Many people managing small to medium-sized businesses are so busy ‘doing’, that marketing their business usually falls way down the priority list.
It’s understandable. Clients come first. You’ve got deadlines to meet, bills to pay, staff to manage.
But what happens when the work slows down? Marketing can often be a ‘slow burn’. It’s difficult to just turn the tap on and off. The best approach is to keep it regular and focus on the things that you can manage.
There are loads of different ways you can market your business, so I’ll just touch on a few.
Review your website
Try and put on your ‘prospective client’ hat on for a minute and take a critical look at your website. Marketing firm Storybrand suggests asking yourself these three questions:
What do you offer?
How will it make my life better?
What do I need to do to buy it?
The answers to these questions must be immediately obvious – understood within the first 5 seconds of viewing.
You might also check that information on your site is up-to-date. Staff details, your latest projects, contact information, recent client testimonials.
And on the topic of blogs… for most small businesses, they’re way down the list of “things I must do”.
So, how important are blogs and are they right for your business? This article is a nice summary of how content can work well.
Examine the ways you reach out to your clients and prospects
There are lots of ways to promote your business. Of course, what you want to work out is which ones work best – and fit into your budget and time constraints.
Here are just a few:
Most businesses these days need to use a social media platform or two to support their business. When time and budgets are tight, it’s best not to try and be on every social media platform. Facebook works well for many small businesses. For business-to-business marketing, Linkedin gives you an opportunity to tell the world what you do and publish your latest pearls of wisdom.
This article discusses how often you should post.
It could be a regular newsletter or a series of informative emails. Once you have the ok from interested clients and prospects, emailing them fresh, informative news is a great way to support your message.
How often you send this information depends on a whole lot of factors. Once a year is probably not enough. If your content is compelling enough, you might send information once a week. Not many small or medium-sized businesses have time for this and might outsource this task to a freelance copywriter. It will all depend on your results. You’ve got to monitor the response to everything you do in the best way you can.
This blog gives examples of how various companies have used email marketing to promote their business.
I use MailChimp for my email newsletters. It’s free and easy to use.
I was recently speaking to a local businessperson who has used video to promote her sports and remedial massage business. She reckons including a video on her (very basic) website and on her Facebook page has made a real difference to her business, noticeably increasing the number of new clients. You can take a look at Pippa’s videos here.
This type of marketing can suit some businesses. Informative videos and other good quality content sets you up as an expert in your field and helps people know, like and trust you.
Sounds too hard? Seek some help from an expert. A fellow copywriting friend of mine Jenny de Lacey specialises in helping people with video marketing.
My big recommendation is to keep learning. Be open to new ideas and revisit the old ones.
The web is such a great source of information. I’ve found the Flying Solo website offers lots of great tips for solo entrepreneurs.
I also like Duct Tape Marketing – their podcast is good too.