• Writer for DDI on Medium

Process Before Engagement Helps Manage The Expectation Of Visibility

Updated: May 22



“HOW AM I NOT GETTING ANYWHERE?”

A few days ago, I came across a facebook post in a business group I’m in. The person posting (I’ll call her Merle) was desperate to increase her online visibility. She had been blogging for some time and apparently gained some traction, but, not enough to rank her services on Google. In light of this problem, she reached out to the local business community within the group to provide some clarity on what she was missing.


“I know there must be more to it than this!” she said. A few hours passed and no one responded. Feeling her frustration through her statements (because I’ve been there), I reached out to her with two questions. “What do you hope to gain by being seen by more people? And do you have a proven plan which works to convert the traffic you currently have, into revenue?”


If you’re focusing on more exposure before you know you have something worth sharing and a plan in place, which deals with the diverse needs of each prospect when you do share something noteworthy, you’re placing the cart before the horse. Some clients, won’t be ready to buy from you while others may. What do you do then? Do you simply leave those who aren’t ready hanging? And if not, what are you prepared to offer them in the meantime that keeps their focus on you until they are ready? And for those that are ready, How do you make it easy for them to buy? Not considering these questions, make those craving more exposure, ignorant of what they really need, and this was especially evident, reading the advice of others following my questions. People assume, what I call “tricks”, will compensate for the lack of preparedness and it doesn’t. In fact, in a case like this, tricks only fast track the reality of how unprepared you really are.



WHEN IS IT TOO EARLY OR THE RIGHT TIME TO INVEST IN SEO TOOLS


If you’re still figuring out the kinks in your brand such as, what it is? And what makes it stands out when you talk about it? You might as well not yet be online, but that’s only because, your clients are self-involved and aren’t interested in trying to figure out who you really are or what is expected of them once they’ve become engaged with your content. Telling them to call you to get more details, isn’t much of a plan either. In fact, it’s the direct equivalent of saying inbox me for my pricing and as we’ve recently discovered, that kind of “strategy” will get you ignored, in which case, it’s premature to be thinking about investing in SEO tools.


If you must invest, let it be in areas of your business that’s guaranteed to bring you returns, because it’s been through testing already. I’ll give you an example of what I mean by testing. When I began honing in on my branding a bit more, the idea came out of testing a theory I had about the behavioural patterns local small service business owners exhibit towards websites.

Though that theory hasn’t changed, my concept of why it exists, has. I use to think, laziness and being cheap was to blame, and in some cases, that’s very true, but, I realised, the real issue was presentation. Other service providers, aren’t doing the best job at presenting the perfect opportunity for investment by those interested. So, business owners either ignore it and try to function without it or look for the cheapest option to acquire it, which never works, since the value of the latter is always focused in the wrong place: cheap design work, instead of backing the design into the goals of your business.


In light of this revelation, I had to come up with a prototype that had converting power to test. It took me three months to see traction on it, but the moment it happened, I knew I had created something special. Now, this is where SEO tools might make sense. But one thing I’ve learned ( from other business owners killing it online), it isn’t enough to just create a product of interest.

You’ve got to be able to convert what you create into money. So, apart from constantly seeking ways to improve the value of the product, I’m also working to implement various ways for clients to interact with my services. Once what I’ve put together is working, if I wanted to, investing in SEO to get my brand into more of the right hands wouldn’t be a risk.



YOU WILL JUMP THE GUN IF…
  • You’re unclear about your business goals

  • You’re asking yourself all the wrong questions about the so-called problems you’re facing.

  • SEO pricing looks right

  • You don’t have a brand

The vulnerabilities listed above, creates a very enticing atmosphere to invest in shortcuts that will only bring you that much quicker to the same destination — Unprepared Boulevard. And why be surprised by that statement? Isn’t that the purpose of a shortcut. Using premium tools to boost your visibility, doesn’t exempt you from the reality that you’re probably not in the best position to handle the business. It only shows that up even quicker. So, if that’s your goal, then by all means invest, but, there is a much better way to find out what stage you’re at without wasting your money. And that’s by answering the questions mentioned above. But not before you’re sure you’ve created something that people want and you can convert their interest into business. To me, this is when expanding your reach makes sense; when you can attach expectation and successfully manage it.



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I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB Branding For Small Service Businesses. Sign up to receive these weekly articles in your inbox if you’re not quite ready to work with me yet. And please share my article if you liked it.


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