This article was written to feature on the ParentChum blog and you can view the article on their website here.
If you are thinking about taking the plunge into running your own business, congratulations! It’s tough going it alone but so rewarding knowing that everything you’re doing to promote, grow and deliver you products or services to customers, is taking you one step closer to building a successful business that meets your personal and business goals.
To truly flourish in your venture, digital marketing that helps your customers to find you online and to grow your business will likely play a big part of your plan. If you’re new to this field, here are 6 tips to get you off to a flying start.
- Know who your customer is
To market a business successfully you need to know exactly who your ideal customer is. Build a picture of them and give them a name. Be as specific as you can about where they shop, how much they earn, what their interests are, do they have children? How much disposable income do they have? The more specific you can make this picture, the more targeted you can make your marketing activities. This will ensure you only put time, effort and energy into promoting your business online where you know your target customers will be.
- Write a marketing plan
Your marketing plan is one of the most important documents, second to your business plan that you can have as a business owner. This is where you set out your marketing strategy, goals for the year, and write down the specific tasks needed to achieve them. From social media, local advertising, networking, email marketing and writing news articles for your website, the process of recording the ways you will reach your potential customers will help you evaluate new opportunities and bring clarity to your business practices. If you don’t know where to start, Hubspot offer a brilliant marketing plan generator to get you started in under 10 minutes.
- Have a support network and make time for yourself
It’s so easy to spend a whole day at your computer only to realise you’ve not spoken to another person or left the house other than the school run. Always try to make time each day to do something for you. Whether that’s a ten minute stroll at lunchtime or an hour to burn off some energy at the gym, find something that makes you feel great and gives your brain a break. You will be more productive in the long run. Joining Facebook groups for mums and dads in business is a great way to seek advice, learn, and bounce ideas off others in the same boat as you. Finally remember to keep talking to your supporters, family and friends to share what you’ve achieved, this will help you stay on track and motivated.
- Create a content plan and get creating
Content is what you create to get your business found and engaged with online. From blogs, news articles, social media posts, imagery, the words on your website, customer case studies and FAQs, this digital content should be planned in advance and delivered at regular intervals to keep your online audience interested.
Start by setting up a simple calendar in excel that lists the months of the year across the top then a different area of content (such as social media hashtags relevant to you, awards you might enter, email topics you might send, videos to create, blog topics etc.) in each row down the page.
Then work to fill in the boxes of the table you’ve created with the things that your customers will be interested in throughout the year. .
A great way to do this is to start with noting the seasonal trends that impact your customers like school holidays, Christmas, big national sporting events like the Olympics or Rugby World Cup, Winter, Summer etc. and think about what content you could create in each of your categories that falls into that theme.
If you would like a copy of the template I use to get you started please get in touch.
- Claim your Google My Business listing, add your business to local directories and blog.
The process of producing and managing content on your website in a way that means search engines like Google want to show your site as a top result when people search for keywords related to your business is called search engine optimisation or SEO.
This is an area of digital marketing that is crucial to invest time in learning the basics and Moz.com is a great source of information to get you started. In the meantime, some of the easiest things you can do are to claim your ‘Google My Business’ listing, add your business to local directories and start writing a blog full of things your target customer would find interesting.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it
As a parent and a business owner you have to think about the finance, marketing, sales and delivery on top of managing the business day to day and making sure you’re on track with your long term business goals AND being a brilliant mum or dad to your little ones. That is a lot to deal with.
Instead of trying to juggle all of those things alone, own the bits you’re great at and never be afraid to get help with the areas where you could benefit from a fresh pair of eyes from someone experienced in that area.
Keep going, you’ve got this!
When it comes to marketing, I’ve barely scratched the surface with the points above but I hope it will set you off on the right path. Setting up and running a business can seem daunting at first so keep reminding yourself of all the reasons you wanted to be your own boss in the first place, then chip away at your marketing plans each day to take you one step closer to making your dream business a reality.
Grow your business with 10 Point Marketing
10 point marketing provides flexible and affordable marketing solutions for small business owners and franchisees across the UK. Specialising in baby, child and family friendly brands, we help your customers find you and show them how great you are at what you do, to help your business flourish.
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