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February 12, 2017

Marketing Your Small Business If You Don’t Have Time

Many small business owners that I speak to don’t have time to do any marketing for their business.

The problem is they also don’t want to pay someone to do it for them, as they don’t see the value, or they’ve been burnt in the past or both.

So why should YOU find the time or money to market your small business online.

Simple answer, marketing is the lifeblood of every business large and small.

If you’re not promoting your message to your potential audience then how do you expect leads to come into your business?

Weirdly enough, if someone types into google the keyword of the solution that you offer, if your website is not optimised, you are unlikely to appear.

If someone goes to your Facebook personal page and they can’t see a link to your website, they won’t go and look for your website.

Am I painting a picture here?

Marketing is the bit you do before sales and after-sales and before sales and after-sales and so on and so forth.

this small business marketing stuff is not magic

So how can you market your small business if you don't have time?

Collaboration - Join forces with a company who complement your products and services, so for example, if you are a therapist that helps people with stress and relaxation techniques.

You could not partner up with someone who sells oils or scented candles. 

If you both have an email list you could send a mailer out to your list promoting the other services and don’t forget you could also share news about each other on your social media platforms

Get some User Generated Content - Talking of social media, have you thought of asking or encouraging your customers to create content to post on your social media platforms.

You could ask for check-in’s or a video testimonial or written review.

So for example, if you were a fitness instructor, you could ask your students to use before and after photo’s to show people how effective you are with what you do.  
41% of local businesses depend on social media to drive revenue (fundera)

Ask for referrals - Customer referrals are something else that you should consider especially if you have a good CRM platform or an up to date spreadsheet. 

Just create an offer which gives your customers great value for referring and then email it out to them.  You could even run a competition amongst your customers to see who is the best referrer.

Automate some of your social media - You can easily automate some or all of your social media, using tools like IFTTT, Feedly and Buffer

The key to this is creating batch content, you can quickly and easily create multiple themed posts for your social media platforms using tools like canva.

Before you start creating your content it is advisable that you plan your message and what you are going to say on your posts..

If you can get this right you will soon be scheduling your social media posts weeks in advance. 

Get some feedback from customers or prospects - Online marketing forms like Google Forms and SurveyMonkey all you to gather data from your customers, you may find some of the feedback they provide helps you when you are thinking about what product or service to offer them in the future. 

If you have an email list I would encourage you to get started on this right away.

Create a custom email signature - Your email signature can be a very powerful tool when you are doing online marketing especially if you are active online with sending out and replying to your emails. 

That space under your name can be used to promote all or some of your online assets, whether it be your website, landing page or social media platforms.

You could also use the email signature as a place to put your client qualifying message.

Networking - Online and offline can be a great way to market your business, but make sure you do it properly.  It really annoys me the number of people who I see at offline networking events who don’t even have a business card or any web assets for me to look at.

 When you first go networking, no-one is going to buy off you the first time they see you. 

They are going to want to check you out first, they will maybe go to your website if you have given them a way of finding it..

If you don’t have business cards send everybody that you engage with a personal email thanking them for their time.

hot tip: if you're using an email signature, your readers will be able to click through to your online assets

Online networking - is pretty much the same, don’t be that person who shouts buy my stuff and is not interested in other people.

Use your time networking online to answer questions and help others, what will happen is that some people will go and check out your Facebook personal page to see what you are all about.

If your profile has the right message which resonates with them, then they may go to your Facebook business page or website if you have provided a clear way for them to do this..

If you’re organised and ithe solution you provide is for a problem they are looking to solve then boom, you may have just got yourself a potential new customer.

Send regular emails to your list -

Have you been collecting customer data from the very first moment you started your business?

If the answer is yes then you should be doing email marketing if you are not already.

This one method has been responsible for me generating revenue for my business almost on autopilot. 

Email is a great way to stimulate your business with new orders, get rid of excess stock or launch a fabulous new product or service

Most importantly email is great for reminding your customers that you are still in business and to think of you when they are ready to buy.

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So what do you do if you’re still too busy to market your small business?

Well, this is where I would recommend looking around for someone to help you do it.

You see most small business owners never get around to having an effective marketing strategy.

This means there are always opportunities that they completely miss out on, which makes life easier for the competition.

It is not surprising when you consider how many different ways there are to market a business.

The  best thing is to choose one method of marketing and implement it in your weekly routine.

If you get some good results then look to improve on it or automate it if possible.

But if you are still time poor then just pay someone to do your small business marketing for you.

There are so many different things that you can do to market your business and it is nigh on impossible for any one individual to do them all.

So what are the benefits of paying someone else to do your small business marketing?

The biggest two benefits are time and money.

Every hour that you spend on Facebook posting and commenting is an hour that you are not actually making any money for your business.

Unless of course you already have an effective Facebook strategy, with a call to action, a funnel and an end result

If you pay yourself £25 per hour, and you spend one hour per day doing your own marketing.

Then you are costing your business £500 per month.  (£25per hour x 5 days x 4 weeks)

Likewise, if you can afford to take 20 hours a month out of your business to do marketing then you either have a very successful enterprise or you are not very busy, which probably comes down to your lack of marketing previously.

Believe me when I say it will save you money 

giving your marketing responsibilities to someone else allows you to focus on the the important things like:

  • Looking after your existing customers, making sure their experience of your business is first class.
  • Time to create new products and services to grow your business.
  • Stepping away from the business to focus on areas of improvement  

What to consider before you pay someone to market your business for you?

You need to make sure you know your numbers

Your website analytics can be used to measure the amount of visitors you currently get to your website from your existing marketing.

Social media analytics can be studied to measure the effectiveness of the marketing your currently doing.

The breakdown of your customers, are they subscribers or one-off purchasers, do they pay on direct debit or ad hoc, what is your average order value?

Understanding all of the above will allow you to decide on what strategy you want your hired marketer to follow and also what kpi's or targets you will put in place for them.

Quite simply you are the expert at what you do, if you have not got the time to market your business then get someone who is skilled in their field to do the marketing for you.

I understand if the vast amount of marketing advice out there can overwhelm or scare you but there are many experts in their fields that can help and guide you.

If you would like to discuss the marketing that you do in your small business then drop me line, comment below, or come and talk to me on one of my social networks.


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But unfortunately, that is easier said than done for most small business owners.

You see most small business owners don’t understand online marketing, they constantly feel overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information that is delivered to them almost daily, and they are tired of throwing good money after bad, chasing the latest marketing trend that is going to make them millions.

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  1. Excellent post with a lot of wonderful suggestions and ideas for small business owners. Completely agree with the need of visible social media presence and building an email list for businesses to grow loyalty.
    Many businesses that are hurting due to the current lockdown can hopefully use your tips to enhance their online presence and enhance digital revenues when traditional sales are slowing down.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Joshi,

      thank you for your kind words.
      I really hope that businesses can turn this current situation to their advantage, by taking time to really refine what they are offering, who they are offering it to and how they deliver their offering. Zoom has been a lifesaver for several of my clients as it has allowed them to continue offering paid consultations without impeding their income. Unfortunately, there are still too many people who are afraid of technology and will have to toughen up if they want to succeed when we come out of this crazy period. The world is going to change because of this, we need to adapt, there is no other option.

  2. I found your post an interesting marketing strategy, and this is great for those who can afford to pay someone to help them market their business but the majority of people are not in the situation to afford to pay often is their main problem

    Email marketing is the number one marketing strategy, and I earn 90% of my income through my publications simply because the people who sign up are very interested in my products and services.

    Jeff

    1. Jeff,
      thank you for your comment.
      You are spot on my friend, not everybody can afford to pay someone to market their business for them.
      But at the same time, I have come across many clients who spend 5 hours a week marketing their business and get little or no return from it.
      This is normally due to the fact that they don’t know what they are doing, or for them, it is a last-minute activity to be fitted in at the end of the day, with no passion going into it so this reflects in their message “Buy my stuff” and all those other signals that send buyers running for the hills.

      I have finally started with my own email marketing and it has been number one the best thing that I could have done to move my business forward.

    1. Thank you for your comment David.

      You are cool not everybody understands these acronyms or whatever they are called these days.
      Zapier is another great bit of software for connecting apps to each other so they automate some processes for you, give me a shout if you wish to discuss some of this further.

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