Sunday, April 28, 2013

5 Steps for Bicycle Shop SEO and Social Media to Create Increased Profits

Effective Use of Internet Marketing Can Dramatically Improve Bicycle Shop Sales and Profits

"I just don't have the time or the energy to stay on top of Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Linkedin.  I haven't ever seen a Pinterest site.  My kids talk about Instagram and Tumblr, but I have no idea how or why I should use them in my business.  Write a blog?  You must be kidding.  Do some videos?  I'm sure they are effective, but I wouldn't know where to start.  My SmartEtailing website seems just about right, and I do try to update it once a month or so.  SEO on the site?  No idea!"

Does that sound like your bike shop?  If yes, then you are not alone.  That is exactly how most bike shop owners view their internet marketing effort, assuming they think about it at all.  In fact, unless you are in the minority, you don't really spend much time thinking about other elements of marketing that have nothing to do with the internet like:
  • Store signage
  • Events
  • Clinics and rides from the store
  • Local advertising on radio, mail, newspapers, television
  • Newsletters 
Fortunately, business has been ok during the recession for bike shops.  Some of your competition closed down.  That helped.  The gas prices have brought more folks through the door to try a bit more commuting.  And the middle-age white guy phenomenon has really been a help with larger ticket sales.

But you do have this nagging feeling.  What if gas prices stabilize or even come down?  Good for the country, but not so much for me.  What if those middle-age white guys find a new hobby?  What if a competitor opens up in my area and takes 20% or more of my business?

You Can Start to Build a Powerful Internet Presence Now to Create Long Term Business for Any Economy and any Competitive Problem

Step 1.  Create 5 YouTube Videos Per Month - It doesn't take more than 2 hours to shoot them, and another 5 hours to edit.  Set up an employee or a neighbor kid to do the editing.  This will be your foundation stone in the internet effort.

Step 2.  Set up a blog as a subdomain of your website.  I suggest you use Blogger, as it is much easier to use than WordPress.  Do three posts per week.  Use the videos as one of those three posts.  Embed the video and write a short paragraph or two to tease the video.  Write about simple repairs, new products, review a bike, advertise and promote services and deals.

Step 3.  Set up Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and Pinterest accounts.  It should take you about 5 hours each to set these up and make them look nice.  Do you know someone who likes doing this sort of thing.  Pay them.  Promote your YouTube Videos and blog posts on these sites.  It will take you about 15 minutes a day to put something up on each site.

Step 4.  Gather thousands of emails.  Use every method you can think of to gather emails.  Send out one email blast per month or two or even three during Summer.  Promote your social media sites and talk about store events.  Have something on sale every month in the email blast. 

Step 5.  Set Your Store Up and Claim Your Listings Everywhere Online.  Google Place, Google+ Local, City Search, Yelp, Hot Frog,, etc.  The details of how to do some of this can be found in my book, "Principles of Bicycle Retailing for the Internet Age."  You can find it at for $49.95 or through J & B or the NBDA.

That's it.  At least for the Internet side.  Easy!  But I have one more secret to share with you.  This one is the most important of all.  You will be SHOCKED when I reveal the truth about your future internet effort.  Ready?   Scroll down.

Your not going to do any of those.  Maybe Facebook.  But a year from now you'll be scratching your head thinking you put a lot of time into Facebook for no return.  You should do all of the above.  I can give you testimonial after testimonial of how this is working for bike shops.  I have bike shop clients who are getting 1000 unique visitors per day to their YouTube videos, 60 unique visitors per day to their blogs, and 100's of impressions per day on their Google Places.

Here is an alternative solution that you can try.  Hire Randy Kirk & Associates.  We'll do all of the above for you.  And bicycle industry clients get a special deal.  You see, we charge everyone else $975 a month for these services.  But I have a soft spot for the bike dealers.  I've made my living selling you guys for the last 40 years.  So, you get a deal.  Single shops are only $750 a month.

Call me right now!   310-910-1848.  You won't get a clerk or a salesman.  Just me.  I only work with a maximum of 10 bike dealers at a time.  Due to a financial setback unrelated to their business, one of my shops had to drop out.  They were ahead 12.5% year to date.  So I have an opening.  If I can't take you now, I can put you on a waiting list.  Don't wait.  Call now.  We still have time to impact the 2013 season.

P.S.  If your store is in trouble, or even if you aren't making at least $100,000 a year for yourself and your family, I can help.  I really like these types of situations and have helped several shops to solid profits above six figures.

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