In the July Growing Club session we ran a class on marketing, which is still an area that many small business owners feel icky about.
This is often because they feel it requires a huge budget, or that they don’t have the skills. But we need to get our heads around our marketing or we will waste a lot of money.
If we want to run a business we have to do marketing because the bottom line is there are no sales if we don’t tell people how we can help. But, as I tell anyone who will listen, social media is an absolute gift for small businesses. It makes marketing more fun and it gives us a more level playing field to compete with the big boys.
It’s really important to find the marketing style that works for you and since running my business I’ve found that I love writing. I don’t get enough time to write so making writing a part of my marketing plan is a great way for me to market myself.
We are again in an age of storytelling and without a doubt the most effective marketing involves the use of stories. And luckily now the internet means we no longer need permission from the media hierarchy to get ourselves out there.
One of the best ways to tell our story is with blogs, which not only create great content for sharing but also really help with SEO.
If you’re new to blogging it can take a while to build and get comfortable with your own writing style, but that really does come and practice builds confidence.
When we feel more comfortable with our blogs, collaboration via guest blogging is a great option for addressing a new audience and increasing our reach.
I’ve had fun guest blogging for Home Working Wisdom and September Woman which allowed me to experiment with subjects that I wasn’t ready to share on my own website, and now Business 2 Community use any of my blogs that they like.
It was finding my blogging voice that also led me to write The Super Women of Lancashire and then The Heart of Sales and someone said recently that writing books is all part of marketing!
As I’ve increased my confidence I’ve started to think more strategically about who I want to write articles for and recently I had the pleasure of working with Simply Business to produce an article on sales and the small business for their knowledge bank. That was a very nice experience as they were extremely respectful and complementary.
Sharing you blogs with others is a very useful way of improving your skills, if a wee bit scary, and I run blogging groups and a Facebook group for sharing blogs. If you are interested in learning to blog we have a hands on Blogging For Business course starting in August in Lancaster. Full details and booking HERE
Over to you… Where would you really like to share your articles?