Goodbye 2016 - Welcome 2017

Happy New Year to all.

Today is my first day back into the office since the holidays and I’m getting organized.  I’ve been reviewing my marketing action plans - not so much for my clients - but instead for my own business.

It’s easy to forget about marketing my consulting business when I’m focused on doing the marketing and branding work for the clients.

Each quarter has 3 months, so I’m planning to do one of each of these in each of the quarters:

  • Press release
  • Speaking engagement
  • Workshop

On Friday, I am speaking in Akron about my experiences in writing and publishing my book: Simple Steps, Big Results. I really have not done a lot to promote the book since it was first published because about that same time there were a lot of changes in my business. Perhaps that will change in 2017!

Even after 19 years of business, I still find it the most difficult to promote my company, my services and myself.

I find it much easier to focus on a client;s business!

At the end of 2016, I made it a habit to attend one networking event each week and talk with someone I don’t know.  While I’m not an introvert, I find it much harder to talk with people I don’t really know. There is such a familiarity in sitting near someone you know and having a conversation with them.  Getting out of my comfort zone is a key to growth.

I want to continue that into the new year.

As we usher in 2017, here are a couple of links that I have found interesting and helpful.  I imagine my branding and marketing friends will also enjoy these:

How to make sure that your business shows up on the GPS maps: From INC magazine, written by Anita Campbell from Small Business Trends.  Colors in Marketing: Also from Small Business Trends.

What are you reading that has helped with your marketing? What are you working on in 2017? Are you working on a new action plan for your branding and marketing?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Marketing Your Small Business for Local Search on Google, Yahoo, and Bing

60 page ebook The Definitive Guide to Local Search by Joe Balestrino
Easy to read, understand and implement. Well written.

As a small business owner or the sales and marketing professional for your company, did you write improve positioning in search engines, or maybe improve traffic on our website, as actions item for your 2010 marketing strategy to do list?

If so, your business would probably benefit from this ebook on how to do local search designed specifically for the small business.

Marketing eBook Review

This local search ebook is written by Joe Balestrino. I don’t know Joe from Adam. But he said he was an expert SEO guy from NYC.

After reading his ebook, I definitely believe the expert SEO stuff. But New York City? Not so much. Because the ebook wasn’t fast, confusing and overwhelming. (Okay, I’m stereotyping!) It was easy-to-understand and follow. The tone and manner felt mid-western to me. (Joe, are you sure you didn’t grow up in Ohio and move to NYC?)

Overall rating: 4.5 stars. Perfect for the do-it-yourself small business owner trying to get a foothold on the internet and not willing (or able) to pay someone thousands of dollars to do it for them.

Joe explains a little bit about why local listings are important, but spends the vast majority of the ebook on how to do it. This is not an ebook where he’s trying to sell you on buying his services.

What do the free map listings allow you to promote on local search

What I like best about this local search ebook:

  • Obviously the content: Great ideas. How to set up directory listings. How to select keywords and use them correctly.
  • Format: well laid out. I like the header and footer. Good use of white space and set up so it’s easy to follow. Good graphs/charts
  • Liked the graphic on the front and the way he incorporated it on every page
  • Liked all the screen caps with directions on exactly where to click
  • Writing: conversational, helpful, instructional. Not condescending and too many unexplained terms.
  • Written in a way that I could understand what I needed to do.
  • Not only what I needed to do, but what to do next.
  • Lots of examples. And not just about one company in the same industry
  • Some of the ideas were so good, (I mean drop my jaw good) I thought, why wasn’t I already doing that?!
  • It was hard to “get thru” because I kept wanting to stop reading and start working on my local search

What I didn’t like so well:

  • Half of the book was dedicated to PPC pay per click and Adwords, since it’s an important part of digital marketing and is popular with those who are interested in online marketing with PPC agencies such as KlientBoost there to help. Personally, not my favorite subject, however, it’s good for users to know the difference between both social and PPC in terms of their marketing options.
  • It seemed like it ended abruptly after the chapter on paid search

The ebook describes how to set up your company in the local search directories, what to do after you’re set up, how to optimize your website for local search and how to drive traffic with paid search. If you don’t feel like you have enough time to read the ebook yourself and would prefer to hire a company to do all the work for you, then there are plenty out there that would be more then happy to help. You will easily be able to find the right Search Engine Optimisation Agency for you, which means that you can use your time to focus on other parts of your business and not just optimizing your business website.

However, if you feel like you do have time to do it all by yourself then this ebook is perfect. It’s practical. One little paragraph from the book tells how a dentist might decide between 2 keyword phrases for a page on his dental practice website. Joe shows how the dentist could easily decide between “dental office” or “dental center” by using the Google trends tool.

Full disclosure: Joe sells the book for $97 (it’s on sale right now for $72), but he sent me a free copy to review. I am not getting an affiliate commission on the sales.

In my opinion, the book would pay for itself right away, just as soon as you implemented some of his ideas.