Small Business Marketing

Marketing your business to Hutto and beyond

If you are a small business owner looking for resources to help your company grow, use these helpful tips to get you started. 

As a small business owner, marketing should be your best friend. It is a common misconception that once your doors are open to the public, the money will start rolling in. This simply isn't true, and no one should be leading you to believe otherwise. Being a business owner is hard work. Marketing your small business will give you a leg up. 

Becoming a household name takes time and patience. Unless you've already created a pipeline that will keep you busy for the first six months, there’s a lot of work ahead of you and it all starts with marketing. After all, you can’t sell a customer your product or service until you have sold them on you. And if people don’t know about you how will they find you?

 

No matter how long you've been in business, marketing is the most important aspect of your business; other than the service you provide of course.

Believe it or not, there are many platforms online to advertise your business that will take some of the stress out of your marketing campaign, save you money, and help bring those customers in. There’s a passion in you that is waiting to be realized by the rest of the world. There’s no easier sale than a product service you truly believe in. Others will realize how great your business is because you believe it’s great. That’s where marketing comes into play. It's your opportunity to "brag" a little bit.

You want to set yourself apart from the competition while at the same time conveying your message that your product or service is worth the consumer's time. By growing your online presence, establishing proven marketing practices, and consistently getting your brand out there, you stand a better chance of people finding you.

Must Have Tools

Every business toolbox should have these tools.

If you are a small business owner looking for resources to help your company grow, use these helpful tips to get you started. 

Use Canva to design social media posts, create business card templates, letterhead, brochures, and so much more. It's free to use. If you choose to upgrade it's less than $15 per month which allows you access to millions of stock photos and fonts. Want to learn more about how to use Canva? Check out our guide to creating business logos, social media posts, and flyers here.

 

Use Animoto to create videos for your organization/business, a listing, or to showcase other services or products that you want people to know about.

Biteable is another video service that takes your online video design to the next level with an assortment of templates, music, and ways to create a great video. 

 

Use Fiverr to hire professionals at extra-affordable rates for design and/or content services that are affordable. There is literally a seller on Fiverr for everything. 

 

Create a kick-ass email signature that includes your head shot or logo with HoneyBook. Most people want to "see" who they are interacting with. There are paid services to run your business through them but, you can get a free Invoice Generator, Email Signature, and Free Mission Statement template. 

Stop paying for stock images (if you can). Unsplash is fantastic website for collecting images from professional photographer, for free.

If there are ever occasions that you need to turn a PDF into a jpeg or a PDF into a different file type, use Zamzar for free. Upgrade plans available if you'll need it more often. Makes it simple to turn that PDF flyer you've created into a JPEG or PNG formats.

 

Why Social Media Matters

A FREE way to market yourself to millions.

There are over 2 BILLION people on Social Media worldwide. With so many users online, why wouldn’t you want an online presence?

Facebook will reach anyone not living under a rock, but it also seems to be a great review tool that simply requires the customer click on the “Like” button. You can also turn on the review tool so users can leave a written review. As a small business owner it is important to set up a free business page to separate your personal and professional pages.

 

Instagram is a great tool for real estate agents wanting to showcase photos of their listed property. It is also a quick marketing task that you can do on a daily basis that will only take a minute or two. 

 

Twitter is perfect for short and sweet marketing although not very many real estate agents use it. It's a text only format and the real estate industry can be pretty visual.

 

LinkedIn is the professional equivalent of Facebook and a very useful tool in networking.

 

YouTube is great for uploading videos that market your listings or service.

 

Pinterest, believe it or not, has really expanded their use and more real estate agents are using the platform.

 

**There is a website called Social Submission Engine that submits your website across the social media platforms for you. Find it here.

Directories Create Visibility

Connecting with customers you've never met.

Directories have always been a great way for businesses to advertise online. Marketing agencies may charge you a fee to submit your information but most of the directories are free. 

Google is by far one of the first places you should submit a business listing to. Their directory of worldwide businesses is astonishing. 

 

Yelp is one of those FREE marketing resources, completely dependent upon reviews by others. There are also paid subscriptions available to help with visibility. 

 

Angie’s List was established in 1995 by Angie Hicks to help consumers find reliable contractors. It has since turned into so much more and is a great place to advertise your business or service. It is free to join although there are other costs that could be associated with a listing. 

 

Yellow Pages isn’t the old phone book you may remember. The once paper copy is now an online directory utilized by many. No matter the industry you serve this is a great tool to consider placing an advertisement. 

 

CitySquares allows you to promote your business for free. Tell your customers to leave you a review to increase visibility online. Reviews are huge in the online world. 

 

Starting at $1 per day, Merchant Circle creates your ad, manages keywords, and guarantees their results. You can also expand the areas you advertise in for as little as $5 per month. There are other paid options for advertising your business.

Why Having a Blog is a Must

Get your business in front of search engines.

Blogging is a free platform that enables you to connect with your clients or users. It is a great way to market your business or service while keeping contact with clients on a regular basis.  

Content is key to your online marketing and a blog is a fantastic way to attract visitors to your website or social media platform. It also helps search engines to scan for keywords within your blog that a consumer may be searching for. A blog will show site visitors that you are an expert in your field.   

 

There are many platforms available but some of the best ones include:

      

  • HubPages

  • Tumblr   

  • LiveJournal      

  • MyRealtyTimes

  • Blogger

  • WIX

  • WordPress

 

Be fun, creative, and talk about more than your business. Don't talk about just you or you'll lose them. Create a blog of useful home tips, delicious recipes you've found, local events happening in your area, and sprinkle in real estate headlines where you can. 

 

Not a writer? No worries. This is why you want to consider hiring a writer. 

 

Most people think of content and they think of words written on a page and published to their website. What they don't realize is, content is what drives search engines to find you and they in turn bring traffic to your website. Using keywords throughout your content tells the search engine that your site has valuable content that is useful to the user. 

 

For example, a user types "How to Be a Successful Apartment Locator" into the search engine. Google scours the internet for all sites with those keywords in their content. You'll see there are over 3 MILLION results! (Go ahead and try it! You will find the very first non-paid result is by Sydney Spence on ToughNickel) She used keywords throughout the blog post and that is how Google found her article.

 

Writers can also help with many other aspects of your marketing campaign for your business, such as Company Bios, Press Releases or Introduction Letters, Web Content, Blog Posts, Unique Product Books, Social Media Content, Email Newsletters, and more!

Extra Tidbits 

We keep up with the marketing industry.

We keep up with the marketing industry so you don't have to. We offer these tidbits and useful pieces of insight to keep you from doing the digging we did.

Need a little inspiration for your marketing campaigns throughout the year? Here's a handy content calendar for the holidays to help you pre-plan your campaigns. 

 

January

With a New Year brings a new beginning to your marketing campaign. The New Year means new marketing which leads to new streams of revenue for your business. Whether it’s reaching out to current clients or to attract new ones, marketing in January is very important. A simple “Happy New Year” message to your clients reminds them you are still here.

February

 

Cupid isn’t the only one on the hunt for new ‘customers’ this month. Use the power of love to your advantage when showing prospective clients what you have to offer. The goal here is to make them fall in love with what you have. Show your current clients some love and how much you appreciate their business with a sale!

March

 

St. Patrick’s Day is the day of green and a day of good luck. In other words, it is the perfect day of year to promote your business in hopes of good fortune! Have fun with leprechauns and four-leaf clovers! Include lots of four leaf clovers and a pot of gold in your marketing.

April

 

The Easter Bunny is a busy worker this month but shouldn’t be the only one leaving goodies for your customers. Attract new clients at the same time with something fun like hunting for an Easter egg on your website!

May

 

Memorial Day is honorable holiday and a great day to remember and honor our Veterans. There’s no reason your marketing materials shouldn’t express this sentiment. If there are local Vets in your area, market a free service (if possible) to them on that day.

June

 

It’s end of school year for most and a sale is a great way to kick off the summer. Depending on the industry you are in, summer can be a great time to advertise your services because parents may have more time to shop around.

July

 

There is nothing more patriotic than Independence Day and the 4th of July for U.S. marketing. Celebrate in style with a marketing campaign that shows appreciation for the freedoms you have.

August

 

It’s back to school time and you’re inching closer to the big holiday season. Now is a good time to prepare for it by kicking off the school year with a sale or special.

September

 

Labor Day is a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate our patriotism. This is a great time to market your product or service but a great way to give back too. During this month, donate a portion of your proceeds to Veteran programs.

October

 

“Spooky” characters in your promotions means more on the books for your business. Even if you are only lead generating, keeping up with the season is a great way to stay ahead of marketing.

November

 

The day after Thanksgiving isn’t the only time shoppers look to save money. The entire month of November means we are closer to the end of the year, time with family, and lots of food. Consumers are spending money this month so make sure your marketing is reminding them that you are here.

December

 

The month of giving (and consumer spending) is upon you. Even if your product or service isn’t typically busy during this time of month, it is a good idea to plan for marketing this month to remind customers you are here and to put a personal touch on wishing them happy holidays. Send cards out, with your business card enclosed, to show them you care.

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iHutto is about connecting community, one neighbor at a time, through interaction, imagination, and innovation. We want the world to know Hutto is more than hippos (though we are the Hippo Capital of Texas). We are a hardworking, caring, big-hearted, and all around great community that's changing quickly.But there's one thing that remains the same, it has always been and will always be everything we are, a bunch of neighbors that help one another while showing off our hippo pride.

 

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