For People Who Aren’t Sure Marketing is a Good Investment
Sustained marketing is hard. Not all of us can do it. We lack time, resources, or inclination. However, small efforts will pay off – and they are better than nothing. If you do nothing, well…nothing happens.
Except it’s worse than that.
Your image and message deteriorate. Your value to existing and potential customers goes down.
Your flank is exposed to competitors that only need a small push to grab attention away from you.
Soon even your status with suppliers and friends starts to lag.
I keep trying to make the point that marketing your company is not optional. However, I am sympathetic to the fact that you are not an expert in marketing. In fact, you are in business because you know something valuable about your particular expertise.
“Just because I rent a building for my business doesn’t make me a real estate expert.”
Except, it does. Every client I have can tell me all about the per square foot rates for office and warehouse space in their market. They can tell me the ROI of renting versus buying. Why? Because it is a necessary expense so they pay attention to it.
If you will commit to small acts of marketing, you too will become an expert. You will know how many folks opened that email or RSVP’d for the Lunch N Learn. Terms like ‘bounce rate’ and ‘page views’ will have context.
“I’ve got about five grand, but that won’t do anything will it?”
It will get us started. Prepare to be an expert.
If you can scrape together five thousand dollars for marketing purposes, I have a list for you. First let me say, don’t spend it all in one place. I mean, $5k will get you a new website, but chances are there are ten other things that need to be done first or have a better overall ROI.
Small Investments That Pay Off
Pick five things from this list. You will still have money leftover.
- Hire a copywriter to rework the ‘About’ page on your website. Ask them to interview your Founder and capture that story too.
- Update your company logo – don’t change it, modernize it.
- Do a light refresh on your website: Use a simpler font, unclutter the look (use more white space), eliminate or replace any remaining low-resolution images.
- Mail postcards (yes, snail-mail) to your contact list and ask them to visit your refreshed website.
- Host a board game night at the office and invite your clients and key suppliers. Serve inexpensive snacks and drinks. Or, make it a potluck dinner and do it every month.
- Sponsor an event for a charity you actually care about. Promote them as hard as you would your own business.
- Sponsor an amateur sports team (that your kid doesn’t play on). Talk them up on social media.
- Buy an annual subscription for Zoom, GoToMeeting, or another video conferencing service to meet with customers (hint: don’t use “free” services for this or for teleconferences).
- Hire a professional photographer to do headshots and candid pics of all employees. Heck, invite your customers in to update theirs while you are at it.
- Hire a graphic artist to build a template for proposals and marketing materials so you can drop in copy and images.
- Purchase banner stand signs that you can use at trade shows, sponsored events, or even on the job site.
- Have a video animator create intro and outro stingers that you can put on any video you make.
- Hire a ghostwriter to help you create an article for a trade magazine.
- Update your business cards. The difference you’ll feel when you hand out a really nice one is amazing.
- Exhibit at a regional or local industry expo, but ask for reduced fees by trading some of your services to help promote or highlight the event.
Do These for Free
The only investment here is time.
- Clean everything you own that has your logo on it: Trucks, cases, signs, shirts, equipment. Make this a ritual.
- Send a monthly email newsletter. Keep it short and be consistent.
- If you are good at blogging, just add one every month to your website and send an email to everyone when you do.
- Submit an article to a trade publication or website.
- Create training videos that will help customers in some aspect of their job.
- There are podcasts out there for your industry, ask to appear on several of them.
- Apply for business awards.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and that of every employee. Use consistent branding and language and fantastic headshots.
- Send handwritten thank you notes to all your clients both past and present.
- Ask for testimonials. Use the LinkedIn tool for quick results. Share those testimonials on your website, in your marketing materials, in proposals…you get the idea.
- Create a PowerPoint template for your business. Did you know you can format proposals with PowerPoint? It’s easier than using Word! And you can present proposals online via video.
- Create an online survey and then share the results in your newsletter or a blog.
- Dedicate one person to respond to all website inquiries with a series of four helpful suggestion emails.
Choose activities with “legs”. In other words, a one-time effort like a new website has less staying power than changing the look and feel of your proposals. The initial impact of a new website may be larger, but so is the cost.
Instead of one big thing, do five or ten smaller ones. That will increase the odds that the right person will notice your effort, which is what this is all about anyway.
If you struggle with any aspect of your AV business or want an insurance policy for your decisions then…GIVE TOM A CALL