Do it yourself small business marketing does not have to be lame, it just takes more effort than hiring it out. So if you are a do it yourself kind of small business owner this post is for you.
What type of human should be involved in do-it-yourself small business marketing?
- If you are the type of human that is curious about how to do new things, go for it. If you get frustrated and angry when you do not know how to do something hire someone.
- If you are constantly coming up with great ideas this is for you. If you struggle to think of one way to market, farm it out.
- If you can manage your time and objectives, great! If you are having trouble finding the time getting “real” work done I can promise you that marketing will fall to the bottom of your list.
Will it take away time from your core business?
One of my MLM buddies was having an event where she could sell her products, get some business for the venue owner and hopefully make some money. That “make some money” part was not high up on the list AND the event took almost all of her time for a full month. I cannot imagine that she made enough money to cover the “cost” of the time away from her business.
In this case there are two options:
- Since she liked doing the event, maybe that is her calling and selling makeup is not
- She should have have farmed out that marketing piece. I KNOW there are event planners that do not take much money (I use Amber Montel of Denver Boulder Internet Marketing to plan and market my classes. If you do not know someone, throw it out there on Facebook or Twitter and I guarantee someone will know someone)
Will it take away from your core business part two
If you are a small business owner doing your own marketing, make sure you have a plan and a timeline. I would suggest that doing your marketing should be done outside of your normal business hours. BLASPHEMY I know, BUT marketing your small business is probably not going to be accomplishing sales like working in your business hence the outside of “normal” business hours.
Make yourself a plan and stick to it. Figure that ten hours or so a week will really make a difference in your sales and then just do it. Pick two evenings to spend five hours each or do two hours each weekday. Whatever works best for you.
So what kind of things can a do-it-yourself small business marketer do?
- Email marketing – this is an easy one, get Constant Contact and a list. Send out an email at least once a week so your client base knows you love them! Make sure to write great headlines that get opened!
- Write blog posts or do video blogging – If you are doing your own marketing on a shoestring, set up a wordpress.com blog and start writing. I am not sure you are going to get a ton of traffic BUT I will tell you that you will get better at producing content. When I started I was not sure that I would have enough to write about but now can bang out a video or blog post in no time flat.
- Set up free websites on squidoo.com, msn live and other free websites aggregators. Have them link back to your main site with keywords
- Use vistaprint to get free brochures, business cards and postcards. Mail them out or schlep them around neighborhoods or parking lots.
- Set up your social networks like Facebook and Twitter and talk to people. Just setting them up and never doing anything will assure you fail.
- Got to networking events and take pieces of paper with your marketing message or a sale item so that people can follow up with your offering after the event. Just standing up and telling something will not translate into actions. I also think that changing your message is effective so make sure to have different themes for each month.
- DO NOT get discouraged! I have tried HUNDREDS of different marketing tactics over the years and some work gloriously and some are duds. Make sure you track any money you spend on marketing to make sure you are getting a good ROI and start small, do not send 10,000 postcards until you know that the marketing message converted on a 100!
The final benefit to do it yourself marketing is that no one will ever love your business like you do (you DO love what you are doing right!) If you get in a groove and make marketing part of your business plan, you can probably afford to farm it out in six months or so BUT you will have all the knowledge you gained of what worked and what did not work to help your marketing person going forward.
Click the link you would like to find out more about our VERY affordable DIY Small Business Marketing Program!
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