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Posts Tagged ‘small business marketing’

Ask MarketingSherpa: How do small businesses find clients?

February 22nd, 2019
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We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in a one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of them here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.

 

Dear MarketingSherpa:  I have a question for you. In this ever more increasing digital age — where pressing palms and getting face time is getting harder and harder. How do small businesses find clients?

I am a graphic designer/marketer whose business model is to contract with other small businesses. Much like a General Contractor hires subs when they build or remodel a house.

When I get together with other contractors in the marcom field (web designers, marketers, other designers, branding specialists, etc.) the first question is generally ‘So, how do you find new clients?” The answer is generally referral, but that only provides so much to the pipeline.

We don’t have trade shows where the public can come in and meet us and get to know what options they have in terms of marketing their small business (like a home and garden show where the public comes in and meets the companies that offer home improvement — and all the new tech that goes along with it).

Our local AAF chapter did one about 7 years ago. It was poorly attended and never repeated. I presented. It was a fabulous idea.

We don’t have a Marketing Channel where people ooh and ahh over the latest couple who comes into businesses and turns their branding around and makes it all shiny and new and hands them a marketing plan and clients ready to purchase.

Marketing is the slow burn and a mystery how some succeed and others don’t. People like Shark Tank because it’s a Cinderella story — where the prince bestows upon them the money they think they need to succeed. Success overnight!

Everyone thinks it’s social media — but really that’s just more ad buys. And it’s left to the algorithm to determine how successful you are.

So how do small businesses that are in service industries especially find new clients? Sure we all know to go where our audience is, but our audience/ideal clients are in front of their computers looking for their own ideal clients. Or on the job, or at shows selling their own goods. They don’t scroll Instagram looking for business advice. They aren’t on Facebook reading funny memes. Generally. I mean they are definitely on their phones though.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. I mean even your own website when it gives examples, it’s usually really large companies with really large budgets and a full agency behind the A/B testing and research and metrics. Not really applicable on a smaller scale, in most instances. Even people that know they need to content market are buying their content, not generating it themselves or through an agency (buying it from a service that caters to their industry).

OK — thank you for listening, and we all await your response.  🙂

Thanks!

Deanna Taus
Owner
Full Circle Creative, LLC

 

Dear Reader:  Hi Deanna, Thanks for reaching out.

We get this question quite often from small businesses who are engaged in marketing.

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Inbox Equilibrium: How small businesses are making an impact in customer’s inboxes

April 28th, 2017
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I have been writing email marketing case studies for MarketingSherpa for almost five years, and almost without fail, they’ve been from companies large enough to have a dedicated marketer working on campaigns. At the very least, small companies that had big company aspirations and a “jack of all trades”-type working on campaigns.

But when I take a look at my personal inbox, I realize that’s only a partial view. Sure, I receive emails from big brands, but my inbox has changed in recent years. At least half of the emails I receive now are from small, local businesses.

In fact, the one I look forward to the most is the update from the historic San Marco Theater here in Jacksonville — the owner writes each email himself as if it were a personal letter to each of us. The theater recently upgraded to a second screen, and I have been following the building drama rabidly.

There’s something about receiving a personal and detailed email that is almost quaint, now. The only people who email me any more to give me the small updates about their lives now are those small, local businesses.

In recent years, there has been an email evolution where email marketing became accessible and easily doable for people who are juggling the majority — if not all of — the tasks associated with running a business.

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SMB Marketing in 2013: 85% of SMBs to increase use of email

January 18th, 2013
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In part one of this blog post, Rick Jensen, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Constant Contact, provided his thoughts on where SMB marketers should focus their efforts in 2013.

Both of these MarketingSherpa Blog posts were prompted by research from AWeber, which found 68% of small businesses plan on increasing the marketing budget in 2013. That prompted me to reach out to experts in the SMB sector for tips and tactics specific for SMB marketers.

Today’s post offers more details from the AWeber research, along with more insight from industry experts.

The AWeber research was conducted during November and December of 2012, via an interstitial greeting AWeber customers received when logging into the company’s system. Visitors were invited to participate in the research, and 3,159 completed the survey. The methodology included randomized multiple choice options presented to respondents.

Here is an infographic summarizing the results of the survey:

What's in store for small business?
Data and infographic by AWeber

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Top Takeaways for Small Businesses from Email Summit 2012

February 10th, 2012
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Editor’s Note: Email Summit is attended by hundreds of marketers every year from a wide range of companies —solo entrepreneurs all the way up to Fortune 50 stalwarts. So to give the small- and medium-sized business readers of this blog some actionable advice from this year’s Summit, we’re giving Rebekah Henson, Education Marketing Associate, AWeber, a chance to provide the SMB perspective. In full disclosure, AWeber sponsored an SMB-focused special report from MarketingSherpa, is a sponsor of Email Summit, and the editor of this blog used to root against Chris Webber (no relation).

 

“The customer is king.” That’s been the overarching theme of Email Summit 2012. From the first words of Dr. Flint McGlaughlin’s keynote on day one, promising not to teach us new things but instead to teach us to see things differently, the focus of this year’s Summit has been all about valuing your customers.

That is right up every small business’s alley. Speakers from all different backgrounds and business sizes spoke on panels and presented on their findings, but you can easily apply several key takeaways from the week no matter how big or small your business happens to be.

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