By Candace Huntly
It’s no secret that we love small businesses at SongBird. It’s also no secret that starting a business is hard and the ride is more like a roller coaster than a glide to the top. Just because you are just getting started – or you think you’re too small – doesn’t mean you can’t have a killer marketing strategy that gets you the results you want. That doesn’t mean having the biggest budget or the most resources available to you. It means using your resources in ways that will maximize the opportunities that they will bring you.
As you are building your strategy or looking for ways to tweak your existing strategy and make it better, have a peek at this checklist to keep yourself on track.
- Define your audience: Whether you are just getting started or you are already in business but looking to tweak your strategy to take things to the next level, everything should start with getting a clear picture of who your audience is.
- Draft a strong key messaging and value proposition document: This one-page document can help you stay consistent for all of your written content and calls to action.
- Put your name, logo, and contact on EVERYTHING: The more people see your name pop up the more likely they are to remember you – this is called brand awareness. Consider making sure things like your email signature, social media, business cards, packaging, and marketing materials are well-branded.
- Build a website: Your website will act as a communication hub for your brand. It also gives you a chance to present your brand story and product information in a way that you have control over the messaging. You can paint a picture of what your customers can expect when they buy from you. Make sure that you also use the website as an opportunity to build credibility for your business. This means having an about page and putting yourself out there. You should also make sure that you have contact information visible so your customers can reach you easily – that includes links to your social media!
- Start a blog: Blogging is a great way for you to showcase your expertise and increase traffic to your website. And if you’re not a fan of writing, it doesn’t have to be written! For more info about blogging for business, check out a few of our blogs on the topic.
- Set up an email newsletter: While it might feel silly to get started with an email marketing platform in the beginning – you have no one on your list, right??? – it’s best to set it up and then start building your list right away. The right platform will allow you to create a landing page/sign up page to collect emails and names, easily build an email template (even if you aren’t a graphic designer), and build an automated sequence to welcome people to your list.
- Build a content strategy: Creating a content strategy for all your marketing communications will allow you to get an idea of how everything can work together. This allows you to create efficiencies and work smarter across platforms. (Who doesn’t want life to be easier???) Your content strategy should include a content calendar (AKA editorial calendar) that includes themes, blog titles, social media content, the person responsible for each task, and more.
- Pick your social media platform(s): You don’t have to be on every social media platform. Pick your platforms based on how much time and resources you have to be successful as well as where your audience hangs out.
- Set up your social media platform(s): You want to make sure that you have profile and cover images and that you have optimized each profile you set up. That means using important keywords and filling out each profile in its entirety.
- Build a social media content framework: You need to make sure that you are posting consistently and often enough for each platform. A framework will act as a guide to keep you on track. This should fit within your overall content strategy.
- Check you brand consistency: From your website to your social media platforms, marketing materials, content templates, and everything in between, does your brand look and sound the same across platforms? It will help you build brand awareness.
- Set up metrics tracking to track success: Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) and then decide which metrics to track so you know when you have reached success. Before you even get started either set up a tracking software or use good ol’ Excel. If it’s already set up, it’s easier to stay on top of the tracking.
- Build a loyalty program: While a loyalty program isn’t absolutely necessary in the beginning, it’s good to have this in your back pocket once you have interactions with a few customers. Any time you can encourage your customers to come back to you for repeat purchases or tell their friends and family to purchase from you it means you are building your community of loyal brand ambassadors.
- Get connected: Join local business groups and entrepreneur communities. Not only is this a great way to network, but you can also get support from your local community if you are stuck. Finding other entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off of is a valuable resource – and it makes owning a business a little less lonely.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to marketing your business. And this isn’t even all of it. But it’s doable if you learn to prioritize and figure out what is right for you.
If you feel a little stuck with your marketing, let’s chat! Email me at candace[at]songbirdmarketing.com!
As Small Business Month ends and we inch closer to Entrepreneurship Week in November, let me ask you this… When was the last time you bought from a small business rather than a big box brand? When was the last time you followed and engaged with a small business or entrepreneur on social media – just because you thought they were doing something cool? As a community we need to life each other up!