Time and money are two of the scarcest resources known to small business owners - whether you are running yours with or without external funding. How you spend those resources fundamentally determines the success of the business.
'You should be on Instagram' is advice we've heard given to all manner of small businesses over and over but should you, really? There are products, services and companies that should not. Are your potential clients/customers there AND expecting you to be there to help them buy?
There is a fairly simple and scientific method to work it out.
When you have limited resources, spend them where they work to bring in sales. Anything else is a waste and will be a hit to your profits.
When we help the smallest businesses work out which marketing channels to focus their resources on, we find the answers to three key questions:
Let's take an example of an accounting consultant
Sounds too simple? It is smart, it will be effective and sustainable.
Why didn't we recommend Instagram, PR or advertising? Well, even if potential clients have Insta accounts, it isn't the first place people look for year-end bookkeeping services. Instagram requires a lot more time than the available resources so marketing via it for this consultant is a waste of precious time.
PR then? To stay 'front-of-mind' and build trust, we are looking at repeatable tactics, not one-offs so PR is out.
Then we have advertising. With a much larger budget, advertising could work to build awareness of the services but a) they aren't selling unique services so it would be like advertising every other accounting consultant too and b) advertising doesn't build trust, so it out on two counts.
It can be just as useful to know where NOT to market! What you end up with is your Marketing Channel Strategy and the confidence to get on with it, knowing your resources are best reaching your target market.
*Incase you think you should be on Instagram, please give it a cold, hard stare 🧐. Are your potential clients/customers there? Are you selling a product or service that your target market expects to buy (or be inspired to buy...) directly from seeing it there? Perhaps the most important question as it needs daily attention and skill level way above the other main social media portals - do you have the time, money, energy and skills to make it work for you?
Being smart about where you should be and knowing what you need your audience to do needs just three answers. Get in touch with us if we can help you with yours.