When you get started in business you know 2 things. 1.) You will work hard and your gonna succeed by any means necessary. 2.) You don’t have a lot of time (and/or) money to input. For most people they don’t have a small loan of a million dollars they can implement into their businesses. Instead they have a small amount to invest and a little more time they can use to build the business in the early days.
I highly advocate outsourcing when you have the funds to do so, but until then I’m not going to pretend its possible! Instead I thought I’d write a quick post on the top 3 small business marketing blogs I use to keep up to date with quality information about online, print, creative and other marketing methods. There are other more famous marketing blogs than the ones I’m going to outline below, but personally I find if they have too large a following the methods are less effective. The information is usually more generic and not outlined in a step-by-step format.
A quick note before we get started, if you haven’t already read Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson this should be your first port of call. Jay is an expert at outlining usable marketing strategies for start-ups, small businesses and any business that is run by an individual who doesn’t want to go down the generic advertising route, which nowadays no-one should!
Jay talks about how you can create a highly profitable business from smart marketing, both online and offline. Personally I found this book awesome to come up with ideas (outside of the internet) that could make my business money. Although so much budget is given to online marketing nowadays, we forget that people don’t “live” online (despite what people might tell you.) Instead we are still selling to people who are going to go home at the end of the day, if you can create a personal message and reach them then you will 100% be on the way to the top of your industry / niche.
1.) Marketing Donut
Marketing Donut is an established 10 year old platform of information for small businesses. This information is 100% free. MD make their money through advertising, which means they can put extra effort into creating timeless guides for their readers. This is a great place to start if you haven’t a clue what to do when it comes to your marketing plan. As well as marketing, the MD also have guides on digital, design, sales, accounting, research and PR. All range from beginner ideas and tactics to more advanced ones to explode the sales of a business.
My local services is a business directory based in the UK, they also have an active business forum and multiple guides on tax, design, small business marketing tips and much more. The community is very active and if you can’t find a specific answer on this somewhere I would recommend simply asking in the forum itself, you will get an answer in as little as a couple of hours usually.
Smallbusiness.co.uk is (as the name suggests) the place for UK small business owners to learn, connect, develop and grow their businesses. Whether you have a online business or a physical products business you can find useful information here about how to scale and grow your business. The marketing information is extremely specific, for example if you own a gym, you will be able to find an article written by a gym owner, for a gym owner, the same is the case for many bigger industries. For example there are a number of great web design articles which is great for someone looking to grow their web design agency, such as myself.
I hope you will read through these 3 blogs as they can seriously help grow your business. They are more for the established small business, so if you have been trading for a year or so but need some ideas on how to grow your customer or client base, then I highly recommend having a good research session. 1 key element to remember is that reading a blog full of tactics will do absolutely nothing for your business, they key is implementing these ideas and techniques, don’t look for the “Perfect” tactic, because it doesn’t exist! Start with something and you can also tweak and change it later on to improve conversions!
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