It’s the start of a brand new year! While everyone else is rushing to the nearest gym to get a start on their New Year’s resolutions, why don’t you take the time to reflect on what you did for your brand in the past year and think about what you could do better this year?
Creating new marketing goals for your small business is great, as long as you have the basics covered. If not, the odds are you’ll end up wasting money, time, and effort on marketing tactics that are not producing optimal results.
Here are 7 marketing resolutions you should have made for your business at the start of the New Year:
1. New year, new website.
The debate on how often you should update your website is fierce. I’ve seen successful companies update their sites anywhere from every 2 weeks to every 2 years. Just make sure to not let a decade go by without a single update – yikes! The key is to continually evaluate your website: does it reflect your current services, your personality, and the most recent trends? Just like fashion, websites go out of style. And a website that looks old-fashioned or outdated reflects badly on your business.
In most cases, you don’t need a complete overhaul to keep your site looking modern and fresh. Start by making sure the copyright text at the bottom of your site displays the current year. Is your contact information still correct? Have you updated your product page to reflect your most recent offerings? And, perhaps it’s time to change those 1990s headshots and graphics.
2. Look sharp on social media.
Whether you’re avoiding social media or welcoming it with open arms is topic for another blog post. But if you do participate in the social media craze, make sure your profile is a good reflection of your professionalism and personality. Posting regularly is only half the battle. You also need to make sure your profile pictures are the correct dimensions, your bio is compelling, and the links to your website are working.
3. Fix the little details around the office.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully attracted a lead who has called your office. You happen to be out eating lunch, so the call goes to a canned voicemail and a robot tells your lead to leave a message after the beep. Unwittingly, you’ve just missed an opportunity to further win over your lead with a personal message that shows off your brand. The same goes for the office stationery, office décor, email signatures, and the simple greetings you or your employees give when you do answer the phone. All these little details count.
4. Stay present.
Keeping a database of everyone you interact with is crucial to growing your business. Whether you use email or mailing addresses, being able to send timely reminders on what services you offer to an expanding list of contacts is one of the most basic ways to drum up new business. You would be amazed at how many positive responses are generated by well-designed postcards, seasonal email newsletters, or text messages with a special offer.
A good tip for databases: write down small details about the person like gender, age, occupation, or location. More details means more successfully targeted campaigns.
5. Try at least one out-of-the-box marketing tactic.
Paid advertising in the local paper, scheduled posts on social media, and free t-shirts are all good ways to get your name out there. Flash mobs, contests, and clever packaging design are better. In other words, create buzz about your product by coming up with a marketing tactic that’s unique and a bit shocking.
6. Study something new.
At least once a year take time out to study the current state of your business. What’s working? What’s not working? Take a look at your closest competitors, predicted trends for your line of work, your current and potential customers, and, of course, your brand. Performing this kind of research will help you pinpoint what’s lacking from your current business plan and give you a clear vision for the future.
7. Hire a professional.
So you don’t have multiple degrees in graphic design, web design, marketing, branding, and search engine optimization (SEO). That’s okay. You’re not expected to be an expert in these areas while also running a small business. Finding a qualified professional will save you time and stress. Best of all, it will allow you to focus on your core business and help your company grow. Nowadays, there are vendors for every price range and every specific need. And most, like me, even offer free or low cost consultations. Give it a try!
Is your head spinning thinking, 'where do I even start to build my brand?' Reach out to me; I’m always here to help!