Marketing. It’s the task that’s on every small business owner’s to-do list. And, if it’s a task you don’t particularly enjoy, it’s all too often at the bottom of your list.
If you’re doing a little bit here and a little bit there, you’re likely not seeing good results, which makes marketing even more unpleasant.
There are two keys points you can use to shift your thinking about marketing.
- The best marketing strategies are the ones you enjoy doing — or at least don’t hate. If you can’t stand being on the phone, don’t set cold calling as one of your major marketing strategies. Like hanging out on social media? Do more of that.
- VOLUME is the key to marketing success. If you once wrote a sales letter and sent it to three companies you really wanted to land as clients, but it didn’t work — well, are you really surprised? This doesn’t mean sales letters aren’t effective. It means you didn’t send enough of them.
In the spirit of these two principles, we offer this menu of marketing activities. Do one every day, and soon your efforts will snowball and yield results you can get excited about.
- Strike up a conversation on social media. Yes, an actual conversation. Modern marketing is built on relationships, which feels much better than just tweeting out sales pitches.
- Write an email to someone saying thank you. Maybe you read an influential article online that really stuck with you. Write to the author to say thanks. Once you build the relationship, you can propose ways to work together, such as guest posting on her blog.
- Recruit affiliates. Consider starting an affiliate strategy. Affiliates help you leverage the audiences of like-minded folks and give everyone a cut of the profits. It’s a win, win.
- Send a newsletter. Maybe it’s been awhile since your email list has heard from you. Send a quick update on your business news, some helpful information and maybe even a special offer. You’d be surprised how many leads this can generate.
- Write a lead generating piece. Write a piece of helpful content to give away in exchange for an email sign-up. These don’t need to be overly complicated. Yes, white papers and ebooks are fantastic, but many people like short, informative checklists.
- Remind your old customers you still exist. Send an email or call up an old client and ask them out for coffee. It will bring you front of mind again.
- Pick up the phone. If you like talking on the phone, why not call up some prospects? Jot down a short script before you dial so you don’t get tongue-tied.
- Find a networking event and get it on your calendar. In-person events can be amazing opportunities to make new business connections.
- Freshen up your branding. Is your company’s logo and website looking a bit stale or dated? Start dreaming up some new branding and get the ball rolling on a redesign.
- Commission a short, fun promo video. Video is so hot right now. Start exploring ways to use it to your advantage. Sites like Fiverr can put this type of content within your budget reach.
- Consider doing a Facebook live event. If you’re not ready to commission a video, think about jumping on Facebook Live to give your audience an inside look at your operation.
- Buy an ad on social media. Ads on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are very budget friendly, and the targeting options help you hone your audience in just a few clicks. Write multiple versions of your ad and see which performs better.
- Ask for a recommendation. Send a short email or LinkedIn message to past and current clients asking for a testimonial you can put up on your website.
- Run a special. Flash sales give you a reason to reach out to your customers and a reason for them to open their wallets!
- Survey your customers. There are plenty of tools on the internet that makes this fast and easy. Ask the people what they want and then give it to them!
Marketing is just one word that describes a range of activities, so choose some activities you like and double-down on them. All your small efforts will add up to a profitable business.