Hole In One Marketing
Below is a link to the story my friend Matt Beyler, president of Shipping and Handling shared about Marketing Tips anyone can implement.
It was such an honor to be highlighted by Matt, who I admire and respect. Here is Matt’s account of our conversation:
In the April newsletter, I touched on some marketing strategies. Last Friday I had an in depth conversation with a long-time friend, mentor, and business associate of mine who has owned her own advertising agency for the last 28 years. I delayed our newsletter after that sit-down so I might be able to put my notes together and share parts of our conversation.
Mary Fisher owns Fisher Design and Advertising (www.maryfisherdesign.com) here in Jacksonville. I met her at a networking function soon after I moved to Jacksonville and I’ve relied on her and her company for years with our website development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), digital marketing, printed sales collateral, and advice. In addition to her regular business consulting, Mary makes public speaking appearances to business groups on effective marketing tips. Most recently for the Women Business Owners of North Florida, Small Business Administration and the veterans transitioning out of the military into entrepreneurship. Her tips were the topic of our conversation and I thought I would share just a few of the many key points we discussed.
One of the most common mistakes small business makes is not putting together a comprehensive marketing plan and calendar, making the necessary adjustments, and sticking with it. Ecommerce growth is rare if not impossible with a “build it and they will come” approach. A comprehensive marketing plan, calendar, and investment is typically required to get consumers to find you even for the most innovative and first-to-market products, along with established businesses.
Here is an interesting and obvious observation on how the marketing landscape has changed. Mary and I have both been in the business for well over 30 years. Back in the day it was basically a choice between Radio, TV, Newspaper, Yellow Pages, telemarketing and direct mail. For some business models those channels may still be effective, but the top choices now seem to be between digital marketing, SEO, social media, email campaigns, Google AdWords, etc. Whatever your media of choice, you may need to touch your prospects about eight times before they buy from you. Advertise consistently and in the right places.
Tried and true direct face-to-face approaches such as networking events, trade shows, public speaking, being a center of influence, etc. are still very effective we feel, despite their traditional drawbacks (the amount of personal time required and a relatively longer lead time for direct results).
Set up your business as if you setting it up to sell for the future. Important to start with an end game in mind.
Focus on your niche market and do everything to team up with vendors, marketers, and strategists that specialize in your niche market as opposed to jack-of-all-trades. Also in a related issue, it’s always best to hire/work with local or domestic companies as opposed to offshore vendors. The price may be attractive, but the lack of local knowledge, local competition, recent trends, fuzzy licensing and trademarking practices is typically not a good trade-off.
It sounds pretty obvious, but make sure you own your domain name and your website. Some of the less expensive website companies will actually own your domain name and all of the assets of the website. If you try to move your website to a different hosting, or get access to the root of the site, you may not be able to. Many small business owners have learned this the hard way.
There are a lot of social media options, but in our opinion 2 of the most important yet overlooked are Google Maps and Google Reviews. They may take some man hours to get going, but cost next to nothing. Google Maps now ranks on an internet search before the organic website listings. Fall of 2016 Mary consulted us on these elements, we got them in good order and I saw instant results.
Sales and public speaking. We never graduated from college thinking we would be a sales person. Like it or not, we are all sales people. You had better get good at it. Get a little training on sales and on public speaking. The two go hand-in-hand. Speaking is selling. Know your Value Proposition Statement, Value Story, Elevator Speech, whatever you want to call it. Be fluent is saying it in person, on the phone, in an email or anywhere when someone says, “Tell me what you do”. I have multiple versions based on the situation and with years of telling my value story and trying to distinguish myself from my competition, my story rolls out naturally and I love telling it.