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The truth about internet marketing for service professionals

If you do a quick web search for internet marketing tips, you are likely to see a bunch of hype. It’s almost like the old pyramid scheme infomercials- “do this and get rich!”  Anyone who has really dove into internet marketing knows there is no exact one size fits all formula to successful marketing on the internet, and that most of what you read is really just myth.

The bigger problem is that the majority of what you find online in regards to helpful internet marketing is geared toward those individuals promoting a tangible product that can be sold directly from the internet.  If you are a service provider of any type, as in the face-to-face person-to-person type of service you will find internet marketing all the more challenging.  If you follow the advice and plans that are geared towards selling a product, you are likely to find disastrous results. The goal of this article is to dispel some of those myths so that you can figure out what works for you, without all of the hype.

The most common myth is that your website is everything.  If you build a fancy website you will be successful, right?  Wrong.  The truth of the matter is, it is far more important to detail clearly what services you provide.  The content of your website is far more important than the design itself.  While a professional looking site is important, the best looking site in the world will not generate clients if the potential clients have no clue what it is you can do for them.

Most how-to articles on internet marketing go on and on about traffic.  More traffic equals more sales, right?  Wrong.  When it comes to promoting a service, it is much better to know exactly who your target is and focus your advertising on drawing in your market over gobbling up bandwidth by driving droves of people who likely will never need your area of expertise to your website.  

While there is no “get rich quick” guaranteed formula to successful internet marketing, the same basic principles you use in your traditional marketing apply on line.  When you make cold calls, write letters, and do presentations for potential clients in the non-virtual world apply online.  The goal of your blog, ads, and website should be to instill trust and build credibility.  Presenting a professional image of yourself and your services is the first step to building trust in your abilities.  Once your potential clients see you as someone they can trust to handle their business needs, you can start the relationship building process just as you would in person.

It may be helpful to have a colleague or well-established client take a look at your website.  Ask them if the website is easy to understand and if it conveys an accurate representation of the services you provide.  Include client testimonies, make your content relative and interesting and uphold your professional image and you will be much more likely to have successful online marketing experiences.