Communications Builds Capital For Free
Updated: Jul 11, 2018
OK, it's about time. I'm following my own advice and am jumping on the blogging bandwagon.
Just read an article confirming what I’ve believed all along. Most small business owners know that marketing is important, but don’t invest enough time and resources in basic communication. Add "delegating marketing work to anyone who will take a crack at it" as another option.
According to smallbiztrends.com, a recent Kabbage Inc. survey found that even though finding new customers is their most important challenge, most entrepreneurs allocate the least funds for marketing; on average, it's about 7 percent of all costs. I get it. You have to pay rent, invest in equipment and supplies, make payroll and build infrastructure.
But when mapping out your first year, you need to consider how communications can be a real engine for growth. It's critical to attracting new customers. New customers generate capital. Capital fuels success. Marketing communications should be part of your business plan early in the process, even though cash is tight. How to do it? The right combination of digital marketing and old-fashioned PR will tell your story at no or little cost.
Most of my new clients don’t have a Facebook or Instagram page for their businesses. How many friends have you reconnected with through Facebook? How many likes did your vacation photo get on Instagram? Imagine the attention you might generate for your business through a weekly Facebook post. "You tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on." Social media is a no-brainer for announcing new products, publicizing sales, asking for customer feedback and bragging about rave reviews. As soon as I finish this, I'm linking it to Facebook and LinkedIn.
Some clients are intimidated by building and/or maintaining a website. With simple, low-cost tools like wix.com, you can be just hours away from a beautiful online presence that tells your story and woos potential clients. Your site can be a brief snapshot of your business or a comprehensive one-stop shop, featuring things like product listings, reviews, e-commerce, subscription forms and links to your other digital accounts.
Have more to say? People love free advice. Start blogging about what you think is important, or create newsletters and notes through free services such as Mailchimp. Take a step further and get noticed in your community. Network with neighboring businesses, volunteer your services or products at local events, sponsor the school band or rec softball team. You also should always let local media know about what you have to offer – no need to pay for an ad; send a press release or talk to the hometown editor about why your business is special.
Want to learn more? Don't know how all this works together? Ready to get started? Pinch Hit Prose can help. Give me a shout and we'll talk.