Making The Internet Work For You, Your Business & Your Town

by Joanne Steele on January 28, 2011


Rural Tourism Marketing Group WorkshopThe three questions I hear most often when talking to small business owners in rural communities, as they look at their marketing efforts is:

  1. I know I should be on the internet but where do I start?
  2. I’m on the internet. I’ve spend buckets of money, but is it really worth it?.
  3. I have a business to run! Who has the time for social media??

There is lots of help out there  – webmasters to build sites, marketers to set you up with a Facebook page, and teach you how to run it, or even do it for you.

The piece that seems to be missing is a comprehensive training that starts before you even turn your computer on.

  • A training that integrates all that you already know about marketing – you’ve been in business for a while, for heaven sakes!
  • A training that gives you the skills to make good marketing decisions in the age of engagement marketing, and continue to know exactly what you should be doing when the next new thing pops up, enticing you to “try me! Try me!”

As many of you have figured out if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, I’m a teacher. I started years ago in public elementary school, moved to parent education and then into marketing and educating small business owners in rural communities.

I’ve designed a six-hour workshop to help small business owners answer those three questions, “Making the Internet Work for You, Your Business and Your Town.”

I’ll be giving this workshop in February in Siskiyou County, California sponsored by the Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce.

In late April I’ll be giving it in seven locations in Arkansas, sponsored by the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.

The goals for the 6 hours are lofty. Participants will:

  • Have a better understanding of their town’s value as a rural tourism destination.
  • Know exactly who their customer is for their town and business, and know how to use that information to build online relationships with that customer that will lead to sales and visitors.
  • Know how marketing on the internet works
  • Know the components of an effective website, their internet homebase.
  • Know the value and marketing potential for a variety of internet  outposts such as review sites, directories, Facebook and Twitter.

And there is a nuts and bolts component as well.

  • Participants will leave the workshop knowing exactly how to interview and hire a webmaster they can afford.
  • They will have a complete website planning tool for overhauling their existing website or creating a new one.
  • They will understand how to dive into social media, becoming skilled at one platform before moving on to another.
  • They will feel confident enough about internet marketing to welcome this amazing free opportunity to reach new customers and build strong connections with existing customers.

They will be ready to jump onto the amazing internet marketing roller coaster and enjoy the ride!

If you live in Arkansas or far northern California, join us.

If you’d like for your chamber of regional economic development organization to sponsor a workshop in your area, have them contact me.

For Arkansas workshop information contact:

Shannon Roberts | Training Manager
Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center
University of Arkansas at Little Rock | College of Business
501.683.7700 l

To register for the workshop in Southern Siskiyou County on February 7th and 9th from 6pm to 9pm:

Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce
1 Paul Jarvis February 3, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Powerful copy and like Frank as one of your global followers may be interested on behalf of Ulverston in a webinar or packaged version.

2 Joanne Steele February 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

Hello Paul, Again, as I told Frank in Australia, an online version will hopefully be available by late summer. I know there is great interest in rural tourism in the UK. Perhaps you have an organization that could sponsor a number of live workshops regionally to make it cost effective to offer this wkshp live. It’s well worth it – I’m a small town specialist and love the opportunity to provide the personalized service that can only be done face to face.

3 Frank February 3, 2011 at 3:13 am

Excellent stuff. I do a few (small) sites for small business’s here in Australia. I get the work because of word of mouth and trust but need to spend a lot if time teaching them …

Is your course transportable or have you thought about packaging it up some way? ( sorry, not offering to transport you unfortunately)

4 Joanne Steele February 4, 2011 at 11:02 am

I’m working on an online version that should be ready sometime this summer. Spring here in the US has me on the road giving the workshop live. Afterward will be getting busy on the online version. Would love to come and do it live! It allows me to personalize it and give individualized help to small businesses. Perhaps there is a regional organization that could sponsor a number of locations similar to what Arkansas, US is doing…

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