When I started my Garden design business I knew that it was going to be me all the way, at least until I had taken on enough clients to allow the maintenance staff to take over completely and I knew until I found my feet it was going to have to be paid advertising. Fortunately, i’m now able to concentrate less on the physical and more on the virtual through writing and social networks to increase local awareness, search engine rankings and most of all build relationships.
Since then, the offline work has increased exponentially and just writing about our projects on our blog has enabled me to reach a lot more people locally without having to pay and test out marketing strategies, and the best thing about this is that often they feel like they know what we’re all about before we even meet them. This makes the introduction a lot easier and can sometimes give us something to relate to.
This is the same for any industry or trade, offline or online. If you don’t show what you and your business are all about then why would anyone waste the time choosing you over someone who is spending thousands on advertising to be right in the clients’ vision when they really need it?
The answer in my humble opinion is individuality. People like to be part of something different, so in order to be different, you have to get your point across, come up with unique ideas and pretty much outsmart the competition. A videoblogger who I’ve learned a lot from Gary Vaynerchuck calls it sweat equity, and I think that explains it perfectly. This drive to keep moving forward isn’t for everybody which is why not many people see further than just taking a first page sponsored listing on Google, sitting back and waiting.
The problem is when you stop paying, your ad stops showing and with organic traffic you have a dedicated following and unique content that will get you more links and authority over time.
I believe the key is to write/video/record your working movements to allow people to see you for you and the business for what it is. I record practical videos, have started a radio show (which I have to admit has only got to its 3rd episode so far) and most of all write about what we do and where we’re doing it.
From the of hours of listening to books, podcasts and reading blogs I have no doubt in my mind that this is where it’s going. Youtube and Facebook are still so new and in the main scheme of things, the internet is only starting to get its feet. Getting in on this early will get you in front of the rest in your area and further and I’m confident to say that after seeing others succeed this is the only way I’m headed in 2018 for my offline business and WebStartGuide.