My sense is that there is nothing business owners struggle with more than they do with marketing. There are just too many options, platforms, tactics, and self-appointed gurus. And there’s no guarantee that what works for one business will also work for another. And just when you do think you’ve got something figured out, the algorithm changes.
Yesterday we published what I think is one of the more interesting and authentic conversations I’ve heard about marketing (transcript and video). The basic thrust of the talk is that the place to start is not with platforms and tactics; it’s with understanding what’s special about your business. And yes, there has to be something special, something worth marketing, but there usually is—even in the least glamorous of businesses.
That approach has worked in some surprising ways for the two owners in the conversation. For example, it has attracted job candidates as well as customers. But it’s just one approach.
What have you figured out recently about your marketing?
I agree that marketing is one of the hardest things to truly crack for your business. However, if you crack that code, you are in a great spot to truly grow a thriving business. The crazy part is that things are constantly changing so one of the most important things it testing. No matter what you learn, you need to take a data view point to your findings.
Currently, we have been doing a lot of testing with facebook advertising. Case in point of how things are constantly changing, the recent IOS 14 opt out for ad tracking has completely changed analytics and performance. So, all that to say, it is very important to constantly test and be on your toes as things will constantly be changing.
I'd love to hear about other people's experiences with the new IOS update and how it has impacted your marketing plans.
I'm no expert at this, Loren, but over the years, others who know far more steered me to social media, primarily LinkedIn, and that has proven to be a huge deal for me! Even better, those wonderful "others" showed me how to maximize my presence there, and it has nothing to do with selling. It has everything to do with knowing what our hoped-for clients' pain points are and designing content that answers their questions, even if they didn't ask.
It also helps when we realize the power of helping others succeed there ... our image burns more brightly, and we're seen as the kind of person others would want to work with. And this works even for companies, although it's best when there's a "front" person of this type leading the way, engaging constantly with commenters.
The human element there is huge.
I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation you mentioned, even though a lot of it was "over my head." But those two guys clearly saw how to make their businesses attractive to prospective clients, even though it took some work!
It is far less complicated then people make it. Pick a plan. Set up a marketing calendar and go.
Consistency is far the most important part. You do not need to be perfect but you need to be consistant in your efforts. Small businesses tend to only market when business is slow thus they never build momentum. I have been a printer working with small business for the past 23 years and one thing you can cont on is that the plan gets dropped as soon as business picks up. Also you do not need to recreate your creative every time you market. Action is far more important then creative. The customer will still buy if the blue of your brochure is not perfect. Many business get caught up in the small stuff.