Offline Promotion for Online Business

By: Tamera George

As a webhoster, I watch a number of individuals or small companies sign up for their online hosting package with hopes that simply putting a store online is going to build them their fortune. There are times when this does in fact happen. Usually, though, after a period of time, they simply abandon their stores, and go back to whatever job they were doing before they caught the bug to make it online.

This is so unfortunate and unnecessary. Most of the time, I don't get an opportunity to talk with new clients. Working through the web does have its limitations. Those who ask for my help in putting together their website, also get my two cents worth as far as promotion. Long before I hit the web, I was already a marketer and a salesperson. What I've found is the greatest stumbling block for new netpreneurs is this divide they have in their minds between online and offline, as if one has nothing to do with the other.

Unless lightening strikes, this type of thinking is most often the newbie's downfall.It can be so easily corrected, if they only applied what they already know about business and how it works. Regardless if you've ever sold a single product or made a marketing presentation, you've undoubtedly been selling in whatever your profession happens to be. All of us have spoken with customers in our work. Every single contact with a customer is a touchpoint that needs to be captured. In our jobs, they have us put information into some kind of database, or we fill out a paper report of some kind and turn it in, and then someone else captures it into a database. Touchpoints, no matter how casual, must be captured. It's not good enough to think you'll remember it, or to scratch some notes into a notebook, and forget about the little sticky post it notes. But I'm getting ahead of myself. All this assumes you've made some type of touchpoint with a potential customer, and the majority of online marketers are not doing that at all, so talking about touch points, and capturing it, is something I will save for a future article.

This article is to get the new online marketer on the right path, so they will have touchpoint opportunities to capture in the future, and this is how you build a business, by the way. Getting the business to take some roots and start to grow comes first. You absolutely must think about, and write down daily goals, of who you will introduce your online business to in your offline world. I know this is horrifying. Everyone's told you that you'll never have to do that. It's part of the get the newbie online sales pitch. Truth be told though, if you don't talk about and promote your online business in your offline world, you can pretty much shut it down right now. There are millions of pages on the internet, and very few netpreneurs have the deep pockets to buy all the SEO promotion that will raise your new site up high enough to even register as a blip in the search engines.

Don't be discouraged. There is plenty you can do for free or for little expense. You must first think of how a regular business operates, and then apply it to your online venture. What are the things a regular business has? It has a name. Does your business have a name or have you simply opted to assume the identity of whatever program you are promoting? If you've done the latter, you're already shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you're only an affiliate marketer, you still need an umbrella (your own name and identity) under which you'll promote your affiliate programs, and your affiliate programs need to have a synergy.

What does that mean? It means that you don't want to sign up to be an affiliate of a bunch of unrelated, independent programs or products in which one does not lend to the sale of the next. Think McDonald's, their products have synergy. They sell soda. They sell fries. They sell burgers, fish, and chicken sandwiches. The person goes there thinking of a Big Mac. They end up with a Big Mac Meal, upgraded to the larger drink, and cookies, pie, ice cream or some other dessert. They go there thinking a #4 meal is $3.99, but by the time they've completed their add ons, they've spent closer to $10. They also sell all of these products under the branded name of McDonald's, not by their supplier's name, Fred's wholesale meat, Quickie, greasy fries, or Momma's special turnovers. I hope you're getting my meaning here. If you don't have a name, you don't have a way to draw customers to you on a repeated or referral basis. You have a program's name, and that is the name that will be remembered and passed on. All future referrals or customers will go to the program's name, not yours. Get yourself a name, and make people remember you.

Get yourself your very own domain name. Then promote that name. Let your affiliate programs be different links or pages on your site, but make sure you have a way of capturing those people's names and contact information before you send them zinging into cyberspace after the program you're promoting, and lose them forever. You can get your own domain name for less than $10 at our

Create a form on your page for capturing their information. You may want to even keep your referral links to yourself until they've made contact with you. Create a Products page or an Our Services page on your site and talk about them. Make their mouth water. Use the material provided to you by the program that generates that buy instinct in your site visitor. But instead of giving them the link to go to right there, and probably losing them forever, create a form, with a drop down menu of the products and services you've described, and have them give you their contact information to get you to lead them to that source.

Why do you think multi-billion dollar corporations hire salespeople? Because salespeople have a stronger chance of making a sale than a website page. The website page is for the prospect's own research activities and convenience, but a website page is only informational. Yes, people buy off website pages, but more people buy from other people. Make it easy for someone to talk to you. You don't want to put your home phone number on the internet? Then use this

to let your prospects schedule an appointment with you from your website, where they give you their telephone number and email address, so you can follow up. Would you like to see it in action? Go to my webpage


scroll down to the bottom of the homepage where it says Book Now, click it, and you will see a number of types of appointments I make available to my prospects, select one, and it will open my calendar, and show you what dates and times are available to make an appointment with me. Mine say whether its telephone, or in person, and how long it will take. Its completely customizable, and unless you want the added features, it is totally free.

Offline businesses have people who set appointments for their sales staff. It's called lead generation. In your online business, that can partially be handled by your website. The mistake here would be to think that voila you have everything you need now to be successful. The truth is that with a name of your own, and a?website of your own, which you can get for less than $10 a month at centralstoresetup.com, you have the infrastructure in place to handle the success of your online business venture, but to be successful you must promote it offline.

At the very basic level, you will need business cards, and flyers made up. You will need your website address on all of these. You will need a dedicated telephone number where those who call about your flyers and business cards, will be directed by voicemail when you're not available to your website to make an appointment online and to see all of the products and services you offer.

The one thing none of you wanted to hear, is you will need to make cold calls, if you want momentum that is. If you have deep pockets and can buy traffic and google rankings, or are content to sit and wait for something that will never happen on its own to happen, then ignore this. But if you're ready to start making money online then you best get busy with the telephone.

If you promote business services, start with the membership directory posted online by your local chamber of commerce, and consider seriously becoming a member. You need to be networking offline for your online business. Join business networking groups, and bring your business cards and flyers. Talk it up. Get people directed to where you have it all layed out nice and pretty for them, with all the terrific marketing materials provided by the programs you represent.

To drive traffic online, you start in your own backyard, gain some momentum, make some money, and then you begin spreading yourself in a smart way online. I'll put out an article in the near future about what is smart way of spending your time networking online, and what's a complete waste of your energies. Put together your online arsenal in a sane way. Don't throw money at it hoping for the best. Think like an offline store. They manage every penny, and so must you. Once you have your tools in place to generate revenue, then go for it. Start where is familiar, and then spread out, after you've got some roots to grow from.

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