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  • Writer's pictureKayla Stinnett

Wondering Where To Start With Marketing? Do These 4 Things First.

Wondering where to begin when it comes to marketing your business? I don’t blame you. As a small business owner, you wear many hats. From product development to customer service, you’ve got a lot on your plate. And marketing? It often falls to the wayside. But I’m here to tell you that marketing isn’t really that hard. You just have to know where to start! So here are four tips on where to start when it comes to marketing.

Know Your Customer (or Client)

Before you do anything else, you need to know who your customer (or client) is. Why? Because you can’t do anything if you don’t know who you’re marketing to! Think of the Who, What, Why, and Where of it all. Who is buying your product or service? What needs or wants are you satisfying? Why should they choose your product or service? And where can they find you? After you answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to knowing your customer!

Here’s a pro tip - try developing buyer personas. A buyer persona represents your ideal customer based on market research and data about your existing customers. If you have data on your current customer base, consider including that information, such as demographics, behavior, patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you can get, the better.

Establish a Budget

We’re all feeling the pinch right now, but instead of cutting marketing, try creating a budget first. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), a small business should spend 7%-8% of gross revenue on marketing. But the objective here is to choose what you’re comfortable with so you’ll stick to it. If you’re more comfortable with 5% - then go with that because you know you’ll stick to it.

After you establish a budget, choose how you’ll spend that budget. Will you invest in local advertising, such as radio ads and newspapers, or go with social advertising? Make sure you’re choosing the marketing mediums that work best for your business and work for your audience. And if you’re looking for ways to spend that budget, check out my “Four Money-Saving Marketing Tips” blog.

Stick to a Schedule

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, showing up with marketing once or twice a week is better than not showing up at all. Too often, small business owners believe they have to do it all, posting daily on social media, creating flyers, sending out weekly emails, and more.

But I’m here to tell you that that isn’t the case!

Create a realistic schedule that you can stick to. If you only have enough time to post three times a week on one social media platform - do that. And take the same vibe with any other marketing, such as emails, cold calls, and more.

Know Your Content Buckets

Think of Content Buckets as your secret weapon when creating content for your business. The buckets are categories for your marketing efforts, each speaking to the mission and vision of your business. Essentially, you want to divide content into six buckets: entertainment, conversational, inspirational, educational, connection, and promotion.

These buckets serve as an inspiration and a rhythm for your content. Say you’re trying to think of what to post on social media. Instead of metaphorically hitting your head against the wall because of a lack of inspiration, you can pull from your content buckets. But the point here is to pull strategically and not randomly. For example, you don’t want to create content that’s only “sales-y.” Instead, you want to use a mix of content buckets. Try creating a formula for your posts, such as two “fun” posts that fit into entertainment, inspiration, and content and one “sales-y” post that provokes connections and conversation and promotes your business. A formula like this helps with the balance of your content. After all, if your content is all “sell, sell, sell,” your audience will stop listening after a while.


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