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'Ask Suzen' Wants Your Small Business Questions

New column can help your business enter the 21st century.

Welcome to the first post of the brand new Ask Suzen column, where I’ll be answering your small business questions and helping you not only survive but also thrive in the 21st century economy.

It’s a tough business climate out there, and right here in the northeast we are feeling the pain. Ask any small business owner who isn’t selling generators.  Even the generator business has its peaks and valleys, but we are happy for them this year.

We are constantly being asked questions pertaining to marketing in general, online marketing, Search Engine Optimization (from here on in, SEO), building websites, optimizing websites, creating blogs, search engine marketing, transitioning from off to online marketing, social media for businesses, email marketing, lead generation, or just getting started.

As principal at Omaginarium and Omagine Health, I head up a marketing firm specializing in growing small businesses and medical practices by creating search engine optimized websites and blogs, implementing internet marketing and affordable SEO, increasing social media presence and addressing online reputation management.

Together with my team, we help small business owners get the most out of their online marketing investments and we can help you make sense of your small business questions.

The Patch has been nice enough to encourage this column, or forum, in an effort to create dialogue, answer questions and be a resource for the local businesses in and around the Greater Danbury area. Beginning this week, feel free to send in your marketing questions, whether they be technical or more broad based, by either emailing Suzen at Suzen@omaginarium.com, or by writing them in the comments section below each weekly Q and A, and be sure to include your website (if you have one) or your business name and we will link back to you, in our answer, hence promoting your company as well.

We are looking forward to providing usable information rich content to help you grow your business.

Carpe Diem!

Laura Cruger February 22, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Hi Suzen Could you give 3 of your "Top Tips" to help drive traffic to your website. In your years of experience and knowledge, if you had to say - if you do nothing else, do this, what would "this" be. Look forward to hearing your response. Laura Cruger, Realtor with William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty crugerandlevitt.com
Richard February 22, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Hi Suzen What would you say is the most efficient way of marketing on the internet? Richard Monastero Amtech Pest Control www.amtechct.com
Suzen Pettit February 22, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Hi Laura, Great first question to christen the column! Can really dig my heels into this one. Will be sure to answer it in next week's column as my first official post as the answer lady. Try not to be scared :)
Suzen Pettit February 22, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Hi Richard, Another great question, which I will roll into the above Q and A from Laura, as you are basically asking the same question. I'll give you a hint though, which I'll expand more on next week and that is having great content that you are consistently getting out in various formats (ie: blogs, offers on your site, email blasts, video, social media, etc.) The same message gotten out on different platforms. Go get 'em, pest guy.
Laura Cruger February 23, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I'll be waiten on the post :-) Thanks!! Laura www.crugerandlevitt.com
Mike February 23, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Suzen, as sales person who has primarily relied upon the telephone to make contacts and build relationships, I am concerned and dismayed by the increasing reliance on email. It is a great tool, but it is a poor substitute for really connecting with a person and building a realtionship for an on going business relationship. Any thoughts on ways to use the web to actually make REAL connections with people?
Tim Haas February 23, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Following up on Mike's question ... what is a solid method of translating the interest on the internet to building relationships that turn into face-to-face contact. How can relationships effectively be deepened and strengthened?
Suzen Pettit February 23, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Hi Mike and Tim, email and the internet, which includes social media really should be used as a door opener. Whenever I am contacted by someone on line, whether it be via email, through an opt-in on my website or my contact form, or through social media my goal is ALWAYS to use that as an opportunity to create a relationship offline, not remain online. Although not always feasible, when distances are an issue, my next action step is to set up a face to face consultation whether that be via skype -if meeting is not possible (like my Mexican doctor) or by me coming to their place of business...bringin' the coffee...or meeting at a coffee shop. You are right in that relationships can be enhanced online for sure, but nothing takes the place of good old fashioned face to face. Take your lead, pick up the phone and make an appointment on THEIR terms...within reason! Good questions...
Kathy Edwards Hayslett February 23, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Hi Suzen, How does the small business owner bring on advertizing to their website or blog? Kathy http://edwardshayslett.wordpress.com/
Tim Haas February 24, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Suzen ... I like your ideas and I think connecting personally and over skype is right on. When people leave their email or Facebook "like" on my page, I suppose there is no harm in following up over the same media, as long as you don't seem like a stalker. Tim Haas Financial Advisor Quantum Leap Financial, Inc. http://www.qlfi.net "Helping people learn the new rules of the financial game"
Antonio Dispensa March 14, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Suzen, We once spoke about using "Keywords" in business websites to optimize search results. Is there a place we can search for optimal keywords that we should include in our websites depending on our fields?

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