Your Free Mobile Site Has A Price Tag
As a small business owner, you don’t have a lot of time and you don’t have a lot of start up capital.
You need to somehow make your dollar stretch and guard your time.
In a world of ever changing technology and consumer preference, small business owners are faced with ever increasing costs and investments.
You now need to be mobile ready as well as incorporate social media into their current marketing mix. Both making demands on your time and resources.
I manage to find tons of free tools for my online business. While they get the job done and give me relatively good results they generally take more work around and use up more time.
That’s why I would normally upgrade and pay for premium services after I have tried and found them to be good. Why?
Because nothing is really Free. If it takes too much of my time and effort to accomplish my goals then I am paying for it with time. The free version is really just for trial purpose, to test and see if I like the features and customer support. It is not meant to be used as a full-fledged tool.
There is no free lunch. Really, nothing is free. We know that although sometimes we forget.
– Do you see professionals using free blog site?
– How about free email marketing systems?
– Or free mobile sites?
– How about using a free Facebook Page instead of setting up an official blogsite with your own domain
– Free Facebook apps?
The list goes on, you don’t have to be too creative to fill a page with this.
Businesses don’t need to pay a cent for these and have things up and running relatively quickly, so why not?
Here’s why: You are trading something in return for the free service you use.
See the free mobile site above? I put that up very quickly. Literally plug and play but I will need to display the vendor’s name at the footer and promote them. And I think that is fair exchange. After all I get to use their service at zero cost. Businesses are not doing charity here so this is a win-win situation. However, if I do not want to advertise for the vendor then I could invest in a self hosted mobile website, like this one. It also allow me to brand and build my own online equity.
Google mobile and many others offer similar free mobile sites too. In those cases you do not get to keep your own domain name.
If you are using your site for casual, personal use, that is probably fine. But if you are in real business then this may not be the best option.
The same goes for using free email marketing system.
There are many of these around. But do know that with these free accounts you pay in terms of lower deliverability rate (less of your mails are actually delivered to the audience), your mails and options are limited. That could mean that you may not be achieving what you have spent time doing and your mails are not reaching your readers! What wasted time and effort!
Facebook started off as a free platform for businesses to use. It still is. But the posts’ reach to fans are now greatly reduced. Facebook reports that in general only 16% of posts are reaching the business’ fans.
Do we then whine and complain? In a way I wish things would not change but Facebook is here to make money. They generate revenue with advertisement so majority of us can still use “free” stuff.
Twitter introduced sponsored tweets quietly and there is talk that Tumblr and Foursquare are also going in the same direction. We will soon see placement for promotion of personalized offers — and I think this is fair. We cannot expect free rides and take things for granted.
So if you are on a tight budget use all the help you can get but know that you are paying for these freebies in some ways. That price tag can sometimes be even more expensive than if you were to pay for the service itself.
For example, if you have been using free sites to host your blogs and if you decide to now build your own online equity (page rank), branding and authority, that would take a lot of time, cost and effort!
So weigh your choices. Businesses will only survive if there are healthy transactions and exchange of value. Enjoy the free tools and resources and be willing to pay for premium value and services. If you are the business owner, you too would want to justify your ROI!
Perhaps we are so “pampered” that we no longer appreciate the free resources and training offered to us?
Posted by Louisa Chan
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