Manuel, The Palm Tree Man

Manuel, the palm tree man is a figment of my imagination, but if you run a small business, could he be you?

1990
Manuel started his palm tree doctor business. It’s a good one to be in on this island, as there are hundreds of thousands of palm trees here and almost everyone has at least one in their garden. Manuel learned how to diagnose problems, and how to “shave” the trees so that they look spectacular.

He started off by advertising in the local magazines, putting posters up in friendly shops and dropping hundreds of leaflets into people’s letter boxes. All his business was in his own village, but he made a living.

2000
Manuel heard about the web, and decided he needed a website. He paid what seemed a lot of money to a web designer who created an online version of his leaflet. It didn’t work.
His business was doing well though – he now had a young lad working with him, who he was training to climb the palms.

He was still leaflet dropping, using the posters and adverts, and he was getting significant business from the surrounding villages. The website was a waste of time.

2010
Manuel runs a blog, called “Palm Tree Doctor.” It’s full of helpful tips and information about how to care for your palm trees. He ranks number one on Google for “Palm trees in Lanzarote,” so he gets significant traffic and a lot of comments and questions on the site. He posts videos on the blog showing some of the techniques that he uses. He’s also active on Facebook, and to a lesser extent on Twitter, where he dispenses advice and keeps a watch out for people needing any help with their trees.

Thanks to the blog, he’s now known all over the island. In fact hardly anyone knows his real last name. He’s simply “Manuel, the palm tree man.” His business now spreads to every corner of the island, and he has 6 guys working on the trees, while he runs the office and the blog.

He doesn’t drop leaflets anymore, and he doesn’t advertise anywhere.

The clients just seem to find him.

Does your small business have a social media presence?

– Courtesy of Mike Cliffe-Jones, Blogger Extraordinaire of www.mikeslife.org

“Mike’s Life is where you can stay current with the life, thoughts, successes and failures of Mike Cliffe-Jones. Never knowingly ordinary, Mike shares as much as possible about his work as an author and blogger,  as well as his enviable lifestyle on and in the oceans around The Canary Islands.”

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