Why Mom and Pop Shops Should be Marketing in the Digital World
DIY Sprocket Solutions
This is an update to "’Be Connected” dated 12/19/2012.
Most people who are reading this post are doing several other things at once. You’re checking your email, watching Netflix, you’re surfing the web, you might actually be getting a bit of work done. You are connected. This article goes out to all outside of this virtual world, each person who might be a little less than connected.
The other night I walked into a music store. This was not a Guitar Center. It was a tiny little mom and pop shop smack dab in the middle of our tiny corn town that has probably been around for about 50 years. That was my guess at least. This place has actually been around about 40 years –I discovered that tid bit after a bit of googling. They have no website, no social media presence; heck, they don’t even have a cash register. I was in a hurry, but I forgot about that at the time. When you walk in, the smell hits you –wood from the guitars and the worn leather straps. It just felt personal. The owner spent 15 minutes with me trying to help me decide what kind of guitar strings to buy. There were no prices up, but I didn’t even ask. I was entranced with the way he talked to me. He wasn’t pushing me to buy, he wasn’t overly friendly (smiling too much and making weird small talk), he was helping me. When he came out and said, “What can I help you with?” He really meant it. When I left that store, I probably paid a few dollars more than I would have at some other store. I spent more time in the store than I would have in my normal rush. On this night though, I felt like my money was well spent. I felt like he knew what he was doing and that there wouldn’t be any complaints with the product. I was right.
When I got home and looked up his business online and my suspicions were correct. He’s not online. He doesn’t have a website. He doesn’t have any sort of social media. Normally I’d think, “Let’s call him up and get him a website and some marketing plans!” But, it’s more than that, there are some people in this world that need a website to help their business grow. There are others that are completely content with the way that their business is. Sometimes still though, you have such a great experience at a place that you want to share it. You’d recommend it to anyone you know. We need more places like that in the world. This was one of those places. I don’t know that this man needs an online presence for more business, but I know that the world needs to be connected with the kind of people and businesses that know as much as this man did. He is an expert and a professional. Being connected online in this age can still mean connecting quality and expertise rather than selling for the sake of selling.
So, what am I getting at? If you know one of these businesses, these genuine know-what-they’re-doing, slow-down-to-help-you-out, make-you-feel-like-you’re-the-only-customer-in-the-world businesses. Print this out! Give it to them! Don’t email them, they probably don’t check their email. Share these spaces with the world and let them know that an online presence can be valuable to them as well. It’s not just about getting your product out there; it’s about getting yourself out there as well. Be connected.