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Why micro businesses need to rethink marketing

Thursday, 29 November 2012 | By Cas McCullough

When you’re running a micro business from your home office, promoting what you do can seem like a daunting prospect.

 

What many fledgling businesses seem to do is find Facebook pages they like and spam them or they spend a fortune on advertising that doesn’t provide a return on investment.

 

Many of us grew up with the “advertising” and “marketing” paradigm but these days, traditional approaches just don’t cut it with potential clients.

 

However, because many little businesses grow out of hobbies (ahem, obsessions), business owners don’t always have the knowledge and skill to effectively promote what they do.

 

So, the answer is to learn, and learn fast, how to best communicate your brand with potential clients and customers.

 

There could be any number of things holding you back from achieving your greatest success. These could be as simple as:

  • Blurry product photos or product photos that don’t stand out.
  • Overly wordy product descriptions, and “About” sections.
  • Over-posting boring content on social media.
  • Incomplete social media profiles.
  • Self-promoting on social media instead of building relationships.
  • Inconsistent branding or simply branding that doesn’t reflect the quality of what you do.
  • Sales information that doesn’t show the true value of what you offer.
  • Spamming people with email newsletters they never subscribed to.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

 

Sadly, I’ve seen many little businesses give up and blame a lack of visibility for poor sales. However, just the smallest changes could make a difference. Things like:

  • Checking out your Facebook insights could give you a clue about post popularity and timing of posts.
  • Getting a professional product photographer to take photos of your stock could enhance their appeal. If you can’t afford to hire one, can you barter?
  • Engaging a professional website designer to give your website an overhaul. There are many website designers in the WAHP community.
  • Ensuring your social media is linked to your offline marketing efforts could generate more fans for your business page, fans who’ve already engaged with you in real life. Facebook gives away printables you can use at markets and in stores to showcase that your business is on Facebook.

These are just some suggestions.

 

I’ve seen too many micro businesses shut up shop when they could have made changes to turn their businesses around and I’ve seen small businesses ripped off by opportunistic marketing companies. That just makes me mad.

 

If you’re facing the prospect of shutting down due to poor sales, just ask yourself: Have I done everything I can to make this a success?

 

Read, research and look at what others are doing. What works and what doesn’t? And if you can, find a mentor who works in your industry to help you find your way.