Marketing Yourself to Local Media

Remember that old Magician’s trick of blowing smoke into a giant soap bubble? The smoke swirls around but is contained within the confines of the bubble. It’s very pretty to look at and also a very restrictive environment.

Sometimes marketing your web site can seem a lot like that trick. It’s easy to find yourself swirling around in your own little world, busily trying to get a thousand things done all the while becoming somewhat oblivious to the outside world.

A wise website marketing person will occasionally take the time to look at their own site from outside of the bubble, with the assistance of outside help.

Asking an “outsider” to have a look at your site can often produce a fresh and revealing perspective. After all, you can’t be expected to think of everything. It’s the old “Can’t see the forest for the trees,” scenario. You may have looked at your pages a thousand times and never noticed for example, that your mailing address was missing, but a new pair of eyes may spot it right away.

Even the best attempts by owners and webmasters (including very large corporations) to convey simple messages, often fall short of the goal. Sometimes the most important messages you try to convey may be getting lost. The good news is, this is fixable, but first you have to know where to look.

Go Ask Aunt Rhody.

Find several people who know absolutely nothing about your business and who have preferably -never- seen your site before. The less they know about you or your site the better. It’s called a focus group. Advertisers do it all the time to test new products. So, how do you like our new prune and onion flavored ice cream? Hmmmm? Thought so, BUT… It’s a darn good thing we asked before we spent millions on the marketing.

Ask them to report on some basic answers to basic questions, such as… What is my site about?… What am I selling? Remember… Forest and trees. Of course it’s obvious to you what you are selling, but it may not be as obvious to others at first glance. Is the buying process simple or too complex? Would you feel comfortable purchasing from me? Too busy? Too confusing? Wrong colors? Do I have too much information? Too little? Why? Why not?

Fresh eyes can also be of great benefit by coming up with new ideas to help you market your site. “Well I would have liked to see a coupon on there.” Ding! Your light bulb goes on.

Go seek some fresh perspective. There’s a big world out there beyond your bubble and only those looking in from the outside will be able to help you spot what’s missing.