"It's doing fine." I often get this answer from a lot of small business owners whenever I ask them about how their business is doing. Truth is - many of them are stuck and struggling - especially with their marketing strategy.
It is easy to say your business is doing okay when profits are stable, but stable is actually stagnant. Most business owners want to grow and continually increase profits so stagnation is not a good thing...
How can you achieve consistent growth? Simple - by effectively marketing your products and services.
Marketing is one of the driving forces that can bring consistent profit to your business. Marketing can either make or break you. Think of marketing as the brain and profit as the blood in your body. They both play a very important role in keeping your small business alive.
Many small business owners still choose to personally handle the marketing of their company. Some business owners find this to be effective, but many struggle to create consistent results with their marketing.
Here are some of the biggest marketing challenges for small businesses:
Are you experiencing any of the challenges above?
Some of the questions below might also help you drill down on why you might want to consider hiring some marketing help.
If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions that's also a sign you could benefit from some help.
Hiring a small business marketing consultant can be challenging. You want to make sure you ask the right questions to vet anyone you are thinking of hiring.
Check out our FREE cheat sheet to help you catapult your marketing to the next level. Click the image below to check it out.
Up to this point, I've really only focused on the symptoms (or challenges) of ineffective marketing, not the root cause of it. So...
The reason is you need a MARKETING SYSTEM.
Systems save time, energy, and money. By creating a marketing system, your marketing will become easier, repeatable, and more effective. If you don't have a marketing system, that's the real reason you need to seek marketing help.
There are many ways to create a marketing system, but we follow and recommend the Duct Tape Marketing System for small business marketing because it's worked time and time again for small business owners.
Below are the components of that system. Should you choose to embrace it, I think you'll find your marketing will never be the same again.
Many small businesses jump from tactic to tactic with minimal results. In order to stop doing this, you must create your marketing strategy before applying any tactics.
Knowing who your ideal customers are, what your company vision is, and what your core message is are critical components of your marketing strategy. This is the first thing you should do to create your marketing system.
Your business needs to be found in order to grow. Creating valuable, educational content geared towards your ideal clients will help your business get found and encourage people to engage with your business.
Content is the voice of your strategy and you need to adopt a content publishing model for your online and offline marketing efforts. You might be in the business of dentistry, remodeling, or retail, but you also need to be in the business of publishing content.
The Duct Tape Marketing system looks at the customer journey as an hourglass where the customer starts at the top of the hourglass and filters all the way down.
Your business needs to create content focused on each step of the customer journey so that your business will "speak" to their needs at that point in the journey. Do this and your content will help move customers through their journey in doing business with you.
There is a lot of noise today. Your customers are bombarded with tons of information on a daily basis.
In order for your business to first be found and then nurture that relationship, you need to have a total online presence. Having a website isn't good enough any longer.
Your website is just another piece of your online presence which includes your SEO (search engine optimization), social media and content. Combined, these tools will create your total online presence so your business can be found and prospects can engage with you.
When you have a fully functioning lead generation system in place your business will consistently generate high quality, motivated leads so your business can continue to grow.
Having multiple channels to generate leads like referrals, advertising, and public relations is an important way to diversify your lead sources.
It's not enough to generate leads, once you receive leads you need to convert them into customers. Having a systematic approach to nurture and educate your leads will go a long way in keeping your conversion rates high.
Time is a scarce resource for all of us. The only way to gain marketing momentum is with consistency over the long-term.
Creating a marketing calendar will help guide you on the important marketing tasks you need to complete today, next week, this month, this quarter, and this year. A calendar is a great way to stay organized so you can be consistent.
You can't achieve business success overnight and if you do it will most likely be fleeting. It takes consistency, hard work, and time to achieve success.
Your customers should always come first, then profit will follow. Your marketing doesn't need to be a struggle, and if it is then you should reach out for help.
If you need help implementing a marketing system that's what Rialto Mobile Marketing is all about. Feel free to reach out anytime.
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Tim Fitzpatrick is the President & Founder of Rialto Mobile Marketing. At Rialto Mobile Marketing we create marketing systems to help small businesses achieve simple, sustainable growth. We’re the bridge between where you are and where you want to be.