I'm just back from Orlando where I presented twice on Web Marketing for Entrepreneurs and Social Media Marketing to NAPO, The National Association of Professional Organizers.
I met with a lot of cool (and well organized) people and over drinks (mostly bourbon) we discussed what small business and solopreneurs could do to better market and grow their business.
I thought a lot about some of the unique challenges professional organizers face, and so here's my list of 10 things professional organizers can do to better market themselves.
- Get listed in local search. Your business is local. That should drive a lot of your marketing choices. Improve your visibility in local search by visiting GetListed.org, which will walk you through the process of getting listed in the four most important engines for local search.
- Don't use an AOL, Yahoo, Cox.net, Comcast or even Gmail address on your business card
(or anywhere else.) It reeks of amateurism, and you're no amateurs.
You're professional organizers, and your email address should be
promoting your brand, not AOL's.
- Where are you? Your business is local. Include your address on your business card. On the 100 or so business cards I got at the conference, only two had addresses. If you're not comfortable putting your home address on your business card at least get a PO box or list the cities and towns you do business in.
- Leverage social networking sites. In a service industry like yours, your personality will drive a lot of buying decisions. By getting involved with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn you can make invaluable connections.
- Find local people. Your business is local. (Sensing a trend here?) If you're on Twitter you can use tools like Nearby Tweets to find local businesses and home owners who may be in need of your services.
- Convince me "certified" professional organizers are better. For laypeople, we don't know why professional organizers need certification, or what the benefit is to us. Make sure this comes across in your marketing materials and when you talk to us.
- Use Article Marketing. Article marketing is an inexpensive way to get your name out there and generate dozens or even hundreds of incoming links to your site. Articles on "Cleaning Out Your Inbox" or "Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks" (depending on your audience) are good places to start. (Check out this article on article marketing, although it needs some updating.)
- Start a blog. In my experience blogging provides the best return on investment of any Web marketing campaign, and it ties in search engine optimization and social media. It also turns a static Web site into a publishing platform that can grow with your business. In fact, WordPress (a popular blogging platform) doubles as a content management system (CMS) platform, allowing you to turn a static Web site into a publishing platform. Read more about the best CMS for small business here.
- Create videos. Video is an essential tool for marketing, and with your client's permission, you can create simple before and after videos of home or workplace "transformations." Use Tubemogul.com to maximize your visibility.
- Use email marketing to sell more product. A monthly, opt-in ezine with tips and advice can include e-commerce links to popular organizing products in your online store.
There's of course 100 more marketing tips for professional organizers. If you have one please add it to the comments section.