prepared, but it can be very worth your while. Once you get going and schedule it into your calendar, it’s a piece of cake. Plus, having an outlet to share your creativity, passions and inspirations is always fun, no matter who’s reading it.
2. Send a newsletter
Newsletters are a great way to stay in contact with your past customers and give them incentive to visit you again. You can send one to announce a special deal just for them, introduce new services or staff, or even to give them massage advice. Let them know what events you’ll be participating in and perhaps notify them of an event you are hosting. I recommend using a newsletter service that will build your mailing list using opt-in forms (don’t spam anyone; only send to people who’ve signed up) and help you create newsletters. These are usually paid services, but are inexpensive investments.
3. Participate in special blog features
Check out the blogs you read often. Do they need people to interview? Do they frequently feature guest bloggers? Look for opportunities to become featured on someone else’s blog or provide an article as a guest.
4. Ezine articles
There are online forums where you can submit articles. Write about something you are an expert in and submit to these sites for publication. You can then become a published article writer–and then add that to your resume! Check out the following: www.ezinearticles.com, www.articleabode.com or www.ezine-article-exchange.com. There are many others, so become an expert published author today.
5. Do link swaps
One way to help SEO ratings is to have links on your page. Find complementary businesses and see if you can swap links. Set up a links page and have links to music, maybe yoga classes, and any other business that is not in direct competition with you. If you have a blog, you can trade blog links with people as well. You probably have a great community; introduce yourself with a simple e-mail and ask for a trade.
6. Social networking
Yes, it’s hard—nay impossible— to keep up with all the latest and greatest social networking tools, but if you can narrow it down to a favorite or two you have time to keep up with, it really does help bring traffic to your site. To keep customers informed, Twitter to your potential clients, join LinkedIn for business contacts and create a Facebook page for your business. Use these avenues to post your news and create offers to drive traffic to your business.
7. Participate in forums
Not only are forums great places to go when you need some helpful advice or inspiration, they’re also great ways to get some traffic. You can meet contacts, make friends, learn about business opportunities, share your knowledge, ask questions—all while sharing your site with people along the way.
Add a short video feature to your website; talk a bit about your specialty or about what particular niche you focus on. Perhaps show a stretch or give a tip about self-care; if you change these up, then people will visit your site more often. It is easy enough to take a video; a flip camera will do the job.
9. Have an e-mail signature
One of the absolute easiest ways to share a link to your site is with an e-mail signature! Include a link to your studio along with a tagline and any other pertinent info you want to share. It’s standard—it’s not spamming, it’s not slimy, it’s a must do. You can also include a link to your blog or other business-related site. Include these same signatures on your forum profiles so that it’s just a click away for people to check you out.
These are just a few of the ideas I’ve personally used to help with my own marketing efforts. They each take time and energy, which I know is often in limited supply for us entrepreneurs, but if you start implementing them, little by little, the pay off can be well worth it.
Shelene Taylor started the International Association of Massage Business to share with massage biz entrepreneurs the proven strategies, systems and tools that she uses in her own successful multimillion-dollar massage business in Tucson, Arizona. Since she started from scratch, she is intimately familiar with all aspects of the massage business and has a passion to share her experience so that others can create a thriving business and touch the world with their gift. For more information, visit www.iambiz.com.