Can I Market My Own Business

Can I Market My Own Business

 by Steph Dickson
by Steph Dickson

by
Steph Dickson

Can I Market My Own Business ?

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

If you are asking this question your are in the right place.

But what exactly is Marketing? The answer is fairly simple.

MARKETING IS HOW YOU TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.

Of course you can market your business so we hope our recommendations will help you. But it won’t happen overnight. It’s all about taking small steps.

Lesson 1. Marketing is NOT just about posting content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok or any other social network platform. It is a science that encompasses everything you wish the world to believe about you.

If you have the budget to support your own marketing team, even better. But for the majority of small businesses that may not be possible. That is, until your marketing strategy has not only retained existing customers or clients, but has attracted new ones.

So let’s get going.

STEP 1

BUILD A MARKETING BUDGET

Once your budget is in place, research for tools that will give you a one-step content distribution across several platforms.

STEP 2

YOU MUST HAVE A WEBSITE

There are so many options from the easy do-it-yourself option to one developed for you.

STEP 3

KNOW YOUR WHY

Why do are doing what you do. Explaining it in a way that is attractive. Your MISSION. Your PURPOSE.

If You Don’t Have a Website It Will Be Difficult to Sustain Your Business

If you don’t have a website it will be difficult to sustain your business in today’s global and extremely competitive marketplace.  Relying just on Facebook/Instagram and Twitter would be a mistake. Your social networks need to work together with your website. Let’s say they need to work symbiotically together to benefit each other.

Social networks function differently to your website. Unless you fully understand the technology that controls them, your marketing will not gain the momentum, and will not drive enough traffic to your business.

So get your Content Marketing  Business Process Hat on and dive in.

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Story Telling Connects People to Each Other

The most important marketing tool is telling your story.

Story-telling connects people to each other. Story-telling is memorable and if done well, will connect us to the story’s message; can make us more knowledgeable and informed, even desirable and maybe even more secure.

So what is your Brand, your Vision and your Mission? If you don’t have any of these you don’t have a story.

And how you tell your story is also important. It encompasses everything from your business icon, the fonts you use, the concept of each image you use and how you write your editorial.

Your editorial needs to be easy to read, simple, clean, to the point and with short sentences, transition words and small paragraphs.

So, let’s start by discovering how you need to tell your story in detail.

Branding

Branding

BRANDING

You have a great product, service or brick and mortar business. And now you are on your way to turning leads in sales. But before you do anything else, stop!

Later on we talk about Digital Concept Marketing. But let’s take a brief look first at your brand.

WHAT IS A BRAND?

A brand is how your service, your product, your staff and you are perceived publicly. It defines who and what you are compared to your competitors. It is your business identity.

To develop a brand you need to understand visual concepts. It’s the message you send to your prospects and customers about who you are. When a prospect views your website, your social networks, your images, your editorial, your logo, the typeface you use, the videos you present, even the color schemes you use, it conjures up feelings in others. You need to tap into those feelings using concepts to attract users to your product and services. These concepts identify you and set you apart from your competitors.

Part of our conversation with you is to discuss your branding and marketing plans and we will recommend tools to help you along. What matters to us is that you convert Leads into Sales. But having the best product is not enough. Understanding what works and what won’t work is part of the conversation with you.

When working with you we need you to understand from the start that 1. You will trust us. And 2. We only succeed when you succeed. It’s that simple.

LOGO: CAFE/RESTAURANT

Le Café de l’Élite

The client requested a logo that reflected their concept of a turn-of-the-century gathering place “à la française” which would attract customers who enjoyed each other’s company, loved French food at a reasonable price, and conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.  They required a very fast turnaround. They needed immediate results for several logos for their website, social networks, printing (letterhead, brochures, bills, menus, invoices, business cards) and their menu and delivery app. They also required a logo for pens and cork coasters as handouts.

We sit down with our clients first, get to know them, brainstorm and come up with some sketches we all agree on, and then return usually within four business days with proofs. Production can be completed in less than a week. We can either print the marketing materials ourselves or deliver the logo files in SVG, PDF and EPS file formats for various types of printing.

QUICK HINT!

There is more to designing a logo than you think. If you want to design and print your own logo you will need both positive and negative logos, and file formats for many different types of printing services.

We recommend using Adobe InDesign or Illustrator for this task. Unfortunately, many cheap online programs will not produce satisfactory file formats for all branding products. And most online print companies will not allow you to download your logo from their website for future use except through their online business.

POSITIVE SPACE

NEGATIVE SPACE

Planning Your Content

Planning Your Content

We’ve decided to focus here on B2C (Business To Customer) content marketing rather than B2B (Business To Business). It’s a slightly different approach to marketing strategies for B2B, which often requires more long-term research and strategic planning.

The Editorial Staff

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

Hello and Welcome Back Small Business Owner

If you’ve got this far, we would expect you know:

  • why you do what you do (your Mission)
  • what your story is
  • what your customers’ demographics are
  • how your product or service can resolve their problems.

By resolving their problems you are educating them. And when you educate them successfully, you engage their trust. This is where social networks come into play. Users are constantly asking their group members for advice on recommending a security system, a dentist or doctor, a school, an electrician, etc., etc. When you build trust in your prospects and customers, they WILL recommend you.

A “Call To Action” will draw attention to your Ad campaign

Where Else Can You Educate Your Followers?

Throughout your advertising campaign. Your advertising should always present a resolution for its viewers. It’s not enough to write an Ad in a newspaper that only explains an event, the time, date and location. Add a tag line. An example would be something like, “Get 20% off your ticket if you order before January 31!” In the industry this is known as a CALL TO ACTION. It is a stimulus for your customers or prospects to do something in order to achieve an aim or to deal with a problem.

Testimonials are another great way to build trust but they must be genuine. And always ask your customers first, before you post their name and exalting comments about your business on your website.

Case studies are slightly different to testimonials because you write them from you, the business owner’s perspective. “Ms. A. came to us because they wanted to organize a surprise event for their partner but to do so they would need to keep traffic, such as parked cars, to a minimum in their neighborhood.” You can then explain how your event business resolved this problem.

It is absolutely crucial you add the LINKS to your entire blogs and complete articles to your social network posts.

Where Are Users Looking For Answers?

When researching for answers, users are going to search engines using many devices. What they hit will bring them to blog posts or website newsletters, ebooks, social content, and how-to webinars. It doesn’t make any sense to post a huge article on a Facebook feed because, quite frankly, Facebook is great for link sharing to other articles, or what we call quick blasts.

At the beginning of 2020, according to Statista, 96% of Facebook users access the platform using mobiles. Only 25% use a desktop to access FB and 16% use tablets.Scroll, Scroll, Scroll. Is it worth adding all your marketing content using FB, IG and TW?

Let’s write this another way. It is absolutely crucial to add to your social network feeds your promo images, video and short, sharp posts (including that important tag line) and the even more important link to an entire article on your website. The real digital content marketing has to be discovered in its entirety on another platform so it can be reached consistently and regularly through search engines. And that’s on your website or dedicated blog site.

With Digital Health becoming a huge discussion point now, it may be that fewer hours will be spent on these social networks in the future. If you want more information read the Wired Article on how you can check your Facebook social network hours on a cellphone.

Wired Magazine

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

Let’s Talk About Those Important Emails, Blogs and Articles

Blogs. Call these newsletters if you like. But these are one of your most important tools. They tell your whole story, they educate people, they show off your expertise and they build trust. They are also easily accessible in the future.

Building a newsletter/blog following will be one of your most important tools. But in order to see all that other expert advice you offer, the articles and news items should be distributed from your website or blog site. This way you can use search engine optimization to make your expertise easier for your prospects and followers to find.

We will be covering marketing tools and search engine tools and tips next week, but for now we want you to think about how you are going to conjure up emotion. Because that is what is going to increase exponentially your followers. If you don’t conjure up an emotion in your followers, you will find it extremely difficult to keep them. They will look elsewhere for the education, resolution and advice they seek.

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

Building a Roadmap

Sound like a lot, yes? Marketing your business for yourself. We will talk later on about how you get help from contractors, but at the beginning you will want to get organized. There are plenty of tools available which will help you collaborate your marketing strategies and plans well in advance.

Just start simply. You can use an Excel spreadsheet or Google docs to build a roadmap which will show each step you need to take and the timeline for each marketing event you want to promote. Start by dividing your responsibilities into bite sized pieces. Firstly the deadline, the date of completion and the title or description of the creation. Then under this headline, divide it out into graphic art, writing, editing, approval, printing/posting and other forms of distribution. Include each deadline and approval date for each responsibility.

You won’t believe how much easier it will make your life. We use Google docs here because as soon as a job has been completed and approved all the stakeholders get an email to check the roadmap for their upcoming responsibility. This type of automation will ensure that balls don’t get dropped.

However, a final word of warning. Always be prepared for a glitch. It happens but try to build in a bit of risk management to your roadmap in case a glitch happens. Also, be prepared to cancel the whole darn thing if everything goes south. It also happens but be positive, that’s how you learn for the future.

RETURN NEXT WEEK WHEN WE’LL DISCUSS TOOLS TO HELP YOUR DIGITAL CONTENT MARKETING

Telling Your Story

Telling Your Story

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

Your story is your most important marketing tool. And how you tell your story will draw followers. But you will need to tell your story through many different elements, through editorial, imagery, the typeface you use, the color scheme of your brand and those hidden concepts that can influence a prospect. It gives your story the desire element.

Why does story telling work?

Story-telling connects people to each other. In our race memory we all need to belong to a group or tribe. Our blogs, our social network spaces all fulfill this desire and where we can tell and share our story.

But it must be memorable and beautifully done. It will connect us to the story’s message; will make us more knowledgeable, informed, trusted and, hopefully, desirable. This is our story. And this is our WHY.

Our Brand, Vision and Mission is our WHY and OUR STORY.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Simon Sinek, Marketing Entrepreneur

THE WHY

Simon Sinek, one of the most smart and successful marketeers ever, tells us that most businesses make the mistake of marketing the WHAT first. Instead, he recommends reversing the trend and starting with the WHY.

Most successful companies start by telling their audience their Mission, their Raison D’Etre. For example, “My business is to provide my customers with the most beautiful, state-of-the-art, simple, desirable and functional products/services in the marketplace today.” Attached with the most beautiful, state-of-the-art, simple to use, functional product image ever.

Which is how companies like Apple has succeeded! Apple was honest, produced state of the art products and services and, as a result, its customers continued to support Apple through decades of competition and technology advances.

Of course if you haven’t worked out your Mission yet, or it doesn’t tell your prospects and customers Why You Do What You Do, you better head back to the drawing board.

Let’s move on to the HOW now…

THE HOW

Start telling your audience how you can fix a problem they have if they would only use your product.

For example: summer is approaching and you have a new makeup product line that contains SPF50. You have solved a prospect’s problem.

Or you new line of refrigerators will automatically send a shopping list to xyx supermarket when you have run out of an item.

Or your refrigerator will recommend a fully planned meal with what currently exists in your pantry and refrigerator but may send you a quick text message to tell you you are a bit low on saffron oil. Siri may suggest you should pick it up yourself on your way home.

THE WHAT

Only now should you present the WHAT. Here you describe your products and services in some detail and how your customers and prospect will have a better, more rewarding life using your product over your competitor’s product or service.

Make an investment in the right tools for your Content Marketing. It will save you money and time in the long run.

THE TOOLS

Great writing skills.

  • Your editorial anywhere must be error-free, concise, fluid, interesting and easy to read.
  • Sentences should not run on.
  • Sentences need to be kept relatively short.
  • Search Engine Optimization is your Number 1 focus.
  • You must, must, start to understand browser keyword research. If you don’t focus on this now, your awesome content everywhere will not reach the prospects you need to reach. The best way is to think of words and phrases most commonly used by browser users when researching for your product or service. How will your product fix their problem? Think about how they will find you and not one of your competitors.
  • You will also need to embed several synonyms relevant to your product in all your content.
  • Name your webpages and the titles of your posts easy to understand and relevant to your content.
  • Language used should be more in active voice rather than passive voice.
  • Image names should contain attributes of the topic of your content.
  • Have at least two people check and approve your writing before posting live. After a while most writers go page blind and miss those odd typos.
  • Social media posting can be overwhelming if you don’t have the proper  tools. To create content, and engage with your community or to pre-schedule your posts you need a management tool that will help you. It will save you money and time in the long run.
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Images need to be run through a lossy program before posting to the Internet. And need to be sized as each platform requires.

IMAGES

  • Images must be prepped for the web. Failure will result in poor page-load time. Images need to be subjected to lossy compression.
  • Images need to be sized exactly as the social network or the web design requires. There is nothing worse than looking at a cutoff image on Facebook. It screams UNPROFESSIONAL and UNSUCCESSFUL.
  • Images should be similar in size across and down a webpage. If not, the page on desktops looks messy. Keeping the sizes the same also helps when images are viewed on different platforms.
  • When you upload your images onto your site, be sure to check them on all platforms: Desktop, Notebook, Tablet and Mobiles.
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Video done well contains concepts that show how successful is your business and how happy it makes people.

VIDEO

  • You can make your own videos but it’s worth following a few simple rules.
    • Let’s imagine you are running an event. It’s a wine tasting event in your local city. Think about Why people want to go on a Wine event inside some local stores in your city?
      • It’s fun when you go with a group of friends.
      • It gets you out of the house and gives you a short break from the kids for a while.
      • Your interested in tasting a few wines you’ve never tried before.
      • It is relatively inexpensive.
      • You get to visit stores you wouldn’t normally enter.
      • It offers a different type of shopping opportunity.
      • It’s popular in town.
    • Woo Hoo! Now we can talk about CONCEPTS.
      • When filming your video, include images of the average attendee. This shows the demographic of your average attendee. You will also want to include wines, people tasting wines, shop products, groups of people having fun, lots of laughter, and lots of smiles, people carrying shopping bags or bags with wine.
      • Background music can be found online for a relatively cheap price. It should be upbeat and match the concept of the video.
      • Finally make sure you give credit to those that helped you with the video and post it across as many platforms as you can.
      • Always let your client view the video first for approval.
      • Always get permission if any child appears in the video. Permission should be from a parent/guardian or accompanying, responsible adult.
      • Don’t take video of children where alcohol or tobacco is being served. It’s just common sense.

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