By now, you know that the new business model is going digital – we’re never going back.
If you were not convinced before COVID-19 hit that your small business needed to have an active online presence chances are that by now you know, that today, more than ever, you need an active presence online.
Now, I know what you are thinking, “Ed, I know how important it is that my business be online and active on social media but I am not a techie and I do not have the time to be on all these social media platforms.“
Listen, I get it and that is why you are here!
I am going to break down everything down for you right now as well as go a bit into why Facebook is the number one way to quickly grow your business online – and no, I am not talking about paying for Facebook ads.
I want to make it easier for you to run your small business online.
After all, I am known as the guy who makes tech stupid easy and I’ve been teaching clients for years now how to use Facebook Live to grow their business online.
So keep reading if you want to learn how to make your online marketing efforts easier so you can increase your exposure online and start to generate more sales online.
This blog post is going to cover:
- Myths that come up when building/growing an online business
- What tools you need to have in place to grow your business online
- Simplifying your marketing strategy online
- Facebook and why it’s important for your business to actively use it
- And, I will be dropping golden nuggets long the way!
Also, if you want to get to know me a little bit better and learn how I started my business, check out this post, “How I started my online business.“
Running a small business online myth #1: I have to be a techie otherwise I’m a failure
If tech support is not part of your business offerings then you shouldn’t feel guilty for not being a “techie” and for not knowing what the “thingy” is that you need in order to run your business more efficiently online. You also shouldn’t feel guilty for not knowing how to navigate the online business model – that’s why you are here and I can help so keep reading.
I’m going to help you overcome those tech challenges so you don’t feel like you are left behind but remember, at the end of the day, it is still up to you to take action – this means reaching out for help, implementing the steps listed here and oftentimes, both!
Running a small business online myth #2: If I can just build it they will come
If only that were the case then we would all be sitting pretty, watching that money roll into our bank accounts…here’s the truth about building a business especially one online.
The old saying goes like this, “if you build it they will come.” Yeah, what they didn’t tell you was that is only 50% of the work. The other 50% is you actually marketing which will attract people and convert your qualified leads into sales (more about marketing coming up below).
So the saying really should be…
“If you build it and market it, they will come.“
So how do you, the small business owner – who is not a techie with limited time to spend on social media market – market and grow your business online? Let’s start with the basics…
First, you need to have a website.
Yes, your business still needs a website because this is your home base – this is where you will drive traffic back to – and no, just having a Facebook page does not count.
Remember, unless you are Mark Zuckerberg, you don’t own Facebook therefore you are on rented land and that is not safe to only build your business on – Facebook should be PART of your business plan, it shouldn’t be THE business plan.
What tools do I need to start a business online?
When it comes to starting a business online you will need to have some tools in place and we suggest starting with the following 4 tools in place – all of these online tools will play a part in your online marketing plan and should work together to help you market and sell your services online:
- Facebook page
- Email marketing
Your business + website + email marketing + active social media = Online Marketing ecosystem
Yes, having additional social media accounts like an Instagram profile, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. can and oftentimes are helpful but with limited time these we suggest you stay focused on your website, Facebook, and email marketing.
It’s important to note that sticking to these 3 online marketing channels will allow you to easily show up online with the given time you have available. If you end up having more time and would like to show up on those other marketing channels than you can and there are ways to make it easier to do so.
Tip: Every time you think about adding another online profile for your business just keep in mind that is one more “website” that you will need to manage or pay someone else to manage.
So if tech stresses you out and you don’t have much time for social media than you must choose wisely where you will actively show up online.
It is far better to focus on one main social media channel, like Facebook (stick with me here, I see your eyes rolling back) – to be active on and show up for your audience consistently rather than being on all of the social media channels and barely showing up.
Facebook is still the #1 social media network and it still offers the best options for small businesses to market and sell their services.
You see, just because you built a fancy website and you signed up for all the social media channels doesn’t mean you have an active online presence – it means you have an online presence.
Having an active online presence requires you to SHOW UP, DELIVER & ENGAGE with your audience online (AKA Marketing).
Marketing by the way, is simply STARTing or JOINing the conversation.
From there, the conversation will help you determine your qualified leads and any growth opportunities such as speaking gigs and guest appearances.
I want you to start thinking of social media like it is a networking conference.
Chances are you have been to at least one large conference which you know are very chaotic – the days are long, you are rushing from one presentation to another, and you are trying to network with as many people as you can and by the end of the conference, if you didn’t walk in with a strategic plan, you will be not only wiped out but also leaving empty-handed.
Social media is the exact thing only it is online and instead of walking into a building, you are logging onto a social network like Facebook where the presentations and networking never stop.
Now that we have a better understanding of having an active online presence and we know what marketing is let’s take a look at what challenges small businesses face when it comes to marketing…
What’s the #1 challenge that most small business owners face when it comes to marketing?
Yes, it turns out that the #1 challenge most businesses face is generating traffic and leads. So how do we fix that? Keep reading.
Warning, you are about to fall back in love with Facebook – ok, love might be a strong word for some so let’s just say, you are about to like Facebook a little bit more!
Running a small business online myth #3: Facebook is not worth the trouble anymore
When it comes to social media and where your small business should show up online, especially if you have limited time, Facebook should be your go-to spot.
I know how you feel about Facebook but hear me out as I am about to make it easier for you.
Facebook is still the #1 social media network with 2.6 BILLION monthly active users. So if you are trying to make the most of your time and efforts online, Facebook should be the first spot you go.
Over 1.6 billion people around the world are connected to a small business on Facebook. (Facebook 2018)
Let’s break down Facebook, the social media network giant, so that you can have a better understanding of how it works.
As you can see from the image above, when you sign up for a Facebook account you are given one main profile – your personal profile.
From there you are able to create a Facebook business page (every small business should have one) and then some might choose to create what is called a Facebook group (we won’t go into this here).
Facebook for small businesses FAQ’s
How should I use Facebook to market my small business?
Once you post something on your Facebook business page then you are free to share that post elsewhere like on your personal profile, in your group, on your website or anywhere else you would like.
What should I post on my Facebook page?
When it comes to Facebook posts and choosing what you should share with your audience online you will have to do some testing.
Test to see what works.
Keep in mind that we as business owners are constantly going to be testing to see what Facebook posts your online audience likes – what they relate to and engage with.
Here are various types of Facebook posts you can post on your Facebook page:
- Text only
- Text + colored background
- Text + Photo
- Text + video
- Text + LIVE video (Facebook Live)
When creating your posts – your social media content – it’s important to keep in mind the 4 E’s:
- Engagement (I added this one as it is so important to growing your business online)
Now, given all of that you are probably feeling overwhelmed and thinking, “I’ve tried posting on my Facebook page but it never seems to work – no one sees my posts or engages so what’s the point?“
Well, now that we have addressed the issue of “I don’t have time” and “I don’t like Facebook because no one sees or engages with my posts” now it’s time to address the elephant in the room…
How do I reach more people/increase my organic reach on Facebook?
In order to get your Facebook posts seen by more people you have to:
- Be willing to show up consistently – meaning posts on your Facebook page regularly
- Understand how the Facebook algorithm works – what it favors more
- Give Facebook what they want – Facebook wants you to use Facebook Live
By now you are probably thinking, “ok. Those first two I get, no problem. That third one though, that’s a problem for me Ed!“
Facebook video is still in high demand with approximately 8 billion video views per day.
Before we dive into Facebook Live let’s take a look at some statistics as they will help us understand why it’s so important for every small business to use LIVE video to market their services online.
- 83% of video marketers say video has helped them generate leads. (Wyzowl, 2020)
- 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. (Wyzowl, 2020)
- 95% of video marketers said they felt they’d increased understanding of their product or service using video. (Wyzowl, 2020)
- 93% of brands got a new customer because of a video on social media. (Wyzowl, 2020)
4x as many people would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. (video marketing facts)
While Facebook is a FREE platform we have to understand that they too are a business and have to make money somehow.
Now without getting too far off track here let’s just stick to something you might have heard before which is, “Facebook is a pay to play” which simply means, in order to get your Facebook page posts seen you have to pay for Facebook ads.
Sure Facebook ads can be helpful in marketing your small business online and there might be a time and place for you to run Facebook ads but it doesn’t mean that you should start there or that if you don’t pay for ads you shouldn’t post on your Facebook page.
What is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is the #1 most cost-effective way to market your small business online.
52% of marketers claim that video content is the type of content with the best ROI. (video marketing facts)
You see, Facebook Live is an easy way for you to use LIVE streaming video to market and sell your services online.
Facebook Live is the best way for you to connect with your audience and quickly build up that “know, like, trust” factor that makes selling so much easier especially online.
Facebook wants you to use Facebook Live and in fact you will be rewarded with Facebook pushing your content out to more people organically – increasing your organic reach without paying for Facebook ads.
The most commonly-created types of video are: Explainer videos at 72%, followed by Presentation videos at 49%, Testimonial videos at 48%, Sales videos at 42% and video ads at 42%. (Hubspot)
Let’s look at some statistics around LIVE streaming video from IAB Research:
- 47% state they stream more live video content now than they did a year ago
- 70% are consuming digital video content via a ‘connected device’ (PC/laptop, smartphone, tablet or connected TV) several times a day/once a day – This reflects a clear desire for live video content around the globe
- 64% took action after seeing an ad during a live video stream – and brand recall, clickthrough, and site visits are the primary actions provoked
- The primary motivation for live streaming video content is the desire and need to stay in tune and up-to-date. Consumers want to be able to check-in/catch up when they want, on the move, so that they don’t miss out and stay up-to-date. They also enjoy the experience of sharing with others of similar interest
- 82% prefer live video (live broadcasting) to a brand’s standard social posts
- 80% of social media users would rather watch live video (live broadcasting) from a brand than read a blog
- Facebook users spend 3x as much time watching Facebook Live videos than standard pre-recorded videos.
Do you see now how using Facebook, more specifically Facebook Live, is the #1 way to quickly grow your business online?
Facebook Live video…
- Puts you in front of more people online
- Builds your online authority organically
- Connects you directly with your audience
- Is your very own QVC channel where you can sell directly to your audience
- Allows you to invite your audience into the conversation, bring them on as guests
Facebook Live provides you with everything that you need in terms of marketing your business online – from video to audio clips you are covered!
Do you see how going LIVE on your Facebook business page will allow you to easily show up more for your audience, build up those relationships, and generate more sales for your business?
If you need help in learning how to use Facebook Live to grow your business online, to market and sell your services, and reach more people then I invite you to schedule a call with me today!