2019 has begun. Are you ready to take it by the scruff of the neck and make it your best year ever? Here’s a few small business marketing tips to help you make the most of this year.
1. Know what works for you
The first of our small business marketing tips is probably the one we see more companies in need of that anything else. Your time and money are valuable. If you’re spending either on marketing activities that aren’t generating leads for your business, you are wasting that money. Finding out is one of the quickest ways to improve your bottom line, because you stop spending on activities that don’t work and spend it on those that do. Here’s some numbers you should be looking at.
2. Focus on your Perfect Client
No single company in the world tries to sell to everyone. For every product or service they provide, they have a picture of who will buy it and why. Do you have this to help focus your marketing?
By focusing on your Ideal Client, you think about:
- What are the issues they have that you can help with
- How you can help them
- Why they should buy from you
- What you need to say to them in order to get them to buy from you
The more you focus, the more you will get the people you want to talk to.
3. Be consistent
Unless you have a real niche focus, there are lots of people out there doing what you do. There are certainly lots of marketing consultants. To ensure that people remember you for when they need your services, you need to maintain a consistent level of marketing activity. Otherwise people will quickly forget you in the cloud of messaging they are exposed to every day.
That doesn’t mean you have to communicate every day. Maintain a level of consistency that you are able to, and one that is most likely to work with your target audience. If people consume your product/service rapidly, the marketing frequency needs to match consumption levels. If you work on annual, or longer, contracts, it may be that 3-4 times a year will be sufficient.
4. Stop talking about yourself
Far too many businesses open their marketing with the word we. Your target audience doesn’t want to know about you. They want to know how you are going to help them. So talk about that. You know your clients and the issues they have, so talk about that. Show you understand their issues and that you have a solution. Then people will come to ask you about how you can help them.
5. Build and Maintain Relationships
Most small businesses get much of their business through referrals. Referrals come because of three things:
- People know you and trust you
- They know exactly what you are looking for
- They believe in what you are selling
Are you ensuring that the people who can refer you know what you are looking for, and that they remember who you are? Maintaining these relationships is not easy. We are all busy people. There are three key tools we can use to maintain these relationships:
- Coffee: Meet people face to face and talk to them. Help them understand what you are looking for, whilst ensuring you are listening and understanding what they are looking for too. You can substitute beer/wine/tea here, of course!
- Telephones: Your phone is less than six feet from your hand right now. Whether that is your mobile or your landline, make use of it and talk to your network, so they don’t forget you.
- Email: we all get huge numbers of emails, but I bet you most of your network will open at least one email a year from you. Mailchimp and its ilk are great tools to keep in contact with people and keep them aware of what you are up to.
Whatever way works for your business, don’t lose the referrals you can get in the future by losing touch with your network.
6. Use more video
80% of mobile consumption is video and it’s rising. If you want to communicate with today’s decision makers you need to use video.
- Develop a set of short messages that show how you help your clients.
- Your phone is perfectly acceptable for this type of educational video, so you don’t need to invest in expensive hardware or pay lots of money for others to video you.
- Add them to YouTube and use your preferred social media channels to distribute them too.
- Make sure your network know where they are, so they can share them to increase your reach.
We must admit, of all our small business marketing tips, this is the one we need to do more of ourselves – oops!
7. Know who is visiting your website
Your website is your window for the world. There will be few potential clients who don’t check you out, so it makes sense for you to know who is looking at your website. Tools such as CANDDi provide you with a huge amount of information about who is on your site and what they are doing on there. They cannot identify every visitor, but they will check fixed IP addresses and give you information about the company. They collect information about the person from Contact Forms, Web Chats and when you email someone. Imagine knowing when your latest prospect reads your proposal and then checks out your case studies – buying signals or what!
8. Prove you can help
The last of our small business marketing tips is, probably, one of the easiest to implement.
Taking on a new supplier is a big risk. If you’ve never worked with them before, how do you know they will be any good? Your prospects will be thinking this too. How do they know you are any good and can deliver on your promises?
Use the evidence you have. Make sure you have testimonials scattered across your website, so people can see what their peers think of you.
Case studies, including the results, are tremendously powerful. Not only does the reader get to see themselves in the description of your client, they see that they share similar problems. More than anything, they see you delivered a solution that worked. Why would they not want to work with you?
Knowledge articles. Whether published on your blog or through other media channels, share your thinking with others to show them you know what you are talking about.
Marketing today is all about consistency and demonstrating you can help. As a small business owner, you only have a limited budget, so make the most of it by focusing, but if you do one thing only, let it be this one: Talk to your audience about them – not about you.