Your Business Story is Marketing

Your Business Story is Marketing

Your story is who you are, and the same holds true for your business.

The question is how much attention does your business dedicate to what is arguably its most powerful marketing?

Tell a True Story

Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes says, “What matters now is telling a true story well.” The truth has a way of shining through, and that’s especially relevant for business marketing.

Embedded within your business story is the vision that inspired it, the mission that it is committed to today, and even subtle qualities like your core values. This is why the first pages of most employee manuals tell the story of the company’s beginnings.

For my business in particular, we wanted our staff to know how hard we worked to get our business off the ground. Even important was communicating that everyone’s true boss was the customer.

In this regard, our story was training for our team. Given that they were our ambassadors, that makes it marketing too.

Curate and Archive Your Stories

The story of your company’s beginnings is just one of many that helps everyone associated with your business understand how it got here, what it believes, and what differentiates it from others in the community or industry.

Vision and mission statements have value, but unlike stories, they are seldom memorable. Big brands like McDonalds and Coke have archivists on staff to preserve and manage the evolution of the brand story. Shouldn’t your business be doing the same?

Any business that is actively blogging has a goldmine of stories to work with, but for the most part they are buried in the archives. The solution is to take the best of the best and give them new life by organizing them into eBooks or tutorials.

For example, a series of existing blog posts could become a training program to help customers get more value from your products and services. Media that helps customers after the sale is valuable marketing.

Own Your Stories

Your business story is being told everyday by your staff and customers, not to mention others in the community that may or may not have had a favorable experience with it. Therefore, it’s vital to have a central website you own that tells the truth.

Copyblogger Media is a company that methodically aggregates its best blog content to create eBooks and tutorials for helping entrepreneurs. It’s a practice I am now undertaking, and its implementation just got easier with a new website building platform developed by Copyblogger.

The name of the platform is Rainmaker, and it promises to revolutionize Internet marketing for entrepreneurs.

One of the Rainmaker slogans is: “Media not marketing.” In other words, share stories that educate and inspire your community. That truthful media is what sells today. However, the challenge for building your media website has been the cost, lack of education, and technical skills for getting the job done – but no more!

Having already signed up with the Rainmaker platform, I can assure you that if you know how to blog or upload a video to YouTube, then you now have the skills to build a hosted WordPress website that is beautiful, mobile response, SEO optimized, has eCommerce capabilities, and is safe from hackers. They will even help you import your content from your current site.

I’m currently building a new site with Rainmaker that will offer lots of free content, and also virtual training for people to learn at their own pace. The plan is to roll it out over the coming months.

You can get the complete Rainmaker story here. Even if you don’t use their platform, take advantage of the free content to make your website a better marketing machine.

Are you planning to build a new website? We believe the New Rainmaker platform is the future for small business websites. That is why we are partnering with New Rainmaker to help businesses build their essential home o the web.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

Grow Your Business Audience Without Google

Grow Your Business Audience Without Google Depending on leads from sources other than the friends and customers in your business audience is a dangerous plan.

You may know that Google recently killed Google Authorship. In a nutshell, this was a feature that allowed authors of original content to share the authority of search results with the sites publishing it.

Many of us are scratching our heads for the motivation behind this change. It seemed to be the right thing to do for authors, while also personalizing search results to make them more credible.

Nevertheless, what really matters is what we can learn from it moving forward.

Your Friendship with Google is Conditional

A lot of people think Google is their friend. That may be true, but it’s a friendship with conditions.

Google’s mission is to deliver the most relevant information to people doing a search. The most important factor in determining relevancy is the authority of the source of that content. Other factors such as recency matter too, but authority trumps them all.

Your authority is derived from the people you influence. Their response to your online content in terms of social shares and links validates your authority. This earned authority naturally contributes to your content ranking highly.

In other words, you have to earn your friendship with Google by bringing your audience with you. It’s a condition.

Google needs great content, but it favors sources that have a large and loyal following. These are the people whose businesses are doing just fine without Google. However, they obviously will take all the help they can get.

This is where you want your business to be. Take Google’s help to expand your audience and circle of friends further. Just don’t depend on it.

Instead build your audience and own it. Of course, you don’t really own the audience, but you do own the content and the platform if you build it properly.

Check out the New Rainmaker Platform by Copyblogger to build an an amazing WordPress website without any technical skills whatsoever. They help you build it and own it.

Earn the Trust of the Audience You Now Serve

Every business has at least one customer or it’s not a business. If you read the introduction to Built-In Social, you will recall that realization was the wake-up call that literally got my landscape business up and running. (Note: If you don’t have a copy Amazon recently dropped the price of Built-In Social)

Your business has limited resources. So, allocate what you can to optimizing your business for search, but never neglect your primary responsibility of helping the business audience you have now. It always works.

Your audience of email subscribers is primarily customers, friends, and potential customers. Why else would they be consuming your content? They are your first line for referrals and recommendations because unlike Google or Facebook, they will always be there for you.

After reading this, you may think I do not trust Google. Actually, I do. I simply trust my friends and clients more. And equally important, I can reach out to them any time I wish.

Google sends us our share of leads, and I’m here to help you get yours too. Let’s just be smart about not becoming overly dependent on that source.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

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