Chris posed a question: “I am interested in discovering what is the greatest obstacle to success for small business owners. My thought is that is the isolation and loneliness associated with running a business. Any thoughts?”
I commented that essentially those weren’t an issue for me but my issue was more around getting my name and brand out there. I also said that whilst it is now happening it has taken longer than I thought.
Colin Richman, owner of Icon Business Solutions placed these comments under mine. I thought they deserved a wider audience so here they, per kind permission of Colin.
Even the best marketing doesn’t always pay off quickly. In the lag time between when you launch a marketing campaign for your business and when you start to see results from it, it’s easy to become discouraged. Especially when you work mostly solo, it can be a difficult task to keep yourself motivated about marketing when there isn’t an immediate payoff.
Once your marketing does begin to work, you may still encounter times when it’s hard to keep it going. You may become overloaded with client work and feel like there’s not enough time to market. Sometimes you may feel blue and begin to wonder if any of your efforts are worthwhile. Or it may just be that marketing isn’t your favourite thing to do. When you are full of energy and enthusiasm you can get it done, but when your spirits are low, it all seems too hard.
Here are Ten ways to give your marketing a lift when you are feeling down.
- Make your to-do list shorter. When faced with an impossible task, most of us feel discouraged. But when we believe we can accomplish what is in front of us, we are often more likely to get going on it.
- If you feel overwhelmed by everything you SHOULD do about marketing, tear up your to-do list. Then start a new list, and put just three items on it. When you complete one of the three, cross it out and celebrate, then add a new item. You’ll feel much less stressed and more productive when you’re faced with a less daunting agenda. You’ll probably get more done by planning to do less.
- Calendar your marketing time. When you’re feeling discouraged or resistant about marketing, it’s easy for the time to slip away while you work on other things. This is also true when paying clients are keeping you busy. You know you need to keep marketing to avoid a famine when the current feast of work is over, but it’s just not happening.
- Make an appointment with yourself for a specific block of time to work on marketing, and treat it as seriously as if it were a client meeting. Set an alarm if you need a reminder. If you find that you are still pulled to other tasks during your marketing time, change the location where you do your work. Move to another room in your home, to a conference room in your office building, to a nearby park, or to a café. A new setting can remove distractions and sharpen your focus.
- Spend just five minutes. If your current mindset is that marketing is hard or distasteful, you may find that getting started on marketing tasks is the most difficult part. Commit to spending just five minutes on marketing, and see what happens. You may discover that once you get going, you won’t want to stop.If you do stall out again after five minutes, don’t despair. Take a break or work on something else for a while. Then try another five minutes later on. The following day, see if you can work up to ten minutes at a time, then fifteen minutes, and so on. Just as if this were a new exercise program, you may need to start out with brief periods of effort and increase them gradually as you build your strength.
- Connect with a fan. Sometimes the best place to look for motivation is outside yourself. Who are the people in your life that you would consider your champions? Make contact with someone you can count on to be positive about your abilities. This could be a friend, family member, colleague, or coach. Ask your champion to remind you of other times when you have overcome obstacles and accomplished goals, so you can get back in touch with what you are capable of.
- If no live champions are at hand, spend some time reading your fan mail. Track down any letters or testimonials you have collected from clients you have helped in the past. Reviewing their acknowledgments will make you feel better about yourself and inspire you to do more great work in the future. When you’re inspired by the value you bring your clients, you’ll feel more enthusiastic about getting new clients to work with.
- Revisit your purpose. In the press of multiple tasks and deadlines, it’s easy to lose track of why you are doing all this anyway. Spend some time reconnecting with why you went into business in the first place. Who were the people you wanted to help? What personal goals were you trying to achieve? What was your vision of a successful business?
- Holding a clear mental picture of your intended destination can keep you on the path to get there during challenging times. Every time you have to place a sales call, write a marketing letter, or take on a difficult promotional task, visualize the positive results these tasks will help you achieve. Keeping your goals in mind when you tackle tough jobs helps you constantly remember the reasons you’re willing to work so hard.
- In an ideal world, of course, we would get all our marketing tasks accomplished with ease and confidence within the time we have available. But since that’s not the world most of us live in, consider that doing ANYTHING about marketing is better than doing nothing. In the long run, you’ll want to have a comprehensive marketing plan with an appropriate amount of time and effort dedicated to it. But when you get stuck, what you need most is just to get going again.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed, resistant, or discouraged about marketing, try one of these quick fixes to jump start your marketing engine. The simple act of getting things rolling will make you start to feel more positive again about your marketing, your business, and yourself.
Small Biz, Big Name: The 5 Most Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses in 2019
Running a local business is tough. So tough, in fact, that 50% of small businesses fail within five years of startup.
With such a competitive marketplace and with so many challenges, it has never been a better time to think about your marketing strategy.
Having effective marketing strategies will help your business stand out from the crowd and set you ahead of your competitors.
However, marketing techniques change all the time, and it’s possible there are new techniques that could help your business reach out to even more customers. So, check out these effective marketing strategies to make sure your business stays ahead in 2019.
1. Facebook Ads
If your small business does not advertise on Facebook, you should reconsider. In fact, two million businesses advertise on Facebook, so there must be something in it!
Facebook ads are an inexpensive way to reach a wide audience. They also have the added bonus of targeting to your chosen audience demographics and location.
Creating a Facebook ad is also pretty quick and easy and does not require specific skills. All you have to do is create a regular Facebook post with images or video to upload, and away you go.
2. Instagram Stories
Instagram marketing is a great way for small businesses to showcase their products and services. Your business may already be using it as a social media tool, but Instagram is always adding features that you might not be aware of.
Instagram stories are a particularly good way of taking your customers “behind the scenes” of your business and building up a real rapport with your followers.
There are lots of fun features in the stories platform that can make your posts really eye-catching, and it is a great way to live-blog events and product launches.
3. Video Marketing
By 2020 video will account for 79% of all internet traffic. So if your business does not have video marketing strategies, you could be missing out.
YouTube is an excellent platform for product demonstrations, “how to” videos, and even holding Q&A sessions. They can increase brand awareness, and help customers get to know the story behind your business.
4. Email Marketing
Using emails for marketing is not a new idea. However, if you have been using the same old templates for a while, it could be time for your small business to upgrade its email marketing strategy.
Modernize your email content can be a really effective marketing strategy, and demonstrate to your customers that you are a forward-thinking business.
Keep the written content short and snappy, and always include images and videos.
5. Optimize For Mobile
People spend a lot of time looking at their phones. If your small business website is not optimized for mobile, you are putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage.
Always double check all pages of your website to make sure they look as good as they can on all devices. Make sure that your site loads quickly too, as users are less likely to hang around waiting for it if they are on a mobile device.
Tips On Effective Marketing Strategies And So Much More
So those are five tips on effective marketing strategies for small businesses in 2019.
If you found this useful, then why not check out some more of our marketing guides right here.
Things to Consider Before Measuring Digital ROI
Not too sure where to get started when measuring ROI? You’re in the right place.
Measuring digital ROI can often prove confusing if you don’t know what you are looking for. You can use soft metrics like social media impressions, email engagement, and website visitors which are essential for shaping your digital marketing strategy.
Or you could focus on hard metrics, like spend and revenue. Both hard and soft metrics feed into calculating digital ROI. This confusion often leads to businesses all over the world outsourcing their digital workloads to a digital marketing agency.
First of all, lets lay out some of the types of key performance indicators that can help you determine your ROI –
- Overall digital performance: Traffic, sales leads and user reach.
- Channel: social media platforms, search engines, websites
- Performance based on source: Pay-per-click, sales emails, direct website traffic and organic search.
- Performance based on digital campaign: Conversion rates, lead generation and click-throughs to your website.
Once you have decided which key performance indicators are the most applicable to you and your business, you can then start to measure them to determine your ROI. However, do be aware that measuring ROI does have some disadvantages. It all depends on what type of business you are and what constitutes the return. At the same time, it also depends on what the original investment was. Your company need to determine and agree on both of these factors before measuring ROI.
6 Metrics to Help You Determine Your ROI
Once you gain an understanding of what your ROI objectives are, you need to consider the following metrics, and these are what will ultimately help you determine whether a campaign has been successful or not.
Cost Per Lead. This is the amount that you spend on a campaign which is then divided by the number of new leads you get.
Cost Per Acquisition. This is very similar to cost per lead. The difference is that its an actual transaction.
Click-Through Rate. This metric depends on whether a customer clicks through to your website as a result of digital marketing activity. When calculating click-through rates, make sure that the clicks are directly linked to the campaign you are running. For example, if you are running a paid campaign on Facebook, then any clicks you get from Twitter do not apply to the ROI.
Unique Monthly Visitors. This metric will tell you how visitors are coming to your website every month. However, do be aware that this is a very broad metric to measure and needs more investigating to determine which visitors are a direct result of a marketing campaign. Our tip would be to segment this metric by “paid, organic and social.”
Understand Your Customers and Their Consumer Habits
With digital marketing, it’s important to recognise the fact that not all customers can be regarded as equal. This is because not all of them will return to spend money with your business on a regular basis. On the flipside of that, some will consume a lot more of your digital marketing efforts but never convert into a paying customer. With this being said, marketing teams need to understand that it’s not about the number of online users reached, but the type of user reached.
For example, you need to consider what a customer’s transaction value is. You need to identify if they are spending money with you for smaller purchases on an ad-hoc basis or you’ve have found that they are a consistent buyer and have a loyal relationship with your business. There is another factor that can be taken into consideration and that can be the number of years that a customer has been using your business for. By looking at this will allow you to determine their loyalty.
The best course of action for your digital marketing efforts would be to identify who your most profitable customers are, and where they are coming from in terms of your digital marketing efforts. Did they see a social media post? Or, did they receive a product newsletter from you via email? Returning customers are the ones to have the most positive impact on your business, resulting in repeat transactions and higher profits.
Know Where You Are Spending Your Money
If your digital marketing campaign has been strategically planned and implemented in the right way by creating achievable objectives, then this can be a great way to generate promising results and provide you with data to support any future campaigns. Failing to keep track of how much money has been invested in a digital campaign will cause you nothing but problems and your ROI calculations will be wrong.
Building An Anthill: How to Market Your Pest Control Business
In today’s internet-driven world, marketing your small business yourself is easier than ever before. Which, is something that is especially true if you know what you’re doing.
People have had problems with pest infestations for as long as civilization has existed. Because of this, you can rest assured that your pest control company will always be in demand.
And, because you know that your customers are already around, the only thing you must worry about is letting them know how to find you.
So, how do you spread the work and track down new customers?
Here’s everything you need to know about marketing your pest control business.
Create a Website
As we said before, the internet is the most powerful tool available to small business owners nowadays. And, the easiest way to take advantage of it is by creating a website.
A website will allow customers and clients to get a taste of the services you have to offer, get an idea of how much you charge, and get in contact with you.
While getting any old website up is a good first step, you may want to check out a few other pest control company’s sites to get an idea of what you should include.
Check Your Local Listings
Phone books are officially antiquated. These days, if you want to track down a specific service in your area, you turn to something like Google Maps.
If you’ve been open for a while, there’s a good chance you already have an online listing. But that doesn’t mean you’re in control of the information on it.
You need to claim all your online listings and make sure they include up-to-date contact information and a link to your company’s website.
Start a Blog
Once you have your website up and running, you’ll need to start generating a little traffic to it. And, one of the most surefire ways to help give your site the SEO boost it may need is by publishing content on it regularly.
A blog will give you an easy way to keep your site’s search engine rankings high. While also educating potential clients on pest control issues they may be having.
For example, by publishing an article on what bed bug bites look like, you could alert a new customer to bed bugs in their home and inspire them to hire you.
Having a website is an excellent start. But, one of the best ways to build an online presence and track down new customers is setting your business up with a few social media accounts.
Social media can put you in direct contact with your current and potential customers. It also allows you to keep customers up to date on any special deals your offering.
By keeping up with your social media, you can also use it to take control of your online reputation.
Marketing Your Pest Control Business
The internet can make marketing your company a breeze, but only if you know how to harness it. By following these tips, you’ll be able to market your pest control business and find dozens of new clients in no time.
Are you looking for a few more tips and tricks to help you take your business to the next level? We can help.
We have dozens of articles to help you start a new business or help you grow your existing company. Check them out today.
- Social Media8 months ago
Top 5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
- Management10 months ago
7 Essential Tips For Opening a Mechanic Shop
- Management6 years ago
The man who destroyed his multimillion dollar company in 10 seconds
- Marketing1 day ago
Small Biz, Big Name: The 5 Most Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses in 2019
- Innovation2 years ago
5 Ways How Globalization Impacts Small Businesses
- Management1 year ago
The Five Common Materials Used to Manufacture Reusable Grocery Bags
- Content Marketing2 months ago
5 Reasons Content Is Essential to Digital Marketing
- Management7 months ago
The Importance of Presentation Skills in Business
- Sales3 months ago
3 Motivational Sales Meeting Ideas That Will Transform Sales Performance
- Management1 year ago
Pros and Cons of Offshoring
- Management6 years ago
Sales Rep or Account Manager – Is there a Difference?
- Accounting & Finance8 years ago
Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Small Business Loans from Banks