Marketing a new small business is hard, especially if you have a small team (or a small business of one). If you are still early in your entrepreneurship journey, you probably have some basic parameters to guide your marketing decisions. Before you jump in, take a look at these tips to maximize your efforts. I have focused on these suggestions because they have been a common theme among recent clients that can cost wasted time and effort.
Your first clients come one client at a time. It is important to get in the trenches with your clients by reaching out and engaging with each one personally. Put in the work to find, understand, win and keep them, one by one. This part is not scalable. However, every company, no matter how big or successful, started this way. This process is slow but purposeful work.
Customer research and development can help you narrow down your "target market". Of course, you want to speak to your target market in a way that resonates with them. However, in almost every market, there are so many ways to communicate with people, they might not think the information is aimed at them...so they keep looking to find something that is. Therefore, you also need to focus on who your target market isn't. You want to avoid attracting them. Then, make sure your communications are aimed at that too.
Achieving small business success is hard. Don't make it harder by starting from scratch. Your marketing doesn't have to be revolutionary to be groundbreaking. Some of the best businesses come from slight changes to existing solutions. I'm not saying you should steal. However, when you find something interesting, save it. Then, when you need to create your own version of it later, you can use it as a reference. Take inspiration from different sources and create something new of your own.
In 2015, there are so many marketing channels available that it can be quite overwhelming. If you try to do everything at once, you won't make a dent in any of them. So, focus on a one (or a few). Companies like Groupon and Hubspot have had great success this way. Find out where you are getting the most traction and focus your efforts there. How do you know which channels to focus on? Let's talk.
Don't worry about marketing automation software just yet. As a new small business, you need to focus on having a marketing system in place first. The most successful businesses aren't successful because of their tools. They are successful because they built a system that worked. Tools make out lives easier but only once you've built a system to base if from.
Lastly, there s never going to be a "right time". Start anyway. Don't wait. Start now.
If you need assistance with your startup or small business marketing strategy, give me a call or send an email anytime.
Until next time,