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Utilising Internet marketing for local businesses

I realise I know more than I think when it comes to this "online malarkey" and thought it's about time I utilised that to help local businesses and traders here on Portland.

Anyone who has blogged for some time or dabbled in Internet marketing in some form or other is way ahead of the masses when it comes to doing the basics online in the right way.

Also you are a long way ahead of offline business owners too, this is one area that internet marketers and good bloggers can help businesses locally to you.

I felt in a position to write about Portland businesses, and change, it's happening anyway...and what I can see of the possible changes and the impacts of it, if possible I'd like to help them anyway I can, one area in that could be to promote their businesses by way of a post or advertisement on the Portland-bill blog itself, giving them not only possible traffic but a decent backlink too, they are the real currency of the web, links.

We want our local businesses to succeed, their success or failure reflects and effects all of the surrounding community, so it's in our interest too.

If you are into internet marketing, or a good blogger with some experience of the way things work online have you considered helping local businesses, paid or otherwise?

I ask because we all know one of the surest ways to make money is to help others make money, as the saying goes... To get more of what you want, help others get what they want.

Businesses only want one thing, more sales, more referrals, more customers... do you think you can help your local businesses with that by utilising your skills online?

I am pretty sure most good internet marketers and bloggers can help in some way, however small, simply because you will likely know when you see any business, or their website what online tactic(s), system would fit into it, remember you are way ahead of the curve online.

The important thing I think is that it's not about their website, it's about the business, no good saying to a business, stick a blog up, or facebook fan page, twitter account, etc... it's first and foremost about the business itself, not changing it, but enhancing it where it matters and where you can.

As any internet marketer or good blogger knows, there are way to many different aspects to online marketing to say what works for any particular business... it wholly depends on the business, each on it's own merits..

That is part of where I am looking to grow, help local businesses implement what aspects (if any) they can which would help them grow and adapt to changes.

Without naming local businesses, I have seen some terribly bad websites, now that's not to say, they are bad for the business as I have no idea of that but as a user of the website it was...well, bad, from that standpoint I felt there was alot which could be improved and make a difference.

I couldn't see how in my opinion those websites were growing their business.

The bottom line was... would I buy from them, or do whatever it was they wanted me to, whatever their "call to action" was? (If any!) In some cases, it's a big no from me..

Some businesses had no website altogether, which due to the nature of the business I thought was very odd, short-sighted.
I hope we can rectify that. :o)

What about you?

If you have being in the trenches so to speak, doing all this stuff, have you checked you local businesses websites and such?
If not, why not consider it and it could be one way of diversifying what you do, even a way to grow what you already do, a way to help you make money online.

Foe me it's time to utilise all that internet marketing and blogging has taught me.;o)

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@ 11:04 PM, , create a link to this post

"Valuable connections"

Valuable connections, it's all links, new ones, invisible ones and life changing ones.

(o؛ ¡sǝʇɐןǝɹ ɟo ʇɹos ʇı sɐ ˙˙˙ʇsod ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ oʇ ǝpıs dıןɟ ǝɥʇ uo

I have been meaning to write this for a few days. Something got under my skin, bothered me and I couldn't put my finger on it at all, so I forgot about it.

Boy am I glad!! :o)

I had to disconnect to make the connection but it not only made that connected everything else for me.

Some connections were great, some not so, I digress, they are all valuable connections.

Sadly...I had to also had to face up to something I didn't really expect. It pissed me off to a point!

As she sang...

"Sometimes it make things clear...

Or know when to face... the truth, and I know,

That the moment is here..."

No prizes to the right guess in comments! ;o)

I'll never make it really big as a blogger, as it stands!!!

I had been given it thought in the past...
I knew it was going to be an issue, but that issue is something you probably won't face...

Yeah... my crap ears!!!

The idiot!!? ;o)

This just confirmed it in some ways, but I would do a disservice not sharing it with you, as there's nothing stopping you following the fantastic and well explained FREE: Time Tested And Proven Roadmap To Blogging Success… because NOW IS the time to read that if you are in any way considering starting one...even if not, there is some good insights to where things are going on this "landscape".

One I wont be able to fully maximise.

So am I saying this blog is...dying?

NO... certainly not, I just realised where it IS going, how it effects other things in the "big picture", the book above just helped me realise with a little more clarity...connected things in a way.

Furthermore these other connections, in my head, also had an impact on a huge way.

Linking the connections was what did it, but it's only now they connect!

It was 1980...

Summer in flow, thumping feelings to my head...and here I woke, at the bottom of a pot hole in a quarry, dazed, confused, almost 9 years old...

I took a brief look around, a twin pair of holes above me, shafts of light pouring down, peeked to left, right...darkish but it clearly looked like I was in a "slab space" like a wall of mud in font of me and a wall of mud behind me.

I tried to climb up, no used, slipping and sliding, I stopped, ran my hand through my hair...caked in mud and knotted..."where's me hearing aid??, my coat?, my shoe?" rapidly flying through my head...

I looked around, I realised I was on a small ledge, the very real fear of falling down there kicked in.
At a guess I was about 30 ft down from the top.

Looked down saw real darkness, spotted a stone, a good handful sized and threw it down.

For a brief moment I completely forgot I couldn't hear shit!

I smiled, no-one can ever take that off me. :o)

"Lee, help" I suddenly screamed, not quite realising I remembered what happened.

"He has to be there" I told myself, "LEE!!!" I screamed out, we were only playing football a minute ago...or was it hours ago.... "argggh LEEEEEE""...a face flickered into the was my mums best friend, Anna..."sigh" A memory that has never faded. :o)

She said clearly so could lipread... "firemen on the way, DON'T move"

I never moved a muscle... the fireman arrived, Anna said, "tie the rope round your waist"...In my innocent confusion i started to try and tie an inch and half fat rope around my wrist... :o/

Donut..."Waist" Anna said..."of course, what an idiot" I said, did that, got pulled up slowly and nicely.

That connection was valuable! It saved my life.

I suddenly had my head slowly out of the hole, to see half the streets residents lined up on the bank a good 7, 8 ft above us.

A sight I was glad to see. Some of you will be reading this no doubt. :o) It would be interesting to hear your memory of that day, its' the other side of the coin, watching one of ya daft mates looking like worzel gummage climbing out of a pot hole! :o)

The firemen asked if I was ok... yeah I said, stood up, there were all well intentionally worried...but I started to walk off towards my home, climbing up the bank, not sure if people were clapping, can't hear at this point lol, over the top, I saw mum, my brothers, 7 and 5 at the time...all crying, shocked...the magnitude of what happened hit me and we all hugged.

I was ok, that's what mattered, I only had a few bruises, split eyelid, bruised ego, lost hearing aid, and an upset family. :o/

Oh and one shoe!

So, we all walked to the ambulance, I climbed in, I remember the paramedic taking my trousers off to check my legs, stood there in my pants and the "girl next door", literally, Sarah, my age, stood there upset, smiling, looking at me!!

"Oi bugger off" I said with a smile, while trying hard to hide the "y fronts" Yikes!!!!

She laughed, I laughed... :o)

I was let out and went home, a night not to forget, sat in mums bed, all of us, mum, me and brothers, dad was in middle east, working as a diver, we were watching tv...the news!!

"Eh, that's me"!! :o) Damn I looked rough! :o)

I was safe and well.

I had a valuable connection that day.

But a week later, sat at nans, all the family there, watching tv and it was the news, suddenly I took notice of what was happening, bearing in mind no subtitles then, it was a case in Italy, a young child fallen down a pot hole, alot further than I had and in a granite or marble quarry.

No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get to them.

Their last wish was to have coca cola... and that's what they give them. As much as they wanted through a long pipe.

That was the last drink.

I cried my heart out.

That hurt and I never forgot that day.
I made a valuable connection with that child in my heart.

So, am I really going to let a silly thing my crap ears stop me, with anything?

Nope, you got that right. Then and now!

I won't let a pair of crap ears stop me with this blog, I'll just adapt it or I to it.

I got plans, and this blog is part of them.

I digress, whats all this got do with you?

Well, you read my blog, ;o)
Quite alot to do with you in fact.

If I am going to have issues with things like video, audio, using a webcam and mic, I can talk, not perfect but ok, I will never be able to benefit the other way, by listening. shame really, though till now I never rally saw any reason to have a webcam and mic.

Conversations, should be two way. :o)

I don't miss out completely, thankfully I still have conversations that are creating valuable connections.

I got thinking about what I really wanted to achieve, what would I be happiest doing and that is interacting with more people, connecting, sharing, and learning and well as helping.

Which I realised I already do...just not well enough.

I know I do underestimate myself and what I have to share. I get told enough too!

Time to make that big improvement.

So I would love to see you join my new "Valuable connections" ezine.

Sign up to it using the form on the left sidebar.

You are going to be my main priority. :o)

You see, I realised every opportunity I ever wanted I have had.

Let me ask you, how many times has that door in your office, room, you are in now been opened by someone else, for you?

How about other doors?

My bet is most of the doors that have opened for you in life YOU opened, or chose not to go follow through.

I can only kick myself now for not opening the doors more often and trying, and kick myself again for not even bothering to open it and take a look!

Fast forward 5 years from now....

You come out of hairdressers with ya girlfriend, she is "pissed off", not happy at all and you can feel it bristling on her, she starts to typing into her phone, five min's later she calms down a bit, you ask "what ya done?", she replies "tweeted everyone to not use that crap hairdressers".

You realise, ya girl has something like 10,000 people following her on her twitter, 2000 of them "local", mates who listen...

Damn that's gonna hurt that hairdresser you think?

One small valuable connection, or in this case not so valuable!

The flip side, she came out. "Wow gotta show mates this, I feel GREAT" uploads a pic to twitpic and tweets it to all, free valuable word of mouth advertising for you!

Good very valuable connection for that hairdresser now eh? ;o)

"Ok, well, I got a shop, not hairdresser, so it wont matter to me, and anyway, it's NOT 5 years time"... you say, right, but back to the present, there are phones now capable of scanning bar codes in the shops.

So someone scans a product in your shop, clicks the phone, says "I can get that 50p cheaper in the shop 30 yards up the rd".

You stand there bewildered! :o/ Another customer gone!

All these connections, big or small, who knows which one will make or break you?

For now, realise every connection you make, matters.

P.s there are really NO limits on the power of these connections. No barriers. You are at the most important moment in history. NOW.

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@ 6:26 PM, , create a link to this post

"Death of bad customer service"

R.I.P bad customer service, hope to never rise again.

While the demise of a once great company, Woolworth's, that was a boon for all the members of the family, be it mums grabbing an impulse buy, or the kids loving the "pick'n'mix" sweet section is a shame, I do sympathise with the workers and the loss of work should it happen.

Sadly it's not only Woolworth's, but all of the stores, Woolworth's just left it too late to change things round, doubt it will be the only one though!

Like many other big stores, the real blame has to lie with the top heavy management and the serious loss of customer touch they once had. To often taking the customers for granted.

I can understand the workers anger, but like in most big stores, it's often a nightmare to get anywhere at any rate. Often patience runs out, the customer changes their mind and leaves without buying.

Also like buses that never seem to come alone but always in threes, there seems to always be a huge queue and a lone till working, even though there are often 4 or 5 of them, if you are lucky there may be two tills going, next to each other and those on the tills are "chatting" to each other...passing items through the scanner hardly noticing the shoppers.

The customers are naturally going to tighten their belts anyway with the current economic climate, they will now choose wiser too and customer service plays a huge part in that decision.

It's no coincidence that "smaller" shops have a regular loyal customer base, they are made to feel welcome each and every time. Where would YOU shop?

It's not a new thing, customer service quality has dropped massively over the last 20 years.
The rise of the multinationals has lowered the pleasure of the customer experience, go to any big supermarket and you are just one of many, not really any personal service at all.

What if all the workers OWNED the company?

Think that would make them more inclined to make you feel special?

Woolworth's is for sale...£1 !!

Yeah, maybe there are huge debts etc, but if that was something doable wouldn't it better than the total loss of it?

Personally if I took over that chain, I would scrap buying alsorts from any other place in the world and stock ONLY British produce made locally to the relevant shop.

Regardless, businesses are what makes YOUR life possible, look around you, EVERYTHING you have is created by a business, can you go without anything you use?
Your mobile?
Your PC?
Your cooker?
Your TV? etc.

Can you remember HOW the seller made you feel when you got any of these?
How they treated you?

Those who treat customer service as important as anything else will prosper.
Those who don't...die out!

Customers are what make businesses work!

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@ 11:53 PM, , create a link to this post