In the last 4 ½ years, I have found two common obstacles that small business owners face when looking to develop an effective internet marketing strategy. The first is lack of time to devote to developing a plan. The second is the lack of skill necessary to put a real strategy together that produces more targeted traffic to the website and conversions of website visitors into buyers. They may be implementing numbers of things, but there's no connectedness to all of the individual pieces. If that describes your situation, here are three things that will move you into the right direction.

One - Give Your Prospects a REAL Reason to Do Business with You

I recently started consulting with a small business owner who does web and graphic design. After looking at and evaluating thousands of websites, I immediately recognized that his design skills make him an ‘A Player’ in the industry. When asking him the question, "Why should someone do business with you (instead of your competitors)?", he answered, "because of quality service". BONG!!!...wrong answer.

I went on to explain that “quality” is too vague to mean anything to a discerning prospect. He needed to develop a unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is a statement that tells the marketplace who you are and why people should do business with you because of the unique value that you deliver in comparison to your competitors. The USP will take into consideration the real need in the marketplace (from doing some market research), and offer a compelling benefit to the prospect or existing customer that persuades them to either inquire for more information, or to make a decision to buy right then. The most important thing about the USP is not to be caught without one.

Two - Communicate Your Unique Value Every Chance You Get

After developing your USP, then you must weave that message into every form of marketing and advertising that you do. Every touch point where prospects (and existing customers) are contacting you is an opportunity to remind them why they did business with you, and why they should continue doing business with you. Just because someone did business with you yesterday does not guarantee that they won’t go window shopping tomorrow with your competitor. The taglines on your website and your email signatures are great places to reinforce your message as it relates to your internet marketing strategy.

To insulate yourself from losing business to those who are courting your customers, you have to build a relationship with them. Learn as much about them as you can. The right thing to do is to keep your value proposition in front of existing customers as much as possible without becoming a nuisance. This is why you should create offers that they would be interested in based upon their buying history. One of the most frequently ways that small business owners leave money on the table is by not having a plan to market to existing customers. Remember, the second, third and fourth sale are always easier to get than the first one.

Three - Build and Motivate a Team of People Who are Committed to Your Vision and Goals

When working with a client, I examine to see if the team is on the same page when it comes to the value proposition. Does the team agree on what the USP is? Is everyone communicating the same message on a consistent basis? With the internet marketing strategy, is that message prominently reflected on the website? Do any online ads reflect the USP? Has the team been incentivized to learn, embrace, and communicate the USP? These are just a few of the questions that will give evidence to whether or not the business owner is bringing every dollar possible to the bottom line. If not, money is being left on the table, or going into the pocket of the competitor who has build a more tightly run organization.

Author's Bio: 

Ramon E. Dees, marketing coach/consultant of is passionate about helping others to realize their dreams, and learning how to marketing their small businesses more effectively. Ramon specializes in helping small business CEOs and independent professionals to increase gross profits 25-100% in a 48-90 day period. He would love to answer your marketing questions regarding how to develop an internet marketing strategy. Simply go to and submit your question. Answers will be provided via email and /or a live teleseminar.