Everyone has the same amount of time in a day—24 hours. I’d be willing to bet your family, friends and colleagues, all provide endless advice on what you need to do and how to spend that time. The challenge, determining what advice to take and what to leave.
Professionals say you must put your business on Facebook, your peers keep sending you articles about the miracle of blogging for business and salespeople are around every corner. Everyone will be telling you something different when it comes to how to market your business. The trick is figuring out what’s right for you.
First, it’s important to know there is no one magic marketing formula that’s going to work for every company out there, so let’s not spend our precious hours looking for one. Second, when it comes to expert advice, keep the one tip in mind we’ve probably all heard at some point, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” With all the experts, don’t forget to listen to the one person who knows your business best. It’s time to listen to the expert in you.
I know what you’re thinking, “So Tawnya, are you telling me to quit paying attention to the trends and ignore the experts?” Absolutely not. I wouldn’t be writing this column if I believed that. You need to be knowledgeable when it comes to marketing. And we certainly don’t have to do something we know in our gut isn’t good for our business simply because “everyone else is doing it.” Consider this:
A Place on the Face
You may have friends talking about being on Facebook and everywhere you look you’re being asked to “Like us on Facebook.” You may be tempted to follow suit for your business, but my advice, be cautious. What works for other types of businesses does not always work in the same way for imaging and graphics companies like yours. Make sure that before you spend your precious time on Facebook, that it makes sense for your business.
Consider your customers; are they on Facebook? If you asked customers to “Visit us on Facebook!” would they comply? Next, consider your business’ budget, time constraints and staff. Many businesses tend to jump on the Facebook bandwagon because it’s “free marketing” but as we all know, “time is money,” so be sure to account for the time it takes to create and update your page consistently.
Is Blogging Really the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?
Do you have time to spend on a blog? More importantly, should you spend time blogging? Are you a writer? Do you keep a journal and jot every chance you get? If so, then you are a natural blogger. But if English was your least favorite subject in school and you’d rather do just about anything other than write, blogging may not be right for you. If you don’t have the right mix of budget, talent and time to do something right, you may want to head down another route. There are so many great marketing options to choose from, why not pick the ones you’re passionate about? Listen to your inner expert.
Here a Salesman, There a Salesman
Knowing your business and yourself is key when salespeople come knocking at your door. If you have a solid understanding of your business goals it will be a lot easier to decide if what those salespeople are selling is truly worth the investment.
For example, what about the search engine expert that’s been hounding you? Is what he’s selling truly going to get you the results you seek? Ensuring expert status in this field is tricky so be sure to do your homework and ask if they have worked with others in the imaging industry. The very first question you should ask anyone trying to sell you this service, “What specifically do you know about wide format imaging?”
Next consider e-mail marketing. Many providers tout an excellent return on investment.
E-mail can be an amazing follow-up tool for supporting other marketing efforts, but we must remember our business before buying into one sole marketing tactic. Consider your audience and what they respond to. Mailing printed marketing pieces followed by e-mail promotions often leaves a better impression than e-mail alone.
The Clock is Ticking
Time is ticking away as you read this article. Stop and listen to your inner voice that got you this far and only then take note of the trends and “what the experts are saying.” You’ll be amazed how confident you’ll become in your marketing choices once you stop and listen to the expert in you.