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DIY small business marketing

Discussion in 'Business Marketing' started by bob shovel, 13th Oct, 2016.

  1. bob shovel

    bob shovel Active Member

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    Hi BC community

    I am new to small business and even newer to marketing, advertising and selling oneself :)

    What is the best way to makes a start? ?
    What are some good education resources?
    Is it best to get a consultant of some kind?

    What are some important steps when starting out?

    Nowadays i see social media as being a good starting point, cheap and something to diy.....but can you make a mess of it? Is it better to have a strategy of some kind rather than going crazy on twitter with no one reading?
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    I think it very much depends on your target audience. B2C is different to B2B. Retail is different to services is different to manufacturing, etc.

    If you can pinpoint a specific demographic for your product or service, Facebook is a good low cost entry to start.

    The most important thing is to set things up to track the performance of your activities so you can test what works and validate/compare things you try.

    I don't claim to be a marketing expert - this is just what I've observed.

    It's also important to have a clear goal in mind. Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? Increase sales? Gather more leads? Get better qualified leads?

    I don't currently spend anything on marketing for my businesses - it's all word of mouth + organic search engine traffic, but then, my business is very different to retail / services businesses.
     
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  3. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

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    I find for the retail or B2C side of things, ADWORDS is the easiest thing to start with. You can see when people click, when they view, A/B test your ads and landing pages to see what works better. BUT budget might rule out running 24/7 on startup in a lot of areas.

    Like SIM said, you need to track everything and ADWORDS is easy as it does it for you on the who says it side. You still need to track who converts to a sale. We ask every single person, every single time how they found out about us.
     
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  4. bob shovel

    bob shovel Active Member

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    Wow it's interesting stuff!
    From over at PC there's talk about "three birds reno" and scrolling through their Facebook page i was trying to work out what they actually do and provide to customers. ... from what i understand they're just going the social media path showing their jobs and not actually renovating other people's houses or providing interior design advice etc. They are just building up the followers and the reno suppliers to spruik products for more "likes" and obviously get freebies for their reno's, plus the other income with the traffic they bring.

    I'm a little familiar with ad words but haven't used it. I've just seem it via WordPress and running a Facebook page the way you get to see the data on how people got to your site, the pages visited, and volume etc etc

    A crash course in fb marketing might be a start, along with instagram for fancy photos.

    Asking everyone everyone how they found you is a great idea and provides such valuable info for one simple question

    I'm looking at heading down the house reno path but haven't set a main target audience or work area yet. I have idea's where i want to go but ill let the market take me for a ride i think and specialise as i go. Can't be picky starting out! And i have got the looks to be in competition with cherie barber :p
     
  5. Envious Solutions

    Envious Solutions New Member

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    Hey Bob

    As Simon mentioned you do need to consider your target audience and really understand what you want to achieve. So yes a strategy is one of the most important things to lay out before you begin your journey. As I say to most of my clients, without that strategy it's almost like going on a road trip without your GPS. You may get there eventually, but was it the shortest and most effective way?

    Facebook is a great low cost marketing strategy if you use it correctly. Some of the start-ups I come across don't have the budgets to outsource this part of their business so I do offer them a "crash course". It runs for about an hour or so and I'm available to them for 2 weeks after that should they need to ask further questions etc.

    It's a good idea to create an avatar of who your ideal client is, what do they like to do, where do they hang out etc. so you can decide the best strategies to implement. No point posting on FB if they aren't even there!

    You are also best to do some split testing to get a feel for what will give you a better result. Sometimes all it takes is changing the image you use on your advertising. I've run the same ad before, one image gets all the engagement, the other gets nothing. Content is exactly the same, only the image is different!

    Anyway, happy to chat further if you are looking for some other ideas.
     
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  6. bob shovel

    bob shovel Active Member

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    Thanks @Envious Solutions a crash course would be a great starting point rather than just jumping in.

    I have been busy checking out what other people are doing and it isn't that great. I'm no expert but have been following some other people that have built up their numbers of followers and watched them get products to give away etc and can see it takes time and commitment not just a selfie or two! :D

    It is an area i need to study up on or delegate to an expert
     
  7. Srini Ranganathan

    Srini Ranganathan Active Member

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    @Envious Solutions A crash course sounds like a great idea. How much do you charge for this? Do you also cover AdWords?
     
  8. Moyjos

    Moyjos Member

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    I think you DO need to get picky. At least formulate marketing plans for each segment. One easy way is to visualise your our ideal client, now talk to that person. Eg one ideal client is "Mark and Jenny" they have 2 kids (4@6) and really need to move from their small house to somewhere bigger with a bigger yard to cater for the growing family. They bought the townhouse 6 years ago when they first got married. They always said they would do "something" one day. Now they know it needs a Reno to maximise the price. How can your business help them ( not just the building side....play to emotion)

    Another client might be "Bob and Joan ". They have lived in the family home for nearly 50 years, they are looking to downsize and want to bring the house up to a more modern standard to sell.

    Now target your market. Where do "Mark and Jenny" hang out line? Facebook, instagram, Pinterest and Houzz would be good starts. "Bob and Joan" are possibly not into social media as much, so Adwords or paid ads in retirement sites might work.

    Good luck
     
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  9. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Nah, you just buy a business membership on PropertyChat and clients will be knocking down your door. :D
     
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  10. bob shovel

    bob shovel Active Member

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    That's what I'm thinking. Throw a broad net to begin with to get work in to get started.

    I see a few gaps in the market. One is a shortage of reliable help nearby, rather than difficult local trades. i have spoken to a couple of guys and they said neat, polite presentation and actually showing up to quote and you're ahead of the pack already!

    Plus some issues we found when renovating id like to take advantage of. Like having the "suit" show up to look at the job then getting a guy with no idea to do the work and having wrong sized windows is a big no no!

    I think if the marketing is done right couldn't there be two sets of photos to go out to the Facebook pages and to the retirement sites? Something I'll need to look into.

    I think there may be a lack of service to getting a job started. Chippy might come and say "call me when you get x complete and then I'll do my bit". A bit of extra time and help might get things moving rather than mark and Jenny opting for smaller scope or moving

    I'll keep researching though :)
     
  11. bob shovel

    bob shovel Active Member

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    Investors make me nervous! They'll want everything below market value! No money there lol
     
  12. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Actually, you'd be surprised.

    Lots of cash-rich, time-poor investors would gladly outsource their renovations to someone they can trust and who knows what is important to investors (ie not overcapitalising, careful choice of carpets / benchtops / etc for long life / hard wearing / tenant proof, etc).

    I know a couple of people who offer project management services for minor cosmetic renos for people interstate. I guess it comes down to who your target audience is - but I wouldn't automatically dismiss the investors.
     
  13. Tony Fleming

    Tony Fleming New Member

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    Hi Bob I've just started some facebook marketing and next week will be starting google ad words. I'll let you know how I go with it. The facebook one is pretty informative with the age/gender people clicking on your advertisement. Might see you at the Property chat BM meet up to give you an update :)