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For the Busy Entrepreneur: How to Promote Your Company On-Line, Get Noticed, and Not Get Left Behind!

By: Kevin Nunley

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at DrNunley.com Reach Kevin at kevin@drnunley.com or 801-328-9006.

Everywhere you look on the Net, experts are warning you that things have changed. It may have been OK last year to throw up a simple web site supplying readers with some basic info about your company, but thatís not nearly enough for todayís World Wide Web. The "brochure" web site just doesnít get it anymore.

To be competitive on the Internet--and by now youíre probably feeling that you MUST!--youíve got to carry out an aggressive on-line promotional campaign.

"But wait a minute!" you shout. Iím already up to my eyeballs in my business. Isnít there a promotions company I can hire to do this for me?

Well, yes and no. There ARE people out there who will mass mail your message to solicited millions, help you develop a razzle-dazzle web site, and see to it that your URL gets on all the search engines. But thatís not nearly all that you could or should do to insure your Internet visibility.

Experts admit that really good on-line promotion is time consuming. So much so that itís probably not feasible to hire anyone to do it for you (unless you use our specially developed full-service Internet marketing service...which we started after receiving many requests from businesses that just didn't have the time to promote).

This is where you have to think like a pioneer in the days of old. The adventurous trapper moving west on a wagon train couldnít arrive at the promised land, call a Realtor, and make plans with a residential contractor. He had to be creative.

Here are some creative solutions for the busy business person who simply hasnít got the time to be a promoting dynamo--but also canít afford not to!
  1. Donít fall into the trap of lots of graphics and revolving wing-dings, but no informational content. The Net is all about information--FREE information. Your site should be 80% information and 20% sales literature.

    This is the most important factor in insuring that readers find your web site interesting, spread the word to friends and associates, and return for repeat visits.

    For a good example of an information intense web site, check out Nolo Books at www.nolo.com. Nolo specializes in law books for the average person. Their site features article after article of free information on legal issues.

    If you or your staff doesnít have time to write lots of helpful articles for your site, look for a moonlighting writer through local writing clubs, small publications, and universities. Show your ghost writer how to find information on your business in trade publications and through interviews with you and others in your industry. A good writer can whip something up for you quickly.

  2. Donít miss out on free on-line publicity. There are hundreds of e-mail newsletters looking for good, informative articles. Most will be happy to help you send your web site articles to thousands of their subscribers. Write to me for a list of these publications.

    Take a paragraph or two from your article and post it on relevant newsgroups where your information would be enthusiastically greeted.

    Mining results from newsgroups and free classifieds can be time consuming but worthwhile. There are lots of people looking for after-hours employment working on-line. Hire someone for several hours each week to keep your Internet postings fresh and marching forward.

  3. Internet advertising is just now being taken seriously by the ad community. There are some ad agencies popping up that specialize in putting a price on banners and ads and building them into attractive packages for corporate clients. For full information on Internet avertising, see my other site www.MarketingHelp.Net.

    It will be several years before Internet advertising becomes as controlled and institutionalized as newspaper, television, or radio advertising. Right now itís each person for him or herself. Look for on-line banner and ad opportunities in places that attract lots of people that match the customer description for your company. Itís an open market, so negotiate! And remember, if your site is an interesting one, other sites like yours will want to provide a link from their site to yours. Offer to link their site as well.

  4. Finally, NETWORK! There are lots of experts in every field publishing articles in on-line forums, newsgroups, newsletters, and on web sites. Look for their contact information at the bottom of the article. Send the author a note pointing out what you liked about their article. Introduce yourself and your business. Offer your services or products to them and their clients.
We are currently in a phase where your company must be well represented on the Net, but itís still a do-it-yourself proposition. Be creative. Distill your on-line plan down to a workable formula that can be duplicated by hired helpers.

Donít wait for the next phase of the Net, when business promotion will be taken over by large ad and PR agencies. Be aggressive now. This is one party where if youíre late, you may miss it all together.

© 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996 DrNunley.com.

Other Articles by Kevin Nunley

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.

 

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