Small Business Development Center
At Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry
chemeketa students

Category Archives: Online Marketing

Powerful Online Presence

By Chemeketa SBDC

A 9-month website and social media program for small business

Most business owners have three beliefs about online sales:

1. It is expensive
2. It takes too much time away from the business
3. It’s complicated

You’re busy. You’re working hard to be profitable. You don’t want to fritter away time in front of a monitor if you don’t have to.

You’d like to have a powerful online presence, you just want it to be easy. That’s reasonable.

The fact is, in 2014, 70% of all sales originate with an online search.

In other words, whether you like it or not, your potential customers are looking at your website and social media participation before they buy from you: 7 out of 10 potential customers.

If your competitor is doing a better job getting found online, your company risks missing the sale.

In other words, it’s worth the time and effort to have an effective, strategic online presence.

You can do it without overwhelm and without wasting money or time.

We want to show you how.

We are offering a program that gives you the essential details so you can create a powerful online presence without pulling out your hair.

Powerful Online Presence – a 9-month website and social media program for small business. Interested?

Here’s the scoop:

Meet nine times over 11 months with the same cohort, a knowledgeable facilitator, and guest experts on the essential elements of a powerful online presence.

Get answers to perplexing questions like…

  • How do I get found on Google?
  • Why do my website visitors not buy anything?
  • What do I actually need on my website?
  • What’s the point of Twitter?
  • Which social media platforms get the best results?
  • Is all the SEO marketing stuff I get a scam?
  • How do I make all this easy so I can focus on my work?

Powerful Online Presence topics:

1. Lookin’ good: target market, branding, and image
Tuesday, May 20, 2 – 4:30 pm

2. First impressions: The three most important pages on your website
Tuesday, June 17, 2 – 4:30 pm

3. The trust factor: Website sales pages that actually generate sales
Tuesday, July 15, 2 – 4:30 pm

August (break)

4. Promotional campaigns (or how to have an amazingly profitable December)
Tuesday, September 16, 2 – 4:30 pm

5. Email is your best friend: Writing e-newsletters that your customers open, read, and click
Tuesday, October 21, 2 – 4:30 pm

6. How not to waste time on social media, Part 1: Text platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn)
Tues, November 25 (1 week later than usual), 2 – 4:30 pm

December (break)

7. How to get found on Google without spending a penny: SEO & blogging
Tuesday, January 20, 2 – 4:30 pm

8. How not to waste time on social media, Part 2: Visual platforms (Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, vlogs)
Tuesday, February 17, 2 – 4:30 pm

9. How to make paid advertising online work for your business
Tuesday, March 17, 2 – 4:30 pm

What the program includes:

Expert facilitation: The program is led by Jennifer Hofmann, SBDC advisor and owner of Inspired Home Office. Her eight years of experience running an online business (and a lot of trial and error) make this program engaging, useful, and fun.

Expert guests: Each month, guest experts will give an in-depth presentation about topics like branding, Facebook, and search engine optimization (SEO). You can ask questions, get advice, and stop feeling in the dark about topics you’ve always wondered about (and don’t have time to research).

Idea exchanges: The other successful business owners in this program bring tips and insights about what works for them. Everyone benefits from this sharing.

1-on-1 advising: Work with Jennifer to customize the class material to fit your specific business model in monthly 1-on-1 advising sessions. Together you’ll discuss your progress, questions, and goals. Sessions available in person or by phone.

  • Benefits of participating in the Powerful Online Presence program
  • Increased confidence
  • Less time wasted
  • Less money wasted
  • Decreased stress
  • More leads generated through your website
  • Larger audience for your business
  • Increased sales

Prerequisites:

Because of the in-depth nature of this program, you must have the following:

  • An open mind and a willingness to learn new skills
  • A business website (or one that launches by April 2014)
  • The ability to edit your business website
  • A Facebook business account (bonus points for a Google+ business account)
  • A budget for online marketing strategies ($20-40/month)

To sum up – Your business’ online presence is like a high-end camera. Powerfyl Online Presence is the tripod that supports it.

Leg 1: up-to-date tools and information
Leg 2: exercises to apply the skills you learn
Leg 3: expert guidance to fit your needs

If you’re ready to get serious about your business’ online presence, register today.

To give you the best experience and personalized support, this program is limited to 16 participants. Registration ends May 16, 2014.

Cost: Choose from two payment options:

One-time payment of $230
Two installments of $115 due April 30 and May 30

(Special pricing available for current or past SBM participants. Call for information 503.399.5088)

Next step:

Call to register: 503.399.5088. We’ll take your payment by phone (credit card) or mail (check).


You Can Use QR Codes to Grow Your Business

By Chemeketa SBDC

You don’t have to go far these days to find a QR code.
They are everywhere. You can find them at grocery stores, bus stops, building
facades, billboards, and restaurants. You can even find them on pets and
humans.

According to a recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey,
81 percent of consumers have seen the QR codes but 79 percent don’t really know
what they are. So what is a QR code? QR or Quick Response codes are the barcodes
that encode data both vertically and horizontally and can hold thousands of
alphanumeric characters of information.

By scanning or reading a QR code with your mobile phone
(provided it has the necessary application) you can access a webpage, download a
file, signup for a newsletter, and get contact information. Invented in Japan
for the auto industry, QR codes have been widely used there for years but are
still somewhat of a novelty in the United States. The growing popularity of QR
codes and their ability to hold lots of information are what make them very
practical for small businesses.

The sky is the limit on what and how much you can share
with QR codes. Here are some of the ways you can use QR codes in your
business:

• Business Card: This may be the most common usage for
QR codes. The code contains contact information, website and blog. Keep it
simple.

• Marketing Material: Create a code that directs users
to your website. Include it on posters, flyers, business cards, packaging
material, sides of trucks and trailers, signage, menus, and stickers. A
newsletter sign-up form is another great way to utilize QR codes.

• Social Media: A code that directly links to your
Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page. Include the code on particular promotional
materials and email signature.

• Upcoming Events and Special Offers: Have a special
sale or event coming up? Create a code that takes your clients to the webpage
which provides the details on what the event is all about. Offer incentives for
showing up.

• Useful Information: Code that links to a page with
useful resources – tips specific to your business, how-to-videos, and special
offers.

So how do you generate a QR code? Numerous website are
available for generating QR codes at no charge. Some are very basic (Kayawa or
Wasp) while others let you customize the color and format of your codes (GR
Staff or Kerem Erkan). For a listing of more QR generating sites visit www.freenuts.com.

Tatyana Sukhodolov is training coordinator at the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center. The Small-Business Adviser column is produced by the center
and appears each Sunday. Questions can be submitted to SBDC@chemeketa.edu. Visit the SBDC at 626 High Street NE. in downtown Salem or call (503) 399-5088.