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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING AS AN ENTREPRENEUR

WRITTEN BY ANNA-VIJA MCCLAIN

 

Let’s be honest – marketing is hard. And time-consuming. And kind of a gamble.

 

Most women entrepreneurs didn’t go into business to do marketing, but to explore their own skill sets and passion. Owners are already wearing 17 hats – managing clients, hiring and training staff, tracking the accounting, creating a growth strategy, and trying to keep up with rules and regulations they never knew existed. However, somewhere in the middle of all of that, marketing has to get done or no new business development will come. You can’t run a business if you can’t survive, so marketing is a necessary skill set. 

 

Good news, though! Marketing doesn’t have to suck the life out of you! With some simple steps, you can create a relatable, consistent marketing strategy that allows you to “check the box” and move on to more important things… like spending more time with your family, sleeping at night, and having time in the day to go to the bathroom or have a snack. Woohoo! Here are three marketing tips to get you started.

 

No, really. You need a marketing strategy for your small business. 

 

  • First, everything you do is going to be better if you start with a plan. I know it’s not the most fun part, but it will get you more bang for your buck. Start by defining your ideal client / customer. 
  • One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is trying to be all things to all people. Close your eyes, and imagine your perfect client walking in the door. Now describe them in as much detail as possible. 
  • Remember to include things like their age and gender, if they have to hold a specific role within their company or organization in order to work with you, their general income level or company revenue, and their geographic location. The more details you have, the easier it will be to write your messaging directly to them as you start to market.
  • Pro Tip – Go ahead and write all that down! Start a new document on your computer and list out all ideal target customer information. Ponder little further on which of your products or services would specifically meet your ideal target market, and which are really more loss leaders or add-ons. Think about the best place to reach your audience – which social media platforms do they use? Would they respond to digital ads, or are you going to have to meet people in person? Putting all of this together becomes your marketing strategy, which is crucial to your overall business strategy!

 

A little goes a long way with digital marketing.

 

  • One of the biggest mistakes I see our clients making is thinking they have to do tons of marketing, on every channel, all the time. The “all or nothing” mindset is common, and more often leads to business owners not having time for marketing, rather than a full-blown approach.
  • We have already established that you likely don’t have the bandwidth to personally post multiple times a day on social media, write several blogs per week, or be sending out a daily email blast. That’s okay. You’re not alone, and I’ll share a secret – most people don’t have time to consume all of that content, anyway! The secret is, consistency is more important than advertising everywhere.Consistent marketing allows you to engage with and cultivate your current audience, organically grow new followers, and measure results to improve your efforts over time. Even if you can only commit to posting twice a week on social media, people checking out your business will be able to see that you are current, consistent, and legitimate. 
  • Try sticking to writing one block per month, or one block every two months. Getting an email blast out monthly with good quality still sets an expectation with your audience that they can rely on hearing from you.

 

Pro Tip – It’s easier to grow the amount of marketing you’re doing once you have set a good habit at a foundational level. One way we make digital marketing easier for small business owners is by batching the work. It is less overwhelming to sit down and write several weeks’ worth of social media posts than to be responsible for writing a post every day. Try using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to cut down on the amount of time you have to spend live posting. Small adjustments like these make all the difference to your economic & growth strategy. 

 

People Work With Small Businesses They Like… and Can Remember

 

  • With the limited time that women entrepreneurs have to create their own digital marketing content, they often sneak over the line of approachability into direct promotion. Rather than building a relatable brand, they jump up on a digital pulpit and start listing off all of the products and services they offer. Hopefully, if they announce the right product or service, with all of the details, someone will read the giant list, and reach out to buy it!
  • If you don’t respond to these kinds of posts, emails, or even blogs, neither will your audience. In today’s digital age, to stand out, you have to be a real person. Your products and services have to solve a problem and your audience needs to like you. 
  • Be authentic. Throw in a dash of your personal life or stories about your struggles. It’s not easy to run a women owned business and your audience will respect your honesty in facing such challenges. Share real customer stories. It’s more relatable your brand is, the more likely people will remember you, especially when it comes time to buy something they truly need.

 

Pro tip – People do business with people they like, and people like people who give them an opportunity to talk about themselves. Engaging online with your audience online will likely yield you better results than frequently posting things that no one responds to. Try doing a customer spotlight series on your social media, or a project case study in your email blasts. Ask people what they think, what they’re doing this weekend, or if they have any advice to share. Get people talking and you’ll be more memorable!

 

Bonus Tip to Market Your Small Business!

 

A top way to boost your marketing efforts is by joining peer-to-peer learning groups that support your growth. Not just with referrals for business, but with resources, experience sharing, and connections. BrainTrust provides space and time to set goals, be accountable for your growth, stay focused, and scale with peer to peer learning. You learn from women who have either been in similar situations, have overcome obstacles, or have resources to help you work through them. I joined BrainTrust to be a part of a group of ambitious, strong, intellectual women dedicated to their work and growth. Remember what I said about consistency in your marketing efforts? Being consistent with BrainTrust has helped me scale my business and remain focused. Since joining the organization, my business has grown by 35% in Gross Revenue and 15% in profitability. 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Anna-Vija and her work at Piccolo Marketing, please visit her company’s website to learn more! Are you interested in growing your business and reaching your entrepreneurship goals with BrainTrust? Visit our website to learn how a supportive and driven community of women can provide the keys to success to thrive in the entrepreneurial journey. 

 

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