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Marketing for the Small Business Owner: Let It Go and Let It Grow

Many small business owners prefer to do their own advertising and marketing. They think that they can’t afford to hire a professional to help them. Here are a few reasons why I think they can’t afford not to.

1.       Know Your Role

I make a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich, but I’m not a chef. I stick to what I know and I practice my craft. But business owners who prefer to do their own marketing know their business, and many don’t know about advertising and marketing and most have not taken the time to educate themselves on the latest consumer behaviors and trends.

I’ve noticed recently that everyone who has a Facebook page thinks they know how to market their business on Facebook. They set up a profile page for their business and one of two things happens: 1) they do nothing with it. Or worse 2) they get all their friends to become friends of their new page and build a rather large network. Then they realize after they have hundreds or thousands of “friends” that they’ve set it up incorrectly. Now they have to figure out how to convert their friends to fans and set up a Business Fan Page.

Business owners also tend to focus on antiquated marketing methods rather than creative strategies, simply because they have devoted their career to their industry and not studying advertising and marketing trends.

2.       Spreading the word

There are so many advertising choices today. The marketing world has evolved so much in just the past 5 years alone.  With all of these decisions to make, most small business owners typically make 1 or 2 choices that are probably not the right fit for them, and then they get paralyzed and do nothing else.  Whether it’s because they became overwhelmed with running their company or because of the clutter of messages being thrown their way, business owners often neglect implementing a well-rounded campaign.

Business owners need to ask themselves if their marketing campaign includes all channels or if they carry all their eggs in one basket? Customers don’t have one preferred method of communication or one favorite social media site that they frequent. So a successful marketing professional knows that an extensive campaign that includes an array of social media, search engine optimization and customer communication methods will best reach a broad audience.

3.       Can you spare a minute? Or an hour?

Business owners who spend their time doing their own marketing don’t have time to effectively run their business. And a business owner who is busy running his business doesn’t have the time to devote to consistently running a social media campaign. Marketing isn’t something you can put on the back burner and come back to later when you’re not busy. In order for any marketing campaign to be successful, you need to commit to nurturing it and tending to it daily, analyzing feedback and making adjustments if necessary.

What comes naturally to a marketing professional may take a business owner twice as long. By delegating these responsibilities to an outside agency or a part-time professional, the business owner can devote his time to growing his business.

The small business owner doesn’t need to invest in a full time position to achieve his marketing goals. There are companies who will consult with them and create a comprehensive marketing plan, set up social media platforms and help to grow them, and create better search engine optimization.  So it’s time to “Let it Go, and Let it Grow!”


About Barbara Gobbi

I'm a social media geek and mother of 4. I spend my days helping companies create customized marketing solutions to grow their business and my nights playing with my kids, 2 mutts and brushing up on the latest social media trends.

2 responses »

  1. Hi Barbara,

    Sadly, online marketing of a new business is a hard thing for most entrepreneurs to dive into. Most people who start their own online businesses do so because they want something to be in control of, not to mention that they’re probably spreading their finances thin doing so. These entrepreneurs are often afraid to outsource. Having a complete stranger take the reins of your social presence can be scary – especially since this person will be dealing with your followers directly. How do you decide who to use? Will this person respond appropriately? Does this person understand your product or service? Will they devote the same kind of care that you would?

    I’ve had my own run-ins with marketing companies. Some were fantastic and some are less than worthless. I’ve had a $30K advertising budget get rejected by two small marketing companies and managed a project where an agency charged thousands for logo development and poor copyrighting.

    Still, if you do find a marketing person that will work with you, who will understand your product and show genuine interest in your success, then you’re absolutely right – the services will pay for themselves and even earn you a profit. Great post and some very good points!

    • Chris,

      Wow! It sounds like you’ve met your share of greedy businesses who don’t know how do advertise or market a business unless big budgets are involved. I have a belief that if you have money, you invest in advertising. If you have brains, you invest in creative marketing.

      To answer your questions, I don’t do FOR business owners, I do WITH business owners. I teach them how to market their own companies because small business owners may not be able to afford a full-time Marketing Director, so they “dabble” or try to do it themselves and find they get frustrated and give up, or they are spending money on the wrong platforms or the wrong demographic audience. I show them how to target the correct customers and get that customer to find them without investing in huge advertising campaigns that have a high cost-per-lead and low return on investment.

      Best of luck to you!



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