The challenges of running a small business can be daunting to many. Those of us who decide to venture out on our own and become our own boss welcome these challenges with open arms.
You’re not scared of the unknown. You’re go-getter, trend setter, and above all, entrepreneur. You want to make a difference in the world with your products/services. You keep your local and global economies humming and that is why we are on the same page!
If you consider yourself to be a small business owner or an entrepreneur, you’ve probably used to the old idiom, “if you want something right done right, you gotta do it yourself.”
We know that one well and hear it time and time again. It’s even used in a Vistaprint commercial! If we can do something ourselves to save a couple bucks, then we’ll probably do it. You’re full of confidence, initiative, and motivation, but when it comes to online marketing, doing it yourself (and doing it well) can be next to impossible.
Here’s three reasons why do-it-yourself marketing doesn’t work for small businesses and entrepreneurs:
1. You can’t find the time
Anyone who runs their own business knows how hard it is to keep up with the day to day tasks. When you’re the only person running the business, you have the responsibilities of being the CEO, CMO, HR, Accounting, Support Representative, and Webmaster. It’s not just a 9 to 5 job. It takes many more hours.
These job responsibilities can wreak havoc on your personal life as well. When you spend all your time working it’s hard to find time for your friends and family. We all need that time to decompress and live healthy lives.
This means that if you’re going to do any marketing at all, it had better be easy, quick, and effective. Otherwise it’s a crapshoot and potentially a waste.
2. You can’t properly build your audience
If you own and operate a small business, then you have an audience. You need to continue building your audience to continue growing your business and generate more revenue and income. To do that you have to spend time on marketing.
The best way to build your audience online is with content (blogs, email marketing, social media). This speaks to #1 in that it takes much-needed time. So what do you do?
You have to work with someone else (usually a marketing professional or agency) or use a tool.
This can get very expensive, very fast. It’s money that you just cannot afford to gamble with. Effective audience building can mean the difference between a prosperous, growing business and one that fizzles out into oblivion. That leads me to my next point.
3. You can’t sustain it
How many small businesses do you see that are killing it and only have one employee? There might be one or two you know out there. They’re probably older businesses with well-established, loyal customer bases.
Owning a business is great but you should always have your head in the clouds when it comes to your goals. You shouldn’t aim to stay small forever. You want to be scalable. When you grow your business, everyone benefits. You create jobs and make a difference in your community.
Doing marketing yourself can work for a short time, but you simply cannot keep it up by yourself and expect to grow your business, or even tread water for that matter.
Here’s what you can do to make your online marketing successful as a small business or entrepreneur
Co-marketing is the easiest way to grow your business online. It saves you hours each month and promotes your business to larger audiences than you’ve ever had before. What is co-marketing?
It’s the process of working together with other marketers (your partners) to build your audience and your customer base.
Right now in the crowdfunding network there are thousands of other businesses who are already working with your best prospective customers and want to help you too. They’re experts in their fields, making some experts in your field.
You need to tap into these folks because there’s thousands of pieces of free, high-quality content waiting for you to add to your website. You can also convince these marketers to promote your business by publishing your content, earning you relevant backlinks worth their weight in gold.
No matter what web marketing tools you’re using to promote your business, you must have audience and content before you can be successful.
Think about it.
- Email marketing tools are worthless unless you already have a big email list (audience) and send regular messages (content).
- Blogging doesn’t work unless you regularly come up with new posts (content) on topics that will attract the most new online visitors (audience).
- Social media falls flat unless you have thousands of followers (audience) and lots of interesting posts (content).
If you’re a solopreneur or small business owner, we’d like to hear about your experience with online marketing. Have you hired an agency or used any tools (free or paid)? Tell us what’s worked and what hasn’t. Have you ever worked with any marketing partners to build your audience? Thanks for your comments!