Owning your own small business can be rewarding and difficult at the same time. I have found that most business owners and entrepreneurs are always searching for small business marketing ideas that they can implement easily and within a small budget.
Marketing any small business always has its challenges as many owners are so busy working IN their business, that they seem to have no or little time to work ON their business. Yet, marketing is a vital process of obtaining new clients and delivering enough products and/or services to remain financially viable.
Having coached thousands of business professionals and entrepreneurs over 20+ years, I know that what is needed are small business marketing ideas. While there are many ideas floating around, what are needed are those that we can implement with results. One need to seek follow these ABC’s:
Marketing Is Not An “Expense”
The biggest false idea that literally cripples more business people is that marketing is an “expense”. Many a CPA will argue my statement, pointing to ledgers and complicated textbooks to prove their point. I am not talking about accounting, but a mind-set. Business people tend to cut expenses in a knee-jerk reaction when they encounter financial strain. Yet, cutting back on your marketing efforts is the last thing you should be doing. Smart promotion is your best path out of financial doom.
The key with small business marketing is to be proactive and consistent. Let me reiterate these two points again as this not idle advice. Being proactive is the opposite of worrying and blaming the economy or your competition. Lack of consistency is where 95% of small business marketing efforts fail.
Worriers get ulcers. Marketers get clients.
7 Small Business Marketing Ideas That Are Highly Effective
Idea No. 1 – Email marketing is your most basic online marketing activity. It has the best ROI over any social media. Email once a week. Gather more identities, ethically, and send them surveys, offers and interesting news. I have helped many businesses in increasing their sales by just having them do email consistently
Idea No. 2 – Use only the social media platforms that makes sense to you. You do not need to be on 20 social media channels throughout the day. You would be much better off engaging in one really well than frustrating yourself by trying many. Ask people to follow you via online means, as well as your offline activities. Feature your social channels on all your printed material.
Idea No. 3 – Ask for referrals and reviews. Reviews can not only show up on Yelp, but can then be further shared through email, on your website and posted on other social media channels. I know one doctor who posts his great Yelp reviews on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The key to generating more referrals is give your clients something to refer your brand, like a gift card, a coupon or a special offer.
Idea No 4 – Yes, you need to be blogging. If you cannot do this, then pay someone to do it for you. There are plenty of retired people in your area that are accomplished writers that would love to earn some extra cash. A great blogger can be your “secret weapon” and most effective online lead generation strategy. Inbound marketing can only be successful to the degree that you are generating content.
Idea No. 5 – Content marketing makes sense when you find your story. Most business people fail to find the story within their brand. Once they do, the ideas abound on what to write about, what videos to make and even what type of events they can put on. People have been telling stories for ten’s of thousands of years. I doubt that this will change soon.
Idea No. 6 – List your business with local directories. Versus doing it all yourself, contact a service (like me) who can do it for you in a matter of days. Directories like Yelp, Manta and MerchantCircle are effective ways to generate powerful, local marketing possibilities.
Idea No. 7 – Google+ Local. You need to claim your own page for your business. As I often tell my clients, “Don’t be frugal with the Google”. Once you have your Google+ page up for your business, get people to write reviews. This will help increase its ranking over time.
These are just a few of the small business marketing ideas that I help my clients to implement to generate higher sales and profits. If you need assistance, feel free to contact me.