June 22nd, 2010 | Bill McIntosh, Founder

If you operate a small biz, welcome to America’s club of almost 30 million strong.  You belong to an important component that not only drives our economy, but also develops the majority of our nation’s innovative ideas, according to SCORE’s Small Biz Stats & Trends web page.

For long-term survival, there are many components to success for any small business. But one that seems to still provides quite some overwhelm is judging how to enter the face-paced world of internet marketing and social media. While many small businesses know that building brand awareness is crucial, and that internet marketing tools and social media sites can provide a unique business opportunity, only a few daunting souls endeavor into it rapidly and successfully.

The question will eventually arise for each small biz owner: Should I outsource our marketing to a professional internet marketing agency, or should I learn this as best as I can, hoping that I make some headway?

These are important issues to resolve first, before decoding which path to take:

1. Who is the most important client that we want to reach and sell?

2. What are we willing to spend to gain that client, in relation to the postulated ROI on that relationship?

3. What are their buttons, their needs and desires and how does your product connect to that key button or need?

4. How would we best position our product or service as what resolves or satiate that need?

5. How do we best reach these people? This may have already been answered by your competitors.

6. Do I have the core knowledge and/or team members who do, to make progress with a comprehensive online marketing strategy?

You may already posses the skills and core SEO knowledge necessary to resolve those issues and to proceed forward without any assistance from an outside SEO agency. But when it comes to small business SEO, there are additional factors that have to be taken into consideration.

Finding a niche market is a highly touted strategy to build a core of dedicated fans, repeat business and excellent word of mouth. For example, there are many coffee houses that one can find one’s favorite brew. But I know one, The Lost Bean, that specializes in organically grown coffee. That’s all they serve and the place is packed with customers on a constant basis. One small difference in your small business brand can be a big difference in how your attract attention and build a dedicated base of loyal clients. In this example, those who support green living feel that their coffee habit is sustaining a better world.

I have provided a video by marketing guru, Seth Godin, to help illustrate the need to for effective online marketing for any small business.

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