How to Market Your Small Business

These days it's easy to get caught up in all the "hype" of digital marketing. To most business owners the word Marketing is confusing, time consuming and expensive.

However the landscape of marketing has changed dramatically over the last decade. The introduction and acceptance of Social Media has leveled the playing field.

Today small business owners have the same tools available to them as the largest companies in the world. Digital platforms have given rise to advertising methods and resources that allow the small business owner access to cost effective, trackable marketing tools.

the key to taking advantage of these tools and platforms is to have a simple and effective marketing strategy in place for your business. A simple and well planned strategy will keep you engaged with your target audience, continually spread your message and drive new prospects and sales.

So how do you develop a simple and successful marketing strategy (especially on a shoestring budget?) Here are three tips to get you started.

#1. Craft an Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organization does. As a small business owner you should be marketing at all times-wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch.

Research shows that the average attention span of an adult is about six to eight seconds. That's ALL the time you have to grab someone's attention. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. If you're successful, the return on investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating new and exciting opportunities.

#2 Leverage Your Community

Thinking too big is a common mistake for a small business owner. When it comes to your marketing efforts, think locally! Take a look in your backyard and get familiar with what's going on in your community. Community Outreach is a viable Marketing Strategy that more business owners / brands should be taking advantage of. Working with local schools can help you connect with community leaders, in addition to parents and teachers. We've recently teamed up with Keiser University in our area to work on their Halloween, Haunted (Open) House event. Programs like these help get your name in front of the community, and spread awareness about your products and services.

Local charity events are another good way to leverage your community. There are many different types of local events to support, sponsor or even host. Check out local event sites or your local city officials to get a good idea of upcoming events that might be perfect for your business to sponsor. Sponsoring charity events offers your brand a chance to get in front of a large number of people. Keep an eye out for events like Fairs, Farmers Markets, and Sporting Events.

#3 Collaborate & Network

Collaborating with others in your area, or in your niche, is one of the fastest ways to grow your small business or brand. Put together a group of synergistic, like minded, and non-competitive creators and agree to cross-promote each other.

Use things like coupons, fliers, video collaborations, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions and social media platforms. Collaborating as a team will allow you to expand your customer base because you will all be reaching new people.

You will be surprised how easy it is to work with others. Most of the time other small business owners, creators and influencers will be willing to not only work with you, but also help promote the material that was created together.

These three easy to follow and inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage your target market, build relationships, grow your prospects and keep your business or brand top-of-mind. The biggest take away is to remember that Marketing isn't always about the money that you have to spend. It's about the time, effort and quality of your message and intent. Get involved, become relevant to your audience, and you'll see results.

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