Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Kimberly McLemore, who is the CEO/Founder of the Women’s Small Business Initiative, LLC, “Your Resource for Success” Podcast Show Host on iHeart Radio, and published author of the Memoir “Deception of the Heart” A Real Look into Domestic Violence. For more info: www.wsbillc.com.
SmallBizlady: WHAT IS MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS?
Kimberly McLemore: It’s not uncommon for small business owners and entrepreneurs to market their businesses. As business owners we need to quickly get our names out there so we can get a return on our investment. How you communicate your business is what matters. You want people take interest in it, buy it, support it, join it, and tell friends about it.
SMALLBIZLADY: WHY IS MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS SO IMPORTANT?
Kimberly McLemore: Marketing your business is the most vital piece of the business and your business plan. You should have a market plan in place. The plan should be able to provide details on the product or service, which ultimately determines the success of your business.
Example – Service business, should be able to describe who will be doing the work, and where the work will be performed. Explain why your business is unique and what you are offering your customer. You should know how much time it will take to complete the service and how many hours are billable to the client.
SMALLBIZLADY: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO UNDERSTAND AND KNOW YOUR MARKET AREA?
Kimberly McLemore: Understanding your market area helps you define your target market, who you want to do business with. What are their buying habits, needs, and frequency of purchase?
Things to look for Gender type, income level, background and education level
Know your Competition; Direct and Indirect. Direct competitors sell the same type of product or service. Indirect competitors sell similar products or services. Understand their strengths and weakness. And, market need, explain why there is a need for your type of business for the community.
SMALLBIZLADY: IS BRICK AND MORTAR STILL A GOOD OPTION FOR MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS?
Kimberly McLemore: It depends on what type of business or services you are providing. Brick and mortar businesses are absolutely a must and are necessary. This type of marketing is most effective with customer oriented store-front businesses.
SMALLBIZLADY: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MARKET ON A BUDGET?
- Word of Mouth
- Bartering is good way to market your business
- Networking Events
- Give items or services away periodically
- Collaborate with others
- Blogging is a good way to market your business, provide tips and updates
- FREE – Microsoft Office Tools provides excellent Templates in the Excel, Word, and PowerPoint format to help with your Flyers, business cards etc.
- Fiverr – Freelance Service provides graphics, logo, website, business cards, videos etc. For as little as $5 per “gig”.
SMALLBIZLADY: WHAT IS THE COST OF MARKETING AND HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU BE SPENDING FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Kimberly McLemore: The cost of marketing will vary depends on the size of the business. As a general rule of thumb should spend around 5% of their total revenue on marketing. Looking to grow a higher percentage should be around 10%. The resource you are using to market your business will make a difference on what the cost will be. Average monthly cost can be as low as $500 and has high as $20K per month.
SMALLBIZLADY: WHAT ARE THE BEST SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS TO USE?
- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube Channel
- Advertisement ADs
- Provide special offers and/or contests
- Provide valuable content
- Share and show your business expertise and savviness
- Send Marketing Emails
- Website presence
SMALLBIZLADY: What are some non-traditional ways to Market your Business?
Kimberly McLemore: Here are a few ways: Become an Author; Start your own Podcast Show; Mobile Apps; Webinars/Trainings; and, On-line Membership Programs (Setup Forums, Collaborate, Consult, Showcase Business).
SMALLBIZLADY: HOW CAN ADVERTISING AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS?
Kimberly McLemore: Advertising should show your unique identity. All advertising should have a clear message, get right to the point, remain focused, use high impact words, and make them pleasing to the eye. Don’t make promises that you cannot keep and do not let your ego get in the way. Be careful of negative word-of-mouth advertising because this can destroy your business.
SMALLBIZLADY: HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU MARKET OR PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS?
Kimberly McLemore: If you are using Social Media as your main source of marketing. You should promote your business daily. You should not promote your product multiple times throughout the day. Best time to promote on social media is on the weekends and evenings.
SMALLBIZLADY: STILL NOT SURE HOW TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS?
Kimberly McLemore: When all fails hire a marketing consultant expert to help you market and build the image of your brand. If cost is an issue then take a course on Marketing.
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.
Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz