There are so many different avenues when it comes to marketing, it can be tough for a small business owner to know where to set their priorities and invest their time. As I meet with clients, similar themes tend to pop up, so I thought I would put together some tips to help guide your small business marketing decisions!
- Develop a professional logo. First things first, make sure you have an attractive logo that suits your business. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but just professional looking. If you are looking to develop a logo or re-brand, be sure to think about how it will look in black & white, on wearables, embroidered, etc. You’ll also want to ask your designer to provide you with multiple file formats – jpg, eps, png are the basic ones to have and you’ll want to have these file formats for your black & white options too.
- Be consistent in your overall brand look. A good way to see if you are currently doing this is to take all of your printed marketing materials (from business cards to newspaper ads to brochures, etc) and lay them out on a table. Do they all look similar in the overall look/feel/design? If not, try to find the look you like overall and stick with it. People are so busy nowadays, it takes up to 16X (or more) for them to see your information and connect it to your brand.
- Need help with design? Check out canva.com! The free account version is all you really need, but this website is incredible when it comes to brochure design, flyers, social media posts, Facebook banners, etc. Their simple templates help you look like a professional! If you do like an image or template that’s not free, they are usually $1. It’s simple to use and so customizable!
- Have a “call to action” on all advertising. It’s important to prompt the reader/listener/consumer to take action. It can be as simple as “Call Today for a Free Estimate” or “Contact me for your website needs.” Make sure each and every advertisement has a clear call to action for the reader/listener along with the appropriate contact information.
- Claim your business on search engines (Google, Bing & Yahoo)! This helps you to edit your business information on those search engines (making sure the correct phone number, email, business hours, etc are listed). Literally, just Google – “How do I claim my business on Google (or Bing or Yahoo)?” And it will walk you through steps on how to do so.
- Invest the time, effort & money in developing a professional website. A nice-looking website makes your business look legitimate and professional. You can keep things pretty basic with the following tabs: Home, About Us, Our Products/Services and Contact Us. I develop websites for clients, so if you want to hire someone, this is my plug! You also can find some pretty amazing templates that you can DIY your own site through wix.com, wordpress.com, and squarespace.com. Depending on the plan you choose, it will cost $12-20/month for the hosting fee.
- When you take the plunge on building a website, be sure to set up a professional email too. I actually bucked this one for a little while, but it only costs about $50/year to have an email address that’s connected to your business – like firstname.lastname@example.org. It adds to the legitimacy and professionalism of your business, so just do it!
- If you want to take on social media, make sure you commit to a plan. If you can’t commit to sitting down and dedicating time to your social media plan on a weekly or monthly basis, then consider other alternatives. A well-laid plan with social media allows you to engage & interact with your followers in a meaningful way. Don’t just use it as a platform to plug your product, find ways to connect to your audience and be intentional in your approach! I tell my clients to think in an “Educate, Entertain & Inform” mindset when creating their social media content (I will share more on this approach in my next blog post – coming in early May)!
If you need help developing a marketing plan or just have questions, let me know. I am passionate about rural America and helping small businesses thrive, so I’d love to help you out!