14 Simple Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners

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14 Simple Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners
Image source: www.shutterstock.com

I’ve helped thousands of small business owners to make massively more sales than ever before. I am going to share my top marketing tips with you.

1. Get the best marketing advice

Throw your old marketing guides and audio programmes in the recycling bin. You need to know what works today and the marketing landscape changes rapidly. Before putting any marketing tips or ideas into place, check the date of the information you are using.

2. Use Content Marketing to massively boost your sales

Content marketing works. You may or may not be familiar with the phrase Content Marketing, yet you visit content marketing sites every day. When you visit news sites, entertainment sites or blogs that offer free business advice, you are visiting a site that uses content to market itself. Content Marketing can successfully be used to market any type of business. And it is unbeatable when it comes to attracting new clients, sales leads and subscribers.

Here’s how Content Marketing works:

You create a website, blog, vlog, newsletter or podcast, etc. You use it to provide free information that has real value to your prospective clients, whilst offering them the opportunity to purchase goods, services (or both), which are closely linked to the information you give away.

Content Marketing tip: ignore anyone who tells you that ANY content will do or that you can automate the process. This is not the case. If the content someone produces isn’t useful, it won’t do anything other than make them look bad.

3. Make email marketing work for your business

Email marketing is extremely cost-effective and one of the most powerful marketing tools available to small businesses. This is because it provides predictable results and costs little or nothing to use. Another huge benefit of email marketing is that unlike Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social network, you not only build your network – you own it!

Build your own email database. The best way to start building your subscriber list is to ask all your existing clients and contacts if you can have their email address. Never just add people to your email list. You need permission, otherwise they will regard your emails as spam. Ask your readers to forward your emails on to their contacts. If the content is good enough, they will but never assume anything, always ask them. 

4. Build a super-valuable network of business contacts

The reality is that the size of your network is not what’s important. It’s the influence of the people within your network that counts.

  • If my network has 1000 people, but they lack influence, it will have a commercial value of close to zero.
  • If my network has 10 people, but they are motivated and have real influence, it will have massive commercial value.
5. Internet marketing: start taking your website seriously

Most small businesses are unaware that their website is capable of being a 24/7, lead generating or sales machine. Your website can generate high-quality enquiries, leads, phone calls and sales from interested prospective clients as long as you do it right.

Today, the investment required for a professional looking website or blog is minimal. Yes, you certainly can spend thousands on a website, however, for the vast majority of businesses, there’s absolutely no need to spend that kind of money.

Another reason you need to take your website seriously is that almost everyone now uses the Internet to ‘check out’ a potential service provider. Before deciding whether to do business with a provider or not, the vast majority of people will look for the provider’s website. That includes the people you market your services to. So, what is your website ‘telling’ them about your business? Your website is a unique part of your marketing in one really important respect: it alone has the power to either kill or to supercharge the response rates of all your other marketing activities.

6. Match your prices (or fees) to your promises

There is a common mistake, which loses small and medium-sized businesses a fortune. It’s simply this: their marketing promises a high-quality service, but they charge a bargain-basement fee. By doing this, they send a mixed message to prospective clients, which loses them businesses.

Everyone knows that quality never comes cheap. We have been trained from childhood to believe that if something looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Promising people a high-quality service for a low fee creates doubt. That’s the last thing you want to happen in the mind of your prospective clients.

Make your services as valuable to the marketplace as possible and then charge accordingly. If you do, your prices will match your promises and you will have made it easier for future clients to trust your marketing message.

7. Use inbound marketing or ‘attraction marketing’ – not pursuit marketing

So, you might be wondering at this point, what this has to do with you and your marketing?  The most successful businesses all use the same power of attraction in order to attract sales, clients readers or customers. The most successfully marketed businesses gain the attention and interest of potential clients by making themselves attractive.

Most businesses get it the wrong way around, they choose to ‘pursue’ new clients and even though people are not responding to their letters, emails or calls; they just keep on grinding away regardless. 

8. Research your competitors for better marketing results

It’s impossible to effectively sell or market your services unless you have researched your competitors. You need to know what offers, guarantees, prices or fees you are up against, in order to make your offering the most attractive to potential clients. The key is to find out what you’re really up against and then beat it by adding massive value.

9. Use ‘joint ventures’

Sometimes known as a J.V, a Joint Venture is where you and another business or person get together to (usually) cross-market your services. The key to Joint Venture success is to find someone credible, who offers a non-conflicting product or service to the exact same profile of person or business as you do.

So, if you sell recruitment services to the hospitality industry and they sell employee benefits packages to the hospitality industry – bingo! They can include one of your flyers or letters in one of their mailings and you can do the same for them; everybody wins. Avoid doing a Joint Venture with anyone who contacts you via email, unless of course you know them or can check them out. 

10. Use ‘endorsed relationships’

An endorsed relationship is similar to a joint venture… but with a massive difference: the person you do the venture with actually gives you their professional or personal endorsement. This is marketing gold dust. It’s a powerful trust-building asset. It provides you, your services and your brand with instant credibility. This is especially the case when the endorsement comes from a highly-respected source.

An endorsed relationship is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet. I have seen endorsed email marketing return a 90% positive response rate. I’ve seen endorsed recommendations, where one person endorses another to a contact, result in massively valuable contracts. This may be one of the most effective marketing tips on this list. In short, endorsed relationships open doors, build trust and create opportunities. And extremely fast. Make sure you add this valuable business asset to your marketing mix.

11. Understand how ‘shortcuts to success’ work

The Internet is packed with people selling the idea that you can automate your way to success. They offer products, programmes, webinars, seminars and services, which promise shortcuts to success.

There are two things you need to remember when people offer you shortcuts to business success or wealth: they are seldom shortcuts and they never lead to success.

12. Boost sales using the power of curiosity

This is one of the most powerful marketing tips there is. It comes from understanding that every sales enquiry or new client enquiry you receive, has one thing in common: the prospective client or customer is curious. They want a piece of information, so they contact you to in order to find out. And in doing so, they provide you with an opportunity to convert them from an enquiry, to a client.

Instead of building curiosity, most small business marketing does the opposite. It tries to answer as many questions as possible. You will see lists, detailed information and FAQ’s: a series of answers the most common questions. All this does is reduce the need for a prospective client to contact you. Yes, there should be a basic level of information, but anything you do beyond that is hurting your marketing results. Instead of bombarding your prospective clients with information, your marketing should seek to ignite their curiosity. It should inspire them to feel they need to call you, email you or visit you.

13. Stop using buzzwords in your marketing

Using buzzwords in your marketing will instantly weaken the effectiveness of your message. Here are just a few I have seen used recently:

  • Intersection.
  • Ideate.
  • Deep-dive.
  • Pragmatic.
  • Disrupt.
  • Paradigm.

People use buzzwords in an effort to appear more informed or impress people. In reality, they have the exact opposite effect. There are two reasons for this:

  1. They make informed people cringe. This is a terrible idea if you want your peers to take you seriously or recommend you.
  2. They confuse the uninformed. In other words, your prospective customers may have no idea what you’re actually trying to say. And that’s the last thing you need when you want people to understand your message.

Clarity is paramount if you want your marketing to succeed. Anything, including buzzwords, which creates unnecessary confusion should be avoided.

14. Focus your marketing on the right people.

A common mistake made by small business owners is that they fail to focus their marketing correctly. As a direct result, they get too few sales leads or client enquiries. The most effective way to increase sales is to focus on people, who are dissatisfied with their current provider. When someone isn’t happy with their current provider, they’re actively interested in switching to a new provider. They are highly motivated buyers; the exact people you should be targeting with your marketing.

One way to market to the dissatisfied is to be easy to find when they’re looking for help. Search engines provide an excellent way to achieve this. That’s because your prospective clients and customers will often search the internet for exactly what they need, exactly when they need it. So, if they find your website, you’ll have the attention of someone who is actively looking for exactly what you provide.

Organic SEO is maybe the most powerful way to achieve this, for small business owners. In short, by optimising your website and content, you can organically (or naturally) become easy to find. The process is something you can learn to do and, with the right software, it’s pretty easy. It can also be extremely effective.

Advertising on Google (or other search providers) is another way to be there, when the dissatisfied are looking for the kind of product or service you provide. Paying for a top search engine result is a lot faster and easier than earning a top organic search ranking. However, it’s a far better advertising investment than typical ads, aimed at specific industries or geographical areas. With typical ads, you pay based on the size of the audience, even though the vast majority will never see your ad or they’re disinterested. You need to be smarter than that when you invest your advertising money.

In short: Seek out the dissatisfied. Not the disinterested. If you find yourself working hard on your marketing and not getting the sales results you want, stop. Make sure you are doing the right things, correctly. 

This article was sourced from: jimsmarketingblog.com