When you run a small business, you have to be the jack of all trades doing everything from customer service, to accounting and cleaning. But of all the jobs, finding a way to market your small business is the most important. After all, if you don’t market your business – you won’t be found by customers!
1. Your Website Must Have Brains & Beauty
Imagine your website is a person – they have to look good enough so you admire that attractive shirt they have on, but you also want to be distracted from the attractive shirt by the equally appealing words coming out of their mouth.
You must market your small business – that’s a non negotiable!
You want to be there in the results when people Google your industry. And you want them to stay on your website long enough to click the all important ‘contact us’ button.
Stick to the “F” Rule when designing your website. Imagine the page as a whole and then make sure the important details sit within the F pattern.
Notice how the information they want you to see is in one of those red boxes which form a rough F shape? That’s not an accident. This designer has also utilised the clever step of replacing the second vertical line of the F with a stylish image of their product. There’s not actually that much on this page, but it does a provide the user with hints on where to go. And considering this website is the first Google result when you look up ‘WA Builder’ – I’d say it’s working for them. Choose clean colours, strong branding and if you’re thinking you might have crammed too much onto one page take Coco Chanel’s advice and take one item off before leaving the house, because you probably have.
If you’ve got a few valued clients already, they’re worth spending a bit of time on! Referrals are going to be a massive part of your marketing strategy so find new ways to interact with your existing clients.
Importantly, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. If someone’s happy with the work you’ve done, they’re not going to begrudge spreading the good word. And while you’re at it, get a WoMo account happening so your customers’ feedback is not only accessible, but shareable as well.
3. Social Media – there’s more than just Facebook.
Pinterest: Used to share photos, Pinterest is a fantastic way to market design products, homewares, fashion and home décor.
Twitter: Amazing for quick interactions with customers. People love having access to businesses on Twitter and knowing they’re being listened to.
LinkedIn: It’s a modern rolodex. No professional should be without one.
YouTube: If your small business ‘does’ something, it should be thoughtfully presented on YouTube. Even if it’s digging holes – show people what you can do!
YouTube is especially important as video has become such a vital part of small businesses’ marketing strategies. If you’re not feeling confident, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars to get a professional to do it for you. Get a professional voiceover, pop it on YouTube and utilise Google search. YouTube advertising is cheap (about 7c a view) and after spending a very minimal amount you’ll find your organic ranking skyrockets and you can stop the spend.
4. Blog – they’re not just pretty pictures.
It’s like your website – only cooler. Using a blog as part of your marketing strategy is a great way to give your small business some real personality and give your customers a hub to come to when they want to discuss something with you. It gives you a little more freedom to go into detail about your products or services without being distracting or overwhelming. People know what they’re looking for when they’re on a blog, so know what your audience wants and give it to them.
5. Use the things you already have to market your small business.
You’ve got premises, staff and a phone system, so make them work for you.
Premises: Is your office/showroom thoughtfully planned out and neat? Walk around your space like you were a customer. If you don’t like the way it feels, it’s not right.
Staff: Are they presented the way you want your business to look? When you’re not there, they will be selling so be sure they look and sound the part.
Phone: The phone could be the first way a new client interacts with your business after visiting your stylish new website, so make sure they hear a confident friendly voice on the line coupled with professional On Hold messages. Don’t waste this valuable opportunity to tell them more about your small business because you could sell just the thing they’re looking for.