14 Marketing strategies for Small Business

Marketing is the most important business function, because good marketing leads to sales. In this video online marketing expert Justin Bryant from www.selfmadesuccess.com shares 14 Marketing strategies for small businesses. Even though the video was made in 2016 it is still relevant today:

Here are a few of my notes:

1. Start out on one or two strategies for traffic
2. Create Local Business Pages, Google, Yahoo, Bing
3. Blog
4. Eliminate and Prioritize – Focus on being productive
5. Start a Youtube channel
6. Build a email list
7. Give people fewer choices
8. Analytics
9. Automation
10.Social Media Marketing
11.User-generated content – reviews, comments, forums etc
12.Facebook or Bing PPC ads
13.State the benefits of your business in one catchy sentence
14.Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

Hope you enjoy the video and can start implementing some of the strategies today.

How to Become Rich – 7 Secrets All Self-Made Millionaires Use

If you knew the exact mindsets and techniques used by self-made millionaires would you use them? if you answered yes to that question then this video is for you.

Clark Kegley who is a young entrepreneur that is well on his way to becoming a millionaire himself reveals 7 secrets of self made millionaires:

There 7 Habits are:

  1. Think Big
  2. Get compensated for the value you deliver (results) instead of your time
  3. Increase the number of the people you serve, which means serve the masses.
  4. Learn how to communicate well
  5. Decide, Commit, Achieve
  6. Speed is king
  7. Model the masters

Remember these mindsets might sound easy or simple but like Jim Rohn said “What is easy to do, is also not easy to do”

How to Stand Out on Social Media as an Entrepreneur

How do you get your message out to your clients or potential clients? Social media is an amazing tool that business owners can use to connect with their target market.

In this video Patrick Bet David, who is a self made multi-millionaire reveals how we can use Social Media to create our own media company:

Feel free to leave a comment below.

7 Ways to Start a Business with NO MONEY

In a survey done by Phoenix Business School 39% of employees wants to start their own business. The reason many of these employees do not start their own business is because they think it takes huge invest and risk to start your own business.
In this short video Evan Carmichael, who is a very successful entrepreneur and Youtuber explains how you can start a business with no money at all.
So before you watch the video here is some facts about Evan:

At only 19, he built then sold a biotech software company. At the age of 22, he was a venture capitalist helping to raise $500,000 to $15 million. He now runs EvanCarmichael.com, a popular website for entrepreneurs.

Summary – 7 Ways to Start a Business with NO MONEY

1. Start with a Service

Starting with a service might not be as glamorous as having a product, and it is not as scale-able, but it allows you talk with your customers and find out what they want and don’t want.

Most importantly it gives you cash flow fast, which you can use for the running of your business.

Also, if you do decide to start growing your business and offering products, you already have clients and cash that you can invest into the creation of the product.

2. Use Facebook as your website

Many people think they have to spend thousands of Rand’s building a website, rather spend your resources on getting your first clients. Once you start making money you can decide if you want to invest it into a website.

On your Facebook business page you can enter all the important details, like your services, content, client testimonials or reviews and your contact details.

Make sure to keep your page up to date and post valuable content regularly.

3.Go To Them

When you are starting your business you do not need a office, you can meet you clients and potential clients at there offices or at coffee shops.

If you meet at their office you can get a better feel of their business and you might think of other ways you can help them or they might even introduce you to key people in their business.

Make sure you find a coffee shop that is not too noisy and is a bit professional where other business people are also doing business. I have found that coffee shops in hotels are good for business meetings.

4. Make Alliances

Team up with people that are selling to your target market.

Pass business to each other, if you service their clients well it reflects great on them and they will refer more business your way. Make sure you do the same for them.

So who is your client buying from before they buy from you or even after they buy from you? For example if you sell web design services you could partner with businesses that do business registration or with people that do Social Media Marketing for small businesses.

5. Get Noticed

This goes without saying, make use of social media, connect with people in your industry by commenting on their post, asking and answering questions on their platforms. Write articles, connect with the Media and definitely attend relevant networking events

6. Pre sell

With websites like kickstarter.com you can literally get payment for a product or service before you create it. Only if you get enough money, will you start to create your product, the obvious benefit of this is that you don’t give out any money of you own to create the product but what is even better is that you now already have a list of buyers that love your product for repeat sales and upsells and they will do a lot of the marketing for you.

7. Barter/Trade

Trade your skills or services for what you need in your business, for example, office space, accounting services, IT services etc

This way you don’t need to give out any money and you can invest your profits back into your business.

I learned so much from this video and i hope you did as well. Now the challenge is to implement what we have learnt.

2 Tools to automate you marketing

Marketing online can be a time consuming exercise, especially if you are a small business owner or restaurant owner. In this short article you will learn 2 software tools I use to save time and automate my Social media and email marketing.

Tool No 1 – Email Marketing Software

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to email marketing software. Email marketing software allows you to collect people’s emails as well as automate the emails you send to your list of subscribers. The company I use is called Getresponse and here are a few reason why:

  1. It is really easy to use
  2. You can create landing pages
  3. They have great customer service and support
  4. Most importantly I think is that they have a huge educational component where you can learn everything you need to know about email marketing and how to build a big list of clients and potential clients and how to monetize it.

www.getresponse.com

Tool No 2 – Social Media Automation Software

Once again there are many different software options that will automate your Social Media posting. I use Socialoomph, to be honest this is the first company I tried and it is so easy to use that I have not tried any other ones. You can schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and you can even schedule your blog posts. I initialing got it because I wanted to schedule posts on Twitter, but soon started using it for much more. You can also use the software to build you Twitter following.

www.socialoomph.com

These are the tools I use but I suggest that you try various ones to see what suits your needs, most of these software companies offers trial periods, so you can test drive the products and decide.

Both these tools save time, and frees you up to focus on what’s most important which is working in your business as well as on your business if you are a small business owner.

10 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Following

Unfortunately, building your following on social media isn’t easy. Im still struggling it myself, but these are a few ways i researched and will be implementing over the next couple of months. Slapping up a profile on all of the major social networking sites just isn’t enough. You need to put the effort in if you’re going to attract a following that’s loyal to you! Here are ten ways to go about doing that.

 1) Ask People to Follow You!

Let’s get the most obvious step out of the way first. Sometimes, you just need to ask people to follow you! Make it obvious that you’re available to follow on social media. If you don’t, people probably won’t take time out of their busy day to search for your profiles.

Here are some ways to make it as easy as possible for them:

  • Include follow links to your most important social profiles on your site’s homepage.
  • Send out an email to your subscribers letting them know you would love to connect on social media.
  • Add your social profile links to your email signature.
  • If you post something particularly interesting on a social media site, link directly to that post from a blog post or email.
  • Include your social profile usernames on your business cards.

So please follow me on Facebook and Twitter 🙂

 2) Set Up Your Profiles Properly

When you’re first setting up your profiles, there are a few things to bear in mind to make it easier to grow your following:

The Networks You Use: Many people dive in and try to be on “all” social networks because they think that’s what they need to do to build a following. In reality, however, this is really difficult to keep up with. Instead, choose a few key networks to suit your business. While some networks – like Facebook and Twitter – are more widely used than others, choose your networks based on what works for your business. For example, if you have a fashion store then Pinterest and Instagram make great choices.

Profile Name: When you’re setting up your profiles, try to get the same name for each one. Don’t call your Facebook page “John’s Interesting Quotes” and then call yourself “Big J” on Pinterest. People might search for your social profiles, looking to follow you on more than one platform, only to give up when you’re not easy to find!

Avatar: Your avatar is the way that people will recognize you in their feeds, so don’t have a different avatar on each social network! Keep it common across all sites so that people get used to seeing that beautiful face and remember who you are! Whatever you do, never leave your avatar blank!

Description: You can also use a similar description on each network to keep your profiles in line with each other. Don’t forget to make the most out of this space by telling people, briefly, what you do and why they want to be following you. Include a link to a website that will show them more about your business.

3) Automate (The Right Way)

Whoever told you social media could be completely automated was lying to you! There’s nothing “social” about never logging in to interact. That said, automation can be extremely useful if you do it the right way. Services like Buffer and HootSuite mean that you can schedule images, links and text posts to go out at whatever time of day you choose. You can also install WordPress plugins that’ll send out links for your latest blog posts.

Automating a few posts a day will help you spread out your social media presence. After all, you can’t physically be logged in all day long (you’ve got work to do!), so spreading out automated posts will help get your brand in front of more eyes at different times of day. Just make sure to login often enough to share other people’s content, “like” things on Facebook, thank people who share your stuff, and just have some conversations!

 4) Really Engage With Your Followers

Here’s the thing: companies that show personality almost always do better on social media. Even if you’re not personally posting, and have a team to do it for you, let followers get to know your team! People would much rather have conversations with real people, rather than constantly having marketing messages shoved in their faces.

Social media really is all about being social. The selling comes later. At this stage, you’re branding yourself or your company and you’re getting people to remember you, not pushing products on them all the time.

This is why it’s so important not to automate 100% of the time, and to make sure you login and actually have conversations with people everyday. When you are seen to respond to queries, complaints and even casual conversation on social media, people are more likely to join in on the fun!

You can even take this one step further and highlight particularly interesting comments you receive from your fans – give them credit in a separate social media update, or even center entire blog posts around them. It’ll all help your followers feel like they’re truly part of a community.

5) Share and Like Other People’s Content

It really does pay to take some time out every day – and it could be just 15 minutes – to share, comment on and like other people’s social media content. This helps boost your own following for a number of reasons:

  • First, people are much more likely to return the favor when they see you’ve put the effort in to help them. When they share your content with their audience, it’s exposed to a whole new group of people.
  • Secondly, the fans and followers of those posts that you comment on will see your name popping up regularly. They’ll start to remember who you are and may go on to follow you in the future.
  • It even helps you to keep track of what’s going on in your industry, and getting a feel for the kind of posts that work really well on social media!

6) Mention Other Companies

Never forget to mention other companies – by properly linking to their profiles – whenever you can. For example, if you want to post about shopping at a certain store on Facebook, you can link to the store’s Facebook page. This is a great way to get that store to notice you, and you may even find that they share your comments on their own page, dramatically increasing your exposure! This works in the same way as the point above about people reciprocating when you share other people’s content freely.

7) Provide Regular, Relevant Content

Many people fail to engage their followers and reach new followers when they don’t have a proper posting plan in place. There are two key elements to any successful posting strategy:

  • Your content is focused,
  • You post regularly enough to stay in the mind of your followers.

If you only post once in a blue moon, it’s highly unlikely that current followers will even see your posts, let alone remember who you are. And potential new followers might see your profile and think twice about subscribing when they see you’re not really active.

What you post is also very important. If people tend to follow you for your advice on buying kitchen utensils, and your business is to sell kitchen utensils, but you never even mention them on social media, then you’re not serving anyone. Your people aren’t getting what they signed up for, and are likely to stop listening/ following, and your posts aren’t boosting your business at all!

8) Don’t Be Afraid to Pay for Exposure!

Growing your social media following organically is great for the budget, and it’s totally doable, but you can really ramp things up if you’re prepared to spend a little money on it.

If you see a particular post doing well compared to others, it might be worth promoting it so that more people see it. More people seeing it = more comments and shares, and more people liking your page or following your profile!

You can also pay to place ads in front of certain audiences. Don’t rush into this – it’s important to test carefully, and note down the results you’re getting. However, this can be an amazing way to get your page in front of people who just didn’t know it even existed!

9) Keep the Personal Separate From the Professional

Although it is important to show personality in your updates, that doesn’t mean you should get too personal. If you want to have a personal account, that’s fine, but create completely separate brand profiles too.

There are times when your personal views could irk your customers, or they might just get plain bored about hearing what you ate for breakfast every single day. It’s fine to get personal every now and again, but you’ll generally want to stick to topics relevant to your business. That’s why people are following you, after all!

10) Measure Your Success

The key to growing your following on social media is to keep trying new things. But you’ll never know which of those is working unless you track your results. On a basic level this means noting down how many follows and unfollows you have from month to month.

You can get more detailed and track how many people are visiting your website, joining your email list and buying your products based on links they saw on social media. Most social networking sites have tracking built in to help you get a much better feel for what’s working.

Feel free to comment below or email me at: quinton@qmarketing.co.za

 

 

 

Creating an online presence on a tight budget

With more than a billion people in the world having access to the internet and more than 28 million in South Africa (52% of the population). It is no longer a question of if you should create an online presence. If your business is not online it is safe to say you are not in business, even if you are not making sales online your business has to be on the internet, so that when people search for your business they find a professional entity online.

Many business owners want to get online but are under the impression that it still costs an arm and a leg to set up a website. Things have changed dramatically and it is now easy to set up your own website without having to pay a developer to do it for you. At the end of the article i have listed some resources which will help you create your online presence.

Here are a few tips to get online fast:

  1. Build a website

This seems obvious but like I mentioned people seem to find this part extremely scary.

There are many drag and drop options like WIX and Weebly. I recommend WordPress, it is simple and easy for any beginner and you can build a website without having to learn how to code. Most hosting companies have a one click installation and there are tons of free information on how to get started with WordPress.

  1. Create a Blog on your website

Write a few articles related to your industry or business. The best way to do this to write a bunch of articles at once and schedule it to be posted once a month or once a week or even once every 2 weeks.

  1. Create your Social Media Pages

This is an easy step, if you have a Facebook Account create a business page, fill all your business details. Share the page with your friends and family and encourage them to share it with their friends. Post pictures and information about your business at least once a day, you could even boost posts to reach more people and get more page likes. Do the same with your Twitter account and any other Social Media platform you like. On Twitter you must Tweet 3-10 times a day to get any results. Also link your pages to your website.

  1. Build an email list

Email marketing is vital to you creating an online presence fast. The key is to create a big email list by creating an opt in page, give people something of value to opt into your list or newsletter. There are many different email marketing software to choose from in the market, here are a few:

  • Getresponse
  • Aweber
  • MailChimp (0 – 2000 subscribers Free)
  1. Add your business to Google my Business

Many business owners are not aware that it is free to list your business on Google My Business. It creates a professional look and when people search for your business on google it is easy to find.

In conclusion, if you are a small business or a freelancer you don’t need to spend thousands of Rands on creating an online presence. You will have to pay some money for things like your domain name and hosting, but most of the tools needed are free or relatively cheap. If all this seems a little complicated or you just don’t have the time feel free to contact me at quinton@qmarketing.co.za

 

Resourses:

  1. Learn how to create your own WordPress website all the information on the Wp Beginner website is free:

http://www.wpbeginner.com/

  1. Email Marketing Software

https://www.getresponse.com/

http://www.aweber.com/

 http://mailchimp.com/

  1. Google My Business

 https://www.google.com/business/

 

Twitter For Business – The value of a follower

In their 2016 Customer Insights Survey, Twitter partnered with Research Now, an online sampling and data collection company based in Texas, USA. They surveyed 5450 people from all around the world that followed small-medium size businesses on Twitter.

In this short article I will highlight a few of the key results of the survey. Of the 5450 people surveyed 90% use Twitter at least weekly and 57.6% daily. Another interesting finding is how often people see content from Small-Medium size business, 31.1% daily and 29.9% every time they check their Twitter feed.

66.6% of the respondents have discovered new small businesses on Twitter. I will share the link to the survey at the bottom so you can find out how people are finding these new businesses on Twitter.

The next few results are good news for small-medium size businesses, this is what happens once someone finds a new business on Twitter:

  • 73.4% follow the business after discovery
  • 33.2% Retweeted a Tweet
  • 29.5% Tweeted at the Business
  • 38.6% shopped at the business
  • 25.4% made a purchase

If you remember nothing from this article just remember the last point 25.4% of people made a purchase directly after finding a new business on Twitter.

What the survey revealed is that Twitter is a powerful tool for Small-Medium size businesses, and even though you need to Tweet at least 3-10 times a day to keep your followers engaged, and respond to Tweets and direct messages, investing the time or getting someone to do it for you will in increased revenue and brand awareness.

You can download the survey here: Customer Insights 2016: The value of a follower

The Most Underrated Marketing Technique for your Store? Emails!

In the market place right now Social Media marketing is a really hot topic, it seems like around every corner there is a new platform to master and some guru that claims he or she has all the answers. I myself am trying to learn as much as i can about Social Media and how i can use it to build my business as well as my clients businesses.

Even tho social media is the future many people are neglecting email marketing to build there business and build relationships with their customers. Also you are not in control of any of these social media platforms and they can change he rules anytime they want to (eg.Facebook change the algorithm for organic reach)

When you build a email list you are actually creating an asset that you are in control of. In this article by uAfrica.com they highlight some of the reasons that email marketing is still on of the most profitable marketing tool.

The Most Underrated Marketing Technique for your Store? Emails

This is a great article which gives you all the statistics and ROI of email marketing.

 

 

The State of Email Marketing in South Africa

Email marketing is an important tool in any businesses marketing tool, we have all read the articles saying that it is the most cost effective and reliable way to market your business. Even I have made a short video highlighting the benefits of email marketing.

But does it work in the South African market? Here are some facts about email marketing in South Africa, I got the information from a survey and research done by Everlytic in 2015, 5190 people were surveyed.

Email Marketing in SA

  • 84% of people read their email 1st or 2nd when they go online
  • 65% use email to share important information
  • 60% prefer to get news via email

The survey also discovered a few reasons why people will open your Newsletter.

  • 65% will open an email if they recognise the name.
  • 49% will open an email because of an enticing subject line.
  • 53% will open your email if you refer to them by name.

So as you can see it is important to get people to opt into your newsletter by giving them something of value so that they remember you. Also make your headlines unique and capture people’s names as well as their emails.

  • 63% of people prefer to receive their promotional messages via email
  • 65% of people under 20 use email, they use it to stay updated with fun and entertainment.

The statistic that really excited me was the fact that in 2012, 46% of people said that they bought something because of seeing it in an email, in 2015 that figure increase to 64%.

Another important fact is that in previous years women bought more online but the survey showed that this has evened out in recent years.

In conclusion email marketing and selling your goods and services online in South Africa is in good shape and is constantly growing. In fact if you are not taking advantage of the internet and email marketing, it’s safe to say you are not in business 🙂