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4 Smart Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners
by marjolyn poutsma | the slow living guide
As a small creative business owner, you must be a Jack of all trades: you are designer, maker, business developer, marketeer, bookkeeper, webmaster, and customer service at the same time. It’s most likely you started your business because you love your craft, like to create beautiful wares, enjoy interacting with your customers and get to live the lifestyle you dream about. If only the business would market itself, right?
For most creatives, marketing their business is not their favourite part of the job and it’s where they struggle the most. We need to market our business before we get the customers in and have the resources to create our work and have an income.
There are many ways to go about your marketing. You might prefer flying by the seats of your pants, or maybe you can’t imagine doing it without a detailed plan. Either way, there are some simple ways to spend less time and energy on the marketing side of your business and more on your creative work.
1. Repurpose your content
If you create a piece of content, maybe a blogpost, a podcast episode, or an Instagram post, then use it in a different form on a different platform. The highlights of your blogpost could be turned into an Instagram post – or even a few posts. You could summarise your podcast episode in a blogpost or create a challenge to put in the newsletter to your audience. You could turn a snippet of inspiration that you shared on Instagram into a longer post on your website. Look at your content and see how you can reuse it in a different way.
2. Link your content together on your different platforms
Ideally, you have 3 content platforms to market your business: a website, a newsletter, and a social medium. All play a different role, but by making them work together you get the most out of your marketing efforts. Make sure that whatever you put out, you link to it via the other platforms. If you publish a blogpost, link to it from your newsletter and talk about it on your social medium. If you send out a newsletter, ask people to sign up on your social medium. On your website, put the sign-up form for your newsletter on every page. In your blogposts, link to other content or your paid offerings. This way you get optimal exposure with just once the effort.
3. Find extra online touchpoints for your potential customers
The chances of your potential customers finding you online increase when there are more places where they have a chance of running in to you. You can consider getting listed in a directory or sell your products on multiple platforms. Different directories have different audiences, so do a bit of research where your audience might go looking for a business like yours (products, values, aesthetic). If you find one that’s a good match, it’s just a matter of setting up your listing and let it work for you. You then only have to look at it periodically to keep it up to date. Also, linking to your website from another platform helps with your Google ranking. Selling your products on different platforms could potentially be a bit more time consuming because you must keep up with your stock, but it could still be a valuable extra way of being visible online.
4. Combine in person events with online events
You can’t really beat the atmosphere of a countryside fair and have a stall amongst other makers that showcase their handcrafted goods. For many creatives, these events are highlights in the year. The downside of in person events is of course that they are time consuming, require a lot of preparation (and deadlines to produce stock) and you can only do so much of them throughout the year. And of course, outside events are a lot less pleasant when the weather is not cooperating. The good news is, that we live in an era where we can take our markets online! You can’t compare it with live, and you shouldn’t. You could add it to the mix with minimal effort: it’s easy to take part and set up your stall, the costs are minimal, you could reach a far broader audience and you can do it from the comfort of your home or your studio. So, cherry pick your live events and sign up for online events on a regular base too as an easy way to grow your reach.
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About the author
Marjolyn Poutsma is the founder of The Slow Living Guide. She’s an introvert with a natural preference for cosiness, small groups of people, meaningful conversations, harmony and quietness. She loves tea, candles and comfy clothes. It’s her mission to support small sustainable brands by bundling their forces and making it easier for their audience to find them.