Transform Your Small Business Marketing

I regularly interview small and solo business owners who call my coaching company looking for help. After getting a sense of what their business is all about, what their biggest goals are, and what lifestyle they are trying to create, I ask them what their biggest challenges are.

Nine times out of ten, it’s getting more clients and the problem is marketing. Most work very hard at trying to get one client at a time. They try many different small business marketing methods that they’ve heard about or which they’ve seen their competitors use. In other words, a little of this and a little of that. The results are inevitably mediocre. It’s easy to get discouraged when you know you have a great skill or talent to offer the world and yet no one is listening to what you have to say.

The mistake made by the majority of early stage small or solo businesses, and even some who have been around for years, is to do what I call “shot in the dark marketing”. This is like playing darts with a blindfold on and being convinced that you’ll hit the bull’s eye. You may occasionally do so, but you’ll do it rarely. The same is true if you are an entrepreneur who has not mastered marketing.

I bet you’re great at what you do. But, are you also great at building and running a business? These are two separate and distinct skill sets and both are crucial to your success. When it comes to small business marketing, the real truth is that people who are marketing masters can make money even with mediocre products, yet many people with excellent products and services fail because they haven’t mastered marketing. If no one knows you exist how can you expect to get lots of clients and make a great income?

Here are some tips on what you need to think about in order to begin to master marketing:

Do Research

It’s a mistake to decide what you want to sell, create a product and then try to find some people who need it and are willing to pay you for it. Instead use the Internet to find out what people are searching for within your area of expertise and to research what and how your top competitors are selling. Also figure out where your prospects congregate online or offline so you know where you can reach them with your marketing.

Create a Marketing Design

This is a detailed plan that locks in what marketing activities you’ll pursue and how you’ll measure and track the results to know if those activities are working. Make a list of all the different ways you could generate leads both online and offline. Then pick only those that will focus on your target market. For example, join social media groups that attract your target market, mail marketing materials, postcards and brochures only to your target market. The same applies to print ads and sales calls. Don’t waste time on broad groups of people, but on the type of person who you know would buy your type of product or service.

Then pick three activities from the list and get started. You most definitely need at least one of them to include online marketing, either. That’s why I teach my online lead generation system. You can use a variety of methods such as article marketing, video marketing, blogging and social media to organically generate traffic. You can also use search engine optimization and pay per click advertising to generate search leads.

Follow Your Plan

Stick to your plan and see what works. Give it a bit of time, then focus tightly on what works and get rid of the rest. Don’t waste time, for example, going to networking meetings just because you like the people when you’re not connecting with potential clients or referral sources. Your time is limited so use it wisely.

Outsource

Why do $15 an hour tasks when you can outsource them and spend your time being the strategist and servicing clients? As soon as you outsource rote marketing tasks, you’ll find they get done more quickly and consistently and you’ll start generating a steady, reliable stream of qualified leads.

Follow Up

Once someone is on your mailing list or has called your company, have a follow up system ready to go into action so you don’t miss out on closing sales with people who are ready and willing to work with you!

Transform your small business marketing from lackluster to powerful!

Small Business Networking – Create a Breakfast Club

The small business network is the single most powerful thing that you can join in order to bring our business to the next level. This group also acts as an insurance policy against disaster. Some business owners do not have time to participate in a full network. Here is an alternative method that you can use to help your business today.

It’s called a breakfast club. This is a small networking group of business owners that meets once a week, or once a month for coffee and donuts (or whatever you want to eat). These meetings are not formal, but they do serve a single purpose- to get more business for each of the owners present at the meeting.

The way these meetings work is that the meeting can only consist of members that are non-competing with each other. Perhaps you have a lawyer, a dentist, a plumber, an accountant, and a web designer. Each of these members has their own customer list, but they are not able to provide any of the other services of the other members. During that particular month of business, these business owners will try to find out additional services that their customers may need help with. This allows the business owner to be more full-service for their customers, which is an added bonus and helps keep the customers around longer.

When the owners get together, they swap customer leads with each other. They will explain the needs of each customer and then give the leads to the person that can help them. Now, the new business has a qualified lead, because the original business owner told the person that they had someone that could help them.

The new customer visits the business and is already pre-sold before they even walk in the door. All that the service provider has to do is assure them that they can solve the problem as best as possible and close the deal. There is no cold calling in this situation, because the lead is pre-qualified. This is only one of the benefits of a breakfast club. If you have the time, you can expand it to a full-blown network, capable of many other things. However, if you only have the time to meet once a month, you can still benefit greatly from this small act of lead exchanges. Just think, all you have to do is get a cup of coffee once a month and you can gain thousands of dollars worth of new business.

Facebook Marketing Tips For Local Small Business Owners

For years small business owners have dreamed of number one spots on Google first page of search results for their keywords and for good reason – Google Owned all the traffic.

The illusive fist page rankings is where the money is, the whole idea of getting your website listed in the top search results for your keyword you will get floods of free web traffic/visitors to your website which you can then convert in to sales or place those leads though your sales funnel.

While every small business should be implementing strategies to get their website in the top search results for their keywords, Small business owners also need to be shifting their focus to incorporate the social element of the internet.

Google no longer owns all the traffic on the internet. Facebook that social site that your kids are one all day long has really become a real threat to Google and how people are interacting with the internet.

No before you say that Facebook is only for teenagers and you can’t see your products or services on Facebook, then think again.

Here are 2 very important trends or statistics that every small business owner should care about if they want to do business in the future. (Yes, I believe these is that important)

1. – Facebook now sends more web traffic/visitors to external websites that Google.
2. – Facebook is the largest display ad network on the internet currently.

If you run a retail shop, location is a big element to your success, you wouldn’t open a retail shop in a dead end street where no one goes, this is why shopping malls are so popular, they bring all the shoppers/buyers into one place and you open your shop there where you know where everyone goes to buy stuff.

Facebook is the same, it is the world’s largest free audience and you can tap into this free audience at any time you want.

Also the general nature of Facebook is that content is shared and them spreads virally, this means you can get your message out to a lot of people very quickly and Facebook does 90% of the work for you.

Facebook has already risen to 500 Million active users, of which half of these users login every single day – and they are only 4 years old! If Facebook was a country they would be the 3 largest in the world behind only India and China.