I was at the Business Opportunity Show this weekend in Toronto ON, Canada and had the opportunity to present a seminar on “Why your website is broken. Learn How to turn it into a profit center,” on two different occasions. The weekend was great and quite exciting, as I was able to speak with hundreds of entrepreneurs who were either looking for opportunities, looking to expanding existing ones, or wanted to tap into some additional education. However after presenting at the seminars, I was faced with an alarming concern.
To preface this, the seminar provided basic design and marketing education designed to benefit all levels of attendees, and seemed to go over very well. After I wrapped up, several people approached to find out more about Professional Optimization Services and the training seminars we run for small business. Our optimization services were out of their budget right at the time as they were all start-ups. I encouraged them to learn more through our seminars or through any one of many other organizations who provide education on this front, and take a do it yourself approach. In several cases (more than I care to recount) they were hesitant to buy into education (the best investment any business can make) but instead, asked a lot of questions about purchasing inexpensive link building packages (promising massive links in 30 days) and traffic services that pretty much promised the world.
Ignoring the fact that they lacked the knowledge to understand these offers, I was more concerned with the general “Get it done quickly, cheaply and painlessly,” attitude they carried. All too often, we see a perception from business owners that Web marketing, traffic and optimization should be easy, free (or cheap) and totally painless – an unrealistic set of expectations. When businesses go down this path (and don’t get the results they were promised by less than reputable services) they’re often left with a bad taste in their mouths conclude that as far as their businesses are concerned, the Web is “broken.”
I asked what kind of marketing they were doing. In some cases their leading marketing mode was direct mail. So I dug further and asked about their postal services and also the quantity of each mailing. With this information I then asked:
If I could deliver double their mailings at half the price they were currently paying would they give me their business?
They hesitated again and when I asked why they responded with concerns about deliverability: whether it was realistic for me to even make that offer, given their experience with direct mail marketing. That was the “Ah hah!” moment. When we talking about simply delivering flyers – a far less complicated a task (and less critical to future business growth) than search engine optimization or social media optimization – and they could see that real results require effort and that their ability to understand an offer depended on their education. I toled them that the same conditions apply to professional SEO services.
Even at this stage of the conversation I could still sense hesitation about investing in their internet marketing education or professional SEO Services. It’s amazing how so many businesses don’t understand the power of the Web, but investing time, money or both can yield results beyond any other marketing strategy.
What do you think?