People are not as aware of you as you might think. There is so much noise in the world. We have TVs, radios, social media, newspapers, magazines, billboards, computers, emails, texts, smartphones, streaming, and podcasts, all begging for more of our attention. This is in addition to all of the regular demands on our busy lives, with family, friends, and our own needs for personal time. Plus, there’s a limit to how much the average person can take in on a given day. Sometimes, we’re just simply tired.
You might use this line on your kids but don't take it as advice when it comes to marketing. Repeat yourself!
If you are going to be an effective marketer, you must first put yourself in the shoes of a typical consumer of your product. Yes, they are bombarded with distractions all day, every day. In order to stand out, you will have to make sure to set up a plan to make sure you can cut through the clutter. First and foremost, plan on repeating yourself over and over, and over and over, again.
I know there are probably one of two things that come to mind when you think about the things I am going to show you. You are either going to say, “I already do that!” or “I can’t find the time to do that!.”
If you say, “I already do that!” then I encourage you to make the decision to look for the things you haven’t done yet, by looking for the nuggets that will help you get better at what you are already doing. If you say “I can’t find time to do that,” I encourage you to pick priorities for what you want to start with and then become a deadline-driven person. This approach has helped me in many endeavors. This article you are reading came about because of a deadline I set for myself where every week, I must write this article in time for Abraham, my copy editor, to edit it and then get it posted for Ann to send out to our email list on time. I don’t honestly have time to do it, but it is in my schedule and has a deadline, so I get it done.
I remember my first job selling Cutco, my manager talked to us about being a tough boss to ourselves. He said everybody loves an easy coach during practice, and that everyone hates a tough coach during practice, but everyone loves winning. Tough coaches win, so everyone loves a tough coach when they are winning. Be a tough coach for yourself.
Step-by-Step Marketing Plan for Small Businesses
Here are the basics that a small business should do in order of Must Do’s, Should Do’s, and Could Do’s. This step-by-step guide lists marketing items you can start on with little to no money. I still encourage you to make a budget for marketing and seek to increase it over time as you have success. If you are brand new, you probably have more time than money, so start doing things that you can have someone help you with down the road once you have more money and less time.
Although the answer to the question of how much should you spend on marketing is frustratingly, “It depends,” most companies need to spend a larger amount of money than they think. Some people understand this while others are hesitant to spend any money for fear of wasting that money. I say make a budget and spend it. As you go adjust your budget and spend it elsewhere if the source isn’t working, but keep spending it. In my Roof Maxx business, we spend 40% of our profits on marketing. That is more than most, but our goal is quick growth. Pick a number, and stick with it.
Step By Step Guide for Marketing Your Small Business:
MUST DO’s (Put these at the top of your list)
Low-hanging fruit: Start with Google Search (The Phone Book of today): If people are looking for your product or service, it is likely they will look to Google for options. You must show up there if you want to be found.
Google My Business (Free)
Referral Marketing Incentives
Everyone always says referrals are the easiest and best customers, but it is amazing how little effort most businesses put into getting them. Come up with a plan to ask and remind people to refer people to you. I would develop a program for getting referrals, and I also recommend telling people about your incentives constantly.
Ask Multiple times, similar to asking for reviews, repetition is key here. People might want to help but they live busy, distracted lives, making it hard to remember. Unless they are kindly reminded.
Make a cool incentive, and then, remind people about it constantly.
I heard an example today of an ADP salesperson who would ask for referrals at the end of an appointment by pulling out a stack of $5 bills. He would say, I will give you $5 for every person you send this text to. He then coached them on how to ask their friends to have an appointment with him. He was the number one referral receiver in his company.
Reputation Management (Less Expensive and can be DIY)
Automation is key to repeatedly asking for reviews. It’s easier for a program to do than for humans. Most of us prefer not to be annoying. You can do it yourself, but as soon as you can afford $300 a month, you should get software to do this. Read more Here.
Be responsive, and respond to negative comments. Never get into a fight online. and remember, you are responding to the next person reading reviews more than to the person who made the negative comment.
Search engines are constantly looking for the most valid and recent results, so if someone has a ton of older reviews, those reviews won’t have as much weight as someone with fewer but more recent reviews. Make a plan to manage this consistently. Connection Media Co. is a certified reseller of Birdeye reputation management solutions and this automated service starts at about $300 a month. It also includes a listing service, which I will talk about below. Read more here.
SEO (Expensive but high payoff)
Organic search traffic is amazing! Wouldn’t you just love for people to find your website and start doing business with you? Every one of your competitors wants it too, so this one takes time—and probably the help of a professional—but it can pay off in the long run allowing you to attract and work with organic traffic and leads. We also offer SEO solutions, read more here.
SEM (Most expensive but fastest)
You can force your listing to the top of Google search results or any search engine, by paying for a sponsored ad. These can be expensive, but they can also make an immediate impact on your bottom line by capturing traffic right away. If you have the money, I recommend doing SEO mixed with SEM (sometimes called PPC) to get the best results. Read more about this here.
Listings and Directories
I am sure you have looked something up before and found a listing on Google Maps, Yelp, Dex, Yellow Pages, etc. These listing services are important, so you can be available wherever your potential client is searching for you. Our Reputation Management includes putting your listing on 30+ directories. This will help your local SEO. You can DIY this, but it is also included in our Reputation Management and SEO services.
SHOULD DO’s (These are great, put them on your list second)
In cases where your product doesn’t have as much search traffic because maybe it’s a new concept or a different take on an old product, Passive discovery and Social Media might be better tools than the search engine work I mentioned above.
Research and pick the platform(s) where your target audience (your WHO) can be found. Use some internet searches to find out where your clients spend their time. Then dig in on that channel, and get communicating. You can do both organic and paid advertising on Social Media.
Build organically by posting 3-4 times a week minimum: Use the Connection Media Co. Organic Social Media Calendar (Open Here) to make a plan and build engagement. You can also follow other creators, and watch what they do to build their followings. If you have no money, use your time to do this. It can eventually be hired out, but you can start here for FREE!
Paid social media advertising: You can use social media advertising to target your ideal audience. People spend a lot of time on their favorite platforms, probably too much time, but if you want to sell to them, you need to go where they spend their time.
Your clients don’t know how to do business with you. If you can put yourself in their shoes for a little bit, about what it’s like for them to come to your website for the first time. Would you know what to do, or where to go? There’s also a growing reticence among people to call businesses on the phone. What are your other options? I prefer giving people as many ways to get a hold of us as possible. We have tools like webchat that allows people to reach us where they are comfortable.
Once you get someone to raise their hand to say they are at least somewhat interested, you must work to nurture them. Not everyone will make a decision right away. Some will take some convincing. Start a drip campaign via email, and have a follow-up system for keeping in touch.
The reason I started the Get Attention Marketing Newsletter was to help my clients learn how to market more effectively, and for me to keep in touch with them.
$1,000,000 sales in a day: Last week I wrote this article which is a great example of how a newsletter paid off for me, resulting in a huge $1,000,000 sales day.
Email Newsletter, blog, cold outreach, audience matching, sales team, marketing funnel.
Know your WHO (target audience).
Know your WHY (Unique Selling Proposition).
Attract them to your product (Marketing).
Know when your opportunity occurs (This is the decision point where customers make the decision to buy from you).
Close the sale (The goal is to get a “yes” (sale) or a “no” (no-sale); otherwise, move them into a nurturing stage to have a chance later.
Keep in Touch: Once you earn the business, get reviews, ask for referrals, and continue to remind them how amazing you are!
COULD DO’s (These are advanced techniques that will make your brand really stand out, but they take larger investments and more time)
Become part of your customer's life by entertaining them.
Create and tell a Brand Story (I recommend Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller). I am eligible for a commission if you buy through this link.
Demonstrate your expertise.
Brag about customer praise.
Develop a storyline that you can continually tell.
Here is a guide for you to help make that plan (Content Marketing Calendar).
Video (TV, Streaming, YouTube, Internet Video, Social Media)
Mass Email (Targeted at your ideal audience)
Audio (Podcasts and radio)
Sophisticated sales funnels
Direct Sales (Hire salespeople)
No matter where you start, it is important to remember people are not paying as close attention to you as you assume. Your mom may like every one of your social posts (Hi Mom), but she might be the only one. Everyone else is drawn in many directions, so don’t forget to repeat yourself over and over. Make sure to tell them what you are doing, then tell them again, then tell them again, until you feel like you have said it too much, and then tell them again. You want to be there for sure when your potential client is ready for what you have.
Think of Coca-Cola, they are still one of the world's largest advertisers and you would assume that everyone knows what they have and what they are selling. Don’t take it for granted that people know you and know what you do.
REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT!!!