In today’s COVID world it is more important than ever to make the most of any marketing opportunity and build relationships with customers that endure over time. Small businesses have to figure out what works so that their precious resources (time and money) are spent in all the right places and building loyal relationships is the way to do it.
Small business marketing tips to implement now
If you’re tired of trying to figure out marketing on your own, here’s where to start:
- Get your messaging right
You have but a few seconds to cut above the noise. Be clear, not cute and clever with your messaging. If you’re unsure start by focusing on:
a. The customers’ problem that you exist to solve
b. What success looks like for them
c. How to buy.Speaking clearly to your customers IS a source of competitive advantage. It makes it easy for customers to know why you matter, and to buy from you. But it doesn’t stop here, it also makes it easy for them to recommend you to others.
- Re-visit your website
If you’re not getting business from your website, it’s not working for you. See point 2 above for the messaging that you may be missing out on (and which could be costing you business).
- Get testimonials
Any business that has a base of raving fans who share their experiences and are happy to make recommendations to others, has a huge competitive advantage. Collect testimonials and use them liberally. On social media, on you Google My Business profile, your website and your printed materials. Testimonials are quite simply mini-stories that help prospects envisage themselves enjoying the success that your existing customers have. People will naturally trust others more than they trust you (think of the success of Trip Advisor) so this will do more to build trust and credibility than you can do on your own. Testimonials are powerful and they’re FREE. Don’t underestimate the power of a great testimonial.
- Focus on your existing customers
Most businesses get this wrong. They are so focussed on getting new business they are leaving money on the table when it comes to their existing or previous ones. My advice? Start at the point nearest to the point of sale and work your way out. Your current client-base is quite possibly a goldmine of opportunity that you just aren’t exploiting:
- Do your customers really know all the products and services that you offer?
- Is there an opportunity to upsell?
- When was the last time you touched-base with a client that hasn’t done business with you for a while to check in on their needs?
This needn’t be a complicated process, a simple phone call is sometimes all it takes. If you are short of inspiration here are some quick, easy and FREE ways to stay front of mind and boost your sales to your existing customer base:
– Regular email
– Phone calls
– Follow their social media and make sure that you comment on and like their posts.
5. Be social on social media
Having a social media presence is almost a given in today’s world. Social media is not just about one-way communication. It’s about building meaningful conversations, and you can only do this if you dedicate time to commenting on, liking and sharing other peoples’ posts. Dedicate time to this and watch your engagement and reach explode.
6. Develop strategic partnerships
Build relationships with businesses that serve the same clients as you, but in a slightly different way. Often it’s a win for you, a win for your partners and a win for the client. Imagine how much more likely you are to convert a prospect into a sale it you have been recommended by one of their trusted advisors. If you want quality leads, find the right partners to help you.
7. Start networking
In today’s digital world, we often forget the power of networking, especially in this pandemic era. However, building deeper relations with others in your community, be that regional or in your industry. It’s still the most powerful method of marketing – with plenty of opportunities online whilst face-to-face meetings are more difficult.
8. Write a plan
Even a one-pager will do to start. Make sure you focus on a few key priorities. It is more important to do a few things well than try and do too much and get nothing completed satisfactorily. Focus your efforts that you believe will have the most impact, that you are confident in, and importantly that you can do with ease. If you have a choice between something that’s simple and something complicated, simple wins EVERY SINGLE TIME.
The last word:
Marketing is not about “making the sale” and your marketing efforts should certainly never stop when you do.
Instead, treat your marketing as a farmer nurturing his crops and flocks. Marketing is not a cost, it’s an investment in your customers. Nurture them, talk to them and take the time for them to know you, like you and trust you. Your bottom-line will thank you.
Stop trying to sell, and start trying to build relationships.
Get small business marketing advice today.
For a FREE one hour consultation about how to help your business grow, get in touch today!