Your alarm clock screams “Wake Up!” as you jump out of bed at 6am. You get a workout in, get the kids off to school, eat some protein and enjoy that first hot cup of coffee! You are ready to seize the day and build your business into the money making machine you’ve always dreamt it would be.
Like most small business owners you know that you need the phone to ring and the inbox to sing if your cash register is gonna ring, and that means you need to do some marketing! That’s right! Marketing!
On your office chair…
Checking Facebook…and then email…maybe you wander over to Pinterest and put a picture up there. Then, you move over to your Google+ page, your Twitter and then back to your Facebook Business page and post a sale you’re having or a photo of some of your work.
Then, you wait for the leads to flow in. You send the next half an hour refreshing your social media pages to see if anyone ‘liked’ it. You also check your email a few times and hope for that game-changing lead to drop into your inbox.
I could go on about all the different ways we ‘market’ our businesses with less than amazing results. I’ve sent mailers, signed up for lead generation services and spent plenty of time on the phone with designers and sign people! I’ve busied myself with ‘marketing’ because I needed to do something. I needed to feel like I was taking some action in order to work ‘on’ my business.
Unfortunately, effective marketing takes more than good intentions and a few half-hearted and inconsistent activities in order to deliver results. Below, I will share a few things that I frequently advise my clients to do when implementing their own marketing. Some of these are simple, others will take some time…lots of time.
Here’s a list of things you can do now to market your business when you’re not sure what to do and if you’re tight on money:
Create ideal client personas for every type of customer you have.
If you’re a realtor you have sellers, buyers, investors, renters, etc.. That’s at least four different types of people with very different goals and pains that you need to understand. Become an expert in learning how to communicate with each type of client you have. This will help you to create content and talking points that will resonate with them in ways your competitors only dream of!
Get your database in order.
When you meet someone put their info into the database. At the very least use something like Mail Chimp and just put their name and email in. Stay in touch with everyone you meet. If you’re an ambitious little rascal you can create email list segments for each type of ideal client you have so that they each get the perfect message each month from you!
Make sure you take advantage of local search directories (they’re free).
Check out getlisted.org and make sure you’re showing up in places like Four Square, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Patch and more. These are free, so be there. Make sure your business is popping up on Google Maps too.
Get around and show your face.
Brush your teeth, put on your good shirt, clip those toe nails and get in front of people. Go to Meet Ups, Networking Groups, Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cuttings…go where there are people and build relationships. Most likely, your best leads will come from these relationships!
Create relevant and helpful content that will engage each of your ideal client types.
This is huge. Learn to blog, make videos, do podcasts..whatever it takes to become the trusted resource in your industry. I’ve personally helped companies double website traffic and leads by getting them focused on speaking the right language to their ideal clients. Wondering what to write about? Just write down every question that a customer has ever asked you and then, answer it. Sure, there’s a little more to it than that, but this is a great place to start. Here’s the dealio: The more relevant content you create and then more often you create it, the more you’ll be found in searches. Again, it only costs you your time…which you have plenty of if you’re not in front of a client!
Make a list of your Influencers.
An Influencer is another business that is standing in front of your ideal client on a daily basis. If you’re a painter, then one of your Influencers is a carpet guy. Build a huge list of these people and then strengthen the relationships. Give them leads, send them helpful articles to meet a need in their business, take them for coffee. The more Influencers you have thinking about you the more your phone will ring!
Do regular SEO on your website.
You’re not a ‘coder dude’? That’s ok! You can still learn a few things about basic SEO practices by watching some You Tube. Go through your site and make sure your page titles are solid. Learn what the best keywords are for reaching your ideal clients. Chip away at optimizing your site so that you continue to move up on the Google machine.
I hope some of these suggestions were helpful. These are time consuming, but necessary if you’re in a place where you don’t have a lot of cash to hire someone. If you’re willing to put the time in you can make some serious progress marketing your small business! Look at your calendar and block time out each day to work on this stuff. If you’re not serving a client this is your job!