There’s a dirty secret every small business owner has but none likes to admit: They aren’t experts in everything.
You started a business because you know your industry, and damn well. But, when it comes to actually marketing and growing your business, chances are you’re… well…
But, you know what? It’s totally OK to be out of your element!
Effective social media strategy, blogging, email newsletters, SEO strategy, it’s enough to make your head spin and that’s just your content marketing! Don’t forget about your branding and web design. Throwing all this on top of a plate that is already piled high with the day-to-day of running a business is nearly impossible and likely outside of your skill set.
So, don’t be afraid to be out of your element, so long as you know to ask for help. Small business owners are very prideful of the hard work it took to get them where they are now, and many see reaching out for help as a weakness.
But, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Educating yourself, asking questions, seeking guidance and expanding your scope from others who are in their element in the world of digital marketing is the only way your business is going to reach the next level. That’s where you want to be, right?
So, where do you start? Thankfully, educating yourself about small business marketing, branding, and web design isn’t as hard as you may think.
Take a class! A live session with an expert, whether it’s an hour long or an entire day, is perhaps the best way to explore your marketing options and educate yourself. Live sessions not only offer deeper dives into the topic, but you often have the chance to ask on-the-spot questions and may even have the opportunity to follow up with the presenter afterward and pick their brain. It’s kind of like going back to school, except you should actually want to be there this time.
Sometimes finding the time to go to an actual session is impossible. The solution? Learning from the comfort of your own computer. Many speakers and seminar hosts have versions of their presentations running online, either live or as recordings you can listen to when you have the time. If you are really focused on one particular topic (like Email Marketing or Web Design), you may be able to find a boot camp that allows you to take a deep dive on your own time.
Networking isn’t just a good way to meet people, it’s a great way to educate yourself. Seek out specific networking events where you anticipate meeting professionals in marketing, branding, web design or other areas you are curious about. Even if you only end up meeting a contact or two, these events are an opportunity to ask questions and pick brains without all the formality of a business hours meeting or phone call. Be sure to exchange business cards in case they are someone you may want to follow up with.
The internet is filled with free stuff. Go ahead, ask Google a question and look at all the links you will find to articles and workbooks on specific topics. We even have a complete collection of free small business marketing tools.
Pick Up The Phone
You’ve taken classes, you’ve shaken a hand or two, now it’s time to get serious. Whether a particular class or webinar stood out to you or you had a really enlightening conversation with someone at an event, follow up with them. Pick up the phone and schedule a time for a chat over coffee, invite them to your office, or go visit theirs. Take this time to find out exactly what they have to offer and how they can help your business.
As long as you are making the effort, there is no wrong approach you can take to learning more about your marketing.
Ready to take the next step in your small business marketing? Roundpeg hosts webinars about a variety of marketing topics weekly and occasionally we host live training sessions. Come see what we have to offer, then let’s talk.