• Makheni Zonneveld

#6 A comprehensive marketing strategy for your small business

Updated: Mar 29, 2019

This post is part of the free Q & A Future Readiness service. If you have not yet subscribed, please click here or watch the 4-minute video on the homepage of makheni.com. Please click here for previous blogs in the series.

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This is a continuation of a series. To see the first in this series please click here.

Dear Makheni

Like everyone else I would like to start by thanking you for this service and for the book you recommend some time back. I have just finished reading it and I am wondering why such an amazing book is free. Like you, I am a speaker and trainer. Although you do not know me, you are one of the people who inspired me to follow this path. I have written a book that is thus far well received. I sell it at my speaking engagements and workshops. I am looking forward to more tips on how to expand the market for the book beyond my speaking engagements. Sam from Johannesburg. (Not his real name)

Dear Sam

The last time we ended here:

"Look for reputable provider. (will touch on reputable provider next time). Do not immediately check if the URL you have in mind is already taken until you are ready to register it. if you check it and do not register it immediately someone may register it and sell it to you at a high cost.

Should you choose to use the online marketing tools that I mentioned, you can register your domain on their platform. The main message is only check if the names you are considering are available when you are ready to take action."

Finding a reputable provider for registering your URL is like finding a reputable provider for anything else. There are many scams online so you should always try to minimise the risk. Do not do business with faceless people. If you have never heard of the provider, check out if they are for real. Check out what support they offer. Check out the authenticity of their positive reviews because they may be fake - posted by them. Check the authenticity of their negative reviews because they may also be fake - posted by their competitors. Check out if they are contactable. Be careful of doing business with someone with a gmail or webmail address. Lastly, never do business with anyone who sends spam - if they disrespect you before you become a customer they will disrespect you even more once you have parted with your money.

I hope that you have now chosen a URL that will help you to be found. If you already had a URL that did not help you to be found, I hope you have registered a new one. In that case you all you need to do is point the new URL to your existing site. Being found takes far far more than a great URL but do not underestimate the role of of the name of a URL. If you do everything right (more on that later) and are on the first page of a search what people see first is your URL. If they are looking for a career coach and they see sam.co.za and janethecareercoach.co.za and careercoaching.co.za and expertcoach.co.za thecoach.co.za and coaching.co.za and bestcareeradvice.co.za there are no prizes for coaching that they are not going to click on sam.co.za. When I was still based in SA makheni.com made sense but now that I try to reach a global audience of people who have never heard of makheni then futurereadinesscoach, diversiteitspecialist and makhenithestoryteller make sense. Rule of thumb: If you have to explain your URL or business name then it is definitely not going to help you to get found.

Now that you have a good URL, you should decide if for your kind of business you need a website or only landing pages. In your case, Sam, you do not necessarily need a website because you only need landing pages. If you decide that you need a website or if you already have one, the first important thing that you should realise is that a brochure website has no place in a marketing strategy.

The only difference between a brochure website and a printed printed brochure is that a brochure website is online. You should always start with the end in mind (I think Covey said that first) - ultimately, what you want to achieve is kitching!

Remember this image from the last time? Moving people who have never heard of you across this bridge and getting them to allow you to use their contact details is only the beginning. This step moved people from being suspects to prospects but the end is converting prospects to buyers.

That takes us to the next topic, traffic. You have probably had offers of services that help you to increase your traffic. Unfortunately these services are called online marketing strategy. Increasing traffic is only a step in the process. It simply means getting people to walk into you business. That is a great step but if all they do is walk in and walk out you might as well lie on the beach and do nothing.

See your web presence like a physical store. If your store is at street level then more people will walk in than if it is at the top of a tall building. Since you are in SA, I will use The Carlton Centre as an example. Think of the difference between a shoe store at street level, in Commissioner street and a shoe store on the last floor, the 50th floor. There are two things you can do to get people into your shoe store. Either put it at street level or give people a reason to get into the lift to the 50th floor. The lift puts your 50th floor shop at street level.

It would be a real pity if you succeeded to get people into the lift and all that happened on arrival on the 50th floor is that they browsed around, had no one selling to them and then took the lift back to the street level. That is the effect you get when you create traffic to a brochure website. Thus as you build your website or landing pages you or get someone else to do that for you make sure that it's all part of the comprehensive strategy you have worked so hard on lately. Your marketing strategy is not a dead document that gathers dust like many people's business plans do. It is a living document that guides all your marketing tactics. That is why we invested so much time in it.

We are still busy with creating traffic but you should keep conversion in mind all the time. Conversion simply means getting people who have reached your 'store' to take out their credit cards and buy - kitching! A brochure website does not achieve that. Traffic and conversion are two sides of the same coin. They are like a horse and carriage - as the song says, 'You can't have one without the other.

Back in 2013 when I had my first makheni.com website, I paid someone else to develop it because although I was a computer programmer in my one of my previous lives, I was a mainframe programmer and did not know html. I later learnt a bit of html and could maintain my website which was by then on a Belgian CMS platform called Jonas. It was later on a platform called Joomla. All that drama changed in 2015 when I discovered the best templates for creating websites. They are from wix.com and they are free.

Wix gave me the freedom to create and maintain my own websites. Anyone who can click a mouse can create a great looking fully functional website. HOWEVER, without knowing about 1. Traffic and 2. Conversions, you will have a stunning website which is nothing but a pretty online brochure. So, don't only think traffic. Always think traffic and conversions.

Wix templates are free but registering URLs and web-hosting are not free. You do not have to register your URL and / or have your website hosted by Wix. If you use a free template your website has Wix advertising. The advertising is very small and in my opinion it really does not matter. I have two websites built with free Wix templates and it does not bother me.

To see what the small advertising looks like check out my website www.makhenithestoryteller.com. I just point the URL makhenithestoryteller.com that I already had to this site. The www.makheni.com site does not have any Wix advertising because I pay for it. Paying for this template is less expensive and more use friendly than other templates. I know because we have a website with a non-Wix template - not one of the wisest choices because the template is far less user-friendly than the Wix template - www.breinvoorkeuren.nl. As a visitor to both makheni.com and breinvoorkeuren.nl you have no problem - you don't even see the difference. The difference is for the person creating or maintaining the site.

Be careful of the jargon that is thrown around to impress those who do not know about a comprehensive marketing strategy - SEO. SEO is made out to as the be all and end all of marketing and that is far from the truth. It is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. There are millions of websites and when people search the internet for solutions you would like the search engine to put your URL at the top of the page.

Preference is given to websites that advertise because search engines like Google are businesses. They are not a bunch of techies who help you to find solutions because they are bored. The search engines also give preference to websites that are optimised - that is where SEO comes in - more on SEO as the series continues. The most important message today is that SEO is only an aspect of a marketing strategy and it has to do with traffic and nothing to do with conversions. If you come across anyone who offers SEO services and calls the services marketing strategy, grab your money and run - fast!

What next?

If you have decided to create a website, go to www.wix.com. Select a template. Have fun. You may try out as many templates as you like. Next time we continue with your website before we get to landing pages. We do not have to spend a lot of time on landing pages because as I have already said, if you use the landing pages by the writer of the free online marketing book that Sam mentioned in his questions it's as easy as pie and you get all the components you need for building any funnel in-house.

If you have not yet ordered the free online marketing book please click here.

If you have not yet taken advantage of my 'Pay what you want' book offer please click here.

Till next week

Makheni your Future Readiness Coach

Face2Face and Online Coaching

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Makheni Zonneveld has extensive experience in helping organisations, teams, individuals and entrepreneurs with real transformation. She employs these communications tools: Online and face2face coaching, speaking, training, storytelling and writing.

To enquire on her services or join the mailing list of this free service simply click here: http://www.makheni.com/contact

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