What is a marketing toolbox? Do you have one? What’s in it? Well from my experience as a small business owner specialising in copywriting and creative design, and through my work as a small business mentor I find myself increasingly steering client conversations and mentoring sessions towards this concept of a marketing toolbox.
What is a marketing toolbox?
Clients are often unsure what I’m on about. It does however become abundantly clear as I introduce the tools I believe are essential in every small business marketing toolbox.
What are the essential tools?
It is my strong belief there are four essential tools every small business should invest in and utilise effectively to market their business.
In no particular order your toolbox should comprise the following:
Now whilst some may consider me a dinosaur for recommending this essential tool I challenge you to convince me otherwise. The humble business card is a highly effective and incredibly under utilised tool. I find it amazing there are business people out there who don’t carry their business cards on them 24/7 and others who simply don’t use them to maximum effect. By that I mean being quite liberal in how and to whom you hand your business cards out.
Another essential tool is a website. It underpins all your digital marketing and is the first port of call for potential clients. But don’t be complacent and think just any web presence is good enough. Your website must be effective and by that I mean, it’s not so much about the look, the images or the gadgets, but more about what it says. One of the key elements determining the Google ranking of your website is website copy so make sure your wording is search engine optimised and is written in a tone and manner that appeals to your target audience. Also make sure your website is mobile responsive, that is it automatically adjusts in size according to the mobile device on which it is being accessed.
Social media presence
The next essential marketing tool is your business social media presence. Like it or not it’s a must. Why is it a must? Times have changed. Ask yourself how are people receiving and consuming information these days and you will answer the question yourself. I encourage you to take it upon yourself to learn more about how social media works, how it can benefit your business and how it can work in partnership with your website. But make sure you choose the right platforms to communicate with your target audience, think quality not quantity when it comes to posting content and most of all be patient.
Whilst I have always understood the concept behind networking, I had not embraced it as a means to grow and market my business until recent years. To be honest when anyone mentioned networking to me years ago I visualised a room of chardonnay sipping, insincere, egocentric individuals standing around talking about anything but business. The chardonnay sipping I could handle, but not so sure about the rest of it. Anyway time and experience has proved me wrong. Effective and selective networking is, in my opinion, a very valuable tool and should not be underestimated.
Networking offers five key benefits:
- An opportunity to promote and market your business to the networking group.
- Further growth in your business through the referral process.
- A means by which you can hone your marketing message and communication skills.
- A mentoring and supportive environment.
- A brains trust of like minded individuals from whom you can learn.
Yes there are probably other tools that can be included in the toolbox depending on your business and your target market but the four mentioned above are the essentials. They are essential because collectively they are effective, measurable and inexpensive.