Over and over, we see small business owners making the same marketing mistake. Are you guilty of making the same one?
It's the mistake of believing that small businesses only need small marketing.
This takes many forms: poorly designed websites (or even worse, no website at all), malnourished or abandoned social media profiles, a complete and utter lack of branding — the list goes on and on.
No matter how this mistake manifests itself, the results are the same: slow growth, fewer sales, lack of market share, inability to compete. And eventually, it can mean the end of the business (after all, you need to close sales to stay open!)
And we've heard all the excuses as to why they can't focus their efforts on marketing. Here are just a few:
I'm too busy to think about marketing.
Really, are you too busy to think about growing your business, or keeping it afloat? We know that as a small business owner, you have a ton on your plate. But there are plenty of options out there to let you outsource to a team of experienced professionals.
I can't afford to hire an agency or full-time marketing professional.
You can't afford to not market your company. And an agency is cheaper than keeping in-house marketers, but gives you the same great results. And a good web design or marketing company can work with you to land on an affordable price that gives you a fantastic return on investment.
Why bother? I can't compete with the big corporations when it comes to marketing.
Not with that attitude. You may not be able to compete when it comes to sheer budget, but the good news is that great marketing doesn't need to be funded by millions of dollars. It comes from creativity, strong branding, and an understanding of your target audience.
I don't know how.
Again, not a problem. Don't spend your valuable time poring over thick books purporting to tell you all the SEO secrets you need to know — just get a professional to do it for you.
There's no room for negativity when it comes to developing a marketing plan. And if you're starting from scratch in your marketing efforts, here are the basics you need to start marketing more effectively:
A functional, up-to-date, well-designed website.
This should have all the information prospects need to convert. Can they easily find out what you do, who you are, why you're the best choice, and how to get in touch with you? Ideally, your site would also have plenty of original content, like high-level, informative blog posts, to drive organic traffic from social media and search engines. But to start off with, just focus on getting your website up to date and keeping it like that.
At least one social media profile that's not dead.
Facebook is probably your best bet to start off with — just make sure you continue to update it more than once a year. Aim for a post at least once a week. And yes, there are ways to automate this so you don't have to take time out of your day whenever you want to add some life to your profile. In a perfect world, you'd be on multiple social channels and updating at least once a day. But remember, this is just the beginning.
A brand that sets you apart.
A strong brand shows who you are and why prospects should choose your company. Don't let a weak or unprofessional brand hurt your reputation — invest in getting it right.
Remember, this is a list of the bare minimum you should have. To see bigger, better results, you can go even further with your marketing efforts and watch your sales skyrocket.
And you can do that. It's okay to dream big as a small business... isn't that what entrepreneurship is all about?
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call or send us a note today at Small Dog Creative 661-702-1310!