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Part 3 : Small Business Tips – Marketing Techniques

Hello everyone! I hope you had a restful weekend. I know I did. I am 8 1/2 months pregnant and will be taking a much needed break once our baby boy arrives, so this will be my last small business tips and tricks till after I become a mom!


Today I am going to talk about marketing techniques that I use to help me tailor my thoughts and build a consistent message for my clients. My brother, who is also an entrepreneur in a very different field (criminal defense) shared a book with me called E-Myth.  In it the author explains the 3 sides to a successful entrepreneur’s personality:
1. Be an Entrepreneur and work ON your business.
2. Be a Manager and do the nitty-gritty of your business. This is the stuff I didn’t learn in school and subsequently am not good at: accounting, invoicing, etc. (i.e. hire someone!)
3. Be a Designer and work FOR your business. I love to design. I love getting caught up selecting colors and making small adjustments to my type, but if I get stuck doing that all day I am not creating new business and am neglecting the other two portions of my job. This learning experience has shown me what I am good at and what I am not. Numbers, no good. Design, good. Entrepreneur, still learning. I also found that I really like the client relationship side of owning my own business.

PhotobucketI am a big believer in brand consistency. If your product, brand or company is not consistent overtime, your customers will never get to know you and trust you. Jennifer Morla, the creative director of Design Within Reach told me at a recent AIGA Chicago event that “brands must be honest” if your customer doesn’t believe your are being truthful, they will not buy your products. If you project an image of trust, kindness and interest in your customers they will be loyal to your brand.
We all know the social media basics like twitter, facebook, linkedin, a professional website and blog. But the time commitment is exhausting! Where do we have the time to accommodate of these social media outlets AND work on our company? There is a huge difference between blasting all of your social media outlets with your latest sales, what you did last night, and the great part of jeans your found this weekend, verse strategically marketing yourself. I found a few great resources that will help you target the type of content you should be creating to market yourself that will save you time and put you on the right track to gain attention and new customers!

Photograph of Jennifer Morla by Jock McDonald

1. Copyblogger
For those of you who aren’t the next Elizabeth Gilbert there is a website with tips and tricks for copy writing for online marketing success. Copyblogger has quick overviews of how to use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which will bump you up the google rankings. There is a funny and poignant article about the 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging you should check out too.

2. Smart Briefs


Smart Brief’s is an online newsletter that aggregates the best web articles in specific topics and brings it to your inbox on a daily or weekly basis. I receive the National Retail Federation Smart Brief as well as Smart Brief for Entrepreneurs  and The National Association of Women Business Owners . Each day I glance through their e-newsletter and pick what articles interest me. Marketing tip: Find an article about a company you admire, like Urban Outfitters, or Anthropologie, and read what they are doing in the news, are they expanding? Where? How? What marketing techniques are they using that you can simplify and make your own? One of my favorite marketing techniques is to learn from other’s mistakes and avoid those!

3. Lisa’s personal advice
Don’t try to do it all. Everyday you have the opportunity to build a better brand voice, think about who you want to be. Your voice is heard through many media outlets, be sure to have a marketing plan, or at least an idea for what type of brand you want to be. Look at the greats, learn from mistakes and it will be come easier overtime, I swear! The more consistent you are in your voice, the more your customers will trust you and ultimately buy from you.
Step Brightly has worked on many e-commerce sites, simple brochure site as well as advice for social media campaigns and we can help you think about the right questions, directions and ideas before jumping in, just shoot us an email.  Even though I may be slower to respond in the next few months I work with a great team that can help you too. As always good luck, keep in touch, I love hearing from you and I will be talking with you again in the early fall!


Thank you Lisa for all the great information your provided us with through the Small Business Tips series! Good luck to you and enjoy the much needed break! I look forward to having you back in early fall!

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