The Small Business Marketing Conundrum (And How to Overcome It)
Small businesses—especially those with only one or two people—face a unique problem.
In many cases, the same people responsible for executing on the company’s actual products and services are the same people responsible for marketing those products and services.
And that can lead to a vicious cycle.
When business is slow, they market like crazy.
But when that marketing finally pays off, a flood of work arrives in one giant wave.
That giant wave of work ultimately means marketing comes to a halt while each customer or client is properly attended to.
But because the marketing isn’t churning anymore, new business dries up.
And so, once again, they start marketing like crazy.
The cycle goes on and on and on.
Overcoming the Small Business Marketing Conundrum
In a perfect world, business comes at a steady pace.
But that’s a tall order when you have a small team and everyone has competing priorities.
So, how do you overcome the small business marketing conundrum?
Here are a few strategies you can use:
1. Shift your mindset. Sometimes, all you need is a shift in how you think about your marketing activities.
When you’re busy with the work of your business—the part of your business that is actually directly beneficial to your clients and customers—it’s easy to think that marketing can wait.
But that’s not the case.
Marketing can’t wait—no more than paying your taxes, paying your vendors, or attending that next sales meeting.
Marketing is an integral part of the business.
And the more you can view marketing as something that has to get done, the more likely you are to execute on a regular basis!
2. Make marketing part of your routine. The best way to keep your marketing moving is to literally make time for it.
There’s a classic personal finance book called The Wealthy Barber. In it, the titular character recommends investing the first 10% of your earnings. Instead of paying your bills, buying groceries, or paying rent, you should first invest in your future.
Do the same with your marketing.
At Poetica Marketing, we have time carved into our week. Automated social posts go up on specified days of the week. Lead progress is discussed every Monday. New blogs go up on Wednesdays. Networking takes place every Thursday morning. And an hour every Friday morning is set aside specifically to work on marketing assets.
That’s a cadence that works for us. And it works well!
For you, it could be something entirely different—especially when considering what your chosen marketing channels are.
The important thing to remember is this: Your marketing doesn’t need to take all the time in the world (and it’s even easier when you follow some of the automation tips below).
It just needs to be consistent.
3. Keep it interesting. One of the best ways to commit to Tip No. 2 is by following Tip No. 3.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your marketing, you’ll only make things harder on yourself if you constantly feel like marketing is a drag.
Turn it into something you enjoy.
If you’re into networking, you might enjoy scheduling time to meet new professionals every week. If you’re into blogging, you might feel fulfilled by dedicating time to writing. If you enjoy being on social media, build your audience there!
4. Automate as much as possible. There are a few different ways you can actually automate a ton of your marketing efforts.
And yes, it’ll require a great deal of work up front, but the hours invested now will save you countless hours in the future.
A couple of tactics you can use:
- Automated email flows. You can build automatic email sequences for your leads and prospects to go through—and writing and planning those now can free you from so many manual emails (while simultaneously increasing sales).
- Automated social media posts. Yes, you probably know about scheduling tools that can significantly reduce the time you spend on social media. But there are others (specifically MeetEdgar) that allow you to recycle content. In fact, it can cycle through the same content over and over again! Pump in 50 posts, and it’ll go through all 50—then hop back to the beginning.
5. Focus on building an audience. Having a captive audience that cares about what you say is one of the biggest and best hacks you can have in marketing.
As I mentioned in my discussion of creating 25 leads in 24 hours, having an engaged follower base around you or your brand ensures you’re constantly surrounded by people who genuinely care about your mission.
And that means they’ll champion it too—by engaging and sharing.
Building an audience—a dedicated fanbase that looks forward to catching your next Instagram post or your upcoming email newsletter—takes time.
- Showing up on a regular basis.
- Having a meaningful perspective that resonates.
- Engaging with your audience when they comment or reach out.
Even today’s biggest influencers often required 6-18 months of consistent posting before they had a steady audience around them.
But by starting today, you’re making an investment that will last for a long, long time.
6. Turn to advertising. If all else fails, turn to paid advertising.
Paid advertising costs money (of course), so it’s an intimidating concept for a lot of small business owners with tight marketing budgets.
But the nice thing is that it works all the time—even when you’re not working.
Plus, with digital ads, TV spots, and radio promotions, you can choose when and where your ads are seen.
For even more help overcoming the small business marketing conundrum, contact us! We can build a strategy that best supports your unique needs!
Founder, Creative Director
Hi, I’m Pat! After spending a few years after college as an editor-in-chief for a company located outside of Philadelphia, I moved across the state to Pittsburgh and used my skills as a writer to transition into the exciting and competitive content marketing industry.
I started Poetica Marketing in 2018, and I’ve since helped companies and professionals all over the world enhance their online presence while increasing sales!
A writer at heart and a strategist by trade, I’m passionate about creating compelling written and visual content for SEO performance and social media.
When I’m not in the office, you’ll find me writing the latest article for Monster Riff, catching another rock concert, or diving deep into a book.