I recently ran a networking evening (stay tuned, I’ll do a podcast episode all about that in coming weeks because there was some amazing things that came out of that!), but I had a question posed to me, and I just can’t get it out of my head!
The question was:
How do I let people know about my business, if they don’t read my local paper and they aren’t on social media?
BOOM! What a spectacular question!
It got me wondering, what percentage of the population do you think we are dealing with here?
And to that I answer – not much! After all is you believe the stats, around 95% of Australians are using social media, especially Facebook.
In fact, that question could actually be:
How do I get people to notice my business if they aren’t that ACTIVE on social media (or haven’t already found me on social media) and don’t read the local newspaper?
That’s the question I am going to answer in this blog post today!
I believe, actually I SEE, so many small business owners making these mistakes when it comes to marketing on social media.
And rather than fixing mistakes they may have made with their social media and marketing strategy, they instead look for other ways to get around the problem. The issue with this is that it puts them on a constant search for something that they will probably never find.
When working out how to answer this question I kept circling back to fact that in many cases, it will only require time, not necessarily money. That said, it may need money for some of the people facing this dilemma, but I think for most small business owners in this situation time to work out the issue is needed. So don’t think I’m going to say, “run ads”!
(Although if you are interested in running Facebook ads, my Facebook Ads for Beginners course is a great start! You’ll find that in my shop here www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/shop – just a little plug there!)
But back to the topic at hand – if you have been in my world for any length of time, some of these answers or examples of how, are going to be SO familiar to you. It’s the drum that I beat, the stuff that I crow about ALL. THE. TIME.
In the information outlined below, I hope will give you a tip or trick you perhaps hadn’t thought about, or maybe you have and I’m just going to push you over the edge to actually do them!
1.KNOW THE BASICS OF MARKETING
Who is your who?
What is your niche, what do you want to be famous for?
If you can’t answer these questions, then you can’t market effectively.
If you can answer these questions – then yay you! Just remember to always be listening to the market.
For me personally, this has been a HUGE lesson in the last 12 months. Learning to listen to my market, rather than trying to find the market I thought I was looking for or what I thought they were looking for.
When I sat down, really sat down, and looked at who I was attracting and what they wanted, I shifted my business. Not entirely, because I still have awesome men as private clients, but the reality is that my monthly business hub is now a Women in Business HUB, and I’ve started a Women in Business quarterly networking night.
And guess what? That’s what people wanted and now it’s full steam ahead!
So, lesson, you might know who your who is, and what you want to be famous for, but it’s a moving constant. The only constant thing is that it’s moving.
Be ready to listen.
2.GO WHERE THE MARKET IS
You’ve got to know the first bit I just spoke about, but when you know that, go where your market is.
Where do your ideal client/customers hang out?
Figure that out.
Many businesses don’t do Instagram because they like it – they do it because their prospects hang out there.
Many businesses dismiss LinkedIn because they don’t “get it” – but if your people are on there, learn all you can and conquer it.
Many businesses don’t want to bother with Facebook groups – but if your customers are in groups, then then get in there! They can give enormous value and make them love the crap out of you!
Again, learn to listen or in this case observe.
Is this easy? Maybe not. Maybe it will take research – so grab a wine and research! (Or a coffee if it’s prior to 5pm!)
3.SPEND TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Do I currently invest enough time on quality social media content and interaction?
If there’s one thing I can guarantee, or at least 99% of the time, you cannot put up a post and expect the money to start rolling in.
Except of course, if you’re in my Buy from A Bush Business group where one post can net $15K – but that’s a whole different topic and story. (If you haven’t already, check it out. Go to Facebook and search Buy From a Bush Business and join up. It’s going gangbusters at over 200,000 members to date!)
Back onto topic – you can’t put a post-up on Instagram, throw a few hashtags at it and think people are going to buy or even notice. You can’t put something up on Facebook once and think that everyone’s seen it.
And I know you’ve heard all this before.
It’s called social media. It’s for being a little social or a lot social.
Statistics tell us know that we should be active for more than 10 minutes before we put up a post and at least 10 minutes afterwards. While I’m not sure the 10 minutes thing is accurate, but I totally agree with the premise.
To think that we can just post and ghost, and still get traction is not really thinking the whole social media platform through properly.
So, to overcome this, you need to get Human to Human!
Interact with people. Comment, like, give advice, share a story, give a tip or trick or share a connection that will help. Be strategic about it.
You know, just like you would in real life.
You wouldn’t walk into a party, throw your brochures at everyone and nick off … no you’d stay, talk, nurture, explain, chat and so forth.
Start thinking like this on social media and I 100% guarantee you, you will start attracting more people and more of the right people.
Am I using opportunities available to tell people about my business?
If you want more people to know about your business, then get out there and network with people!
Ask to speak at your local Rotary or Lions Club or CWA. Go to business meetings, join a chamber or a hospital board – get out there and let people know who you are.
If you don’t have a networking group, then create one yourself – just like I did. If you need some help with that, drop me a line at email@example.com.
Another hot tip – listen into Kellie Briggs podcast – Business Networking by Design. She’s brilliant and gave me the inspiration to start my own networking group.
Stop waiting for people to find you. Stop waiting for people to stumble across your website or your social media. That’s slow growth.
The people you meet whilst out networking, they tell people who tell people.
One of my fave sayings is “if you want to go fast go along, if you want to go far, go together.” It’s so relevant to the networking concept.
5.BLOG OR START A PODCAST
Can a blog or podcast bring extra value to my business?
In many cases the answer to this is a great big YES! Because writing blogs or starting a podcast is down the same lines as networking – it’s all about getting people to know you, know your voice, your values, your expertise, your brand.
There’s a reason why people who consistently blog or podcast build their businesses faster.
Or even better, put yourself out there to be a guest on someone’s podcast, just like guest blogging but better!
Can I better utilise email marketing to the advantage of my business?
This is a huge one.
And I’ll pause here to suggest that if you haven’t listened to episodes 9 and 10 of this podcast already, then go listen to them! www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/9 and socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/10 . They are all about email marketing and getting your emails opened and read.
People really underestimate the value of email marketing.
Everyone seems on board with social media but people are hesitant at sending out emails and yet statistics tell us that you will have a much bigger and better response to one email than you will to one social media post.
And stats don’t lie!
If you aren’t gathering emails from customers, then you are only making half a sale. If you are gathering them and not using them to re-market to someone who already knows, likes and beginning to trust you, then you are simply leaving money on the table.
Everything, everything in your business is easier when you have a list to market too.
You don’t need a big list to be successful, just well nurtured.
If you don’t have an email list already, then prioritise it as a goal for 2020 and please start building one!
If you’re looking for amazing templates and a really beautiful and cheap email provider – have a look at Flodesk.
I’ve changed over to there (mostly) and it’s so so gorgeous! While it may not suit all brands, but if you are targeting women, then it’s a definite thing to look at!
Go to http://bit.ly/loveflodesk and check it out.
7.COLLABORATE WITH OTHERS
Am I working well with others to leverage business exposure to customers?
Find other businesses that compliment yours but aren’t in direct competition, and do some collaborations with them.
I had a kitchen shop back in my retail days, and we collaborated with clothing stores, the local chemist, the jewellers. They all had customers similar to mine, but also at times included a different customer group. So we pooled resources and we ran events together, successfully leveraging the exposure to a broader customer base.
That said, you don’t have to do events together. Something as simple as an Instagram take over can be a great cross-promotion tool. Take cover each other’s Instagram for a day and do some stories or posts about your business on their platform.
Some other ideas:
- Write a guest blog for someone else.
- Offer to put brochures in each other’s businesses or sell something of theirs through your shop or online store.
- Exchange email lists and do a collaborative series of emails to each other’s lists.
Collaborations are as old as time itself. Helping someone else get what they want, whilst getting what you want.
My kids did it all the time. “You watch out for Mum whilst I get the lollies and then we’ll share them” – you know the tricks – it’s same same in business!
Business isn’t easy. Anyone in business will tell you that. And most people, if they’re honest will tell you that going into business for themselves was the best and the worst thing they’ve ever done!
So never do it alone. It’s too hard. Find your tribe and share your story.
Hanging out with like minded people, financial collaboration or not, it will be the best thing that you’ll ever do for business!
So, there you have it – 7 ways to get your business noticed pretty much without too much cash injection or capital!
And, because I’m an overachiever, some other ways to get your business noticed include
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
- Posting into Facebook groups – other peoples
- Running online competitions
- Running a “top fan” competition
- Doing giveaways instore or online
- Walking the streets of your business district and introducing yourself to other business owners and letting them know what you sell so they can send referrals
- Give referrals to others – give, give, give and then they might just return the favour
If you do think of some more, hop into the Like Minded Business Owners group and let me know. I’d love to hear about them. (And hey, it’s another way to get your brand out there!)
This blog is a transcript of an episode of my podcast Small Business Made Simple – to check that podcast out and listen in go to www.socialmediandmarketing.com.au/podcast