So you run a small business.
You wear a lot of hats, I presume? You run the books, the register, the high-level visionary decisions, and everything else in between.
You are both the CEO and the janitor (someone’s gotta clean the bathroom, right.)
Where are you supposed to find the time, let alone the energy needed to market your business?
Marketing always gets pushed to the back of the line when it comes to small business practice. For someone whose life’s work revolves around marketing, I get it.
The problem is that a properly structured and executed marketing strategy can make the stresses of inbound business disappear.
So I’m here to help break down what an effective approach looks like and how to get the ball rolling for your small business marketing strategy. As you integrate these tips into your business life, you can get more sophisticated with it and even hire help to advance your efforts.
This blog post is a follow-up and a deeper dive into one of my recent Linkedin posts.
Alright, let's get into the meat:
You’re going to want to get three things straightened out before implementing any marketing efforts:
Unique Selling Proposition
Let's start with your brand identity.
Your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. So the question becomes, What do you want people to think when they see your logo?
For brand identity, we’ll start with a few very basic things that are easy to accomplish but very important (so don’t mess these up!)
A logo with a combination of colors that will not change. (The fewer the better)
Fonts that will not change.
A one-sentence description of the benefit the customer receives from your services.
3-6 word slogan
These are the foundational pieces of branding that will hang around for decades and decades. You shouldn’t have to put too much time into them, but you should be thoughtful and intentional.
These are your brand identity building blocks. Everything else with branding is repetition and time. I recommend hiring a branding professional because the long-term ROI of a powerful brand is a dollar amount and level of freedom that you can not comprehend. Give us a shout if you’re looking for help.
That said, to accomplish this on your own requires diligent and consistent action towards answering that first question… What do I want my customers to think and feel when they see my brand?
Your marketing efforts start with a clear vision of your ideal customer. I have put together a basic checklist of things you’ll want answered.
Demographics - Age, Location, Gender, Marital Status, etc.
Physiographic Segmentation- Interests, Desires, Hobbies
Online Behavior- What platforms they are on, What publications they read, etc.
Challenges- What pain points do these people share, why is that the case, how can you provide the vaccine
Figure these out by any means necessary. Start with your regular customers who know and love you most and steadily begin chipping away at these questions and document your findings over time.
This step may take several months to a year to accomplish, but it’s worth it ten times over as it will help you market to similar audiences and acquire new customers.
Unique Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition is something. Every single business has an aspect that is unique and valuable to its customer base.
If you don’t know what that is, make it a priority to find out. Business is pretty simple sometimes. Just like the last section, if you don't know, ask!
Ask your current customers why they buy from you. What is that one thing that makes them go to you and not your competition who fulfills the same product or service?
Take note of this survey with your customers and ask them in person if possible. The answers you get might surprise you.
So you have a clear vision of your brand identity, your ideal customer, and your personalized unique selling proposition, what’s next?
Like I mentioned before, these are vital foundational pieces to the execution of your marketing efforts.
Use this information to make content for your audience. If you have it in the budget, I always recommend partnering with someone like us to handle this workload, strategy, and execution.
If that isn’t feasible, it’s time to start making content for your community. Go establish a presence on the platforms where your customers hang out.
How do you establish a presence?
Care about your community.
Care about what’s going on in their lives.
Care about delivering them value through your content and customer experience.
Do surprise giveaways! Host competitions for your online community! Get them ENGAGED!
This is where brand building comes in heavy. You’re going to want to create engaging content relevant to your business and your community every day for the next decade. The benefits you reap will snowball and make sure your great grandchildren’s kids are taken care of.