4 Quick Tips to Make 2021 YOUR Small Biz Year
Congratulations — you survived the nightmare that was 2020. I know that sounds snarky and slightly pessimistic, but I really do believe that just making it through the last year in one piece is something to be celebrated.
2020 was the year of pivots. Adjustments. Re-routes. Every small business owner I know had to find new ways of meeting clients, generating sales, and staying connected to their communities. I mean, if nothing else, we sure saw the invaluable importance of a strong web presence this year.
With brick and mortar boutiques closed and client coffee-dates at a standstill, the power of online marketing is now irrefutable. I really enjoyed working on website copy, email funnels, and online ads for for my clients, as I helped them to navigate the work-from-home world as it applies to small businesses.
But, I’m not one to dwell on the past. (If you know me at all, you know I forge forward without a sentimental bone in my body like it was my job.) So, in the spirit of moving forward and beyond, we’ve got to get your small business ready for 2021.
New year, new goals? Not my favorite.
How about — new year, same goals… smarter approach. I’m a big believer in working smarter, not harder. And I’ve got 4 quick tips for you here to make your consistent business goals — more sales, more warm leads, fewer all-nighters — your reality in 2021.
Quick Tip #1: If you build it (authentically), they will come.
Your people are out there. And they would love nothing more than to find you and connect with your brand once they see how genuine it is. You’ve got to trust that your target audience will come to you!
But — some of that responsibility falls on your shoulders. How can you expect anyone to follow your brand… if they don’t really “get” who you are or what you do?
So, my first tip is to not only nail your target audience — very specifically — but also to get your brand voice in check. Is your tone, word choice, and vibe crystal clear? Is it speaking directly to your target audience, like you were best friends?
If not — and that’s okay! — the time for you to call a copywriter is NOW. Go with the words that best represent your style, and you’d be amazed at how quickly your people will find you and follow you.
Quick Tip #2: Go automatic!
I get it — you’ve got digital marketers and brand strategists telling you, “you HAVE to be smart about your social media posts, your blog, and your emails”. It’s true, but it’s also a ton of overwhelming work for a small business owner. Frankly, you just don’t have the time.
But, just because your schedule is jam-packed, that doesn’t mean you can skip out on the online marketing (remember what 2020 taught us about online shopping?!).
I recommend carving out a dedicated time in your schedule, maybe once a month or every few weeks, to plan your outreach, write your deliverables, and then set them on a timer.
Not only will this make your social media content, blogs, and email newsletters feel more manageable in your life, they’ll also be… well, better! No more rushing to write a post or shoot off an email to your mailing list. If you wrote that email two Sundays ago over coffee, now all you have to do is AUTOMATE your email blasts, and get back to your life while your message heads out to your fans.
Write your content and emails (or hire a copywriter), make a schedule to release them, and then plug in the words and the release dates on your IG Repost app, your Mailchimp email blast, and more. You can make automatic email sequences so that, no matter when a new lead enters your funnel through a lead magnet or freebie newsletter signup, they’ll automatically receive funnel emails while you sleep. Or eat. Or go for a walk. You get the picture!
Quick Tip #3: The key to higher sales is NOT selling.
Sounds counterintuitive, right? But think about the last time you made a purchase online. You hemmed and hawed, and the thing that made you pull out your credit card was probably NOT the seller pitching you on the product with desperation. Nobody likes to be over-sold anything, so as tempting as it is, less is more when it comes to marketing. IF (and big “if”) — the marketing you do is effective, powerful, and packs a punch. You don’t need a lot if what you’ve got is just right.
So, instead of focusing on sales numbers and hard pitching clients, focus on the clients themselves. Build relationships. Connect with cold leads in a genuine way — say hello before you push for the big up-sell! Make sure you nurture your warm leads, as they already know and like you. Connect with fellow small business owners to hype each other and maybe collaborate, and let your family and friends know what you’re up to.
Genuine, real, authentic, non-salesy connections go a LONG way when it comes to actually selling. Slow down, send a “just checking in” email, and THEN you can follow up with your pitch, your sell, or your big offer.
Quick Tip #4: Your best marketing secret weapon, is you.
This sounds so cheesy, but you are enough. You and your brand are MORE than enough. What can feel “icky” is when you have to turn your authentic business into a sales-generating machine in order to stay afloat.
But, the thing is — you don’t! In fact, I exclusively buy things online from companies that I feel connected to, that I can relate to, and that I feel understand me. Your brand should reflect the truest, most relatable parts of you, and those are exactly the same areas you should lead with in your marketing.
When you believe that your true self is enough, you lean into what makes you “you”. No other business can copy that (because, well... it’s YOU), and you’ll feel so much more fulfilled when you send your emails and post your social ads. Lead with YOU, and your people will find you, love you, and keep on buying from you for years to come.
I hope these big-picture tips help you to stay on track in 2021, and more importantly, to perhaps reimagine how you can achieve your business goals.
There is so much more room for honesty, empathy, and self-reflection in the small business and advertising worlds, and I encourage you to find those spots for you. Just because everyone else sells a certain way, that doesn’t mean you do.
Discover what feels “right” to you, and do that. Sell that. Market that. Build that. Write that. Email that. May we all find our “that” this new year, and be boldly unafraid to put it out there for the world to see.