One way to be successful in your small business marketing campaigns is to not imitate big corporations that have dedicated (but often isolated) marketing departments. In other words, don’t make your marketing the province of one person, which limits creativity, stakes everything on one perspective, and means disaster when they leave. Ask people if they’d like to be involved – give them simple, constructive ways to contribute – like having a fishbowl jar with a post-it pad, in which to drop observations that might be useful in your blog, or for Twitter, Facebook, etc. If clients are always asking a common question, write the question and answer on a post-it and drop it in – same with common problems you’re always solving, insights people might have, interesting client comments, etc. And don’t be afraid to get your clients involved – the jar is for them, too. Not everyone will contribute, and you can’t do it all by committee, but encouraging everyone to get involved can keep the engine energized.
At Free Agent Source, where I moonlight from my own company, as FAS’s Marketing Director, my policy is to introduce as much diversity as possible into how we present the message, so long as it doesn’t displace any key marketing campaigns. As we bring more people into the mix of clients, business partners, employees, and free agents, I’ll ask their input too – hoping to transform them into contributors. That’s key to a healthy marketing approach for small businesses – involve everyone you can – encourage differences of point of view – use everything you can, keep everyone engaged and contributing by being deeply involved, yourself. And when you have to say no, try to repurpose what you’re getting for a different use (maybe it belongs in your F.A.Q. or an internal document instead of your Twitter stream), so they understand that you value it, but it might not be ideal for a particular venue at a particular moment.
And listen like a brainstormer – not judging so much as looking to increase the pool of ideas from which you can draw. Not everything goes into production, but everything goes into the pool, without judgment – this will help you stay open-minded for the future, and creative without pidgeonholing your marketing into one personality or direction – it makes your marketing agile.
If you need consulting on getting your people involved, on building an internet marketing plan, or just on how to use the tools and where to get started and spend your first efforts, Market Moose is available. Meanwhile, feel free to connect with us via our social media icons (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.) at the top of our web site. And if you have any observations that we might use to help others with their internet marketing, feel free to drop us a line by e-mail – we’d love to have your input.