As a solopreneur, you know that a good marketing strategy is essential to your success. But what are the best ways to market your business? 17hats ambassadors recently shared their top marketing advice with us. And, you do not want to miss out.
Here are our ambassador guests:
- Jacqueline M. Baker, an entrepreneur and podcast host from Maryland.
- Valentina Rebeschini, a photographer based in London.
- Shawn Brooks, a website designer from Miami, Florida.
- Alexis Sadler, owner of an accounting/bookkeeping firm in California.
- Emily Catron, a wedding photographer from Indiana.
- Joanna Moss, a website designer from British Columbia.
- David Krisher, a portrait photographer from Missouri
- Donna Reid, an entrepreneur from the UK.
Amanda: A lot of new small business owners are a bit overwhelmed by marketing. And it can be daunting if you think about marketing in a large-scale, big-budget, commercial-style kind of way. So how would you describe marketing for all the newbies?
Jacqueline: It’s connecting your message, your product, or your service with the people who want to consume it in the most natural, organic, and efficient way.
Valentina: Simply put, marketing is just the way you let people know how you can help them.
Amanda: Those are both great explanations. Marketing for small businesses doesn’t have to be scary. What marketing advice do you have for someone just starting out?
Valentina: Marketing [your small business] can seem complicated and overwhelming especially at the start. Don’t think you need a degree or any other special certification. Just trust the knowledge in your industry and share it with passion and confidence.
David: Make marketing planning a weekly task. Evolution of your marketing campaigns begins with weekly brainstorming.
Joanna: To add to David’s point, it’s important to build a system for your marketing, something that you can stick to and then work on consistently. When you set up a system and batch your work you will be able to stay more consistent with your marketing.
Emily: Marketing is so important for success. Marketing your business when you are just starting out does not have to be a big investment money wise, but if you have a smaller budget keep in mind that it will take a lot of time and patience. Remember the power of social, digital, print, and networking/marketing yourself to others.
Amanda: Excellent advice to stay patient especially when you’re just starting out. Is there anything you wish you knew about marketing before you started?
Jacqueline: While many people can potentially benefit from your business, it’s in your best interest to find that special group of people that most benefit and cater your messaging, dollars and efforts towards them.
Alexis: Make sure you know your company Mission, Vision, and Purpose, so you can make sure new customers know who they are going to be working with. Creating a personal connection is a huge part of marketing.
Donna: Don’t let it overwhelm or scare you, if you have a plan you will be fine.
Amanda: Since you’re all seasoned business owners, which marketing strategies have worked best for your business?
Emily: About 75% of my bookings come from digital marketing. This includes Facebook ads, Google ads, SEO, and engagement in Facebook groups. I have found that my target audience is online. By taking my marketing literally to them with targeted ads, I am presenting them with content that they feel is catered to them. It cuts out the research and effort on their end, making working with me quick, easy, and simple.
Valentina: Like everyone else, I struggled with marketing and sometimes I still get anxious with what to post on social media, which is normal, as we are business owners, not just marketers. My biggest advice is to plan your posts ahead with Later or any other similar platforms so you don’t have the stress of “what should I post today?”.
One thing that was really important for me was appearing in my social stories. Not just sharing things, but actually showing my face and talking to my mums. That really improved my credibility and authority. Lots of people browse stories, so you will be missing out if you don’t.
I know it’s not easy and you may feel embarrassed, but I promise after a few days of doing it you will get used to it. Just don’t look back at what you post – record it, add hashtags, gifs, or polls and leave it. Easy!
Shawn: I’ve been working on creating 7-15 second videos that inspire clients and make potential clients laugh on a weekly basis. I decided that every Thursday is my video day, so I block out my calendar and try to create mini-facial gestures and/or movements that give a meme effect.
Once done I add the clips to my reels page in TikTok and Instagram, add music and text animation, then I save the reel as draft. Prior to posting, I add descriptions and hashtags. The goal with the Reels is to show my audience my passion for business and the creativity of the videos, which should result in them visiting my website or scheduling a call.
David: Paid media is another great social media strategy. I’ve had success with Facebook ads recently. You have to do a wide reach of six different ads to get the dynamic information needed to find one or two that actually work to get you leads. Run all six for one week and then drop all of the non performing ads and run the successful one for two more weeks.
Amanda: Wow! All of you have such different strategies from organic to paid media. It just goes to show that there are so many different routes you can take for your small business. With all that great information, is there any other marketing advice you can give?
Emily: Just because one marketing tactic works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. There are 100’s of marketing courses out there, each claiming to book you up for the year. There is no guarantee that those strategies will work for you, but education is key. Always try something new, keeping in mind the type of client you want to work with. Also when it comes to Facebook ads, you do not have to have a big budget to have success. Education is everything.
David: Outsource the graphics work if that is not your cup of tea. I am a photographer so I let others do my graphics that are not a piece of Photoshop I am comfortable with.
Donna: Identify your business goals. Write down your marketing goals to determine how you are going to market your business – organically or paid advertising. Are you using Social Media? Do you have a website? Look at all the different platforms that can get you clients and figure out your plan.
Research your market, do your competitor analysis & figure out who your ideal client is as this will make marketing your business a whole lot easier. Use the 7 Ps of marketing; Product, Promotion, Price, Place, People, Process & Physical Evidence, getting this right will ensure your marketing strategy is a success.
Amanda: Great marketing advice for our members! Thank you all again so much for dedicating your time to being a 17hats Ambassador and sharing your insights. We look forward to sharing more of your experiences with our members and readers.