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Category: Marketing TIps

These days, companies are increasingly allocating more time and money to content marketing. And the effort is not without good reason, as 67% of marketers suggest that content marketing generates demand and leads. But with a surplus of information and entertainment options available to consumers, is all content marketing worth the effort and resources?

Because we live in an information world, many businesses assume that more content and information is better, but the opposite can be true. Information overload can be overwhelming for consumers and lead to decision-making delays. So if you feel like you’re sending content into a void and nothing is happening, you’re probably right.

What Should I Do?

If marketing is not your expertise, your first hunch might be to throw out more content and see what sticks, but that option can be risky and highly impractical. You have to remember that consumers may, at quick glance, judge the credibility or the purpose of your business based solely on what you post on social media.

Moreover, as a small business owner, your time and resources are incredibly important, and the financial flexibility to hire a content creator is often unavailable. Keeping up with trends, keeping track of the output of your content, and making sure it aligns with your brand identity can become a difficult task to juggle, so let’s go over three straightforward steps to make your content creation manageable:

1. Creating a field comparison.

The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! You can gain a lot of valuable insight based on what your competitors are doing and how it’s working for them. Start by choosing 4-5 companies in your field and creating a chart that allows you to compare their content data at a quick glance.

Include any information you might want to consider when creating content for your business. Maybe you want to know the total number of social media accounts each competing company uses and the number of followers on each account. This might help you determine which platform works best for your service or product and where most of your customers are spending their time scrolling or engaging.

Look into what types of content your competitors are creating and how they are relating it to consumers. Are they creating educational, promotional, or charismatic content? Are they allocating a lot of resources to podcasting or webinars? Are they spending any money creating printed content, such as flyers or magazines?

You’ll be surprised to see what other companies in your field are doing; it will also be an excellent opportunity to see where their strengths and weaknesses lie and give you an idea of your own brand positioning.

2. Building a content strategy.

Once you’ve gained a good understanding of how your competitors are managing their content and how it’s working for them, you’ll be ready to create a strategy of your own. Strategizing can seem tedious, but it’ll help you lay down a strong foundation and minimize stress and confusion in the future. Here’s how to start:

  1. Determine the why. What is the reason you are creating content? Do you want to raise awareness about your brand? Help others? Increase revenue? Be sure to prioritize your reason, as too many motives will muddle everything and not provide enough focus or direction. Put this into a short mission statement and refer to it often to make sure you are staying on track.

  1. Understand your clients. Determine who you want to target and build the persona of your ideal customer. This could be based on your current clients or ones you want to focus on in the future. Think about where and how they are consuming information, what needs or pain points they may be encountering, and how your content can solve those. Connect to your consumers by sending surveys, or calling and talking to them directly. You’ll be surprised about how much insight you can gain from this experience and how much easier it’ll make your content creation.

  1. Determine your own branding. This will dictate how your customers see you and what they should expect to see or hear from your content. This can include colors, typography, imagery, voice, tone, and personality. Is your business communicating professionally? Casually? Lightheartedly? Stick to these guidelines in every business interaction; it’ll help your customers feel like they are well-acquainted with your company and will set expectations about what your company is about.

  1. Create a calendar or plan. This is the part that turns your good intentions into action. Define what the goal, medium, and topic for each part of your content will be, and don’t forget to include important dates or small campaigns. If you have a team, determine who will be in charge of each piece and what the goal or call to action will be, as well as how to measure the success of the content. Perhaps you’ll decide to attach goals to certain pieces, like reaching a specific number of likes or subscribers in a specific time frame. Don’t be discouraged when things start out slow. Most content engagement requires time and consistency, which is why plans and calendars are crucial!

3. Simplifying your content while improving its impact.

If you’ve already been creating content, take an honest look at what you have done in the past and cut out what isn’t working. This will be a great opportunity to audit your processes and help you determine where you can be saving time and resources. If you are just starting out, choose one thing to focus on this quarter based on your priorities. Maybe you just want to gain visibility, or maybe you want more interaction with consumers. Whatever the focus is, once you start feeling comfortable and that you are getting good results, you can try adding something new into the mix. Remember not to try doing too many things too fast or you’ll have a bunch of disheveled, ineffective content.

Another way to simplify your content is to consider two things: Look for what performed well in the past. You may be able to refresh and use it again. As for content that didn’t perform as well as you thought, consider how you can re-title, repackage, or reformat it to help it be better.

The most important thing to remember is to keep trying. Don’t give up! If content marketing was simple, then it would be ineffective. You’ll realize that as you start taking these steps into consideration and practice, it’ll become easier and even fun to create content and measure its success!

Want more insight on doing less and getting more from your content marketing? Check out the webinar below and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

From location to branding, to management, and everything in between, there’s no question that business ownership comes with an array of difficult decisions. But settling on the right price to charge for the services you provide can be one of the most overwhelming decisions for many business owners.

Pricing will play an incredibly important role and prompting factor for your customers. At a glance, the price of your services will suggest the quality of service customers can expect from your business and may be the reason many clients will choose your business over your competitors.

Given the importance of charging your worth as a business owner, here are some points to consider when setting your prices:

Understand your value

1. Understand your value

Understanding your value comes down to the nature of your expertise. ‌Your expertise consists of your professional qualifications, such as your continual professional development and the experience you have putting it all into practice.

Depending on how long you’ve been in the field, you might find that certain aspects of your work will come easily — almost automatically. Those are called unconscious competencies — what you are good at without even thinking about it. Don’t discount them. Being unconsciously competent is a value you bring to your business and something you should consider when determining a price.

The concept of understanding your value is particularly important for businesses that charge on an hourly basis because the better you get at something, the less time it will take for you to do the task. If you charge an hourly fee you can end up billing less than what your work is worth and end up losing out on big earnings. That’s why it’s important to understand your value and charge accordingly.

In the same vein, it’s also critical to know your competition and not overvalue yourself. If every business in your field is charging less than you, it may be challenging to market your services and persuade customers to choose your business.

2. Understand the pain points of your clients

The fact of the matter is that people use professional services to solve problems. When you’re determining what prices to charge for your services, it’s important to consider why your customers are hiring you. Ask your clients what they need to be done and why they are inquiring about your services. Consider what it’ll cost your customers if they don’t fix the problem. Soon you’ll begin to understand where your customers see your value and how much they are willing to pay for it. Remember that some customers will have an easier time seeing and understanding your worth and others won’t, and that’s okay!

3. Understand the difference between value and price

If you center your business around price, you will attract clients who focus on price. Determine how you want your services to be seen, do the upfront work, and help the clients understand the value of working with you. This approach will require some work on your part, but it’ll help customers become acquainted with your work and what you bring to the table. Consider implementing marketing tactics that will help drive this point to consumers, such as free trials, strategy sessions, consultations, and so forth.

If potential clients understand the value, potential ROI, and how your services solve their pain points, they will be ready and willing to make an investment in your business.

4. Understand how to communicate your value to your clients

This point is especially tricky for businesses in the service industry. One common issue is that business owners often get so good at solving a problem that clients often think they are overpaying for their services. It’s understandable. The customer may only see the short amount it took to fix something and not the amount of practice and experience it took to get to that point.

Remind your clients of their problems and how badly they needed them solved. You can communicate this message through clever marketing or by simply stating it in a professional manner. However you choose to communicate your worth, just remember that those who can’t understand the value of your work will never be your clients.

talk about money, fees, and services

5. Understand money

It’s human nature to navigate away from the things that make us uneasy, so if you are uncomfortable with money, you’ll have a hard time charging your worth. You’ll have to be willing to talk about money, fees, and services without feeling guilty about what you are charging because, as time goes on, your rates will increase or you may add new services. This is why it’s important to take the time to understand your worth and evaluate your work, as well as keep an eye on the rate of the competition.

Final Warning — “Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered.”

In business, the meaning of this phrase is that it’s okay to make a profit, but when that profit is the result of price gouging or taking advantage of people, you’ll eventually lose in the end. No one likes to be taken advantage of, and that includes your clients. Keep your business honest and professional and you’ll see how much growth you’ll be able to achieve along with a good reputation. Being a pig (eating, or doing what is necessary for your business to survive, grow, and succeed) is good. Being a hog (overeating, or focusing solely on profits at the expense of the clients and quality) is bad.

Watch co-founder of Mazuma, Greg Nielson, explain the importance of charging your worth in the webinar below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more business advice!

Ready to see what your business can accomplish when you don’t have to worry about dealing with taxes and the IRS? Try Vyde FREE for 30 days!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Charging Your Worth as a Business Owner

1. Why is understanding my value crucial for setting prices?
Understanding your value, including unconscious competencies, helps ensure you charge adequately, especially for hourly-based services.
2. How can I grasp the pain points of my clients when determining prices?
Ask clients about their needs and the cost of not solving their problems. This insight guides you in understanding the perceived value of your services.
3. What’s the difference between value and price in business?
Centering your business around value attracts clients focused on quality. Communicate the value of your services to shift the focus from price.
4. How do I effectively communicate my value to clients?
Remind clients of the problems you solve and the expertise behind it. Use marketing tactics like free trials or consultations to showcase your worth.
5. Why is understanding money crucial for charging my worth?
Being comfortable discussing money is vital. Regularly evaluate your worth, track competition, and be mindful of rates to confidently set and adjust prices.

You’ve got a small business. You’ve got a great product or service. You may even have a pretty steady cash flow and are doing ok growing your business. But what do you know about marketing – and even better, what are you doing about it?

Knowing when you need marketing help for your small business or side hustle is a pretty complicated decision. And there are a lot of options for what type of help you may need – a consultant, a little research online and time set aside to put your findings in action, or hiring a full-on marketing person to help you grow your business.

So how do you know if you need marketing help and what kind? We’re glad you asked.

Social Media? Why Would I Need That?

We’re joking – slightly. You probably do know what social media is. But do you have business channels on all the major social platforms for your business? Are you posting regularly and interacting with your followers? What about building a community amongst potential buyers/clients?

Even if you don’t sell your product online, it’s probably pretty obvious that you want to have a foothold in the online world because people turn to the internet for information and they turn to social media channels for recommendations from friends and other trusted sources. Having your business show up in a professional way on the major social media platforms makes it easier for them to find you and for their friends to recommend you. Being consistent in your posting and interactions on those platforms tells potential clients that you’re on top of things, that you’re invested in your clients, and that you, your product, and your services are a good pick.

I Don’t Have Time for That

We hear you. Figuring out what type of marketing help you need is only half the battle. Keeping up with it all is the other half and it’s almost impossible to do sometimes along with running your business. Many small businesses hire a part-time or contracted marketing person or social media manager. You may even find that there are virtual assistants that will maintain your accounts at a fair price.

Our recommendation is that you take a few minutes to research what you might need online. Then start looking for those experts we mentioned above and their cost. Based on your needs, you’ll be able to find something that fits your budget and saves you time. Make sure you understand what you’re getting and how it will help – whomever you hire should be able to explain all that, if they can’t they’re probably not a good fit.

Marketing Plans, Mission Statements, Logos are Not Your Thing

Not every small business owner is a creative – we’re accountants, so we totally get that. But having the creative/marketing side of things  is a need for your business. Marketing plans and mission statements are a way of keeping your eye on the prize and are essential if you’re looking for investors to help you grow your business.

When it comes to logos, brochures, websites, and more – DIYing it may take more time than it’s worth. Hiring a marketer doesn’t necessarily mean they can accomplish all these tasks themselves, but it does mean that they’ll have connections with those who can and that they’ll have a good understanding of what you’ll need and what it should cost.

What other questions do you have about marketing? Tell us in the comments below.

Once you’ve ironed out your marketing message, you’ll want to decide what channels will work best to get your message to the right customers. As you consider each channel, think about where your audience “hangs out”. Does your audience spend a lot of time on social media? Does your audience read the newspaper or listen to the radio? Focus your marketing efforts on the channels that are most likely to grab your audience’s attention.

That being said, you’ll want to be careful not to put your eggs all in one basket. Explore different marketing channels and consider how each will impact your business. 

Here are some popular marketing channels and some tips for using each one:

Email

Email is a cost effective way to reach lots of people. When setting up an email campaign, you’ll want to make sure your emails won’t get marked as spam. Then, as your craft the emails, think about these three things:

  1. Am I reaching out to the right person?
  2. Does my email provide value?
  3. What am I trying to get this person to do?

Come up with a subject line and pre-header that will persuade them to open the email, but doesn’t feel like click bait.

Print

Print can be useful in establishing your brand offline and reaching customers outside of the internet. Determine where your audience is most likely to see your ad. Is it in a magazine? A flyer in a coffee shop window? A brochure at a hotel? Create your print ads to be visual, clear, and concise.

Direct Mail

Direct mail can be a great channel because it’s usually very targeted. In order to track how your direct mail campaign goes, I suggest using a specific promo code or website link printed on your mailers. This will help you to more accurately track sales from this channel.

Social Media

I’m referring to social media as the organic (free) posts that companies put on their accounts. Social media can be very helpful once you have a good following, but until then you’ll want to try to grow your follower by using engaging and shareable content along with popular hashtags. Don’t forget to stay on brand with all your posts!

Digital Ads

Digital ads include all paid online ads. Some examples include Google search, Facebook display, Instagram ads, Instagram story ads, Google display ads, LinkedIn ads, Pinterest ads, etc. These types of ads allow you to get really specific with the audiences and keywords you’d like to target. Digital ads are also easy to start, stop, and change within seconds if you need to course correct. You also have the ability to A/B test images, wording, and other content to see what your audience responds too.

Billboard

Billboards can be a daunting channel because they are expensive. With billboards, you’ll want to be as visual and concise as possible. Remember, people could be driving past your billboard at 60+ mph. When working with the billboard company, be sure to find out the exact dimensions and resolution for the file they’ll need. Digital billboard can also be a great channel to look into as they are typically less expensive and easier to change if needed.

Think about where your audience is most likely going to be spending their time and start with those channels. Do tests, try different messaging, and see what data you can pull. Once you have an idea of what channels will be best for your business, you can start to grow your marketing strategy even more.

As a business owner, it can be easy to see dollar signs on things that aren’t actually going to drive revenue for your business. Identifying the markets that are going to be lucrative for your business will help you to define your niche and—more importantly—nail it. It’s tempting to try to reach every customer who could possibly be interested in your products, but taking the time to find your perfect fit will help you to iron out your offering and help your business to be more scalable.

You may think you know your audience, but taking the time to do some market research may surprise you. Take the time to define your niche audience and figure out what it is your customers really want. Knowing this will also help you to know how to talk to your customers in a way that will help them convert. Follow these steps to help you define your niche audience:

  1. If you have current customers, take a good look at your current customer base. Are there similarities in age, gender, income level, occupation, ethnic background, or other areas? Do certain products appeal to certain types of customers? Start writing down all the common ground your customers share. 
  2. Take a good look at your products and services. Start dissecting your offering by asking “What does my business’s offering solve for a customer.” Why problems do your customers have that are eliminated by purchasing your product or service? Identify these pain points and write them down. These pain points are essentially why your business does what it does. For example, if you’re running a fashion boutique, a customer problem may be “I don’t feel confident in what I am wearing”. If you’re running an auto shop, a customer problem may be “I don’t have the time, patience, or knowledge to fix my car myself”. Some of the problems you identify may seem obvious, but write them down anyway. Defining these problems will make it easier to see who these problems apply to. 
  3. Now that you understand the problems your business solves, start defining who these problems apply to. Who is going to have the greatest need for your products or services? These “personas” are essentially sample customer profiles that will help you to better market your business. Be specific and be realistic. Take into account things like income level, age, and other demographic information when defining this persona. You’ll also want to try to define these personas on an emotional level by thinking about values, personalities, lifestyles, etc. 
  4. Once you have some personas defined, reach out to customers to try and get some market feedback. You’ll need to try to get feedback on things like your products, your pricing, your brand, why someone would or would not purchase, etc. You can offer free samples of your products and services as an incentive—and who knows, you may get them hooked on your business! 

Once you find your target audience, you’ll be able to nail your marketing and connect with your customers on an impactful level.

Social media has become a game-changer for small businesses. It has become the marketing platform that provides the best results for the lowest cost. Accounts are free and easy to maintain. In this article, we’ll explore five things you can do to get the most out of social media.

Post Consistently

Consistency is key. Those who post consistently are more likely to have better interaction with their audience. A part of being consistent is making sure your business is visible on all major platforms. Make sure you have accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Youtube is another great option if you often share videos. 

Have a Plan

When you plan your posts out by week or by month it makes being consistent easier because you know what you need to post and when. If you struggle to get your posts out on time try using a platform like Hootsuite or Later to pre-schedule your posts. These sites allow you to post on all your social media accounts at once. Hootsuite is user-friendly and allows you to schedule only posts in advance. Later allows you to schedule both posts and stories. Beyond these two, there are several other options for scheduling posts. Find one that best fits your needs.

Use Your Stories

According to SocialMediaWeek.org, Most people scroll through Instagram posts with the sound off, but 70% of them watch Instagram stories with the sound on, 20% of stories result in a direct message from the viewer. Stories on Instagram and Facebook are one of the best ways to engage your audience. They allow your audience to participate in polls, quizzes, open response boxes, and more. It’s a simple way to connect with your customer. Stories disappear after 24 hours, but that doesn’t meant they’re gone forever. You can save stories into highlight sections that remain on the top of your profile page. This is perfect for storing information clients refer to often such as pricing, FAQs, or some of your top content. When people visit your profile page they will likely click on one of your highlights to learn more about what you do. Both stories and highlights are features available on Facebook and Instagram.

Encourage Interaction

In addition to interacting via stories, strive to put a call to action at the end of each post. This lets your audience know what you want them to do because of this post. As valuable as it is for your followers to interact with you, it is also important for you to engage with them. Comment on their posts, respond to their stories, let them know you’re not just a computer spitting out content, you’re present, and willing to interact. Engaging with your customers online helps foster relationships that help small businesses thrive.

Stick to Your Brand

If you don’t have a branding guide, create one. Pinpoint the fonts, colors, textures, and common photos you use in your posts. Save them into one convenient folder to refer to later. When you post using the same colors, fonts, etc, it gives the visual clues needed to establish consistency and create a recognizable brand. Your followers should be able to see your post and identify that it was posted by your business without seeing your profile tag at the top of the post. Canva is a wonderful design website that makes brand consistency easy. There are free and paid options for this service. 

Social media can make a big difference for your business if you use it in the right way. Applying these tips will make social media work for you. It takes effort, but over time you will see the positive results add up.

SMW, S. (2017, January 12). Ads and Analytics are coming to Instagram Stories. Retrieved October 06, 2020, from https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2017/01/ads-analytics-instagram-stories/

If you’re running a small business or are looking to jump in and start your own venture, understanding how and why you need to attract your niche market will help make your business a success. Sure there are lots of moving parts to a successful small business, but without a clear picture of your potential client and how your product or service will help them, you’ll find it hard to make many sales. Today we’re covering the 5 top ways to attract your niche market and why it’s so important to do so.

First, lets talk about what a niche market actually is. A niche market is a subset or smaller group of a market with it’s own particular needs or preferences. You can define your niche in many ways but doing so makes the marketing process far easier and much more effective because you’re tactics should should speak to the needs and wants of your market and help them solve a problem. Here’s an example:

Lets say that you’ve got a great idea for a window cleaning business. Because your business is fairly new and you’re working on building your clientele, you’re willing to clean anybody’s windows, but that’s a huge market. So lets break it down based on the types of windows you might be willing to clean – residential, office buildings (this can be broken down into 2 categories or more – skyscrapers downtown, smaller office complexes, or even strip malls, etc.), restaurants, interior windows like in a mall or larger office complex, and so on. To break it down further, you might also want to define a geographical area – your small business is based in your hometown, so picking up a client that wants their windows cleaned in the neighboring state or even 3 states over isn’t your ideal audience, at least at first. Once you’ve narrowed down your niche, you’ll be able to figure out their needs, wants, and problems to be solved and can then market and cater your services and products to them, here’s how:

Pick a Unique Group

There are plenty of niche markets out there for everyone, but you’ll want to make sure you’re selecting one that doesn’t already have too many players offering your product or service. For example, you may have a dream to open up your own snow cone shack. It’s a great idea and could be rather profitable, but take a look around first. If you reside in a hotter climate or a beach town you may already have quite a few snow cone shacks in the market. That’s not really a problem, just look to see how else you can define your niche – maybe it’s by looking at the geography of it all  and finding the one spot in town that needs a snow cones but doesn’t have them, or maybe your product quality is something that differs – you offer umbrellas, fancy straws, color changing spoons, and a variety of creams toppings with your snow cones.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re not just jumping into the “me too” niche because if there are too many players already the odds of being successful aren’t as high.

Address a Problem

It seems like defining a niche should be enough when it comes to marketing, but streamlining your message is going to help in growing your sales as well. Once you’ve defined the group you’re hoping to sell to, it’s time to look at how your product or service can help solve a problem that group has. You may not have a huge budget (or any budget at all!) for market research to start. Don’t worry, figuring out the needs, wants or problems to be solved for niche groups isn’t as bad as it sounds. If you can find a couple of people that fit your niche to talk to you’re off to a  great start. But even sitting down and brainstorming for a few minutes on possible needs will do the trick. You can start by asking yourself questions like these:

  • what type of problems do people in my niche market have? (We’ll use the window cleaning example – they may have limited budget, need their windows cleaned after business hours, have hard to reach windows, or have a security system that previous window cleaners have set off)
  • how will/can my product or service help? ( You offer a 3 month package or monthly deal for a lower price, your hours are extended and you work on weekends, you have equipment that allows you to reach high places, your window cleaners are trained on how to clean without setting off alarms, etc.)
  • which of the problems to be solved seem to be the most common? (you’ll want to choose these because they’ll speak to the largest group within your niche and attract the most clients)

Communicate Through Established Channels

This one seems to go without saying, but we’ve found that often times small businesses are so excited about marketing their products they don’t stop to think about finding out which channels or mediums for communication are best. Before you start getting your product or service out there, you’ll want to find out how those within your niche communicate or consume information. There’s no reason to pay for a TV spot if your niche market isn’t watching much TV. For the window cleaning business – a TV spot might be the right choice if you’re looking to really drill down and attract home owners, but dropping off a flyer at the local chamber of commerce, attending the next meeting of local business owners, or even stopping by local businesses might be the better choice if you’re looking to clean windows for local businesses and office complexes.

If you’re not sure what channels your niche market is using, do a little market research. It might be as simple as searching the internet or it may require that you find a few people that fit your niche and ask them for ideas.

Ask Questions, Listen & Generate New Ideas

Once you’ve got your business up and running and attracting clients from your niche market it’s time to start asking questions. You’ve done quite a bit of work already to understand your niche market, but asking questions and listening to the answers will help you generate new ideas for products and services or even come up with a way to better your existing offerings and attract more clients within your niche. Not sure how to start? Here are a few ideas on how to start asking questions of your clients:

  • offer a bonus for existing clients or a coupon for discounted services if they’re willing to answer a few questions
  • make giving feedback easy – follow up calls after a job, an email with a link to a survey, a website link at the bottom of your invoice where they can go and make comments and suggestions
  • periodically poll a handful of clients – tell them you’re looking to improve your service, offer new products, or expand and then tell them you value their advice and their business – you might be surprised at all the good info you get

Once you’ve gotten your feedback, make sure you sort through it and start brainstorming. You may even want to give those that provided you feedback a chance to try out the service first or a special discount for helping you.

Help Them Grow or Provide Them With Education

This seems like a stretch but we know that it’s a great way to attract your niche because we’ve used it ourselves. In our own business, we write a blog where we offer accounting advice and even explain quite a bit about what we do so that others can DIY their small business taxes and bookkeeping. That might seem like we’re giving it away for free, but we’ve found that it usually builds a relationship with potential customers before they even buy, which makes working with them even easier. We’ve also found that providing information and education our niche markets establishes us as an expert – those that give it a try and DIY it on their own have learned some new skills and they come back for more and might even buy later on. More often than not, we find that many of our niche market clients consume our blog posts and then decide to buy even if it does seem to stretch their budget a little. But lets say that a blog doesn’t work for your business or service, who’s ever heard or read of a window washing blog (we’ll use our own example), right? You could:

  • leave a flier or send an email about how to extend what you’ve just provided them with – for the window washer, we’d suggest a flier that gives a few ways they can keep their windows cleaner for longer, etc.)
  • teach a class – this can be online or even on a special day
  • sell your products – it might seem like you’re giving up a job but if you offered special microfiber clothes and your cleaner that helps repel dust for clients to use between visits you’d be making more cash with selling your products and still be keeping the job to do the deep cleaning
  • ask your clients what they’d like to learn or how you can help
  • create a social media account that offers helpful tips and let your clients know

What other ways are you attracting clients? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

Odds are that even though you run a small business, you’re not a professional marketer or some type of marketing guru – unless, your business is marketing and then this post probably doesn’t apply to you. But for the rest of us hustlers and small business owners, learning everything we can about marketing is going to make growing and promoting our small business that much easier and that’s a win in our book. Today we’re talking about niche markets – what a niche market is, why you might want one and how to define a niche market for your business.

Lets get started.

What is a Niche Market?

A niche market is a subset of a larger market with it’s own particular needs and preferences. Often times you’ll hear marketers talk about market segments and although that’s similar to a niche market it’s usually more generic in purpose meaning that we segment by age, gender and so on. These same segmenting tactics are used in defining a niche market but they help us to pinpoint a group of people who are not only similar in general but also in specific details. For example:

Segmenting a market – we sell to women with young children between the ages of 0 months and 3 years because our product is diaper bags

Defining a niche market – we sell to women with young children between the ages of 0 months and 3 years  because our product is diaper bags AND they also want a stylish boutique-level diaper bag that keeps them highly organized and falls within a moderate price point.

Basically, defining a niche market is drilling down until the particulars are highly defined making it a super-powered version of segmenting.

How Do You Define a Niche Market?

Defining a niche market really isn’t as difficult as it may sound or look. To do so, you’ll take any current market segments you have and then take it one step further. Some of the most common ways to define a niche include:

  • geographic (the buyer’s precise location – this can be a physical location or it can be a way to purchase – big box store, farmer’s market, craft fairs, holiday boutiques, etc.)
  • price  (high, moderate, discount)
  • demographic (gender, age, income level, education level, employment, etc)
  • quality of goods (premium, high, moderate, low, cheap)
  • psychographics (values, interests, attitudes)

Remember a niche market is a subset of a larger market or market segment that has particular needs and preferences. While you’re looking to drill down to your niche market with the items bulleted above, you should also be asking yourself what the needs and preferences of this particular group are. You want to figure out what problem you can solve for them, or what need doesn’t seem to be being met by other products that are out on the market. This will help you target your niche market and outline the ways you’ll promote your product or service to them – by helping them with a problem or fulfilling a need!

Tip: Once you’re drilled down and gotten the specifics on your niche, the best way to define a niche is to basically write up a potential buyer profile. It sounds a little intense to make up a bio for an ideal customer, but we’ve seen it work dozens of times. An example would be: 

Heather is a young mom who works part time. She has 2 small children – Sarah (2) and Aiden (6 mos). She’s at work a few hours every day so she drops her kids at a babysitter in the morning. She loves working out, so the kids also get to hang out with friends athlete gym play place why she works out 4 times a week. In addition, Grandma watches the kiddos on Friday mornings while Heather is at work, because that’s her babysitter’s day off. Heather is extremely organized and she’s a great mom because her diaper bag always has a change of clothes for each child, extra diapers, snacks, any medications they may need, and a variety of small toys or educational activities in case the kiddos need a change of pace. In addition, Heather loves high style, and because she’s often out and about with the kids she’d like a diaper bag that displays a sophisticated look but still is made of child-friendly fabrics so that it’s safe and effective for the kids. She’s looking for a superhero diaper bag – stylish for mom, organized so that everything has it’s place, not to big, not to small, easy to clean, and cost effective. 

Why a Niche Market Can be Good for Your Business

We’ll cut straight to the point on this one and you don’t have to look far to see why a niche market can be good for your business. Here are just a few:

  • it’s a great way to attract new business
  • great way to increase in sales
  • simplifies the process of promoting, pricing and distributing your product or service
  • lowers  the cost of promotion, pricing and distribution of your product or service

What niche markets are you going to serve? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Marketing is a touchy field and there is a balance that must be met. Marketing mistakes are easy to make, but there are a few that you want to avoid at all costs. These marketing mistakes are usually bigger mistakes that are done completely out of ignorance. In a lot of cases, small business owners are trying to do their own marketing and don’t know any better. However, avoiding these three marketing mistakes can help your business thrive.

Marketing Mistake #1: Thinking You Don’t Need a Blog

Blogging is a lot of work. It requires that you plan content, write posts and then, find people to read your posts. It sounds like it’s a lot more work than it’s worth. But, that’s where small business owners are wrong.

Blogging is an integral part of gaining customer trust. Having a blog on topics relevant to your field, makes you look like an expert, which you probably already are. When you’re an expert in your field, people will instantly trust you. It’s easy to take the advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about. With so many frauds on the internet, people want to know that they are being taken care of.

An active blog can also help your website rank higher in search engines. Search engines, especially Google, are looking to make sure websites are active and frequently updated. You don’t usually need to make tweaks to your main content every week, so it can be difficult to show that your business and website are active. This is where a blog is helpful. Posting once a week is a quick and easy way to show search engines that your site is relevant.

If you don’t think a blog would work for your business, try to think outside of the box. What is your target customer searching for in Google? For example, not all of our posts are about accounting. However, we know that our clients are small business owners so we blog about topics relevant to small business owners. You might just have to look a little past your business’ main focus to find topics to blog about.

Marketing Mistake #2: Not Using Happy Customers

Marketing professionals will tell you that the best, most reliable, marketing doesn’t come from you. It comes from your customers. A recommendation from a happy customer almost guarantees that you’ll make another sale.

The real question is, how can you use happy customers as part of your marketing? The most common way small businesses use happy customers is through positive reviews. Potential customers use sites like Google+, Yelp and Facebook to decide if they want to use your services. If they see you have good reviews, they’re more likely to give you a try. So, you should always encourage your customers, especially your happy ones, to leave a review for you on a review site. Tell your customers that they can be a part of your success, just by telling other people about their experience.

Another way to use happy customers is to include them in other marketing projects. If you’re making a video, ask customers to be extras, or even be interviewed. Put a shout out on Facebook or Instagram asking for models for your next photo shoot. Anytime you can use smiling faces or positive statements about your business call on your loyal tribe. They’ll be even more excited to help you get the word out about your business if they feel like a part of it.

Marketing Mistake #3: No Unique Selling Proposition

Beginner marketers have a lot more trouble with this, but it can plague any business. A unique selling proposition (USP) is what sets you apart from the crowd. Without a USP, you can’t tell your potential clients why they should choose you instead of a competitor.

Your USP should be the purpose behind your business. At Vyde, we knew we wanted to provide accounting, bookkeeping and tax services for small business owners who couldn’t afford corporate level pricing. It disrupted the accounting field and made us unique. Now we use that to set ourselves apart from other accountants.

If you’re having a hard time pinning down your USP consider these areas of your business to focus on:

  • Price point
  • Characteristics of your product
  • Your target market
  • Your personal or company values
  • Location

Once you find out why you’re running your business you can nail down your USP and then incorporate that into how you market your business.

Avoiding these marketing mistakes will help you move forward and reach more people. Which, after all, is the whole point of marketing.

 

Last month we discussed what content marketing is, and today we want to provide you with a few essential content marketing ideas for your small business. Choosing the right content marketing tools are a vital part of developing a successful content marketing strategy.

We’ll go over the top 5 content marketing ideas, so that you can see and understand how they work. Then you can choose one or two of them to pursue for your business. These are in no particular order, so it doesn’t matter which options you choose. All of them work in different ways, so you can pick whichever works best for you and your business.

Content Marketing Idea #1: Infographics

Infographics display data in a visual format. They are usually long vertical photos that shows different statistics using graphs, or other visuals. Infographics are effective because they give audiences a lot of information, but they break it down so it’s easy to read and understand.

Infographics are especially effective on Pinterest, because they take up a lot of space. When you create an infographic you should make sure it links to a page or blog post on your website. That way when people want to learn more about the infographic they saw, they can easily find your website.

Content Marketing Idea #2: Blog posts

A lot of businesses don’t realize that they’re utilizing content marketing when they write a blog post, but it’s one of the most common content marketing ideas.

Consumers want to be informed before they buy a product. Which makes blog posts a great content marketing tool. If you can become an authority in your field and consumers trust you, then they’re more likely to use your products or services.

When you’re creating blog post as part of your content marketing you need to make sure that you’re addressing concerns that your customers have. That way you’re providing value instead of being salesy. If you’re ever stuck and need ideas for content, ask your audience! They’ll be happy to tell you where they’re struggling and then you can be the one who solves their problems.

Content Marketing Idea #3: Podcasts

Podcasts and blog posts are closely related. but the way the content is delivered changes. What we love about podcasts is that they feel more personal than a blog post. Hearing someone’s voice helps you feel closer to them.

A great feature of podcasts is using guests to help educate your audience. Inviting guests to your show is beneficial for you and your audience. It allows both of you to make a new connection and exposes you to a new perspective. If your guest promotes their experience on your show, you will also be able to reach a whole new audience, which will, hopefully, boosts sales!

Content Marketing Idea #4: Books

Writing a book may seem like a big commitment just for marketing, but it can be a great content marketing idea. Because a book is a lot of work, you want to be able to get a lot of use out of it.

A book is a great way to grow your email list. A book is an incredibly valuable opt-in for potential subscribers. You can either provide an ebook, which subscribers can download after they’ve subscribed to your list. Or you can have your book published and have the subscribers pay for shipping costs. When people have to put money into the product they’re more likely to value it.

If you don’t want to use your book as an email opt-in, it’s a great way to make a passive income. Who said content marketing had to be free? There are a lot of ways to self publish books without spending a lot of money. Again you can do an ebook or a printed book. You will be able to charge more if you provide a printed book. You can either sell your book on your website or through a site like Amazon.

Content Marketing Idea #5: Videos

We’ve saved the best content marketing idea for last! Video is the most popular type of online content. People are ten times more likely to engage with video content, which means it’s a great way to introduce people to your brand and tell them what you can do for them. The best content marketing videos are funny or witty, which makes them more shareable. The Squatty Potty is an excellent example of successful video content marketing.

After you have your video concept planned and you’ve shot and edited your video you need to get it in front of your audience. There are two ways to go about this. The first is finding hosting for your video. If you’re not a technical person, this can sound confusing, but it’s really simple. You need somewhere to upload your video to and you probably already know where that is: YouTube. YouTube is, by far, the most viewed video site. YouTube is also owned by Google, and we know that Google promotes content hosted on it’s sites. So, not only will your video be on the biggest video platform, but Google will also prioritize it in searches.

The second place you’ll want to use your video content is on social media. Facebook users alone watch 100 million hours of videos a day. This means that social media is the perfect place to share your videos. You can share video on almost every social media platform. You can either share the full video, a link to your video, or a short clip of the video. When you’re sharing videos on social media platforms just make sure you add a message with a call to action to promote more engagement with your video.

Which content marketing ideas stuck out to you? Let us know by leaving a comment.