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Small Hometown on the Internet

By Mike Smith
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005

I have been doing business as an Internet marketing professional for a few years now and one of the most important things I have realized is that people want to know the folks they do business with just like in their Hometown. Let's face it, when you go to the grocery store or even the local bank, you know the people that work there. You know their names and they at least know you by site if not by name.

It is a great feeling to be able to ask Alice what your bank balance is and have her respond with, "It's $xx.xx, Mr. Smith." Or Bill, at the Super Market, asks if he can carry out your groceries and knows your car. Some of these folks are even your friends away from their jobs. Imagine what it would be like to be in a strange town where you didn't know anyone and nobody knew, or cared, who you were. Sounds a little like the Internet, huh?

You find a site that sounds like a good deal on a product or service. You click on the credit card link and make your purchase from someone that you don't know and that has no idea who you are. Wouldn't it be nice if you had an idea who they were and if they are real people just like you? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to ask some questions and get some answers from a real person that calls you by name?

Frankly when I do business on the Internet I want to be recognized. I want the people I do business with to be there if I have a question. Autoresponders are nice and save a lot of time, but there is nothing like a personal e-mail from someone who will take time to address your questions directly to you.

Yes, the Internet is changing. It changes every day and new people are getting online every minute. People that are new to the Internet and trust what they see just like in their Hometown. This is an open door for the crooks that abound. As more and more folks get screwed, more of them get skeptical and cautious. This simply means you will have to go the extra mile if you want to make money and be successful.

We are changing the way we do business, and if you market on the Internet you had better think about doing the same. Bottom line is the folks that have been online for a while are getting cautious and the Newbies are getting taken. So what are some things we all can do?

The first thing is to get your picture, name, location and contact information right up front on your site where people can see you. Just like the local store in your Hometown.

Second, let them know that they can e-mail you with any questions they may have about your products and services. Then take the time to reply personally.

You can play with the search engines, set up autoresponders, try Safe Lists (phooey and BS), and all the other so called "hot tricks". But in the end, the best business will come from those folks that feel like they know you and can trust you. They will send the people they know because they were treated "Special".

So write an Ezine and make it personal. Offer your help. Let them know you are there for them. It may take a little longer to make the Big Bucks, and you may have to work a little harder, but in the end you will wind up on top. Take the time to create your own Hometown on the Internet. We have.

About the Author
Mike Smith, owner of CM/YMTC, has extensive experience with computers and the Internet. His latest venture offers a 4-page customizeable Ebusiness Website (NOT a mirror site!) for a remarkably small investment. (


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