This truly is an amazing time to be an entrepreneur, for many reasons, but two in particular:
First, little is the new big. Not so long ago, big was big. We had two giant superpowers, the “Big 3” automakers, three television networks, and so on. Not today. Today, whether we are talking about entrepreneurs like the late Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg, or how small businesses are proliferating across the globe, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship are celebrated.
Second, technology. Technology has leveled the playing field. These days, any small business can act small but look big. We have access to some incredible tools that heretofore were only the domain of the big boys.
This is especially true with regard to marketing. Marketing used to be so challenging, and expensive. Maybe you would put an ad in the paper. Maybe people would see it, but maybe they wouldn’t. Or you might buy some TV time, hoping that folks not only would not change stations, but actually would watch the ad, pay attention, and take action.
That’s a lot of maybes and hoping.
Today things are so much easier, better, and less expensive. Specifically, there are five tools that you should be using right now if you want to fully take advantage of this golden age of small business:
- Your great website: What is the first thing someone will do when they first hear about you or your business and are thinking about working with you? That’s right, they will Google you. And what will they find when they Google you? For most small businesses, it is two things:
- Your social media profiles, specifically, usually, your LinkedIn profile (see below), and
- Your website
Let’s not even talk about those 50% of small businesses that don’t have a website because that alone is business malpractice. No, let’s talk about your website.
Do you remember the old vocabulary building commercial, “People will judge you by the words you use”? Not only was that true then (and now) but what is even more true is that they will judge you by the website you have. Have a great one and you are in the game; don’t, and you are not.
- Content: “Content Marketing” is all the rage for a reason – it works. By having great content that puts your best foot forward, that is interesting and engaging, that links back to your site, and that brands your business, you offer potential customers a valuable way to engage with your brand, in a gentle-sell, impressive way.
Your content can look many different ways:
- An e-newsletter
- A blog
- Articles on your site or others
Whatever you choose, just knows that content marketing is an incredibly powerful way to build your business.
- Mobile marketing: Check out this amazing stat: Just about half of all searches are now done on mobile devices. And, not only that, almost half of those searches have a local intent. That means that people are out there in your neighborhood right now, looking to buy what you have to sell that, and a lot of them are searching for where to do so.
So no, it is not a good idea to have a mobile marketing strategy. It is imperative that you have one.
- Social media: As indicated, the other main way that people find you online is via your social media. Either it pops up in a search result, or you will engage with them online at Facebook or Twitter or wherever.
Social media has become the giant marketing tool that it is because 1) it is where the eyeballs are, 2) it doesn’t cost money per se (although of course, time is a form of money), and 3) it is a place where you can build your brand and customer base directly, without any filters between you and your audience.
- Pay-per-click (PPC): PPC may be my personal favorite. Why? Because you can market your business so efficiently and affordably using those little Google or Bing or Facebook ads. If someone sees your ad and likes it, they will click on it and come to your site. Only then do you pay for that ad. If they don’t click on it, you pay nothing. As such, PPC allows you to create, and only pay for, qualified leads. Amazing. Different. Better.
As I said, this really is an incredible time to be an entrepreneur.