Success as a Service Business or Solo Entrepreneur Requires Marketing

small business marketing tips

There is a conversation I have been having recently with many entrepreneurs and it is a truth bomb about how every business owner needs to know their key to successful growth is going to be marketing. In fact, getting very real here, if you are only starting out, you will need to prepare yourself that 50-60% of your time or budget is going to need to go towards marketing. Here’s another fact: most of us are not marketers which poses a big, but solvable problem.

When I say marketing that is a broad term that includes many forms of visibility including: advertising, presenting, networking, social media videos of you or your business, email marketing, platform building avenues like podcasts, blogs, and media as well as cross promotion partnerships. If it looks exhausting and complex, I will not sugar coat it, yes it can be overwhelming. However, you do not need to do it all on your own.

Low Sales or Slow Business Is not About You, It is about your Marketing

As a business coach for service based business owners and online service entrepreneurs, I have witnessed my clients starting to internalize not having enough business equating to they are not good or not good at business. Do not go there. It is a noisy world, it is an online world with algorithms, and marketing is essential to get found and to convert.

You need to know and own you are awesome, it is not you, it is your marketing that most likely needs a makeover. The number one biggest mistake I see people make is thinking that by having a website and having social media accounts, there business will grow. The truth hurts and so I have to say it harshly here for your own good with zero fluff….

“Having a website and social media accounts is only a base, a bare minimum that do nothing for you until you make them work for you.”

What do I mean by making them work for you? Your website is a search engine and search engines like keywords and fresh content. You make your website work for you by making sure you have keywords related to what your ideal client would search, that you update your website with fresh content like blogs or videos, and absolutely have an opt-in where people could subscribe to your newsletter so you can begin a relationship with them. This is where the magic happens.

Don’t Market Alone – Hire Help

When I launched my very first online products, I hired the help of an SEO specialist who was able to get me on the first page of google search rankings for specific key words. Do you think I could have done that on my own? No way and without him no pay. Guess what happened? It started a string of online sales for me that produced passive income monthly. Yes, I did pay him and I did pay for some google ads, but the income it produced far succeeded my own investment.

To get seen, to be found, and to grow your business, you need to ramp up your marketing and have a marketing plan. There is no one size fits all as it depends on your business, where your target market is, and whether you are an online business or in person traditional service based business. Yes, you absolutely can choose marketing options that are no cost or low cost, with the only cost of your own time investment. Here are a few free marketing options for you:

  • Presenting locally to groups, organizations, companies, communities
  • YouTube Videos with a call to action to subscribe for a free download
  • Blogging with focused topics and keywords specific to your services
  • Networking, relationship building, and community involvement
  • LinkedIn Pulse article submissions with tags
  • Pitching yourself to media like newspapers, magazines, T.V.

Learning to Sell Yourself as a Service Business Owner and Solopreneur

Ah yes, we just hit another road block for some of you right there above as you were reading… the obstacle of selling you or being the face of your company and putting you or your baby out there. I get it, it can be so hard! Before being an entrepreneur and truth be told even now, I am most comfortable being behind the curtains as support crew and I sit on the cusp of introvert and extrovert which I identify more as an introvert. You give me any one of my clients business and I am the best cheerleader you ever saw, but when it comes to selling me or for you, your own business, that is a whole new ball game.

Here are a few tips to get over the discomfort of selling you or your business:

  • Speak to your passion, tell a story of transformation
  • Share your why, connect it to the problem it solves or how it serves
  • It really is not about you, It is about what you can do for them so speak to what you give them
  • News flash, you are not selling and you do not have to sell if you have something that people want, need, and can improve their lives
  • The only focus then is on communicating how you help, share your service to the world
  • The only ‘selling’ you have to do is ‘guiding’ them to the next step and you may have to ask them to take that next step
  • Selling is educating, inspiring, and sharing your service with the world
  • Remember it is not about you, it is about what it can do for them

Hire Out Your Marketing Needs to Marketing Professionals

Last week as I sat with an accomplished entrepreneur who is a service business owner and she shared that she is the face of the company and stays in her mastery. She explained that is why she hired a team so they could do everything else that is not her expertise. I left there thinking, how smart she was and good for her as she has acknowledged her strengths, knows where her time is best spent, and sees the pay off of investing in others and building out her own marketing support team.

We are not all at that point of our business and that is absolutely okay, but I ask for you to put that in your back pocket to be taken out as a card you will play in a moments notice when you are ready. Deal? Good. Deal.

I do not have a team yet, in part to my own passion for marketing and learning and in part due to the journey I am on which I believe is to be of even greater service to my business coaching clients. However, even though I do not have a full time team, I do contract out for a variety of my marketing needs.

Marketing Professionals that Can Support Your Service Business Growth

Social media is one area you can definitely market out to save you endless hours and gain the professional expertise of the ever changing algorithms. I personally think everyone could benefit from this and it can be more affordable than you may realize.

“The more that is off your plate, the more you can stay in your mastery.”

The Urban Hustle is one company that could definitely take care of your social media branding and engagement. Sarah Bernstein is the creator extraordinaire there and she is a fabulous photographer so is able to combine her photography expertise with Instagram branding. What I really like about their style, is the creative element they offer with design, so you could say, I like their style.

Imagine someone making your Instagram feed look pretty for you without spending hours on it yourself. You can follow her on Instagram for branding, design, and social media tips @theurbanhustle .

Another area you can really gain traction is in hiring the right people to help you with your SEO and creating a digital experience that gives your customer an enjoyable customer journey when they navigate your website.

Tim VanSamang is a digital marketing specialist in Vancouver who has truly mastered SEO having supported many small to medium sized companies in expanding their digital footprint. He has a whole team waiting in the wings to create what you need for your business and I have personally experienced his fabulous and friendly expertise in video marketing and SEO.

Now depending where you are at and the stage of brand development you find yourself in or even if a new service needs some strong brand creation, this is one area, you will want guidance. I just happened to cross paths with a really cool brand expert the other day who truly demonstrated fantastic branding that spoke right to me. She connects your soul to your branding and has a unique method around doing this. Heather Briggs of Radiate Real. Check her out to get clarity and be able to communicate your brand message.

A Marketing Tool to Grow Your List and Create Simple Opt-in Pages

I wanted to share one great marketing tool that has been beneficial for me growing my online business. If you want to grow your list, create opt-ins, market webinars, and create landing pages, Leadpages is an excellent tool. It has built in SEO and has templates that make it user friendly. It also integrates well with your email provider like MailChimp or Convert Kit.

LeadPages can link right to your own website if you have WordPress or you can create stand alone landing pages. To learn more about LeadPages and how it could grow your business and help you with your marketing, click here: LeadPages as a marketing tool to grow your business.

Marketing Simple Action Step for Success as an Entrepreneur

With all this information and the overload of options available to you for marketing your business, how do you decide where to start? The first question you need to decide is where your customer can be found. Secondly, you will want to determine if your best to market online or offline and if it might be a combination of both depending on the type of business you run. Lastly, choose one main marketing method like it is the main act and then only one or two maximum as your support system.

An example of this could be using YouTube as your main marketing tool and then Instagram and email marketing as the support system. Another option could be doing webinars and using Facebook/Instagram Ads along with email marketing.

Keep Your Marketing Simple with Your Message

The last tip I want to finish off with here is to not get so caught up in the technology and methods, that you lose the importance of your own message. We sometimes over complicate things with systems and you know what? Some of the best engagement I have ever received with marketing is when my message spoke from my heart to their heart authentically. So keep it simple and choose a platform, speak your truth, connect to your customers, and move them with your message.

If you want help growing your business and creating a marketing plan that is authentic, targeted, and converts or to get clear on your message, email me for a complimentary consult jody@jodykennett.ca.

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