How do you feel about your marketing?
Is it a struggle at times to come up with marketing ideas for your small business that are not just about posting on social media?
I’m a marketing consultant which means thinking about promotion for my clients. But I need to keep in mind how I promote myself too.
So this blog is me passing on some of the ideas I have used to form a week’s worth of content marketing and promotion that anyone could try.
There are 7 ideas here but you could always take a day off! I don’t want anyone to get promotion fatigue.
I hope it will inspire you or at least give you a few new marketing ideas.
Marketing Ideas For Small Business
As small business owners we all want to keep up with marketing trends and marketing trends in 2021 are interesting.
With the pandemic ongoing, live events are just not coming back any time soon. As you know using events as a marketing tool can be a great thing for a business.
Because they offer relaxed opportunities to interact with our clients and other key customers. A good event can build awareness very quickly.
Events can span from networking meetings, trade shows, exhibitions, or simply workshops that take place in person.
So how can we still utilize events whilst not meeting in person?
Online events are the obvious answer and lots of people have been making good use of Zoom, Stream Yard, Facebook and other platforms to keep events happening.
This leads me on to my first idea for your marketing week
1. Live Panel Discussions
I was delighted to be asked to join in an online panel discussion hosted by Zoe Pocock owner and founder of Muck N Brass, Presenter The Weekend Workshop & teacher of all things upcycling.
The event was called From Passion To Profit - Promoting Your Business.
The panel was to take place using new live rooms on Instagram where four accounts can go live at once.
Our discussion covered a lot but is all focused on small business owners and their marketing and promotion.
You can watch the replay here
The panel event was a really good idea for several reasons.
When you combine your online audience with others who have a similar or related audience then you are bound to find interest among those you attract.
Also by using all of the features on the social media platforms that you use it helps your account to be found by a wider audience during both the live events and from the playbacks afterwards.
So why not think about the questions your audience has about what you do, and set up an online panel.
2. Guest Blogging
I am a big fan of guest blogging.
If you have a website then you will know how important it is to have fresh, relevant content to keep both your audience and the gods of SEO happy.
It can be hard on your time and creativity resources to constantly be coming up with new content that is just about you. But when you put others into the mix your content broadens immediately.
When you consider all the elements that you can draw from as a business owner there are so many people you could approach about guest posting.
I was featured by Emma Read Virtual Assistant on her blog with an article I wrote about what to include in a marketing plan.
Marketing planning is vitally important so I hope that blog has helped people.
I follow Emma on Instagram and enjoy her tips and content myself so when she was looking for people to feature it made sense to put myself forward as someone in a related career area.
Use different aspects of your life to blog with
I also featured on a guest blog about another aspect of my life, which is being a parent.
As a mum of two, I wrote a piece for Jen at BabyToddlerAdventure about how reading with my children has been a big part of my life, one that I’ve loved.
I hope this has shown you that you can guest blog about anything, whether it is business related or personal, it all helps to get you in front of new people who might be interested in your business.
Going to networking events is a great marketing idea for small businesses looking to promote what they do with the right people locally
There is so much to say about networking that I’ve written about it before at length.
"Rye Here Rye Now is a monthly meet up building a community to bring graphic designers, illustrators, design thinkers, photographers, filmmakers, artists and other creatives together, encouraging collaboration and creativity"
I was really glad to be a speaker myself recently.
Going to networking works in several ways.
Firstly you always need to be meeting new people in business because even if your clients love you, some of them will move on eventually. So networking helps you with keeping those introductions flowing.
Secondly, if you pick a networking event and stick with it, possibly even speaking at it if you enjoy public speaking, the other people there will get to know you. Next time someone they know is looking for a person with your skill set, you are likely to be mentioned.
I highly recommend linking in with Joanne via her FaceBook group on Instagram. She is absolutely full of good networking ideas!
Will you consider networking now as a marketing idea?
Podcasts are something that have been around for ages, I remember CBS having podcasts for their GameSpot and CNET brands back in 2011 when I worked in the online marketing department.
In terms of saturation into the consumer market it has taken a little longer, and probably for most people to have phones that have quality audio enabling the podcast habit.
Bringing Your Products To Life
The first podcast I was a guest on was episode 44 of Bringing Your Products To Life with host Vicki Weinberg, product consultant.
Thanks to Vicki's insightful questions, we had an excellent discussion on launching and marketing a physical product.
I spoke about how to do that for people who were brand new to marketing.
It is a really good podcast to follow for marketing tips and lots of other really useful business areas.
The Entrepreneurs Growth Club
Recently I was featured by Charlie Day for an episode of The Entrepreneurs Growth Club podcast called how to market your small business, with Shona Chambers
"In this episode Shona Chambers gives us her best marketing strategies for small business owners. As a marketing consultant and small business champion Shona is a fantastic source of knowledge when it comes to marketing"
I love what Charlie does with the Entrepreneurs Growth Club, she is full of ideas and energy and constantly supporting the women in her community.
The benefits of using podcast interviews as a marketing tool to help your small business is the sheer size and scope of the audience who may be listening.
Also by looking for podcast opportunities that are super relevant to your niche you could meet new clients so it is not only a marketing tool but a sales one as well.
5. Facebook Communities
Have you tried Facebook group marketing yet?
There are so many excellent Facebook groups out there that you could take all day listing them.
For the self employed and freelance community there are some excellent busy groups where you can market yourself in lots of different ways.
I’d recommend starting off with a search on Facebook to see what comes up for your specific career niche, then joining a group that you like the look of.
Once you are part of the group there are a few ways you can make the most of the community goodwill on offer.
Most groups do a welcome to the group post once you have joined, which would tag you by way of saying hello. You can usually introduce your business at this point as you would in a real life networking group introduction.
Most groups have specific days where you are allowed to post about the events and offers you have on, look for collaborations and just be promotional. It is wise to check the group information when you join for these, make a note somewhere and join in when you can.
Use Themed Days
A lot of groups also offer themed days where you can post your social media links, latest blog posts, talk about what you are doing to keep your client pipeline marketing going, or pitch to the group.
A way of marketing yourself that a lot of small business owners skip over is answering the questions that others ask in the group.
If you do this on a regular basis then people start to notice that you are a useful and helpful person to have around.
Many Facebook group owners allow guests of the group to go live and give useful talks to the other group members.
If you have something you’d like to do a talk about it is worth asking the host whether this is an option in their group.
Once live you can have a very interested captive audience, and of course there is also the option for people to watch your video replays.
6. The Free Promotion Guide
To help people find the kinds of groups I mentioned in point 5 above, I created a Free Promotion Guide which lives on my website and has a list of as many Facebook Groups as I know of that offer a specific free promotion day.
It also includes Twitter hours, Instagram post days and a list of journalists that I curate on Twitter that you can monitor for journalist requests that may gain you free PR
7. Create a Community Day
All of our events are online only at the moment.
You are very welcome to come and join us and post about your business, it is nearly always a nice and busy post, with new people and regulars chatting about their businesses.
I recommend to all of my clients that they try to implement community days into their own marketing content schedules.
If people know that you always go live on Tuesday lunchtimes then they will start to put that into their diaries.
If they know that you do talks with other business owners on your channels on a Friday then people will start asking if they can join you, or telling others about your sessions.
People love consistency, and communities grow through the people who start them committing to the actions that keep them fresh and busy.
What could you do for your own business?
And there you have it a week of marketing ideas for small business owners
In this blog I hope I’ve given you lots of suggestions that you can try for your marketing.
I have covered the benefits of live panel events both in terms of the collaboration opportunities with fellow panellists and the combined impact of a bigger audience.
I explained that guest blogging can be powerful for audience building and helpful for SEO for your website. You don’t always have to focus on your business side in guest blogs, you might write about a hobby, or interest.
I covered networking and how you can use repeat trips to networking events to get your name out there, gain speaking opportunities and learn from people within the same community.
Podcasts are here to stay, if you haven’t started listening to them yet that doesn’t mean you couldn't be featured by a podcast host as a guest. Don’t be shy, get in touch with someone today!
Facebook communities are a great place to market yourself. They usually have specific days where you can promote for free, but it is a good idea to show up on other days and join in, building up a great reputation as a kind and helpful member of the group.
The Free Promotion Guide is a resource I put together to help people find Facebook Groups, Twitter chats and Instagram community post days and get organised with planning their promotion, if you’d like a copy download it here
And finally, creating a community day where people know that they can find you on a regular basis is a great way of growing your audience and building consistency into your marketing
I hope this blog has helped you with a few new marketing ideas, why not try one per day next week!
P.S If you would like to receive blogs like this straight to your inbox you can sign up here for my mailing list. I mail once per week on a Friday.
Would you like more marketing advice?
If you would like a book of 100 Marketing Tips written just for small business owners then do have a look here
You can even download a free chapter now if you would like a taster?
Shona Chambers is a Marketing Consultant based in SE London.
Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing.