We've Learned that small businesses can't always use the same marketing efforts that big brands take advantage of, thats why we need to get creative.
Maybe you're just starting out, or you've been around for years. Here's a few marketing tips we've come across that have helped us along our journey.
1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BUSINESS CARDS
- Not cheap ones! Ones that say I plan on being around for a long time.
- Don't be afraid to spend the extra money, these are like your store front.
Your brand is an extension of yourself!
- Your card needs to speak volumes, if you're creative, use Google - Get Inspired - GO FOR IT! if you're not artistic, HIRE AN ARTIST!
- Standout - you don't want to be like your competitors, you want to be better!
Remember: their next stop is your website
BUILD A NICE WEBSITE - LET VIRTEOM HELP
A. MAKE IT HIGH QUALITY
B. TELL YOUR CUSTOMERS HOW YOU WILL SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM
C. BE DIFFERENT - MOST WEBSITES LOOK THE SAME NOW: HOME ROTATOR, GOOGLE MAP AT THE BOTTOM - DON'T REINVENT THE WHEEL AND MOVE THE NAVIGATION BAR - BUT TRY AND DO SOMETHING TO STAND OUT
D. Place a call to action on each page - make it easy for your customers to get in contact with you
2. NOW GET OUT AND NETWORK
- We know you would rather be spending time with your family or on a beach somewhere, but in order to be there you've got to get out there and network!
- A great business card or website can oftentimes do the job for you - so invest some time there, so you won't have to do as much here.
- If you're in the Cleveland area some good websites for networking events:
3. ADVERTISE ON GOOGLE ADWORDS
- Google Adwords reaches your customers when they're looking for your products
- It's free to set up an account. It costs when you are ready to launch an ad
- Tip: Take advantage of desired keywords that are less than a dollar per click
- Optimize the keyword tool, this can help create content for your website, build email campaigns
4. Get Social
- Getting social only works for certain industries. Keep in mind each channel has different uses:
- Facebook: get personal, engage with customers
- Twitter: use this as your own personal radio station, people will only tune in if they want to hear what you have to say. It is a public network for free advertising.
- LinkedIn - another private network, great for promotion of your business and educational articles
5. Don’t be afraid to pivot
- Sometimes change is needed for clarity
- We even had to do it here at Virteom, our product CMObuddy changed to TouchConvert
- Even though we had a lot of money invested in marketing, branding, printing, the name made more sense for what the product does.
- To quote Dan Gilbert "Plan B is a distraction from Plan A"
- Don't be afraid to make changes, pull the band aid off
6. Go the Extra Inch - adapted from Dan Gilbert's ISMs
- Inch towards the goal - everyday, keep working towards your goals
7. And then go an extra inch again! Win Awards
- It creates a different kind of level of endorsement
- If you don’t apply you'll never win
- A great place to look for these awards is SmartBusiness Magazine
- If you don't think your business is doing anything that is worth winning an award, think outside the box like how you're creating momentum in your business
8. Get Involved
- Volunteer! Put yourself out there, and join a group that is relative to your business. (Check out conventions in your hometown - they're usually looking for volunteers)
- Get on a panel where you can be featured as a Speaker
- Sometimes you can get lucky and get rewarded
- Be careful - Sometimes you can spread yourself too thin and not service your own clients at work. Pick one organization that would give your business the best exposure and go with that
9. Run email and drip campaigns
- Nurture your customers, remind them that you're there!
- It does work, it gains you that momentum - and the best part is you can automate it all
- Email and drip campaigns let your customer's know you care, provide them some type of value, whether it's training, knowledge you think they would enjoy or service reminders
10. Be the poky little puppy
- Get curious and explore ways to expose your company to the world. Get creative!
- No one is going to slap your wrist - have fun with it
- Do some Guerilla Marketing
Don't be afraid to take chances: "When Fear gets in the system the company has no chance" - Dan Gilbert - These simple marketing tips can help take your small business a few steps forward and could make all the difference. Don't be afraid to try something new and make marketing efforts if you never have before.
How do you make your small business stand out?
I'd love to head any tips you may have for any small businesses to stand out. Or, maybe you have a success story following one of these tips - feel free to share in the comment section below.