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Marketing Plans for Small Business

Power Partner: Marketing for Small Business

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Power Partnership is the idea of business professionals, that work together, to build a mutually beneficial relationships, that strategically maximize each other’s success through networking.

So basically, we use our own professional expertise to help strengthen an aspect of our partners business, that they are not experts in.

We all have areas like that in our business.

Maybe its financial. Could you benefit from having an accountant power partner?

Or Marketing. Could it help to have an expert advise you on better lead generation from Facebook?

We should be have a broad network of business professionals we work with, if you don’t, you MUST start networking now, because you are missing out on bettering your business.

However, you should have only a few Power Partners, within that network, that help your business bloom. In return, you should be blooming their business as well.

 

What does this look like?

Example #1

John is a real estate agent who happens to be friends with a general contractor named Bob. John has a client who is selling a home, but needs their porch fixed to meet the city code. John calls Bob and asks him what steps his client should take. Bob informs John, who then informs his client on what should be done.

That was an example of networking. It’s similar to being a Power Partner, but the difference here is the John didn’t offer Bob’s service to his client, only his advice.

 

Example #2

John is a real estate agent who happens to be friends with Bob, a general contractor. John and Bob meet regularly to talk about common issues that John runs into when selling homes. Bob advises on best actions to take for those situations and offers discounts to clients that use his service, when referred to by John. John also helps Bob find homes that need repairs and they work together to flip homes.

John and Bob are not just networkers at this point. Instead, they are building eachothers business in areas where each other are considered “experts”. Could John find another contractor to help with his clients porch? Sure. Could Bob buy houses that he could flip on his own? Yup.

The difference is that John can refer to a contractor that he knows will do an A+ job for his clients, while Bob knows that he is getting the best deal on houses, by going through John for real estate. Mutual beneficial relationship that builds business.

 

How to find a Power Partner?

marketing power partner

There are a lot of factors you should consider, but let’s start with 4.

  1. Do you and your potential Power Partner resonate with with each?
  2. Are there areas you can boost in their business, and visa versa?
  3. Do you both want the other to succeed from each other’s help?
  4. Is it realistic and measurable for you both to take the time to nurture each other?

Being a Power Partner takes work. It isn’t a referral program, it’s a mutual growth program. You both invest in each other through expertise.

 

What does being a Power Partner look like?

marketing power partner

1.Listen.

Your partner has a story to tell. Its similar to the Buyers Journey they have a problem and you have a solution, but you need to really understand their problem, in order to provide the best solution.

This isn’t a time to be judgmental, you’re in this together. Listen to understand and give fair advice. Also, don’t be offended if you don’t like what you partner tells you when its their turn.

This is about growth, and there is pain in growth. Be open, be honest, be humble, and be kind.

2.Accountability

Some people will say you should get permission first, but honestly, don’t get into a Power Partnership with someone who doesn’t want to be held accountable.

Its hard, for both parties, but if you aren’t going to be great at what you do, why are you doing it?

The President of the United States of America has advisers that tell him the hard truths and hopefully, if they are good advisers and the President is a good listener, good things happen.

You are not perfect and you are probably not an expert in every aspect of your business, so be accountable to your improvements. Be open, be honest, be humble, and be kind.

3.Refer

Again, don’t become Power Partners with someone who you don’t trust their work. Part of being a Power Partner is referring work their way, it’s apart of networking, it’s apart of the small business community.

Your Power Partner may not be the best person for some jobs, so don’t refer them in those situations, but otherwise, they should be your go-to for the areas they have expertise.

Set each other up for success.

 

Buyer’s Journey: Marketing for Small Business

By | Entrepreneurship, Guides, Marketing Plans for Small Business | 2 Comments

The buyer’s journey is a little less known than we would like to admit. It’s probably even more rare that we use it at all in our marketing plans. In fact, most small businesses tend to use a “one size fits all” type of marketing plan. That just isn’t going to generate the type of business we want.

Think back to when you wanted to purchase something yourself. Refer to our Funnel Guide to refresh on what that might look like.

Here is an example of the Buyer’s Journey break down again:

small business buyer's journey

In each stage of this adventure we all go through, we have to take a different marketing approach in order to keep your potential customers attention. Otherwise, we might be missing out on a lot of sales!

Imagine you want to purchase the new iPhone, but you can’t find anywhere that explains whats new about it. No one is really talking about the features, only that it is new. You are more likely to walk away from the idea of upgrading until you find out more information.

This is similar to the failure we something met buyer’s journey, if the right tactics aren’t in place for each stage.

In the next portion of this blog I’ll explain each stage in more detail and how to implement awesome strategies for a successful marketing plan.

 

Awareness

small business buyer's journey

This is the first stage. It’s not as clear cut as the other stages and the human element of processing can be tricky to guess too. Nonetheless, it revolves around some basics:

  • They don’t know they have a problem
  • They know their is a problem, but not sure what the problem is
  • They don’t know they have a problem until they experience a solution, to the problem they didn’t know they had.

So how do we deal with marketing to these types of customers?

Educate.

Society is over being sold to, now it’s about being educated about products/services.

The goal should be to clearly educate about what their problems are. Educate them on the problems that your solutions solve, but not directly what the solution does. There are other stages for talking about your product/services.

Potential issues a customers might encounter in this stage:

  • Why is nobody buying products from my ecommerce store?
  • Why do I have high traffic but low sales?
  • Why are people clicking my products but not actually buying them?

Some solutions that could be titled on your website, ads, blogs, or landing pages:

  • Improve your ecommerce sales with this ONE technique
  • 12 pitfalls that can drop your ecommerce sales
  • Guide for retaining customers on ecommerce websites

All those topics deal with one thing. Education. Make sure you content is educational as well and you’ll be on your way to delivering to those who are in their awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.

 

Consideration

small business buyer's journey

At this point, clients have already figured out what their problem is, so they are seeking out a solution.

This is where potential customers clearly understands their issue and is going to be gathering solutions and comparing them against each other.

You guessed it. Educate.

But, this time. Educate on why your product is THE solution to their problem. They know what their problem is, so really elaborate on how you product/service can solving it.

Potential searches a customer might make at this stage:

  • How to add alternative methods to checkouts
  • How does pricing products below whole amount effect purchases
  • Alternative solutions to ecommerce

All of these questions point to the consideration to a problem. If your content or titles looked like this, it would lead them to their next step in the buyer’s journey:

  • Add paypal to your ecommerce method using “your product name”.
  • Be competitive with this real-time price matching plugin for ecommerce stores
  • The best alternative to ecommerce stores

Remember.

Just because someone is browsing your “consideration styled” content, does not mean they are set on you having the solution.

The best thing to do is elaborate on the solutions, features, benefits. Do not be too salesy with the wordage.

 

Decision

small business buyer's journey

The buyer’s journey is almost over at this stage, but a purchase still needs to be made..

Potential customers have already decided on what they need to solve their problem, but now they will compare those solutions and decide on the give and take of each product/services.

A customer might like your solution to the first part of their problem, but another product/service might meet their other half. What they are looking for, is the best solution to their “pain point”.

It’s the part of their problem that must be solved among any other part of it.

 

Example:

Joe needs his watch fixed. He has had it for 10 years and almost feels apart of him. He looked into fixing it and the cost of buying a new one. Fixing it would be least expensive, but it could break again. A new watch would be nice, but he would have to get use to it. Joe decides he is going to buy a new watch. He looked at silver, gold, and black ones. He doesn’t like gold and the silver was too heavy, so he decided to buy a black watch. He looks online and finds 2 websites with the same watch. Website A has the watch listed for $99 and includes lifetime service, free of charge. Website B has the watch listed for $69, but no service included.

 

Which website would Joe most likely purchase his watch from?

If you guessed website A, you would be most correct. Joe wasn’t really concerned about price. He was concerned more about the longevity of his watches.

He isn’t concerned about the higher cost as much as he is about having service that would keep it running reliably.

Additionally…

Website B failed to promote the product that matched Joe’s exact problem. While yes, website B offered a watch he wanted, it didn’t meet his needs exactly, the “pain point“.

Now you may ask, how am I supposed to know exactly what Joe’s pain point is? The truth is we can’t always know. However, the best thing to do is to build value in your product that matches a buyer’s persona.

Persona’s are the “Theoretically Customers” based on realistic statistics and information.

Every business plan should include a buyer persona in their marketing plan. It will help target more specific needs of the customer during their buyer’s journey.

Conclusion

Marketing plans work a lot better when they are created to match the type of buyers journey your customer might make. It’s all dependant on the problems your product/service solves.

It will be a challenge and a struggle to meet just the right kind of target audience, but if you build a strong value in your product/service and educate why it will solve potential customers problems, you will have a better marketing plan than 64% of small businesses in the United States.

 

The Funnel: Marketing Plans for Small Business

By | Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Guides, Marketing Plans for Small Business | One Comment

 

 

Everyone who wants to be successful, needs marketing plans. Yet, most small businesses in the United States today don’t have one. According to Fundera, 1 in 3 businesses fail before their 2 year anniversary and only half of that will make it to 5.

So the question should really be why do they fail? Well the answer is pretty straight forward, Marketing.

Consider for a moment the Apple Iphone. Most Iphone lovers will upgrade their new phone every time a new release comes out, even if there isn’t really any big changes. They do it because Apple has great marketing plans that dig into our emotional “wants & desires”, causing a social chain reaction to buy new things!

It’s not because Apple has something like $10,000,000 in advertising budgets. It’s because they got their product to the right people, at the right time, in the right way. The created simple marketing plans.

So what does a Small Business have to do with this example?

You have a service or product that people want.

If they don’t know they need it or where to find it, then there are holes in your marketing plans.

That’s ok, because we are here to help.

Marketing 101 Basics

When we are looking to buy something, we go through a journey. Even for us impulse buyers. Its called The Buyers Journey.
  • Awareness: We start trying to decide what it is we need. “My watch broke, who do I take it to? What needs fixed exactly?”
  • Consideration: Discovering the options to resolve the issue. “Mobile Watch Repair or DIY Watch Repair? “
  • Decision: Taking the step to buy/select what interested us. “Mobile Watch Repair would be much easier on such a busy day. I should call them”

Next, we should consider reaching those people in their Consideration stage of their buying process. This is called Inbound Marketing.

Inbound Marketing is basically this. Attract potential customers with a solution for their problem, Convert them into leads by obtaining contact information, Close them by nurturing them into a customer, and do such a good job with customer service that they become Promoters of your brand.

Ya, its really not that hard, but it takes time, patience, and attention to detail.

So how do we implement those steps? That leads us to the next step:

The Funnel

This is basically a sales path to help your new potential customer (a “lead” as we call them) get to their purchase. A Funnel design can be done is many different ways, we will give you an example of a simple way.
  • Make a Facebook post that details a solution to a particular problem that your service/product solves. Include a little incentive.
    “Have a watch that stopped working unexpectedly? Save time and money with Mobile Watch Repair today and receive $5 off.”

Now this facebook post should include a link to something called a Landing Page. Its a simple page that asks for some information from your customer. This is where we can help them go from Consideration to Decision.

  • Landing Page should be a simple website page, with minor details that reflect your post with an opt in section.
    “Enter your name and email address and a Mobile Repair Watch specialist will get back to you shortly”

When they enter that information in, they probably have already made a decision to use your service, however, they may lose interest before you can get back to them. So we want to try and land this deal!

  • After they enter their name and email, send them to a second landing page (The thank you page) with a better offer if they make a better commitment.
    “Thanks for including your information. We are very excited to get back to you. In fact, if you call and confirm an appointment right now, we will give you an additional $5 off this visit. Click here to schedule a phone call”

This will help solidify their decision and help reduce customers from leaving before purchasing.

Sales funnels like this, have proven to increase sales by 30% according to Protocol80.com

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