Mackenzie | January 26, 2021 | Digital Marketing
You've already done the hard work. You started a small business!
Whether you're a manufacturer or a home services pro, you did the work of developing a business plan, finding the right people, and putting your plan into action.
Now, the challenge is getting people to your business. And that's where marketing comes in.
The big thing to remember when you're asking "how can I grow my small business with marketing?" is you get out what you put in.
Marketing, and especially targeted digital marketing efforts, will work to grow your small business, but you do have to put in the work (or hire someone to do the work for you) to see results.
Each of these 6 quick tips I'm going to mention today will help you grow your small business according to your unique goals. They're all manageable tactics you can tackle on your own. But, it's important to remember that these are all ongoing efforts. The trick with marketing is it's never one-and-done. It's always: implement a strategy, see how it works, refine, and keep trying.
That's the key to consistent small business growth. Okay, lecture over. Let's get to it!
If you only have time to sit down and do one thing, please let it be this.
Define your small business' growth goals.
It's really hard to implement small business growth strategies if you don't know the why behind them.
Are you looking to sign with two new big buyers? Want to find a distributor in a new region? Hoping to open a new location? Thinking about expanding into another product or service line?
Whatever it is, give it a name, and give it a timeline.
When you know why you're marketing, you'll know how to grow your small business with marketing.
Just defining your goals can have a massive impact on how you're finding customers, how your sales team is selling projects, and more. So, before you even get to the work of marketing, decide what your goals are and share them.
Even if you have a small office of 5 people, when everyone knows what the goals are, they're much easier to work towards.
Once you know what you want, it's a lot easier to figure out who can help you get there.
For example, if your small business growth goal was to expand into another product line, now you need to figure out who buys that product.
Who is your ideal market for that product or service? (Also known as a buyer persona.)
Again, this is another tip that will inform everything about how your small business works. When you have identified who you're marketing to, even when you're not actively blogging or creating email campaigns, you'll be making more informed choices about how you're selling, how you're doing business, and with whom.
When you're a small business, people will judge you on your online presence.
Big companies can get away with having a less-than-stellar site. Sure, the Craigslist website looks pretty lame, but it's Craigslist. Who's gonna complain?
As a small business, your website is likely the first interaction a potential customer will have with your company. Even if you have a brick and mortar location, people are likely to look you up online before they actually stop in. So, your SMB website has to look good, and for the purpose of growing your small business, it needs to work well too.
There's a lot to say about how to grow your small business by marketing through your website, but the basics are:
Of course, there's much more that goes into a great website, but those four essentials should get you started on the right foot.
A quick note: If you're a busy small business, and you don't have time for many marketing campaigns or tactics, these first three steps are the best places to start. When you have answers to both what you want, and who you want to work with, you can develop a solid website. And if there was one marketing tool you needed to grow your small business, it's your website.
Once you get your website up and running, you should focus on continuously optimizing it. That's still much less work than many other marketing tactics, and when done properly, it can deliver significant results. So, if you absolutely only have time for one thing (and you're not lying ) make it your website.
The crux of marketing a small business, as I've already mentioned, is making time to put in the work.
If you're like many other small businesses, you're short-staffed, and most people on your team wear many hats. No one has time to learn how to set up a complex Google Ads campaign, or figure out the inner workings of Instagram Reels.
Take whatever time you have, whether it's 5 hours a month or 5 hours a week, and put it to the tactics that will deliver the greatest results.
For example, if you're setting aside 5 hours a month to your marketing efforts, building out a complex email workflow is not the best use of your time.
That's a great marketing tactic, and it would do a lot to help you nurture leads who are already in your system, but:
There are a ton of SMB lead generation tricks and marketing tactics available to you:
The list goes on and on. You can't do them all at once.
Think back to your small business goals. How did you want to grow your small business?
Okay, now which one of these tactics will best help you get there?
Identify the tactics that are most aligned with your goals and your audience, and start there. It's not worth it to spread yourself thin and burn out. Instead, choose one or two tactics you know are aligned with your goals, and focus your efforts there until you start to see results. Which brings me to the next tip...
People think a lot of things about marketing, but an unsexy truth is that consistency is what gets results.
Sure, you can invest in all kinds of flashy ad campaigns, a bright and shiny new website, and cute imagery for your social media accounts, but none of it is going to work if you don't put in the time, and seriously stick with it.
If you've decided that all you have time for right now is to focus on your website, that's great. Now put in a set amount of hours per week, month, or quarter, on your website.
Just don't redesign your website and forget about it.
If you want to know how to grow your small business with marketing, the best advice I can offer is to pick something, and stick with it.
The more consistent you are about your marketing efforts, the faster you'll get a good feel for what works and what doesn't. And when you know what works, you can keep using it to grow your small business.
This blog on how to grow your small business with marketing has given you a lot of practical, hard-truth advice. And that's what you're going to need to succeed. But I'd also like to leave you with one fun tip for your small business: try new things!
There are new things popping up everyday from TikTok and Reels to new information on how Google ranks your website.
As long as you consistently put effort into those few marketing tactics you've identified earlier, you should also give yourself the freedom to try new things.
As a small business, you're agile. You have a close team who can get things done quickly. You don't need to get 15 approval signatures to try out a new ad campaign. So, when you've got a handle on the basics and your marketing efforts are starting to deliver the growth you're looking for, don't be afraid to try out some new things, too.
Every business is different — what works well for some companies, doesn't work for others. The only way you can get to the bottom of some of that is to let yourself try new things, and be okay when something doesn't work.
Marketing a small business is no joke. You're already busy with your actual job, and now you're adding on a consistent marketing workload on top of it. Your team is stretched thin. If you're not sure you want to handle marketing, too, talk to the Evenbound team. We'd love to help!
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
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