My friend was starting a small business earlier last year t-shirt printing and doing clothing design. He was talking about how hard it was to gain customers and mentioned he couldn’t even find himself on google. I asked him, “have you signed up for Google My Business?”
As it would turn out, he hadn’t even heard of it in his year or two of scouring legal resources and marketing strategies. I told him he’s missing out on a vital aspect of local marketing. Making it easier to stumble upon your business is key these days in growing your company from startup to full sustainability.
In the days of old, you may buy ad space in the local newspaper or put out a radio commercial. Of course, these can be useful today, but in the era of modern technology, you have to diversify yourself.
You can have your own website or a Facebook page, run email campaigns, pay to put advertisements on other people’s websites. That being said what it all boils down to is attracting customers in the first place. This is where Google My business comes in.
My friend used a few of these techniques, but once he got Google My Business his day to day foot traffic picked up to a consistency he could count on. With a simple search of ‘clothing’ or ‘t-shirts’, He would pop right up with a phone number, store hours, reviews and even his exact location on google maps.
He didn’t even need to advertise, People looking for his services were led straight to him. They started finding him on Facebook and calling his phone to ask for further information which led to a whole to new client base of custom orders.
Getting Signed up on Google My Business
Luckily for my friend, and for all of you, signing up is free and easy. So long as your business qualifies, you can go straight to the My Business homepage.
You’re going to be asked a lot of question about the details of your business. I strongly encourage you to fill these out as thoroughly as possible for two reasons:
1. Having a strong and competent business profile will increase your conversion rate
considerably–meaning when people search and find your company, the more structure, and
information you can display will usually determine whether they follow up with you or not.
2. Other people can edit details about your business. This seems to be so you can’t market
yourselves as something your not, but it can get annoying. Make sure to check this regularly
as to maintain a consistent company image.
The concept I want to stress is something you’re sure to have heard before, but it needs to be ingrained in your brain: Do everything you can to present yourselves as established as possible, even if you’re only aspiring to
Stimulating Your Business and Increasing Customer Base
I don’t need to tell you more, but I’m going to. Google My Business allows you to make a post that will appear on your listing when people find you in a search. You can use this to link to a website, a facebook page or even a way to subscribe to your email list.
Google encourages you to update this regularly. One week after a post is made, it will generally fall from the forefront of your listing. Updating it at least once a week will ensure the post will show up to everyone who searches for you. On top of this, it makes it a powerful tool to endorse promotions if you are running one.
It should come as no surprise that advertising your business for free to locals in need of your services is going to help you grow no matter how you look at it, given a modicum of time and effort.
Widening the range of consumers that can find your business is invaluable as well. Improving your marketing strategy to cast out a larger net, so to speak, will inversely diversify your customer base as a whole. You may be marketing yourself to (in my friend’s experience) college youths looking for some cheap and exciting clothing, and then find yourself printing out 60 summer camp t-shirts for the local church. In this case a door was opened to a loyal repeat customer, and an organization at that.
Furthermore ,my friend ended up getting an influx of support after helping out the local church. Connecting to the community is important, especially as a startup. The truth is, when you’re starting a business you want to make sure you get sales locked in bottom line. Moreover, something that a lot of would-be entrepreneurs don’t realize is that when people in your town actually want to see you succeed instead of strictly wanting your product, the whole game changes.
With Google My Business customers can leave comments and review your business. This can be a little scary, but if a comment is very unreasonable you can flag it and have it reviewed based on their review guidelines. Another feature is that you are able to reply to people’s feedback and thank them.
People love to hear back from businesses if they provide feedback. This creates a bond between the consumer and you. It humanizes your business and makes it a personal experience. This is often a factor in creating a loyal customer. Everyone wants to go to the store that they’re friends with!
Start Climbing the Ladder Today
You already have your business, that’s why you’re here. My goal is to help you find success. We’re going to cover a lot of topics, but being on Google My Business is one of the first rungs in the business ladder in this day and age. Think about how everyone used to register in the phonebook? That was an early milestone for most companies. This is basically like that except with 10 times the usability and 100 times the outreach.
Google My Business Features: Explored
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