I found Laura Roeder on http://www.twitter.com/ She is a follower of Chris Brogan, so I figured she’d be someone I want to follow. I was right! Laura is the principal at Roeder Studios and she sat down for an interview with me.
Hi Laura! Tell us a little about Roeder Studios please.
Roeder Studios specializes in what we call “digital publicity”, helping individuals and businesses promote and market themselves using the web. We take a holistic look at your entire web presence which goes way beyond your website to include social networking activities, 3rd-party reviews, and online press. Our “sweet spot” is helping you to translate your core mission to an to an online strategy for maximum reach and impact.
What kind of services do you recommend for small, brick and mortar businesses?
These days the internet has replaced the yellow pages. So when people are searching for a tire shop they turn to the web. One tire shop may have a website with operating hours, directions, and a service list with pricing. They may have also used social media to encouraged their customers to write reviews of the shop, so web browsers can read real reviews from happy customers. There may be another tire shop with no web presence. Which will the customer choose?
Why would a customer spend their own time researching a tire shop with no information available online, when they have all they need to know to head to the competitor? This example illustrates why EVERY business no matter what the type needs at minimum a basic website. Beyond that, small businesses can use social media to spread their message and ensure that there is more positive information about them on the web than their local competition.
How did you get interested in this kind of work?
I was an early adopter of the internet and it has always fascinated me – its just incredible that we get to live in a time where new technology is revolutionizing the world we live in every day! The web is a powerful tool with the ability to spread a message to millions around the world instantly. However many people find the whole thing intimidating and confusing, and it does not have to be! I love to help people bridge the gap by showing them how the web can easily be used to further the core value of their business.
Would you tell us a little about yourself?
I live a block away from the beach in beautiful Venice, California! I’m an odd duck Californian because I rarely drive, I love just taking walks and bike rides around Venice and Santa Monica. I recently moved here from Chicago so the sunshine every day is still a novelty to me!
What two tips would you give the person just developing an online presence?
1. Craft your messaging then keep it consistent across your online presence. Many people sign up for the “hottest thing” (right now facebook) without any thought as to how it will further their marketing message. Write down you mission, tagline, core services, etc and make sure that you are sending a consistent message with all your online activity.
2. Your website is the core of your online presence, and nowadays almost 100% of your prospects check out your website before they initially contact you. An unnatractive website that is difficult to use is like showing up to a business meeting in rumpled pajamas! Your website matters, make sure that it represents your business in a way that makes you proud to show it off.
How can social networking/media enhance my bottom line?
Great question! One way that social media enhances your bottom line is by giving clients a way to know, like, and trust you before you ever meet. You’ve probably heard the old axiom that we do business with those that we know, like, and trust. Social media is a great way to accelerate that process. Before the web, we had to have several phone or face-to-face meetings with someone before we could establish a relationship. If you use social media well you will start to find clients approaching you because they have already gotten to know, like, and trust you via the web.