When small business owners have approached me in the past, they’ve told me that they’ve given up on their marketing campaign. They see little to no results, and they tend to spend more money on the campaign than they get in return.
For anyone who is a small business owner, I have some great news for you: you can have a successful small business marketing campaign. Not only that, but you can have an effective marketing campaign that is also likely going to cost you a fraction of what it’s costing you to have a campaign now.
Wondering how it can be done? Then keep reading:
Change Up your Marketing Strategy
One thing that I have to get out of the way immediately is advise all small business owners to change up their marketing strategy, and regularly. Don’t stick to just handing out fliers or posting blog posts; do something different every once in a while. Not everyone responds to the same type of marketing strategy the same way. By trying out a number of different marketing techniques, you’re more likely to reach more customers and therefore earn more money.
Sell People your Help, Not your Products and Services
If you want to get more business, then you’ve got to start having more of a “help” focus than a “sales” focus. People are sick and tired of being sold to. What they want from you isn’t a price tag; what they want from you is a solution to their problem. If you make yourself be that solution, then you stand a far better chance to see a return on your marketing efforts than if you were simply trying to force your product or service down their throats.
Some ways to sell your “help” rather than sell your services and products are:
- Start up a blog that’s chock full of helpful content. Blogs also give you a more “human” and trustworthy voice, and it will turn you into an instant “expert” in your industry. As an added bonus, a blog will also help your blog rank higher in search engine results.
- Participate regularly in social media. Open up a Facebook business account and start using Twitter. Respond to queries and concerns that people may have about you, your company, or your industry and offer helpful tips and advice.
- Advertise your newsletter. Having a newsletter that’s loaded with helpful content like tips, advice, and DIY projects to save money are greatly appreciated to anyone who is even remotely interested in your company or industry.
- Offer “webinars” or free tutorials on things that would be of interest to people checking out your business.
The great benefit to all of the above strategies is that they will all help you in terms of not only obtaining potential leads, but then also nurturing those leads to the point that they convert into a customer.
As an additional incentive to be more help-driven than profit-driven, once you become an established expert in your niche, people will be more prone to your suggestions. So in a month or two if you suggest that a certain product or service of yours will help put a stop to a particular problem, your visitors will be more likely to then purchase that product or service.
Make Business Connections
If you’re a small business, then it’s important that you network with others who are either in your industry or in a related industry. One of the best thing that you can do as a small business is build up partnerships, both online and offline. If you register for the social media site LinkedIn, you will be able to find a ton of fantastic business contacts both locally and internationally that you can use to the benefit of both companies. Get creative! The more connections you have, the more free marketing you’re likely to receive. Check out our free Ebook “Social Media Tune Up” for more suggestions on how you can make connections through social networking sites.
Another technique that works to the benefit of most small businesses is to have a secondary offer waiting in the wings after a customer has made their first purchase. If you have an online business, you may want to consider sending out an email with a special promotional offer (i.e. 15% off your next purchase). If you’re strictly offline, then sending a handwritten letter thanking the customer for their business and extending a special, private offer will also work in your favor to getting them to come back.
TIP: If you want to create a feeling of urgency, make sure you include an expiration date.
Whether you’re offline, online, or both, small businesses can do a number of things to help drum up business, such as starting an efficient inbound marketing campaign, making second promotional offers to encourage repeat customers, and making connections with potential business partners. Remember to always be of a “helpful” mindset rather than “profit” mindset and you’re bound to see an increase in profits.
If you’re a small business interested in improving your online marketing, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.