I always assume (assumptions aren't good) that other business owners know the marketing fundamentals as well as I do. So when I open my magic box of various business wands and someone "oohs" and "ahhs" over the sparkly one and asks me, "Oh, what is that?" I'm a little thrown. I think all good marketing Tinkerbells should know their "wands." Now I'm being loose lipped, and I hope somewhat entertaining, but it's true. And what I'm really saying in plain speak is that I expect business owners to know at least some of the basics, and when they "ooh" over these tools I'm using, it surprises me. I don't know why it surprises me, because it shouldn't. I wrote the book Smash (available on Amazon or 3L's site under books) to help small business owners with marketing and PR fundamentals, but seriously, it really does surprise me. First, here are some "down-home cooking" principles of marketing you should all be following, and if you're not, then start. Here are some of those "surprises."
Not using social media -- why would any business owner not use a FREE tool to market their companies? I am at a loss for sarcasm here. Let me spell it out: it's F-R-E-E. The only investment is your time. I've built up my Facebook "friends" over 1,000. Yes, it took time and some resources, but I turned over a 1,000 last weekend and now I'm heading toward 2,000. The cool thing about that is, the more you connect, the faster the connections are made. I should coin a term for it. Hmm ... it's "Friend-tiplication." There you go "Friend-tiplication," which is the momentum gained with the more friend connections you make. And the more friends, the wider net you cast. The wider net you cast, the more people you reach. Get it? And let me say this again for those of you who missed it, it's FREE! All right moving on and no harping.
25% of your time should be invested in marketing -- want to keep your pipeline full? Then a full 25% of your time each day (or someone's time) should go toward marketing. In any recession, it should be 35% of your time. Aggressive, daily marketing keeps your company name visible and creates awareness. You can use that aforementioned FREE social media as part of your daily marketing mix. You can blog every day just like I'm doing now. You can schedule meet-and-greet meetings. You can network. You can run a promotion. You can set up an event to do free outreach (workshops, etc.), but whatever you're doing it should be planned, scheduled and part of your routine. I promise on my hamster's pinky that if you do these things, you will keep your pipeline full.
My super secret weapon -- the one thing that 80 percent of businesses fail to do is keep their name in the headlines. I do public relations for my own company. I just did an interview yesterday with Fortune.com. I commonly pitch story ideas to queries for both myself and my clients. I try to keep 3L Publishing's name out there in the common media world. By doing this, I am creating name recognition, increasing my visibility, and spreading the word about what we do. If you want to know more about what we do, send an email to info@3LPublishing.com.