So there I was, chugging along, minding my own business, creating new, optimized websites, and other online marketing tactics, when someone — a potential client — asked me if, besides my SEO and online marketing services, I could fix what was broken with theirs. They didn’t want to start over. They’d paid a lot of money for their existing website and they just didn’t have a budget to start over from scratch. Would I be willing to take a peek at their existing site and make some suggestions? And perhaps fix that? Do adolescent girls whine? Do trees make noise falling in the woods even if no one’s there to hear them? Hello… yeeees!!!!!!

Then, about two months ago, another funny thing happened. There I was once more, creating websites meant to be found, fixing websites that needed optimizing, when a potential client, someone who was just leaving a corporate job in marketing and ad sales, asked me if I would ever consider coaching him in online marketing for his new venture, the dream job that he’d been fantasizing about for years, since he is a biking fanatic: an online e-commerce site selling highend bike supplies and clothing.

This guy already had a background in marketing, just not online marketing. He had time on his hands, as he was starting from the ground up, so could take on much of the heavy lifting himself, had a webmaster he was working with already, but needed a SEO coach to help teach him how to get his presence out there.

Well this was new. I’d never thought about teaching and NOT getting my hands dirty. It had just never occurred to me that someone might pay me just to pick my brain and create a marketing plan that they could execute on their own without my brilliant finger in the pie. I had to think about it. For all of 5 minutes.

Don’t be like me and waste even the 5 minutes I did. Pay attention to what folks are asking for, what is trending, rather than just what you are selling. Selling my services as a business growth coach was a natural extension of my already defined services. It made perfect sense, especially since I love teaching.

Example: if you are selling highfat ice cream in Seattle where 75 percent of the population are health fanatics and customers kept asking you for a healthy alternative, you might want to consider selling lowfat frozen yogurt as an alternative, correct?

If you had an illustrious career as a professional athlete but are now aging out (unlike Peyton Manning who just needed a new team to believe in him), look at John McEnroe for example, a new great career path for him would be either coaching, or as he’s doing now, sports announcing and commentary, using his much earned expertise.

In today’s economy, services need to be fleshed out to accommodate as many choices as possible, while still holding true to your integrity and authenticity. The ice cream shop should not be selling heart moniters; it doesn’t jive with their brand. No one would take John McCenroe seriously if he were covering baseball. An extension of your brand and what you do, a common sense adjunct service, especially if offered at a lower rate in order to accommodate various budgets, Just. Makes. Sense.

Think about the new alternatives retail now has: as compared with the pre-Internet days where sales had to rely on traffic walking through the physical door of your shop. Now retailers can have a secondary platform online to sell their merchandise, either their own e-commerce website or through an already established site like eBay or Craigslist. Specialty sites such as Etsy is a secondary platform for jewelers and crafters to sell their wares outside of a retail walk in venue. How lucky are we to have these alternatives?

Lets always be thinking about how to flesh out what we do to cover more ground, meet a need, reach out to a wider market share and make our services and wares more inviting.



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