Our latest Project Campfire article focuses on marketing tips for small business. In this article there are 27 tips from business people all over the world. I have already learned a great deal from the tips below and I hope you will as well. Please share this post with other business owners and Entrepreneurs so we may all benefit.
Dont be afraid to find a niche
Particularly at the beginning, it is key to make sure that you have narrowed down your target market as tight as you can. Having this “niche” allows you to focus your messages for the market better and stronger as well as helping you keep any marketing spend at a minimum.
This approach will take a lot of confidence in what you are doing as the natural inclination will be to try and sell to everyone and there will be a fear that you will be missing out on opportunities due to working within a niche but if you select the right niche and work it properly you will soon see the benefits and then be able to scale quicker.
Also, by working with a smaller and defined target market you will make life easier for any possible referrers or associated who are looking to try and help find you business opportunities.
Trade a car decal with another small business owner
I have begun a new marketing idea with my clients. They trade car decals and drive around, promoting each other (different states). We just started doing this and don’t have much feed back yet. I came up with this idea two years ago but waited until I had solid clients to run the test with – folks who have good driving records, too, of course!
Shara – Mommy Perks
Know your target audience…
This may seem like an obvious one but it’s a tip I use routinely with clients. Remember that no-one knows you’re ‘there’ until you start to market, so getting it right by knowing your target audience is really important. Try to create an image of who your customer is – what do they do / their age / interests / fish where the fishes are.
Olwen Dawe, owner of Irish Business Intelligence
Use Strategic Alliances effectively
Over my years of business I have found that by far the most effective form of marketing has been using strategic alliances effectively. Strategic Alliances are businesses which share a similar target market as your business. Offer to give your strategic alliances something of value which they can give their clients. That something could be an article, a report, a money off voucher or something which showcases your product or service. All of a sudden you get access to their client list and often is doesn’t cost you a cent – all you have to do is reciprocate the favour at a later stage.
Michael Smyth, ApproachableLawyer.com
When customers say goodbye, ask why
Tip: When customers unsubscibe from your email communications, do you say “see you later”, or do you ask “why?”. If a business is built upon relationships with customers, then relevant conversations need to happen especially when a good, loyal customer is ready to walk off an email list. And with today’s email marketing technology, it’s so easy for customers to do so with a click of the unsubscribe button.
Robelen Bajar, eMarketing Leader
3 ways to market your small business
Marketing a small business is hard, but there are ways to help potential customers find your business. Here are 3 ideas:
- Become an expert – to do this, you need to publish interesting content. We recommend you start writing a blog. Use WordPress or Typepad to create it. Keep you articles interesting and include interesting images
- Create mix of content – You’ll want to start creating all types of content – such as webinars, podcasts (audio), e-books, white paper, etc. It’s critical that these items focus on your customer and not your business.
- Publish content everywhere – Using social networks, your website, your blog, etc., post links to your content and make it easy to find.
Jeff Ogden, Find New Customers
Keep marketing even when you are busy
Being self-employed can be an income roller-coaster (see http://www.bizbuzz.co.nz/articles/ride-income-rollercoaster-and) so it’s vital to make time even when you are busy to keep up your marketing activities – or the work or orders will dry up when you get to the end of whatever is keeping you busy. Diarise some time once a week or even once a month to do nothing but marketing. Click through to the article for more tips on how to manage and/or avoid the feast-and-famine scenario.
Heather Douglas, Bizbuzz
Combining Sales and Marketing
In many organisations sales & marketing do not work closely together. Consider combining your sales and marketing teams and think about giving your marketing department sales quotas for transactional sales.
Huthwaite Sales Performance
Build Your Website First
Your first marketing dollars should go into building your website. Your website introduces your product or service to the world and also legitimizes your business. Work with an experienced web designer and copywriter to create a professional online image. Once launched, all future marketing tools — business cards, brochures, press releases, ads, etc. — should drive traffic to that website.
Susan Greene, freelance copywriter
Small Business Marketing
Every small business owner struggles with marketing their business. How should we position ourselves? What is the best way to get our message across? Before you can answer these questions you have to understand where you are, where you want to be and what it will take to get you there.
Jitesh (Jits) Doolabh, Revonet Limited
Cut the guesswork – go to the horse’s mouth
Your target market probably sees your business way different to you. What’s important to them may be quite different to what seems important to you. There may be life issues, objections, and buying motivations that you’re unaware of. How can you tap into this? Interviewing. There are effective techniques to go beyond a clinical ‘Q&A session’ to find the deeper ‘hot buttons’. Then have your sales pitch crafted accordingly.
David Frank, Spectra-Media Content
Entrepreneurs! Learn This Mindset Shift About Marketing
Tip: Have you ever got excited about doing something and got stuck? It could be offering your expertise and charging for the same or selling your own product or someone else’s product as an affiliate. The first question that comes up is What is the guarantee that my expertise/services/product will produce revenue? Will someone pay for my service?
Elbee Services, LLC
Your competition is not your competition
Your clients interact daily with many brands and yours isn’t compared just to your competitors’ but to all of them. Your brand image needs to be aligned so that whatever the medium, brand recall is clear and cohesive. A brand filter helps validate that marketing elements “fit” together. Don’t be overly creative because you saw “that great ad on the Internet”. Brand image alignment is key for major brands AND yours.
Alexandre Gravel, Toast Studio
3 Small Business Social Media Mistakes
Small businesses are exploding profits and sales with well-designed marketing plans. New businesses include social media as a critical element to engage potential customers, build a brand and a good reputation. However, small businesses using social media for the first time are at the most risk of making
mistakes. Learn how your business can avoid common social media pitfalls by learning the myths and truths about social media marketing.
Julé Rizzardo, a.k.a. Businessgrl
Seize the Moment
When opportunity knocks fling open the door. Marketing, networking and promotion offers, like co-hosting events, partnering with charities and sharing ad space, are made frequently, but many small business owners see them as a waste of precious time. Those who embrace opportunities speed ahead of their competition. expand recognition and increase revenue. Being nimble, flexible and prepared will allow you to immediately jump when a brilliant chance comes along. When opportunity knocks fling open the door. Marketing, networking and promotion offers, like co-hosting events, partnering with charities and sharing ad space, are made frequently, but many small business owners see them as a waste of precious time. Those who embrace opportunities speed ahead of their competition. expand recognition and increase revenue. Being nimble, flexible and prepared will allow you to immediately jump when a brilliant chance comes along.
Lauri Flaquer – Saltar Solutions
Repurpose Your Content
Get more mileage out of your content by repurposing it. A teleseminar recording can become several articles, special report, podcast or even an eBook. An article series can be turned into YouTube videos, eBook, or blog posts. You’ve done the work so leverage it by easily creating more products to share your expertise and help people to find you. For additional low cost marketing tips to grow your business, visit www.sueclement.com/66
Sue Clement – Success Coaching
Always Add Value To Your Customers & Prospects
People are getting blasted with marketing advertisements and promotions all the time. You need to show value before you can gain trust from them. In all your marketing, offer something for free to get them in the door. Free reports, videos, how-to guides, checklists, etc are all great ways to get them interested.
Ely Delaney – Your Marketing University
Testing and Measuring are Critical
There’s no point in spending time and good money on marketing which is not working. Test everything on a small scale before launching your full strategy and then measure the strategies to see which work best.
This little piggy went to Market
Marketing for small business, especially consulting or service businesses, is hard. You can waste a lot of time and money on differing approaches and still not get any results. Whatever you do, take the time to try to figure out the best avenue for you to use. I just wasted $800 on print media advertising, when I would have been better off putting that money into sign-writing my car. What gets better coverage than a mobile billboard?
McLeod Consulting Limited
The Power of the Press Release
One of the most difficult aspects of marketing is getting your website up the Google rankings and lets face it if you aren’t on page 1, or maybe page 2, you’ll be missing out on an awful lot of traffic. I have discovered a very simple cost effective way of significantly improving your ranking. Issue a press release through one of the well known agencies – I use www.prnewswire.com who charge £285 per release. I have seen our website rocket up the rankings within a few days of issue and a well planned campaign really will keep you there.
Karen Stocker, Marketing Manager, Isosceles Finance
Understanding the available technology helps think outside the box
For mail and email campaigns, work with a web developer to include a unique invite URL in each mail merge that contains the recipient’s name (such as www.mybizname.com/NameSurname). Wouldn’t you be curious? This database driven landing page can be easily customised for each recipient, and usage tracked via Analytics – which then facilitates informed follow-up. We manage to get 25-30% combined response rates. No ground breaking technology; just creative.
Yalcin Yilmaz, Catapult Interactive
Network Anywhere, Anytime, with Anyone!
Word of mouth can be a powerful tool, so talk about your business to everyone you know. Your business has to be your passion. If you love it, you’ll love to talk about it. This passion will be infectious and is a great way to sell your personal brand along with the business. Talk in elevators, with a cashier, your stylist, in any line-up! Everyone can be a connection.
Bobby Umar, President of Raeallan – Transformational Training and Speaking
Don’t Overlook the Drycleaners
Be open about who can help you. Your target market might be in Target, at the drycleaners, or at church! These groups can help you reach their constituencies through newsletters, brochures, word of mouth. Most important, give back first. You can feature someone else’s product in your newsletter. It’s not about Linear Giving. Give of your resources–it will come back to you in ways you won’t expect… Start giving…
Pamela Hawley, UniversalGiving
Tip: However you brand yourself or market your business, ensure you are consistent across all mediums and communications, online and offline. Inconsistency can be both confusing and unsettling for your customers, which would be detrimental to your business offering. The same applies to your approach and consistency of services levels; important to any business but especially to the small business trying to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Alison Page – Alison Page Marketing
Become a Familiar Face on Regional TV
Your regional TV’s stations will have a shopping/lifestyle programme which is an amazing opportunity to put yourself directly into the homes of your target market at affordable prices. This form of marketing quickly establishes a strong bond of trust & creditability for you & your business. When the viewer starts to enquire about your product/service they will treat you like a familiar friend as they know exactly who you are, what a fabulous way to start a working relationship.
Andrea Rollo The Mohair Store
Think Like A BIG Business
Tip: Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you have to act like one. If you can string a few sentences together about what’s new or coming up then you’re half way to putting out a Press Release, something the big boys do all the time. Target your local press and trade journals, they’re always after free material to use – just make it interesting.
Paul Slater, Mushcado Consulting Ltd.
Keep your focus on your customers’ needs
There are only three reasons for your customers to do business with you:
- To help identify or clarify their need for your product or service (so they’ll buy);
- To become more knowledgeable about your offering (so they’ll return again);
- To feel inspired by your service (so they’ll refer others to you).
That’s it. Everything you do and say, everything they see, perceive, and read about, should be focused on one or more of these things, or you’re just wasting time and money.
Hannah du Plessis, DigiTelecom