Building Brand Awareness

Making the most of the Web to let consumers know you are in business

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Small businesses have an identity problem. Not enough customers know they even exist. The average small business has about a 7% rate of brand awareness. So, basically only seven out of every 100 potential customers who are looking for the services your business supplies know who you are. To reach that other 93%, many entrepreneurs are turning to e-mail marketing because it is cheap, easy to execute, and simple to track in terms of its effectiveness.

Of course, therein lies the problem. E-mail is so easy and cheap that everybody uses it, filling up inboxes to the point of insanity. As you’re looking at your inbox, you’ll probably agree that most of it is unsolicited, junk, or unsolicited junk.

Various studies estimate as much as 75% of e-mail is perceived by recipients as one of those three categories, leaving them overwhelmed and with a sense of helplessness—present company included, as I delete at least 40 unsolicited e-mails daily. No doubt many of these are from businesses trying to sell me something when I’m not ready to buy, or convince me to attend a workshop/seminar/networking mixer/fill-in-the-blank. Why else would e-mail response rates be so low?

Although it sounds like it, I haven’t come to bury e-mail. But I don’t want to be buried by it either. E-mail still serves as one of the best ways to interact with people with whom you have existing relationships or want to build new business relationships.

The real question is how well an e-mail message hits the target. The answer: Not enough of it. That’s why it’s really important to understand how Really Simple Syndication (RSS) can help you move beyond that 7% brand awareness number.

RSS is a family of Web feed formats that can be used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news features, and podcasts. An RSS document (which is called a “Web feed” or “channel”) contains either a summary of content from an associated Website or the full text. In short, RSS makes it easy for the content you create (blogs, podcasts, etc.) to be distributed and subscribed to all over the Web. It also makes it easier for you to consume content you like, the way you want.
Using free services like Google Reader or Bloglines, you can subscribe to your favorite site’s RSS feeds. Or you can customize your iGoogle or Yahoo! home pages to subscribe to your favorite blogs and Websites.

Just like any other piece of content, this means that others can easily subscribe to your blog on their customized home page or feed reader. All you have to do is create a blog entry, and because of RSS, it can automatically show up in different formats without any extra work. It can also be syndicated to Web pages. People can even mash-up your blog’s feed with others they read using a service like MySyndicaat.

In addition, with the help of RSS search engines, you can make your content available for those looking for the kind of information you provide, allowing

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    Great information. The point system was fixed, but something went awry this morning – no points for logging in or post to FB. Still, very useful tips. I’m really enjoying these vids as they are short, to the point and packed with info.

    • Jerome Espy

      I agree. I love the information, but I’m frustrated by the glitches in the recording and points system.

      • Infinitehi4

        Several of us seems to have been shortened on our points and it’s sad but I take the information as a great substitute.  In setting up a non-profit I wondered about listening to these videos but now I am grateful I did.  It helped me to realized that an exempt organization is a business as well.  This same information is applicable for IHI.

        • Jerome Espy

          Great points. This is applicable for any company or non profit.


          I run a non-profit as well and to not treat it as a business would be a HUGE mistake. Some of the biggest businesses are non-profits i.e. Blue Cross/Blue Shield, YMCA, and others.

  • Jorge

    As always Melinda, great advise. Thanks!

  • Favort2

    Very useful information for growing my business. These are great tips I can use. Thanks Melinda !!!

  • GGreen

    Thank you Melinda, Starting to put these tips into action

  • Elaine Jackson

    Melinda great tips. But if one’s business is suffering  — the model seen is not one that will make other jump in with both feet.
    I am also thinking that what I look at as success and be seen differently by others.
    I am somewhat an overachiever so I dream big but keep missing the mark.
    This forum is a great supplement to other sources of help I am getting.
    Here is a flower from my garden to get your week started.
    Elaine Jackson, PMP

  • Elaine Jackson

    To take my training business internationally I may have to disclose the variations in income. Because of the behind whipping the economy has delivered to me — the books do not look good.In my industry even the huge trainers are dropping their prices.  Total madness.  Someone from another country offered PMP training for $30 — going cost for this training is about $1,200.  What was a shocking eyeopener for me.
    May family complains that I should hold firm and not change my prices.
    Well they had lobster last week and did not complain.Any suggestions.

  • Very helpful for those who never thought about that. Many folks expand but don’t stop to weigh out everything.

  • Starlyn Priest

    Great tips Melinda! Thank you for the helpful information.

  • I can use the last solution towards building a branch in my business

  • Kallen

    Great info.

  • Jerome Espy

    Great info. Growth and timing are key.

  • Great info.

    • Infinitehi4

      And it was great to hear it’s a good idea to expand business onto the internet.  Awesome idea….

  • Askmysecretary

    This is the area I am striving hard to work on. Great tips!!!

  • Lucubrate75

    Thanks Small Biz Lady: I want  to grow my business by licensing my trademark, any advice on what steps I may take?

  • Sandra Butler

    Expand globally but do your homework..

  • Sandra Butler

    Growth open another business expand globally

  • Sandra Butler

    Growth open another business expand globally

  • Sandra Butler

    Expand on the internet……

  • Sandra Butler

    Expand on the internet……

    • I agree Sandra! Its is a sure way to market your business and grow. 

  • Hope Randall

    Expanding globally is what I would like to get more information on

  • Vettiej

    There is no video visible to allow me to watch today’s video. Wow. How have those people been able to get 15,000+points? I guess it is like life. No one said it was going to be fair. Just that it is going to be. I’m trying not to let his depress me. Maybe this is a social experiment

  • Welcome back Ms. Melinda! I would love for you to be my mentor. Thanks for the great strategy tips on growing our business!!

  • I was considering using the deal sites for my business but was hesitant because of the increased volume.  I think I am ready to handle the demand.  

  • The internet has a been a great resource since I rebranded My Dessert Bar.  I have had a lot of success.  the next level for me is the deal sites. 

  • Eugenewjr

    Franchising or licensing is the best way to go to take your business to the next level.

  • David

    Franchising your business is always the ultimate goal.

  • Mrazq1

    Offer my business as a franchise…..Hmmm

  • Ransford

    Good advice for the goods industry. I’m in the service industry and this information is not suitable for me.

  • Daks. J

    Growth is very important and growing according to the capability and resources is very important too.

  • Kristina Nelson

    Franchising is a great way to go and if you have the right product it doesn’t matter if its product or service you can still do it.

  • Innovative thought process. Opens possibilities with the internet. 

  • Never thought about franchising…

  • Ulyssescoleman1950

    I need help in finding funding. I also would like to talk to someone about my business plan. I have a great plan that will help my community. I’m a sociology major and I want to help young and old in the black community learn how Network with social programs.  

    • Infinitehi4

      Much information is available on the Small Business Admistration (  Hope this helps


      You should Try Score or a local Small Business Development Center. Also, I am looking into some projects for my local community. You should connect with me on Facebook  /JSCMGMT or via email.

  • Ulyssescoleman1950

    I’am looking for people to invest in my plan on opening a comedy club. That during the day will act as a community center to help people learn how read and write and use a computer.

  • Donna

    Great advice and tools for growth.

  • natalie johnson

    “Tell people how to hire you on your website.”  EXCELLENT POINT!  WOW – simple and easy to do.

  • Does anyone know an inexpensive web builder?

  • Tettcommunitydevelopment

    very interesting…. I’m still in the start-up stage and that was great information

  • Makeithappentaylor

    I agree with this 100% and what a great course

  • Zurriane

    Good infomation

  • Remygirlsinc

    Great Advice, never thought about franchising

  • check 

  • Sbtey5

    Hit the like button before watching the video.  After numerous times of trying to find out what could be wrong with their system.  After liking the video I noticed I was awarded points.  Not happy that it took me at least 4 times watching each video to find some of this information out

  • So true! A useful but effective website will enhance your credibility, your business image and make it easy for others to do business with you.

  • Bobby

    Know your market and be able to systematize your business.

  • Jonathanpope71

    The internet has shown to be a valuable piece to my business.

  • Octavia

    Marketing on the internet is a great way to build a mailing list. Great video!!

  • Velma

    This is great, because in the future I would like to live in a different state than where my original business was set up!

  • Devonne

    Thank you for this video, I think global expansion and expand on the internet are important.

  • michael125

    I enjoyed this workshop.