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Marketing 101: Back to the Basics

If you’re like a lot of Minuteman store owners that I’ve talked to, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all the things you “should” be doing to market your business.

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Blogging, direct mail, e-mail marketing, newsletters and the list goes on and on. Is your head spinning yet?

There are so many marketing options these days that it’s easy to just stop and do nothing. I call this “paralysis by analysis.” If you ever find yourself thinking and rethinking and thinking again, but never really taking much action, you probably suffer from paralysis by analysis. But don’t worry—it’s common, and there is a cure. When you feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure what to do next, then it’s time to go back to the basics. Go back to what you know and what you do well.

Ultimately, your goal in marketing is to create more revenue, right? You can do this in a couple of ways—you can create revenue from new clients, or you can build more revenue from existing clients.

So let’s start with what you have in order to accomplish your goal—your website. You have a powerful tool right at your fingertips that can help you lock in clients and make it easy for them to bring you repeat business. But as cool as that is, just having a website is not going to bring a flood of new clients your way. It takes a little work on your part to make people aware of your site.

The good news is, that’s not as hard as you may think it is. Here are some ideas that you can implement in no time at all.

E-mail signatures. Your contact information should be included in the signature of every e-mail message you send. This means not only your phone number and address, but the URL of your website, as well. You may even want to include a sentence about a current promotion you’re running—this is a great place for a shameless plug.

Voicemail. This might seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve talked to many of you who don’t have a voicemail message system set up for when you’re unable to answer the phone. Every time you miss a call and don’t allow someone to leave a message, you’re missing out on a potential sale. Take a few minutes to record a voicemail message, and when you do, be sure to include your web address. Send people to your website—they may find all the answers to their questions right there online.

Direct mail. There’s no better way to advertise what you do than by using your own product. Toot your horn with direct mail. And with every piece you send out, be sure to include your website’s URL. If you don’t have time to create your own marketing pieces, we have a few that you can use—just look in the Marketing Collateral area of your Springboard.

These are just a few ideas to get you started—and maybe you’ve already done these things. Great, you can cross them off your list. That means you simply take the next step and consider using statement stuffers, e-mail marketing, radio ads or newsletters.

The key is to not get overwhelmed and feel like you have to do it all at once. Marketing is a step-by-step process, and while you want each step to be integrated with the next, you take each step one by one. Whatever you do, don’t do nothing.

Tackle one project, then move on to the next and just keep building on what you’ve done. Remember this: Marketing success does not happen overnight.