Oh, we’ve heard it all by now.
Here’s a brief collection of small business marketing greatest hits in the popular easy-listening genre “Why I Don’t Have X For Marketing.” I’ll readily admit that these can seem like insurmountable problems, particularly if you’re suffering from a combination of all three. I call them excuses for a reason: Because any company, no matter how small or struggling, can market itself. And frankly, every company should be, mistakes be damned.
Let’s tackle these three issues in brief, one at a time, and offer some small business marketing ideas.
“I don’t have time. Seriously, I don’t. I haven’t slept in three weeks, and you look like a giant talking rutabaga. I hate rutabagas.”
If you’re watching the minutes bleed away, small business marketing can seem daunting. It’s not something you can do in a half hour, after all.
If time is a real issue and money is not, go out and hire a marketer or two. They’ll be familiar with the subject matter and able to guide your efforts, if not take them over entirely.
If you can’t afford it, you can still market your company with comparatively little fuss. Sponsor a low-cost event to get your name out, set up a Twitter account and try to update it a few times a day with interesting happenings and hand out coupons in the town square. Anything you can do to get the word out is good marketing.
“I don’t have the expertise. For years, I thought marketing was a slang term for grocery shopping. I’m frightened by the Internet. I’d do more harm than good.”
Again, if you have the money, just hire an expert. It will save you time, unfamiliar concepts and a hell of a lot of terrible buzzwords.
If you don’t, though, it’s time to hit the books. Set aside an hour a week to read up on some of the basics of marketing, particularly Internet marketing. Once you’ve got a basic comfort level, start off with some low-level, unambitious marketing designed to pull a handful of new customers in. Slowly increase your knowledge base and build up from there, and you’ll have a decent marketing machine going within a year or so.
“I don’t have the money. We’re running an operation on a shoestring budget and making soup out of tin cans and glue. I don’t even have the money to do it for free!”
Perhaps the greatest challenge to a comprehensive marketing effort. Larger companies can afford to sink money into SEO, paid advertising and printing fliers that you cannot. It’s just a fact of life.
This is where the Internet helps to equalize things. Twitter and Facebook won’t cost you a red (or blue) cent, and they allow you to swiftly reach a huge audience. It’s the quickest way to success, even if it’s still not overnight.
Questions? Still have concerns? Ask us!
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