No, this post is not a shameless plug for The Small Black Business Directory (well, maybe just a little). This post is all about why it’s so important to add your business to online directories.
When you decided to start your own business, I’m sure you thought, “This is the best idea EVER! EVERYBODY is going to love this!”. It seems like all you have to do is create your business name, get a website and customers will start knocking the door down. And while I truly hope your business has experienced this type of success, chances are it didn’t happen quite like that. And that’s ok. It just means you have to do just a little more work.
In this social media age, we have plenty of free advertising outlets. Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, the list goes on and on. One free outlet that is largely overlooked is online directories. By submitting your business to an online directory, not only are potential customers finding you, but you are also giving yourself the opportunity to network with other business owners. Years ago, I started a bath and body product line, Ambreose Collection. I publicized it EVERYWHERE! I had a YouTube channel, a Facebook page, I connected with bloggers in the natural hair community and I listed Ambreose on every single directory I could find. Literally, every one I could find. When I was at work, I Google’d “online directories” and I literally went down the list and added my business to everyone one of them. It took me no more than 10 minutes to add my information before I got smart and created a standard description of my business that I just copied and pasted into each directory. My result? I began to get online orders from nearly every state in the country, even Alaska! Florida, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland. I mean, I had orders coming in from everywhere! And even though I have put Ambreose on the back burner for a minute, I still get emails and messages from my Contact Us page from people looking to purchase.
So can I say with 100% certainty where these customers came from? No, I can’t. But I can say that even if I only got one customer from those directory listings per month, it was more than enough of a return on my investment of 5-10 minutes of time.
So go ahead and get your business added to our directory, but don’t stop there. Search for other directories and add your business there as well. Spread the word about this and other directories so they have more users and more exposure for your business. You never know what the owners of the directory have planned (hint, hint) to help promote your business.
What do you think? Do you see the importance of listing your business on directories? Have you ever listed your business in any other online directories?