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Feeling pulled in different marketing directions?


Does this sound familiar to you?


You’re a small business owner. Maybe you’re a financial planner, accountant, insurance broker, lawyer, contractor, or whatever.


You’re good at what you do. Really good. 


You have a steady business and repeat clients. Those who have worked with you before. They trust you. So they follow.


You don’t have excess money. What small business owner does? 


Whatever revenue you get in, goes towards keeping the lights on. Paying you a salary. Paying staff. Rent. Electricity. Internet. Insurance. 


There’s not much left over for marketing.


That’s challenge # 1.


Let’s say there is money left over for marketing (and when I say ‘marketing’ I mean activities helping you sell at scale i.e. you to many).


What do you do? How much do you spend? What should you expect in return? 


There are so many avenues you could go down.


Social media, of course, is huge right now.


Marketing wisdom demands you be present on social media. Tik tok. You Tube. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. And if you’re in the B2B space, LinkedIn (of course). 


But you’re not a ‘creator’. You find ways to optimize your customers’ tax returns. Even if you were a ‘creator’, you don’t have time. You barely have time to complete and file all of your customers’ returns.


And if you’re not a creator, you might not have the money to pay someone to do it for you.


So you turn to SEO.


Everyone says SEO is how you grow.


You hire an SEO agency or consultant to help you build out an SEO plan for your business. If you’re in a competitive, commoditized industry (like insurance) then you can expect to wait 6-12 months before seeing real traction.


This is provided you have a solid strategy driving your SEO. And that you’re continually publishing new content. Again, you will have to either create the content yourself, or pay someone else to do it.


Here’s the thing about SEO: most of it is aimed at the 5% of the market who are looking for a solution. They’ve already started the process.  


That’s not to say don’t do it. But you’ll need to be patient. It takes time and money. 


But you become a little impatient. It’s a common response when sales are trickling in. 


So you think, I’m going to advertise.


But you don’t have the money or a TD Bank or Toyota. You can’t hire an ad agency, or run TV commercials. 


Then again, you don’t need to. Your geographic focus is only your city.


So you buy advertising in the local newspaper. Or community publications. 


And because you spend most of the money on buying the ad placement, you don’t have much left over for the creative. Doesn’t matter, you think. You can use the in-house services offered by the publication. They can definitely put your name and what you do on an ad. 


Your ads run. Maybe it says you are a real estate agent, or can do small business taxes, especially around year-end filing. 


And still the phones don’t ring. The leads don’t come.


Why? 


Because unknowingly, you’ve fallen into the Diffusion of Resources trap. You try something. It doesn’t work (immediately), so you shift gears and put your limited money towards something else. 


You’re continually pulling a marketing pivot.


This is a symptom, though.


It’s symptomatic of not having a solid marketing strategy. 


That’s challenge # 2.


One that answers the questions:

  • Who am I targeting?

  • How will I compete?

  • How will I stand out from the competition?

  • Why will someone believe I can help them?

  • Is my offer crystal clear?

  • Am I top-of-mind?


I know this sounds trite, but I promise it’s not: nail your strategy first. 


Your strategy is your guide. It’s also your guidepost. Every piece of marketing you do needs to line-up to your strategy. 


Once you have your strategy developed, the execution falls into place. It takes work, but you will have a path set out in front of you that helps keep you focused on the right things.

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