Marketing strategies designed especially for small business owners who need results right now!
Something most small business owners, especially creatives and coaches (so if you’re a photographer, wellness coach, copywriter, designer, business coach) have in common is this:
You have so much desire to help your customers that you spend most of your time working with and for them – leaving your own business and your own marketing strategies til last.
Whilst this might be noble, it’s not the smartest way to run your business. It put stress on the other areas of your business and ultimately more stress on you when the customers suddenly move on or disappear.
If you’re finding yourself in that pickle right now and you want some smart and simple marketing strategies that won’t break the bank but will give you immediate results, this article is for you.
Review the below 10 Marketing Strategies to use right now and get to work on your business.
1. Get Emotional
Now I’m not talking about a slab of dark chocolate and a Meg Ryan movie.
I’m talking about how you craft, use and affirm emotion in your business.
Things like the images you use, the video you might use, the design you use and the language you use across your entire business. Review your website, the main copy on your website, your facebook posts, your blog copy, even your bio and your introduction emails immediately.
Are you explaining to your readers (both new and subscribed) who you are, what you do and importantly – why you do it?
In other words are you creating an immediate emotional response?
A quick way to upgrade this is to pay special attention to the information your readers see first, for example your headlines, subject lines and sub-headings.
Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules says…
“Aim for a gut reaction, and pay special attention to how your materials look when scanned quickly (as opposed to deliberately considered—because no one has the time or inclination to do that anymore).”
Why is emotion so important?
Well it comes down to how our brains work.
For all humans, our limbic brain, which is responsible for all human behaviour, is our decision making part of our brain and it’s emotionally guided.
To guide a decision in your readers or customers you must speak to their limbic brain. The other part to our brains, the neocortex will ask our limbic brains if something is important and worthy to take notice of.
Katharina Kuehn, Director of RDG Insights states: “The cognitive mind, or neocortex, is the newest part of the human brain and corresponds with analytical thought and language.”
2. Review the opportunities right in front of you
There is probably more opportunity sitting right in front of you than you realise. By ignoring them or not taking the time to investigate them (because you’re working hard for your customers) you might be leaving a lot of $$ on the table.
Review all the questions you’ve received from your customers over the last few months, see if you notice a trend.
Are a lot of people all wanting the same thing but you haven’t got around to creating it or providing it?
Have you been asked to collaborate or connect with a specific community and for whatever reason haven’t made your move?
Do you have a really good idea for a new course or video or blog post that you know will drive revenue and subscribers, but just haven’t put the effort into to hashing it out?
Is there any outstanding revenue, waiting to come into your business – so do you have overdue invoices that you need to chase customers to pay?
Carve out some time ASAP and you’ll be surprised at how fast you can turn it around.
Instead of waiting for things to happen ‘to you’, put some jazzy 80’s pop on and make it rain right now.
Review all your opportunities and make a list of 5 things you are going to take advantage of immediately.
3. Connect with your 10 favourite customers – ever.
There are two main ways revenue can show up in your business: it can come from new customers and it can come from existing customers. This is a key marketing strategy that works time and time again over most industries so listen up…
So if you want a quick strategy to generate cash – reach out to your favourite customers, your VIPS, your extra special ones and offer them something of value that you know will help them, and help you.
For photographers, this might be a one year anniversary shoot for your wedding customers, or a new family shoot!
For coaches, this might be a follow up 90 minute session for your clients who have recently completed a program with you.
For copywriters, this might be connecting with your best ever clients and letting them know that as their business evolve, the positioning and copy must evolve as well, so offer them a special package for return customers.
You will never know if you don’t ask!
As with all intentional and positive business make sure you come from a place of truth and genuinely provide an option that will help your customers.
Also – this strategy doesn’t necessarily have to come from a place of generating revenue, you could connect with your best ever clients purely to give thanks, give back and check in to see what is new in their world – as long as you’re providing something of value to them.
These clients are your VIPs, so treat them like VIPs, show the love and remind them that you and your business still think of them as important community members.
Is investing in yourself a marketing strategy? Hell yes. The energy, momentum and clarity that is gained from new learning and new skills is so powerful!
If you know there are areas in your business that you are just not great at, instead of hiding from them or hoping that you will learn along the way, make the decision to up-skill yourself and empower yourself to absolutely nail that area of your business.
Farnoosh Brock, the passionate founder and president of Prolific Living says: “This one thing, one crucial and most overlooked thing that will open doors of sweet opportunity for you, expand your horizons, and unblock you in ways you have never imagined possible so you can reach those dreams you talk about, this one thing is called investing in yourself.”
Imagine the strength, positivity, ideas and absolute clarity you can gain from learning new skills and imparting them back into your business. Amazing.
5. Create something new to share with your community that is purely for their benefit.
Creating free content that is purely for the benefit of your community allows you to engage with your community on an ongoing basis and positions you as an authority in their ‘conversation’.
What I mean by ‘conversation’ is not just the niche or industry you’re in, but what topics you’re a part of in that niche.
By creating content purely for the benefit of your tribe, you are letting your followers know that you are dedicated to their cause, that you are in their corner, and you are trying to help them as much as possible.
What it’s not designed to do…
- It’s not ‘to sell’
- It’s not ‘for everyone’ (that is, it’s targeted and specific to your followers)
- It’s not saying the same thing over and over (be fresh!)
If you’re a dietician or healthy eating coach, it could be a 5 day challenge at the start of a season to get back on track to healthy living.
If you’re an astrologist it could be an email or a blog purely designed around letting your followers know what to expect (from an astrology point of view) over the next week.
If you’re a web designer it could be a short video on what not to do when you plan your first website.
You get the drift.
And if your community likes and enjoys and gains something from your content they are more likely to share your content with others, so it’s a win: win.
6. Pitch it!
Publicity and growing your business or personal visibility in your industry is a key marketing strategy. Sometimes it’s a scary one. Sometimes it’s an exiting one. Often it’s a necessary one!
So if you’re looking for fast results, think about contacting your local media outlets and pitch a story, blog or video idea to them because – why not? You never know if you don’t try!
Intentional small business owners (like you and I) are usually coming at their industry or their business goals from a different perspective. It’s a point of difference in your market that might stand out as a newsworthy story for the media outlets that reign supreme in your field.
Don’t be afraid of your uniqueness and your difference, embrace it.
Make sure to share your personal story and your why. Also share the benefit to them as to why your content will help them with their editorial and readership goals (this is a key part of any pitch).
When you do get featured the media, make sure you leverage that exposure and display it on your website, post about it, let your community know about it, rock that exposure!
7. Audit your automation.
Sometimes the best marketing strategies focus on your internal systems and this is one of them.
If you are still doing everything in your business one tiny action at a time, then you are not using systems and especially automated systems to the best of your ability.
Automation is a rapid fire strategy! It can increase your efficiency and your revenue pretty effectively.
By automating your posting process, your subscription process, your email marketing process, even your sales process – you can really leverage your time and keep more time available for creativity, fun and life!
Think about what in your business you would like to happen without you?
You’ll be surprised as to how quickly, with the right systems you can let automation into your business. And once you do – wow – the growth it can create for you is amazing.
Automation doesn’t mean that your business goals or direction changes or that your business becomes less personal. The Wall Street Journal says that it just means that the process by which you can achieve your goals changes slightly.
Is there something you’ve been putting off doing in your business because you’re really scared of what will happen?
Maybe raising your prices.
Maybe creating a new product or service that you’re not sure your customers will buy.
Maybe taking a stance on a current issue in your ‘conversation’?
Maybe putting yourself out there a little more on a webinar?
This marketing strategy asks you to think of what could be on the other side of that fear.
Just for a moment, allow yourself to imagine that you’ve already created that product, or published that post, or hosted that webinar – how do you feel?
Pretty empowered right?
You don’t have to be speak to everyone so give yourself a break, make a big cup of gumption tea and go at it.
9. Pack and stack your services.
This is about packaging up your services or products and creating various offer options so your customers can gain the most from you and you can gain the most from your customers.
Basically if you give your customer a few different options for your services, one that is an average price point and one that is more expensive (and sometimes one that is less expensive) you can create some interesting results and see your average sale price increase.
Derek Halpern of Social Triggers has an awesome short video about this, you can check it out here.
Some of your customers will convince themselves that the average price point is more attractive than the less expensive option. Some of your customers will always take the more expensive option because they enjoy the ‘red carpet experience’. Like me. Spotify premium anyone? And some will always take the less expensive option.
For you as the business owner it’s about creating an option for your customer to ‘choose’ their experience and generally giving a small variety of options will see your average sale price increase.
This could unlock a flood of revenue in your business and is something you can turn around rapidly in your business.
The last marketing strategy that I’d like to mention because it’s OH-SO-IMPORTANT is Customer Experience.
Andrew Reid, CEO of Vision Critical, says: “Customers are beginning to understand that their true value to companies goes well beyond their wallets. This is the age of the empowered customer, when a single complaint on social media can cost a business millions of dollars, an online review can shape the fortune of a restaurant and feedback can significantly affect business decisions.”
You can put strategies in place to ensure you’re doing your best to plan the ultimate customer experience. These are strategies for each customer interaction, like:
- How does a customer find you?
- How do you continue to grow and develop that relationship?
- How can you entertain your customers?
- How can you connect with them emotionally?
- How do you serve them and best help them?
- How can they relay any information to you?
- How do you handle complaints and reviews?
- And how do you ensure that your relationship does not live and breathe on a sale?
For example, say you’re planning your email marketing path and you send a subscriber a 3 part email sequence designed to have them purchase an eBook. At the end of the sequence if they haven’t bought the eBook – then what happens?
Often this is the end of the road and where businesses can disappear for a customer, only to show up again when they want another sale.
Instead, plan what happens next for the customer if they do not decide to purchase that eBook – how can you better connect with them and add value for them?
Customer experience is about consistent touch points and a consistent flow of information and valuable content, and it’s really what establishes your brand in the eyes of your community.
By planning an amazing customer experience you are setting your business up for growth and success – and you will be able to grow and build a strong and loyal customer base of people wanting to buy from you.
I hope that you have gained some fresh ideas from this article.
Let me know what the biggest take-away from this article was for you in the comments below and enjoy your day!