Marketing a small business has become overwhelming with all the online platforms, tools and strategies. There is so much complexity with all of your choices, how do you simplify marketing so it eliminates confusion and enables you to focus on what is important? Whether you are a new business or one that’s been around for a while, it is a good idea to get back to marketing basics to help you make intelligent decisions on where you should spend your time and resources. The first step to simplify marketing is to narrow your focus by picking a niche within your industry sector. The more focused you are, the more likely your business will be visible, not only to those you are purposely targeting, but to others that may feel your services will help them solve their challenges as well. Service businesses such as marketing, business coaching, construction, IT, home improvement, legal or financial services benefit from creating a niche that you can dominate and become known as the expert. Being too broad makes it difficult to find a viable target audience and craft messages that resonate with that audience. Are you an organizer or do you help simplify the lives of your clients so they have more time to enjoy each day with less stress? Determine what your business really sells, the experience you create and the value that your customers get from your products or services, and you have your foundation for your marketing plan.
When you speak precisely to your target audience, you simplify marketing because you are extremely clear about the value you offer and why your ideal clients should work with you. Knowing exactly what your ideal client wants or needs and how to best reach them makes your marketing more effective and saves you money by not wasting it on activities that don’t make sense for your business and the clients you serve.
Once you know what makes you different, incorporate it into your core message about the benefits of working with you. Your core message is a short description of your business that enables prospective buyers to know who you work with and what value you bring to the relationship.
Your core message creates credibility and relevance for your ideal client, explaining how you help your ideal client, the value they will receive and the end benefit to their business. Pricing and packaging is an important aspect of marketing that needs to be carefully planned and executed. Are they value priced so that you get more money for your time but your ideal client feels good about the value these services provide?
Be unique and offer your services in a way that makes you stand out from your competition to make your business memorable and credible. With all the hype around digital marketing and social media, business owners forget that online is simply a new channel that helps you reach your ideal client. Free Marketing Plan TemplateJoin the thousands of people who have created a winning inbound marketing plan. When we’re constantly doing marketing, it can be easy to forget about looking at what the marketing is doing for us. If your copy is bugging you, pick a few pages that you really can’t live with and work on those to start with and see how things improve. If your content is driving you loopy, take it back to basics and think about the sorts of things a new customer would want to read and write a few new blogs.
Or if you suspect SEO is the problem, don’t get tangled up with 100 things, get a plugin like Yoast running and tweak your copy on the fly.
Check out your social media and see if people are responding to your content– AND the kind of content that matters to you. Take some time to check out your top 3 emails of the last 6 or 12 months and see what made them pop.
If your marketing is making you feel like you are putting in a lot of effort for a tiny return, it’s time to critically review what you are doing and make changes. Rebekah Lambert is a content marketer who combines 20 years of marketing experience with creativity and in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour to build copy and campaigns customers love.
Need social media, blogging, creative copywriting and marketing strategy plans for your business?
Looking for a Sydney freelancer who is nuts about creative copywriting, content creation and is probably the biggest freelance marketing nerd you’ll ever meet? It’s so easy to be mesmerized by all the marketing technology around us and forget about the marketing basics.
My Italian grandma (who provided many marketing tips via this series) spent most of her time in the kitchen.
I remember her words when I’m trying to re-create her spaghetti sauce and I remember those same words when working with clients.
Sometimes we all get so caught up in what is the hottest, latest, and most buzzed about marketing fad that we lose sight of the cornerstone principles that make advertising and marketing work.
Regardless of what marketing tactic you’re using – ask yourself this question: if someone could only remember one thing from this – what would I want them to retain? You can’t time marketing: Just like the sage advice about investing – you should give up any hope of being able to accurately time your marketing. You need a plan and a budget: You cannot consistently market your business the way you need to without a plan and a budget. Your current customers need to be a primary audience: Everyone’s quick to chase after the potential customer and those new dollars. We all know it’s a lot easier to get someone to buy for a second or third (or tenth) time than it is to get them to buy for the first time.

Keep these marketing basics in play and watch your marketing efforts get stronger and deliver better results. This is great insight, but I’m still new at this online marketing thing although I enjoy doing it. September 15, 2015 - Affiliate marketing has become a popular advertising technique used by thousands of marketers worldwide. As a commission based referral partnership, affiliate marketing programs establish a relationship between the owner of a website and an online retailer as a way to promote a product. All affiliate marketing programs will involve an agreement, where a website owner places an ad or link on their site as a way to promote a retailer’s product. Retailers typically pay affiliates a higher commission for any transaction resulting in sales, as compared to a completed survey or page view. Because many more individuals are using the Internet to purchase items and goods online, affiliate marketing has become an enormous industry. Retailers that sell goods and services online are typically not web savvy, nor do they have the time or money to invest in Internet marketing promotional campaigns. In addition, affiliate marketing remains popular among online retailers that maintain low advertising budgets. Any website, blog site, or social media site owner interested in earning extra income can use affiliate marketing offers to generate a steady stream of cash every month.
The most successful individuals are those who follow affiliate marketing basics, including becoming a part of the niche market.
Staying within a niche market, and writing about it on blogs, through social media sites, or an established website, allows the affiliate marketer to gather a targeted audience. The above affiliate marketing basics can be used to generate steady streams of income for individuals that own webpages, blogs, and social media sites.
What’s the secret to choosing the right platforms, tools and strategies to maximize your web presence and drive qualified inbound leads?
It is much easier to explain what you do and why to a group of people with a specific need. The business you are in is more about the experience you create and the result of your efforts. Think about your business from the perspective of what you enjoy offering your clients and how you add value to them. Is there a group that would better appreciate what you do and make your passion come alive?
This clarity attracts the right audience, which empowers you to turn away those clients that drain you of energy. Have you written goals that are specific, quantifiable and aligned with your business purpose?
Setting realistic and measurable goals helps you focus on efforts that produce the results you want, eliminating activities that waste time or direct your attention elsewhere.
A captivating core message speaks directly to the needs of your ideal client, allowing you to connect with them. The tradeoff between what you charge for a service and what your ideal client thinks it is worth is a careful balancing act. You want a prospect to be able to quickly and easily understand what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors.
Before you can get the digital channel, or any marketing channel to work for your business, you need to get back to marketing basics.
Marketing is changing so fast, it’s easy to get our heads turned by new, high-tech developments and this article is a great hint to start basics as sometimes we need reminders of ultimate importance to help clarify our focus. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Debra has helped us in several areas year after year and her role with us expands each and every year.
You’ve only got a couple of seconds to make an impression, so make sure your message is clear, your copy is easy to read, and you give the information a new customer needs to make a purchase, phone call or booking.
You don’t have to make your entire website look like an SEO masterpiece, but it does help to rank through making use of keywords, blogging regularly and ensuring your site is able to be scanned by Google by having the proper geek setup.
Make sure you make an effort to comment on other people’s channels, to interact and promote what others do.
Pause the scheduler, keep it to a minimum (or not at all) for a few days and have a think about the sorts of ways you want social media to do the work for you. The most common mistake businesses make is regurgitating all the top of the pops from the blog that have gone since the last email.
Whether it’s the chance to contact you or special offers, content and bits and pieces, make it count. Rebekah works directly with clients in startup, NFP and small business in marketing, web copywriting and content marketing. I'm based in Wollongong and service the Illawarra and Sydney as a creative copywriter, content creator and marketing freelancer.
I remember sitting at the table, watching her work her magic and her reaching for a huge jar of oregano.

Of course we know that if the ad is ineffective – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Very few businesses can predict with even a modicum of certainty when someone is going to become a customer. When you are crazy busy and couldn’t take another customer that day if you tried – are you still out there marketing? Let’s face it, if you had a million dollars – your marketing plan would look markedly different than a $5,000 one would look.
But what most marketers lose sight of is the fact that a good chunk of their new revenue should be coming from existing customers. And yet, we spend the majority of our time and money chasing after the toughest sale, not the easiest one. With high traffic from a targeted audience, the websites visitors are offered a specific “call of action” by clicking on the ad or link to purchase the product online. This can happen every time the online website visitor clicks the link or ad, registers to obtain additional information, or finalizes an online purchase.
As a result, they outsource all of their promotional activities as an effective way to take advantage of an expanded targeted audience brought in by affiliate marketers. Instead, they use the marketing offers provided by affiliates on their webpages, blogs, and social media websites to produce sales.
This requires virtually no extra effort, because their sites are usually up and running and have a fair amount of targeted online visitors.
Rather than choosing a multi-purpose market that can bring in a wide assortment of visitors, it is best to maintain a niche website designed to attract a specific targeted audience. Building a solid reputation and providing quality information will help establish the site owner as a “go to” site for information or answers.
The owner could recommend purchasing products, answering surveys, or viewing the pages of their associated retailers. He is also a top affiliate marketer, search engine optimization specialist, teacher, speaker and best-selling author. Goals also help you make decisions about whether to spend resources on a marketing activity. As a service business, people pay you for what you know and how you apply what you know to solve their problems. I find Debra to be insightful and helpful with our overall marketing including our web sites. I mean, it’s great if your traffic is coming from the UK if you sell something online, but what use is it to you if you sell hair cuts in Adelaide?
Or you could try freshening up your point of view by experimenting with a new social media channel to see if that stimulates creative ideas. I also run The Freelance Jungle Meetup and highlight the cost stress has to productivity via Hacking Happiness.
If your answer is no, then you either don’t have a marketing plan or you aren’t following the one you have.
Marketing plans are typically thin in several areas and the percentage of dollars and effort earmarked for current customers is almost always one of them. Usually, the effort includes making the site more desirable to potential customers and advertisers by building a solid online reputation and increasing the amount of traffic to the site. There is often an associated purpose for a visitor wanting to seek out that specific niche market, whether it is a hobby, political interest, opinion, view, or because the site can solve a specific problem.
If the activity doesn’t get you closer to your goal, look spend time elsewhere that does.
They will be interested in you if you can solve a problem, improve a process, increase sales, cut costs, find new clients or open new markets. How your ideal clients perceive the value of your services is a critical component to being paid what you are worth. Experiment with deleting content, rewriting the headlines or simply doing without it for a while. It isn’t for the casual browser and should be given a certain level of depth and closeness. For too many businesses, marketing is what they do when things get quiet or they lose a client. Step back and plan out some simple yet common questions you find yourself answering and write blogs about those.

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