Like you, I’m a small business owner and like you, I struggle getting everything done each day. There’s just not enough time! And that’s why many small brands aren’t able to market themselves. They simply don’t have the time or budget to go big. So they go home. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to give up, there are a few things you can do each week to start (and keep) the marketing ball rolling for your brand.
First, when it comes to marketing, set aside some time for it.
Be it 1 hour a week or 5 hours a week, set aside a time each week to work solely on marketing. Start from the beginning. Figure out your competitive set. See what they are doing in social media, online marketing and public relations. Find out where they fit into the market and most likely you’ll find a spot where your products should be. Draft up a quick plan that will get you in front of the accounts and the consumers who could potentially buy your products.
Start your social media channels BUT commit to managing them.
Set up at least a Facebook page, Twitter account and an Instagram account. Add photos, logos and product information and make sure that all social accounts are consistent with naming and imagery. After all, you want it to reflect who you are as a brand and your products. Again, look to your competitive set or even other brands you like and emulate what they are doing. Don’t copy them (obviously), but pick a look and feel that works for you and then stick with it.
Manage your social media.
There is nothing worse for a brand than an abandoned Facebook page. So, once you start, make sure you set aside time each week to post. You don’t have to post every day but at least post a few times a week. Share photos of you working in the vineyard or distilling. Bring people into your story and brand.
Send your product to the people who matter.
Submit your products to competitions. Find out which journalists write about your product category and send them a sample (if they accept samples). Be sure to include marketing materials and tech sheets on your products when you send them.
Hire someone to help.
As a business owner you also need to know when to outsource. So, if you are overwhelmed, ask around and find a marketing consultant. Ask them to create your marketing plan, brochures and social media sites. You can typically secure consultants at competitive rates (the web is great for this). It may seem like you don’t want to spend the money on marketing, but that $500 spend could open up a lot of doors for you.
This is a tough business. We love it, but it’s tough. Compound that with everything you do and it can be overwhelming. Believe me, I know. But if each day or week you work on promoting your brand, over time it will grow. It may take a while for that to happen, but it will increase your brand awareness and hopefully brand loyalty!