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  • Dennis Tubbs

Digital marketing for small business: like drinking from the proverbial firehose

Updated: Feb 5

I have always thought that I knew what I needed to know about digital marketing for small business. I am a successful small business Coach and I've even developed websites for several clients that I think are visually pleasing and checked all the boxes for the elusive SEO results. I became adept at mimicking the digital marketing buzzwords that everyone loosely throws around to show that they are in the know about digital marketing and SEO management.


A recent experience has turned my world upside down in this area as I learned the valuable lesson (again) that "you don't know what you don't know". I should know this lesson by heart as I often cite this lesson when pitching new small business clients. It turns out that I may have been a little (or a lot) too cocky or over confident when it comes to digital marketing for small business.


I was helping a start up client vet and hire a medium sized marketing firm based in Vancouver. Throughout the process I began to understand how little I actually knew about how to design and maintain an effective small business digital marketing strategy. It was a humbling experience at first because I had given my clients the impression that I knew what I was talking about.


I quickly realized that this was an opportunity to learn something new, something very useful and add more value to my client relationships in the process. So I embarked on enduring 50+ hours of online digital marketing training. The good, the bad and the ugly (mostly good). After finishing the courses, passing the tests and becoming certified, my eyes are wide open for the first time. I see how the vast majority of small businesses don't really have a clue on the basic steps they need to take to maximize their online presence. It also happens that the basics in a digital marketing plan can be completed with a little forethought and some elbow grease and not a lot of expense.



It's time to approach a few of my clients with my mea culpa and get to work fixing my mistakes. On the bright side, there is more web traffic, more potential customers and more potential revenue at the end of this process for my clients. There is a silver lining in this story in spite of the bags under my eyes from staring at a computer screen for 50+ hours.






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