By Felicia Guthrie
As a small business owner, growing your brand online can feel like it takes a lot of resources. It can be time consuming, cost money, and of course, it takes actual work. If you’re putting in the work but feel like you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for, it can feel quite frustrating and even discouraging. If you’re reaching a point where you’re beginning to or already feeling frustrated, you may be wondering what you can do. Here’s what you should do next.
Reviewing your strategy is an important step in any project or business. Consider – and write it down – what you’ve done so far. If you’ve been keeping track of any progress, for example tracking social media analytics, these will come in handy at this point. Take note of what seems to be working, such as successful campaigns or ads in the past or content that engaged your audience (for example, content that was shared a lot or had many positive comments). You’ll also want to take note of areas you think may not be so successful. Maybe a campaign or ad didn’t work as well as you hoped. Perhaps, you have a content theme in your editorial or social media calendar that’s not getting a lot of engagement. Note any challenges you have, maybe you find you don’t have ENOUGH content or time. Finally, also think about the kind of progress you want from where you are currently. Sometimes, we don’t see our challenges and even our small successes until we really sit down and review them.
Adjust your scope
Once you’ve reviewed your work, progress, and challenges so far, think about what your goals are. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what those are since you’re frustrated that you’re not getting the results you want and because you’ve thought a bit about the progress you’d like to see. Jot down those goals. Take a look and really think about them realistically. Are they attainable? Let’s face it, not everyone is going to go viral overnight. Many have to put in a lot of work, time, and money to build a following and community. It may be time to adjust your goals. Think about what you want from your online presence and marketing. Maybe it’s to build awareness for your small business or to drive people to your store, whether it’s online or brick and mortar. From there, begin setting SMART goals. You may be asking, “What the heck is that?”, A SMART goal is a goal that is:
- Specific – Be specific about what your goal is. Make it clear and well defined.
- Measurable – A goal that can be measured. Think about what metrics you will use to track your progress.
Attainable – Is this goal possible with your resources (time, money, etc.) or not?
- Realistic – Be honest with yourself… Are your goals something you can realistically achieve? (Alternatively, they could be unrealistic for you to achieve by yourself but possible with but a little help)
- Timely – Set a time frame for your goal, this could be weeks, months, or even years.
Once you’ve reviewed your work and your goals, you may be sensing that some things don’t line up. Perhaps your goals aren’t realistic or achievable with your resources like your time and budget – or even at all. Maybe your content isn’t resonating with your target audience. There could be a host of things that may be working for you and just not working out at all. So now it’s time to adjust yourself a little (or a lot). If need be, adjust your goals, shift focus away from tactics and things that aren’t working and rejig your plans a bit.
We’ve shared this quote before, “Focused action beats brilliance,” and it can apply here. While brilliance gets you far, a focused action can really help you build your brand and see results. For example, right now you may have your business website set up and have an account on every platform, so you’d think you’ll gain awareness from having a presence everywhere, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes, especially as a small and growing business, you may not have the resources to be posting unique content every week on multiple platforms and sometimes some platforms may not feel like the right fit for your business. In this case, you may want to think of which places you see the most engagement, maybe you have a blog that sees a lot of readers and comments, maybe you’re doing well on Instagram. If you’re pressed on resources, such as time, money, and content, then consider focusing your resources on what’s already proving to be successful and pour more time and money into that. Although you may be doing well in certain areas and may want to focus on those, don’t forget to go back to your review, as there may still be space for improvement even in the areas you are doing well in.
Of course, this is always an option, it may be your go to option right off the bat because you may feel you simply don’t have time to pour into reviewing and reworking everything. Or, it may be an option you decide to try after you’ve reviewed, refocused, and given yourself new goals. If you are looking for a professional to help you get back on the right track, there’s a lot to consider here as well.
What do you need help with and how much help do you want? What should their focus be? WHO do you hire?
You may want someone working on your website, someone creating content for you, a social media manager, or something else. This is important to think about and determine when looking to hire a professional.
So, if you’re here and you feel frustrated and exhausted and you’re thinking about how we can help beyond this article, let’s chat! You can book a FREE 20-minute meeting with us. We look forward to chatting with you!