Most small business owners have an idea of what marketing is, but many don’t know the ins and outs of how to make it work for you. This makes sense because many of us go to school for years to learn the ins and outs of marketing (myself included), so not being able to pick it up just like that is completely understandable. That said, until you have the money to hire an expert you have to be the main marketer for your small business. With that in mind, here are a few marketing tips to help get you off on the right foot.
Get to Know Your Audience
Many companies fail right off the bat because they don’t take the time to get to know their audience. They jump right in, both feet first, and pursue the same marketing strategies that everyone else is deploying. But marketing isn’t straight across the board for everyone. Just because something works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you, and that’s most likely because you have different audiences.
So the first of my marketing tips is to get to know your audience. Getting to know your audience requires a little market research — but don’t worry, you don’t have to hire yourself a big marketing research firm to do this. A few things you can do right now:
- Sketch a customer avatar — this is a figurative picture of who your product or service serves. What are they passionate about? What problems do they have?
- Find your ideal audience on social media and follow them — figure out what they’re talking about and struggling with and see how you can help them.
- Conduct interviews with members of your target audience — if it’s your first time and you’re a bit hesitant, try interviewing a friend or family member that falls into this category.
There are a ton of other ways you can get to know your audience, but the most important thing in mind is to figure out what their problem is and how you and your company can solve it.
Remember: Quality Over Quantity
Do you know what the optimum number of Tweets is per day to get the best amount of coverage for a company? It’s seven. That’s right, some guy (or gal) went and did some research and figured out that if you Tweet at your audience seven times you’re bound to get some notice.
Now, I can’t actually give you the study for this because I remember it from a lecture or course I took, but my point is that yeah if you throw yourself at an audience, you’re bound to get a little notice. But it’s not going to be for the right reasons. Social media has made our need for instant gratification, and for lack of better term, general ability to annoy the crap out of our audience so much worse. Companies, especially small ones struggling for some airtime, seemingly sacrifice quality for quantity to get their message in front of everyone.
But if you’re looking for a long-term sustainable marketing strategy, quality is it. Quantity, while it works in the beginning, is not going to last. When you do manage to get your audience’s attention, they’ll soon realize that what you have to offer isn’t great quality. Or they’ll be the wrong audience for you and your service or product won’t solve their problem.
So the second of my marketing tips is to strive for quality — it might take a little longer, but it’s also much more likely to last longer.
Refine Your Elevator Pitch
If you’re looking for good marketing tips, look no further than your elevator pitch! Your elevator pitch is that statement you give when someone asks the dreaded so what do you do question. And when you’re a small business owner, it’s important that this elevator pitch encompasses your company brand so that everytime it’s repeated it shines the light that it’s supposed to on your company.
Your elevator pitch should be brief (as if you only have a quick ride in an elevator to share it) and tell your listener not only what your company does but why you do it. Your why is one of the biggest motivators for long-term customer loyalty.
Always Add Value
When it comes to talking about the best marketing tips for your business, we can’t forget to talk about adding value.
The truth is, when it comes to business, it’s not enough to just operate on a day-to-day basis, provide a service and get cold hard cash from your clients or customers. No, you need to work to add value. Not only do you have to solve whatever problem they have, but you need to do it better than anyone else. And in a way that resonates with them.
If you keep a monthly blog, make sure that every post adds to the value your small business gives as a whole. While customers buy a product or service, they return because the business resonates with them. Their goals are aligned, and at the end of the day, they feel that they get more value out of what you have to offer.
The final of my marketing tips for today has to do with collaborating. Collaboration is one of the easiest (and when you’re starting out a little bit challenging) ways to market your service. Collaboration sees you pair up with other small businesses, thought leaders and influences to bring your product to their market, and theirs (whatever it is) to yours.
I find that a lot of business owners have issues with the idea of collaboration because they get stuck on the competitive nature of business. But collaboration opens you up to new audiences that you might not already have access to. The best way to collaborate is by working with other businesses that serve the same customer base as you but provide a different product or service.
What marketing tips have helped you grow your small business? Tell me about them in the comments below!
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