Today’s blog is the result of a deadline I inadvertently imposed on myself at a networking meeting two days ago. Because of the deadline and my public declaration of it, you are reading these words.
On Tuesday, before a group of about eight small business owners I meet each week, I declared that I would commit to writing a blog a week. The discussion led to one member suggesting that he or others call me each day until the blog is posted. I am saving them the time and effort.
My desire to complete a marketing task that rarely comes to fruition is not a unique situation. Most of us have a task list, and on that task list are items that keep moving down the page. They don’t fall off the list so much as get pushed to the side. For many small business owners, it is their marketing efforts.
And even though I am a small business marketing consultant, I find myself in that trap from time to time. I could blame it on the fact that by the time I have thought out the marketing plans and written the materials for my clients I have little energy left for my own marketing. But that’s an excuse.
What really happens – and I know I am not alone – is that my marketing efforts don’t always take the priority. The end of the unofficial summer season – with Labor Day’s passage – provided me with the perfect impetus to commit myself to new goals. One was writing at least one blog a week. The payoffs for writing these blogs is huge to me, my clients and prospective clients who visit the Bigger Pie Strategies website.
I just needed to make the time, meaning making my marketing a priority. Here are hints for how to make your marketing efforts a priority:
- Develop a written marketing plan. If it’s on paper, it’s already more of a priority than thoughts are.
- Commit the resources. Whether it is money or time, marketing has to be budgeted.
- Take small bites. No one can afford a full day or days on marketing. Focus on one task a day, even if it is for just 10 minutes.
- Enlist professional help. I could no sooner fix a transmission than my mechanic can market his business. We each offer something of value. Recognize what you are good at – selling, fixing, interacting with customers, whatever – and pay a small business marketing consultant to spread the word for you.
- Track results. Marketing plans are more effective and more likely to continue if methods are put into place to track results. Ask clients how they heard about the business, and probe prospective clients for clues about how they learned of the business. Set up analytics on the website. Keep track of social media followers.
Few businesses grow these days without some sort of formal marketing. The time invested in marketing could make the difference between a good month or year and a bad one. Are you willing to take that chance? I am not.