Promoting your business can be a minefield, as it’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed with all of the ‘How to marketing’ tips out there.
Too much information can blow your mind and then you often end up not taking any action at all - especially if you’re looking to market things on a bit of a budget when you’re first starting out.
We’ve condensed some of the many general marketing ideas into this easy to read article to help you create a doable plan that you can use to grow your business.
First things first -
1. Be clear on your marketing goals
This one seems obvious but having clear marketing goals helps you to focus and make them more achievable. Setting clear specific goals can help you plan exactly how you will work towards them and achieve them. Grab a notebook or laptop and jot down exactly what it is you want to achieve with your marketing so you have something to aim towards and measure against …..
Write this down so it’s clear, because I’m a huge believer that you can’t manage what you don't measure and be specific!
Clear goals might look like some of the following:
* Increase sales by 50%
* Increase social media following by 300
* Increase clients by 2 per week
The above goals are just an example and yours might look completely different, and that’s ok.
2. Build your own marketing strategy
A professional marketing strategy can cost you a small (or big!) fortune but we believe you can create your own bespoke marketing strategy yourself. Let’s brainstorm how you’ll tackle promoting your business.
It’s great to have a goal like ‘earn an extra £5k this year,’ or ‘gain an extra 1,000 followers,’ but having a marketing strategy will help you break your goals down into manageable steps to help you achieve them.
Ask yourself the following questions and plan around them:
* What message do you want to project? Do you want to portray that you’re an expert lash technician? You create luxury cupcakes for all occasions? Your plumbing services are friendly, professional and trustworthy? Scribble down as many ideas that come to mind then decide on one or two clear messages. You don’t want to confuse your audience with too many.
* How will your message get to your audience? Through your social media channels, via established bloggers in your industry? Local newspaper? Podcasters? Influencers? Reach out to people who can help you promote your business. Write an article for bloggers, contact podcasters and ask to be interviewed, speak to your local newspapers. If you don’t enjoy writing, email bloggers and ask them to write the article, make sure you provide them with enough information to make the blog interesting, and let the expert writers write for you.
* What tools will you use? Blogs? Social media? Canva? Press releases? Do you need to research how to write a mini press release? Do you need to research who the editor is at your local newspaper? Local news journalists are always looking for fresh stories to report on, so what is it about you and your business that should be in the paper?
3. Use your social media
Using your current social media platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, means its totally free to share your content with an absolutley huge audience. Research your ideal client and create posts and videos that will appeal to them and engage your followers and attract new followers and showcase your business.
Like, comment and share the posts of your own followers to build up a relationship, which is another free way to market your business. People buy from real people with real stories. Get to know your potential customers and adapt your posts to engage them.
Keep being yourself throughout. That way you’ll be totally relatable to your target audience and attract an audience of loyal followers who really like your content, services and enjoy seeing what you’re up to. Remember it's called Social media for a reason - so keep it social, entertaining and upbeat as no one wants to feel stressed out, put upon or confused as they scroll through their feed during their down time!
Extend your circle by networking.
What do you offer? Could your services be ideal for other businesses? Are there any networking events going on in your local area? Reach out to groups and other businesses and network to build on those relationships.
Does your business work well with another? For example, if you’re a beautician, could you team up with a hair dresser and promote each other's businesses to your current clients? If you’re a life coach could you team up with a nutritionist and promote each other’s services? Can your clients easily be shared with another industry and vice versa?
Collaborating with different small business owners can be a great win-win for you both to accelerate your growth and widen the number of people that hear about what you do.
5. Marketing Calendar
Creating a marketing calendar ahead of time, we suggest at least 3 months ahead, helps you with planning and feeling more organised. Make sure you’re always aware of key dates that are coming up and know where its best to reference your business promotions.
Start to research any upcoming local and national dates and see if they are relevant to your business. The list and possibilities are endless. You could promote your services and how they relate to key dates on social media, in the local papers, and within your community.
For example - are you a hairdresser or beautician? You can target events such as ‘wedding season,’ Valentine’s day, Christmas season, Prom time, etc. Are your products cruelty free? Can you research Vegan friendly dates / events?
Life coaches may want to use key dates for mental health awareness week, stress awareness month, New Year’s resolution season. Can you create a journal helping people to track their mental health and or any triggers that might come up because of key dates through the year? Can you create a goal setting tool helping people to stick to and accomplish their goals?
Are you an author? If so, then knowing when World Book Day is ahead of time, means you can book author visits to schools. If you’re a children’s author, and do book signings, it’d be good to find out when world literacy day is so you could contact your local bookshop and arrange a book signing.
If you’re a cake baker, how about creating something special like some special cupcakes for Mother’s day only, or Valentine themed cakes, Christmas cupcakes or Easter muffins.
You can also keep it local. Does your town or village have a spring/summer fair? Can you create something and offer it to your community for that event? Are there any festivals going on in your city? Could you create an offer that works alongside the festival? Having a 3 month calendar of key dates means you will always be ‘on-trend’ with your products and/or services.
Marketing doesn’t have to be scary or break the bank and if you try out some of our ideas above and let us know how you get on. The most important thing is to try and have fun with your promotion and marketing.
Remember that it’s your business you’re promoting and no one knows your business quite like you do, so add your own flavour into your blogs and social media posts and enjoy having some fun while working towards your goals.
Do let us know what ideas this blog has given you. We love hearing more about other peoples marketing challenges as it can help us feel less alone.
Follow us on @pocketpa.gb on instagram and facebook and send us a message as we love to connect.