I was recently joking with my hair stylists about how, back in the olden days, we used to have to wait in long lines at the bank on a Friday so we’d have enough cash for the weekend. In another conversation with my husband, we were discussing our finances and why we keep getting the local newspaper and why we still have a land-line phone. The only good reason we had for keeping it was inertia. The conversation got me thinking about How Things Have Changed over the years especially when it comes to promoting one’s business and talents.
Gone are the days when starving writers and artists have to beg gallery owners and publishers to promote their work. Facebook and Twitter and even self-publishing websites are making it easier to get work out there quickly. Bank won’t loan you money to publish your new novel? Go to Kickstarter and raise the money yourself! Don’t know how to make a website? Don’t worry. WordPress and Tumblr can help you design your own site without having to learn long strings of HTML code.
Even though we may not need to stop at the bank on Fridays anymore or keep our land-line phones, any successful business person needs to have a web presence. Don’t have a website? Might as well just pack it up! If you are a plumber and my friend tells me you’re good, I’m going to check you out online first before I give you call. Don’t have a website? I might look elsewhere. While my parents or grandparents probably don’t care if your business has a website, my generation and the Millennials do. A local pizza chain in my neighborhood has great pizza but their website looks like it was slapped together by the owner’s nephew. My husband recently clicked on the website of a large home-improvement chain and found it to be clunky, hard to read, and unhelpful. You would think a multimillion dollar company could hire someone to put together a website that was a little more user friendly.
Recently, on A Closer Look Radio, Pam interviewed Eric Wolf, the author of Marketing Unmasked, and they talked about how important it is to have a good website. He gave good suggestions as to what every website should have and how to use it to supplement your business. He recommended every website should have a regularly updated blog, a section for company news, a good “About Us” page, and testimonials and case studies. Simple really. But some people don’t seem to get it. Check out the interview here to learn more.
A passionate DIY culture is growing in the United States which can be seen locally with the creative types in Portland and on a national level with the #Occupy protests. Traditional marketing and promotion just doesn’t work anymore when you can do it on the cheap with Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn. More and more people are finding unconventional ways to promote their work and I enjoy watching the traditional business models adjust to these changes.