fbpx

Digital Business Resource Center

Digital Business Resource List

Digital Business Resource Center

Welcome to our business resource center to help you find what you need.

We’ve been building great websites, providing high-quality SEO and digital marketing help since 2012 give or take a few years.

We get asked a ton of questions about what’s the best affordable web design option? What is the best WordPress theme for me? Do you provide WordPress training? What do you use for your email list?

The list of questions goes on and on.

I decided to help out myself and the team here at Green Thoughts Consulting, GTC, by providing a list of these resources so others can find them easily and quickly.

We’ve done or research for the best and most current digital business resources. If you’re looking for an affordable web design, stock photos, a platform to design images for the non-designer, or more specific help, our business resource center is a great tool to use to find and connect to a vetted list of basic tools and services you must have.

Disclosure: We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending only the best products and services. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links from this Business Resource Center, at no additional cost to you. We make our recommendations without regard for whether a commission is offered or the amount received from commissions.

Business Resource Center Tech Stack

This is the technology stack I use to generate leads and sales in my business like clockwork! If you are interested in learning how to get leads and sales on a regular basis book a virtual coffee to that end.

WebsiteWordPress, GeneratePress Theme, and Elementor page builder

Hosting and Domain NameSiteground hosting and Namecheap for domain name purchase.

Image CompressionShortPixel WordPress Image Compression plugin

Funnels – [Opt in Pages and Sales Pages] – Elementor. [Segmentation and lead capture] – ConvertKit.

Conversion Optimised CheckoutPayKickStart If you are building your funnel in WordPress then the UpsellPlugin is a simple and solid option too.

Learning Management System (LMS)LearnDash for online courses.

Scheduling ToolCalendly.

Video Conferencing and WebinarsZoom.

Email Marketing and AutomationConvertKit.

AnalyticsGoogle Analytics and Google Search Console

SEO Keyword ResearchKeyword Finder

SEO Rank TrackingNightWatch.io

SEO helper for WordPressYoast

ProductivityAsana

Business Resource Center Usage

If you would like help implementing any of the above tools in my recommended tech stack or understanding how they fit into the bigger picture of your business please just reach out.

Starting from scratch with a list of tools like this can feel daunting. Please book a free call with me to learn more about how they fit together and how to best implement them into your work environment.

Either way you can get the help you need and get your business on track with visitors, leads, and clients with our help. Just reach out.

SEO for Artists

SEO for Artists

Intro to SEO for Artists

SEO for artists is for the most part very similar to Search Engine Optimization in general.  However, it’s been my personal experience having worked with artists on web design and SEO projects that there are a few particulars to keep in mind.

On Page SEO Definition

On page SEO is simply put the process of optimizing your website and individual website pages for search engine optimization.  First, this involves site speed which is made up of image compression or serving the correct size for speed and quality, SSL validation or the presences of https, and running the right type of website and using a decent host. 

Further, it involves using the right keywords and doing keyword research to understand and maximize value and traffic.  You will use these all-important keywords to maximize the SEO title, SEO meta-descriptions, URL, and SEO header tags (h1-h6). 

Setting up your artwork and site for success means following the process mentioned below so you “score” well with on page SEO.

Off Page SEO Definition

Off Page SEO is the set of factors that help your site rank that is not on your actual website.  These include link related issues and non-link related issues.

The link related issues involve the number of domains that link to your site.  The quality of these domains in terms of links that site has, the relevancy of that site to yours (niche).  It also matters how those links are technically linked, are they dofollow or “nofollow” links?  Further, on page SEO involves something called anchor text, which is the text you see when you click on a link.

The non-linking related issues involve your brand mentions, NAP (Name Address Phone) mentions, social signals (people sharing your content), and finally Google My Business existence for your business.

Both on page and off page search engine optimization are important for artist websites just like any other site.  Let’s dive into the specific factors in more detail.  But first, it’s important to start with an audit.

SEO Audit for Artists

As with any project that includes SEO you should start with a website audit.

A technical website audit will provide you with the details and underlying information to make decisions that will actually move the needle for your site in a quantitative manner.

An SEO audit should include on page SEO factors such as site speed measurement, SSL validation, on page factors such as title, meta descriptions, and header tags (H1-H6). 

Let’s work through a few of these and make comments both generally and specifically as it applies to SEO for artists.

On Page SEO factors listed

On Page SEO for Artists

Site Speed for Artist Websites

This is becoming a larger force in the search engine ranking world. Google announced in May 2020 that it would begin including several site speed factors in it’s ranking algorithm for sites.

Namely, it refers to these as Core Web Vitals.  These include how fast your website “paints” for the users and measures perceived load time or speed.  There are some other technical factors that I could mention here but won’t as it’s essentially about the speed of the site.

The best place to check your site speed is Pingdom and GTMetrix.

Pingdom Speed Test Tool image capture

As for metrics, Google is looking to have your site load in under 2.5 seconds and I would shoot for under 2 if it were me.  This can be a real issue for artists as their specific sites tend to be loaded with high-resolution images. 

No doubt this is an issue.  It simply means you need to build your site and specifically the images in a way that allows them to load as quickly as possible.  Don’t sacrifice quality for speed. 

As an artist one should not gut the quality of images in order to significantly increase page speed.  Rather, you should optimize these images so they are sized correctly.  Perhaps no bigger than the resolution of an average desktop.

If you are using WordPress there are several plugins available for this purpose. 

image compression example

Image Compression Plugins for WordPress

ShortPixel is the go-to WordPress image compression plugin for those looking to speed up a site. It is free to use, but only allows 100 image compressions per month. I advise you to spend the extra cash the first month or so and get your images compressed.

If you just aren’t feeling ShortPixel here’s a great blog post that will give you other options. For an artist, image compression is a must.

Use it regularly and run it after each post or update.  As an artist, the speed of your site will depend to an extent on your image compression.  Just keep balancing this with quality. Quality first when it comes to images and SEO for artists.

Alt Text example for an image in WordPress

Alt-Text for Images

Aside from the issue of image size all images have something called an Alt-text. I find like header tags the average bear that builds its own website is missing lots of alt-text.

For an artist that is showing their product, this is a no-no. You MUST include your Alt Text for each and every image.

If you think about it a robot, even a smart ai robot, can’t read an image. So what is it to do with all those images on artist websites?

Enter Alt-text or Alt Descriptions. Alt-text is associated with one per image. In WordPress, there is a box when you upload the picture that says “alt text (alternative text)”. Inside this box, you describe for the bots what the picture is of or representing.

As you may have guessed it’s a good idea to get your keyword, words, or lexically similar keywords into the alt text. However, don’t overdo it. If you over-optimize every area for your keyword in every image, every header tag it will look like it was written for a bot first and foremost.

Don’t do that. Do however put an alt text on every image. Do let most images on a post or page have the exact or a similar description to that of the main keyword.

Just fill out the form below to get our Free SEO Checklist

    SSL Validation

    SSL validation relates to whether or not a website has secure socket layers. This merely means is your site secured or not.  For the most part, this is free on the better website hosting companies. My favorite hosting providers are SiteGround or BluehostIt is non-negotiable for artist sites and non-artist sites.  Get the SSL certificate.

    This is a binary question.  You either have it or you don’t.  If you don’t have it you need it.

    You will know you have it if your website starts with https:// at the beginning of your website address, rather than just http://.

    SEO keyword research is the key

    Keywords & SEO for Artists

    Writing for the benefit of both readers and SEO is important.  When you sit down to write a post or blog about a finished piece of art do some keyword research first.  It will help a ton.

    When it comes to SEO keyword research is where it’s at. Learn to do it.

    Keyword research means understanding what real people are actually searching for in the area of your art.  You may think to yourself it’s obvious my piece is a 24×24 Stripes and Butterflies Acrylic Gesso.  But is that what people are searching for? 

    Many of us in a particular field or niche use technical language within our area of expertise. However, people don’t search for “stuff” that way.

    Often a keyword you as an expert feels is the right one to use in a technical sense will only yield 10 to 50 searches per month, which is low volume. This is a fail.

    On the other hand, a formal SEO keyword search will yield the actual volume or number of searches per month on given words and phrases.

    At the end of the day to achieve good SEO on an artist’s website it is a good idea to provide category headings that hit large volume keywords such as “Nature Paintings” or “Lifescape Photography” and then on individual piece pages use longer tail keywords like “dark purple nature paintings during dawn” or “lifescape photography in the western USA of cacti ”.

    What’s a good keyword volume? It depends. 

    Generally, you need some keywords with 500 plus visits a month and then many with 10 to 100 visits per month.  Remember you won’t get all of these searches because others will be ranking for each keyword too.

    If you need help with Keyword research just let me know.

    SEO Title Tags for Artists

    SEO Titles

    Title tags or SEO Titles are important to your SEO efforts.  Missing, duplicate, or poorly constructed title tags for SEO are damaging to your SEO efforts.

    Instead, focus first on actually having an SEO title tag that contains the primary keyword for that article or page.  For example, utilize a category page that contains a keyword that has search intent and volume that is around 250 to 500+ for a small site.   Look for keywords with lower keyword difficulty.

    Keyword difficulty is simply put how difficult it is to rank for that keyword.  It is a subjective measure to an extent as different SEO Keyword sites provide differing Keyword Difficulty metrics.  I prefer the KD of Ahrefs.com or KeywordFinder.com. Keyword Difficulty under 20 is a safe starting point for new sites.

    At the end of the day write an SEO title for humans that has the keyword you are optimizing that page for.

    Meta Descriptions for Artists

    Meta descriptions are important for SEO as well. They achieve several purposes.

    First, meta descriptions provide an overview or blurb about what your post or page is about to a searcher.  When you search you see the Title of the Page and a short paragraph about the page. 

    meta descriptions & seo title tags for artists

    Secondly, the meta description can help increase click-through rate and make your page get clicked on more than another search result that may be boring or just wrong for the search intent.

    If you don’t create meta descriptions for your site the individual search engine will choose one for you.  This is to be avoided.  Do you want a robot describing your art to a searcher?

    Rather, you should craft the meta description to be informational, contain the actual keyword you are ranking for on that post/page.

    Like most on page SEO items, none in and of itself will change your traffic dramatically.  However, each item ads a synergy to the total rank algorithm. 

    SEO Header Tags (H1-H6)

    It amazes me how many websites I run across that don’t have proper header tags setup.  I’ve found many people that build their own website believe header tags are just differing sizes for fonts within a text. No.

    header tags and font sizes

    While the aforementioned is true the point of a header tag is entirely different that font size.  Header tags allow search engine robots, or “bots”, to understand the structure of your post or article.  They create structure.

    Every page must have an H1, every single one. Every page must have only one H1, every single one. Not two, only one.

    An H1 header tag is the main or overarching idea of the article.  For example, this post has an H1 of SEO for Artists because that’s what the article is all about. 

    Digging a little deeper after the one and only H1 on a page you should try to break down your text into a few H2 or subheadings and if it’s a particularly long and wordy post it will help to use H3 tags as well.  These tags are crouched within each other as below:

    SEO Header tag structure diagram

    Notice in this example that one of the h2 tags “Best Season to Grow tomatoes” has not subheadings.  This is ok.  What isn’t ok is to have two H1.  Don’t stress about this structure there is no true right or wrong it’s about providing clear headings so the robots can understand what you are saying and “follow” the conversation.

    What should you worry about then?

    It’s becoming a refrain.  Get your page or post Keyword in *some* of these headers.  Do it naturally.  Don’t force a keyword where it doesn’t belong.  Use semantically similar keywords, which means words with similar meanings. 

    Search engines have a robust artificial intelligence.  So, use the words you would when you are talking to someone.  Always remember you are writing for the people and search engines.

    Practically speaking, artists should use keywords in there header tags that describe what one might search for when looking for that item.  Don’t forget your specific name for an item may have very low search and therefore require you to utilize a term that is broader which does receive search volume.

    Use categories and locations to start with.  So try things like “Chattanooga TN flower paintings” or “paintings of flowers” instead of more detailed descriptions.

    The aforementioned will work better and get seen more searchers eyeballs than Polka-dot with Blue and Yellow Spill Spot Dress made with re-engineered rawhide (or some super-specific name.

    URL breakdown image Domain, TLD, URL slug

    URLs for SEO

    When you create a new page or post on your website it’s important to build a URL that includes the keyword you are targeting

    For example, you could use the standard WordPress linking mechanism of https://your domain.com/?p=123 or https://yourdomain.com/2020/06/sample-post/.

    But it’s far better for SEO to use a something like https://yourdomain.com/seo-for-artists/This latter allows you to have your keyword in your URL, which studies have shown to help your SEO.

    Off Page SEO for Artists

    Off Page SEO for Artists

    Link-related off-page factors

    Number of referring domains

    This indicator is rather simple to explain.  It is merely a count of the number of domains (other websites) that link to your domain.  To be clear a domain is the main root path of your website. 

    For example, https://mydomain.com/some-blog-post/  in this domain the root domain is “mydomain.com”.  So you are counting how many different root domains link to you.

    There is no good number here.  It is all relative. However, as you will see below under relevancy it’s important to have domains that are related to your area of interst.

    Link Authority picture

    Link authority

    Dofollow vs. “Nofollow” Links

    In the technical SEO space, there is an HTML coding mechanism that essentially states how someone is linking to another site.  This has been complicated in recent years by a few other technical SEO linking tags, but I’m going to make this simple for my artist friends.

    In the HTML world, it looks like a snippet of code or tag like rel=”nofollow”.  There is also code nomenclature like UGC and Sponsored links too.  I wouldn’t worry much about these.  You want Dofollow links on your site. Why?

    Google doesn’t transfer PageRank across nofollow links (i.e., links with a rel=“nofollow” tag), so it pays to prioritize the building of followed (dofollow) links.  Simply put you want to gain or get dofollow links because this will pass more authority to your site.

    Just fill out the form below to get our FREE SEO Checklist

      I should note there is still value in nofollow links.  It can help with referral traffic.  Some large website providers and forums will “nofollow” all links, but the value of having a link on these sites overshadows this fact as far as the volume of traffic you get from that referral.

      If you are getting links naturally or building natural looking links you will not have any control over the type of relationship your link has so it’s better to relax and not stress over this point.

      Anchor Text example

      Anchor text

      The anchor text is the clickable visible part of a link.  So if there’s a link that says Green Thoughts Consulting then “Green Thoughts Consulting” is the anchor text.  If the link reads SEO for Artists then “SEO for Artists” is the anchor text.  Note that the link is the same in both cases. 

      Anchor text is all about the text people see when they click the link.

      One very important note.  You need natural anchor text throughout all your links.

      Why because an “abnormal” anchor text profile is consistent with poor SEO practices that are called “Black Hat SEO” and can lead to a Google penalty on your site or de-indexation.  De-indexation means Google no longer shows your site at all. It’s a death knell for SEO.

      It’s really all about the percentage at which types of anchor text occur. So what percentages do you want as artists?

      Generally speaking, the anchor text should be your Brand or website address.

      At the end of the day, you don’t have a lot of control over this.  Others are linking to you as they wish and you don’t control those links. 

      Paying for links or having agencies build links for your site that are highly phrase, partial or exact is a dangerous business practice that will result in a Google Penalty.  Let it happen naturally.

      Here’s the break down recommended by myself and Gotch SEO.

      Here’s a great blog post on Anchor Text from Gotch SEO if this is a subject you enjoy check it out.

      Relevance

      I mentioned relevancy above and it’s really important to any site.  When people link to you they are effectively voting that your site is the best ideal of what they are looking to link to because if it wasn’t they would link elsewhere.

      However, getting votes that are more relevant to your niche or subject is huge. Relevant links will move the SEO needle more for your site.

      Here’s an example: if you have a site that focuses on sculptures and you live in Dallas Texas.  Your relevancy would boost the most by getting links from sites that are art-related, sculpture related, fine art related, gallery related, art collector related etcetera.

      However, if that same site had links from restaurants, engineering websites, business websites or sports websites the relevancy would be much lower.  You want links from relevant niches.

      NAP for SEO name address phone number

      Non-link-related off-page factors

      NAP citations

      NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone.  These are usually directories on the internet or forums that have lists of people in the industry

      Citations of this sort are one of the top local SEO ranking factors and are very important if your business is trying to get clients in a specific area or region.

      It’s also important that your NAP information is as consistent as possible between citations, as this allows Google to effectively tie those citations together as part of your online profile. Local and area service businesses underestimate this issue with divergent NAP information.  It’s very important.

      You should have this on your contact page or in the footer too.  Check out a post on where you can post general submissions of NAP.

      Free Search Engine Optimization Checklist below. Just fill out the form.

        Brand mentions

        There is little mystery here it simply means you get bonus points in the rankings when your art or name (read “brand”) is mentioned.  This mentioning can be an actual link (hyperlink) to your website or an unlinked mention.

        For example:

        Linked: John Doe Art is having a sale this week. 

        Unlinked: John Doe Art is having a sale this week.

        So, you want to be on social media and forums so you can get mentioned by other brands.  Being mentioned by others is looked at as a vote by Google.

        Some examples of ways to get mentions include: get on podcasts, other video creators YouTube channel, guest post on other blogs, social media likes, shares, created posts from others about you.  The list can go on and on but the idea is to get your brand and name out there.

        Google my business image

        Google My Business

        If you are in business you MUST have a Google My Business page.  You can build one easily.  The optimization of a GMB page is a subject in and of itself that you can read about here, however, it will benefit small local businesses the most.  But just because it benefits local doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

        It allows you to have a “service area” this area can effectively be the USA or a State you sell in primarily.  You should go set one up today if you don’t have one but remember the NAP (name, address, phone) needs to match your website and be consistent across all platforms.

        You can set one up here

        Here’s a great guide on the subject of Google My Business by Search Engine Journal

        Google Reviews Image

        Reviews

        Another off page ranking factor that will apply to SEO for artists is that of Reviews.  Specifically, we are talking about positive reviews. There are many types of review software helpers out there but I’m not going to dive into that. If your interested check out this review of your options.

        The best practice is to get a link to Google My Business Reviews and/or Links to another site that holds reviews and add this to your new customer process.

        For example, let say Suzie Q purchases a custom tapestry from you.  When she clicks complete purchase she gets a tracking email and a receipt for her purchase.  A few days after your average delivery time and no more than approximately 14 days after purchase give or take Suzie Q needs to receive an automated request to review the artwork

        This could be a direct link to the review page with an email request.  It could also be an online survey that first asks if she is happy with the product on a scale of 1 to 5.  If Suzie Q rates you a 4 or 5 she is sent to the review link if not she is given the opportunity to email you about it.  This way you minimize the impact of negative reviews while automating the process of getting reviews.

        In my opinion, businesses should ask for reviews from customers in an automated fashion with logical forwarding based on their response as noted above.  Most if not all of your business online tasks as far as emails or interaction after purchase should be automated so you can focus on what you love creating great art.

        Wrapping Up SEO for Artists

        There are a few particulars that artists doing SEO need to keep in mind however, for the most part, SEO is SEO.  It can be a dry technical subject for some but it has a huge impact on your business.

        Download our checklist for free that will guide you step by step with a practical video walkthrough for that list.  Tackle one or two items a week and ask for help when you need it.  The most important thing is that you are making progress and creating every day.

        I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post so please post below.

        Dumbest excuse SMBs use to avoid blogging

        Content Marketing

        The Dumbest Excuse SMBs Use to Avoid Blogging

        Small and Midsized Businesses, SMB for short, are notorious for having “good reasons” not for blogging and avoiding content marketing. These excuses range from no interest in writing, not enough time in the day, no internal writing talent, lack of technical skill to build or design a blog (CMS issues). 

        While there are some legitimate excuses in the above, in the end, the need to blog or create content far outweighs the excuses put forth.  Thus I dub them dumb excuses. 

        Don’t be one of those companies.  You must create content to support your business marketing efforts. It is vital to the top end of the marketing funnel, which will then, necessarily, feed the bottom of your funnel and result in leads and paying clients.

        Marketing Funnel

        Why do you need a funnel? 

        Simply put because the excuses will cost you money or at least leave it on the table.  It’s short-sighted at this point and lacks a nuanced understanding of Search Engine Optimization and it’s the deep relationship to content

        In this post, I’ll be shedding light on the “mother of non-blogging excuses”… not enough time.

        The Mother of Non-Blogging Excuses

        There is a lot that can be said regarding the lack of time.  As an SMB owner, I am always short on time and therefore I must outsource particular tasks or multiple myself.  Specifically, this should be done in an area of need that is NOT my expertise. Let others deal with the stuff you don’t love.

        Example:

        You are an accountant and you need good content regularly posted on your blog to move people to signup so that they can get into your nurture sequences so that you can book a Zoom chat or call with them so that you can close that sale. 

        By the way, you really need to build a sales funnel that can do the above. If you don’t have one or understand please make this a priority and book a free call with me and let me help you with your marketing funnel.

        That being said you must make time for the activity of blogging and creating content. 

        In reading back over this during the editorial phase I realized… wow Jeff you sound insistent and belligerent about people blogging. I concluded that it’s only a necessity if you want to increase your leads and grow your business.

        So let’s look more closely at the inner workings of the excuse “I don’t have enough time” and in doing so uncover underlying fallacies. 

        Old School and New School

        The SMB Owners Mind- Conditioning

        Most old school SMB owners and managers I’ve run across, which is a large portion of you, have a background in direct marketing. 

        Including and often emphasizing knocking on doors, cold calls in bulk, conferences, and events, spending time sitting across from another business owner and “shaking hands”, eating together, etc.  These organizations often spend large amounts of time on these activities due to there underlying belief system about those events.

        “Today, that is known as swimming upstream, the stream being the Internet. Studies consistently demonstrate that the majority (70% or more) of the modern sales process takes place behind the scenes, meaning consumers and businesses alike are out there searching, surfing, browsing, and listening long before deciding on the products and services they want. (Think of a retail clothing or automobile customer who steadfastly avoids the sales reps until he or she has decided to try on an item or test-drive the car.)”

        Doug Rekenthaler, http://www.mpdailyfix.com/the-dumbest-excuse-smbs-use-to-avoid-blogging/  A now dead link that is the inspiration of this article.

        What this means is clear.  By the time the direct sales process actually happens the potential client is far enough down the proverbial marketing funnel that they have already made their choice as to the problem they are looking to solve and who is going to solve it

        So, you must have content online before a prospect gets to this point or you will not even be in the discussion.  Namely, blogging and providing a newsletter or such via email allows your prospects to get to know you over time, which builds trust and develops a sense of relationship

        "I don't have time"

        Who has the Time to do this work?

        Everyone has the time. It’s about priorities. Let’s be honest if you are outsourcing this task it’s about money not time.

        Plus if you aren’t creating content for the top of your marketing funnel you will need to figure out a way to reach out to prospects cold and take your chances with that method, by the way, your odds will be poor in that regard. 

        The question is who has time to do all this content work, build nurture sequences before you get on a sales call?

        a better way is always available
        Things change, technology moves, so should your marketing.

        A Better Way to Get Leads and Clients

        I call this the speak when spoken to method. P.s. it’s not really “my method”.

        My experience is that SMB owners, executives, and entrepreneurs like yourself tend to be evangelists and outspoken about their brand.  Owners and the like love sales pitches, cold calling, and giving sales presentations. 

        The extrovert in them is excited by the whole experience.  The company’s content production aside from sales presentations, pitches, et al is limited to the proposals and closing contracts at the bottom of the funnel. 

        Nowadays prospects educate themselves online by reading articles and blog posts before these sales pitches and calls, even get close. 

        They want to read about your company and they want to see your expertise demonstrated. Further, they will compare your content to your competitors.  Once potential clients go through this “getting to know you” or “reading you” then and only then will they allow you the privilege of being heard.

        In other words, the old way of doing marketing and sales has been turned around and SMBs that are looking for leads and sales will only find them if they have content on the web via blog posts or articles that feed the top of the marketing funnel.  This in turn will feed your sales cycle and create an environment of hot leads rather than cold

        If I’m being honest and blunt ignoring this advice will doom you and at the very least triple or more your cost to acquire each lead.

        slow and stead marketing path wins the race

        The Slow and Steady Marketing Path

        I never like to speak in generalities, but the average SMB manager, owner, startup, entrepreneur I run into are addicted to instant gratification. They love the excitement of the lunch meet and greet with a handshake and commitment at the end

        The thrill of closing the deal themselves, having the “right” answers for each objection.  Being able to close the deal is what makes most tick.

        The problem with creating content is that it takes time to see results. You will not get instant gratification.  Rather, it will take time to build the right audience, and when I say time I mean months.  Think months of blogging. 

        This lack of instant gratification makes the aforementioned SMB owner feel it is a waste of time or not worth the energy.

        As an analogy I’ve read in the past blogging is like farming while direct marketing is like hunting.  These are two different modes of being. Blogging is like sowing seed that will be reaped in the future, read as months, on the other hand, the old way, direct marketing, is going in for the kill repeated daily.

        The issue isn’t necessarily the method, content marketing (blogging), or direct marketing. The analogy of a sower and hunter may seem harsh, but the issue underlying all of this is that the same measuring stick is being used for both methods.

        In doing so, using the same measuring stick, you are not comparing apples to apples.  It’s more like apples to steak.

        How do we measure the effectiveness of these two sales methods? That isn’t really the point of this discussion but rather to discuss the relationship of the method to time and getting leads.

        Time is on your side with Content Marketing

        Content Creation Puts Time on Your Side

        You could discuss the pros and cons of the way things are now vs how they once were.  However, digital marketing, or current marketing, isn’t like the old way of marketing.  Most of the underlying principles are the same no doubt but the game has changed overall. 

        This is actually a good thing.  As an SMB creating content, blogging, or writing articles, allows you to put yourself out there in front of potential clients

        If you just have a homepage, about page, services page, the standard business brochure website, then you will not get “seen” in the search rankings. Further, you will be competing against the big boys that rank for these terms too. 

        Blogging, articles, and content creation will give your organization the opportunity to expose potential clients to more of you and to be “seen” in their searches.

        Regular content creation will create longtail keywords that you rank for around a topic and build relevancy and authority in your space (if you don’t know about longtail keywords ask me about it). Meaning you will get seen more often and in more searches.

        Content creation will give you the control you would otherwise not have.  By nurturing an audience that reads your stuff you will get to understand your clients. Further, your strengths and weaknesses as seen by them will become clear. Your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses will become clear through gaps in there content creation.

        In the end, you will create a relationship with readers. Which will in turn provide the information future clients need to make you the only real solution for their problem.

        Also, the sales cycle is shorter with content marketing because these potential clients have already journeyed down the funnel. They are now sure you are the right choice for them when they pick up the phone or directly book a Zoom.  By the time the buyer gets there they are pre-qualified.

        This process is now easier.  You can call a pre-qualified lead and close faster.

        In order to get there, you must create content that answers specific questions that your potential clients have to solve their problems. 

        Doing so in a steady and nuanced way, listening to what these prospects and clients say about the problem, informing them of solutions, and essentially guiding them to the answer … you.