Sorry – it’s been a few days. I’ve been balancing my books (I’m also the book keeper – that will probably change this year also).
The hardest thing to do when you are a small consulting business is advertise. Especially if you’re NRGS and you don’t necessarily focus on one thing. I do a little bit of everything and I really need to focus on one industry. It’s a symptom of up upbringing in the GIS Community – I did a lot of things at my former job. I joked I was a McGyver of sorts at things….or as I have been told Jack-of-all-Trades and Master of none.
Advertising has always been a head-scratcher for me. I’ve joined organizations and different things all for the chance to get my name/link on a website and spread the word. The worst organization I joined was the BBB. They have a place – but it’s not in my line of work. I’ve sent out newsletters, I’ve sponsored groups, and I’ve taken out ads in magazines. I’ve done about everything I can think of to spread the word. One thing I did this last year I guess (maybe I did it in 2010) was to make my business a page on Facebook. My thought was I could blog/tweet (more on twitter next go around) and I would push it to my Facebook business page. So I spent a few minutes and did just that – set up my blog to push out through Networkedblogs. Granted – this all is a “free service”. I could pay for ads on Facebook (or Google for that matter) and start targeting consumers. What I have noticed over the last year is no one is coming from Facebook back to my business. It seems (to Me) I’m spending a lot of time worrying about it…it’s not paying off. Maybe if I actually paid for the service it would be different but the whole reason I’m talking about it is that I’m a small business. Money is tight.If I saw something from it I might pay for the service.
Facebook is a time killer. It’s killed a lot of my time. It’s great for keeping up with people. It’s great for me as a venting tool (I post some seriously silly things on my page). I think for a brick and mortar store it probably works. For people selling things online that have a targeted consumer demographic it probably works. For a guy who makes maps and and answers crazy questions about data it doesn’t work or at least it’s not working for me. In most cases Facebook is blocked at businesses and by the time a person gets home no one is going to “OMG – there is a GIS consulting company on Facebook I must call them”.
So this upcoming year I’m going to worry less about Facebook and how I am interacting with it. I’m going to give Google+ more of a go. I will still feed my blog out to Facebook – because as a small business any advertising is good advertising. What I have some to learn is that there are different levels of good advertising and for me Facebook isn’t one currently.