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Posts Tagged ‘small business marketing’« Older Entries |
Friday, April 8th, 2011
I have to say I get 'slightly' annoyed when I see creative design and "marketing" companies talking about your brand, as if brand is all about the logo, look and visual style of your business.
Your BRAND is more than just a logo!
Your business brand is the very essence of your business and your visual "brand identity" is simply the representation and communication of your brand values. And a visual one that can help your customers and potential customers recognise you with ease and consistency.
So for me, and the team at Just Too Busy, when we help you create your brand, we are doing MORE than just designing you a new logo (although this is something we do very well, I have to say!).
Your business brand consists of key elements that you need to understand and define, so that you can communicate those brand values and positioning to your identified target audiences. If you don't pay attention to this side of your brand, and we think it is the most important side, then a pretty logo that has no meaning or deliberate thought involved in its creation, will just not "do it" for you (or your business).
SO… When we say your brand is more than just your logo… We REALLY mean it!
If you would like to learn a little more about how to create your own business brand then click here to sign up for this FREE Just Too Busy webinar.
Tags: brand development, brand identity, brand secrets, branding, business brand, creating a brand, creating my brand, creative design, logo design, Marketing, marketing advice, marketing help, marketing tips, small business marketing
Posted in Just Too Busy, Marketing, Uncategorized | Comments Off
Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
In these days of social media, online marketing, SEO and more sometimes going back to basics is the way to go. I'm talking about "lo-teching" your marketing.
I did some direct mail marketing for a client of mine and I decided we should do a 'split test'. You see, the DM approach is usually the glossy flyer or promotional item sent to you target market in the hopes this impresses them so much that they become your customer. and if done right that can work.
However, one of the biggest barriers to DM is getting your 'target' to even open your letter or packet or read the flyer that comes through their door.
So our split test involved a really simple tactic
Have a think…. If a letter comes through the door with a nicely printed label and/or a 'logo-ed' post mark, one of the first assumptions you might make is that it's junk mail. If you receive a handwritten letter, then what do you think? And which one are you more likely to open?
That was the essence of our split test. We bought in a database and sent letters containing a postcard to each of them. (We did this so that even if they didn't read the letter they might take notice of the postcard.)
On 50% of the letters we used printed labels. On the other 50%, we hand wrote each and every one, and put stamps on them (not post marks).
What do you think happened? From which 50% did we see our best results?
If you are more likely to open a handwritten letter (and think why this may be), then can you see how "lo-teching" your marketing can sometimes beat the high-tech, slick (and usually more expensive) methods?
Why is this important for small business marketing?
Small businesses are usually operating on a smaller budget. This is especially useful if you have the time but not the money to invest into your marketing. I always say to my clients: "You wither have to invest money in your marketing or time (and ability)." if you don't have the time then you have to invest money. If you don't have the money then you need to invest the time – and of course you need to be able to so what you want to do. If you don't have the skill – you need to learn.
How can you learn to do your own marketing?
Well you can sign up to marketing tips sites and newsletters. You can read marketing blogs and get some really useful ideas. But what most of these ideas won't do is get you to really understand your marketing and how to approach it so that you don't waste money on doing things just because you think you "should".
I have launched a programme aimed specifically at small business owners who want to understand their marketing and how to do it for best effect rather than wasting money they don't have and being disappointed. It's called Marketing Magic and you can find out more here.
It's not always about "lo-teching" your marketing but if you know the options you have at your disposal and which ones are best for your business, then wouldn't that be a good thing??
Monday, April 4th, 2011
3 MUST HAVES For Creating a Successful Business Brand
This is a 1-hour FREE webinar where you will discover the THREE fundamental elements of creating, defining and understanding your business brand. For more information click here to go the EventBrite page.
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
I love the process of creating a brand (and this is more than just a logo – watch this space for my next post) and for small businesses this often involves their entire business proposition and positioning.
So when I work with my clients, the majority of whom run small businesses, when we talk about brand, we are talking about their whole business, their offering, their target markets and how they can differentiate themselves from the competition and entice their target markets to spend their money with them.
Many small businesses will start marketing and promoting their small business without really thinking through what it actually is they are marketing and promoting and this often means they end up spending money on marketing that’s not working as well as it should for them – because they haven’t thought it all through. So here are the three key things I get my clients to think about when we are defining their business brand in preparation for marketing it.
The WHAT, the WHO and the WHY…
If you know inside out, in detail, with clarity (you get the picture) WHAT it is you are offering then you can clearly communicate that offering in your marketing.
If you know WHO you are offering your products and services to then not only can you identify the particular needs of your target market but you can create communications to them that are targeted specifically for them and to address those needs – this means they are more likely to respond to your marketing because they will relate to what you are saying and how you are saying it.
If you WHY your target market would buy from you rather than a competitor – i.e. you know the benefits of your business for your target market and you know your competitive advantage – then again communicating this information to that target market becomes easy and more focused.
If you would like to know more about defining the WHAT, WHO and WHY for your business to make your marketing more effective and get more business then please feel free to contact us on 0845 272 3539 or visit our website for more information.
Tags: branding for small businesses, branding strategy, business brands, business marketing, Marketing, marketing for small businesses, marketing tips, small business marketing, successful marketing
Posted in Just Too Busy, Marketing | Comments Off
Friday, September 17th, 2010
I was reading a great post the other day about how to write a great FAQ page – you can see the whole post here. One of the tips (number 6 actually) was about Being Available to your customers. The point in this case was put a link to your contact page if the customer (or potential customer) has a question that hasn’t been addressed by the FAQ page. And the complaint in this blogger’s case was companies who don’t put their contact details on their website.
And I totally agree. If you don’t put your contact details on your site then it screams “don’t trust us!”. Ok you might not want your address on your site if you work from home (like I do) but there are sites out there that provide products or services but do not have any way for their customers to contact them
I find this so annoying and frustrating especially when it is a business that provides an online service and the only way to get help is to go to their help section which never really does the job. There are many companies out there that seem to be saying “hey thanks for your business and here is what we think you will need to know when using our product or service but if it isn’t then tough”.
I spent hours on one particular online service provider’s site trying to find a phone number or an email and could I? I think you know the answer.
So what’s my point? Well there are two.
If you use your website as a place for your customers to find out more about you or manage the service they receive from you then it is crucial to make sure they can contact you as easily as possible.
So make sure your contacts details are on your site and that when someone does get in touch you try to get back to them as soon as you can. Customers only stay customers if they feel valued, and that means they need to feel they are important enough for you to stay in touch with them and to let them get in touch with you.
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
You may remember (or may not as it has been a while since I updated this blog – just blame the fact of being Just Too Busy!) that I did a post on how to make networking work for your business. If you don’t remember, and I won’t blame you if you don’t, then here is the full article from last November : “Networking: How to make it work for your business”.
Well, I am delighted to say that the authentic networking I mentioned in that article has now taken shape as an actual, real-live event: the new Authentic Networking group for small businesses based in Horsham, Worthing and everywhere in between.
Now in the context of a potentially (if not actually) global blog, that probably doesn’t sound like much. But for me it is a personal achievement that I have been wanting to do for some time.
I am a member of some excellent networking groups, but I’ve always felt that networking isn’t always undertaken with the right mindset – hence the formation of Authentic Networking.
Our first meeting is on 28th September at Whites Bar & Kitchen in Steyning, West Sussex and the attendee list for this fledgling group is looking very healthy indeed. So if you are, or know of, a business based in West Sussex that would like to do some authentic networking for their business then have a look at the site. And I hope to see you (or them) there.
Not much else to say on this, except hopefully it won’t be so long between posts.
Tags: authentic networking, business marketing, business networking, marketing for small business, net, networking, networking for business, networking for your business, networking is marketing, small business marketing
Posted in Business Focus, General, Just Too Busy | Comments Off
Monday, April 26th, 2010
It’s a blind date and you’ve been set up by your BFF with one of her boyfriend’s work colleagues. You’ve spent most of the afternoon getting ready, you’re on your way to the snazzy restaurant you both settled on and you’re starting to get a little nervous and wondering if he’ll be attractive, nice, interesting or funny – or all of the above.
Then you walk through the door and none of that matters. He takes one look at you and bolts through the back door! What did you do wrong? You didn’t even get to say hello. What on earth could have caused him to flee so suddenly?
Do you think the fact that you are wearing a wedding dress just might have had something to with it? Err duh! Of course! Who turns up to a blind date in a wedding dress? It screams D E S P E R A T E!!! And no-one wants to go out with someone who is that desperate – do they?
So is your business wearing a wedding dress?
What I’m really asking is: are you desperate for more clients? Has the last year and the economic crisis had a negative impact on your business? Is your business struggling? Would you do anything to get a flood of new clients through the door?
If you answered YES to any of these questions or would answer yes to anything remotely similar then your business is wearing a wedding dress and your clients and potential clients can probably tell that you are – just as easily as that guy could see the wedding dress (and his blind date) walking through the door of that snazzy restaurant!
The one thing that won’t get you more clients, more business, more money is looking like you are desperate for any of them. The key to having clients that are confident in you and your business is to maintain that confidence yourself. After all, most small businesses go through a quite patch at some point – mine did last summer – but what I didn’t do was panic.
Yes I was worried – it’s not nice to have a quiet time when you run your own business it’s lonely out there – but I stayed confident in what I was offering and the one thing I didn’t do was turn up in a wedding dress.
So what does a business wearing a wedding dress look like?
Quite simply it looks like any business that is doing this:
- Slashing their prices left, right and centre
- Over-marketing to the same groups of people or subscribers – this includes too many emails or too much follow-up
- Knee-jerking by trying to create new services or products without really planing them properly or thinking them through
- Coming on too strong in potential sales situations and then giving away too much too easily
- And many more
And just as turning up to a blind date in a wedding dress can be a bit frightening to the other party, so are the actions of any business that is panicking. People are turned off by it and may ultimately wonder if there is something wrong with your business which is causing you to panic.
So, even if times have been or still are tough -and they are for many – the one thing not to do is panic. Your customers and potential customers will know it and this will not encourage them to walk through your door but rather run the other way.
Confident marketing and branding is always important but never more so when things are hard and it’s easy to have a wobbly. Have a sit down and think about what it is that is keeping customers away (it’s usually more than just money) and see what you can do to fix it in terms of your marketing or your business model. Get creative and have fun with it – after all you have some time on your hands so you might as well stay positive and put it to good use!
Just remember to keep that wedding dress locked tightly away in the closet and make sure you have your best Marc Jacobs or Caroline Herrera outfit on!
Monday, February 15th, 2010
How to quick-start, kick-start your marketing….
If you know you should be doing marketing for your business but aren’t getting round to it then here are a few ideas to get your marketing off the ground, quickly:
- Find ONE networking group in your area and go along as a guest – more groups will let you participate as a member and you can meet new people quickly and easily without spending a fortune. It will also give you the opportunity to see if you might even want to join that networking group. If, however, you don’t think it’s for you then you haven’t spent a fortune to find this out.
- Sort out your email signature – if this doesn’t have – at the very least – your website address and your phone number in it – along with your logo, then you are wasting a FREE marketing opportunity every single time you send out an email. Ideally your email signature should also have a client testimonial in it and you can think about changing that every few months or so and perhaps promoting any special offers you have going on.
- Either start a blog or find one that perhaps you can guest post on. This is more simple than it sounds: go into Google Reader, browse or search for different types of blogs that have a relevance for your area of expertise or knowledge, visit the blog and send the owner an email offering your guest post services. You will get yourself some quick and easy online exposure (especially if it is a well-read blog) as your post will have your name, business and web link in it.
That’s it: a 1,2,3 way to quick-start, kick-start your marketing. It’s always hard to find time to market your business but if you need more customers then, without marketing, how do you think they are going to know about you?
Go on, get started today!!
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Yes I am having a rant!
Very simply, it really frustrates me to see “Internet Marketing” being touted as the answer to a small business’s marketing dreams. I come across so many instances of pure marketing being substituted with Internet marketing that I wonder if anyone who reads that information will ever move beyond the IM holy grail of building a list, selling online products and holding teleseminars and workshops (oh and don’t forget the flagship product of exclusive one-to-one coaching.)
So yes I am having a rant about how Internet marketing is portrayed and then perceived by its intended audience. What do I mean?
Tags: business marketing, How to market your business, Marketing, marketing experts and consultants, marketing for small business, marketing your business, small business marketing, successful marketing
Posted in Just Too Busy, Marketing | Comments Off
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Spreading the word – proving your expertise!
- Establishes your knowledge and expertise on your chosen topic
- Enables you to communicate with your target market (and more) on any topic of your choice (of course it should be relevant to them)
- Provides a forum via your author biography or article resource box for you to ‘brazenly’ promote your business (in conjunction with the expertise piece this works really well)
- Creates inbound links to drive people to your website or blog (as long as you remember to include the URL in your bio or resource box!)
- Raises your profile and adds to your credibility as an expert
- Gives your target market the opportunity to learn more about your field of expertise (and your business) in a non-sales way
- Has a positive impact on your website’s page ranking and SEO results rankings
- Provides you with a range of information that you can leverage in a number of other ways such as using the information for a newsletter, a blog post, put it on your website, use in a presentation, part of an ebook or series and more….
So you can see that just by writing one article and submitting it online the results of that can be impressive. Of course, the more articles you write the better and more impressive the results will be. It won’t work just to submit one article – but it is a start!