I believe it's so easy and inexpensive to get on the web, at least with a single page and a domain name, that there is no longer an excuse not to be "on the web." A few years ago, a study came out saying 30% of small businesses were yet on their own web page. I hope that's changed, but I'm not so sure — especially in rural areas.
Merchant's Circle offers a great solution (one every small business should take advantage of in addition to their own site). And there is Google Local that can help support a web "presence." But what of a small company's own web presence?
Well, I'll be traveling around small town squares with my li'l red wagon (and laptop) building one-hour web pages and testing out theories. Almost like One-Hour Web-inizing.
Update: We just did two tests. The first test, it took an hour to put up a single web page with store info, contact, custom banner, a bit of content on history and present offerings, and two photos (inside and outside). The second test was a simpler page — took 25 minutes.
Update II: Success! Of the dozen or so businesses we approached, a handful weren't on the web or didn't care to be there. A signal to me there is still a need for affordable solutions to the mini-businesses or small rural companies. We also met with Susie at Pappy's Antique Mall – our first web-inizing customer. In and Out in an Hour (or so). The one-hour webinizing might become a weekly thing (I dig the people and the food on the back roads. Lots of gems!)
Video clips at eleven?
Photo on Flickr by Gavin St. Ours
If you've been blogging for awhile, you have lots of great content to pull from to make a presentation deck for "lunch-and-learn" types of speaking engagements. You can also create the "decks" to share on SlideShare or individual slides on Flickr by using an image and the Post Headline or "money quote" within a post.
Once you've repurposed the content for use online, contact your local chambers of commerce, and other professional development associations to ask if they are looking for speakers. Just 10-20 slides will give you a great foundation for a presentation — and who knows, you may just kick-off a side source of income speaking, or better yet, create a new customer base — all by repurposing content already published on your blog.
I recently did this exercise and forgot that I had written a series on "Fears of Blogging" several years ago. I'm turning that into a new slide deck and presentation.
One other thing you can do with your archives, especially if you've been blogging since pre-Twitter days, is to share those archives occasionally on Twitter – maybe with a "From the Archives" within the tweet.
Give it a shot. Let me know how it works out for you.
One industry hottest (and getting hotter) for social media and the relationships that can be forged is the Tourism Industry — especially in small town and rural settings (and there's a bunch in Iowa!). And not just from a business perspective, but from a vacationer perspective as well.
Still, a business who can leverage and bring together the community and conversation around the content (destination place or along the journey) is going to win at the commerce piece.
Two experts (and trusted friends) – one specializing in small town, small business (Becky McCray) and one specializing in travel and tourism (Sheila Scarborough) have teamed up to launch Tourism Currents.
To quote my pal Chris Cree on this important work in his post "Social Media Training for the Travel Industry with Tourism Currents
"…whether you work for a chamber of commerce, a convention and visitors bureau, work in hospitality or the restaurant? business, these two ladies at Tourism Currents are perfectly positioned to help you tap into social media and attract more people to your business (and to your community)."
Sign ups start tomorrow (June 15). I've seen the course outline and I'm trying to fit this course into my schedule (as a student) – it's that good, and that important to continue building business in and around Iowa.
Here are what some other experts in these fields have to say:
- Is the Tourism Currents Social Media Training Right for You?
- School’s in Session: Social Media Learning Resources for Tourism
- Travel and Tourism Meet Social Media
Note: The links to Tourism Currents above are affilate links – a first for me here. That should say a lot towards what I think of our coaches Becky and Sheila, and of the importance of the program.
Photo on Flickr by Mahalie