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March 30, 2018

Put Together a Marketing Strategy for Your Business

When you run your own business you have to look at things slightly differently and nothing illustrates this more than when you are trying to put together a marketing strategy for your business.  You need marketing for both short and long term growth.  You must put yourself in the shoes of your customer while still thinking like a business owner.  Many business owners out there still struggle to put together even a basic strategy and that alone is why so many businesses fail in the first five years.

Start with your mission

Your marketing strategy starts with your mission statement, and every business needs to have one.  What is it that you want to accomplish, what does your business stand for?  The life of your business is volatile enough with the day to day struggles that you have but your mission statement provides the foundation on which you build your business.  It can also help put you back on the right track when you are trying to find direction.  Don’t have your mission statement, here is some help in putting one together.

Developing a Strategy

You also need to understand that a marketing strategy is more than just finding the right customer.  It is a great deal of work to not only find the right customer but to also identify holes in the market and how you can use that information.  You need to do research and understand marketing demographics, how can you present your products and service to these customers and have that resonate.  You also need to have all of this line up with your financial goals.

The Difference between a Strategy and a Plan

There is a pretty big difference between having a strategy and having a plan in place.  The terminology is often used interchangeably and that creates confusion.  Your strategy is the ‘bigger picture’ or your overall approach to meeting your business goals in the long term, the plan is how you are going to achieve these goals along the way.  The plan has far more flexibility and you will be testing and adjusting along the way.  It is in your interest to understand the difference, you won’t be able to accomplish anything without know WHAT you want to accomplish.

Your marketing strategy needs to be built on sound research, you need to put clear goals in place and they need to be realistic.  It is these goals and strategies that will get you through the lean times and help you manage the busy times without pulling your hair out.  Being an entrepreneur is far from easy, but the right plan can make it a lot less difficult.

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March 27, 2018

Cost Effective Ways to Market Your Business

When you first start out with your business hiring a marketing firm may not be in your budget.  You can successfully market your business without spending a small fortune.  Before we had the web there were lots of ways you could cheaply market your business that were fairly cheap.  You could print fliers or do some network marketing to get the job done.  The internet changed the marketing game, but it many ways it does make it more cost effective to market your business.  If you have no budget for marketing, here are some cost effective ways to market your business.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a necessity and it is a cheap and easy way to market your business.  You can join groups related to your industry on both Facebook and LinkedIn.  Contribute to these groups regularly, this will help establish yourself as an expert in your field.  You can also create your own group on either platform.  It’s also an easy way to offer discounts or let customers know about sales.

Video Marketing

Got a smartphone?  Yes, then you have everything you need to start video marketing.  YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world so you definitely want to have a presence there.  Create some “how to” guides that people want to watch.  Think of the most common questions that your customers and make a video answering them.

Make Sure You’re on Local Listings

If you run a local business then this step is a must!  There are dozens of local directories that your website or business could be on but right now the one you want to concentrate on is Google My Business.  More and more people turn to Google before calling or buying anything, even locally, having your business here allows you to show up on Google Maps.  This is completely free and you can set it up in about 15 minutes.  You definitely want to be here.

Start a Blog

Blogging is an effective way to get your business name out there and to position yourself as an expert in your field.  You can connect to your customers directly and keep them updated on what is happening in your industry.  This is going to be work, you need to regularly contribute to you blog.  Use it as a chance to answer commonly asked questions and make sure that you share it across all of your social media channels.

These are just some of the steps to get you started bringing in new customers, at some point you will want to work with a marketing agency to help take your business to the next level of success.

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