Simple Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

There are a lot of options when it comes to marketing your small business but these four simple marketing tips are ones you can implement today. I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to keep your marketing machine running. Even though you’re too busy and you hate marketing. Let’s agree to choose one thing from this list and implement it today. Deal?

Simple marketing tips for small businesses

Simple Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

To make the most out of digital marketing and branding opportunities, you don’t need to crack the social media algorithm. Here are some simple marketing tips that require far less effort and deliver better results. Do I have your attention? Read on.

Submit directory registrations

Registering your business on various directories is an easy way to improve your search results and be discovered. Google and Facebook reviews help too! If you’re business is home-based you may also want to get a business mailing address (from somewhere like https://physicaladdress.com or a local post office box) to avoid putting your home address online.

Discover target keywords

Once you’re clear on who you serve and how you can help them, finding the best keywords to use online will bring more qualified traffic to your website. Start out with SEO tools you can download for free and go from there. Understanding the terms and phrases people use in search helps you better connect with your target audience.

Automate your social media

No one has extra hours to spend on social media. You can and you should automate your social. There are social media packages for small business owners out there that may help. I’ve also outlined my top six social media scheduling tools that I use every day. Trust me, you can still engage authentically even if you don’t live-post every single image on Instagram.

Distribute press releases

I think media releases are amazing and I think they can work to create a real buzz about your brand. However, for this marketing tactic to work you do need to be doing something worth talking about. Brainstorm an angle that would be considered newsworthy and pitch your story to local media outlets. Just keep in mind a business profile isn’t news, it’s advertising. Craft a story where you’re someone doing something interesting for a compelling reason.

Marketing your brand doesn’t have to be complicated. Get your small business online and set yourself up to be discovered on search and social. Then do cool stuff that makes people want to talk about you and make sure they know about it. And if you want some extra help, that’s what I’m here for.

There are a lot of options when it comes to marketing your small business but these four simple marketing tips are ones you can implement today. I know I sound like a broken record, but you have to keep your marketing machine running, even though you're too busy and you hate marketing. Let's agree to choose one thing from this list and implement it today. Deal?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Get More Clients Fast With These 7 Ideas

How do you get more clients fast? This is the ultimate question and when you’re in this position, you don’t have time to try things that “might” work. You need it to work. Now.

get more clients fast

Let’s dive right in: ideas to get more clients fast

Get more clients fast with these seven ideas. I can’t guarantee they’ll work, but they’ve worked for me so at least it’s a starting point.

1. Reach out to your long-lost clients

This tip only works if you’ve had clients before, but assuming you have this is an excellent place to start. If you haven’t worked with a client for a couple months you can classify them as “cold” and they qualify for this tactic. Go through your cold clients and send them an email asking how their project/magazine/website/etc. is going and if there’s anything you can help them with.

If you had positive experiences with clients in the past and they didn’t call you back for more, it may not be because they don’t like you or don’t have work. Sometimes they’re too busy to reach out…sometimes they don’t think of you…and sometimes they have a project but haven’t got to letting you know about it yet.

Do it!

2. Ask for referrals

Sometimes this can feel awkward but when you need clients it’s time to get over it and as for referrals. Ask your current clients if they have any colleagues who could use your services. Tell them you’re looking to add a few more clients to your roster. Either they’ll tell you they don’t know anyone, they’ll give you a couple leads or they’ll give you more work themselves. THIS WORKS!

3. Tell your network you’re open for business

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best way to let people know you’re available is by saying you’re available. Mine your friends and family list for leads. Remember, you NEED clients NOW. You’re in a spot. Lay it out in an interesting, polite way so it’s easy for them to think of you when they hear about someone looking for a writer.

4. Run an ad

I have a friend who does this and swears by it. Whenever she’s looking for a couple more clients she runs a Facebook ad for a week or two to a super-duper targeted audience and gets her money back tenfold. You have to know what you’re doing, and target the right audience, but this can and does work.

5. Apply to job board postings

Yes there are horror stories from job boards. Yes I would say you don’t get the strongest clients from job boards. However, you’re in a situation where you need clients now and job boards are filled with businesses looking for people just like you. You’ll have to look hard and put out a lot of inquiries but you’ll find clients.

Here are a few suggestions for job boards I’ve found good.

This next one is going to blow your mind.

6. Do a Twitter search

Using a Twitter search (or browse my helpful Twitter list for Writing Jobs) you’ll find real-time tweets from businesses looking for writers. Here are a few hashtag searches you can try.

  • #writerwanted
  • #ghostwriter
  • #hiring #writer
  • #writingcommunity
  • #journalismjobs
  • #writingjobs
  • #remotejobs
  • #freelancejobs

I’ve connected with quite a few awesome clients through Twitter so I’m a fan of this one to say the least!

7. Write guest posts

I should qualify this with write paid guest posts. Writing free ones is a good long-term strategy but doesn’t work when you need clients now. Different goals.

There are lots of websites and blogs that pay for content although there’s no set rate. But if you need cash flow…this is one way to get ‘er done. You’ll have to do the pitching so get ready to hustle.

So? Did you get some great new ideas to get clients fast?

These are emergency strategies for when you’re in panic mode and need clients quick. Even people with the best referral programs and ongoing marketing strategies run into this from time-to-time (but…not as much).

Get more clients fast with these seven ideas. I can't guarantee they'll work, but they've worked for me so at least it's a starting point.

While these are all effective I’ll encourage you not to rely on them strategies as your entire freelance approach—you will burn out! Too much hustle is unsustainable. Plus you’ll be hustling so much you may not find time to do the work!


One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required

Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand Building a Nation

Marc H. Choko’s Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand Building a Nation tells the story based on CP’s publicity (marketing and graphic design) output.

Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand


Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand Building a Nation

If you know anything about Canadian history you know the Canadian Pacific Railway company played a role in shaping it. Marc H. Choko’s Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand, Building a Nation tells the story based on CP’s publicity output—their marketing and graphic design in particular. It’s a unique take on telling a brand story while educating readers on how public and private interests can align for the greater good. In this case, forming a unified Canada.

Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand

The politics of rail | Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand

Being raised in Canada, I learned about CP’s scandalous beginnings from a political point of view. I imagined the private company as the big baddie, trying to monopolize the rail industry by outbidding all competitors and making backroom deals with politicians. While it’s not not what happened, this book adds another side to the story, the part where provinces (NS, NB, BC) refused to join the Canadian Confederation without the promise of a railway linking them to (now) Ontario/Quebec and how the British government wouldn’t/couldn’t fund it. Also added was the HUGE obstacle of the Canadian Shield and Rocky Mountains—and even once CP had the contract they were near bankrupted several times finding ways across these untamed wilds.

Oh, and if the railway didn’t happen out west then the United States would have annexed BC—the history of the Pacific Northwest (up until 1846 this was Alaska-California under the control of British North America) was interesting in particular as the motivation for keeping British Columbia under British control was for two reasons: 1) it seemed like a shorter route to Asia and 2) gold rush. Those were the only reasons because everyone out east thought the west was worthless.

CP had an uphill battle because this opinion was so prevalent. So the company advertised. They convinced their workers to talk up the west whenever they returned home to their families and communities, they brought in influencers (sorry, travel journalists) and gifted them all-inclusive luxury vacations so they would return to Europe and share their adventures. They built stunning hotels and created a steamship line to lure wealthy travellers across the sea and continent. And over time they even created mid-range accommodation so the new middle class could come too.

Duchess Steamships Newest and Largest

Business of the rail | Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand

Building a national railway was all well and good but CP was a for-profit company and therefore needed profits. Tourism was one thing, but to keep the rail lines safe and to increase land values they needed more people living out west. So they advertised. They worked with the government. And they built ready-made farms for people.

Because the (eastern) Canadian settlers had such a poor opinion of the west, CP reached out to Americans and Europeans instead, offering amazing deals and door-to-door (ish) travel. This was of interest to me because this is how my great grandparents came to the Canadian prairies—the promise of affordable land, a farm, and a home. I knew they got a good deal on the land but this is a whole other layer to their story.

Own Your Own Home in Canada

Conclusion

For 374 pages of Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand, Building a Nation, take in the history, complexity, and ingenuity of a company created from a prime minister’s vision for a transcontinental railway. Learn how the company overcame devastating obstacles like political scandal, sabotage, financial ruin, the Great Depression, two world wars, recession, competition, and critique by holding on to a clear vision, creative marketing, influential graphic design, and diversification.

One note: I read a PDF review version and must say, I have missed out. I thought this was a marketing book so didn’t mind the digital format but more than half the pages are images of CP advertisements and historical photos. If I had the hardcover I would have enjoyed this book much more. As it stands, it was a joy to read, even if it did take me six months.

If you know anything about Canadian history you know the Canadian Pacific Railway company played a role in shaping it. Marc H. Choko's Canadian Pacific: Creating a Brand Building a Nation tells the story based on CP's publicity output--their marketing and graphic design in particular. It's a unique take on telling a brand story while educating readers on how public and private interests can align for the greater good. In this case, forming a unified Canada.

Other Reviews

What is remarketing? A not-so-scary answer. Probably.

A few months ago I tried explaining remarketing to a group of somewhat social media savvy people. You know, people who like and use social media and know enough not to post photos they don’t want their kids to see.

What is remarketing

What is Remarketing?

Anyway, in attempting an explanation I ended up scaring everyone so I thought maybe, just maybe I could turn things around.

Maybe.

Yeah but, What is remarketing?

You know when you shop on Amazon and the boxes below show you what other people purchased? Well that’s kind of remarketing. Step one let’s say.

OK, so you’ve visited Amazon and you clicked on a couple things in the “other people purchased these products too” box. Maybe you even put something in your shopping cart. But then. You changed your mind.

Say it isn’t so!

So you move on. Bye bye Amazon, hello Facebook! Or Google, or whatever.You move on. While you’re browsing you happen to see…wait, what’s this? The same product you were just looking at on Amazon? Well it’s starting to look a bit more interesting now…hmm…

And you click on the link.

That, my friends, is remarketing.

So I understand why it’s scary. How did one website tell the other website what you were looking at? And what else does it know about you!?

I get it.

But the thing you have to keep in mind is you’re the one who told the Internet all it knows about you. No one else told the website anything. So if you don’t want websites to show you stuff you didn’t buy but might change your mind about, then you just need to give it a little less to go on.

Here are a couple quick tips to protect your privacy online

  • If you don’t want Facebook to know what you looked at on Amazon just clear your cache or turn on private browsing
  • Don’t fill in your social media profiles, especially your birth date, address, phone number, etc.
  • Don’t put your social insurance number on online forms unless it’s your bank or for a credit check
  • Use a password safe to store your passwords—so they can be auto-generated and you don’t have to remember them. Of course this is awkward if you’re trying to log into apps on your phone…haven’t figured that one out yet
  • Don’t give your postal code when using your credit card…you might as well give the store your address, phone number, and middle name too

So, remarketing isn’t scary if you know what you’ve shared online. And if you think you’ve shared to much, time to do a profile purge! Have fun!

Something else to keep in mind is if you are successful in tricking the Internet you’re going to get a lot of non-relevant advertising. Like I do. For diaper coupons and hockey stat apps.

What is remarketing? The thing you must keep in mind is you're the one who told the Internet all it knows about you. No one else told it anything.

Other Articles about marketing

Narrowing Down Travel Rewards Credit Cards

I’ve noticed a lot of television advertising lately about travel rewards credit cards. I figure the more competition then the better the rewards will be.

Narrowing Down Travel Rewards Credit Cards

I have a lot of points cards. A lot. I have so many I don’t even remember which clubs I belong to anymore. And I don’t know how many points I have, what I can do with them, or when/if they expire.

It’s a problem.

For a while now I’ve wanted to slim down my points memberships and choose a few I understand and will actually use. But how do you know which ones you’ll use and which ones give you the best value for your time and energy?

I’m overwhelmed to say the least.

Canada's top rewards cards

Canada’s Top Rewards Cards from 2013 via Rewards Canada

As I’ve waded through the different points options I’ve found ranking sites helpful, they do all the work and I can read the results. Thanks! My husband and I went through our options and decided for us travel rewards were the most important and since he charges a lot of expenses for work…a travel credit card was a good option.

In fact we were even able to narrow down to Aeroplan Canada, which feels so good. I went ahead and unsubscribed from all my other points emails and began looking for ways to optimize our points collecting.

Mileage balance: 7,219

I received my monthly newsletter the other night and was pumped to see all the different ways I could collect points. And then I went to check if I had enough points to, like, go anywhere.

Not with 7,219 points I can’t. But not to worry! The newsletter gave me lots of ways to pump up my points STAT.

aeroplan-options-galore

Whoa. Lots of options. Feeling overwhelmed…which option is best for me…

I’ve noticed a lot of television advertising lately about travel rewards credit cards. There are so many options and while it is overwhelming I’m happy there is competition. In my mind the more companies there are competing for my loyalty then the better the rewards will be. Right? That’s logical, right? Anybody?

Well, we’ll see. I’m setting a goal of taking a springtime trip completely on points. I think that’s enough time to go from 7,219 to…how many points do you need for two round-trip tickets around the world anyway?

I've noticed a lot of television advertising lately about travel rewards credit cards. I figure the more competition then the better the rewards will be.

This post was compensated but don’t worry, the story is original (and mine! And also true!)