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Be a Builder: How to Start Your Small Business Marketing the Right Way

This is the first of three posts this month describing my Builder, Creator, Deliverer Marketing approach. Small business owners must manage so much. In these posts, I explain the breakdown of some marketing tasks and how to accomplish or delegate them.

Small business owners don’t go to work (or walk into their home office) and decide, “I’m going to market today.” Marketing is part of the work you do all day, every day to survive in business.

Some of that is through your awesomeness, by delivering a fantastic product or service and providing customers with a pleasant experience. But some of that is through a series of tools and approaches.

As you launch your business or marketing program, the first step is what I call “Builder.” Most business owners skip this step, thinking they already know what to do. They begin the next two phases, Creator and Deliverer, which we’ll address in later posts. Skipping this step is hazardous and often leads to a disconnect later. Here’s how to start building your marketing:

● Market Research - What similar products and services are out there in Raleigh and Cary or the Triangle? Is it a crowded field, meaning you’ll have lots of competition or is it relatively easy to step in? How are you different from others? What level of income does someone need to buy your product or service? Know what’s out there before you get started, so you know how to position yourself within the market.
● Client Research - You may think your audience is one group and begin marketing to them. But something isn’t right. Then, it turns out an entirely different group of people just love what you have to offer. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t realize that until they’ve wasted time and money on the wrong thing. Save yourself the trouble by researching your target audience. You can ask people to fill out surveys, talk to your friends and networks, and search online for similar products or services. Whose problem are you solving? How are you addressing it? (Certain groups may prefer one solution approach over another.)
● Keyword Research - The best keywords aren’t just one word. It’s a phrase or sentence people are typing (or voice searching!) to find what they need. Go back to the problem you’re solving. If you had that problem, how would you find answers? What questions are you asking? What words do you use when asking the questions? You want to find as many angles on this as possible so you can target a variety of search phrases. While keyword stuffing isn’t recommended for your Search Engine Optimization, you’ll still need to know what phrases resonate with your audience.

DIY or Delegate?
Time is a business owner’s most valuable commodity; time is money. Marketing yourself is about being authentic. You want to identify who you are and what your brand is so you can connect with the right audience. Part of being authentic is figuring out what parts of marketing you love — and which you loathe. If you love research, you’re a “builder,” and you’re probably thrilled to get started. If this part sounds like homework to you, consider delegating these tasks. You won’t dig in with the same enthusiasm and may end up with poor results because of it.

Want help with the Builder portion of your marketing? Contact us to learn more about getting your marketing started right.

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