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how to market for small business

Being a small business can be scary. How do you put yourself out there and start acquiring clients? All of this can seem daunting. But marketing will help. Let’s look at why marketing is so important, and how to market for small business.

But first, let’s learn more about marketing, what it is, and what it will do for your small business.

What is marketing?

Marketing is one of those terms that a lot of people throw around, but few understand. I’ve heard many erroneous marketing definitions through the years, including that it is the same as advertising.

But it’s more complicated than that.

Put simply, marketing is the strategic use of content and messaging to attract an audience to a brand with the goal of promoting and selling products. While it shares some parallel ideas with advertising, it is by no means the same thing.

Great marketing isn’t just about flashy messaging or catchy phrases. It’s about understanding your audience and using the right channels and messaging to reach them.

And marketing has the power to impact many areas of your brand. For instance, marketing strategies ripple out to affect product development, promotion, and distribution, to name a few.

Why is marketing so important?

Don’t underestimate the value of marketing for your brand — according to one study, 42% of brands are planning to increase their marketing budget in the coming year.

Why?

Because marketing does a great job of getting more eyes on your brand and building interest in your small business.

When it comes down to it, marketing isn’t just about making a sale — it’s about building relationships with your customers. Because of this relationship, they’re loyal and will keep coming back to your brand again and again.

With the right marketing strategies, you have the power to…

  • Showcase the value of your product or service. For example, as a coach, how do you help your clients?
  • Strengthen your brand loyalty, creating lifetime clients.
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate traffic
  • Increase your revenue
  • Build brand trust

All of this is what makes the difference between a here-and-gone company and a brand that goes the distance.

Let’s now look at how to market for small business using the four essential Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion.

How to Market for Small Business: The 4 Ps of Marketing

Product

The very first step in marketing is knowing your product — whether that product is a literal object or a service such as coaching or consulting.

What does knowing your product involve?

First of all, do some market research to know your target audience. Answer such questions as…

  • Who makes up your audience?
  • What pain points or concerns does your audience have?
  • Is there a need for your product or service?
  • What platforms does your audience use?
  • What messaging will most resonate with them?

Once you have this information, you’ll know how to frame your product to fit your audience. This means focusing on the benefits rather than a simple list of features. Features just describe what your product does. Benefits, on the other hand, help your audience to see their need for your product and how it will make their life better.

Price

The next step in marketing is gauging the price of your product or service.

This comes down to value.

What value does your product have for your audience? How much are they willing to pay? What is it going to help them do? Will they suffer without it?

And don’t forget to factor yourself into this equation — after all, if you price it too low, you won’t be building a sustainable business.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when determining your price…

  • What need is there for my product?
  • Is there competition for my product?
  • Could my product fall into a luxury niche?
  • Is there hype around my product?
  • Could a higher price increase the perception of my product’s value?

At the end of the day, it comes down to how much your audience is willing to spend. So take the time to do your own market research and determine the value of your product.

Place

This “P” refers to how and where you’ll sell your product or service. Do you have a physical location or are you going to conduct your business online, perhaps with an e-commerce website? Or you might even decide to blend the two.

In this step of the marketing process, it’s important to determine what is going to be best for your particular product. Take into account your preference as well as the expectations and standards of your audience.

For instance, perhaps you’re a business coach. If the majority of your clients are busy professionals who can only take an hour out of their day, they might not have the time to come down to a physical location. Not only that, but you might have clients who are spread out across a large area. In this situation, an online location might make more sense for you.

Promotion

This is the P that everyone associates with marketing. And it’s the culmination of the previous points.

Promotion encompasses any digital or print advertising, events, or deals that you use to promote interest in your brand.

The beautiful thing about modern marketing is that there are more promotional channels than ever before.

  • Website
  • Search engines and SEO
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Native advertising
  • Print advertising
  • News outlets

The list goes on and on.

And while it can feel overwhelming in the beginning, these channel options are what make marketing the powerhouse it is today. After all, the more ways you can interact with your audience, the more of a relationship you can build with them.

Concluding Thoughts on How to Market for Small Business

When you understand how to market for small business, you open up a whole world of possibilities for your brand. Not only can it impact your bottom line, but it also helps your brand to stand out and build loyalty with your customers. And that not only helps in the short term, but also for many years to come

That is why marketing strategies are so important, especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs like coaches and consultants.

I hope this article gives you the confidence to know how to market for small business with confidence.

Photo by Terry Vlisidis on Unsplash

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Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx, author, coach and marketing and branding authority is the founder of Thriving at 50 Plus, a coaching program that helps baby boomers find more purpose and meaning in life. Wendy over the last 30 years has helped many business owners and executives become well-known, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™. Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets.

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