Small Business Development Center
At Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry
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Category Archives: Social Media

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).


Three Social Media Don’t Do’s

By Chemeketa SBDC

As a business owner it’s tempting to think that social media will solve all your marketing problems. It’s free, right? And reaches a vast audience, right? Well, maybe. There are better and worse ways to use social media. Here are a few common errors to avoid.

• Blatant self-promotion. Who appreciates a self-involved bore? No one and especially not customers. Think about social media as a conversation that is only partially about you, and mostly about the folks you’re talking with. Like any good conversation, it’s a free flow of ideas where no one person dominates the action.

This means that it’s important for people to leave comments, “like” what you put out, and generally interact with you. Get back to them with comments and posts that show you’re paying attention to what they say. Encourage participation that focuses on them and not you.

• The hard sell. This is just as unappealing on social media as it is in person. No one wants to hear the “buy me!” message being trumpeted at high volume. Social media is about building relationships, not using people to get to their wallets.

Experts say that 10 percent or less of your content should be a marketing pitch. This is one out of ten messages (or less). That means the other nine messages should be about providing information, answering questions, affirming what others say, and serving as a trusted resource. Social media shouldn’t be your entire marketing focus anyway, and that means that you can ask for a sale in other channels.

• Believing that just because it doesn’t cost you anything means it’s free. Wrong! There’s a big cost to your time (and your staff’s time) in keeping up with the social media channels you’ve chosen. To do this well you need to be paying attention several times a day. Think about the number of hours you can devote to this and assign a cost. Consider how social
media marketing fits into your workday and the workloads of you and your staff.
If you’re doing this, what else are you not doing, and what’s the opportunity
cost to that?

In order to do this well you should choose only one or two social media avenues and focus your energies there, and not scatter-shot by trying to be everywhere. Better to do a couple of things well than many things poorly.

Marcia Bagnall is Director of the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center and instructor of Small Business Management Program. The Small-Business Adviser column is produced by the center. Questions can be submitted to SBDC@chemeketa.edu. Visit
the SBDC at 626 High Street NE. in downtown Salem or call (503) 399-5088.