Small Business Marketing pays off!

On coaching for small business marketing it pays to look and plan your media campaign.   Of course, along with sales are the biggest draws perhaps for business coaching –  along with organisation and planning, but there are more ways it helps (1*).

Marketing is the BIG ONE to start with!   Getting yourself noticed, people understanding what you do and how, comparing your product or service to their needs – and they have to see your business/product/service/advert at least NINE TIMES before taking any steps or even taking any notice really!  That’s a lot of patience we business owners need then!  And a lot of commitment, effort and creativity.   Maybe you haven’t ever thought of yourself as creative? Or committed?  But there you have it.  

IMG_20140228_121302My old brand, changed in 2016 with a new focus and outlook

Brand & Image

Marketing pays off here because the first impressions can be impactful – or not.   But your brand matters, your image matters.   It has to sit comfortably with you and some people (like me!) like to manage this and choose it whilst others leave it to a professional designer perhaps to come up with their logo, brand and values – but what about your company and personal image?  I hope you consider that too.

And this can be something that slips, but if you are aware it can be better managed, or brought back on track.   It might be that you have changed market, outlook, direction or new products and you have to consider ‘what next?’ or just be starting out and unsure ‘who you are’ or want to be!  Talking it over with other businesses, comparing yours to others and see what they do well or not, and how you can fit into the sector, the culture and the local area.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Consistent Marketing & Choosing Media

Marketing a small business these days includes social media and there is bespoke training to meet your needs wherever you are up to in starting out or more advanced option, and even some free courses on ICT and basic marketing workshops around too.  Part of the coaching process would be to identify some of these to help you make headway in your business (2*)

The most important aspect of marketing is consistency.   Not necessarily the same media every week or month but some marketing every day, week or month!   Media isn’t just online but your

  • Printed adverts

 

  • Guest blogs on others websites
  • Relevant links perhaps
  • The now-familiar Facebook business page, Twitter, Linked in are almost everyone’s first options
  • Instagram for products is handyfacebook_logo-150x150
  • Snapchat too I understand
  • Street signs on A boards
  • Flyers to hand out at network or other events
  • Word of mouth is always helpful – ask for referrals from friends and family too or followers
  • Small videos relatively easy to do yourself with the right tools and training (3*)
  • Events and workshops for service provider businesses perhaps
  • Networking and events where this happens like training courses
  • Specific profile sites for your sector
  • Market place events

Do some companies manage marketing without Facebook? Does the speed of Twitter scare some business owners as it once did me?  Or Linked In – how to use it effectively to market and also gain customers as a mainly work focused tool?linkedin-logo2

Blogging is something lots of businesses aim to do but don’t know quite how – what to write, how to set it up and keeping up with the schedule is hard work.   But worth it!   I have learned over the years how to use most options, and my marketing is regular and consistent and it does pay off!

Your business coaching will cover marketing your business perhaps, and how to approach it or manage it, especially for small or sole traders/freelancers.

Profiles & Networking

Co Dir logo sm  Sector directory profiles can really help for some service businesses

 

There are other options too such as sector specific profile sites, or freelance sites where you can bid for jobs posted.    All these are essentially marketing, and let’s not forget the often-disliked networking!   Now, I love to talk to people, I like to find out about people, so networking is something I really love to do!   I remember my first one and how nervous I was but not one to shy away from most uncomfortable situations, I soon found how enjoyable and helpful it was.   A lady behind me as we were entering offered her support as this was her second event, and it really helped.

Since them, I have paid it forward and helped others stood on the side-lines or looking nervously at the throng they are supposed to enter and sell themselves to!   Awkward, unsettling, downright frightening and daunting at first, once you get into it and learn the etiquette and the objective, it becomes less fraught with ‘danger’!

Danger of what? Rejection, misunderstanding, making a fool of yourself, ruining your image etc etc etc.    But it is about building relationships not selling too.   Yes, it is about ‘selling’ yourself but like all relationships, this takes time – and not just a one off and dismissed because you didn’t get one client that meeting – or first time!

Well, you won’t necessarily get clients from there – and very unlikely it will happen first time, but you will over time when people need your services, have met and liked you (or learned to like you!) and will want to ask for your help or products first; then they have contacts in business, clients, family and friends – and these are future options too, that you would otherwise not have contact with.    And again, business coaching can help with networking confidence and guidance.

IMG_20130606_154826A network I used to run

 

1*: But there is more too like employee management, deciding next steps, new market ideas to discuss and more

2*:And even on the odd occasion actual practical help perhaps if the coach can offer that service too, as I can with forms and systems, some help on social media perhaps, or  workshops and mastermind meetings, bespoke workshops for your team

3*: www.filmcafe.co.uk do a great free day workshop at Manchester Library for this, one your phone if you want to dabble yourself or one of your staff, or even for your holiday videos and snaps!