5 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses in 2012

Small Businesses need Marketing!

Has the daily grill of your small business prevented you from coming up with fresh marketing strategies? If that is the case with you, fasten your seat belt as I plunge into the array of swords every entrepreneur must have in the armoury.

1.    Craft Attention – Grabbing Headlines

“Hey! Is this just about my advertising?” did I hear you say. Nope. It’s about everything a small business produces, from emails to flyers and Vacancy Ads.

Starting with your website, according to “Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide” you should create a unique title for each page in your site. This title should contain a frequently searched word or phrase to make it easier for your page to come up when people are looking for the products or services you offer.  Sounds like Greek? Holler at your designer and your wish will be his or her command.

Use headlines and sub –headlines in marketing your proposals and sales letters – this tip earned me a six figure training job a while ago, the headline was even quoted on the Purchase Order – Lol!

Interesting, curiosity – arousing – headlines also help small businesses increase their email open  – rate, while a smart targeted headline on your “WANTED” (alive I hope) adverts show you mean business in your selection process.

2.    Boldness is a Marketing Strategy!

I have a real life story on this one. Sometime ago, I attended an entrepreneurship course organised by a former First Lady in Nigeria. Any thought of sitting back to enjoy doughnuts and coffee while discussing marketing strategies vanished on the very first day as we were put to work right away. The first assignment was to think of a small business we would start, make profit from and exit within the 2week duration of the course.

As most of us were sweating over this “emergency” business, a certain young man put on the cap of boldness and calmly announced to Her Excellency that he would be launching a notepad filled with African Proverbs and she is hereby invited to be the Chief Launcher!

No prizes for guessing who made the most money and swept away the “Best Small Business Prize” at the end of the course. I am sure Richard Branson who reportedly stage-managed getting lost in a hot air balloon for publicity’s sake would have been mightily proud of him.

3.    Create a valuable Free Gift

Clients are sometimes overwhelmed with mundane gifts like Diaries, Business Card Holders and the like (I hope someone won’t get my hide for this!)  The 21st Century Entrepreneur needs to come up with a more innovative marketing strategy.small business

My offline business involves the marketing of First Aid Kits. What I did was to create a Free DVD with First Aid Tips and lots of enticing offers of course!

I also applied the well used list-building technique of creating a Free SPECIAL REPORT and inserted the link into all Marketing Literature.

If I can do it, you can do it too.

4.    Become an Authority in your Small Business Niche

Small Businesses in the Service Sector are often run by highly skilled professionals turned entrepreneurs.  Even if you don’t know that much to start out, I remember a wise old saying that if you read a subject consistently for 3 years, you will become an authority in it.

The next step is to participate in phone-in shows, Television programmes, Public Speaking and generally get the word out.  It’s a done- deal marketing strategy, trust me.

The step that should not be forgotten is that you should find a way of offering your book, widget, service or whatever brings dough on the table, in your appearances.

5.    Sharpen your Marketing Skills

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people by Steven Covey” is a reference book for many small business owners.  If I recollect clearly, a graphic picture of a man who spent 5hrs cutting down a tree was painted by the author. The lesson was that 4 of those 5 hours were spent “Sharpening the Saw”.  How current are your Marketing skills?  Do you have a Marketing Plan and a table of activities to run for the year?

If you are getting a bit red-in-the-face at the answers to these questions, click here  for more information on our entrepreneurship development trainings.

It would be great if you could share this article, leave a comment below or send me an email on at least one strategy you will apply. In the words of the French General, Charles De Gaulle “Deliberation is the work of many men, ACTION, of one alone”

Small Businesses need a BOOST

In conclusion, we all need to recharge our small businesses in 2012 with innovative marketing strategies in order to become the entrepreneur of our dreams!