The other day, I wrote about why freelance writers need to market continually. Marketing on a regular basis keeps helps us to maintain our work queue, find new clients, and replace lost regulars.
But it's not just freelance writers that benefit from regular marketing. Small businesses of all sizes also benefit from regular marketing.
Think about it for a moment. If even huge, well known companies market themselves, how are the little guys going to ever survive with the big fish if they don't market, too?
Marketing looks a little different for small businesses and sole proprietors, of course. Big companies can afford expensive prime time TV commercials, for instance. It's their tremendous brand name recognition that allows them to spend so much on marketing, ironically. Those kinds of ads will be out of reach for the majority of small businesses.
For many small businesses, marketing means having a stellar website, blogging regularly to keep it higher in search engine rankings, posting to social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, building a mailing list and sending out emails and newsletters, and creating visual content for social media sites like Instagram and YouTube. These are all free or low-cost marketing that have the added advantage of speaking directly to your target market.
Marketing for small business owners isn't necessarily expensive. Aside from the cost of paying a writer or editor, most of the expense is in the form of the time it takes to run all those marketing campaigns, which is of course why many small businesses either have a dedicated marketing person or outsource their marketing.
However you do it, marketing is important. No one is going to know your business exists unless you get it out there, and the client's or customer's decision to buy is often dependent on name recognition at minimum, if not a track record of following you on social media or getting your emails.
Marketing isn't all that complicated, either, once you zoom out a little. At minimum, you need to figure out where your target market hangs out, find a way to reach them there, and get your business in front of them as much as possible. As long as you can do at least that, you can give your business a fighting chance.