Five Small Business Marketing Tactics to Try In 2020 Marketing

The first thing we’re going to talk about is your content strategy. So when we’re talking about content, you’ve got to remember that Google is constantly changing their algorithm. They’re changing everything about it, how it shows up in the search engine results page, what pages are ranking, why they’re ranking and who sees them. So if you’ve been using an old outdated content strategy, you’ve been doing the same thing you’ve been doing for years, now is the time to change it. You’ve always got to change things up.

Start a podcast. Now you also may be saying, “everybody’s got a podcast. Why would I do that?” Well, it’s pretty easy to start the podcast, but what you really want to do is provide great content, number one, and number two, don’t be boring. There’s a lot of boring podcasts out there and they never see the success that they could.

But for a small business, it can be incredibly valuable because, one, you get to show off what an expert you are in the topic that you’re talking about. Regardless of what your business or industry is, it’s great to be able to talk and show that you’re the expert, you know better. This is all about educating your consumer and an educated consumer is a better customer. Two, this gives you a great opportunity to showcase your brand, who you are, the person behind the brand, the person behind the company.

Next, let’s talk about email. Email is incredibly effective for small businesses, especially, that want to be able to reach their consumer. So change up your email strategy. Change up what it looks like. Change up your content. Change up when you’re sending it. Do some testing. Find out what days work best for you. People have said for years, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are great days to send emails. Maybe for you, it’s Thursday or Friday. Maybe you want to send a weekend email. Test them out. See what’s going to work best for you, what works best for your customers.

Importantly, one thing you really need to consider is to make sure your emails show up really well on mobile. More and more people are using their mobile devices for every aspect of their life, including email. So as long as the email that you’re creating is mobile-responsive and so is the website you’re sending them to, that’s where you see your best efficiency and that’s how you have a great 2020.

Next, let’s talk about your social media, specifically, let’s talk about running some social media ads. Now, it’s been common knowledge for a long time that the organic reach of a Facebook page is pretty limited, pretty low. In fact, for a lot of pages it can be as low as 1%, meaning that you’re only reaching about 1% of your audience when you’re just posting organically.

A lot of people are also trying to rely on boosting and boosting their posts and I got to say that’s a terrible idea. Boosting, if you start thinking back to the old days of newspaper and magazines, things like that, if you were running any ads there, you probably got a discount doing something what’s called a remanent ad or a remanent placement, meaning that you weren’t really in the greatest spot. It was just kind of leftover space that they had. That’s where your ad went. You were in the newspaper or the magazine, but it wasn’t great placement. But at least you were there. That’s what boosting is. Boosting will get you there, but not great placement. It doesn’t utilize any of the machine learning or algorithms that Facebook has at its power. It doesn’t really give you a great way to reach your audience.

Now, running actual ads, as in using Facebook’s Business Manager, that’s how you really get to take advantage of all the power and strength that comes from the machine learning and the algorithms that are built into that. You’re no longer getting this remanent placing, but you’re actually getting preferred placing.

Finally, my last tip is to make your journey personal. This is incredibly important for small businesses because people want to feel connected. They want to feel like you’re a part of the community and you need to be a part of that.

A great way to actually encourage people to work with your business or to choose you for services or products or whatever you offer is to show them that you are an actual real person and you employ real people in the community. Share your hopes, your dreams, the struggles of owning a small business, things that you are going through. By adding this personal touch, you really give your customers an opportunity to… they can connect with you and they can connect with you on an emotional side. Everybody knows the story of Christmas. Everybody knows Santa’s story and that’s part of what helps to make the joy of this Christmas season so real.

So carry this through and start to tell the personal story of your business. Start to tell the personal story of how you got started, why you do what you do, what you did when you took a couple of days off, the things that your kids are doing, the things that your employees are doing, their successes, new things that they’re trying. Maybe an employee is moving on, going to college, starting their own business. Share that with your customers and share that with your community. By taking your customers on this personal journey, they’re going to want to continue to be a patron of your business and to continue to work with you.

Telling your story is an incredible way to grow your business, but also to be a part of the community, so be a part of the community.

The Hard Truth about Running a Small Business

There’s just nothing like the thrill of taking a product or service that you’ve come up with, create on your own and then getting it out to market, watching it sell and get used and make a difference in people’s lives, of those people who are using it. There is a financial realm of challenges. There’s a social realm of challenges and then there’s a mental and emotional realm of challenges and so I’ll just kind of touch on some of those. So, financially it is, you will make more money per hour flipping burgers, no doubt about it. I mean there’s just a period of time where there are so many things that you have to do that you don’t get paid for that the work that you do, that you actually get paid for is just a small part of the time that you’re spending in your business.

There are websites to create and business cards to do and strategy to come up with and all kinds of communication and marketing. There are just so many things that you have to do. You have to go into it with a bootstrap shoestring budget mentality where your personal take-home pay, you are counting on it being next to nothing, even nothing if at all possible. To live on savings for a period of time so you can literally make nothing from the business. So how does that sound? Go spend all this time, all this energy and make nothing. Don’t we love entrepreneurship, it’s so great? I paid my mortgage on the 30th day that it was late for like eight months in a row, and it was just an absolute struggle and a mad dash and just a crazy wild goose chase every month to try to scrape up the money to be able to pay my mortgage.

There are taxing times when you’re in that early stage and relationships suffer. Sometimes families don’t make it through that. Sometimes there’s divorce and separation and lots of hard and hurt feelings because the business requires everything you’ve got. It requires everything. And that is a hard thing for people to realize before they actually do it. If you allow the business to completely dominate, your family will struggle. That takes me into the second realm, which is the social realm. You’re not going to see your friends for a while. You’re not going to go do fun stuff. You’re not going to go out and hang out, you’re just not going to do those things. I remember times where I’d see friends, I hadn’t seen them for a long time and they’d be like, “Man, you used to be a lot more fun. We used to do a lot of fun stuff together.”

You have to sacrifice some of the less important relationships for a period of time. Your mind plays such games on you and there are so many ups and downs and such a roller coaster that it’s just really easy to get down and to be in a negative funk. When you’re not making money, and you’re not accomplishing goals, and it’s taking way longer than you thought, and a customer’s complaining about this, and your spouse is saying, “We don’t have money for that.” There are just so many things that mount that it just becomes a brutally challenging mental game to get through. That is the thing that I think is what breaks down most entrepreneurs and prevents them from achieving the success that they originally sought in the first place.

Everybody has skeletons, has issues they deal with. I guarantee you they’re going to come out when you’re trying to run a business. So if you don’t want to face some of those things, then you’re going to have a hard time running a business because you got to face some of that stuff if you’re going to win, if you’re going to overcome these things. That’s why I talk sometimes about the triumph of the human spirit, because you’re beating down things that would hold back most people or specific challenges that you’ve had in your life that are trying to hold you back. You’ve got to overcome those things. No doubt, there were times where I was delusional about what we were doing.

I think the thing for entrepreneurs is to err on the side of passion. So accept that there might be times that you’re going to be a bit delusional about it. Just be conscious of that and recognize that other people are going to have some perspectives. Our outcomes are determined by our thoughts, then our thoughts lead to our words. Our words lead to our beliefs, our beliefs lead to our actions. Our actions lead to our habits and our habits lead to our outcomes. So thoughts, words, beliefs, actions, habits, outcomes. The outcomes that we want can literally be created by the thoughts that we choose to feed our system. I think that entrepreneurs will serve themselves very well to get very clear on their purpose, their values, and their mission. Get clear on that, their core, and then the advice becomes a lot easier to filter and distill.

Four Tips for Small Business Automation

Today we’ll give you four basic tips for small business automation.

1: Embrace technology.

Most small businesses wait way too long to implement automation systems. If you’re feeling the weight of daily tasks slowing you down, it’s well past time to invest money in small business technology and software. Otherwise, you’re trying to save money by losing productivity and that equation never works out in your favor. Also, ensure that you invest time on the front end to set up your automation tools properly. This will ensure longterm success for your entire team.

2: Track time spent on tasks.

Set up a time tracking system for a day or a week or a month, to learn how much time is being spent on everyday tasks from mundane to critical, examined the time tracking data to learn which tasks should be automated immediately and which ones can wait for a later date. There are going to be lots of automation options that can improve your business. This type of planning gives you a clear priority list to start from.

3: Reduce the number of processes.

Even if, well, especially if you’ve been running your small business for a while, it’s time for some aggressive house cleaning on your existing marketing, logistics, sales, and customer service processes. Take two weeks to a month, and make it an absolute priority, reviewing everything until you’ve gone top to bottom. Schedule time with each team and walk step-by-step with them through their processes. It’s a near mathematical certainty that not only will you find processes that can be optimized, but a host of them that can flat out be eliminated altogether. Just like moving from one house to another, get rid of the junk you don’t want anymore before moving into new automation. The automation, in this case, is the new house and the processes are like a bread maker or a multi gym, I don’t know. I’ve may have forgotten to proofread this.

4: Secure employee buys in.

You can have the best automation software on earth, but if your team isn’t on board, you’re doomed from the start. Help your team understand not only how automation works, but how and why it will make everyone’s jobs easier and more effective. It’s very natural for team members to take the implementation of a new system as a sign that they are falling short somewhere. You no doubt have a great team, so take time to guide them through the functions of the automation, but also how the entire team will benefit. Give them confidence that they are being given a tool, not a replacement. Make certain that you bring the staff along for their automation ride step-by-step.