I get asked this question constantly when local business owners are discussing their on-line marketing strategy.
Once you go online you have the opportunity to expand your business from a local business to a global business. That doesn’t mean your site can be found globally, rather you become globally available.
Let’s look at a business most would agree would be strictly local – a hair salon. Going global doesn’t mean the salons owners will be suddenly expanding to China and India.Your effective business area is still your delivery radius or how far people are willing to drive to come to your shop.
Stay with me, I’m going to seem to veer off-track for a moment. I’ll bring you back, I promise.
A recent study from PewInternet showed some interesting statistics about the rise in e-books in America.
- In December 2011 17% of adults reported they had read in e-book in the previous year; by February 2012 that had increased to 21%.
- In December 2011, 43% of aged 16 and older say they have read either in e-book or other long form content such as magazines, journals, and news articles on a digital device
- There are four times more people reading e-books today than two years ago.
Unfortunately there are no reliable statistics for the Australian market. Yet with the recent demise of two major bookselling chains and the decline of the printed newspaper, it is clear the digital world is changing the way Australians consume published material.
So how does that relate to the local hairdresser?
Being locally findable on the Internet means you can attract more customers to your shop front. A must-do.
Being globally available means that you can take services or products or create new ones and sell them online. Ah-hah! A new source of revenue.
In our example, the salon owner could write a book about how to cut today’s styles (complete with on-line videos) or how to hide your grey. Those books can then be listed on eBay, Amazon or any e-bookstore of choice and sell globally.
Topics in the book or ones that hit the cutting room floor, can be sprinkled in Facebook posts or blog posts. Create a video or article about your award-winning styles, your shop, how you got into the business, the biggest problems with doing it yourself, why a salon shampoos are better than supermarket brands, and so on.
It is clear we are in the age of the digital publisher. It comes pre-loaded with consumers who are ready, willing and able to buy great quality content if you’re willing to publish it. They don’t care if your small business is around the corner or on the other side of the planet, as long as you have something worth reading.
It’s an opportunity to catch a wave. Are you sitting on the beach or out on your board?