What do you do if you're not increasing the number of sales or leads that you need to grow your business ? It's a question that's been on my mind of late as I talk to small-medium-sized businesses who are struggling.
With digital marketing essential for businesses of all sizes nowadays, I seem to be coming across more and more businesses that are struggling to achieve their goals.
I'm hearing a lot of unhappy people:
“We get hardly any traffic to our site.”
“We've got a couple of thousand followers on Twitter and Facebook but social media doesn't seem to bring us any sales inquiries.”
“I've been podcasting for over a year now and no one seems to be listening.”
I think the problem is that for small businesses it's so hard to compete. For solo entrepreneurs who are bootstrapping, handling their own marketing, it's practically impossible to succeed with digital marketing now.
You have to be so consistent, so active, so strategic in your marketing activities that it's too much for one person to handle. Even larger companies that we work with who have a dedicated marketer or two on the team just don't have a broad range of skills at hand to really drive enough sales leads. With contemporary marketing now a combination of SEO, content marketing, social media, marketing automation, conversion optimization and so on, it's pretty overwhelming.
So how do you succeed if you're small?
For me, you have to make some kind of resources available. Even if you're a solo entrepreneur I think it's important you budget for professional help.
It doesn't have to be expensive. There are a wide range of professionals for every budget – from consultants to full-service agencies out there – ready to help you.
I think a good place to start is to make sure you know your goal(s) and your target audience. If you're absolutely sure of that, you can start out by making an initial investment in a marketing audit and game plan.
By audit, I mean that a professional (or professionals) look at your data and key performance indicators, analyse your sales funnel, make sure it's aligned with your brand persona(s) – target audience – and look for areas where you can improve.
If you can afford to purchase a game plan, which outlines the key activities you should be making, this could be an essential step to success. Even if it comes back to you as the solo entrepreneur or small team taking care of the marketing, at least you'll have some professional guidance and know where to put your budget for the next quarter or two.